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What Is A Real Star

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Click  For What Is A Real Star In Todays World?

What Is A Real Star

By Ben Stein

For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called "Monday Night At Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time. How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?
Ben Stein's Last Column...

As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. Iloved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.

It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer
attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.

Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars
are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an
abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a
family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and
die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for
surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the
Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a
human.

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.
By Ben Stein

I Have A Dream In

News

Martin Luther King, Jr. Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., Aug. 28, 1963
I Have A Dream
In Video, Audio And Text


 

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of
Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

... Mousetrap!

News

MouseTrap: A Good Illustration For Us All
Do We Care About What Happens To Other's?

Click  For What Is A Real Star In Todays World?

... Mousetrap!

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain? He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house."

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, -- remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

Dismantling Darwinism

News

A Conversation With Phillip E. Johnson
Dismantling Darwinism

Dismantling Darwinism

By Jim Dailey

Generations of American schoolchildren have been taught that Darwin's theory of evolution is the explanation for the origin of life -- regardless of what they might have learned in Sunday school. Yet according to law professor and author Phillip E. Johnson, this modern-day mantra of science classes is little more than a dogma of materialism. In his books "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," "Darwin on Trial," "Reason in the Balance" and others, Johnson defends the truth with the intellectual clout that earned him a prestigious seat at the University of California, Berkeley, yet with a humility that can only come from knowing the Creator one-on-one. Here, he talks candidly with "Decision" on the topic he is most passionate about -- dismantling Darwinism.

Q: The Ohio Board of Education recently ruled that public schools in that state can now discuss controversies surrounding the theory of evolution. Why do you think so many leading educators fought to keep such debate out of the classroom?

A: It's a good question. You would think the Darwinists would be glad to teach the controversy as a matter of educational policy. According to public opinion polls, most of the nation has serious doubts about the truth of the evolutionary theory. Why don't the educators want to address those doubts seriously? They are afraid to acknowledge that there are any doubts that matter. Real scientists, they say, believe without any doubt in the theory of evolution. But in Ohio we had petitions signed by dozens of well-credentialed scientists saying that this area of study should be opened up to freedom of thought. Science should not be committed to a dogma -- much less a dogma that is in serious trouble with the evidence -- but should freely acknowledge areas of doubt and should address them honestly.

Q: Through your books and lectures, you've become known as someone who has worked hard to bring together different factions of the creationist movement.

A: My policy is to concentrate on the first issue: What scientific evidence points toward or away from the need for a Creator? Does the evidence of science really show that Darwin's force of natural selection is so powerful that nature can do its own creating and that there is no need for God? That's the philosophical doctrine the Darwinists propose, but my colleagues and I have shown that it is not true. The evidence, as opposed to the scientific imperialism, points to the fact that natural selection has no creative power and that the Creator is very much needed. So if we concentrate on that issue first, then we can get to other issues that are somewhat divisive within the Christian world. I have done that by saying, "Let's be careful that we start with the correct Scripture."

The best place to start is not with Genesis 1 and the six days of creation, arguing about how long those days may have been. That immediately gets people into an issue that divides believers. The best place to start is with the Scripture that teaches the meaning of creation rather than the timetable: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1, NIV).

Q: That allows you to discuss the bigger picture of creation.

A: Right. We ask, "What is life, anyway? Is it just matter that is changing by natural processes?" No, that's not so at all. The biological cell, for example, the fundamental unit of biology, is a masterpiece of miniaturized complexity so intricate that it makes a super computer or a spaceship look rather low-tech. It's like a whole city with its own energy transportation, its own fire and police departments, its own hospital -- all working together in marvelous harmony. Obviously, there is some intelligence in the cell. You might call it a program that ties all this together and keeps it working for the common good of the organism. The Darwinist theory has no explanation for the origin of this cell. Even the most eminent biologist will admit that to you. So they are stopped right at the beginning. They do claim that you can make some changes in nature by means of random variation or gene mutation and natural selection -- the survival of the fittest. And, within limits, that's true. Their claim is not altogether false, but it is true only at a very trivial level. It doesn't explain any significant change in the biological world.

Q: How, then, did our culture accept such illogical reasoning as definitive and true, so much so that it became the mantra of science education?

A: To explain that, I would start with another Scripture: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20, NIV). It is not that people don't have clear pointers to the true God; it is that they don't want to recognize Him as God. They want to substitute another god -- an idol -- that they can control. An idol is simply a man-made god, a man-controlled god.

