Who are the apostates?

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that 13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. (Deuteronomy 13:12-15 NASB)

1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as…

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The Doctrine of Justification Made Easy

Originally posted on Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation:

Taken and adapted from, “Illustrations of Bible Truth”Moody Press, 1945

e8a6c913b008aba146a31fcbe0122375Some years ago…

…H.A. Ironside had a little school for young Indian [Native American] men and women, who came to his home in Oakland, California, from the various tribes in northern Arizona. One of these was a Navajo young man of unusually keen intelligence. One Sunday evening Ironside tells, that this student went with him to his young people’s meeting. They were talking about the epistle to the Galatians, and the special subject was law and grace. They were not very clear about it, and finally one turned to the Indian and said, “I wonder whether our Indian friend has anything to say about this.”

He rose to his feet and said, “Well, my friends, I have been listening very carefully, because I am here to learn all I can in order to take it back to my people…

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The single most important thought you can ever think – Video

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What the Early Church Taught About Abortion? – Video

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Justification and Double Imputation

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

Justification: Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine Romans 5:19 and 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 are two places in Scripture that teach the twin truths of justification and double imputation: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” “…He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (NASB).  After discussing these passages in some detail, John Fesko writes this in summary:

“In these two passages we see the inextricable link between justification and double imputation.  God does not simply write off sin when he forgives the believer. Rather, God imputes the sin and guilt of the believer to Christ, who has borne the penalty for that sin and guilt upon the cross.  At the same time God imputes the righteousness and perfect obedience of Christ to…

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Pastor Sun Ho ordained recently as… a Pastor? Again?

Originally posted on churchwatch central:

Recently, Sun Ho has been ordained in City Harvest Church as a ‘pastor’. (Even though the bible teaches that a woman can not be a pastor.)

Sun Ho ordained CHC pastor

It appears one commenter accidentally exposed the façade of Sun Ho’s ordination:

Great to be able to call you pastor again…”

Source: Kelvin Xu, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/sunhomusic/photos/a.110250757743.126347.67964042743/10153574524212744/?type=1&comment_id=10153574604617744&offset=0&total_comments=5&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R3%22%7D, Published 25/08/2015. (Accessed 29/08/2015.)

proof_FBSunHoPastorComment_29-08-2015

If you click on the above thumbnail screengrab it becomes apparent that other commenters were completely duped by CHC’s stunt. Why is this a stunt?

Back in 2009, in response to Sun Ho’s outrageously sluttish ‘China Wine’ music video, Kong Hee slammed Christians and ministers who spoke against Pastor Sun’s behaviour in her China Wine clip.

Kong wrote,

“In 2007, my wife Sun released a music video of the hit single, “China Wine,” . . . the video also raised quite a few eyebrows within the religious fraternity who felt it was inappropriate for a…

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The Scriptural Doctrine of Double Predestination

Originally posted on Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation:

Taken and adapted from, “The Doctrine Of Absolute Predestination”
Written by, Jerome Zanchius, in Latin
Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

 tulip1

I.   We, with the Scriptures, assert that there is a predestination of some particular persons to life for the praise of the glory of Divine grace, and a predestination of other particular persons to death, which death of punishment they shall inevitably undergo, and that justly, on account of their sins –

There is a predestination of some particular persons to life, so “Many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:15), i.e., the Gospel revelation comes, indiscriminately, to great multitudes, but few, comparatively speaking, are spiritually and eternally the better for it, and these few, to whom it is the savour of life unto life, are therefore savingly benefited by it, because they are the chosen or elect of God. To the same effect are the following passages…

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Daily Devotionals: (29th Aug.) The Full Salvation of Our First Parents (Part 3)

Originally posted on thinkGOSPEL blog:

Reading: Genesis 3:1-24

Both Adam and Eve knew from the irrevocable curse of Satan that redemption was not offered to the fallen angels. Sadly however, they would later learn through their son Cain that redemption was not applied to all humanity. But in the garden immediately after the fall they knew that the redemption offered to them was not a possible, or even, a probable redemption, but a particular redemption. God pursued Adam and Eve with particular purpose and with definite results.

God did not just come to seek Adam but to save him (Luke 19:10) and He pursued him until He had worked out all Adam’s fears and excuses (verses 10-13), stripped him of all his self-sufficiency, and clothed him with sufficient covering for sin (verse 7, cf. verse 21).

But our first parents were also aware of God’s particular redemption from the words of the Lord’s first gospel…

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August 29, 2015 Truth2Freedom Devotional Guide Collection

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August 29

PRECIOUS LORD, TAKE MY HAND

Thomas A. Dorsey, 1899–1993

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

Out of a broken heart after his wife and newly born son had both died, Thomas Dorsey cried to his Lord to lead him “through the storm, through the night” In doing so, he created lines that have since ministered to others in an unusual way. This tender song, written by a black gospel musician in 1932, has since been a favorite with Christians everywhere.

Thomas A. Dorsey grew up in Georgia as a “preacher’s kid.” As he began to be successful as a composer of jazz and blues songs, however, he drifted away from God. After it seemed to him that he was miraculously spared in brushes with death, Dorsey came back to the Lord. As his life dramatically changed he began to write gospel songs and to sing in church services. It was during a revival meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, that he received a telegram telling the tragic news of his wife and infant son. Stunned and grief-stricken, Dorsey cried, “God, you aren’t worth a dime to me right now!”

A few weeks later, however, as Dorsey fingered the keyboard of a piano, he created the lines of “Precious Lord” to fit a tune that was familiar to him. The following Sunday the choir of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in South Chicago, Illinois, sang the new song with Dorsey playing the accompaniment. “It tore up the church!”

God continued to lead Thomas Dorsey by the hand until he had written more than 250 gospel songs. He once stated:

“My business is to try to bring people to Christ instead of leaving them where they are. I write for all of God’s people. All people are my people. What I share with people is love. I try to lift their spirits and let them know that God still loves them. He’s still saving, and He can still give that power.”

* * * *

Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, help me stand—I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; thro’ the storm, thro’ the night, lead me on to the light—Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near—when my life is almost gone. Hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall—Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

For Today: 27:11; 48:14; John 1:7; 10:3

Enjoy the fellowship of God so strongly that you feel He is holding your hand and leading you in whatever circumstances you may find yourself. Share this testimony of Thomas Dorsey as you go—[1]


August 29: Becoming a Saved People

Isaiah 60:1–62:12; Luke 22:63–23:25; Job 13:13–28

For Luke, Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s message. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, according to Luke, Jesus opened the Isaiah scroll in a synagogue and proclaimed that the words in Isa 61 are about Him (Luke 4:17–19): “The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me, he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives and liberation to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor, and our God’s day of vengeance, to comfort all those in mourning” (Isa 61:1–2). This moment defines what Jesus’ life would mean—and He was immediately persecuted for claiming the authority rightfully given to Him by God (Luke 4:20–30).

Luke’s message—an extension of Isaiah’s—is played out further near the end of Jesus’ life. Jesus’ claim to authority resulted in His being sentenced to death (Luke 23). It is easy to view the events of Jesus’ life as proof that He was the figure that Isaiah prophesied—that He was exactly who He said He was. But if we stop there, we miss the larger picture. Luke has an agenda: He draws on Isaiah and uses the story of Jesus reading in the synagogue because he intends for our lives to be changed by Jesus. We are the oppressed receiving the good news. We are the captives being liberated. We are meant to be a people called out to follow Him (Isa 40:1–2; 53:10–12).

When we look upon Jesus—the Suffering Servant, Messiah, prophet, and savior—we should be confronted with the reality that we’re still so far from what He has called us to be. We should be prompted to put Him at the center of our lives. We should be prompted to change. We must realize our place as the people He has saved and respond with gratitude.

How is Jesus’ sacrifice changing your life?

John D. Barry[2]


August 29

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Ezekiel 25 through 28. Our lesson is from Ezekiel 28:2, “Son of man, say to the leader of Tyre,” Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because your heart is lifted up And you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods In the heart of the seas; Yet you are a man and not God, Although you make your heart like the heart of God—” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s text is directed to the ruler and the city of Tyre, an important trading city in the Mediterranean. Many cities traded with Tyre, which brought her great wealth and influence. She was also a strong maritime power. Let’s examine three things that the Lord says about Tyre.

First, the prince of Tyre became very proud. The word “leader” in our text can also be translated as prince. As was common in Bible times, many cities and city-states were ruled by governors who were not necessarily of royal blood but were called kings and princes. Because of Tyre’s wealth, its ruler became prideful and egotistical. Tragically, this happens so often; for example, think of kings like Nebuchadnezzar, Uzziah and Saul. All of them became prominent and supremely confident in their own strength. The Lord had to bring judgment into their lives because of their pride.

Next, the prince of Tyre considered himself equal to God. This is a major insult to the Lord, nothing short of blasphemy. There is no place for pride before the Lord.

The prince of Tyre dethroned God and placed himself on the throne of his life. So many people do the same. Personal ambitions crowd out God; they sit on the throne. They may not see it as such, but it is. There is so much wisdom in the biblical counsel to guard one’s heart, for it can be so deceitful.

Last, the prince of Tyre was nothing more than a mere mortal. Like the prince of Tyre, leaders such as Hitler, Stalin and so many others, have demanded that the world serve them because of who they were. How tragic it is to see all the pain and torment that these ungodly men caused humanity due to their evil ambitions.

In closing, the prince of Tyre became very proud. The prince of Tyre considered himself equal to God. And the prince of Tyre was nothing more than a mere mortal.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the perfect model to imitate. He was meek and humble of heart and a true servant; so much so that He gave His life even for those who opposed Him.

Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart. Do not tolerate arrogance in your life and ministry. Surrender to Him totally!

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Ezekiel 29 through 32. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

August 29

 

Seven Things God Hates

 

“There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Prov. 6:16–19).

✧✧✧

God is clear about the things that displease Him.

God hates sin in any form, but Proverbs 6:17–19 lists seven that are especially loathsome to Him. First is “haughty eyes” (v. 17), which pictures a proud and arrogant person with his nose in the air and his eyes uplifted. The pride in his heart is reflected in his mannerisms.

Pride is perhaps listed first because it is at the heart of all rebellion against God—beginning with Lucifer himself, who cried out against God, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:13–14).

God also hates “a lying tongue” (v. 17). Men often toy with truth, denying or distorting it to gain some supposed advantage. But God can’t tolerate deception of any kind. He expects us to live according to His truth.

Third, He hates murderous hands (v. 17). That speaks of people whose hatred and greed are so strong that they will kill rather than be denied what they want. God created life and established its sanctity. That’s why He ordained that murderers be put to death (Gen. 9:6).

God also hates a wicked heart and malevolent feet (v. 18). Sometimes people fall into sin inadvertently. But these people carefully plot their sinful activities and then hurry to execute their plans.

Finally, God hates “a false witness” and a divisive spirit (v. 19). Bearing “false witness” means telling lies about an innocent party. That can obstruct justice, destroy a reputation, and even destroy a life. A divisive spirit is one who creates divisions where there should be unity.

Those sins characterize unbelievers, but Christians aren’t immune from them. So be on guard not to stray into attitudes and actions that God hates.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: If you are practicing any of those things, confess them and repent.

For Further Study: According to Philippians 2:1–5, how should Christians treat one another?[4]


August 29

The Wise Builder

He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.

Luke 6:48

The person who is wise spiritually, who is a true Christian, builds his life and performs his duties carefully, realizing the great substance and importance involved. He or she is not satisfied with a superficial profession of faith or with the shallow methods and easy shortcuts that so often accompany false religion.

Knowing that the Lord is due all credit, praise, and worship, the wise builder will want to give Him maximum effort and diligent service. This person knows that everything truly done for Christ is done out of love, not out of compulsion or fear. So serve the Lord with gladness and be a wise builder in His kingdom.[5]


 

August 29

 

Our All–Knowing God

 

“Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘ What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

Matthew 6:31–32

✧✧✧

To worry is to be like an unbeliever.

For us as believers, worry is needless because of God’s bounty, senseless because of God’s promise to provide, useless because of our inability to do anything, and faithless because by doing so we put ourselves in the same category as an unbeliever. In Matthew 6:32 the Greek term translated “Gentiles” can also be translated “pagans” or “heathen” and speaks of people without God and Christ. The Gentiles are consumed with seeking material gratification because they are ignorant of God’s supply and can’t claim His promise to provide. Instead of looking to God, they anxiously try to meet their needs on their own. But for a Christian to be preoccupied with material possessions and worry about the basics of life is a serious sin and uncharacteristic of his Christian faith.

The Christian faith says that God will supply all your needs and that you can trust Him (cf. Phil. 4:19). To worry about your food or your physical welfare or your clothing is to have a worldly mind. What about you? Do you face life like a Christian or an unbeliever? When things are difficult or the future is insecure, how do you react? Does your Christian faith affect your view of life? You should place everything in your life in the context of your faith—every trial, every anticipation of the future, and every present reality.

The Christian faith also says that “your heavenly Father knows” your needs (Matt. 6:32). If He knows your life and your needs, all you need to know is that He cares. And if He knows and cares, there’s no need for you to worry about anything. Your Heavenly Father has all the resources and love to provide for you.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise your Father for knowing, caring, and providing for you.

For Further Study: Read and meditate on Psalm 145. Notice especially what God does in verses 14–16.[6]


August 29

Forgive the Debt

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Matthew 6:12

forgiveness is the act of setting someone free from an obligation to you that is a result of a wrong done against you. For example, a debt is forgiven when you free your debtor of his obligation to pay back what he owes you.

Forgiveness, then, involves three elements: injury, a debt resulting from the injury, and a cancellation of the debt. All three elements are essential if forgiveness is to take place.[7]


August 29

A Rebellious Heart

Scripture reading: Psalm 55:1–6

Key verse: Psalm 55:1

Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication.

He has a wife and three children whom he adores. He spends time with them whenever he can, going fun places and listening to their hurts and needs. His business ethics are unimpeachable; he is known by all as a fair man who goes the extra mile when nobody asks him to. And his charity work for the local hospital helped build a much-needed burn treatment center.

Would you ever guess that this man has a rebellious heart? He does. It’s not easy to see by judging from external appearances. Even though he outwardly obeys the law and is concerned for the well-being of others, he is dead in his spirit to the things of God and doesn’t care what God says about his life.

Every person is born with a spirit that is disobedient to God. It is literally “bent away” from the Lord and set on its own course. According to Ephesians 2:1 (nasb), “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.” People who continue to go their own way, ignoring the way to God through Jesus Christ, will perish and be lost forever.

Are you camouflaging a rebellious heart? Have you asked Jesus to correct your sinful condition? Jesus is the only One who, through His grace, can make your heart right, inside and out.

Lord, through Your grace, please make my heart right inside and out.[8]


August 29    The Liberty of the Spirit

scripture reading:

 

Galatians 5:1–13

 

key verse:

 

Galatians 5:1

 

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Jesus knew that on their own the disciples, and all believers, did not have the power and spiritual resources necessary to be His witnesses throughout the earth. In every dimension of our lives, the Holy Spirit releases power within us to be witnesses to God’s truth, and only by submitting to the Lord’s leadership through the Spirit do we find wholeness.

Jack Hayford observes in The Power and Blessing:

In the judgment of some, “a life of submission” sounds like a page out of a handbook for membership in a religious order.… In fact, in much of today’s church, many have almost sanctified the notion of autonomy, of independence, of “I can do just about whatever I want, because of my freedom in Christ.”

In terms of spiritual reality, we are made free. But our liberty in Christ isn’t a program of perpetuating self–rule in the soul. Our “freedom” is (1) to free us from practicing sin, (2) to free us from smallness of soul, and (3) to free us from a “Lone–Ranger” order of independence which proposes “me” as the singlehanded controller of everything in my life.

The spirit of submission, lived out in biblical terms, proposes that God could, in fact, use other people to teach me.… I’m exposing myself to the possibility that at times these “others” will adjust and correct me in the spirit of love.

I’m free in You, Lord. Free from sin. Free from smallness of soul. Free from selfish independence. Your Spirit has made it possible. Thank You for my liberty.[9]


August 29

Our Fleshly Nature

Scripture reading: Proverbs 6:16–19

Key verse: Galatians 5:17

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

In Proverbs 6:16–19, the Lord lists six things He hates: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness, and a person who sows discord. The seventh one He includes also as an abomination.

Each testifies to the fleshly nature that was ours before we came to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Many times we don’t know how to handle this side of our lives. Because we are believers, our sins have been forgiven. Still there are times when we return to our old way of thinking.

When this happens, go to God in prayer, and ask Him to speak His Word of truth to your mind and heart. By doing this, you can build discernment into your life. Godly wisdom does not come overnight. It must be cultivated. When the author of Proverbs wrote, “Feet that are swift in running to evil,” he was writing about a lack of true spiritual discernment.

Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup. He was spiritually shortsighted, and his feet rushed to evil. Here is an excellent rule to follow: do not make any decisions when you are too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. When situations arise that demand immediate action, refuse to rush to satisfy your flesh. Allow God to control your appetite, and you will mature spiritually in every way.

Dear Lord, when situations arise that demand immediate action, grant me the strength to refuse to satisfy my flesh. Help me control my desires. I want to mature spiritually.[10]


August 29

Strength to Say Yes

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12

Key Verse: Hebrews 12:1

We also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Imagine trying to go about the day with your legs tied together, with the rope just loose enough to allow minimal mobility. You would eventually get things done, but even the simplest task would be slow work. Between falling and tripping over your feet, you might avoid injury long enough to reach your destination.

That is a picture evoked by the word ensnares in Hebrews 12:1. This term was used to refer to snaring an animal with a trap or a net, leaving it alive but rendering it incapable of getting away. Habits of sin work in a similar fashion; ones that are allowed to remain a part of consistent behavior become a snare in your life.

You may be able to function in certain basic areas, and your appearance or career may not be affected immediately, but sin eventually trips you up and prevents the full and unencumbered life God wants you to experience. The “little” problem of fudging on an expense report may later turn into full-scale embezzlement as sin’s hold wraps tighter around your life.

If something bad has a hold on you right now, turn it over to the Lord before it gains a firmer grip. Jesus wants you to feel the exhilaration that comes from making choices that please Him, and He always provides the strength to say yes to His principles.

Father God, give me the ability to say no to things that ensnare. Clear my pathway of all that would trip and entrap. Give me divine strength to say yes to Your principles.[11]


August 29

The Prince of Peace

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:14–18

Key Verses: Ephesians 2:14–15

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.

It is one of modern culture’s great tragedies: what many people seek and work so hard to achieve is in fact not a product of all their accomplishments and effort. Millions of people are turning the world upside down looking for peace, while never realizing that the “genuine article” is simply not of this world. Money cannot buy it; success and fame can never guarantee it. Until you have peace with God, you will never experience inner serenity.

Since genuine peace is not dependent upon outward circumstances, it is possible to experience a tranquility beyond our comprehension, even in the midst of life’s most tragic moments. But this real peace is not possible unless there exists absolutely no impediment between us and God, and the only way the barrier of sin and self can be removed is through the cross of Calvary. If we would simply bring our struggles and needs to the foot of the cross, we would find an abundant source of peace. A heart at rest is not rooted in some worldly principle or philosophy; it can be realized only through an intimate relationship with the person of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:14–15).

The devil will take every opportunity to destroy our calm by drawing attention away from Christ to things that may seem important at the time, but in reality have no other purpose than to distract. Don’t waste your life looking for peace in all the wrong places—just remember, the Prince of Peace is its only true source.

Lord, I seek no other source of peace. You are the Prince of Peace. Keep my eyes focused on You and eliminate every distraction.[12]


August 29

Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

Lord God, like Abraham may I not waver at Your promise through unbelief, but be strengthened in faith, giving You glory, and being fully convinced that what You had promised You were also able to perform. The children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on You, the God of their fathers.

You are my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. It is better to trust in You, Lord, than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in You than to put confidence in princes. Lord, You order my steps as of a good man, and You delight in my way. Though I fall, I shall not be utterly cast down; for You, Lord, uphold me with Your hand.

Lord, I’ve tasted and seen that You are good; I am blessed when I trust in You! Oh, I fear You, Lord. There is no want to me when I fear You.

Lord, may I trust in Your promises

and Your ability and willingness to keep them.

Then I will know Your blessings.

Proverbs 16:20; Romans 4:20–21; 2 Chronicles 13:18; Psalm 46:1–2; Psalm 118:8–9; Psalm 37:23–24; Psalm 34:8–9[13]


August 29

Ye serve the Lord Christ

Col. 3:24

Our business as Christians is to serve the Lord in every business of life.

Mark Guy Pearse[14]


August 29

HOW independent of outward circumstances the Holy Ghost can make the Christian! What a bright light may shine within us when it is all dark without! How firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful we may be, when the world shakes to and fro, and the pillars of the earth are removed! Even death itself, with all its terrible influences, has no power to suspend the music of a Christian’s heart, but rather makes that music become more sweet, more clear, more heavenly, till the last kind act which death can do is to let the earthly strain melt into the heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal bliss![15]


August 29

Robin Hood and Little John

Romans 5:10

If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Anyone who knows the story of Robin Hood will recall the first time the celebrated thief encountered Little John. Both men were traveling through the forest heading toward each other. They first saw each other at the opposite ends of a bridge which was designed to hold just one man at a time. Each was too proud to let the other pass first, so they both started across. They met at the middle, exchanged insults, and began to fight. As the story goes, both men fell into the waters below. Later, as they recovered on the banks of the river, they began to laugh at themselves. Subsequently, they became the best of friends. Not only had these adversaries settled their differences; they had gone a step further, becoming good friends.

Before we became Christians, we were in effect opposed to God. Our surrender to him didn’t lead to a mere master-slave relationship. As Paul says, Jesus Christ’s act of love has made His friends.[16]


August 29

1 Samuel 21–22; 1 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 1; Psalm 37

Ezekiel was jeremiah’s contemporary. Though he was born into a priestly family, Ezekiel was removed from the temple. In March, 597 b.c., he, young King Jehoiachin, the Queen Mother, the aristocracy, and many of the leading priests and craftsmen were transported seven hundred miles to Babylon. The young king was in prison or under house arrest for thirty-seven years. The exilic community, impoverished and cut off from Jerusalem and the temple, dreamed nostalgically of home and begged God to rescue them. They could not conceive that in another decade Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed. On the banks of the Kebar River—probably an irrigation canal swinging in a loop southwest from the Euphrates—the exiles tried to settle. And here, according to Ezekiel 1, when he was thirty years old and in the fifth year of his exile (i.e., about 593, still six years before the destruction of Jerusalem), Ezekiel received an extraordinary vision.

Detailed explanation of this apocalyptic vision demands more space than I have here. But some observations are crucial:

(1) In general terms, what Ezekiel sees is a vision of a mobile throne, the mobile throne of God. (I once preached on this passage to some hearing-impaired folk, and more than one thought I was saying it deals with the mobile phone of God!)

(2) The throne is made up of four “living creatures,” each with wings outstretched to touch the adjacent two at the wingtips, so that together the four creatures make a huge, hollow square. Inside this space there are torches, flashes of lightning, and fire. Each of the four living creatures has four faces—probably a way of signaling that God’s throne is intelligent (the human face), royal (the lion), strong (the bull), and compassionate (the eagle, cf. Ex. 19:4; Isa. 40:31). Beside each creature is a pair of wheels, intersecting each other so that they cannot fall over. The entire structure moves in straight lines, like a cursor on a monitor only in three dimensions, propelled by the wheels and additional wings of the living creatures, directed cohesively by the Spirit. Above the heads of the creatures, and supported by them, is a platform like a giant wok, sparkling like ice or hoarfrost. Above that is the throne of God.

(3) The importance of this mobile throne becomes clear later in the book. Here we must grasp two things: (a) The closer the vision gets to God himself, the more distantly he is described. The culmination—“This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (1:28)—elicits not an artist’s conception, but worship. (b) More broadly: visions of God always induce brokenness, humility, and worship (cf. Isa. 6; Rev. 1, 4–5).[17]


August 29

1 Samuel 21–22; 1 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 1; Psalm 37

The two extended metaphors that Paul deploys in 1 Corinthians 3:5–15 make roughly the same point, although each carries a special shading not found in the other.

In the agricultural metaphor (3:5–9), the Lord is the farmer, Paul prepares the ground and plants the seed, Apollos waters the fledgling plants, and the Corinthians are “God’s field” (5:9). In the context, which is designed to combat the Corinthians’ penchant for division based on attaching themselves to particular “heroes” (3:3–4), Paul is concerned to show that he and Apollos are not competitors, but “fellow workers” (5:9)—indeed, “God’s fellow workers” (i.e., they are fellow workers who belong to God, not fellow workers along with God, as if God makes up a threesome). Not only so, but neither Paul nor Apollos can guarantee fruit: God alone makes the seed grow (3:6–7). So why adopt a reverential stance toward either Paul or Apollos?

The architectural metaphor initially makes the same point: the various builders all contribute to one building, and therefore none should be idolized. Now the Corinthians are not the field, but the building itself (3:9–10). Paul laid the foundation of this building; otherwise put, he planted the church in Corinth. The foundation that Paul laid is Jesus Christ himself (3:11). Since his departure from this building project, others have come and built on this foundation. Thus, so far the architectural metaphor implicitly makes the same point that the agricultural metaphor made explicitly.

But now the architectural metaphor turns in a slightly different direction. Paul insists that later builders are responsible to choose with care the material they put into this building (3:12–15). A “Day” is coming (3:13), the day of judgment, when all that is not precious in God’s sight will be consumed. It is possible that a builder could use such shoddy materials that in the end, all that he has built is devoured, even if he himself escapes the flames.

Two observations: (1) The person Paul describes as being “saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (3:15), is not some purely nominal Christian whose conduct is indifferentiable from that of any pagan. Such do not enter the kingdom (6:9–10). This is a “builder,” not the mass of Christians who constitute the “building” (3:10). The question is whether these evangelists and pastors are using proper materials. (2) In 3:16–17, the building, the church of God, becomes a temple. Later on, God’s temple is the individual Christian’s body (6:19–20), but here it is the local church. God loves this building so much that he openly threatens to destroy those who destroy God’s temple. Damage the church, and you desecrate God’s temple—and God will destroy you.[18]


Sat, August 29, 2015

Lord Of Righteousness

In the midst of all the confusions of our day, it is important that we find out that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all righteousness and the Lord of all wisdom. Righteousness is not a word easily acceptable to lost men and women in a lost world. Outside of the Word of God, there is no book or treatise that can give us a satisfying answer about righteousness, because the only One who is Lord of all righteousness is our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of His Kingdom. He is the only One in all the universe who perfectly loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Our great High Priest and Mediator is the righteous and holy One—Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. He is not only righteous, He is the Lord of all righteousness! Then there is His wisdom. The sum total of the deep and eternal wisdom of the ages lies in Jesus Christ as a treasure hidden away. All the deep purposes of God reside in Him because His perfect wisdom enables Him to plan far ahead! Thus history itself becomes the slow development of His purposes.

Verse
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness.
1 Corinthians 1:30

Thought
Christ is the only One in all of the universe who perfectly loved righteousness and hated iniquity.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are the author of righteousness and wisdom. Help me to remember to always depend on You as the only source of those resources.

A. W. Tozer


August 29 – The Blind Men Reach Out

“Jesus sternly warned them: ‘See that no one knows about this!’ But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land” (Matthew 9:30–31).

Usually believers need to say more, not less, about the gospel of Jesus Christ. But here our Lord had definite reasons for commanding the people to whom He had ministered most directly not to publicize what had occurred.

He did not forbid them from speaking simply because He did not want their specific healing made known or because He did not want His miracles in general to be proclaimed. The miracles were evidence of His deity and legitimate mission. Christ commanded silence because it was not time to widely publicize His messiahship, lest the news stir up premature opposition to Him or encourage revolutionary Jews to rally around Him as a political deliverer.

Jesus also did not want to overemphasize His miracles. While they were a key element of His ministry, they were not the primary reason for His incarnation. Many already were not understanding the miracles rightly: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26).

Another reason why the Lord may not have wanted the men heralding His messiahship was because He wanted others, especially the Jews, to look to Scripture for the fulfillment of prophecy about the Messiah.

But in spite of Jesus’ command, the blind men still “went out and spread the news about Him.” This was disobedient of them and was the wrong response. However, it was the sort of sin that only grateful, eager new converts would commit. The men could not resist telling everyone of their miraculous deliverance.

Ask Yourself

How much of your everyday conversation is taken up with what the Lord has done for you? Is it because you’re trying to be sensitive to the unsaved around you? Or is it more because you just haven’t thought about it that much?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


Reading for Today:

Ecclesiastes 7:1–29
Psalm 103:1-5
Proverbs 24:7-9
1 Corinthians 10:1-18
Notes:

Psalm 103:2 forget not all His benefits. These earthly gifts from God included: 1) forgiveness of sin (v. 3); 2) recovery from sickness (v. 3); 3) deliverance from death (v. 4); 4) abundant lovingkindness and mercy (v. 4); and 5) food to sustain life (v. 5).

Psalm 103:5 youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The mysterious way of the long-lived eagle symbolized strength and speed (Ex. 19:4; Jer. 48:40), which also characterizes human youth. As a general rule, a person blessed of God will grow weak and slow down less rapidly than otherwise (Is. 40:29–31, which uses the same language).

1 Corinthians 10:4 that spiritual Rock. The Jews had a legend that the actual rock Moses struck followed them throughout their wilderness wanderings, providing water for them. Paul says they have a Rock providing all they need, but it is Christ. Rock (petra) refers to a massive cliff, not simply a large stone or boulder, signifying the preincarnate Messiah (Christ), who protected and sustained His people.

1 Corinthians 10:6 our examples. They died in the wilderness because of their failure of self-discipline and consequent indulgence of every desire (9:27). Four major sins characterized them: idolatry (v. 7); sexual immorality (v. 8); testing God (v. 9); and complaining (v. 10).

