THE CROSS

Originally posted on Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation:

Written by Archibald Alexander

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Whence came the tree from which the cross was made?

What has become of the particles of which it was composed? What hands were employed in preparing this instrument of a cruel death? To such questions no answer can be given–and none is needed. The cross was a common mode of punishment among several nations, and among the Romans was reserved for the punishment of slaves and the vilest malefactors. It was never made use of by the Jews. If they had had the power of execution in their hands when Christ suffered, the punishment for the offence alleged against him would have been stoning. But by the ordering of divine Providence, our Lord was put to death in that way which was accursed, according to the Jewish law; for it was written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”

The death of Christ on the…

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It is necessary for Him to increase, but for me to decrease

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

30 ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν, ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι. (John 3:30 NA28)

30 It is necessary for him to increase, but for me to decrease.” (John 3:30 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

We often think that false doctrine concerning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will begin with denials of His deity or the fall of man et cetera. Consider this my brethren. All it takes to get the gospel wrong is to make man the focus of it rather than the glory of the Father through the glorification of the Son as He lived that sinless life and through that perfect obedience became the propitiation for those He came to save. Then he deliberately laid down His life to be that perfect sacrifice on their behalf. He went to that cross so that those chosen before the foundation of the world, given to the Son by the…

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August 1-2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend News/Commentary Collection

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Updated Throughout the Weekend


Top News – 8/1/2015

US officials admit Isil just as strong as when air campaign began
Almost a year after the US launched its multi billion dollar military campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant the violent jihadist group shows no signs of weakening, according to the assessments of American intelligence agencies. Its hold on social media and flow of oil revenue means it can draw on a steady stream of recruits and has held on to almost all its territory despite losing 10,000 fighters.

Myanmar floods: President declares state of emergency
Myanmar’s president has declared a state of emergency in four regions after heavy floods left 27 people dead. Monsoon rains over many weeks have led to flooding in most of the country (also known as Burma). Myanmar’s President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in four regions – Chin, Magwe, Sagaing and Rakhine.

New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour calls for unity
The new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, has called for unity in an audio message, saying that the group will continue fighting. Mullah Mansour was named as the new leader on Thursday, after the death of former head Mullah Omar was confirmed. But a Taliban spokesman told the BBC he had not been appointed “by all Taliban”, going against Sharia law.

Meanwhile, on the Palestinian track…
…The 60-day congressional review of the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ends September 17. …What that all means is that the question of whether the Iran nuclear deal will go through as it is now stands will – by September 27 – be behind us… Many of them will then turn to business still unfinished – namely the Israeli-Palestinian track.

North Korea Marches Captive Canadian Pastor Out For Show-Trial Photo Op
North Korea marched a Canadian Christian hostage out in front of cameras, so he could admit to crimes against the glorious State—specifically, the crime of placing God above the “Dear Leadership.”

Obama Judge Fines School Over Christian Prayer
Gov’t turning Christians into second-class citizens. An Obama-appointed district judge fined a Mississippi school district over $7500 after a pastor led a prayer before an optional school assembly. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves said the Rankin, Miss., public school district defied his prior order barring prayer at school events by allowing Rev. Rob Gill to begin an assembly honoring students with above-average ACT scores with a prayer.

Poll: No, Mr. President, you would not win a third term
It seems that Americans can add “no more Obamas” to the oft-heard calls for no more Bushes or Clintons, despite the president’s belief that he would be a shoo-in for a third term. Rasmussen Reports on Friday released a poll showing that just one third of likely U.S voters would keep President Obama in office if he ran again. Even among Democrats, only 57 percent would vote for him a third time.

Jeb Bush grabs cash from Iran and Cuba émigrés while opposing Obama policies
Émigrés from Iran and Cuba are at the top of Jeb Bush’s record-breaking presidential fundraising haul, according to campaign finance disclosures that paint the former Florida governor’s opposition to Barack Obama’s twin foreign policy priorities in stark new light.

Planned Parenthood President Made 39 Visits To Obama’s White House Since 2009
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, head of the taxpayer-subsidized abortion giant currently facing a firestorm for allegedly selling body parts harvested from aborted babies, has made personal visits to the White House 39 times since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, White House records show.

Iran calls for Israel’s nuclear disarmament
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says now that his country has accepted strict curbs on its nuclear program, it’s time for Israel and the world’s other nuclear powers to begin their disarmament.

Al-Qaida attacks HQ of rebel group it calls US ‘agents’
Members of al-Qaida’s branch in Syria launched an attack early Friday on the headquarters of a rebel faction in northern Syria believed to have been trained by the U.S. government, killing at least five fighters and wounding more than a dozen, the militants and an activist group said. The Nusra Front, which has also abducted several members of the faction known as Division 30, vowed to cut off “the arms” of the American government in Syria.

Afghan govt hopes to divide and conquer Taliban
The new leader of the Afghan Taliban faces the twin challenges of bringing together an insurgency that he ran for years under another man’s name and uniting a fractured movement that has seen fighters desert for more extreme groups such as the Islamic State. Meanwhile, the Afghan government believes it can seize on the Taliban leadership crisis it has created by announcing that Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for more than two years to further weaken the insurgency.

Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
An experimental Ebola vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea seems to work and might help shut down the waning epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday.

Baltimore hasn’t seen this many killings in 4 decades
Baltimore reached a grim milestone on Friday, three months after riots erupted in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody: With 43 homicides in July, the city has seen more bloodshed in a single month than it has in 43 years.


Top Headlines – 8/1/2015

Palestinians to haul Israel before ICC in wake of arson attack, Abbas says

Hamas Calls for All Arabs to Attack ‘All Soldiers, Settlers’

West Bank violence flares after funeral for Palestinian baby killed in attack

Netanyahu tells Abbas Israel shocked by act of ‘heinous terror’

Israel hasn’t done enough to combat Jewish terrorism, Rivlin says

Jordanians march in solidarity with Palestinian ‘day of rage’

Iran calls for Israel’s nuclear disarmament

PM to make direct appeal to US Jews in bid to thwart Iran deal

Netanyahu to bring case against Iran deal to N. American Jews in live webcast event

PM: Opposition to Iran deal is intensifying in the US

Congress goes on break, pausing debate on Iran deal

UN nuclear watchdog chief to meet US senators next week

Obama tells liberals: I can’t carry Iran deal on my own

Afghan govt hopes to divide and conquer Taliban

ISIS Forces Assyrian Christian Woman to Trample Jesus Christ’s Image at Gunpoint

Islamic State document reveals plan to bring ‘end of the world’

Seven Libyan soldiers killed in clashes with ISIS

Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch threatens to attack all U.S.-backed rebels

Tent Cities Test Germany’s Resolve to Support Swell of Syrian Refugees

Illegal immigration prevention spending in Central America backfires, entices migrants

Homeland Security warns drones could be used in attacks

Delta plane spots drone hovering near JFK airport

Ky. man arrested after shooting down $1,800 drone hovering over sunbathing daughter

Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy

Forget About The Apple Watch, Implantables Are Coming

Who needs the Fed? The rate hike cometh on its own

Chicago Mulls Borrowing That Puerto Rico Rejected as Risky

Greek Debt Crisis Adds to a Spike in Burglaries and Robberies

Baltimore killings soar to a level unseen in 43 years

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Rainbow Beach, Australia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Rainbow Beach, Australia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pali, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Yunaska Island, Alaska

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pueblo Nuevo Tiquisate, Guatemala

Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 22,000ft

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Volcano Erupts on Reunion Island Where Suspected MH370 Debris Washed Up

Heat index in Iran hits staggering 163 degrees

Half of Columbia River sockeye salmon dying due to hot water

Number of Legionnaires’ Cases Rises Amid Deadly Outbreak in NYC: Officials

U.S. government begins human trials of genetically modified Ebola vaccine

Robot Maggots Feed On Brain Tumors

Fetal organs harvested for lab rats

‘Abortion pill’ legalised in Canada

Cecil The Lion Stirs More Outrage Than Abortion Mogul Cecile The Lyin’

Abortion Supporters Get Help From Courts in Video Fight

Planned Parenthood President Made 39 Visits To Obama’s White House Since 2009

Christie Says He’d Cut Planned Parenthood Money Following Videos

Mike Huckabee, Republican presidential candidate, won’t rule out employing U.S. troops, FBI to stop abortion


Dispatch from Iraq: the Stealth Iranian Takeover Becomes Clear :: Spyer in PJ Media

by Jonathan Spyer
PJ Media
July 31, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5412/iraq-iranian-takeover


The iWatch Is Already Old Technology, Get Ready For Implantables

With implantables, the stakes are high. The data collected with implantable devices is so personal.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)

For nearly the past 6 years, we here at NTEB have been telling you that the New World Order has a 3-step plan for us regarding technology. Step 1 was to get us in front of computers, that began in 1994. Step 2 was to get technology on us, that began in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone. Step 3 is to get the technology inside us via implantable devices, and that is about to be released in just a few months.

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Implantable, also referred to as “embeddable,” technology refers to a class of objects that can be inserted directly into the human body to modify, enhance or heal in ways that non-embedded devices cannot. Don’t believe it? Implanted GPS tracking chips are already common for pets.

Forbes reports today that the movement into an era of implantables is already in full swing with wearables and attachables like FitBit. These are just the first generation of gadgets that go beyond monitoring and measuring your body movements. Startups like Thync are pushing the envelope with their neurosignaling patch that uses low voltage electrical currents to alter a person’s mood and energy. News of Google GOOGL -1.01%’s smart contact lens has the tech industry excited to see how they might monitor a person’s glucose levels or other vital signs with the technology. And these are just the daily applications. Developments in the world of healthcare are reaching new heights. Some devices are not only preventative, they can also improve conditions and even save lives. A startup out of Sylmar, California has developed a bionic eye, or retinal implant that allows the blind to see. Companies like Proteus Digital Health are working on implantable “smart pills.” These smart pills work with Bluetooth to inform doctors and family members if a patient has taken his or her medicine. The problem of adherence – patients not taking their medicine as prescribed – costs the country nearly $300 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smart pills could help save lives, but they could also save money. That’s smart business. And it’s only the beginning.

Humanity has been groomed long enough that we are now ready to accept a future where our lives will be run by implantable, computer-enabled devices living inside our bodies and connecting us to the Internet of Everything. By the time that the Antichrist shows up, people will already be used to buying and selling with the internal microchips inside their bodies.

It’s not the future, it’s right now.


Iran buys 100 Russian refueling aircraft for its air force to reach any point in the Mid East
 Article: Miscellaneous

In defiance of the international arms embargo, Iran last week placed an order with Moscow for a huge fleet of 100 Russian IL78 MKI tanker aircraft (NATO: Midas) for refueling its air force in mid-flight, thereby extending its range to 7,300 km. This is reported exclusively by debkafile from its military and intelligence sources. The transaction runs contrary to the terms of the nuclear accord the six world powers and Iran signed in Vienna earlier this month.

These tanker planes can simultaneously refuel six to eight warplanes. Their acquisition brings Israel, 1.200km away – as well the rest of the Middle East – within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment. It also puts Iran’s air force ahead of Israel’s in terms of the quantity and range of its refueling capacity.

Read Full Article….


Neuroscientists Develop Wireless Neural Implant for Remote Brain Control
 Article: Miscellaneous

Neuroscientists funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed an ultrathin, minimally invasive device for controlling brain cells with drugs and light, and demonstrated that the device allows for wireless brain control by remotely drugging and controlling mice.

Optogeneticsis a relatively new neuroscience approach that combines genetics with the physics of light. It uses light to monitor and control neurons that have been genetically modified to sense and respond to light. Optogenetics allows neuroscientists to control and monitor the activities of individual neurons in living tissue.

Read Full Article…. 


Iran’s Khamenei hails his people for demanding death to America and Israel
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday hailed the Iranian masses for demanding the destruction of Israel and America, and said he hoped that God would answer their prayers. In a viciously anti-US speech delivered in Tehran four days after Iran and the world powers signed an accord designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised “the slogans of the people of Iran” which “indicated what directions they’re heading for,” according to the English translation of his speech by Iran’s Press TV. 

At Al-Quds day rallies last week, Khamenei noted appreciatively, “You heard ‘Death to Israel’, ‘Death to the US.’ You could hear it. The whole nation was shaken by these slogans. It wasn’t only confined to Tehran. The whole of the nation, you could hear, that was covered by this great movement. So we ask Almighty God to accept these prayers by the people of Iran.

Read Full Article….


The Bankruptcy Of The Planet Accelerates – 24 Nations Are Currently Facing A Debt Crisis
 Article: Miscellaneous

There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment.  As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one.  Right now, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time record high of 286 percent, and globally there is approximately 200 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books.  That breaks down to about $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet.  And since close to half of the population of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there is no way that all of this debt can ever be repaid.  The only “solution” under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.

Read Full Article…. 


Deal Reached to Commercialize Microchip Drug-Delivery Implant
 Article: Miscellaneous

An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over many years.

Invented by Microchips Biotech co-founders Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, the microchips consist of hundreds of pinhead-sized reservoirs, each capped with a metal membrane, that store tiny doses of therapeutics or chemicals. An electric current delivered by the device removes the membrane, releasing a single dose. The device can be programmed wirelessly to release individual doses for up to 16 years to treat, for example, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis.

Read Full Article….


Iran Bans U.S. Inspectors from All Nuclear Sites
 Article: Miscellaneous

U.S. and Iranian officials confirmed Thursday that no American nuclear inspectors will be permitted to enter the country’s contested nuclear site under the parameters of a deal reached with world powers this week, according to multiple statements by American and Iranian officials. Under the tenants of the final nuclear deal reached this week in Vienna, only countries with normal diplomatic relations with Iran will be permitted to participate in inspections teams organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The revelation of this caveat has attracted concern from some analysts who maintain that only American experts can be trusted to verify that Iran is not cheating on the deal and operating clandestine nuclear facilities.

Read Full Article….


The Most Evil Government In American History

Evil Demon Demonic - Public DomainAmerica is not a great nation, and it hasn’t been for a very long time.  Any government that gives hundreds of millions of dollars each year to an organization that systematically murders babies, harvests their internal organs and ships them off to laboratories where they are used in experiments can hardly be called “great”.  Back in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as “the evil empire”, but today it is the Russians that are calling us “evil” and “godless”.  And you know what?  When Vladimir Putin called us “godless” he was 100 percent correct.  Someday when history judges us, we will fully deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China and Hitler’s Germany.  Our consciences have been so seared that we have absolutely no sense of perspective anymore.  We get all bent out of shape over the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, but the trafficking of the body parts and internal organs of millions of our own babies hardly elicits any reaction at all. (Read More…)


11 Red Flag Events That Just Happened As We Enter The Pivotal Month Of August 2015

Red Flags - Public DomainAre you ready for what is coming in August?  All over America, economic, political and social tensions are building, and the next 30 days could turn out to be pivotal.  In July, we saw things start to turn.  As you will read about below, a major six year trendline for the S&P 500 was finally broken this month, Chinese stocks crashed, commodities crashed, and debt problems started erupting all over the planet.  I fully expect that this next month (August) will be a month of transition as we enter an extremely chaotic time in the fall and winter.  Things are unfolding in textbook fashion for another major global financial crisis in the months ahead, and yet most people refuse to see what is happening.  In their blind optimism, they want to believe that things will somehow be different this time.  Well, the coming months will definitely reveal who was right and who was wrong.  The following are 11 red flag events that just happened as we enter the pivotal month of August 2015… (Read More….)


Here are the most and least diverse religious groups in America

Pew notes that the study is not trying to claim some type of “ideal standard of diversity.” The survey is simply a tool to compare groups in a country whose population and religious organizations continue to grow more diverse. (Levin, Chron,com)


Netanyahu to make direct appeal to US Jews in bid to thwart Iran deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to ABC News on the Iran nuclear deal, July 19, 2015 (screenshot: ABC)

In the latest of a series of attempts to persuade US voters to push their legislators to reject the Iran nuclear deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver an address to the North American Jewish community next week to discuss the agreement, which he staunchly opposes.

The announcement, issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, comes a day after President Barack Obama held a mass conference call with supporters of the deal, to rally them behind the controversial agreement.

According to Conference of Presidents, Netanyahu will address US and Canadian Jewish communities through a live webcast on Tuesday afternoon. In addition to delivering remarks, the prime minister will also take questions from participants.

“The prime minister will deliver remarks directly from his office in Jerusalem, which will be transmitted to computers, cell phones and flat screens set up in synagogues, organizations and Jewish community centers large and small throughout the continent,” the Conference of Presidents said in an announcement Friday afternoon.


Erdogan’s dangerous gambit

TURKEY’S allies in the West have felt increasingly queasy about its wayward president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At home he has become authoritarian and wants to change the constitution to give himself more power. Abroad he has been indulgent towards militants passing through his country to fight in Syria. In the year since the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) declared their caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, and America gathered a coalition to “degrade and ultimately destroy” them, Mr Erdogan has refused to let NATO allies use Turkish bases.

Perhaps he feared that the jihadists would target Turkey. Or perhaps he thought they were useful pawns in the violent geopolitics of the Middle East. Such illusions should have been blown away on July 20th, when a suicide-bomber killed 32 people in Suruc, a Turkish town on the border with Syria. Within days Turkey said it would allow America to use its base at Incirlik, and its own jets bombed IS. There is now talk of creating a buffer zone in Syria to cut off IS’s last supply lines.

Many hope Mr Erdogan has at last had a moment of clarity about the IS menace. So far, though, he has only added to the murk of the region’s wars. His air force has mostly bombed the Kurds who, in various guises, have proved to be the most resolute fighters against IS. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting an on-off insurgency against Turkey for decades, invited retribution by breaking a two-year ceasefire and killing several policemen and soldiers, in reprisal for Turkey’s supposed collusion in the Suruc bombing, which hit a Kurdish cultural centre. But Mr Erdogan is being reckless, too. By deliberately stirring nationalist, anti-Kurdish sentiment, he is endangering the chance of a lasting settlement of the Kurdish question and weakening the fight against IS.


Feels-Like Temp Reaches 163 Degrees in Iran; Days Off Ordered as Mideast Broils in Extreme Heat Wave

Even in the Middle East, where scorching heat is part of everyday life during the summer, coping with extreme temperatures has its limits. A heat wave that has been building for days is testing those limits – and will test the region’s national temperature records too.

The searing heat has led to an impromptu, mandatory four-day holiday in Iraq beginning this past Thursday.

The government has urged residents to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water, but for many of the more than 3 million Iraqis displaced by violent conflict, that poses a dilemma.

Chronic electricity and water cuts in Iraq and other conflict-ridden countries make heat waves like the present one even more unbearable – particularly for the more than 14 million people displaced by violence across the region. In the southern Iraqi city of Basrah earlier this month, protesters clashed with police as they demonstrated for better power services, leaving one person dead.


Obama Prepared to Go ‘Beyond What’s Allowed By Law’ to Push Iran Deal Through?

Following a White House meeting, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) seemingly suggested this week that President Barack Obama might be prepared to go “beyond what’s allowed by law” to push through the Iran nuclear deal.

View Article


Ten Signs Something Big Is About to Happen

NOTE: This ministry does not necessarily agree with the importance of all of these 10 signs but acknowledge that the author is pointing out unusual happenings, some of which deserve our attention! — OTM

The impending crisis that the swirling vortex of signs and events is pressing upon this world brings to mind that song of Johnny Cash titled, “Five Feet and Rising,” where he progresses through the song’s narrative of flood waters overwhelming his family’s farm. [1]

Not only does it identify with all the turbulent storms and flooding in recent months, but it resonates with the flooding of crime, murders, rioting, sexual assaults and social immorality. Not a pretty sight, for sure! One of the prophecies proves my point, however, according to 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

View Article


Geraldo Rivera explains the position of liberal Jews toward Iran

NOTE: We post this to further reveal the delusional thinking of today’s dangerous Left. — OTM

Geraldo Rivera illustrated why many Jews are unconcerned with Iranian threats to both Israel and the Jews; they do not believe something like the Holocaust can ever happen again. The term “Never again” is simply a statement of fact. No matter what happens it will never happen again. Rivera and his ilk say what the Iranians say is simply rhetoric. It may very well be but when Hitler was sitting in a jail cell writing Mein Kampf, it was only rhetoric.

View Article & Short Video


The Bankruptcy Of The Planet Accelerates – 24 Nations Are Currently Facing A Debt Crisis

There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment. As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one.

View Article

Hear Olive Tree Ministries recent program with Gary Kah which discusses this here.


Department Of Homeland Security Preparing To Unleash Surveillance Robots Across America

The Department of Homeland Security has sent an intelligence assessment to police agencies across the country about drones being used as weapons in an attack.

The bulletin went out Friday and warned that unmanned aircraft systems or drones could be used in the U.S. to advance terrorist and criminal activities. Law enforcement sources say, “emerging adversary use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems present detection and disruption challenges.”

According to federal officials, “The rising trend in UAS incidents within the National Airspace System will continue, as UAS gain wider appeal with recreational users and commercial applications.”

department-homeland-security-preparing-to-unleash-drones-across-america-surveillance-robots-police-state

The bulletin goes on to say, “while many of these encounters are not malicious in nature, they underscore potential security vulnerabilities… that could be used by adversaries to leverage UAS as part of an attack.”

There are 5 Homeland Security Surveillance Robots You Should Know About

PREDATOR B

Unarmed Predator surveillance drones inside the United States have had a rocky history. The Department of Homeland Security’s sub-agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has flown them off-and-on along the U.S.-Mexico border since 2004. Flights were suspended in 2006 after one of them crashed in Arizona, and drone flights were suspended again in 2010 after a Predator lost communications with its operators. At one point, drone boosters in Congress allocated funding for more drones than CBP had people to fly them.

How things have changed. In the past two years, DHS expanded Predator flights into the Caribbean to hunt for drug traffickers, and has taken to using the drones in an ad-hoc program to help out local police agencies, such as during a June 2011 standoff between SWAT officers and alleged cattle rustlers in Washington state. The drones have been used more broadly than that, reportedly assisting in police investigations from the Midwest to Texas. DHS has also gotten around to expanding its drone fleet. In November, DHS was revealed to be planning toexpand its inventory of 10 Predators to 24, and is constructing a testing ground for small surveillance drones at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

BIOSWIMMER

Catch it if you can. In September, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate premiered a prototype of its tuna-shaped robot calledBIOSwimmer, developed by Boston Engineering Corporation. The concept revolves around eventually deploying the swimming robot to use in port security operations, and could prove to have several advantages over human divers. For one, it can get into tighter spaces, and can work in areas that have been contaminated with oil or other hazardous chemicals that could pose a risk to human health. But mainly, it’s designed to inspect ships and “flooded bilges and tanks, and hard to reach areas such as steerage, propulsion and sea chests,” noted a DHS statement.

ShadowHawk Unmanned Aerial System

SHADOWHAWK

In a way, the trials of the ShadowHawk represent why police drones remain limited, at least for the time being. The Department of Homeland Security handed $220,000 to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department — just north of Houston, Texas — for one of these 50-pound helicopter drones in 2011. Aside from a mishap in which developer Vanguard Defense Industries crashed a ShadowHawk into the department’s armored SWAT vehicle during a photo-op, it seemed like a great idea. The drone has a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour, a range of 15 miles, and a turbine engine powered by jet fuel that can keep it in the air for more than an hour. For surveillance, it can be equipped with a Sony FCB EX-1020 camera or a Photon 320 thermal imaging camera, and in theory would’ve allowed the county’s law enforcement to cease relying on over-worked and tight-budgeted agencies in Houston for aircraft.

VERSATRAX 150

The past decade has seen a big build-up in border security under Homeland Security’s watch, including a doubling of Border Patrol agents and hundreds of miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. But to keep their wares flowing, the drug cartels in Mexico have turned to an inventive tactic: digging more and more tunnels deep underground. Then in 2008, the DHS tunnel task force — a joint team of agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the DEA — got its hands on a Versatrax 150 crawler-bot, designed by Canadian robotics firm Inuktun.

DRAGANSLAYER X6

The Draganflyer X6 mini-helicopter is perhaps the first police drone to see regular active use inside the United States by a local police agency. In July 2010, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in western Colorado used funding from the Department of Homeland Security to buy one of the machines, while also becoming one of the first police agencies for the FAA to authorize using the drones for police work. Weighing about four and a half pounds, the X6 can only stay in the air under its own power for about 20 minutes, but can travel at 30 miles per hour — allowing it to travel about six miles in one go. The drone packs either a Panasonic DMC-ZS20camera or an infra-red thermal imaging camera, and can transmit video (when it’s not recording) in real-time back to an operator. The camera is stabilized against vibration, and a sensor head made of carbon fiber contains the gyros, accelerometers, GPS receiver and a barometric pressure sensor to keep it in the air. Mostly, the sheriff’s office claims it uses the drones to map out crime scenes and traffic accidents, although the office claims (.pdf) it’s been used to help a SWAT team track an armed suspect, and photograph a minor airplane crash.

Meanwhile, the DHS provided more than $80,000 to the Seattle Police Department for a pair of X6 drones. The department claims it intends to use the drone for criminal investigations and search-and-rescue operations. But Seattle hasn’t yet been approved by the FAA to use them in actual police work beyond training officers in how to fly it, and it hasn’t made it this far without objections from civil libertarians. On Feb. 4, Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell proposed legislation to prohibit the department using its drones for “general surveillance” — that is, spying on anything or anyone other than an individual suspect with a warrant. source


Meteor Strikes Iran, Was this a Sign of the Soon Coming Mahdi?

Posted: 01 Aug 2015 05:39 AM PDT

Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;

According to multiple sources and confirmation from Iran a Meteor appears to have struck Iran and has made multiple impacts! The meteor landed in Avaj in the province of Qazvin, Mohammad Ali Ahani, director of Qazvin Crisis Management Staff said, Mehr news agency reported July 31.

Also, there have been reports that some pieces of rock have hit areas in Eshtehard, Alborz Province, Arsalan Qasemi, governor of Boeen Zahra, county in Qazvin Province, said. Another local governor of Takestan County, Qazvin Province, said that the area witnessed the passing of the meteor, but nowhere in the district under his supervision had been hit.

A sign before the return of the Mahdi: “a star will appear in the East giving out as much light as the moon.” Ka’b said: “It is a star that rises from the East and illuminates for the people of the Earth like the illumination of a moon in a full-moon night.” MORE

The post Meteor Strikes Iran, Was this a Sign of the Soon Coming Mahdi? appeared first on .

Heat and Drought cook fish alive in Pacific Northwest

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 07:43 PM PDT

Freakishly hot, dry weather in the Pacific Northwest is killing millions of fish in the overheated waters of the region’s rivers and streams. “We’ve lost about 1.5 million juvenile fish this year due to drought conditions at our hatcheries,” Ron Warren of Washington State’s Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement. “This is unlike anything we’ve seen for some time.”

Sockeye salmon losses in the Columbia River due to the heat are in the hundreds of thousands, said Jeff Fryer, senior fishery scientist with the river’s Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The fish were returning from the ocean to spawn when the “unprecedented” warm water killed them, he said. Water temperatures in the Columbia River — part of which runs along the border of Oregon and Washington — reached the low 70s shortly after July 4, something that doesn’t usually happen until August, if at all, Fryer said. MORE

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First-Ever Televised Exorcism This Halloween Celebrates 66th Anniversary Of ‘The Exorcist’

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 07:11 PM PDT

DESTINATION AMERICA IS TAKING THE REALITY TELEVISION GENRE TO A PLACE IT’S NEVER BEEN BEFORE, BY AIRING AN EXORCISM LIVE ON TV, WITH “EXORCISM: LIVE!” IN OCTOBER.

“And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” Revelation 9:6

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the past few years, America has become obsessed with dark things, even Pope Francis can’t stop talking about performing exorcisms. Just last weekend, an 8 foot high statue of Baphomet was unveiled and hundreds bowed down to worship it. The Age of Grace is nearly at an end now, and what is waiting in the wings is truly frightening. But if you know Jesus as your Saviour, you can miss the coming time of Great Tribulation.

“Exorcism: Live!” will air in October, just in time for Halloween, and to commemorate the 66th anniversary of “The Exorcist.” The event will follow the Tennessee Wraith Chasers, as well as the psychic medium Chip Coffey as they search through the Exorcist House, using state of the art technology to do daytime and nighttime investigations, documenting as much evidence as they can of demonic entities on live TV. MORE

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Venomous Spiders Force Penn. School To Close For 3rd Time

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 06:05 PM PDT

A Pennsylvania school district has closed one of its elementary schools due to an infestation of venomous spiders. WHTM-TV reports this is the third time brown recluse spiders were found at Montgomery Elementary School in Mercersburg. The Tuscarora School District made the decision to close the school Tuesday after officials met with the district’s pest control management company. The company found five to six spiders in the school’s library in mid-July. They were also found last year at different times in the lunchroom kitchen and the boiler room.

Superintendent Dr. Charles Prijatelj says crews are spraying pesticides outside the school and the district plans to fog the entire building. Staff have already sealed cracks in the school’s walls Steve Miller, of Home Paramount Pest Control, says the spider bites are usually painless but it produces an ulcer. The spider is not native to the region. MORE

The post Venomous Spiders Force Penn. School To Close For 3rd Time appeared first on .

Fireball turns sky green over Argentina

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:52 PM PDT

A massive fireball soared through the sky over Argentina, triggering a wave of social media posts. The mesmerizing show, which lasted just a few seconds, colored the sky green. The bright object could be clearly seen from Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. Other reports of the dazzling display came in from Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, as well as neighboring Uruguay. Most of the observers said the spectacle lasted for some 10 seconds, as the massive fireball burnt up in the atmosphere. Witnesses said no sound was heard. MORE

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Major U.S. City Poised To Implement Islamic law

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:43 PM PDT

While some cities in Texas and other Southern states have been adopting ordinances that protect their citizenry from creeping Shariah-compliant practices, cities such as Seattle are taking the opposite approach. Seattle’s Democrat Mayor Ed Murray was so concerned that Muslims and other residents weren’t buying enough homes in his city that he had a committee investigate how that could be rectified. One of the committee’s recommendations: Banks need to offer “Shariah-compliant” mortgage loans for Seattle’s growing Muslim community. Muslims are forbidden by their religious law, Shariah, from paying interest on loans so they must be offered loans structured in such a way that interest is not part of the package.

The 28-member committee recommended the city convene lenders and community leaders to explore options for increasing access to Shariah-compliant loans, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. “We will work to develop new tools for Muslims who are prevented from using conventional mortgage products due to their religious beliefs,” said Murray, at a recent press conference. “More and more lenders are offering Shariah-compliant financing, according to a USA Today report,” the Journal reports. “The sector has grown to more than $1.6 trillion in assets worldwide over the past three decades, and analysts see potential for continued growth as the number of Muslims in the United States and Europe grows.” MORE

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Islamic Group Sues Florida Gun Store for ‘Muslim-Free Zone’

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:37 PM PDT

A Florida gun store that proclaimed itself a Muslim-free zone was sued on Wednesday in federal court by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on the grounds that the restriction is discriminatory. The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale accuses Florida Gun Supply of Inverness of violating the federal public accommodations law and seeks an injunction to stop the discrimination, according to the complaint.

Andrew Hallinan, the gun shop’s 28-year-old owner, referred calls for comment to his lawyer, Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center. The law firm aggressively seeks to advance and defend the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, according to its website. Muise denied that the store had discriminated and called the lawsuit “absolutely bogus.”

Hallinan announced the Muslim-free zone in a video posted on his store’s Facebook page on July 18 in reaction to the deadly shootings at Tennessee military sites by a suspect officials have described as a homegrown extremist. MORE

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Lou Engle Expects Coming Revival to Fill Stadiums

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:27 PM PDT

Since 2000, a prayer movement labeled “The Call” has gathered hundreds of thousands of people across America for times of prayer, fasting, repentance and worship. The Call co-founder Lou Engle says his expectations for coming years are higher than ever and he’s asking the church to join him in faith. Engle is believing for what he calls “stadium Christianity,” an outbreak of revival that will bring believers to stadiums across the country to worship and experience a new power in the Holy Spirit.

His dream is to hold “The Call” in Los Angeles Memorial Stadium on April 9, 2016, on the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Outpouring, which kicked off the Pentecostal/Charismatic renewal in the United States. “Can you believe with us that denominations will unite, that the races could come together, that God could make us one, as the antidote to the terrific division in our day?” Lou asks. MORE

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11 Red Flag Events That Just Happened As We Enter The Pivotal Month Of August 2015

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:19 PM PDT

Are you ready for what is coming in August? All over America, economic, political and social tensions are building, and the next 30 days could turn out to be pivotal. In July, we saw things start to turn. As you will read about below, a major six year trendline for the S&P 500 was finally broken this month, Chinese stocks crashed, commodities crashed, and debt problems started erupting all over the planet. I fully expect that this next month (August) will be a month of transition as we enter an extremely chaotic time in the fall and winter.