Paul uses the example of little figures of birds or beasts. In our day, the idols tend to be theories that come from the human mind. The theory of evolution is the latest fashion in idols. This myth of Darwinian evolution has helped a certain class of people to become wealthy and powerful and to be able to control the whole culture. They are mostly not scientists; they are the rulers of science and culture -- the ones who decide how science will be presented to the public through television and elite newspapers. Science is extremely profitable to them. That's why they spend all their efforts and resources making sure everybody believes their particular creation story and no one is allowed to consider another one. It also explains why those of us who challenge that power can expect not just a lot of criticism but downright abuse.

Q: Describe the premise and process of intelligent design.

A: The premise of intelligent design is that the evidence of science, understood impartially, points to the need for an intelligence. This is shown in two particular ways. First, there is the irreducible complexity of living organisms, like the biological cell. This is best explained in the book "Darwin's Black Box" by my friend and colleague, biochemist Michael Behe. He shows the incredible complexity of each cell and the systems that require many complex parts to work. If you're missing one part, you don't get an almost-perfect system; you get no system at all. Any creative process would have to produce everything all at once. The Darwinian says that you produce one thing that has some function, and then you add on another one and another and so on until you get the complete cell. Each step is supposedly superior to the last. But irreducible complexity makes that impossible. That is the first feature.

The second feature of living organisms is that they contain what is known as complex specific information. To explain that, just think of a book like an encyclopedia or a computer program like Windows 98. Computer programs don't write themselves; they need computer engineers. A computer program has a very complex set of instructions. Richard Dawkins, the arch Darwinist promoter and atheist, admits forthrightly that a single cell in your body has more information in it than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together. That information is what coordinates the activities of the cell. Now, you know how impossible it would be to produce an encyclopedia by mixing letters at random until they came together in a certain way.

Neither of these things can be explained by the Darwinian theory. They don't even try to explain them; all they do is huff and puff and bluff and say, "You're not allowed to challenge our scientific fact." This dogma is not science at all. None of it has been demonstrated by experiment, which is what would have to happen for it to be truly scientific.

Q: How did God draw you to salvation in Christ?

A: I became a Christian the way most people do -- I was dissatisfied with my life without Christ. I had been happily married, I thought. But then my marriage went bad. I was also dissatisfied with my life as a professor of law. I'm a pretty hard case; the Lord had to work on me longer than most people. I became a Christian, even a very active one, and yet something still wasn't complete. My Christian conversion wasn't complete until I suffered a debilitating stroke in July 2001. That experience shattered me. Lying in a hospital bed, I heard a friend singing the hymn that says, "on Christ the solid Rock I stand," and I wondered, "Am I really standing with both feet on that solid Rock? Maybe I still have one foot on the shifting sand. Maybe I'm still relying too heavily on my brain -- the brain that got me out of public school into Harvard University, then to the position of law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and professor at the University of California." I think that's what I really relied on. But after the stroke, I didn't know what was going to become of me. Was I ever going to be able to lecture or write again? I had to determine where my ultimate reliance was placed. Sometimes we have to lose everything else before we can really see where our Rock of Salvation is.

Q: At the pinnacle of your arguments against Darwin's theory is the reality that there is a Creator God whom we can know.

A: Yes. Some people don't want to see it because they are afraid it would mean a loss of their power. They want to be their own God. They think that naturalism offers them maximum power and freedom. It doesn't. Romans 1:20 makes that very clear. They turn away because they do not want to honor the true God as God. So they turn to gods of their own making, false gods. That is what idolatry is all about. Idolatry is what our present culture is all about. Sex is an idol and science is an idol. When science becomes an idol, it's always bad science, and that's what we're getting.


What Can A Glass Of Milk Do

GLASS OF MILK
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?

You don't owe me anything, she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year's later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled! They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in
specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote
something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words.....

"Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed:

"Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."

There's a saying which goes something like this:
Bread cast on the waters comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time. If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a betterplace - And, after all, isn't that what life is all about?

Pass this story on today and do a good deed for someone else

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.....

GOOD FRIENDS ARE LIKE ANGELS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SEE
THEM TO KNOW THEY ARE THERE

China Implemented The One-Child Policy

China to Make Sex-Selective Abortions a Crime
By Lindsay Beck
BEIJING (Reuters) - China is to outlaw the selective abortion of female fetuses to correct an imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls that has grown since a one-child policy was introduced more than 20 years ago.

Government figures show 119 boys are born in the world's most populous country for every 100 girls, but Beijing has set a goal of reversing the imbalance by 2010, state media reported.

China implemented the one-child policy in the early 1980s to curb its massive population -- which officially hit 1.3 billion Thursday -- but the restrictions have bolstered a traditional preference for baby boys.

