Daily Archives: January 15, 2015

January 15, 2014: Truth2Freedom’s Daily Briefing Report and Headline Alerts Collection

The Christian’s life should put his minister’s sermon in print. —William Gurnall


Jan. 15, 2015


New York Mayor Bill de Blasio isn’t ready to say how he’ll get a reluctant state Senate to give him the power to limit rent increases for 1 million tenants, a key part of his affordable-housing program.

Governor Andrew Cuomo will detail a plan to provide struggling cities in New York with $1.5 billion from legal settlements with financial firms.

More Americans unexpectedly filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, indicating companies let go of seasonal workers following the holidays. Jobless claims climbed by 19,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Jan. 10.

Russia’s central bank will probably change course after it replaced its head of monetary policy following criticism from President Vladimir Putin.

Consumer confidence increased last week to the highest level since mid-2007 as steady declines in gasoline prices and more hiring boosted Americans’ attitudes about the economy.

The franc strengthened to a record against the euro, while shares from Germany to the U.K. rebounded with gold after the Swiss central bank ended its minimum exchange rate. Copper led a commodities rebound as U.S. stocks fluctuated amid bank earnings.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it expects weaker demand for its crude this year and predicted that slumping prices will curb growth in U.S. supply.

Janet Yellen is leaving the Greenspan “put” behind as she charts the first interest-rate increase since 2006 amid growing financial-market volatility. The Federal Reserve chair has signaled she wants to place the economic outlook at the center of policy making, while looking past short-term market fluctuations. To succeed, she must wean investors from the notion, which gained currency under predecessor Alan Greenspan, that the Fed will bail them out if their bets go bad — just as a put option protects against a drop in stock prices.

AP Top Stories

A 20-year-old Ohio man’s Twitter posts sympathizing with Islamic terrorists led to an undercover FBI operation and the man’s arrest on charges that he plotted to blow up the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.

Pope Francis gets a rock star welcome as he arrived in the Philippines for a 5-day pastoral visit.

Commuters were faced with major delays across San Francisco on Wednesday morning after a man jumped in front of a train and was killed, forcing officials to shut down most lines running through downtown.

Boko Haram fighters killed a woman as she was in labor during what is feared to be the deadliest attack in the militants’ six-year insurgency, Amnesty International claimed on Thursday. The woman was shot by indiscriminate fire that also cut down small children.

Toyota has been swamped by orders for its first mass market hydrogen fuel-cell car with demand in the first month nearly four times higher than expected for the whole year.

FBI agents raided offices of Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies, a Florida medical device company whose executive VP helped inspire ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.

Cadillac made its own mark among the new, blisteringly-powerful autos from the world’s most-storied manufacturers at the North American International auto show this week. The Cadillac CTS-V takes General Motors’ best-looking luxury sedan and drops a Corvette Stingray Z06 supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood. The lethal luxury combo’s 640 horses, eight-speed transmission and 630 pound-feet of torque are capable of propelling it to 60 m.p.h. in 3.7 seconds, and all the way to 200 m.p.h. at the top.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said they were abandoning the Franc link to the euro. Analysts are still figuring out what this means on a global basis. The knee-jerk reaction was a 2% drop in U.S. stock futures before rebounding.

Gold prices took off Thursday as the Swiss National Bank axed its long-standing minimum exchange rate against the euro.


New US trade and travel rules covering Cuba will see an end to the ban on Americans using credit cards there – and bringing back Cuban cigars.

A lack of exercise could be killing twice as many people as obesity in Europe, a 12-year study of more than 300,000 people suggests.

A CIA internal watchdog cleared its officers of improperly accessing the computers of members of the US Senate intelligence committee.

Two US climbers – who spent more than two weeks scaling El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without climbing tools – reached the 3,000ft summit.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to torpedo President Obama’s plan to shield undocumented migrants from deportation.

A leading Kenyan newspaper apologized for publishing Charlie Hebdo’s cover, depicting Prophet Muhammad following an outcry from its Muslim readers.

The wife of liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, urged Western powers to demand his release.


A weekly call to prayer for Muslims will be heard at Duke University starting Friday.

A Virginia school district has decided to scrap a policy that allowed it to interrogate Christian homeschool teenagers and their parents about their religious beliefs.

A broad coalition of conservative organizations is urging Congress to reject granting President Obama so-called “fast track” power to expedite the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a NAFTA-like economic integration and global governance plan.

