“Let the sea resound,
and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and
everything in them! Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy, they will
sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.” (1
All the world dreads the judgment day, for they know that they haven’t done as they should. But they do not understand that the Judgment day consists of a trial before the sentence is rendered. The world has not been on trial in the present age or past ages, only the elect have, mainly the saints. So when the Judgment day for the world comes there will be a trial first and then the sentence rendered. It is the same in this day for people who have been involved in criminal activity. They are put on trial first, judged, and then the sentence is rendered.
There have been many events in nature this past year. For instance, a terrible earthquake in China, a cyclone in Myanmar, terrible fires in Florida, tornadoes in many places and melting of the ice-caps which has endangered the polar bears. Add to that the 7,000 medical mistakes in the United States and it doesn’t give a good picture of the year 2008.
“$50 M GIFT IS GENESIS FOR BIBLE-TRANSLATION PROJECT: A new effort to translate the Bible into every living language kicks off today with the help of a $50 million anonymous gift to Orlando-based Wycliffe USA ─ the world’s largest Bible-translation company.
“The goal of Wycliffe’s Last Languages Campaign is to translate the Bible for all of the 2,400 languages that still do not have one. Those represent about a third of all languages spoken and include nearly 200 million people, mostly in three regions: Central Africa, northern India-southern China and Indonesia-Papua New Guinea.
“The translations are expected to take at least 17 years to complete. Robert Creson, president of Wycliffe, would identify the cash donor only as someone with a longtime interest in biblical translation and the positive effects it can have on communities that do not have written languages. ‘It’s a huge encouragement and a huge investment of faith,’ he said.
“Worldwide, the nonprofit Bible-translation company has more than 6,400 people working in 93 countries. In 1999, about 1,500 languages had translation of the Bible. That number since has more than doubled to 4,000.
“It can take several years to complete a translation. Samuel Mubbala, a Ugandan translator working on a Bible in his native language, knows how difficult the task can be. Although the Bible already had been translated into a related Ugandan language, that version did not seem to speak to him intimately enough. ‘You’re missing part of the message if it’s not in the mother tongue,’ Mubbala said. Mubbala and others had to come up with a new linguistic construction that Lugwere speakers understood.
“Six years ago, Wycliffe USA moved from California to a 200-acre campus in Orlando. That facility employs about 285 workers and includes an interactive display about Bibles, which is open to the public.
“Wycliffe was founded in 1942 by American missionary Cameron Townsend, who saw the need for native-language Bibles while working in Guatemala in 1917. The company was named for John Wycliffe, who initiated the first English translation of the Bible in the
(By Jay Hamburg, Excerpts from Orlando Sentinel, November 22, 2008)
“STICK ‘EM UP, PLEASE: A thief who robbed a store in Vermont apologized to the owner and left the singles behind so workers on the next shift would have something in the till. The knife wielding man made off with an undetermined amount of money from Joe’s Pond Country Store in West Danville. ‘I’m very sorry I have to do this,’ he told owner Jeff Downs. No arrests have been made. Vermont State Police Lt. Timothy Clouatre said Friday. ‘Usually, they’re in more of an angry mode, Just give me the money and get out,’ he said. ‘Maybe this is somebody who’s just desperate but isn’t a career criminal.’ Downs suggested that money is scarce in the wrong places. ‘Wall Street tycoons can’t live on millions, and here is this kid willing to be shot or go to jail for a couple of hundred bucks. Something is not right.’”
(The Associated Press, November 22, 2008)
2008 was some year. In two weeks the stock market plunged 38% with more bankruptcies and more rising joblessness. Clearly the U.S. economy is on the ropes. Never before has the nation and its citizens faced such a financial crisis.
Banks are going bankrupt. Merrill Lynch and Wachovia are merging with other banks. Some say we are going into a depression but looking at the economic facts we are better off than we were in 1930. But when you are out of a job it is a depression or it seems that way. More people are out of work than ever before. Many companies are laying people off.
The government has given a stimulus package to the people and one to the banks but people are not buying anything they can do without. Debt is the highest in the history of our country.
When Barack Obama takes office January 20th he will face the worst economy in decades with no hope of a quick or fast recovery. Unemployment is predicted to increase to 8% by December 2009. As typical the Federal Reserve cuts rates and jobs are created expecting consumers will start spending and recovery begin. But not this time; there aren’t any quick fixes.