"The government takes it as an urgent task to correct the gender imbalance of newborns," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Weiqing, minister in charge of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, as saying in an overnight report.

"As a new measure, the commission will start drafting revisions to the Criminal Law in order to effectively ban fetus gender detection and selective abortion other than for legitimate medical purposes," Zhang said.

Sex-selective abortion is already banned but technologies such as ultrasound have made it easier to know a baby's gender in advance, increasing the chances for aborting girls.

Xinhua quoted experts as saying criminalising the ban would be a more effective deterrent. It gave no details on what the possible punishments might be.

But demographers have said curbing the gender imbalance is not simply a case of cracking down on abortions, pointing out that in poor, rural areas, girls are often not cared for as well as boys, resulting in higher infant-death rates for girls.

Chinese traditionally prefer sons because they are seen as more able to provide for the family, to support elderly parents and to carry on the family line.

Daughters become members of their husband's family when they marry.

The countryside is plastered with slogans telling villagers that small families are the road to happiness and that daughters are just as good as sons but there is little evidence such sloganeering has changed the preference for boys.

"The family plan is still the most difficult job in the world," the Beijing News quoted Zhangas saying.

Despite a desire to curb the sex imbalance and a relaxation in recent years that allows rural families to have two children if the first is a girl, China has shown no sign of abandoning the one-child policy and cracks down on those who advocate against it.

One such activist is Mao Hengfeng, who was dismissed in 1988 from her job at a Shanghai soap factory after becoming pregnant a second time.

Last April, the Shanghai public security bureau sentenced her to 18 months in a labor camp for campaigning against the one-child policy.

U.S.-based Human Rights in China said Tuesday she had since had her sentence increased by three months.


Australian Christian Channel Live On The Net

Since the Australian Christian Channel (ACC) went to air on Easter Sunday 1999 it has been available via the Optus Cable TV network. With the launch of its new live video streaming service geography is no longer an obstacle, ACC is now broadcasting the gospel of Jesus across the nation and around the world via its website.

ACC has drawn on the technical expertise of Streamit and its long term development partner Netpresence to make this new venture a possibility. Mark Thorn director of Streamit says, “I’m so excited to work with ACC on this project, it has been a dream of mine for many years now to see the Christian message get out through the use of modern technologies like video streaming.”

The Video streaming service is designed in such a way that users on the slower dial up connections can still watch the channel while broadband users will be able to enjoy a bigger and better quality picture. General manager of ACC Neil Elliott says “There is such a wealth of quality Christian programming on the channel now. It is great that people can be encouraged, challenged or uplifted as often as they want from wherever they are anywhere in the world.”

The ACC website www.acctv.com.au is a significant part of ACC’s ministry and the two mediums compliment each other. The website provides all the information you would expect to find like program schedules, news letters and updates but there are also a lot of other great tools and resources like the daily news service, devotions, online bible and a whole lot more.

ACC is committed to using the different types of media to fulfil its vision of “Reaching Australia for Jesus Christ”. The exciting, new live video streaming service is just one of the developments that God has opened up for the Australian Christian Channel.

For more information contact:
Stephen Jeffs
Australian Christian Channel
07 5479 3266
info@acctv.com.au
www.acctv.com.au


DADDY'S EMPTY CHAIR

A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me, he said. 'No, who are you?" said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up," "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man.

"But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head." I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, 'I will be with you always'. "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now." "So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. Did he die in peace?" he asked. Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?" The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. I asked God for water, He gave me an ocean.

I asked God for a flower, He gave me a garden.

I asked God for a friend, He gave me all of YOU...

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Happy moments, praise God.

Difficult moments, seek God.

Quiet moments, worship God.

Painful moments, trust God.

Every moment, thank God.

MAY THE LORD BLESS & KEEP YOU SAFE & HUMBLE

Rev. Chears


Sanctity of Life Opposed By Muslims?

Allah or Jesus?
by Rick Mathes

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their belief systems.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a
video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: "Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, "Non-believers!"

I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."

I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go toHeaven!"

The Imam was speechless. I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?" You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.

Senders words: Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with Rick's way of dealing with the Islamic Imam and exposing the truth about the Muslim's beliefs. I think everyone in the US should be required to read this, but with the liberal justice system, liberal media, and the ACLU, there is
no way this will be widely publicized. Please pass this on to all your email contacts.

This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well known leader in prison ministry.

San Joaquin ProLife Council


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Pro-Life Advocate Says

Pro-Life Advocate Says Abortion Unfairly Targets the Black Community
http://www.lifenews.com/nat347.html

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In light of February's Black History Month, one pro-life advocate says more attention needs to be paid to how abortion exploits black women and unfairly targets
the African-American community.

