When you’re grieving or going through hardship, do you turn to the Bible for help? When we reach out to God’s Word to help us through difficult times, it’s a comfort to learn that many heroes of the faith faced the same sorts of pain, loss, and grief—and record promises and truths that we can apply to our own situations.

I’ve chosen four Bible passages below that communicate a simple but powerful truth: God will not and does not forget us. It’s easy to slip into despair and loneliness when life overwhelms, but the writers of the Bible repeatedly remind us that God is always there.

1. Matthew 10:29-30

For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. —Matthew Have you ever wondered how an infinite God could possibly care about a single person? In this passage, Jesus confirms that God does care about us. God cares actively about every corner of His Creation; if he keeps tabs on every sparrow, how much more would He care about a person made in His own image?

 

2. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season,

a time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to search and a time to quit searching.

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate.

A time for war and a time for peace. —Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT)

There’s a reason behind everything that happens, good or ill—and God understands our pain and sorrow from a perspective that we don’t always perceive until after the fact (if ever). We should fully expect to live through “seasons” of grief… and we should remember that they’re passing storms.

 

3. Psalm 30:8-12

I cried out to you, Lord.

I begged my Lord for mercy:

“What is to be gained by my spilled blood,

by my going down into the pit?

Does dust thank you?

Does it proclaim your faithfulness?

Lord, listen and have mercy on me!

Lord, be my helper!”

You changed my mourning into dancing.

You took off my funeral clothes

and dressed me up in joy

so that my whole being

might sing praises to you and never stop.

Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. — Psalm 30:8-12 (CEB)

The Psalms are filled with desperate pleas to God to remember His people in their distress. Here, the psalmist testifies to God’s healing power: he turned “mourning into dancing.” Have you ever experienced a transformation so profound?

 

4. Deuteronomy 31:8

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. —Deuteronomy 31:8

What could anyone add to this promise? God is with us; He sees despair, and He promises to be with us throughout our seasons of grief.

erie algaelake

By Victoria Jaggard

With the water ban lifted, more than 400,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio, area are once again able to turn on their taps. But the bloom of toxic algae in Lake Erie isn’t going away anytime soon, and the troublesome scum serves as a warning that one of the largest supplies of fresh water in the United States is in trouble.

“These blooms are not going to be eradicated in the short term,” says Timothy Davis, a researcher at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They are a symptom of a larger problem: a lot of our lakes are sick, and so you get these harmful events occurring.”

Blooms of the toxic algae Microcystis are fed by phosphorus running into the Great Lakes from nearby farms, which use the nutrient as fertilizer. The algal menace has been popping up every year in the western basin of Lake Erie since the early 2000s.

The blooms have been getting worse in the past few years thanks to three main influences, says Gary Fahnenstiel, a researcher at the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan:

Warmer average temperatures in the lake mean longer growing seasons for algae and bigger, more persistent blooms.

Climate change has also increased the intensity of regional storms, and heavier rains wash more phosphorus from the fields into the lake.

Zebra and quagga mussels native to Eastern Europe found their way into Lake Erie via ballast water from cargo boats. These mussels feed on phytoplankton, but they reject the toxic Microcystis, while excreting nutrients that fuel the growth of the bad algae. This has created an ecosystem where the toxic terrors can thrive at higher concentrations than they otherwise would.

Despite the severity of recent blooms, Toledo’s water troubles this month can be mostly attributed to bad luck, Fahnenstiel says.  “Other water intakes in the western basin had no problems during this crisis,” he says. “Toledo just happened to have algae congregate near the intake pipes, and I’m not sure why. There is something unique here that allowed them to have a water issue.”

Unusually high winds – another effect of climate change — are the most likely culprit, Davis says. Normally the algae float on the surface of the water, suspended several feet above the intake pipes that send drinking water to nearby towns. But winds can churn the water and mix algae deeper into the lake.

“We had high winds out of the north that drove the bloom to the south shore, and algae congregated around the water intake,” he says. Water treatment facilities can remove some of the algae from water being piped in, and then can filter out any remaining toxin with activated carbon, Davis says. In Toledo’s case, the amount of algae that reached the intake pipes caught water managers off guard, and they probably did not use enough carbon to handle the load.  The water ban was unusual. But if the blooms are not eradicated, such events may become more regular occurrences in Toledo and other cities that draw fresh water from the basin, says Carol Stepien, director of the Lake Erie Center at the University of Toledo.  Last September, an especially bad bloom forced officials to enact a water ban in Carroll Township, to the east of Toledo, that affected about 2,000 people. And with this year’s bloom predicted to be severe, Stepien thinks the situation is ripe to repeat in the coming weeks.

