Archive for February 2014

Oliver’s Double?

February 20, 2014

7 Year Old Stewardship Champ Loves Flytraps

Leo (Leonidas) Jack Seven year old Leo (Leonidas) Jack smiled in his button down shirt and red tie in response to being the newly crowned (and youngest ever) Stewardship Champion by the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Coalition. Leo’s recognition caused a standing ovation at the February 19th Annual Stewardship Development Award Luncheon held at The Terraces on Sir Tyler. It was all set in motion on May 30, 2013 when police discovered that 1,000 Venus’ flytraps had been stolen from the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden south of downtown Wilmington.

Instead of receiving birthday gifts when turning 6, Leo asked his friends to donate to the NC Coastal Land Trust to pay for new flytraps because, he said, “I don’t want them to become extinct.” His mother, Elaine Jack, suggested he make the donation because flytraps are unique to this area and are becoming scarce. Leo encouraged others to give their money to help as well.

As a result of his response, news media coverage of the theft increased, the public was enlightened regarding the plight of the threatened Venus fly trap and funds were raised to help replenish the garden. State officials are exploring the idea of making flytrap poaching a felony and increasing the penalties.

The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden is a crown jewel in the Cities’ inventory of great places to visit. The Garden, a collaboration between the City of Wilmington, Coastal Land Trust and the Oleander Company, is a part of the 39-acre Piney Ridge Preserve that includes some of our areas most unique carnivorous and wetland plant species, and environments.

The Coalition, which has the purpose of educating and encouraging sustainable development in the community, nominated Leo as one of the 2014 Stewardship Champions, bestowing him with an engraved wooden plaque. Appropriately, in the closing minutes of the event, Leo also won a bag of seed and a plant incubator so he can continue to help Wilmington grow.

Visitors are welcome to visit the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden during daylight hours at 2025 Independence Boulevard, Wilmington, NC, located behind Alderman Elementary School. Due to last summer’s incident, security measures have been put in place to prevent future thefts. Donations can be made by check, payable to “NC Coastal Land Trust” and mailed to 131 Racine Drive, Suite 202, Wilmington, NC, 28403.

 

Newts got it right about Kerry

February 20, 2014

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Gingrich Productions

Kerry Should Resign

Kerry Should ResignIf in recent history an American secretary of State has made a speech as delusional as John Kerry’s in Jakarta last week, I can’t remember it.

Discussing the most dangerous threats facing the world, Secretary Kerry said that “terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” are all problems, but added, “the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”

That was extreme enough, but then came the claim that should disqualify him from serving as Secretary of State. “In a sense,” he said, “climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

Newt Gingrich Podcast

At a time when Iran is on the verge of building a nuclear weapon, Ukraine is erupting into violence, Syria has collapsed into civil war, Venezuela is falling apart, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to devolve, and China is asserting itself all over the world, the American Secretary of State stated that the most urgent threat we face is a small rise in sea level by the end of the 21st century – a threat even greater than nuclear war, terrorism, or catastrophic attacks on critical infrastructure.

It’s a disaster for someone in that position to announce global warming is the greatest threat to the human race. It’s dangerous. If these are really his priorities, he should not remain in office.

Kerry clearly doesn’t intend his statement as hyperbole, though. He actually believes climate change could be worse than nuclear war. You realize that when you hear the doomsday scenarios he goes on to prophesy: droughts and dry spells, floods and monsoons, typhoons, famine, the end of species (“cod or sardines,” he says), entire countries submerged, and more.

Kerry predicts economic disaster, too — for instance, a trillion dollars every year in flood damage to ports in Asia, “unless we make big changes to the infrastructure of those ports” (which, presumably, “we” would, rather than bear a trillion dollars in unnecessary costs each year…).

All of these catastrophes, Kerry says repeatedly, are “facts”. The science of climate change, in his telling, is as indisputable as it is simple–a scientific truth in the same way that gravity is a scientific truth.

“When an apple separates from a tree, it falls to the ground..It’s a scientific fact,” he says. Similarly, climate change “is not really a complicated equation…This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this.”

The computer model projections, of course, are not scientific fact — they’re hypotheses — and they are not simple, either. They are based on thousands of variables, and many educated guesses and assumptions. Guesses and assumptions that failed to predict the last 17 years without warming (a scenario none of these “scientific” models projected).

Secretary Kerry has no time for questions about his bumper sticker science, however. As a lifelong politician, he implored the world to ignore “a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues” who are skeptical of his claims.

