It avails you little that Christ is born, or that Christ died, unless unto you a Child is born, and for you Jesus bled. A personal interest in the birth, life, and death of Christ is the main point for each one of us.
Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)
Dec. 22, 2014
If not for President Obama signing 61 bills into law late last week, this year’s Congress narrowly avoided taking the title of the “Do-Nothing Congress” of
One of the leading candidates to manage Hillary Clinton’s expected campaign for U.S. president in 2016 has withdrawn from the running.
Sally Quillian Yates, 54, is being selected to replace Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, who announced his resignation in October. Yates’ Senate
confirmation hearings are likely to be scheduled after those of her prospective boss, Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated to replace Attorney General
Eric Holder. If both are confirmed, two women would be running the Justice Department for the second time since the Clinton administration.
Arizona’s Joe Arpaio asks the courts to stop part of the president’s executive order until a ruling is made on its legality.
Four prisoners from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are to be repatriated to Afghanistan, the Defense Department said. Shawali Khan,
Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir were to be released as part of an effort by President Barack Obama to accelerate transfers and close the
Puerto Rico’s economy will suffer when more U.S. travelers are allowed to visit Cuba as economic barriers are loosened, according to Belle Haven
Investments, which manages $2.4 billion of municipal debt.
Crude oil production from U.S. wells is poised to approach a 42-year record next year as drillers ignore the recent decline in price pointing them in the
opposite direction. U.S. energy producers plan to pump more crude in 2015 as declining equipment costs and enhanced drilling techniques more than offset
the collapse in oil markets.
AP Top Stories
Big-city police departments and union leaders around the country are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory
posts on social media in the days after a man ambushed two officers and shot them to death inside their patrol car.
A veteran Florida police officer died on Sunday after being gunned down and run over with a car by a felon who said he “felt like a caged rat” because he
faced likely arrest and more prison time.
Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said Monday, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in
terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. Six militants have been hanged since Friday amid rising public anger over Tuesday’s slaughter in the
northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children.
Christians and Satanists put up competing displays Sunday on the Michigan Capitol grounds as Christmas week got underway.
A new video from Nigeria’s home-grown Boko Haram extremists shows gunmen mowing down civilians lying face down in a dorm, and a leader saying they are
being killed because they are “infidels” or non-believers.
An unlicensed Cambodian doctor was charged on Monday over an apparent mass HIV infection in a remote village after admitting he reused needles when
Jordan executed 11 citizens on Sunday, ending an eight-year moratorium on capital punishment, judicial sources said.
At least 20 Islamist State (IS) group members were killed in the second failed jihadist bid in a month to take over an air base in eastern Syria, a
monitoring group said
The construction of Nicaragua’s controversial $50-billion canal linking the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean begins Monday, with workers breaking ground on
the secretive project that is opposed by some farmers and native peoples.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units, the lowest level since
A court in Argentina ruled that a shy orangutan who spent the last 20 years in a zoo can be granted some legal rights enjoyed by humans.
Cuban President Raul Castro hailed a recent move to normalize relations with the US but stressed that Havana will not change its political system.
Spending cuts imposed by the International Monetary Fund may have contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa, UK-based researchers said.
China said 700 troops are ready to be deployed to South Sudan to bolster a UN peacekeeping force in the world’s newest state.
North Korea threatened unspecified attacks on the US as it escalates a war of words over the Sony Pictures cyber-attacks.
Pakistan’s interior minister said police have arrested several suspects in connection with last week’s massacre at a school in Peshawar.
No. 1-rated Fox News Channel was unceremoniously dropped by Dish Network Saturday night – surprising viewers who were told Fox had pulled the programming
from the satellite TV system.
The Islamic State is turning Christian churches in Iraq and Syria into dungeons and torture chambers after stripping them of priceless artifacts to sell on
the black market, according to reports.
Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has “caved” by canceling the release of “The Interview,” and said it still hoped to
release the controversial film.
December 22, 2014
“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, Query 19, 1781
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Be sure read Mark Alexander’s commentary below on The Heavy Price of Obama’s Race-Bait Rhetoric — the story of the two NYPD officers who paid that price with their lives over the weekend.
The man who bought a gun for “Putting Wings on Pigs” murdered a father and a newlywed in cold blood. Of the two officers killed in Saturday’s attack, New York City police officer Wenjian Liu was recently married and Rafael Ramos left two sons, one in college and the other 13 years old. “Today I had to say bye to my father,” Jaden Ramos wrote on Facebook. “He was their [sic] for me everyday of my life, he was the best father I could ask for. It’s horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad.” Meanwhile, the New York Yankees will pay for the education of Rafael Ramos’ sons through the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation, a foundation started by former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to fund the education of children whose parents died in the line of duty working as New York City firefighters, police officers and port authority employees. It’s a bright spot in what is a truly horrific story. More…
Barack Obama has already been doing way too much by executive order — and executive memo — and we expect that, not only is he not done, but he may pick up the pace. During a press conference Friday, he said, “In terms of my own job, uh, I’m energized, uh, I’m excited about the prospects for the next couple of years, and I’m certainly not going to be stopping for a minute in the effort to make life better for ordinary Americans.” He continued, “We are better positioned than we have been in a very long time. A new future is ready to be written. We’ve set the stage for — uh, for this American moment. And I’m going to spend every minute of my last two years making sure that we seize it. Um, my presidency is entering the fourth quarter. Interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter, and, uh, I’m looking forward to it.” We shudder to think what “interesting stuff” he has in store for our nation as he and a Republican Congress face off and we all wait for his clock to run out.
After normalizing relations with Cuba, Barack Obama said, “I don’t anticipate overnight changes. But what I know deep in my bones is that if you’ve done the same thing for 50 years and things haven’t changed, you should try something different if you want a different outcome.” That’s an understandable argument, and many on both sides of the political aisle believe the embargo against Cuba is a waste. But while maintain the embargo is unlikely to bring Liberty to Cuba, neither is lifting it. Political analyst Charles Krauthammer argues, “In the early days of the Cold War, there was a semi-tongue-in-cheek proposal that, instead of having bombs on the B-52s, we ought to fill them with nylons and drop them over the Soviet Union. As a result, there will be a revolution, they’re going to become capitalists. This is exactly the same idea for Cuba. It hasn’t worked for Vietnam or China, if your objective is to liberalize it. And the bulk of the benefit is going to go to the military and the repressive apparatus. That’s the argument against normalization.” Then again, spreading capitalism is never Obama’s goal.