“We’re not even in the peak of the bloom season yet. That usually happens around the end of August to mid-September. So I would expect this will happen again,” she says.  Things could get even more dire in future years, Davis says: “Right now, scientists are predicting that warmer temperatures and more nutrient loading will cause blooms of greater size and greater toxicity that last longer.” That’s why several projects are already under way to help control pollution while still maintaining local agriculture and supporting farmers, he says.

“We’re trying to use high-tech systems, like being able to scan fields with satellite imagery to see where the ground is already saturated with nutrients, so farmers can only use the levels of fertilizer they need,” Davis says.

Aside from the risks to drinking water, surface algae can still be a danger to pets and to recreational swimmers, making the blooms a critical issue for any affected waterway, including the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Stepien added.  “I’m looking out my window now and the lake is very pretty,” she says. “But when I get up close I can see the greenish tinge. We need stricter regulations, enforcement, and more research dollars. We’ve known exactly what we need to do for some time, and we need to do it now.”

While he believes the water ban in Toledo was a one-off event, Fahnenstiel thinks the extreme situation could spur action to clean up the basin and better manage runoff.  “It typically takes a crisis to get people to do things. This may be the crisis that will help stimulate movement to control phosphorus in the basin,” he says.

Local MDs urge parents to add eye exams to “back-to-school” checklist

By Cheryl L. Dejewski

Parents do everything they can to give their children the best possible start for school, including providing the right supplies, nutrition and encouragement. But are they forgetting to focus on another key factor to a child’s educational and social development?

A look at the statistics

“It is estimated that 80 percent of learning happens visually for most children. Unfortunately, though, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, one in 20 preschoolers and five in 20 school-aged children have an eye problem,” says Mark Freedman, MD, senior partner at Eye Care Specialists ophthalmology practice. Freedman delivers more alarming news, “Some of these problems could lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated, yet nearly 80 percent of preschoolers aren’t screened. And, for older children, annual physicals and school screenings may catch the need for glasses, but they aren’t usually equipped to detect vision-threatening problems of the retina, optic nerve and eye muscles.”

When to have an

eye exam

Dr. Brett Rhode, Head of Ophthalmology at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, recommends, “All children should have a professional eye exam before age five and then periodically throughout their school years to detect and treat such problems as amblyopia and strabismus (“lazy” and “crossed” eyes), near- and farsightedness (difficulty seeing far away or up close), ptosis (drooping of the upper lid that blocks vision), and congenital or inherited disorders (like cataracts or glaucoma).”

Early detection can be crucial. For example, amblyopia is a serious disorder in which the brain “shuts off” images from a weaker or misaligned eye.  The problem is often corrected by temporarily patching the stronger eye. If not treated by age 8 or 9, however, the condition can become permanent.

Besides scheduling regular exams, you should also have your child checked if they frequently squint, rub their eyes, cross one or both eyes, tilt their head, hold books too close, or experience pain, flashes of light, spots, distorted lines, excessive tearing, dry eyes, itching or burning.

Dr. Michael Raciti, an eye care specialist who sees patients of all ages at offices in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and West Allis, reminds parents that, “If your child is diagnosed as needing glasses, remember to be sensitive to his or her feelings. This can be a traumatic experience. Peer pressure, your child’s age, and your approach will affect his or her attitude toward wearing glasses. Depending on your budget and your child’s prescription and maturity level for following safe cleaning and wearing instructions, contact lenses may be an option.”

Proper Vision Care  = Eye Exams + Safety Precautions.

México.- Para el arquero bajacaliforniano Luis “Abuelo” Álvarez las medallas que consiguió México en la cuarta Copa Mundial de Tiro con Arco en Polonia, son reflejo del trabajo y preparación previo a dicho compromiso.

Con muestras de cansancio producto del largo viaje, Álvarez Murillo recalcó que el hecho de que en fechas recientes se destaque más en competencias por equipos no significa que no busquen el podio en individuales.

El bajacaliforniano resaltó que “en Polonia simplemente tuvimos una buena ronda por equipos, en el aspecto individual también tiramos bien, pero la diferencia es que llegamos a las finales por equipo”.

Indicó que no es algo que les preocupe, “para eso hay más competencias, y para eso entrenamos tan fuerte, los resultados vendrán solos, pues serán producto de mucho entrenamiento y de poner el corazón en cada uno de nuestros tiros al blanco”.

