Merry Christmas!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Birth of Jesus

Let us not forget the truth and reality of this important story. You will either fight against the story or submit your life to it.

On behalf of all of us at Sonoran Alliance, we wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Senator Sylvia Allen & Family

Christmas Time

It was an unknown author who wrote these profound words about Jesus Christ: “I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life.”

Jesus Christ’s birthday is celebrated by the world in this month of December.  He lived in a dusty corner of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago.  From the beginning of his  birth among the animals was the beginning of his humble life. For there was no room for him in the Inn.  He had no money.  He was not a sport hero or starred in a blockbuster movie, or was elected to a position of power.  And, yet, more than one billion people today proclaim to be his followers.

From my earliest memories, I knew who this man was, for I was taught as a child, “Jesus Loves Me.”  My mother read Bible storybooks to me about his compassion for the sick and the suffering and how he healed the blind, lame, and lepers.  He even raised the dead.  I had a picture of him holding the little children.  My heart knew he loved me.   

He was a master storyteller who wove moral lessons through the stories he told so that you had to ponder and think upon them.  To illustrate the forgiveness of God, Jesus related the tale of the prodigal son, who threw away his inheritance in loose living and worldly things until, broken, shamed, and repentant, he returned home to find his father rejoicing that, “once you were lost, but now are found.”

Jesus urged his followers personally to help those in need – the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the imprisoned, saying that whatever they did“for one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

He asked them to forgive the faults of others and He laid down the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

He forbade murder and adultery, anger and hatred, and encouraged prayer, fasting, and sacrifice. “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

What was at the center of all he taught?  Love. “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Not only love God but also love your neighbor as yourself.  Then he asked us to even love our enemies as he loved his, for on the cross he said, ”Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

My early memories of Christmas were wrapped up in sound, smell, and taste.  There just is something about the air that is even different.  A child feels an unexplained excitement and anticipation that stays with them into adulthood. 

My mother wanted us to remember Christmas not as a gift-giving day but one of celebration of the Life we were honoring. “What gifts can you give Jesus?” was her question to us one Christmas in 1960.  I wasn’t much in the mood to answer her question.  I was feeling sorry for myself because, truth be told, we were a family living on meager means, and I knew that I wouldn’t get much in the way of presents that year. 

My mother told us of a family whose father was very ill.  There were three little girls in the family.  We took some of our old dolls and made them over with new hair and beautiful doll clothes that my mother and I sewed.   I felt the excitement building.  We made pies and cookies and put together a food basket.  After dark, my sisters and I crept up to the door.  We placed our offering on the porch, knocked, and ran.  We had pre-picked a bush where we sat shivering with anticipation as we watched to see what would happen.  The door opened, and a little girl cried out. “Mommy, there’re presents!  Words can’t describe how much better my young 12-year-old heartfelt.  My mom said I felt the spirit of Christmas. 

When it was my turn to bring the spirit of Christmas to my own children, we had many wonderful experiences, but my favorite was with a homeless man who lived in his truck parked in a vacant field.  For months we would drive by and the kids would comment on how sad it was that he had no home.  When we gathered together to pick our Christmas service, my young son said, “Mom, the man in the truck!” 

We made goodies and  wrapped a flannel shirt and packed them in a basket and at the last minute I put in a Bible with the Christmas story marked.  I told my oldest son to be ready to jump out and place the box on the ground at the back of the camper.  I was worried that we might frighten him, so I wanted to be quick.

On Christmas Eve, when we drove up, all was dark and quiet.  I wasn’t sure if he was there, but my son quickly got out and placed the box.  As he jumped back in the car, the back of the camper door flew opened and, as I sped away, my daughter yelled out the window,  “Merry Christmas, we love you!”  The kids sang all the way home.  We had the Christmas Spirit – the Spirit of Christ.

Now I am making memories with my grandchildren this year we help at the Salvation Army warehouse.

Whatever attitudes people hold towards Jesus Christ, whether they believe him to be the Son of God or just a great teacher, there is no question that, if his teachings were faithfully followed and lived by everyone, the world would be a better and more peaceful place to live.  Christmas gives us a chance to change ourselves and to remember a babe born of Mary.

What gift will you give?

Merry Christmas to all of you from the Allen Family!!!