Daily Digest

January 15, 2015


“Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.” –James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791


Leftmedia Self-Censors to Appease Violent Islamists

The Leftmedia’s resolve to uphold the freedom of speech buckled this week as, one by one, television news stations reported on the latest Charlie Hebdo edition featuring a weeping Muhammad but did not show the cover. (We haven’t shown the cover for the simple reason that it’s lousy and even phallic.) NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” told its viewers what to think of the image that they didn’t show, describing the front page as “a triumph for free speech.” SkyNews went so far as to reprimand a writer for Charlie Hebdo when she tried to show the image during a live interview. As she held up the paper, the station cut away and the anchor said, “We at SkyNews have chosen not to show that cover, so we’d appreciate it, Caroline, not showing that.” He continued, “I do apologize, for any of our viewers who may have been offended by that.” CNN digressed even further when its religion editor, Daniel Burke, compared the Muslim communities in France to the community in Ferguson, Missouri. “There is a prevailing feeling in France among many Muslims that they are not treated as part of the state at large,” Burke complained. Pandering to violent extremism is only one sign that our culture’s moral fortitude has begun to decay.

White House Proposes Methane Regs

Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency spent most of its first six years targeting CO2 emissions. In a move clearly intended to snarl the energy sector, the White House this week formally proposed methane gas regulations, reports The Washington Times: “Obama on Wednesday put forth long-awaited regulations on methane emissions, setting an ambitious goal of reducing those emissions by 45 percent over the next decade and again drawing the ire of many in the energy industry.” There’s no denying that methane, a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing — the technique often used to extract oil or natural gas from the earth — is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. But as we wrote last month, years before the natural gas boom, environmentalists heralded natural gas as the solution to America’s energy problems. It’s cleaner than oil, it’s plentiful and it’s easy to reach. But now that we are actually harvesting more energy, the environmental lobby wants to shut it down. Moreover, a recent study revealed that there are few methane leaks from fracking. If you’re looking to point a finger, much of the blame lies with, yes, cows passing gas. What are Democrats going to come up with next? A plan to regulate nature? Oh, wait…

Cost of Government Regulations Predicted to Rise

According to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, government regulation will cost Americans $1.882 trillion in 2015. Now that Obama has ushered in the era of the imperial presidency, much of this cost will be hidden in executive orders and rule-making. “Regulations plus interventions, bans, gov’t-steering-while-the-market-rows and the like may have impacts greater than government spending, but it is not monitored and disclosed like government spending, and accountability is abysmal,” writes Crews. “Unmeasured costs, and in particular, ‘regulatory dark matter,’ the ‘costs of benefits’ and citizens’ loss of liberty imply that if we’re missing regulation, we are missing the biggest part of government’s role in the economy, perhaps society itself.” At least we have low gas prices — until some lawmaker decides he or she thinks the American people can afford a higher gas tax. More…

Bill de Blasio Forgets Definition of Citizen

Ever since last February, disgraced New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been trying to make the Big Apple welcoming to immigrants — regardless of legal status. Now, he’s giving out rights a mayor has no power to grant. NPR writes, “New Yorkers 14 and older can now join the largest municipal identification program in the country. De Blasio said renting an apartment, opening a bank account and entering a school building will now be easier for the city’s estimated half-million unauthorized immigrants. ‘We don’t want any of our fellow New Yorkers to feel like second-class citizens. We don’t want them to feel left out,’ he said.” Wait… Illegals are second-class citizens? It must be hard for them come voting season. Using de Blasio’s logic, we’re rude if we don’t let people who disrespect our laws determine the course of the country. More…

Marines Capture Would-Be Robber Without Messing Up Uniforms

Three Marines foiled an attempted robbery that happened outside a Washington state recruiting office Jan. 6, detaining one perpetrator — without even ruining the blue dress uniforms they were wearing. A 60-year-old woman was getting into her truck when two men approached her, told her she was being robbed and that they had a gun. The woman replied that she was an ex cop and put up a fight. The suspects fled, but not before the commotion attracted the attention of Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg, Sgt. Ricardo Schebesta and Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker inside the nearby Lynnwood recruiting office. The three tore after the suspects. “That kid was never going to outrun me,” Shoemaker told KIRO-TV. “Marines run towards the sound of chaos.” Shoemaker, who faced combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the New York Daily News he didn’t care if the suspects had a gun. “I’ve been shot at before. It’s not as bad as everyone thinks. Most people miss.” When he caught up with Diego Tavares, 19, Shoemaker wasn’t about to tackle him. “I was wearing my dress blues. I was not going to the ground,” he said. Instead, he placed Tavares in an arm bar until the police could arrive. Later, police would discover that Tavares was armed with a baseball bat he hid inside his pants. Another reason to be thankful for the few and the proud. Semper Fi! More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read GOP Majorities — Now What?, on the greatest danger facing Republicans.