Things are unfolding in textbook fashion for another major global financial crisis in the months ahead, and yet most people refuse to see what is happening. In their blind optimism, they want to believe that things will somehow be different this time. Well, the coming months will definitely reveal who was right and who was wrong. The following are 11 red flag events that just happened as we enter the pivotal month of August 2015…MORE

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U.S. government begins human trials of genetically modified Ebola vaccine

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 04:14 PM PDT

Just as predicted, vaccine companies are soon planning to unveil an Ebola vaccine in response to the manufactured Ebola outbreak that’s allegedly still spreading throughout West Africa. A genetically-modified (GM) Ebola vaccine that’s currently undergoing human clinical trials will be a spray rather than an injection, and its administration, according to one virologist, “…will not require trained medical personnel.” Much like an inhaler, the novel GM Ebola vaccine will be delivered through a special “breathing device” that anyone can pick up and use without a doctor’s help.

It’s made from a common respiratory virus known as human parainfluenza virus type 3, or HPIV3, that scientists artificially engineered to contain genes from the Ebola virus. These genes purportedly encode the proteins of Ebola virus on the outside of the HPIV3 virus, prompting an immune response. Researchers publishing their work in the Journal of Clinical Investigation say the vaccine has already been tested on six rhesus macaques, whose respiratory tracts were deliberately infiltrated with the GM virus. One month later, these same monkeys were injected with a dose of Ebola virus that was 1,000 times higher than the level that would normally kill them, but they survived. MORE

 

The post U.S. government begins human trials of genetically modified Ebola vaccine appeared first on .


Baphomet Statue Unveiled to Shouts of ‘Hail Satan,’ Satanist Men Kissing

(CN) — At least 100 people attended the unveiling of a Satanic statue depicting Baphomet being flanked by children on Saturday—a statue that was originally intended to be placed at the Oklahoma state capitol and now may be the subject of an effort to erect it next to a Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas.

As previously reported, the New York-based Satanic Temple had scheduled the unveiling for July 25th in Detroit, Michigan. The group says that it chose Detroit because it has a “good community” of followers, with over 200 members, billing the event as “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery.”

‘Science Supports Genesis': Geneticist Says Evidence Confirms Biblical Adam and Eve

(CN) — A respected molecular geneticist explores the historicity of Adam and Eve in a newly-released documentary, explaining that modern findings in the field of genetics confirm the Bible’s teachings that all humans descended from an original couple created by God.

Dr. Georgia Purdom earned a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Ohio State University and has published papers in a number of scientific journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience and the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Formerly a biology professor, Purdom is now a researcher and speaker for the Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG).

‘Some Things We Don’t Share': Kenyan President Rejects Obama’s Call for Homosexual Advocacy

(CN) — During a press conference on Saturday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta rejected calls from Barack Obama to give greater attention to the homosexual agenda.

“We want to focus on other areas that are day-to-day living for our people,” Kenyatta said in response to Obama’s comments about the matter. “This issue is not on the foremost mind of Kenya—and that is a fact.”

Private Group Buys Land Under Cross Memorial to Save Display Opposed by Atheist

(CN) — A private group in California has bought land from the U.S. government on which sat a controversial cross memorial that has been the subject of an atheist lawsuit since the 1980’s.

According to reports, the Mount Soledad Memorial Association (MSMA) has purchased the land in San Diego from the U.S. Department of Defense for $1.4 million.

Other Top News Stories of Interest:


Christian Headlines Daily – Saturday, August 1, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Survey: Most Americans Do Not Believe US is a Christian Nation

Ukrainian Nun and Priest Murdered in Separate Attacks

Pastor Leads Church Burglar to Christ while Holding Him at Gunpoint

Pro-Life Group Releases Fourth Video Pointing to Planned Parenthood Sale of Fetal Organs

Christian Mother of 3 Kidnapped, Forced into ‘Islamic Marriage’

Natalie Grant Appears on Magazine Cover in Swimsuit to Promote Modesty

Celebrities Join Faith Leaders against Amnesty International’s Push to Legalize Prostitution

Colorado Church Forced from Meeting in Local High School after Lawsuit

Did Gov. Bobby Jindal Censor Westboro Baptist’s Free Speech?

Wheaton College Ends Student Health Coverage over Birth Control Objections

Opinion

Has Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Been Found?

Religious Freedom under Threat in America

Let Cecil the Lion’s Death Shine Light on Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Abuses

Are Gay Rights Now Civil Rights?

17 Books to Read for the Rest of the Summer


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?


“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:

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(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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Posted in News/Commentary Collection | Leave a comment

August 1-2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Updated Throughout the Weekend


Understanding Domestic Persecution (Part 2)

“The persecution of Israel’s prophets, and that of the saints of the New Testament and this age find their nexus in the life and Person of Christ. He sets the pattern for persecution within an inhospitable culture, and Scripture shows us at least two ways of understanding Him from this angle.”

Read More


Politics of Inclusion

“Is bi-partisanship really a gospel imperative when practically every oped writer for the Times and the Post promotes crossing the aisle in Congress? Do we need to gussy up bi-partisanship with the gospel? Is that why Christ died?”

Read More


Setting The Stage

“As the century opened, the reform movement of Jan Hus allowed for the creation of a separate Czech church. Hus stood on the text of Scripture to reject the theological changes of the medieval Catholic church, though he was also spurred by the love of his country to seek independence from the Holy Roman Empire.”

Read more


Mr. Walker Goes to Washington

A friend of Walker and Lawndale Baptist Church’s senior pastor, Joe Giaritelli, said he never doubted Walker would make it to Washington. “I didn’t care what the polls were saying,” Giaritelli told RealClearReligion. “I just knew in my heart that he was going to win that, that God was going to open up doors.”

Read More


Irenaeus on Reading and Understanding Scripture

“A sound mind,” he wrote, “and one which does not expose its possessor to danger, and is devoted to piety and the love of truth, will eagerly meditate upon those things which God has placed within the power of mankind [i.e., power to understand], and has subjected to our knowledge, and will make advancement in them, rendering the knowledge of them easy to him by means of daily study.”

Read More


Why I Am (Still) An Evangelical

“Although I certainly simplified the matter, the truth was that as I read more, learned more, and thought more, the evangelical understanding of the biblical narrative of creation–fall–judgment–redemption impressed itself upon me, continuing to recount the story of my own life while making sense of the world in a way that nothing else that I studied did.”

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Sola Scriptura or Sola Cardia?

“It would follow then that a sufficient Bible that must be read, obeyed and applied would be preached. Pastors who do not preach the Bible betray any commitment to sola Scriptura. As nice and entertaining as stories, jokes, and authenticity are–they cannot bear the freight of God’s work in the pulpit. God means to have his people’s minds renewed.”

Read More


Evangelical Pastors Serving in Cities Known for Advocating Homosexuality Say: 'Don't Water Down the Gospel'

Evangelical Pastors Serving in Cities Known for Advocating Homosexuality Say: ‘Don’t Water Down the Gospel’

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Christian Post

Evangelical pastors who lead churches in cities known for their strong support of homosexuality have stressed the need to preach the Gospel lovingly toward the LGBT community.

Read Full Article »


What Is Christian Hedonism?

What Is Christian Hedonism?

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Desiring God

What is Christian Hedonism? John Piper has used the short phrase for years to describe how our joy in God makes much of God. In other words, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. In ten minutes, he explains where that idea came from, and why he believes it is biblical.

Read Full Article »


Sadie Robertson Reminds Fans 'We Serve a God Bigger Than Our Insecurities' in Inspirational Post

Sadie Robertson Reminds Fans ‘We Serve a God Bigger Than Our Insecurities’ in Inspirational Post

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Gospel Herald

“Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson recently encouraged fans who may be going through a hard time to cast their cares on God, as He is bigger than human insecurities and has “already defeated it all on the cross.”

Read Full Article »


China’s Christians protest ‘evil’ Communist campaign to tear down crosses

China’s Christians protest ‘evil’ Communist campaign to tear down crosses

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Tru News

Christian leaders – including an 89-year-old bishop – have taken to the streets of eastern China to protest against an “evil” campaign to remove crosses that many see as a coordinated Communist party attack on their faith. Activists say more than 1,200 crosses have been stripped from churches in Zhejiang province since the government initiative …

Read Full Article »


Heidelberg 104: Authority And Submission

In the fall Adam chose to exercise autonomy, to rebel against God.  Since the fall humans have carried on Adam’s ignominious tradition. Cain rebelled against worshiping God truly and, in a jealous rage, murdered his brother who did worship God truly. We, the world that then was (2 Pet 3:6), became so rebellious against God […]

Read more of this post


Watchmen Warn: Anybody Listening?

Jan Markell’s first guest, Avi Lipkin, an Israeli, says Israel will go it alone in an attack against Iran, if necessary. He warns of the Islamic immigration to America and reminds us that Iran sees America as the “Great Satan.” Progressives are all too quick to be friends with evil. Then John Haller gives his perspective that the Iran treaty could lead to the “covenant” with the Antichrist. Israel longs for peace and in the short-term, only war is looming. The Antichrist will offer solutions. Watch Haller’s weekly “Prophecy Update” on YouTube: Fellowship Bible Chapel. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Eating a Slice of Humble Pie

Yesterday I had an opportunity to spend 3 hours with a local pastor and get an insight into some of the difficult work some of our Pastors do that often goes unnoticed. Years earlier this pastor faced a very tough personal economic situation where he and his family weren’t sure how they were going to […]

The post Eating a Slice of Humble Pie appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Can We Define “Christian”?

First, for our international audience, please bear with us as we try to solve problems we are experiencing in our online streaming.  You can always catch our podcasts posted later today. More than 80% of the citizens of our nation call themselves “Christians”.   But many of them profess beliefs directly contradicted by the Word […]

The post Can We Define “Christian”? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Can-We-Define-_Christian__-guest-William-Murray.mp3 24.5 MB


Shocking gender indoctrination in California: VIDEO

Do not be surprised, but  Young children are being taught that they can choose to be a boy or a girl — or both. Boys, for example, should be comfortable wearing girls’ clothes and nail polish, etc. And there aren’t just two genders, there can be a range. And, of course, the school does not allow […]

The post Shocking gender indoctrination in California: VIDEO appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Our children, confusion and clarity

The visible church certainly has some challenges these days with the legality of same sex marriage and a culture of sin becoming more acceptable in the pews, and even in some who shepherd the flock. But wait, there’s more. There is a dramatic push in our schools to indoctrinate boys and girls as young as […]

The post Our children, confusion and clarity appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Our-children-confusion-and-clarity-guest-Ruth-Christian.mp3 24 MB


“I’m a Christian” Would You Define That Please?

The Bible warns us in many places that many who profess to be of the faith would fall away in the last days. The Church has always faced false teachings and false prophets seeking to infiltrate the Body of Believers to draw people away from the pure truth of God’s Word and the gospel of […]

The post “I’m a Christian” Would You Define That Please? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Planned Parenthood President Compares Pro-Lifers to Murderers

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20 If you haven’t seen the interview ABC’s George Stephenopolis did with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, you need to hear how she spins the […]

The post Planned Parenthood President Compares Pro-Lifers to Murderers appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Of Future Kings and Anti-Christs

What are pastors teaching their flocks about The AntiChrist, how kings are appointed and the ministry of Jesus Christ?

The post Of Future Kings and Anti-Christs appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Of-Future-Kings-and-Anti-Christs-guests-Dr.-Randy-White.mp3 24.6 MB


Submitting to authority

The Bible teaches Christians to submit to authority. But what kind of authority? Is there ever a time to not submit? We’re talking about that with our guest today, Pastor Saiko Woods. Pastor Woods is from His Word His Way Fellowship Church in Sugar Land, Texas, where he preaches God’s Word is our final authority. […]

The post Submitting to authority appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Submitting-to-authority-guest-Pastor-Saiko-Woods.mp3 23.9 MB


Is it okay to ask the military what happened to our freedom?

I know that this is touchy. I know that we’ve been conditioned to avoid even the consideration of such thoughts and subjects. I know that even asking the question will have many tempted to immediately tar and tag me as “unpatriotic” or some sort of commie pinko who should just shut up, stop thinking such things, […]

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Confronting Americult

For those hoping, praying, and pulling for true restoration in America, the past weekend offered us the clearest sign yet that we are nowhere near even beginning to head in that direction as a people. The one thing to watch for in this or any other culture where death is near and restoration is desperately […]

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How’s that Pagan “conservatism” workin’ out for ya, Christian?

So how is our Pagan “conservatism” and America worship working out for us? How’s that 40+ year “pro-life commitment” from the GOP panning out? (See: Note to ‘Merica: There is no “God-given right” to murder children. Repent accordingly.) How’s that GOP/”conservative” defense of “family values” playing out? (See: Of course Jeb Bush is “fine” with […]

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Rob Bell promotes “Mother God” and “apophatic meditation” in new “Liturgists” show
 Article: Unbiblical Christianity

In addition to (or perhaps because of) his new The Rob Bell Show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel, Rob Bell has been busy with his ZIMZUM of Love book promotions and now his new The Liturgists program, a podcast he has quietly launched with a dozen or so other theological partners who “do not actively promote our names and personal images” for ego reasons.

What do The Liturgists talk about when they talk about God the Father? Well actually, they talk about God the Mother.  That’s not a typo.  Says Bell:
Created in honor of Mother’s Day, God our Mother is a liturgy that explores both the scriptures that speak of God in a maternal context and the limits of human language in describing an infinite God. God Our Mother includes an apophatic contemplative meditation. Apophatic disciplines seek to push beyond language and rational thinking in the context of God’s Holiness, and can be very powerful. For this reason, we recommend that spiritual practices like apophaticism are best moderated through scripture, tradition, and some form of spiritual community.

Read Full Article….


Something Catastrophic Is Coming: Should We Tune Out?

While the biblical principle of balance and moderation is always in order, are there not seasons where desperate times require desperate measures? Just as birth pangs increase in intensity and frequency until delivery, are there not unique times in history when more is required of us because the pace is quickening and it’s imperative as “watchmen on the wall” to remain vigilant? Could we be in just such a time?

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This Viral Meme is Wreaking Havoc on Christian Minds

by Eric Holmberg

We can now add to the list of risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle its impact on the frontal lobes and logic centers of the evangelical brain. Faced with the rising “gay” tide, multiple thousands—perhaps millions—of professing Christians are becoming both hosts and transmitters of a peculiar form of cognitive dissonance: embracing two incompatible ideas and somehow making peace with the disharmony.

I’m speaking here of the idea that active, unrepentant sexual activity between two same-gendered people is consistent with Christian beliefs and practices.

The solvent for forging this artificial union or peace (see Jer. 6:14)? A skewed view of Christian love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.

An important distinction needs to be made here between this and the other, more manifestly rebellious method some professing Christians use to reconcile the two: twisting scriptural references to homosexuality to mean something other than their clear meaning and what 99% of biblical scholars over three millennia have taken them to mean. In other words, advocating that when properly practiced God blesses homosexual behavior and that it is just as conducive to human and societal flourishing as heterosexuality. I am specifically addressing here Christians who still believe that homosex is wrong—or at least sub-optimal—but also believe that Christian love and forgiveness call for us to accept it.

I was recently confronted with this insidious meme for the umpteenth time while strolling through a special event held at an upscale shopping and dining development. It was a Kid’s Fare and the streets were dotted with booths and presentations catering to pre-teens. One was sponsored by a local church. Still looking for a congregation to join after moving to Cleveland, I stopped and visited with a nice lady who was handing out gift bags and talking up the impressive variety of programs her church had to offer children in the community. As we chatted, it was clear she was genuinely sincere and excited about Jesus and her faith. Yes, her church believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. Ditto the bodily death and resurrection of Christ. And yes, Jesus was the way, the truth and the life. Not wanting to monopolize her time, I decided to cut to the chase and ask “the question”—one that sadly has become one of the better gauges as to a particular church’s position on the “pillar and ground of truth” scale. (1 Tim. 3:15)

“Where are you guys in relation to the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage?”

She blinked and opened with what I have found to be a standard, evasive response: “We love and support all people and want to help them on their journey with God.”

“Fantastic!” I replied. “But what does that practically mean for someone who is actively engaged in a homosexual lifestyle?”

After a few more ambiguous comments, she finally cut to the chase, revealing the infectious meme. To better understand this affliction, I will break it down…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

This Viral Meme is Wreaking Havoc on Christian Minds | The Apologetics Group


Three Models for How Christians Can Engage Culture

by Eric Chabot

Given the current cultural climate, the hot topics that always being talked about are issues such as the same sex marriage and abortion debate. But what I have noticed over the years is that Christians are still struggling to figure out how to exactly engage the culture around them. In other words, should a Christian care about governmental laws? Should they be involved with politics? Should they be trying to impact legislation? Should Christians just pray and let God fight the battles around them? As for myself,  I have invested plenty of time trying to engage the university. Allow me to go ahead and expand on this topic with three models for cultural engagement:

1. The Withdrawal Model: In this model, many Christians are just so disgusted with the evil in the culture that they have decided to separate from it completely. When I say ‘separate’  I mean that these Christians only socialize with other Christians and generally won’t engage the dangerous places like universities. Thus, they tend to always expect non Christians to behave like Christians and  are convinced America will eventually return to its Christian foundations.

Let me tell a quick story: I once participated in an Interfaith panel on a university campus (e.g, we had a Muslim, a Jewish rabbi, a Buddhist, along with myself). Sadly, one of my Christian friends rebuked me for participating in such as event. Hence, he said I should never sit on a panel with people who were from different faiths. When I challenged him on being salt and light (Matt. 5: 13-14) and that we need to engage the dark areas of our culture, he only got more defensive.  In many cases people who adhere to the withdrawal model forget that judgment comes to the household of God first (1 Pet. 4: 16-17). We can’t keep expecting non Christians to adhere to our values and beliefs. This ends up making the Gospel into the moral Gospel rather than a supernatural message…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Three Models for How Christians Can Engage Culture – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM


An Interview With Dr. Douglas Groothuis

Doug Groothuis is one of America’s leading Christian apologists. Author of Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Apologetics, as well as many other books and articles, Dr. Groothuis is Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary.

********

Herb: What motivated you to become interested in apologetics?

Doug: I became a Christian after studying philosophy my first year in college. And then I went back and tried to be philosophical about Christianity and think through the Christian worldview and how it related to other worldviews. And I ended up getting a PhD in philosophy and studying other religions and other philosophies, writing about those. And I had some facility in doing that and it ministered to people. I love to build Christians up in their faith and also try to speak the truth in love to unbelievers, understand them, be able to interact logically with people that I disagree with.

Herb: Wonderful. I have a ministry that ministers to men and so a question I have for you involves the tremendous worldview change in our culture over the last several decades. How do you feel that that has affected men?

Doug: Well, the changes are profound, really titanic. And it has to do with not considering God as the ultimate moral authority. We’re concerned more about what’s contingent and what culture thinks. So laws are changed with no regard to the fear of God. And sexual ethics have gone insane in recent years. So I think men are told any sexual relationship they want is legitimate as long as it’s consensual. And that’s wrong. I think when people stop exercising dominion, as we’re called to do. We’re called to cultivate the planet–it’s true for men and women–that they often resort to the strongest feelings they have. And in many people, those are erotic feelings. So men and women need to practice self restraint, self control, and also have a worldview that makes sense out of sexuality. God created us male and female for marriage. Pretty simple. And if we stay within heterosexual, monogamous marriage and faithfulness within marriage, then we’ll have a framework for our lives and we won’t be tossed about by all these bizarre sexual ideas that assail us all the time.

Herb: When our culture had a theistic worldview, a Christian worldview, that men had a template of what they were supposed to do.

Doug: Right.

Herb: And now, with a materialistic worldview, men tend to think of themselves as just mere animals.

Doug: Well that’s right because people are trying to erase the distinction that exists between the human and the non-human. And often behaviors are justified or explained on the basis of what’s called evolutionary psychology which, as Francis Schaefer said, has a view of human beings where you look down, you don’t look up. You look down at your supposed evolutionary history. And you don’t look up in terms of your creator who made you in his image and likeness. So we lose a law above the law. We lose an orientation to God and we look only to the biological and only to the social world. And that means that we won’t have abiding standards and we won’t have reasons to say no to ourselves because we’re saying yes to God and his kingdom. And once that becomes a part of culture, anything goes. It’s like the psalmist says, “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” What we do is we cling to God. We read the Bible. We believe the Bible. We attend church. We try to be salt and light in the culture. But we can’t underestimate the philosophical consequences of this belief that God has nothing to say to the human condition…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Eternal Truth for Changing Times: An Interview With Dr. Douglas Groothuis


Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer?

By J. Warner Wallace

Much has been written about the evidence for design in biological organisms. In fact, the appearance of design is largely uncontroversial. Even famed atheist and evolutionist, Richard Dawkins has written, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” But what, precisely, are the attributes of design most of us believe (either consciously or unconsciously) are most reasonably explained by an intelligent designer? In my new book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for A Divinely Created Universe, I make a case for Intelligent Design based on the contributions of many great scientists and thinkers, my own experience as a designer (my education and training is in design and architecture) and my professional investigative career as a detective. The result: a cumulative case approach to the appearance of design and the reasonable inference of an Intelligent Designer. I believe there are eight attributes of design we employ when reasonably inferring the existence of a Designer. To make them easier to remember, I’ve assembled them in an acronym (DESIGNED):

D- Dubious Probability (Given Chance)
Is random chance an insufficient explanation for the formation and assembly of the object we are examining?

E -Echoes of Familiarity
Does the object resemble other structures we know (with certainty) were designed by intelligent designers?

S- Sophistication and Intricacy
Does the object display specificity, sophistication and intricacy consistent with the involvement of an intelligent agent?

I – Informational Dependency
Is there any evidence the object was directed and created by way of instructional information?

G – Goal Direction (and Intentionality)
Does the form and assembly process of the object process to be goal-directed?

N – Natural Inexplicability (Given Laws of Physics or Chemistry)
Are the laws of physics and chemistry insufficient to account for the form and function of the object?

E – Efficiency / Irreducible Complexity
Does the object display efficient, irreducible complexity reflecting the involvement of an intelligent designer?

D – Decision / Choice Reflection
Does the object display evidence of conscious choices indicative of an intelligent designer?

Like every cumulative case built on a collection of seemingly innocuous pieces of evidence, no single aspect of the case may appear all that compelling. But the cumulative collection of evidences, when they all point to the same reasonable inference, provide us with good reason to believe an intelligent agent has been involved in the design process…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer?


Sieg Heil Planned Parenthood

Each passing day as we learn more about the money-hungry killing machine known as Planned Parenthood, the more we see obvious and clear parallels to the Nazi killing machine. There seems to be so much common ground here that PP is really no different morally speaking than the Nazis were.

Indeed, the origins should tell us all we need to know. Adolf Hitler was greatly impressed with and influenced by the diabolical eugenicist Margaret Sanger – who just happens to be the founder of Planned Parenthood. The odious worldview of the Nazis aligned so very well with that of Sanger.

For more on how greatly Hitler was influenced by the eugenicists of the day, including Sanger, one should consult the important 2003 volume by Edwin Black , War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.

Given those connections, we should not be surprised about the shocking revelations emerging today about this mega baby killing machine. The same mindset and ethos prevails, and the same horrible outcomes are being realised. PP alone is responsible for the death of more babies than Hitler was of Jews.

Of course the same callous disregard for human life can be found in both groups. Jews and others were viewed as subhuman by the Nazis, and so could be killed or “medically” experimented upon as they liked. PP treats the unborn baby in exactly the same fashion.

And the same rationale is being used here as well: ‘If these folks are going to die anyway, why not put to good use their body parts.’ Just yesterday on Fox News I heard one radical leftist guest say exactly this. ‘Hey, they are going to die so we might as well make good use of them.’

Um, where have we heard all this before? During the Nuremberg Trials after WWII we heard plenty of testimony about what was being done with the body parts of Jews and others. Consider the case of Nazi doctor Julius Hallervorden. As one author says,

“Hallervorden, who was shipped six hundred preserved brains of ‘mercy death’ victims for his research in neuropathology, testified after the war: ‘There was wonderful material among those brains. . . . Where they came from and how they came to me was really none of my business.”

Said Dr.Hallervorden: “If you are going to kill all these people, at least take the brains out so that the material can be utilised.” Hmm, sound just like the officials at PP and their defenders. Needless to say, Hallervorden was ultimately found guilty of major war crimes. But when it comes to PP, we still treat them as heroes.

But let me mention one more Nazi doctor, and you tell me if you see any parallels with what PP or any other abortionists are doing to babies:

oberheuserDr. Herta Oberheuser, in order to kill them, would inject oil and evipan into children’s blood streams. While the children were still conscious, she removed their vital organs and limbs with no anesthetics. They usually had about 3-5 minutes before death would come. Herta also focused on inflicting wounds that were similar to the wounds the German soldiers got on patients. She would then rub objects such as; glass, wood, rusty nails, and sawdust into the wounds. Herta was the only female defendant at the Nuremberg Medical Trials. She received a 20 year sentence, but only served 10. After being released in the April of 1952, she became a family doctor in Stocksee, Germany. Her license was revoked in 1958.

Richard Cromwell has recently penned a piece entitled ” It’s Getting Tough To Tell Planned Parenthood From Nazis”. He begins his article this way:

German SS officer and Auschwitz “physician” Josef Mengele once wrote, “There’s only one truth and one true beauty …There’s no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in nature. There’s only ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate’… Both sides receive equal chances. Nevertheless, nature provides a strainer. Things that are ‘inappropriate’ fall through since they lose in the struggle for survival.”
More lately, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director for medical services, had this to say: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
It’s almost like Planned Parenthood is the strainer and babies, those inappropriate little consequences of life, fall through in the struggle for survival while the organs, the appropriate parts, survive and get sold at market. Ain’t progress grand?

He concludes,

Planned Parenthood is run by a bunch of nihilists, as evidenced by the fact that they obviously find life meaningless. Nihilists! I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it’s an ethos, a philosophy of life that attempts to provide meaning to and excuses for butchery. When it comes to harvesting organs for sale, solely for the sake of $30 to $100, you’ve officially abandoned any claim to an ethos, even a disgusting and misguided one. When you have no intention of stopping, because progress! even as the death toll rises, you’re nothing more than state-sponsored murderers.

Currently we now have ten US state investigations and three Congressional investigations into the goings on of PP. Texas is one such state. Consider this recent report:

Anti-abortion activists rallied at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to applaud the state’s Republican leaders for investigating Planned Parenthood.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss Planned Parenthood’s role in fetal tissue donation programs. The investigation is one of three ordered by state leaders following the release of undercover videos showing several national Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue procurement methods and reimbursement fees.
Fetal tissue donation for research is legal, but the group behind the videos, the Center for Medical Progress, alleges that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the reimbursements they receive for tissue procurement. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has called the accusations untrue.
At the rally Tuesday, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, compared the procurement and research of fetal tissue to Nazi experiments.
“This is no different than what happened in Nazi Germany,” Laubenberg said. “No different than doing experiments on the old men and old women, and now doing them on the babies.”
She called Planned Parenthood “liars” and “destroyers of human life.”
She and the other rally speakers applauded the state’s success in banning Planned Parenthood from the state’s Women’s Health Program and recently the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program.

But all these investigations should not be limited to some of the more obvious dodgy deals of PP. The very rationale and purpose of PP (the killing of innocent human life) should be called into question. While the defunding of PP is long overdue, we should look more closely at not just curtailing taxpayer funding, but at curtailing the entire organisation.

http://www.kawvalley.k12.ks.us/schools/rjh/marneyg/04_holocaust-projects/04_mccune_medical-experiments.htm
http://thefederalist.com/2015/07/15/its-getting-tough-to-tell-planned-parenthood-from-nazis/


Making It Free

As a pastor of a small church, I notice that music is one of those things upon which a church could spend a whole lot of money. I wrote elsewhere a while back about my seething wrath toward CCLI, then dialed back my indignation after learning that CCLI is a necessary evil in these days of vampiric Christian “artists” and record labels. But I still am mystified by the prospect of having to pay so much for rights to material that is self-consciously designed to go out of style, even when I could not not recommend 99.999% of that material as worthy of Christian contemplation.

In another year, another bill will come, along with another batch of “hot” Christian worship songs that all the cool kid churches will be performing. Not tempting.

But what about hymnals? I’ve found that the devotion to this cult of ephemerality has invaded the publication of hymnals as well. Whether is embodied in poorly-bound songbooks full of contemporary favorites and older songs that can be performed to sound like contemporary favorites, or lavishly-bound songbooks full of the same, hymnal publishing has become a way to get favorites into people’s hands who want something in their hands. I’m not a historian of hymnody nor of hymnal publication, but I imagine this started back when people still expected hymnals in their churches, but demanded that those hymnals be full of favorites. Outfits like Singspiration, Hope, Rodeheaver, and even many of the denominations were only too willing to comply, pounding out new hymnals every few years as people’s fickle tastes demanded that new favorites be included. Did Harry Emerson Fosdick or George “Beverly” Shea or Ralph Carmichael or the Gaithers produce a new hit? Time for a new hymnal!

But things have changed somewhat. Hymnals are rarer now, for one thing, as projection screens have largely replaced them in a silent affirmation of the cult of taste. So hymnal publishers are less likely to sell enough hymnals to cover their costs, much less be able to serve meat at the company picnic.

But favorites are also more expensive than they used to be. Favorites are more expensive because Christian artists are expensive. Guitars, drums, basses, cables, microphones, monitors, and vehicles to move all that stuff to shows are expensive. Studio time is expensive. Pressing and publication are expensive. The whole Christian music industry is one big expensive expensive. And industries, bless their little hearts, don’t become industries by only charging enough to cover their costs.

Is this ministry? What would change if ministry became the priority again?

Here is an opinion on that matter:

Grace Music Group | To My Fellow Musicians: Make It Free


Be Still . . .

…So You Can Be God?!

Our Spiritual Adversary would have everyone believe that we are all “one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Using every promotional means possible—including a creative and ingenious perversion of quantum physics—he is attempting to convince the world and the church that while Jesus was Christ, so is everyone. And while Jesus was God, so is everyone else.[1]

By Sarah H. Leslie

Is the purpose of the modern meditation movement(s) to desensitize people into believing that “we are all one” and “we are god”? The extent to which these ideas have now entered the evangelical church world is quite alarming. Our research friend Warren B. Smith has just released a new booklet Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything that examines this issue in a simple and concise overview.

For the 20+ years that I’ve known Warren Smith he has been consistently warning about this rising heresy.  In fact, in 2007 Herescope ran an excerpt from an updated Internet version of Smith’s 2002 book Reinventing Jesus Christ where he described his meditation experiences while he was in the New Age Movement. He explained how he was supposed to “be still” so that he could then affirm that “I am God”:

In our New Age meditations we would often meditate on and contemplate certain passages of Scripture. At an Edgar Cayce conference I once attended, we began each day by meditating on Psalm 46:10—“Be still, and know that I am God.” Looking back on that experience now, I realize why that particular verse of Psalm 46 was used by so many New Age groups for contemplation. The spirit world was only too willing to take something God was saying about Himself and translate it into something that the New Age was saying about man. It was very clever.

We were being “still” and we were quoting Scripture, but we were continually affirming that we were God by emphasizing the “I” and repeating the phrase “I am God” over and over again. We were “going within” to the “God within”—“Be still” and know that “I” am God. In our unguarded state of “being still” we were not being taught that God was God. We were being taught that we were God.

The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles also used Psalm 46:10 to teach this New Age concept. We were to “be still” and to “know” that we were “God.” This false Jesus actually used the “Be still” verse to preface his false teaching that “the journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.’” Our New Age journey was around the cross not through the cross. We were being taught by A Course in Miracles and our other New Age teachings that if we were “being still,” and if we “knew” that we were God, then we didn’t need the cross and we didn’t need Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We could save ourselves by “being still” and “awakening” to the inner “self-realization” that we were God. A Course in Miracles lesson number 70 is “My salvation comes from me.” (Chapter 5 Update, subsection “Be Still”)[2]

Smith’s latest booklet first presents a helpful summary of biblical truth. Smith then recounts example after example of the error as it has been taught by New Agers and church leaders over the past eight decades. Seeing these quotations compiled together in one long list illustrates the magnitude of the problem. The evangelical church world has been tolerating these heretical teachings, probably because the leaders were so “esteemed,” for a long time!

