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Archive for February, 2007

The earth has shifted on its axis

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The count stands at the moment…

1. On Sunday there was a minor earthquake in SFO – see Chad
2. My friend Dennis had a heart attack on Sunday in Tracy Ca.
3. Carrie’s dad died on Tuesday in London Ont
4. There was a landslide in SFO on Tuesday near Chad’s house
5. I Failed the exam we had 2 weeks ago in Modern Christianity – WTF
6. Tomorrow I have a mass to attend at noon for Charles
7. Friday I have a funeral to Attend for Sister Michelina

Please – no more deaths – tragedies – heart attacks – for the rest of the week

Regular posting will resume shortly, please stay tuned…

God, help us…

I believe the earth has shifted on its axis …


Radcliffe makes compelling debut

 

By Neil Smith
Entertainment reporter, BBC News


Daniel Radcliffe in Equus

Equus deals with controversial themes of sexuality

A star-studded audience saw Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe make his full West End debut in Equus.

Christian Slater, Bob Geldof and Richard E Grant were just a few of the luminaries who braved the paparazzi outside London’s Gielgud Theatre.

Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry and Helena Bonham Carter – performers with close ties to the Harry Potter phenomenon – were also in attendance.

For all the celebrity talent in the stalls, however, there was only one focus of attention once the lights went down.

The controversial nature of Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play, combined with reports of Radcliffe’s on-stage nudity, has already made this the hottest ticket in town.

To concentrate on the sensational aspects of Thea Sharrock’s production, however, would be a disservice to its star’s accomplished and thoroughly committed performance.

Boasting a well-toned physique and a compelling stage presence, Radcliffe quickly distances himself from his boy wizard alter-ego.

Minimal experience

Indeed, the overriding impression is of a gifted young actor casting off the shackles of a restrictive screen persona.

Daniel Radcliffe and Joanna Christie in Equus

Radcliffe and Joanna Christie leave little to the imagination

True, he is perhaps too composed to be wholly credible as Alan Strang, the disturbed stable boy sectioned for blinding six horses.

Nor do his polished vowels befit a character who, according to Shaffer’s text, is both ill-educated and semi-literate.

With a maturity and intensity that belie his 17 years, though, the teenage heart-throb compellingly conveys the angst and trauma of a youth in crisis.

And as Shaffer pieces together the sorry history that led him to commit such an inexplicable act of violence, Radcliffe ensures he retains both our sympathy and our compassion.

Looking visibly drained and shaken as he took his bows, Tuesday’s opening night clearly took its toll on an actor with minimal theatrical experience.

Then again, he had just been required to strip naked for a sex scene with co-star Joanna Christie that leaves little to the imagination.

With two rows of audience members seated directly behind the actors on stage, there is nowhere to hide.

It would be no slight on their exertions, though, to lavish equal praise on Richard Griffiths for his work as the conflicted therapist who guides Strang through his psychological minefield.

Tortured mind

In a role created on stage by Alec McCowen and played on film by Richard Burton, Griffiths is a portrait of avuncular concern tempered by nagging self-doubt.

Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths in Equus

Richard Griffiths’ performance has also been praised

It is a dichotomy that mirrors the play’s ambivalent attitude towards psychiatry when it comes to explaining the workings of a tortured mind.

Animal lovers will be relieved to know Equus – the Latin word for horse – has actors wearing metal headgear standing in for actual livestock.

In lesser hands such a device might seem incongruous, but Sharrock makes it feel entirely natural.

This is no mean feat in a drama that presents a lurid cocktail of sexual repression, religious obsession and stylised animal cruelty.

But the real triumph is Radcliffe’s for winning his thespian spurs in one of the most demanding roles an actor his age could tackle.

Compared to the emotional exposure the part entails, his well-publicised disrobing seems almost incidental.

Harry Potter fans, though, have one more shock in store should they choose to see their hero in his current guise.

More shocking than wounding horses and having sex? Perhaps. Shortly after the interval, Daniel smokes a cigarette.

Equus continues at the Gielgud Theatre in central London.


And I am telling You (Video)

And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going) by WonderRobbie

EXCELLENT !!!


Obituary 2 …

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I am saddened to report to the Concordia Community and to my readers that one of our spiritual directors at the Interfaith Chaplaincy of Concordia University has died. Sister Michelina Bertone, SSA died on Sunday suddenly at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

I knew Sister Michelina very well. Many times throughout my University Career I found myself sitting in her office hysterical about where I was going with my life, and she always had a kind word for me. It has been a sad day today.

The report came from Father LaFontaine…

She died very suddenly on Sunday morning at the Royal Victoria Hospital – when I spoke to the sisters this afternoon, they were still awaiting the autopsy report. She was only 61 years old, and there had not been any signs of illness, except that she was experiencing shortness of breath and a pain in her side on Thursday, so she went in to emergency on FRiday and they decided to keep her over the weekend while tests were done.As you can imagine, her religious community, the youth ministry network, and the students and staff she served at Concordia University for the past 19 years are all in shock. Please keep them all in your prayers.

Fr. Raymond LaFontaine will be presiding at the funeral Mass for Sr. Micki:

FRIDAY, MARCH 2 AT 1:30 pm

Chapel of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Anne, 745 rue Esther-Blondin, Lachine

(corner of Provost & 18th Ave.): 514-637-3783

There will be a wake service as well:

THURSDAY, 1 MARCH AT 7:30 pm (same place as above, 3rd floor)

Visitation is Thursday from 3-5 and 7-9, and Friday from 12,00 to 1.00 pm.