Will GOP Fight Amnesty?


Following in the footsteps of John Kerry’s famous “I was for it before I was against it” approach to governing, House Republicans voted Wednesday to defund Barack Obama’s amnesty plan — that is, after they voted in December to fund it.

Lacking the anatomical necessities required to take a stand against the president’s abuse of the executive office, Republican leadership last year opted to support Obama’s amnesty plan through the “CRomnibus” bill that funded through Feb. 27 the Department of Homeland Security — the agency responsible for carrying out Obama’s immigration action. They justified the vote with the promise that, come this year, they’d vote to defund amnesty. Forever the optimists, they apparently believed Santa would bring them their long-lost backbone for Christmas.

With February looming, Republican leadership has decided to drum up some courage and vote to halt the egregious executive overreach. And they’re serious this time. No, really. Honest. Sort of. Well, maybe. Okay, maybe not so much.

By a vote of 236-191, with 10 Republicans voting nay and two Democrats yea, the House passed a bill funding DHS through September while cutting off money for Obama’s executive actions, which effectively granted amnesty to five million illegal aliens.

Addressing the lower chamber, House Speaker John Boehner said, “Today I rise, and the House rises, to support and defend our Constitution. … This executive overreach is an affront to the Rule of Law and to the Constitution itself. … [W]hat we are dealing with is a president who has ignored the people, has ignored the Constitution, and even his own past statements. … Enough is enough. By their votes last November, the people made clear they want more accountability from this president. And by our votes here today, we will heed their will, and we will keep our oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Boehner pointed to at least 22 instances when the president himself stated he did not have the authority to act unilaterally. Indeed, on one occasion Obama explained, “I am not a dictator. I’m the president. … If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. … I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” If by “execute” he means kill, dismember and bury existing laws in order to make up his own, he’s spot on.

Unfortunately, the House passage of the bill may turn out to be little more than symbolic. Senate Republican votes aren’t guaranteed, and, if it comes right down to fighting a promised presidential veto or funding DHS without defunding amnesty, even Republican border security stalwarts may buckle. For example, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said, “We need to fund DHS. I think that’s high ground.”

Mark Krikorian of National Review notes, “[T]he way we’ll know how serious Mitch McConnell is about trying to curb Obama’s lawlessness is whether he starts work on the bill right away or he sits on it, running out the clock on DHS funding to try to force conservatives[s] to capitulate.”

How serious is the Senate majority leader? McConnell said the Senate will focus on the bill in February — still weeks away — which hardly inspires confidence in the GOP establishment’s commitment to counter the president’s disdain for the Constitution.

Meanwhile, as the Senate waits, Democrats are practicing their talking points — specifically noting the optics of defunding DHS after the jihadi attacks in Paris. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that after the “horrible, horrible terrorist attack took place in Paris … [y]ou’d think it would have heightened the urgency to pass a homeland security bill, but the Republicans still say no to passing a clean bill unless they can be a menace to immigration.”

And White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest lectured, “House Republicans … are mucking around with DHS funding just weeks before the funding deadline. … [T]here’s never a good time to muck around with the funding of the Department of Homeland Security, but given the events of the last week this seems like a particularly bad time to do so.” The Paris attacks didn’t warrant a presidential visit, but they’re fair game for his party’s political spin — including Earnest’s laughably backward charge that Republicans’ plan is “essentially a vote for amnesty.”

Given that the Senate appears poised to do nothing in the immediate future, you can be sure that Democrats will use the next several weeks to perfect this spin.

A Bolt of Enlightening


One might think that with the phenomenal “success” of the Chevrolet Volt gas-electric car — for the record, that’s sarcasm — we wouldn’t see another General Motors (GM) foray into the quicksand of failed eco-car ventures for quite some time. Unfortunately, in the Kafka-esque world wrought by Barack Obama, one would be wrong.

The perverse system of incentives and penalties set up by the economic rubes within the current regime is simply too strong for automakers to ignore. Witness GM’s buffoonerific redux of its electric Edsel, the Volt, recast with a new, totally-thinking-out-of-the-box name, the … … “Bolt.” Yeah. That’s what we thought, too.