Smith diligently and effectively counters these false teachings, and makes the following observations about their significance in the world today:

Scripture makes it clear that God is not an immanent/quantum/panentheistic force or “ground of all being” that interpenetrates His creation. Scripture exhorts believers to lay up “a good foundation”—the true Jesus Christ—for the challenging days ahead. It also warns us to beware of a false foundation that purports to be scientifically proven—like the quantum/New Age/New Spirituality. God is our creator, but He is not “quantum-ly” embedded in His creation. He is not “in” everyone and everything….

It has been rightly said that God is God and we are not. However, tremendous pressure is being continually mounted to convince everyone there is a New Age/New Spirituality/New Worldview that can save the world from its present problems. We are being told that if we accept the new revelation that “we are all one” because “God is in everyone and everything” then world peace can happen. But we know from Scripture that a false Christ—Antichrist—“shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice” and “by peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25). The Bible warns that what will appear to be a wonderful “peace and safety” will suddenly turn into terrible “destruction” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything is available from Lighthouse Trails and can be accessed in its entirety online. Purchasing information for the booklet is posted at the same page: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17572. It is well worth a read!

For those who wish to do further research on this topic, see Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s excellent biblical analysis of the Psalm 46:10 passage in his article “Be Still: Contemplative or Listening Prayer & Psalm 46:10″ posted on Herescope.[3]

Endnotes:
1. Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything, Warren B. Smith, http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17572
2. Read: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/what-is-rethinking.html
3. Read: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/09/be-still.html


Broken but Breathing—A Sobering Update from Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian shared this vulnerable message on Facebook this week sharing his struggle and the daunting rode ahead for him and his family.

tullian

Church, I think it’s time we start seriously praying for our pastors and leaders.  These men and women are human, just like us, and need the support and protection of prayer.  We can stand in the gap and raise up the arms of leaders in the church, our cities and our country.

“The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.” – Andrew Murray

The post Broken but Breathing—A Sobering Update from Tullian Tchividjian appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


3 Things I Wish the Church Would Say About J Lo and Sexuality

3 Things I wish the Church Would Say About J Lo and Sexuality

Jennifer Lopez got in trouble for her provocative performance in Morocco.  Apparently, there was so much curve showing and booty shaking that she now has a lawsuit on her hands.  Honestly, I find this kind of humorous. After all, J Lo was really just being J Lo.  (Not an appropriate Christian response, I know).

I’m not here to pick on Jennifer Lopez.  She is beautiful and talented.  Interestingly, she helped positively change the definition of beauty for women with her curves and confidence.

Don’t panic, but I’m here to pick on the church … just a little bit.  I don’t think we’re talking about modesty, purity and sexuality in a way that empowers, equips and honors men and women.  So, how do we talk about this in the church?

Here are three things I wish the church would say about sexuality and purity more often:

keep-calm-and-be-modest-6

1. Your Body is Beautiful!

This is a far cry from, “Cover up! You might make someone stumble.” I grew up in a Christian home, attending church and going to a Christian school.  That’s a lot of Jesus, people.  The truth is, I loved it.  However, there were some messages I received that just weren’t helpful growing up.  They were messages that shamed girls for their beauty and sexuality.  We need young girls to feel comfortable in their own skin.  Body-shaming leads to embarrassment and insecurity.  What if the church was that clear voice that offered positive language about our bodies?

stumble-700px

2. You are Uniquely Made in God’s Image

I heard a sermon for college students about men and women that went like this: Men are like thermos containers and women are like crystal goblets.  They both hold liquid, but if you drop them, one breaks while the other just dents.

That’s got to be the least helpful sermon I’ve heard.  It’s definitely not honoring men and women to insinuate that some people shatter and some people can be bounced around.  God equally created men and women in His image as fearfully and wonderfully made to reflect His glory and character.  Let’s celebrate our strengths, gifting, passions and differences.

thermos

3. God Made You this Way, Don’t be Ashamed

I think the message in the church should be “you are loved, you are seen, and you are delighted in.”  God is a God of beauty.  There should be a holy acknowledgement of beauty without a fear of sexuality.  Our conversations about modesty, purity and sexuality should be soaked in grace.  We are a people of freedom, not under the law.  Can we speak about boundaries and values in a way that creates space for free spirits, love and safety?  We need to define beauty by God’s standards and not by culture’s, and the church can be the vessel for these bold conversations to happen.

eph1.4

So where does that leave us?

People who know who they are and whose they are don’t need to flaunt their… assets.  Let’s celebrate beauty and confidence without demeaning girls.  Let’s talk about sex without condemnation.  Let’s model modesty and purity without being weird.  Let’s open up this conversation in homes, at small group, at youth group and learn from each other.

This girl knows what she’s talking about:

You see me hanging with my fam, but that don’t mean I’m living in a bubble
You’ll find me at church, but that don’t mean I can’t cause trouble
Stir up a little scene ’cause isn’t that what you want?

Thinking maybe they’ll let me sing songs about real things
And baby who knows maybe I can sell out shows without taking off my clothes
God made me sexy I don’t care if only I know

Want some fun resources?  Here are just a few people who are doing this well – with style, grace and courage:

  1. SWIMSUIT READY OR NOT by Shauna Niequist
  2. Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.
  3. Colbie Caillat – Try
  4. The lady stripped bare – Tracey Spicer
  5. Dear Women & Daughters: When You’re Tired of Media Voices Telling You What Beauty & Love Is – by Ann Voskamp

The post 3 Things I Wish the Church Would Say About J Lo and Sexuality appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


On Grace, Football and Tom Brady

Word has it Tom Brady deflated some footballs. I don’t know what was wrong with the inflated ones; maybe it’s just a personal preference. The NFL found out (surprise!) and let Brady know he had to sit out the next few games. Brady said he didn’t do it (see his long Facebook post here). Next he destroyed his phone after saying he never texted or emailed anyone about this issue. (That’s not suspicious at all).

Oh, Tom Brady of little faith. We’ve all been there too. Maybe we haven’t deflated footballs and crushed our phones, but we’ve all made mistakes and tried to avoid the consequences of our actions. It sucks having to swallow our pride. I feel for you Tom Brady (even though I don’t like football very much).

In the game of life, we’re all Tom Brady. We all have sinned and fallen short. The playing field was officially leveled long ago on the cross. In God’s economy, we’re all equal.

I’m so thankful Christ humbled himself to do life with us on earth and to take our punishment upon himself so we could forever be with him. And that forever starts today. As Believers, we have the incomparable joy of eternal life right now. The kingdom of heaven is right here and right now. Why do we live in fear instead of walking in grace?

We play it safe to avoid pain and mistakes, yet miss out on life to the fullest. Or we throw caution to the wind to experience it all – both good and bad. Can we rest in the healthy tension of audacious daring and the favor and influence of God?

It takes great courage to humble ourselves, admit our mistakes and then make restitution. It’s not fun. Sometimes it even hurts. We won’t make it through life without making mistakes, but we have a choice to try to dodge fair punishment or to make things right.

“Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?” ― Ernest Hemingway

The post On Grace, Football and Tom Brady appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Intercepted Document Reveals ISIS militants’ Apocalyptic Plan to End the World

A chilling document has been obtained from the jihadist group exposing their plans of a terrorist attack on India to provoke an “end of the world” war with the United States.

This recruitment document was received by the American Media Institute and was translated from Urdu by a Harvard researcher and translator.  U.S. intelligence officials believe the document is authentic based on unique language and markings.

Reflected in the document is an alarming hunger for genocide and relentless violence as they detail plans to attack U.S soldiers as they depart Afghanistan, and target American diplomats and Pakistani officials.

ISIS seeks to encourage Pakistani and Afghan Taliban factions to join with them as one army to form a worldwide caliphate.  They plan to use an attack on India to trigger the United States’ involvement in what they hope will start an apocalyptic war to “end the world.”

For further reading on how we can help with the refugee crisis in the Middle East click here, to learn more about the ISIS caliphate watch here, and to reach about what ISIS wants click here.

How can the church respond to this threat to domestic security?  How can the church stand in the gap for the innocent suffering in the Middle East?

The post Intercepted Document Reveals ISIS militants’ Apocalyptic Plan to End the World appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


0-100: What Is Love?

The post 0-100: What Is Love? appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Forward From Conversion: How We Can Focus on Spiritual Growth and Transformation

One of the most exciting moments within the life of a church is when someone comes to know Jesus Christ as Savior. We celebrate having new believers in our churches, but are we leading them to become lifelong disciples of Jesus?

Are we helping them continue through the transformation process or are we leaving them in convert mode?

Conversion is not the end. It is the glorious beginning.

We have become masters at getting “decisions.” Conversion is a powerful event in the life of the believer. It is a great moment. But it isn’t the end of the game. Converting those decisions into disciples must be part of the church’s purpose.

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

Conversion is a powerful event in the life of the believer. It is a great moment. But it isn’t the end of the game.

Sometimes we put such an emphasis on that moment, we make people think that is all we are after. The not-so-funny joke is that some people are willing to receive Christ just so the pastor will leave them alone. Our goal is often for conversions. But God’s goal is for transformation, which really just begins at conversion.

Paul remarks in his letter to the Philippians (1:6), “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” Conversion is central to the beginning of new life, being relocated (spiritually) to another kingdom. Colossians 1:13 tells us that we are “transferred through the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the Son He loves.”

They have been born again, Jesus says in John 3. So there is now a spiritual life present that was not present before. The Spirit of God dwells in them. They have new life. They are a new creation in Christ even as Christ in them is the “hope of glory.” But that event is not the end. It is a taste of the ongoing transformation that will come.

Spiritual growth should always follow spiritual birth.

How do we follow up for spiritual growth?

It’s a really bad idea to give birth to a baby and leave them on their own. We call that abandonment. People go to jail for that—and rightfully so. But I think sometimes we do that in church.

I call people to trust and respond to Christ every week in our church service. We ask them to share that decision through a card. Others use an altar call where new believers are connected with an established believer.

Whatever you use, it is at this point the process of partnership in spiritual growth is now stewarded to you and your church. We need to prioritize the discipling of anyone who has trusted Christ in our church.

The post Forward From Conversion: How We Can Focus on Spiritual Growth and Transformation appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


08/01/15 Trembling at His Word

READING: Isaiah 64-66

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I love reading God’s Word. The truths are rich, and the blessings are many. I wonder, though, if I tremble at His Word.

Today’s reading covers the final three chapters of the book of Isaiah, chapters that reveal God’s restoration of His people and His kingdom after judgment. In particular, God points to the kind of person He blesses:

Isa. 66:2  I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at My word.

I understand “humility” and being “contrite (submissive) in spirit.” God wants us to be broken and tender, open to His leading and listening to His pleading. Do I, however, tremble at His Word?

It seems to me that if I tremble at His Word, I will . . .

  • be amazed and grateful that I have the Word of God in my hand and in my language
  • read the Word with caution, pausing to think deeply on passages that warn of judgment
  • read the Word with wonder, learning that a perfectly holy God loves and seeks me
  • see life change — particularly, forsaking sin and seeking God — as a result of reading; that is, I ought to fear more if I read but don’t see repentance and faith as a result
  • desire to read God’s Word regularly simply because it is His Word
  • be both alarmed and longing when I choose not to read the Word
Do I tremble at His Word? I don’t know. What I do know is that this God gives me new beginnings each day. I know that He wants me to call upon Him; indeed, He says, “Even before they call, I answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isa. 65:24). It sounds strange, I know, but I’m praying that He will make me tremble more.

PRAYER: You know the prayer today: “God, let us be a people who tremble at Your Word.”


Sin’s Here—- Part One

Sin is a huge topic. We will certainly not be able to do more than scratch the surface in these posts. And of course part of the problem is when you make a list of sins, some people will see this as a ‘to do’ list, or at least a ‘to attempt’ list. Such is [Read More…]

BCC Weekend Resource: Gospel-Driven Counseling for Suffering

A Word from Your BCC Team: Often on weekends we like to highlight and link back to one of our many free resources. Today, we link back to a resource produced by The Summit Church and authored by Brad Hambrick: Augustine: Confessions: A Guided Tour of Overcoming a Besetting Sin. Continue reading

Is Cecil the lion more devastating than the Planned Parenthood videos?

Karen Swallow Prior:

While elective abortion and trophy hunting are different issues surrounded by different ethical and political questions, both news stories offer — regardless of one’s views on either issue — an opportunity to consider the moral responsibility that comes with knowledge — and the moral responsibility that comes with willful ignorance.

Conservative Progressives: How to Pass the Baton from Generation to Generation

Joe Rigney:

But sidelong glances won’t be the only challenge. Leadership transitions within churches and institutions are also full of pitfalls for those moving on out and those moving on up. Passing the baton from one generation to another has never been easy. But it’s also never been optional. The Christian faith, after all, is something that’s handed down (2 Tim. 2:2). It’s entrusted from one generation to another.

Which means we must learn to make the generational handoff without dropping the baton.

Pastors, Don’t Be Passive on Planned Parenthood

Dan Darling:

Millions of people are seeing the brutal reality of what has always been labeled by abortion providers as a safe and clinical practice. New technologies, such as ultrasound machines, smart phones that capture video, and social media have converged to cause us to see what we didn’t previously: the humanity of the unborn and the gruesome nature of abortion. As Columnist Ross Douthat puts it, we’re just starting to realize that “an institution at the heart of respectable liberal society is dedicated to a practice that deserves to be called barbarism.”

But how do pastors and church leaders lead their people through the outrage to champion the sacred value of human life? How do we bring the hope of the gospel into the brokenness of our world?

7 False Assumptions Made About Introverts

Ron Edmonson offers a helpful correction about what extroverts think us introverts are like.

Exceptionally Ordinary

Nick Horton:

Do you really think God needs you or I to do anything in order to accomplish what he wills? We’re overestimating our value by 100% if we do. God uses means to accomplish his will, yes. However, he decides the means, not us. He chooses his servants, both great and small, to accomplish the tasks he wants them to do. We’re going by the wrong economy if we measure kingdom impact by worldly numbers.


A La Carte (August 1)

Here are some deals to start your month: The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves ($2.99); Double Play by Ben Zobrist ($0.99); The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Jason Lisle ($2.99). You’ll also find a new list of books spanning all genres in their list of monthly deals.

Free from Christian Audio this month is Rosaria Butterfield’s excellent Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.

It’s Board Game Day at Amazon and they’ve got lots of good ones on sale. We love Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Smallworld, Dominion, and others.

I rather enjoyed this article titled A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise That Roared. It is all about a company owner who decided to offer every one of his employees at least $70,000 per year. Who would have thought that move would make people mad?

This TED talk (which has quite a lot of rough language, especially in the tweets it displays on the screen) shows How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life. The Internet outrage machine can destroy people’s lives.

Logos users will be interested in this New Source for Free Logos Training. I think most of us only barely scratch the surface of Logos’ power.

Jamie Brown has a massively sarcastic article about nonsensical worship music: Flammable Sound And Its Implications.

The Art of the Interchange shows the unexpected beauty in highway interchanges. Yes, I said highway interchanges.

Mark Altrogge offers some pastoral words: There Are No Accidents With God. “Wherever we find ourselves and whatever we have to deal with we can know that God in his infinite wisdom has designed it for our good and to make us like Christ and bring him glory.”

What Should We Do When They Stray? Nick Batzig says, “There are many difficult and painful experiences that ministers face, but the spiritual rebellion of a child of a believer weighs heavily on the heart of any true minister of the Gospel.”


Notable Voices: August 1, 2015

7 False Assumptions Made About Introverts — Ron Edmondson

Ron, a fellow introvert, shares some false assumptions people make of him due to his introversion. I’ve experienced these as well from time to time.

 


3 Sermon Prep Tips for Bi-vocational Pastors — Marty Duren

Sermon prep is difficult for any pastor, but for bi-vocational pastors it can be even more so. Marty gives two planning tips and one technology tip for bi-vocational pastors to prepare their sermons more efficiently and effectively.

 


13 Numbers You Need to Know about Abortion and the Planned Parenthood Videos — Aaron Earls

The numbers Aaron has compiled are almost as disturbing as the videos which have been released over the past few weeks. One example: 0 — Pew surveyed individuals in 40 nations, in none of them did a majority of people say abortion is morally acceptable.

 


Three Questions for New Fall Ministries — Chris Hefner

Fall ministries and activities kick off soon in many churches. Chris shares three helpful questions to gauge your preparedness for the start of any new ministries.

 


8 Reasons Why Loving Money Is so Dangerous — David Murray

This short post from David examines our relationship with money and issues eight warnings about turning it into an idol.

 


Should a Pastor’s Wife Play Second Fiddle? — Chad Ashby

Chad cautions pastors not to put their relationship with the church they pastor above their relationship with their wife.

 


The post Notable Voices: August 1, 2015 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Booklet Review: Be Still . . . So You Can Be God?!

By Sarah H. Leslie Herescope Is the purpose of the modern meditation movement(s) to desensitize people into believing that “we are all one” and “we are god”? The extent to which these ideas have now entered the evangelical church world is quite alarming. Our research friend Warren B. Smith has just released a new booklet […]

The Daily Discovery (August 1-2, 2015)

Homosexuals Aiming for Your Kids – “The New York Times reported on July 27, 2015 that the ‘Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders.’  The Boy Scouts of America claims its child abuse prevention program is the best in the country. However, there have been over 2,000 cases of abuse in the Boy Scouts. Here are some examples.”

Church Responsibility – “I love the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is a compelling story and so, so well-made. If you have seen the films, you might recall a brief scene in the first part of the saga, The Fellowship of the Ring, where Frodo Baggins attempts to slip away from his traveling companions in a boat so he will not put them at risk any longer. It is a noble action, met by nobler response from his gardener and trustworthy friend, Samwise Gamgee.”

Novel Presents Abortion as “Funny” – “A new graphic novel, reportedly the ‘first graphic novel about abortion,’ apparently illustrates ‘two women going through the ‘abortion process.” Supposedly it is an ‘often funny,’ and ‘even humorous look at what a woman can go through during an abortion.’ Reportedly the description of the book heavily emphasized the idea that the book was humorous. Interestingly enough this graphic novel about abortion apparently doesn’t even show the actual abortion—it doesn’t even show a baby on the ultrasound screen monitor! Why not? Well, presumably it’s because in reality, abortion—the murder of a baby inside of his or her mother’s womb—is simply not funny.”

Image Bearers at Planned Parenthood – “Unborn babies bear God’s image. It is His sanctity that makes them holy, not their own. It is not their genetic background, their capacity to feel pain, their wide open futures, their potential capabilities that makes them imbued with dignity and value. It isn’t their relative moral innocence, but the image of God, graciously given to all, no matter the circumstances of their conception, no matter their viability, no matter the relative development of their organs.”

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth – “The title of this post is borrowed from chapter nine of Dr. Albert Mohler’s excellent treatment of the Ten Commandments, Words From The Fire. Mohler makes the case that the worst possible lie we can tell is about God. If our theology is wrong we are, in essence, lying about God.”


SERMON:

Matt Chandler – God is for God


VIDEOS:

A Professing “Christian” Could Not Stop the Preaching of the Gospel

Tim Hawkins Discount Grocery Stores


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

The post The Daily Discovery (August 1-2, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Christian Headlines Daily –

http://www.christianheadlines.com/


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?


“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

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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.

Posted in Christian Blog/Article Collection | Leave a comment

Fact Checking Dan Barker: From our Recent Debate June 6, 2015

Originally posted on Daniel B. Wallace:

This is a guest post by Dr. Justin W. Bass regarding his recent debate with well-known atheist, Dan Barker. The debate topic was “Jesus of Nazareth: Lord or Legend?”

“I discovered that there is no evidence for Christianity” –Dan Barker (Losing Faith in Faith, 69).

Dan Barker wrote these words in 1992 in his first book Losing Faith in Faith recounting his de-conversion from a fundamentalist Christian pastor to a promoter of atheism and free-thought.

Dan first came out publicly as an atheist on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1984. Since that time he has been a preacher of atheism and free-thought as a kind of “reverse penance” (Losing Faith, 10), he says, for all the years he proclaimed the gospel.

At 15, he accepted a calling from God to live and preach for Jesus Christ. He was a self-admitted fundamentalist from the beginning believing “every…

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Good Memes Refuting Defense of Planned Parenthood (8/1/15)

Originally posted on The Domain for Truth:

Pictures are worth a thousand words they say.  These memes and pictures were too good not to share.  I’ve given links to where the original could be found so that you can also further share them on Social Media with the first two Memes being what we made.

I think it is good to speak out against Planned Parenthood even if the politicians don’t defund them.  To raise this issue to the public conscience will convict people that this is a sin and perhaps God may use to spare another abortion.

If there are other good ones you would like to share let us know!

oz6py

How does she stand with planned parenthood

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Matt Chandler: How far is too far?

Originally posted on Wretched with Todd Friel:

Episode 1662

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Daily Devotionals: (1st Aug.) Satan: The Great Deceiver

Originally posted on thinkGOSPEL blog:

Reading: Genesis 3:1-24

Satan is man’s greatest enemy; he is a liar par excellence and the destroyer of souls. If he loses a soul to grace he will work at destroying the life. He pulls apart (“devours”) the life as a lion does his prey. Peter tells us therefore to be sober and vigilant because of the subtlety and deceit of Satan (I Peter 5:8).

He approached the vulnerable part of humanity. He addressed the woman first; she was more attractive to him because she was the one with the greater sensibility, with more feeling and more emotionally responsive.  As Satan aimed at the weaker part of humanity in the first temptation, so today he attacks that weaker part of our lives, wearing us down until we yield to his overtures.

He took the position of pretended ignorance. He asked a question. This was a confidence-builder for Eve, giving her…

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Resource: Exposing Word of Faith “little gods” heresy

Originally posted on churchwatch central:

This is an article that is exposing the Word of Faith heresy, particularly their teaching that we are “little gods.” Below Chris Rosebrough plays soundbites of Word of Faith heretics teaching the heresy that we are all little gods. He had sound bites of the following teaching that we are “little Gods”:

15CWCPortrait_Joyce Meyer17CWCPortrait_Rick Warren37CWCPortrait_Benny Hinn47CWCPortrait_Paul_Crouch36CWCPortrait_Creflo Dollar

Listen to this resource here:

Are You A God?

Click Here to Download this episode

Program segments:

• Ken Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Paul Crouch & Benny Hinn teach that we’re little gods.
• Email
• Albert Mohler On Inerrancy & Hermeneutics from the Shepherd’s Conference

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Are You A God?, Fighting for the Faith, http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2015/03/are-you-a-god.html, Published 13/03/2015. (Accessed 20/03/2015.)

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Federal judge blocks release of future sting videos of Planned Parenthood

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

The Stream as the story.

Excerpt:

A federal judge on Friday blocked the release of any recordings made at meetings of an abortion providers’ association by an anti-abortion group that previously revealed secretly recorded videos of a Planned Parenthood leader.

Judge William Orrick in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress hours after the order was requested by the National Abortion Federation.

[…]David Daleiden, a leader of the Center for Medical Progress who is also named in the suit, said in a statement that Planned Parenthood and its allies were trying to silence the group and suppress investigative journalism.

“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights,” he said.

The order is effective…

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August 1, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Devotional Guide Collection

IMG_2547


August 1

I AM THINE, O LORD

Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. (Hebrews 10:22)

Each new day requires a fresh renewal of our dedication to the Lord. The strongest of Christians can be drawn away by the pressures of daily living. And we are vulnerable to the lusts of the flesh and the eyes as well as the subtle temptations that constitute the “pride of life” (1 John 2:16). The warning of Scripture is clear: “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). God must always have His rightful place on the throne of the heart. Nothing in life—not job, not recreation, not even family—should have the top priority of our daily concerns. Anything that replaces the Lordship of Christ can become idolatrous and cause us to be susceptible to a spiritual disaster. We must each day say, “I am Thine, O Lord.”

Fanny Crosby wrote this consecration hymn while visiting in the home of the composer of the music, William H. Doane, in Cincinnati. The family’s conversation that night centered around the blessedness of enjoying the nearness of God. Suddenly in a moment of inspiration, Fanny started giving the words of the hymn—line by line, verse by verse, and then the chorus. Soon after Doane supplied the music, and another of the more than 8,000 Fanny Crosby hymns was born. Since that day in 1875, these moving lines have ministered to and challenged countless numbers of God’s people to keep their lives dedicated to their Lord:

I am Thine, O Lord—I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; but I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the pow’r of grace divine; let my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in pray’r and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend.

There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea; there are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with Thee.

Chorus: Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to Thy precious, bleeding side.

For Today: Psalm 16:11; 73:28; Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 7:22–24; Hebrews 12:28

Begin this new day, with all of its unknown pressures and temptations, with this musical prayer upon your lips—[1]


August 1: Connecting the Stories

Isaiah 1:1–2:5; Luke 1:1–38; Job 1:1–12

The connections between the Testaments aren’t readily apparent, but a closer reading—empowered by the Spirit—can reveal them. Such is the case with the connections among Isaiah, Luke, and Job. The authors of each of these books begin by introducing a person, and then they invite us into the story.

“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright and God-fearing and turning away from evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him” (Job 1:1–2).

“The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, heavens, and listen, earth, for Yahweh has spoken: ‘I reared children and I brought them up, but they rebelled against me’ ” (Isa 1:1–2).

“Since many have attempted to compile an account concerning the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning passed on to us, it seemed best to me also—because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning—to write them down in orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty concerning the things about which you were taught” (Luke 1:1–4). Although these three introductions represent a simple pattern repeated among the books, only later do we see the deeper parallels. Isaiah draws on the thematic framework of Job: People need an advocate—someone righteous to stand between themselves and God—because all people are unworthy (Job 9; compare Isa 49:1–3; 52:13–53:12). We then find that Luke draws upon Isaiah’s framework: He identifies this advocate as a savior who will suffer on behalf of God’s people (the Suffering Servant; Luke 4:22–30; compare Isa 52:14–15; 53:3).

The narratives in these books quickly lead us in directions we don’t expect, and as we begin to feel the tension and disorientation of the characters, the focus of each shifts to the savior at the center of God’s work in the world. In the midst of the pain these stories record, we see God working out something great—something beautiful. The world will be saved through one man: Jesus, God’s Son. This Suffering Servant will pay the price for the sins of us all. No matter the time, the place, or the people, God’s work in the world reflects and builds on itself to accomplish His great purpose of salvation.

How does your story fit in the story of God’s saving work? What part do you play? How will your story be told?

John D. Barry[2]


August 1

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Romans 13 through 16. Our lesson is from Romans 14:7–8, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (NASU)

Lesson

It’s hard at times for believers to really understand the concept of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Let’s look at three declarations of the Apostle Paul in our text that explains what it means to live under the Lordship of Christ.

First, believers do not live for themselves. This concept has to do with priorities and values. It is a matter of choice. We should therefore ask ourselves: Am I truly putting Christ first in my life?

The values of the Kingdom of God are different from those of the world. Our culture bombards us with its values of consumerism and self-aggrandizement. It is easy to fall prey to the desires of the flesh and our own personal priorities. But the exhortation is clear: The believing community is to not live for itself.

Second, believers live for the Lord. This has to do with stewardship. In other words, all we have and do and are belong to the Lord. We are to be administrators of those things He has given us. He is the owner. We are accountable to Him for the way we invest His resources for the Kingdom. Jesus illustrates this in the parable of the talents. When the Lord returned, the stewards reported to Him regarding their investments and the gains they had made for Him.

How do we do that? First of all, we must be submitted to the work of the Holy Spirit in us. He is the one who helps us and guides us to walk in integrity before the Lord.

Last, believers belong to the Lord. Note how Paul describes himself in the beginning of the letter. He calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ. The more literal translation is slave. A slave does not belong to himself/herself; he/she is, rather, property of his/her master. This is Paul’s way to demonstrate his full commitment in serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This was the driving force behind his ministry and life. His passion was for Christ and His cause.

In review, believers do not live for themselves. Believers live for the Lord. Finally believers belong to the Lord.

May this be the heartbeat of our lives and ministries. We serve our Lord first and then others. If you need help in this area just ask the Holy Spirit to guide you right now! He is the one who fashions us to the image of Jesus Christ for the glory of the Father.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is First Corinthians 1 through 4. 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 1

 

The Antidote for Sin

 

“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14).

✧✧✧

The more you love God, the less you will sin.

Scripture and personal experience teach us that sin always has its consequences. When you harbor unconfessed sin, you dishonor God and forfeit the blessings and joy He desires for you. Prolonged sin might even bring His chastening through pain or illness.

That’s what happened to Corinthian believers who partook of the Lord’s Table in a sinful manner (1 Cor. 11:27–30). Paul warned the rest of the congregation to take careful spiritual inventory of themselves to avoid incurring a similar punishment. In chapter 13 he reveals the root of their problem, saying in effect, “Some of you are physically ill because you’re sinning. Start loving God and one another as you should and your ailments will disappear.”

Love is the antidote for sin. When a Pharisee asked Jesus which of the commandments was greatest, Jesus replied, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:37–40). If you love the Lord and your fellow men, you won’t sin against them. That’s why Paul said, “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:8–10).

Love is your highest calling and the greatest contribution you can make to others. But it’s possible to neglect it or misunderstand its characteristics. That’s why we’re going to spend this month exploring true love and how it functions. As we do, pray that your love for God and others will increase each day.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God for a greater capacity to love Him, then demonstrate your love by obeying His Word.

For Further Study: Read 1 Corinthians 13, noting the characteristics of love.[4]


August 1

What Does God Say?

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Psalm 119:97

anytime we face an issue that we know is truly important, we need to go to the Word of God to find out what God says on the matter. God has not left out any topic—He has left no void regarding those things that are most important in life. The Bible is God’s viewpoint; it is His opinion, His counsel, and His advice.…

God’s commandments, statutes, precepts, and principles cover all of life’s situations. We need to ponder God’s Word—read it, study it, memorize it, think about it, and consider it. In doing so, we discover the wise way to handle life and to respond to the difficult situations we all face.[5]


August 1

The Infusion of God’s Grace

Scripture reading: Ephesians 2:8–10

Key verse: Romans 6:4

We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

You cannot come to Jesus apart from the grace of God. If you could save yourself, then there would be no need for a Savior. But God’s pattern for salvation includes the infusion of His grace in the lives of those who come to Him.

Grace is all-important to the believer. It is God’s personal touch, His handprint of intimacy in your life. It is the evidence of His advent and the one thing that keeps you founded in His abiding love. His grace breathes potential into all that you do and say.

The apostle Paul told us: “(By grace you have been saved), and raised … up with Him … in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5–7 nasb).

He reminded us that we have been buried with Jesus through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we, too, might walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). The mission of grace did not end at the Cross. It overflows into every area of our lives, filling us with hope and the blessed assurance that we are loved with an eternal love. Thus, God has called us to be distributors of His grace to others. Just as it has been given to you, let grace motivate you to give it away to someone today.

God, thank You for Your grace that fills me. Help me to give it away to someone today.[6]


August 1

The Great Choice

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.

Joshua 24:15

The Sermon on the Mount presents us with the most crucial of spiritual choices. Its ethical truths bless those who believe and obey Christ but judge those who reject Him.

The spiritual choice, which you must not ignore or postpone, concerns the way of salvation. There is one true way to be right with God, and there are many false ways. It is wrong to say that all roads lead to heaven—only one does. You must reject all of the works–oriented ways people have devised to reach heaven and embrace the one way God Himself has provided—faith in His saving grace as displayed in the atoning death of His Son (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5–6).[7]


August 1      The Holy Spirit

scripture reading:

 

John 16:7–15

 

key verse:

 

John 15:26

 

When the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Although the Holy Spirit is defined to a degree by His various roles—teacher, guide, and helper—His identity rests on three truths:

First, the Holy Spirit is God. In several instances, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “the Spirit of God.”

Second, He is one with God, the third person of the Trinity. As such, He possesses the inherent nature and character of God. The Greek word for “another” in John 14:16–17 is literally translated “another of the same kind.” Thus, the Holy Spirit is God Himself, omnipotent (Job 33:4), omnipresent (Ps. 139:7–10), and omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10–12).

Third, since the Holy Spirit is a person, He is God. The Holy Spirit likewise is marked by a distinct personality. He is not an “it.” He has a will (1 Cor. 12:11), emotions (Eph. 4:30), and intellect (Rom. 8:27).

As a person, the Holy Spirit can be resisted, lied to, and grieved. The Holy Spirit is life. The Holy Spirit helped birth the universe (Gen. 1:2). Christ was conceived by an act of the Holy Spirit. The believer is given God’s life through His indwelling, and the abundant life is possible only through His activity.

Heavenly Father, during the coming days, reveal Your Holy Spirit to me in a new way. I want to live the Spirit–filled life.[8]


August 1

Back on Course

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 19:9–15

Key verse: 1 Kings 19:13

So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah had just come away from a tremendous spiritual victory. In fact, the victory won on Mount Carmel was the highlight of his career as a prophet of God. However, immediately following the victory came a time of serious testing.