Since we are in the Time of Trouble it is difficult to predict the future. Our advice is “Seek ye the Lord, all the meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment: seek righteousness, seek meekness, it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”
IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
“EUROPE FIRMS SNUB U.S.: TEHRAN, IRAN ─ A high-profile natural gas conference in part by two of Europe’s largest energy companies opened Saturday in Tehran – evidence, Iran said, that U.S. pressure was ineffective in preventing the country from developing its vast oil and gas resources. The two-day conference is sponsored by European energy giants, a total of France and OMV AG of Austria, as well as Crescent Petroleum of the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. has tried to persuade European energy companies to avoid business with Iran, hoping the pressure will cause Tehran to suspend its nuclear program.” (From Global News Services)
“HEAPS OF POWER: Getting rid of mountains of garbage and generating cheap electricity ─ that’s exactly what an Israeli startup, TGE Tech says it can do with its patented system to convert unrecycled trash into gas. TGE’S CEO Jean Claude Obhayon says it can do it with its patented system to convert unrecycled trash into gas. TGE’S CEO Jean Claude Obhayon says that the gas byproduct can be used by municipalities to generate electricity from which it can then reap a profit.
“Based in the Arava desert, the company has mounted a pilot program at a dump near Tel Aviv and is planning a larger program with
another municipality that can burn 200 tons of garbage daily.”
(World Jewry, July/August 2008)
“BOOSTING WIND ENERGY: Wind power is a good energy alternative to free America from its oil dependence, but it could be made a lot more efficient. The wind can blow in gusts and spurts, it can tickle your ears or rip out trees, but the massive blades of today’s wind turbines can’t match the wind’s temperament: the rotors are fixed to spin at an even speed, maintaining a constant RPM (rounds per minute). The result is that a large amount of wasted energy just dissipates with the wind.
“A new Israeli company IQWind proposes a new solution. The company has designed a new gearbox that promises to squeeze the most energy from both new and existing wind turbines. ‘IQWing has solved a painful problem in wind turbines and allows them to work in an efficient way while significantly reducing the costs. Because when you add our gears in, other components become redundant and can reduce the price of building a wind turbine by 25%,’ IQWind founder and CEO Gideon Ziegelman, tells ISRAEL21c.
“Astorre Modena, a general partner, adds that the technology is ‘an elegant, smooth and solid gearbox that allows you to change gears without disconnecting the transmission,’ he says, noting that ‘there is much more meat,’ to the technology’s innovation that he can’t disclose. Modena says that the company expects to have a beta test site by March and another two years before the gearbox goes into production.
“Israel has strong expertise in solar thermal and water technology, owing its success in clean technology to the massive influx of Russian immigrants, says Modena who remarks that in general, clean technology is a difficult field, requiring cooperation between multiply disciplines: ‘Israelis are good at that,’ he says.”
(Excerpts from an article by Karin Kloosterman, www.israel21c.org)
“TEXAS BLESSES BIBLE CLASS IN SCHOOLS: AUSTIN, TEXAS ─ The Texas State Board of Education gave final approval Friday to establishing Bible classes in public high schools, rejecting calls to draw specific teaching guidelines and warnings that it could lead to constitutional problems in the classroom.
“The legislator passed a law in 2007 allowing courses to be offered as an elective. They are supposed to focus on the history and literature of the Bible without preaching or disparaging any faith...
“The adopted rule says courses should follow applicable law and ‘all state guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions and perspectives of students in their school district.”
Marck Chancey, associate professor in religious studies at Southern Methodist University, has studied Bible classes already offered in about 35 districts. His study found most of the courses were explicitly devotional with almost exclusively Christian, usually Protestant perspectives.”
(By Jim Vertuno, The Associated Press, July 19, 2008)
“RELIGIOUS: About 1,267 schools in the U.S. have closed since 2000 and enrollment nationwide has dropped by 382,125 students, or 14 percent, according to the National Catholic Education Association. Catholic schools have been closing since their peak in the 1960s, when there were 12,893 schools with about 5.25 million students. Today, there are 7,378 schools with 2.27 million students.”
