Dec. 29, 2014
NATO-led forces and U.S. military personnel formally ended a 13-year war in Afghanistan amid an escalating insurgency that threatens to undermine the nation’s second elected government.
Natalie Heimel and her fiancé, Edward Mallue Jr., a pair of captains in the Army, were walking from their wedding rehearsal on Saturday at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in Hawaii when they were informed they’d have to move their wedding, scheduled for the next day. President Barack Obama wanted to play through.
Thousands of police filled a church and lined the streets at the funeral for a slain New York City cop hailed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a “hero,” as some officers silently protested by turning their backs on the mayor as he addressed the service.
Sony Pictures’ “The Interview,” the Seth Rogen comedy that sparked a cyber attack linked to North Korea and threats of violence in theaters, filled cinemas in a limited Christmas Day release across the U.S. without incident.
Talks between separatist officials and representatives of Ukraine’s military ended in Donetsk without an agreement as the authorities in Kiev accused rebels of reinforcing their positions in the country’s east.
A price war is brewing between Canada and Latin America over who will satisfy U.S. Gulf Coast refiners’ hunger for heavy oil. The Canadian supply will square off against crudes from Mexico and Venezuela that have traditionally fed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.
Oil advanced amid speculation that an escalating conflict in Libya may pare a global surplus that’s driven crude into a bear market.
Gold futures fell for the fourth time in five sessions amid waning investor demand for a store of value. Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by bullion fell 0.6 percent last week, extending a drop to the lowest since 2009.
Search crews scouring the Java Sea for a missing AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA) passenger jet failed to find any trace for a second day as authorities suspect the plane carrying 162 people crashed into the waters off Indonesia.
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Helicopters defied high winds and stormy seas Monday to evacuate hundreds of passengers and staff from Greek ferry that caught fire off Albania. Seven people died and survivors told of a frantic rush to escape the flames and pelting rain.
The spokesman for the Ferguson, Mo., police department has been placed on unpaid leave after calling the makeshift memorial to slain black teenager Michael Brown a “pile of trash in the middle of the street” after it was destroyed.
Warning from President Obama to congressional Republicans: I have a veto pen and, come January, I won’t be afraid to use it. Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances. But with Republicans set to take full control of Congress next year, Obama is losing his last bulwark against a barrage of bills he doesn’t like: the Senate.
Meteorologists first conceived of seeding clouds as a way to increase rainfall in 1946, working at General Electric’s laboratories in Schenectady, New York. But in the nearly 60 years since then, it has remained unclear whether human attempts to make it snow actually work.
Next month’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp is a reminder, at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise again, of what happens when the world stays silent about persecution, the president of the World Jewish Congress said.
The Taliban responded scornfully Monday to the formal end of NATO’s war in Afghanistan, describing the US-led mission as a “fire of barbarism and cruelty” that had drowned the country “in a pool of blood”.
After promising clinical trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug called Saxenda for chronic weight management that will be available by prescription to overweight and obese adults.
Russia’s economy contracted for the first time in five years as President Putin moved to protect the country’s banks.
A member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) hacker network claimed to have cloned a thumbprint of a German politician by using commercial software and images taken at a news conference.
Controversial Sony film The Interview became the studio’s most downloaded film ever, just four days after its release online.
A world record-breaking ice cream shop in Venezuela closed due to a milk shortage, the latest victim of a continuing economic crisis.
Cameroon has carried out air strikes against militant Islamist group Boko Haram for the first time, after it seized a military base, officials said.
South Korea proposed high-level talks with North Korea, including discussions of reunions for families separated by the Korean War.
Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.
According to a Buzzfeed report online, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) staff members said he will reintroduce a bill that “goes after the federal programs that send military-grade equipment to local police departments.”
The 2.6 Billion Dollar Welfare Payment That The U.S. Government Gives To Wal-Mart
Should the federal government be spending billions of dollars to pump up Wal-Mart’s profits? I know that question sounds really bizarre, but unfortunately this is essentially what is happening. Because Wal-Mart does not pay them enough money, hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees enroll in Medicaid, food stamps and other social welfare programs. Even though Wal-Mart makes enormous profits, they refuse to properly take care of their employees so the federal government has to do it. And of course this is not just a Wal-Mart problem. There are hundreds of other major corporations doing exactly the same thing. And they will keep on doing it as long as they can because relying on the federal government to take care of their employees allows them to make much larger profits. This gives these companies an enormous competitive advantage and it distorts the marketplace. If you love the free enterprise system, you should be aghast at this. Our big corporations have become the biggest “welfare queens” of all, and Wal-Mart is near the top of that list. (Read More….)