Elijah had stood firm in his faith, and God had destroyed all of the prophets of Baal, reaffirming the fact that He was Jehovah God. In a horrific fit of anger, Queen Jezebel sent a message to Elijah stating, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them [a prophet of Baal]” (1 Kings 19:2). In other words, Jezebel planned to kill Elijah. Filled with fear, Elijah fled.

Finally, at Mount Horeb he collapsed. That was where God spoke to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” It was a reasonable question to ask. Elijah was accustomed to living in the shadow of God’s greatness and power. Why was he hiding out like a common criminal?

Maybe God is asking you the same question: “What are you doing here? Why are you running? Why are you fearful?” God did not let go of His prophet. Instead, He instructed Elijah to get back into the thick of things. And this is His word to you. If you have gotten off course, don’t give up. Tell the Lord what you are struggling with, and He will send His encouragement and hope to you.

Lord, I am struggling, running, and fearful. Help me get back on course with You. Strengthen me with Your Word.[9]


August 1

Butterfly Living

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17–21

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

To get a grasp of this verse, imagine the old you as a caterpillar and the new you in Christ as a matured butterfly. What you may find in your life experience, however, is that even though you are a butterfly, you are still drawn to the caterpillar way of life. How can you end this tension?

In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote to exhort them to consistent “butterfly living.” The temptations in their society to relapse into “caterpillar living” were strong, much as they are today. He wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2 nasb).

This principle is so dynamic, you cannot afford to miss it. “Transformed” is a translation of the Greek metamorphosis, the process by which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Renewing your mind is in essence taking on the mind of Christ; it means changing your thinking in accordance with the truth of God’s Word. What you believe about God defines the quality of that relationship. Remember, you are not a caterpillar with wings glued on—you are truly a butterfly.

Dear Lord, thank You for changing my “caterpillar” mentality, so I can experience butterfly living. This month, as I reflect on the wonders of spiritual change, continue Your divine miracle of transformation.[10]


August 1

Prevailing Peace

Scripture Reading: Psalm 34:1–8

Key Verse: Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Even before he was king of Israel, David understood feeling overwhelmed with life. While he was being hunted by Saul, David fled to Gath, where he found out his reputation as a warrior preceded him. He pretended to be insane so that King Achish of Gath would not have him killed.

No one should doubt that David experienced stress during this episode. Yet during that time, he wrote about God’s goodness in Psalm 34. David found true sanctuary in the Lord.

Today, as in David’s time, peace is still a difficult thing to come by. The day is often filled with conflicts and stressful interruptions. Sometimes it can seem impossible to escape the tumult and achieve serenity. Yet Jesus offers you the same tranquility that David found: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The only way to have peace is to trust God wholeheartedly, as David did. Allow His peace to permeate your life, and you will be able to say as Charles Wesley did, “I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade, my griefs expire, my troubles cease; Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed, wilt keep me still in perfect peace.”

Father, thank You for the peace that passes human understanding. Thank You for keeping me in perfect peace.[11]


 

August 1

 

A Society of Things

 

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 6:21

✧✧✧

In wealthy countries, where the focus is on material things, believers must strive for the right perspective on possessions.

Today’s text answers the simple but age–old question, Where is your heart? When our Lord answers the question, it is clear He is referring to all of life’s major preoccupations and investments—anything that receives most of our thinking, planning, and expenditure of energy.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had their hearts in the wrong places. Among their many other sins, the Pharisees were thing–oriented—covetous, greedy, avaricious, and manipulative. Matthew 6:21 is right in the middle of a portion of the Sermon on the Mount that deals with the Pharisees’ misplaced priorities regarding material possessions. The verse fits with Christ’s overall purpose in the Sermon, which was to affirm His standard of righteous living in contrast to the Pharisees’ inferior, hypocritical standard (Matt. 5:20).

Matthew 6:19–24 tells us how believers should view their luxuries and wealth. Most of us live in cultures that constantly challenge us with their emphases on materialism. We all spend some time thinking about those things, whether it be a house, a car, furniture, investment portfolios, computers, our wardrobes, or whatever. And many people become slaves to consumerism and greed. Therefore we need to deal with these issues and have a biblical viewpoint concerning the many material comforts we have.

Above all, if we want the same perspective on wealth that Jesus had, our view must far exceed that of the Pharisees with their proud, earthbound viewpoint. They were focusing all of their time and devotion on selfishly laying up worldly treasures. Theirs is not the godly standard of those who want to exemplify Christ in the midst of a materialistic society.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: What thoughts and activities occupy most of your extra time? Pray that they would not be merely about things, but about the things of God.

For Further Study: You need to have a right view of yourself before any other area of life is properly understood. Read again the familiar opening passage of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1–12. ✧ Memorize or meditate on one verse or more that ministers to a need you have.[12]


August 1

The fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness.

My grace I have been saved through faith, and that not of myself; it is Your gift, O God. Without faith it is impossible to please You. I believe in Jesus; I am not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

When I keep Your word, Lord God, truly Your love is perfected in me. Faith working through love—for faith without works is dead.

I walk by faith, not by sight. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Although I have not seen Jesus, I love Him. Though now I do not see Jesus, yet believing, I rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of my faith—the salvation of my soul.

May my faithfulness to You, my ever-faithful God, be obvious in my love, my obedience, and my joy.

Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 11:6; John 3:18; Mark 9:24; 1 John 2:5; Galatians 5:6; James 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 1:8–9[13]


August 1

God Deserves Attention

Psalm 119:15

I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.

Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about God. We go to church on Sunday and we sing the songs and we talk the way Christians talk, but we don’t give God the attention He deserves. We don’t give Him the concentrated attention of someone who is trying to get to know and get close to another person.

But a relationship with God is similar to a relationship with a human person. If we want to have a meaningful relationship, we must spend time getting to know that person. We must spend time talking with and listening to that person. We can’t be close to someone if we don’t know who they really are.

God tells us in the Bible who He is. Not only that, but He tells us how much He wants us to know Him.

The more you know God, the more you will love Him. And the more you know and love Him, the more you can celebrate Him in the way He deserves.[14]


Sat, August 01, 2015

BOTH LORD AND CHRIST

No Christian believer should ever forget what the Bible says about the Person and the offices of the eternal Son, the Christ of God. “God hath made this same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Jesus means Savior; Lord means Sovereign; Christ means Anointed One. The Apostle Peter did not proclaim Jesus only as Savior-he preached to them Jesus as Lord and Christ and Savior, never dividing His Person or His offices. Remember, also, the declaration of Paul: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, thou shalt be saved.” Three times in the passage to the Roman Christians telling how to be saved, Paul calls Jesus “Lord.” He says that faith in the Lord Jesus plus confession of that faith to the world brings salvation to us!

Verse
God hath made this same Jesus… both Lord and Christ.
Acts 2:36

Thought
Jesus means Savior; Lord means Sovereign; Christ means Anointed One.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for who you are. Please strengthen me as I live to serve you and accomplish your will.

A. W. Tozer


August 1 – The Apostles Marvel at Jesus’ Power

“The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” (Matthew 8:27).

There are no realities more overwhelming than a glimpse of God’s glory or the sense of His presence. Such occurrences make it impossible not to be utterly dumbfounded before Him.

The disciples realized after Christ stilled the storm that He indeed was God standing in their boat with them. Peter displayed the same reaction of awe and terror when he briefly walked on water after his Lord did. A storm surged up and caused Peter to panic. When Jesus rescued the disciple and calmed the storm, all the disciples in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” (Matt. 14:33; cf. vv. 28–32). That is simply the proper reaction any believer should have when getting a firsthand glimpse of the Lord’s power in this world.

God’s servants in Scripture had far more astounding earthly encounters with His magnificence than we ever will, but their examples are instructive. Daniel, for example, after beholding the Almighty, remarked, “No strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor” (Dan. 10:8; cf. Isa. 6:1, 5). When the risen Christ halted Paul (Saul of Tarsus) on his way to Damascus, “he fell to the ground” (Acts 9:4).

Our daily dependence on God and sense of His presence should be no less important for us than for the prophets and apostles of old. Isaac Watts’ lyrics capture this concept well:

On thee each moment we depend,
If Thou withdraw we die.
O may we ne’er that God offend,
Who is forever nigh.

Ask Yourself

Pause long enough to marvel at the glory of your ever-present God. Put your feelings of awe into words of worship.

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:

Esther 3:1–4:17
Psalm 89:46-52
Proverbs 22:7-8
Romans 3:1-31
Notes:

Esther 3:4 he was a Jew. It seems evident from Haman’s fury and attempted genocide that there were strong anti-Semitic attitudes in Shushan, which seems to explain Mordecai’s reluctance to reveal his true ethnic background.

Esther 4:14 relief and deliverance. Mordecai exhibited a healthy faith in God’s sovereign power to preserve His people. He may have remembered the Lord’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:3; 17:1–8). you…will perish. Mordecai indicated that Esther would not escape the sentence or be overlooked because of her prominence (4:13). such a time as this. Mordecai indirectly appealed to God’s providential timing.

Psalm 89:46 hide Yourself forever. By God’s seeming refusal to answer prayer and restore the Davidic kingship, it seemed as though God was hiding Himself. Of course, the discipline of disobedient kings had been foretold (v. 32). According to the prophets, God would eventually restore Israel and the Davidic throne in an earthly kingdom (Hos. 3:4, 5). Never in the Old Testament is there a sense that this Davidic promise would be fulfilled by Christ with a spiritual and heavenly reign.

Romans 3:2 oracles. This Greek word is logoin, a diminutive form of the common New Testament word logos, which is normally translated “word.” These are important sayings or messages, especially supernatural ones. Here Paul uses the word to encompass the entire Old Testament—the Jews received the very words of the true God (Deut. 4:1, 2; 6:1, 2; Mark 12:24; Luke 16:29; John 5:39). The Jews had a great advantage in having the Old Testament, because it contained the truth about salvation (2 Tim. 3:15) and about the gospel in its basic form (Gal. 3:8). When Paul said “preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2), he meant the “oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11) recorded in Scripture.

Romans 3:11 none…understands. Man is unable to comprehend the truth of God or grasp His standard of righteousness (Pss. 14:2; 53:3; 1 Cor. 2:14). Sadly, his spiritual ignorance does not result from a lack of opportunity, but is an expression of his depravity and rebellion (Eph. 4:18). none…seeks. This verse clearly implies that the world’s false religions are fallen man’s attempts to escape the true God—not to seek Him. Man’s natural tendency is to seek his own interests (Phil. 2:21), but his only hope is for God to seek him (John 6:37, 44). It is only as a result of God’s work in the heart that anyone seeks Him (Ps. 16:8; Matt. 6:33).

DAY 1: As sinners, how are we justified before God?

In Romans 3:24, the verb “justified” is a legal or forensic term that comes from the Greek word for “righteous” and means “to declare righteous.” This verdict includes pardon from the guilt and penalty of sin and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer’s account, which provides for the positive righteousness man needs to be accepted by God. God declares a sinner righteous solely on the basis of the merits of Christ’s righteousness. God imputed a believer’s sin to Christ’s account in His sacrificial death (Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Pet. 2:24), and He imputes Christ’s perfect obedience to God’s law to Christians (5:19; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9).The sinner receives this gift of God’s grace by faith alone (3:22, 25; 4:1–25). Sanctification, the work of God by which He makes righteous those whom He has already justified, is distinct from justification but without exception always follows it (8:30).

“Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Justification is a gracious gift God extends to the repentant, believing sinner, wholly apart from human merit or work. The imagery behind the Greek word for “redemption” comes from the ancient slave market. It meant paying the necessary ransom to obtain the prisoner’s or slave’s release. The only adequate payment to redeem sinners from sin’s slavery and its deserved punishment was “in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19) and was paid to God to satisfy His justice.

“Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood” (v. 25).This great sacrifice was not accomplished in secret, but God publicly displayed His Son on Calvary for all to see. Crucial to the significance of Christ’s sacrifice, a propitiation carries the idea of appeasement or satisfaction—in this case Christ’s violent death satisfied the offended holiness and wrath of God against those for whom Christ died (Is. 53:11; Col. 2:11–14). The Hebrew equivalent of this word was used to describe the mercy seat—the cover to the ark of the covenant—where the high priest sprinkled the blood of the slaughtered animal on the Day of Atonement to make atonement for the sins of the people. In pagan religions, it is the worshiper—not the god—who is responsible to appease the wrath of the offended deity. But in reality, man is incapable of satisfying God’s justice apart from Christ, except by spending eternity in hell.

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.


INTERCESSION: Pray for the Young and the Old

12.3.14

For the several ages and conditions of men, as they stand in need of mercy and grace.

For those who are young and setting out in the world.

Lord, give to those who are young to remember their Creator in the days of their youth; Ecclesiastes 12:1(ESV) that thereby they may be kept from the vanity which childhood and youth are subject to, and may be restrained from walking in the way of their heart and in the sight of their eyes, by considering that for all these things God will bring them into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9(ESV)

Lord, make young people self-controlled; Titus 2:6(ESV) and let the word of God abide in them, that they may be strong and may overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14(ESV)

From the womb of the morning let Christ have the dew of your youth; Psalm 110:3(ESV) and let him be formed in the hearts of those who are young. Galatians 4:19(ESV)

Keep those who are setting out in the world from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire; 2 Peter 1:4(ESV) and give to those who have been well-educated, to hold fast the pattern of sound words, 2 Timothy 1:13(ESV) and to continue in what they have learned. 2 Timothy 3:14(ESV)

12.3.15

For those who are old and of long standing in profession.

There are some who are old disciples of Jesus Christ; Acts 21:16(KJV) Lord, give them still to bear fruit in old age, to declare that the LORD is upright, that he is their Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalm 92:14-15(ESV)

Now the evil days have come and the years of which they say, “I have no pleasure in them”; Ecclesiastes 12:1(ESV) let your consolations cheer their souls. Psalm 94:19(ESV)

You have said, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.” You have made them, Lord; we beg you, bear, yes, do carry and save them. Isaiah 46:4(ESV)

Those whom you have taught from their youth up and to whom you still proclaim your wondrous deeds, now, also, when they are old and gray headed, Psalm 71:17-18(ESV) forsake them not; cast them not off in the time of old age; forsake them not when their strength is spent. Psalm 71:9(ESV)

Let every gray head be a crown of glory to those who have it, being gained in a righteous life, Proverbs 16:31(ESV) and give them to know whom they have believed. 2 Timothy 1:12(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer


Day 1

Adoration

The Lord covers Himself in light as with a garment;

He stretches out the heavens like a tent curtain

And lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters.

He makes the clouds His chariot

And walks on the wings of the wind.

He makes the winds His messengers,

Flames of fire His servants.

He set the earth on its foundations,

So that it can never be moved.

You covered it with the deep as with a garment;

The waters stood above the mountains.

At Your rebuke the waters fled;

At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.

They flowed over the mountains

And went down into the valleys

To the place You assigned for them.

You set a boundary they cannot cross,

That they will not return to cover the earth.

O Lord, how manifold are Your works!

In wisdom You made them all;

The earth is full of Your possessions. (Psalm 104:2–9, 24)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

God is wise in heart and mighty in strength.

Who has resisted Him without harm? (Job 9:4)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

Examine me, O Lord, and try me;

Purify my mind and my heart;

For Your lovingkindness is ever before me,

And I have walked in Your truth. (Psalm 26:2–3)

May I sow righteousness,

Reap the fruit of unfailing love,

And break up my fallow ground;

For it is time to seek the Lord,

Until He comes and rains righteousness on me. (Hosea 10:12)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

O Lord, hear my prayer;

Listen to the voice of my supplications.

In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,

For You will answer me.

You are great and do wondrous deeds;

You alone are God. (Psalm 86:6–7, 10)

Relationships with Others

Greater love and compassion for others

Loved ones

Those who do not know Christ

Those in need

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

May I sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks me to give the reason for the hope that is in me, but with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

Evangelism

Friends

Relatives

Neighbors

Coworkers

Special opportunities

Affirmation

Sin shall not be my master, because I am not under law, but under grace. I have been set free from sin and have become a slave of righteousness. (Romans 6:14, 18)

He who has Your commandments and obeys them, he is the one who loves You; and he who loves You will be loved by Your Father, and You will love him and manifest Yourself to him. (John 14:21)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Lord, You said, “Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over the livestock and over all the earth and over all the creatures that creep on the earth.” So You created man in Your own image; male and female You created them. Then You blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the earth.” Then You said, “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it; they will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground, in which there is life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. You saw all that You had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:26–31)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us,

And establish the work of our hands for us—

Yes, confirm the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)[15]


August 1

Continue in prayer

Col. 4:2

The greatest and the best talent that God gives to any nun or woman in this world is the talent of prayer. And the best usury that any man or woman brings back to God when He comes to reckon with them at the end of this world is a life of prayer. And those servants best put their Lord’s money to the exchangers who rise early and sit late, as long as they are in this world, ever finding out, and ever following after better and better methods of prayer, and ever forming more secret, more steadfast, and more spiritually fruitful habits of prayer, till they literally pray without ceasing, and till they continually strike out into new enterprises in prayer, and new achievements, and new enrichments.

Alexander Whyte[16]


August 1

COMMUNION with Christ is a certain cure for every ill. Whether it be the wormwood of woe, or the cloying surfeit of earthly delight, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one, and satiety from the other. Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter of secondary importance whether thou livest on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, thou art covered with the wings of God, and underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Let nothing keep thee from that hallowed intercourse, which is the choice privilege of a soul wedded to the well-beloved.[17]


Morning, August 1 

 

“Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn.”

— Ruth 2:2

 

Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean to-day in the broad field of promise. Here are abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet thy wants. Take this one: “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.” Doth not that suit thy case? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself; a reed, and that reed bruised, yet, he will not break thee; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen thee. Thou art like the smoking flax: no light, no warmth, can come from thee; but he will not quench thee; he will blow with his sweet breath of mercy till he fans thee to a flame. Wouldst thou glean another ear? “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What soft words! Thy heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore he speaketh so gently to thee. Wilt thou not obey him, and come to him even now? Take another ear of corn: “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, saith the Lord and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” How canst thou fear with such a wonderful assurance as this? Thou mayest gather ten thousand such golden ears as these! “I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud thy transgressions.” Or this, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before thee, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them thine own, for Jesus bids thee take them. Be not afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy.

 

Evening, August 1

 

“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness.”

— Psalm 65:11

 

All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave us a legacy of darkness, but our God never ceases to shine upon his children with beams of love. Like a river, his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as his own nature. Like the atmosphere which constantly surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element, they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days gladdens us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen by the rain, and as the atmosphere itself is sometimes fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God; it hath its golden hours; its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace before the sons of men. Amongst the blessings of the nether springs, the joyous days of harvest are a special season of excessive favour. It is the glory of autumn that the ripe gifts of providence are then abundantly bestowed; it is the mellow season of realization, whereas all before was but hope and expectation. Great is the joy of harvest. Happy are the reapers who fill their arms with the liberality of heaven. The Psalmist tells us that the harvest is the crowning of the year. Surely these crowning mercies call for crowning thanksgiving! Let us render it by the inward emotions of gratitude. Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Then let us praise him with our lips, and laud and magnify his name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. Let us glorify God by yielding our gifts to his cause. A practical proof of our gratitude is a special thank-offering to the Lord of the harvest. [18]


 

Temperance and Doctrine

 

August 1

 

I have just come home from my last Bible lesson. The attendance was large, and the farewells quite enthusiastic. I did try to put it to them as strongly as possible. Subject: the keeping of Christ.

At the close Mrs. French made an appeal for money for our Temperance work—rather against the grain for me. But Sally thought I ought to “take up my cross,” so I did, and I believe we got over three hundred dollars. Our work must have money. We have twelve men on our hands this minute to be taken care of and are aching to open a home for inebriate women, and money we must have. Sally is all on fire about it, and I am pretty well stirred up myself. I am praying for somebody to die and leave me a fortune that I may open a home big enough to take in everybody just as the Lord Jesus took me in, without asking a question or requiring a guarantee.

I spent last evening at Charles Gibbon’s with the Rev. Dr. Curry to talk on our subject. The Lord gave me wisdom and utterance, and I think he was convinced of the scripturalness of our doctrine and of its extreme desirability. But he declared it was not for every body in this life, only for a few especially mature ones, like me! The rest he thought would have to wait for it until they got to Heaven! I think the extreme want of logic and sense in this position will drive him out of it. But he was very candid, and I liked him.

—To Robert, April 22, 1876[19]


August 1st

Something more about his ways

He comes where He commands us to leave.

When Jesus had made an end of commanding His disciples, He departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Matthew 11:1.

If when God said ‘Go,’ you stayed, because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. When you obeyed and left all consequences to God, the Lord went into your city to teach; as long as you would not obey, you were in the way. Watch where you begin to debate and to put what you call duty in competition with your Lord’s commands. ‘I know God told me to go, but then my duty was here’; that means you do not believe that Jesus means what he says.

He teaches where He instructs us not to.

“Master, … let us make three tabernacles.”

Are we playing the spiritual amateur providence in other lives? Are we so noisy in our instruction of others that God cannot get anywhere near them? We have to keep our mouths shut and our spirits alert. God wants to instruct us in regard to His Son, He wants to turn our times of prayer into mounts of transfiguration, and we will not let Him. When we are certain of the way God is going to work, He will never work in that way any more.

He works where He sends us to wait.

“Tarry ye … until …” Wait on God and He will work, but don’t wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you! Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God? To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told.

These are phases of His ways we rarely recognize.[20]


August 1

Judges 15; Acts 19; Jeremiah 28; Mark 14

Eventually the clash between Jeremiah and the false prophets becomes concretized in one particular contest—that between Jeremiah and Hananiah (Jer. 28). The issue could not be clearer. Jeremiah insists that unless Judah repents, its capital city Jerusalem will be destroyed, most of its population will perish, and the remainder will be sent into captivity. Hananiah insists that within two years of his utterance, i.e., within two years of 594 b.c. (still seven years before the ultimate destruction took place), there would be a miraculous deliverance from God. The rightful king, Jehoiachin (who had already been in exile for three or four years), would be restored to his throne, and the treasures that had been taken from the temple would be returned. Both prophets speak in the name of the Lord. Whom should the people believe, and why?

In this case, there are two useful time markers by which to test things. First, Hananiah stipulates that his prophecy will be fulfilled within two years (28:3). When that does not occur, there are still about five years to the final catastrophe—plenty of time for the people to repent. Second, we are told that shortly after the dramatic confrontation between Jeremiah and Hananiah in the temple, the word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah regarding Hananiah’s impending death, imposed by God himself: “This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord” (28:16). Seven months later, Hananiah dies (28:17). Should not the entire nation take notice and turn to the Lord?

In fact, there is a more dramatic marker for those with eyes to see. Jeremiah insists: “From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true” (28:8–9). This is a remarkable insight. Jeremiah does not deny that a faithful and godly prophet, in a particular historical circumstance, might prophesy peace. But he treats the possibility as so improbable that implicitly he advocates a certain healthy skepticism until the predicted peace has actually come to pass. By contrast, the normal and expected themes of faithful prophets have to do with prophesying “war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms.” This is not because prophets are a dour and morbid lot. It is because faithful prophets deal with sin and its horrible consequences, and call people to flee from the wrath to come. Jeremiah insists that this lies at the heart of genuinely prophetic ministry. Does it lie at the heart of yours?[21]


August 1

Judges 15; Acts 19; Jeremiah 28; Mark 14

One of the strangest accounts in the book of Acts concerns the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:11–20). Paul’s ministry in Ephesus lasted some considerable time, perhaps two and a half years, and during that time “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul” (19:11). The result is that various “competitors” tried to keep up with him. By itself, this was not surprising. It has always been so. When God especially empowered Moses to perform miracles before Pharaoh, the magicians of Egypt could reproduce most (though not all) of what he did.

So in Paul’s day some Jews steeped in syncretism traveled around, engaging in some kind of deliverance ministry. They had little idea what they were engaged in. When they saw what Paul was doing in the name of Jesus, they started to refer to that name too, as if it were nothing more than some magic talisman: “They would say, ‘In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out’ ” (19:13).

The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish priest, were particularly engaged in this operation. One day the evil spirit they were trying to exorcise talked back to them: “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (19:15). Then the man possessed by this spirit leaped on them and beat up all seven of them. Note:

First, the result of this encounter was entirely beneficial. When the story circulated, many were seized with a healthy fear and an enlarged respect for the name of the Lord Jesus. This was a name so powerful that it could not be treated as a magic formula. This name could not be domesticated. The result was that infatuation with occult practices was curbed. Many confessed their evil deeds, and others brought their occult books and burned them, totaling an enormous value (19:17–19). “In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power” (19:20).

Second, the really striking element is the utterance of the evil spirit: “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” One can understand why Jesus would be known among demonic powers. There is no surprise there. But Paul is known too! His ministry had been assaulting the powers of darkness. He was known to be protected and defended by the living Christ—there is no way the demon could have used the possessed man to beat him up. These other characters were another matter; as far as the demon was concerned, they were a bit of a joke, easily ignored, easily subdued and shamed. But Paul was known!

Christians engaging the Enemy will be known not only in the courts of heaven but in the courts of hell.[22]


August 1.—Morning. [Or February 29.] “Turn again our captivity.”

ABOUT this time the seventy weeks of the prophet were complete, and the time had come for the return from captivity; the Lord therefore raised up Cyrus, and moved his heart to set his people free, and help them to go back to Jerusalem. Of this we have already learned in our last lesson, and therefore let us read those psalms in which the feelings of the returning exiles are set forth.

Psalm 85

1, 2 Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. (All goes well when sin is pardoned. This is the one fatal hindrance to prosperity; and, this removed, all is well.)

Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.

Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

When God turns to us in love, it is high time that we turned to him in faith and repentance; and, indeed, we very soon do so. Love is the great converting force: when the love of Jesus turns us, we are turned indeed.

Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.

I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

This it is our privilege to see fulfilled in the atonement of the Lord Jesus, by which our captivity is turned, and peace is made between God and our souls.

11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Earth looks up in sincerity, and heaven looks down in mercy.

12 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Re-established in their land, which was made fruitful once again, they desired to obey the Lord in all things and to follow closely the path of obedience.

WE can imagine the restored exiles at this time singing

Psalm 126

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

It seemed too good to be true, they could not realise that so good a thing had befallen them.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

What others declared concerning them was true, and they boldly avowed it; they did not bury the Lord’s mercies in forgetfulness, or cast doubts upon them by mock modesty. We too often say “We hope and we trust,” when we ought rather to say, “The Lord hath done great things for us.”

Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

When God revealed his gracious name

And changed our mournful state,

The rapture seem’d a pleasing dream,

The grace appeared so great.

“Great is the work,” my neighbours cried,

And own’d the power divine;

“Great is the work,” my heart replied,

“And be the glory thine.”

The Lord can clear the darkest skies,

Can give us day for night;

Make drops of sacred sorrow rise

To rivers of delight.

August 1.—Evening. [Or March 1.] “He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.”

Ezra 3

AND when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. (There was a spirit of unity among the returned exiles, and a warm love to the worship of God, and therefore as soon as they had made such arrangements as were absolutely needed for their own living, they met to consult concerning the rebuilding of the temple. Things will be sure to go well with the cause of God when all the people are as one man.)

Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. (Atonement for sin must be presented, and thanks must be rendered. The Lord’s people love the altar of sacrifice.)

And they set the altar upon his bases (or upon its former foundation); for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening.

4, 5 They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord. (Though but few and poor, they were very earnest, and very careful to do as the law commanded them. In this they are our teachers.)

6, 7 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

¶ Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord. (They were probably the best educated men and the fittest for overseeing the work.)

Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

It was an honour to these men to have their names recorded, and it will be equally honourable to us if we do anything for the church of God.

10, 11 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph, with cymbals to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. (The laying of the foundation was celebrated with much sacred pomp and praising of the Lord. Who will not be glad when the Lord’s temple is being builded?)

12, 13 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. (It was a noble structure; but for the size and costliness of the stones, and the preciousness of the metals, it was far inferior to Solomon’s. Moreover, it had not the ark, nor the Shechinah light, nor the Urim and Thummim. In all that we do for God we shall see cause to mingle regret with rejoicing; we serve the Lord with gladness, but we sorrow that we serve him so ill. May the blood of Jesus cleanse our holy things.)[23]

 


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 232). 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. 226). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 230). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 224). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 234). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 224). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 224). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 224). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 232). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 224). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

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

[17] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 217). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[20] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

[21] 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.

[22] 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.

[23] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 457–458). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

 

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Revival and Discipline

Originally posted on Daily Devotions:

It is not uncommon for an individual to suffer cardiac arrest while working out at the local gym or health club. For this reason, many establishments have purchased and mounted Automatic External Defibrillators on various walls. It is a wonderful blessing to be able to save a life by shocking a diseased and dead heart back into operation. However, following these extreme acts of love, a change in the daily disciplines of the diseased individual must occur. For this sick individual to enjoy his new lease on life, he must eat and drink differently; he must exercise more regularly; he must monitor his situation more closely; he might even need to undergo some further corrective procedures or surgeries. Yes, the reviving of his heart made the dead person alive; it made the formerly sick individual much more healthy than he once was, but his heart is still diseased, and he must grow in discipline in order to…

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Foolish Chances

Originally posted on Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation:

 2011-09-14-thesickchildbyedvardmunchfourthversion

“What must I do to be saved?”
–Acts 16:30

It was late one Saturday in winter, a clergyman was sent for in haste to see a dying woman…

Mounting the stairs he gathered from her mother that she had caught cold after her confinement, and that her hours were numbered. On entering the room there was a scene of woe. In a little cradle by the fire, rocked by a woman who wept as she rocked it, in it was an unconscious infant, which would never to know the preciousness of a mother’s love. At the foot of the bed, and on the left side of it, were the mother and sister; on the right side knelt her husband, clasping her hand in his, and weeping as only men can weep.

And then, as they made way for the minister of God, the dying woman roused herself: with her…

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July 31, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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Jul. 31, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama said opponents of the nuclear accord with Iran are “putting the squeeze on Congress” as the administration works to keep supporters in line.

Wages and salaries in the U.S. rose in the second quarter at the slowest pace on record, dashing projections that an improving labor market would boost pay.

Beijing was chosen Friday to host the 2022 Winter Games despite one big hurdle to its candidacy: little natural snow.

The destructive force of a collapse in world coal prices has been underlined by the sale of a mine valued at $624 million three years ago for just a dollar.

The Jeep Cherokee brought to a halt by hackers last week exposed wireless networks as the weakest link in high-tech vehicles, underscoring the need to find fast over-the-air fixes to block malicious intrusions.

The State Department is set to post online its next batch of e-mails that Hillary Clinton sent and received on a personal account while she was secretary of state.

Five Democrats, 17 Republicans in Presidential race.

Facebook Inc.’s plan for connecting rural areas to the Internet involves using balloons to lift drones to an altitude of 90,000 feet, where they will fly for up to three months and transmit information using lasers.

AP Top Stories

The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion was a “foreign poacher” who paid for an illegal hunt and he should be extradited to Zimbabwe to face justice, environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said on Friday.

Malaysian authorities confirmed Friday that plane wreckage washed up on an Indian Ocean island was from a Boeing 777, meaning the part is almost certainly from missing flight MH370. The debris, part of a plane wing, could provide the first tangible clue towards unlocking the mystery surrounding the Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared in March last year with 239 people on board.

At least 100 jihadist fighters have been killed in an operation against Boko Haram Islamists holed up on the islands of Lake Chad, the Chadian army said in a statement Friday.

A senior Iranian official is accusing the U.S. of violating the nuclear deal with his country through comments indicating that the accord would make any attack on Tehran’s atomic program more efficient because it would result in greater insight about potential targets.

MSNBC said Thursday that it is canceling three of its afternoon programs, part of a network-wide shift to a straight news focus during the daytime hours.

Gunmen fired more than 100 shots to kill a police commander Thursday in the capital of Mexico’s troubled southern state of Guerrero, while three other people died in another shootout.

Possible smoke in the cabin forced 146 passengers on AA flight to exit using emergency slides and on Spirit, a landing gear tire caught fire after landing in Orlando.

Two incidents on separate airplanes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport led to evacuations on Thursday, with three people suffering minor injuries on one flight, airport officials said.

A teenage girl suffocated her just-born baby boy before putting his body in a shopping bag, then going on a trip to a Victoria’s Secret store the next day.

In the 17 days since Sandra Bland was found dead from an apparent suicide in her jail cell, four black women have died in police custody in the United States.

Astronomers said Thursday they had found a planetary system with three super-Earths orbiting a bright, dwarf star — one of them likely a volcanic world of molten rock. The four-planet system had been hiding out in the M-shaped, northern hemisphere constellation Cassiopeia, “just” 21 light years from Earth, a team reported.