Por otra parte, sobre si los resultados en Polonia podrían ser un buen parámetro para el Campeonato del Mundo que se celebrará en Croacia, resaltó que “todavía falta mucho para ello, debemos seguir entrenando y aprendiendo”.

Finalmente, al hablar sobre el equipo nacional, destacó que entre sus integrantes hay una gran armonía y camaradería, y “con todo el tiempo que hemos pasado juntos los compañeros se han convertido en nuestra familia”.

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Distrito Federal— Cristiano Ronaldo enfrenta el dedo acusador de la modelo británica Rhian Sugden, quien reveló que el astro del futbol la ha perseguido con mensajes de texto.  La estrella portuguesa e integrante del Real Madrid ha rechazado la versión de la belleza de 27 años, a quien conoció supuestamente en un restaurante en Manchester.  La historia, seguida por medios británicos, asegura que Cristiano le pidió el teléfono a Rhian para mantener el contacto, pero comenzó a mandarle insistentes mensajes, algunos de ellos subidos de tono.

El acoso llegó a tal grado que Rhian cambió varias veces de número, pero el futbolista los conseguía e insistía en verla.  La británica, quien mantiene desde el año pasado una relación con el actor Oliver Mellor (‘Coronation Street’), es conocida por sus candentes sesiones fotográficas, e incluso ha realizado algunos desnudos.

La polémica para el también conocido como CR7 (por sus iniciales y su número de playera en el Real Madrid) lo persigue, pues se dio a conocer que hace unos días contrató a Paris Hilton como DJ.

En 2009, la socialité y el futbolista fueron captados en una fiesta en Los Ángeles, unas imágenes que dieron la vuelta al mundo, en especial porque Hilton declaró que Cristiano era gay.  Este fin de semana, medios portugueses difundieron que el futbolista contrató a Hilton para que fungiera como DJ en su discoteca Seven, enclavada en un complejo hotelero de lujo en Algarve, en una sesión que se realizaría ayer.

Apenas en diciembre pasado, Hilton declaró, sin tapujos, que es una de las DJs mejor pagadas del mundo. Y parece que es cierto.  De acuerdo con varios medios españoles, la también actriz cobró por cuatro noches de trabajo como DJ en Ibiza 2 millones de euros (unos 35 millones de pesos).

“Ha ganado dos millones de euros por las cuatro noches en Amnesia, 260 mil por hora. Los asistentes parecen pasárselo bien, pero es cierto que la mayoría de ellos están tan colgados que no se dan cuenta de que ella se limita a darle al play a un megamix de Beyoncé”, aseguró una fuente al periódico inglés The Sun.

La multimillonaria se estrenó el miércoles pasado en la Main Room de Amnesia, en la primera de las cuatro fiestas Foam&Diamonds que protagonizará todos los miércoles de agosto, acompañada por los DJ’s residentes Caal Smile y Les Schmitz.

Posteriormente paseará en las cabinas de discotecas de Barcelona, Saint Tropez, Portugal, Atlantic City, Corea del Sur y Marbella.

takingsidesIncumbent representative JoCasta Zamarripa, with all the major endorsements, union backing, special interest cash and support of networks like Voces de la Frontera only received 61% of the vote to move on to the general election to face off against a Republican challenger. 61%.  Zamarippa received 678 votes while Manriquez received 438 votes.

According to Zamarripa’s financial statement she spent $13,396.09 for this primary campaign. Zamarripa reports that she collected a total of $21,407.70 for this campaign.  Not a very good showing for an incumbent who was challenged by Laura Manriquez who received 39%. Manriquez had no cash, no endorsements, is recovering from serious ankle and head injury, but was still able to get the support of real grass roots community people. Manriquez spent a total of $118.52.  Laura Manriquez has had to deal with obstacles in the last three attempts against Zamarripa.

Laura Manriquez 2014

Obstacles and Tragedy

In 2010, Manriquez challenged Zamarripa only to have her campaign derailed by a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. The published report clearly hurt Manriquez’ chance when it reported that Manriquez had state tax warrants issued against her.  In the article, Georgia Pabst,  journalist  for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS), the newspaper received a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting that year, defamed Manriquez when Pabst wrote that Manriquez had state warrants issued against her for not paying over $70,000.00 in state taxes.

The article also stated that Manriquez was married and that she and her husband were in grave financial trouble.   Pabst reported about another Laura Manriquez living in the South side at the time.  Pabst published the article despite the fact that Manriquez wrote an email response to Pabst’s question about the tax issue. Manriquez wrote in her email response to Pabst that she did not know what she was talking about.  MJS had Pabst rewrite the article and issue a correction after the Manriquez campaign complained to MJS editors. But the damage to Manriquez’ reputation had been done.