Please spread the word to those you know who knew Sr. Micki. I imagine there will be an announcement in the Gazette tomorrow (Wednesday).

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Eternal Rest Grant her and may Perpetual Light Shine upon her…


Wounded Warrior Project

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Tonight the world welcomed Bob Woodruff back to ABC news. How happy are we too see him back where he belongs. I must first tell you that for the whole of my young adult life, and now, as an adult, I have been a supporter of ABC. For many years, ABC news was the outlet that I have been tuned to as an American and as well here in Montreal.

My viewer ship began way back when Peter Jennings first took his seat in the anchor chair, I was just a boy then. So over the years I have maintained a relationship with ABC news. In the years since 9-11 Peter Jennings was always the voice of calm reassurance in times of tragedy and national suffering. And when Peter died, it shook me to my core because for so many years, he was another “father figure” I had in my life. So it goes when Bob Woodruff, Elizabeth Vargas and Charles Gibson took over the evening news, I stayed with ABC because I believed in their work.

It goes without saying that Bob Woodruff, was someone to watch. he had big shoes to fill, and I respected him as a news anchor and a world news reporter. So when he was injured in Iraq, I was moved to pray. Tonight Bob reported on his trip to Iraq and back. I have to say that his recovery was nothing short of a miracle. But as the story was told, there was more than one miracle, the survival of many soldiers are miracles and sadly, the fact that not all soldiers who return from war, come back whole, mentally solid and without injury. Injury is not a simple matter and varies on sometimes specific critical degrees. And many of them are not getting the much needed critical care they need upon returning state side.

I know what it is like to sit in an ICU and hope that the one you love, wakes up from a severe brain injury. I know what it is like to fight back to learn how to sit up and relearn how to talk and to walk as well. I once was in the position as caregiver to a severely injured significant other. So I “Get It!” I understand, I can identify. I also know what it is like for a veteran to go into a V.A. system in rural middle America to get get medical care, because I once lived in rural middle America. So I get that as well.

Bob reported real and raw numbers. The fact that the real hard numbers are not being reported, that many critical care war wounded are not getting the care they need from a nation that sent them to war, when they return from tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. This grateful nation has not done ALL it Can Do, for those who Sacrificed all they had to protect this grateful nation from terrorists. The American Government has failed in providing the 100% care that war torn soldiers deserve after serving tours of duty on the front lines overseas.
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The U.S. Government wants their men and women in uniform to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan for years at a time, and they tell the soldiers that they will be taken care of and now we see tonight that some of the most critically wounded soldiers are NOT getting the much deserved and required health care they need upon returning state side. This must stop and it must stop now.
The U.S. Government must be held accountable for every single life they send over seas to fight. Each and every wounded soldier deserves every ounce of special care they need, when their very lives are on the line. This not only means for the soldiers coming home, but for their families as well. There are many projects you can participate in and I encourage you to go to the

Wounded Warrior Project

and see how you can help those men and women who fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. As reported there are over 200,000 soldiers who need special care. There are over 1.5 million soldiers who have fought over seas in the last two wars. They deserve to be cared for and they must not be allowed to slip through the cracks of The Government Veterans Administration. We must call for government transparency when reporting war wounded and to properly screen those soldiers who need special care. All soldiers who return from war, must be screened for T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injuries), seen or unseen.

It just seemed to me that watching this report, I am led to believe that there are soldiers that are not getting the much needed care they deserve. That the U.S. government is under reporting the hard numbers, and that the Veterans Administration is well over burdened by the massive numbers of seriously wounded soldiers coming home. That the many Veterans Hospitals are under prepared to care for those injured soldiers coming home. The government, in this respect, has fallen short of its commitment to care for the returning soldiers. The government has failed in its job to make sure that every soul that goes over seas to fight comes home to the best care possible.

The U.S. President George W. Bush is directly responsible to make sure that his government is clued into these facts. I think he is BLINDED by POWER. There are so many soldiers over seas fighting. My oldest friend is serving in administration capabilities to repatriate soldiers upon their return to the U.S. out on the West coast.

I think this report by Bob Woodruff is going to ignite a firestorm of CONDEMNATION of the U.S. President and his government and I can imagine in the coming days as this report circulates through the halls of justice in Washington D.C. and throughout the country that heads are going to roll.

We should end this war NOW. We should bring back our soldiers NOW! We should stop sending our men and women over seas to fight BECAUSE there are so many coming home with critical injuries and if not every one is getting optimal specific care and reports such as Bob’s are being told, then there are service men and women being let allowed to fall through the cracks, when the U.S. government should provide any care necessary to make sure that soldiers get what they need, and they are not !!!! If there are no soldiers to send over seas, then there would be no more traumatically injured soldiers to add to the already over tasked system. Then we could concentrate on taking care of the MILLIONS of soldiers that need care Right Now!!!