The Zombiefication Of America
Do you know people that seem like they have had their souls sucked out of them? On dictionary.com, a “zombie” is defined as “the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose”. And that sounds very much like what has happened to tens of millions of Americans. When you look into their eyes, it doesn’t look like anything is even there. That is because who they once were is now dominated and controlled by the overwhelmingly powerful “matrix” that is being constructed all around us. As I wrote about the other day, virtually all news, information and entertainment that Americans consume is controlled by just six monolithic corporations. And today, Americans are more “plugged in” than ever before. The average person watches 153 hours of television a month in addition to spending countless hours watching movies, playing video games, listening to music, reading books and surfing the Internet. In the end, all of that “programming” turns many of us into virtual zombies, and that is the way that the elite like it. (Read More…)
ISIS Closing In On Israel From The North And The South
The war against ISIS is taking a dangerous, perhaps inevitable turn. The terror organization has been keen to expand to southern Syria and the Syrian capital of Damascus. Now it says it has recruited three Syrian rebel groups operating in the south of the country in an area bordering the Israeli occupied Golan Heights — that have switched their loyalties to ISIS …………. Click here for full story
From Baltic To Asia, East-West Aerial Confrontations Heat Up
From the skies of the Baltic to the South China Sea, a new era of confrontation with Russia and China is pitting U.S. and allied pilots against their counterparts on a scale not seen since the Cold War era ……… Click here for full story
It’s Not The Zombie Apocalypse, But Killer Superbugs Could Be On The Way
Humans are pretty darn lucky. We’re surrounded on a daily basis by a number of things that could potentially kill us, including bacteria and viruses, yet our immune system has evolved over time into a pretty impressive defense system that’s capable of repelling or killing many of the bacteria and viruses we encounter………. Click here for full story
Your Christian Faith Could Cost Your Job
He seemed like a shoe in for the job of Director of Public Health for the state of Georgia. A medical doctor and PhD, Dr. Eric Walsh had been thoroughly vetted for the position in over 100 pages of documentation praising the doctor being hired by the agency. That is, until Dr. Walsh’s Christian sermons were uncovered………. Click here for full story
Biometrics Coming Beyond Fingerprinting
Those who are old enough to remember the days when fixed telephone handsets were the only source of long distance voice communication can hardly believe the gigantic transformation that cellphones have brought. Those who relied on telegrams and postal mail are also quite impressed with how much farther electronic systems such as email, have added to the speed and variety of written communication channels ……… Click here for full story
Palestinian Leadership Hijack Christianity: Jesus Declared A Palestinian
Palestinian leaders this Christmas season are bent on claiming Jesus Christ and the celebration of His birth as their own. Despite the fact that Jesus’ birthplace of Judea wasn’t renamed “Palestine” until at least 100 years after his death, despite the fact that modern-day Palestinians didn’t adopt that name until the 20th century, Palestinian Authority officials have repeatedly claimed recently that Jesus was a “Palestinian.” ……… Click here for full story
These Two Nations Have Banned a Controversial Movie
“Exodus: Gods and Kings” has been banned in Egypt, CNN reported. The movie also has been nixed in Morocco, the Guardian noted. The Egyptian Ministry of Culture banned the controversial Ridley Scott flick over historical inaccuracies, CNN said, citing a statement from the agency. Egyptian Culture Minister Jabir Asfour called the movie “Zionist.” “It shows history from a Zionist viewpoint and forges historical events, therefore it is was banned in Egypt,” CNN reported, citing state news agency EGYNews. “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has been criticized over issues surrounding race as well as lead actor Christian Bale’s not-so-complimentary view of Moses, whom Bale portrays in the newest celluloid version of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt. Morocco has banned “Exodus” as well since it contains a representation of God, which goes against Islamic principles. The scene in question depicts God appearing as a “child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses,” the film’s distributor told the Guardian. More
AirAsia plane missing with 162 on board, Indonesia media report
Air traffic controllers in Indonesia have lost contact with an AirAsia plane with 162 people on board, local media reported Sunday. Indonesia’s Metro TV station reported that contact with the plane, Flight QZ 8501, was lost sometime after takeoff. Sky News reported that an official with Indonesia’s Transport Ministry said that contact with the Jakarta air traffic control station was lost at 6:17 a.m. local time Sunday (6:17 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday). Sky also reported that the official said that the aircraft had requested an unusual route before losing contact. According to the website FlightAware.com, the Airbus320 was scheduled to depart from Juanda International Airport on the Indonesian island of East Java at 5:30 a.m. local time, with arrival in Singapore scheduled for 8:20 a.m. (7:20 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday). It had last flown the route on Dec. 26. Fox News
Theft of baby Jesus figure may be hate crime, authorities say