Christine Jones, Pro-Life Candidate For Congress

Recently, it came to my attention that two Gilbert pro-life activists supporting Andy Biggs are circulating an email attacking the sanctity of life position of my friend, Christine Jones. I understand that. It’s election time and being a little over zealous comes with the territory.

For those who vote for a candidate based on a single-issue, each of the Republican congressional candidates running in CD-5 have identified as pro-life.

As the former Executive Director of Arizona Right to Life and someone who has been a part of the Arizona landscape of the pro-life movement for over two decades, I am supporting Christine Jones and have joined her team for Congress. I only support and work for pro-life candidates and that’s a deal-breaker for me.

I also believe strongly that if the pro-life movement is going to win – especially in the public relations matrix – we need to elect more pro-life women to office. I’m not alone. Organizations such as Susan B. Anthony List focus on electing pro-life women to office around the country.

Other pro-life activists, culture warriors and faith leaders also support Christine Jones. In fact, Monday, she announced the endorsement of three well-known pastors who shepherd huge churches in the East Valley. These leaders in the faith know Christine well and know she can be trusted with issues as fundamental as the sanctity of life.

As you cast your vote for Congress, remember no other right is as sacred as the first and foremost right to life. Christine Jones will defend and protect that right for the unborn and their mothers because she is pro-life.

East Valley Faith Leaders Endorse Christine Jones

Christine Jones for Congress

(Gilbert, AZ) – Today, East Valley Pastors Tom Shrader, Gary Kinnaman, and Kevin Hartke all endorsed Christine Jones in her bid for Congress. Jones, a technology and business leader, has attended church in Chandler for nearly 20 years and has been an active and supporting member of the faith community in Arizona.

Tom Shrader, founding pastor at Redemption Church, said of his endorsement, “Christine is a proven, innovative business leader. Now she is ready to bring that visionary approach to public service. She will be a breath of fresh air in the stale world of Washington politics.”

Reverend Dr. Gary D. Kinnaman, former Senior Pastor at Word of Grace Church in Mesa, and now Pastor-at-large around the community, stated, “I’m pleased to support my friend Christine Jones for Congress. She is highly competent, unwaveringly honorable, and cares deeply about our state and its people. Ms. Jones has a wide range of experience in business, law, and non-profit leadership. She is active in her local church, too. Can you possibly ask for more in a candidate?”

Kevin Hartke, Senior Pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship, said of his support for Jones, “Christine Jones has deep ties to our community and she understands our needs and frustrations. I know she will represent the district, the East Valley and Arizona well. I’m endorsing Christine because she brings a set of fresh eyes to problems that are not being solved or resolved.”

Jones, commenting on the endorsements said, “I am humbled to be supported by these great men. I admire each of them and their contributions to the East Valley. They have given their hearts and talents as forces for faith and goodness in our community. With their support, I hope to continue to build momentum throughout the coming weeks. This campaign is about bringing a business leader and outsider to represent CD-05 in Congress.”

Arizona Catholic Conference: Bishops’ Statement Opposing the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Arizona Catholic Conference
ARIZONA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE BISHOPS’ STATEMENT OPPOSING THE LEGALIZATION OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference oppose the campaign to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona because it is harmful to both children and families in Arizona.

Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana sends a message to children and young people that drug use is socially and morally acceptable. As people of faith, we must speak out against this effort and the damaging effects its passage would have on the children and families of Arizona.

Studies have shown that adolescents who use marijuana have significant differences in brain structure and cognitive functioning compared to those who do not use marijuana and experience up to an eight-point drop in IQ. Furthermore, based on what happened in just two years after Colorado legalized marijuana, it is estimated that if Arizona passes this measure, tens of thousands of additional 8th graders here will smoke marijuana for the first time.

Marijuana-related traffic accidents and other problems are also likely to dramatically increase if recreational marijuana use is legalized. In Colorado for example, marijuana-related traffic deaths dramatically increased after recreational marijuana was legalized. Additionally, Colorado witnessed similar dramatic increases in hospitalizations and emergency room visits related to marijuana usage after recreational use was legalized.

In states that have legalized marijuana, there has also been an increase in the use of harder drugs like cocaine and heroin since marijuana was legalized, which only further increased societal costs.