We should end these wars. And the only way to do that is to STOP the government from deploying any more troops. The war has to end. This must stop. Or travesties like these will continue to be perpetrated. And you know, what the government does not tell you won’t kill you!! Because Americans are so bred and groomed to Never Question your leaders and Never, by God, question your government because they take really great care of their own DON’T THEY!!! I will close with the following thoughts for you to ponder…

We are safe!
Your soldiers are being cared for!
We have the best health care in the world!
And your government has all of our best intentions in mind!
That this war is not about OIL, HALLIBURTON Contracts, and MONEY!
That if your son or daughter goes to Iraq or Afghanistan, and they come home injured that they are going to receive the BEST health care available, paid for by Your Tax Dollars and the U.S. Government…

Go to the Wounded Warrior Project and do something to help them

See Bob Woodruff’s Report at: ABC NEWS.COM 


Oprah's Leadership Academy

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There is one woman who changed my life, when I most needed it. After such long suffering it was she who led me to life again. And for years I have talked about her. I have shared with you many many lessons that I learned from her and her inspirations. Now on this night she introduced us, and the world, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

I wept watching this presentation. It was one of the most beautiful presentations that Oprah has presented, next to her Christmas Kindness project in Africa each Christmas. If you did not get a chance to see it, the special will be rebroadcast over the weekend.

Please, Get involved. Take some time to give back to the children of the generation to come, go to Oprah.Com and navigate your way to the Leadership Academy Page and help Oprah, help the children. There is so much we can do to give back. And if this is one part of our Lenten journey, it will be to understand what we have and how not to take it for granted. I wept for the strength of these wonderful and beautiful girls. My heart breaks for these girls to know the pain they have seen and lived through.

But you wouldn’t know, would you? How many of you know from Aids or HIV? how many of you have been directly affected by the disease? I am one of those people, so this story hit me right where it hurts the most. Children should not have to live through what these children have. It is my goal to give to the school whenever I can.

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Join Me on this journey and participate: Oprah’s Leadership Academy!!!

There is an Oprah button on my sidebar. Make one of your own and join us in building the future of the world. Do something today to make you feel proud…

Join Us.



A response from my Christian Origins Professor

From Dr. Matthew Anderson:

Dear students – here’s something that I wrote today in response to the news release this evening out of New York. I hope that you enjoy it and would welcome your feedback -

Concordia University
Dr. Matthew R. Anderson, Dept of Theological Studies, Dept of Religion
To my students:

Breaking News: The Tomb of Jesus

By the end of this first week back from our winter break, most of you will have heard about the press conference being held tonight (Monday Feb 27) in New York city, at which film-maker James Cameron (The Titanic) and our own Montreal-based documentary maker Simcha Jacobovici will unveil their discovery of the tomb of Jesus.

Wait a minute, you say. The tomb of Jesus? Wouldn’t that mean…? Well, yes. It would. No resurrection, certainly (a proposition of faith hotly debated from the beginning according to the New Testament itself). A deflating of two thousand years of pious belief and saintly prayers, not to mention a lot of fancy and very expensive Gothic architecture.

Like St. Paul said (in 1 Corinthians): “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.” Christians all over the world would be – if one believes the news – should be, wringing their hands.

But before arguing theology with Cameron and Jacobovici (and the Discovery Channel, which has a potential financial windfall riding on the winding up of this controversy), perhaps the actual facts of the “discovery” need revisiting:

Firstly, this is not the first TV special about this find. Ten years ago the BBC produced a similar but more modest program on the same “discovery”. In fact, the ossuaries in question, containing the names Jesus, Mary, and Judah among ten ossuaries in total, were “discovered” in Talpiot, a suburb south of Jerusalem in 1980, not 2007.

They were dated to the first entry, and likely do come from about the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. However, at the time of their discovery, and despite the names found on them, the burial boxes were considered rather unremarkable by Amos Kloner, the Jerusalem archaeologist and academic who first documented them. As he still maintains (see the Jerusalem Post article referred to below) the idea that the ossuary with the name of Jesus is the “bone-box” of the Christian’s Jesus of Nazareth is “nonsense”.

Among other arguments he raises several points likely to be under-stressed by the Discovery Channel: firstly, the names were extremely common in first century Judea, and secondly, Jesus was, as all the canonical Gospels agree, a Galilean, not a wealthy Jerusalemite, whose family was also Galilean.

But such objections will not likely stop the media frenzy surrounding the launching of the book “The Jesus Family Tomb” and the premiere of the film “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” to be aired March 4th on Discovery and March 6th on Vision TV. And that is likely the most germane point to be made about all this publicity.

It’s publicity.

It’s almost – one could say – Titanic-sized publicity. And as we all know, the more publicity, the more bums will be in seats to watch the Discovery Channel or Vision TV. What we will see will not likely be revolutionary. According to the Discovery channel’s own “news” release, the evidence is entirely circumstantial. To be fair, it cannot but be: when Discovery says that it is using DNA evidence to validate the find, whose DNA are they
using? There is simply no archaeological evidence of Jesus at all, for the very simple and very good reason that he was not important enough at the time to have left anything physically monumental behind.

Given what we think we know of his preaching, it is unlikely that Jesus would have left the world a monument even if he could have. The “Jesus’ Tomb” media launch, despite seeming very “scientific” and the very opposite of faith, actually shares a lot with the frantic medieval Christian fascination with relics. And as with the medieval peddler of “real” pieces of the cross (enough to build several ships, apparently), there is more than a little of the con-artist and huckster in the present-day circus. Given the huge financial windfall of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, it is not surprising that another of the ossuaries discovered is being labeled as Mary Magdalene’s, and another as the child of the happily-wedded couple.