To be sure, the Bolt promises to deliver a 200-mile-per-charge range, considerably better than the anemic 38-mile range of its impotent older brother. But at a time when gas prices have plummeted, putting another government-subsidized (to the tune of $7,500 per vehicle) eco-pipedream on the road doesn’t seem to make sense — or does it? We’ve lamented on numerous occasions this administration’s willful disregard of economic reality in lieu of Pollyanna visions of zero-fuel-emission tomorrows and social-engineering agendas. This mindset is what brought GM to its knees before Obama’s $10 billion auto industry bailout, resulting in its cynical renaming by the public as “Government Motors.” But it gets worse: This delusion is also the reason domestic auto companies like GM produce things like the Volt and its progeny in the first place.

Let’s review: The reason GM created the Volt was to help reach absurd federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for automobiles sold in the U.S. Team Audacity, leveraging its recycled “save-the-planet” politics, then upped the ante, mandating a thermodynamic-law-defying 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) fleet average. (That number is based on zero scientific or engineering support, according to an in-depth congressional investigation on the subject.) The full force and effect of that mandate is conveniently set to trigger in 2017, after the man inflicting that damage has conveniently jumped ship from the smoldering remains of the executive branch. He and his cronies can then point fingers at follow-on administration officials for having abandoned such “worthy” — and utterly unreachable — goals.

Meanwhile, automakers earn “credits” to offset this other-worldly mpg target to the extent they produce electric vehicles (EVs) that lower overall mpg values per manufacturer. Hence, the Dolt — er, Bolt EV. Markets will respond to incentives, no matter how skewed the outcomes or how loaded the dice. In this case, those dice have been loaded by central planners promising a “better tomorrow” — the same ones who somehow always manage to escape accountability for yesterday’s abject failures or today’s stark realities.

Setting aside the abysmal failure of the Volt and its ilk, the more fundamental, chronic, systemic failure is that of this administration to acknowledge the reality of Economics 101. Witness, for example, that while Obama postured and preened even as he bad-mouthed Republicans’ “drill, baby, drill” game plan gas prices roughly halved overnight thanks to drilling. His response? Why, taking credit for the incredible drop, of course!

“America is the number one producer of oil, the number one producer of gas,” Obama boasted. “That’s helping to save drivers about $1.10 a gallon at the pump over this time last year.”

Never mind that oil production on government-controlled land dropped 16% since 2009, or that private production increased 61% over the same period — facts are irrelevant when you have a great smile, after all. No, the “important” takeaway was that the Obama administration brought cheaper gas prices to the pump through its standard acts of miracle-working and hand-waving.

Notwithstanding these charlatans, in a better world, the free market itself would establish how many SUVs, sport cars, EVs and the like would compose the U.S. auto market, and what the value of each auto would be. Unfortunately, we do not yet live in such a world, and will not until at least 2017. In any case, as long as the American public can be snowed by such thinly cloaked, self-serving political posers as Obama, we will continue to get what we deserve: Talking heads instead of true leaders.



French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson (1859-1941): “Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”

Columnist George Will: “[Barack Obama] said [Keystone] would create ‘a couple thousand’ jobs (the State Department study says approximately 42,100 ‘direct, indirect, and induced’) and said, unintelligibly, ‘those are temporary jobs until the construction actually happens.’ Well. Obama revealed his economic sophistication years ago when he said that ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cost jobs. He does not understand that, outside of government, which is all that he knows or respects, all jobs are ‘temporary.’ John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets and an editor of Forbes, notes that Borders had 10,700 employees and 399 bookstores until it had none of either, thanks in part to Amazon, whose 150,000 employees have probably participated in enough creative destruction to know that permanence is a chimera. Blockbuster … had 60,000 employees and more than 9,000 stores until rivals such as Netflix appeared. To oppose the pipeline is to favor more oil being transported by trains, which have significant carbon footprints, and accidents. To do this in the name of environmental fastidiousness is hilarious. America has more than 2 million miles of natural gas pipelines and approximately 175,000 miles of pipelines carrying hazardous liquids, yet we are exhorted to be frightened about 1,179 miles of Keystone?”