“When that article was released, all the work I did during the campaign went for not. Many voters contacted me told me they were not supporting me. Even after I explained that was not me, many voters asked why would MJS publish information about me like that without checking it out first”, Manriquez said.

In 2012, Manriquez challenged Zamarripa again. However, tragedy befell Manriquez when her son was tragically killed by a hit and run driver.  “The loss of my son was more than I could bear that year”, said Manriquez.  After the death of her son, the campaign fizzled.  This primary election Manriquez decided to challenge Zamarripa once again.

Despite having broken her ankle in three places, while working in the city forestry division, and having metal plate and screws affixed in her ankle after surgery, Manriquez filed her nomination papers after collecting the required signatures to be placed on the ballot.  But once again tragedy struck. Shortly thereafter she was walking down a flight of stairs, Manriquez fell down 15 steps and hit her head causing a major concussion.   Her children cared for her until the ambulance arrived and whisked her to the hospital.

There, Manriquez was diagnosed having major brain trauma.  The impact of the fall caused her brain to swell, hemorrhage and develop a blood clot; however doctors did not decide to do surgery, opting instead to see if the swelling in the brain would stop. After four days it did.  After several weeks in the hospital recovering, Manriquez was released however the injury prevented her from walking and being on her feet for long periods.

“I really wanted to be out there. Knock on doors. Meet with the voters. Surround myself with my community like I usually do. But these past two elections I’ve just had the most rotten luck”, said Manriquez.

Manriquez is still recovering. In recent weeks she has been able to get around but in limited fashion.

“I thank my Lord Jesus and Father God for giving me life. Life is wonderful. I will continue to do the work I have been doing to see the world God intended us to have come to fruition”, said Manriquez.

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Ginebra, Suiza- La abogada británico-libanesa Amal Alamuddin, quien está comprometida con el actor George Clooney, rechazó su designación como miembro de una comisión de la ONU para investigar posibles violaciones en Gaza a las convenciones de guerra.

El gabonés Baudelaire Ndong Ella, presidente del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas -el cual está conformado por 47 países-, anunció en un comunicado este lunes que Alamuddin había sido designada a la comisión, pero la abogada, quien ha cobrado notoriedad internacional por su compromiso con Clooney, dijo posteriormente que no podía aceptar el puesto.

“La ONU se puso en contacto conmigo sobre este asunto por primera vez esta mañana”, dijo. “Me llena de orgullo haber recibido la oferta, pero ante mis compromisos actuales, incluidos ocho casos en curso, desafortunadamente no pude aceptar este papel”.

No estaba claro qué causó la confusión del anuncio o si otra persona la reemplazará.

Otros integrantes de la comisión son el canadiense William Schabas, un profesor de derecho internacional en la Universidad de Middlesex, quien será el presidente de la misma, y el senegalés Doudou Diene, un abogado que ha tenido puestos en la ONU por asuntos de racismo y derechos humanos en Costa de Marfil.

Ndong Ella dijo que el consejo a su cargo, con sede en Ginebra, investigará todas las violaciones a los derechos humanitarios internacionales y los derechos humanos de acuerdo con la resolución del consejo del 23 de julio y presentará un informe en marzo de 2015.

El grupo activista UN Watch, también ubicado en Ginebra, pidió que Schabas se retire de la comisión por declaraciones críticas que ha hecho anteriormente sobre los líderes israelíes.

Pix 1 Entertainment 8-13-14

Pix 1 Entertainment 8-13-14Ciudad de México- Aún sin una versión oficial sobre su muerte, la página TMZ asegura que Robin Williams se colgó dentro de su casa y no dejó nota de despedida.

La noticia sobre la muerte del actor de 63 años impactó desde ayer por la tarde en el mundo de la farándula.

En una primera instancia se manejó la versión de que Williams habría cometido suicidio por asfixia, sin embargo, ni la policía ni la publicista del actor confirmaron tal información.

De acuerdo con fuentes de la familia, no se sabe que el actor haya dejado alguna nota de despedida y se suicidó en el interior de su casa en Tiburon, California, y no en el garaje como se había dicho en un inicio.

También trascendió que la última vez que se le vio con vida fue el domingo por la noche.

Al confirmar la muerte del actor, la publicista sólo comentó que desde hace tiempo estaba luchando contra una fuerte depresión.

Hace poco más de un mes se supo que el actor había decidido ingresar de nueva cuenta a rehabilitación por su consumo de cocaína y alcohol.