“I think they made a mistake,” Barack Obama declared, weighing in on the controversy surrounding Sony’s decision to spike a movie over North Korean hacker threats. “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” the president continued. “That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.” And if anyone knows a thing or two about blaming a movie for violence and pressuring someone to remove it from public view, it’s Obama (Benghazi, cough, cough). No, America is about some dictator someplace granting amnesty to five million illegal aliens, but that’s another story. “Again,” he droned on, “I’m sympathetic that Sony, as a private company, was worried about liabilities and this, that, and the other. I wish they had spoken to me first. I would have told them, ‘Do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.'” That’s right. When you get intimidated by attacks, you start making prisoner swaps for nothing. In response, Sony CEO Michael Lynton said, “We definitely spoke to a senior adviser in the White House to talk about the situation. … The White House was certainly aware of the situation.” Maybe Obama didn’t get that memo.
The Pentagon announced it would send 1,300 more paratroopers to Iraq to “train, advise and assist Iraqi security forces,” according to Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. The troops will deploy for nine months in the Anbar province to train 12 Iraqi brigades. In addition to these boots on the ground, the U.S. will continue to fly bombing runs against ISIL to support Iraqi troops. “Where will this lead?” asks RedState. “Barring a deus ex machina that eliminates [ISIL] and restores some semblance of what passes for stability in the Arab world our involvement is going to increase and the next president will be left with an ugly mess in Iraq and Syria that is totally the creation of Barack Obama.” Obama only created a false peace when he pulled out of Iraq. Because of that, he’s made the conflict that much more ugly. More…
NYPD Officers Pay With Their Lives
By Mark Alexander
Two weeks ago in my column “Blame Racist Cops?” I published a detailed analysis of how Barack Obama, his Attorney General Eric Holder and their senior adviser on “race relations,” that raging racist Al Sharpton, launched the 21st Century Policing Task Force, a $265 million charade based on the assertion that most white cops hold racist views on “people of color.”
To distract attention from his cascading domestic and foreign policy failures, as affirmed by the resounding defeat of Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, Obama and his race antagonizers seized upon a duo of emotive diversions — the deaths of two black men, Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, as fodder for a national crusade against a political straw man: endemic racism in the ranks of law enforcement.
The underlying assumption of this folly is because “people of color” are arrested more often than white people, this must be a “racist cop problem” rather than an urban culture problem — the direct result of disastrous liberal social engineering programs beginning in the 1960s.
To further that assumption, Obama is repeating this claim nationwide: “I got into politics … so that the country understands [racism] … is an American problem. … A combination of bad training [and] departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work; a combination in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and, in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different — all of this contributes to a national problem that’s going to require a national solution.”
Holder is pushing his assessment of race relations: “We as a nation have failed. It’s as simple as that. We have failed.”
|Obama and Sharpton|
In one instance, the mob chanted, “What do we want? Dead cops!” during its street crusade “against police violence.” Meanwhile, Sharpton insisted at one of these urban rallies, “You thought you’d sweep [the Brown and Garner murders] under the rug. You thought there’d be no limelight. We are going to keep the light on Michael Brown, on Eric Garner, on all of these victims because … the only way you make roaches run — you got to cut the light on.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on the Obama/Holder/Sharpton race-bait rhetoric with this claptrap: “We’re not just dealing with a problem in 2014. We’re not dealing with years of racism leading up to it — or decades of racism. We are dealing with centuries of racism that have brought us to this day. That is how profound the crisis is.”
This cast of race hustlers are propagating the lie that Brown and Garner were killed because cops are racist. In response, I concluded my “Blame Racist Cops?” column with a warning that Obama and Holder “have thrown cops under the bus with their diversionary race-bait rhetoric, and that will escalate violence against police officers.”
Indeed, on Saturday, two NYPD officers became the first murder victims of Obama’s rhetoric.
Officer Wenjian Liu was 32 years old and just married two months ago. Officer Rafael Ramos was 40 and the father of two sons. Both Liu and Ramos were minority officers — Asian and Hispanic, respectively.
They were murdered by a racist black man, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, possibly affiliated with Baltimore’s urban “Black Guerilla Family” gang. Brinsley posted a social media comment Saturday, proclaiming, “I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours. Let’s Take 2 of Theirs.”
Clearly, Brinsley is responsible for pulling the trigger. But as a senior New York law enforcement investigator told me shortly after Liu and Ramos were murdered, “Obama, Holder, de Blasio, and that f—ing racist Sharpton are accessories to murder. Our brothers’ blood is on them all. Their racist rhetoric is totally inexcusable. This was totally predictable. We are going to hold them totally accountable.” He indicated his outrage is shared across the board — regardless of race.
Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association in New York, stated, “Mayor de Blasio, the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands. It is your failed policies and actions that enabled this tragedy to occur. Ever since this mayor took office there has been a sense of lawlessness that is rampant in every borough. I only hope and pray that more of these ambushes and executions do not happen again.”
Similarly, Patrick Lynch, head of the NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said, “That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor. When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.”
Former New York Gov. George Pataki said on Twitter the officers’ deaths were a “predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of #ericholder & #mayordeblasio.”
|de Blasio and Sharpton|
Saturday afternoon, when de Blasio and his entourage made their obligatory visit to Woodhull Hospital, where the bodies of Officers Liu and Ramos were taken, they passed down a hallway filled with NYPD officers, all of whom silently turned their backs to de Blasio in protest.
In response to that protest, de Blasio had the gall to say, “It’s unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people.” The primary source of irresponsible, overheated and divisive rhetoric here is de Blasio and his fellow race-baiters.
Having spent the early years of my career as a uniformed patrolman, this assault on my brothers and sisters in blue is very personal. While there are instances of racial bias and abuse of power, the vast majority of police officers from municipal, state and federal agencies are endeavoring to “serve and protect” our fellow citizens against lawless sociopathic miscreants.
In reality, Brown and Garner did not die because of “racism.” They would be alive today had they obeyed lawful orders instead of making fatal choices. However, Obama, Holder and their race-baiting minions insist that these individuals were entitled to ignore lawful orders on the assumption of “black privilege” and the errant notion that “society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.”