For the reasons mentioned above, and others, it is anticipated that legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona will lead to more abuse by teens, more emergency room visits, more traffic deaths, and more societal costs. Accordingly, due to the detrimental effect it would have on children, families, and all of society, we strongly oppose this dangerous proposal.

Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas
Bishop of Tucson

Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup

Mormon Voters Really Don’t Like Donald Trump. Here’s Why.

An interesting read by BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins on the relationship between Utah’s LDS population and the Trump campaign. Given Arizona’s active LDS population does that same sentiment translate here?

It’s not just Mitt Romney.

By McKay Coppins

Speaking before one of his smallest crowds this campaign season, Donald Trump declared Friday night at a rally in Salt Lake City that he loves the Mormons.

The feeling does not appear to be mutual.

So far in 2016, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have proven to be one of the most stubbornly anti-Trump constituencies in the Republican Party — a dynamic that will likely manifest itself in Utah’s presidential caucuses next week.

National polling data focused on Mormons voters is hard to come by, but the election results speak for themselves. Even as Trump has steamrolled his way through the GOP primaries, he has repeatedly been trounced in places with large LDS populations.

(Continue reading at BuzzFeed)

Obama’s Promise to America

by Jim Harbison

As a candidate for President, Barrack Obama promised to fundamentally change America.  After seven years in office we have all witnessed significant changes to our society, our nation, and our way of life.  In my opinion these changes have undermined and destroyed the America that provided so much for my generation and those before me.

The promise of a future better than the current generation is gone.  Our children and grandchildren will have little opportunity to achieve the quality of live we have been able to experience. Thanks to our poor selection of elected “leaders” they have been encumbered with massive tax burdens, a decaying infrastructure and burdensome regulations.

We have witnessed the degradation of our military capability.  Our Army is now the smallest it has been since prior to World War II.  We now have more policemen in New York City than we have military forces in NATO.  Senior military leadership has been purged and more than 500 senior military leaders have been forced out of the military.  Only those “yes men” who support Obama’s political agenda and his vision of a European socialist type America have been allowed to remain.    This loss of this tactical and strategic experience may have tragic consequences for our future.  Obama has socially re-engineered the military to fit his vision without regard to military readiness or capability.

Our society is now more divided than any point in my lifetime.  Rather than unite our nation his policies have resulted in greater divisions based on race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and education.  We are no longer united as Americans but have become hyphenated Americans (i.e. African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Native-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Islamic-Americans, etc).

His economic policies have destroyed the once admired American work ethic and now many Americans find it easier to rely on the government to support them rather than taking a job that requires hard work.  More than 90 million people are no longer in the workforce and the costs of the social programs to support them are staggering.   We are rapidly approaching the point where the half of the American population that is working is supporting the half that is not.

We now have an entitlement mentality society.  A society that believes the government, or someone else, owes them the comforts and assets that they cannot, or will not, provide for themselves.  The Obama administration has virtually eliminated the concept of individual responsibility and created the philosophy that someone else is responsible for their lack of success and economic advancement.  Rather than obtaining an education that will provide them with greater economic opportunity they demand higher wages for low skilled or menial jobs.

America was once known for its religious tolerance and freedom and was a magnet for those experiencing religious persecution around the world.  In Obama’s America we have witnessed the advancement of a secular America where religious traditions are under constant attack.  Expression of religious beliefs is not acceptable and a progressive judiciary has “legislated from the bench” to restrict religious freedoms espoused in the Constitution.

Let’s not forget Obama’s failure to enforce immigration laws and his open borders policies are intentional acts to fundamentally change America’s culture and traditions and will impact this nation for generations.

President Obama is the one politician who has steadfastly adhered to his campaign promises to fundamentally change America.  Sadly, his visions are shared by the progressive left and America is transitioning into a very different nation, a nation similar to the ones our founding fathers were escaping from.  Unfortunately, Obama’s fundamental changing of America is rapidly occurring without any meaningful opposition.

BISHOP OLMSTED LAUNCHES COUNTER-OFFENSIVE AGAINST SECULARISM, SEXUAL REVOLUTION WITH ‘INTO THE BREACH’

PHX

From LifeSiteNews

“… Bishop Olmsted issued “Into the Breach” yesterday, an Apostolic Exhortation in which he condemns gender ideology and the Sexual Revolution, saying it is a very real spiritual battle that is, “killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes.”