The newest ocean liner from Costa Cruises will be able to host the population of a small town and, when complete, will nab the title of largest guest capacity ship, capable 6,600 passengers.

More than 7.4 million borrowers were still “seriously” underwater on their mortgages at the end of June, according to RealtyTrac.

BBC

A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has led to 100% protection and could transform the way Ebola is tackled, preliminary results suggest.

The government in El Salvador has provided military and police escorts for bus drivers forced to go on strike by powerful criminal gangs.

HIV can be flushed out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug, researchers show. The cornerstone of treatment, anti-retroviral therapy, kills the virus in the bloodstream but leaves “HIV reservoirs” untouched.

Hundreds of students in Taiwan have stormed the education ministry, protesting against proposed changes to the curriculum. The students want revisions to Taiwan’s textbooks, which they say promote a pro-China view, to be retracted.

France has agreed to pay compensation to Russia for cancelling the sale of two warships.

Israeli police have arrested a man after six people were wounded in a stabbing at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.

WND

A secret NSA map obtained exclusively by NBC News shows the Chinese government’s massive cyber assault on all sectors of the U.S economy, including major firms like Google and Lockheed Martin, as well as the U.S. government and military.

Christians in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province have launched a cross making and wearing campaign amid a year-long “clean-up movement” by the local government to remove exterior church crosses.


Trump Is Hillary’s Best Friend – His Record of Support for Liberal Causes Has Eluded Media Scrutiny
Hillary Clinton has long had good reason to like Donald Trump. The real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned-Republican presidential candidate was a major donor to her campaigns for the Senate. He also gave $100,000 to the thinly-disguised political slush fund that is the Clinton Family Foundation, bestowing on himself the unique status as both a potential Hillary opponent and an enabler of the Clinton Cash scandals.

‘Third World War would be last for humanity’ – Duma speaker
“World War III would be the last for the humanity. And strengthening of Russia’s defense potential, including the budgetary decisions passed by the State Duma is done only for one purpose, which is to prevent the war,” Naryshkin stated in a major interview with Izvestia daily, published on Thursday in connection with the anniversary of Russia’s joining WWI on Serbia’s side.

Op-Ed: The Middle East They Wanted
Like so much that has been done by the Obama administration, including the diplomatic recognition of Cuba, the agreement demonstrates how safe it is to be America’s enemy. The administration’s policies toward Israel and Ukraine demonstrate how risky it is to be America’s ally.

Hamas Calls for All Arabs to Attack ‘All Soldiers, Settlers’
Hamas leader in Judea-Samaria calls ‘all soldiers, settlers legitimate targets’ after arson and before attacks – all amid ceasefire talks.

CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION
NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 31st when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field.

5.0-magnitude earthquake hits Pakistan
An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit parts of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Friday afternoon, the MET office said. The earthquake jolted Jacobabad and Sukkur districts and its adjoining areas, said the report.

California Drought Could Wipe Cities Off Map If Their Water Runs Out
The epicenter of California’s drought crisis is in the Central Valley, where there are growing fears the drought could wipe entire towns off of the map. Wells are going dry, jobs are harder to come by and families are already moving, either to different states or even Mexico in search of work. “It’s dire, it’s dire here, it’s dire straits,” said Antonio Alvarez.

4.4-magnitude earthquake felt across Dead Sea
The tremor, which measured 4.4 on the Richter scale, struck at 5:39 a.m, according to the Israel Geophysical Institute, which monitors seismic activity. There were no reports of damage or injuries in Israel or Jordan. The epicenter was in the southern area of the Dead Sea, several kilometers inside the part of the sea controlled by Jordan.

Earthquake detected in east Mediterranean, frightens locals in south Turkey
A 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit the east Mediterranean at 01:00 am local time (10:00 pm GMT) on July 30th, terrifying locals in Turkey’s southern provinces.

Cecil The Lion Stirs More Outrage Than Abortion Mogul Cecile The Lyin’
Society has a funny way of deciding when to express outrage. Millions of innocent humans (aka pregnancy tissue) are slaughtered, and their fully intact body parts are sold. Crickets. A single lion, which was unknown to most of us, gets hunted for sport. International drama.

Planned Parenthood Received Millions of Dollars After Lobbying Clinton’s State Department
Planned Parenthood lobbied the Department of State many times during Hillary Clinton’s tenure there and received tens of millions of dollars from foreign policy agencies over the past few years, according to a new report. As secretary of state, Clinton attacked the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funding of abortion overseas.

Swarms of Locusts Trigger State of Emergency in Southern Russia
Thousands of locusts swarming the Russian village Achikulak in Stavropol krai are destroying crops, according to local reports . The Ministry of Agriculture of Stravropol Territory reported that swarms of migratory locusts in the south of Russia began on July 20 and have since spread to cover an area of about 90,000 hectares, leading officials to declare a state of emergency in three regions.

‘Abortion pill’ legalised in Canada
Canadian health authorities have approved the drug RU-486, commonly known as the abortion pill. The pill, a combination of misoprostol and mifepristone, had been pending approval by Health Canada since 2012. It has been in use in the United States since 2000 and in France since 1988.

Chad reintroduces death penalty for acts of terror
MPs in Chad have voted to reinstate the death penalty for acts of terrorism six months after it was abolished. The unanimous vote by 146 of the 189 members of parliament present followed recent attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants from neighbouring Nigeria. Officials in the mainly Muslim nation have already banned the full Islamic veil in response to suicide bombings.

Hamas: ‘Every Israeli is now a legitimate target’ following Duma terror attack
Hamas said Friday that every Israeli is now a legitimate target following the deadly terror attack in the village of Duma in which a Palestinian toddler was killed, Israel Radio reported. In an official message to the public, Hamas also called for a “day of rage” to protest the deadly terror attack and “in order to protect al-Aksa mosque.”

New Report Confirms Findings of Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) member Clare Lopez, believes that in 2011 Hillary Clinton’s State Department was orchestrating its own gun running operation to the Libyan rebels—and that arms dealer Marc Turi has been set up to take the fall for these “illicit arms deals.”

Zionist Chief: Obama Has ‘Shocking Sympathy to Radical Islam’
President Barack Obama has “a painful, unpleasant, shocking sympathy to radical Islam,” Morton Klein, president of Zionist Organization of America and former economist for Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, tells Newsmax TV.

Al-Qaida kills 6 captured Yemeni rebels north of Aden
Al-Qaida fighters have publicly shot to death six Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, in a town north of Aden, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said Thursday. The witnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said al-Qaida made the captured Houthi fighters, who were in their early 20s, kneel and kiss their hands before shooting them Wednesday afternoon in Dar Saad.

Greece’s Tsipras prevails over rebels at party meeting
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has defeated a bid by dissenters in his left-wing Syriza party to push for an end to bailout talks and an exit from the euro currency.

India ‘to overtake China’s population by 2022′ – UN
A new UN study of global population trends predicts that India will overtake China to become the world’s most populous nation by 2022. The report also says that Nigeria will replace the US as the world’s third most populous country by around 2050.

Religious assailant attacks Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, wounding six
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stabbed and wounded six participants, two of them seriously, in the annual Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, with police saying the suspect was jailed for a similar attack 10 years ago.

Afghan Taliban name a new leader, but peace talks delayed
The Taliban have chosen late supreme leader Mullah Omar’s longtime deputy to replace him, two militant commanders said on Thursday, as Pakistan announced that peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government had been postponed.

70,000 Liberian births unrecorded in Ebola crisis: UNICEF
More than 70,000 Liberian babies were born without being registered as the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaged the impoverished west African nation, leaving them without healthcare and vulnerable to trafficking, UNICEF said Friday.


Headlines – 7/31/2015

Putin to Netanyahu: Iran deal will improve security in the Middle East

Iran says it will ban US experts from UN nuclear inspections

White House Says IAEA Will Release Report on ‘Past Military Dimensions’ of Iran Nuclear Program

GOP Rep. Rohrabacher proposes bill authorizing Obama to detain Iranian officials

Obama urges supporters to lobby for Iran deal

Iran: Obama Admin Lying About Nuclear Deal for ‘Domestic Consumption’

McCain: ‘Absolutely astounding’ that US hasn’t seen Iran side deal

Top French Official Contradicts Kerry on Iran Deal

Netanyahu: John Kerry ‘Has No Reason to Come Here’

Israel readies Iron Dome on Lebanon border as Hezbollah anticipates arms from Iran

Israel slams Amnesty report accusing IDF of war crimes

‘Abbas significantly contributing to stability’ in West Bank, senior security source says

Joint List says Israel’s force-feeding law ‘authorizes torture of Palestinian prisoners’

Palestinian baby dies in fire ‘started by Israeli settlers’

Netanyahu on Duma attack: Israel deals harshly with terror, no matter the perpetrator

IDF head Eisenkot holds emergency security meeting following Duma terror attack

Hamas: ‘Every Israeli is now a legitimate target’ following Duma terror attack

Erekat calls on international community to protect Palestinians from Israelis after toddler killed

Arabs Destroy Holocaust Survivor Site in Land Grab Attempt

Survivors appeal to Pope to intercede with Germany over Holocaust reparations

Foreign Ministry calls Sunni Arab states ‘Israel’s allies’

Iraqi MP: ‘Iraq should establish ties with Israel, we share interests’

Islamic State Threatens to Behead Statue of Liberty, Extend Its Territory to New York City

Cheating evil: Chechen women con ISIS by posing as wannabe terror brides

Al-Qaida kills 6 captured Yemeni rebels north of Aden

Blast kills at least 5 in Nigeria market – police, rescue worker

Zionist Chief: Obama Has ‘Shocking Sympathy to Radical Islam’

China, Russia to hold military drills in Sea of Japan

UK terror suspect allegedly tried to buy enough ricin to kill 1400

Alaska Airlines test program replaces boarding passes with fingerprints

CISA: the dirty deal between Google and the NSA that no one is talking about

Facebook wants to offer Internet service to remote areas by drone

Feds: 664,607 illegals granted amnesty, some linked to terrorism, gangs

Puerto Rico nears default as debt restructuring beckons

IMF will refuse to join Greek bailout until debt relief demands are met

Prepare for gold prices to plunge…as low as $350

‘Blue Moon’ To Grace Skies Friday In Rare Phenomenon

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near the Kermadec Islands region

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Raoul Island, New Zealand

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kerman, Iran

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Israel, No Injuries, Damage Reported

Papua New Guinea’s Manam volcano erupts, sending ash 65,000 feet into air

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 15,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Suwanosejima volcano in Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Piton De La Fournaise volcano in the Indian Ocean erupts to 10,000ft

Deadly monsoon landslides spotlight Nepal’s post-quake challenges

Tropical Storm Guillermo quickly intensifies east of Hawaii

Tropical Storm Soudelor tracking toward Marianas

Heavy Flooding Swamps City in Russia

At least 26 dead in flash floods in western India

Iran city hits suffocating heat index of 154 degrees, near world record

Record-Challenging Heat Wave Bakes Seattle and Portland, Oregon

Astonishing drought unveils lost towns that have sat submerged under Lake Mead for decades

Northern California wildfire forces hundreds to flee

Drones impede air battle against California wildfires. ‘If you fly we can’t,’ pleads firefighter

Jeb: Humans contribute to climate change

Sierra Leone faces Ebola setback; 500 under quarantine

70,000 Liberian births unrecorded in Ebola crisis: UNICEF

4th Video Catches Planned Parenthood VP Discussing How to Break the Law to Sell Aborted Babies

Planned Parenthood Abortionist Talks ‘Intact Specimens’ in 4th Undercover Video: Look, ‘It’s a Baby… It’s Another Boy’

Call it ‘research,’ not ‘business,’ Planned Parenthood doc says in latest sting video

Planned Parenthood president: These extremist videos are nothing short of an attack on women

Indiana Clears Planned Parenthood of Wrongdoing After Videos

Planned Parenthood Received Millions of Dollars After Lobbying Clinton’s State Department

Planned Parenthood backlash could fuel new shutdown standoff in DC

Abortion opponents plan nationwide Planned Parenthood protest

Man stabs six people at Jerusalem gay pride parade; suspect carried out similar attack in 2005

Jerusalem stabber’s letter week before attack: ‘Stopping gay pride march is a test from God’

Hours before stabbing: Lehava accuses homosexuals of harming Jewish nation

Netanyahu: Justice will be dealt to Jerusalem gay pride parade attacker

Rivlin on gay pride parade attack: A lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster

Erdan: Stabbing attack at Jerusalem gay pride is ‘hate crime that cannot be forgiven’

Education Minister Bennett announces extra funds for LGBT youth

‘Exorcism: Live!’ to air on TV in October

Pope Warns of ‘Genocide’ As Persecution Of Christians Rises Worldwide

Less than a fifth of Americans believe the US is a Christian nation

Mississippi school district fined $7500 for opening assembly with prayer

‘What lion?’ Zimbabweans ask, amid global Cecil circus

‘Another boy!’ Planned Parenthood staff sifts through aborted ‘baby parts’ in new tape

Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?

Driscolls Comeback Continues – Sheds Tears in Softball Interview with Brian Houston

Priest performs exorcism from a helicopter to banish evil from Italian town

‘Exorcism’ at public park caught on camera

Exorcism to Air on Live TV

Orthodox Jew stabs six people at Jerusalem gay pride march

Palestinian infant killed in apparent Jewish arson attack

‘Shadow council’ speaker pushes Church acceptance of contraception, gay sex


Daily Digest

July 31, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism.” —James Monroe, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama ‘Recovery’ Even Worse Than Thought

The status quo remains unchanged. Newly released figures from the Commerce Department show that in the second quarter — encompassing the months of April, May and June — the U.S. economy grew by just 2.3%, while first quarter growth was adjusted to 0.6%. No matter how you spin it, this isn’t progress. In fact, GDP so far in 2015 trails 2014, a year that continued the trend of underperformance. But there was another interesting aspect to the report that is being largely ignored. “The second-quarter report is the first to include new methodology meant to make GDP more accurate,” explains MarketWatch. “Over the past several years GDP has slightly underestimated growth in the first quarter and sharply overestimated growth in the third quarter, leading to big swings that confused Wall Street and Washington.” After taking into account the new methodology, the results are even less stellar: “Under the new approach, the government has found that the U.S. economy grew somewhat slower from 2012 to 2014: An average of 2% a year instead of 2.3%. That means the slowest recovery since the end of World War II is even weaker than previously believed.” The Obama “Recovery” was never as robust as this administration has consistently claimed, as further underscored by new government figures. Maybe that’s why so many Millennials are living at home.

By Popular Demand: Worthwhile Revisions to AP History Exam

Finally, some good news for a change. The College Board, the nonprofit organization that administers AP exams to high school students, has announced yet another revision to its history framework. But this time it’s for the better. Previously, the College Board painted American history in far too negative a light, emphasizing our nation’s sins while ignoring or minimizing its uniqueness and greatness. Some Founders, such as Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson and Constitution writer James Madison, were mentioned; that’s it — mentioned. But they were taught as examples of Western class, gender and racial evil. And while teachers could choose to teach the Constitution as it’s written, they would disadvantage their students by doing so because the real Constitution wasn’t on the test. After numerous scholars objected in an open letter, however, the College Board worked to make revisions. Neglected Founders are back, and there’s even a new section on the concept of “American exceptionalism.” A College Board official insisted they meant no harm, and that American exceptionalism was previously omitted because they assumed they didn’t need to spell it out. We don’t buy it, and the changes don’t go nearly far enough, but perhaps the episode proves that strong, principled voices on the Right can make a difference.

Lessons From the 50th of Medicare and Medicaid

Massive unfunded debt is not what the progressive politicians who created Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago this week told the country their programs would bring. The “Great Society” was supposed to banish poverty from the land while providing care for the elderly and disabled. Today, over a third of the U.S. population is on Medicare and Medicaid, and federal spending has a tendency to be sucked into the programs’ gaping maws. Today, more than quarter of every dollar the federal government spends goes to the two programs. They are also the biggest expense for state governments. But for all that spending, the programs’ trust fund is on track to run out of money in 15 years. Meanwhile, the Baby Boomer generation is signing up in droves, and $60 billion is lost every year to waste and fraud. This is not what the programs’ architects wanted Americans to think would happen. Fifty years ago, they estimated the programs would cost $12 billion in 1990, but it actually cost the government $90 billion. Another government program, now five years old, also promised to trim health care costs through more government intrusion and regulation. Just wait until ObamaCare turns 10, much less 50.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Big Win: Court Says Public Sector Employees Have Right to Work, Too

By Michael Swartz

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Breaking the union bonds

When Michigan shocked the nation and passed its right-to-work law three years ago, there was no question that Big Labor wouldn’t take it lying down. The tentacles of Big Labor run deep in the state, not only in the obvious automotive-related businesses but also in the state employees organized under the United Auto Workers (UAW) banner. It was on behalf of those workers, who fall under the auspices of the state’s Civil Service Commission, that the UAW filed suit to maintain its hold on the agency fees it has routinely extracted from these workers.

But the move backfired. The Michigan Supreme Court upheld the 2012 right-to-work law even for public-sector employees. The 4-3 decision fell mainly along party lines — five of the seven members of the court are Republicans, and the two Democrats were among the dissenting trio.

The court found, “Although the [Civil Service] Commission had authority over civil service employees’ rates of compensation, conditions of employment, and grievance procedures under [the state Constitution], the Commission’s power to regulate the conditions of employment through public collective bargaining agreements did not encompass the specific authority to tax or appropriate, which generally rested exclusively with the Legislature unless the Constitution affirmatively provided that power to another constitutional body.”

About 36,000 workers are affected by the decision, along with millions of dollars that will stay in the workers’ wallets rather than fattening the coffers of Big Labor. If the trend from other states adopting similar right-to-work provisions holds true, as many as 20,000 of those workers could walk away from the union.

It could also set a precedent for a class-action suit. Patrick Wright, the vice president of legal affairs for Michigan’s Mackinac Center, stated, “The majority correctly noted that state employees unions have illegally been receiving agency fees from state employees for decades.” He added, “Agency fees for state employees have been illegal since the adoption of the 1963 Constitution.” Yet for nearly 50 years the UAW and other unions were basically unchallenged.

In most states, this likely would have been a slam-dunk for worker freedom, but we’re talking about Michigan here. The close decision against the UAW was a bit surprising, and given the cash involved it’s certain the unions will be loaded for bear once the judges who ruled against them come up again on the ballot. (Nor are they likely to give any quarter to the Republican who ruled in their favor.)

Michigan isn’t the only state facing problems with unions. Underfunded pensions are crushing many states. Some experts estimate the liabilities to be somewhere between $1 trillion and $4 trillion.

And despite the legal slap to organized labor in Michigan, their New Jersey counterparts are trying to get their pension shortfalls addressed by Garden State jurists. Facing a budget crunch last year, Gov. Chris Christie backed away from a promise to fully fund the state’s pension fund, and the public sector unions are demanding over $3 billion to fix it. This despite the plain language of the state constitution that prohibits taking on debts of more than 1% of the state’s budget.

The ruse is simple, though. As a Public Employees Retirement System spokesperson said, “We want a judgment answered so we are to the front of the line getting our money before anyone else gets it, because it is our money.” And that’s the way it is to Big Labor. Just ask a former GM or Chrysler bondholder or non-union pensioner how their place in the creditor line worked out for them.

But we’ll take a win where we can get one, and the story out of Michigan is a good step in the right direction.

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Michael Barone: “Republican voters have been seething with discontent toward their party’s officeholders and have not become enchanted with any one of 15 more or less conventional politicians who are running. Democratic voters support their officeholders with lockstep loyalty and seem untroubled by the serious flaws of their party’s clear frontrunner. This asymmetry helps explain some otherwise puzzling things. One is why polls have continued for several years to show the Republican Party being disliked more than the Democratic Party, even as both parties get roughly the same number of votes. The reason is that while virtually no Democrats express negative feelings about their party, many Republicans do. Those negative feelings don’t, however, prevent Republicans from voting, however grudgingly, for their party’s old-timers in general elections. … The asymmetry between the parties’ voters reflects their different media environments. Talk radio, conservative websites and Fox News bristle with criticism of Republican officeholders and complaints about their squishiness. That helps sustain a critical frame of mind and a sense, particularly outside metropolitan centers, that ordinary people’s concerns are being ignored by a manipulative establishment. In contrast, Democrats, who fancy themselves as critical thinkers, are comfortable consumers of ‘mainstream’ media in which their ‘smelly little orthodoxies’ (George Orwell’s term) are rarely challenged. So supposedly docile Republicans increasingly behave like an unruly mob while supposedly freethinking Democrats keep acting like a regimented army. Curious.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” —Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Upright: “Ladies, open your eyes and hearts. Watch the [Planned Parenthood] videos for yourselves. Get the facts. Unmask the lies. The cackling profiteers of Planned Parenthood don’t care about your breasts. They’re too busy putting price tags on the baby hearts, livers, lungs and limbs swirling around in bloody pie plates, stacked in their ‘research’ labs, subsidized with your tax dollars and sold to the highest bidders. For ‘preventative care,’ of course.” —Michelle Malkin

The BIG Lie: “[T]here’s reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic that we have seen from extremists on the Right: To edit this video and selectively release it so that it grossly distorts the position of the person who is actually speaking on the video. Planned Parenthood has indicated that’s what has occurred here.” —Planned Parenthood Obama spokesman Josh Earnest

Braying Jenny: “I am impatient and I sometimes come across as impatient, which is not always attractive, and [I] get really frustrated with people who don’t understand what I think it’s going to take to make our country great tomorrow just like we were yesterday.” —Hillary Clinton on her greatest weakness, which, evidently, is Americans opposed to her being president

Non Compos Mentis: “I’m confident because of the nature of the [Iran] agreement. This is a diplomatic masterpiece.” —Nancy Pelosi

Late-night humor: “A recent study shows that standing at work for long periods of time is bad for you, after earlier research indicated that sitting for too long at work is bad for you. So really the only thing we know is, work is bad for you.” —Jimmy Fallon

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.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”



July 30, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Time magazine is out with a colorful and glossy “Inside the New Cuba” special edition, featuring smiling Cuban kids wearing Communist garb on the cover. Page 64 has a photo showing “Cuban fans” holding up “their national flag” at a baseball game. It turns out that the really happy Cubans are those who have been defecting from the island “paradise,” as Time magazine calls the prison camp country… (more)

July 30, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday that the U.S. government will not be revealing to the American people the contents of “secret side deals” made with Iran on its nuclear enrichment program…. (more)


July 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has doubled-down on his biting criticism of a nuclear pact with Iran, reiterating his charge that if the deal is enacted, it will give Iran a $50 billion signing bonus that Tehran will use to fund terrorism…. (more)

July 30, 2015
GREG COROMBOS — Congressional Republicans are headed toward summer recess in turmoil, and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says it’s because Republican leaders are acting like big-spending liberals and conservatives have had enough of it…. (more)

July 30, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — House Speaker John A. Boehner shrugged off an attempted conservative coup Wednesday, calling it “no big deal,” but the rebellion threatens to drown out Republicans’ message during Congress’ upcoming summer vacation and could stymy GOP plans for a big finish for 2015…. (more)

July 30, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Could the aborted baby parts tapes actually be the undoing of Planned Parenthood, one of the very institutional foundations of the modern “progressive” movement? Could they actually inflict real damage to other “progressive” movements, institutions, parties and politicians?… (more)

July 29, 2015
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON — President Obama told the African Union Tuesday that he felt he had been a “pretty good” president and if he were allowed to run for a third term, he’d probably be victorious. Obama made the remarks while criticizing leaders on the continent who wouldn’t step aside at the conclusion of their terms…. (more)


July 29, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Tea party champion Rep. Mark Meadows filed a motion Tuesday to oust House Speaker John A. Boehner from his leadership post, escalating the feud between a faction of conservative lawmakers and the Republican leadership…. (more)


July 29, 2015
NATIONAL REVIEW — Two encouraging signs from CNN this morning… First, check out these poll numbers on the Iran deal: “Most say they would like to see Congress reject it. Overall, 52 percent say Congress should reject the deal, 44 percent say it should be approved.”… (more)

July 29, 2015
NEWSMAX — A decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay leaders was met with indignation by the largest U.S. Protestant group on Tuesday along with criticism from a leading gay rights group that the move did not go far enough…. (more)


July 29, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — A third undercover video sparked new outrage Tuesday by following the money behind the fetal-organ supply chain, starting with Planned Parenthood, and prompting GOP presidential candidates to raise the pressure on the group’s federal and corporate funding…. (more)


July 29, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Commissioners in Rowan County, North Carolina, have gone to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to preserve their tradition of opening meetings with prayer, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a similar case that affirmed the practice…. (more)

July 29, 2015
BILL FEDERER — “Americans combine…Christianity and…liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other” – – Tocqueville Alexis de Tocqueville was born July 29, 1805…. (more)

July 29, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — The IRS sent one of its intrusive scrutiny letters to a nonprofit group in order to throw up a smokescreen and prevent the group from complaining to Congress about poor treatment, according to one of Lois G. Lerner’s apparently lost emails, which were recovered by auditors and released by an interest group Tuesday…. (more)

July 29, 2015
NEWSMAX — Last summer, Dr. William Thompson, a senior epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, admitted that he had helped the CDC hide data from a study which linked the MMR vaccine to autism. Holistic doctor David Brownstein tells Newsmax Health the CDC is still not owning up to Dr. Thompson’s charges that they found data that links the vaccine to a spike in autism. “The CDC is still not coming clean,” Dr. Brownstein says. “They want to keep it quiet, but it’s time the cover-up ended.”… (more)


July 28, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Leaders of Boy Scouts of America voted – – and ratified – – a proposal to change its adult membership policy to admit gay and lesbian adults as leaders, employees and volunteers…. (more)

July 28, 2015
WEEKLY STANDARD — Asked directly by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether she would vote to support President Obama’s Iran deal, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz demurred, saying: “I am in the middle of really reviewing it and looking at all of the moving parts to the Iran deal… (more)

July 28, 2015
BREITBART — The Iran deal will provide Iran with a cash windfall as sanctions are eased and assets are unfrozen. The total amount is estimated to be as high as $150 billion. If so, the Iran deal would give more cash to Iran than the $124.3 billion U.S. has given in total aid to Israel since 1948…. (more)

July 28, 2015
NEWSMAX — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Monday refused to back down from his comments comparing the Iran nuclear deal to the Holocaust, even as some of his former co-workers at Fox News Channel chided him over it…. (more)


July 28, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own disability payments – – a move the NRA is calling the “largest gun grab in American history.”… (more)


July 28, 2015
NEWSMAX — Donald Trump’s poll numbers are continuing to climb “because the people of this country are understandably fed up” with Republican leaders who don’t stand up for conservative principles, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said Monday…. (more)


July 28, 2015
NEWSMAX — House Speaker John Boehner has failed to advance conservative policies and allowed President Barack Obama to drive the agenda and, therefore, must be driven from his position of power, Citizens United President David Bossie writes in an op-ed on Breitbart.com…. (more)

July 28, 2015
GARTH KANT — Just days after publicly calling the majority leader a liar on the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has upped the stakes in his war on GOP brass by accusing Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of spearheading the effort to keep taxpayer funds going to Planned Parenthood…. (more)


July 28, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Even as public horror over the abortion industry surges in reaction to videos revealing Planned Parenthood executives negotiating the prices of the body parts of unborn babies, another development is emerging that could impact abortion in a much more fundamental way…. (more)

 


Liberals Silent As It’s Shown The #1 Killer Of Blacks In America Is Planned Parenthood

Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” is alive and well, with over 76% of all Planned Parenthood facilities located in the poorest, inner-city neighborhoods where there is a large black population.

“Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.”  – Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

“The most obvious practitioner of racism in the United States today is Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger and recently documented as ready to accept money to eliminate black babies” – Dr. Alveda King

On average, 1,876 black babies are aborted in abortion mills across America every day, with the majority of those abortions being performed by Planned Parenthood. It has been estimated that since 1973 black women have had about 16 million abortions. Current black population in the US is about 36 million, so the missing 16 million black babies means that without abortion, the black population would be 36% larger than what it is today.

planned-parenthood-targets-black-babies-margaret-sanger-kkk

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn’t that genocide?

Did you know that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” Is her vision being fulfilled today? Sure looks like it is.

Margaret Sanger creates “The Negro Project”

In 1926, Sanger spoke at a meeting hosted by the women’s auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey. Following the invitation, Sanger describes her elation after receiving multiple speaking requests from white supremacy groups. She writes of the experience on page 366 of her book, An Autobiography:

“I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan … I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses … I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak … In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.”

Like Adolf Hitler, Sanger believed strongly in a master race of humans, a white master race of genetically-superior humans to rule the planet. And the means by which this would accomplish is called Eugenics, the science of “weeding out” the inferior to  make room for the superior. Eugenics is just a fancy word for genocide. About this, Sanger said this:

“By all means, there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders. In the case of the mother, heart disease, kidney trouble and pelvic deformities are also a serious bar to childbearing No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective.” (“Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 7).

The Negro Project was initiated in 1939 by Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. It was a collaborative effort between the American Birth Control League and Sanger’s Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. Her goal was to greatly reduce the growing population of black babies through birth control, sterilization and abortion. In her book, “The Pivot Of Civilization“, Sanger wrote that blacks were “…human weeds, reckless breeders, spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

Sanger realized her need to cover her bases lest people got wise to what her true intentions were, and wrote this in 1939:

“It seems to me from my experience…that while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts. We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939 (read the whole letter here)

We invite you to Google for yourself the incredible and shocking true history of the racist organization known as Planned Parenthood. Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” is alive and well, with over 76% of all Planned Parenthood facilities located in the poorest, inner-city neighborhoods where there is a large black population. Everything reported in this article is verifiable truth, but it is only a meager percentage of the truth about the sinister roots of the racist, baby-killing organization known as Planned Parenthood.

‘Exorcism’ at public park caught on camera

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 05:46 AM PDT

Witnesses say three people performed an exorcism at a public park in Texas on Thursday morning. “They start getting louder and louder,” witness Sherri Jackson said. “She was on the ground and they were standing over her with hands on her and screaming ‘Satan, I demand that you depart,’ and it went on and on.

 

KMOV.com
It was very bizarre.” Jackson says she normally starts her day at the park, called Memorial Gardens, with a perusal of the Bible and a quick prayer, but this day was just a little different.“No Bible was read, no prayer, because it got a little too crazy,” she said. Eyewitnesses who were at the park during the incident say the three were originally sitting on a bench, but they eventually moved to the ground in front of a pond. “Jesus can heal anybody but it’s just not something you expect to see at the duck pond, but I’m glad to know everybody’s OK,” Jackson said. MORE

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Secret NSA map shows China cyber attacks on U.S. targets

Posted: 31 Jul 2015 05:41 AM PDT

A secret NSA map obtained exclusively by NBC News shows the Chinese government’s massive cyber assault on all sectors of the U.S economy, including major firms like Google and Lockheed Martin, as well as the U.S. government and military. The map uses red dots to mark more than 600 corporate, private or government “Victims of Chinese Cyber Espionage” that were attacked over a five-year period, with clusters in America’s industrial centers. The entire Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston is blanketed in red, as is California’s Silicon Valley, with other concentrations in Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, L.A. and Detroit.

The highest number of attacks was in California, which had almost 50.Each dot represents a successful Chinese attempt to steal corporate and military secrets and data about America’s critical infrastructure, particularly the electrical power and telecommunications and internet backbone. And the prizes that China pilfered during its “intrusions” included everything from specifications for hybrid cars to formulas for pharmaceutical products to details about U.S. military and civilian air traffic control systems, according to intelligence sources. MORE

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Iran city hits suffocating heat index of 154 degrees, near world record

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 08:43 PM PDT

Wherever you live or happen to travel to, never complain about the heat and humidity again. In the city of Bandar Mahshahr (population of about 110,000 as of 2010), the air felt like a searing 154 degrees (67.8 Celsius) today, factoring in the humidity. Its actual air temperature was 109 degrees (42.8 Celsius) with an astonishing dew point temperature of 90 (32.2 Celsius).

(If you use NOAA’s calculator, that actually computes to a heat index of 159 degrees). Bandar Mahshahr sits adjacent to the Persian Gulf in southwest Iran where water temperatures are in the 90s. Such high temperatures lead to some of the most oppressive humidity levels in the world when winds blow off the water. MORE

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Israel’s Dead Sea Is Disappearing At A Shockingly Fast Rate

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 05:35 PM PDT

THE SURFACE AND SHORES OF THE DEAD SEA ARE 1,388 FT BELOW SEA LEVEL, MAKING IT LITERALLY THE LOWEST POINT ON EARTH

“All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.” Genesis 14:3 

Roads, caravans and power lines are being swallowed up by giant sinkholes appearing at a rapid rate because the Dead Sea is shrinking from Israeli shores in a man-made phenomenon. Hundreds of sinkholes, some the size of a basketball court and some two storeys deep, are wreaking havoc by devouring land where the shoreline once stood.