(Associated Press, April 12, 2008)
“The Vatican issued a new version of a Roman Catholic prayer that had long offended Jews, but some said the changes don’t go far enough. Jewish groups said they interpreted the new version of the prayer for Jews as requiring members of their faith ─ and all humanity ─ to convert to Christianity in order to find salvation. The prayer for Jews is recited during Good Friday services of Easter Week.” (Associated Press, February 5, 2008)
”JEWISH leaders criticized Pope Benedict XVI for a Good Friday prayer that implied that all people must convert to Christianity for salvation. Revived from the old Latin rite, the original prayer was used in the past to justify anti-Semitism.”
(Indianapolis Star, April 5 2008)
“The Catholic Church in England and Wales is launching a campaign to replace its retiring priests. The move comes as the church struggles to find replacements, despite a modest upturn in the numbers of new recruits in the past five years. The numbers of those willing to enter the Catholic priesthood has fallen steadily, to a low of 24 in 2003. The church says that due to the low intake of new priests, many dioceses are having to rationalize their deployment of priests as a result.” (BBC, April 13, 2008)
“Membership in Catholic religious orders dropped by 20 percent from 2005 to 2006, to just under one million priests and nuns. The number of nuns worldwide dropped 25 percent during the pontificate of John Paul II.” (BBC, February 5, 2008)
THE VATICAN recently identified modern sins that require penance include pollution, genetic manipulation, and human cloning. The Papacy is becoming increasingly conscious of protecting the environment, including installing solar panels.
“POPE AND PRESIDENT HAVE MUCH IN COMMON: VATICAN CITY ─ When President Bush pays a visit to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Friday, it will be his sixth meeting with a pope, and his third meeting with Benedict in just over a year. Never in U.S. history has a president consulted so often with the leader of the Catholic Church. Carl Anderson, a former aide who now heads the Knights of Columbus calls it ‘remarkable.’
“‘Less than 50 years ago,’ he said ‘it was a question as to whether a Catholic should even be able to run for president.’
“Bush has emphasized his admiration for the papacy and in particular for Benedict, whom he has called a ‘very smart, loving man.’ When Benedict arrived in Washington in April, Bush personally met the pope on the tarmac, the only time that Bush has so honored any dignitary.”
(Religion News Service, June 2008)
“CATHOLIC, MUSLIM LEADERS BUILD BRIDGES: VATICAN CITY ─ Roman Catholic and Muslim leaders worked Thursday to deflate suspicion between the two faiths, pledging at a high level seminar here to work together to condemn terrorism, protect religious freedom and fight poverty.
“The meeting was long in coming, a year after 138 Muslim leaders wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI after he offended many Muslims by quoting a Byzantine emperor who called some teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ‘evil and inhuman.’ In turn, top Vatican officials have worried about freedom of worship in countries with a Muslim majority, as well as immigration that is turning Europe, which they define as a Christian continent, increasingly Muslim.
“But Thursday, both sides said that they hoped the seminar would open a new and much-improved chapter in Catholic-Muslim relations, as the two groups said they might establish a committee that could ease tensions in any future crisis between Catholics and Muslims.
“‘Let us resolve to overcome past prejudices and to correct the often distorted images of the other, which even today can create difficulties in our relations,’ Benedict told the Muslim delegation. He called the gathering ‘a clear sign of our mutual esteem and our desire to listen respectfully to one another.’
“Addressing the pope on behalf of the Muslim delegation, Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Iran, a professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University in Washington, said that throughout history ‘various political forces’ of both Christians and Muslims had carried out violence. ‘Certainly we cannot claim that violence is the monopoly of only one religion,’ he said.
“The three-day forum brought together about 30 Catholic clerics and scholars, led by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and as many Muslim clerics and scholars, led by Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina based in Sarajevo.
“‘The atmosphere was very good, very frank,’ said Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University. A celebrated intellectual in Europe, Ramadan in 2004 was denied a visa to the U.S. on the grounds that he had donated to two European charities that the State Department later said gave money to Hamas.
“Ramadan said the thorniest questions the group tackled were ‘apostasy’ and ‘freedom of worship in a minority situation.’ Some Muslims believe it is apostasy to convert out of Islam.
“The Muslim delegation included representatives of Sunni and Shiite Islam, as well as several converts and participants from North Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines and Uganda.”
(By Rachel Danadio, The New York Times, November 7, 2008)
“CATHOLICS RESTORE JEWISH GRAVES: Fifteen students and four professors from the Franciscan Sierra College in Albany, New York have tended to a neglected Jewish cemetery in Belarus. Through the auspices of Voluntas and other non-governmental institutions, the group paid its own way to help restore the Rubiazhevichi cemetery where 120 gravestones were decrepit or had been toppled.