“The world is under attack by Satan,” the Arizona bishop states, “as our Lord said it would be (1 Peter 5:8-14). This battle is occurring in the Church herself, and the devastation is all too evident.”

Bishop Olmsted has been a vocal defender of life and Church teaching on sexuality.

“How did it come about that a culture so steadfast in supporting marriage and spousal commitment two generations ago became a culture that has reduced sexuality to mere pleasure and self-serving ends?” he asks, answering that it is the Sexual Revolution, which has “ushered in the scourge of abortion, pornography, and sexual abuse so rampant in recent decades.”

The Sexual Revolution has given fake freedom, he says, and undermined the family.

“Instead of real and authentic love, this false ‘liberty’ offers cheap pleasures that mask a deeper loneliness and pain,” states Bishop Olmsted. “Instead of the security of traditional family bonds, it leaves children longing for the stability of a mother’s and a father’s love.”

The Revolution also violates Natural Law, according to the bishop, and has failed in its purpose.

“Instead of the freedom that comes with accepting the truth of God’s design for human love between a man and woman, the Sexual Revolution has arrogantly rebelled against human nature, a nature that will never thrive in confusion and lack of self-control,” he continues. “Indeed, the ‘love’ promised by the Sexual Revolution has never been found.”

“In its wake is wreckage, countless broken hearts bound by fear of more pain, broken lives, broken homes, broken dreams and broken belief that love is even possible,” the bishop says. “This is the rotten fruit of the Sexual Revolution”…

 

While the Apostolic Exhortation is targeted towards Catholic men, it is a must read for all people of faith, especially men.  It’s inspiring to hear a prominent man of the cloth speak so boldly about Truths that need to be spoken and debunking the lies the Secularists are peddling today in our schools, our media, and pop culture.

We at ArizonaInformer would like to extend our gratitude to Bishop Olmsted and the Phoenix Diocese for their steadfast leadership in guiding Catholics (and everyone of goodwill) out of the darkness of Secularism and into the Light and Truth that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

WATCH: OFFICIAL TRAILER FOR ‘INTO THE BREACH’:


 Read the full Apostolic Exhortation HERE

 

Aaron Borders Asks for Clergy Rights Bill in Next Arizona Legislative Session

Aaron Borders, Second Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Maricopa County, is asking Arizona legislators to consider a Ministers & Clergy Rights Bill in the upcoming 2016 legislative session.

Borders is not so interested in rehashing the controversy surrounding 2013’s SB 1062 bill as much as affirming right of conscience protections.

In a recent interview, Borders said, “this is a completely separate issue. Now that it’s legal in Arizona to have same sex marriage, it is not my business to interfere. There are clergy in Arizona who will happily perform same sex marriage ceremonies. However, many who have chosen to stand behind their constitutional right to practice and uphold their religion by not performing these marriages feel threatened with lawsuits against them and their congregations and frankly, that requires legal protection. Such a law as a Ministers & Clergy Rights Bill would protect the rights of Arizona ministers and pastors from costly, frivolous and unconstitutional lawsuits that would bring undue hardship on local congregations who are simply excising their religious beliefs in their place of worship.”

Borders is referring to a 2008 account of a lesbian couple in New Jersey seeking use of a beach side pavilion operated by a Christian organization as well as the recent US Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges as reported in Christianity Today.

Aaron Borders is not new to standing up for the First Amendment’s religious freedom. He has been an outspoken Christian activist participating in his local church since he was a boy.

Nearly 15 years ago he and his older brother and one of his sisters recorded a Southern Gospel Record when he was barely 15 years old. He recently performed with his siblings in a ‘reunion of voices’ at the church he grew up in during a visit to Ohio.

Ken Bennet isn’t the only Republican politico who has a love and proclivity for music.

Borders is currently serves as one of the music directors at his local Church in Phoenix. It is a small, but growing congregation in the valley. He also serves as the project manager and building fund raiser for the church.

Aaron Borders stated, “Our congregation is growing and we need to do a solid remodel to make better use of our building to accommodate the growth God has blessed us with.”

Borders also periodically fills in for his 90-year old World War II veteran pastor and bringing sermons before his congregation.