1 Corinthians 10:16 cup of blessing. The proper name given to the third cup during the Passover Feast. At the last Passover with the disciples, Jesus used the third cup as the symbol of His blood shed for sin. That cup became the one used to institute the Lord’s Supper. He set the cup apart as a token of salvation blessing before passing it to the 12. communion. Means “to have in common, to participate and have partnership with.” The same Greek word is used in 1:9; 2 Corinthians 8:4; Philippians 2:1; 3:10.Commemorating the Lord’s Supper was a regular and cherished practice in the early church, by which believers remembered their Savior’s death and celebrated their common salvation and eternal life which reflected their perfect spiritual oneness. the blood of Christ. A vivid phrase used to represent Christ’s sacrificial death and full atoning work. the bread. This symbolized our Lord’s body as the cup symbolized His blood. Both point to His death as a sacrifice for the salvation of men.

DAY 29: When Ecclesiastes encourages readers to “enjoy life,” is that unconditional?

Solomon balanced his enjoyment theme with repeated reminders of divine judgment. Even the best moments in life ought not to cut a person off from awareness of God as Provider to whom all will give an account. Solomon declared that the possibility of enjoyment was based on faith (Eccl. 2:24–26).

Part of Ecclesiastes reports the king’s experiment in trying to enjoy life without regard for the fear of God’s judgment. Solomon discovered that such an effort was in vain. In the end, he came to grasp the importance of obedience.

The tragic results of Solomon’s personal experience, coupled with the insight of extraordinary wisdom, make Ecclesiastes a book from which all believers can receive warnings and lessons in their faith (2:1–26).This book demonstrates that a person who sees each day of existence, labor, and basic provision as a gift from God, and accepts whatever God gives, will actually live an abundant life. However, anyone who seeks to be satisfied apart from God will live with futility regardless of personal successes.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 260). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 254). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 262). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[6] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 258). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 252). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 252). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 252). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 252). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 260). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 245). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[16] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 252). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[17] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[18] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 

Posted in Devotional Guide | 3 Comments

Neil Shenvi lectures on the relationship between science and religion

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Another great 42-minute lecture by Dr. Neil Shenvi.

Speaker bio:

As it says on the main page, my name is Neil Shenvi; I am currently a research scientist with Prof. Weitao Yang at Duke University in the Department of Chemistry. I was born in Santa Cruz, California, but grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. I attended Princeton University as an undergraduate where I worked on high-dimensional function approximation with Professor Herschel Rabitz. I became a Christian in Berkeley, CA where I did my PhD in Theoretical Chemistry at UC – Berkeley with Professor Birgitta Whaley. The subject of my PhD dissertation was quantum computation, including topics in quantum random walks, cavity quantum electrodynamics, spin physics, and the N-representability problem. From 2005-2010, I worked as a postdoctoral associate with Prof. John Tully at Yale where I did research into nonadiabatic dynamics, electron transfer, and surface science.

Outline slide: (Download the Powerpoint slides here)

Lecture:

Summary:

  • Science is often considered to be in opposition to…

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WHY MARRIAGES FAIL AND A PICTURE OF GODZILLA, PART I

Originally posted on The Good Light Project:

My wife Esther and I are continuously blessed by our marriage. Like many Christian marriages we have experienced an array of seasons filled with joy as well as others that have required healing, self-sacrifice, long suffering, love, compassion, grace, necessary change, adjustments, and consistent repentance. All of the many seasons require faithful prayer. Our God is so faithful and by His grace we’ve come to know Him personally as Father, Lord, and Savior.

Our faith has dramatically changed how we view our marriage and God’s purpose for it. God provides ALL that we need for all of our marriages perfectly. He provides us everything in order to magnify His glory and maximize our enjoyment of Him. For a lot of us it doesn’t seem that way. Has God failed us in our marriages? Why so many divorces? Why are so many of us lacking contentment in our marriages?

Let start…

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August 28, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Aug. 28, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Since July, American households — which account for almost all mutual fund investors — have pulled money both from mutual funds that invest in stocks and those that invest in bonds. It’s the first time since 2008 that both asset classes have recorded back-to-back monthly withdrawals, according to a report by Credit Suisse.

Consumer purchases climbed in July as incomes grew, showing the biggest part of the U.S. economy was off to a good start to the quarter.

A sweet deal for American sugar farmers is compounding delays in a proposed trade agreement affecting 40 percent of the world’s economy. The commodity has become a sticky subject in talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, potentially the biggest trade deal in history and a key goal of the Obama administration. TPP, as its known, would link a dozen countries and, its proponents say, make it easier for U.S. companies to sell goods around the world.

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, said about 275,000 payments from U.K. business customers haven’t been made on the final business day of the month, when many salaries in the country are paid.

Hedge funds have been speculating on lawsuits, a new form of financial engineering that some business interests say encourages wasteful courtroom warfare. Now two top Republican senators-Chuck Grassley of Iowa and John Cornyn of Texas-have a few questions of their own. The lawmakers announced a move to start “examining the impact of third-party litigation financing is having on civil litigation.” Their starting point is not one of enthusiasm.

China increased the margin requirements on stock-index futures contracts to 30 percent and narrowed the number of contracts that traders can open before they are considered “abnormal trading.”

AP Top Stories

Former President George W. Bush is returning Friday to New Orleans – the scene of one of his presidency’s lowest points – to tout the region’s recovery from the nation’s costliest natural disaster on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

President Obama paid tribute to New Orleans on Thursday as an extraordinary example of renewal and resilience 10 years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, on his ninth trip to the city.

Iran’s most expensive movie, “Muhammad”, which chronicles the childhood of the Muslim prophet, opened nationwide, winning praise from early audiences. The 171-minute, visually stunning film cost around $40 million, partly funded by the state, and took more than seven years to complete.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said nuclear weapons — not negotiating skills — secured this week’s “landmark” agreement with South Korea, as he dismissed a number of officials from a top military decision-making body.

South Korean and US troops staged their biggest-ever joint live-fire drill on Friday, including a simulated mechanised assault deep into North Korean territory, just days after the two Koreas ended a tense military standoff.

Now, new NASA research shows sea levels will likely rise three feet in the coming decade, and it’s too late to do anything about it.

Bloomberg reported this week that regulators are privately discussing giving the biggest Wall Street firms a break on rules guarding against excessive leverage. Those rules were enacted right after the crisis, forcing banks to finance their operations with less borrowed money.

BBC

Hungarian police said they have arrested four people over the discovery of the bodies of 71 migrants, thought to be Syrian, in a lorry in Austria. Three of those arrested are Bulgarian and one is Afghan. The victims included 59 men, eight women and four children who are thought to have been dead for about two days.

Hundreds of people are feared dead after two boats carrying about 500 migrants sank off Libya. The first boat, which capsized early on Thursday, had nearly 100 people on board. The second, which sank later, was carrying about 400 passengers. Rescuers have pulled 82 bodies from the water and saved 198 people.

For the first time over a billion people used Facebook on a single day, according to company founder Mark Zuckerberg. The “milestone” was reached on Monday, when “1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family”, he said.

Cities in California cut water use by 31.3% in July, exceeding a state-wide mandate of 25% to combat a record four-year drought there, officials said.

Brazil has entered recession after official figures showed the country’s economy contracted by 1.9% between April and June compared with the previous three months.

One of the last survivors of World War Two’s most famous prison break, known as the Great Escape, has died aged 101. Australian Paul Royle was one of 76 airmen who escaped from notorious Nazi Stalag Luft III camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1944.

Chinese shares ended the week almost 8% lower after volatile trading that started on Monday with shock losses and spread fear to global markets.

WND

The University of Texas at Austin will take down a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the next few days after a Travis County judge denied a request by a southern heritage group to block the school’s plans.

UK – Police are set to hire convicted terrorists and former extremists in an attempt to stop young Britons joining ISIS.

Advocates are calling for the Obama administration to do more to aid hundreds of thousands of Middle East Christians fleeing the Islamic State and escaping situations where they are often told to either convert to Islam or die.


Top News – 8/28/2015

Dan Walters: California drought, wildfires aren’t the only looming disasters
California has been experiencing a series of moderate earthquakes this month — coinciding, somewhat eerily, with the first anniversary of a temblor that severely damaged downtown Napa.

Pew: Orthodox Jews mirror evangelical Christians, vote GOP
In a shift sure to impact American politics, a new study of the growing orthodox Jewish population shows that they are in virtual lockstep with the nation’s conservative evangelical Christians, with 57 percent identifying with the Republican Party.

Christians Debate Whether It’s OK to ‘Act Muslim’ to Save Their Lives
It often happens that during jihadist raids, militants will try to ascertain quickly whether persons they are attacking are Christians or Muslims by asking them questions about Islam or having them recite the Muslim creed in Arabic.

Federal judge blocks Obama’s water rule
A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect. Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn’t act…

Saudi Arabia sees Mers deaths surge
Saudi Arabia has announced four more deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers), bringing the number of deaths in the past week to 17. Health officials admit they are worried by the timing, as the kingdom prepares to welcome around two million Muslims for the Hajj next month. Mers infections have been recorded in countries across the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Shanghai shares end week almost 8% lower as markets recover
Chinese shares ended the week almost 8% lower after volatile trading that started on Monday with shock losses and spread fear to global markets. On Friday, the mainland’s benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 4.8% at 3,232 points. China’s second bourse, the Shenzhen Composite, closed up 5.4% to 1,846 points, but ended the week 9.4% lower.

Concerns grow over Iran military complex as construction is spotted
Short-term concerns over the nuclear deal reached with Tehran last month center on…a UN inquiry into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s past nuclear work. The difficulty…has become evident in recent days…“At a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials,” the report reads.

The Invaders: A Parable
Pulling into our driveway after a relaxing month-long cruise, my wife Mary yelled, “What…?” Mexican flags, old cars, discarded beer cans, and trash were all over our property.

Move Over, Megyn Kelly, America is Calling
With America the Beautiful crying out in death throes for rescue from its undeserved ‘Fundamental Transformation’, Fox News seems intent on making the 2016 presidential election all about—Fox News. Move over, Megyn Kelly, America is calling.It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to recognize a conspiracy, and as the Kelly File proved last night, it only takes a single television show.

The Children of Illegal Immigrants Are Not Born American Citizens
Once again, Donald Trump has managed to open up a robust national discussion about an issue that up to this point had been largely ignored by the political class. This time, the discussion is about so-called “birthright citizenship,” the idea that whenever a foreign national (regardless of legal status and with a very few exceptions) has a child on American soil, this child automatically becomes an American citizen from birth.

Jewish settlers take over homes in Arab part of Jerusalem
Ultra-nationalist Israelis took over a four-story building in the heart of an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem on Thursday, raising fears of fresh violence in the tense area. A small group of activists from the Ateret Cohanim settler organization moved into the rundown white stone building. It was the latest in a wave of settler advances since nationalist Jews began buying up properties in densely populated Palestinian areas two decades ago.

TS Erika kills 4 in Dominica; takes aim at Puerto Rico
Rescue crews fanned across Dominica late Thursday to search for missing and injured people after Tropical Storm Erika pummeled the eastern Caribbean island, unleashing landslides and killing at least four people.

Kim Jong-Un credits nukes not talks for deal with South Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said nuclear weapons — not negotiating skills — secured what he described as a “landmark” agreement this week with South Korea to end a dangerous military standoff.

Gen. Paul Vallely: Iran Already Has Nuke, Making Deal ‘Moot’
Iran already has a nuclear weapon, making the nuclear deal “a moot point,” retired U.S. Army Gen. Paul Vallely told Newsmax TV on Thursday. Decades of intelligence reports show that Tehran has “gotten the support from Russia, from North Korea and from China,” Vallely told “Newsmax Prime” host J.D. Hayworth. “It’s a cabal that’s been set up to support the Iranian nuclear program.

What China’s Treasury Liquidation Means: $1 Trillion QE In Reverse
Earlier today, Bloomberg – citing the ubiquitous “people familiar with the matter” – confirmed what we’ve been pounding the table on for months; namely that China is liquidating its UST holdings. As we outlined in July, from the first of the year through June, China looked to have sold somewhere around $107 billion worth of US paper. While that might have seemed like a breakneck pace back then, it was nothing compared to what would transpire in the last two weeks of August. Following the devaluation of the yuan, the PBoC found itself in the awkward position of having to intervene openly in the FX market, despite the fact that the new currency regime was supposed to represent a shift towards a more market-determined exchange rate. That intervention has come at a steep cost – around $106 billion according to Soc Gen. In other words, stabilizing the yuan in the wake of the devaluation has resulted in the sale of more than $100 billion in USTs from China’s FX reserves.


Top Headlines – 8/28/2015

Evidence mounts that soon-to-be flush Iran already spurring new attacks on Israel

Obama to address Jewish American community in live webcast Friday

Senior US official to travel to Israel to discuss Iran nuclear deal

US Democrats confident Iran deal will survive in Congress

UN envoy: US will be isolated if Iran deal rejected

As Iran deal looms, Obama sends invite to Saudi King

Gen. Paul Vallely: Iran Already Has Nuke, Making Deal ‘Moot’

IAEA says Iran has expanded Parchin nuclear facility

Concerns grow over Iran military complex as construction is spotted

Swiss envoy: Invest in Iran, Middle East’s ‘pole of stability’

Report: Russia-Iran disagreement holding up S-300 deal

Russia to assume UN Security Council chairmanship on September 1

UN to decide September 15 on whether to raise Palestinian flag at headquarters

Palestinians set date for first congress in two decades

Hamas reveals ‘commando tunnel unit’ in new propaganda clip

500,000 sign petition to end Israel’s Gaza blockade

Temple Mount Attackers Bring ‘Honor’ to Muslims

EU envoy warns of more steps against Israeli settlements

Jewish settlers take over homes in Arab part of Jerusalem

Netanyahu in Milan: Israel’s contributions to world far outweigh efforts to isolate it

1,000+ black activists endorse boycott of Israel

Foreign Ministry head Gold ‘hopeful’ Israel, Turkey will reconcile soon

More than seven decades later, Monaco apologizes for deporting Jews

Top Iranian commander said killed in Syria

Iraq: PM facing calls to sever ties with party, declare state of emergency

ISIS Suicide Attack Kills 2 Iraqi Generals Near Ramadi

High-tech plan to save ancient sites from Isis

9-Y-O ISIS Sex Slaves Reveal Brutal Ritualistic Rapes, Barbaric Treatment of Girls Sold at Sex Slave Market

Activists want US to do more to help Christians fleeing ISIS

Coptic Christian Imprisoned for Handing Out Bibles Inside a Mall in Egypt

South Sudan rebels, army again accuse each other of attacks after pact

Border firing kills 8 on India-Pakistan war anniversary

Report: Pakistan on track to have world’s 3rd largest nuclear arsenal

Japan launches new carrier that bears name of ship that attacked Pearl Harbor

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un hails accord with South as landmark

Kim Jong-Un credits nukes not talks for deal with South Korea

Kim Jong Un fires top military officials after standoff with South Korea eases

Colombia and Venezuela recall ambassadors amid border crisis

Airlines told to expect ‘French 9/11’ as Hollande warns of more Islamist violence

At least 70 bodies of migrants found in truck along Austria highway, officials say

Mexico warns Texas not to refuse its immigrants’ babies U.S. birth certificates

Suddenly Media Worried Over Reporting Race-Based Motive of Killer of White Reporters

Obama ignores racial hate in news crew killings, but guns are more dangerous than terrorism?

What Happened in Roanoke is a Hate Crime

DoD manual allows journalists to be held as ‘belligerents’

Student killed in shooting at Savannah State University

Malaysia To Introduce RFID Tracking For Every Vehicle

Invisible Sensor Dome Detects Spy Drones

Record-breaking 1 billion people used Facebook in one day

Eying volatile markets, Obama urges Congress to pass budget

U.S. Stocks Rally Amid Recovery in Global Markets

China jitters, globalization bode ill for Fed’s inflation goal

Money Pours Out of Emerging Markets at Rate Unseen Since Lehman

China stocks surge amid suspected government buying

It’s Official: China Confirms It Has Begun Liquidating Treasuries, Warns Washington

What China’s Treasury Liquidation Means: $1 Trillion QE In Reverse

Financial Market — Why It Is Worse This Time — Fundamental Reasons

Oil Pares Biggest Weekly Gain Since April as Volatility Climbs

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kuril’sk, Russia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Nuku’alofa, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Lluta, Peru

Cotopaxi Keeps Rumbling as Ecuador Prepares for Eruption

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 26,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

TS Erika kills 4 in Dominica; takes aim at Puerto Rico

Tropical Storm Erika Brings Flash Flooding To Dominica

Course of Deadly Tropical Storm Erika Puzzles Forecasters

Uncertainty abounds for Tropical Storm Erika, but Florida and Southeast still in its path

California cut water use by 31% in July amid drought fears

Washington Wildfires the ‘Worst in the State’s History’ as Firefighters Travel from Australia and New Zealand to Help Battle the Blazes

Nearly 2 million Brazilians gather to protest corrupt government, poor economy, as water supplies dry up amid global drought

Global sea level rise poses looming threat, NASA says

Utah man dies from plague in 4th fatal case in US this year

Pneumonic plague kills eight in Madagascar

Saudi Arabia Is Reporting a Surge in MERS Deaths

Public Health Officials Know: Recently Vaccinated Individuals Spread Disease

Vaccinated man found to have been shedding virulent strain of polio for 30 years

On women’s health, Clinton compares Republicans to ‘terrorist groups’

Planned Parenthood alleges ‘smear’ in letter to Congress

Planned Parenthood Failed to Report Rape of 14-Year-Old Who Had Two Abortions in Four Months

Anti-abortion groups demand Portrait Gallery remove Planned Parenthood founder bust

New Report Reveals Sex-Selection Abortions Happening in Australia

Only 3 U.S. zip codes without any Ashley Madison accounts?

Samantha Power: U.S. Injecting LGBT Rights ‘Into the DNA of the United Nations’

Security Has to Get Involved When Black Transgender Lives Matter Activists Disrupt Clinton Event

Transgender porn quickly growing in popularity

‘Sister Wives’ family points to same-sex marriage cases in arguing against Utah polygamy ban

Catholics Support Gay Marriage as Much as General Population and Believe Pope Francis Has Backed It, PRRI Study Finds

Oregon Catholic school changes gay hiring policy after backlash

Vatican says ex-envoy, charged with sexual abuse, has died

China arrests Christians who opposed removals of crosses

Paula White Invites Donald Trump to Meet With Evangelicals

Man proposes to his boyfriend in Texas Methodist Church…gets standing ovation

The Duggars: How Gothard’s Teachings on Sexuality Create Predatory Behavior

Former PA Pastor Sentenced After Sexually Abusing Child For 10 Years While HIV Positive

‘I was raised in a religious cult’: New book details life in the Exclusive Brethren

Building an Islamic State in America, One Church at a Time

Southern Baptists Will Cut 600 to 800 Missionaries and Staff


The Briefing

1) Duke freshman rejects explicit graphic novel assignment over temptation, not offense

Freshmen skipping ‘Fun Home’ for moral reasons, Duke Chronicle (Claire Ballentine)

Just read the book, Duke Chronicle (Brendan McCartney)

Don’t believe the hype, Duke Chronicle (Gabriel Rosenberg and Jessica Namakkal)

Five totally immoral books besides ‘Fun Home’ Duke University students should also skip, Los Angeles Times (Carolina Miranda)

I’m a Duke freshman. Here’s why I refused to read ‘Fun Home.’, Washington Post (Brian Grasso)

2) Dispute over Planned Parenthood videos’ authenticity shows need for official investigation

Report for Planned Parenthood finds sting videos manipulated, Politico (Jennifer Haberkorn)

Politico & NYT Fail to Mention Report Exonerating Planned Parenthood Produced By Democratic Opposition Research Firm, Weekly Standard (Mark Hemingway)

3) 10th anniversary of Katrina reminder of value and fragility of civilization

President Obama Celebrates New Orleans on Katrina’s Anniversary, TIME (Maya Rhodan)

10 YEARS AFTER KATRINA, New York Times (Campbell Robertson and Richard Fausset)

In other news…

Understanding Prisoner’s Dilemma Can Help Bridge Liberal and Conservative Differences, Time (Dylan Selterman)

When Should Cops Be Able to Use Deadly Force?, Atlantic (Jason Lee Steorts)

After Murders and Other Violence, Federal Job Corps Program Comes Under Scrutiny, Washington Post (Lisa Rein)

American exceptionalism and the ‘exceptionally American’ problem of mass shootings, Washington Post (Sarah Kaplin)


August 27, 2015
AMERICA’S SURVIVAL — On Aug. 25, RenewAmerica columnist Cliff Kincaid was interviewed by Kevin Boling of Knowing The Truth Radio about the possibility that Pope Francis will endorse socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for president. The pope, who has been outspoken in condemning capitalism, will be visiting the U.S. for six days in September…. (more)


August 27, 2015
DAILY MAIL — A man who was fired from his job as a television reporter two years ago took revenge against the small-town Virginia news station by executing two of his former coworkers on live television, and then posting disturbing first-person video of the attack on social media… (more)


August 27, 2015
MICHAEL BRESCIANI — “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” – – Anon. After entering Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, Friday August 21, 2015, what followed were a personal pronoun fest and the now familiar story of the conversion of a government building to a plush hotel. Trump used the pronouns I, me, and my, about 300 times (give or take), but nothing much new was offered or any different than previous speeches…. (more)


August 27, 2015
POLITICO — The first GOP presidential candidate to go to war publicly with the Republican National Committee is not Donald Trump. It’s Carly Fiorina. Faced with the very real possibility that she will again be relegated to a lower-tier debate, Fiorina’s campaign is going after the RNC and the news organization the committee picked to host the next debate, CNN…. (more)


August 27, 2015
NEWSMAX — Nearly 200 retired U.S. military generals and admirals sent a letter to Congressional leaders Wednesday, asking them to vote down the Iran nuclear deal. According to The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the letter, many of the signees have worked in the White House going back three decades…. (more)

August 26, 2015
GARTH KANT — Two of the world’s top Middle East experts agree that only a military strike can now stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Clare Lopez, vice president of the Center for Security Policy, told WND she concurs with the detailed assessment recently published by John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., which came to that stark conclusion…. (more)


August 26, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is running against some – – but not all – – billionaires. On Saturday, at a campaign appearance in South Carolina, he singled out the Koch brothers as “greedy.” But Roger Morgan, the author of a book on hedge fund operator and billionaire George Soros, wonders how greedy Soros has been, and whether the media will bother to take a look. He notes that the hedge fund operator’s net worth rose from about $9 billion before President Obama took office to over $24 billion today…. (more)

August 26, 2015
CHARLES HURT — In the sad, soul-cratered world of desperation politics, size matters. It really, really matters. And nowhere does size matter more than inside the distortion machine that is our national political media…. (more)

August 26, 2015
THE HILL — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday evening had Univision’s Jorge Ramos escorted out of his press conference after Ramos interrupted with a question. When Trump began the event by calling on another reporter, Ramos stood up and began questioning the candidate about his immigration policies…. (more)


August 26, 2015
YOUTUBE — Trump vs. Jorge Ramos on Birthright Citizenship, Wall, Deportation: “We’re Going To Start With The Gangs” Univision Jorge Ramos Confronts Donald Trump after being kicked out… (more)

August 26, 2015
JOE KOVACS — It’s not just illegal aliens and anchor babies who are on Donald Trump’s mind these days. The Republican candidate for president says there’s “an assault on Christianity” both in America and abroad, and he’s blasting President Obama for doing nothing to help believers being decapitated by ISIS…. (more)

August 26, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday that much of the blame for the seeming indifference of Americans to the horrific videos of Planned Parenthood trafficking in the body parts of unborn babies lies squarely at the feet of its pastors…. (more)

August 26, 2015
BOB UNRUH — “Another 50 livers a week.” The words are from Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, which until just recently was a major partner with Planned Parenthood in the business of retrieving the body parts of unborn infants and selling them to researchers…. (more)


August 26, 2015
MCCLATCHY DC — In a “serious risk” to national security, Hillary Clinton gave her State Department emails containing Top Secret and other classified information to her lawyer, who lacked sufficient clearances to possess it and who kept it for as long as eight months, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee charged Tuesday…. (more)

August 26, 2015
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama was “clearly stabbing Hillary in the back” when he expressed support Monday for Vice President Joe Biden running for the Democratic nomination, political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Tuesday…. (more)

August 25, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — Amid debate over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, two retired military officers contend their accumulation of evidence from open and intelligence sources shows Tehran already has a nuclear-weapons capability…. (more)


August 25, 2015
NEWSMAX — The conservative North Carolina lawmaker whose procedural move last month aimed to remove House Speaker John Boehner says he’s got no regrets, may try it again – – and would even consider the leadership post for himself…. (more)


August 25, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — In a roller-coaster day on Wall Street that opened with a 1,000-point Dow drop followed by a midday recovery and an afternoon slide, nervous investors were desperately dialing financial advisers. By the end of trading Monday, U.S. stocks plunged more than 3.5 percent, down an astonishing 588 points…. (more)


August 25, 2015
CNN — Vice President Joe Biden received President Barack Obama’s “blessing” to make a 2016 bid for the White House, according to a senior Democrat. But that’s if Biden chooses to run – – the decision is his. While he doesn’t need the President’s permission, of course, a potential presidential candidacy was among the topics of their lunch Monday at the White House…. (more)


August 25, 2015
NEWSMAX — Duke University freshmen are reportedly balking at their summer reading assignment, Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home,” saying it conflicts with their moral and religious beliefs…. (more)

August 25, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is warning Christians they must stand up for their beliefs or their religious freedoms will be lost…. (more)

August 25, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — Zachary King remembers the day well. It was in 1982. He was young, rebellious and dabbling in the occult. But on that day, he would make the transition from novice to the deeper things of Satan…. (more)

August 25, 2015
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — Unexpected events reveal uncomfortable truths about human nature, as demonstrated by two nearly simultaneous events on opposite sides of the world last Friday. In Fort Benning, Georgia, a large press contingent turned out to applaud and photograph the first two women ever to complete Ranger School, the Army’s toughest training course, which even most men are unable to finish…. (more)


August 25, 2015
MICHAEL BARONE — Facebook has been caught blocking links to legitimate political commentary from the Center for Immigration Studies opposing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s views on immigration… (more)


August 24, 2015
JUDI CALER — Rita Dunaway, staff counsel for the Convention of States Project (COS), wrote an article, Five Myths about Article Five, which turns the Constitution on its ear. Ironically, her article challenges five premises that are true, while invoking at least nine myths of her own…. (more)


Daily Digest

August 28, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Nevertheless, to the persecution and tyranny of his cruel ministry we will not tamely submit — appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free.” —Joseph Warren, American account of the Battle of Lexington, 1775

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Hillary Thinks Republicans Share Terrorists’ View of Women

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While stalking the campaign trail Thursday, Hillary Clinton fired a bazooka at the Republican Party and missed. Clinton slammed the stances several GOP candidates hold on “women’s issues” such as equal pay, reproductive health care and abortion. She said, “Extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.” You could see the poor politician from Arkansas New York Washington struggling to even stand in the shadow of Democrat orator William Jennings Bryan. She’s more akin to Barack Obama, who recently declared Iranian hardliners were “making a common cause with the Republican caucus.” Hillary’s comment smacks of desperation to be a cool grandma, to float a stalling campaign. Before Clinton wants to unearth the hatchet and fight the “War on Women,” she might want to do some research. While her Senate office paid women 72 cents for every dollar it paid men, Carly Fiorina’s campaign already bridged the gender pay gap. Last time we checked, most Republicans argue for policies that promote life. The Islamic State institutionalized sex slavery because they believe raping 12-year-old Yazidi girls is an act of worship. Is that really the comparison she wants to make?

EPA Checked in Its Takeover of America’s Waterways

The EPA was hours away from implementing an expansive interpretation of the Clean Water Act when a judge in North Dakota issued an injunction blocking the power grab. In response to a suit brought by 13 states, Judge Ralph Erickson halted Thursday the EPA’s rule that would have, according to Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), placed the agency in control of every ditch, man-made pond and flood plain in the nation. Erickson wrote, “Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act.” The EPA isn’t accepting the judge’s orders. It said in a statement that it will only comply with the injunction in the 13 states that were part of the suit. However, there are nine other suits brought against the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in regards to the water rule. In total, 29 states are questioning the EPA’s authority in the matter. In addition to having a river in Colorado to clean up, the courts have been checking the EPA’s abuse of power — such as the Supreme Court’s June ruling about the EPA’s emission guidelines for coal plants. This hasn’t been a good stretch for the EPA.

States Approving Huge Premium Increases

“My expectation is that [rate increases] come in significantly lower than what’s being requested,” Barack Obama told a Nashville audience last month. After all, he promised ObamaCare would bend the cost curve down, right? And that it would save the typical family $2,500 a year in premiums, right? Wrong. So much for that. According to The Wall Street Journal, Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak “answered [that question] on Friday by greenlighting the full 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.” So, Madam Commissioner, you’re telling us the Affordable Care Act isn’t exactly, uh, Affordable? So far, Tennessee’s rate increase is the highest approved this year, but two other states — North Carolina and Maryland — exceeded 30%, and half a dozen more were in double digits. Others, like Minnesota (seeking a whopping 54% hike), are yet to be determined. And lest anyone think higher premiums were paying for better coverage, most insurance carriers are also increasing deductibles and copays. Our own plan here in our humble shop now offers this wonderful trifecta of higher premiums, higher deductibles and higher copays. So we pay more up front, we pay more before we can receive care, and then we pay more when insurance finally does kick in. Remind us again how great ObamaCare is…

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Anchor Babies: The New ‘Republican Dog-Whistle’

By Michael Swartz

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America is still a welcoming country for immigrants, but the sentiment for pulling up the welcome mat is gaining steam. Failure to secure our borders, lax enforcement of immigration laws by a federal government that therefore tacitly encourages border crossing and overstay of visas, the perception that illegal aliens are sponging off the welfare system, and immigrants’ growing lack of assimilation has angered millions of Americans.

Enter Donald Trump, who has made immigration a key part of his platform. His latest vow is to get illegal immigrants “out of there day one … out so fast your head will spin.” With his corresponding surge in the political polls, the national conversation on the topic has shifted focus to the phrase “anchor babies.” It’s the term describing the effect of birthright citizenship, which itself is based on a faulty interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment when applied to children born to those here illegally.

