If the gospel has never broken you, you have never really heard it. —Matt Papa
Jan. 5, 2015
When the 114th Congress convenes on Tuesday, lawmakers won’t merely be thinking of the voters who put them in office. They’ll also be mindful of the donors who helped them reach those voters in the first place. The 2014 midterm elections cost some $3.7 billion, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Police officers again protested against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio by turning their backs as he paid tribute to slain cop Wenjian Liu as a man who represented “the very best” of New York City, at a funeral attended by thousands of mourners.
At least 1,000 troops deployed to Liberia to help combat the Ebola virus should be brought home because their work is mostly done, U.S. Senator Chris Coons said.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said Saturday he is ending his show on Fox News because he is not ready to rule out running for president in 2016.
Good news for President Barack Obama: more people approve of his job performance than disapprove, for the first time since September 2013. In the latest Gallup poll, 48 percent approve of his job performance and 47 percent disapprove.
The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued an alert to American citizens warning of a potential security threat against U.S.-associated hotels and banks in Indonesia’s second-biggest city.
China’s leaders aim to shift the economy from a reliance on investment and exports for growth to one where consumption and markets play a bigger role.
General Motors, Ford and other major automakers reported rising vehicles sales in the U.S. in December, capping the best year since 1996 thanks to cheap fuel and low interest rates.
Gold futures rose for the second straight session as Greece’s political crisis and a decline in equities spurred demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.
Brazil’s real dropped to a two-week low as speculation Greece will abandon the euro sank demand for emerging-market assets.
Treasuries rose, pushing the 30-year bond yield to the lowest level in more than two years, as global inflation slowed even as the Federal Reserve is on track to raise rates this year.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to express remorse over World War II in a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict, in a move that could help smooth ties with China and South Korea.
AP Top Stories
A North Korean believed to be a runaway soldier killed four Chinese citizens during a robbery after he crossed the border into China in search of food, media reports said
Sailor Gutzler, the 7-year-old girl who survived a plane crash, walked a mile through the cold, dark woods to safety and then helped authorities locate the wreckage and remains of her family, may not be done helping investigators. National Transportation Safety Board investigator Heidi Moats said Sunday that Sailor is “one remarkable young lady,” and she might be able to assist them in determining what brought the plane down.
Weather was the “triggering factor” in the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501 with icing likely causing engine damage, Indonesian officials said, as rough seas Sunday hampered the search for more bodies and wreckage.
Inmate advocates worry that a proposal to reduce the financial penalties for states that don’t comply with a 2003 federal law aimed at eliminating rape behind bars will severely damage it.
A giant 380 pound Bluefin tuna sold for more than $37,000 in the first auction of the year at a Tokyo fish market, as Japan faces growing pressure to cut back on consumption of the threatened fish.
Some Family Dollar stores in the St. Louis area have been experimenting with signs asking customers to take off their hoodies before they enter the stores.
New restrictions on Syrians entering Lebanon came into force, further slowing the flow of asylum seekers trying to escape the war.
The Afghan president said America’s two-year deadline to pull out the last of its troops may need to be re-examined as Taliban attacks continued.
Mexican authorities arrest 10 more police officers in their inquiry into the disappearance in September of 43 students in Guerrero state.
Libyan military jets attacked a Greek-operated oil tanker behaving “suspiciously” in an Islamist-controlled port, killing two crew members.
The militant group Boko Haram has seized a town and key multinational military base in north-eastern Nigeria, officials and eyewitnesses said.
Irish beef was approved for sale in the US for the first time in almost 16 years after a ban on European beef imports was lifted.
There was a surge of anti-Christian violence by Muslims around the world that included the destruction of nearly 200 Christian churches in Nigeria during a short period around October.
In the adversarial, macho environment of the courtroom, a booming voice might seem like a good trait for a lawyer to cultivate. Not so – men who sound very masculine are actually less likely to win a US Supreme Court case than their more gentle-sounding peers.
Methamphetamine seizures at U.S. ports of entry on the California-Mexico border reached unprecedented levels in fiscal 2014, as drug trafficking organizations strive to smuggle growing quantities of the low-cost Mexican-made product into the United States.
A former South High School teacher who resigned last year over allegations of inappropriate behavior with students has found work as a grant coordinator with the regional homeland security agency.
Could Obama Swing the Israeli Election? :: Rosen at Gatestone
by Steven J. Rosen
The Gatestone Institute
January 3, 2015
Time to Assert, Not Abandon, the First Amendment
As a general proposition, the common law of the United States self-consciously assumes a framework of principles contained in or deduced from Scripture, including the foundational principle of rights given by a Creator-God. Rather than abandoning or denying that legacy, it is time to do the hard work of explaining and re-asserting the liberties contained in the First Amendment. While not the ultimate tool or the only tool, it is one of many at the disposal of a free people.
The Demise of Due Process on Campus
Our universities have glorified narrative, particularly victim narratives. Professors typically do not invoke the notion of narrative to emphasize that facts must be grasped in context, but rather to undermine the authority of facts and affirm the supremacy of subjective perceptions and personal experience. All narratives are created by subjective viewpoints, but according to fashionable campus doctrine — and knee jerk campus reaction — not all narratives are created equal. The subjective viewpoints of alleged victims of Western civilization — minorities and women — possess superior moral worth and political relevance.
Turkey is no American Ally :: Inbar at BESA
by Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives
January 4, 2015
Russia’s “Startling” Proposal To Europe: Dump The US, Join The Eurasian Economic Union
Slowly but surely Europe is figuring out that as a result of the western economic and financial blockade of Russian, it is Europe itself that is suffering the most. And while Germany was first to acknowledge this late in 2014 when its economy swooned and is now on the verge of a recession, now others are catching on. Case in point: the former head of the European Commission, and Italy’s former Prime Minister, Romano Prodi who told Messaggero newspaper that the “weaker Russian economy is extremely unprofitable for Italy.”
11 Predictions Of Economic Disaster In 2015 From Top Experts All Over The Globe
Will 2015 be a year of financial crashes, economic chaos and the start of the next great worldwide depression? Over the past couple of years, we have all watched as global financial bubbles have gotten larger and larger. Despite predictions that they could burst at any time, they have just continued to expand. But just like we witnessed in 2001 and 2008, all financial bubbles come to an end at some point, and when they do implode the pain can be extreme. Personally, I am entirely convinced that the financial markets are more primed for a financial collapse now than they have been at any other time since the last crisis happened nearly seven years ago. And I am certainly not alone. At this point, the warning cries have become a deafening roar as a whole host of prominent voices have stepped forward to sound the alarm. The following are 11 predictions of economic disaster in 2015 from top experts all over the globe… (Read More….)
