Too Many Hummingbirds, Too Few Eagles

By Dr. Daniel Brown
Advancing Freedom With Christian Scholarship
Center for Vision & Values

One day religious scribes were questioning Jesus and one of them asked Him which is the greatest of all the commandments. The man who Christians believe is the Messiah responded to his inquisitor:

“The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

Admittedly, contemporary Christian believers understand what it means to love God with our hearts, but the typical American Christian is still are searching for what it means to love God “with all thy mind.”

Let me suggest that part of what it means to love God with our mind, our intellect, is found in the first question of the Westminster Confession of Faith, that great doctrinal statement that is historically embraced by English-speaking peoples in the Reformed and Presbyterian faith tradition.

Q1: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

A few years ago, the Christian thinker John Piper wrote a book sub-titled “Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.” That’s an oxymoron, according to most observers. But Piper’s point is important. Enjoying our God forever includes enjoying His creation NOW. At least part of loving God with our minds means we must understand theology, economics, psychology, sociology, history—a quick overview of Piper’s book “Desiring God” shows his agreement.

Permit the juxtaposition of a more secular quotation with that of the Confession:“It’s often been observed that ours is an age of ever-narrowing perspectives,” writes Roy Bostock who is a director at Yahoo! Inc. and chairman emeritus of BCom3 Group, Inc., the holding company that owns New York City’s largest advertising agency. “Shakespeare is for dreamers,” he continues. “Renaissance men are passé. In their place have sprung up an army of micro-specialists in a mind-numbing array of disciplines from genetic engineering and space weaponry development to robotics production and liver transplants.”

Listen carefully to Roy Bostock: “We need our specialist. We always will. A problem has developed because there has also been a simultaneous de-emphasis on the study and understanding of man’s history, literature, religions, psychology, political systems, sociology, arts and sciences.”

The conclusion of Bostock’s article? “Too many hummingbirds, too few eagles.”

One of the major distinctions of the limited number of colleges that emphasize the liberal arts and educating students about worldview issues is that they want students to understand the times. They want to graduate eagles—not hummingbirds.

Simply stated, a liberal arts degree opens doors while a specialized degree often closes them. The corollary to this axiom is this: By teaching learners to be eagles—to be broadly educated thinkers—we are also helping them to love God with their entire minds. And that, Jesus reminds us is the fulfillment of the first commandment.

The prophet Isaiah wrote that “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”


Unfair Trade: Taking Advantage of Poor Countries

Protectionism Cause of Food Crisis
By Efren L. Danao With AFP
The Manila Times

The protectionist policy of developed countries is fueling the growing food crisis, Sen. Edgardo Angara charged on Wednesday.

In a speech on the global food crisis before Philippines Inc. at the Tower Club in Makati City, Angara said free trade has neither been free nor fair as it opened up markets of developing countries to goods from rich countries without full reciprocation.

“While developed countries forced us to open our markets to their industrial goods, they kept their markets closed to our agricultural products with various mechanisms such as tariff and non-tariff barriers,” he added.

In Yokohama, African leaders also on Wednesday lashed out at the rich countries for failing to tackle trade inequalities even as they make lofty pledges to boost aid.

The leaders, in Japan for a major development conference, urged these industrialized nations to make it easier for them to export food, coffee and other products at fair prices. Forty heads of states from Africa are participating in the three-day conference to discuss economic growth, stability and climate change.

“Pursuit of unfair trade practices by the big powers as well as difficult access for African products to markets of developed countries continue to penalize our states and significantly destroy their performance in the creation of riches,” said Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore. [...]

Click here to read full text.


Oil Speculation: A self-destructing bubble that could burst badly before its time

Oil prices breach 135 dollars for first time

LONDON (AFP) — Crude oil prices rocketed to record highs above 135 dollars on Thursday, driven by growing concerns that energy supplies will fail to meet demand, analysts said.

They later pulled back to just below 133 dollars owing to profit-taking.

Brent North Sea oil struck a historic height of 135.14 dollars a barrel and benchmark New York light sweet crude hit an all-time peak of 135.09 dollars on Thursday.

"It seems there is no stopping to soaring oil prices," said Andrey Kryuchenkov at the Sucden brokerage in London.

"Investors doubt that the market will be able to meet ever growing demand in the long run, with booming emerging market economies underpinning robust demand for energy," he added.

After posting fresh highs, New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, pulled back to 132.83 dollars a barrel, a drop of 34 cents from Wednesday's close.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for July delivery was up nine cents at 132.79 dollars.

