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Monday, February 27, 2006

All the way down? All the way up?

Just in case you missed it, which is probably unlikely, former Governor Rowland is out of prison, and talking the talk. You know, dropping the "G" word. The AP quotes him:

I kind of have this blind faith that God will work a way in my life that will steer me down a different path. I'm not sure what that plan is, but I know that God has a different plan, a better plan for me...

Courant columnist Helen Ubiñas isn't buying it, at least not yet. In an article entitled "Jailhouse Transformations Face The Test of Time," Ms. Ubiñas is admittedly skeptical, despite her frequent brushes with themes of religion and redemption.

We should be suspicious of a conversion that sounds a little too much like the Christian best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."

In fact, some of his declarations sounded so much like the book that in a follow-up e-mail I asked him if he had read it while he was away. But he didn't answer me, and passed on a face-to-face chat. There was nothing new for us to discuss, he said.

I think we're all old enough to know that jailhouse transformations face the test of time. At least I am. But some of them are very real. Charles Colson comes to mind, of course. His life across the last thirty years should suffice to convinve anyone of the reality of his conversion. At this point, let's just pray for the ex-Governor; if his apparent profession is the real thing, he'll need God's grace on a daily basis - as we all do.

And, it seems like Ms. Ubiñas has been doing a bit of reading herself, so let's pray for her, too...

Finally, looking to the future of our spiritually-troubled State, we still have God's command to pray for all those who are currently in authority.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

A Call for 40 Days of Fasting and Prayer

Prayer Leaders Lou Engle, Mike Bickle, Dutch Sheets, and Francis Frangipane are calling for "40 Days of Fasting and Prayer from March 1 to April 9 for Revival, Reformation, Muslim nations, and Israel."

The release states:

We are fasting and praying for Revival, for the shifting of the Supreme Court and the ending of abortion, for the Middle East crisis and the freedom of a billion souls from the vise grip of Islam, and for the security and salvation of Israel.

This is worth reading and, if anything, the situation is more dire as it appears that Iraq may be headed for full-blown religious civil war. Interestingly, the last day of the fast, April 9, is not only Palm Sunday but is said to be the 100th anniversary of the Pentecostal outpouring at Azusa Street. Keep praying!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Money Money Money Money

Long before there was Donald Trump, or at least before there was The Apprentice, there were the O'Jays, and they used to sing about money and how it was the root of all evil. A slight misquoting of what Paul actually said to Timothy, but chock full of homespun wisdom anyway, at least for a Top 40 single.

Lately I find myself wondering where the merry-go-round of money will stop around our fair state. Is Connecticut going insane? Maybe this is Exhibit A in the case for madness:

GREENWICH, CT-Antares Investment Partners has purchased two rental apartment properties here in what is believed to be the largest single real estate transaction in Connecticut history. The locally based firm plans to convert a majority of the units into condominiums.

Antares acquired the Putnam Green I-III development and the Weaver’s Hill community here for $223 million from an affiliate of locally based Mill Management Group. The seller had owned both properties for more than 30 years.

Yes, that's $223 million. Add to this the story about the $3,000 martinis they're selling at Foxwoods and you may experience the onset of vertigo. To be fair, the martinis have a nice pair of earrings in them. Well, Dad always said something is worth whatever somebody's willing to pay for it. And that's life in Connecticut in 2006...

But I can't help thinking about the lady in Norwich whose electric bill doubled in the past 18 months. Or that the City of New Haven is so desperate for money that they're talking about putting cameras up all over town to catch and confiscate cars whose owners owe the City for parking tickets and taxes.

A New Haven Register reporter accompanied State Marshal Jerry Juliano on the first day of seizures under the new rules. An elderly man in a walker barely escaped being stranded for $216 in parking tickets because he drove away in his Toyota Camry just before the tow truck could take his car.

Similarly, a young mother with three small children also narrowly escaped, driving away in her Dodge Durango just before tow trucks could strand her. The 2002 Chevy Malibu belonging to John Gomez, 42, was flagged for towing as the system showed he owed $208.53 -- just as he was leaving City Hall with a "paid in full" receipt in his pocket. Gomez had placed a sign on his window, "Please don't tow -- paying tax now."