Gerald Celente 2015 Forecast: Manipulation, Depression and War
Celente explains, “It’s the grand manipulation of the markets and the news, and it just keeps spreading. There is manipulation of the gold markets, and we know there is manipulation in the Forex market; we are not making this up. We are talking about $5.3 trillion a day. The markets are rigged. Kramer came out and said the stock market was rigged. We know that the LIBOR market is rigged. That’s the interest rate market. . . . This is not a conspiracy theory. Banks have been fined for “misdeeds.” Misdeeds? They are rigging the show and no heads roll. The whole market, the news, the information is all one rigged game.”
Celente goes on to say, “In our business, trend forecasting is based on the understanding that current events form future trends. So, we take the information we have and analyze it and see how it will play out and what the implications will be. It’s becoming more and more difficult because we’re getting phony information continually. So, whether it has to do with geopolitics, economics or whatever it is, they are cooking the books and spinning lies. So, it is harder and harder to see where some of these things are going. . . . We don’t have capitalism any more. The merger of state and corporate powers is called fascism, and when you are looking at the rigging of the game, it’s called bankism. . . . This thing should have collapsed a long time ago, but they keep making up new rules and a new game. This is nothing more than a central bank confidence game, and you can tie it all back to bankism.
January 5, 2015
“If this spirit shall ever be so far debased, as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.” –James Madison, Federalist 57, 1788
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
As members of the 114th Congress take their seats Tuesday with the GOP in majority in both chambers, the Republican Party will begin the session by trying to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and changing the ObamaCare definition of full-time work to 40 hours a week instead of 30 — issues that have bipartisan support. A House aide, who serves Republican leadership, told The New York Times, “The Senate will be ground zero,” as the GOP still has to persuade four Democrats to vote with them to reach 60 votes to send legislation to Barack Obama’s executive pen. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) wants to reform the failed educational policy No Child Left Behind, a move that would essentially reduce the federal government’s meddling with state and local school boards. But while senators are anticipating a bipartisan political game and plotting governing moves, there is infighting in the House. At least nine GOP representatives will make a show of voting against John Boehner as House Speaker because he did not stand up to the president and agreed to fund Obama’s executive immigration decrees until February. More…
For years, it hasn’t been enough for Al Sharpton to simply pontificate about racial issues. No, that’s not how a 21st century race-baiter operates. According to the New York Post, the self-appointed spokesman on race issues has for years made a nasty habit of threatening American companies: pay him in money or power — or else. “For more than a decade, corporations have shelled out thousands of dollars in donations and consulting fees to Sharpton’s National Action Network,” the Post writes. “What they get in return is the reverend’s supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence. … ‘Al Sharpton has enriched himself and NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn’t come to terms with him. Put simply, Sharpton specializes in shakedowns,’ said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog group that has produced a book on Sharpton.” In other words, Sharpton is not a principled defender of civil rights. The only color he really cares about is green. More…
In response to allegations of police racism made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city’s police have turned their backs (literally) on the mayor at the funerals for slain NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos — even when Police Commissioner William Bratton asked the force to respect the ceremonies. NYPD is also on a working strike, as the department has virtually stopped enforcing traffic laws, making drug arrests and, in the words of one NYPD supervisor, “only making arrests when they have to.” De Blasio brought this backlash on himself with his outrageous racism accusations. But as Red State’s Leon Wolf writes, the actions of the NYPD create a “dangerous precedent” if future politicians ever want to cut the bloated bureaucracy of government. There are other ways for the NYPD to petition de Blasio for a redress of grievances that do not endanger the public or disrupt a memorial to a fallen law enforcement officer. More…
According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Mexicans illegally crossing the U.S. border has dropped dramatically since the Great Recession. Thanks in part to the rise of unaccompanied alien children from Central America, the number of people detained by Border Patrol who are not from Mexico is now greater than the number of people coming from our immediate southern neighbor. Pew reports, “About 229,000 Mexicans were apprehended by the Border Patrol in fiscal year 2014 compared with 257,000 non-Mexicans during the previous year, according to recently published Border Patrol data. Taken together, total apprehensions of Mexican and non-Mexican unauthorized immigrants (more than 486,000) were up 16% over the previous year.” Overall, the number of illegal immigrants is down from its high in 2000, when 1.6 million illegal immigrants crossed the border. Obama, so far, has inadvertently fixed the immigration issue because few people want to live in a nation destroyed by his economic policies. However, an upturn in the economy combined with his amnesty will change that. More…
In the aftermath of the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, gun grabbers led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein pushed hard to enact “sensible gun control.” Fortunately, at the national level at least, they were unsuccessful in restoring things like the ban on so-called “assault weapons.” And even better, Second Amendment proponents were able to advance gun rights in several states. To name a few victories, Idaho, Georgia and Indiana expanded the number of places where concealed carry is permitted, Missouri now permits teachers to carry firearms and the Ninth Circuit Court struck down California’s “just cause” concealed carry requirement. All this while more and more Americans are buying guns. Clearly, we should never let down our guard (see the UN’s anti-gun treaty as an example), but there is reason for optimism as Liberty advances.
Moving crews have packed up desks, lamps, chairs, office supplies and other personal items of numerous Democrat Senate and House offices now vacated after November’s election. But in a suite of offices located directly across from the Senate Floor, there were relics from the list of bills that passed the U.S. House and sat without action inside Harry Reid’s office. Somewhere in that stack likely sits an anti-gun treaty signed by Secretary of State John Kerry.
To his credit, outgoing-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid likely knew the United Nation’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) (full text here) would never meet the two-thirds majority requirement for ratification. But as of Christmas Eve, the treaty has gone into effect internationally.
The UN General Assembly first approved the ATT in April 2013 and Kerry signed it on Sept. 24, 2013, amid criticism from the Republican side of the upper chamber’s aisle.
No action has been taken to move the treaty to a vote for U.S. Senate ratification, but 61 nations have ratified the treaty and 69 additional nations have signed without ratification by their own governments. The ATT is legally binding only to the 61 nations whose governments have procedurally embraced the global legislation.
Likely, Reid avoided the self-inflicted damage to Democrats in an election cycle that would result with a recorded vote on a UN arms control effort. Then again, Democrats didn’t fair all that well as it was.