The FBI has joined the investigation into who stole a baby Jesus from a Haverhill, Massachusetts, nativity scene and replaced it with a real pig’s head. During a press conference Friday, authorities said this case may be treated as a hate crime. “If our investigation leads us to think this person was motivated by prejudice towards a religion, it will be treated as a hate crime,” Haverhill police Detective Robert Pistone said, according to CNN affiliate WCVB. Authorities say a priest at Sacred Hearts Church, north of Boston, called them Christmas morning to report the nativity scene theft and switch. Video from CNN affiliate WHDH showed the pig’s head wrapped in plastic in the center of the manger, surrounded by Mary, Joseph and lamb figurines. Sacred Hearts Parish was founded in 1908 and serves 3,000 families of the Merrimack Valley. More
Black pastors make stand for traditional marriage
A coalition of black pastors has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of traditional marriage in a federal case that upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Thomas More Law Center filed the brief at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders, asserting that marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. The brief supported the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Deboer vs. Gov. Rick Snyder, which upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman as constitutional. The Sixth Circuit Court’s decision affects laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Thomas Moore Law Center began filing amicus briefs on behalf of the black pastors earlier this year as part of a new strategy to stem the tide of federal cases overturning the definition of traditional marriage as passed by overwhelming majorities of voters in more than 20 states. In many of the cases, a single federal judge was able to overturn laws approved by a state’s voters. More
300 PATIENTS A DAY HAVE SURGERY AXED IN UK.
More than 300 patients a day are having operations cancelled as the National Health Service runs out of beds, official figures show. Surgeons were forced to delay planned, “elective” procedures 3,113 times in the first two weeks of this month. This is an average of 311 each working day and a rise of almost 50% on the same period two years ago. The numbers are up 16% in the last year alone. Another 161 urgent operations — where life, limb or organs were at risk — were also cancelled in the first half of this month, up from 138 last year. The disclosure comes amid mounting concern about the growing signs of strain in the health service. David Cameron has ordered his two most trusted “fixers” to take charge. More
Iran military helps Iraq fight ISIS; Obama welcomes.
Iranian military involvement has dramatically increased in Iraq over the past year as Tehran has delivered desperately needed aid to Baghdad in its fight against Islamic State militants, say U.S., Iraqi and Iranian sources. In the eyes of Obama administration officials, equally concerned about the rise of the brutal Islamist group, that’s an acceptable role — for now. Yet as U.S. troops return to a limited mission in Iraq, American officials remain apprehensive about the potential for renewed friction with Iran, either directly or via Iranian-backed militias that once attacked U.S. personnel on a regular basis. A senior Iranian cleric with close ties to Tehran’s leadership, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss security matters, said that since the Islamic State’s capture of much of northern Iraq in June, Iran has sent more than 1,000 military advisers to Iraq, as well as elite units, and has conducted airstrikes and spent more than $1 billion on military aid. More
Europe is in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state, Abbas claims
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the Palestinians feel they are in a position of strength “because the world is standing with us.” In a message to Fatah activists in Nablus, Abbas said that the parliaments and governments of important countries in Europe have voted in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state. He pointed out that only nine countries opposed the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. Abbas said that in light of worldwide support, the Palestinians felt strong enough to go to the Security Council and ask for a resolution that sets a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. More
Falklands defence review after military deal between Russia and Argentina
The aircraft, which Moscow will swap for beef and wheat, would be able to mount air patrols over Port Stanley. Ministry of Defence officials fear Buenos Aires would take delivery of the planes well before the deployment in 2020 of the Navy’s 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and its F-35B fighters, leaving a “real window of vulnerability”. Defence cuts have left the Falklands with just four RAF Typhoon fighters, Rapier surface-to-air missiles and fewer than 1,200 troops, supported by a naval warship that visits throughout the year. President Putin’s visit to Argentina in July laid the groundwork for exchanging Russian military hardware for wheat, beef and other goods Moscow needs due to EU food embargoes. The deal involves a lease/lend of 12 Sukhoi Su-24 supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft. They are ageing but Nato still regards what it codenames “Fencers” as “super-fighters”, with their 2,000-mile range and laser-guided missiles. Russia has been increasing its links with Argentina since 2010, when it provided two Mi17 assault helicopters which are in service with the 7th Air Force Brigade. More
A new public security law in Spain is taking away people’s right to speak out about the financial crisis.