"Abortion is the number-one killer of African Americans, killingmore Black people than all other causes combined," Day Gardner,director, Black Americans for Life, said at a press conference
last week.

"By the end of this very day, 1,200 Black babies -- the babiesthat ensure our future -- will die," Gardner added.

African Americans make up 13 percent of the population, yet African-American women have more than 35% of all abortions in the United States. The abortion rate of Black women is three times
that of White women.

Gardner said the most recent census shows that black Americansare not longer the largest minority group in the United States.She attributes that to the 14 million abortions ofAfrican-American children since Roe v. Wade.

For years, pro-life groups have criticized the abortion
businesses for sometimes locating their facilities in
predominantly black communities.

Gardner said abortion makes a certain class of people "less thanhuman" just as slavery made black Americans seem less than human.

"Slavery -- a time when every black man, woman, and child wasowned, considered property like an animal. We struggled andsurvived slavery ... and dreamed of changing the future," Gardner
explained.

"I urge the African-American community during Black History Month


(Somthing Fun)The Face Of Jesus Illusion



Concentrate on the 4 dots in the middle of the picture for about 30 sec's.

1. After looking at the picture for about 30 sec's close your eyes, tilt your head back sligtly and look with eyes closed. What Do You See?

2.Or take a look at the wall and start blinking your eyes.You will see a circle of light, continue looking at that circle. What Do You See?


Fyi - Possible Phone Scams

Brian G. Fisher
Ontario Provincial Police
Regional Intelligence Coordinator
20 Rose St.
Barrie, Ontario
I4M 2T3

Grant Collison
Regional Intelligence Officer
Sarnia, Ontario

Importance: High
We actually received a call last week from the 809
area code.The woman said "Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you-get back to us quickly. Have something
important to tell you." Then she repeated a phone
number beginning with 809. We did not respond.
Then this week, we received the following email:

Subject: DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284 AND 876


THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T.


DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809
This one is being distributed all over the US. This
is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you tocall.
Be sure you read this and pass it on to all your
friends and family so they don't get scammed!

MAJOR SCAM:
Don't respond to Emails, phone calls, or web pages
which tell you to call an "809" Phone Number.

This is a very important issue of Scam Busters
because it alerts you to a scam that is spreading
*extremely* quickly can easily cost you $2400 or
more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.

We'd like to thank Verizon for bringing this scam
to our attention. This scam has also been identified by the National Fraud Information and is costing victims a lot of money. There are lots of different permutations of this
scam.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
You will receive a message on your answering
machine or your pager, which asks you to call a number beginning with area code 809.
The reason you're asked to call varies. It can be
to receive information about a family member who has been ill, to tell you someone has been arrested,
died,to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc.
In each case, you are told to call the 809 number
right away. Since there are so many new area codes
these days, people unknowingly return these calls.

If you call from the US or Canada, you will
apparently be charged $2425 per-minute.
Or, you'll get a long recorded message. The point
is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as
possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately,
when youget your phone bill, you'll often be charged
more than $2410.00.

WHY IT WORKS:
The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin
Islands Bahamas. The 809 area code can be used as a "pay-per-call "number, similar to 900 numbers in
the USand Canada.

Since 809 is not in the US, it is not covered by
U.S.regulations of 900 numbers, which require that you benotified and warned of charges and rates involved when you call a pay-per-call" number.
There is also no requirement that the company
provide a time period during which you may terminate the call without being charged.

Further, where as many U.S. and Canadian homes that have900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of
charges, do not work in preventing calls to the 809 area code.

We recommend that no matter how you get the
message, if you are asked to call a number with an 809 area code that you don't recognize just disregard
the message.

Be wary of email or calls asking you to call an 809
area code number.
It's important to prevent becoming a victim of this scam, since trying to fight the charges afterwards can
become a real nightmare. That's because you did
actually make the call. If you complain, both your
local phone company and your long distance carrier
will not want to get involved and will most likely tell
you that they are simply providing the billing for
the foreign company.

You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that
argues they have done nothing wrong.

Please forward this entire message to your friends,
family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam.
Sandi Van Handel AT&T Field Service Manager
(920) 687-904 .
Additional information can be obtained from the
following
AT&T Web Site

http://www.att.com/fraud/home.html#thre/s/


Thanks To Linda For This
"Heavenly Reality Check"

"Streets of Heaven"

There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you."

The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.

The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him.

The angel reappears and informs the man that God had decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. Peter seeing the suitcase says, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!" But, the man explains to Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord.

Sure enough, Peter checks and comes back saying, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through." Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly
items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims,

"You brought pavement?!?"


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