It is all, one could say, rather too neat. Twenty-seven years after these bones were first uncovered, is it new evidence that will bring them out (they are presently on loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority)? Or is it, rather: a/ the proximity of Easter, always a good time to launch something controversial, such as last year’s Gospel of Judas, also launched in Lent; b/the nice tie-in to The Da Vinci Code and its theories of a Jesus – Magdalene family line, and c/the very credible hope of immense profits made on the backs of the religiously or non-religious gullible?

Frankly, it’s fun to have such media events, because they bring some controversy and excitement to the usually fairly-stuffy issue of the origins of Christianity. But the old adage, “buyer beware” should be our watchword if we take this launch too seriously. If we take Oscar-winners and Hollywood media interests on faith, our faith, like Paul says, may
well be in vain.

Dr. Anderson

Check it out for yourself: the Discovery Channel has a dedicated website/promotional site for its upcoming special on the Talpiot tomb:

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/tomb/tomb.html?dcitc=w99-502-ah-1024

Ron Cameron and here are two articles on the issue, the first from the Jerusalem Post, the second a “news” release from Discovery Channel:New film claims Jesus buried in Talpiot
By DAVID HOROVITZ

The Jerusalem Post

The Israeli-born, Canadian-based filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici is reigniting claims, first made over a decade ago, that a burial cave uncovered 27 years ago in Talpiot, Jerusalem, is the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. At a press conference in New York on Monday, the two-time Emmy winner Jacobovici and his team – including Hollywood director James Cameron – will detail claims that of 10 ossuaries found in the cave when it was discovered in 1980, six bear inscriptions identifying them as those of Jesus, his mother Mary, a second Mary (possibly Mary Magdalene), and relatives Matthew, Josa and Judah (possibly Jesus’s son). Their documentary will be screened this week in the US, UK, on Channel 8 in Israel and around the world. The producers are said to have worked on the project with world-renowned archeologists, statisticians and DNA specialists.

But Bar-Ilan University Prof. Amos Kloner, the Jerusalem District archeologist who officially oversaw the work at the tomb in 1980 and has published detailed findings on its contents, on Saturday night dismissed the claims. “It makes a great story for a TV film,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “But it’s impossible. It’s nonsense.”

Kloner, who said he was interviewed for the new film but has not seen it, said the names found on the ossuaries were common, and the fact that such apparently resonant names had been found together was of no significance. He added that “Jesus son of Joseph” inscriptions had been found on several other ossuaries over the years.

“There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb,” Kloner said. “They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle-class family from the 1st century CE.” A spokeswoman for the Israel Antiquities Authority had no comment herself on the documentary and referred inquiries to Kloner, who no longer works for the IAA.

The spokeswoman did say, however, that the IAA has loaned out two of the ossuaries that were found in the Talpiot tomb for display by the filmmakers at Monday’s New York press conference. She said it was a routine procedure to lend out such artifacts provided the borrowers complied with the necessary handling, transport and insurance requirements and that it did not signal any IAA authentication of claims made in the
documentary.

Kloner said the IAA had been “very foolish” to agree to the loan. “The left hand there doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” he said. The Daily Telegraph reported this weekend that the 10 ossuaries removed from the tomb when it was first excavated “were taken initially to the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Nine were catalogued and stored but the tenth was left outside in a courtyard.
That ossuary has subsequently gone missing.” But Kloner said the IAA routinely left ossuaries in the courtyard if they were not inscribed and were unremarkable, since it had no room for them all “under our roofs.” He added: “Nothing has disappeared.”

The Jacobovici documentary comes more than 10 years after similar speculation about the so-called Jesus family tomb made world headlines, prompting a London Sunday Times feature entitled “The Tomb that Dare Not Speak Its Name” and a BBC documentary.

The assertion that the ossuaries found in the Talpiot tomb were those of Jesus of Nazareth and family members was branded by The Sunday Times at the time as an archeological discovery “that challenges the very basis of Christianity.”

The makers of the documentary are refusing to discuss its content prior to their New York press conference. Also: the following “news” story, written by Jennifer Viegas, appears in
the Discovery Channel news, dateline February 25, 2007: Jesus Family Tomb Believed Found Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News Feb. 25, 2007 – New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world’s foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah. The DNA findings, alongside statistical conclusions made about the artifacts – originally excavated in 1980 – open a potentially significant chapter in Biblical archaeological history.

A documentary presenting the evidence, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” will premiere on the Discovery Channel on March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The documentary comes from executive producer James Cameron and director Simcha Jacobovici.

The Talpiot Tomb

On March 28, 1980, a construction crew developing an apartment complex in Talpiot, Jerusalem, uncovered a tomb, which archaeologists from the Israeli Antiquities Authority excavated shortly thereafter. Archaeologist Shimon Gibson surveyed the site and drew a layout plan. Scholar L.Y.

Rahmani later published “A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries” that described 10 ossuaries, or limestone bone boxes, found in the tomb. Scholars know that from 30 B.C. to 70 A.D., many people in Jerusalem would first wrap bodies in shrouds after death. The bodies were then placed in carved rock tombs, where they decomposed for a year before the bones were placed in an ossuary.

Five of the 10 discovered boxes in the Talpiot tomb were inscribed with names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament: Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph and Mary Magdalene. A sixth inscription, written in Aramaic, translates to “Judah Son of Jesus.”

“Such tombs are very typical for that region,” Aaron Brody, associate professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion and director of California’s Bade Museum told Discovery News.