"If you're inside paying your taxes, who's to say they won't snatch you up while you're in there," Gomez told the New Haven Register. "I believe I have to pay my taxes, don't get me wrong. But what if I wasn't working? I'm lucky. I have a family and means to pay. Not everyone is so lucky."

The O'Jays told us not to let money rule us, or fool us. How are we doing?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Courant goes back to St. John's Episcopal

The Courant has done a piece today on the aftermath of Episcopal Bishop Andrew Smith's deposing the Rev. Mark Hansen. Check it out.

Note: If you're ever unable to tell where the Courant stands on something, the accompanying photographs usually help to inform us as to their point of view. In this case one of the pictures carries an explanatory note which actually seems libelous of Rev. Hansen.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Bethany Dillon coming to Fairfield with Story Side B

Rock The Sound Concerts is presenting multiple Dove award-nominated 17 year old artist Bethany Dillon, making her first visit to Connecticut on Saturday, April 8 at Black Rock Congregational Church in Fairfield, CT.

Possible break-out artist Story Side B (currently #2 on the Christian music charts) will also be making their first visit to the Northeast. This is a benefit concert for World Vision.

Hurry! Seating is limited!

Tickets: $10 Prior to March 31, 2006; $20 thereafter.

For updated information on concerts and other events, check out our Christian Events Calendar!

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Praying for Connecticut's children

Connecticut's children need prayer - it seems there has been a rash of tragedies lately with our kids, and some have definitely lost their way. Eighth-grade girls allegedly draw 100 swastikas all over a middle school. Older teens are accused of attempted murder.

Can it be that we are teaching our children that life - and their lives - are meaningless? What message can kids derive when their churches celebrate something called "Evolution Sunday?"

The Rev. Woody Eddins of Bristol is one of more than 10,000 Protestant pastors who have signed a letter calling for clergy members to speak out against the anti-evolution movement that portrays science as a threat to religious faith. This [past weekend was] "Evolution Sunday" for more than 400 churches across the country, including six in Connecticut.

When people grow up learning that they are the products of blind, cosmic chance and an endless sequence of beneficial mutations, how else can you expect them to behave? When churches succumb to the fashions of the day and so cannot even offer a sense of the majesty of a Creator, where else in this society can children hear of Him?

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Monday, February 06, 2006

First comment spam, and now...

It wasn't that long ago I was apologizing for requiring "word verification" before allowing comments - now I have to moderate comments. I thought about doing away with them altogether, but we do get some lovely ones from time to time and they perk up our day here at the Pray Connecticut country villa. Solution: I will now have to moderate comments before they go up on the site. What's prompting this? Someone making inappropriate remarks about a public official. People can't help themselves, I guess. Keep your comments coming, but don't expect them to appear instantly. Thanks!

"Will and Grace" won't show Spears episode

Apparently NBC has decided not to run the offensive item referenced below. Thanks for your efforts.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Will NBC30 run "Will and Grace" episode with Britney Spears?

Although I thought the story was too ridiculous to be true, I checked it out and saw that even the BBC was running it:

She [Britney] will appear as a talk show sidekick to Sean Hayes' character, Jack, in an episode to be shown in the US in April. Jack's fictional network, Out TV, is bought by a Christian TV network, leading to Spears contributing a cooking segment called Cruci-fixin's.

Cruci-fixins? Please consider writing a respectful letter to Ronni Attenello at NBC30 (which many of you just know as Channel 6) and asking them not to air this episode, which is slated for April 13 - the day before Good Friday no less! Obviously our readership isn't devoted to "Will and Grace" in any event, but is it asking too much to draw some kind of line here?

Please forward this around. I never do this kind of thing but something was stirred in my spirit by this. We know NBC would never do this to to persons revered by other religions. NBC dropped "The Book of Daniel" after an outcry - maybe they will drop this, too.

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