The number of those who have come to the United States to give birth is increasing. While the Pew Hispanic Center says four out of five children of illegal aliens were born in this country, it’s now estimated that one out of 10 American births overall would fall under the description “anchor babies.” Most are the offspring of illegal immigrants who understand current deportation policy gives them a “get out of jail free” card once the child is born — along with a claim to our generous public treasury. But some anchor babies are born to “birth tourists” who arrive weeks before birth and do so specifically in order to have an American passport holder in the family to make securing their own visas easier.

It’s no secret that the Republican Party has factions on both sides of the immigration debate. Many of the other 16 presidential hopefuls align more or less with the hardline stance Trump has taken, yet it was immigration moderate Jeb Bush who became a lightning rod for Democrat criticism for using the term “anchor baby.”

In typical Jeb fashion, he tried to walk it back, saying, “What I’m talking about is the specific case of fraud being committed where there’s organized efforts — frankly, it’s more related to Asian people — coming into our country, having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of that noble concept which is birthright citizenship.”

Needless to say, that muddled attempt at clarity didn’t work, and Democrats stuck to their marching orders.

“The ‘anchor baby’ narrative is politics at its worst,” wailed Rep. Linda Sanchez, chair of the all-Democrat Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in a Washington Post op-ed. It serves “mostly as a Republican dog-whistle,” she added, “tapping into an implicit racial sentiment that suggests children of color are less than fully American or they’re just a vehicle for gaming the system.”

Bush had no support from Asians, either. Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said, “All that is accomplished through talk of anchor-babies — be they from Latin America, Asia, Europe, or Africa — is to use xenophobic fears to further isolate immigrants. It’s time for our country to return to a substantive discussion on immigration.”

But shouldn’t a “substantive discussion” on immigration include more than identity politics? Birthright citizenship is a legitimate topic for consideration, yet Democrats never fail to blow their own dog whistle by crying “RACIST!” at anyone who broaches the subject. Rule of Law is essential to a free country, but Democrats (and too many Republicans) are more interested in craven pandering.

Like him or not, one can’t deny Donald Trump’s impact on the 2016 campaign, which is largely the result of his willingness to raise issues that establishment Republicans would rather sweep under the rug. At least some Americans are listening now.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Charles Krauthammer: “Since the end of World War II, Russia has known that what stands in the way of westward expansion was not Europe, living happily in decadent repose, but the United States as guarantor of Western security. Obama’s naivete and ambivalence have put those guarantees in question. It began with the reset button, ostentatiously offered less than two months after Obama’s swearing-in. Followed six months later by the unilateral American cancellation of the missile shield the Poles and the Czechs had agreed to install on their territory. Again, lest Putin be upset. By 2012, a still clueless Obama mocked Mitt Romney for saying that Russia is ‘without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe,’ quipping oh so cleverly: ‘The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.’ After all, he explained, ‘the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.’ Turned out it was 2015 calling. Obama’s own top officials have been retroactively vindicating Romney. … Helped immensely by Obama’s epic misjudgment of Russian intentions, the balance of power has shifted — and America’s allies feel it. … As John Kerry awaits his upcoming Nobel and Obama plans his presidential library (my suggestion: Havana), Putin is deciding how to best exploit the final 17 months of his Obama bonanza. The world sees it. Obama doesn’t.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “If we could manage our own finances the way the Congress does the nation’s, we’d all be living in high cotton and eating high on the hog.” —columnist Charley Reese (1937-2013)

America, you disappoint Obama: “The president’s found that disappointing and frustrating, principally because he believes it’s bad public policy for us to not take commonsense steps to address what I think we all acknowledge is a pretty significant problem. The president has also been disappointed that our political system hasn’t responded in the way that he would like.” —Josh Earnest, again exploiting the murders in Virginia for political gain

The BIG Lie: “The United States has about 4 percent of the world’s population, but nearly half the civilian-owned guns. With gun violence on the rise, some public health officials say it’s time to change our approach to the problem.” —CBS’s Maurice DuBois (“Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.” —Pew Research Center)

Sometimes they get it right: “The discussion about Flanagan has mainly centered on mental health, and whether Flanagan was mentally ill. The other, lesser discussion has been whether he was racist. If one objectively looks at Flanagan’s actions and history, one can’t help but come to the conclusion that both are probably true. Flanagan killed the two young people because they were white. He has admitted as much. And yes, anyone who does what he did is also out of their mind.” —CNN’s Don Lemon

Braying Jackass: “We’re going to see more extreme weather events as a result of climate change.” —Barack Obama on the anniversary of Katrina

Late-night humor: “At a press conference … Donald Trump kicked out a Latino reporter, but the man returned a few minutes later. So, already Trump’s deportation plan isn’t working.” —Conan O’Brien

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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Obama’s Big Plans Don’t End With His Presidency

The closest I’ve ever come to glimpsing hell was on Monday, when I read an article in the New York Times headlined, “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency.”

Reporters Michael D. Shear and Gardiner Harris reveal the “methodical effort taking place inside and outside the White House as the president, first lady, and a cadre of top aides map out a post-presidential infrastructure and endowment they estimate could cost as much as $1 billion,” or about as much as Obama fundraised for the 2012 campaign.

View Article


Pope Francis Aims For Raw Political Power With September 23rd Address To Congress

Pope Francis believes he has a divine mandate to continue Obama’s devilish job of “radically transforming” America.

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:4,5 (KJV)

He is not just the Pope of the world’s Catholics, no, not by a long shot. Francis has stepped out of the shadows and with each new undertaking continues to shore up his base of political power and influence. In just the past two years, Pope Francis has championed Climate Change with a papal encyclical, worked covertly with Obama behind the scenes to restore relations with Communist Cuba, and was a secret but key player in the current Iranian Nuclear Deal which will guarantee that a nuke will soon be pointed at Israel. Francis is the man with the New World Order plan, and he shows no signs of slowing down. And oh, yes, he has also signed a treaty with Palestine against Israel.

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As he travels all over the world, at each stop he is building his political power base, using Vatican influence to grant favors, and seducing gullible American Christians back into the tent of the Harlot herself, Mother Rome. Even Chrislam founder Rick Warren calls Francis “our pope”. On September 23, Pope Francis will make his boldest move yet when he address Congress. A feat never been done by any pope in the entire history of the United States. Here is a preview of what you can expect he will talk about:

Forced Immigration

Pope Francis is a Socialist, with Communist overtones, and as such he will chastise America for not allowing more illegal aliens through our borders. Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a top adviser to Francis, told an audience at Georgetown University, that Francis would have liked to enter the U.S. by crossing the border with Mexico to make a point about welcoming immigrants, not building walls to keep them out. He said that while time did not allow for a border stopover, the pontiff was certain to raise the issue on Capitol Hill.

Reversing Capitalism

“Capitalism is not a god. It is not a divinity. It is not a system that is perfect and does not need any modification,” he said during a luncheon meeting. “This system is fostering tremendous inequalities.” Socialism is not compatible with Capitalism because you cannot have successful people in the New World Order. Everyone needs to be dragged down to the same level of mediocrity, while the ruling elites live like kings.

Wealth Redistribution

“The free market economy is not complete. We need a social market economy. This is the big contribution of the Catholic faith to the system — to try to have this social component that will bring more justice to the system,” he said. “It is not fair that a system that is producing so much richness could walk side by side with so much poverty.”

Forcing the Climate Change agenda

To deal with climate issues, he has also called for an “Earth Constitution that would transcend the UN Charter” along with the creation of a “Global Council…elected by all the people on Earth” and a “Planetary Court..a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.” The two main issues of “protecting the earth” are climate change and global depopulation. Expect Francis to bring out all the big guns on this favorite hobby horse of the Liberal Socialists who run America.

Make no mistake about it, Pope Francis believes he has a divine mandate to continue Obama’s devilish job of “radically transforming” America.

He demands action and is commander-in-chief of the world’s largest, most dedicated army: 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, including 78 million Americans in 17,645 parishes, inspired by a mission to change the world’s political economy and backed by an “officer corps” of 200 cardinals, over 5,000 bishops, 450,000 priests and deacons all dedicated to carry out his mission.

But far more dangerous for American conservatives, this new pope’s message will be regularly delivered by those clerics to America’s power elite: Six of the nine members on the Supreme Court are Catholics, including the chief justice. Three Catholics are in the direct constitutional line of succession if the president dies. Twenty-four of our 100 Senators are Catholic. So are 163 of the 435 members of the House. Add in their Catholic spouses, children, parents and friends, and this new pope is himself a global superpower. His radical, revolutionary “exhortations” will be influencing billions of all faiths worldwide, demanding not pious rhetoric but action to solve world problems.


Generals, Admirals Warn: Iran Deal Will Lead To War

Nearly 200 retired U.S. generals and admirals have signed an open letter opposing the Iran deal and urging Congress to reject the “defective” agreement…………  Click here for full story


Evidence Mounts That Soon-To-Be Flush Iran Already Spurring New Attacks On Israel

An unsettling surge in terrorism by Iranian proxies has many Israelis convinced the release to Tehran of tens of billions of dollars in frozen funds is already putting the Jewish state in danger…………  Click here for full story


Pew: Orthodox Jews Mirror Evangelical Christians

In a shift sure to impact American politics, a new study of the growing orthodox Jewish population shows that they are in virtual lockstep with the nation’s conservative evangelical Christians, with 57 percent identifying with the Republican Party.……  Click here for full story


275,000 Payments Delayed From Computer Glitch At HSBC

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 08:15 AM PDT

It appears the computer glitches aren’t going away anytime soon as reports are now indicating that around 275,000 bank payments have been held up by a computer glitch at HSBC – with many people reporting they have not received their monthly salaries. Some people – including customers of other banks – have had to cancel holidays and weekend getaways ahead of the bank holiday.

Salaries that should have arrived in personal accounts overnight have instead got caught up in the national Bacs payment system. HSBC has said it may not be able to get the delayed payments through by the end of the day. Matthew Robinson is co-founder of Hove-based translating service UK Techtrans, where the problem has left his eight employees and 100 suppliers unpaid. FULL REPORT

The post 275,000 Payments Delayed From Computer Glitch At HSBC appeared first on .

Brazil’s economy enters recession

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 08:05 AM PDT

Brazil has entered recession after official figures showed the country’s economy contracted by 1.9% between April and June compared with the previous three months. Analysts had expected a contraction, but the number was worse than expected. First quarter output was also revised down to show a 0.7%, rather than a 0.2%, contraction. The country, the seventh-largest economy in the world, has seen economic growth fall sharply in recent times.

This is due in part to low commodity prices and sluggish global growth. High interest rates – currently 14.25% – have also affected consumer spending, an important element of Brazil’s economy, while this year, the government has introduced stringent austerity measures designed to tackle high levels of debt. Government spending, including on unemployment benefits, has fallen sharply, while taxes have risen. FULL REPORT

The post Brazil’s economy enters recession appeared first on .

ERIKA BEARS DOWN: Florida declares state of emergency

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 07:05 AM PDT

Governor Rick Scott of Florida issued a state of emergency Friday as Tropical Storm Erika which means –“eternal ruler”, “one ruler”, “ever powerful” is headed toward the state after killing at least four and causing devastating floods in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica. Scott used a brief press conference to remind locals to stock up on supplies, including at least three days’ worth of food and water. “Stay up with what’s going on. Follow the local news. Listen to your local elected officials. Stay prepared,” Scott said. “Think about your children, your grandchildren and your parents, your siblings, and think about friends who might have needs.”

Across the region people heeded the governor’s warning. WSVN reported a steady stream of customers were purchasing necessities at grocery stores and taking out extra cash from ATMs, just in case. One grocery store manager told the station that the store had 30 pallets of water ready to be sold, while another said he restocked shelves seven times between noon and 5 p.m. Wednesday in anticipation of the rush.

“Well, just got the last couple of cases of water,” customer Ted Jimenez told the station, “got plenty of food, a freezer full of food, two generators, hurricane impact windows. We even got a propane stove.” Shayla Abood, a 35-year South Florida resident, was filling up her gas tank ahead of the storm. FULL REPORT

The post ERIKA BEARS DOWN: Florida declares state of emergency appeared first on .

Toxic algae bloom is ‘eating the West Coast’ as sea animals continue to die off amid Fukushima radiation plume

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 06:55 AM PDT

Scientists believe that a toxic algae bloom now stretching from California to Alaska could be responsible for poisoning marine mammals across the North American west coast. The bloom is growing in a giant mass of abnormally warm water that has come to be known as “the Blob” and has been positioned off the North American Pacific Coast for several months. The algae bloom runs from Southern California to Alaska and possibly even to the Aleutian Islands. It is 40 miles wide and reaches 650 feet deep at some points.

“It’s been incredibly thick, almost all the same organism,” said ocean scientist Raphael Kudela of the University of California-Santa Cruz, noting that the bloom “looks like a layer of hay.” “It’s definitely the largest bloom of this particular algae seen on the West Coast, possibly anywhere, ever.” Fisheries collapsing

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the bloom is “laced with some toxic [phytoplankton] species that have had far-reaching consequences for sea life and regional and local economies.” These species, known as Pseudo-nitzschia, produce a highly toxic chemical known as domoic acid. Toxic algae blooms of this variety, also known as red tides, are well known and relatively common. This particular red tide is not only enormous, but it has also been exceptionally long lasting and still shows no signs of dispersing. FULL REPORT

The post Toxic algae bloom is ‘eating the West Coast’ as sea animals continue to die off amid Fukushima radiation plume appeared first on .

Oil soars 10 percent in biggest one-day rally in years

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 06:47 AM PDT

The price of both US crude and Brent oil leaped dramatically in Thursday’s trading, gaining 10 percent. The sharp rise is attributed to positive dynamics in the world’s stock markets and news of shrinking crude supplies. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 10.3 percent to $42.68 per barrel, while Brent crude oil went up by 10 percent to $47.40 per barrel on Thursday.

“A short covering rally, led by crude oil pushed commodities higher across the board. Better than expected U.S. GDP numbers was the main spark, although the force majeure on BP’s exports from Nigeria extended the gains,” Reuters quotes Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. It was the biggest one-day rally for WTI since March 2009. FULL REPORT

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Why We Need to Abandon the Machinery of Ministry

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 06:39 AM PDT

Church needs to be a place where people seek God in faith, prayer, and expectation. There ought to be an awe and a reverence of coming together corporately into God’s presence. The Scripture tells us that even sinners should be convicted by the presence of God in our midst. “But if all prophesy and there comes in one who does not believe or one unlearned, he is convinced by all and judged by all. Thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. And so falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Cor. 14:24-25).

The apostle Paul lays out instructions for maximizing the power and presence of God in our gatherings. If things are arranged according to the Father’s order and will, He will be present and manifested, and people will be drawn to Jesus. Conversely, nowadays church leaders study demographics and people’s preferences in order to make church more appealing to them. When we try and make church appealing to man, it actually detracts from the presence of God and what He wants. When we organize our church agenda and services toward pleasing God, it is then that men will be drawn to Jesus. FULL REPORT

The post Why We Need to Abandon the Machinery of Ministry appeared first on .

Possibly Millions More Christians Have Committed Adultery Using Ashley Madison Than Previously Thought

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

Mark 7:21-23 – For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

I have found myself sickened and angrier than I’ve been in a long time over the recent controversy surrounding Ashley Madison, a website that makes it easy to commit adultery. In fact, I am shocked that this can even be considered a controversy. Check out the definition of that word:

controversy: discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views

Are there really two sides? Is it possible there are those who would argue for the appropriateness of having sexual encounters with people other than their spouse? Unbelievably yes. The darkness is truly getting darker.

Isaiah 5:20– Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who exchange darkness for light, and light for darkness.

Romans 12:9– Let love be without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil. Cleave to what is good.

Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman recently said, “Up until the creation of AshleyMadison.com, there wasn’t really a place where women could go to pursue their desires to have an affair. Now that there is, it’s clear that women aren’t the more faithful sex—they just hadn’t been offered the same opportunities to cheat in the past.” He continues by saying, “Members are not cheating on their spouse because they’re looking for divorce, more often than not they’re seeking out an affair to help keep their marriage together.” FULL REPORT

The post Possibly Millions More Christians Have Committed Adultery Using Ashley Madison Than Previously Thought appeared first on .

Radicalized Muslim immigrants taking over French cities

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 06:16 AM PDT

French security forces are preparing for mass civil unrest and radicalized immigrants taking over entire neighborhoods, according to intelligence sources. The Army is making contingency plans for the “reappropriation of national territory,” winning back areas of cities, in the event of immigrant populations obtaining weapons and becoming openly hostile to authorities.

“There are a lot of alienated and angry fourth-generation immigrant kids in the suburbs and the prospect of radicalisation is increasingly likely,” the intelligence source told the Telegraph, adding that highly organized networks of Islamist militants have smuggled Kalashnikov automatic rifles and anti-tank missiles into the country.The weapons were sourced in Libya after the French government armed jihadist rebels during the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi. FULL REPORT

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Obama’s New Peace Partner Iran Says ‘We Reject The Existence Of Any Israeli On This Earth’

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 08:03 PM PDT

“WE TOLD THEM THAT WE REJECT THE EXISTENCE OF ANY ISRAELI ON THIS EARTH.”

“Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:23 

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.” “We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy,” the Guardian quoted Hammond saying. FULL REPORT

The post Obama’s New Peace Partner Iran Says ‘We Reject The Existence Of Any Israeli On This Earth’ appeared first on .

Tropical Storm Erika: At Least 4 Dead, Widespread Flooding Reported in Dominica; Florida Prepares For Possible Impacts

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 07:54 PM PDT

Tropical Storm Erika has brought deadly flooding and mudslides to parts of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles, washing out roadways and collapsing at least one building. The Associated Press said 4 people have been killed in the flooding and mudslides created by Erika’s torrential rain. A blind elderly man and two children were killed in southeastern Dominica, and another man was killed in the country’s capital of Roseau, the report said.

Several others remain missing and at least 20 homes have been destroyed in the storm, the AP also reported. “The situation is grim. It is dangerous,” Ian Pinard, Dominica’s communications minister, told the AP. Social media users posted images and video of a raging Roseau River Thursday morning as several bands of heavy rain pounded the small island nation. FULL REPORT

The post Tropical Storm Erika: At Least 4 Dead, Widespread Flooding Reported in Dominica; Florida Prepares For Possible Impacts appeared first on .

 


Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

Source


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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August 28, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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‘My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List.’

God’s grace is sufficient for the shepherd who falls, and the flock left vulnerable. We have a Great Shepherd, a Chief Shepherd, who is for us what earthly shepherds can never be: perfect, absolutely trustworthy, and never failing. It is He who leads us beside still waters in and into green pastures. Let us place our faith in Him, and we will find rest for our weary souls. Pray for your pastors and church leaders today, even if they weren’t found to be in sin.

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Ministering to the Suffering

Suffering is a time during which we experience the weight of the curse in heavier-than-usual ways. As people are pulled and pressed under previously unexperienced pains, people often say and do things spiritually uncharacteristic of how you’ve known them. And as much as we’d like the Spirit to ooze out of suffering’s squeeze, sometime it just doesn’t. Instead, the flesh shows its ugly head. Both physical and spiritual pain can wreak more havoc on the brain and behavior than we might like to think. This is not to excuse sin, but remind us that we need to give sufferers some spiritual breathing room. They are suffering.

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God Keeps His Covenant of Love

I realize that not every pastor’s wife has children or the prospect of grandchildren. Not every pastor’s wife has offspring who are following the Lord and bringing her joy. I know this can be painful. Although God is not blessing you in the same way that He is blessing me (and vice versa), He is blessing you with His eternal love and favor. Abundantly. Furthermore, if you are part of His kingdom work, you are extending the faith to a thousand generations whether you are a mom or not.

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The Ideal American Woman of the 19th Century

The following is an excerpt regarding the ideal 19th century woman, which historians have called the cult of true womanhood. If you read it in the light of the ongoing debate about gender roles, it has a familiar ring to it. Of particular note, this ideal could not be achieved by poor women or slaves. Thus it was a practice or a preference that was only possible from a position of privilege, not a principle that could be applied to all.

Read more


There Were Only 3 ZIP Codes in America Without Any Ashley Madison Accounts — Here They Are

And there you have it. Those are the last vestiges of the US left untouched by Ashley Madison — though of course there is the possibility that there are other bastions of innocence that have fake accounts registered to them. Even so, the ubiquity of Ashley Madison is striking.

Read More

Also read: A chart made from the leaked Ashley Madison data reveals which states in the US like to cheat the most

Also read: A chart made from Ashley Madison data reveals 25 cities where the most people want to cheat


Ashley Madison and the Death of Monogamy

But in the larger secular culture, the big question is whether adultery really matters or not. Marriage and monogamy have been subverted from an array of cultural forces. Moral revolutionaries declared war on monogamy, declaring it to be unrealistic, patriarchal, repressive, and antiquated. Popular culture and entertainment glorified virtually any experiment in sexual gratification and often portrayed adultery as the victory of personal autonomy and freedom. States dropped adultery from the law books, stating that “morals legislation” was doomed. Evolutionary anthropologists explained adultery as a natural and expected phenomenon.

Read more


Should We Watch Murders on Social Media?

A videotaped massacre can easily be a kind of pornography, turning human beings—made in the image of God–into spectacles, all while giving the illusion of a safe distance between their suffering and the audience. We can justify watching this as “being informed,” but there is a very thin line these days between news and entertainment. The last thing we should ever be entertained by is the taking of human life. That’s why our early Christian ancestors refused to go to the gladiatorial games.

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Noisy Quiet Times

Late one night I was reading a Christian book on the disciplines of the Christian woman. When I got to the part that suggested setting my alarm clock at 3:00 am to have my quiet time, I slammed the book closed and threw it at the wall. That book has probably been a blessing to many, but I never dared finish it. For me, right then, it just made me mad. My alarm was already set. Not for 3:00am, but for a reasonable 6:00am, so I could wake before the baby’s feeding at 6:30am. Since my various duties had already kept me up well past midnight, I would be getting plenty of piety points by getting up at 6!

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Already & Not-Yet

There is a real danger of falling into one of the ditches on either side of the road when it comes to our understanding of the coming of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God was inaugurated at Christ’s first coming and will be consummated at His second coming. Living between these two epiphanies, we are better able to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age when we understand and grasp both of these extremes simultaneously (Titus 2:11-14).

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Paul Trip Weighs on Divorce of Fellow Pastor Tullian Tchividjian: 'There Are Times When the Trust is So Deeply Broken It's Best to Move On'

Paul Trip Weighs on Divorce of Fellow Pastor Tullian Tchividjian: ‘There Are Times When the Trust is So Deeply Broken It’s Best to Move On’

Posted on August 28, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Dr. Paul Tripp has weighed in on the divorce of his friend and fellow pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, lamenting that “there are times when the trust is so deeply broken and patterns so set in place” that it is best to simply “cry out for God’s grace, rest in the truths of the gospel and with a grieved heart, move on.”

Read Full Article »


Sexual Temptation: Women Fall For It, Too

Sexual Temptation: Women Fall For It, Too

Posted on August 28, 2015 by Crosswalk

Can I talk girlfriend to girlfriend for just a moment?nbsp; It#39;s about a very uncomfortable subject, and honestly, one most of us would rather pretend does not exist in Christian circles.nbsp; It#39;s sexual sin. A woman…

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9 “Church Approved” Sins That Plague Your Life

9 “Church Approved” Sins That Plague Your Life

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Church Leaders

&If you’re a child of God, the one sin that shouldn’t plague you is … fear.&

Read Full Article »


John MacArthur’s Confrontation: How Should We Respond to Prophetic Ministry?

John MacArthur’s Confrontation: How Should We Respond to Prophetic Ministry?

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Gospel Herald

I recently wrote about the young Scottish prophet who confronted Pastor John MacArthur with a word of correction. In addition to almost 200 article comments at the time of my writing this article, there has also been an unexpected wave of backlash on my Twitter and personal blogsite from the infamous Executive Director of Pastor MacArthur’s Grace to You media ministry and his followers. This confrontation has raised several questions. I’ll address them as best I can.

Read Full Article »


10 Ways To Overcome Spiritual Weariness

Being a disciple of Jesus is hard. He said we must daily take up our cross and die to ourselves. He calls us to serve, love, and look to the interest of others. Following Jesus yields immeasurable joy, but we can also grow weary from day to day. Weary in parenting, weary in serving, weary in trials and affliction. When we’re weary we can find fresh strength, joy and motivation in Christ. Here are 10 ways to do that:

Come to Jesus for rest

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” MT 11.28-30

Confess your weariness to the Lord

I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. PS 6.6

Ask Jesus to restore and revive you

The LORD is my shepherd… He restores my soul. PS 23.1, 3

Remind yourself that Jesus won’t forget your labors for him

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. HEB 6.10

Ask Jesus for joy

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. JN 16.24

Ask Jesus for strength

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; IS 40.28-30

Ask Jesus for his own affection for people

For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus PHP 1.8

Remind yourself that your work for the Lord is not in vain

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 CO 15.58

Remind yourself that someday you’ll reap rewards

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. GA 6.9

Remind yourself of God’s future commendation

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ MT 25.23


Should We Watch Murders on Social Media?


Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People?


Why We Fail at Family Devotions


Call me “ze,” not “he”: University wants everyone to use “gender inclusive” pronouns

According to Christian Examiner:

Educators in the Volunteer State are very concerned that students might be offended by the usage of traditional pronouns like she, he, him and hers, according to a document from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“With the new semester beginning and an influx of new students on campus, it is important to participate in making our campus welcoming and inclusive for all,” wrote Donna Braquet in a posting on the university’s website. “One way to do that is to use a student’s chosen name and their correct pronouns.”

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/call.me.ze.not.he.university.wants.everyone.to.use.gender.inclusive.pronouns/49425.htm


The Feminist War on Family Science

The Daily Signal reports:

Few social science findings are as durable, consistent, and striking as the idea that children fare better when under the care of two biological parents (on a whole slew of indicators).

This is as close to a law of gravity as we have in sociology.

Unfortunately, there are a slew of scholars who have ignored the science, and instead argue that sociology cannot prove that children fare better with parents who are traditionally married.

The effect of this feminist war on family science—waged by Martha Fineman, Linda McClain, and Elizabeth Brake—has been staggering.

http://dailysignal.com/2015/08/26/the-feminist-war-on-family-science/


Peter Martyr On Law And Gospel

Whatsoever things are contained in the holy Scriptures should be referred unto two principal heads, the law and the gospel. (HT: Dan Borvan)   – Peter Martyr

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Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast

Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries challenges her readers to put on their thinking caps as they evaluate material LifeWay released to promote Beth Moore’s upcoming simulcast. Are there any red flags?  You’ll have to read Lareau’s piece to find out. , I have decided to take another break from my series about submitting in everything to […]

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Preterists in sheep’s clothing: the growing plague of end times deception

Not until I was faced with a Preterist that held these beliefs did I even know they existed. Worse yet, this Preterist was starting a Christian organization in my area and revealed to me that his secret goal was to convince Christians that their Futurist, Dispensationalist, end-times ideas were a manufactured lie. (He is currently working to spread his organization to 300 U.S. cities).

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From the makers of ‘Courageous,’ ‘Fireproof,’ comes ‘War Room’

The wait is finally over.

“War Room,” the new Christian drama from Kendrick Brothers Productions, is hitting theaters across the U.S. on Friday.

Co-directors and co-writers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, known for films such as “Facing the Giants” and “Courageous,” believe their latest work is their best.

View Article


Left Pushes End of Church Tax Exemptions

Begin to ask yourself if you would donate without a donation receipt?

Immediately following the Supreme Court decision that declared same-sex marriage legal, Time’s Mark Oppenheimer openly declared that churches should be stripped of their tax-exempt statuses, arguing they served no reliable function when helping the poor and that government had no business “subsidizing” them anymore.

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New Bible Videos On YouTube Helping Christians Understand God’s Word

Quick: Where is Christ prophesied in the book of Numbers? What problem was Moses addressing when he wrote Leviticus? What do the dietary laws have to do with Jesus? If you can’t answer these questions, you’re not alone ………..  Click here for full story


Christians Debate Whether It’s OK To ‘Act Muslim’ To Save Their Lives

A debate is raging among African and Arab theologians regarding how far Christians can go in good conscience to hide their faith and pretend to be Muslims in order to save their lives at the hands of Islamist extremists……..  Click here for full story


Letter to the Editor: Disheartened with Lack of Discernment in So Many Christian Lives

Dear Lighthouse Trails, I am saddened that so many teachers, preachers, and writers have no problem putting out such blatant lies.  Maybe some would say that “they” were misinformed, but it is up to all of us as individuals to know that truth.  It is disheartening to read such deception, knowing many pastors will teach […]

BLOOD MOONS

Demystifying the Popular Prophecies About
Jewish Sabbaths and Blood Moons
A book review of Dave James’ timely new book Biblical Guide to the Shemitah and the Blood Moons: Discerning Popular “Prophecies” in the Light of God’s Word

By Gaylene Goodroad
Dave James new book, published by Berean Call, 2015

The book, The Mystery of The Shemitah, by Jonathan Cahn—a runaway sequel to his bestselling book, The Harbinger—has nearly rivaled the success of its predecessor[1]—and has proponents of these ancient mysteries eagerly anticipating the economic destruction of the United States this September (when the “Shemitah” cycles end), in fulfillment of the apocalyptic and calamitous judgments, predicted in the so-called hidden end-time Jewish prophecies, Sabbaths (Shemitahs, pronounced sh’mee’-tah), and current Blood Moon Tetrad (aligned with Jewish feast days), detailed in Cahn’s books.

Jonathan Cahn warns of pending “Shemitah” judgments coming to America
on Sid Roth’s television program, It’s Supernatural[2]

There is extraordinary publicity ramping up over the dire events that are predicted to happen the last few weeks in September this year, 2015. Charisma, for example, just ran an article titled “10 Things That Are Going to Happen Within 15 Days of the End of the Shemitah,” which attempts to prophetically connect the Jade Helm military exercises, selected United Nations conferences, and even the Pope’s upcoming visit to America events to the Blood Moons prophecies that have been popularized by men such as Jonathan Cahn, Mark Biltz and John Hagee.