Predictably, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund issued a statement insisting, “These two killings … like so many other unfortunate incidences of gun violence, provide a stark example of the need for sensible gun control measures. While some may suggest a causal link between these killings and the recent protests and activism focused on the serious issue of police violence against unarmed African Americans, we caution against escalating an already tense national state through rumor and conjecture.”
Officers Liu and Ramos were not murdered by “gun violence.” Their murders were inspired by racist rhetoric.
It is time for Obama, Holder, Sharpton and de Blasio to stand down and shut up.
Fact is, the primary source of racial discord across our nation is not “white racism.” It is Barack Obama, who was indoctrinated by Marxist mentors from a young age, and had radical racist views shaped by the Afrocentric theology of Jeremiah “God D— America” Wright for the 20 years prior to his first presidential campaign.
The Obama administration has fomented racial discord from day one. This toxic discord has been propagated unchallenged for the last six years, and consequently it has permeated deep into the pit of black urban culture where it has festered.
However, now with the blood of murdered police officers on their hands, as my law enforcement colleague in New York said, “We are going to hold them totally accountable.”
The ongoing capitulation by Europe to radical Islam continues apace. The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg annulled a 13-year-old decision made by the Council of the European Union to maintain Hamas on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations. The court explained that, while the “Council of the European Union adopted a common position and a regulation to combat terrorism” beginning Dec. 27, 2001, that decision was based “not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet.” The Court further explained such decisions may not be made in that fashion but must rather rely on “elements which have been concretely examined and confirmed in decisions of national competent authorities within the meaning of the Common Position.”
When the Council established the list of terrorist organizations in 2001, Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, was placed on the list. It took another two years before the political wing of the organization was added to it.
Hamas had contested the part of the common position that included “freezing of the funds of those people and entities included on a list adopted and regularly updated by Council decisions.” And while the Court annulled that position, it maintained that freeze for a period of three months, or “if an appeal is brought before the Court of Justice, until this appeal is closed.”
The Court stressed that the annulments made on “fundamental procedural grounds do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group within the meaning of the Common Position.”
Perhaps the most burning question is what have the so-called national competent authorities been doing for the last 13 years? Besides its bloody track record of terrorist attacks and the indiscriminate firing of thousands of missiles into Israel, Hamas’ founding charter, “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement,” calls for the annihilation of the Jewish State. A statement from the Prophet Mohammed provides the rationale:
“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
One suspects far too many Europeans are more than willing to ignore such evidence in an effort to be “even-handed.” The leftist BBC implies as much, noting that the terror group’s “supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement against Israel, with whom it has fought for years.” And only hours after that ruling, the European Parliament (EP) voted overwhelmingly to recognize a Palestinian state “in principle” by a margin of 498 to 88, with 111 abstentions. The vote is the culmination of a trend that began with similar recognition by the Swedish Parliament in October, followed by similar non-binding votes in Britain, Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal, with the latter two countries passing those resolutions last week.
All of the votes passed by large margins.
The EP’s vote reeks of an illegal double-standard exposed by the United Kingdom Independence Party’s (UKIP) Member of the European Parliament (MEP), James Carver. In September, he asked the EP to recognize the Islamic State of Somaliland. In October, they replied that only individual member states of the EU can act in that capacity. Even more transparently, they insisted that the status of Somaliland should be determined via “negotiations between the authorities of Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia” absent any effort by the EU to “influence the outcome of the process.”
Putting their collective fingers on the scale in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, even as decades of those negotiations have never held the Palestinians to remotely the same standards of compromise as Israel? Perfectly acceptable.
A survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League reveals the impetus behind that effort. It reveals nearly one-in-four Western Europeans and more than one-in-three Eastern Europeans harbor anti-Semitic feelings.
Virulent expressions of those feelings were chronicled by the Guardian last August. They reported on a series of attacks and fire-bombings of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses throughout Europe. Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, illuminated the feelings of his co-religionists. “These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” he explained. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ — we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”
Hamas was pleased with the Court’s decision. Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk characterized it as “a correction of a historical mistake.” He added, “Hamas is a resistance movement and it has a natural right according to all international laws and standards to resist the occupation.” That would be the same Hamas reportedly repairing the “terror tunnels” used to infiltrate Israel for the sole purpose of killing as many Jews as possible. Increasingly and most ominously, it appears the EU is on board with the utterly bankrupt moral equivocation known as “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett called the Court’s annulment “immoral.” But he also offered the EU a warning. “Israel is strong and can defend itself against its enemies, but those who will suffer from strengthening terrorist groups will be the Europeans themselves,” he said. Suffer may be an understatement. Abject surrender to Islamic totalitarianism, one anti-Semitic-driven decision after another, is more like it.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Ken Blackwell & Bob Morrison: Surrender to Cuba? Why Didn’t We Think of That?
- Jeff Jacoby: A Happy Christmas for the Castro Regime
- Stephen Moore: The Great Lima Climate Change Shakedown
- John C. Goodman: Is Liberalism Intellectually Bankrupt?
- George Will: Lighting Fuses in Oklahoma
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”
Columnists Ken Blackwell & Bob Morrison: “We have had Presidents of both parties maintaining a policy of unusual consistency toward the captive island nation of Cuba for more than half a century. Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush for the Republicans. But there was little difference when the Oval Office was occupied by Democrats JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. It’s most curious that with that bi-partisan consensus of ten U.S. Presidents, it never occurred to any of them: Why not just surrender to Cuba? Why not simply run up the white flag? That is what [Obama’s] policy is. … We’ve heard of a ‘war on women.’ Would the Obama administration care to read what a distinguished woman — even a longtime friend of Fidel Castro, Dr. Martha Frayde — experienced in one of his prisons? ‘My cell was six meters by five. There were twenty-two of us sleeping there in bunk beds of two or three layers. The basins we had to wash in were filthy, sometimes it was impossible to wash at all. [Unable to empty the toilets] a layer of excrement formed, invading our cells.. We managed to sweep away some of [it] with the pressure hoses, but there still wasn’t enough water, and we had to live with this vile layer for another few days.’ This is the regime that Mr. Obama is now rewarding.”