Columnist Terence Jeffrey: “[W]hat does the Islamic State of the 21st century have in common with the Communists of the 20th? Communism and the radical Islamist vision of the Islamic State are both ideologies that seek to re-order the entire world from the top down — using the force of unrestrained government to tell us how we must live. Communism and the radical Islamist vision of the Islamic State both work in opposition to the natural God-given law that is the foundation of Western Civilization and the only true bulwark of human freedom. As a consequence, Communism and the Islamic State deny freedom of speech and freedom of conscience and violate the right to life itself. As with the defeat of Communism, the defeat of the radical Islamist vision begins with the simplest of acts: speaking truth about it.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “A congressman from Texas sent out a tweet comparing President Obama to Hitler. That is ridiculous because at this point in his career Hitler had a much higher approval rating.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Muslim call to prayer at Duke reveals vacuum of secularism must always give way

Muslim Students at Duke to Begin Weekly Call-to-Prayer, Duke Today (James Todd)

Duke Chapel to Allow Muslim Call to Prayer, Huffington Post (Cavan Sieczkowski)

2) Rise of value of “meaningfulness”  secular substitute for spiritual dimension of life

The Problem With Meaning, New York Times (David Brooks)

3) Genetic screening for pregnant women creating dangerous Brave New World for human dignity

New Genetic Tests for Women Who Are Expecting, Wall Street Journal (Bonnie Rochman)

In other news…

House Votes to Block Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration, Wall Street Journal (Kristina Peterson and Laura Meckler)
We Need Another Giant Protest, New York Times (Thomas Friedman)
Islam’s Problem With Blasphemy, New York Times (Mustafa Akyol)
Colorado church refuses to hold funeral for gay woman after dispute over ‘affectionate’ photos, Washington Post (Abby Phillip)

2 ½ Years After Aurora Theater Rampage, Colorado Braces for the Trial, New York Times (Jack Healy)

Pastor Encourages Christian Couples to Have Better Sex

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 07:57 AM PST

Couple-talking-communicateLess than 40 percent of married couples say they are satisfied with their sex lives, and sex is the No. 1 reason married couples seek counseling. Many Christian couples feel isolated when they experience problems in the bedroom, because sex is often seen as a taboo topic in the church and most resources available only provide surface-level information. Craig Gross, author, speaker and founder of xxxchurch.com, X3watch and iParent.TV, noticed that many marriages around him were failing due to issues with sex. He partnered with Dave Willis, founder of StrongerMarriages.org, to provide a new video series, “Best Sex Life Now,” to allow couples to improve their sex life and build a stronger marriage. “Sex is an important part of marriage, and couples who have healthy sex lives generally have healthy marriages,” said Gross. “The church often glosses over the serious issues many couples have in the bedroom. There is so much opportunity to explore God’s intention for married couples to have great intimacy. We don’t claim to have all things figured out but if we can begin to get couples to have a conversation and talk openly about sex with each other, I believe we will see stronger, happier marriages.” More

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Today’s Youth Want More of the Spirit

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 07:55 AM PST

Fire-in-my-bones-LeeSpiritual trend watchers have come up with terms like “nones” and “dones” to describe young people in the United States. “Nones” are those who don’t categorize themselves as anything when asked about their religion, while “dones” are those who have quit church. The prevailing assumption is that today’s youth are disillusioned with organized religion, spiritually apathetic and morally loose. I refuse to believe these trends are irreversible. From what I’ve observed, there’s a surprising level of spiritual hunger among younger Christians—yet many churches aren’t prepared to respond to it. This past week I spoke at a series of chapels at Emmanuel College, a small Christian school in north Georgia. At every service the students gathered around the altar during worship, and they lingered long after the services ended to ask for personal prayer. When I taught about the baptism of the Holy Spirit on Friday night, dozens came to the front to ask for a supernatural filling. More

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The Rise of Counterfeit Christians

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 07:50 AM PST

358150A very serious sobering message from Pastor David Wilkerson regarding the “End Time” rise of Counterfeit Christians and Apostles.