Ossuary Inscriptions

At least four leading epigraphers have corroborated the ossuary inscriptions for the documentary, according to the Discovery Channel.Frank Moore Cross, a professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, told Discovery News,”The inscriptions are from the Herodian Period (which occurred from around1 B.C. to 1 A.D.). The use of limestone ossuaries and the varied scriptstyles are characteristic of that time.”

Jodi Magness, associate department chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Discovery News that, based on the New Testament writings, “Jesus likely lived during the firstcentury A.D.”

In addition to the “Judah son of Jesus” inscription, which is written in Aramaic on one of the ossuaries, another limestone burial box is labeled in Aramaic with “Jesus Son of Joseph.” Another bears the Hebrew inscription “Maria,” a Latin version of “Miriam,” or, in English, “Mary.” Yet another ossuary inscription, written in Hebrew, reads “Matia,” the
original Hebrew word for “Matthew.” Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It reads, “Mariamene e Mara,” which can be translated as, “Mary known as the master.”

Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University, told Discovery News, “Mariamene, or Mariamne, probably was the actual name given to Mary Magdalene.”

Bovon explained that he and a colleague discovered a fourteenth century copy in Greek of a fourth century text that contains the most complete version of the “Acts of Philip” ever found. Although not included in the Bible, the “Acts of Philip” mentions the apostles and Mariamne, sister of the apostle Philip.

“When Philip is weak, she is strong,” Bovon said. “She likely was a great teacher who even inspired her own sect of followers, called Mariamnists, who existed from around the 2nd to the 3rd century.” DNA Analysis Jacobovici, director, producer and writer of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” and his team obtained two sets of samples from the ossuaries for DNA and chemical analysis. The first set consisted of bits of matter taken from the “Jesus Son of Joseph” and “Mariamene e Mara” ossuaries. The second set consisted of patina – a chemical film encrustation on one of the limestone boxes.

The human remains were analyzed by Carney Matheson, a scientist at the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Mitochondrial DNA examination determined the individual in the Jesus ossuary and the person in the ossuary linked to Mary Magdalene were not related.

Since tombs normally contain either blood relations or spouses, Jacobovici and his team suggest it is possible Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple. “Judah,” whom they indicate may have been their son, could have been the “lad” described in the Gospel of John as sleeping in Jesus’ lap at the Last Supper.

Robert Genna, director of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York, analyzed both the patina taken from the Talpiot Tomb and chemical residue obtained from the “James” ossuary, which was also found around 1980, but subsequently disappeared and resurfaced in the antiquities market. Although controversy surrounds this burial box, Genna found that the two patinas matched.

“The samples were consistent with each other,” Genna told Discovery News. Upon examining the tomb, the filmmakers determined a space exists that would have fit the “James” ossuary. Given the patina match and this observation, Jacobovici theorizes the lost burial box could, in fact, be the “James” ossuary.

Statistical Data

A possible argument against the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb is that the collection of names on the ossuary inscriptions could be coincidental.

But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at the University of Toronto, recently conducted a study addressing the probabilities that will soon be published in a leading statistical journal.

Feuerverger multiplied the instances that each name appeared during the tomb’s time period with the instances of every other name. He initially found “Jesus Son of Joseph” appeared once out of 190 times, Mariamne appeared once out of 160 times and so on.

To be conservative, he next divided the resulting numbers by 25 percent, a statistical standard, and further divided the results by 1,000 to attempt to account for all tombs – even those that have not been uncovered – that could have existed in first century Jerusalem.

The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the conclusion works 599 times out of 600.

Another Tomb?

The researchers discovered a second, as-yet unexplored tomb about 65 1/2 feet from the Talpiot Tomb. During the documentary, they introduced a robotic camera into this second tomb, which captured the first-ever recorded footage of an undisturbed burial cave from Jesus’ time. The team speculates that this other tomb could contain the remains of additional family members, or even disciples, though further examination and analysis
are needed.

As Academy Award-winner Cameron said in a press release, “It doesn’t get bigger than this. We’ve done our homework; we’ve made the case; and now it’s time for the debate to begin.”


Bones of Jesus found, Canadian documentary claims

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CBC News

With 39 years of life as a Christian and 4 years of a Religious education in University taught by very reputable professors and teaching assistants, I will give you my take on this very tantalizing news. I also spent a year in a Catholic Seminary…

We must take this news with the same skepticism as researchers and scholars of the Christian and Judean faiths. If this is true then so be it. Many have spoken out against the find and give it no real credence. If your faith is grounded in reality and found in a solid foundation, news like this should not shake ones faith. We must wait for real “proof” of the reality and validity of these claims, which have begun some decades ago.

As Christians, we believe that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, died on the cross and was buried in a tomb, and on the third day he was resurrected from the dead AND that he ascended into heaven, where he sits at God’s right hand.

We should NOT question our faith, just because someone makes a BOLD claim such as this. We must look at every piece of evidence in light of location, time dating, academic and religious proof and finally scientific scrutiny. Religions are changing but the core beliefs we share should NOT! Jesus is Jesus and God is God, that will never change.

The academic and religious community will weigh in – and then the world will wait for a definitive answer. This should be no surprise, because when the DaVinci Code was released we talked about the possibility of Jesus, being married to Mary Magdalene and producing the child Sarah.

With the new Gnostic gospels coming forth into the discussion of religion and the further excavation of Holy cities, we may find new truths to add to the major monotheistic religions of the world. We cannot and should not discount any theory until we can either prove the theory or debunk it.