Economist Stephen Moore: “The global warming brigades from around the world gathered … at a United Nations climate change conference in Lima to save the planet. … The BBC described the final agreement as ‘a weak and ineffectual compromise’ while green groups complain that it actually ‘weakens international climate rules.’ It turns out most of the nations of the world see the climate change issue as merely a shake down opportunity to leverage more aid money from American taxpayers. … In less than one month, Barack Obama’s ‘epic deal’ with China president Xi Jinping to reduce greenhouse gas emission standards has been exposed as a sham. … Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator admitted in Lima: ‘we do not have any clear road map of meeting [emissions] target for 2020.’ Well, isn’t that reassuring. … The lesson of Lima is that the rest of the world is not going to cut its carbon emissions. Period. … Mr. Obama has agreed to an historic climate change deal with… himself. America will give up jobs and money (eventually trillions) and pay higher energy prices and in exchange the rest of the world will do nothing. In the climate change racket, we are being played for fools.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama’s executive order granting blanket amnesty to illegal aliens was struck down in a Pennsylvania federal court as unconstitutional. The president didn’t skip a beat correcting the misunderstanding. He quickly declared another executive order making it constitutional.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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 (www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”
Mall Of America Attacked By Thousands Of #BlackLivesMatter Rioters
“I’m letting the world know that we’re not going to take this anymore,” Emma Eubanks, a 18-year-old protester said just before the event began.
The spirit of anarchy and rebellion, thanks to the race baiting hate speech of Liberals, has descended upon America with seemingly no end in sight. For months now, protesters, I call them rioters, have been stopping lanes of traffic on interstates, burning down minority-owned businesses, and anything else they can think of to snarl the system. This weekend they went to the Mall Of America where tens of thousands of holiday shoppers were trying their best to finish their Christmas shopping and spend and enjoyable day with family, and ruined that too.
On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, thousands of #BlackLivesMatter protesters packed the Mall of America outside Minneapolis on Saturday to call for police reform in the wake of the officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
“I’m getting my feelings out and I’m letting the world know that we’re not going to take this anymore,” Emma Eubanks, a 18-year-old protester told Fusion just before the event began.
Upon hearing the news that two police officers had been killed in New York by a fugitive gunman, Eubanks (who is the subject of the video above), said she “didn’t condone violence” and that her heart was with the families of the slain officers. She worried that the killings could “provoke a wave of anger and hate” against black activists and those pushing for police reforms.
The mall had sent a letter to organizers warning that anyone protesting in in the mall could be “removed, arrested and banned.” As demonstrators gathered near the rotunda, an electronic billboard flanked by large Christmas trees switched from holiday shopping themed messages to an ominous warning, written in all-caps.
Protesters ignored the sign, and chants of “hands up, don’t shoot” drowned out police calls to disperse.
The post Mall Of America Attacked By Thousands Of #BlackLivesMatter Rioters appeared first on Now The End Begins.
Germany, Anti-Islam, and Vladimir Putin :: Schwartz in Huffington Post
by Stephen Schwartz
The Huffington Post
December 19, 2014
Freak Snowstorm Engulfs House in Iceland
If You think the weather in Britain is unpredictable, check out this explosive blizzard as it engulfs a house in Iceland. Winds of 93mph and heavy snowfall battered the farmhouse where Rebecca Ostenfeld lives, in Dalasýsla, on the west of the island. More
South Korea halts U.S. poultry imports due to bird flu in U.S.
South Korea has suspended imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products because of an outbreak of bird flu in the United States, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The suspension, from Saturday, comes as South Korea is struggling to contain its own outbreak of bird flu in birds. “This import suspension is a quarantine measure to prevent the HPAI virus from entering the country,” the ministry statement said, referring to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. More
Department Of Justice: Employers Can’t Discriminate Against Transgendered
On Thursday, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new interpretation of the Civil Rights Act meant to prevent employers from discriminating against people who claim the status of a transgendered person. Holder announced in a memo that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, also applies to the transgendered. “This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder said in the announcement. “This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.” More
The Most Dangerous Nuclear Threat No One Is Talking About
While Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs are all the rage these days, the most dangerous nuclear threat facing the world continues to go largely unnoticed. Namely, China and India are both on the cusp of deploying multiple independently targetable reentry (MIRV) vehicles on their ballistic missiles, a development that is likely to have profound, far-reaching consequences for the region and beyond. More
Iran has know-how to build nukes, senior cleric claims – A leading Iranian cleric claimed that Iran has the technical knowledge to develop a nuclear weapon, but that it chooses not to because it is religiously forbidden. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told Iranian military personnel that the Islamic republic had the means to enrich uranium to levels needed for nuclear weapons, the Guardian reported, citing an official Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp website. More
D.C. has passed sea level rise ‘tipping point,’ more cities to follow
Major U.S. coastal cities, including Washington, D.C. and Wilmington, North Carolina, have already slipped past a sea level rise-related “tipping point,” and into a new era of increasingly common and damaging coastal flooding events, a new study found. Other cities along the East and Gulf Coasts are following close behind, with the majority of coastal areas in the U.S. expected to see 30 or more days of “nuisance-level flooding” each year by 2050, regardless of how significantly countries cut emissions of the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming, according to the study. More
Russia plotting to start war on Israel
Russia plotting to start war on Israel Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/12/official-russia-plotting-to-start-war-on-israel/
Russia is preparing a contingency plan to prompt Hezbollah and possibly the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into a direct military conflict with Israel, according to a French official who has been apprised of the situation. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the contingency was meant to be used as a card against the West, particularly the U.S. and European Union, which has been engaged in efforts to isolate Moscow. This past week, the U.S. and E.U. adapted tighter sanctions on the Russian economy, including restrictions on investments in the Crimea, with emphasis on Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration and tourism. More
Super Typhoon Shoved Car-Size Boulders Onto Philippine Beaches
Boulders the size of stretch limousines littered beaches near the city of Tacloban in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan pounded the region in November 2013. The towering stones provided a rare look at the way intense storms can demolish coastal communities, researchers said here on Tuesday (Dec. 16) at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting. The surprising findings: freak waves that were as powerful as tsunamis shoved the enormous limestone rocks. “If we didn’t know this occurred from a typhoon, people would have started drawing tsunami maps,” said Andrew Kennedy, a coastal engineer at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana who counted hundreds of boulders during a damage survey soon after Haiyan hit. “There are so many, and they went so far.” More