Borders believes that Ministers & Clergy Rights legislation will especially help smaller churches continue to operate without fear of legal threats and lawsuits.

Pregnant Sudan Christian Mother Sentenced to Hang to Death

By Joanne Moudy

Early this morning a 27-year-old, pregnant Sudanese mother was sentenced to death by hanging for being a Christian, but not until after she receives a flogging of 100 lashes for committing adultery (with her Christian husband).

Dr. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag was accused of apostasy and adultery earlier this year. According to Reuters, she was arrested and imprisoned in February, along with her 20 month-old son. She was formally charged by the Sudanese government on March 4th. Following her brief trial, she was found guilty of the charges and convicted on May 11th – Mother’s Day. The court gave her three days to recant her faith and proclaim herself a Muslim.

Congressman Trent Franks, AZ-8, had this to say after the sentencing today:

“We have learned that Meriam Yahia Ibraham Ishag – a Sudanese Christian woman – has been sentenced to death by hanging after being accused of apostasy by a court that gave her ‘three days to recant’ and ‘return to Islam.’ Ms. Ishag, who is married to an American citizen, was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her mother, thus making a ‘return’ to Islam fundamentally impossible. She is also eight months pregnant.

“Such blatant disregard for the value of human life – and religious freedom – is an indescribable disgrace. I urge the U.S. State Department to immediately step in on Ms. Ishag’s behalf and to articulate conclusively that such blatant abrogation of the most basic human rights will be taken extremely seriously, and that Sudan is expected to fulfill its sworn obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Although Meriam’s biological father was a Muslim, he deserted the family when Meriam was a mere six years old. She was raised by her mother.

Meriam finished college and then medical school and then married Wani, a Christian man from South Sudan, who happens to be an American Citizen. The couple has a 20 month-old son and Meriam is now eight months pregnant with their second child.

South Sudan is predominantly Christian and when the region seceded from Sudan in 2011, the Sudan government made it clear they would move forward with a 100% Islamic constitution and enforce Shari’a law. However, the new constitution has not yet been ratified.

According to Wani, last August someone posing as a relative reported Meriam in to the authorities for being a ‘Muslim who converted to Christianity.’ According to Shari’a law, any child born to a Muslim father must be brought up a Muslim. Anyone found guilty of converting from Islam to any other religion is guilty of apostasy and subject to the death penalty. Since Shari’a law does not recognize a Muslim woman’s marriage to anyone outside of Islam, the Sudan’s court also found Meriam guilty of adultery.

Wani further stated to Morning Star News that during the time Meriam has been incarcerated she has been beaten, personally abused, starved, and refused all medical treatment. There is concern the son will be executed as well.

This morning when Meriam was hauled into the district court in Khartoum for sentencing, she was placed in a cage and ‘counseled’ by Muslim religious leaders for thirty minutes. The court refused to use Meriam’s name, instead referring to her only by her father’s Muslim name of Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

According to Al Jazeera, at the end of the 30 minutes, Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa asked her what she had decided. Meriam calmly stated, “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”

Judge Abbas then sentenced her to a severe flogging for adultery, followed with death by hanging. Al-Shareef Ali al-Shareef Mohammed, Meriam’s attorney, did state they will appeal the sentencing within the next 15 days.

Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher said, “The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent. Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.”

Even though Wani is a U.S. Citizen, he is being denied custody of his son and the child about to be born. The court has ignored the couple’s legal marriage certificate as well as the son’s legal birth certificate and claim that the only proof acceptable would be a positive DNA test – but that must be completed in the U.S. Such a test would require an inordinate amount of time, which neither Meriam nor her children have.

There is speculation that Meriam will be kept alive until her baby is born, but the fate of the child is unknown.

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Chuck Wooten, who is running for U.S. Congress in AZ-2 issued this statement:

“I am deeply saddened and outraged upon learning that Meriam was sentenced to death. Most especially when no crime was committed. Again, we must rely on the U.S. State Department to become engaged with the global community to mitigate this tragedy and to common citizens, it appears inaction has once again paralyzed the Department. There is a peaceful solution to destroying Meriam’s precious life, while she is carrying another precious life. Our diplomats should have already sprung into action to preclude further bloodshed in Sudan. I’m praying fervently for Meriam, her husband and her children this situation is swiftly and mercifully resolved.”