According to Kerry and Barack Obama — of “bitter clingers” fame — the ATT will protect Americans and other global citizens from the dangers of illicit small arms trade (smaller munitions, sea and land mines, rockets). They assure us that the treaty’s jurisdiction would apply only to international trade and not infringe upon domestic gun rights.
Kerry trumpeted, “Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with … the rights of American citizens to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our Constitution.” Spare us the idea that Democrats have anything but contempt for gun rights.
Why would any American who values the Constitution and the Second Amendment have concerns about the negative implications on our national security and the right to bear arms?
First, on a foreign policy level, Obama and Kerry have essentially signaled their willingness for an international body made up of rogue and terrorist nations to define the appropriate movement and utilization of certain weapons and munitions. It’s foreign policy for dummies … and on purpose.
The treaty permits post-ratification amendments by a three-quarters majority vote of the UN General Assembly that would completely circumvent the power of our legislative involvement. Nothing says “Smart Foreign Policy” like allowing your potential enemies to amend an agreement to their advantage.
Second, on the domestic front, the ATT would mandate export/import controls requiring the importing country to collect information of the “end user” of a firearm, retain that information for 20 years, and provide that information to the exporting county. So if you purchased, say, a Beretta shotgun, you would be deemed an end user and the treaty would obligate the U.S. government to provide the Italian government with the record of your purchase and your contact information. If the U.S. should fail to do so, exports could be banned to the U.S.
In January 2013, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) put forward an omnibus appropriations bill that prevented funding of any types of implementation of the ATT. The legislation received 53 votes for passage, with 46 opposed — all Democrats.
Our North American brethren, the Canadians, rejected the ATT outright. Yes, even Canada. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird included in his remarks these direct statements: “It is important that such a treaty should not affect lawful and responsible firearms owners nor discourage the transfer of firearms for recreational uses such as sport shooting and hunting. We’ll make sure that any treaty we sign onto is good for Canada, and good for Canadians.”
Sounds like bitter clingers are not limited to the GOP, eh?
In a twist that sounds more like supporting what your enemy opposes, Israel signed the treaty just before the deadline. Iran and other terrorist states determined to eliminate Israel’s existence openly oppose the ATT. Israel can do no right in the eyes of the United Nations, so if its strategy is to remove one criticism from the table it’s unlikely to achieve much.
With a Republican majority now in the U.S. Senate, this treaty won’t see a vote and will not legally bind the U.S. But that may not stop the Obama administration, which had no problem trafficking guns to Mexican drug cartels, from infringing on the Second Amendment anyway.
As we enter 2015, it’s worth looking back on some key cultural indicators from 2014. Here is one bad omen: According to a 2014 Associated Press-GfK poll, Americans’ sense of civic virtue is in serious decline. “I don’t see any recovery,” said Rutgers University Professor Cliff Zukin. “The people who were 40 two decades ago aren’t as engaged as the people who were 60 two decades ago. This generational slippage tends to continue.”
The poll was a reprise of questions asked in 1984, and it focused on six civic-oriented activities: voting, volunteering, jury service, reporting crimes, knowing English and keeping on top of news and public issues. Only voting and volunteering were embraced as enthusiastically as they were 30 years ago, yet even those numbers are not particularly encouraging. Only 28% of Americans consider volunteering a “very important obligation.” And while 75% characterize voting a central obligation of citizenship, talk is cheap: Voter turnout in the last presidential election dipped to 57.5% of eligible citizens compared to 62.3% in 2008.
Voter turnout in 2014? The 36.4% of eligible citizens who bothered to vote represented the lowest turnout in any election cycle since World War II.
Most Americans do feel some sense of duty to the nation, with 90% characterizing the reporting of a crime one has witnessed, voting in elections, knowing English and serving on a jury when called as “somewhat important” obligations of citizenship. And a majority of Americans consider them “very important” obligations. Yet with an exception for voting, those majorities have declined by an average of approximately 13 percentage points over the last three decades.
Leading the pack are adults under 30 years of age. In every category except volunteering, they were less likely than elder generations to see any obligation, and also felt less obligated than young people of the past. Even more ominously, nearly one in four feel no obligation to keep informed, volunteer or speak English.
Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center, suggests one possibility for the decline. “There are a lot of arguments about how our society has shifted toward a rights focus instead of an obligation focus,” he explains — even as he remains relatively unconcerned, adding, “It’s a little early to pull the alarm bells about the demise of our civic culture.”
No, it’s not. And while a rights focus versus an obligation focus may account for some of the decline, the 800-pound gorilla is far more obvious: The American Left has virtually removed the concept of American exceptionalism from the classroom, and cheapened the concept of citizenship itself.
With regard to exceptionalism, the New York Post explains that the teaching of civics has been “largely abandoned” in today’s public schools, and according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which bills itself as “the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas,” those students are less proficient in American history than in any other subject.
Furthermore, what little history they do learn has been twisted to conform to the leftist agenda. As we reported in July, the College Board, the company responsible for the SAT exams and a number of Advanced Placement (AP) exams, has radically redesigned American history curricula to dispense with such things as learning about our nation’s Founders. Mark Alexander noted, “The College Board, which sets the curriculum-testing bar, makes only two references to George Washington, one to Thomas Jefferson, and nowhere to be found are Benjamin Franklin and James Madison, among others.” In their place, students will learn about class, race and gender wrongs.
One such example is that set by the cities of Seattle and Minneapolis, where Columbus Day has been kicked to the curb in favor of “Indigenous People’s Day” — in all its grievance-mongering glory.
Thus the obvious question arises: Why would one be expected to feel a sense of civic virtue toward a nation one either knows little about, or has been taught to view with contempt?
As for cheapening citizenship, what could be more obvious than the Left’s obsession with granting many of its privileges to illegal aliens? Once again California leads the way, as illegal aliens can now get driver’s licenses in that state beginning this year. Not to be outdone, the New York City Council is considering a bill to allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. That follows Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signing of a bill last July providing municipal ID cards to city “residents,” regardless of immigration status, beginning this year. De Blasio also signed a bill in November barring the city from alerting federal authorities to illegals in city custody and subject to deportation proceedings, except in rare cases.
And last, but certainly not least, Barack Obama unilaterally decided he will not enforce immigration law against five million illegal aliens — illegals who have and will compete with American citizens for jobs, and many of whom already receive government services, including welfare and Medicaid.
And legal immigrants who were once expected to assimilate into America’s “melting pot” society have been told to “celebrate their differences,” which goes a long way toward explaining the reluctance to learn English.