Putin hits back at new sanctions: ‘No one will succeed in intimidating us’
‘Russian President Vladimir Putin said new sanctions from the European Union and United States were put in place, “just for the mere fact that we exist.” “Obviously, no one will succeed in intimidating us, to deter, to isolate Russia,” he added in remarks reported by Reuters. The U.S. and EU both instated tighter sanctions against Crimean investments this week, and Canada has redoubled its own sanctions against Moscow. Russia’s economy is on tenuous ground; plummeting global oil prices, combined with the sanctions, have caused the ruble to lose more than 40 percent of its year-to-date value. Experts anticipate a recession to grip the country by early 2015. More
Egypt says it backs Palestinian UN resolution
Egypt said on Saturday it supports a draft resolution submitted by the Palestinians to the UN Security Council setting out terms for a final peace deal with Israel. The Palestinians on Wednesday presented the resolution setting a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final settlement and the end of 2017 for completion of an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri held talks in Cairo on the resolution during which Shoukri offered Egypt’s support for the move, a foreign ministry statement said. It said that during their talks, Shoukri stressed Egypt’s support for “the choice of the Palestinian people and its leadership”. More
Putin Greets Fresh Obama Sanctions with 80+ New ICBMs by 2015
Unfazed by the string of economic pressures from the West, as headlined by the fresh sanctions announced Friday by U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian leader Vladimir Putin revealed this week that Moscow will acquire 50 more intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) by end of 2015, further increasing the drumbeats of war. More
How the State Department Annually Perpetuates Palestinian Misery :: Romirowsky and Joffe in National Interest
by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe
The National Interest
December 19, 2014
Official: Russia Plotting To Start War On Israel
Russia is preparing a contingency plan to prompt Hezbollah and possibly the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into a direct military conflict with Israel, according to a French official who has been apprised of the situation. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the contingency was meant to be used as a card against the West, particularly the U.S. and European Union, which has been engaged in efforts to isolate Moscow. …………. Click here for full story
Dry Bones Return – 2014 Sees 7% Increase In North American Aliyah
Immigration to Israel from North America increased 7% in 2014 from the previous year, with 3,762 olim from the United States and Canada, compared to 3,504 olim in 2013, according to figures released by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization. A 6% growth in aliyah from the United Kingdom was recorded during the same period. ……… Click here for full story
The Countdown To The Next Gaza Conflict Has Begun
More than three months have passed since the end of the fifty-day conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel this past summer, yet all of the catalysts that helped spark that war remain in place and are pushing the sides into their next clash……….. Click here for full story
‘Every Religious Organization Should Be Worried’: Kentucky Wants Ark Encounter to Hire Non-Christians
Ken Ham, the founder and president of the Kentucky-based ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG), is expressing concern over new demands that the state is requiring of its proposed Ark Encounter, namely its requirement that the ministry not engage in “religious preference” in its hiring—meaning that it can’t refuse applicants simply because they are non-Christians……….. Click here for full story
Surveillance vs. Privacy
The age-old battle between surveillance and privacy continues unabated, as police across the United States increasingly use sophisticated surveillance systems to monitor daily life in their communities. Average citizens and privacy advocates say the ability to monitor and record public activity at such an extraordinary level is a threat to personal privacy……….. Click here for full story
Shocking Facts About Your Favorite Potato Chips
Most people tend to feel guilty when they rip open a bag of chips. Mostly this is because there have been repeated warnings in the press and from doctors and other health professionals about how unhealthy potato chips are. Most people don’t realize though just to what great extent America’s favorite junk food can ruin their health. Read on for some shocking facts about your favorite potato chips. More
Top Ebola doctor dies of same Ebola that CDC insists is ‘Hard to Catch’
One of Sierra Leone’s few remaining top health specialists has died after contracting the Ebola virus. Reports indicate that the experimental Ebola drug ZMab had been en route from Belgium to treat the man, known as Dr. Victor Willoughby, but it was already too late, as he had succumbed to the later stages of the deadly illness. According to Reuters, Dr. Willoughby contracted Ebola after treating a man with organ-related problems. The patient, a senior banker in town, was later diagnosed with the hemorrhagic disease after Dr. Willoughby had already been in contact with him, which resulted in the rapid development of Ebola symptoms not long after. More
Northern white rhinos hunted to extinction – There are now only 5 left in the world
Due to extensive poaching in which the perceived value of their horns seems to matter more than their lives, the northern white rhino population has dwindled severely through the years. While many people may consider numbers in the hundreds or even thousands small, in the instance of the northern white rhino, the numbers are much more shocking; they can literally be counted on one hand. Sadly, with the recent natural death of Angalifu, a 44-year-old rhino at San Diego’s National Safari Park, there are now only five left on the planet. While it’s good news that they’re under the protection of zoos and wildlife reserves, the bad news is that it’s unlikely that the remaining rhinos will produce offspring, as it’s very rare for rhinos to breed in captivity. In fact, the female rhino at the San Diego Park, Nola (who is still living), was unable to produce offspring with Angalifu. More
It’s WAR On The Streets Of America
Make no mistake – there is now a state of open warfare on the streets of America. Earlier this year it was being reported that the number of police officers killed on the job was up 40 percent in 2014, and that was before all of the civil unrest caused by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. At this point, attacks on police officers are becoming a frequent occurrence all over the country, but no incident has stunned the nation as much as the “execution-style” murder of two NYPD officers on Saturday by a radical Islamic gunman identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley. Just prior to the attack, Brinsley posted a message on Instagram in which he declared that he was “putting wings on pigs today”. Many would like to dismiss this as an “isolated incident” and pretend that everything is just fine in America, but that is not the truth. The reality of the matter is that anti-police sentiment in this country is at an all-time high, and the level of anger and frustration in our increasingly radicalized urban communities has reached a boiling point. As economic conditions continue to deteriorate and police tactics become even more brutal in the years ahead, the kind of rioting, looting and senseless violence that we witnessed in Ferguson is going to become commonplace in major cities all over the United States. More
North Korea: 1.2 Million Troops, Nukes — and a 3,000-Strong Cyber-Elite
