RAMBLER OF THE WEEK
This summer I had the privilege of attending a luncheon at the home of the Archbishop of Indianapolis, Joseph W. Tobin. Our mutual friend John Armstrong had arranged for a number of religious leaders and ministers from around town to meet together to discuss the topic of missional-ecumenism in our city. I truly enjoyed Fr. Tobin’s hospitality and his easy manner which made us all feel welcome and able to participate freely in the discussion.
Tobin came to some public attention last year when he led the local Catholic church in opposing Gov. Mike Pence’s call to ban Syrian refugees from Indiana.
Just recently, he received big news. On October 9, Archbishop Tobin issued the following statement:
Early this morning I learned that Pope Francis had appointed me to the College of Cardinals. I will formally be installed in that service in a ceremony in Rome next month. I will continue as the Archbishop of Indianapolis. I have come to love deeply the people of the Catholic communities of central and southern Indiana and count as a precious blessing the numerous friendships I have with civic and religious leaders throughout the state. I ask all people of faith to pray for me. I hope this new responsibility will make me a better servant of all Hoosiers. I also offer my prayers and support to the other Cardinals-elect, especially Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago and Archbishop Kevin Farrell, of Dallas, who was recently appointed to a new position in Rome.
You can read more about his lifetime of ministry and service at the links above.
Fr. Tobin will make a trip to Rome on Nov. 19 when the Pope is scheduled to elevate the new cardinals at a formal ceremony.
Congratulations for this honor and for the ongoing ministry of soon-to-be Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, our Rambler of the Week.
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INTERNET MONK ALTERNATIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RECOMMENDATION
This presidential election campaign has been filled with so many attacks and so much vitriol, that the entire country is feeling the heavy mood of negativity. With that in mind, we’d like to offer an alternative candidate today who can lift our spirits and bring the sunshine back to America again.
In today’s talk, our candidate shows a depth of humility and vulnerability rare seen in U.S. politics. My fellow Americans, this man is worthy of your vote on Nov. 8.
Note: I’m sorry but this video has a feature that continues to play other clips after this one. Just hit stop.
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NEWS OF THE WEEK
✑ Here’s a Cubs fan I’m pulling for. Your hopelessly devoted (to the Chicago Cubs) Chaplain has been waiting 60 years for his hapless baseball team to make it to the World Series. But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to 101-year-old Virginia Wood. She’ll be 102 next month, and what she wants most for her birthday is to see her favorite team win a championship for the first time since 1908.
Wood attended her first Cubs game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in 1924. She was 10 years old. As an adult, she would go as often as she could, especially with friends after work on “Ladies Day” when they could attend free.
“When people didn’t stay for the whole game, we’d all move ourselves down a little closer to the front as far as we could go,” Wood says.
Wood saw lots of games but no championships. The Cubs last won a World Series in 1908, but Wood dismisses the idea of a curse holding the Cubs back. She says she knew a championship would come eventually, and she is convinced this is the year.
“Oh, I’m counting on them going all the way, absolutely,” she says.
Virginia and I and a host of others will be on pins and needles as the Cubs face the Dodgers in game 6 of the National League Championship Series tonight at Wrigley Field. This past week, when Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers pitcher, and Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs hurler, last met, most of us chewed our fingers down to the knuckles watching an excruciatingly tense game that the Dodgers won 1-0. I know Randy Thompson is pulling for his Dodgers, but Virginia and I are hoping the Cubs don’t get “Kershawed” again this evening.
Meanwhile, Cubs fan and funnyman Bill Murray did this.
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✑ There was a major attack on the Internet Friday. Here are excerpts of the New York Time’s report of the massive “distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS.”
Users reported sporadic problems reaching several websites, including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times.
The company, Dyn, whose servers monitor and reroute internet traffic, said it began experiencing what security experts called a distributed denial-of-service attack just after 7 a.m. Reports that many sites were inaccessible started on the East Coast, but spread westward in three waves as the day wore on and into the evening.
And in a troubling development, the attack appears to have relied on hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices like cameras, baby monitors and home routers that have been infected — without their owners’ knowledge — with software that allows hackers to command them to flood a target with overwhelming traffic.
…Dyn is one of many outfits that host the Domain Name System, or DNS, which functions as a switchboard for the internet. The DNS translates user-friendly web addresses like fbi.gov into numerical addresses that allow computers to speak to one another. Without the DNS servers operated by internet service providers, the internet could not operate.
In this case, the attack was aimed at the Dyn infrastructure that supports internet connections. While the attack did not affect the websites themselves, it blocked or slowed users trying to gain access to those sites.
Mr. York, the Dyn strategist, said in an interview during a lull in the attacks that the assaults on its servers were complex.
“This was not your everyday DDoS attack,” Mr. York said. “The nature and source of the attack is still under investigation.”
Many are warning that this is only the beginning.
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✑ Phoenix Preacher calls out Saeed Abedini. Michael Newnham nails it in his piece critical of the released Iranian hostage/domestic abuser/”pastor”.