Article in Charisma News, 8/20/15, by Michael Snyder.
The caption to this photo reads: The Shemitah is rapidly approaching.

However, not everyone agrees with these dreadful predictions. Dave James, who previously authored  The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? (a critical review of Cahn’s The Harbinger) initially reviewed Cahn’s book The Mystery of the Shemitah in an article he posted last September on his blog, the Alliance for Biblical Integrity (ABI).[3] He has continued his careful, methodical, and in-depth debunking of this phenomenon, which was recently published into his 206-page critical book review: Biblical Guide to the Shemitah and the Blood Moons (hereafter referred to as BGS). James explains his reasons for doing so:

My purpose for evaluating and critiquing The Mystery of the Shemitah is twofold:

First, because so many have been influenced by The Harbinger, and because this new book is already a bestseller, the Body of Christ needs to see that there is another side to the story that may not be completely obvious at first glance. And even for those who may sense that something isn’t quite right, the time it takes to work through the frequently slow and laborious, yet necessary, task of fact-checking is probably more than most readers will want to invest.

Second, just as one of my goals in writing The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? was to model the process of discernment, the same is true of this booklet. First and foremost, discernment involves checking against the Word of God to make sure that all the arguments, theories, and claims are biblically sound. Beyond this, discernment also frequently involves evaluating the logic arguments, the veracity of assertions from a historical perspective, and even the proper use of statistics, which, unfortunately, can be framed in such a way that the true picture is obscured or hidden from the reader, even if unintentionally.[4]

Graphic from the Zions Gate blog[5]

Here is a brief synopsis of the issues involved and questions raised by these Blood Moon prophecies, according to Dave James:

Read more

Marsha West: “70% of Americans are Christians? Seriously?”


Marsha West
August 28, 2015

A recent report indicates that 70% of Americans are Christians. If this is true, what it says to this writer is that a whole host of people who profess faith in Jesus Christ neglect to read the instruction manual that reveals everything we need to know about the object of our faith. I’m referring to the Bible. Anyone who takes the time to read it knows what Jesus taught and how those who claim to believe in Him must live their lives. Clearly Christians are not reading the Book . . . [Click for more]

 


Keeping a Clear Conscience in an Age of Ashley Madison

The 37 million cheaters caught out by a hacked adultery website have a lot to worry about at the moment. There they thought they could get away with murder – or at least adultery – and it would all be just fine, but have now been exposed to the whole world.

I have written about this wretched site several times now, and I would reemphasise the irony of those complaining about a betrayal of trust. Um, this entire website is one big betrayal of trust. Sin has a way of doing that. Cheat on your spouse and break your sacred vows, and it will come back to bite you.

Of course this is part of the sexual cesspool the West has degenerated into. Al Mohler recently said this about the whole debacle:

In the larger secular culture, the big question is whether adultery really matters or not. Marriage and monogamy have been subverted from an array of cultural forces. Moral revolutionaries declared war on monogamy, declaring it to be unrealistic, patriarchal, repressive, and antiquated. Popular culture and entertainment glorified virtually any experiment in sexual gratification and often portrayed adultery as the victory of personal autonomy and freedom. States dropped adultery from the law books, stating that “morals legislation” was doomed. Evolutionary anthropologists explained adultery as a natural and expected phenomenon.
The mainstream media seems to know that the Ashley Madison hacking story is big news, but the main concern seems to be more about embarrassment than shamefulness.
Then again, even as the larger culture tries to convince itself that it has proudly outgrown monogamy, the furor and grief over the Ashley Madison revelations point to the underlying reality that even those supposedly liberated from conventional sexual morality really do know that adultery is wrong. Nevertheless, severed from any substantial moral grounding, they are not exactly sure why adultery is wrong, or how wrong they should understand adultery to be. Once the scandal subsides, the moral concern about adultery is likely to dissipate as well.
“Life is short,” said Ashley Madison. “Have an affair.” The Sexual Revolution continues, aided and abetted by modern technology. And with that revolution comes hurt and pain beyond calculation, but our sex-obsessed culture proudly denies the obvious, and moves on.
Life is indeed short, and so is the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.”

conscienceYes indeed, but of course the really worrying issue here is how many people claiming to be Christians were part of this diabolical site. One article by Ed Stetzer states that there may well be hundreds of pastors who were caught up in all this:

Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church – and it should be. To be honest, the number of pastors and church leaders on Ashley Madison is much lower than the number of those looking to have an affair. Yet, there is still much that we must consider in the midst of the embarrassment.

This is shocking stuff indeed. He reminds us that the church is called to a much higher standard here. And he goes on to offer “three principles of repentance for pastors and Christian leaders”:

1. Repentance must be public.
Yes, pastors have a higher standard to receive criticism, but when that standard is met, a new standard kicks in– as far as the sin is known the repentance should be known.
Pastors have a responsibility to what has been entrusted to them. If you are a small church pastor, your church should know. If you have been entrusted with a global ministry, however, your repentance should be known on a global scale.
Yes, that’s hard. But you cannot use the higher standard of receiving criticism to your advantage when it is beneficial, but ignore the higher standard of repentance when things are difficult.
The details don’t need to be known, but the sin does. Adultery, lying, theft should be named, not hinted. When you became a pastor, you forfeited the right for your sin not to be known when the accusations prove to be true. It does not have to be prurient, but it must be clear.
2. Repentance must be thorough.
…As Lanny Davis wrote about political scandals, “Tell it all, tell it early, tell it yourself.” Or, to quote a paraphrase of Proverbs 28:13, “What we cover, God uncovers and what we uncover, God covers.
There is great freedom in confessing it all, early, and moving on toward restoration. The alternative is to be trapped in a cycle of waiting until more evidence comes forward and then trying to spin it to salvage our reputation.
Repentance is freeing.
3. Repentance should lead to restoration.
…When it comes to pastoral repentance, fear leads to forever hiding where faith leads to confession and restoration.
I’m not saying that every pastor can be restored to every role—that’s a discussion for another day. But, a pastor who commits adultery, for example, needs to be under a discipline process with the church that lasts a considerable length of time (at least two years in my opinion).

While it may be too late for those already caught out here, all believers should stand up and take notice. None of us are immune from this. We are all susceptible to sexual sins and the temptations thereof. Thus we need to go back to basics here, and reminds ourselves of basic Christian truths.

Let me focus on just one: the need to always keep a clear conscience. Scripture tells us much about the importance of this. Let me offer just a few verses here:

Acts 24:16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:19 holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.
1 Timothy 3:9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.
1 Pet 3:16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Adultery always begins in our hearts, as Jesus reminded us. If we are continuously toying with the thought, then we will likely act it out soon enough. Thus we need to keep our hearts and minds clean, and we need to maintain a clear conscience.

We must stay steeped in the word of God, and stay accountable to one another. Staying in daily dependence on God and his word will help. As John MacArthur said in The Vanishing Conscience: “The conscience functions like a skylight, not a light bulb. It lets light into the soul; it does not produce its own.”

Thus this is not about trying to be better or living up to our own moral principles. This is about immersing ourselves in God and His Word, and letting his standards pour into our lives. This whole sordid affair must serve as a wake-up call to all of us. We need to learn from this while there is yet a chance to do so.

http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/08/27/ashley-madison-and-the-death-of-monogamy/ http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/august/my-pastor-is-on-ashley-madison-list.html


Ed Stetzer: Up to 400 Pastors Caught in Ashley Madison Hack May Resign This Sunday

Ed Stetzer, an expert on ecclesiology and missions, just published an article titled, “My Pastor is on the Ashley Madison List.” We’ve covered updates on the Ashley Madison hack here and here, but Stetzer just revealed some shocking news based on personal conversations with church leaders. Here’s what he writes:

Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be. To be honest, the number of pastors and church leaders on Ashley Madison is much lower than the number of those looking to have an affair. Yet, there is still much that we must consider in the midst of the embarrassment.

Also, to be clear, in situations like these, we must confirm all things. Not everyone on the list signed themselves up. Among those who did, the sin and circumstances will be different. Many likely signed themselves up and didn’t actually go through with adultery. Regardless, though, trust has been shattered and hearts have been broken. But before we assume a name on a list means adultery has taken place, we must confirm all things and seek the full truth.

Now what? We know there are stories of pain and wounds behind each name on the list, but now an families, and an entire staff, congregation will experience the pain.

Stetzer poses the question, “What happens to the sheep when the shepherd is disqualified from pastoral ministry?”

This greatly affects churches, but it’s important to remember the mistake of one person is not the same as the church as an entity hurting you. It’s time to pray for our Church.

Stetzer gives helpful thoughts on what to do if your pastor is on the list. Read the full post here.

The post Ed Stetzer: Up to 400 Pastors Caught in Ashley Madison Hack May Resign This Sunday appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Loving the Neighbor We Didn’t Choose

Loving the Neighbor We Didn’t Choose“Who is my neighbor?” a lawyer asked Jesus (Luke 10:29).

The lawyer had made the mistake of trying to catch the law’s author contradicting the law by asking how he should inherit eternal life. The author turned the tables by asking the lawyer what he thought the law said.

The lawyer then summarized the law in these two commands: We must love God with all we are (Deuteronomy 6:5) and love our neighbor as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). The author agreed and said, “Do this, and you will live” (Luke 10:28).

But the author’s agreement pricked the lawyer’s conscience. So the lawyer sought to “justify himself” by asking, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). The author answered with the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–37).

The Neighbor We Wouldn’t Choose

One observation from this application-rich parable is this: The neighbor we’re called to love is often not one we choose but one God chooses for us. In fact, this neighbor is often not one we would have chosen had not God done the choosing.

The Jew and the Samaritan wouldn’t have chosen the other as his neighbor. What made them neighbors was one man’s unchosen calamity and another man’s chosen compassion, but only in response to an unchosen, inconvenient, time-consuming, work-delaying, expensive need of another.

The shock of the parable is that God expects us to love needy strangers, even foreigners, as neighbors. But if this is true, how much more does he want us to love our actual, immediate neighbors, the ones we have to put up with regularly? Sometimes it is these neighbors we find most difficult to love. As G.K. Chesterton said,

We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor. . . . [T]he old scriptural language showed so sharp a wisdom when [it] spoke, not of one’s duty towards humanity, but one’s duty towards one’s neighbor. The duty towards humanity may often take the form of some choice which is personal or even pleasurable. . . . But we have to love our neighbor because he is there — a much more alarming reason for a much more serious operation. He is the sample of humanity which is actually given us. (Heretics, chapter 14)

The idea of loving our neighbor is beautiful to think about so long as it remains an idealized, abstract concept. But the concrete reality of loving our neighbor, that all-too-real, exasperating person that we would not have chosen and might prefer to escape, strips the beauty away — or so we’re tempted to think. In truth, the beauty of idealized love is imaginary and the beauty of real love is revealed in the self-dying, unchosen call to love the sinner who “is actually given us.”

The Family We Didn’t Choose

Our very first neighbors are in our family. We don’t choose them; they are given to us. We are thrown together with them, warts and all, and called to love them, often with the kind of neighbor-love Jesus had in mind. Chesterton again:

It is exactly because our brother George is not interested in our religious difficulties, but is interested in the Trocadero Restaurant . . . [and] precisely because our uncle Henry does not approve of the theatrical ambitions of our sister Sarah that the family is like humanity. . . . Aunt Elizabeth is unreasonable, like mankind. Papa is excitable, like mankind. Our youngest brother is mischievous, like mankind. Grandpapa is stupid, like the world. (Ibid)

Many wouldn’t have chosen their families if the choice had been theirs. That’s why families are laboratories of neighbor-love, because families are a microcosm of the world.

The Community We’d Like to Un-Choose

If we are old enough and live in a region where we have options, we do choose our church community. But we don’t get to choose who else joins that community.

Invariably, after some time, our church community takes on similarities to our family. We must live with leaders who disappoint us and fellow members who see the world differently. Besides their irritating temperamental idiosyncrasies, they have different interests, ministry priorities, educational philosophies, and musical preferences than we do.

“Doing life” with them doesn’t end up looking or feeling like the community of our dreams — our idealized abstract concept. Perhaps we need a change, to find a different church where we can really thrive.

Perhaps. If the defects of the church community include things like ethical or doctrinal unfaithfulness, a change may be exactly what is needed for us to thrive.

But if our restlessness is due to the disillusionment of having to dealing with difficult, different people and defective programs, then perhaps the change we need is not in church community but in our willingness to love our neighbors, the ones God has given us to love.

This has always been God’s call on Christians. The early church was not all Acts 2:42–47. It was also Acts 6:1 and 1 Corinthians 11:17–22. Those first-generation churches were comprised of Jews and Gentiles, masters and slaves, rich and poor, people who preferred different leaders, people who strongly disagreed over nonessentials — people very much like the people in our church. It was hard doing life together then, like it is now (most likely it was harder then). That’s why we have 1 Corinthians 13 and Romans 12.

The distinguishing mark of the church has never been its utopic society but its members’ love for each other (John 13:35). And according to the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the glory of this love shines when it is costly and inconvenient.

“Go and Do Likewise”

If we ask with the lawyer, “Who is my neighbor?” we may not like Jesus’s answer. It may explode our dreams of love and community. Because instead of loving the neighbor we wanted, the soul-mate we would have chosen, Jesus may point us to the needy, different mess of a person in front of us — the one we feel like passing by — and say, “There is your neighbor.”

Perhaps he or she will be a stranger. But most likely he or she lives in our house, or on our street, or is a member of our church.

The parabolic Samaritan loved the wounded Jew as himself. And Jesus says to us what he said to the lawyer: “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).


Related Resources


Romans 1:28

What else is there to say upon seeing a gay “marriage” proposal taking place in a “church” service?


08/28/15 Crushed by Our Sin

READING: Ezekiel 5-8

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I often think about my own anguish when I sin, particularly when conviction and guilt consume me. I grieve not only the wrong, but also the reality that I sometimes turn to the same wrong over and over again. Holy Spirit pounding is real.

In Ezekiel 5-8, the idolatry of Israel is again evident. A jealous God would “exhaust” His wrath on them (Ezek. 5:13, 6:12, 7:8), thus showing the foolishness of their idolatry and the holiness of the one true God. Yahweh had spoken, and the people would know that He is God (Ezek. 6:7, 6:10, 6:14, 7:4, 7:9,

What grips me, though, is this righteous God’s response to the sin of His people:

Ezek. 6:9  Then your survivors will remember Me among the nations where they are taken captive, how I was crushed by their promiscuous hearts that turned away from Me and by their eyes that lusted after their idols.

The sin of His people crushed God (He was “hurt by” [NASB]; “broken over” [ESV]; “grieved by” [NIV] their wrong) ; that is, God  is not unaffected by our sin. How must it bring grief when we choose to reject Him for idols that simply cannot compare to Him.  As one writer said, “The God who judges is the God who weeps.”

This image of my sin crushing God ought to be enough to cause me to say “no” when temptation occurs. I do not want to grieve the One whose Son has already borne the penalty for my sin.

PRAYER: “God, forgive me. Please just forgive me.”


11 Signs Your Church Is Moving Towards Extinction

In all the conversation among church leaders about the future of the church and declining attendance, the question remains, how’s your church doing?

Sometimes that can be difficult to discern.

Unless you’re in a free fall right now, it can be hard to know whether your congregation will thrive, survive or take a dive in the next decade.

But like most things in life, there are signs right now that will point to the direction in which you’re headed.

And if you can know now, why wait?

I am a firm believer that The Church (capital C Church) will survive and even thrive, but it will look different than it does now.

But in the meantime, amidst a rapidly changing culture, many individual congregations are endangered species. They could easily become extinct.

Change always brings dislocation, death and renewal. Personally, I want as many churches as possible to be on the side of renewal.

And that starts with an honest assessment of where you are as a church today.
In a rapidly changing culture, many churches are like endangered species. They could go extinct.

I believe there are signs you can observe today that will tell you whether your church is going extinct.

These signs are quick gut checks that you can assess easily that will hopefully lead to deeper conversation and change.

If you want to go deeper, listen in on my conversation with Thom Rainer who outlines some other characteristics he sees in dying churches. You can listen on iTunes here or tune in below.  (You can  also check out more from Thom here on his blog.)

The post 11 Signs Your Church Is Moving Towards Extinction appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


“I’m on the Ashley Madison List. Now What?”

I’ve had many conversations with pastors this week about the Ashley Madison list. Some have members on the list, and some are on the list. Slowly their names are coming out, and it’s heartbreaking to many.

And, now, talk of suicide has been in the media, yes, but also in some quiet talk among friends.

I don’t want to dwell on those tragedies, but in this brief article, my desire is to save marriages, maybe preserve relationships with God and perhaps even save some lives.

Millions of people are now facing the heartbreaking reality of this moment (and the sin that preceded it). I’ve made more than one call this week to people I know—and millions of others are weeping around kitchen tables because of their sin.

https://www.churchleaders.com/article-headlines-widget.html

So, the question that I want to answer is based on a conversation I had this week, with someone else on the list that is now going public:

“I’m on the Ashley Madison list. Now what?” he asked.

This is a question that many are asking, but, if you are a follower of Jesus reading this, your situation is both similar and different than the world around you—so, before you do anything rash, let’s reason together.

Maybe someone sent you this article—and if they did, it is because they care for you—but the next few days are crucial to the rest of your life.

You are in the same situation as millions of others, but ultimately have a different response if you are a follower of Christ.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but I do want to give some ideas if you’ve received the news that your name is out, or you are on the list and know it will be soon.

The Darkness of the Moment

Some offenses are so big they look like Everest in the windshield, with no way over, no way around and no way through. Everything is rock, glaciers, crevasses and hundred-mile-an-hour winds.

Your actions at Ashley Madison hurt the people you love. Don’t hurt them again—and more.

For some offenders the likelihood of collateral damage—spouse, family, friends, co-workers, church—is too much to contemplate. The shame, heavy in the darkness of sin and vows abandoned, becomes unbearable in light of the enormity of the offense.

The post “I’m on the Ashley Madison List. Now What?” appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Live Coram Deo

The term coram Deo (before the sight of God) has been used for millennia as a way to remind God’s people to live worthy of our calling. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the glory of the invisible God, our eyes tend to fall upon a thousand examples of sin and brokenness, our own and that of the world. We therefore wonder, How can we recognize more of God’s empowering presence? I think the following illustration may help.

Acting the Fourth Wall

Years ago, when I studied acting at the HB Studio in Manhattan, I learned Uta Hagen’s concept of the “fourth wall.” Simply put, in performance theater, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary wall located in between the audience and the stage. Actors are instructed to envision specific items on their fourth wall (eg. a sunset, farmland, urban sprawl, rolling ocean waves…whatever is required by the scene), keeping their eyes pointed toward this foreground.

In doing so, one’s face remains visible to the audience in a way that conveys integrity to his (dramatic) identity and calling. In other words, by giving attention to the unseen dimension, one’s mind, emotions, and countenance are lifted above the mundane theater environment in apprehension of a new world.

I remember when I first applied the fourth wall technique at the Studio. It was a monologue before an audience of fellow actors. Crazy as it may sound, it worked. I found the bright lights of the stage, against the backdrop of a dark theater, created a blurry haze on which I was able to visualize my character’s environment. (If my memory is correct, I portrayed a Sicilian mobster undergoing psychotherapy…a foreshadowing of Tony Soprano.) It was a transcendent moment.

Let me mention a couple of places where the analogy obviously breaks down. First, the presence of God is not a human invention, imagined and projected upon reality. God is ultimate reality, the One by whom all things have been created and are held together (Colossians 1). Secondly, instead of escaping from ourselves (by emulating other characters) we are called to be genuine. The more we encounter the living God, the more authentic we will be.

The more we encounter the living God, the more authentic we will be.

TWEET

Living Coram Deo

With those qualifications said, here is how I think Hagen’s fourth wall can help us to live coram Deo. Just as an actor will concentrate upon his character’s foreground, we focus upon the reality of God’s presence, for it is there — in God himself — where we find inspiration and direction:

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (1 Peter 1:8)

Yes, sometimes we feel isolation and despair. But we have God’s promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). Indeed, every hair of our heads is numbered (Matthew 10:30)…and if you’re bald, God knows every dysfunctional follicle. We will sometimes feel abandoned. We may feel defeated. We can even feel like hope has evaporated.

But this is not ultimate reality.

In truth, God is present; he is Immanuel, God with us. And he has promised to be with us unto the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). To what extent do we recognize this truth? When we do, our minds, emotions, and countenances are supernaturally elevated.

So where do we find inspiration to live coram Deo? It is in the realization that God is always leading us by his grace. As the Lord says through the Psalmist: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

How will you encounter the living God today?

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The post Live Coram Deo appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


Are Science and Belief in God Incompatible? (Podcast)

In audio podcast, J. Warner Wallace talks with John Stonestreet from the Chuck Colson Center about J. Warner’s new book, God’s Crime Scene. Are science and theism incompatible? Can we employ a detective’s investigative template to this question, and if so, what might we find? Does science demonstrate the existence of a Divine Intruder and Cosmic Designer? (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3762960/height/320/width/580/theme/legacy/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/


How to Move on When You’ve Been Betrayed

A while back, I received this desperate text from a hurting friend. She had discovered that some ministry leaders she greatly admired and who had played a significant role in her spiritual growth had been leading a double life—teaching one thing while covering a blatantly ungodly lifestyle.

Sleepless night. I am angry; I am hurt; I am scared; I am in unbelief and a host of other things. Been thinking all night how everything I believed was a lie and how I am a fool and realizing how the last fourteen years of my life has been built around two people who today I don’t even know. I hate it all.

My friend was experiencing the piercing bitterness of betrayal. If you have ever been through something similar, you know it’s natural to feel hurt, sick to your stomach, like your world has been rocked. But while those feelings are natural, they’re not a healthy place to live for an extended period. I trust my response to my friend will bring you comfort, hope, and some practical ideas for how to move on and find healing.

———–

He will hold you when you cannot hold yourself.

This will not be an easy journey. But He will walk through it with you. He will hold you when you cannot hold yourself. I haven’t been quite where you are. But I have been through intense disillusionment where my faith was deeply shaken. I can tell you that He is faithful and true.

Here are a few thoughts and suggestions as you walk through this painful process:

  • Be honest with God about what you are feeling. He can handle it.
  • Get some sleep. You have been incredibly depleted by this whole situation. When we are physically depleted, we are more vulnerable to believing things about God that just aren’t true.
  • Listen to music that speaks strong biblical truth to your heart. Listen to “Hidden in My Heart” lullaby CDs! Keep them playing; listen over and over and over.
  • Park in the Psalms for a while. Read slowly. See how the psalmists cried out to the Lord in their pain and how in time He lifted their heads. Keep reading, even when you don’t believe it or feel it.
  • Find a few verses that speak to where you are right now; memorize them and keep reciting them over and over again. I have been doing that recently with Psalm 18:1–3.
  • Take walks. Listen to sermons or music as you do. Being sedentary fuels depression and unreliable emotions.
  • Don’t draw conclusions based on what you think or feel during the night hours. The enemy seems to create greater fear, doubt, and unbelief during the darkness.
  • Meditate on Jeremiah 17:5–10 and Psalm 118:8–9. How does the Lord want to transfer your trust from “men” to Christ?
  • These feelings you are experiencing will take time to deal with. That’s okay. It took me eighteen months to walk through my “darkest night of the soul.” The night will not last forever.
  • Guard against bitterness. I believe my journey would not have had to be as long as it was if I had not given in to bitterness.
  • Be careful about becoming isolated. When you are struggling, reach out to Him and to others. You can’t fight this battle alone. If you try, it will be easier for the enemy to take you under.
  • “Don’t doubt in the darkness what you have seen in the light.”

“Don’t doubt in the darkness what you have seen in the light.”

You will come through this, but not because you are strong—”We are weak . . . but He is strong.” In time, you will come to know and believe and love Him in even deeper ways than you ever imagined possible.

Be still before the Lord. Wait patiently for Him. He will not forsake you. He will deliver you. And He will make you an even stronger instrument in His hand.


Life Is Short. Love Your Spouse.

Life Is Short. Love Your Spouse.As the Ashley Madison leak continues playing out in the media, we’re reminded again and again about the lies of sin. The Ashley Madison Company, a cheating site that is (sadly) very successful, has the following motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.” The lies don’t come much more blatantly than this.

But if it’s a lie, why are so many falling for it? Why is it that Ashley Madison can boast of over 37 million users — and professing Christian among them? It’s because sin is just that enticing. And just that deceptive. To have sex with someone who is not your spouse can seem so exhilarating, especially if one’s marriage has become dull and boring. Sin clouds our vision, distorts our perception of reality, and if we haven’t fed our souls on specific truths to chase away the lies, one day we may find ourselves buying into the very lie we once thought was unthinkable.

What, then, are some strategies we can employ, while we’re in our right minds, to combat such temptations? How can we fight to believe the truth rather than lies, not only today, but next year and twenty years from now?

Think in terms of two categories: guarding your marriage and cultivating the garden of your marriage. Defensive strategies (guarding) fend off the negative and deceptive claims of sin, and offensive strategies (gardening) pursue what is right and true.

Guard Your Marriage

1. Read God’s warnings. Sexual immorality is listed among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19, where we’re told that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” If you believe the Ashley Madison lie and pursue it, and you continue to do so without repentance, you will not make it to heaven. Take these warnings of Scripture seriously, and let them spur you on to obedience. (See also Hebrews 13:4.)

2. Be guarded in your relationships with members of the opposite sex. An older and godly mentor of mine shared an insight with me once that I have not forgotten. He commented on the role humor can play in extramarital attachments. Not that we can’t have a good sense of humor. But we should be wary of excessive joking and teasing with members of the opposite sex. It can become dangerous.

3. Be mindful of the influences you allow to shape your thinking. Are you regularly watching movies and shows that glorify fornication and adultery? Are you reading novels that romanticize infidelity? Avoid such influences, and do so relentlessly, sacrificially. In Mark 9, Jesus exhorts us in graphic terms, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” I take that to mean, “If the romantic drama or sensual images are causing you to stumble, do what you can to cut them out of your life.”

Garden Your Marriage

1. Cling to God’s promises. Yes, there are scary warnings in the Bible, and also glorious promises. For instance, Jesus promises in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

2. Talk, talk, talk with your spouse. Remember when you and your spouse were first dating? Remember the curiosity and inquisitiveness? Work to keep that alive. I am fascinated again and again by the new things I see and learn about my wife. We’ve been married for fifteen years, but I’m still getting to know her.

3. Go on dates. To foster those quality conversations, keep dating. Especially with kids, it’s essential to set aside time for undistracted, face-to-face interaction. Find enjoyable activities to do together. Try new experiences. Make new memories. Laugh a lot together.

4. Study and review God’s beautiful design for marriage. I believe the most powerful thing any Christian can do to strengthen their marriage is to deepen their understanding of what God intends marriage to be, and what he intends marriage to point to. This draws us outside of ourselves into something divine, something eternal — because the intimate union of a husband and wife in marriage was created by God to be a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church (Ephesians 5:32).

In light of this, and in the midst of a culture that tragically diminishes the sacredness of marriage, Christians should yearn for their marriages to be a compelling gospel parable.

Don’t fall for the Ashley Madison lie, or others like it. Yes, life is short; don’t waste it on short-lived highs that will leave you lower than you began. Take the necessary steps in your own life to affair-proof your marriage, as much as possible, for the glory of Christ.

Let the Ashley Madison leak and lies inspire you to both guard your marriage and cultivate the garden.


Related Resources


A La Carte (August 28)

I have a handful of new Kindle deals for you today. Next week will bring more. Today’s include Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand’s great account of Louis Zamperini’s life ($1.99); Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told by Bradley Wright ($0.99); Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn ($4.61); When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper ($4.61).

A Note to Christian Men

The title could probably be stronger, but the article is rock-solid. Matthew Holst writes about “the look”—the way men look at women when they allow their eyes to roam.

Fasting for Beginners

“Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.”

The Gospels

Westminster Books is both selling and giving away a neat new edition of the ESV that includes only the gospels in an ultra-readable format.

This Day in 1960: Mark Dever was born. Today he serves as pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, president of 9Marks, and co-founder of Together for the Gospel. You can wish him a happy birthday at @MarkDever.

Five Ways to Deepen Your Preaching

Each one of Gavin Ortlund’s preaching tips is very good.

What We Do in Secret

Derek Thomas: “It is altogether possible to practice an outward display of piety—to ‘talk the talk’—without demonstrating any inner reality of godliness. This is true of every professing Christian, and it is especially true of those engaged in Christian ministry.”

10 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Weariness

Mark Altrogge assures us than “When we’re weary we can find fresh strength, joy and motivation in Christ. Here are 10 ways to do that…”

Southern Baptists Will Cut 600 to 800 Missionaries and Staff

Here is a concerning bit of news from Christianity Today: “Two months after promoting plans to send out ‘limitless’ numbers of missionaries, the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) faces a financial crisis.”


Links I like

What do if my pastor is on the Ashley Madison list?

A good word here from Ed Stetzer, who estimates that at least 400 church leaders will be resigning this Sunday (or in the weeks to come):

I know this is hard, but quiet resignations and hushed conversations are not the answer. Pastoral repentance is different—the Bible says it is.

I know of pastors right now who are negotiating a quiet resignation after an Ashley Madison related affair—but you don’t get to do that if you have taken on the office of pastor.

Aaron Earls also offers a good encouragement here.

The Mark of Christianity That is Disappearing from Our Worship

Trevin Wax:

As a part of corporate worship, confession has historically been near the beginning of a service. Once we have been summoned to worship God, and once we have seen and begun to experience His presence, we are like Isaiah – falling on our knees before a majestic and holy God, amazed when seeing the brightness of His glory, ashamed when seeing our sin for what it is. Before we can move forward in worship, or move outward in mission, we fall down in repentance.