North Korea’s alleged ability to hack into Sony Pictures Entertainment is extending Kim Jong Un’sreach far beyond the range of his missiles. While North Korea has kept Western defense officials guessing for years about a nuclear program that it may or may not ever use, the regime’s ability to wage cyber war adds a new dimension to its standing abroad. “There is this image that North Korea never carries through on its threats,” said Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow on Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation in Washington and former deputy division chief for Korea at the Central Intelligence Agency. “But it sometimes does carry through. You can’t always dismiss North Korea threats as simply being words.” More
Russia entering ‘full-fledged economic crisis’, says ex-minister Kudrin
Russia’s government has pushed the country into an economic crisis by not tackling its financial problems fast enough, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday, warning the full effects would be felt next year. Kudrin — a darling of investors who is credited with building Russia’s $170 billion worth of sovereign wealth funds — added that sanctions over Ukraine, not falling oil prices, were primarily behind the collapse of the rouble and warned that Russia risked seeing its debt downgraded to junk status in 2015. “Today, I can say that we have entered or are entering a real, full-fledged economic crisis. Next year we will feel it clearly,” the former minister told a news conference. More
China’s leader is telling the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for war
Over the last several months, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party have repeatedly exhorted the People’s Liberation Army to “be ready to win a war.” Xi has repeatedly called for greater military modernization, increased training, and enhanced overall readiness of the Chinese army, navy, and air force. These repeated calls have alarmed China’s neighbors from New Delhi to Washington. The question on everyone’s mind: what is all this preparation for? Is the Chinese leadership preparing for something? Are they gearing up for a military operation, or merely the option to carry one out? Or is there a more innocent explanation for all of this? More
Nuclear weapons to be used to blast asteroids in bid to protect Earth, US documents reveal
In documents developed by Los Alamos atomic weapons centre in New Mexico, nuclear missiles are cited as our only defense against the growing threat of meteors and asteroids. Last week, scientists at the centre, explained how the threat of an asteroid impact is far greater than had been previously acknowledged. Experts said that further research is required in order to determine the best method to destroy or deflect them. Robert Weaver in an abstract submitted to the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting said: “The goal is to study the effectiveness of using a nuclear explosive to alter the orbit or destroy a potentially harmful object.” More
Ancient clay seals may shed new light on King David
Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., said Mississippi State University archaeologist James W. Hardin. This could indicate that Biblical accounts of David and his son Solomon described real kings rather than the backwater chieftains considered more likely by some archaeologists, said Hardin, an associate professor in the department of anthropology and Middle Eastern cultures. More
Attkisson: CDC Hiding Numbers of Possible Ebola Cases in US
Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz,” investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson said the CDC is not putting out the current information on how many potential cases of Ebola they are currently tracking in the Untied States. More
Research on the Islamic State :: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
November 16 – December 15, 2014
The Best Television Episodes of 2014
The Atlantic’s editors and writers pick their favorite moments from Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Looking, and more from 2014. (The Atlantic)
Americans aren’t getting married, and researchers think porn is part of the problem
The rise of free Internet pornography is not only correlated with a pronounced decline in percentage of young adult males who are married, but might actually be contributing to the trend. (Ferdman, The Washington Post)
The unbelievable rise of single motherhood in America over the last 50 years
Single motherhood has grown so common in America that demographers now believe half of all children will live with a single mom at some point before the age of 18. (Badger, The Washington Post)
Walmart Gives Major Grant to Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
Retail giant steps up its financial support for homosexual/transgender agenda; pro-“gay” CEI scorecard ranking goes up to 90 percent.
Walmart is now publicly pro-“gay” and giving major grants to homosexual/transgender events and organizations, including $25,000-50,000 in 2014 to the “Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund”–a group that helps elect “out” homosexuals to political office (mostly Democrats).
Imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Christmas Letter From Iran
According to the American Center for Law & Justice, an advocacy group campaigning for Abedini’s release, Abedini has been severely beaten inside his prison and is in need of urgent medical care.
From his cell, Abedini penned a letter describing his condition, while revealing a deep attachment to his Christian faith.
House cybersecurity chairman warns: First Sony, next the electric grid, Wall Street
The House cybersecurity chairman Thursday raised the specter that nation-state hackers like Iran and North Korea, linked to the attack on Sony Pictures, could hit the nation’s electric grid, Wall Street and even the federal government next.
Experts Forecast the End of Privacy as We Know It
Whether privacy will be dead, ailing or invigorated by a strong new privacy-rights infrastructure is a matter of debate, but there is consensus over one thing: It won’t be the same 10 years from now as it is today. “The concept of privacy will shift and much of our lives will be exposed,” suggested privacy attorney Lisa Sotto, “but we’ll have a better understanding of what we want to protect.”
High School: Islamic vocabulary lesson part of Common Core standards
Parents in Farmville, North Carolina want to know why their children were given a Common Core vocabulary assignment in an English class that promoted the Prophet Muhammad and the Islamic faith.
“It really caught me off guard,” a Farmville Central High School student who was in the class told me. “If we are not allowed to talk about any other religions in school – how is this appropriate?”
A Hook in the Jaw…
There is a perfect economic storm rising in Russia.
Seventy percent of the Russian economy is dependent upon oil. In order for the Russian economy to break even they need to be able to sell oil at $109 per barrel. Right now the price is $59 per barrel. Despite Putin recently winning: Russian Man of the Year for the 15th straight year, he is in big trouble.
The Other Right
We often speak about the right to life, but children possess another right that we don’t discuss often enough.
Headlines of Interest
A dangerous passion for growth
A deep and abiding passion to see our churches grow is a very dangerous thing.
That may seem an odd observation to make, but it is a critical one. If we run with a passion to grow things without at the same time being aware that it is one of the most dangerous passions you can have, then the passion will destroy us and our work.
Our society is plunged into even greater division and enmity, the future looking bleaker, not brighter, by the day. If ever there was a time for fervent prayer, it’s now – individually and corporately. What to pray? All I can offer are the instinctive reflexes of my own heart:
Is Worry Always A Sin?
Is that all the Bible teaches on worry: just stop it? That’s a simple answer, but it doesn’t map well onto the complexities of life. If your spouse is seriously ill and you’re not concerned, or if your child’s salvation means no more to you than tomorrow’s weather forecast, something is wrong. Worry goes right along with compassion and genuine love. The same Paul who wrote “Do not be anxious” also said of he faced “the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28). He loved his churches, and that love carried with it the pressure of anxiety for their welfare.