It’s not just the science skeptics Kerry can’t tolerate, however. Your view is equally unacceptable to the Secretary of State if you grant him his forecasts but question the left’s policy prescriptions (which always involve giving more power and trillions of dollars to the government in a futile attempt to prevent the Earth’s climate from changing). We should not allow “any room,” Kerry says, “for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

We must follow him anywhere, apparently, even if it does more harm than good.

Not only do Kerry’s injunctions verge on totalitarianism — intolerance of any view but the state’s — but they are also the opposite of the scientific method, which is based on openness to doubt.

Unfortunately, Kerry’s eagerness to shut down the conversation is increasingly common on the left. A climate scientist at Penn State is suing the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for libel because they dared to question his research. (Scientists who sue columnists for questioning their findings are reason enough to be skeptical of the global warming “consensus.”)

How can anyone take seriously a secretary of State who gives a speech like Kerry did in Jakarta and actually means it?

Clearly the Iranians can’t take him seriously. The day after Kerry announced that America is more concerned with global warming than nuclear weapons, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, said of his nuclear negotiations with the west: “I am not optimistic about the negotiations and they will lead nowhere — but I am not against them.”

But Secretary Kerry has bigger problems on his mind. In a delusional administration, he is the most delusional cabinet member. If Kerry really thinks like this, he needs to resign.

Your Friend,
New

Genesis 12:3

February 18, 2014

According to Israel National News (INN), a tersely worded letter from a group of rabbis representing the “Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel” has warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to stop all attempts to demand parts of the Holy Land in exchange for peace with Palestinians.

The letter says Kerry’s demand that Israel give up part of the Holy Land for peace is tantamount to a declaration of war on God, Who gave that land to the Jewish people for all time.

This matter is not to be taken lightly.  As the rabbis point out, the United States of America is actively acting against the interests of the nation of Israel, and this offense will severely impact our national destiny

More Presidential Folly

February 15, 2014

Gingrich Productions

The Senate Must Stop Obama’s Diplomatic Corruption

The Senate Must Stop Obama's Diplomatic CorruptionThe Constitution provides that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors.” In other words, no ambassador can take up his or her post without first winning the approval of the Senate.

The corruption of the nomination of ambassadors under President Obama is now so bad that the Senate must act. No Senator from either party can in good conscience consent to appointing ambassadors who are ignorant and unqualified.

The decline of America’s representatives abroad takes place in a much larger context of the Obama administration.

President Obama first ran for his office with a foreign policy platform rooted, essentially, in himself. He assured Americans that his ascension to the presidency alone would transform the United States’ image abroad.

In a way, he was right. Although initially rewarded for his election with a Nobel Peace Prize, the President quickly found his naïveté thrown back in his face.

To his video offering the Iranian regime a “new beginning,” the dictatorship responded with a shrug and five more years developing nuclear weapons.

The same year, the Olympic Committee spurned Obama’s in-person pitch to host the 2016 summer games in Chicago.

And the Russian “reset” has only emboldened Vladimir Putin, who seems to take particular pleasure in sticking his thumb in America’s eye. Between his Syria op-ed in the New York Times, granting asylum to Edward Snowden, and, most recently, intercepting and publicly posting the private phone call of a senior State Department official, Putin has had plenty of opportunities, and he’s perfecting the art.

It turns out that the world is far too complicated for one personality to manage. But more than five years into the Obama administration, the President still isn’t approaching foreign policy seriously.

The attitude was obvious recently at the confirmation hearings for several of the President’s nominees to be ambassadors. The group was so unqualified and ignorant of the countries to which they’d been appointed envoys that video of their testimony went viral on YouTube.

Do you know how bad it has to be for ambassadors’ confirmation hearings to go viral on YouTube?

Here’s how bad: The President’s nominee to be ambassador to Norway said he’d never been there, referred to the country as having a president (it doesn’t–it has a prime minister), and said the government had been “quick to denounce” a faction that is in fact part of its own coalition. (Perhaps the Norwegians are now rethinking that Nobel Peace Prize, if they weren’t already.)

Obama’s pick as ambassador to Hungary was apparently incapable of giving a coherent answer when Senator John McCain asked her, ““What are our strategic interests in Hungary?”

And in the same hearing, the President’s nominee as ambassador to Argentina conceded he’d never been there, either. “I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there,” the man said. “I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world. But I haven’t yet had a chance.”

Obama’s choice for ambassador to Iceland was in the same situation. He’d never been to his post country either.