Human rights groups say law is parliament’s attempt to ‘gag’ public and muzzle protests over its handling of country’s financial crisis The new law allows fines of up to €30,000 for disseminating photographs of police officers that are deemed to endanger them or their operations. Individuals participating in demonstrations outside parliament buildings or key installations could be fined up to €600,000, if they are considered to breach the peace. Those insulting police officers could be fined up €600. Burning a national flag could cost the perpetrator a maximum fine of €30,000. More
A federal judge in Arizona ruled that the state must allow thousands of illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses
A federal judge in Arizona ruled that the state must allow thousands of illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses This means that the state is now compelled to allow “Dreamers,” who have received work permits through President Obama’s deferred action program, to apply for licenses as soon as Monday. On “Fox and Friends Weekend” this morning, Nomiki Konst clarified that these are not illegal immigrants, but non-American citizens who were brought here when they were younger than 18. More
Did the US and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?
Saudi oil policy… has been subject to a great deal of wild and inaccurate conjecture in recent weeks. We do not seek to politicize oil… For us it’s a question of supply and demand, it’s purely business.” – Ali al Naimi, Saudi Oil Minister “There is no conspiracy, there is no targeting of anyone. This is a market and it goes up and down.” – Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, United Arab Emirates’ petroleum minister “We all see the lowering of oil prices. There’s lots of talk about what’s causing it. Could it be an agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to punish Iran and affect the economies of Russia and Venezuela? It could.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin. Are falling oil prices part of a US-Saudi plan to inflict economic damage on Russia, Iran and Venezuela? Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to think so. In a recent interview that appeared in Reuters, Maduro said he thought the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted to drive down oil prices “to harm Russia.” Bolivian President Evo Morales agrees with Maduro and told journalists at RT that: “The reduction in oil prices was provoked by the US as an attack on the economies of Venezuela and Russia. In the face of such economic and political attacks, the nations must be united.” More
Look Who Tops Oprah on Most Admired Woman List of 2014
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman of 2014, a new poll has found. According to a Gallup’s annual list of most admired public figures, conducted Dec. 8-11 of 805 adults, 12 percent of people named her. She was the only person to reach double digits on the women’s list, and it’s the 19th time in the poll’s history that she has come in first. Clinton is “easily the most [admired] of any woman in Gallup’s history of asking the most admired question, six more times than Eleanor Roosevelt,” Gallup said. Oprah Winfrey came second with 8 percent, while Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai got 5 percent. A number of other women in the political arena also made the list including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with 4 percent, Michelle Obama with 3 percent, and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin with 2 percent. Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is often floated as a possible 2016 presidential contender, attracted 1 percent. And former First Lady Laura Bush also got 1 percent. More
Terror Alert: Holy War in America’s Bible Belt
It was like any other family vacation for us: rare, restful and too short. Three generations piled into adjoining condos that my father had booked; four generations if you count that my daughter was pregnant and making me a grandmother. We were all gathered to visit and then go with her to the big ultrasound. The result? Twin boys, now almost 8 years old. But one afternoon, I decided to lay down and take a nap before the big family meal. Since I never nap, and since I believe God speaks through dreams, I decided to take advantage of this extra sleep cycle and see if He might speak to me in a dream. I laid down, asked the Lord what He wanted to say, and drifted off. Surely I would dream about those precious twins. Or maybe about how the generations of the righteous are blessed. But that wasn’t at all what God needed to say that day. I saw an American city destroyed by terrorist bombing. There was carnage in the streets, smoke everywhere, and utter pandemonium. It looked like a desolate wasteland. I somehow knew a “holy war” had been incited by Middle Eastern terrorists, and that the city they’d bombed was my hometown, Nashville, Tennessee. Not that there wouldn’t be other cities targeted, but this attack was different. More
Filipino City Requires Taxi Drivers to Display Bible Verses on Vehicles
A city in the Philippines mandates all of its taxi drivers to paint Scripture on the back of their vehicles, also known as three-wheeled motorcycles, in an effort to curb crime in the city. While the regulation in Tagbilaran has been in effect for over twenty years, reports have just recently highlighted the requirement. “This is the only city in the Philippines that has such an ordinance,” Samuel Belderol, who issues taxi licenses at city hall, told reporters. “We want the world to know that we are a God-fearing city and that these Bible verses help us draw closer to God.” “We only issue 3,000 licenses every year and each one must have a unique verse on it, no duplicate verses allowed,” he explained, nothing that the drivers are assigned a particular Bible verse. More
Russian economy suffers first contraction since global crisis