There is Always Glory in the Tension
If God were to maintain his justice, holiness and goodness while also extending his mercy, grace, and love to us then there is a very specific course that must happen. Since sin happened at the hands of man then a man (human) must pay for sin. But the problem is, all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, the pool is very small-nonexistent actually. The one who pays for sin must be sinless. He must be a perfect man. What’s more, he must be God so that he could bear the eternal weight of divine wrath and restore humanity to life and holiness. No mere man could bear this weight and no mere man could perform this task.
I Hate My Sin!
A true Christian not only recognizes his own sin and openly confesses it to God, but also mourns over his sin because it is offensive to God and his law. While we shouldn’t judge a person’s repentance by the amount of tears he sheds, we can safely say that a true Christian will feel godly sorrow in his heart because of his sin (i.e. Ps. 51, Mark 14:72, 2 Cor. 7:10, etc.).
Please Don’t Give Them Porn for Christmas
The statistics don’t lie. According to recent research, 52% of pornography is now viewed through mobile devices, and 1 in 5 searches from a mobile device is for porn. The average age of first exposure to pornography is 12. Nine out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls will be exposed to pornography before the age of 18. 71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents. 28% of 16-17 year olds have been unintentionally exposed to online pornography.
India Intervenes on Christmas Conversion of Thousands of Christians to Hinduism
The ultimate aim of the Hindu nationalist group, affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is to make sure that Christianity and Islam “cease to exist” in India, reports the Washington Post. Debates over coerced religious conversions stymied India’s parliament this month, reports World Watch Monitor (WWM).
Christmas and “The Least Common Denominator Jesus”
Bostom quotes his friend, Anglican priest, Islamic scholar and author, and human rights activist, Dr. Mark Durie, who has declared, “Christians would be appalled if they knew that Isa, the Muslim “Jesus,” is merely a Muslim prophet, whose ultimate “job description” is to destroy Christianity, and help impose Islam, and itstotalitarian Sharia, upon all of humanity.
Sorrow, Depression, and the Holidays
And Christmas time or not, many of us experience the normal, heavy weight of discouragement and depression as a regular thing; dejection, confusion, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness, anger, darkness, despair. But God has answers and real hope from his word for the battle.
The Matchless Titles of our Wonderful Savior
This Christmas season, we should take some time to really think about the wonderful titles and attributes of Jesus and how each of them speaks of how priceless and incomparable He is –
The Only Movie Villains Left: Republicans, Christians & God
Dang. With the Sony hack, no more North Korean villains in movies.
China is funding our movies now, so no Chinese villains.
Castro is now a hero, so no Communist villains of any stripe.
Muslims will fatwa, riot or bomb, so no Islamic villains.
Liberals still rule Hollywood, so still no Left Wing villains.
Looks like we’re gonna see more movies with Russians, Republicans, Christians and the Biblical God seeking to destroy the world.
I guess they’re the only villains left who turn the other cheek.
Fleeing Persecution, Christian Converts Find Safe Houses In England
Christian Concern believes thousands of Muslims are anxious to convert and in need of housing so they can get back onto their feet after suffering verbal — and sometimes physical — attacks from families, friends and co-workers. “We are motivated by a deep sense of love and compassion for those that feel trapped in a situation from which they cannot escape,” said Andrea Williams, the group’s chief executive.
Dear Suicidal Friend, There Is Hope
Hope is confident expectation in God to be faithful to fulfill each and every one of His promises. Hope is in God. It is found in no other place. But what exactly does that mean? What mental ‘hooks of hope’ can we hang our thoughts upon? What truths must we continually feed to our idea-voracious minds in order that we might “not lose heart,” but instead ensure that “our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16)?
11 Christmas Eve Sermons That Often Get Preached, But We Don’t Want To Hear
I know there are a lot of great Christmas sermons that have been and will be preached. I know that many of my fellow pastors work hard to proclaim the story of Jesus born into the world for all creation and for us in particular. But I think Christmas can drive pastors, squirrelly, trying to preach a good sermon on the same story year after year. And if you do get one of the sermons above, forgive your pastor. He or she is just trying to do a good job on, maybe, the most pressure filled day of year.
UNBROKEN Film Gets My Dad’s Faith Right
That was his greatest hope for the film version of UNBROKEN: not that it would be applauded by fellow Christians, although he certainly would have been honored and humbled by their appreciation; but that it would be seen by non-Christians drawn to a rousing epic about the indomitable human spirit who, when the credits have finished rolling, might just discover there’s a whole lot more to his story than that.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association To Release New Documentary About Unbroken’s Louis Zamperini
Louis Zamperini is also the subject of ‘Captured by Grace’, a compelling, documentary-style film that chronicles his remarkable journey – from Olympic runner to WWII prisoner of war – all the way to his return home and encounter with Jesus Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles in 1949.
Bible Gateway Blog: Reverend Fun’s Top Five Christmas Cartoons, 2014 Edition
Could you use a bit of light-heartedness amidst all the Christmas season stress? We’ve looked through many years’ worth of Reverend Fun cartoons and picked out the five highest-rated Christmas-themed cartoons, as rated by Reverend Fun readers. Here they are:
5. A Bit Much?
A glimpse at last year’s top-five Christmas cartoons shows that for the most part, the top five list is pretty stable. A few cartoons traded places in the list, and “Not What You Wanted” has been edged out of its #5 position this year.
‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!
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North Korea is threatening to attack the mainland US unless Obama agrees to a joint investigation of the Sony hack. I think that the President should send his reply painted on the tip of a couple dozen cruise missiles aimed at North Korea’s military and government headquarters (after warning the occupants of those facilities to get out).
North Korea… just because you can push Sony around doesn’t mean anyone else is terrified of you.
Rob Bell’s show was reviewed by a sympathetic watcher who concludes
I’m sure many Christians will watch The Rob Bell Show and feel cross, or disappointed. I hope they don’t get too hung up on the self-help elements of the show, which were always inevitable when Oprah was involved. In the midst of a secular culture, and in a world full of people struggling with every kind of pain, they just let a Christian preacher on to prime time TV to tell everyone that ultimately, the Cross is the solution to that pain. Sure, he said a lot of other things – he had to. But last night, Rob Bell told America: “The cross speaks of the reconciliation of all things.” I think we should be grateful that he had that opportunity.