A neglected grove of date palms line a section of a two-lane desert road – a main north-south artery that cuts through Israel and the Palestinian West Bank – that was shut down six months ago when a gaping hole opened up beneath the asphalt. Workers had stopped tending the date grove, fearing the earth might swallow them up. Once a rarity, hundreds of new sinkholes are appearing every year, and the rate is expected to rise.

Officials have not come up with a figure for the extent of the damage, but power lines have been downed and caravans and bungalows swallowed. On at least one occasion, hikers were injured falling into one of the pits. MORE

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UN: Gov’t Must Control Private Schools Because of “Human Rights”

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 04:25 PM PDT

The United Nations wants its member states, mostly dictatorships and repressive regimes, to clamp down hard on educational freedom under the guise of “human rights.” Concerned that students in private schools around the world are not receiving sufficient doses of globalist indoctrination prescribed by various global agreements, the dictator-dominated UN “Human Rights Council” passed aresolution this month calling on governments worldwide to “monitor” and “regulate” non-government education. Governments and dictators should also impose “standards” on private schools, the UN bureaucrats and government representatives said in the deeply controversial document.

Incredibly, the resolution even speaks of “protecting education from commercialization.” What it really means, of course, is protecting government-run monopoly “education” from competition by superior providers. After all, why would parents spend money on a private school if the tax-funded “education” provided by government was just as good or better? Obviously they would not. So what the UN pseudo-human rights bureaucracy is really saying is governments must prevent parents from choosing better alternatives. Of course, following the prescriptions outlined by Karl Marx, some members of the UN body actually ban any forms of non-government-run education already. MORE

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University of New Hampshire: Using the Word “American” is Offensive

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 01:28 PM PDT

Using the words “American,” “obese,” “normal,” “mothering,” “fathering,” “homosexual,” “illegal alien,” and “senior citizens,” is offensive and should be discouraged, according to a “Bias-Free Language Guide” posted on the University of New Hampshire website. The guide, first uncovered by Campus Reform, “is meant to invite inclusive excellence in [the] campus community.” The word “American” is “problematic” according to the guide because it “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside [the continents of North and South America].” Calling people “illegal aliens” is also politically incorrect, with the preferred term for undocumented immigrants being “person seeking asylum,” or “refugee,” while the word “foreigner” is discouraged and replaced with “international people.” More banned words and phrases include;

– “Caucasian (replaced with “European-American individuals”);

– “Mothering” and “fathering” (replaced with “parenting” and “nurturing” so as to “avoid gendering a non-gendered activity”);

– “Homosexual” (replaced with “gay,” “lesbian,” “same gender loving”);

– “Obese” or “overweight” (replaced with “people of size”);

– Saying a person is “poor” (replaced with “person who lacks advantages that others have”);

– Saying the word “healthy” because it’s offensive to disabled people, who can’t be called disabled, they must be called a “person who is wheelchair mobile”). MORE

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Iran to build 4 reactors within a decade

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 01:23 PM PDT

Iran intends to construct at least four new nuclear plants in the country within a decade, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Tuesday.Ali Akbar Salehi briefed the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on the details of the nuclear deal reached with the P5+1 on July 14, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

According to committee spokesman Nozar Shafi’i, Salehi said that Iran needed to find new sources of natural uranium and has already surveyed 60 percent of the country to that end, Iran’s Arabic al-Alam news service reported on Wednesday.Salehi also praised the agreement signed with the superpowers for enabling Iran to develop its “peaceful” technological capabilities in ways that were previously impossible. MORE

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Iran says will ban US experts from UN nuclear inspections

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 01:18 PM PDT

Iran will not allow American or Canadian inspectors working for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to visit its nuclear facilities, an official said in remarks broadcast by state TV on Thursday. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said Iran will only allow inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with it. The previously undisclosed remarks were made during a Sunday meeting with parliamentarians.

“American and Canadian inspectors cannot be sent to Iran,” said Araghchi. “It is mentioned in the deal that inspectors should be from countries that have diplomatic relations with Islamic republic of Iran.” He also said inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will not have access to “sensitive and military documents.” Iran and world powers reached a historical deal earlier this month aimed at curbing Tehran’s disputed nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. Western nations have long suspected Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian atomic program, allegations denied by Tehran, which insists its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful. MORE

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Russia and China are building hypersonic missiles and it’s ‘complicating’ things for the US

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 01:07 PM PDT

China and Russia are developing maneuvering high-speed strike vehicles that pose new threats to the United States, U.S. Strategic Command leaders said Wednesday. Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Strategic Command’s (Stratcom) senior leader, said during remarks at a nuclear deterrence conference that despite arms control efforts, hypersonic weapons are among several threatening strategic trends emerging in the world.

China has conducted four flight tests of a 7,000 mile-per-hour maneuvering strike vehicle, and Russia is developing high-speed weapons and reportedly tested a hypersonic weapon in February. “Nation states continue to develop and modernize their nuclear weapon capabilities,” Haney said. “Nuclear and non-nuclear nations are prepared to employ cyber, counter-space, and asymmetric capabilities as options for achieving their objectives during crisis and conflict, and new technologies such as hypersonic glide vehicles are being developed, complicating our sensing and defensive approaches.” MORE

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Plagues of Locusts Darken Skies, Threaten Crops in Southern Russia

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 12:56 PM PDT

Plagues of locusts are swarming large areas of southern Russia, threatening thousands of acres of crops and in some places darkening the skies. A video shot by a local man in Achikulak, a village in the Stavropol region, shows thousands of the bugs swarming towards a church. Other videos, screened by local TV channels, showed clouds of locusts flying overhead. “It was very frightening,” Lubov Timus, a local woman who lives in Achikulak, told ABC News. “Some were as big as your finger! They came like a clouds.”

The waves of locusts began around July 20, according to Stavropol’s regional agricultural ministry. Vasilii Yegorov, a deputy agricultural minister, told ABC News that locusts appear in the region every year but normally they are able to exterminate them before they hatch. This year though, Yegorov said, locusts had migrated from neighboring Russian regions, meaning authorities were unable to halt them easily, threatening what is one of Russia’s major farming areas. MORE

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The Sanctuary Scandal

 
Donald Trump’s unorthodox campaign has performed a public service by shining the national spotlight on the problem of “sanctuary cities” which shelter illegal aliens from deportation. The tragedy of Kate Steinle, who died in the arms of her father after being shot by an illegal alien, is that her death was preventable, yet officials have defiantly defended their sanctuary policies. It wasn’t only the City and County of San Francisco that released the seven-times-convicted, five-times-deported Mexican who killed Kate Steinle; Obama’s ICE let him go, too. ICE has released many thousands of…
 

Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, July 31, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Did Gov. Bobby Jindal Censor Westboro Baptist’s Free Speech?

Wheaton College Ends Student Health Coverage over Birth Control Objections

Pentecostal Snake Handler Dies after Being Bitten in Church

Police Complicit in Attack on Christians in West Delhi, India

Oklahoma Supreme Court Says Ten Commandment Monument Must Go

Christian Mother of 3 Kidnapped, Forced into ‘Islamic Marriage’

Candace Cameron Bure Shares How She Stayed Sane in Hollywood

Court Bans Pro-Life Group from Releasing More Planned Parenthood Videos

Chris Brown Hears God Speak, Says He’s Tired of Satan Ruining His Life

No Proof Bob Jones University Violated Sex Crime Reporting Laws

Opinion

Let Cecil the Lion’s Death Shine Light on Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Abuses

Are Gay Rights Now Civil Rights?

17 Books to Read for the Rest of the Summer

Jon Stewart Secretly Visited White House Twice

What is Planned Parenthood Hiding?


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?


“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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July 31, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Cecil the Lion

But in the grand scheme of wickedness, the death of a lion – even a lion called Cecil — barely registers on the most sensitive Richter scale.  The pathetic tears of a Kimmel and the predictable verbal violence of the hashtag wielding rent-a-mobs of the internet merely witness to the complete lack of any real moral compass and proportion in modern society.  It no doubt makes them all feel good and righteous to stand up for a lion.

Read more


It’s Not Dixie’s Fault

These crude regional stereotypes ignore the deep roots such social ills have in our shared national history and culture. If, somehow, the South became its own country, the Northeast would still be a hub of racially segregated housing and schooling, the West would still be a bastion of prejudicial laws that put immigrants and black residents behind bars at higher rates than their white neighbors and the Midwest would still be full of urban neighborhoods devastated by unemployment, poverty and crime. How our social problems manifest regionally is a matter of degree, not kind — they infect every region of the country.

Read More


How Reading Can Transform Your Health

Grothaus’s life was in a rut…until he read War and Peace. Its 1500 pages took him two months to conquer and immediately became his favorite book because of how it changed him. “It’s  almost impossible to explain why,” he says “but after reading it I felt more confident in myself, less uncertain about my future…As weird as it sounds, reading War and Peace put me back in control of my life—and that’s why it’s my favorite book.”

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Now is the Time For Outrage

For my more progressive fellow pastors, now is not the time for missional quietude over abortion. Now is the time for outrage. Now is the time for public disgust. Slavery would never have been abolished through missional conversations. Public outrage was necessary to bring the whole sinful enterprise crashing down. The same public outrage must be brought to bear on abortion. If it will help, perhaps you can imagine that Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, is a fan of Dukes of Hazzard and refuses to drink fair trade coffee.

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Are We Called to Preach the Gospel or Preach the Word?

We, too, live in a time when certain churches and certain movements are strongly emphasizing being Gospel-centered and emphasizing that pastors need to clearly preach the Gospel every Sunday. Now, I am fully in favor of being Gospel-centered, and I hope and pray that I do preach the Gospel every Lord’s Day morning. But that’s not the same thing as having every sermon be a “Gospel sermon” or a completely evangelistic sermon or basically the same sermon in different packaging.

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The Brave New World of Childhood Indoctrination

Although Jennings often frames her style as “helping them understand a different point of view exists,” “setting up conversations,” and “modelling non-judgmental thinking,” she authoritatively interjects into her students’ conversations establishing what is right and wrong. She does this despite her “work to help children understand that just because someone thinks something different from you, it’s not a reason to be mean or dominate the conversation, but a chance to expand on what you know.” Perhaps she should take a turn listening to the wisdom of four-year-olds.

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Wheaton College Refuses to Bow to Caesar’s Demands

It is indeed regrettable that some students will be without health insurance coverage. And some students and alumni are already blaming the school. But the loss of the health insurance is the fault of the Obama administration, not the administration at Wheaton. The college has repeatedly asked for a compromise that would not require them to violate their religious beliefs—and the federal government has repeatedly refused to concede to such a reasonable request.

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More Horror from the Planned Parenthood Death Cult

With the fourth undercover video now out on Planned Parenthood and it despicable trade in baby parts, and ten American state investigations and three federal congressional investigations underway, this whole appalling episode is certainly heating up.

All up there are supposed to be twelve such videos that will be released. Given that I have now penned four articles on the first four videos, I will likely have another eight articles at least to come. And why not? This is the story of the decade.

But you wouldn’t know it by the mainstream media coverage – or lack thereof. They are avoiding the most explosive and morally significant story in years. Because the MSM is overwhelmingly secular left and pro-abortion, all we get from them is crickets chirping.

As one alternative media site writes:

America’s anchors have spoken: the shooting of one lion vastly outweighs the trafficking of baby parts by a taxpayer-funded abortion giant. In other words, the broadcast news shows spent more time in one day on Cecil the Lion than they did on the Planned Parenthood videos in two weeks.
The three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC and CBS censored the third video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting aborted baby parts — censored it at Planned Parenthood’s urging. But the news shows did find more than 14 minutes for a more important story: the “outrage” over the shooting of Cecil, a famed African lion, by an American dentist.

It seem that the only way we will get some coverage here is if PP kills baby lions and harvests and sells their parts for profit. If the MSM refuses to cover the far more important story, then I will keep on speaking out about this. And the fourth video is another real doozey.

One write-up puts it this way:

Workers in a lab are seen sorting through body parts on a dish: a heart, stomach, kidney, and legs.
And then a medical assistant suddenly announces: “It’s another boy!”
This is just a little of the macabre and heart-wrenching footage in the newest undercover video showing alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood, released Thursday morning.
Workers in a lab are seen sorting through body parts on a dish: a heart, stomach, kidney, and legs.
And then a medical assistant suddenly announces: “It’s another boy!”
This is just a little of the macabre and heart-wrenching footage in the newest undercover video showing alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood, released Thursday morning.
The newest video also shows a Planned Parenthood medical director negotiating a fetal body parts deal while agreeing to prices for harvested parts, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.
“For anyone with a conscience, the video’s entire fetal organ scene is wrenching — to the gut as well as the heart. It hearkens us back to the days of Joseph Mengele or Kermit Gosnell, who both coldly killed and dissected children without remorse,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, in a press release.
The video takes the viewer into Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, where Vice President and Medical Director Dr. Savita Ginde discusses with actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs.

Mollie Hemingway discusses “8 Shocking Moments From 4th Planned Parenthood Video”. Let me offer just a few of them:

1) While Planned Parenthood’s public relations campaign resorts to euphemisms about “fetal tissue,” Planned Parenthood officials such as Ginde speak more clearly about the organs they harvest from aborted children. Here Ginde talks about organs, including “the whole brain” coming out as abortive waste.
2) Right after Ginde talks about women delivering their children before abortion procedures, she adds, “um, but that’s not what we go for. We try for that not to happen.”

She offers a portion of the video with each of her points – well worth watching (see link below). As I keep saying, this is a story that keeps on giving. If the first four videos alone are not enough to forever close the doors of this death cult, then we are no better than Germany in the 30s and 40s.

A note to Christians (and lion lovers)

One of the more incredible things to emerge from all this is the fact that many people claiming to be Christians who never say anything about the mass murder of millions of human babies are now going ballistic – and very public – about the killing of one lion. I discuss the Cecil story here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/30/laws-lions-and-lunacy/

I have already had to debate some of these folks. Once again emotional kneejerk reactions seem to characterise their stances. If they had actually read my piece they would have seen that I certainly did not defend the lion-killer’s actions. My aim there was simply to point out the gross hypocrisy and double standards being employed.

The simple truth is, anyone who claims to be a Christian must recognise differing values in life. Jesus himself made this perfectly clear in Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

So yes we are to be good stewards of planet earth and care for all life, but not all life is equal – human life is simply of greater value according to God. So that will of necessity be my stance as well. But let me offer a few more remarks about these two stories. One wit put it this way:

If I were advising Walter Palmer, I would encourage him to say that, as a dentist, he provides vital oral healthcare to hundreds of men, women, and children in his community, and that lion killing amounts to less than 3% of what he does. Then he could accuse all those who’re attacking him of taking oral healthcare away from people.
Hey, it’s good enough for ‪#‎PlannedParenthood‬. ‪#‎CecilTheLion‬.

R.C. Sproul Jr. had this to say: “This just in – Planned Parenthood Regains Public Favor By Refusing to Sell Parts of Cecil the Lion. ‘We have standards’.” And Matt Walsh discussed these two events in some detail. He says this:

The fact remains that many in our society are descending like a pack of frenzied hyenas upon a man who shot a lion, yet feel no anger when confronted with the murder of children. And abortion isn’t the only evil accepted or celebrated by progressivism. We are living in a culture of death where cruelty and brutality reign supreme. The reaction to this “scandal” only further reveals and illuminates that cruelty. We think nothing of trying to destroy a man, ruin his life, and wish for his painful demise, without knowing anything else about him. We are so numb, so indifferent, that we will rip a stranger to pieces, cannibalize him publicly, tear him down until there is nothing left, and then sleep like babies at night.
Yet, the lion. Kill the children if you want. Destroy the dentist just for fun. Demean and degrade anyone who acts or thinks differently, if for no other reason than there’s not much else to do. But a dead lion — now there’s a victim we should mourn….
No society can ever be explicitly nihilist. As in, no society can outwardly live by the philosophy that everything is meaningless and nothing matters. Individuals can try it, but like Nietzsche they’ll end up in a mental institution, babbling to themselves while eating their own excrement. Societies, though, have to at least pretend they believe in doing the right thing. A society must convince itself it hates evil and loves goodness. Even the Nazis rationalized that they were serving the greater good of mankind.
So when our culture decides to sit back and tolerate, or even revere and commend, perverse evils like abortion, pornography, the breakdown of the family, the persecution of Christians, etc., it begins to accumulate a kind of Outrage Reservoir. Deep down, we must feel like we oppose evil. We can’t laud the most insidious atrocities of our time, and then look in the mirror and face ourselves honestly. The righteous anger that should be poured out in response to these true horrors is bottled and contained, clogging up our souls like constipated bowels.
We search desperately for an acceptable target for our surplus of withheld scorn, and when we locate it, we unload like we just chugged a gallon of laxative. Suddenly, some guy who killed a lion in Zimbabwe receives all of the compiled disdain that should have been discharged on the abortionists and the pornographers and the persecutors. Our pent up rage and anger mixes with guilt and self-loathing, and together it creates this concentrated bile that drowns and destroys whatever tragic chump they throw before us to be devoured. It’s nothing personal against him, really. Walter Palmer is a sacrificial lamb. A punching bag, strung up and dangled in front of progressive America as a way for them to release their moral frustrations. He’s an object. A receptacle for their misdirected vengeance. It’s like self-flagellation, only minus the self. And next week they’ll be flagellating some other patsy, and nobody will even remember or care about poor old Walter Palmer.
A year from now, someone will do a follow up story about that villainous dentist from long ago, and we’ll all think, “Oh yeah, whatever happened to that guy?” Then we’ll see that he lost his business, his family, and his dignity, and now lives as a sad shell of a forgotten man. “Serves him right for doing whatever he did,” we’ll say proudly, as we get back to feasting upon the newest Scoundrel Du Jour. It’s a never ending pattern, played out over and over again by a progressive culture filled with craven wimps, always compensating for their moral failings by tearing down false Satans, too afraid to do battle with the real one.

Exactly so. When the death of a lion get us far more upset than the mass slaughter of human babies then you know we have lost our moral centre and are close to finished as a civilisation. I expect pagans to think and emote in this fashion, but when believers do…?

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/networks-covered-cecil-the-lion-more-in-1-day-than-abortion-videos-in-2-wee?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=c9d3dbb39e-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-c9d3dbb39e-326193646
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/its-another-boy-4th-video-shows-planned-parenthood-director-negotiating-fet?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=c9d3dbb39e-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-c9d3dbb39e-326193646
http://thefederalist.com/2015/07/30/8-shocking-moments-from-4th-planned-parenthood-video/
http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/sometimes-its-just-easier-to-care-about-dead-lions-than-dead-people/


Heidelberg 103: The Christian Sabbath (3)

103. What does God require in the fourth Commandment? In the first place, God wills that the ministry of the Gospel and schools be maintained, and that I, especially on the day of rest, diligently attend church, to learn the Word of God, to use the Holy Sacraments, to call publicly upon the Lord, and […]

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The Left’s War on Science: From ‘Unborn Youth’ to ‘Fetus’


Dear Planned Parenthood Supporter, You Are the Dentist!

 
In 2 Samuel 11, it seemed like everyone was sending someone somewhere. David does some sending (2 Sam 11:3, 6); Joab sends Uriah (2 Sam 11:6) and later a messenger (2 Sam 11:18); even Bathsheba sends people (2 Sam 11:5). But throughout all of this sending in chapter 11, there is someone eerily missing: God. We’re left wondering, “Will God get involved and do some sending of His own?” In chapter 12, we get our answer. God takes over this mess of a situation. He gives David enough time to feel the weight of his sin, and then sends His prophet Nathan to confront David (2 Sam 12:1). He does so by…
 


‘To The Door Of The Oven’ – Hal Lindsey

Was Huckabee out of line when he used the word “oven”? Iran wants to build the most powerful oven in the world. It’s as real as the searing furnace Nebuchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into — and a thousand times hotter. A small number of nuclear bombs could turn a country the size of Israel into an oven, and then a wasteland in a matter of minutes.

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Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?

Beware of false prophets . . .

Welcome to the (as I call it) School of the Unholy, where once again Todd Bentley will present his bells-and-whistles strange fire. In the video he speaks of his experience that was like “a glory liquid honey cloud.”

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Why Millennials Are Turned Off by All This End-Time Talk

If all millennials hear about the future of the church is gloom and doom that’s decaying because of society, how can we expected to join the cause? Just like a flower will not grow if you yell and stomp on it, saying, “Look at all these thorns, you won’t be able to survive these attacks,” you can’t tell this generation of believers that we won’t survive what’s to come.

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9 Reasons People Leave the Church

Once possessing a “favored place at the community table” along with other community leaders, with portfolio and reputation to boot, the church in North America is now hemorrhaging members at an alarming rate.

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Rob Bell returns: His thoughts on creation, modern “Kingdom of God”

Former Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell, who now has his own TV show on the Oprah channel, brought his “Everything is Spiritual” tour to Grand Rapids. During his one man show, Bell offered his convoluted version of the creation story, which of course has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches on creation. No […]

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Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire reports that false prophet Todd Bentley is up to his old tricks:

Welcome to the (as I call it) School of the Unholy, where once again Todd Bentley will present his bells-and-whistles strange fire. In the video he speaks of his experience that was like “a glory liquid honey cloud.”

http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/07/30/todd-bentleys-school-of-revival/


Rob Bell returns: His thoughts on creation, modern “kingdom of God”

 

Former Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell, who now has his own TV show on the Oprah channel, brought his “Everything is Spiritual” tour to Grand Rapids. During his one man show, Bell offered his convoluted version of the creation story, which of course has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches on creation. No surprise there, as long ago Bell rejected the inerrancy of Scripture and embraced the view of Christianity taught by Emergent Church apostates. During the show, Bell passed on this “truth” to his audience: “You are just a pile of dust and yet you can hope and dream and feel compassion and love. You are crammed full of something called spirit. You are an exotic cocktail of dust, soul, bone and spirit.”

MLive has the report:

“In the beginning,” Rob Bell said, “was a point.” That point of energy went bang and, over some 13 billion years of “ongoing creation,” particles bonded to become more complex atoms, which bonded to become more complex molecules, which bonded to become more complex cells, which bonded to become human beings.

Now, the spiritual inertia of the universe tugs at humankind to sustain that pattern of evolution, Bell said Wednesday, July 29, at The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids.

“What, my brothers and sisters, is pulling the whole thing forward into greater complexity and depth and unity and inclusion?” Bell asked. “The thing (Jesus) kept talking about was the ‘kingdom of God.’ This is what he was talking about.”

The founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church who moved to California three years ago, Bell came back to Grand Rapids to reprise an “Everything is Spiritual” speaking tour that he first did a decade ago. Talking about atoms rather than the biblical Adam, Bell gave a fast-paced, often comical sketch of the history of the universe, with frequent interjections of pop-culture references to music, movies and dancing Super Bowl sharks.

Dismissing secular and churchy viewpoints, Bell said humanity is hard-wired over billions of years of evolution to progress toward greater equality and unity.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/07/what_rob_bell_says_jesus_meant.html/


Nazi Mengele Was An Abortionist

According to the documents released today [February 2, 1992—ed.], Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz death camp doctor known as the “Angel of Death” for his experiments on inmates, practiced medicine in Buenos Aires for several years in the 1950’s. He “had a reputation as a specialist in abortions,” which were illegal. When one young woman died […]

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College Administrators Are Not Kings

One of America’s worst problems today is that people in official positions (university presidents, police officers, and others) think they are above the law and never accountable when they act illegally. The decision in Barnes puts college officials on notice that qualified immunity is not going to shield them against lawsuits if they trample upon […]

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Planned Parenthood on Trial

Like many in the Christian community, I’ve found the recent string of undercover videos revealing the butchering and subsequent selling of aborted babies at Planned Parenthood facilities… troubling, to say the least. As if abortion itself was not enough of an atrocity, now so-called “doctors” are in the business of chopping up the just-murdered babies’ bodies and selling their parts for money. The fact that it’s done in the name of “science” is somehow supposed to excuse it all. On social media, the defenders of Planned Parenthood can only talk about how the practice is “legal,” since the pay they received was only for “reimbursements.”  That’s a highly questionable claim in itself.

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But what the videos reveal is not just disturbing to those of us that are considered “conservative.” Camille Paglia is a self-described “dissident feminist.” She said in a recent interview, “Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights.” Translation: she supports abortion on-demand. She continued, “But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials.” Now, I’d like to know exactly to what ethics she’s referring, as I have no doubt my ethics differ from hers. But still, at least there is some sense that she sees wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.

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3 Things Christians Should Consider in Light of Radical Islam


3 Things You Can Learn From New Believers


Should You Choose to Accept This “Mission”?


Are You Broken and Shook Up?


4 Tips for Dealing with Procrastination


Two Bentley Items: Todd Bentley’s School of Revival and Bentley to speak in Sacramento, CA Aug.5-8

Item #1: “Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?” By John Lanagan My Word Like Fire Ministries Welcome to the (as I call it) School of the Unholy, where once again Todd Bentley will present his bells-and-whistles strange fire. In the video he speaks of his experience that was like “a glory liquid honey cloud.” . . . […]

07/31/15 The Walls of Our Sin

READING: Isaiah 59-63

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Many believers struggle with prayer, perhaps because they’ve often prayed prayers that remained unanswered. Isaiah 59 gives us one clearly stated reason for God’s unwillingness to answer our prayers: our sin.

Isa. 59:1-2  Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.

Don’t miss what Isaiah says. The problem is not that God cannot save or hear. Instead, our sin has built a barrier in our relationship with God.

Read the verse again: “your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.” Those words remind us that our sin matters.  When we live in unrepentant sin, God chooses to hide His face from us and does not listen to our prayers.

I think about so many believers and churches in the world that seek God’s answers to prayer, but they do so without first addressing sin issues in their own lives. They fail to see that the apparent “wall” in front of God that seems to keep Him from answering our prayers is actually the wall of our sin. God does not listen to our prayers because we do not listen to Him.

What sins in your life render your prayers useless right now?

If you want God to hear and respond to your prayers, tear down the wall of your sin. He stands ready to hear your prayers of confession and repentance — and He then will stand more ready to hear the rest of your prayers.

PRAYER: Ask God to reveal to you and me any sin that hinders our prayers today. Let Him weaken our love for our sin and then dislodge it from our heart. May our lips resound with words of repentance this day.


Bible, Bricks and How God Uses Symbols Throughout the Scripture

The post Bible, Bricks and How God Uses Symbols Throughout the Scripture appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Community without Judgment(alism)

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 6.59.49 PMChurch refugees — those active former church folks — are sometimes called the Dones. They are done with church but not with their faith, not with Christianity, not with God, and not with Jesus. They are Done with church (as they have experienced it).

Why? The number one reason traced and mapped by Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope (Church Refugees) is that the place where they found and wanted and needed community became a place of judgment rather than affirmation and love. The Dones left because they want community without judgmentalism. (Read on.)


From Slow of Heart to Burning Hearts

Seasons of spiritual dryness can be alarming, exhausting, even downright awful and heart-wrenching. I’ve had days, months even, when coming to the Word and spending time with the Father has felt like work, and I’ve struggled to feel his presence and love for me. I’ve wondered, God, where have you gone? I feels like you’ve hidden your face.

The seeming silence of God and the lack of obvious, joy-filled, abundant fruit springing forth from reading the Word are trials that most every believer experiences in their lifetime. It feels embarrassing to admit because we as humans like “having it all together”…or, at least, we like putting on the facade that we do.

But these seasons of dryness are worth talking about because we not only glean encouragement from hearing similar stories from other people, we are pushed to remember what is true of God, his gospel, and his holy Word.

You Are Not Alone

In two very significant ways, those of us enduring dry spiritual seasons are not alone.

Firstly, many brothers and sisters of the faith have gone before us in this regard. And many are enduring the dryness alongside us right now.

Be comforted by David’s struggles in the Psalms:

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1)

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? (Psalm 13:1-2)

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. (Psalm 22:1-2)

Also consider Job, who felt God had deserted him and left him for dead; Joseph, who spent years in a jail cell, probably wondering when God’s purposes for him, as once revealed in his dreams, would come to pass; and the disciples, whose faces were sad and whose hopes were dashed after Jesus was crucified.

Believer, you are not alone in your discouragement! We are accompanied by a long list of Christians who yearned for the assurance that God was indeed present with them, especially during seasons of dryness and doubt. There is comfort in knowing that there is nothing new under the sun; just as God has been faithful to his Church throughout biblical history, so he will show his faithfulness to us. That is a promise.

Secondly, and more importantly, we are not alone because the very presence of Jesus is with us. How do we know that this is true? Where do we find assurance? At the cross. There, God turned his face away from his own Son, rejected him, and poured his judgment upon him — the judgment rightly deserved by you and me. Jesus experienced full and utter abandonment by God on the cross so that believers in Christ would never have to experience his wrath.

Jesus died a lonely death so that we would never have to be alone.

But Jesus did not stop there. Not only did he sacrifice his own blood for the forgiveness of our sins, transferring his perfect righteousness to our record, he then sent his promised Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, confirming to us that we are indeed beloved, accepted children of the Most High God. The good deposit of our inheritance in heaven, the Spirit is our Counselor, Comforter, and Helper, who ministers to us the gospel-reality that we are never truly alone.

Burning Hearts

Knowing that we are not alone is well and good…but what do we do when we feel alone, when our Bible reading seems stale and our prayers lackluster? How do we practically put aside what we feel for what we know to be true?

We can learn from an account in Luke 24. Two of the disciples were traveling on the Road to Emmaus three days after Jesus had been crucified and laid in the tomb. Jesus appears to them, but they do not recognize him. He asks them about their conversation, and they sorrowfully recount the events of the crucifixion, how their hopes had been dashed when Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, died on the cross. Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb, and because the men could not see him anymore, their faith had faltered.

So Jesus calls them “foolish ones” who are “slow of heart,” and he helps to open their eyes to see him clearly once again. He does the same for us in three specific ways when we are struggling to trust that he is with us in dry and lonely seasons.

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Does the Origin of the Universe Point to A Creator God? (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #39)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace talks about his new book, God’s Crime Scene, as he examines the first important piece of evidence in the universe: the origin of all space, time and matter from nothing. Does Big Bang Cosmology (the Standard Cosmological Model) point most reasonably to a Creator God? (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3706957/height/50/width/580/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/


Redefining the First Freedom

As you’ll hear on today’s classic BreakPoint commentary, when it came to religious freedom, Chuck Colson was ahead of his time. Listen Now | Download

UNITY AT ANY COST?

By Roger Oakland While Christian unity is a very important biblical principle, we must ask ourselves: “How diverse can Christian unity become before it becomes too diverse? How far should a Bible-believing Christian go in the process of forgiving others? Is it possible to go too far?” An article in the Focus on Religion section […]

Dear Planned Parenthood Supporter, You Are the Dentist!

In 2 Samuel 11, it seemed like everyone was sending someone somewhere. David does some sending (2 Sam 11:3, 6); Joab sends Uriah (2 Sam 11:6) and later a messenger (2 Sam 11:18); even Bathsheba sends people (2 Sam 11:5). But throughout all of this sending in chapter 11, there is someone eerily missing: God. We’re left wondering, “Will God get involved and do some sending of His own?”

In chapter 12, we get our answer. God takes over this mess of a situation. He gives David enough time to feel the weight of his sin, and then sends His prophet Nathan to confront David (2 Sam 12:1). He does so by telling a story of a rich man who takes a poor man’s ewe lamb pet, and cooks it for his visiting friend. And although everyone would agree that it was an absolutely evil thing to do, David’s reaction is over the top, He screams “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die” (2 Sam 12:5).

David recognized that it was a wicked thing for a man with plentiful herds to kill the only companion a poor man had so they could enjoy a meal. The problem, though, is that David had no business calling anyone out on their sin at the moment, since he had just murdered many innocent people! He committed adultery (2 Sam 11:4), impregnated Uriah’s wife (2 Sam 11:5), took Bathsheba as his own (2 Sam 11:27), and then killed Uriah and other soldiers (2 Sam 11:17) just to cover up his evil. After killing a human being, David is nevertheless incensed that the rich man would kill a lamb.

In the next verse, Nathan utters two words that will sink David’s heart forever: “Attah Ha-ish!” “You are the man!”

And if that doesn’t sound bizarrely similar to the events of this past week, I don’t know what does.

Cecil the Lion was killed by a dentist (apparently it’s important to keep repeating his profession; I guess dentists are evil). Cecil, a celebrity in his country, was loved to the point that scientists were tracking his every move. You could say that Cecil was loved as much as the lamb in Nathan’s story was loved by its owner. And we all should agree that killing a lion, for no apparent reason other than stroking one’s ego, is not God’s design. But the timing of the outrage over this demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of our society. When millions of Americans are calling for the dentist’s extradition, his imprisonment, and even his murder (!), one can’t help but to point to the Planned Parenthood scandal and scream, “Hypocrites!”