Your faith should be solid and not stirred by any archaeological find. Our faith is based on the teachings of the Church, what ever church you identify with. What ever faith you belong to, be that Muslim, Jewish or Christian.

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Titanic director James Cameron and Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici say they aren’t trying to undermine Christianity in their new documentary that claims the remains of Jesus, his wife, Mary Magdalene, and their child have been found.

Oscar-winner Cameron and Gemini-winner Jacobovici unveiled two limestone boxes they believe once contained the remains of Jesus and Mary Magdalene during a news conference Monday at the New York Public Library.

Cameron, best-known for producing the blockbuster movie Titanic, said the $4-million US documentary doesn’t set out to undermine Christianity.

“It’s very far from the case,” said Cameron. “What this does is celebrate the real-life existence of … this man, who, 2,000 years ago, had a vision and communicated it to people.”

The claim that the bones of Jesus have been found could challenge the Christian belief that Jesus died and was resurrected three days later.

Many Christians believe Jesus’ body was kept at the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City. The burial site identified in the documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighbourhood nowhere near the church.

Claims Nonsense, says experts

Rev. Canon William Cliff, rector and chaplain at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., said he’s “doubtful” about the claims in the documentary.

“The Christian faith has always believed that Jesus was resurrected, so there would be no bones,” said Cliff, who also teaches theology at the Anglican Church of Canada-affiliated college.

The Israeli-born, Canadian-raised Jacobovici said the documentary is not trying to answer any questions, but is intended to “bring the story to the world and let the experts weigh in.”

Jerusalem-based biblical expert Joe Zias called the documentary nonsense, saying those involved in the project have “no credibility whatsoever.”

“It’s an old story that’s been recycled. The story first broke in 1996 by the BBC. It burst in a couple of days,” Zias said.

A tomb such as the one discovered in 1980 would have held more than 200 ossuaries and there is no way to determine whether six of those boxes contained the remains of members of a single nuclear family, Zias said.

Ossuaries found in 1980

The documentary examines 10 ancient ossuaries, first found in a tomb by a construction crew working in the Jerusalem suburb of Talpiyot in 1980. Experts from the Israeli Antiquities Authority excavated the site shortly after, finding the 10 limestone boxes inside.

Six of the ten limestone boxes were inscribed with names that could be translated as Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph, Mary Magdalene and Judah, son of Jesus, said Jacobovici.

Some experts have countered these were common Jewish names at the time and that Jesus’ carpenter father couldn’t have afforded a crypt for his family.

While the bones found in the boxes were buried in a consecrated area in Jerusalem, Jacobovici said forensic experts can examine DNA material from human residue.

Jacobovici sent samples from the Jesus and Mary Magdalene ossuaries to the paleo-DNA lab at Ontario’s Lakehead University, one of five labs in the world that can extract DNA from ancient material.

The tests showed the remains in the Jesus ossuary were not linked to the remains in the Mary Magdalene ossuary through their maternal sides, he said.

Tombs from that time usually contained blood relatives and spouses, leading the filmmakers to believe Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple. The filmmakers said testing is continuing to determine whether the two were related through their paternal side.

Patinas match ‘James’ ossuary

The filmmakers also tested the patinas — the chemical film encrusting the limestone boxes — at the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York.

They say the samples from the Talpiyot ossuaries matched the patina of the controversial James ossuary, first found around 1980.

The Israeli owner of the James ossuary made the limestone box public in 2002, saying its inscription — “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” — proved its authenticity.

Israel’s Antiquities Authority has declared the inscription fake and Israeli police have charged the ossuary’s owner, Oded Golan, with forgery.

The Lost Tomb of Christ airs on Discovery on Friday and on Canada’s Vision TV on Sunday.

With files from the Canadian Press


The Third Stage … Trust

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(Photo Credit)

Genesis 15-18 The covenant of God with Abraham ; A son is promised _ Genèse 15-18 L’alliance de Dieu avec Abraham . Un fils est promis.

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9_Zwirner_Synagogue de Cologne…Comme les etoiles Synagogue de Cologne GlockengasseVue interieure 1861 Chrompolithographie Cologne Kollnishes Stadtmuseum Gabrielle Sed Rajna L’Art Juif

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We, too, have been summoned to [like Abraham by God] and are sustained along the journey of faith by that same faithful Lord. There remain many things we do not understand and other we long to know more about. Yet, in the end, the total trustworthyness of God sustains us along that long and difficult journey.

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of the trustworthiness of that God and His immense and overflowing love for us. So we turn to consider another landmark that guides us as we travel.

Landmark: Redemption

Many Christians understand that they have been redeemed by Christ but have failed to appreciate the enormous implications of this fundamental gospel theme. We must not treat our redemption in Christ simply as an idea we understand. We need to go deeper – much deeper.

To being with, we need to STOP treating the cross of Christ as just a slogan or a theological formula and grasp it as a life-changing event. Clear your mind of every irrelevant thought and begin to focus on Christ dying on the cross, gradually filling in the fine detail around it. Allow the cross to impact on your emotions, not just on your intellect.

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In closing we return to the words of Martin Luther who said “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” Have we allowed our career, our finances, or our status to become our God by making these things into the things in which we trust and which we constantly think about?