Russia’s economy shrank sharply in November and the rouble resumed its slide on Monday as Western sanctions and a slump in oil prices combined to inflict the first contraction in GDP since the global financial crisis. The Economy Ministry said gross domestic product shrank 0.5 percent last month, the first drop since October 2009. With oil exports forming the backbone of the economy, analysts said the contraction is likely to worsen. The slide on the oil market accelerated this month after the exporters’ group OPEC refused to cut output, and prices are down almost 50 percent from a peak in June. On top of this, the sanctions imposed over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis have deterred foreign investment and led to over $100 billion flooding out of the Russian economy this year. More
Hackers Tried to Paralyze Nuclear Plants
Authorities investigating a hacking attack targeting Korea’s nuclear power plants said Sunday that emails containing malware were sent to hundreds of workers at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation. They were intended to destroy internal files and hard disks. The emails were sent to KHNP workers between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Dec. 9, while the malicious codes were designed to be activated at 11 a.m. on Dec. 10. The hackers emailed around 5,980 messages to one-third of KHNP’s 9,500 staff. More
Colorado locks down water supply, promising “not a drop more” to California
Recent storms dropped torrential rains across much of California, causing flooding and mudslides across many areas, leaving some residents homeless and killing at least two people. There was even a tornado in Los Angeles. Despite record rainfall on December 10 of between 1.54 inches at Long Beach Airport and 2.36 inches in Oxnard, the amount of rain that fell was a mere drop in the bucket for this drought-stricken state. A milder storm December 12 added to the rainfall total. These early-winter storms left behind a combined 166 billion gallons of water, which seems like an enormous amount of water, but in reality is only enough water for 2.5 million people for one year. Given that California has been in a drought since 2011, and has a population of over 38 million, it is clear that California is far from done with its water woes. According to an article by the San Jose Mercury News, the California Department of Water Resources estimates that California will need six more major winter storms dropping similar amounts of rain to bring an end to the drought. More
School teachers forced to wear scarlet letter flu masks, gloves when they refuse flu shots that don’t even work
The vaccine mafia is upping the stakes in its endless war against free thinking and personal choice. A shocking new report indicates that some daycare workers in Texas are now being forced to wear face masks and gloves throughout the duration of “flu season” if they refuse to be injected with live viruses and mercury. Citing a letter received from a concerned daycare worker in the College Station area of central Texas, VacTruth.com reports that at least one daycare center in the region, Covenant Presbyterian Children’s Center (CPCC), has implemented the egregious policy, which is akin to forcibly labeling all resisters with a giant scarlet letter in order to coerce compliance. More
Obamacare causing massive wave of hospital closures across USA
A number of acute-care hospitals closed across the United States last year — 18 to be exact — and experts who see a raft of new regulatory processes being heaped upon the healthcare industry in the coming years, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, believe that a wave of additional closures are ahead. As noted by WorldNetDaily, a dozen more hospitals have closed in the U.S. so far this year in rural areas alone; more are getting ready to be shuttered. But Dr. Lee Hieb, M.D., says this is just the beginning. “Events happening now give us some idea of what medicine will be reduced to in the future,” she wrote in her upcoming book, Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare, which is being published by WND Books. More
Los Angeles on Tactical Alert After Two People Fire at Patrol Car.
The city of Los Angeles, California has been put on tactical alert after two suspects fired at a patrol car with rifles on Sunday night, according to a report posted on ABC7.com, the website of the local ABC affiliate. Police say one suspect is in custody and they are searching for the second one. The incident occurred at 62nd and Hoover streets at about 9:20 p.m. Police say every available officer has been sent to the area. Authorities said two officers were rolling down the street when they observed the muzzle of a rifle firing in their direction, according to CBS Los Angeles. A rifle has reportedly been recovered. But it remains unclear if more than one weapon was used in the alleged attack. More
Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches
He has been called the “superman pope”, and it would be hard to deny that Pope Francis has had a good December. Cited by President Barack Obama as a key player in the thawing relations between the US and Cuba, the Argentinian pontiff followed that by lecturing his cardinals on the need to clean up Vatican politics. But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?
It looks as if he will give it a go. In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions.
The reason for such frenetic activity, says Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is the pope’s wish to directly influence next year’s crucial UN climate meeting in Paris, when countries will try to conclude 20 years of fraught negotiations with a universal commitment to reduce emissions.
10 Lies Taught To Us In School
The school system is a bastion of education and enlightenment, a fortress of higher learning where our children can safely discover the facts about the way our world works. Through this system we have the opportunity to grow and mature into responsible adults, secure in our knowledge of history, science, and mathematics.
Except, of course, for all the ridiculously irresponsible lies we’re being fed. Here are ten of the biggest lies taught to us in school.
The Year (2014) in Review – Church & Culture Blog
As we did last year, this is the time to recap the year that was.
There are a number of ways to do it, all of which are interesting. You can look at a year in terms of notable deaths, viral events, political rises and falls….