 

I think it’s time to shout like Nathan.

“America, you are the man!” “This dentist ain’t got nothin’ on you!”

Hypocrisy is on full display when people sit by and watch Planned parenthood abuse young women, dismember babies, sell the limbs for cash, and not feel any emotion, but get choked up over the death of a lion. The irony that people are mourning the death of Cecil the Lion, all the while ignoring or happily supporting the merciless murder of human beings carried out by Cecile Richardscecilerichards37
and her henchmen at Planned Parenthood, is just too much to handle. Some would say the similar names are a “coincidence” I say God is displaying our depravity, right before our eyes, which would be undeniable if our minds weren’t darkened in understanding (Eph 4:18; cf. Rom 1:28). The abortion industry has so seared our collective conscience that we lose our minds over the mistreatment of a large cat, but don’t bat an eye at the merciless slaughter of millions of helpless human beings. Annually. Planned Parenthood, and all those who support it, have proven that they have lost any grip on reality.

The fact of the matter is that people everywhere need to repent and give their life to Jesus. And my prayer is that this clear, undeniable hypocrisy would prick the consciences of many — that they would come to their senses, repent of their wickedness, and turn to Jesus in faith for forgiveness and righteousness. Because of the Gospel of Christ, there is still hope in the wake of Planned Parenthood.

In 2 Samuel 12, the severity of David’s sin and hypocrisy pierced him to the heart. But there was hope. He went home and penned Psalm 51, a beautiful song of confession, repentance, and pleading with God for forgiveness and restoration. And God answered David’s prayer. Pray with me that many would read Psalm 51 and find the same forgiveness and restoration that David found, through Jesus alone.


What Should We Do When They Stray?

Of all the painful experiences that I have had to face through nearly a decade in ministry–the death of a mother, couples enduring the heartbreak of miscarriage, strife, abuse, divorce, scandal, etc.–having to walk with a godly father and mother through the dark shadows of having a child rebel is among the most difficult. There are many difficult and painful experiences that ministers face, but the spiritual rebellion of a child of a believer weighs heavily on the heart of any true minister of the Gospel. Perhaps it weighs heavy on my heart because I was one such rebellious child brought up in a Christian home. Though I was nurtured in an extremely spiritually and theologically strong Christians home, I ran from it–and to the spiritual darkness and sin of this world–as far and as fast as I could.

Not long after I was converted, news of my conversion spread through the church that I began attended in Greenville, SC. People would frequently approach me to ask if I would reach out to their son or their daughter–children who were living prodigal lifestyles akin to that which I had lived. The first year of my conversion exposed me to the prevalent nature of such rebellion among children who had grown up in Christian homes. I started to realize a few things as I labored to bring the Gospel to young adults who were strung out on pharmaceuticals, cocaine, acid, crack, meth, MDMA, etc. First, I realized how true my Calvinistic beliefs really were (i.e. unless the Lord–in His sovereign mercy and grace–redeems, all is hopeless); and, second, I realized that most of the parents were at a loss to know how to pursue their rebellious covenant child. The only example that I had was that which was etched in my mind by the actions of my father and mother. Today, whenever I am counseling the parents of a rebellious child, there are five things that I always remind Christian parents with rebellious children:

Read more


The Daily Discovery (July 31, 2015)

Pray for Your Children – “As I was putting two of our sons to sleep, I was praying with our three-year-old on his little toddler bed. He hasn’t yet learned to close his eyes while we pray, and I can feel his intense gaze looking up at me when I pray over him each night.  As I bowed my head, a hollering little voice came from the crib on the other side of the room: “PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!” My other son was so impatient and worried that I would forget him. I could hardly stumble through my prayer with his older brother.”

Couldn’t God Have Used Evolution? – “During the Scopes Trial in 1925, ACLU attorney Clarence Darrow placed William Jennings Bryan (seen as the man representing Christianity) on the stand and questioned him about his faith. In his questioning, Darrow pitted Bryan’s faith in the Bible against his belief in modern scientific thinking. Darrow questioned Bryan about the meaning of the word day in Genesis. Bryan’s answer rejected the clear teaching of Scripture, which indicates that the days of Genesis 1 are six actual days of approximately 24 hours. Bryan accepted modern evolutionary thinking instead when he said, “I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make the earth in six days as in six years or in six million years or in 600 million years. I do not think it important whether we believe one or the other.”1 This is not the first time a Christian has rejected the intended meaning of God’s Word, and it certainly will not be the last.”

The Wild Brothers—A Challenging Family “Reality Program” – “In a day and age when the culture by and large has turned away from God’s Word and openly ridicules those who choose to stand firmly on God’s Word, it’s hard to raise our children to love the Lord and honor, obey, and trust His Word. But it’s so important that we teach the next generation to stand on the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning, and to think biblically. That’s why we provide you with powerful resources that will help you as a parent to accomplish the task of training up your child in the way he or she should go (Proverbs 22:6).”

Be Clear, But Don’t Dumb Down the Bible – “Is the average person today living in a post-Christian world really capable of understanding the theology of the Bible? Should a pastor avoid doctrinal themes and terms in favor of preaching messages that are less intellectually demanding and more relevant to his listeners?”

The Nation, The Church, and the Immigrants – “No one denies that US immigration policy is a mess. One poll found that 63 percent of Republicans want to deport the estimated 11 million illegals in the United States. Sniffing a popular cause, Congress has jumped aboard with legislation focused on identifying, arresting, and punishing violent criminals among illegal aliens.”


SERMON:

Tim Conway – The Battle With Sin: Pride


VIDEOS:

Do You Desire God?

Jesus and the Journey to Joy


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

The post The Daily Discovery (July 31, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


This Week in Calvinism – July 31, 2015

  • Calvin and (Herschel) Hobbs.
  • Ian Hamilton describes how he first learned of God’s sovereignty in salvation.
  • Tim Challies invites you to join him in reading a modern classic: Knowing God, by J. I. Packer.
  • In the most recent edition of The Dividing Line, James White responds to Dr. Michael Cox’s article (linked to last week) “Is Calvinism Spiritual Racism?”
  • Free ebook by J. C. Ryle from Monergism.

A La Carte (July 31)

New from GLH Publishing is one of my all-time favorite Puritan works: Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks. It’s at just $0.99. Also consider Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99); The Essential Bible Companion by John Walton ($5.99); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($0.99).

Exceptionally Ordinary – We need to be reminded of this often. “The assumption is that God will be really pleased if we do something massive (on a human scale) for him. Really? Do you really think God needs you or I to do anything in order to accomplish what he wills?”

The Children of StrangersThe New Yorker has a long, interesting, and sad article about a couple that adopted twenty children.

10 Quick, Important Developments On The Planned Parenthood Scandal – And still the major news outlets are quiet about it.

Our Wilberforce Moment – The comparison to Wilberforce is a strong one. Josh Howerton says that this is our culture’s Wilberforce moment, and I am inclined to agree.

When Success Outgrows Character – This is a very helpful article from Eric Geiger. “When skills surpass the process of sanctification, the trajectory is downward though everything looks great on the outside.” (I have previously written about this here.)

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do – “My fear is that we can fall down that slippery slope that an awesome worship experience equals the Holy Spirit.”

New York City Transit – Did you know that much of the technology driving the New York City subway system is nearly 100 years old? Here’s a look at the past, present, and future.


Check out

Blogs

Don’t Waste Death | Desiring God: Phillip Holmes

Recommended Resources on Assurance for Tenderhearted Souls | Credo: Timothy Reymond

10 Disciplines I’d Recommend Everyone Start in their Twenties | Ron Edmondson

Introducing the New Source of Free Logos Training | Logos

8 Shocking Moments from the 4th Planned Parenthood Video | The Federalist

10 Updates on Planned Parenthood and How to Contact Congress | TGC: Justin Taylor

Kindle Books

Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games. I’m halfway through this and loving it. On sale today for $1.99.

The American Home Front: 1941-1942 by Alistair Cooke $1.99. Classic insight into wartime America.

 Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World by Andreas Kostenberger $0.99.

Recommended New Book

Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore.

Video

Best Advice for Dating Couples


When Our Sufferings Feel Like Too Much

At Pastor Scotty Smith’s Heavenward blog, he offers biblical counsel When Our Sufferings Feel Like Too Much: Praying through Psalm 13.

The True Saint Abhors All Sin

Tim Challies writes:

‘Sometimes I just need to be reminded about the seriousness of sin. And sometimes I just need to be reminded off the slipperiness of sin. Those reminders came this week through Charles Spurgeon and a sermon he preached on June 29, 1890.”

Read Tim’s convicting quote from Spurgeon in The True Saint Abhors All Sin.

Should We Pray for God to Punish Our Enemies?

Johnathon Bowers at Desiring God addresses the question, Should We Pray for God to Punish Our Enemies? 

When Christian Kids Reveal They Aren’t

Julie Ganschow candidly addresses the painful reality that many Christian parents face—prodigal children. Read Julie’s biblical counsel for parents in When Christian Kids Reveal They Aren’t.

Trinitarian Sanctification

Pastor Paul Tautges writes:

“All three members of the divine Godhead are involved in the work of rescuing sinners like you and me and gradually fashioning us into the image of Jesus. The Father called us in Christ; the Son redeemed and keeps us; and the Spirit transforms us into His image as we grow in submission to His written Word.”

Read the rest of Paul’s reflections in Trinitarian Sanctification.


This ‘n’ That

  • Michelle Lesley shares some reasons why discerning women might be leaving your church.
  • Rosaria Butterfield on the SCOTUS decision.
  • Have you yanked your son out of the boy scouts yet (I hope)?
  • Funny how this happens when you handle poisonous snakes.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable (boop!).
  • Answering that age-old question: What do you do after you’ve been slain in the spirit?
  • Kenneth Copeland helps you figure out why your prayers aren’t getting answered. Seriously? Do people really believe his garbage?
  • Looks like this issue of Credo Magazine has some interesting articles.
  • The Washington Post wonders about hipster Christianity.
  • The theonomists didn’t like MacArthur’s ‘We Will Not Bow’ sermon…so Lyndon Unger wrote this.
  • Speaking of that sermon, I linked to the audio last week, but thought it was worth posting the video here for your convenience. I had the opportunity to hear this preached live, and I hope that if you haven’t listened to it already, you will:

W4YW: Protect Your Marriage, Internet Rage, & Proper Textiquette

Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

The Power of Morning & Evening Routines, The Art of Manliness. Yes, the audience for this video is, unsurprisingly, men. But we promise, this is relevant even if you aren’t concerned with increasing your “manliness.” And if the word “routine” inspires feelings of dread in your heart, you might need this video. The right routines can make the world—or, at least, your world—go round.

Articles of the Week

Seven Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage, Jim Newheiser. Most advice about “protecting” marriage these days tends to run in one of two directions: (1) hand-wringing about same-sex marriage in our society or (2) hard-and-fast principles about when and where you can interact with friends of the opposite sex. Newheiser gives us a bit more meat, some proactive steps to enriching your marriage – whether you’ve been marriage for 30 days or 30 years, whether your marriage is characterized by bliss or by pain.

Ten Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Southern Baptists, Russell Moore. Few religious monikers evoke the awkward uneasiness that “Southern Baptist” does. The name conjures up images of polyester suits and big tent revivals (at best) or racist prejudice and bigotry (at worst). So what should the non-Southern Baptist folks know about the real Southern Baptists? Moore offers a handy compilation.

Five Rules of Textiquette for Teenagers, Barry York. There’s nothing like a fresh portmanteau to brighten your day! (Port-man-what? Click here.) Texting etiquette, or “textiquette,” is a fuzzy subject for most folks. For parents who didn’t grow up with cell phones, it can be difficult to know what rules, if any, are appropriate. York offers five rules that reign in his household.

What’s So Bad about Internet Rage? Sharon Hodde Miller. According to a 2013 study, the emotion most likely to spread through social media is anger. That sounds about right. So why is it that we are so quick to respond to internet-rage with more sinful rage? And, more importantly, what does this say about the way sin spreads? Sharon offers a refreshing perspective and some critical ways for us to ensure that the infection of sin stops at our door (or keyboard).


Articles, Resources, and More . . . Oh My! (07/31/15)

Kids and Technology

This video by Nature Valley uses three generations to compare what kids did for fun. The message of Nature Valley is that we should get back to nature, but the message for Christians is that we need to be vigilant over how much technology we use.

How to Conquer the Grumbles

Michael Herrington: “Don’t grumble about anything? Even traffic? Even the long line at the DMV? Even the weather? Even politicians? Even that annoying church member? Yes, even those things.”

Praying the Bible

You’ll want to take this five-day challenge!

What’s Wrong with Designer Genes?

This article from Desiring God may be more scientific than we’re used to reading, but stick with it. Toward the bottom, the authors give clear implications for Christians as we stand for the dignity of life.

Slaying the Abortion Giant

This is an important article from Joe Rigney about how we can respond to the continued revelations of what goes on behind Planned Parenthood’s doors.


WEEKLY LINKS:

The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist
My Favorite Apologetics Apps
The Gospels Agree About A Lot
Six Errors Jesus Mythicists Repeatedly Make
On Bart Ehrman and the authorship of the gospels
Follow up to Part II of Ehrman-McGrew radio debate
On Biblical Ethics: An Interview with Paul Copan
How to be a Christian Ambassador in Troubled Times
Two Things Nearly Everyone Believes About the Universe
Debate: Does God Exist? John Lennox vs. Michael Shermer
Is Kepler-452b an Earth-like planet? Does it support life?
Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration
What are the historical arguments for the empty tomb story?
Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer?
Stand to Reason | The Importance of Studying Apologetics Regularly
Of course you’re smart enough to learn how to defend your faith
How do atheists try to accommodate the Big Bang in their worldview?
What historical evidence is there to support the post-mortem appearances of Jesus?
Why We Know Our Universe, And Everything In It, Had A Beginning (Free Bible Insert)
God’s Crime Scene: Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe – NEW by J Warner Wallace


Our Wilberforce moment

Josh Howerton:

In the last three weeks, videos of Planned Parenthood officials (the organization that performs over 40% of our nation’s abortions) harvesting and selling the body parts of dismembered infant corpses have surfaced to national outrage. See them HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE. Rumors are there are 8 more to come. In a nation that has been legally pro-abortion for ~40 years, why are these videos now causing such outrage? Because the reality of what abortion obviously is (the killing of a human infant) is being non-ignorably thrust into our faces. This is our William Wilberforce moment: the stories have been viscerally told and people may choose to look away, but nobody can ever say again that they did not know. A few quick, bulleted reflections from watching the events of the last three weeks…

10 Updates on Planned Parenthood; A New Video; and How to Contact Congress

American friends, please be sure to use the info at the end of this post.

Fish and Snakes and Fathers and Sons

Michael Kelley:

That freedom is sometimes frustrating as a parent, especially one who has wasted as much money on stupid things as I have over the course of my life. Periodically throughout the year, one of the kids will see something they absolutely have to have. So begins the conversation about value in which I try (unsuccessfully most of the time) to convince them that what they have their heart set on isn’t actually worth it. It’s not as good as they think it’s going to be, and in the end, they’ll wind up not just frustrated, but frustrated and broke.

How Reading Can Transform Your Health

David Murray discusses a few key things he learned reading How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health, Michael Grothaus.

Your Bible Is a Mine, Not a Museum

Jon Bloom:

The Bible is as fascinating as the best museum. There is a lot glean from it at face value. But it is enriching as a mine. Begin to dig, poke around, and examine, and it yields wonderful things that you didn’t notice at first.

Seven Signs Success Has Outgrown Your Character

Eric Geiger:

When a leader’s competence outpaces a leader’s character, implosion is imminent. When skills surpass the process of sanctification, the trajectory is downward though everything looks great on the outside. It is often easier to see the speck in someone else’s eye than the plank in our own, so here are seven signs your success is outpacing your character.



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?


“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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GTY Blog: Cultivating Contentment

Ecclesiastes 5:10; Luke 12:15-34; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Timothy 6:17

Code: B150731

By John MacArthur

The whole advertising industry thrives by tapping into the pervasive discontentment—a discontentment they also helped create—of western culture. It’s almost impossible to go for a drive without having our senses assaulted by billboards reminding us of the material things we lack. Even those who are content with their lot in life struggle to emerge unscathed from the barrage.

For the Christian, personal contentment—being satisfied with what God has given us—is a vital aspect of personal holiness and integrity. In that vein, the author of Hebrews gives us this simple exhortation: “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5). Contentment is fundamental to integrity because a man who is content is far less vulnerable to the worldly enticements and distractions that Satan throws at him.

But our contentment can be undermined and assaulted by the sin of covetousness. It is one of the chief ways discontentment manifests itself. Covetousness is an attitude, a longing to acquire things. It means we set nearly all our attention and thought on gaining more money or having new possessions, whether we ever obtain them or not.

An encounter early in the career of wealthy oil executive John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937) illustrates this attitude. A friend reportedly asked the young Rockefeller how much money he wanted. “A million dollars,” he answered. After Rockefeller earned his first million dollars, his friend asked him how much more money he wanted. “Another million dollars,” Rockefeller replied.

Rockefeller’s desires further illustrate a law of diminishing returns with regard to covetousness: The more we get the more we want, and the more we want the less satisfied we are. The Preacher (probably Solomon, one who would understand this principle very well) wrote, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

According to Scripture, loving money is one of the most common ways we display covetousness. Money can be used to purchase almost anything we desire, and thus it is synonymous with lusting after material riches. Obviously, we should seek to be free from any craving for material wealth. Such a desire indicates we are trusting in riches rather than in the living God.

Paul told Timothy how he was to deal with this matter, and his command is especially applicable to Christians living in affluent Western cultures: “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

The Lord Jesus, in perhaps His most sobering parable, gives us a strong warning about the serious pitfalls related to covetousness and materialism:

“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15–21)

The love of money and material possessions is evidenced in a variety of ways. For some people, it remains just an attitude—they never actually acquire anything. But others do acquire wealth, and for them the thrill is in adding to what they have. They love to increase their bank accounts, build up their stock and investment portfolios, or become involved in new business ventures.

Some people love money just for its own sake and find satisfaction simply in hoarding what they have. Still others are conspicuous consumers who love to buy newer, more expensive things—nicer clothes, fancier gadgets, more luxurious cars, bigger vacation homes—so they can flaunt their wealth. No matter how the love of materialism shows itself, it displeases God. We are all tempted—some of us more times than others—to compromise our testimonies and forget our integrity for the sake of material gain. But God wants us to be content.

Keys to Contentment

Scripture contains a number of practical guidelines by which we can enjoy the attitude of contentment. First, we must realize God’s goodness and believe that as our Father, He will take care of us. The apostle Paul reminds us that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Second, we must grasp and treasure the truth that God is omniscient. He knows our needs long before we ask Him to supply them. Jesus told the disciples, “Your Father knows that you need these things” (Luke 12:30).

The third vital ingredient for genuine contentment is that we consider what we deserve. We often have an inflated, self-important view of what we desire, and even more of what we need. But in reality, by the Lord’s sovereign design, the smallest good thing we have is far more than we deserve. Like Jacob, we are “unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown” (Genesis 32:10).

Fourth, God’s Word exhorts us to recognize His sovereign supremacy. We will not be completely content until we see that His plan is not the same for all His children. What the Father lovingly gives to one believer, He just as lovingly withholds from another (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:4–11). Hannah, Samuel’s mother, spoke wisely and to the point concerning material blessings: “The Lord makes poor and rich” (1 Samuel 2:7). We might not be comfortable with the first part of that statement, but God knows that being rich is not necessarily the best plan for us. It could even be spiritually harmful for us (as it was for the rich man in Luke 12). The Lord provides us with just what we need and nothing less.

Finally, we must keep on reminding ourselves that worldly wealth and possessions are not the true riches. Our real treasure is in heaven. So Paul calls on us to set our minds “on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). Ultimately, therefore, genuine contentment results from our communion with God the Father and with His Son. Material riches fade into insignificance when we draw near to Christ and are overwhelmed by the spiritual riches we have in Him.

(Adapted from The Power of Integrity.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150731
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

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Does sex before marriage have any effect on your future relationships?

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Is it OK to tell women they are wrong? Do young people understand the long-term impact of premarital sex?

I’ve posted before about how premarital sex affects the stability of marriages by making divorce more likely. But there has been more research published since. Let’s take a look.

Here a good study on relationship tempo and relationship quality.

Abstract:

Rapid sexual involvement may have adverse long-term implications for relationship quality. This study examined the tempo of sexual intimacy and subsequent relationship quality in a sample of married and cohabiting men and women. Data come from the Marital and Relationship Survey, which provides information on nearly 600 low- to moderate-income couples living with minor children. Over one third of respondents became sexually involved within the first month of the relationship. Bivariate results suggested that delaying sexual involvement was associated with higher relationship quality across several dimensions. The multivariate results indicated that the speed of entry into sexual relationships was negatively associated with…

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Daily Devotionals: (31st July) Christ and His Unending Zeal

Originally posted on thinkGOSPEL blog:

Reading: “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” Psalm 69:9

These words of the psalmist find their ultimate fulfilment in Christ.

Following the changing of the water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, Christ and His disciples made their way to the temple. When they arrived there for the Passover they discovered men selling animals and changing money. Without a moment’s hesitation the Saviour made a scourge of small cords and drove the traders away from the temple, exclaiming that they had made His Father’s house a house of merchandise. It was an explosive intervention by the Saviour. As the disciples watched their Lord deal with the money changers they remembered the words of the psalmist, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

It is without question that Christ has…

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Planned Parenthood executive admits abortion victim is a baby in fourth video

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Planned Parenthood's Dr. Savita Yeshawant Ginde says: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Yeshawant Ginde says: “it’s a baby”

WARNING: The following video contains mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

The fourth Planned Parenthood sting video is out, and it’s the most serious one yet.

Anika Smith writes about it at The Stream:

For the second time in a week, the Center for Medical Progress has a new video up featuring undercover footage inside Planned Parenthood.

[…]The setup is a meeting with Dr. Ginde, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Vice President and Medical Director. Her Planned Parenthood affiliate does over 10,000 abortions a year and has a contract to supply fetal body parts to Colorado State University.

[…]The smoking gun in this video is this statement by Ginde:

Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.

“Delivers before” means these children are potentially born-alive infants. According…

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Uncommon Grace, Uncommon Love

Originally posted on Daily Devotions:

There has been a grace common to all. God created a world fantastically suitable for those created in his image. Even though all men and women, created in his image, chose to rebel against him and play the part of the spiritual whore, the Creator providentially governed his universe for rebellious man’s sustenance and delight. Despite the fact that all men and women, created in his image, continually chose to worship idols and other created things, God continually showed long-suffering patience and favor towards them while his church commanded them to repent and offered them the free Gospel of grace. Yes, God has not given men that which they have earned and deserved. In a very real way God has always loved the lost. God has always loved his enemies. In every generation, God has continually blessed his rebels with time, talents, and treats they have not deserved and have in turn squandered in his face.

Yet, in…

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Anger, Consumerism, and Big Government

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

I’m very much enjoying Chuck Colson’s My Final Word, which is a collection of his previously unpublished short articles.  While I don’t agree with everything Colson wrote, much of it is wise, timely, and helpful.  For instance, in one short article from around ten years ago he noted a puzzling fact: even though the United States and Britain both were doing quite well economically, their leaders were detested by so many of their citizens.  Why is this?  Why are so many people so angry? Colson wondered.  Here’s his two part answer, which I’ve edited for length:

1) The more people have, the angrier they get.  Witness the fact that America is regarded as one of the most unhappy nations on earth, according to recent studies.  We take more tranquilizers than any other people, and yet we have an extremely high standard of living.  The happiest people, according to…

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This is our Holocaust

Originally posted on airō:

oven

I am having difficulty processing how anyone outraged by the Planned Parenthood videos, whether Christian or non-Christian,is still talking about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Folks, the babies you’ve seen butchered on the videos are 11-12 weeks. Supporting this bill of compromise would still allow for these babies to be slaughtered.

We need to reject such bills, and demand that all abortion be abolished because all abortions, whether chemical or medical, are the murder of babies. Real. Human. Babies.

I stand in awe at the patience, longsuffering, and slowness to anger God has demonstrated toward this nation. How He has not already consumed this land in the fury of His wrath is beyond my comprehension…but I do stand in fearful awe.

This really is the time Americans need to be taking to the streets in protest until Roe V…

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July 31, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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July 31

I’VE GOT PEACE LIKE A RIVER

Spiritual

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

Not merely in the words you say,

Not merely in your deeds confessed,

But in the most unconscious way

Is Christ expressed.

And from your eyes He beckons me,

And from your heart His love is shed,

Till I lose sight of you …

And see Christ the Lord instead.

Unknown

For the past month we have been considering the benefits and blessings of being a Christian—joy, peace, contentment … with rivers of living waters flowing out of such a life (John 7:38). Knowing Christ as personal Savior, experiencing the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit, and living with a glorious hope for eternity should produce a dramatic difference in the personality and lifestyle of every true believer. Christ’s redemptive work provides not only for our eternal glory, but also for a full and abundant life now (John 10:10). A professing Christian who is perceived by his family, friends, and colleagues to be continually sour, contentious, and discontent is a disgrace to the gospel and a hindrance in the work of evangelism.

May the words of this little spiritual increasingly become our genuine testimony as we earnestly seek to direct others to Christ the Lord:

I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.

I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul.

I’ve got faith like a mountain in my soul.

I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul.

I’ve got Christ as my Savior in my soul.

For Today: Psalm 107:9; 119:165; Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; 16:33; Philippians 4:6, 7, 11; 1 Timothy 6:6

Ask God to make your life truly reflect the peace, joy, faith and love of His indwelling presence as you seek to be an effective representative for Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to produce the “rivers of living water” in your daily living. Carry this musical message with you—[1]


July 31: Cosmic, Creation, Chaos

2 Samuel 23:1–24:25; Jude 1:17–25; Psalm 148:1–150:6

Psalm 148 is cosmic in scope and comforting in message. It’s a depiction of how Yahweh brought order to chaos in the very beginning. Yahweh put the heavens, heights, angels, hosts (His armies), sun, moon, stars, and waters in their place—each a sign of His rule over the universe (Psa 148:1–5). Yahweh rules over the elements commonly depicted as gods in the ancient Near East; He rules over the symbols of chaos. And this cosmic depiction is comforting.

The version of the creation story we typically hear tells how things came to be, which is good. But when the story is cast like it is in Psa 148—where we see God as ruler and Lord over chaos—the message moves beyond an intellectual knowledge. If God rules over chaos, and has since the beginning, He can bring order to the chaos in our own lives. For this reason, the psalmist praises Yahweh both for His creation and for His work in his own life.

The end of Psa 148 further reveals Yahweh’s intimate work with the worshiper: The psalmist declares Yahweh praiseworthy because “he has raised high a horn [the symbol of strength] for his people … for the children of Israel, a people close to him” (Psa 148:14). Yahweh’s work in creation proves that He is the most worthy partner in adverse situations. When things get tough, Yahweh will come through.

Sadly, the message of God’s provision for us has become so cliché that it’s easy for us to take for granted. Perhaps that’s why it’s the central message of so many biblical books. For example, when Jude prays for protection for believers, he calls out to Jesus—dedicating his message to Him and His work (Jude 17–25). In doing so, Jude uses the words that would have traditionally conjured up images of God’s work in either creation or war—both of which parallel psalms like Psa 148. Jude declares that Jesus deserves “glory, power, and authority” (Jude 25) because He is the “savior” of people and the universe, both of which Yahweh created (Jude 24). Jesus is the one who came to earth to win the battle against chaos.

Next time things seem get rough, try replacing the cliché of “God is in control” with “God is Lord over chaos.” The tense here is important. God isn’t trying to be Lord—He is Lord. When God spoke, the chaos was subdued. Likewise, when God speaks truth into our lives, the chaos in our lives is subdued. Through Christ’s work, we have the opportunity for this intimate relationship with God. Through Christ’s efforts in us, we can become people who act with Him to subdue chaos.

What chaos do you need God to subdue today?

John D. Barry[2]


July 31

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Romans 9 through 12. Our lesson is from Romans 9:22, “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (NASU)

Lesson

God’s wrath is an often misunderstood topic. The general misconception is based on perceptions which equate it to human wrath. Nothing could be further from the biblical perspective. God does not fly into a fit of rage, as we humans tend to do. Let’s look at what Paul says about it.

First, God expresses His wrath. It is important to realize that God’s wrath is His response to injustice. He is the only one who is perfect in justice. The Lord is the supreme Judge and jury. He cannot be bought or bribed. No one can influence Him to do something unjust. This is very reassuring to the people of God.

From the time of the fall in Genesis 3 there has been an increase in depravity in the human condition both individually and corporately. Injustice has become so commonplace that the abnormal, i.e., the sinful condition of mankind, has become “normal.” God’s wrath will bring justice to those who have been wronged, as the Psalms assert time after time. There is a just God sitting on the throne of the universe in spite of the apparent injustices that we see. His justice will prevail.

Second, God expresses His power. The wrath of the Lord is closely related to His power. Wrath without the power to do justice would just be an expression of rage. It is not so with the Lord. His power is capable of changing wrong situations for the advancement of His glory and kingdom. The all-just Ruler of the universe, our Lord, uses His power not for personal and selfish gain, as would a human being, but to demonstrate His care and love for all of the created order.

Third, God expresses His patience. This may be the most difficult for us as limited, finite human beings to understand. The Bible is full of many examples of God’s patience being tested by individuals, kings and nations and it seems He does not do anything in response. But we must remember that the Lord’s patience is in order to allow the sinner to come to repentance. A biblical example is the universal flood that took place in the days of Noah. For 120 years Noah preached repentance. Finally the Lord Himself closed the door to the ark and final judgment was executed.

In analysis, God expresses His wrath. God expresses His power. And God expresses His patience. Let’s respond in total submission to the Lord in order to convey our grateful appreciation, love and gratitude to Him.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Romans 13 through 16. 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]


 

July 31

 

Your Present Deliverance

 

“… obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).

✧✧✧

Your present deliverance sets you free from the penalty and power of sin.

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 Paul says that “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (emphasis added). That emphasizes the marvelous reality of the believer’s present deliverance from sin. Peter stressed the same truth in 1 Peter 1:9, where he says that believers obtain as the outcome of their faith the salvation of their souls.

The Greek word translated “obtaining” literally means “presently receiving for yourselves.” It speaks of obtaining something that is due you as a result of your faith in Christ. “Outcome of your faith” refers to the logical result or end of faith. “Souls” speaks of the whole person. The entire verse could be translated, “You rejoice because you have and continue to hold on to the logical result of your proven faith—your ongoing deliverance from sin.”

You need ongoing deliverance because sin is an ongoing problem. You have new life in Christ, you are a new creature in Him, and you are no longer a slave to the penalty and power of sin; but you’re not yet fully glorified. Consequently you’re still subject to sin’s influence. Paul personalized that struggle in Romans 7, where he says, “The good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. … I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. … Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (vv. 19, 21, 24). The victory comes in verse 25, which says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Jesus is the Great Deliverer, through whom you have victory over sin, death, and Hell. That’s the last spiritual privilege in Peter’s brief list, but it’s by no means the least. As you love and trust Him, you’ll know the joy of present deliverance.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise the Lord for your deliverance from sin’s bondage.

For Further Study: Review all the spiritual privileges and sources of Christian joy we’ve discussed this month. Keep them fresh in your mind as you face the challenges of each new day.[4]


July 31

The Depth of His Love

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

jesus has time for you. He is never too busy for you. He will listen to you, no matter what you desire to say to Him. Jesus has answers for you. No matter what problem or difficulty you are facing, Jesus has a way out of your negative situation. He will speak to you through His Word and through the Holy Spirit prompting you to take godly actions. Jesus not only gives us answers about life, but He readily reveals to us Himself. He is quick to show us how He works, what He desires, how much He loves, and the depth of His concern. He will answer any question you ever have about who He is.[5]


July 31

The Priority Struggle

Scripture reading: Matthew 6:31–34

Key verse: Matthew 6:33

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Any one of us for a number of reasons may stray in our devotion to God. It takes sheer discipline to remain faithful, especially when trouble hits. However, we can achieve this, no matter what the circumstances, when our hearts are focused on Him.

When your priorities get off center, it is easy to feel disillusioned and complacent. Before you know it, you have allowed a shift to take place in the things you hold dear. Some of the signs that priorities are out of line are the presence of sin, fear, compulsiveness, indifference, and self-involvement.