How did such obviously unqualified people get themselves appointed ambassadors? It’s no great shock: they donated and bundled lots of money for Obama and the Democrats. About $1.3 million in the case of our next ambassador to Norway, $1.6 million for Iceland, and at least half a million each for Hungary and Argentina.

America’s new ambassador to China, on the other hand, former Senator Max Baucus, didn’t get his post as a fundraiser–he got it for resigning his seat to clear the way for Montana’s Democratic governor to appoint his replacement and give the Dems a better chance of holding onto the Senate this fall. In Senator Baucus’s confirmation hearing, he responded to a question about an important matter of national security with the confession, “I’m no real expert on China…”

This is a dangerous level of corruption. Certainly other presidents have made appointments for less-than-altruistic reasons, but none in recent history has done it so frequently as President Obama.

And more importantly, these are major countries. The President isn’t selling the ambassadorship to Barbados. He’s selling the ambassadorships to NATO allies and to one of the largest countries in the western hemisphere. And he’s picking an ambassador to China–the largest country in the world–out of domestic political calculation.

That’s a terrifyingly frivolous attitude to take with our foreign relations, one that deserves to be mocked around the world. And it’s being mocked here at home as well: Jon Stewart excoriated the Democrats on the Daily Show this week for the corruption. So did the Washington Post and L.A. Times editorial boards.

The Senate has an absolute constitutional obligation to advise and consent on ambassadorial appointments, and Americans should demand that their senators use that authority now. The Senate must repudiate every one of the nominees who showed themselves unfit to represent the United States.

Your Friend,
Newt

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The true Cahillah…

February 14, 2014

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2014

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A CHURCH?
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

Maybe you are looking for a church that will teach your children on Sunday
mornings. Or perhaps you are looking for true fellowship. Maybe you’re hungry
for good praise and worship. Or you’re trying to meet some other deep need in
your life.

Let me give you this word about God’s true Church: The Bible says you have
been appointed as a royal priest unto the Lord. That’s right—you are to be
a shepherd, a minister, a priest. And the true Church is to originate in your
home.

The Bible says every believer has been called to a godly Zadok priesthood:
“But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my
sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near
to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the
fat and the blood, saith the Lord God: they shall enter into my sanctuary, and
they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my
charge” (Ezekiel 44:15-16).

You do not have to go to Bible school or have an ordination paper hanging on
your wall in order to be part of God’s royal priesthood. Everyone who has
been washed in the blood of Jesus has been raised up as a priest unto the Lord.

I grew up in a family that observed what used to be called “family altar.”
My father believed that the verse in Hebrews commanding Christians not to
forsake corporate assembly was meant for families as well. Therefore, we were
not to miss the family altar.

If my siblings and I were out playing with our friends when it came time for
family altar, we always came in when our parents called out, “Prayer time!”
Everyone in the neighborhood knew the Wilkersons were going to the altar!

My father happily took on the role of priest and shepherd in our home. But what
about you? Have you searched your heart about being a priest to your family?

Purim is coming…

February 9, 2014

PURIM, What’s That?

by Julia Glattfelt

I grew up in a Christian home. My favorite holidays were Christmas and Easter, for Kepha’s sake! Now that I understand the pagan roots of those traditions, I embrace the Feasts of YHVH. It’s “Out with the old traditions, in with the new!” (Or is it vice versa?) I want to be adopted and participate in His Feasts! But, as much as I love Him and want to please Him, I have to learn How to do that! How can I truly make these Feasts both a part of my life and part of my heart? It is like setting foot into another culture and nation.

So, while it is fun, it is also a challenge because it feels ‘foreign’ or ‘different’ — ‘odd’ even! For the first couple of years it was as if I were behind the curve on every Feast. I didn’t know how to anticipate, prepare or even fully enjoy these new-to-me Feasts! I have made the effort to understand the roots of these celebrations (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Shavuot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, Tabernacles)! Then, along comes Hanukkah and Purim. They aren’t in Leviticus 23, but they carry significant weight within the Jewish Community and are part of our heritage as the set-apart nation.

Will an understanding of these traditions and histories illuminate my walk as a Hebrew? How can I add these into my traditions and settle them into my heart?

Purim: What is it?

Purim comes from a Hebrew root that means ‘lots.’ Lots of what?

If you watch the celebrations the Jewish people hold on this holiday, you might think it is an echo of Halloween! Everyone dresses up in costumes, they share hamentaschen (holiday cookies) and candy in gift baskets! They have parties where there is entertainment, and hold parades with giant inflatable animals carried along like a Chinese dragon! When the Rabbis read the story of Esther, whenever the name ‘Haman’ is mentioned, everyone ‘boos’ or makes a racket with horns and noisemakers (so that his name may be blotted out!) It almost sounds like New Years Eve in America!