But how do you really get a twelve-month snapshot of a culture’s zeitgeist?
I would argue for two words: “Google searches.”
I’m not saying that this will be what historians will mark in 10, much less 100 years…even less what is most significant. But I will say that it may be the clearest window into our current soul.
So here we go with a few peeks into our inner world, courtesy of Google itself:
How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing)
This article shows how many films are based on the tenets of Hinduism.
Our Year With The Bible Infographic 2014
Peace on Earth? I Don’t Think So
Around the world millions of Christians joined together to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to pray for “peace on Earth, good will toward men.” The 2015 World Almanac puts the number of Christians in the world at 2,347,171,000, by far the largest group sharing the same spiritual beliefs. It puts the number of Muslims at 1,633,173,000. Of the seven billion residents of planet Earth, more than six billion identify themselves as part of one of the many different faiths, to include Hindu, Buddhist, and others.
Michele Bachmann Accuses Obama Of Assisting Anti-Israel Jihadists
She said she has watched Obama, “at every turn, cut the legs of our ally, Israel, and in fact embrace and lift up the agenda of Islamic jihad.” Obama’s ostensibly enthusiastic support of Iran’s leader as that nation reportedly moves toward the creation of a nuclear weapon, Bachmann said, is a further cause for serious concern.
Cop Shot By Muslim in ‘Revenge Killing’ Was Christian Who Saw Streets as Ministry
“He told me that his job even with the NYPD, he felt he was doing God’s work,” Marcos Miranda, president of the New York State Chaplain Task Force, told Arise America. “He felt that he was protecting and serving his community and that was a sort of a ministry for him. And I totally agreed with him.”
“As most of you may know by now, one of the officers, Ralph Ramos was a long-standing member of 14 years at Christ Tabernacle. When he was not working, he was highly involved in our church,” Adam Durso, the executive pastor of Christ Tabernacle wrote in a statement on the church website. “He served as an usher, was part of our marriage ministry and life group ministry. He and his family are well loved throughout the congregation.”
The New Anti-Semitism in 2014: A Year in Review
When it comes to chronicling the “Oldest Hatred”, stories abound. 2014 was no different, and in a sense, was even more heavily loaded with statements, events, tragedies and even death, than the previous year. All seems to indicate that Anti-Semitism is on the rise globally AND exponentially, in frequency AND intensity. A review of the main anti-Semitic acts that punctuated this last year will suffice to make your Judeo/Christian hair rise on your head.
Mars Hill Church’s Former Pastor Mark Driscoll Is Back With A Flashy New Website
Pastor Mark Driscoll may be aiming for comeback.
The disgraced evangelical preacher, who recently resigned from the Seattle megachurch network he spent 18 years building, has reportedly launched a website filled with sermons and other free resources.
News about the website emerged just days before Mars Hill Church formally dissolves on Dec. 31, Seattle PI reports.
The Rapture — A Secret Jesus Couldn’t Reveal
I am frequently asked if the rapture is such an important event for the Church, why didn’t Jesus say anything about it? Our Q & A format doesn’t lend itself to a comprehensive answer to such a complex question, so here’s the whole story. It begins 500 years before the cross with God’s answer to a prayer from Daniel reminding Him that Israel’s 70 year Babylonian captivity was just about over and He promised He would restore the nation when it ended (Jeremiah 29:10-11).
The Economy is Not Recovering: Get Prepared
I know it’s tiresome and depressing to constantly read how bad things are economically in this country, but commerce runs the engine of our economy and our lives for it generates the income we all need to survive. It’s also confusing because one doesn’t know who or what to believe. However, is it not better to know the truth than to rely on an illusion? Truth from people who actually care what happens to we the people.
Is ISIS in Psalm 83?
A 3000 year old prophecy written in the book of Psalms appears to be alarmingly close to finding its final fulfillment. Psalm 83 identifies a 10-member coalition comprised of the Arab territories that mostly share common borders with Israel. Psalm 83:4 informs that this formidable alliance wants to destroy the Jewish state and banish the name of Israel once and for all. Psalm 83:6-8 provides the Old Testament identity of these belligerents, which could also include notable terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and more.
How To Make A New Year’s Resolution That Sticks
We have all heard the statistics: 50% of people make some kind of new year’s resolution, but 88% of those resolutions ultimately fail. That is more than a little discouraging. But I still believe in new year’s resolutions. I believe in them as a convenient opportunity to evaluate life and to make choices about living life better. I have done a fair bit of reading on how to make resolutions work, and it turns out that though there are many reasons your resolutions may not work, the most common ones are easy enough to avoid. Here are some tips on making wise resolutions and on making them stick.