4 Kinds of Pastors

Nick Batzig:

About five years into the pastorate–trying to discern my own weaknesses and deficiencies–I started to realize that there are essentially four kinds of men (the lazy pastor aside) who labor in pastoral ministry–“the Idealist,” “the Visionary,” “the Worker Bee” and “the Connector.” While these categories are somewhat over-generalized and a bit artificial (since we are all very complex people), I have found them helpful to my own ministry. Those men who fall only into one of the four categories either have to labor hard to surround themselves with the other three, or they do an enormous disservice to the congregation they pastor because of the greatness of the imbalance they create. Finding men with all four of these characteristics is beyond rare, because they are borderline geniuses. While this rare breed is often used mightily by God for the growth and development of the church, such a man must work diligently to fight against trying to micromanage everyone and everything in the church; otherwise, he too will do a great disservice to the congregation that he has been called to pastor.

5 Questions on Creating an Organizational Culture

Eric Geiger:

I recently sat down with Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper to discuss leadership and reading for the “Five Questions Leadership Podcast.” You should check out the podcast, which has skyrocketed on iTunes, for some great content. Here are the five questions we discussed about organizational culture, with a few notes I jotted down after each question.

Cultivating a gracious climate in your church

Jared Wilson:

A message of grace may attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them. What our churches need, not in exchange for a gospel message but as a witness to it, is a gospeled climate. But how do you get that? How do you develop in your church community a safe space to confess, be broken, be “not okay”? What are some ways to cultivate a climate of grace in your church?


Check out

Blogs

7 Ways I Protect My Family Life in Ministry | Ron Edmondson
#5: Remembering that you are not everyone’s pastor.

4 Kinds of Pastors | Nicholas T. Batzig
“To be fair, you need all four of these kinds of pastors. Some men have one or more of these categories. Rarely does any pastor exhibit all four. But, God has beautifully woven together different personalities and gifts within the leadership of His church.”

What Commentaries Should You Read? | Paul Levy
Some practical thoughts and recommendations.

10 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Weariness | Mark Altrogge, The Blazing Center
Because we all experience it sometimes.

A Note to Christian Men | Matthew Holst, The Christward Collective
Reordering your thoughts to guard your heart.

Doctrine and Evangelism |Rich Holdeman, Gentle Reformation
“…when it comes to evangelism, we are tempted to oversimplify. What a blessing to see a living, breathing example of spiritual life born out of pure, unadulterated doctrine drawn from God’s life-giving Word.”

The Mark of Christianity That Is Disappearing from Our Worship | Trevin Wax

“My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List” | Ed Stetzer
Wisdom on how the church can handle the heartbreak of a pastor’s public sin.

Ashley Madison and the Death of Monogamy | Albert Moehler
“Life is indeed short, and so is the Seventh Commandment: ‘You shall not commit adultery.’”

Kindle Books

Divine Design: God’s Complementary Roles for Men and Women by John Macarthur $0.99.

Why Jesus?: Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality by Ravi Zacharias $2.99.

A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology by Kelly Kapic $5.38.

Recommended New Book

Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness $9.99.

Video

Convictions and CUltural Change: Google Hangout With John Macarthur

Looks like they got a horror movie producer to do the lighting on John Macarthur!


Friday’s 5 to Live By

 

PTSD

Brad Hambrick addresses 5 Ways to Establish an Environment of Safety in Which to Address PTSD.

Josh Duggar and Biblical Counseling

Julie Ganschow writes that:

“This week has brought more heartbreaking news for the popular Duggar family (19 Kids and Counting). Yesterday it was revealed that Josh Duggar paid for several accounts on an internet adultery site. My heart aches for his wife and family at this revelation. Sexual immorality is at epidemic levels, even in the church.”

Read the rest of Julie’s perspective in Anna, Ashley, and Josh: Adultery Unmasked.

Heath Lambert and the ACBC

Read the recent ACBC press release on Heath Lambert, their Executive Director, who will be staying at ACBC while also taking on a vital new local church role.

9 Parenting Truths from John Piper

Tim Challies summarizes 9 Parenting Truths from John Piper.

Ashley Madison and Who You Are Online

Last week, hackers released millions of email addresses related to the Ashley Madison site that fosters adulterous affairs. Tim Challies reflects on this in Ashley Madison and Who You Are Online.


The Daily Discovery (August 28, 2015)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:

(Click title to go to full article)

Strange Firony… – “I honestly, sincerely wish I could move on from the topic of the Charismatic Movement, but it just keeps on coming up.  It’s been almost two years since the Strange Fire conference, and it seemed like all the parties involved got their shots in.  The Cessationists made their reasonable appeals, made a lot of unreasonable rants, published their stuff, wrote their responses, etc.  The Continuationists basically cried about division and broad brushes.  The Pentecostals basically cried about division and broad brushes.  The Charismatics basically cried about division and broad brushes.  Charisma Magazine kept on doing everything possibly in their power toprovide an endless tsunami of amazing examples as to why the Strange FireConference was necessary (and possibly understated things: every single word in that statement links to a separate mind-numbing article, just for a few dozen examples).”

A Pastoral Perspective on Hillsong and the Issue of Association – “If you’re a church music minister, there’s a lot out there to choose from. It’s overwhelming, in fact. Strike out the songs with weak theology or inaccessible music, and it’s still overwhelming. Since the Reformation, the church has seen such a wealth of songs as to be nearly uncountable (Charles Wesley himself wrote more than 6,000). Even if your church is guilty of chronological snobbery and sings only songs written in the past few decades, you could still make weekly song selection into a full-time job. Part of the reason for such a recent glut of music is that what once was the purview of pastors and trained theologians (that is, writing song texts) has been taken up by musicians, often with little thought for the magnitude of the responsibility they’re assuming. Right or wrong, the songs we sing shape our understanding of who God is and what He does. And there’s plenty of material, both old and new, that’s weak or even heretical. But happily there’s much that is excellent and rich, especially in the past fifteen years.”

Controversial New Movie on Homosexuality to be Advertised in the Skies over San Francisco – “San Francisco residents may look up to see a rainbow in the sky next week, but it won’t indicate the typical support for gay rights. A new movie that over 1,000 LGBT supporters have warned the public not to watch will be advertised on a banner for two days over San Francisco.  While pro-LGBT viewers have slammed the film on online review sites, the film’s producer is not deterred. Ray Comfort, whose movies have been seen by millions, said, ‘Despite the calls for censorship and displays of intolerance, we’re hoping people will be open-minded enough to watch the film and come to their own conclusion.’”

Law-Keeping Cannot Save You – “People by nature want to boast in their own abilities, efforts, and achievements. Therefore, the cross of Christ is an offense to everyone. In this lab, John Piper looks at why we resist the message of the cross, as well as what the good news of the gospel says to our self-righteousness.”

Five Lessons for Serial Daters – “Every fall, young men and women descend on college campuses across the country freshly free from parental accountability and looking for love. It’s a unique time of life that likely won’t repeat itself. Never again will you have instant access to so many people of the opposite sex.”


SERMON:

Paul Washer – Greatest message ever told


VIDEOS:

Prideful Professing Christian Returns “Pride” Tract

I Think Homosexual Marriage is Okay


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (August 28, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, August 28, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Religious Freedom a ‘Reality’ in Recovering Central African Republic

Hillsong Pastor Launches Initiative to Pray for ISIS Rape Victims

Reading Crisis: Illiteracy in America is Widespread

Oldest Bible to be Displayed at British Museum

Donald Trump Plans to Hold Meeting with Religious Leaders

Christians Drawn to Star Wars Religion in Turkey

Vatican Supports Naming Square after Protestant Reformer

Josh Duggar Checks Himself into Long-term Treatment Center

Syrian Church Attack Kills 9, Wounds 50

Ted Cruz Tries to Rouse Evangelicals with Campaign against Planned Parenthood

Opinion

Ashley Madison and the Death of Monogamy

From Suicide to Euthanasia: Devaluing Human Life

The 3 Zip Codes without Ashley Madison Users

A Warning about Trigger Warnings

What do Starbucks and Pope Francis Have in Common?


Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

Source


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

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Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy paper: gun control doesn’t lower murder rate

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Guns are for self-defense against criminals Guns provide effective self-defense against violent criminals

Doug Ross linked to this study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.

He writes:

The Harvard study attempts to answer the question of whether or not banning firearms would reduce murders and suicides. Researchers looked at crime data from several European countries and found that countries with HIGHER gun ownership often had LOWER murder rates.

Russia, for example, enforces very strict gun control on its people, but its murder rate remains quite high. In fact, the murder rate in Russia is four times higher than in the “gun-ridden” United States, cites the study. ”Homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.” In other words, the elimination of guns does not eliminate murder, and in the case of gun-controlled Russia, murder rates are quite high.

The study revealed several European countries with significant gun…

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The Reality of Revival; an Example, Working Definition, and Features of a Revival

Originally posted on Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation:

Taken and adapted from,“From Pentecost to the Present, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever”
Written by, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter

download

But there have been certain seasons called revivals—when God has “poured His Spirit out on His people.” These times—also called awakenings— occurred when the presence of God is experienced in powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit. 
                                                                                  –J. Edwin Orr

The Reality of Revival

The evening prayer meeting had been over for about an hour. Students of Liberty University and members of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, were milling around the front of the sanctuary. It was late—10:30 on a Wednesday night—so most of the ushers and pastors had gone home.

Suddenly a lone student rose and walked to the pulpit, weeping, to confess sins. The microphone and pulpit lights were off, but God was there. That student’s passionate repentance captured the attention of those who…

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Feeding the Lions by Anne Lively

Originally posted on No Apologies Allowed:

Feeding the Lions
by Anne Lively, wife of Pastor Scott Lively

“If I fought with wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained?” 1 Corinthians 15:32a

Damnatio ad bestias.  Condemnation to the wild animals.  The worst death the Romans could devise for their arenas, and one reserved exclusively for heinous criminals, slaves and Christians.  The condemned were bound or tied to stakes to render them helpless, or sometimes

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The Mystical, New Age Roots of Jesus Calling by Geri Ungurean

Originally posted on My Word Like Fire:

We have been searching for a Bible based church. For a long time, my husband and I have been worshiping from home; watching pastors and preachers whom we have come to trust and love via YouTube. We do miss fellowship and we are aware that God wants us to be in fellowship with other believers.

For the last two Sundays we visited a Baptist church. This church ordains women as pastors. The head pastor is a man. We do not believe that the Word of God supports women being pastors.

Knowing that we will probably not find a church where we agree on every point, we know that some things are essential, while others are non-essential to salvation. But I have often spoken of the slippery slope on which leadership finds itself when they stray from the Word. It is inevitable.

A baby was being dedicated on the first Sunday…

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Virginia shooter background includes gay rights activism and anti-white racism

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Let’s just pull up some quotations from mainstream news sources and learn about what the Virginia reporter shooter believed.

First, the UK Telegraph on the shooter’s home.

Gay pride flag and sex toys:

[…]In a raid on the apartment on Wednesday, police reportedly confiscated a gay pride flag. They also found “many” sex toys, which may have “human material” on them, the source told this newspaper.

Victim mindset and gay prostitution:

In a “suicide note” sent to ABC news, Flanagan said he was discriminated against in life for being gay and said he had sometimes worked as an escort for money.

Here’s another UK Telegraph article.

His motive was revenge against whites:

In a 23-page document faxed to ABC News two hours after the shooting,Flanagan apparently said that the Charleston shooting in June of nine black people was his “tipping point”.
He said the church shooting by racist Dylann…

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God’s Motive in Salvation

Originally posted on Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation:

Taken and adapted from, “The Gospel in Ezekiel” Chapter 6
Written by, Thomas Guthrie, D.D., Published in 1855

gift_of_eternal_life-1

I do . . . for mine holy name’s sake.
–Ezekiel 36:22

There is a land lying beneath a burning sky, where the fields are seldom screened by a cloud, and almost never refreshed by a shower; and yet Egypt— for it is of it I speak— is as remarkable for the fertile character of its soil as for the hoar antiquity of its history. At least, it was so in days of old, when hungry nations were fed by its harvests, and its fields were the granaries of ancient Rome. Powers so prolific Egypt owed to the Nile— that river whose associations carry us upward to the beginning of all human history— upon whose banks, in the sepulchers of forgotten kings, stand the proudest monuments of human vanity— a river, the…

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Daily Devotionals: (28th Aug.) The Full Salvation of Our First Parents (Part 2)

Originally posted on thinkGOSPEL blog:

Reading: Genesis 3:1-24

Adam feared when he heard the sound of God in the garden. Adam was right to fear his creator. He had sinned against Him and was deserving of the just wrath of God. If God had cast him out of paradise with no hope, Adam would have had no recourse. The grace that God showed to Adam was undeserved and clearly unexpected.

In Genesis chapter three we search in vain to find a reason why God would offer salvation to Adam. There is nothing in Adam’s initial reaction to the awareness of sin; there is nothing in his response to the approach of God in the garden. Indeed, both the initial reaction and the response are contrary to any move toward God. Adam’s sin had left him running from God and blaming his wife. He was chained to self-will and incapable of extricating himself.

The entire story…

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August 28, 2015 Truth2Freedom Devotional Guide Collection

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August 28

ALL THE WAY MY SAVIOR LEADS ME

Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915

For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:14)

Often we become discouraged because we cannot see God’s long range plan of guidance for our lives. We need to remember that God has promised to guide our steps, not the miles ahead. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23).

This beloved hymn came from the grateful heart of Fanny Crosby after she had received a direct answer to her prayer. One day when she desperately needed five dollars and had no idea where she could obtain it, Fanny followed her usual custom and began to pray about the matter. A few minutes later a stranger appeared at her door with the exact amount. “I have no way of accounting for this,” she said, “except to believe that God put it into the heart of this good man to bring the money. My first thought was that it is so wonderful the way the Lord leads me, I immediately wrote the poem and Dr. Lowry set it to music.” The hymn was first published in 1875.

No one knows the importance of guided steps as much as a blind person like Fanny Crosby, who lost her sight at six weeks of age through improper medical treatment. A sightless person is keenly aware that there will be stumbling and uncertainty as he continues on his way. As Fanny wrote, “Cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial,” she has reminded us that God has never promised to keep us from hard places or obstacles in life. He has assured us, however, that He will go with us, guide each step, and give the necessary grace.

All the way my Savior leads me; what have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide? Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for ev’ry trial, feeds me with the living bread. Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the Rock before me, lo! a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love! Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above. When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day, this my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.

For Today: Psalm 32:8; John 10:3–5; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:4

Ask God to help you find that “perfect rest” in every stressful situation, confident that He is guiding your every step. Sing this musical truth—[1]


August 28: Meaningless Maxims

Isaiah 58:1–59:21; Luke 22:24–62; Job 13:1–12

“Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay” (Job 13:12).

There were bits of truth in the words spoken by Jobs’ friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Between their blundering interpretations were words that expressed God’s majesty, justice, and sovereignty. Unfortunately, they pieced together their bits of truth and applied them incorrectly to Job’s life.

Job quickly saw through their packaged solution. However, not all those struggling with loss can handle an onslaught of helpful Christians with easy answers. When people go through difficult times and ask for advice—or even if they don’t—it’s tempting to deliver our responses based on our own experiences. Eliphaz argued this way: “Just as I have seen, powers of mischief and sowers of trouble will reap it” (Job 4:8).

The way we interpret and respond to events in our lives is often Scripture-based and Spirit-led. Though we should readily provide encouragement to those who struggle, we shouldn’t always encourage others toward the same application. Our responses to those in need should be carefully weighed, and they should always guide others to Scripture, the good news, and the work of the Spirit. Ultimately, these are the means through which truth speaks into our experiences. We should never intend for our guidance to be the final authority in others’ lives.

How are you helping others understand their pain and sorrow?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


August 28

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Ezekiel 21 through 24. Our lesson is from Ezekiel 24:14, ‘ “I the LORD, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you,’ declares the Lord GOD.’ ” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s reading is part of the Lord’s charges against Judah because of her sin. She sinned even more than had Samaria, the Northern Kingdom that had fallen captive to Assyria in 722 B.C. Let’s see three reactions of the Lord in relationship to His people.

First, the Lord speaks to His people. God communicated with His people through His prophets. Both in the Old and New Testaments, persons gifted by the Lord are called to declare His word to the people. In our text, it is the prophet Ezekiel who warns the people of impending judgment because they have not walked in obedience before the Lord.

God warned Judah through Ezekiel in Babylon and through Jeremiah in Jerusalem. But it was to no avail. Judah continued in her wicked ways and did not listen to the prophets. Instead, Judah persecuted the prophets and disregarded their ministry. Eventually Judah would pay a very high price for her stubbornness.

Ezekiel was the Lord’s ambassador in warning the people of impending judgment. Rather than turn from their wicked ways, they pursued lewdness and rejected the Lord and His counsel. Judah was putting the noose around her neck. God’s patience was running out.

Second, the Lord takes action against His people. The prophets were sent to warn the people that they were nearing the end of God’s patience and that He would act. But they did not listen. Judah continued to be rebellious. Judah crossed over the line and brought upon herself the pain of God’s wrath.

Last, the Lord judges His people. God draws the line. However, even in the midst of judgment, God cares for and loves His people. He does not judge His people to hurt them or spite them; rather He desires that they repent and change their ways. Sadly Judah would have to learn a hard lesson in exile.

In closing, the Lord speaks to His people. The Lord takes action against His people. And the Lord judges His people.

Let us learn from the experience of Judah. The human heart can be so hard that it blinds us. May we be pliable in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to reflect if there are any areas that need to come under His control. Maybe there are hidden sins in your life which need to be dealt with. Allow God to deliver and heal you.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Ezekiel 25 through 28. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


 

August 28

 

Holy Hatred

 

“Hate evil, you who love the Lord” (Ps. 97:10).

✧✧✧

God’s hatred for evil is an extension of His love.

After spending this month exploring fifteen characteristics of godly love, it might seem odd to shift suddenly to the topic of hatred. Additionally, “holy hatred” will sound like a contradiction in terms to those who view all hatred as evil. But love and hate are inseparable. You can’t truly love something and be complacent about the things that oppose or threaten it.

If you love your spouse, you hate anything that would defile or injure him or her. If you love your children, you hate anything that would harm them. If you love good, you hate evil. If you love unity, you hate discord. If you love God, you hate Satan. That’s why Scripture says, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord” (Ps. 97:10) and, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I [God personified] hate” (Prov. 8:13).

Unquestionably God is a God of love. First John 4 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and every one who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. … And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (vv. 7–8, 11, 16).

How are we to respond to that love? The psalmist wrote, “From Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. … I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Thy law. … I esteem right all Thy precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way. … I hate and despise falsehood, but I love Thy law” (Ps. 119:104, 113, 128, 163).

Is that your prayer? Do you hate the things that oppose God? Are you offended by what offends Him? Remember, holy hatred is as much a part of godly love as any of its other characteristics. If you love God, you must necessarily hate evil.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to increase your love for Him and your hatred for evil.

For Further Study: Meditate on Psalm 119:101–104, and commit it to memory.[4]


August 28

The House on the Sand

Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine,and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

Matthew 7:26

The house built on the sand symbolizes a spiritual life built on the foundation of human opinions, attitudes, and wills, which are always shifting and unstable. If you build your life on this foundation, you are building it on self–will, self-sufficiency, selfrighteousness, self-purpose, and self–fulfillment. If you choose sandy foundations, your life will be based on false teaching and will fall short of salvation—“always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).

Don’t be like the one who superficially and carelessly chooses a section of the world’s sand to build his hope on. Instead, be concerned about the depth of spiritual reward that comes with wisely considering and carefully choosing God’s solid foundation.[5]


 

August 28

 

Observing the Flowers

 

“And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?”

Matthew 6:28–30

✧✧✧

Observing the flowers is a way to remember that God cares for you.

In Matthew 6, some of the people to whom Jesus spoke perhaps had little clothing, no more than one set of coverings for their bodies. To assure them that God would provide for their basic needs, Jesus asked them to observe “the lilies of the field” (v. 28). That is a general term for all the wild flowers that graced the rolling hills of Galilee. There were many, including the anemones, gladioli, irises, narcissus, lilies, and poppies.

The people were also to observe how the flowers grow. They grow easily, freely, gorgeously; they flourish effortlessly. And flowers don’t toil or spin. They don’t make fancy thread to adorn themselves but have a texture and form and design and substance and color that man with all his ingenuity cannot even touch. Even King Solomon could not make a garment as fine as the petal of a flower. It has a beauty that only God can give.

Despite their beauty, however, flowers do not last long. They are alive today but tomorrow are cast into an oven (v. 30). A woman in that part of the world used a clay oven primarily for baking. If she wanted to hurry the baking process, she would build a fire inside the oven as well as under it. Fuel for the inside fire was usually dried grass and flowers, which she would gather from nearby fields. Jesus’ point was this: If God lavishes such beauty on a flower that is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more will He clothe and care for you, one of His own children who will live forever.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: To attack anxiety, ask the Lord to help you “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2).

For Further Study: According to 1 Peter 5:5, how should you clothe yourself?[6]


August 28

Temptation and Error

Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

James 1:14

what exactly is temptation? It is an enticement to get a legitimate need met apart from God’s will or outside God’s boundaries.

Some people feel guilty for having needs. That is false guilt. Needs are needs.… Needs are legitimate, and all of our needs are worthy of bringing to Christ so that He might meet them. Don’t feel guilty for having needs.

Guilt arises—and should arise—when we attempt to meet our needs by our manipulation or efforts rather than by trust in God.[7]


August 28

Rest in His Care

Scripture reading: Luke 15:1–7

Key verse: Luke 19:10

The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

The Pharisees were appalled that Jesus associated with sinners. They publicly grumbled about Jesus’ actions to show their disgust for what they called loose, disreputable behavior. Sometimes He even ate meals with sinners and social outcasts.

Jesus responded immediately. He wanted them to understand that His real mission is to save lost mankind, all who recognize that they are separated from God by their sin and believe that He pays the price for them. Jesus wanted the Pharisees and scribes to know how much each lost soul means to Him, how much He is willing to do to restore the person to fellowship with God.

Jesus, the true Shepherd, compared His love for sinners to a shepherd boy searching for one lost sheep. This shepherd boy left his other ninety–nine sheep safe in the fold to seek the missing one. The shepherd was personally responsible for each sheep in his care. If something happened to one of them, he had to give an account to the owner of the flock. Imagine this boy’s relief and joy when he finally carried the wandering one home.

Jesus has this same love for you. He wants you to know your infinite value, to come to Him and rest in His care.

Thank You for Your love, Lord. I rest in Your care today.[8]


August 28    Pruning the Branches

scripture reading:

 

Psalm 139

 

key verse:

 

Psalm 139:23

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties.

If we are honest, we must admit that at least subconsciously, if not overtly, we prefer the pleasant over the painful, the comfortable over the distressful. Despite this decidedly normal human disposition, we will stumble badly through the Christian journey if we adopt these longings as our chief aim.

Christ’s goal for your life transcends this limited perspective. He has something far more sublime in mind for you—to make you productive in the work of His kingdom. This involves a process Christ termed pruning, a continual trimming of your character and habits that are unproductive for your personal growth as a believer.

It can be painful at times, even severe when the pruning lops off sensitive areas. But whatever God sees as detrimental to your fruitfulness and well–being, He will seek to sever. The tools of Providence may be sharp, but loving hands hold them.

Perhaps you can identify an area that God’s Spirit has surfaced as deleterious to your spiritual health. Cooperate with the Husbandman. Though it may be trying for a time, God’s goal is to grow you into the image of Christ. In this kind of pain, there is godly gain.

I don’t like it, Lord—but I need it! Prune the unproductive branches of my life. I know it may be difficult, but I want to cooperate with the process. I rejoice that through my pain, there will be gain.[9]


August 28

The Great Liberator

Scripture reading: John 8:31–36

Key verse: John 8:32

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Jesus is life’s Great Liberator, and one of the ways He rescues us is to free us from bondage to sin. If you are struggling with a particular sin, He will help you when you surrender and repent.

R. C. Sproul addressed the issue of sin:

The reason we continue with these pockets of repeated sins is because we have a heartfelt desire to continue them, not because we have a heartfelt desire to stop them. I wonder how honest our commitment is to quit. There’s a tendency for us to kid ourselves about this anytime we embrace a pet sin. We need to face the fact that we commit the sin because we want to do that sin more than we want to obey Christ at that moment. That doesn’t mean that we have no desire to escape from it, but the level of our desire vacillates. It’s easy to go on a diet after a banquet; it’s hard to stay on a diet if you haven’t eaten all day …

I think what we have to do is first of all be honest about the fact that we really have a conflict of interest between what we want to do and what God wants us to do. I think we have to feed our souls with the Word of God so that we can get what God wants us to do clear in our mind and then build a strong desire to obey.

You find freedom in Christ when you surrender and lay aside the sin that besets you. Obedience is the threshold, and the Great Liberator knocks.

Father, I surrender my will and the sin that so easily besets me. Create within me a desire to live in obedience to You.[10]


August 28

A Personal Invitation from God

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 1:18–21

Key Verse: Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

The Bible typically portrays sin as black or dark, but in Isaiah 1:18 (nasb), the imagery changes: “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”

In Bible times, these colors were some of the brightest colors that could be produced, and they were absolutely colorfast. You didn’t just wash out a scarlet stain from a piece of cloth. If the material was dyed with scarlet, it stayed red. The idea of something dark red becoming as white as snow or wool was certainly out of the question.

Yet that is what Christ’s red blood does to your sins. It wipes them away completely, and all God sees when He looks at you is purity—no spots or smudges of unrighteousness soiling the fabric of your life.

You can find a good example of this spiritual principle in science. If you take a white card with a big red dot on it and look at it through a special red photographic light filter, you cannot see the spot at all. The entire card appears white. Through the filter of Christ’s blood, you are “eternally white” in the eyes of God.

Does God see you through the covering of Jesus’ blood, or are you still trying to scrub out the flaws in your heart and life by your own effort? You were not designed to be self-cleaning. Let Him do the job.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the invitation to be washed white as snow. I accept. Wash away the crimson stains of my sin. Remove all the spots and smudges.[11]


August 28

A Barrier to Peace

Scripture Reading: Psalm 85:1–13

Key Verse: Psalm 85:2

You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;

You have covered all their sin.

Sin robs you of peace with God because it places a barrier between you. Author and Bible teacher Kay Arthur states, “Sin will take you further than you ever want to go.” She is right. The enemy entices us to sin. When we do, we suddenly find we have drifted further from God than we would have thought possible.

A lack of peace often indicates that there is something wrong within a person’s life. It could be that he is believing Satan’s lie by thinking that God has abandoned him. Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s love for us is eternal.

Another reason we lose our sense of peace is because of sin. The way to reclaim the joy and peace that sin has stolen is to humble ourselves before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to forgive our transgressions.

The psalmist wrote, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.… Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (Psalm 51:1, 12). King David wrote these words to the Lord after his adulterous affair with Bathsheba. Anguish over his sin motivated David to pray for forgiveness and for the restoration of the joy of his salvation.

God heard David’s prayer and restored him. The Lord will do the same for you. His peace and joy await those who turn to Him.

Lord, forgive me of my sin. Destroy every barrier that blocks me from Your presence. Restore the joy of my salvation and give me peace.[12]


August 28

The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Lord God, I can overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony. Who shall bring a charge against me, Your elect, Lord God? It is You who justify. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at Your right hand, who also makes intercession for me.

Having disarmed principalities and powers, Jesus made a public spectacle of them. Through death Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and released me who, through fear of death, was all my lifetime subject to bondage. In all these things I am more than a conqueror through Jesus who loved me. I put on the whole of Your armor, Lord God, that I may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. And I take the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Thanks be to You, Almighty God, who gives me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord God, victory over the devil, sin, and death is mine through Your Son. All praise to You!

Revelation 12:10; Revelation 12:11; Romans 8:33–34; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14–15; Romans 8:37; Ephesians 6:11, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:57[13]


August 28

Speak Softly

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

The mouth of the righteous is a well of life” (Proverbs 10:11) and is as valuable as choice silver (10:20). The words of the righteous are wisdom, they are like food for those hungry to know how to live (10:21, 31). And most of all, the lips of the righteous are discerning, knowing what is acceptable to say (10:32). I believe the sensitive, Spirit-led Christian can depend upon the Holy Spirit to give him freedom to speak or freedom not to speak, depending on whether the words are acceptable (appropriate) in the given situation.

Perhaps the most underutilized word of healing that Proverbs discusses is the “soft answer [which] turns away wrath.” It takes two people to have a heated, angry argument. If one of them decides to use a soft answer and not participate in the shouting match, the heated argument must by definition come to a halt. If you enter a situation where an angry argument is taking place, you can diffuse the tension and lower the decibel level by your soft words.

It is a blessing beyond description to see the spirits of a person rise, the life restored to their eyes, as a result of a healing word from your own lips.[14]


August 28

WE are so little, that if God should manifest his greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under his feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see what angels do, turns his eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly and contrite, and makes them great.

“Thy gentleness hath made me great.” How marvellous has been our experience of God’s gentleness! How gentle have been his corrections! How gentle his teachings! How gentle his drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened, ere this day close.[15]


August 28

1 Samuel 20; 1 Corinthians 2; Lamentations 5; Psalm 36

In this information-rich age, many of us have learned to be as brief as possible. That was one of the areas in which my own doctoral supervisor helped me a great deal: though my prose style is still too rambling, whatever leanness and precision it has owes a great deal to his thorough correcting of my work a quarter of a century ago. Efficient managers learn to be brief; computer programmers are rated on how briefly they can write precise code to do what needs to be done. Only a few contemporary authors (e.g., Tom Clancy and James Michener) get away with long, rambling books—and even then the editors have drastically trimmed them.