Crude futures have risen by more than a third since the beginning of 2008 when they struck 100 dollars for the first time, lifted by unrest in oil-producing countries, falling energy inventories, OPEC's unwillingness to hike output, high Asian demand for fuel and a weak dollar.

At current prices, crude oil is in fact a relatively cheap energy source, with a barrel being less expensive today than in 1974 in terms of purchasing power, the head of French energy giant Total said in an interview.

Christophe de Margerie also told the weekly stock market publication Revenu that given production complications oil was unlikely to fall very much below 80 dollars a barrel.

"I know that this can be surprising: oil is not a particularly costly form of energy when compared with other consumer goods," Margerie said.

"In terms of purchasing power a barrel costs less than it did in 1974. And if the price appears unable to discourage demand in China and in other emerging market countries it's because new consumers in these countries do not have our memories of earlier price levels," he argued.

Oil prices breached 130 dollars for the first time on Wednesday and continued higher on news that US energy inventories had unexpectedly fallen last week.

"Currently, market psychology is trumping fundamentals" of supply and demand, said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.

"The psychology is that the oil market is tight. Even though there is no shortage, global oil demand continues to grow and supply growth is restrained," he added.

"Oil has performed better than equities and bonds. There is money looking for better returns and oil has offered better returns and continues to offer better returns."

Global oil supplies could meanwhile fall far short of need and expectations in the next 20 years, the International Energy Agency is concluding with a vast effort of detective work on production prospects, a newspaper report said on Thursday. [...]

Click here to read full text.

"These are some signs: the woes of the affliction that vexed many will prevail vast, the miseries caused by the bereavers of nations will wax great, and squabblings will add to the contentions of the bees for honey." - Quoted from an old entry in one of my blogs.

Who are the bees? What are they contending about? What are those things that they consider as honey? Why will there be squabblings?

If you consider yourself a
"good bee", then in these hard times you should pursue more diligently for the "real nectars", rather than lazily settle for some "easy sugar". Don't merely "gamble" your seed, rather plant it in the "good soil" so that it may bring a real good harvest in due time. There are no shortcuts and quick gains in the economy of the Lord.


The World's Golden Rule: He Who Holds The Gold Rules

Icahn moves to replace Yahoo board, restart Microsoft talks
By The Manila Times

Yahoo and Carl Icahn dueled Thursday as the corporate raider vowed to overthrow the firm's board and the Internet pioneer fired back that the billionaire misunderstood Microsoft's failed takeover bid.

Icahn said in an open letter that Yahoo "completely botched" merger talks with Microsoft and that he is amassing Yahoo stock to oust the board of directors at an annual shareholders meeting on July 3.

"Unfortunately, your letter reflects a significant misunderstanding of the facts about the Microsoft proposal and the diligence with which our board evaluated and responded to that proposal," Yahoo board chairman Roy Bostock wrote in an open response to Icahn.

"We do not believe it is in the best interests of Yahoo stockholders to allow you and your hand-picked nominees to take control of Yahoo for the express purpose of trying to force a sale of Yahoo to a formerly interested buyer who has publicly stated that they have moved on."

Bostock said board members met more than 20 times with Microsoft after the US software giant offered to buy Yahoo for 44.6 billion dollars in stock and cash on January 31.

"Throughout this process our board kept an open mind and an open ear," Bostock wrote.

Icahn said in his letter that he had acquired 59 million shares of Yahoo -- around four percent of its capital -- and had formed a 10-person slate which will stand for election against the current board.

"It is unconscionable that you have not allowed your shareholders to choose to accept an offer that represented a 72 percent premium over Yahoo's closing price of 19.18 dollars on the day before the initial Microsoft offer," Icahn wrote.

He added that he is seeking antitrust clearance to buy as much as 2.5 billion dollars' worth of Yahoo shares, which would give him seven percent of the company.

"I and many of your shareholders strongly believe that a combination between Yahoo and Microsoft would form a dynamic company and more importantly would be a force strong enough to compete with Google on the Internet." [...]

Click here to read full text.

With Icahn joining in the poker table, Yahoo appeared pushed at the loosing end. With Yahoo's remaining token chips against Icahn's abundant chips and proven playing skills, in the long run in this game, he who has much more resources has the advantage of outlasting the others. But in gambling there is a thing called luck and Yahoo could only hope for it to be on their side.