Is this just a potpourri of lots of different holidays rolled into one? Which came first? Why ‘lots’? And why, if it isn’t part of Leviticus 23, is it important?

The Story of Esther

If you want to understand Purim, you have to read the story of Esther.

The Book of Esther is written on a single scroll called a megillah. There are a few others, but it is not unusual for a direct connection to be made between the word ‘megillah’ and the scroll of Esther. I will give a brief synopsis, but for the whole megillah I suggest you read the story for yourself.

But before I do that, what does this book of the Bible have to do with Purim? Why is it even included in the Scriptures? I have read the book of Esther, and YHVH is not mentioned by name even once! There are a lot of good studies out there about how it is all a type and shadow of things to come. I am not going to try to go down that rabbit trail. Instead, I pose the question, is this historical account important enough to hold an annual party over?

Synopsis

In a nutshell, Queen Esther is responsible for foiling the plot hatched by Haman to annihilate the Jews. He enlisted a group to carry out the massacre of all the Jews, and selected the date by casting lots! [That is where the ‘lots’ connection is made.] This all happened when the Jews were living in Persia.

Esther’s uncle, Mordechai, makes Esther (her Hebrew name is Hadassah) aware of the heinous plot to massacre all the Jews. Esther risks life and limb to approach the King (her husband) without the benefit of his permission! Because of his love for her the King grants her an audience. She confesses she is a Jew, and seeks his help in removing Haman. She exposes the terrible plot and Haman is executed

This event is similar in many ways to Hanukkah. Hanukkah commemorates the overthrowing of the enemies of the Jews when the Maccabees triumphed and re-dedicated the Temple to YHVH. So, too, Esther’s courage resulted in the overthrowing of Haman, and preserved the line of Judah. Without the Maccabees, there would have been no Temple in Jerusalem where Yeshua would declare He was the light of the world – and without Esther there would have been no tribe of Judah to produce our Savior as promised in the prophecies!

WHEN IS PURIM?

In the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on its thirteenth day … on the day that the enemies of the Jews were expected to prevail over them, it was turned about: the Jews prevailed over their adversaries. – Esther 9:1

And they gained relief on the fourteenth, making it a day of feasting and gladness. – Esther 9:17

[Mordecai instructed them] to observe them as days of feasting and gladness, and sending delicacies to one another, and gifts to the poor. – Esther 9:22

Isn’t it interesting that Purim is observed on the 14th of the month? The year ends (12th month) with an observation of the 14th day, and it begins in the first month (Aviv) with an important event on the 14th day! That rings a bell for me…but, I digress.

Mordechai declared the date should be remembered with feasting and gladness and Purim has been observed by the Jews ever since! Like any other day of celebration, many traditions have crept into the holiday. The Jews are expert at feasts and gladness, and they are never at a loss for music, dancing and fun! Any excuse to party together is great, and a date to remember how they have triumphed over their adversaries is especially sweet!

Should We Celebrate or Not?

Whether you celebrate Purim or not is up to you. How you observe it is up to you too! It is a tradition, not a commandment! In my life, it is just another reason to learn about YHVH and His care for His people, and another season to celebrate that!

Still miss baking cookies in December? How about baking hamentaschen?! Do you miss dressing up and going to costume balls? No Parades? Do you want an excuse to give others gifts of cookies and candy? If you do, maybe Purim is for you! Just don’t forget the reason for the season <wink.>

It is also a tradition to have a day of fasting on the day before Purim to remember how Esther prayed and fasted before she went to speak to the King. Yes, it was that serious! Could it hurt for us to likewise commemorate this deliverance from persecution and death by prayer and fasting?

The more I take the time to make these days special, the more they make a place in my heart. It is sometimes hard to adopt and establish a different way of life. But, for me and my house, we will serve YeHoVaH! To LIFE! Celebrate it with your family!

Chag Semeach Purim!

We the People have a Constitution

February 7, 2014

President Obama’s willful dismissal of our nation’s laws as passed by Congress and his practice of “deeming” which laws he chooses to change, ignore, or enforce is being challenged by a number of lawmakers.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann recently declared, “He’s violating his obligation under the Constitution to faithfully execute the laws of the land.”

Make no mistake: Our Constitution and precious liberties are under full-scale attack by Barack Obama and his radical leftist administration.

It is our solemn duty as free Americans to throw off such tyranny.