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A Loss of a Friend

September 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A friend I’ve had since I was born, but lost contact with when she moved to California, died last night.  She fell from a building in Toronto, where she’s lived for a few years.  She was 29.

Here are a few links to the story:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/693495

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/09/10/toronto-woman-falls-death523.html

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/09/10/10818431.html

Categories: Life, News

Open Letter Regarding Two Iranian Women in Prison for Their Faith

August 10, 2009 1 comment

This is an open letter regarding two young Christian women that have been imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin prison for the past five months.  Their court case was yesterday, and they showed an incredible amount of courage and faith in the midst of intense persecution and suffering.  And we Americans complain when our hamburger comes with onions on it, when we SPECIFICALLY asked that it wouldn’t!!

“Dear friends,

In a dramatic session before the revolutionary court yesterday (Sunday August 9) in Tehran, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were told to recant their faith in Christ. Though great pressure was put on them, both women declared that they would not deny their faith. Maryam and Marzieh were originally arrested on March 5, 2009 and have suffered greatly while in prison, suffering ill health, solitary confinement and interrogations for many hours while blindfolded.

On Saturday August 8, Maryam and Marzieh were summoned to appear in court on Sunday August 9 in order to hear a verdict on their case.  The chief interrogator had recommended a verdict of ‘apostasy.’  However, when they arrived, no verdict was actually given.  Instead, the court session focussed on the deputy prosecutor, Mr Haddad, questioning Maryam and Marzieh about their faith and telling them that they had to recant in both verbal and written form. This made it clear that in the eyes of the court, Maryam and Marzieh’s only crime is that they have converted to Christianity.

Mr. Haddad, asked the two women if they were Christians. “We love Jesus,” they replied.  He repeated his question and they said, “Yes, we are Christians.”

Mr. Haddad then said, “You were Muslims and now you have become Christians.”

“We were born in Muslim families, but we were not Muslims,” was their reply.

Mr. Haddad’s questioning continued and he asked them if they regretted becoming Christians, to which they replied, “We have no regrets.”

Then he stated emphatically, “You should renounce your faith verbally and in written form.”  They stood firm and replied, “We will not deny our faith.”

During one tense moment in the questioning, Maryam and Marzieh made reference to their belief that God had convicted them through the Holy Spirit.  Mr. Haddad told them, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans.”

Marzieh asked him in return, “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?”

Mr. Haddad then replied, “You are not worthy for God to speak to you.”

Marzieh said, “It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.”

Mr. Haddad told the women to return to prison and think about the options they were given and come back to him when they are ready (to comply). Maryam and Marzieh said, “We have already done our thinking.”

At the end of the session, Mr. Haddad told them that a judge will give them his verdict, though it is not clear who will be the judge in their case now.  He also allowed Maryam and Marzieh to have a lawyer represent them in the case for the first time since their arrest.

Both women are back in Evin prison tonight.  During their five-month ordeal, both have been unwell and have lost much weight. Marzieh is in pain due to an on-going problem with her spine, as well as an infected tooth and intense headaches. She desperately needs medical attention. Two months ago the prison officials told her the prison had proper medical equipment and that they will attend to her, but so far no proper treatment has been given.

Despite the concentrated effort of officials to pressure them into recanting their faith, Maryam and Marzieh love Jesus and they are determined to stand firm to the very end no matter whatever happens.  They have demonstrated their love for Jesus and would offer their lives for Him if they were called to do so.  After today’s court session they said, “If we come out of prison we want to do so with honor.”

Maryam and Marzieh’s case is a clear and harsh violation of human rights and religious liberty by Iran’s authorities. They deserve the support of all those who respect human rights and to be released without charges so they can pursue a life of freedom.

Thank you for praying.

The Elam team”

maryam-and-mazrieh---2

SOURCE: http://elam.com/articles/Urgent-Prayer/

We are Moving!

March 16, 2009 1 comment

We just sold our house!  We will be moving into the one we really wanted, and have a closing date of April 16th.

We have a like new washer and dryer, and entertainment center for sale if anyone is interested.  We are really excited!  It’s hard to move during a recession with so much anxiety about the future and jobs, but we know God is in control, and things really worked out well.  We have a LOT of packing to do!  I can’t believe the wait is over.

Here are some pics from our new house.

Categories: News

Obama Reverses Ban on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

March 9, 2009 1 comment

I will preface this opinion piece by saying I am NOT a scientist.  I don’t claim to have all of the information on stem cell research memorized.  However, I do grasp the basic principles.  Here is a quick definition pulled from the government’s website http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics3.asp.

Embryonic stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos. Specifically, embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro—in an in vitro fertilization clinic—and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. They are not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman’s body. The embryos from which human embryonic stem cells are derived are typically four or five days old and are a hollow microscopic ball of cells called the blastocyst. The blastocyst includes three structures: the trophoblast, which is the layer of cells that surrounds the blastocyst; the blastocoel, which is the hollow cavity inside the blastocyst; and the inner cell mass, which is a group of approximately 30 cells at one end of the blastocoel.”

I believe that President Obama’s reversal of the embryonic stem cell research ban is wrong, and here’s why.

Destroying a fertilized embryo to create stem cells, and use them for research, is unethical, just like destroying an embryo while trying to clone would be.  They are destroying life, or at the very LEAST, the first stages of what leads to life. If cloning is wrong, why isn’t embryonic stem cell research.  The ultimate conclusion of embryonic stem cell research would be to grow a complete human, allowing all organs to be harvested, negating the need for organ donors.  Or would they only grow lungs, arms, skin, etc from these stem cells.

I’m a little miffed about the fact that as promising as adult stem cell research has been, that the administration feels the need to allow such a controversial procedure to be done, in light of the gains that have been made in using non-embryonic cells.  Who knows, in another 4 years, perhaps existing, and ethical, stem cell research would have gotten to the point that using embryos wouldn’t be necessary.

Thoughts?

Awesome Canadian Meteor Videos

November 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Two Videos

Very cool!

Michael Crichton Has Died

November 5, 2008 Leave a comment

One of my favorite authors has died from his battle with cancer.mcrichton2

Author and filmmaker Michael Crichton penned thrilling novels that, for me, were tough to put down.  His most recent books tackled such controversial subjects as global warming and genetic research.  Many of his books have become movies, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book and movie of his I’ve seen and read.  Jurassic Park is a classic.  ER is one of the longest running medical shows on TV.  He’ll be missed by this reader!

Please read his Wikipedia entry for more information on his life and accomplishments.

Hurricane Ike: Bolivar Peninsula Aftermath Video

September 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Here is a Coast Guard helicopter video of the destruction on Bolivar Peninsula.

http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=380872

Here is the website, I believe the video here loads quicker.

http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php/v/video/HO+-+Sept_+16_+2008_+Helo+ops.wmv.html