Yet here we are, quietly reading through Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, with Ezekiel to go, and we find ourselves circling around the same handful of themes again and again: sin in the covenant community, threatened judgment, then enacted judgment, first for the northern tribes, then for Judah. We recognize the subtle differences, of course: history, apocalyptic, oracle, lament, prayers. Here in Lamentations 5, the fifth dirge is cast as a long prayer: “Remember, O Lord, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace” (5:1). But haven’t you caught yourself saying to yourself more than once, “I know this is the Word of God, and I know it is important, but I think I understand now something of the history and the theology of the exile. Couldn’t we get on to something else?” We live in an age burgeoning with information, we cry for brevity, and the Bible at times seems terribly discursive. So we scan another chapter as rapidly as possible because we already “know” all this.

But that is part of the problem, isn’t it? Read through this chapter again, slowly, thoughtfully. Of course, it is tied to Israel six centuries before Christ, to the destruction of her cities and land and temple, to the onset of the exile. But listen to the depth and persistence of the pleas, the repentance, the personal engagement with God, the cultural awareness, the acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty and justice, the profound recognition that the people must be restored to God himself if return to the land is to be possible, let alone meaningful (5:21). Then compare this with the brands of Christian confessionalism with which you are most familiar. In days of cultural declension, moral degradation, and large-scale ecclesiastical frittering, is our praying like that of Lamentations 5? Have the themes of the major prophets so burned into our minds and hearts that our passion is to be restored to the living God? Or have we ourselves become so caught up in the spirit of this age that we are content to be rich in information and impoverished in wisdom and godliness?[16]


August 28

1 Samuel 20; 1 Corinthians 2; Lamentations 5; Psalm 36

There are not many chapters in the Bible that devote much space to the theme of friendship, but 1 Samuel 20 is one of them.

Strictly speaking, of course, 1 Samuel 20 is not about friendship per se, in the way that friendship is a theme to be explored by a gifted novelist. The account fits into the larger narrative of the decline of Saul and the rise of David, a major turning point in redemptive history. Yet the way that account unfolds turns in important ways on the relationship between Jonathan and David.

Jonathan turns out to be a wholly admirable young man. Earlier he had shown considerable physical courage when he and his armor-bearer routed a contingent of Philistines (1 Sam. 14). When David became part of the royal court, one might have expected Jonathan to display many malevolent emotions: jealousy at David’s rising popularity, competitiveness in the military arena, even fear that David would one day usurp his right to the throne. But “Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself” (18:1). He entered into a “covenant” with David that made David, in effect, his own brother (18:3–4)—an astonishing step for a royal to take with a commoner. By the time we arrive at chapter 20, Jonathan is aware that David will one day be king. How he acquired this knowledge we cannot be sure. Given their friendship, David may have confided in Jonathan the account of his anointing at the hands of Samuel.

Not only does Jonathan not share his father’s malevolence, but, having once before effected a reconciliation between his father Saul and David (19:4–7), he finds it hard to believe that his father is as implacably determined to kill David as David believes (20:1–3). So the elaborate plan of this chapter is put into effect. Jonathan discovers that his own father is resolved on Jonathan’s best friend’s death. Indeed, his father is so enraged that Jonathan himself is in mortal danger (20:33).

David and Jonathan meet. They renew their covenant, as they will do once more (23:17–18). David, for his part, vows to look after Jonathan’s family if and when Jonathan is no longer around—a harbinger of things to come, and rather different from the normal bloodletting that customarily took place when a new king sought to wipe out the potential heirs of a previous dynasty.

But perhaps the most striking thing is that Jonathan stays in town with his father. For the fact of the matter is that we choose our friends, but we do not choose our family; yet our responsibilities to our families take a prior claim. Otherwise friendship itself becomes an excuse for a new form of selfishness.[17]


Fri, August 28, 2015

Preach A Whole Christ

I reject the human insistence among us that Christ may sustain a divided relationship toward us in this life. I am aware that this is now so commonly preached that to oppose it or object to it means that you are sticking your neck out, and you had best be prepared for what comes. But I am forced to ask how can we insist and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ can be our Savior without being our Lord? How can so many continue to teach that we can be saved without any thought of obedience to our Sovereign Lord? I am satisfied in my own heart that when a man or a woman believes on the Lord Jesus Christ he or she must believe on the whole Lord Jesus Chris, not making any reservation! How can a teaching be justified when it encourages sinners to use Jesus as a Savior in their time of need, without owing Him obedience and allegiance? I believe we need to return to preaching a whole Christ to our needy world!

Verse
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9

Thought
How can we insist and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ can be our Savior without being our Lord?

Prayer
Lord, help me not to lead people into a false belief. As I reach out to souls let it be with the offer of a whole Christ.

A. W. Tozer


August 28 – Jesus Meets Blind Men’s Needs

“The blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘It shall be done to you according to your faith.’ And their eyes were opened” (Matthew 9:28–30a).

Sometimes at conversion, the Lord wants sinners to give a more public profession of their trust in Him, in keeping with Paul’s teaching, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9). This was the kind of confession Jesus drew out of the blind men, and it testified to the eyewitnesses of what He requires for salvation. “Yes” indicated they believed He could do what they requested of Him, and “Lord” set forth their faith that He was the promised Messiah and coming Savior, who was now in their midst.

The men’s testimony proved that their understanding of Jesus was biblical, unlike many misguided and insincere followers. It distinguished them from those who thought Jesus was only a military and political deliverer, those who believed Jesus was merely a competent and charismatic human leader. Their confession emphasized that Christ was primarily a spiritual leader, whose first concern was saving people from their sins. Though His compassion for physical suffering was genuine, it was far greater for lost souls.

Jesus prompted the blind men to openly confess their faith in Him, not so much for curing their physical blindness but for the sake of their spiritual sight. They acknowledged Him as Son of David and came asking Him for spiritual mercy and salvation, and thus they received a gift far greater than simple restoration of their eyes.

Ask Yourself

Test the strength of your concern for others’ spiritual state. Is it as strong as it should be? Does your grief over their lost condition extend to your active pursuit of their repentance and trust in Jesus? What would it take to fan the flames of your evangelistic passion?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


Reading for Today:

Ecclesiastes 4:1–6:12
Psalm 102:18-28
Proverbs 24:5-6
1 Corinthians 9:1-27
Notes:

Ecclesiastes 6:2 God does not give him power to eat. The Lord gives and takes away for His own purposes. So, the blessings of God cannot be assumed or taken for granted. But they should be enjoyed with thankfulness while they are available.

Psalm 102:25–27 Eternal God created the heavens and earth, which will one day perish (v. 26). Hebrews 1:10–12 applies this passage to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is superior to the angels because: 1) He is eternal, while they had a beginning; and 2) He created, but they were created.This passage clearly affirms the eternality and deity of Christ. The unchangeable God will outlast His creation, even into the new creation (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; 2 Pet. 3; Rev. 21; 22).

1 Corinthians 9:24 race. The Greeks enjoyed two great athletic events, the Olympic games and the Isthmian games, and because the Isthmian events were held in Corinth, believers there were quite familiar with this analogy of running to win.

1 Corinthians 9:26 not with uncertainty. Four times Paul has mentioned his goal of winning people to salvation (vv. 19,22). beats the air. Paul changes the metaphor to boxing to illustrate the point that he was no shadow boxer, just waving his arms without effect (1 Tim. 1:18).

DAY 28: How is Jesus Christ seen in the Psalms?

Psalms

New Testament Quote

Significance

2:1–12

Acts 4:25, 26; 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5

Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection

8:3–8

1 Cor. 15:27, 28; Eph. 1:22; Heb. 2:5–10

Creation

16:8–11

Acts 2:24–31; 13:35–37

Death, Resurrection

22:1–31

Matt. 27:35–46; John 19:23, 24; Heb. 2:12; 5:5

Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection

40:6–8

Heb. 10:5–9

Incarnation

41:9

John 13:18, 21

Betrayal

45:6, 7

Heb. 1:8, 9

Deity

68:18

Eph. 4:8

Ascension, Enthronement

69:20, 21, 25

Matt. 27:34, 48; Acts 1:15–20

Betrayal, Crucifixion

72:6–17

—————

Millennial Kingship

78:1, 2, 15

Matt. 13:35; 1 Cor. 10:4

Theophany, Earthly Teaching Ministry

89:3–37

Acts 2:30

Millennial Kingship

102:25–27

Heb. 1:10–12

Creation, Eternality

109:6–19

Acts 1:15–20

Betrayal

110:1–7

Matt. 22:43–45; Acts. 2:33–35; Heb. 1:13; 5:6–10; 6:20; 7:24

Deity, Ascension, Heavenly Priesthood, Millennial Kingship

118:22, 23

Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10, 11; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:8–12; 1 Pet. 2:7

Rejection as Savior

132:12–18

Acts 2:30

Millennial Kingship

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 259). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 253). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 261). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[6] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 257). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 251). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 251). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 251). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 251). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 259). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 251). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 244). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[16] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[17] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 

Posted in Devotional Guide | 4 Comments

Mortification of sin

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:12-13 NASB)

God is Holy. God is Righteous. God is Just. God is Sovereign. Yehōwāh (יהוה) our Adhōnāy (אדן אדון), God our sovereign one, our Lord, our Kurios (κύριος), is also Love, Mercy, and Grace. We must not have a view of God that emphasizes His love, mercy, or grace over His Holiness. We are commanded to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phlippians 2:12). We are commaded to delight in God and come boldly to His throne of Grace, yet we must never take His Holiness for granted. This is why we have so…

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August 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Aug. 27, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is visiting Silicon Valley Friday as part of a continuing effort to bridge the divide between the Pentagon and a tech community wary of excessive surveillance and privacy violations.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. improved to a five-week high, buoyed by more positive views about personal finances and the buying climate.

At a time when the oil price is languishing at its lowest level in six years, producers need to find half a trillion dollars to repay debt. Some might not make it. The number of oil and gas company bonds with yields of 10 percent or more, a sign of distress, tripled in the past year, leaving 168 firms in North America, Europe and Asia holding this debt.

The European Union is working on a political agreement that would set the stage for future energy deals in Iran.

China has cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries this month to raise dollars needed to support the yuan in the wake of a shock devaluation two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter. The People’s Bank of China has been offloading dollars and buying yuan to support the exchange rate, a policy that’s contributed to a $315 billion drop in its foreign-exchange reserves over the last 12 months. The $3.65 trillion stockpile will fall by some $40 billion a month in the remainder of 2015 because of the intervention.

China’s top prosecutor is holding 10 officials and port executives as well as a senior Transport Ministry official under criminal detention for alleged neglect of duty and abuse of power in the Tianjin warehouse explosions that killed at least 139 people.

AP Top Stories

President Obama says New Orleans is “moving forward” a decade after Hurricane Katrina dealt it a devastating blow, and has become an example of what can happen when people rally around each other to build a better future out of the despair of tragedy.

Now scientists from the USA have made a breakthrough discovery related to how cells replicate in cancer patients, how to put a stop to the process, and even how to reverse a tumor. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Florida have identified the cell’s microprocessor that controls cell growth.

Iran appears to have built an extension to part of its Parchin military site since May, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a report on Thursday delving into a major part of its inquiry into possible military dimensions to Tehran’s past atomic activity.

The consequences of global sea level rise could be even scarier than the worst-case scenarios predicted by the dominant climate models, which don’t fully account for the fast breakup of ice sheets and glaciers, NASA scientists said.

The consequences of global sea level rise could be even scarier than the worst-case scenarios predicted by the dominant climate models, which don’t fully account for the fast breakup of ice sheets and glaciers, NASA scientists said.

Poland’s defense minister said Thursday the United States would deploy heavy weapons to the EU state next year, as regional tensions run high over Russia and the conflict in Ukraine.

Taliban fighters seized a district headquarters in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Monday despite repeated U.S. air strikes to repel them, adding to the insurgents’ recent advances in a heavily fought over region of opium farms and trade routes.

A Texas teenager is fighting for his life after contracting a rare brain-eating disease from swimming in a lake about 70 miles north of Houston, his parents have told a local broadcaster.

Belittled by the judge and jeered by spectators, James Holmes was sent to prison for the rest of his life Wednesday, while the survivors of his murderous attack on a Colorado movie theater wondered aloud how they would spend the rest of their days. Judge Carlos A. Samour sentenced Holmes to the maximum – 12 consecutive life terms without parole plus 3,318 years – then made a final, contemptuous order: “Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom, please.”

A Southern California man who picked up a rattlesnake to pose for a photograph was badly hurt when the reptile bit him on the hand, a Los Angeles television station reported.

China’s central bank on Thursday set its daily reference rate for the yuan currency at a four-year low against the US dollar, but it closed stronger than the previous day.

Even as the job market continues to improve, salaried employees can expect their base pay to increase 3 percent, or about a percentage point smaller than the raises employers were handing out 20 years ago.

BBC

At least 20 migrants have been found dead in a truck abandoned in a motorway lay-by near the eastern border with Hungary, the Austrian authorities said. The number of dead could be as high as 50.

A 16-year-old girl has pled guilty to two terror offences including possessing “recipes for explosives” and a bomb-making guide.

A Chinese state-owned engineering company has signed a deal worth $4.3bn to build factories for a Nigerian cement company run by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

The Ukrainian government says it has reached a debt restructuring deal with its creditors including a write-off of up to $3.8bn. Ukraine’s sovereign debt, estimated at $19bn, would be cut by 20% and the repayment period extended.

WND

With the passage of a new law this summer mandating vaccines for schoolkids in California, home school advocates and organizations say they are seeing surging interest in off-campus education options that would exempt them from the requirement.

In the wake of two companies now selling the first commercially available flamethrowers in the United States, at least one mayor has called for increased restrictions on their use. And to no one’s surprise, the prospect of prohibition has driven an increase in sales.


Top News – 8/27/2015

We Want ’50 More Baby Livers a Week,’ Says Planned Parenthood Partner Who Jokes About Shipping Severed Heads
another step in the process is to remove the hands and feet from babies’ limbs before they send the body parts to academic labs because researchers don’t want to know that they’re working on aborted babies. Many researches, according to Dyer, leave the field because they cannot ethically and emotionally handle working on aborted babies.

1,000+ black activists endorse boycott of Israel
More than 1,000 African-Americans have signed a letter reaffirming black solidarity with the plight of Palestinians and endorsing resistance to Israel and its products, known as the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

EU envoy warns of more steps against Israeli settlements
John Gatt-Rutter says EU will ‘use more tools’ to force Israel out of Jewish settlements expansion.

Iraq: PM facing calls to sever ties with party, declare state of emergency
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is facing calls to sever his links to the Islamic Da’wa Party. Several Iraqi lawmakers have also called on Abadi to declare a state of emergency in the country and freeze its current constitution. The calls come amid mounting public anger and widespread, weeks-long protests over corruption, sectarianism, and the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in the country.

Washington Wildfires the ‘Worst in the State’s History’ as Firefighters Travel from Australia and New Zealand to Help Battle the Blazes
Fires are being started by lightning strikes that ignite the tinder-dry forests, quickly spreading on the wind The wildfires spreading across Washington and Oregon are now officially the worst since records began – with firefighters having to be drafted in from Australia and New Zealand to fight the flames.

Obama’s Pentagon Declares Journalists To Be ‘Unprivileged Belligerents’ With No Rights
New Defense Department guidelines allow commanders to punish journalists and treat them as “unprivileged belligerents” if they believe journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with the enemy.

History of Unmistakable Divine Wrath Serves as Warning for Nuclear Deal
We have already seen that natural phenomenon can often be seen as divinely guided. Is it a coincidence that after announcing the nuclear deal Iran was hit with an apocalyptic-like heat wave and, in a separate incident, a meteor? While the heavenly warning are clearer to some than others, a quick look at the timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the accompanying natural disasters makes claims of coincidence lose their credibility.

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support
Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

Democrat pollster: This 1 issue could kill the party
Obama appears to be on pace to find enough votes to save the Iran nuclear deal, but longtime Democratic pollster and strategist Pat Caddell says the party is at risk of an electoral disaster by propping up a deal the public hates and may well pave the way to a nuclear-armed Iran.

Catholics Support Gay Marriage as Much as General Population and Believe Pope Francis Has Backed It, PRRI Study Finds
A study by the Public Religion Research Institute released in August on the beliefs of American Catholics has found that despite the Church’s teachings, they support same-sex marriage and abortion just as much as the general population. What is more, a large percentage of Catholic respondents mistakenly believed Pope Francis has backed gay marriage.

Putin: Russia Planning to Build Nuclear Plant in Egypt
Russian President says his country will build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, announces greater economic cooperation with Cairo.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM, NOW!
A G2-class geomagnetic storm is underway and intensifying on Aug. 27. This is sparking some of the first visible auroras in months around the Arctic Circle.

Terror Tensions The results of the firebomb on the border police vehicle The results of the firebomb on the border police vehicle The border poli
Several firebombs were thrown at a border police vehicle in East Jerusalem’s A-Tur neighborhood on Wednesday night, mere hours after a convicted killer stabbed a border policeman near Damascus gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. One of the firebombs hit the border police jeep, setting the vehicle alight. The policemen in the vehicle managed to free themselves, while the fire began spreading to nearby cars.

French intelligence fears Islamist ‘missile strike on airliner’ or 9/11-style attack
French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest and fear there could be a missile strike on a passenger airliner or a September 11-style attack, according to sources close to French intelligence. “Airlines have been warned of a possible attack on a plane with an anti-tank missile,” a source told The Telegraph. “But pilots are unsure how to take evasive action.”

Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting
Hours after they looted and set fire to a National Guard command post…earlier this month, a mob infuriated by worsening food shortages rammed trucks into the smoldering edifice, reducing it mostly to rubble. The incident was just one of numerous violent clashes that have flared in pockets around the country in recent weeks as Venezuelans wait for hours in long supermarket lines for basics like milk and rice.

Sydney dam spills as flood clean-up continues
Sydney’s giant Warragamba Dam is spilling for the first time since 2013, in the wake of days of heavy rain in the region. Authorities have warned of flooding in low-lying areas near the dam but don’t expect any homes to be at risk. Residents south of Sydney are still waiting to return to their flood-affected homes after the wild weather.

Report: Hamas summons Palestinian factions to discuss terms of ten-year truce with Israel
Amid rumors of backchannel talks…the Palestinian Islamist organization has reportedly summoned other Palestinian factions to Beirut where the details of a long-term truce with Israel will be discussed. According to…newspaper Rai-al-youm, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas figure, had already met with some of the factions in the Lebanese capital regarding the possibility of a ten-year truce with Israel.

Israel Air Force targets Hamas munitions operation in Gaza after rocket attack
After a rocket landed in Israel on Thursday, the Israel Air Force responded by attacking a weapons manufacturing target in Gaza, the IDF said. The site belonged to Hamas and was located in the central part of the coastal territory, according to the IDF. The army said that it viewed the “Hamas terror organization as solely responsible for what happens in Gaza.”

US drone strike kills British IS hacker in Syria: sources
A British hacker who US and European officials said became a top cyber expert for Islamic State in Syria has been killed in a US drone strike, a US source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Gunmen in Afghan uniforms kill two US troops in Helmand
Men wearing Afghan military uniforms shot dead two Nato soldiers in the country’s south on Wednesday, the coalition said, the first insider attack on foreign troops since the Taliban’s bitter power transition.

Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Cut Oil Production
Nine months after OPEC decided to leave its production target unchanged and pursue market share instead of trying to prop up prices, the group is facing a set of complex problems and decisions going forward.

David Duke: Donald Trump Is Too Zionist for Me
The white supremacist insists he has not endorsed the billionaire ‘either informally or formally’—because while Duke likes Trump’s immigration plans, his support of Israel is a problem.

Saudi arrested in 1996 bombing that killed 19 Americans
A man described as the mastermind of the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia has been captured, a U.S. and a Saudi official said Wednesday, ending a nearly two-decade manhunt for one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists.

Hungary scrambles to confront migrant influx, Merkel heckled
Hungary made plans on Wednesday to reinforce its southern border with helicopters, mounted police and dogs, and was also considering using the army as record numbers of migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, passed through coils of razor-wire into Europe.

Venezuela Is Adding More Zeroes to Its Currency to Deal With Hyperinflation
Venezuela is preparing to issue bank notes in higher denominations next year as rampant inflation reduces the value of a 100-bolivar bill to just 14 cents on the black market. The new notes — of 500 and possibly 1,000 bolivars — are expected to be released sometime after congressional elections are held on Dec. 6, said a senior government official who isn’t authorized to talk about the plans publicly.


Top Headlines – 8/27/2015

Report: Hamas summons Palestinian factions to discuss terms of ten-year truce with Israel

Within week, India restates support for Palestinians, docks warship at Haifa to stress Israel ties

Rocket fired from Gaza lands in Israeli territory

Israel Air Force targets Hamas munitions operation in Gaza after rocket attack

Terror in Jerusalem: Palestinian man attacks Border Policeman with axe

Palestinian President Constructing $13 Million Palace

Palestinians could raise flag at UN before pope visit

Jerusalem sees sharp increase in violent security incidents

Jordan ups Wakf employment in apparent attempt to boost presence on Temple Mount

Prophecy Fulfilled: N. American Jews Return to Israel

Iran seeks partnership with China on Arak redesign

Ex-Obama aides: US should give Israel bunker-buster bombs to prevent Iran from getting nukes

200 retired US generals lobby Congress to reject Iran deal

White House says focused on keeping Congress from ‘spoiling’ Iran deal

Biden will meet Jewish leaders in Miami to promote Iran deal

Iran: No Place for ‘Zionist Regime’ in Talks with Britain

Egypt’s Sissi Turns to Russia’s Putin to Fight Regional Terrorism

Russia, Egypt set to sign deal for nuclear plant, Jordan as leaders visit Moscow

Is Hezbollah behind effort to hijack Lebanese protests?

Syria’s Assad ‘confident’ of Iranian and Russian support

Two-Day Ceasefire Agreed Upon in Three Syrian Towns

Kurds take 10 villages from ISIS in north Iraq

US drone strike kills top cyber expert for ISIS, source says

Muslims not doing ‘enough’ to fight ISIS: Jordan’s Queen Rania

ISIS drives toward Turkey in new offensive

Islamists kill at least seven in southern Somali attack

Algerian troops kill five Islamist fighters in operation

U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan, Taliban grab district

Saudi arrested in 1996 bombing that killed 19 Americans

U.S. plans more Asia-Pacific drills to counter China reclamation

Australia, wary of regional instability, eyes closer US security ties

Paris-bound train attack a ‘wake-up call’ for American rail security

CBO report forecasts unsustainable debt in long term

NY Mellon pricing glitch affects billions of dollars of funds

Bruising sell-off tests market faith in central banks

Market turmoil makes September rate hike ‘less compelling’: Fed’s Dudley

$2.1 trillion erased from U.S. stocks in 6 days

Stocks Explode Upward: Dow Regains More Than 600 Points

Stocks leap about 4% in recovery, best day since 2011

China stocks rise early as Wall Street gains calm global contagion fears

Mini flash crash? Trading anomalies on manic Monday hit small investors

‘Death cross’ appears in Apple’s stock chart

Man reportedly leaps to his death over stock market crash in China

Venezuela Is Adding More Zeroes to Its Currency to Deal With Hyperinflation

Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting

Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Cut Oil Production

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 30,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 20,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Tropical storm Erika could impact Florida this weekend

Hawaii Keeps Close Eye on Hurricane Ignacio

NSW weather: Warragamba Dam in Sydney spills; south-coast residents count cost of flood damage

Drought-plagued California readies for El Nino storms

4,500 Babies Saved From Abortions After Texas De-Funds Planned Parenthood

662 Babies Saved From Abortions in Wisconsin After Planned Parenthood Funding Cut, Pro-Life Laws

Researchers Buying Aborted Babies Want Hands and Feet Cut Off to Avoid Baby’s Humanity

Appeals court upholds order that holdout Kentucky clerk issue marriage licences to gay couples

Gay Virginia man kills journalists on live TV, blames ‘homophobia and racism’ in suicide note

Black, Gay Reporter Murders Straight, White Journalists – Media Blame the Gun

Virginia killings: Barack Obama expresses concern over gun culture in US

Former Broadcaster in TV Shooting Was a Volatile, Angry Man

Virginia television shooting: Gunman told by TV station ‘to seek medical help’ after colleagues’ complaints

Police: Bryce Williams fatally shoots self after killing journalists on air

Mormons keep affiliation with Boy Scouts despite gay leaders

May the force be with you? Turkey fears rise of religion of ‘Jediism’

Donald Trump just dodged two questions about the Bible

Josh Duggar Enters ‘Long-Term Treatment Center’

Anna Duggar and the Dangers of Facile Forgiveness

Outrage spreads as cities plan Ramadan celebrations on 9/11

Wealthy Chinese Come to Southern California to Give Birth

Census Data Disproves Radicals Claims of Forced Conversion to Christianity in India


The Briefing

1) Aurora shooter given 12 life sentences plus as statement on limitations of human justice

Colorado movie gunman sentenced to 12 lifetimes and 3,318 years, Reuters (Keith Coffman)

2) Debate over life without parole, death penalty reflects devaluing of human life

Death without killing, Christian Century (Steve Thorngate)

3) New York Times editors oppose Down Syndrome abortion ban on basis of sanctity of choice

Ohio Bill Would Ban Abortion if Down Syndrome Is Reason, New York Times (Tamar Lewin)

Abortion and Down Syndrome, New York Times (Editorial Board)

4) Clash between law and Indian sect suicide fast exposes clash between worldviews

Sect’s Death Ritual Clashes With Indian Law, New York Times (Ellen Barry and Mansi Choksi)

Ministry in the Killing Fields, Christian History (Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar)

In other news…

Bryce Williams, Suspect in Virginia News Crew Shooting, Dies, New York Times (Hawer Spencer, Katie Spencer, Katie Rogers, Alan Blinder and Richard Perez-Pena)

Should Prostitution Be a Crime?, New York Times (Gillian Abel and Taina Bien-Aimé)

How we should handle prostitution, Los Angeles Times (Simon Hedlin and Birgitta Ohlsson)
About Those Banners at Old Dominion, The Atlantic (Adrienne Lafrance)

Is feminism destroying the institution of marriage?, The Telegraph (Martin Daubney)

Christian Missions And The Spread Of Democracy, The Federalist (Greg Scandlen)

Mormon church sticking with Boy Scouts Religion News Service (David Noyce and Peggy Fletcher Stack)

Daily Digest

August 27, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue.” —John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama’s Intelligence Echo Chamber

2015-08-26-8636b697_large.JPG
An American F-16 takes off from Turkey. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

No wonder the Obama administration continues insisting the campaign against the Islamic State is peachy despite the deluge of reports to the contrary. The Pentagon inspector general has launched an investigation after it was alleged that U.S. Central Command was skewing intelligence reports to make it appear the fight against the Islamic State was working, The New York Times reports. That means the Obama administration was told a pie in the sky story about the effectiveness of its no-boots-on-the-ground strategy. National Review’s David French, a veteran of the Iraq war, writes of the investigation, “I keep getting the ominous feeling that the clock is ticking on a truly significant terror attack, one that will leave our political leadership answering to the American people — why didn’t you do more to defeat the enemy? And if one answer is that Pentagon officials lied about success against ISIS, then courts-martial should be the response.” If the IG’s investigation uncovers doctoring of intelligence reports, the next question is why. Were military leaders cowing to Obama’s assumptions? This doctoring may have been the work of civilian appointees at the Defense Department working to prop up the narrative of Obama’s successful leadership. That provides cover for him to avoid taking any further action after his disastrous pullout from Iraq.

Hurricane Obama Blows Into New Orleans on Katrina Anniversary

Ten years ago, on Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into the Louisiana coast with 145mph winds. Its 27-foot swells surged against the levee protecting New Orleans, crushing concrete and leaving government on all levels unprepared to handle the devastation. This week, Barack Obama will visit the city to remember the decade-old disaster that left 1,800 people dead. Everyone agrees that everything from the outdated levee to flooded school buses to the slow FEMA response was a stark demonstration of government incompetence. It just shows individual preparedness is key. Reuters reports that Obama will tell an audience in New Orleans, “What started out as a natural disaster became a manmade one, a failure of government to look out for its own citizens. But what that storm revealed was another tragedy, one that had been brewing for decades. New Orleans had long been plagued by structural inequality that left too many people, especially poor people of color, without good jobs or affordable health care or decent housing.” Who wants to bet that Obama will skim over the failure of Democrat leadership in the offices of the governor and mayor of New Orleans leading up to the disaster? Instead, he’ll do what he’s always done: Blame George W. Bush — at least by implication, since Bush will also attend. We’re also expecting him to throw in a warning about climate change for good measure. But today a new New Orleans stands on the receded floodwaters. As The Wall Street Journal notes, it was built on education reform, and a mayor and governor that tout fiscal conservatism and business growth.

Veto Fight Over Iran Deal? Too Risky, Hints Obama

Congress was always getting a bum deal when it agreed, thanks to the efforts of Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), to vote to disapprove the agreement with Iran instead of voting to approve it. That means Barack Obama needs only a third of Congress to back his foreign policy wheedling, instead of the usual two-thirds. Obama is only a handful of Democrat votes short from being able to block Congress’ attempt at rejection. But that political path may be too messy for Obama, because a high-profile veto fight may call into question the wisdom of the deal, both here and abroad. So he’s decided to circumvent the political process and lobby Senate Democrats to filibuster the Iran vote, Politico reports. “Is that where they really want to be?” Corker said in an interview. “Do they really want to vote to block consideration of … probably the biggest foreign policy endeavor?” The only significant group supporting this deal now is Democrats in Congress too partisan to oppose Obama. In response to a letter sent by 36 military officers supporting the deal, about 200 retired admirals and generals signed a letter to Congress saying, “The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies.” Despite the outcry from the military, bipartisan distrust and opposition from a majority of Congress and the American people, Obama may still get what he wants. Funny what you can do with a tireless minority.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Hillary Clinton’s Record of Malfeasance. From Little Rock to Chappaqua — will any scandal stick?

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Black Homosexual Murders Two Whites and Leftists Still Blame Guns

By Allyne Caan

2015-08-27-fbd4c597_large.png
Adam Ward and Alison Parker

Yesterday, it happened again: People were going about their daily lives only to be struck down by a crazed murderer. This time, the backdrop was Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, where 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward were up early on a Wednesday morning, delivering a live broadcast for WDBJ, the local CBS News affiliate where both worked.