On his blog, Newnham had faithfully called us to pray for Saeed when he was imprisoned in Iran. Millions of Christians did so, interceding for him, his release, and his family. Thankfully, he was set free and came home to the U.S., to the cheers of many, including Franklin Graham, who had also been a huge promoter of the American pastor. However, during all of this it came out that Saeed and his wife Nagmeh had serious marital difficulties and that he had been emotionally and physically abusive toward her, one time serving a 90-day jail sentence for domestic violence. The couple eventually divorced.
So, has his return and all these changes indicated that it might be time for solitude and self-reflection on Saeed’s part? Unfortunately, no. He continues to make public pronouncements as a “pastor” and is even soliciting financial support so that he can continue his “ministry.” Michael Newnham is right. This is unwise at the very least.
He does allow that a woman can be in “leadership”.
He has not yet explained the difference in any coherent way.
Coherence is not his strong suit.
He is still being held up by Charisma ragazine and other Christian “news” outlets…in Charisma, he says he’s not endorsing a candidate.
On Facebook, he comes out loudly for Trump.
He also says that he has been in a constant battle with the “spirit of Jezebel” since coming home.
Of course he has…
Of course, Saeed claims that everything he says is biblical.
Therefore, you should be one of 200 people who will commit to twenty dollars a month to support him… after two weeks, he’s only 180 people short.
Evidently, the Franklin Graham gravy train has had the wheels come off…
Before you commit to giving Saeed twenty bucks a month…perhaps he should answer how he’s still in the ministry when he’s absolutely disqualified biblically from the pulpit.
Ask him how a woman is unqualified to be president, but a man with an unbiblical divorce and an arrest record is qualified for ministry.
Ask him how a man that refuses to answer for his past or present sin to the Body of Christ is fit for ministry.
Ask him…better yet, ignore him.
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✑Ballot initiatives we’ll be voting for/against in 2016. In addition to voting for officeholders in this years elections, voters across the U.S. will be faced with making choices with regard to more than 160 ballot initiatives. Here are some of them, as reported by Robert Schroeder at Market Watch:
- Minimum wage: There are measures to boost the minimum wage on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington. And in a referendum that may prove to be the bane of South Dakota teenagers, voters in that state will decide whether the minimum wage should drop by $1 an hour for workers under the age of 18.
- Plastic bags in California: In 2014, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the country’s first statewide ban on disposable plastic bags. On Nov. 8, Golden State residents will vote whether to uphold the law or throw it out. The law bans single-use plastic bags and also lets grocers charge customers 10 cents for paper bags or reusable plastic bags.
- Marijuana: Voters in nine states get the opportunity to legalize marijuana. Five — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — have ballot initiatives to legalize pot for recreational use and four — Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota — for medical use.
- Taxing tobacco: Voters in four states will consider increasing tobacco taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: California, Colorado, Missouri and North Dakota. And smokers should be prepared for a hefty increase. In Colorado, for example, the tax would go from 84 cents a pack to $2.59. The median state tax on a pack of cigarettes was $1.53 as of January.
- New Jersey’s casino question: Atlantic City’s casinos have gone through some very trying times, with the Trump Taj Mahal earlier this month becoming the latest to close its doors. Now, voters will get a say on adding two casinos elsewhere in the state. If voters approve Public Question 1, notes Ballotpedia, it would end a four-decade monopoly in Atlantic City.
In additional measures, porn actors in California could be required to wear condoms during filming if Prop. 60 is approved. Several states are voting on additional gun control measures. Here in Indiana, we’ll be voting about establishing a constitutional right to hunt and fish, while in Oklahoma they will vote about whether to add a “right to farm” provision to their constitution. Minnesotans will weigh in on creating an independent board that will set the pay of their legislators.
For a comprehensive run-down of this year’s ballot initiatives, go to Ballotpedia.
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✑ As we get closer to the election, here are some wise and helpful words from Elizabeth Mangham Lott at Baptist News Global.
In the midst of this tremendously difficult season, it is easy to forget who we are and give into fear. The campaign season may have gone off the rails, but we don’t have to follow. As people of faith, we must pay attention to the voices and teachings that are shaping our minds and realities. In the Church, the teachings that inform our lives are not the ones that make us more afraid but the ones that that make us more generous. More trusting. More hopeful. More loving. More compassionate. We must pay attention to what is manifesting within us and what we are releasing into our world. Are we becoming angrier? More anxious? More hostile? Less trusting? More afraid? There’s a pretty good chance that those are not the ways of God.
When we are stepping forward in truth, we are braver, kinder, stronger, more fully alive and more fully ourselves. We remember that the image of God is within us and within all those whom we meet. When we are on the Way of Christ Jesus, we are extending the same grace and peace to others that has been extended to us. Even in a frightening and divisive political season, the words we profess as followers of Christ are true. Especially now, the world needs us to grow more fully into the Spirit ways of peace, love, joy, kindness, goodness, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. If all of that sounds like too much, let’s at least agree to start with the kindness part.
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REFORMATION MONTH: LUTHER INSULT OF THE WEEK
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QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the finalists in the 2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.