Ten Practical Ways to Control Spending and Wisely Manage God’s Money
The following guidelines are designed to help you exercise self-control in spending, become a better steward of God’s resources, and free funds to use for Kingdom purposes:
What Should We Be on Our Guard for as Our Children Grow Older?
Sin is the true and obvious answer. That said, there are peculiar sins that teenagers, at least in our day, are somewhat prone to. Just as with adults, however, I’m afraid we mass our defenses in all the wrong places. The sins of our youth are just like the sins of our dotage, though they may present themselves in somewhat different ways. The key sin I am on the lookout for with my teenagers is the one I’m on the lookout for in me—pride.
Is Your Church Functionally Liberal?
This lack of clarity allows unbiblical ideas and behavior to get traction. In a liberal church no one stands up, with an open Bible in his hand, and says, “Hey guys, we just don’t say/do things like that around here. It isn’t biblical.” That simple clarity just doesn’t exist in such a church. There is no authority towering over all else, rallying the people to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Only the Word of God, received with meekness, can prevent a church from sinking lower and lower into mediocrity, irrelevance, conflict and sheer boredom.
Let’s Not Be Big, Fat Contradictions People!
Why do such a seductive picture for a Christian song about new birth? Carrie looked much more modest before the music industry got a hold of her. She also looked about 20 pounds heavier—and beautiful! She isn’t even close to overweight in her early days on American Idol. But healthy and wholesome isn’t the right image, I guess. And her real “changed life” seems to be okay with a lot of compromise.
Seven Myths about a Pastor’s Workweek
It is an old joke, one that is still told too often. You go up to your pastor and say, “I wish I had your job; you only have to work one hour each week.” It is likely your pastor will laugh or smile at your comment. In reality your pastor is likely hurt by your statement. Indeed the reality is that too many church members have made wrongful and hurtful comments about the pastor’s workweek.
Sadly, some church members really believe some of the myths about a pastor’s workweek. And some may point to a lazy pastor they knew. I will readily admit I’ve known some lazy pastors, but no more so than people in other vocations. The pastorate does lend itself to laziness. To the contrary, there are many more workaholic pastors than lazy pastors.
So what are some of the myths about a pastor’s workweek? Let’s look at seven of them.
The Evangelical: Jesus saw scripture as unbreakable; so should we
Post-evangelicals often present the options as (1) an infallible Bible and an infallible Church, or (2) a correctable Bible and a correctable Church. But if we were to present these options to Jesus or Paul or Moses – or Gregory, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon and the rest – I suspect they would splutter in astonishment and tell us about option (3): an infallible Bible, and a correctable Church. That, surely, is the way to preserve divine authority and human humility; a word from God that never fails, and people that frequently do.
Police Matter: Some Reflections on the NYC Police Murders
We’d also be foolish not to recognize that demonizing the police—who are bringing hope in so many communities—has great dangers. We’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. And, coming from a public service family, it disgusts me. Yet, indeed, we do stand at a moment where there is a great danger the police will be demonized when they are, indeed, a key part of the solution. Only a fool thinks you cannot simultaneously support the police and listen to those who think they’ve been treated unfairly. That’s the kind of thinking that divides rather than brings reconciliation. We can support the police and talk about how to make policing better at the same time.
The Cosmology of Killing— Part II
The cosmology of killing is thus pagan and occultic to its core and originates in the first temptation, that man could be as God and determine good and evil for himself – to be beyond good and evil. The contemporary justification of the killing of the unborn, then, on the sole basis that it sanctions ‘choice’ (the woman’s right to choose), is the essence of Moloch worship. We may not place our children in the fire, but the meaning is the same. We propitiate (satisfy) self-will and the will of the state (man enlarged) by offering up our children on the altar of our godhood and worship and serve the creature.
The One Goal Your Family Needs This Year
Enjoy God together: Be intentional in taking time together as a family to explore God’s creation. Talk together about all God has done. Study his promises in his word and talk about how he has fulfilled them. Read biographies of missionaries and other heroes of the faith and be amazed at God’s work in his Kingdom. Rejoice together over answered prayers. Share what you are thankful for each day.
CultureWatch: It’s Time To Get Intolerant
by Bill Muehlenberg
We expect secular humanists and others like them to celebrate the idea of tolerance as the greatest good, but sadly many believers have also hopped on to this foolish bandwagon. It is as if the greatest virtue is now tolerance and the greatest vice is intolerance.