Lex Orandi – Lex Cred Endi … What we pray is what we believe…

Issac Watts ( 1674-1748 ) writes:

Have we allowed our career, our finances, or our status to become our God by making these into the things in which we trust and which we constantly think about? Watts words challenge us:

“Where the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all

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Goodnight from Montreal …
We are a teaching ahead now, more tomorrow…

Ta Ta For Now…


Oasis – Rest …

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It is important as we journey along the road of faith to remember that we need to stop to rest, to pray, to devote time to God, to pray and more importantly, to Meditate. Because when we pray, we do all the talking, when we meditate, we allow the Lord [God] to speak to us. And how many of us make time to just sit and listen for His voice, amid the business of the day?

We find these themes of human tiredness and divine renewal in one of the great prophetic visions of the Old Testament (Isaiah 40:39-41)

[The Lord] gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of thr weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
And young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength,
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk, and not be faint.

This great vision of the divine renewal of those who wait on the Lord is enormously comforting and reassuring. “Many of those who begin the Christian journey with great enthusiasm and excitement find that they run out of energy and can no longer cope with its demands.”

“My soul finds rest in God alone” (Psalm 62:1)

We need to make space for God in our lives. If we don’t, we will simply become so busy that we exclude God. If we are so busy that we don’t have time to enjoy the radiance of God’s presence, we are dishonoring God.

The Command to observe a day of rest (Exodus 20:8-11) is not some optional extra that can be discounted by those with busy lives. It is just as important as other commandments.


Overheard on the Late Late Weather

Significant snow is on the schedule for Thursday and Friday… SIGNIFICANT!!!


Wilderness – Failure / Hitchhiking…

God has a long history of taking self-confessed failures and doing great things through them. Perhaps when we fail, we are most receptive to the grace of God.

Paul had to learn that lesson the hard way. He tells us that God chose humble him through a “thorn in the flesh” (2Cor 12:1-10) – perhaps an illness that prevented him from carrying out some of the missionary undertakings he had planned. He needed to be taught not to trust in his won strength but to rely on God. In his weakness, he heard God speak these words “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” Failure discloses our weakness and helps us discover God’s power.

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Hitchhiking a ride: Alexander MacLaren

Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910) was one of the greatest Scottish preachers of the nineteenth century, even if his ministry took place virtually in England. He writes for us:

 The classic example of [failure] this is the cross of Christ. The world regarded Christ’s death on the cross as a failure; in reality, it was a victory over the world. MacLaren insists that we learn from this seminal insight and take courage. “The way to overcome our troubles is to bear them; the way to conquer our crosses is willingly to lay them on our shoulders.” Christ has overcome the world; we share in that victory.

Those who experience the pain and grief of failure are encouraged to look to the cross and find comfort and consolation in Christ:

Put your trust in Him as the sacrifice for your sins, and as the spirit of your lives you look to Him not only as example, not only as pattern, but as power; you think of Him, not only as dying on the cross for you, but as living in you, and then you will find, as sure as He lives, you will find that He has conquered, and that His conquest is for you …

So be of good cheer; you will have to fight, thank God for it; you will have to fight; you will be beaten as sure as you live if you try to master the world without Jesus; but if you will lay your hands by faith on the Lamb of God, and if you will open your hearts and lives to the influence of His triumphant Spirit, then He will give you a share in His conflict, His conquest, and His royal repose.

Failure is so easily seen in worldly terms, as something purely negative. For MacLaren, it is the key to spiritual growth. Yesterday’s failure is today’s ooportunity for growth, which leads to tomorrow’s success. It reminds us of our need to recognize our weakness and to realize our need to trust in God – not ourselves!

As we struggle along the road of faith, we will encounter failure – sometimes our own failures, sometimes the failure of others. We need to confront them; yet we need also to learn from them. We must keep learning as we travel – ;earning more about the God who so loves us and also about ourselves.

John Calvin reminds us that true wisdom consists of knowing God and knowing ourselves.

As we travel, we come to learn more about ourselves. We discover strengths and weaknesses we had not known before. MacLaren asks us to identify these weaknesses and ensure that they become points of growth and grounds for hope.

MacLaren thus encourages us to trust in the promise of Christ and to realize that by faith we share in a victory the world regarded as a defeat. His sermon ended with the following stirring words – they may encourage us as we struggle through the wilderness.

“To him the overcomes will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I overcame, and am sat down with My Father on His throne.”

And encouraged by this reminder of our final goal, we prepare to press onward…


What a Mess!!! Oscars 2007

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3 hours – 48 minutes on Canadian Feed Television. What a mess of a broadcast. We lost the feed internationally at 48 minutes into the broadcast for 5 minutes. Ellen was a good host, but I have to say this telecast was a bit disjointed. It was, for me, all over the place, it was messy and sloppy. Those up the aisle “try to be funny” moment with Scorcese and Eastwood were unnecessary.

Not to mention all those God Damned “montages” and “preformance art!” Waste of time… Ben Mulroney said on CTV news that she was a great host, that she brought her tv show persona to the telecast, which I can agree with, but some of the humor was stupid. The whole pijama, that’s our show, and the vacuum bit before Resse Witherspoon took the stage was insulting and not funny. I found that to be unnecessary – yes, the show was running LOOONG, but the vacuum was unnecessary!

There were many upsets tonight and my ballot had more X’s than Checks! Eddie Murphy did not win, Alan Arkin snuk in there, what an upset after that entire Barbara Walter’s build up to the show!! What an upset. He should have won.

