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Anniversary of a miracle — the gift of eating

April 30, 2011 --

One year ago today, April 28, 2010, my blog was titled “Rejoice With Me.”  Anniversary
John Stumbo’s Blog
Salem Alliance Church, Oregon

Peter, a friend of mine, dubbed it better,

“The Swallow Heard ‘Round the World.”

After not eating, drinking or swallowing anything since November of 2008, God touched me in what I now call “The Miracle on I-64.” Thousands of people logged on to read the story and hundreds responded to celebrate with us. It was a memorable, memorable day.

That night, overjoyed and overwhelmed, I reported my first day’s intake: Twelve hours have now passed. I have been eating steadily– in tiny increments, sometimes with great effort and occasionally with choking–but eating. Total consumed: 8 ounces of yogurt, 1/3 of a banana, four saltines, some orange juice, one Wendy’s Vanilla Frosty and to finish it off, a half cup of chili. Not bad for a rookie, eh?

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Family-Faith Film Review: Fast Five

April 29, 2011 --

Family-Faith Film Review: Fast Five
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

Fast Five: An all-star cast culled from the previous four films in the action-oriented franchise that began with 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” — most prominently Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, along with newcomer Dwayne Johnson — reunite in Rio de Janeiro for more speeding cars, gunplay and a heist of millions of dollars from a corrupt Brazilian police chief (Joaquim de Almeida). Director Justin Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan keep the pace predictably rapid, with occasional comedic dialogue to indicate that no one’s taking the proceedings all that seriously. Much gun and physical violence, a premarital pregnancy, a few instances of profanity, frequent crude and crass language, and fleeting sexual banter. A-III — adults. (PG-13) 2011

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Family-Faith Film Review: Water for Elephants

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Family-Faith Film Review: Water for Elephants
By Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting

Water for Elephants: Life under the big top is not all clowns and cotton candy in this lavish but morally flawed period drama, adapted from Sara Gruen’s eponymous novel. In the depths of the Great Depression, a promising veterinary student (Robert Pattinson), whose dreams have been shattered by fate, jumps a train and inadvertently lands in the midst of a traveling circus. Though his knowledge of animals soon draws the attention of the enterprise’s loathsome owner (Christoph Waltz), disaster looms when the newcomer falls for the star of the show (Reese Witherspoon) who turns out to be the boss’ wife. From there, the operatic proceedings barrel along to a shocking climax. While artfully conceived and well acted, director Francis Lawrence’s film accepts — and even glamorizes — adultery, albeit within the context of an extreme situation. Intense violence, including murder and animal abuse, nongraphic but implicitly condoned adultery, partial nudity, at least one use of profanity, two crude terms. O — morally offensive. (PG-13) 2011

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War hero speaks at Good Friday event (Video)

April 28, 2011 --

By Open Arms International,

The fifth annual Portland Good Friday Breakfast was a great success. Thank you to those who attended and sponsored. We trust you were blessed by Captain Plumb’s inspiring message. Please enjoy this video of Captain Plumb’s presentation. It is our hope that you will share it with your friends and family!
Click below to watch:

Good Friday Breakfast – Charlie Plumb Video from Open Arms International on Vimeo.

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Oregon bill to protect children from digital exploitation

April 27, 2011 --

House passes HB 2463: Protecting Children in the Digital Age
By Oregon Family Council

No respectable human being could justify child pornography. Neither liberal nor conservative, democrat nor republican, male nor female. No one. It’s an offense that transcends every notion of basic decency. The offense is so heinous, in fact, that Oregon law requires medical professionals, educators, licensed counselors, even pastors and attorneys to report any evidence of child pornography to the authorities, 24 hours a day.

And why are these professions in particular being singled out for mandatory reporting? Because often they are in a position where confidentiality would otherwise forbid them from reporting. Now, by law they are free to do the just thing: expose the crime and protect the child. Just as any citizen should.

Imagine for a minute it were your child or grandchild being subjected to sexual abuse. Wouldn’t you be outraged if someone knew about it and did nothing? That’s a crime in itself.

The Oregon House of Representatives apparently agrees. On March 15th, they unanimously passed House Bill 2463.