The concerted effort to tarnish the civic pride that American exceptionalism engenders, coupled with the effort to denigrate citizenship itself — which is exactly what creating politically motivated exemptions for lawbreakers represents — are all the explanation necessary as to why civic virtue is in decline.
In the same 1961 speech in which Democrat President (and leftist icon) John Kennedy uttered the words “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,” he also told the nation that “[w]e dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first [American] revolution.” Six years later, Ronald Reagan made it clearer in his inaugural address as California governor: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Civic virtue and the obligations of citizenship cannot be separated from the preservation of freedom. We allow their continued deterioration at our own peril.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Star Parker: Get off Steve Scalise’s Case
- Burt Prelutsky: Paging Eric Holder
- David Harsanyi: Thank Gridlock for Economic Turnaround
- Jonah Goldberg: Truth Is, There’s No One Behind the Wheel
- Stephen Moore: How the Laffer Curve Changed America’s Economy
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past.”
Columnist Star Parker: “The more time and energy liberals invest to destroy someone, you can bet that this is someone who loves America, what it stands for, and who can make a difference. Latest case is attacks on Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) because he spoke, in 2002, to the European American Unity and Rights Organization, a white supremacist group founded by racist David Duke. Scalise says the remarks were in the context of promoting tax reform legislation he was sponsoring when he was in the Louisiana state legislature, that he addressed many groups in promoting this legislation, and that he didn’t appreciate then who these folks were. But, really, who cares who they were? Shouldn’t a legislator with reforms to improve his state or his nation be free to sell good ideas to anyone? How far do we let liberals go in censuring speech and ideas in America?”
Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “If the cops are as racist as the idiots in the streets keep claiming, why is it we never see Asians or black immigrants from the Caribbean rioting and complaining about police brutality? With all the people of color residing in America, why is it always and only native-born blacks who take to the streets complaining of mistreatment? Could it possibly have anything to do with the violent crime rate and the lack of parental discipline found in their community that leads to so many unpleasant interactions between the police and young black thugs? Furthermore, if things are as oppressive as they claim, why do we never see a mass migration to Canada or Mexico? The only blacks we ever see leaving the U.S. are those like convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard, who leave, seeking asylum in Cuba.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming on one of Obama’s biggest accomplishments of 2014: “More than 99% of the movies scheduled for release this year were not blocked from release by North Korea. So if you don’t like your viewing habits to be decided by murderous dictators, then you have to be mainly pretty happy with President Obama’s record on this.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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EXPOSED: Ferguson Riots And NYC Anti-Police Protests Fueled By Revolutionary Communist Party Movement
Obama presidency emboldens Communist party in America to make aggressive moves
If you had been paying close attention to the signs carried by the endless waves of street protesters during the Ferguson riots and then those in New York City against the police, you would have seen at the bottom “revcom.us”. Most of us ignored that, but a quick visit to the website that created those signs revealed something very interesting…communists.
RevCom is the website for Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Their goal is to inflame and incite till the streets run with blood and anarchy prevails. In his bio, it reads “Bob Avakian came alive as a revolutionary in the 1960s—taking part in the great movements of those days, and especially working and struggling closely with the most advanced revolutionary force in the U.S. at that time, the Black Panther Party.” source
After 6 years of the Marxist community organizer from Chicago, Barack Obama, America has been sufficiently softened up socially and morally to receive the pernicious propaganda from not only the Revolutionary Communist Party, but from all avenues of degenrate Socialism, Marxism, and any other type of bottom-feeding “ism” that lurks out there.
RevCom feels that the mood in America is ripe for violence and rebellion, and judging by the thousands of “useful idiots” on the streets protesting over the past few months, it looks like they are correct. But do not believe for one, single second that these protests reflect the “will of the people”, they do not. This is nothing more than egregious community organizing ala the Chicago Way.
This is not the exercising of our right to freedom of speech, this is anarchy and mass mind control. Like Obama, they are looking to steal your America, and replace it with the Communist vision.
Next time you see protests in the street, take a good look at the signs they are holding. You are being played for a chump, and they count on your indifference and apathy to succeed.
Posted: 05 Jan 2015 08:15 AM PST
Minnesotans awoke Monday to dangerous subzero temperatures, wind chill values that could cause frostbite in minutes, and a coming winter storm.
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|Are PC hard drives destined to die at the hand of the cloud? Maybe, analysts sayPosted: 05 Jan 2015 08:09 AM PST
As more and more users store their data on the Internet, does the need for local hard drives diminish? Fortunately for hard drive makers, the answer is a definite maybe, a panel of analysts said Sunday. At the Storage Visions conference prior to CES, analysts said that PCs and consumer devices will still have need for “hot,” frequently-used data. Less important data will be stored on the Web and accessible via cloud storage. But others argued that the trend to offer terabytes of cloud storage for next to nothing indicates that local hard drives and SSDs are on their way out. To hard drive makers, the distinction is somewhat academic: Vendors like Western Digital and Seagate sell hard drives for servers and consumers alike. But for PC vendors and device makers, storage needs to be factored into their cost of their devices, and passed along as a price consumers eventually pay. Low-cost two-in-ones and tablets debuting this week from E-FUN and others at the Consumer Electronics Show here trade cloud storage for just a handful of gigabytes of local storage—64 GB or so. The implication is that consumers will replace a secondary “data drive” with cloud services like Microsoft’s OneDrive. More
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|Tomb of Pharaoh’s Unknown Queen discoveredPosted: 05 Jan 2015 08:05 AM PST
Czech archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago, officials in Egypt have said. The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre. The name of his wife had not been known before the find, antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement. He identified her as Khentakawess, saying that for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”. That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified. Her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders, Damaty said. “This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids,” he added. More
|Obamas in Royal Trouble with the American People for Dining at Restaurant with $500,000 Membership Fee.Posted: 05 Jan 2015 08:02 AM PST
Nearing the end of the their 17-day vacation in Hawaii, President Obama and the First Lady had their New Year’s Day dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in Hawaii – where memberships can run upwards of $500,000. The Obamas enjoyed a nearly three-hour-long, 15-course meal that is priced at nearly $300 a head. According to Honolulu Magazine, that doesn’t include the dessert, wine, or tip, and a dinner for two can run $1000 or more. Vintage Cave’s website describes the restaurant as nothing short of a restaurant for the elite of America. ” At Vintage Cave Honolulu, one can enjoy exceptional food and wine at the hands of gifted masters of the culinary arts. ‘Chef’s recommendation’ commands a gravitas guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning palate. Seasoned sommelier’s [sic] conduct the process of pairing wine and food with true finesse and style. Secure in the natural embrace of the cave-like environment, guests are encouraged to relax, ‘hit reset’ and escape the ordinary.” More
|Welfare dependency peaks under ObamaPosted: 05 Jan 2015 07:54 AM PST