If Microsoft succeeds in its attempt to absorb Yahoo, Bill could inch more closer to the main knobs of the "Internet's Gates". With Microsoft's not-so-impressive track record concerning antitrust, what industry player would not think of the possibilities that could adversely threaten their existence? With Microsoft running most of the world's home and office computers and Microsoft-Yahoo running a significant portion of the internet, users will be assured of a smooth-sailing and faster interconnection. But what about end-user privacy concerns and state-sponsored information interceptions? That too will probably be much more smooth and easy.


This Is Not The Time For Paranoia And Frustration

By Alex Magno
Philippine Star
Originally Published: May 8, 2008

A few days ago, a fierce tropical cyclone hit Burma. According to Burmese state television, the death toll has climbed up to 22,000. About 41,000 are missing. A million people are homeless and basically scrounging for food and water.

The chilling possibility is that those figures might be understated.

Five regions bordering the flooded river delta around Rangoon have been declared a calamity zone. Much of the antiquated infrastructure in this premiere area of the country has been devastated. Numerous towns and communities are inaccessible. The full scale of the tragedy has yet to be received.

The whole country is inaccessible.

UN relief workers being rushed to bring humanitarian assistance to the battered country are sitting around, waiting for visas to be issued by a regime that is extremely suspicious of foreigners. It will be recalled that in the wake of the great tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean a few years ago, the regime in Rangoon did issue a call for international assistance.

The world wants to help. But the paranoid military rulers of this unfortunate nation are not quite ready to open up to a flow of assistance and assisters.

What little we have seen of the extent of the devastation, via amateur videos sent out of Rangoon, is appalling. Houses have been torn down. Bridges have collapsed. A large area is under water. Power is down, along with telephone service.

It is easy to anticipate that — with so many malnourished people sloshing about in the floods, without homes to return to and with little food available — the scale of this tragedy could only grow larger. An epidemic could break out. The ill could not receive medical attention. The injured could die.

The regime is not prepared to deal with a tragedy of this scale.

A military junta, unsupported by its own people and, only recently, engaged in a bloody crackdown of pro-democracy movements, has long failed to build up the institutions that will enable communities to deal with calamities better...

Click here to read full text.

Read also, "Myanmar Junta Still Blocking Much Cyclone Aid" by The New York Times

If only the leaders of Burma would soften their hearts to the immensity of the humanitarian needs resulting from the enormous destruction that the cyclone brought about and put aside whatever ill-feelings they may have towards some of the nations who are offering them help, they would have a better opportunity of reconciliation with their people and clearing out misunderstandings with other nations.

They can turn this disaster into a God-given opportunity if they would hearken to the voice of the good spirit within themselves. This is not the time for them to be paranoid and cynical about receiving aid and help.

Nations who are offering aid and extending help to Burma should be patient enough in dealing with the leaders of this severely devastated country. They should not make themselves appear like knights in shining armors. Surely Burma's leaders are confused and totally overwhelmed by the scope of the tasks to be done to lift up its country back on its feet. This is not the time to criticize them of their failures in governance, but rather, leaders from the international community should use persuasion instead of intimidation.

If the Burmese leadership is not yet ready to accept help from some nations, then those nations should channel their aid supplies to other nations who are friends of Burma's leaders. Ask them how should they be helped and find ways to help the Burmese leadership save face before the international community amidst this great devastation. What is most important is that, at the end of the day, aid supplies are actually reaching the people. This should not be the time for inappropriate efforts that are born out of frustration.


Giving Of Herself


Mothers throughout history have been worshipped, revered, analyzed and even criticized. Every one of us was created through the wondrous workings of a woman's body; each of us has a mother. But being a mother is more than a biological concept. In India, women who are profoundly nurturing, compassionate, and wise are publicly acknowledged by the title "Holy Mother." Those who have never met their biological mothers often have mothers nonetheless in adoptive parents, relations, and friends. There are human mothers and spiritual mothers, Mother Earth, and mother goddesses. The role of a mother is infinitely complex and one of pure tenderness, compassion, and unflagging loyalty. The mother represents fertility, stability, creation, and sacrifice.

Our mothers determine who we become because they are not only the life givers, but the most influential person in our young lives. Before we are old enough to understand that influence, mothers give us the beginnings of our spirituality and value systems. A mother lauds accomplishment and ignores minor faults, she both teaches and shields her children from misfortune, and hides her own tears, preferring to laugh so her children can laugh with her. She is both a sharer of grief and a healer of many pains. And every mother gives of herself knowing that someday her progeny will leave her. For these reasons and more, motherhood is a sacred institution, not limited by narrow constraints. It is also not unusual to seek the guidance of a mother in a wise woman or a grandmother because each woman is taught to be a mother by her own mother, whether she chooses to have children or not. Other ways to see Mother is to find a source of motherly nurturing in the earth, which gives us so much and demands little in return.