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Ministry finds innovative way to help Libya

April 26, 2011 --

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
As seen on Liquid Cloud Eleven

HISG has successfully delivered a truckload of food supplies to Benghazi, Libya to alleviate the food shortage in the country. The shipment contained 20 metric tons of milk and flour to re-stock local bakeries in Benghazi. Often in this type of food crisis, local people begin to believe that the only way they will survive is with handouts from international relief agencies. However, by supplying local shops instead of simply handing out the food, HISG is empowering the community to take true ownership of the project, and allowing local businesses to lead the way in meeting the needs of the people.

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Vandals wreck Easter service for tiny Salem church

April 25, 2011 --

Salem Bible Church cancels Easter  due to vandals
By Oregon Christian Post

On the day before Easter a group of teen vandals broke into the Salem Bible Church and ransacked the place.   So damaging was the vandalism that the church had to cancel Easter service into a clean-up. A beer bottle was thrown through a  window, the cross was torn from the wall and graffiti was sprayed on the church walls.

Police were alerted about the break in and were able to arrive on the scene and arrest the vandals.  About five teens were involved with some of them as young as 13 and 14.

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Easter Eggs vs. Spring Spheres goes national

April 23, 2011 --

Oregon Faith News Note: Last week we ran a popular article entitled Easter Eggs renamed Spring Spheres which was about a local NW school choosing to censor the word Easter Egg in favor of a more harmless Spring Spheres. This story has been all over the radio and television news. Our favorite response was the National Post commentator Matt Gurney who has since been requoted in many newspapers.

Matt Gurney: The argument against calling them Easter eggs, of course, is that that might lead kids to ask what Easter is, which could lead—gasp!—to having to reference the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion. . . .

It’s reasonable to keep religious preaching out of schools. It’s silly to try and pretend that Christianity doesn’t exist in the hope of not offending someone who’s not content to simply raise their children in a non-Christian faith (or no faith at all), but must actually try and pretend that there is no faith. . . .

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Family-Faith Film Review: Scream 4

April 22, 2011 --

Family-Faith Film Review: Scream 4
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

Scream — The latest installment in director Wes Craven’s slasher franchise, begun in 1996, wallows in the same mindless havoc that characterized its predecessors. Trouble brews anew when the survivor of the first three rampages (Neve Campbell) returns home to Woodsboro while promoting her new book about the highly publicized saga. Alongside other returning characters — such as Courtney Cox’s journalist and David Arquette’s sheriff — the next generation of potential victims is using new-media tools to absorb and recycle the formulaic mayhem wrought by the killer known as “Ghostface.” The line “sick is the new sane” aptly summarizes the profanity-riddled, blood-soaked proceedings of this deeply cynical — if admittedly well-constructed — horror flick. Excessive gory violence; pervasive rough, crude and crass language; some profanity and sexual banter; and two scenes of underage drinking. O — morally offensive. (R) 2011

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Family-Faith Film Review: The Conspirator

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Family-Faith Film Review: The Conspirator
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

The Conspirator: Engrossing historical drama, set in the final days of the Civil War, in which a Union Army officer-turned-lawyer (James McAvoy) is called upon to defend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), the pro-Confederate widow in whose Washington boardinghouse John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators — including her own son John (Johnny Simmons) — plotted to kill Abraham Lincoln. Initially convinced of his client’s guilt, the attorney’s views shift as he witnesses the ruthless maneuvering of the prosecution team (led by Danny Huston) at her military tribunal. His new outlook leads to friendship with Mary’s daughter Anna (Evan Rachel Wood) but alienates the powerful secretary of war (Kevin Kline) as well as the young barrister’s socialite fiancee (Alexis Bledel). In recounting an episode with obvious implications for contemporary debates about the proper treatment of accused terrorists, director Robert Redford avoids heavy-handed politicking. Instead, his portrait of a protagonist admirably committed to the rule of law is made all the more effective by the fair assessment of those with other legitimate priorities. A similarly balanced approach characterizes the portrayal of Surratt’s devout Catholic faith. Possibly acceptable for older teens. Some wartime gore, a realistic hanging, a couple of crude and crass terms. A-III — adults. (PG-13) 2011

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