During the 6:45 a.m. broadcast, the murderer walked up and shot dead both Alison and Adam. He also wounded Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, whom Alison was interviewing. In an act of psychotic narcissism, he filmed his crime and posted the video online before taking his own life. Due to the fire-like speed of social media, many people unintentionally found themselves viewing both versions of the horrific footage as videos auto-played in their browsers or on their phones.

The killer faxed ABC News a 23-page manifesto showing just how deranged he was. In it, he praised by name the killers in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre as well as the man who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. Yesterday’s murderer was a former WDBJ employee who claimed discrimination as a homosexual black man and wrote that the Charleston mass murder, in which a white man killed nine black churchgoers in June, was the last straw motivating his homicidal targeting of white individuals.

His anger and instability were no surprise to some. According to his former supervisor at WDBJ, the killer had a history of lodging complaints against co-workers — none of which were ever validated. Eventually, he was fired for bizarre and threatening behavior, and police even had to escort him out of the building.

Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that yesterday’s tragedy was perpetrated by a sick man bent on vengeance, almost immediately Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and other leftists used the tragedy to blame their favorite scapegoat — guns.

First, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, “This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small across the United States.”

Then Obama himself said, “What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.” So in one astonishingly stupid statement, he managed to blame the tool and minimize the (*jihadi*) terrorist threat that has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims around the world just during his presidency. And, by the way, 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11 without a single firearm.

His comments also come on the heals of his lament last month that the area he feels “most frustrated and most stymied” is that the U.S. “is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun-safety laws.”

Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton declared, “We have got to do something about gun violence in America. And I will take it on.”

Likewise, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe used the killings to call for stricter gun control, saying, “There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns. That is why I’ve long advocated for background checks. … This is why we need to restrict access to guns.”

Unfortunately, emotion plays better than facts in times of tragedy — and that’s what Obama, Clinton and McAuliffe are banking on. Contrary to McAuliffe’s insinuation, the murderer passed a background check in order to buy his gun. But leftists won’t stop with more checks because, as McAuliffe said, they’re after “restricting access.”

And despite Obama’s claim of increased gun violence, such violence has actually drastically decreased over the last couple of decades. In fact, in 2010, the gun homicide rate was 49% lower than in 1993, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study. The downward trend appears to have remained steady since 2011 — all while gun laws have been loosened and gun ownership has increased.

Thanks in part to leftist rhetoric, though, just 12% of Americans believe gun crime is lower now than in the early 1990s. In fact, the 2013 Pew study reveals 56% erroneously believe it’s higher.

Unavoidably, false information leads to faulty judgment, such as one absurdly ignorant tweet saying the county where yesterday’s murders occurred supported Romney in the last presidential election, so it must be gun-friendly. Evidently this person hasn’t heard of Chicago, Baltimore, Ferguson, or any other inner city Democrat poverty plantation where murder and violent crime are rampant.

Yesterday’s killings were perpetrated not by a county, a community, a tool, or the Second Amendment but by a sick individual driven by racial and anti-heterosexual hatred. His hatred — not his gun — drove him to kill. More to the point, the killer wasn’t a Romney voter but reportedly was reprimanded for wearing an Obama button during campaign coverage. That’s a report the American Leftmedia won’t bother getting around to.

Heartbreakingly, this unchecked hatred cost the lives of Adam Ward, who was engaged to be married to a coworker (who saw the murder happen while watching the broadcast in the control room), and Alison Parker, who was also dating a coworker and by all accounts was a vibrant and joyful woman.

Adam and Alison’s deaths should not be used as props for political gain. Instead, they should motivate us to counter the hatred that drives killers to take innocent lives and inflict unspeakable heartache to satisfy their delusional sense of vengeance.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “Being white and male supposedly means enjoying innate and undeserved privileged. But now trans-elites reinvent themselves as females or minorities and have access to special advantages or privileges. We are still fighting the old battle between nature and culture. Our 21st-century postmodern culture says that we can become whatever we declare ourselves to be. But age-old realities suggest that only nature determines our gender and race. How odd that progressives publicly insist that we can be what we wish to be, but privately accept the ancient wisdom that we really cannot quite do that — at least not without dropping the accepted criteria for social institutions such as racially based scholarships, female sports programs or affirmative action for women and minorities.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Governments last as long as the undertaxed can defend themselves against the overtaxed.” —American art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959)

Upright, part I: “[Virginia shooter Bryce Williams] couldn’t deal with his inadequacy, so he woke up [Wednesday] morning, he looked in the mirror, didn’t like what he saw, and decided the only way he was going to make a name in TV news was to go out and find two people doing their job, that had nothing to do with his … inferiority complex, and take them out so that he could be the headline news. I think the best thing that we can do after today is never speak of this guy again.” —Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke

Upright, part II: “We saw evil in Charleston. We saw evil yesterday. Unfortunately, too many are too blind to evil. Those who have eyes to see can see the evil in Planned Parenthood decapitating children and sending their heads in the mail making sure their eyes are closed. Those who have eyes to see can see the evil in the collapse of families and the rise of dysfunctional young people without a relationship with one parent or the other. … Evil is always going to exist. It is never going to be exterminated by us. It will not be legislated away. But it will be exterminated on that final day.” —Erick Erickson

Non Compos Mentis: “Another proud moment for the NRA. Thank you, NYC, for your strict gun laws!” —New York Post columnist Bart Hubbuch on the slaying of a Roanoke, Virginia, television crew

Village Idiots: “I believe we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough, to figure out how to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventive measures and control measures… There is so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available, if we had universal background checks, if we could just put some time out between the person who is upset because he got fired and the domestic abuse or whatever other motivation may be working on someone who does this, maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage.” —Hillary Clinton

Late-night humor: “The CEO of Starbucks sent a message to Starbucks employees, instructing them to be sensitive to customers who might be feeling stressed out about the market. I like that the place that charges $5 for a cup of coffee is concerned about our finances.” —Jimmy Kimmel

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People Are Going Crazy

Bryce WilliamsHave you noticed that more Americans than ever seem to be going totally insane?  When even reporters start going on racially-motivated shooting sprees, you know that things are getting crazy in this country.  On Wednesday, most Americans were absolutely stunned to learn that a former WDBJ-TV reporter shot and killed a 24-year-old female reporter named Alison Parker and a 27-year-old male cameraman named Adam Ward right as they were in the middle of shooting a live news segment at 6:45 in the morning.  As a reporter, the shooter was known as “Bryce Williams”, but his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan II.  He fled the scene, but was later tracked down by police.  Before they could take him into custody he shot himself, and he later died at a hospital in northern Virginia.  So what would cause a talented young man to do such a thing? (Read More…)


CNN Tells Americans That The Stock Market Is Not Going To Crash

CNN Newsroom - Photo by Doug WaldronOn Wednesday we witnessed the third largest single day point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ever.  That sounds like great news until you realize that the two largest were in October 2008 – right in the middle of the last financial crisis.  This is a perfect example of what I wrote about yesterday.  Every time the market crashes, there are huge up days, huge down days and giant waves of market momentum.  Even though the Dow was up 619 points on Wednesday, overall we are still down more than 2,000 points from the peak of the market.  During the weeks and months to come, we are going to see many more wild market swings, but the overall direction of the market will be down. (Read More….)


200 retired US generals lobby Congress to reject Iran deal

Nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna on November 21, 2014 (Vladimir Simicek/AFP)

Nearly 200 retired US generals, admirals and former political officials have come out strongly against the Iran nuclear accord, and have called upon Congress to sink the agreement on the grounds that it will “enable Iran to become far more dangerous.”

Among the signatories are top former career officers from every branch of the US military, as well as officials who have served in the White House, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter, which was addressed to Republican and Democratic senators and congressmen, stated.


Yellowstone: Natural Wonder or Cauldron of Death?


The Spirit That’s Taking Over Our Nation—And It’s Not Jezebel

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 07:48 AM PDT

It’s time to repent for a spirit of entitlement that is destroying our testimony.

entitlement
noun en·ti·tle·ment:

the condition of having a right to have, do or get something
the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)

In a self-centered, narcissistic world, one can only presume entitlement would be in the mix, as well. This attitude is doing great harm to our testimony as Christians in addition to creating a proud, lazy people who expect to be served instead of to serve.

“Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each esteem the other better than himself. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:3-8).

Attitudes of entitlement have overwhelmed so many and it is actually a clear manifestation of the enemy. His character is defined by selfish ambition. Lucifer presumed it was his right, his portion, to be exalted. MORE

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God’s Redemptive Plan in the Feasts of Israel

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 05:57 AM PDT

In preparation for the fall feasts of Israel, let’s take a step back and look at the feasts as a whole. Are they merely fascinating historical occurrences, or do they hold deeper relevance for believers in Yeshua (Jesus) today, whether you’re Jewish or Gentile Throughout the ages, God has sought after the people of Israel, in order to bless them and to make them a blessing to many peoples (Gen. 12:2-3). He also gave Israel a sacred trust—to bear His Name and to be the nation from which His redemptive plan for the world would go forth (John 4:22). This plan is illustrated in the feasts He ordained.

These annual feasts are called “moedim” in Hebrew, meaning, “appointments.” In a sense, these “appointed times of the Lord” (Lev. 23:4) constitute God’s agenda with His redeemed people. Ultimately, they provide a Biblical and historical foundation for faith in Yeshua. Messiah Yeshua was to be the fulfillment of the feasts; indeed, He is the purpose for their existence. “These (Feasts, Sabbath day …) are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Messiah” (Col. 2:17). Even as all Scripture is inspired and profitable, these “shadows” are relevant for followers of Messiah today because they never stop pointing to Him! (2 Tim. 3:16). FULL REPORT

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Congressional Budget Office warns U.S. debt will soon become unsustainable

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 05:51 AM PDT

The economy is sluggish yet developing and expansion stays low, painting a quite blended picture for the government, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday, saying the financial circumstance is enhancing this year yet will snap back by 2018 to swelling deficiencies and unsustainable obligation. The expansion rate is low to the point that Social Security recipients presumably won’t get an average cost for basic items raise after this year, the CBO said. In any case, charge income is up and spending has stayed pat, which is helping diminish the pool of red ink in the government spending plan.

Joined, those numbers mean the legislature will run a deficiency of $426 billion in monetary year 2015, down about $60 billion from 2014 and denoting the littlest shortfall of President Obama’s residency. The uplifting news will proceed for a few years as the economy belatedly yet completely bounce back from the subsidence of December 2007 to June 2009. By 2018, however, obligation will ascend as government spending develops and the economy will cool once more, the CBO said.

“The development in the red is not reasonable,” CBO Director Keith Hall said in showing the assessments. “Eventually, it’s going to get to an abnormal state. Clearly, you can’t anticipate tipping focuses, yet sooner or later this turns into an issue.” Democrats saw the fleeting viewpoint as advancement and said it’s chance to close tax reductions and acquire more income for spending on speculations, for example, base. Republicans kept their attention on the more extended term notices in the CBO report. They noticed that expenses will stay higher than their memorable normal in the course of recent decades however deficiencies will hold on in light of the fact that spending will even now outpace income. MORE

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Robots will cut 25% of US jobs in 4 years and transform workforce

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 05:45 AM PDT

The encroachment of self-help kiosks and grocery store scanners has led doomsayers to suggest automation threatens the workforce of the future. A new report argues it will create new business sectors and new jobs as well. By studying large companies in various industries, from Delta Airlines Inc. to Whole Foods Market Inc., as well as many startups, analysts have forecast that automation will erase 22.7 million jobs by 2025, or 16 percent of today’s total.

The prediction comes in a report titled “The Future of Jobs, 2025: Working Side-By-Side with Robots,” published by Forrester Research this week. The study’s findings were drawn from government employment data, and interviews with businesses and academics. Automation in daily life is already prevalent and expanding beyond the grocery store scanner. Robots are now delivering room service to guests in the Aloft hotel in San Francisco, and self-service kiosks filling orders at delis rather than humans. Lowe’s hardware is testing Oshbot, a robotic sales assistant that can answer questions, and show customers a floorplan of the store or lead them directly to products they seek. It was recently featured in an RT segment. FULL REPORT

The post Robots will cut 25% of US jobs in 4 years and transform workforce appeared first on .

Chick-fil-A Blocked From Opening At Denver Airport Due To Christian Views

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 05:29 AM PDT

A board of trustees of the Denver City Council has slowed down what was relied upon to be standard approbation of a Chick-fil-A Restaurant at the Denver International Airport after no less than four gathering individuals communicated dissatisfaction with the organization’s charged restriction to same-sex marriage.

Amid an Aug. 18 hearing, chamber part Robin Kniech said she was concerned in regards to a neighborhood establishment creating “corporate benefits used to reserve and fuel segregation,” The Denver Post reported. Councilman Paul Lopez looked at the ace family positions of some Chick-fil-A pioneers to presidential applicant Donald Trump’s remarks about movement and different issues, calling restriction to the air terminal eatery “truly, really an ethical issue.”

The chamber’s Business Development Committee will take up the matter again at its Sept. 1 meeting. At issue is whether to favor a seven-year lease for a Chick-fil-A that would be worked by a 60-40 organization including Atlanta-based Concessions International and Denver’s Delarosa Restaurant Concepts. Chick-fil-A would get 7 percent of the eatery’s benefits, as per The Post. On the off chance that the panel rejects the lease, an individual part could in any case acquaint the matter with the full board. FULL REPORT

The post Chick-fil-A Blocked From Opening At Denver Airport Due To Christian Views appeared first on .

Why did Obama nationalize the U.S. food supply with executive order 13603?

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 05:10 AM PDT

In March 2012, President Obama quietly signed an Executive Order that has major implications should some sort of national emergency arise, such as enabling the federal government to take over management and distribution of all food, water and other resources. In issuing the order, EO 13603, titled, “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” Obama claimed authority under the Defense Production Act of 1950, a Korean War-era statute (50 U.S.C.) (see it here) that gives the government the power to marshal whatever resources are necessary to protect and defend the country during “military conflicts, natural or man-caused disasters, or acts of terrorism within the United States,” the statute says.

In justifying the order, Obama wrote in Section 102 under “Policy:” The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States. FULL REPORT

The post Why did Obama nationalize the U.S. food supply with executive order 13603? appeared first on .

Elites preparing last phase of New World Order?

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 08:41 PM PDT

There’s a passage of holy writ that has haunted Bible teachers for centuries, confounding and teasing them, to the point where most modern preachers pass right by it like a trucker skirting a weigh station. Who is “Mystery Babylon,” that “great whore” spoken of in Revelation 17-18 that commits “fornication” with world rulers, lives in extreme luxury and gets “drunk with the blood of the saints” before finally meeting her fiery destruction? Who is this mysterious woman?

Popular theories say it’s the Roman Catholic Church. Others point to New York City, seat of the United Nations, Wall Street and all manner of human greed and fleshly lusts. Some say it’s apostate Christianity in general, not just the Catholic Church, or America as a whole, not just New York. Still others point to Mecca and Saudi Arabia’s royal family, which lives in opulence and owns everything from diamond-studded cars, a harem of sex slaves and more than a few Washington politicians. FULL REPORT

 

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North Dakota to use police drones with non-lethal weapons

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 08:33 PM PDT

North Dakota police have been authorized to equip drones with Tasers, tear gas, and other non-lethal weapons after interference from a police lobby group led to an amendment to a bill, which was initially intended to limit police powers to deploy drones. The adopted amendment to House Bill 1328 enables police drones to use “less than lethal” weapons, such as Tasers, bean bags, pepper spray, sound cannons and rubber bullets. The amendment was pushed through by Bruce Burkett of North Dakota’s Peace Officer’s Association, a police lobby group, the Daily Beast reports.

The bill was passed earlier this year and initially prohibited “any lethal or nonlethal weapons” on the drones, but that was eventually amended to permit the deployment of “less than lethal weapons.” “This is one I’m not in full agreement with. I wish it was any weapon,” Rick Becker, the Republican sponsor of the original bill, said at a March hearing as cited by the Daily Beast. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period,” he added. FULL REPORT

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Malaysia To Introduce RFID Tracking For Every Vehicle

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 08:28 PM PDT

Here on Techdirt, nationwide tracking schemes tend to raise a red flag. In Malaysia, by contrast, there seem to be no such worries, as ambitious plans to introduce RFID tagging for all vehicles, reported by The Sun Daily, indicate: A new vehicle security tracking system suitable for all types of vehicles — the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) — will be implemented nationwide by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) by 2018. According to the article, there are plenty of advantages of doing so:

This new system will enable the police and other authorities to effectively track down criminals And: the RFID technology will herald a new era for vehicle security in Malaysia and it could be the answer to combat vehicle theft and cloned vehicle syndicates. Moreover: the RFID can also be used to provide real-time monitoring on road traffic situation. And if you’re worried that ne’er-do-wells might seek to avoid being tracked simply by ripping off said RFID tags, fear not, Malaysia has that covered: the Sun understands that the RFID tag is designed to shatter should any one attempt to tamper with it and can transmit a warning to the JPJ and police, should any one try to remove the sticker. FULL REPORT

The post Malaysia To Introduce RFID Tracking For Every Vehicle appeared first on .

CNN Tells Americans That The Stock Market Is Not Going To Crash

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 08:21 PM PDT

On Wednesday we witnessed the third largest single day point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ever. That sounds like great news until you realize that the two largest were in October 2008 – right in the middle of the last financial crisis. This is a perfect example of what I wrote about yesterday. Every time the market crashes, there are huge up days, huge down days and giant waves of market momentum. Even though the Dow was up 619 points on Wednesday, overall we are still down more than 2,000 points from the peak of the market.

During the weeks and months to come, we are going to see many more wild market swings, but the overall direction of the market will be down. Sadly, the mainstream media is still peddling the lie that everything is going to be just fine. So millions upon and millions of Americans are just going to sit there while their investments get wiped out. In the six trading days leading up to Wednesday, Americans lost a staggering 2.1 trillion dollars as stocks plunged, and the truth is that this nightmare is only just beginning. FULL REPORT

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Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

Source


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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August 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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The Radical Assault on Marriage and Family, from Karl Marx to Justice Kennedy

The key here is the rise of the New Left, or the so-called “cultural Marxists.” They switched the fight against the West away from the Marxist class/economic-based revolutionary model to one of culture and sex. Their inability to sell economic Marxism to the world meant that a new means would be needed to bring down the West. Class-based economic warfare would take a back seat to an assault on Western civilization. That was where the rupture had to take place. A primary method would be to saturate Western culture with what Ralph de Toledano called a “miasma of unrestrained sex.”

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I Will Not Treat You Fairly

This is the simple Gospel. Those who demand equitable fairness will spend their days receiving such in the place of eternal condemnation. Contrarily, those who say, “Forget Fairness” will receive mercy and grace from the Son of God who took their sins upon his shoulders, placed his righteousness upon their account, and “forgot fairness” for his friends.

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Why San Francisco’s City Church Is Wrong About Sex

Although the City Church letter appeals to Jesus’ mission to outcasts as a basis for jettisoning a male-female requirement for marriage, it is difficult to claim that the Jesus we encounter in Scripture would have countenanced homosexual sex in the context of a “marriage.” Jesus appealed to the two-sexes requirement for marriage (and thus for all sexual activity) given in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as the foundation upon which all sexual ethics must be based, including the limitation of two persons to a sexual union.

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Editorial: Doctors Must Put Patients Before Personal Views

Laws prohibiting medically assisted death in Canada were struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada in February. The court gave the federal government a year to deliver a new law allowing consenting adults with an “intolerable” – though not necessarily terminal – condition the right to seek medical help to end their lives.

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Ben Carson: #BlackLivesMatter Misfire

We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the “War on Poverty.” Poverty won. We lost. Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor “lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty” as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from it. These programs have been a great American failure.

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“Textual, Expository, Redemptive-Historical, Applicatory” Preaching?

A hermeneutical principle can never take the sole place in a homiletical method. This danger can occur with systematic theology as well. We have to integrate the redemptive-historical elements into the sermon as they are naturally highlighted in the immediate context of the text. This is not always an easy task. We have to give ourselves to a diligent study of the text and meditation on its relationship to Gen. 3:15 and redemption.

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Anti-Church Evangelical Trends

Spectator Christians: “Spectator Christianity feeds on the delusion that virtue can come through viewing, much like the football fan who imagines that he ingests strength and daring while watching his favorite pro team.  Spectator sports and spectator Christianity produce the same things – fans who cheer the players on while they themselves are in desperate need of engagement and meaning.”

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Kenya Moves Forward with Strict New Church Regulations

The new rules, announced earlier this year, would require pastors, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders to obtain certificates of good conduct from the police and clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Religious leaders opposed the move and asked for more consultations with government officials. 

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Will I Be Forgiven For Abortion?

If you are asking “Will I be forgiven for abortion I had?” then you already feel the guilt of your sin. Perhaps you feel your guilt afresh as a result of the videos exposing the work of Planned Parenthood. What do you do with your guilt?

One young man I met on the street a few years ago knew this guilt. He had grown up in an evangelical Christian home. About twenty years old, he had rejected the God of the Bible and argued vehemently with me against the Lord’s very existence. Our discussion somehow moved to the moral argument for God. Why is murder wrong? What about abortion? At that point, most unexpectedly, the hardened young man burst into tears. He buried his head in his hands and blurted out, “I don’t need any God to know abortion is wrong!” He rapidly recounted impregnating his girlfriend, taking her to the abortion clinic, paying for the abortion, and the guilt he had carried ever since – all while repeating. “I knew it was wrong!”

After a few moments, he gathered himself and looked up. He was as surprised at what he had confessed as I was; we both knew he had said far more than he intended to say. His guilt remained. No matter how much he tried to deny the existence of his Creator and Judge, he could not escape his guilt before God. Guilt is real. It doesn’t just go away with time.

Our culture may tell you, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t wrong.” But guilt cannot be wished away, and we know it, because we cannot escape from God. When King David committed adultery and murder, he hid his sin for a time, but finally confessed it saying, “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you [God], you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:3-4). Our guilt remains even though the Lord may patiently allow us to continue with life – as we try to make it appear that nothing is wrong because “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty” (Nahum 1:3).

However, the Lord promises a “guilty” verdict can be turned to “innocent.” But, we need a substitute who is qualified and willing to take our guilt and the resulting punishment of death and the wrath of God. No mere man could do it. So, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to become man, live without sinning, and die like a sinner before rising from the grave. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus takes the place of his people in punishment, and we gain his place in righteousness. Bethany Jenkins has said it beautifully with respect to this particular sin: “Abortion says, ‘Your life for mine,’ but Jesus says, ‘My life for yours—even if you’ve killed your own child.’”

Your guilt will be taken away forever if you confess that guilt to the God you have offended. Take heed to the word of God from Isaiah the prophet and believe his promise: “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Freedom is waiting for you if you would simply humble yourself before God. If you need some sense of where to start in the midst of your confusion, these words by Dr. David Powlison can serve as a guide. Other forgiven sinners are waiting to help you too. Talk with a pastor or another mature Christian; we long for you to experience forgiveness.

The young man I talked to that night would not confess his sin to the God he denied or trust Jesus’ saving love. But his denial did not erase either God or his own guilt. I do not know what happened to him after we parted. Because the Lord is slow to anger, my friend’s life may have gone on without much visible change. But, his guilt remains if he has not yet turned to the God of mercy. Your guilt does not need to remain.


Elite Abortion Clinic Now Offers ‘Sim Abortions’ For Gay Men

Those willing to pay extra can have the mock abortion include not just the procedure itself but the lead-up as well, including a mock medical examination that may include a doctor reviewing the pregnant man’s options and using a fake ultrasound to see how far along in the “pregnancy” they are. One couple, Caulfield said, even paid to have fake protesters jeer them as they walked into the clinic.

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In The Middle Of The Slippery Slope

…But lay all that aside for now. I introduce the case because it forces us to focus on the logical implications of abolishing the conjugal understanding of marriage in our law and replacing it with the revisionist idea of marriage as sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership, all by judicial fiat. Here is where Professor Dworkin’s […]

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“Where Are You God?”

Every one of us as Christians at times has felt overwhelmed or all alone.  In the midst of trials and tribulations, we cry out to God to protect and rescue us.  And we know He is faithful–but sometimes we wish he acted on our timeline instead of His. King David’s life reflected the best of […]

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After This, The Deluge – Church & Culture Blog

After France lost the battle of Rossbach in 1757, the mistress of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour, attempted to comfort the King by saying, “Après nous, le deluge.”

“After us, the deluge.”

[Or, if Louis XV said it himself, as some contend, it would be “Après moi, le deluge.”]

The idea was that it mattered little what had happened. After all, it could flood tomorrow and all will be gone. So eat, drink and be merry. An alternate reading of the phrase is even more telling. “After this, the flood will come.”

Either reading would make the observation prescient.

Louis XV is widely credited for the severe weakening – internally and externally – of France. And then, fifteen years after his death, the devastation of the French Revolution broke out.

Like many, I have been stunned by the rapidly changing moral landscape; the floodgates that have opened through our culture’s recent moral freefall from earlier understandings of right and wrong, particularly of a sexual nature. And not even of right and wrong, but the obliteration of even the most basic of sexual constraints.

This is more than the legalization of gay marriage or the onslaught of “call me Cait.” Consider those symptoms of a much larger, and more deeply rooted, disease.

Consider the influential statements by outspoken celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and Cara Delevingne. For example, Stewart, when asked about her sexuality in an interview said:

“I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.”

And from Miley Cyrus:

“[I don’t] relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”

And they are not alone.

For example, a recent U.K. study revealed that nearly half of all young people don’t think they are exclusively heterosexual. The YouGov survey revealed that 49% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 identified as something other than 100% heterosexual. This despite the repeated findings that only about 4% of the entire adult population are actually homosexual.

What is being revealed is an increasing “sexual fluidity” that refuses either the homosexual or heterosexual label. The idea is that both labels are repressive. Sexuality should be set free of any and all restrictions and allowed to follow its desire, moment by moment.

This isn’t a slippery slope. It’s something more substantive, more …

… frightening.

I cannot help but think of the telling phrase cited not once, not twice, but three times in Paul’s opening manifesto to the church at Rome. In speaking of, and to, the depravity of humanity, Paul’s prophetic words thundered:

“Therefore God gave them over” (Romans 1:24, NIV).

“Because of this, God gave them over” (Romans 1:26, NIV).

“… since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over …” (Romans 1:28, NIV).

Three times the idea was reiterated: God gave them over.

And to what did God give them over to?

It was the same in each instance:

“… [to] the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another” (Romans 1:24, NIV).

“… to shameful lusts” (Romans 1:26, NIV).

“… to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28, NIV).

In other words, God turned them over to their sin, letting their choice for sin run its natural course as an act of judgment.

Many look at the cultural landscape of the West and either call for, or fear, God’s judgment. But what would the nature of such judgment be? Perhaps it will be nothing more, but nothing less, than being given over to our own choices.

As C.S. Lewis once observed, in the end, there will only be two verdicts: Men and women who said to God, “Thy will be done.” Or men and women hearing from that same God, “Thy will be done.”

“Après nous, le deluge.”

Perhaps that is the greatest judgment of all.

James Emery White

Sources

“Nearly half of young people don’t think they are heterosexual,” by Helena Horton, The Telegraph, August 17, 2015, read online.

“Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and the Rise of Sexual Fluidity,” by Eric Sasson, The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2015, read online.


How to Keep People from Sucking the Life Out of You


Ashley Madison and Who You are Online


5 Tests to Determine if You’ve Forgiven Someone

5 Tests to Determine if You’ve Forgiven Someone

&And, if you’re struggling to “pass the test” don’t beat yourself up.&

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Kendrick film 'War Room' lauded by Baptists

Kendrick film ‘War Room’ lauded by Baptists

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Baptist Press

‘War Room,’ the latest film by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, is being applauded by Southern Baptist leaders and others as a picture of God’s power and an effective tool for encouraging Christians in prayer.


How Christians have gotten temptation wrong

How Christians have gotten temptation wrong

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Religion News

Mark Twain once said, “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” Christians who’ve read the Bible’s first book know this true for it tells of two humans who ate fruit from a tree they were told by God not to touch. Humans naturally want what they cannot, or perhaps more […]

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“My Pastor is on the Ashley Madison List.

“My Pastor is on the Ashley Madison List.”

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Christianity Today

Too many Christians have been caught using Ashley Madison, many of them pastors and church leaders. What now?

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Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People?

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People?

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Crosswalk

Bad things happen. We see it in the news everyday. Sometimes these sad realities hit us on a personal level. It’s times like these that we need to remind ourselves that this is all temporary.

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Why We Fail at Family Devotions

Why We Fail at Family Devotions

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Crosswalk

Many fail at family devotions because they make it too hard. All you need to do is read a few verses and pray. Then, the next day, read and pray.

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Why Our Christian Mission Must Include the Reality of Hell

Why Our Christian Mission Must Include the Reality of Hell

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Crosswalk

Hell is not something most people–Christians or non-Christians–generally like to think about, but it is an essential part of the truth of the Gospel.

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Which New World Order Do You Prefer?

A world government cannot have any single nation retain its sovereignty, not even the United States. [5] Therefore, these men, and those backing them, have intentions that are not that of returning the nation to the status established by our Founding Fathers. Any search of the Internet with pertinent keywords will turn up a multitude of references supporting this now “not-so-secret” intention of the global elite.

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Warning: Are Divine Judgments In Our Future?

The Bible tells us that on some future Feast Day in September, the trumpets will sound and the dead will rise to meet our Lord in the sky. At the end of the Feasts, when He tabernacles with us on earth, He will set up His judgment seat, and we must all face Him for what we have done with our lives.

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Donald Trump Meets The Prosperity Gospel

Most interesting is that Paula White is arranging the session. She has a history with Trump as, apparently, some sort of spiritual advisor of sorts. She’s deep within the ranks of the prosperity gospel and from the T.D. Jakes line of things. She’s even received an award from Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition.