The definition is necessarily broad because mothers of all types exist in part to put a smooth veneer on the rough edges of life for those they love. A mother never stops growing, never stops becoming more motherly. Though some may argue that a mother is a woman who gives life with her womb and nourishment with her breast, it is important to remember that a mother, any mother, is also one who gives life with her tenderness and nourishment with her love.

Image by Norman Koren photography, drawing by Howard Weingarden

When Protectionism Is Necessary

Africa Plays the Rice Card
By G. Pascal Zachary

For years, Western experts promised Africans that free-market ideology would save them from poverty and famine. Now, one African country is showing that sometimes, a little protectionism can work wonders.

Farming has suddenly become fashionable again. Once a largely ignored corner of the development business, agriculture is now a hot field among experts more versed in structural adjustments than crop rotations. Record prices for cereal crops such as wheat, corn, and rice have many of them viewing farmers as a key component of economic growth in poor countries and as a supply-side solution to the political instability those high prices have caused everywhere from West Africa to Bangladesh. Researchers should be careful, however, to learn the right lessons from the countries that are already harvesting success.

Consider the case of Uganda. The country’s rice output has risen 2½ times since 2004, according to the Ministry of Trade. Rice production is expected to reach an astonishing 180,000 metric tons this year, up from 135,000 in 2006 and 102,000 in 2005. Consumption of imported rice, meanwhile, fell by half from 2004 to 2005 alone, and by half again from 2005 to 2007.

Uganda’s importers, seeing the shift, have invested in new mills in the country, expanding employment and creating competition for farmer output, thereby improving prices. New mills, meanwhile, lowered the cost of bringing domestic rice to market. While people in developing countries across the globe are clamoring about the sharp rise in food prices, Ugandans are still paying about the same for rice as they always have. And Uganda is poised to start exporting rice within East Africa—and beyond.

The secret of Uganda’s homegrown success? Ignoring decades of bad Western advice.

In the 1990s, African governments sharply reduced or eliminated duties on imported rice, urged on by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and some influential free-market economists. The assumption was that richer countries would reciprocate by curtailing subsidies to their own farmers. That never happened. In response, a few African countries have raised duties on rice, violating a key tenet of neoliberal trade philosophy. Protectionism is supposed to be bad—so bad that international advisors have spent decades convincing African governments to open their markets as wide as possible to imports...

Click here to read full text.


K-House eNews for May 06, 2008

Koinonia House Online
Bringing the world into focus through the lens of Scripture
K-House eNews
For The Week Of May 06, 2008


This Week's 66/40 Radio Broadcast

Articles and Commentary

  • Knee Deep in Debt - (Read)
  • Lessons from Job - (Read)
  • Those Pesky, Community-Serving Boy Scouts - (Read)
  • Strategic Perspectives - Southern California Conference - (Read)

Important News Headlines

Memory Verse of the Week



Genesis 1:20-1:31 Genesis 1:20-1:31
The Code of Life: DNA

Why study the book of Genesis? It is the book of beginnings: creation, man, women, sabbath, marriage, home, childhood, sin, murder,sacrifice, grace, trade, agriculture, city life, languages, ect. Genesis anticipates all false philosophies: atheism, pantheism, polytheism, materialism, humanism, evolution, and uniformism. All major doctrines have their roots in Genesis: sovereign election, salvation, justification by faith, believer's security, separation, disciplinary chastisement, divine incarnation, resurrection, priesthoods, and covenants.



The Vortex Strategy - DVD by Chuck Missler The Vortex Strategy - DVD by Chuck Missler

  • Is the United States facing a major economic upheaval?
  • What is the best strategy to protect your family in times of economic uncertainty?

Compiled from public and private sources, Dr. Chuck Missler, an internationally known business executive, outlines our current economic predicament and defensive steps you can take to lessen the impact of the impending economic crisis.

DVD                                 $17.95

This offer will expire in 7 days.




"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."
- Proverbs 22:7

The traditional American Dream, especially for those of us who grew up in families that survived the depression of the 1930s, was to have a home "free and clear" of any mortgages. The security of a debt-free home was the goal of every family in the 20th-century United States, however that is changing. Being in debt has become a way of life for many Americans. Recent economic data shows that consumer debt, particularly credit card debt, is on the rise. The stigma once associated with debt is gone, and it has become the norm to borrow money even for every day items like gasoline and groceries

The United States has become a nation of debtors. In recent years the level of household debt in America has surpassed the level of household income, so for the first time in our collective history we owe more money than we make. Consumer debt in America has risen to a record high of more than 2.5 trillion dollars. Today the average US household has more than $9,000 in credit card debt and spends more than $1,300 a year in interest payments. Meanwhile, the national debt (the amount of money owed by the US government) has surpassed 9 trillion dollars – and is increasing at a rate of about $1.40 billion per day.