How can you keep your priorities straight? Begin by asking God to make you sensitive to the areas of your life that He wants to prioritize. Let Him arrange your days and your future. He always brings new experiences and ideas to mind. When you try to manage life apart from the Savior’s wisdom, fearfulness and worry are always present. You can trust Jesus to keep you balanced and on target. He knows what He has planned for you, and if you will follow His lead, you will be surprised at the joy and peace He brings your way.

Learn to give yourself away to others. That was a top priority to Jesus, and it should be for you as well. When the Spirit of God rules your life, your pathway will be sure and pleasant.

Father, rule my life by Your Spirit. Make my pathway sure and pleasant.[6]


July 31

Reprogrammed for Righteousness

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Psalm 119:11

A man once said to me, “I’ve come to Christ, but I still have so much garbage in my mind. How do I clean it out?” I answered him, “You’ve been programmed by the world for a long time, so your mind is full of filth. Therefore, it has to be reprogrammed—completely cleansed.”

The only way to reprogram your mind with God’s righteousness is to read, study, and meditate on the Word of God. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

If you’re a Christian, and you submit to the Holy Spirit as you study Scripture, you will have a reprogrammed mind that focuses on God’s righteousness and helps you live accordingly (Rom. 12:1–2; Phil. 4:8).[7]


July 31         Will You Answer the Call?

scripture reading:

 

Luke 24:44–51

 

key verse:

 

Acts 1:8

 

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

For a moment he studied the crowd moving toward the front of the church. Then with sweaty palms and a nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach, he stepped out into the aisle. As he walked to the front of the church, the words of “Have Thine Own Way” comforted him.

Standing at the altar, he suddenly felt a small hand slip inside his. In looking down he saw the face of his seven–year–old daughter. “I will go for Jesus, too, Daddy,” she said and beamed a smile. As he lifted his eyes, he saw his wife holding their eighteen–month–old son. She said, “Darling, we’ll all go for Him.” He knew the moment meant total surrender to the will of God.

But so much had happened in the past. So many tears. So many words spoken in haste and anger. Could Jesus see past the years spent in sin and denial? Could God really be calling them to carry the light of His gospel halfway around the world?

Yes. God uses people with hearts turned toward Him. Past sins and failures are forgiven. He abides in the immediacy of the moment. When we open our hearts in obedient faith to His will, He uses us. Jesus has a job for you to do, and no one else can take your place.

Will you go for Him? Will you answer His call?

Yes, Lord, I’ll answer the call. I’ll leave the past behind. Send me. Use me. I’m ready to go.[8]


July 31

In Difficult Times

Scripture reading: Psalm 4:1–8

Key verse: Psalm 4:5

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,

And put your trust in the Lord.

In her book Abiding in Christ, Cynthia Heald writes about her journey of faith during difficult times:

The wise counsel of Proverbs 3:5–6 has been in my heart for over twenty–five years. Although it has become an old friend, its encouragement continues to be fresh and new in my life.

During a recent struggle, it seemed that the Lord was saying to me, “Do you trust Me?” My response was, “Yes, Lord, I trust You. But can’t You rephrase the question: Do you trust Me to work everything out so that you are happy? I think I could really trust You then.”

But the Lord was steadfast: the issue was my unconditional trust. No strings attached, no negotiating, no promises.

In a deeper way, I began to understand what it means to trust God with all my heart. There is no room for bargaining for what I think is best, only implicit confidence and patience in His plan.

The Scriptures do not guarantee that all will be well according to our human perspective. They do, however, promise that God will work all things for our good. As we learn to trust Him no matter what, He develops within us a deeply rooted confidence in Him. This confidence enables us to lean on His understanding and His ways of working in our lives.

Is God asking you to trust Him unconditionally?

Dear heavenly Father, let me trust You unconditionally—even in difficult times.[9]


July 31

Spiritual Blindness

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3–6

Key Verses: Matthew 13:15–16

“For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.

When telling of his conversion experience, the apostle Paul always included the footnote that he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews.”

The people of Paul’s day understood exactly what he was trying to convey. His terminology gave evidence that he was a well-educated Jewish purebred.

From the time of his birth, Paul was taught to think within the confines of the Law of Moses. As a young man, he spent his days in the synagogue where he studied under Gamaliel, one of history’s greatest Jewish scholars.

His debates among Stoic philosophers underscored his vast knowledge. But in reality, Paul was quite blind. Mentally he might have been on the borderline of brilliance, but spiritually he lived in darkness. Only Jesus Christ could provide Paul with an education that would change not only his own life, but the lives of all who followed his teaching.

God’s true wisdom and knowledge cannot be found in a human textbook. You may have a “degree of degrees”; but until you sit in God’s classroom, you are living in spiritual blindness. Ask God to remove the scales from your eyes that may keep you in spiritual blindness. Open your heart to study His Word, and you will find the key to true understanding.

Dear heavenly Father, I can’t make this journey if I cannot see the way. Let the light of Your Word clear up my spiritual blindness. Remove the scales from my eyes.[10]


July 31

The Lifeline to Freedom

Scripture Reading: James 1:12–17

Key Verse: James 1:12

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Satan cannot have your soul, so he wants nothing more than to ruin your fellowship with the Lord and to sidetrack your walk and your witness.

James, Jesus’ half-brother, describes the destructive progression Satan sets in motion through temptation: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14–15 nasb).

We can be carried away and lured to go beyond the limits of our God-given desires and interests. Our own lust can conceive and give birth to sin. But this birth is not one involving life. Rather, it brings forth death.

Jesus, however, is a God of hope. While it sometimes seems as if Satan is throwing everything in his formidable arsenal at us, we can trust in God’s Word and believe Him when He tells us that He is faithful. He will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, in His power, to withstand. God will always give us the opportunity to escape. He always honors His Word. And He is always trustworthy.

The key to overcoming temptation is simple obedience. At times, that may seem impossible. But keep in mind that what is impossible with man is possible with God (Matthew 19:26). The Bible says that He will make a way of escape. The lifeline to freedom forever will be there. It is simply a matter of whether we are willing to grab hold.

Dear Lord, I thank You that You will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able. Thank You that the lifeline to freedom is available to me today as I reject temptation.[11]


 

July 31

 

The Blessings of Assurance

 

“For as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”

2 Peter 1:10

✧✧✧

Assurance of salvation lets us enjoy earthly blessings.

It is encouraging that scriptural assurance results in specific, practical blessings in the Christian life. Here are six I’d like to share with you today.

Assurance makes you praise God. There is no way you can be filled with praise and gratitude to God if you’re not sure you’re saved.

Assurance adds joy to your earthly duties and trials. No matter what happens to you, you can be certain that all will work out well in the end. Difficulties are easier to handle when you know they’re temporary.

Assurance makes you zealous in obedience and service. If you’re doubtful about your salvation, you will be apathetic and discouraged. But if you’re sure, you will be hard–working and encouraged in serving the Lord.

Assurance gives you victory in temptation. When you are confident about your salvation, you can overcome the strongest temptation (see 1 Cor. 10:13). Even if you stumble occasionally, you will know that those events have not changed your standing before God. But you will be depressed and discouraged by temptation if you have no assurance. You’ll doubt your ability to cope with temptations and will wonder if falling victim to one or two will send you to Hell.

Assurance gives contentment in this life. You’ll rest secure in the promise that you have a glorious heavenly inheritance to look forward to. At the same time, you will be happy and satisfied that God “shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:9). But if you lack assurance of salvation, you’ll scramble and reach for all the world’s material goods and feel cheated when you don’t obtain them.

Assurance removes the fear of death. If you know you’re a child of God, you can be sure that the moment you die you will enter Heaven. If you don’t have that assurance, however, you’ll be even more afraid to die than one who has never heard of Christ.

If you are growing spiritually, you will have assurance, and that will let you enjoy these and other blessings as you look forward to being with the Lord for all eternity.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that God would help you share the blessings of assurance with someone else.

For Further Study: Read Psalm 138. What was David thankful for? ✧ What reassurances are there for every believer?[12]


July 31

Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Lord God, You have given Jesus as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people. It was fitting for You, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of our salvation perfect through sufferings. I must enter Your kingdom through many tribulations, Lord God.

I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore I take up the whole armor that You provide, God. I do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of my warfare are not carnal but mighty in Your power for pulling down strongholds.

May You, the God of all grace, who called me to Your eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after I have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle me.

Lord God, thank You for providing me, Your humble soldier, with battle armor and Your constant presence.

2 Timothy 2:3; Isaiah 55:4; Hebrews 2:10; Acts 14:22; Ephesians 6:12–13; 2 Corinthians 10:3–4; 1 Peter 5:1[13]


July 31

Gaining Perspective

Romans 10:17

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It’s impossible to have faith unless the mind embraces that information which comprises the gospel message. There are specific facts which must be embraced. Faith is not just a warm feeling that comes over you on a bright, sunny day. How would anyone in Seattle or Alaska ever get saved? No, faith is more than a warm feeling. It is the appropriation of certain facts about a man named Jesus.

Gaining perception means you have perceived something. And that “something” is the facts of the gospel message—objective, quantifiable, expressible information. The Bible speaks about false gospels, which means someone has the facts wrong, purposefully or accidentally. So the truth is what has to be perceived and received as “step one” in gaining faith. And that truth comes by hearing the Word of God.[14]


Fri, July 31, 2015

JESUS SAID HE WAS GOD

The more we study the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when He lived on earth among us, the more certain we are about who He is. Some critics have scoffed: “Jesus did not claim to be God. He only said He was the Son of Man.” It is true that Jesus used the term, “Son of Man” frequently. But He testified boldly, even among those who were His sworn enemies, that He was God. He said with great forcefulness that He had come from the Father in heaven and that He was equal with the Father. Bible-believing Christians stand together on this. They may differ about the mode of baptism, church policy or the return of the Lord. But they agree on the deity of the eternal Son. Jesus Christ is of one substance with the Father-begotten, not created (Nicene Creed). In our defense of this truth we must be very careful and old-belligerent, if need be! Christ is the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of God’s Person!

Verse
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever.
Hebrews 1:8

Thought
Christ is the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of God’s Person!

Prayer
Lord, I do reallize that you are just who you said you are, and I worship you as the Son of God.

A. W. Tozer


July 31 – Tension between Faith and Doubt

“Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” (Matthew 8:26–27).

If you have been a believer for very long, you realize that knowing about the Lord’s love and powerful concern and trusting in them do not always go hand in hand. Even when we trust, it is not always complete or without trepidation. When the disciples witnessed Jesus calming the storm and waves, they were no doubt relieved but also still very much unnerved. Matthew says they “were amazed,” and Mark says they were “very much afraid” (Mark 4:41). They were now perhaps more afraid of the One who had just stilled the storm than they had been of the storm itself.

Our human frailties are so much a part of us that even after God has rescued us or done something amazing on our behalf, we still have doubts and fears. Like the apostles and the greats of the Old Testament, we can be most perplexed and fearful right after experiencing God’s greatness and mercy.

Our faith needs continual strengthening, as the disciples came to realize when they implored, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5; cf. Mark 9:24). We know the Lord can and will provide according to His perfect will and timing, but we easily can fail to trust in that reality. If we rely on mere “little faith” rather than complete faith, we will be afraid, timid, and doubtful when difficulties arise.

Ask Yourself

What is a proper response to God’s care, even when it arrives in undeniable power and an uncanny arrangement of events? What should gratitude be growing in us each time we see Him working on our behalf and for His kingdom’s cause?

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:

Esther 1:1–2:23
Psalm 89:38-45
Proverbs 22:5-6
Romans 2:1-29
Notes:

Esther 1:9 Queen Vashti.Greek literature records her name as Amestris. She gave birth (ca. 483 B.C.) to Ahasuerus’s third son, Artaxerxes, who later succeeded his father Ahasuerus on the throne (Ezra 7:1).

Esther 2:5 Mordecai. He was among the fourth generation of deported Jews. Kish. Mordecai’s great-grandfather who actually experienced the Babylonian deportation. After Babylon fell to Medo-Persia (ca. 539 B.C.), Jews were moved to other parts of the new kingdom. Kish represents a Benjamite family name that could be traced back (ca. 1100 B.C.) to Saul’s father (1 Sam. 9:1).

Proverbs 22:6 way he should go. There is only one right way, God’s way, the way of life. That way is specified in great detail in Proverbs. Since it is axiomatic that early training secures lifelong habits, parents must insist upon this way, teaching God’s Word and enforcing it with loving discipline consistently throughout the child’s upbringing.

Romans 2:6–10 Although Scripture everywhere teaches that salvation is not on the basis of works (4:1–4; Eph. 2:8, 9), it consistently teaches that God’s judgment is always on the basis of a man’s deeds (Is. 3:10,11; Jer. 17:10; John 5:28, 29; 1 Cor. 3:8; 2 Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:7–9; Rom. 14:12). Paul describes the deeds of two distinct groups: the redeemed (vv. 7, 10) and the unredeemed (vv. 8, 9). The deeds of the redeemed are not the basis of their salvation but the evidence of it. They are not perfect and are prone to sin, but there is undeniable evidence of righteousness in their lives (James 2:14–20, 26).

Romans 2:11 partiality. Literally, “to receive a face,” that is, to give consideration to someone simply because of his position, wealth, influence, popularity, or appearance. Because it is God’s nature to be just, it is impossible for Him to be anything but impartial (Acts 10:34; Gal. 2:6; Eph. 6:7, 8; Col. 3:25; 1 Pet. 1:17).

DAY 31: Why isn’t God directly mentioned in Esther?

The question naturally arises when reading the book. Even the usual clues about God’s presence seem absent. No one refers to the Law of God, sacrifices, worship, or prayer. God does not appear to receive public or private recognition for the preservation of the Jews. When it comes to God, Esther seems strangely silent.

In fact, the silence is so obvious that it becomes an argument. Esther challenges the tendency to demand that God prove His power and presence. Must God be apparent? All too quickly we expect God to demonstrate in unmistakable ways His identity. Yet God has repeatedly resisted human ultimatums. God reveals Himself for His own purposes, not human requirements.

Throughout history, God has more readily operated behind the scenes than in plain sight. The Scriptures are filled with unusual circumstances in which God worked obviously. But Esther comes close to revealing God’s standard procedure. God’s fingerprints are all over Esther’s story. His superficial absence points to a deeper presence. God chose to be subtle, but He was there. The events in Esther give us a model for hope when God works in less than obvious ways in our lives.

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.


THANKSGIVING: Thank God for Gracious Answers to your Prayers

2.2.37

For gracious answers to our prayers.

We have reason to love you, O LORD, because you have heard the voice of our pleas for mercy, Psalm 130:2(ESV) and because you have inclined your ear to us; we will therefore call upon you as long as we live. Psalm 116:1-2(ESV)

Out of the depths we have called to you, O LORD, Psalm 130:1(ESV) and you have heard our vows and given us the heritage of those who fear your name. Psalm 61:5(ESV)

Indeed, before we have called, you have answered; and while we have been yet speaking, you have heard, Isaiah 65:24(ESV) and have said, “Here I am,” Isaiah 58:9(ESV) and have been near to us whenever we call upon you. Deuteronomy 4:7(ESV)

Lord, you have heard the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart, and incline your ear to hear. Psalm 10:17(ESV)

Blessed be God, who has not rejected our prayer or removed his steadfast love from us; Psalm 66:20(ESV) for we have prayed and gone away, and our faces have been no longer sad. 1 Samuel 1:18(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


Day 31

Adoration

The word of the Lord is upright,

And all His work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;

The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:4–5)

Once God has spoken;

Twice I have heard this:

That power belongs to God,

And that You, O Lord, are loving.

For You reward each person according to what he has done. (Psalm 62:11–12)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

When I have sinned against You, hear from heaven and forgive my sin and restore me. Teach me the good way in which I should walk. When I sin against You—for there is no one who does not sin—may I return to You with all my heart and with all my soul. (1 Kings 8:33–34, 36, 46, 48)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

Like Noah, may I be a righteous person, blameless among the people of my time, and one who walks with God. (Genesis 6:9)

Like Moses, may I do according to all that the Lord commands me. (Exodus 39:42; 40:16)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

But You, O Lord, be not far off;

O my Strength, come quickly to help me. (Psalm 22:19)

Spiritual Insight

Understanding and insight into the word

Understanding my identity in Christ

Who I am

Where I came from

Where I am going

Understanding God’s purpose for my life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

We should bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Believers

Personal friends

Those in ministry

Those who are oppressed and in need

Special concerns

Affirmation

You are my lamp, O Lord;

The Lord turns my darkness into light.

With Your help I can advance against a troop;

With my God I can leap over a wall. (2 Samuel 22:29–30)

You know the way that I take;

When You have tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

My feet have held fast to Your steps;

I have kept to Your way without turning aside. (Job 23:10–11)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

In the beginning You created the heavens and the earth. When the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, Your Spirit hovered over the face of the waters. And You said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Then You said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So You made the expanse and separated the waters under the expanse from the waters above it, and it was so. Then You said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered into one place, and let dry ground appear”; and it was so. And You saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:1–10)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

Come and listen, all you who fear God,

And I will tell you what He has done for my soul.

I cried out to Him with my mouth,

And He was extolled with my tongue.

If I had regarded iniquity in my heart,

The Lord would not have heard.

But God has surely heard;

He has attended to the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer

Nor His love from me! (Psalm 66:16–20)[15]


July 31

Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall

1 Cor. 10:12

Angels fell in Heaven, Adam in paradise, Peter in Christ’s presence.

Theophilus Polwheile[16]


July 31

THERE is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth; but seek those things which are above, for here the moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home. Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head![17]


Morning, July 31

 

“I in them.”

— John 17:23

 

If such be the union which subsists between our souls and the person of our Lord, how deep and broad is the channel of our communion! This is no narrow pipe through which a thread-like stream may wind its way, it is a channel of amazing depth and breadth, along whose glorious length a ponderous volume of living water may roll its floods. Behold he hath set before us an open door, let us not be slow to enter. This city of communion hath many pearly gates, every several gate is of one pearl, and each gate is thrown open to the uttermost that we may enter, assured of welcome. If there were but one small loophole through which to talk with Jesus, it would be a high privilege to thrust a word of fellowship through the narrow door; how much we are blessed in having so large an entrance! Had the Lord Jesus been far away from us, with many a stormy sea between, we should have longed to send a messenger to him to carry him our loves, and bring us tidings from his Father’s house; but see his kindness, he has built his house next door to ours, nay, more, he takes lodging with us, and tabernacles in poor humble hearts, that so he may have perpetual intercourse with us. O how foolish must we be, if we do not live in habitual communion with him. When the road is long, and dangerous, and difficult, we need not wonder that friends seldom meet each other, but when they live together, shall Jonathan forget his David? A wife may when her husband is upon a journey, abide many days without holding converse with him, but she could never endure to be separated from him if she knew him to be in one of the chambers of her own house. Why, believer, dost not thou sit at his banquet of wine? Seek thy Lord, for he is near; embrace him, for he is thy Brother. Hold Him fast, for he is thine Husband; and press him to thine heart, for he is of thine own flesh.

 

Evening, July 31

 

“And these are the singers … they were employed in that work day and night.”

— 1 Chronicles 9:33

 

Well was it so ordered in the temple that the sacred chant never ceased: for evermore did the singers praise the Lord, whose mercy endureth for ever. As mercy did not cease to rule either by day or by night, so neither did music hush its holy ministry. My heart, there is a lesson sweetly taught to thee in the ceaseless song of Zion’s temple, thou too art a constant debtor, and see thou to it that thy gratitude, like charity, never faileth. God’s praise is constant in heaven, which is to be thy final dwelling-place, learn thou to practise the eternal hallelujah. Around the earth as the sun scatters his light, his beams awaken grateful believers to tune their morning hymn, so that by the priesthood of the saints perpetual praise is kept up at all hours, they swathe our globe in a mantle of thanksgiving, and girdle it with a golden belt of song.

 

The Lord always deserves to be praised for what he is in himself, for his works of creation and providence, for his goodness towards his creatures, and especially for the transcendent act of redemption, and all the marvellous blessing flowing therefrom. It is always beneficial to praise the Lord; it cheers the day and brightens the night; it lightens toil and softens sorrow; and over earthly gladness it sheds a sanctifying radiance which makes it less liable to blind us with its glare. Have we not something to sing about at this moment? Can we not weave a song out of our present joys, or our past deliverances, or our future hopes? Earth yields her summer fruits: the hay is housed, the golden grain invites the sickle, and the sun tarrying long to shine upon a fruitful earth, shortens the interval of shade that we may lengthen the hours of devout worship. By the love of Jesus, let us be stirred up to close the day with a psalm of sanctified gladness. [18]


 

Under His Wings

 

July 31

 

I have not written to you because I did not know how to write without touching on the one all absorbing subject of my thoughts, and yet could not speak of that, while there was any hope that it should not reach you. Now, however, that hope is vain, and I may therefore speak freely of our trials, and of my dear husband’s bitter suffering.

My dear husband has been most cruelly treated; and the Lord’s cause has suffered a sad blow, through the mistakes of some whom he supposed to be his warmest friends. I do not however blame them. They have meant to do right, and they could have had no power at all against him, unless God had permitted it, so that I am able to overlook second causes and to accept all that has come to us as from the hands of God, and to say continually “Your will be done.” Our friends in this country all know my dear husband too well, to believe for one moment the wicked slanders that come from England concerning him, and they have all drawn closer to him than ever. This is a great comfort to him, but he is a heartbroken man, and will never I fear recover anything of his old energy or health.

As for myself, the effect of this has been to teach me to rest more utterly and more blindly than ever in the sweet will of God. No one ever committed themselves and their lives more completely to the Lord than we did; and since He has permitted this, it must be for the best, dark as it looks. I feel just like a little chicken that has run out of a storm under the mother’s wings and is safe there. I hear the raging of the storm, and I am utterly unable to understand it nor to measure the damage it is doing. But I am safe “under His wings” and there I must rest. He can manage the storm, I cannot. Why then should I worry or be anxious?

—To Priscie, 1315 Filbert St., Philadelphia, Pa., February 1876[19]


July 31st

Till you are entirely His

Let your endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete, with never a defect. James 1:4 (Moffatt).

Many of us are all right in the main, but there are some domains in which we are slovenly. It is not a question of sin, but of the remnants of the carnal life which are apt to make us slovenly. Slovenliness is an insult to the Holy Ghost. There should be nothing slovenly, whether it be in the way we eat and drink, or in the way we worship God.

Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the external expression of that relationship must be right. Ultimately God will let nothing escape, every detail is under His scrutiny. In numberless ways God will bring us back to the same point over and over again. He never tires of bringing us to the one point until we learn the lesson, because He is producing the finished product. It may be a question of impulse, and again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to the one particular point; or it may be mental wool-gathering, or independent individuality. God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right.

We have been having a wonderful time this Session over the revelation of God’s Redemption, our hearts are perfect towards Him; His wonderful work in us makes us know that in the main we are right with Him; now, says the Spirit, through St. James, “Let your endurance be a finished product.” Watch the slipshod bits—‘Oh, that will have to do for now.’ Whatever it is, God will point it out with persistence until we are entirely His.[20]


July 31

Judges 14; Acts 18; Jeremiah 27; Mark 13

If the prophecy in jeremiah 27 takes place early in the reign of Zedekiah (27:1), there are still years to go before Jeremiah is vindicated. At this point King Jehoiachin and the aristocracy have already been transported to Babylon, leaving behind Zedekiah and a ruling remnant. But far from being warned by these recent setbacks, Zedekiah and the ruling oligarchy want to be heroes and take on the Babylonian might. God instructs Jeremiah to provide both a verbal warning and an object lesson, not only to Zedekiah but also to the emissaries of the surrounding little nations and city-states (27:1–3, 12). They are all in the same boat: if they submit to the Babylonian superpower, they will be spared; if they rebel, they will be crushed and destroyed. The God of Israel is sovereign over all the nations; the pagan states would do better listening to him than to all of their own diviners, pagan prophets, and mediums (27:9–10). Of course, most listened to their own religious establishment. Nevertheless, after the tragic events unfolded, doubtless some individuals were a little more impressed by the God of Israel than before these events. He was the only one who had gotten the future right.

For some years I have been keeping odd essays and books that predict the future. These are written by astrologers, various futurologists, and self- proclaimed prophets. Of course, they do not all work on the same premises. Futurologists tend to project current trends into the future and infer what will take place. The best of them also make some allowances for reactions to current trends. Astrologers and self-proclaimed prophets claim some sort of external perspective. I have been keeping these projections for enough years to know that their track record is not good. Inevitably they get some things right—they make many predictions, and they cannot always be wrong. Nevertheless, picking an essay at random out of my files, I consult what one expert predicted in 1968 regarding the state of religion in Canada in twenty-five years, i.e., 1993. Among his predictions: the Catholic Church will be ordaining women; church attendance in the nation will be down by about 60 percent; a new Billy Graham will appear, “more charismatic, more hypnotic in his sway over the masses, than Graham himself”; the crucial public ethical issue will not be abortion or capital punishment but sterilization of the mentally retarded and brain transplants. And much more of the same. Many of us are familiar with the widely disseminated prophecy that predicted massive revival in the West by a set date (now long past).

Brothers and sisters, do not fear them, listen to them, or respect them. Fear and hear the words of the Lord.[21]


July 31

Judges 14; Acts 18; Jeremiah 27; Mark 13

Some of us have wondered why God has occasionally used in powerful ministry people blatantly flawed. This is not to say that God should only use perfect people, for that would mean he would be using no people. Nor am I referring to the fact that we all have weaknesses and faults of various kinds. George Whitefield, for instance, despite his enormous stature as a preacher and evangelist, did not fare very well on the marriage front, or in his (misguided) conviction that his son would be healed of his mortal illness. Virtually any Christian leader, whether from biblical times or more recent history, could not stand up under the onslaught of that sort of criticism. No, what I have in mind is the flaw that is so public and awful that one ponders two questions: (a) If this person is so powerful and godly, why the ugly fault? (b) If this person is so filled with the Spirit, why doesn’t that same Spirit enable him to clean up his act?

There are no easy answers. Sometimes it is simply a matter of time. Judas Iscariot, after all, engaged in public ministry with the other eleven apostles—even miraculous ministry—yet with time proved apostate. The passage of time would show him up. But sometimes the flaws are there from the beginning to the end.

That is true, it appears, in the life of Samson. The Spirit of God came upon him mightily; the Lord used him to curb the Philistines. But what is he doing marrying a Philistine woman, when the Law strictly forbade marriage to anyone outside the covenant community (Judg. 14:2)? When his parents warn him of the consequences, he simply overrides them, and they acquiesce (14:3). True, they did not know that “this was from the Lord” (14:4), in the same way that the selling of Joseph into slavery in Egypt was of the Lord; but that did not make the human actions right. Samson’s risky bet (14:12–13) is more cocksure and greedy than it is wise and honorable. Of course, the Philistines are really cruel in the matter (14:15–18, 20), but Samson’s murder of thirty men to fulfill the terms of the wager is motivated less by a desire to cleanse the land and restore the covenant people to strength than it is by personal vengeance. Similar things must be said about his tactics in the next chapter, and about his steamy living in the chapter after that.

It appears, then, that Spirit-given power in one dimension of life does not by itself guarantee Spirit-impelled discipline and maturity in every dimension of life. It follows that the presence of spiritual gifts is never an excuse for personal sin.[22]


July 31.—Morning. [Or February 27.] “Thou shalt tread upon the lion.”

DARIUS made Daniel the prime minister of his empire, and this excited the envy of those beneath him.

Daniel 6:4–24

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

6, 7 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. (This would be highly flattering to the king, and it was cunningly framed to entrap him. It would sound so grandly that no prayer was made on earth by the space of one month, save that which was addressed to the great Darius. How often are men snared by their own pride!)

8, 9 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. (Little dreaming what he had thereby done. It is wise to consider a long time before we set our hands to any writing, otherwise we may soon sign away the inheritance of our children.)

10 ¶ Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (He made no alteration, not even in the mode of his worship, lest there should be thought to be any wavering in him. To him life or death was not the question, but loyalty to his Lord was all in all. He would not bate one jot in his adherence to his God, and he took care that his enemies should know this at the very outset.)

11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

12 Then they came near and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. (This rule was an affectation of grandeur, and a very foolish one. Immutability is for God, and not for men.)

16, 17 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

18 ¶ Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. (He was far more wretched in his palace than Daniel in the den. What a grand night the prophet must have spent: no wonder that he afterwards saw visions of terrible beasts, and yet felt no fear.)

19, 20 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

21, 22 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. (Well, kindly and courteously spoken. He did not blame the king, but saluted him right loyally.) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

God can still shut lions’ mouths. Let us do the right at all hazards, and the Lord will deliver us. Daniel’s God still lives: are we prepared to be Daniels?

24 ¶ And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

The Christian, like his Lord of old,

Must look for foes and trials here;

Yet may the weakest saint be bold,

With such a friend as Jesus near.

The lion’s roar need not alarm,

O Lord, the feeblest of thy sheep;

Nor can the fiercest monster harm,

While thou art nigh to watch and keep.

Therefore I will thy foes defy,

And own thee as my God, my friend;

No fear shall make me e’er deny

The God on whom my hopes depend.

 

Thus saith God of his Anointed;

He shall let my people go;

’Tis the work for him appointed,

’Tis the work that he shall do;

And my city

He shall found, and build it too.

He shall humble all the scorners,

He shall fill his foes with shame;

He shall raise and comfort mourners

By the sweetness of his name;

To the captives

He shall liberty proclaim.

He shall gather those that wander’d;

When they hear the trumpet’s sound,

They shall join his sacred standard,

They shall come and flock around:

He shall save them;

They shall be with glory crown’d.

 

Praise ye the Lord; ’tis good to raise

Our hearts and voices in his praise:

His nature and his works invite

To make this duty our delight.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem,

And gathers nations to his name:

His mercy melts the stubborn soul,

And makes the broken spirit whole.

His church is precious in his sight;

He makes her glory his delight,

His treasures on her head are pour’d;

O Zion’s children, praise the Lord.

There is a fountain fill’d with blood,

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins:

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood

Shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransom’d church of God

Be saved to sin no more.

E’er since by faith. I saw the stream

Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die.

 

Many times since days of youth,

May Israel truly say,

Foes devoid of love and truth

Afflict me day by day;

Yet they never can prevail,

God defends his people still;

Jesus’ power can never fail

To save from all that’s ill.

God hath Zion set apart

For his abiding place;

Sons of wrath and guileful art

He’ll banish from his face:

God for Israel doth fight;

Israel, on thy God depend;

Christ shall keep thee day and night,

Till all thy troubles end.

July 31.—Evening. [Or February 28.] “He shall let go my captives.”

BABYLON had overthrown Judah, and now in its turn it was vanquished by Cyrus: this was greatly for the good of the Jews, for the Persian king became their friend and patron, according to ancient prophecies. Thus the Lord’s purposes were fulfilled. When his time is come, all things work together to accomplish his designs.

Ezra 1

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

It is delightful to hear such an acknowledgment from so great a king, and to see him so cheerfully take up his allotted work. We also have received all that we have from God, and should be prompt to do his bidding.

Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

¶ Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. (The king’s word and example excited a good feeling towards the Jews, so that they went out of Babylon as aforetime they had gone out of Egypt, laden with silver and gold.)

7, 8 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. (These vessels were the lawful spoil of Cyrus when he captured the city of Babylon and its temples: a generous spirit prompted him to restore them to their ancient use. God knows how to provide for his own temple; Cyrus restored the vessels, but the Lord’s hand was in the matter.)

And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,

10 Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.

ENCOURAGED by the Persian king, a considerable number returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, though not such a company as might have been expected when affairs were so favourable.

Ezra 2:64, 65; 68, 69

64 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore.

65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.

68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:

69 They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments.

They had brought generous hearts with them, and at the sight of the sacred site they laid down their voluntary offerings that the Lord’s house might be restored. God’s house should be considered before our own house.[23]

 


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 230). 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. 225). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 228). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 232). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 230). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

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

[17] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 216). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[20] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

[21] 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.

[22] 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.

[23] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 454–456). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

 

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Seeker Friendliness and Idolatry in Worship

Originally posted on A Ruby In The Rough:

Michael W. Pursley:

Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;
Bring an offering and come into His courts.
Worship the LORD in holy attire;
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns;
Indeed, the world is firmly established,
it will not be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Psalms 96: 8-10

Flip flops - just pick one upDo you realize just how outdated that verse is in today’s Seeker-friendly churches? Today, we live in a world where we go to church in flip-flops. We politely(?) sip water from plastic bottles, or our coffee Lattes during the church services. Sometimes we show up with our hair looking like we just rolled out of bed. In fact, we sometimes dress up better to watch television than we do for church. And then, to justify the egregiousness of our attitudes, we tell ourselves that God is just happy that we…

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