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35 Things I Wish I’d Known In High School (And Freebies!)

by Erin Davis | 8/27/15

From the LYWB.com Team: Like it or not, the new school year is about to begin. (It’s already rolling in my neck of the woods.) We know that standing for Christ in your school isn’t easy. We wanted to send you back with a heavy dose of truth, so we dragged this favorite post out of the archives. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom; we’ve got some free printables for your locker.

I turn 35 today.

I know to some of you that may seem ancient. I can see forty over the horizon after all. When I was a teenager, I didn’t think too highly of the thirties either. Weddings are often done by that stage. Babies have usually been born. Career has been picked. What’s left other than to get wrinkles? But as I crest the hill of my mid-thirties I can assure you I won’t be picking out a retirement home any time soon. I’m just getting warmed up. In fact, my thirties have been some of the best, most fruitful, most fun years of my life. One major lesson I’ve learned is the wisdom that can be gleaned from women older than me. There’s gold in them thar hills if I’m willing to mine it! I don’t have life all figured out, but God has taught me some valuable lessons since high school graduation. Here are thirty-five of them.

  1. God’s promises are true.
  2. He really does have a hope and a future for me (Jer. 29:11).
  3. The college, major, and career I pick don’t define me. I am not my work. I am a child of God.
  4. Marrying a guy who loves Jesus really, really matters.
  5. Parents are pretty cool. Their rules are for my good.
  6. Being the prettiest or most popular girl in school matters for about half a second after graduation. In contrast, being the kindest girl in school gets remembered well past your ten-year reunion.
  7. You will look back at pictures of you and think you were stunning. Trust me.
  8. Insecurity is a massive waste of time and energy. Be confident in God’s love.
  9. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9). It’s okay to have a ten-year plan, but there’s a 100% chance God will interrupt it. That’s a good thing.
  10. The bands you listen to in high school will be your very favorite bands forever. Keep the t-shirts. They will be “vintage” and awesome when you’re thirty.
  11. You truly do reap what you sow. I love how Nancy Leigh DeMoss says it, “You are what you’re becoming.” Do you want to know your Bible frontwards and backwards later? Study it like crazy now. Do you want to be more like Christ someday? Be more like Him today.
  12. Broken hearts heal. Mine got broken often in high school. All these years later I’ve still never felt a pain like it. But those deep chasms are now all healed up. If your heart is broken, I promise it will heal and someone else will capture it someday.
  13. Start saving money now. I know that top at Anthropologie is super cute, but it’s also crazy overpriced. Imagine dropping that $75 in a savings account and using it for something lasting like a car, an education, or a child sponsorship. Most people think they will start saving “someday.” I wish I had developed the discipline of saving money as a high school student. While we are on the subject of money . . .
  14. Start tithing. The Bible calls all believers to tithe regardless of income. So, if you have an allowance, a part-time job or babysitting money, you have an income. Everything you make belongs to God, but there are tremendous blessings to be found in giving a portion of it back to Him. Don’t wait until you’re rolling in the dough to start tithing.
  15. The world doesn’t revolve around me. That’s a good thing.
  16. Champion others as often as possible. Instead of wanting everyone to cheer you on, figure out ways to cheer them on.
  17. Normal is a mirage. Embrace your weirdness.
  18. I know that boy gives you butterflies, but that won’t carry you through the ups and downs of life. Find someone who loves Jesus (remember point #4), but also someone who is fun to talk to and knows how to cope when the going gets tough. Then, when you least expect it, the butterflies will start to flutter in your tummy once again. Fourteen years after I married my high school sweetheart, I still get butterflies.
  19. I’ve never met someone my age who is glad she partied in high school. Ever. I’ve met lots and lots of them who regretted it. There is no long-term benefit from that scene.
  20. You don’t need a bunch of friends. You need one or two who’ve really got your back.
  21. Worry less about having the right friends and worry more about being the right friend.
  22. Be picky about your friends. The Bible says it this way, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20). Pick wise friends. Since Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins, wise friends need to be Jesus-loving friends.
  23. Don’t be afraid to fail. Stand up in front of the class and give that speech. Try out for the lead role in the play. Start a club. You may fall on your face. You may not. But at least you went for it.
  24. You can do big things for the kingdom now. Don’t wait to get involved in ministry.
  25. Your parents don’t need to be your friends right now. They need to be your parents, and that means they make and enforce the rules. The good news is, they will likely be your friends someday. Right now God has given them the job of being in charge. Do everything you can to make that job easier.
  26. Find something you are good at and enjoy it, but don’t make it your whole life. Soccer is supposed to be fun, not stressful. So is singing, sculpting, and playing the saxophone.
  27. It’s okay to miss practice for church. In fact, church trumps activities every single time.
  28. Sometimes it’s cool to love Jesus and not the Church, but Jesus loves the Church. If there is something that could be better at your church, then get involved and make it better instead of complaining or checking out. The Church is the Bride of Christ.
  29. Your youth pastor is not your connection to God.
  30. “The things of earth will come to pass, only what’s done for Christ will last.” That’ll preach.
  31. When you get your license, it’s a license to drive, not a license to do stupid things. I know because within a few weeks of getting my license, I got caught racing on the highway and wrapped my car around a telephone pole. I drove dumb so you don’t have to.
  32. When you do something stupid to impress someone, it’s still doing something stupid, and it likely won’t impress them as much as if you did something smart. Do the smart thing instead.
  33. Your siblings are cooler than you think. When you’re thirty-five, they’ll be the people you want to grab coffee with.
  34. Nothing good happens after curfew. Go home.
  35. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting” (Prov. 31:30). Since outward beauty cannot last, spend your time growing a beautiful heart.

70% of Americans are Christians? Seriously?

A recent report indicates that 70% of Americans are Christians. If this is true, what it says to this writer is that a whole host of people who profess faith in Jesus Christ neglect to read the instruction manual that reveals everything we need to know about the object of our faith. I’m referring to the Bible. Anyone who takes the time to read it knows what Jesus taught and how those who claim to believe in Him must live their lives. Clearly Christians are not reading the Book.

So, isn’t it a bit odd that people who say they believe Christ died for their sins aren’t the least bit curious about who He is and what He taught while He was here? Jesus spent the better part of three years teaching his disciples all sorts of things such as what His mission was (John 1:14-18) and how they were to conduct themselves.

The Lord gave commands, not suggestions. He never said: “It’s not a good idea to murder someone…lie…cheat…steal…sleep around…commit adultery…practice homosexual sex…get drunk…use drugs…have a slew of idols, or anything like that.” Nor did He say: “It would be nice if you’d consider forgiving those who do you wrong.” He never tossed them the “Good job!” compliment when they exercised discernment. Neither was Jesus into high-fiving and “atta boys.” Whenever these sorts of things came up in conversation, He said unequivocally, “Do not”…”You must!” Moreover, He was clear that in order to be saved people must repent of their sins and turn away from the sinful life. “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).

And trust me when I say that there’s no way He would have said to one of His followers: “God smiles when you be you.”

Keeping Jesus’ commands begins with knowing what they are and then, of course, obeying them. The Lord said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

If you love me…

Basic Training

So, could a person become a member of the armed forces without ever having gone through some form of basic training? No! The expressed purpose for a soldier to go through boot camp is to learn to become a lean mean fighting machine. Soldiers leave boot camp with the general knowledge they need to go into combat and fight a brutal enemy, with their goal being to win! Men and women who don’t understand the rules of engagement, what weapons to use in battle and how to use them effectively, will end up on the losing end.

During the 1960s when the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans first began, what if professing evangelicals had understood that we were in the beginning stages of the “culture war”? What if evangelicals had gone all out to stop the small number of progressives from taking control of public schools…higher education…entertainment industry…media… politics…courts…the scientific community and so on?

What if…???

http://bereanresearch.org/70-of-americans-are-christians-seriously/


Baptist leaders respond to Ashley Madison news

According to Baptist Press:

With the potential affairs of millions exposed by a hack of the adultery-facilitating Ashley Madison website, Southern Baptist leaders have offered counsel to affected families, churches and individuals.

“We are already hearing stories of families torn apart, of children terrified about what is happening to their dad, and of the tragedy of suicide,” LifeWay Christian Resources President Thom Rainer wrote in an Aug. 26 blog post. “Church leaders cannot respond in their own power. God, however, can provide them all they need to respond in such a time of tragedy and hurt.”

http://www.bpnews.net/45370/baptist-leaders-respond-to-ashley-madison-news


Is Atheism a Belief System? Interview Between Christian Andy Bannister and Atheist Ed Turner

andy-bannister-webAthiest-who-p2e-really-small

Justin Bierley with the award-winning weekly radio show and podcast, Unbelievable, interviewed RZIM Canada Director Andy Bannister alongside atheist Ed Turner Saturday August 22 on whether or not atheism is a belief system. Andy Bannister raises this same question in his recently-released book The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist. Bannister and Turner debated in 2008, but return to the show to discuss this important question.

Listen to the interview on Unbelievable here.


Applying Homicide Investigation Techniques to the Case for God’s Existence (Video)

J. Warner Wallace previews the approach he’s taken in his latest book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold Case Detective Examines the Evidence for A Divinely Created Universe (http://godscrimescene.com/). How do detectives know when a murder has occurred? Every death investigation presents one of four possibilities; the victim died accidentally, died from natural causes, committed suicide or was murdered. Only one of these circumstances requires someone outside the room to enter the scene. Accidental deaths, natural deaths and suicides can occur without an intruder. Homicide detectives, therefore, are looking for evidence of outside involvement. One important question must be asked and answered: “Can the evidence ‘in the room’ be explained by staying ‘in the room’?” This question is key to determining whether a death scene is a crime scene. As we examine the universe around us, a similar opportunity awaits those who want to begin the most important of all investigations. Can everything we see in the universe be explained solely from causes found within the natural realm, or is there evidence of an outside “intruder”? Is the universe a “scene” that can be explained by natural “internal” forces, or is an external “intruder” a better explanation? For more information about the video from which this excerpt was taken, please visit: http://impactapologetics.com/gods-crime-scene-dvd-set/. For more information about J. Warner, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com.

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.


Conviction in a time of rapid change

Ligonier.org: On August 25th, we were joined by Dr. John MacArthur, president of The Master’s Seminary, and Dr. Stephen Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College. We discussed the urgency to stand with conviction in a time of rapid cultural change.


7 Problems with Christian Opposition to Inerrancy

Listen to this Article Subscribe to Theology Unplugged in iTunes Kyle Roberts, a theologian at United Theological Seminary and a former evangelical, has written a blog article on Patheos entitled “Seven Problems with Inerrancy.” Roberts is an example of a growing number of theologians who argue that we should retain faith in Jesus Christ and […]

The post 7 Problems with Christian Opposition to Inerrancy appeared first on CredoHouse – Making Theology Accessible.


How to Survive World Religions 101

Michael Kruger entered his freshman year at the University of North Carolina as a committed Christian. He thought he was ready for the intellectual challenges college would mount against his faith—that is, until he found himself sitting in a New Testament introduction class with Bart Ehrman as his professor. It left him shell-shocked.

Many students can relate. Churches often have a hard time preparing their youth for a secular university environment. They equip them on a moral level, which is good and important, yet fail to prepare them intellectually and doctrinally. So how can churches better brace young people for the day their faith will be challenged, attacked, and deemed intellectually indefensible by professors and peers?

In the new video above, Kruger, president and professor of New Testament and early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, shares some of the lessons he learned in college. He encourages students to check their expectations, prepare for opposition, dig for answers, and more. Above all, he urges them to anchor themselves in the local church.

Ryan Troglin is an editorial assistant in the Office of the President at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Stacey, are members at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.


Chick-Fil-A Banned From Opening New Restaurant In Denver International Airport

City Council Bars Chick-fil-A from Denver Airport Due to Chain’s Christian Values

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 (KJV)

The most amazing thing about the Denver International Airport is not that it is filled to the brim with very freaky occultic symbols everywhere you look, it’s that it is everywhere you look. Instead of trying to hide them, or be clever about it, these works of darkness are on bold display, daring you to figure them out. And there is no question of any kind that all these symbols do indeed tell a story that is yet to be realized. The story of an evil, tragic holocaust. Do I have your attention?

denver-international-airport-says-no-to-chick-fil-a-same-sex-marriage-blucifer

The Denver City Council was speaking truth when they said that it is a “moral issue”. The Denver International Airport is the very symbol of Godlessness itself, and it is no wonder that they would be horrified to have a Christian-based company within their dark borders.

One of the first things you see when you pull up to it is a giant, angry blue horse in the attack position whose eyes glow devil red at night. They have aptly named him Blucifer. The sculptor of this evil creation was killed after Blucifer fell on him, crushing him to death instantly. This is the mascot of the Denver Airport. Is it any wonder to you now why they have soundly rejected the proposal of Christian restaurant company Chick-fil-a to open a store there?

The popular fast-food chain is currently facing a political roadblock in Denver, Colorado. The city’s council has moved to delay Chick-fil-A’s request to lease a location within Denver International Airport (DIA) due to members’ concerns with the company’s stance on same-sex marriage.

According to The Denver Post, several city council members view a potential seven-year concessions deal with Chick-fil-A as a question of ethics.

Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez called it “really, truly a moral issue on the city.”

Robin Kniech, the council’s first openly gay member, said she worries about a local Chick-fil-A franchise generating “corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination.”

There is such an evil spirit present at the occultic Denver International Airport that having a Chick-fil-a there would be like the Wicked Witch screaming “I’m melting!” when she was doused with the pure water of goodness.

I hope the open a store there soon, pray that they do.


From Suicide to Euthanasia

When does the right to suicide become an obligation to die? Once again, Europe is pushing the boundaries. Listen Now | Download

Law-Keeping Cannot Save You

Law-Keeping Cannot Save YouPeople by nature want to boast in their own abilities, efforts, and achievements. Therefore, the cross of Christ is an offense to everyone. In this lab, John Piper looks at why we resist the message of the cross, as well as what the good news of the gospel says to our self-righteousness.

Watch Now


Five Lessons for Serial Daters

Five Lessons for Serial DatersEvery fall, young men and women descend on college campuses across the country freshly free from parental accountability and looking for love. It’s a unique time of life that likely won’t repeat itself. Never again will you have instant access to so many people of the opposite sex.

Naturally, some young Christians view college as a great time to find Mr. or Mrs. Right. They hit the ground combing through the masses, looking for the most eligible bachelor or bachelorette. Others are only interested in having a weekly or yearly companion to hold hands, snuggle, and take out on dates. There’s no real intention toward marriage.

I know both hearts well. I began college dating without intentions until a friend challenged me. “Can you see yourself marrying her?” Soon after, I started dating to find my wife. Both periods of my life had one thing in common: I was a serial dater — one who dates a lot of people in a short span of time. Here are five lessons I learned for serial daters like me.

Lesson 1: Look before you leap.

Leaping before looking has led to many broken hearts, and some difficult marriages. People leap into relationships for various reasons that are often not filtered through biblical qualifications and principles. Anxiety, for instance, is a common cause of getting into relationships before we’ve carefully examined a person. Doubt overwhelms our minds. Satan whispers: “You’ll never get married if you pass this one by,” or, “You can’t do better than this.”

For others, physical attraction makes us compromise. Proverbs warns us of the deceitfulness of charm and the vanity of beauty (Proverbs 31:30). We’re also warned “desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Proverbs 19:2). Romantic pursuits rooted in beauty and charm usually lead to regrets and heartache.

Consider how your actions have affected the droves of people you’ve been romantically involved in. Entering into a committed relationship with a person you haven’t properly examined not only hurts you, but it hurts them as well. Serial daters view the opposite sex as rides on a playground — you use them to fulfill your momentary desires and move on when you’re bored.

Essentially, you’re looking to your own interests and not to the interest of others (Philippians 2:4). Paul challenges us to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Christ did “nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). When you serial date you’re not operating with the mind of Christ, but in the spirit of the anti-Christ. Christians don’t look before leaping just to protect themselves, but to protect others as well.

Lesson 2: Labor to kill sexual sin in your heart.

The question many Christian students want to know is: “What is God’s will for my life?” The Bible answers this question: “God’s will for your life is that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Scripture paints a beautiful holistic picture of sex. When enjoyed in the marriage bed, it’s pleasing to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:2–5). But when it’s engaged outside of marriage, it reaps misery and sorrow. Moreover, Christians who engage in unrepentant sexual acts outside of marriage defile the church (1 Corinthians 5:1–13). Sexual deviance is rebellion against God as creator (Romans 1:18-25). It communicates what your heart really thinks: I’m right and God is wrong.

You should labor to kill all sin, but for many of you, sexual sin in pornography or inappropriate dating relationships is likely your greatest adversary. Serial daters endlessly seek satisfaction from relationships, which inevitably leads to sexual immorality. Fulfilled sexual desires alone and out of context will never make you happy. The pursuit of lasting pleasure through sex is a mirage and snare for a thirsty soul. It will always leave you dissatisfied. The Bible offers you something better sex.

Lesson 3: Lean on Jesus to satisfy your soul.

“Jesus is enough.” I know you’ve heard this time and time again and your response is, “I know.” I would love nothing more than to type an answer that’s going to satisfy your desire to discover the magic bullet that radically changes your perspective on your singleness and eliminates all struggles with discontentment. At the end of the day, all I have to offer you is Jesus. And as offended and misunderstood as you may feel by that advice, I still believe he is enough for you.

I entered marriage secretly thinking it was the magic bullet. I thought marriage, sex, and other things would satisfy this unending thirst. I disregarded married people who warned me to cling to Jesus and not view marriage as the answer. Marriage didn’t quench my thirst, but it did expose my idolatry. Marriage is one of the most gracious sanctifying agents that God can give us. At times it hurts, but intertwined in those moments are glimpses of heaven and a picture of the gospel.

Many men and women have pursued love, sex, career, status, fortune, and power only to discover that at the end of their pursuit is more of the unhappiness they thought they escaped. We are indeed “enigmas whose solution can be found only in God” (Our Reasonable Faith, 23). Discontentment is the enemy of the soul that seeks satisfaction in Jesus. Jesus offers our souls true satisfaction in every stage of life that will leave us neither hungry nor thirsty (John 6:35).

Lesson 4: Listen to older men and women.

During my short life, I’ve come to value the wisdom of older men and women. They are a precious gift to young men and women. College students, be intentional about seeking out these relationships. Throughout Scripture we’re given a model of the older instructing the younger (Proverbs 22:6; Psalm 145:4; 1 Peter 5:1–5; Deuteronomy 6:4–9). The apostle Paul instructs older women to “train the young women” (Titus 2:3–5) and Titus is told to “urge the younger men to be self-controlled” (Titus 2:6–8).

Be open and honest with older men and women about your patterns in dating, especially your failures. Observe their marriages. Invite hard and uncomfortable questions. Heed their advice. This will prove fruitful and could break sinful habits.

Lesson 5: Love your Bible more than you love marriage.

College is full of activities that can keep you distracted from reading your Bible. There are always games to watch, friends to hang out with, and love interests to pursue. This can be exciting, but it’s also hazardous for the soul. The Bible teaches that Scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It is your one-stop shop to know God himself, the truth about sex, marriage, friendship, and the key to real joy.

When you forsake the Scriptures, you forsake divine revelation and wisdom from God. Scripture must shape how you see God, your college experience, and relationships. You must love your Bible more than you love marriage if you want to end a cycle of serial dating.

Regretting the Past and Hope for the Future

I’ve been amazed at how much my past serial dating haunts my marriage. I’ve often reflected on former relationships, and the ways in which they have limited or inhibited my love for my wife, with deep pain and regret. I’ve frequently sat in silence weeping over past heartaches and the trail of broken hearts I’ve left behind.

I take no pleasure in the amount of girls I pursued, but I have found joy in the gospel of grace. God has been kind to give me a wife who, though she can’t relate, constantly applies the balm of grace to my old wounds. And I’m learning day-by-day lessons I want to teach my children so that they live more satisfied in Jesus than I was in their singleness and dating. If you’re a serial dater, you should repent. Abandon broken cisterns and flee to the fountain that never runs dry. Mourn over your past and trust in the righteousness of Christ. There is hope for future freedom in Jesus.


Related Articles


A La Carte (August 27)

I found no new Kindle deals today but did want to answer a question I have often been asked. What I post day-by-day is a list of curated deals. They are almost all books I can vouch for one way or another—I have read them, they come from a solid publisher, or they have trusted endorsers. There are many more deals to be had, but I focus on deals for good books. And hopefully there will be more tomorrow.

Congregationalism Doesn’t Stop at 8 PM

This is a very strong article on congregationalism and the responsibilities of each church member to all the others. Don’t let the word “congregationalism” intimidate you—read the article!

Should We Watch Murders on Social Media?

I agree with Russell Moore—we’ve got no business watching people get murdered. Wasn’t it Postman who warned that if we watch news we can do nothing about, we are probably actually just entertaining ourselves to death?

Banning Child Labor

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? We should ban child labor and refuse to support companies that use it. But this article at The Guardian says, “A categorical ban on child labour is a well-intended but poorly thought out measure, because it ignores the direct and indirect effects of such a ban. It is a policy with its head in the sand, one that will overshoot the intended goal of improving the lives of children workers.”

War RoomNew in Theaters: Tomorrow marks the release of War Room, a new film by the Kendrick brothers (Fireproof, Courageous.) Plugged In has an early review. “Even if there’s a degree of cinematic idealization regarding the instant outcome of prayer … the message that the Kendricks deliver here is no less valid or profitable: Prayer is where God reshapes and remolds our souls into the image of His son, Jesus Christ.”

Want Faster Wifi?

Here are some simple, user-friendly tips just about any of us can implement to help the strength of our wifi signal.

Ashley Madison’s Users

This is fascinating, pathetic, and somehow not at all surprising: Almost 100% of the female accounts registered at Ashley Madison were fake. “Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren’t there.”

Invent a Ministry

As a pastor, I absolutely love to see this in action. “While most churches need workers in the existing ministries, the inability to fit well in one of them may be God’s prompting to start a new one. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formally recognized ministry.”


Links I like

Links

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Should We Watch Murders on Social Media?

Russell Moore:

A videotaped massacre can easily be a kind of pornography, turning human beings—made in the image of God–into spectacles, all while giving the illusion of a safe distance between their suffering and the audience. We can justify watching this as “being informed,” but there is a very thin line these days between news and entertainment. The last thing we should ever be entertained by is the taking of human life. That’s why our early Christian ancestors refused to go to the gladiatorial games.

15 Ways to Fight Lust with the Sword of the Spirit

Kevin DeYoung:

The seventh commandment is not just broken in this country; it’s being smashed to pieces.

And sexual sin is not just an “out there” problem. Any pastor will tell you stories about how sexual sin has destroyed people in his congregation. None of us are immune from the dangers of sexual immorality. In a Christianity Today study from several years ago, 40 percent of clergy acknowledged visiting pornographic websites. Another survey found that 21 percent visit regularly. Yet another survey at Pastors.com found that 50 percent of pastors reported to viewing pornography in the previous year. And then there’s the underlying issue of the heart. The seventh commandment doesn’t just forbid adultery and pornography. It forbids every action, look, conversation, thought, or desire that incites lust and uncleanness.

So how in the world, in this world we live in, and with our sex-saturated hearts, can we obey the seventh commandment?

All are welcome here

Ray Ortlund shares a great quote from Octavius Winslow.

Amazon: Easy to Critique, Easier to One-Click

Lisa Slayton:

We may publicly condemn large companies like Amazon and praise small businesses like Hearts & Minds. But when it comes to buying our books and placing our orders, we usually go with the company that offers the fastest and cheapest option—without regard for how it treats it employees.

Who, then, is to blame for “bruising” workplaces, where people are treated like cogs in a machine rather than humans created in God’s image? It may very well be us, the consumers.

Let’s Reach Out with the Gospel to Women Victimized by Abortion

Randy Alcorn:

I encourage you to read through the following perspectives from Diane Meyer, a close friend of ours. In fact, she’s like a third daughter to me and Nanci. She lived with us when our daughters were small and she was a young unwed mother. We had the joy of seeing her come to Christ, and helped her place a baby for adoption.  (Just this last year she was reunited with her 33-year-old son and it was our privilege to be there with Diane’s family and the adoptive parents.)


The Daily Discovery (August 27, 2015)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:

(Click title to go to full article)

Has America Abandoned God? – “As a culture we are at a strange place, we seem to be headed toward a precipice at breakneck speed. From the recent Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, to the recent release of the undercover videos showing the management of Planned Parenthood haggling over the price of the its tiny murder victims, and the mindless defense of PP on the part of many and the complete ignoring of the story by the mainstream media (while there was widespread outrage over and wall to wall media coverage of the legal killing of a lion in Zimbabwe) I have heard many believers asking has America abandoned God?”

Congregationalism Doesn’t Stop at 8 p.m. – “Congregationalists argue that local congregations are ultimately responsible for their membership, discipline, and doctrine. But what does that mean? Are congregations responsible for a slice the church’s life while the elders handle the rest? As long as we cast biblically informed votes in a members meeting, are we fulfilling our congregational duty? Or does ‘membership, discipline, and doctrine’ require something more than merely saying ‘aye’ and ‘nay’?”

Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ – “Rosaria Butterfield knits. Balls of yarn at her feet become fingerless mohair mittens for her family of six. But that’s not the only kind of knitting she does. She also wields her needles of theology and experience against the tangled mess of modern sexuality. The result is order where chaos tends to rule.  This order is timely. When it comes to same-sex anything, the church can appear awkward and clumsy. As the pressure mounts, we Christians fumble around with our Bibles, unsure of how to connect the truths in God’s Word to cultural discourse or personal struggles.”

Ken Ham Releases Eye-Opening Ready to Return – “For Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation, thousands of young adults in our churches, as well as thousands more adults in their 40s, were interviewed by ARG with questions about their church participation when growing up, their current levels of church participation, and their beliefs about Bible doctrines, Creation, and Noah’s Ark. The first book in this series, Already Gone, presented the results of a survey dealing with why those who attended church regularly while young are no longer sitting in our pews. This follow-up book shows that many of the 20s generation who still attend church regularly support gay ‘marriage,’ say they are not born again, and 65% believe that if a person is good they will go to heaven. Jeff Kinley assisted Ham in writing this new book.”

Heidelberg 117: Who Defines True Prayer? – “One of the themes that we have been exploring through the exposition of the catechism, which is really an exposition of the Scriptures and the Christian faith as understood and confessed by the Reformed Churches, is the relationship between the objective, that which apart from us, and the subjective, our personal experience. In our age the subjective tends to dominate. People identify themselves in ways contrary to their biology and demand that others accept this self-identification. This is nothing but radical subjectivism. It rests on the belief that all norms are really nothing more than contrivances, conventions, constructions that may be deconstructed at will.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Tom Buck – 1 Timothy 4:11-16


VIDEOS:

How Will You Think About Death?

The Ebb and Flow of Gospel Multiplication


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (August 27, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Check out

Blogs

America’s Reading Crisis Is Much Worse Than You Think | Sara Kay Mooney at Christianity Today
Sara, a teacher at a Title I middle school, answers the question: “What do you wish the local church knew?”

Open Letter to Right-Wing Evangelical Christians | Ariel Bovat at RAAN
Staggering statistics to consider as she talks about the root causes of abortion.

15 Ways to Fight Lust With the Sword of the Spirit | Kevin DeYoung
“So how in the world, in this world we live in, and with our sex-saturated hearts, can we obey the seventh commandment?”

Good Works and the Christian Life | John Tweeddale at Ligonier
“Just because we are not saved according to our works doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be concerned about pursuing a life of joyful obedience to God’s Word.”

Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ | Book review by Kelsey Hency at The Gospel Coalition
“Once a tenured English professor, [Butterfield] approaches the issue of sexuality with notable scholastic rigor; her theology is profound. Once a committed lesbian, she empathizes with those in the grips of same-sex attraction; her compassion abounds. In her new book Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ, we benefit from both.”

Cotton Mather’s Advice for Seminary Students | Ryan Hoselton at The Gospel Coalition

Fasting for Beginners | David Mathis at Desiring God
Why to fast and how to start, with the reminder that Jesus gave us instructions for “when” we fast, not “if.”

Kindle Deals

What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer ($3.99)

Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat by Dan Hampton ($5.99)

The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God  by Lee Strobel ($4.99)

When to Speak Up and When To Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler ($3.99)

New Books

Preaching Made Practical by O. Palmer Roberson ($16.99)

Bible Names by Alison Brown ($8.00)

Videos

Heartbreaking Video Shows How Technology Addiction Is Changing Childhood

Highland Hymn: Glory to the Holy One Concert (Saint Andrew’s Chapel)

Lyrics:

Above the mists of Highland hills
E’en far above the clear blue skies
The end of pain and earthly ills
When we shall see His eyes

Refrain

Lutes will sing
Pipers play
When we see Him face to face
On that day

His face now hidden from our sight
Concealed from ev’ry hidden gaze
In hearts made pure from sinful f light
Is the bliss that will amaze

Refrain

We know not yet what we will be
In heaven’s final blessed state
But know we now that we shall see
Our Lord at heaven’s gate

The beatific glory view
That now our souls still long to see
Will make us all at once anew
And like Him forever be

Refrain



Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, August 27, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Ted Cruz Tries to Rouse Evangelicals with Campaign against Planned Parenthood

Iraq Forms Committee to Address Christian Persecution

New York Times Baffled By Evangelical Support of Trump

Terrorist Attack Averted at Tomb of Ancient Israeli Patriarch

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Player and Wife Refuse to Abort Baby with Severe Birth Defect

Flooding, Landslides Hit Vast Area of Burma; Christians Denied Aid

Scholars Say “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” Probably a Fake

Pakistani Flood Victims Refused Aid Because of Christian Faith

Ted Cruz Urges 100,000 Pastors to Demand De-Funding of Planned Parenthood

Josh Duggar’s Brother-in-law Condemns Instant Forgiveness for Adultery

Opinion

A Warning about Trigger Warnings

What do Starbucks and Pope Francis Have in Common?

What Anna Duggar Doesn’t Understand about Christian Forgiveness

New Bible Videos on YouTube Helping Christians Understand God’s Word

Train Heroes Receive France’s Highest Honor


Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

Source


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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