“The Catholic contingent assisted by a local group also rebuilt the entrance to the cemetery which contains the graves of some 400 Jews from the village ghetto who perished during the Holocaust.”
(World Jewry, September 2008)
“PRIEST FACES EXCOMMUNICA-TION: COLUMBUS, GA. ─ A Georgia priest facing excommunication for supporting the ordination of women said Friday he plans to visit the Vatican with a contingent of fellow priests and a bishop to appeal the decision. Roy Bourgeois, 69, a Maryknoll priest and nationally known peace activist, ran afoul of Vatican doctrine by participating in an August 9 ceremony in Kentucky to ordain Janice Svre-Duszynska, a member of a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Recent popes have said Roman Catholic Church cannot ordain women because Christ chose only males as apostles. Sevre-Duszynska also faces excommunication. Bourgeois lives near the main gate of the Army’s Fort Benning.
(Orlando Sentinel, November 15, 2008)
“FEWER JOIN SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES: NASHVILLE, TENN. ─ The number of people baptized in Southern Baptists churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the denomination’s lowest level since 1987, while total membership dropped by nearly 40,000.
“Baptisms last year dropped nearly 5.5 percent to 345,941, compared with 364,826 in 2006, according to an annual report released last week by Life Way Christian Resources, publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“Total membership was 16,266,920 last year, a less than 1 percent drop from the 2006 figure: 16,306,246.
“Part of the blame for the slide can be blamed on a perception that Baptists are ‘mean spirited, hurtful and angry people’ and that the denomination has been known for ‘what we’re against’ rather than for ‘what we’re for,’ said the Rev. Frank Page, the convention’s president.”
(The Associated Press, April 21, 2008)
“DIOCESE SEVERS EPISCOPAL TIES: PEORIA, ILL. ─ A third theologically conservative diocese has broken away from the liberal Episcopal Church in a long-running dispute over the Bible, gay relationships and other issues. The Diocese of Quincy, Ill., took the vote at its annual meeting that ended Saturday. Two other dioceses ─ in Fresno, Calif., and in Pittsburgh ─ have already split off. The three dioceses are aligning with the like-minded Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, based in Argentina. The Quincy diocese, based in Peoria, has 24 churches.”
(Orlando Sentinel, November 9, 2008)
“DIOCESE EXITS EPISCOPAL CHURCH: The theologically conservative Diocese of Fort Worth voted Saturday to split from the liberal-leaning Episcopal Church, the fourth traditional diocese to do so in a long-running debate over the Bible, gay relationships and other issues. About 80 percent of clergy and parishioners in the Texas diocese supported the break. A lengthy, expensive legal battle is expected over who owns Episcopal property and funds. The Fort Worth diocese serves about 19,000 people. The other seceding dioceses are in Pittsburgh; Quincy, Ill.; and Fresno, Calif.” (Orlando Sentinel, November 16, 2008)
Many thanks and much appreciation for the beautiful Christmas cards received, with special thanks for the love and prayers expressed which we heartily reciprocate. We wish for all our readers that they will grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord for a blessed New Year.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The date of our Memorial is April 8, after six p.m.
“IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW”
With sadness we announce the death of Pastor Moses Emah’s fourth son, Brother Ekpeno Moses Emah. Ekpeno, age 26, was a technical welder with trade test 1,2,3, in Ewet Technical School, and worked in a company in the northern part of the country. He was seriously sick over the year and remained in the hospital until when he finally finished his earthly course on July 17, 2008.
After a three day journey, his remains came home, and was buried July 29, 2008. He leaves behind a one year and six months old son, missed so much by his family, but glad he will have a better resurrection in the Kingdom.
Brother J. E. Tom lost his mother, a sister in the truth since 1971. She was 116 years old the oldest sister of this age. We have great hope for a joyous resurrection in the Kingdom.
It is with great sadness that we report the loss of our good friend and Sister in the Truth Elizabeth “Betty” Carr Burke. She was born March 31, 1929 and died August 31 at the age of 79.
Betty had a colorful life. She was in movies the most memorable being a musical movie Seven Brides For Seven Brothers in 1954. When she came into the Truth she was as enthusiastic for it as she had been for the movies. She was an energizing force to all of us. We miss her very much and pray God Bless her memory.