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SHEMITAH CYCLE – US Equity Market Liquidity Evaporates To 3 Year Lows

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 07:42 AM PST

20150115_ES_0Thanks to the SNB surprise this morning – and FX market volatility (and illiquidity) at insane levels – liquidity in the S&P 500 e-mini futures contract is at its lowest in at least 3 years…Zero Hedge

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Saudi Arabia building 600-mile ‘Great Wall’ to keep out Islamic StatePosted: 15 Jan 2015 07:39 AM PST

ap100127014213_c0-163-3888-2429_s561x327When a raiding party from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacked a Saudi border post last week, it was no mere hit on a desert outpost. The jihadists were launching an assault on the new, highest profile effort by Saudi Arabia to insulate itself from the chaos engulfing its neighbours. The Saudis are building a 600-mile-long “Great Wall” – a combined fence and ditch – to separates the country from Iraq to the north. Much of the area on the Iraqi side is now controlled by Isil, which regards the ultimate capture of Saudi Arabia, home to the “Two Holy Mosques” of Mecca and Medina, as a key goal. The proposal had been discussed since 2006, at the height of the Iraqi civil war, but work began in September last year after Isil’s charge through much of the west and north of the country gave it a substantial land border with the Kingdom to the south.  The border zone now includes five layers of fencing with watch towers, night-vision cameras and radar cameras. Riyadh also sent an extra 30,000 troops to the area. More

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Islamic State has Breached Saudi Borders.Posted: 15 Jan 2015 07:35 AM PST

saudiWhile the whole world was witnessing the dreadful terrorist attacks in France and the consequent 3.7 million march against terrorism, the Middle East witnessed an event that is in its significance is no less important or serious, if it is to be compared to the slaughter of journalists from Charlie Hebdo in the heart of Paris, the journal that had previously published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. As for the events in Paris one yet has to established what has really happened. The list of odd facts is quite impressive: why the professionally trained terrorists left their documents in a car; how did the police forces manage to find them so surprisingly fast; why there was no attempts made to take them alive, instead the terrorists with killed by security forces, even though they could have arrested them by using special flash grenades. And the list goes on, since an abettor of the terrorists fled France and somehow managed to travel to Syria through Spain and Turkey; while a French police commissioner, who led the investigation, for no apparent reason took his life (or was he killed?) And while the world’s media focused on the events of Charlie Hebdo tragedy, it has simply ignored the terrorist attacks in the Middle East. Moreover, this very attacked has highlighted a major shift in the situation in the region, putting the primary strategic partner of the US in the Arab world – Saudi Arabia at risk. And here’s why. More

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Insider Reveals Possible Economic Collapse TimelinePosted: 15 Jan 2015 07:31 AM PST

stock-market-tradingAlex Jones talks with Reagan insider and economic expert Paul Craig Roberts about the coming collapse and when he thinks it will happen.

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Cameron to Obama: Force Tech Companies to Cooperate with Surveillance Agency.

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 07:26 AM PST

cameron-obamaThe British Prime Minister, David Cameron, wants President Obama to pressure social media to cooperate with GCHQ, the British intelligence service that works closely with the NSA in the United States to surveil the internet and private electronic communication. Intelligence services are increasingly critical of encryption methods used by Facebook and Twitter to secure the communications of users. MI5 boss Andrew Parker took the tech giants to task for encryption and warned the “dark places from where those who wish us harm can plot and plan are increasing.” Parker said tech companies must offer “greater co-operation” in the fight against terrorism and added that “privacy has never been an absolute right.” Cameron’s request follows an earlier suggestion that the United Kingdom may outlaw online messaging services that use encryption. Cameron, in a meeting scheduled for Friday in Washington, will ask Obama to support an effort to deny people the government considers terrorists and terrorist sympathizers a “safe place” on the internet. Privacy International has accused Cameron and the British government of “cynical opportunism” in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack. More

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SHEMITAH CYCLE – Dow Faces longest loss streak in 3 monthsPosted: 15 Jan 2015 07:22 AM PST

article-0-0C5FD2BF00000578-419_468x309U.S. stocks declined for a fourth session on Wednesday as December retail sales failed to live up to expectations and investors worried about global economic growth. Stocks came off session lows as crude reversed higher and after the release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which had central bankers expressing hopes for better U.S. growth. “The economy is slowly seeing signs of improving, the overall trend will continue to be modest improvement, but we will be hit with concerns,” Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, said.  The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor uncertainty, jumped 4.5 percent to 21.48; the 10-yield Treasury yield fell 6 basis points to 1.8461 percent. Already sharply lower, stock futures fell harder ahead of the opening bell after the Commerce Department reported retail sales slid the most in a year last month, down 0.9 percent. “Although consumers are saving at the pump, it doesn’t look like they are spending it at the stores; retail sales are an unmitigated disaster,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said. More