As Barack Obama enters the twilight of his presidency, he presides over an America vastly different from the one he envisioned building during his 2008 campaign that promised to empower everyday Americans on Main Street over wealthy bankers and investors on Wall Street. A stream of statistics published over the holidays — while Mr. Obama vacationed in Hawaii — paints a clear picture of the gap that has emerged between the audacious promise of his first campaign and the economy’s performance since. But on Main Street large numbers of Americans have dropped from the job market, middle-class wages are stagnant, and even larger numbers of Americans are now dependent on some form of government subsidy for disability, jobless benefits or food stamps. Even data from the president’s signature legislative accomplishment provides warning signs about the health of Main Street: More than four out of five Americans who got new health insurance under Obamacare did so with a government subsidy. More
|Does Disney’s “Into the Woods” Portray a Dark Message to Young People?Posted: 05 Jan 2015 07:50 AM PST
I must simply be too old to enjoy the new fantasy musical in movie theaters “Into the Woods.” Even though I’m only 40, technically a member of “Generation X,” I just never bought into the philosophies of postmodernism that my generation made dogmatic. And make no mistake, “Into the Woods” is a thoroughly postmodern musical. The film is divided into two very distinct halves, the first being a mash-up of familiar fairy-tale characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Jack (of beanstalk fame), who are cleverly brought together in the “woods,” where a baker and his wife must nab an item from each in order to make a potion that will break a witch’s curse. After a bland and somewhat disjointed first act in which no real protagonist develops and the drama never really takes off, the film – it seems – comes to a predictable close. But that’s just the first act. Halfway through, “Into the Woods” takes an abrupt and startling turn into a darker tale that suddenly introduces death, blame-shifting, temptation, adultery and more. More
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|BACKFIRE – Obama’s Criticism of Israel helping Netanyahu in ElectionsPosted: 05 Jan 2015 07:43 AM PST
The Obama administration’s criticism of the current Israeli government only serves to make Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party more popular with the electorate, charged Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon in a U.S. radio interview Sunday. Danon was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s AM 970 The Answer. Danon had been asked about some recent accusations the Obama administration may be trying to influence the March 17 general elections in Israel by repeatedly criticizing Netanyahu’s policies. The Likud politician charged “there are a few people in the administration who sometimes want to get involved and I can tell you one thing. Whenever somebody tries to get involved in our politics they actually are achieving the opposite direction.” He continued: “For example, when President Clinton was trying to get involved in the elections in Israel, he was supporting the Likud party. The same for today. “The more pressure we see that comes from the U.S. it makes my party, the Likud party, stronger. Because the people understand that the prime minister and the Likud Party are standing on the issues.” Danon stressed he was referring only to some White House members and not the general U.S. leadership. More
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|10 of the most infamous “zero tolerance” punishments handed down to kids in 2014Posted: 05 Jan 2015 07:36 AM PST
Are your children safe at school? That depends on if you’re worried about bullies or administrators. Here are 10 of the most infamous “zero tolerance” punishments handed down to kids—and even some adults—this year.
1. Student, 13, shares lunch, gets detention
A 13-year-old boy at Weaverville Elementary School in California shared his school lunch (a chicken burrito) with a hungry friend. For this, he got detention. Superintendent Tom Barnett explained, “Because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals.”
2. Sunscreen not allowed on field trip—kids might drink it
A San Antonio, Texas, school forbid students to bring sunscreen on a field trip. Why? According to spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor, “We can’t allow toxic things to be in our schools.” The children, “could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.”
3. Kindergarten cancels its year-end show to allow more time for college prep
A letter home from the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, read, in part: “The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers.”
4. Teacher suspended on weapons charge for demonstrating carpentry tools
A second grade teacher at Chicago’s Washington Irving Elementary School was suspended for four days without pay for bringing screwdrivers, wrenches and other shop tools to class, and demonstrating how to use them. These are dangerous items. More
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|The most censored health news stories of 2014 – here’s what the establishment doesn’t want you to rememberPosted: 05 Jan 2015 07:30 AM PST
2014 was a year in which we watched the mainstream media devolve into a spot-on depiction of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, engaging in White House-ordered news story blackouts, CDC-inspired anti-health propaganda that endangered the public and corporate-funded disinfo campaigns disguised as news. But what were the biggest health-related censored news stories of the year? That’s what this Natural News article is all about. Consider it a short list of things the establishment doesn’t want you to remember actually happened. Remember: The purpose of the mainstream media — which is really the state-run, corporate-backed propaganda mouthpiece — is not to keep you informed but rather to keep you in a state of obedient ignorance of what’s really going on in the world around you. The censorship of important news stories is a key element in this scheme, and it is vigorously pursued to make sure the public doesn’t find out about real-world events, discoveries or scandals the establishment is trying to bury. More
|State of Connecticut Forces Teen With Cancer To Undergo Chemotherapy.Posted: 05 Jan 2015 07:26 AM PST
A 17-year-old girl with cancer is in an unprecedented legal battle with the state of Connecticut as the Department of Children and Families removed her from her home and forced the teen to receive chemotherapy. The girl being identified as “Cassandra C.” in court papers was diagnosed with cancer in September, with doctors recommending she receive chemotherapy for the rare condition of Hodgkins Lymphoma. However, the teen refused treatment and her mother supported her daughter’s decision, causing Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families to step in and force the teen to receive treatment, WTIC-TV reports. In November, the DCF successfully petitioned for an order of temporary custody of the girl and ordered her mother to cooperate with medical care administered to her daughter under DCF supervision. After two chemo treatments, Cassandra ran away from home before subsequently returning to refuse treatment altogether. More
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Posted: 04 Jan 2015 09:04 AM PST
The governor of Idaho has take the fight to defend his state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as being solely between a man and a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. As previously reported, last May, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale asserted that the amendment, which was passed in 2006 with 63 percent approval from voters, violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. “This case asks a basic and enduring question about the essence of American government: Whether the will of the majority, based as it often is on sincere beliefs and democratic consensus, may trump the rights of a minority,” Dale wrote. “If every individual enjoys a constitutional right to marry, what is the substance of that right for gay or lesbian individuals who cannot marry their partners of choice?” She also contended that the religious reasons cited by the state were not sufficient to save the amendment. More
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|Pennsylvania Abortion Rate Falls to All Time Low, But Over 32,000 Still Aborted in 2013Posted: 04 Jan 2015 08:59 AM PST
The abortion rate in Pennsylvania has fallen to an all time low according to a new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, but over 32,000 babies still lost their lives in 2013—the latest year with statistics available. “In 2013, there were 32,108 abortions performed in Pennsylvania. The 2013 figure is a 51.2 percent decrease from the 1980 total of 65,777 (the highest annual number ever recorded),” the report outlines. “The 2013 figure represents a decrease of 2,428 or 7.0 percent from the 34,536 that occurred in 2012. This is the lowest annual number ever recorded.” It notes that the overwhelmingly majority of abortions were obtained by unwed mothers, including adolescents. “Over 88 percent or 28,262 of the abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2013 were to unmarried women,” the document explains. “Patients age 19 and under accounted for 11.6 percent or 3,740 of the 2013 abortions performed in Pennsylvania. Females age 17 and under accounted for 3.5 percent or 1,125 of the 2013 abortions.” More