Well, it is time for some straight thinking here. In fact, it’s time to get biblical as well. Just today I read the words of Jesus in which he praised intolerance. Yep, you heard me right. In his words to the Church in Thyatira he praised their ‘faith, service and perseverance,’ but he went on to harshly rebuke them:
“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20). These believers were tolerating something which they should have been very intolerant about.
tolerance 1The truth is, God cannot and will not tolerate anything that is evil, and neither should we. There are plenty of other biblical texts one could appeal to in this regard. Let me mention just a few more.
Episcopal Church Baptisms Dry Up
“The report reveals that in U.S. dioceses, baptisms are down five percent from 27,140 in 2012 to 25,822 in 2013. Similarly, marriages are down four percent from 10,366 to 9,933 (the denomination has seen a 40 percent decline in children baptized since 2003 and a 46 percent decline in marriages over the same period).”
Church of England Names Its First Woman Bishop; Libby Lane to Assume Historic Role
Lane, 48, a mother of two and the wife of an Anglican vicar, will be consecrated as the eighth bishop of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester, at a ceremony at York Cathedral on Jan. 26. Her appointment is as a suffragan bishop — a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan or diocesan bishop.
Sorry Again, John 3:16: The World’s 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014
Out of the 10 countries with the most YouVersion usage, Philippians 4:8 was the most popular verse in the United States, Brazil, and Nigeria in 2014, while Jeremiah 29:11 was the most popular verse in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jeremiah 33:2-3 was the most popular verse in South Korea. Isaiah 41:10 was the most popular verse in Mexico and Colombia.
5 Special Things Black People Lost When Schools Were Integrated After Brown v. Board of Education Decision
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that state laws establishing separate public schools for Black and white students were unconstitutional, violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The 9-0 decision was hailed as a major victory for the civil rights of African-Americans, paving the way for the integration of the nation’s schools. But in retrospect, while there was reason to celebrate the court decision, there were also many things the Black community lost after the Brown decision.
How Academia’s Liberal Bias Is Killing Social Science
The authors also drop this bombshell: In one survey they conducted of academic social psychologists, “82 percent admitted that they would be at least a little bit prejudiced against a conservative [job] candidate.” Eighty-two percent! It’s often said discrimination works through unconscious bias, but here 82 percent even have conscious bias.
2014 In Review: An Unsettling Year, With Religion In A Starring Role
A string of court decisions paved a way for greater accommodation of religion in public life, dealing a blow to atheist groups that warned that the separation of church and state was under attack. In Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld sectarian prayers at public meetings, and the justices also ruled 5-4 in favor of the Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts chain in its bid to refuse a full range of contraceptive services to employees.
Headlines of Interest
Our Time is Short
Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer: The news/information headlines in this blog post are a service freely given so as to keep people informed about current events and discussions taking place within our church and culture. 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.
Here are the posts that got the most traffic on our blog here in 2014. Feel free to give them a read! Happy 2015!
In his recent blog essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. comments on Newsweek’s cover story on the Bible. Mohler writes,
“Newsweek magazine decided to greet the start of 2015 with a massive cover story on the Bible. For decades now, major news magazines have tended to feature cover articles timed for Christmas and Easter, taking an opportunity to consider some major questions about Christianity and the modern world. Leading the journalistic pack for years, both TIME and Newsweek dedicated cover article after article, following a rather predictable format. In the main, scholars or leaders from very liberal quarters commented side-by-side those committed to historic Christianity on questions ranging from the virgin birth to the resurrection of Christ.”
The topic of a believer who falls into sin or renounces his profession is a common one. And from that spring boards the questions Can a believer fall radically? Can a believer fall totally, irretrievably and be lost for all eternity? I hope this post sheds some light on what scripture says…
We may live in a culture that believes everyone will be saved, that we are “justified by death” and all you need to do to go to heaven is die, but God’s Word certainly doesn’t give us the luxury of believing that. Any quick and honest reading of the New Testament shows that the Apostles were convinced that nobody can go to heaven unless they believe in Christ alone for their salvation (John 14:6; Rom. 10:9–10).
Historically, evangelical Christians have largely agreed on this point. Where they have differed has been on the matter of the security of…
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Depression affects many people in this world. It does not discriminate. It affects anyone who is a prey to it. However, it can be conquered through the power of God’s Word. It is our prayer that this small resource will be handy to you. The knowledge and comfort many seek when they experience the blues can only be found in Christ (Col. 2:8).
by Mike Ratliff
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self- control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB)
The lack of tolerance within the visible church for the exclusivity of the genuine Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is rooted in the “Hermeneutic of Humility.” Even amongst some pretty solid Christians that I am close to, I have noticed that pained or shocked look on their faces when they hear me succinctly define the Gospel the way our Lord Jesus did and the way the Apostle Paul did…
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