I’m sure most Christians will skip it. What possible theological sense would Bell make? The reviewer seemed pleased that…
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Again: you may test yourselves in this way in solitude and in company. In solitude you may tell whether you are not of the world. I sit me down, throw the window up, look out on the stars, and think of them as the eyes of God looking down upon me! And oh! does it not seem glorious at times to consider the heavers when we can say, “Ah! beyond those stars is my house not made with hands; those stars are mile-stones on the road to glory, and I shall soon tread the glittering way, or be carried by seraphs far beyond them, and be there!” Have you felt in solitude that you are not of the world? And so again in company. Ah! beloved, believe me, company is one of the best tests for a Christian. You are invited to an evening party. Sundry amusements are provided which…
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As Christmas gift exchanges approach, the gift of Jesus is easily obscured. But gifted prophets predicted the birth of the Messiah, and these prophesies, like other Old Testament prophecies, testify to the Divine nature of the Bible. The New Testament contains two different types of prophetic declarations: the prophecies uttered by Jesus and the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. Old Testament prophets declared the coming of a Savior (a Messiah who would save the Jewish people and the entire world from their sin). Here is a brief summary of the prophecies predicting the gift of Jesus:
Christmas is traditionally a time for family. And since no family tree can be completely homogenous Christians will be dining with unbelievers on Christmas Day. And sadly, some Christians I know are dreading that time.
You know the type: the believing bubble babies who were birthed into a Christian home, were either homeschooled or attended Christian school K-thru-college, and got a job in a sanitized and Christianized office where even the janitor has a fish sticker on his minivan. They get their teeth whitened by a Christian dentist and their oil changed by a Christian mechanic.
But the one time of the year they can’t escape rubbing shoulders with spiritual grime is at Christmas. Perhaps they even wish God would do some pruning of their family tree to make life neater.
Having been an unbeliever for many years I have news for that crew: your unbelieving family members are also dreading time with you. They view you as annoying, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou hypocrites.
I thought I post an update of our posts dealing with Missions, Culture and being Biblical. Many of the posts dealt with the Insider Movement although we also touch on different things. The reason I posted this update is because I wrote a significant amount of more posts after our series was completed.
Essays by SlimJim
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Ah yes, the old ‘my perceived needs are the measure of every sermon and if my perceived needs aren’t met it isn’t me myself who has failed but you and everyone else’. Millenials… ‘Me, me, me. Give me what I want or I shall leave and join a church that will…’ ‘I came not to serve but to be served and to make your life a ransom for me’.
Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? (Dr. John MacArthur, GTY)
God Came Near (Sola Sisters)
The Glory of Jesus (Sola Sisters)
To Christmas or Not To Christmas…..That Is The Question (Sola Sisters)
Christmas and Christian Liberty (Sola Sisters)
Should We Have A Christmas Tree? (Got Questions?)
Christian Christmas Grinches (Kevin DeYoung)
Resources Refuting the Errors of Alexander Hislop
Exposé of Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons (UK Apologetics)
4 Part Series by Dr. Richard P. Bucher
by Leslie Ludy | 12/22/14
Some time during my early teens, I decided I wanted to be a famous musician. I’d been singing and performing for most of my life. People (mostly biased family members) were always telling me I had talent and that I was a natural performer. I loved being on stage. From playing the lead angel in the church Christmas musical, to my many (rather tedious) piano recitals, I always felt a rush of excitement when I heard others applauding me. As I got older, I began to aggressively pursue my dream of becoming a successful musician.
The more I got involved in the music industry, the more I kept hearing the message, “Promote yourself, promote yourself, promote yourself!” I became convinced that drawing attention to myself was the only way I could be a good steward of the talent God had given me.
A few years later, God began gently shining His searchlight of conviction upon this area of my life. As I drew nearer to Jesus Christ and embraced a life of surrender to Him, I awakened to the fact that my musical pursuits were completely self-focused. None of my ambitions had truly been for His glory, but for my own desire to be appreciated, applauded, and recognized. The more I studied Scripture, the more I came to realize that the Christian life was not supposed to be about self-promotion, but self-denial.
To serve Christ with an undivided heart, I had to let go of my desire to be center stage. I had to exchange my dream for personal glory for a new dream: bringing Him glory in every area of my life, pointing people’s eyes to Jesus, even if no one ever noticed me at all.
This was not an easy exchange to make. But as I asked Him for the strength to obey, I found amazing peace in withdrawing from my self-promoting lifestyle and laying my personal ambitions at His feet.
12-22-2014 • http://www.businessinsider.com
This was a tumultuous year. From revolution and war in Ukraine, Syria, and Israel to social unrest across the US and the Ebola outbreak in Africa, 2014 was anything but quiet.
And, as the old adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
We compiled the most unforgettable images from the past 12 months, captured by photographers from around the world.
While in seminary, I ran across the author Henri Nouwen, who articulated the tension—or paradox—of faith as well as anyone I have read.
His answer, unlike most I have heard, does not whitewash the messiness of life or explain away the mystery of God. Rather, Nouwen wrote that an essential part of life is learning to “live the questions” faith engenders.
To wait on the Lord.
To pray our pain.
To accept confusion.
Nouwen’s answer resonates with the honest picture of faith I see in Scripture. Life is, as stated by my Old Testament professor, relentlessly difficult.
Over 12 million on painkillers without a real medical reason
Yes, prescription painkillers do in fact take more lives per year than two of the hardest illegal drugs in the nation — surpassing both heroin and cocaine in their total related deaths. It all has to do with how these prescription pharmaceuticals work in the brain, and how many individuals around the country are easily acquiring them to feed their deadly habits.
Because after all, who said legal drugs were all that different from illegal drugs in many cases?
In the video, Jack buys a goat on his mother’s behalf and Isaiah gets a goat dropped into his family’s lap. Perhaps the video is not meant to be taken seriously, or maybe it intends to create a friendly myth, like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Someday Jack’s dad is going to read this blog and have to tell Jack the truth. In my view, a better approach would be to provide this information to potential donors more directly so they can know the extent of the complexity of the situation.
So consider my list an admittedly foolhardy attempt—written from the vantage point of an American who subscribes to The Gospel Coalition’s confessional statement—to discern the most important theology stories of 2014. Consider it an opportunity to reflect on whether your priorities align with God’s and a challenge to spread good news in a world that seeks peace but finds none apart from Jesus Christ.
by Mike Ratliff
13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the…
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