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|Detroit starts converting shipping containers into homes.Posted: 04 Jan 2015 08:54 AM PST
An unusual home taking shape inside General Motors’ sprawling Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant is intended to be part of a movement to rebuild the city’s economy and deteriorating, disappearing housing stock. Skilled-trades workers, taking breaks from their tasks at the factory that produces the electric Chevrolet Volt and other vehicles, dart in and out to do door, window and wall installation and framing, as well as electrical and plumbing work. Meanwhile, a nonprofit urban farming group is preparing property a few miles away that will welcome the project, what’s believed to be the city’s first occupied shipping container homestead. Come spring, the house-in-progress will be delivered to Detroit’s North End neighborhood and secured on a foundation where a blighted home once stood. After finishing touches and final inspections, the 40-foot-long former container will feature 320 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen, and will serve as home base for a university-student caretakers of a neighborhood farm and agricultural research activities. More
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|Computer glitch prevents US’ most advanced F-35 fighter jet from firing until 2019Posted: 04 Jan 2015 08:49 AM PST
The Pentagon’s fighter jet F-35 may not be fully operational until 2019 due to a newly discovered computer glitch. The $400 billion ultra-sophisticated jet, the most expensive in US history, was expected to enter service in 2015. F-35 is the fifth generation combat aircraft which is designed in three variations for US Air Force, Navy and Marines to replace out of date aircraft. It was planned to join the Marines in 2015 and Air Force in 2016. It is planned to replace the Air Force’s A-10 Warthog ground attack plane and Lockheed F-16 multirole fighter, the Navy instead of Boeing F/A-18 Hornet carrier-based fighter, and the Marines instead of Boeing AV-8B Harrier II jump-jet. However, the most awaited plane’s main weapon will not be able to fire due to a computer glitch. The four-barreled rotary cannon for the Air Force version of the F-35 cannot function until new software is elaborated, despite jet scheduled to join the army this year. More
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|North Korea blasts US for ‘Hostility,’ SanctionsPosted: 04 Jan 2015 08:43 AM PST
North Korea on Sunday criticized the United States for slapping sanctions on Pyongyang officials and organizations for a cyberattack on Sony Pictures — the latest fallout from a Hollywood movie depicting the fictional assassination of North Korea’s leader. An unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, in rhetoric that closely mirrors past statements, denied any role in the breach of tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails and business files and accused the United States of “groundlessly” stirring up hostility toward Pyongyang. The spokesman said the new sanctions would not weaken the country’s 1.2-million-strong military. The spokesman told the North’s official media mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency, that the sanctions show America’s “inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK,” referring to the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. More
|US Medical Worker Exposed to Ebola Overseas Heads to OmahaPosted: 04 Jan 2015 08:40 AM PST
An American health care worker who experienced high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone is being transported to a Nebraska hospital for observation. The Nebraska Medical Center says the patient should arrive in Omaha around 2 p.m. CST Sunday. Dr. Phil Smith, who leads the hospital’s specialized biocontainment unit, says the patient “is not ill and is not contagious.” He added that “all appropriate precautions” will be taken. More
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|Obama Released Nuclear Terrorist Back to Afghanistan, Considered “low threat”Posted: 04 Jan 2015 08:36 AM PST
Mohammed Zahir was released form his prison cell in Guantanamo Bay in December and was sent directly back to the battlefield in Afghanistan, his home country. Zahir was one of four prisoners released who were considered “low threats” in a sign of good faith with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as reported by The New York Times. The report states that the four men aren’t expected to receive further detainment once they reached Afghanistan. But according to WikiLeaks documents, Zahir was caught with a sealed can of “Heavy Water – U235 150 Grams.” Translated from Russian, that means he was in possession of uranium and admitted it was to be used in making an atom bomb. Other items found during the search of his property linked him directly to Taliban and extremist networks, including recruitment materials. Also discovered was a book documenting 50,000 metric tons of “sugar” having been shipped to Washington, D.C., and the United Kingdom with stops in Brazil and other international sea ports. It is noted that “sugar” is code for heroin trafficking. More
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|Government Tells California Family: Scale Back Your TreehousePosted: 04 Jan 2015 08:32 AM PST
Northern California authorities are telling a Placer County couple to prune back their deluxe treehouse. Mike and Pat Splinter’s 500-square-foot treehouse features a full kitchen, a bathroom and all the plumbing. The Animal Planet cable network highlighted the structure last month in the show “Treehouse Masters.” The episode featured the Splinter family making hard candy for Christmas in the treehouse kitchen. But Placer County deputy planning director E.J. Ivaldi tells the Sacramento Bee that the family already has a full guest cottage on their property Because of that, authorities say the treehouse’s full kitchen, and mattress, must go. More
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|Obama looks past GOP in promoting his 2015 agendaPosted: 04 Jan 2015 08:29 AM PST
President Barack Obama plans new steps to help more Americans buy a home and attend college, part of a 2015 agenda he hopes can build on the postelection momentum from high-profile moves on immigration and Cuba. His approach for the new year appears to look straight past newly emboldened Republicans who take full control of Congress on Tuesday. Fresh from a two-week Hawaiian vacation, the president was readying executive actions and legislative proposals to start promoting right away while advisers and speechwriters flesh out the broad themes that Obama wants to emphasize in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20. It will be his sixth since taking office, but his first before a Congress entirely in GOP hands. More
|U.S State Dept in 2014 condemned Israel as one of the most “unacceptable” countries in the worldPosted: 03 Jan 2015 09:08 PM PST
Genesis 12:3 – I will bless those who bless you,
Once again America’s Leadership continues to play with Fire as The US State Department in 2014 condemned Israel as one of the most “unacceptable” countries in the world, just behind North Korea. According to an article published last week by Foreign Policy, over the past year the Obama Administration State Department cited Israel for “unacceptable behavior” more times than Pakistan, Russia, Egypt, China, Afghanistan and Iraq. The article examined how many times a country’s actions were condemned as “unacceptable,” and Israel came in fourth, right after Syria, Iran and North Korea. Most of the State Department’s criticisms came in response to Israeli announcements for plans to build housing in Jerusalem. The study also found that the US government panned out unprecedented amounts of condemnation towards Israel for civilian casualties during the summer war in Gaza. The absurd and arbitrary way in which the United States condemns her allies more that her enemies only serves to render Washington’s pronouncements meaningless in the eyes of most Israelis. How can building homes in Jerusalem be condemned on par with the actions of nations repeatedly engaged in aggressive and murderous violence towards their own civilian populations with absolutely no regard for human rights? More
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The seeker-driven megachurch leadership model
by Daniel Neades
Is The U.S. Being Colonized by Red China | Worldview Weekend
For the past few decades the Communist regime of China has been driving toward world supremacy, both economically and militarily. The regime’s main target has been, and is, the United States of America. China’s plan to grab power has been clever and unprecedented, seeking victory without firing a shot, reducing its targets to mere frogs in a boiling pot.