Kiss my Ass Simon Cowell, Look Jennifer won the OSCAR, HAHAHAHAH Who’s yer daddy!!! Fantabulous. And the performance of the Dream Girls was incredible. And wouldn’t you know it, Forest Whitaker really had words to share, his speech was amazing. Mrs. Mirren, what a joy, as the Queen.

Three incredible movies. Three incredible winners.

I really did not get into Little Miss Sunshine, yet she won a few awards. Los Tres Amigos won a slew of awards across the board for Pan’s Labrynth, The Lives of Others, and The Blood of Yingzhou District.

And finally Melissa Etheridge won for “I need to wake up” and Mr. Vice President Al Gore for An Inconvenient Truth. It was great to see her perform. I love Melissa, and her music so much, she is a true survivor. I think Leonardo was hoping that Mr. Vice President would have announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States, alas, he did not. But Will he later, is the question???

I enjoyed seeing the stars and watching the Oscars, but I think that maybe they need to resurrect Billy Crystal to host from now on. Virgins in the driver seat seem to have a handicap, and the fact that here they only gave a 3 hour block for the telecast and it ran 3 hours 48 minutes. Ellen did ok, but I was expecting a more polished presentation. It was a disappointment.

But we must mention that a GAY WOMAN hosted the Oscars and the Lesbians were well represented tonight !!!! A proud moment for the LGBT Community at large. We have arrived and we hosted the 79th Annual Academy Awards.

Now for the Results … The Bold winners were my choices on my ballot, the regular print winners – were “winners.”

Best motion picture of the year

THE DEPARTED

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Performance by an actor in a leading role

Forest Whitaker – THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

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Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin – LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
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Performance by an actress in a leading role

Helen Mirren – THE QUEEN

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Performance by an actress in a supporting role –

Isn’t it Ironic that Jennifer Hudson was awarded the Oscar on the same stage where the American Idol is crowned each season!!!

Jennifer Hudson – DREAMGIRLS

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Achievement in art direction

PAN’S LABYRINTH

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Achievement in cinematography

PAN’S LABYRINTH

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Achievement in costume design

MARIE ANTOINETTE

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Achievement in directing –

Fantastic, Martin Scorsese, the drought is over….

THE DEPARTED

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Best Documentary Feature

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

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Best documentary short subject

THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT

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Achievement in film editing

THE DEPARTED

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Best Animated Short

The Danish Poet – A Montrealer won this Oscar

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Best foreign language film of the year

THE LIVES OF OTHERS

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Achievement in makeup

PAN’S LABYRINTH

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Achievement in music written for a motion picture (Original Score)

BABEL

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Best Documentary Feature

An Inconvenient Truth

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Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“I Need to Wake Up” – AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

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Adapted screenplay

THE DEPARTED

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Original Screenplay

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE


Tonight is Oscar's Night

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I got out of bed this afternoon, singing Billy Crystal…

“Oh, it’s a Wonderful night for the Oscars, Oscar Oscar… Who will win?”

I’m so silly. I have the next portion of the journey ready to post, from last night’s reading. And I had a serious prayer jam session around 5 a.m. this morning, just me and the Almighty, it was divine.

See you after the Oscars…

Gotta get my tux out of the closet for the festivities…

NOOOT!!!


Hitchhiking along…

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(St. Francis of Assisi)

Psalm 63 Brings out the yearning for spiritual refreshment after an exhausting struggle along the road of faith:

O God, you are my God
Earnestly I seek you
My soul thirsts for you
My body longs for you
In a dry and weary land
Where there is no water

This Psalm makes the point that it is God alone who can refresh and renew us along the journey of faith. Just as the exertions of physical travel cause us to hunger and thirst for food and drink, the journey of faith must be sustained by the living God.

We can develop this idea of being nourished on the road of faith by meditating on the two New Testament themes that emphasize the need to be sustained by Christ throughout that journey. Both these themes are found in John’s gospel; taken together, they provide a rich and reassuring insight into our journey.

First, Jesus speaks of giving us water, which becomes “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Second, Jesus speaks of being the “bread of life” (John 6:51). Unlike the manna given to Israel in the wilderness, anyone who eats this bread will be satisfied fully and will live forever. Ordinary bread leads to death; this bread leads to eternal life.

Worship refreshes us precisely because it forces us to raise our eyes upwards and appreciate the immensity and grandeur of our maker and redeemer. And excited and invigorated by this vision, we return to the Christian life with a new sense of commitment and renewed energy.

Hitching a Ride: J.I. Packer…

J.I. Packer would find his calling not so much as an academic theologian but as one with a rare and important gift for making theology and spirituality more accessible to a wide readership.

“It is a wonderful thing that we have the privilege of knowing God. yet there is something even more astonishing that we must grasp and treasure – That God knows us. Even before we were born, God knew us.

God Knows us (Psalm 139:1) Imagine being known, warts and all (to use Oliver Cromwell’s famous phrase). For some, this is a deeply threatening idea. Yet, to others, including myself, this is a deeply reassuring thought.

“When we pray, we don’t need to pretend about anything. We don’t need to live in some make believe world in which we constantly struggle to live up to the image we have created for ourselves. In prayer, we enter into the caring presence of one who created us and knows us through and through. We come as we are, asking God to make us what he would have us be, entrusting ourselves to the one who can heal and renew us.”

Psalm 121:

I life my eyes to the hills -
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you -
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.

**For Beverly and Sam and Whitney and Scotty B-goodie!!!**


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