"Debt is so ingrained into our culture that most Americans can't even envision a car without a payment, a house without a mortgage, a student without a loan, and credit without a card. We've been sold debt with such repetition and with such fervor that most folks can't conceive of what it would be like to have no payments," says Dave Ramsey, a well-known talk radio host and Christian financial counselor. While many Americans have become accustomed to making monthly payments, the truth is that debt is contrary to God's plan for our lives. The scripture clearly says the borrower is slave to the lender - God would have us free of that kind of bondage. Getting out of debt is one of the four basic steps of what we call "the Vortex Strategy."

The Vortex Strategy

Money is one of the most important inventions of humankind. Without it, a complex, modern economy based on division of labor, and the consequent widespread exchange of goods and services, would be impossible. Unfortunately, many experts believe we are on the verge of a financial crisis. In recent years the value of the US dollar has dropped significantly, inflation has increased, consumer debt has reached an all-time high, and the US housing market has become dangerously unstable.

It is impossible to predict what exactly the coming months will bring, yet we need to be prepared both practically and spiritually. Anyone that presumes that the coming 12 to 24 months are going to be smooth sailing just hasn't done their homework. It is clear we are facing turbulent times ahead. So if the United States is indeed facing a financial crisis, what should we do about it? How can we prepare for times of economic uncertainty? What does the Bible say about our financial stewardship? Chuck tackles these tough questions in his new briefing titled The Vortex Strategy (click on the link to learn more).

Related Links:

 • US Bankruptcies Jumped in April - ABN
 • Consumer Bankruptcies Up Almost 50% Since Last Year - OWS
 • Credit Card Debt on the Rise - HHT
 • The Vortex Strategy - DVD - Special Offer!
 • The Vortex Strategy - MP3 Download


The primary lesson of Job is what the book reveals about the nature of human evil. As we go through the many discourses of Job's "friends" we see them view wicked people in terms of murderers, thieves, rapists, fornicators, cruel tyrants, etc. "These" are the wicked, as Job's counselors see them. But as we begin to understand more clearly, the things they point out as wicked are really only the fruit of something deeper in human nature: they emerge from a deep-seated root of pride that expresses itself as independence and self-sufficiency: "I can run my own life; I've got what it takes; I don't need help from anybody." Jesus summarized it this way:

"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19)."

All evil comes from the root of pride (Isaiah 14:12-16), which is evil in its purest form. What we also learn from this book is that pride is expressed not only in terms of murder, thievery, and robbery, but also - as we see in Job's three friends - as bigotry, pompousness, self-righteous legalism, critical judgmental attitudes, condemnation of others, harsh, sarcastic words and vengeful, vindictive actions against someone else.

Human evil is not confined to the criminals of the land; it is present in every heart, without exception (Jeremiah 17:9). Pride is the root of all sin and it can express itself in many different ways.

The Nature of Faith

Job thought he was exercising faith when he obeyed God and did what was right when it was clearly in his best interests to do so. Many people today think they are exercising great faith when they simply believe God is there; when they live their lives day by day with the recognition that God is watching and is present in their affairs. They do right because they know that if they do not they will get into trouble. This is, of course, a form of faith, but it is a weak faith. They live at a level of serving God only when it is in their best interests to do so.

This is the very accusation that Satan hurled at God when Job was discussed. "Job only serves you because you take care of him. Remove your hand of blessing and he'll curse you to your face (Cf. Job 1:9-11)."

Many are like that: the moment blessing ceases, or difficulty or trial comes along, they want to quit. (The lack of a persistent, enduring witness by visible leaders is one of the greatest discouragements among the Body.)

The kind of faith that makes the world sit up and take notice is revealed as we serve God when it is difficult to do so - when serving Him is the hardest thing we can do. This is what the Book of Job is all about. Remember Gethsemane. "Not my will, but thine be done."

This is what we see in Job. Though he trembles, though he falters, though he fails, the final thing he does is cling in helplessness to God. Job ultimately becomes an example of faith. Great faith is exercised when we feel we are being the least faithful! When we are so weak that we cannot do anything but cling. In that moment all heaven is looking and rejoicing at the greatness of our faith.