What Makes a Good Year? | Worldview Weekend
If I ask you what makes a good year in your life, you may reply with one or more of these generic blessings: physical health, career promotion, relational fulfillment, financial prosperity (or at least solvency). But you’d be wrong.
Well, you would be half-wrong. A good year is whatever improves our sanctification, i.e. what makes us more like Christ, draws us closer to God, and increases our usefulness in giving God glory.
The Sanctification Spiral
When you feel “stuck,” when you feel like you are continually rehearsing the same struggles, remember this: sanctification is not an endless, repetitive circle. It is a growing spiral in which each round penetrates more deeply into our identity as fallen, but redeemed, image-bearers of God. Spiritual growth can be a long, slow process—with one step backward for every two steps forward—but as you trust in Christ, God will complete the work he has begun in you (Phil. 1:6). Remember: your spiral is not a circle!
Noble Rescinds the Ten Commandments for 2015
Noble compounds his error by arbitrarily rewriting what’s left of the commandments to make them palatable for nonbelievers, even though he’s told us that they’re legally irrelevant. Noble presents his version by starting with the original biblical commandment, then wiping them off the screen and replacing them with his own version. God’s commands appeared on Noble’s big screen for 4 minutes and 12 seconds, but Noble’s commandments got 20:41 of screen time. Here’s what Noble wishes the commandments could be:
Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2014: 11-20
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year read on The Aquila Report. That’s easy for us to determine – we just count the hits! We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run and the five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20.
Open Letter: ‘It pains me greatly to have to consider parting ways with the PCUSA’
For these reasons I am strongly considering formally asking that my name be removed from the rolls of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina’s list of commissioned ruling elders. As such I understand that I would also be giving up my privilege of serving God as moderator of the session of Oakwood, and administering the Sacraments. Those things in and of themselves causes me such pain that I was almost willing to swallow the truth. But, I cannot. I cannot because nothing is worth the cost of my soul.
Twitter Post Sparks Hashtag War with LifeWay, SBC Elite
Stetzer’s comment inspired #the15, a growing number of people using a highway marker with the number 15 as their Twitter profile picture to show anger against a denominational elite they say maintains power by ridicule, marginalization and attacks on anyone who questions its authority. J.D. Hall, a Southern Baptist pastor in Montana who contributes to a group blog called Pulpit and Pen, said Calvinists aren’t the only one fed up with groupthink in the nation’s second-largest faith group behind Roman Catholics, and they number a lot more than 15.
A denominational worker’s tweet over the holidays sparked a social media campaign alleging the Southern Baptist Convention’s bookstore chain values profit more than doctrinal fidelity and that an inner circle of “evangelical intelligentsia” calling the shots doesn’t listen to the rank-and-file.
Before Christmas Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, posted a tweet characterizing people concerned about an apparently collegial reference to Pope Francis by author John Piper as “the same 15 Calvinists who are mad at everyone — for everything.”
Stetzer’s comment inspired #the15, a growing number of people using a highway marker with the number 15 as their Twitter profile picture to show anger against a denominational elite they say maintains power by ridicule, marginalization and attacks on anyone who questions its authority.
J.D. Hall, a Southern Baptist pastor in Montana who contributes to a group blog called Pulpit and Pen, said Calvinists aren’t the only one fed up with groupthink in the nation’s second-largest faith group behind Roman Catholics, and they number a lot more than 15.
“This isn’t just tongue-in-cheek whimsy for Stetzer,” Hall, pastor of Fellowship Church of Sidney, Mont., said in a blog posting titled Who are #the15. “We realize what’s happening here. It’s what is happening every single day — those who are concerned are marginalized. We are few in number, they tell us. And to these people, numbers are everything, and so to be few in number is to be marginalized. It’s a license to ignore, but more than that, it’s a license to ridicule.”
Hall said Stetzer’s engagement in social media about Piper’s critics comes after months of ignored emails and social-media posts asking why LifeWay Christian Stores continue to sell products likeHeaven is for Real, a New York Times bestseller tacitly condemned in an SBC resolution last June affirming “the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife.”
Hall, who in the past has reported on SBC politics at a Baptist college in Louisiana and contradictions in a popular ex-Muslim testimony in a radio program on Brannon Howse’s “Worldview Weekend” on conservative Christian radio, said the pattern is always the same: Those in positions of power avoid and obfuscate. When that doesn’t work they ridicule and marginalize. If that fails, they attack, usually with the aid of sycophants.
The Catholic Weakness
But the Catholic Church is not very good at reaching out warmly and helping people feel they belong, and it is doing a much worse job at “preaching to the converted.” When large chunks of Mass-going traditional Catholics don’t believe in basic doctrines of the Church, something is going very wrong at the most basic level. My guess from 30 years of Mass-going is that they seldom or never hear what the Church teaches.
Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2014: 21-30
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year read on The Aquila Report. That’s easy for us to determine – we just count the hits! We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run and the five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 21-30.
The Year of Gospel-Centered Living
Sanctification: Because I am here to reflect Christ, I will seek to apply my complete salvation through God’s grace, Spirit, Word, and people. I am not here in 2015 to change my circumstances or fix my feelings. I am here to reflect Christ. So, I’ll be asking, “How can I cooperate with God’s grace, God’s Spirit, God’s Word, and God’s people to become who I already am in Christ?” I’ll especially be applying Romans 6:1-14 to my daily growth in grace.
As 2015 begins, many of us make resolutions for the new year. Some even do so with a “theme.” I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions—themed or theme-less.
However, in 2015, I’m making an exception. For me, by Christ’s grace, I want 2015 to be: The Year of Gospel-Centered Living
8 Gospel-Centered Life Questions
But what does it even mean to live gospel-centered? I’m going to defined gospel-centered living as my attempt to live according to the Bible’s answers to life’s 8 ultimate questions.
In Gospel-Centered Counseling, I outlined life’s 8 ultimate questions as:
5 Things Jonathan Edwards Teaches Us About The Christian Life
Toward the end of his life, Edwards was kicked out of his church by a vote of ten to one—by professing Christians, upstanding church members. This, and other trials he encountered during his life, lead me to conclude that the lofty vision of Christian living that he has left to us is not naïve idealism. He felt the pain not only of rejection, but of rejection by close friends and family members who were part of his church. And yet, having his eyes opened to present pain did not close his eyes to future glory.
For many of us, Jonathan Edwards is a skinny white guy who never smiled, except when talking about hell. If we know anything more, it’s:
that he wrote a lot of really dense books
that he talked a lot about the glory of God
that he was part of the Great Awakening
that John Piper likes him a lot.
And that’s about it.
But there are riches to be mined in Jonathan Edwards far beyond what you may have been exposed to. Reading Jonathan Edwards is not for historians and professors mainly, but for the rest of us.
Here are five things Edwards teaches us about the Christian life—your Christian life.
5 Areas Where Progressive Christian Culture Completely Loses Me
There may be some legitimate theological discussions to be had around the theology of original sin, but I have a hard time taking seriously any argument that rejects the idea we have a natural tendency towards choosing sin. Or, maybe I’m just wrong on this issue and a really horrible person on top of it– because here’s what I know: I gravitate towards sinning. I always have. I always do. Reality is that I find myself in a daily battle to do what is right– a battle that is with a disposition deep inside me.
I’m obviously known as a “Progressive Christian.” While I am not a fan of labels, I don’t mind having this one assigned to me because it’s a big tent and there’s room for me here. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m always on board with what other progressive thinkers are saying or affirming– there are many times where I find myself pushing back and saying, “you guys just lost me on that one.”
While Progressive Christianity is so broad that it is both impossible and unfair to make a blanket statement or sweeping critique, lately I’ve been thinking about 5 areas where I find myself internally distanced from some of what I see in Progressive Christianity. Since I’ve never held back from critiquing Evangelicalism, it seems only fair that I also be open about some elements of Progressive Christianity, both in thought and praxis, where I’m just not on board:
Don’t Worry, I Picked Your New Year’s Resolution: Family Worship
So how do we make personal and family worship healthy, balanced and meaningful? Of course, we must practice it in the first place. But then, the Westminster Shorter Catechism #3 gives two simple questions we can ask of any biblical passage we read: 1. What does this passage teach us about what we should believe about God? and 2. What does this passage teach us about our duty toward God? Every passage will address either one, or both of these questions.
CultureWatch: Europe and the Decline of the Church
by Bill Muehlenberg
In a recent article I discussed the growing trend of Christians leaving church(mainly in America), while still remaining followers of Jesus. They have found other ways to fellowship and grow together with other Christians, but they are basically “done” with church.
That article obviously touched a raw nerve, with over 200 comments and well over 10,000 likes. As I had to say in a comment, “I of course nowhere in this article said that it was necessarily a good thing that people are leaving church (but not Christ). I merely pointed out the reality of this situation, and suggested a few reasons as to why this might be the case. I also clearly said that we must pray for our pastors and leaders. And of course I did mention Heb. 10:25 and the need to have some sort of regular fellowship.”
That article can be found here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/12/26/on-leaving-church/
Many of the comments found there demonstrate that there is a lack of clarity as to just what exactly the church means, and how it relates to, but differs from, the body of Christ, the Kingdom of God, and so on. Given that entire libraries have been filled seeking to discuss such issues, I certainly did not attempt that there – nor will I here.
Will The Messiah Reign Forever?
Q. I was just reading in John 12:34 where the Jewish people told Christ that they knew from the Law that the Christ would remain forever. I was just wondering what passages gave them that interpretation? Thank you so much for your ministry!
Will My Disease Keep Me Out Of Heaven?
Q. I have Epilepsy and in Matthew 4:24, 17:15 it makes epilepsy/seizures sound as if I have demons within me, and or have a very weak faith. I’m a person that studies the Bible and try my best to become more like Jesus daily. All I want to know is since I believe in Jesus and try real hard to follow him I will still be accepted into Heaven won’t I? I really don’t see why I wouldn’t, but when reading a article these questions arose so I decided to ask you.
Helping a Family Member Struggling with PTSD Symptoms, Part One—Biblical Understanding
The Fullness Of the Gentiles
Q. I believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ. I am a little confused about this scripture in Romans 11:25 though. I believe there will be people from the nations of the world (Gentiles) during the 7 year and Great tribulation period to be born again/believe in Jesus as the son of God and to be saved. My question for you is: if the Rapture doesn’t take place “until the fullness of the Gentiles come in” then, does this “Fullness” not include the Tribulation Gentiles?
The End Of The Church
Q. You have said that the rapture is “a number specific event, not a date specific one.” I absolutely agree. But since more people are being born every day, some of whom may become born again in their lifetime, it’s hard to wrap the mind around “number specific” (even though I believe it). In other words, will the world grow so dark that no one will be saved from some unknown point in time and then at that juncture, the rapture will take place? I’m 72. I would prefer to “fly” than to “die.”
Are The Christian God And The God Of Islam The Same?
Q. I often hear people say, there is only one God and Islam worships the same God as Christians. I disagree but I am not sure I have the right answer. If our God had a Son who died for our Sins and His name was Jesus Christ, and their god didn’t have that same Son who died for their sins, how can anyone say we worship the same God?
What in the World is Happening?
Our Time is Short
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