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Saudi Arabia in oil-price war with Iran and RussiaPosted: 15 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

saudi-kingSaudi Arabia is extending its own international jihad not only through its export of Wahhabism, an extreme form of Sunni Islam.  The Islamic kingdom is now going after Russia, a main backer of the kingdom’s sectarian opponent, Shiite Iran, by targeting its oil production clout to adversely impact the Russian economy. Sources say the United States might even be colluding with Saudi Arabia to cause a dramatic drop in the international oil price in an effort to punish Russia not only for its support of rebels in Ukraine but for its backing of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Iran. The Saudi strategy is to flood the international market to harm the economies of Russia and Iran, both of which need the international price to be above $100 a barrel to break even. The price of oil today is less than $50 a barrel. Until now, the Saudis and the other members of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, used the level of production to keep oil prices high, with the price peaking at $147 a barrel in 2008. More

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Marsha West column

Marsha West
Marsha West
January 15, 2015
Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, author and host of a successful TV show, has involved himself in some, um, questionable cures for what ails you. According to a Fox News report, a recent study showed that “Half of Dr. Oz’s health advice is bad.” Die-hard Oz fans will more than likely ignore the study results and continue tuning into his TV show for advice from him and the panel of doctors that appear regularly, even knowing that Oz and the other doctors often recommend products straight out of Quacksville . . . [Click for more]

Why Putin’s Russia Is The Biggest Threat To America In 2015

Like the stock market crashes that periodically wipe out so many fortunes, military crises are hard to predict. Washington’s track record as a seer of future threats is remarkably poor. From the bombing of Pearl Harbor in the 1940s to North Korea’s invasion of the South in the 1950s to the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s to the collapse of South Vietnam in the 1970s …………. Click here for full story

Is ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’ Coming?

Sony gets hacked and a major movie project is disrupted. Xbox and Playstation systems are taken down. Millions of pages of names, addresses and other private information vanish into cyberspace so your routine includes getting an all-new credit-card number and security code ………. Click here for full story

On The Verge Of The Next Economic Crisis, 62 Percent Of Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck

Nearly two-thirds of all Americans are completely and totally unprepared for the next economic crisis. As you will read about below, a new survey has found that only 38 percent of Americans have enough money on hand to cover “a $500 repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit”………. Click here for full story

Wild Cheers For Proposed Invasion Of Israel From NATO Ally

Turkish and Palestinian flags fluttered like angry birds in a crowd of thousands of people chanting “Allahu Akbar!” and “Down with Israel!” The chants grew more exuberant as the hulking, bearded man on the speaker’s platform assured them that “God willing, we will liberate Jerusalem together.”……….. Click here for full story

ISIS Baiting Israel In Ploy To Gain Arab Recruits

Recent pledges of allegiance to ISIS from Sunni jihadi groups in the Syrian Golan Heights and from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula have ISIS poised to attack Israel from the north and south ……… Click here for full story

This Is Exactly How Markets Behave Right Before They Crash

When the stock market starts to behave like a roller coaster, that is a sign that a major move to the downside is right around the corner. As I have stated repeatedly, when the market is very calm it tends to go up. But when the waters start getting really choppy, that is a clear indication that stocks are about to plummet. In early 2015, volatility has returned to Wall Street in a big way. At one point on Tuesday, the Dow was up more than 300 points. But then the bottom dropped out. From the peak on Tuesday, the Dow plunged nearly 700 points in less than 30 hours before recovering more than 100 points at the end of the day. The Dow has now experienced the longest losing streak that we have seen in 3 months, but that is not that big of a deal. Of much greater concern is the huge price swings that we have been seeing. Remember, the three largest single day stock market increases in history were right in the middle of the financial crisis of 2008. So if stocks go up 400 points tomorrow that is NOT a good sign. What we really need is a string of days when stocks move less than 100 points in either direction. If stocks keep making dramatic moves up and dramatic moves down, history tells us that it is only a matter of time before they collapse. Any student of stock market history knows that what we are witnessing right now is exactly how markets behave right before they crash. (Read More….)

Foods and Other Lifestyle Factors That Will Shorten Your Lifespan

By Dr. Mercola

A recent article in The Week1 reviews seven things that will make you sick or lead to premature death according to science. Included in this list is smoking pot, being a pop star, playing football, and staying in an unhappy marriage.

More important, I think, are the following four dietary and lifestyle factors—only three of which made it into the featured story:

Excessive sugar consumption
Artificial sweeteners
Trans fat
Vitamin D deficiency

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Is a global economic recession coming? