Thursday, April 30, 2009

Attempted Regicide

H.M. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

Five persons have been killed and at least a dozen seriously hurt in what appears to have been an assassination attempt on H.M. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and other members of the Dutch Royal Family. The attack occurred during a parade honoring H.M. on the occasion of Queen Day, a national holiday in the Netherlands. The assassin attacked by driving his car through police barricades and aiming at an open air bus carrying the Queen and members of the Royal Family. In the course of his attack the driver plowed into numerous bystanders and eventually crashed his car.

Please pray for all those affected by this crime.

Eastern Christian Blog Awards

Posted at the request of the awards manager... Nominations are now open.

Please note, I am not looking for any nominations for A/O. I think this blog is too eclectic to qualify. But I will give a hearty endorsement to all of last years winners.

Scientists dig for lessons from past pandemics

The Oakland Municipal Auditorium in use as a temporary hospital during the 1918 flu epidemic.

From CNN...
If there's a blessing in the current swine flu epidemic, it's how benign the illness seems to be outside the central disease cluster in Mexico. But history offers a dark warning to anyone ready to write off the 2009 H1N1 virus.

In each of the four major pandemics since 1889, a spring wave of relatively mild illness was followed by a second wave, a few months later, of a much more virulent disease. This was true in 1889, 1957, 1968 and in the catastrophic flu outbreak of 1918, which sickened an estimated third of the world's population and killed, conservatively, 50 million people.

Lone Simonson, an epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health, who has studied the course of prior pandemics in both the United States and her native Denmark, says, "The good news from past pandemics, in several experiences, is that the majority of deaths have happened not in the first wave, but later." Based on this, Simonson suggests there may be time to develop an effective vaccine before a second, more virulent strain, begins to circulate.


As swine flu -- also known as the 2009 version of the H1N1 flu strain -- spreads, Simonson and other health experts are diving into the history books for clues about how the outbreak might unfold -- and, more importantly, how it might be contained. In fact, the official Pandemic Influenza Operation Plan, or O-Plan, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is based in large part on a history lesson -- research organized by pediatrician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel of the University of Michigan.


Fascinating stuff. Read the rest here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter Defects

Looks like all the right wing conservatives who are running the GOP got a wish come true today today. Sen. Arlen Specter of PA, one of the last moderate Republicans in the Senate, has announced he is going over to the Democrats. No real surprise here. If you tell someone they are not welcome in your party often enough and long enough they will eventually get the message. They have been gunning for Specter for years saying he was a RINO and not a true Republican as they sponsored primary challenegs within the GOP against him. I hope the GOP likes its permanent minority status.

Congrats to all the neo cons and social conservative hard liners on their great victory. Now the Democrats have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Welcome to one party rule.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What has Aleksandr Lukashenko told +Benedict XVI?

From Russia Today:

It is remarkable that the Belarusian president chose Italy as the first EU country to visit after officials in Brussels lifted visa restrictions on his travels to the European Union last year. It is more remarkable that the first person he met with there was Pope Benedict XVI.

It is no secret that contact with the Pope is an important part of world politics. Any president or other remarkable figure feels it his duty to meet the Holy Father. The Belarusian leader was well aware of the meaning of such a meeting. After he talked privately to Benedict XVI he now has at least one thing in common with major European politicians: Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, Tony Blair, etc. In light of the upcoming Prague summit, where the EU is to launch its ambitious European partnership program, this meeting definitely gives Aleksandr Lukashenko certain advantages. The trivial knocks he got from some Czech officials, who promised not to shake hands with him and not to let him out of the plane, have lost their edge after the Belarusian president has improved his image in the Pope’s parlour.

Many birds – many stones

However, it is not only his wish to receive political dividends prior to the Prague summit that has driven Aleksandr Lukashenko to go to the Vatican. Before the meeting, the Belarusian president said he was going to present the Pope with a number of questions from the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill. Talking to the Pope, he also expressed hope that Benedict XVI would come to Belarus. The visit of the Pope to Belarus, which is a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, would itself be a notable event. But the fact is that the Belarusian leader wants to play a role in organizing a historical meeting of the Pope and the Patriarch on Belarusian territory. That was what he proposed to Patriarch Kirill while in Moscow this spring.

The idea to bring leaders of the two branches of Christianity together in Belarus is not a new one. Aleksandr Lukashenko proposed it as early as in 2002. However, today it has taken on an interesting twist: Kirill already met Benedict XVI several times as a head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was also often criticized for his ecumenical policies, as he advocates for deeper cooperation with the Catholic Church. All this makes the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches greater than ever. And if Lukashenko’s proposal is accepted, Belarus will play an important role as a conciliator and a peacemaker. In this sense, Lukashenko is doing a great job, improving Belarus’ image on an international level and doing a favor for Kirill who, according to all indications, would like to meet the Pope.


Read the rest here.

Hat tip to Timothy O. Thanks for the email.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

SSPX calls for consecration of Russia

The Baptism of Russia (Viktor Vasnetsov 1896)

The Holy New Martyrs of Russia

Via Rorate Caeli:
Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X in a recent letter to friends and benefactors, has called for 12 million rosaries to be offered for the cause of the "consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

Hmmm...

A schismatic from the Roman Church is calling for prayers for the conversion of those whom Rome considers schismatic. The irony is delicious. And they wonder why so many Orthodox want as little to do with Rome as possible.

Alarm Over Possible Epidemic

Police in Seattle Washington during the Great Influenza of 1918

An emergency hospital for influenza victims in 1918

Major news and media outlets are reporting that alarms are sounding in government and major health related agencies over a serious outbreak of Swine Flu in Mexico. The Center for Disease Control has actually uttered the rarely used word "pandemic"* in describing how seriously this is being treated. As I type reports are now coming in of confirmed outbreaks in California, Texas, Kansas and New York City. There are reports of suspected but as yet unconfirmed outbreaks in Minnesota and Massachusetts.

Mexican health officials are reporting at least 1000 confirmed cases with an unknown number of suspected cases. They also are reporting about 70 confirmed fatalities. Mexico is moving aggressively to curb the spread of the disease by closing public schools, theaters and night clubs in the capitol.

Coincidentally the reported symptoms closely approximate what I was sick with during most of Great & Holy Week. I seriously doubt it was the swine flu. But it was certainly enough to make me miserable and cause me to miss most of the services that week.

*Pandemic is a term that refers to a worldwide epidemic. There were three pandemics in the last century, the most recent one being in 1968. That was a relatively mild one with an extremely low mortality rate. The 1957 outbreak, although more severe than the 1968, was still relatively moderate in severity.

The most serious by far was the Influenza of 1918 which killed about 50 million people in roughly six months worldwide. In the United States between September 1918 and November of that year approximately 700,000 people died. The spread of the lethal disease was facilitated by the mass mobilization of the armed forces and the general population for the First World War and efforts by the Wilson Administration to suppress any public alarm over the disease. More than ten times more Americans died from the influenza (mostly in those three months) than from combat related injuries in the front lines during our entire involvement in the World War.

Oddly, what could be fairly described as one of the greatest and most catastrophic events in modern history has garnered relatively little attention among historians.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Will Califronia Default?

Thomas Pindelski asks:
Given that CA now has the lowest credit rating of all the states, does that make the high rates CA is offering in recent auctions something to avoid, owing to the risk of default, or something to cherish on the lines of ‘too big to fail’.
This is something which came up in conversation today, unsurprisingly, in the wake of my talk to the regional bond dealers. One of them came up to me and indignantly told me that he’d been a muni bond dealer for 38 years, and that of course he knew all about credit risk, as had his forebears before him. To which the natural response is: well, if you’re pricing California debt at these levels, then you must reckon that there’s a pretty substantial probability of default.

The more interesting response was, basically, “my moral hazard trumps your moral hazard”. In other words, it’s true that because California has insured itself against default, there’s moral hazard there: whenever anybody is insured against anything, the likelihood of that thing happening goes up. But at the same time, there’s a bigger moral hazard at play: the federal government will never let California default, it’s too big to fail. And so when push comes to shove, California will get a federal bailout before it defaults on its bondholders.

I suspect, however, that the moral hazard seniority works the other way around: the fact that California’s bondholders are insured means that it’s not too big to fail, and that in fact a payment default by the state would have very little in the way of in-state systemic consequences. (I have no idea what it might do to the monolines, but if they can’t cope with a single credit defaulting, they really shouldn’t be in the business they’re in.) The federal government might step in to mediate the negotiations between the monolines and the state, but it’s not even obvious why it would want to do that.

The more powerful argument why California won’t default is that a payment default is illegal under state law: California’s simply not allowed to default on its bonds. But what are the monolines going to do, sue? If California defaults on say a $1 billion payment which the monolines have to pay, then California owes the monolines $1 billion. If the monolines sue the state and win, then California owes the monolines $1 billion. It’s not clear that they’ve advanced very far. Could they start attaching state assets? I doubt it, somehow.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen! Wishing the joy of the feast to all...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Holy Week Hiatus

As we enter the last three days of Great and Holy Week there will be no little or no posting until Bright Monday. Wishing all of you a blessed Pascha...

Under the mercy,
John

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

European Union Directives have Christians in the cross hairs

Further evidence that we are living in a post-Christian world...

Proposals contained in the EU's draft discrimination directive could lead to churches being sued if they refuse to give communion, baptism or membership to non-Christians trying to get their children into a church school, experts said.

The Church of England said last night that it would raise concerns with the Government over the draft directive.

It fears that if the proposals are approved in their current form, religious bodies would lose an exemption they enjoy under current UK law to discriminate on grounds of conscience.

Religious groups warned that the anti-discrimination measures could also lead to gay marriage and homosexuals demanding wedding services in church.

The draft discrimination directive would make it illegal to offer goods and services only to particular sections of society.

It would apply to all organisations offering a service to the public, including hospitals, charities, businesses and prisons, as well as churches.

Faith-based welfare projects could be outlawed if they failed to comply with the EU rules...

Read the rest here.

Hat tip: T-19

Quote of the day...

”We have been living on borrowed time. We used to think you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candor that that option no longer exists.”

- James Callaghan Prime Minister of Great Britain (Labor) in 1976 addressing the collapse of the British Pound resulting from massive deficit spending in an effort to stimulate the British economy.

Source.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moscow to Constantinople: Back Off

Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk

This is not perhaps the best timing for this discussion (the beginning of Great and Holy Week), but the issue is fairly important. In the wake of efforts by the Ecumenical Patriarch's surrogates to assert a claim to universal jurisdiction over the Orthodox world in the "barbarian" lands and a firmly worded response from Metropolitan +Jonah, Moscow has now joined the fray.

From the Russian news service Interfax...

Moscow, 10 April, Interfax - Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations expressed his disagreement with the Constantinople Patriarchate urge to govern all church communities in the Orthodox diaspora.

"One of the major challenges for inter-Orthodox relations I see the claims of Constantinople Patriarchate to a special role in the Orthodox Church," Bishop Hilarion said at Interfax press conference.

"The Orthodox Church is going to be enforced the model of the Catholic Church, which is the most centralized church power leaded by the one bishop of the Universal Church," the Bishop said.

He reminded that "there was no such a model in the Orthodox Church" and voiced his doubt "that we have the right to review our teaching of the Church."

According to Bishop Hilarion, the leading bishops of Constantinople Patriarchate urge to review the principle of the priority in the Orthodox world. This model envisages that the Constantinople Patriarchate "shall govern all churches in the so-called diaspora." Communities not included within the borders of historical national churches shall assume the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

Bishop Hilarion said that this whole complex issues shall be discussed at the inter-Orthodox meeting, where the Constantinople model shall be imposed on the Russian Church.

Great & Holy Monday: Contemplating the end...

From the website of the OCA.

Holy Week: A Liturgical Explanation for the Days of Holy Week

MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY: THE END These three days, which the Church calls Great and Holy have within the liturgical development of the Holy Week a very definite purpose. They place all its celebrations in the perspective of End ; they remind us of the eschatological meaning of Pascha. So often Holy Week is considered one of the "beautiful traditions" or "customs," a self-evident "part" of our calendar. We take it for granted and enjoy it as a cherished annual event which we have "observed" since childhood, we admire the beauty of its services, the pageantry of its rites and, last but not least, we like the fuss about the paschal table. And then, when all this is done we resume our normal life. But do we understand that when the world rejected its Savior, when "Jesus began to be sorrowful and very heavy... and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death," when He died on the Cross, "normal life" came to its end and is no longer possible. For there were "normal" men who shouted "Crucify Him [" who spat at Him and nailed Him to the Cross. And they hated and killed Him precisely because He was troubling their normal life. It was indeed a perfectly "normal" world which preferred darkness and death to light and life.... By the death of Jesus the "normal" world, and "normal" life were irrevocably condemned. Or rather they revealed their true and abnormal inability to receive the Light, the terrible power of evil in them. "Now is the Judgment of this world" (John 12:31). The Pascha of Jesus signified its end to "this world" and it has been at its end since then. This end can last for hundreds of centuries this does not alter the nature of time in which we live as the "last time." "The fashion of this world passeth away..." (I Cor. 7:31).

Pascha means passover, passage. The feast of Passover was for the Jews the annual commemoration of their whole history as salvation, and of salvation as passage from the slavery of Egypt into freedom, from exile into the promised land. It was also the anticipation of the ultimate passage - into the Kingdom of God. And Christ was the fulfillment of Pascha. He performed the ultimate passage: from death into life, from this "old world" into the new world into the new time of the Kingdom. And he opened the possibility of this passage to us. Living in "this world" we can already be "not of this world," i.e. be free from slavery to death and sin, partakers of the "world to come." But for this we must also perform our own passage, we must condemn the old Adam in us, we must put on Christ in the baptismal death and have our true life hidden in God with Christ, in the "world to come...."

And thus Easter is not an annual commemoration, solemn and beautiful, of a past event. It is this Event itself shown, given to us, as always efficient, always revealing our world, our time, our life as being at their end, and announcing the Beginning of the new life.... And the function of the three first days of Holy Week is precisely to challenge us with this ultimate meaning of Pascha and to prepare us to the understanding and acceptance of it.

1. This eschatological (which means ultimate, decisive, final) challenge is revealed, first, in the common troparion of these days:

Troparion - Tone 8 Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight, And blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, And again unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, Lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, are You, O our God! Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Midnight is the moment when the old day comes to its end and a new day begins. It is thus the symbol of the time in which we live as Christians. For, on the one hand, the Church is still in this world, sharing in its weaknesses and tragedies. Yet, on the other hand, her true being is not of this world, for she is the Bride of Christ and her mission is to announce and to reveal the coming of the Kingdom and of the new day. Her life is a perpetual watching and expectation, a vigil pointed at the dawn of this new day. But we know how strong is still our attachment to the "old day," to the world with its passions and sins. We know how deeply we still belong to "this world." We have seen the light, 'We know Christ, we have heard about the peace and joy of the new life in Him, and yet the world holds us in its slavery. This weakness, this constant betrayal of Christ, this incapacity to give the totality of our love to the only true object of love are wonderfully expressed in the exapostilarion of these three days:

"Thy Bridal Chamber I see adorned, O my Savior And I have no wedding garment that I may enter, O Giver of life, enlighten the vesture of my soul And save me."

2. The same theme develops further in the Gospel readings of these days. First of all, the entire text of the four Gospels (up to John 13: 31) is read at the Hours (1, 3, 6 and 9th). This recapitulation shows that the Cross is the climax of the whole life and ministry of Jesus, the Key to their proper understanding. Everything in the Gospel leads to this ultimate hour of Jesus and everything is to be understood in its light. Then, each service has its special Gospel lesson :

On Monday:

At Matins: Matthew 21: 18-43 - the story of the fig tree, the symbol of the world created to bear spiritual fruits and failing in its response to God.

At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts: Matthew 24: 3-35: the great eschatological discourse of Jesus. The signs and announcement of the End. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away...."

"When the Lord was going to His voluntary Passion, He said to His Apostles on the way: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, And the Son of Man shall be delivered up As it is written of Him. Come, therefore, and let us accompany Him, With minds purified from the pleasures of this life, And let us be crucified and die with Him, That we may live with Him, And that we may hear Him say to us: I go now, not to the earthly Jerusalem to suffer, But unto My Father and your Father And My God and your God, And I will gather you up into the heavenly Jerusalem, Into the Kingdom of Heaven...." (Monday Matins)

by THE VERY REV. ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Humor

Time for a few laughs courtesy of America's favorite (and cheapest) comedian. From Sunday January 4th 1948... The Jack Benny Show.

(In Quick Time Format)

HUZZAH FOR THE NAVY!!!

Navy SEALS

Violence is always regrettable. But sometimes one needs to send a clear message that certain types of behavior are not acceptable. Today the U.S. Navy did that by rescuing the captain of the Maersk Alabama from pirates off the coast of Somalia. Navy SEALS (elite naval commandos) rescued the captain in a daring assault even as one of the cut throats had a loaded weapon pointed at their captives head. I am wondering if perhaps it is not time to take a note from our handling of the Barbary Pirates and explain to these people that it is just not a good idea to pick a fight with people who have a bigger stick than you.

Somali Pirates

U. S. Navy

Palm Sunday

(Also wishing a joyous Easter to our Western brothers and sisters.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Wishing a blessed Good Friday and Triduum to my Western Christian brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

For one day at least all was right in the world

Which is to say that when I went to bed last night the Mets were in first place and the Yankees last.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Met. Jonah to Constantinople: Back Off

In what was certainly a response to the incendiary (and IMO insulting) comments by Archimandrite Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis who recently opined that the time has come for all Orthodox Americans to "submit" to the authority of the "First Throne," Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America addressed the issue of Orthodox unity. In his sermon at a Pan-Orthodox service in Dallas he picked up the glove thrown down by the Ecumenical Patriarch's representative and delivered a frank reply that is likely going to provoke much discussion and debate.

"To the bishops of the old world, there is an American Orthodox Church. Leave it alone."

For what it's worth, I wholeheartedly concur. I think its time to say some things which have been needing to be said for a while. There are several primary reasons behind the scandalously uncanonical jurisdictionalism here in North America. And none of them are good.

1. Money: North America is a cash cow for financially strapped churches in the old country.

2. Phyletism and extreme ethnocentrism: We can have Orthodox unity without sacrificing legitimate pride in our respective ethnic backgrounds, which will undoubtedly be reflected at the parish level. But we can’t have unity when ethnicity precedes, or is confused with, Orthodoxy. And there is still way too much of that out there.

3. Church politics: I for one am tired of seeing North American Orthodox Christians used like pieces on a chess board by the various old world churches, most of which are either joined at the hip with a national government or under the thumb of a hostile one. And the politics are not confined to the old world either. One need only look at some of the problems in recent years which have plagued all three of the major Orthodox jurisdictions in America (the Greek Archdiocese, the OCA and most recently the Antiochians) to see this. It’s time for a few bishops to get over themselves, and get on with the business of Christ’s Church in America.

Given the history of Orthodoxy in North America (which precedes the establishment of the Greek Archdiocese by roughly 130 years) the claims of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are risible. I am not naïve enough to expect that all of the bishops in the sister churches here in North America are just going to run off and join the OCA. Whatever form the American Orthodox Church eventually takes it will undoubtedly be a bit different than the OCA. But it is time, indeed well past time, to get this ball rolling.

And with due respect to His All Holiness; it is also time to stop trying to play Pope. As His Beatitude noted, if we wanted a Pope we would be under the real one. And the way Bart has been cozying up to the Vatican of late, if we do wind up under the EP that may just be a short prelude to winding up under the real Pope anyways.

Hat Tip: Father David

From my recent trip


Family crises were not the only thing that went on during my recent trip. I did have some down time and did a little sightseeing. That's me on the back of a certain famous railroad car...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Soul of Russia

There is a magnificent article on the recent revival of the Church in Russia in the current edition of National Geographic Magazine which can be read online here. Also check out the wonderful photo gallery linked on the same page.

In case there were any who still harbor doubts...

The Episcopal Church (TEC) has an ordained Zen Buddhist nominated to serve as the next "bishop" of Northern Michigan. "Father" Kevin Thew Forrester is on record implicitly or explicitly denying most of the Nicene Creed and last year replaced the normally prescribed New Testament reading at a service with one from the Quran. Meanwhile in New England the Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, an openly lesbian priestess was appointed as the new President of the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge MA. A great honor to be sure. Rev. Ragsdale would seem eminently qualified to be the head of an Episcopal seminary given her views on abortion which she outlined in a sermon entitled "Our Work is Not Done."

In this sermon, which she had posted on her blog before an avalanche of severe criticism saw its removal, she opined that abortion was a "blessing" and called for the removal of any legal conscience protection for anyone in the medical-health care field who might object to the premeditated killing of children. I don't think the word "demonic" would be too strong a descriptive for her views which you may read about in more detail (if you have the stomach) at LifeSiteNews.com.

As some may have noticed it’s been a long time since I have posted anything on the Episcopal Church. There are a few reasons for this. One is that it gets boring pointing out the obvious, namely that TEC has jumped off a theological cliff and is still in free fall. But apparently they still posses the ability to shock even me.

I guess the only question remaining is, is the Episcopal Church merely heretical or is it institutionally apostate? I believe the evidence points rather strongly to the latter conclusion. Let us consider just a few facts.

There appears to be no article of faith binding on anyone in TEC. The Creeds are all optional and a large and increasing number of parishes openly admit anyone, including the non-baptized and non-Christians to what they term Holy Communion. When the creeds are recited (and in most parishes they still are as a matter of form) many clergy and even prominent bishops have declared they "cross their fingers" during parts of the creed, or in the case of "Bishop" Jack Spong pretty much during the whole thing. The baptismal formula in practice (if not yet theory) varies widely from parish to parish and one has no idea what is being said or done at Episcopal baptisms anymore. Sexual vice is openly promoted as normative and healthy and is being blessed in many parishes and dioceses. Abortion has been endorsed by the national church as a basic human right. The presiding bishop has refused on multiple occasions to affirm the unique role of Christ in salvation and has affirmed the legitimacy of "other paths." The most recent General Conventions were unable to pass resolutions affirming Christ’s unique role in salvation as also the inerrancy of Scripture. I could go on at very great length but I think the point has been made.

The inescapable conclusion is that the Episcopal Church is not merely heretical but is in fact in a state of what Roman Catholics would call material apostasy. Which is to say that while they may not have formally abjured the Creeds they clearly no longer profess them as articles of faith for their church. In short the Episcopal Church is today little more than liturgical Unitarianism. The only absolutely binding article of faith is that there is no binding article of faith. Such a body can not I believe be rightly termed “Christian.” This is not to say that there are no Christians in TEC. But it is to say that TEC is no longer a Christian church, and I think it is time that we stop pretending otherwise.

On a related note, why do so many Orthodox jurisdictions still accept without question Episcopal baptisms from converts as "close enough" on the basis of economy? I seriously think that in light of what's been going on over there that it is time to reconsider this practice.

Friday, April 03, 2009

More prayers requested

Adding to an already horrible week there has been a mass shooting in my hometown of Binghamton New York. My sister works just down Front Street within a short walk from the scene of the shootings. She is safe thank God. Please pray for those affected.

Also please note my email has crashed for about the 5th time in the last two weeks. I have decided to change my email address. The link in the sidebar has been updated with the new email address. I am sending out notifications as time permits to everyone in my old email book (which I am able to open).

Thursday, April 02, 2009

An Update

First, thank you to everyone who has sent prayers. I have received many private emails and of course prayers communicated via comments on the previous post. Your kindness has deeply touched me. As of today my step-mother is still in critical condition. There is extensive evidence of paralysis on the left side of the body. She had a ventilator removed and then put back in after fluid was discovered in one of her lungs. The doctors also report that pneumonia has set in.

On the upside, the blood clot was on the right side of the brain. It is hoped that this will mean limited or no impediment to speech. However things are still touch and go. It will likely be some days before we have an accurate picture of how extensive the damage is.

Thanking you again, I remain...

Yours in ICXC
John