[Editor's Note: The book of Job is far too complex for a "once over lightly" treatment. To probe some of its deeper lessons, we encourage you to review the entire account. Click on the link below to begin your study.]

Related Links:

 • The Book of Job - MP3 Download - Koinonia House
 • The Book of Job - CD-Rom Commentary - Koinonia House


“On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

-The Boy Scout Oath

Those Boy Scouts are at it, as usual. After all the lawsuits they’ve inspired, and despite the many organizations that have ceased to fund them, the Boy Scouts of America keep at their dastardly efforts to help boys grow into men of strong character. What’s more, every week in our communities Boy Scouts are committing good deeds. Consider the plots they’ve carried out within the past few weeks.


Boy Scout Troop 5 of Hagerstown, MD recently sponsored a blood drive at the local Red Cross. The young men personally encouraged supermarket patrons and passersby to come donate blood. Several of their own friends and family members also donated. Through the scouts’ efforts, the Hagerstown blood supply was provided with 27 fresh new pints.


In Burbank, IL, 17-year-old Timothy Patula and other members of Troop 481 worked to fill a local food bank with nonperishables. Patula, working to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, decided he wanted to help the hungry as his community service project. With the help of other troop members, Patula canvassed neighborhoods and later collected nearly 3,400 food items. He says the experience of organizing the food drive has taught him how to be a better leader.

Just down the road in Wadsworth, IL, Troop 675 spent a late April weekend collecting bicycle donations. Eagle Scout candidate Chris Valent decided to do a bike drive as his community service project. By cooperating with Working Bikes Cooperative, the 200 bikes Valent’s Scout troop collected will be given to people in Angola who otherwise would have to walk.

“My project is really helpful and a good cause,” Valent said. “I feel very happy inside.”


A number of Boy Scouts in Houston recently went camping overnight in the woods and learned to shoot skeet. This would be pretty normal fare, except that these Scouts from Troop 878 are inner city kids from a rougher part of Houston. Many of them have no father at home. Rather than roaming the streets on a Saturday, these scouts are in the woods earning merit badges. The Boy Scout leaders are local fathers and volunteers who give their time to help these young men see a world bigger than the gangs of the inner city.

The Boy Scouts organization continues to reach out to the communities of America, helping boys grow into good men. Yet, since winning their landmark freedom of association case in 2000, the Scouts have constantly had to fight for support. They’ve been pushed out of buildings, denied financial backing, and have had to pay for privileges that were traditionally donated.


Most recently, the Boy Scouts have been under attack (albeit a passive-aggressive one) from the school superintendent of Greenwich, Connecticut. For the past 70 years, Boy Scout leaders have gone into the schools of Greenwich one time each year to give a 10-minute recruiting presentation. Superintendent Betty Sternberg put the kibosh on that this year. Sternberg argued that those ten minutes took away from precious instructional time and were not fair to the girls who stayed in the classroom.

Many members of the community disagree with Sternberg and think the tradition is just fine. Quite a few have encouraged the superintendent to allow the Scouts to continue recruiting at school next year. The Boy Scouts have found it harder to interest new members without access to the schools. This is one of dozens of different battles, small and large, that various troops have faced in recent years.

The Boy Scouts of America nears its 100th anniversary in 2010. For the past 98 years, the Boy Scouts have taught boys to be upstanding young men and good citizens. As we support the organization, we encourage another generation to learn principles that will help them, and help them to help others.

Related Links:

 • Hagerstown Boy Scout Troop 5 Sponsors Red Cross Blood Drive - The Herald-Mail
 • Burbank Scout Fills Food Pantry - SouthTownStar
 • Boy Scout�s Eagle Project Will Put 200 People On Road - Lake County Journals
 • Boy Scouts Push For New Relevance - Jewish World Review
 • Boy Scouts Banned From Greenwich Schools - CBS
 • Boy Scouts of America National Council - BSA


Strategic Perspectives: Southern California Conference
May 16th-17th at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills

Friday Night - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Worship with Dennis Agajanian

"What The 'News' is Not Telling You"

Joseph Farah, World Net Daily Founder

"High Tech in the Bible"
Chuck Missler, Koinonia Institute Founder

Q&A with Chuck Missler

Saturday - 9:00am to 10:00pm

Worship with Dennis Agajanian

"All Eyes On The Epicenter: Russia, Iran and the Future of Israel"
Joel Rosenberg,  Author, Speaker, Communications Strategist

"The Signs of the Times: We Are Closer Than You Think"

Paul McGuire, Author/Radio Commentator

"The Merciful God of Revelation"
Tim LaHaye, Author of the Left Behind Series

"The Divine Butler…A Nation in Distress"
Ray Comfort, Pastor/Author/Bible Teacher

"Lessons From the Ledge...A Biblical Explorer Shares His Incredible Findings"
Bob Cornuke, Archaeologist with B.A.S.E. Institute

"Israel at 60: What Does the Future Hold"

General Shimon Erem

"Islam in Bible Prophecy"
Walid Shoebat, Former PLO Terrorist

Sunday Night
- There will be a special KI Members Dinner and private session with Walid Shoebat. For more information on the KI dinner contact Dan Stolebarger.

Don't wait, get your tickets today! For more information, or to purchase tickets, click on the link below.

Related Links:

 • Purchase Tickets Here - $25.00 before May 1st
 • Events Calendar - Koinonia House



$200 Oil Could Happen This Year - May 06, 2008
A Goldman Sachs analyst on Tuesday predicted that oil prices could reach $150 to $200 a barrel over the next 6 months to two years, but said that how far prices could climb still "remains a major uncertainty." Oil for June delivery hit a record of more than $120 a barrel Tuesday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. MSNBC

Risk of Bird Flu Pandemic Growing - May 06, 2008
The risk of a human influenza pandemic remains real and is probably growing as the bird flu virus becomes entrenched in poultry in more countries, health officials warned on Tuesday. The H5N1 avian flu virus has infected flocks in much of Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. Experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily from person to person, sparking an influenza pandemic that could kill millions. Reuters

Israeli Jews Doubt Peace Prospects - May 06, 2008
According to a survey conducted by Tel Aviv University, 70 percent of Israeli Jews do not believe in the chances of reaching a deal with the Palestinians despite renewed peace talks. Israel and the Palestinians restarted peace talks at a US conference last November after a seven-year hiatus, but little tangible progress has been made since despite a joint commitment to try to ink a deal by the end of the year. AFP

US, EU Must Cut Back on Biofuels - May 06, 2008
The United Nations is advising the United States and Europe to cut back on production of biofuels because they are hurting food supply at a time of rising prices. Biofuels compete with food for farming land and help to push up food prices, worsening a global crisis that is affecting millions of poor. Reuters

Missionaries Struggle to Stay Afloat - May 06, 2008
The decline of the value of the dollar is hurting missionaries and relief workers around the globe. Many Christian workers overseas are struggling to meet expenses. Some have been forced to cut programs and aid. Charlotte Observer



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Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Psalms 51:13 KJV



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Disaster Drew Acceptance Of Outside Help


Yangon - Myanmar's military government raised its death toll from Cyclone Nargis on Tuesday to nearly 22,500 with another 41,000 missing, almost all from a massive storm surge that swept into the Irrawaddy delta.

The United Nations' World Food Programme began doling out emergency rice in Yangon, the largest city and former capital, and the first batch of more than $10 million worth of foreign aid arrived from Thailand. But a lack of specialized equipment slowed distribution.

Despite the magnitude of the disaster -- the most devastating cyclone to hit Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people died in Bangladesh -- France said the ruling generals in the former Burma were still placing too many conditions on aid.

"The United Nations is asking the Burmese government to open its doors. The Burmese government replies: 'Give us money, we'll distribute it.' We can't accept that," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told parliament...

The disaster drew a rare acceptance of a trickle of outside help from the diplomatically isolated generals, who spurned such approaches after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Thailand flew in nine metric tons of food and medicine, the first foreign aid shipment, but a Reuters cameraman on the plane said supplies were unloaded by hand as no forklift trucks were available -- a sign the army may lack vital equipment.

Two Indian transport planes are due to fly in on Wednesday and more are on standby, officials in New Delhi said.

The United Nations, which has 1,650 international and local staff in Myanmar, said the children's agency UNICEF had delivered drugs, first aid kits and oral rehydration tablets in Labutta township, a hard-hit area in the delta.

State media have made much of the army's response, showing soldiers manhandling tree trunks or generals climbing into helicopters or greeting homeless victims in Buddhist temples.

Aid agency World Vision in Australia said it had been granted special visas to send in personnel to back up 600 staff in the impoverished country.

"This is massive," World Vision Australia head Tim Costello said. "It is not necessarily quite tsunami level but in terms of impact of millions displaced, thousands dead, it is just terrible."

Click here to read full text.

Myanmar, who was once Burma, hear: Now that the Lord has softened your land, let not your heart be hardened by pride and old hatred. The time has come for the Lord to reshape you, therefore resist not the workings of His hands.

In the days and times ahead, some nations will follow, but for now, it is your turn.

Forget not the kindness that nations are showing you; for you will have your opportunity to return their kindness when their time comes.


Yet Another Serpent's Apple?

ADB Readies Regional Fund For Rice Crisis
By Daniel Wools

The Asian Development Bank announced emergency funding Saturday to help poor countries struggling with soaring food prices and warned these could keep rising and stifle economic growth in the region.

“The cheap food era may be over,” the bank’s president Haruhiko Kuroda told a news conference here, where the bank was holding its annual meeting.

The new aid will come in the form of soft loans for the governments of countries hardest hit by the global food crisis, such as Bangladesh.

Kuroda declined to give an overall figure for this expenditure, saying it would depend on requests governments make. He said the amount would be “sizable, but not enormous.”

He said the bank had also secured $11.3 billion in fresh development funds for lending to developing economies over the next four years.

“The generous contribution of donor nations will help developing Asia-Pacific countries meet Millennium Development Goal targets…” Kuroda said.

In Singapore, meanwhile, soaring rice prices were less likely to cause instability in China, India and other major Asian economies because they were buffered by domestic production of the cereal, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said.

“I do not see rice as a big issue for the Asian countries,” Lee said.

The Philippines might be more prone to civil disturbances because of its need to buy rice to boost its stockpiles. Even so, “the Philippines should be able to manage this,” Lee said.

Asia is home to two-thirds of the world’s poor, and nearly 1.7 billion people in the region live on $2 a day or less.

Asia’s poor were particularly vulnerable to rising prices for staples such as rice because 60 percent of their spending went toward food, and the figure rose to 75 percent if fuel costs were included, the bank said.

Kuroda said prices of rice, for instance, had nearly tripled in the past four months.

Higher food costs meant higher inflation, which would reduce consumption, savings and investment. And if governments raised interest rates to control inflation, this could reduce demand and trigger an economic slowdown, the bank said in a report.

Click here to read full text.

What else next and where else next will the world's speculative investors channel their overwhelming wealth?

Poor countries should be careful not bite the bait. Read between the following lines:

He (Kuroda) said the amount would be “sizable, but not enormous.”

"Higher food costs meant higher inflation, which would reduce consumption, savings and investment. And if governments raised interest rates to control inflation, this could reduce demand and trigger an economic slowdown", the bank said in a report.

Did you realize that high costs of goods can also be caused by another factor other than these two natural factors; shortage of supply and/or high demand of goods?

Costs of goods can artificially skyrocket when there is excessive speculative investing happening which is mainly driven by profiteering and not naturally driven by the normal market interaction of supply and demand.

In the face of global crisis, quick-gain-minded speculative investors with plenty of "hot investment money" are in frantic search of "sure" investments. They thrive in times of crisis because they pinned their hope in being able to make huge profits by taking advantage of an expected rise or fall in the prices of commodities -- especially the very basic ones; shelter, fuel, food, etc.

Since the "shelter bubble" is bursting already, they move to other commodities and are now heavily engaged in fuel, while some of them have already started speculating on food -- thus the prices of fuel and food disproportionately increased abnormally in spite of no corresponding significant shortage in their supplies.

In some sense, these type of investors are "gamblers". Beware of these "gamblers".


Choose Character

By John C. Maxwell
A Leaders Way
Philippine Daily Inquirer

“A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst.” -- Proverbs 11:4 (The Message)

How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you a lot about their character. Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it certainly does reveal it.

Adversity is a crossroads which makes a person choose one of two paths: Character or compromise. Every time leaders choose character, they become stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequences.

As Nobel Prize winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “The meaning of earthly existing lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul.”

The development of character is at the heart of our development, not just as leaders, but as human beings.

What must every person know about character?

Character is more than talk.
Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.
Character brings lasting success with people.

Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character.

This is worth repeating.

Adversity is a crossroads which makes a person choose one of two paths: Character or compromise. Choose character.


There Are No Food Riots In The Philippines (Not Yet Anyway)

By Dean Jorge Bocobo

After erroneously reporting for several weeks that there have been food riots in the Philippines as a result of the global spike in food prices, one would've thought that a giant media outfit like CNN would've gotten the word and corrected itself. But just now, there it was again, (following coverage of President Bush talking about the economy in St. Louis, Missouri) that there have been food riots "in recent weeks in Haiti, Jelalabad and the Philippines."

Click here to read full text.

Read also, "What Food Riots?" by TheNutbox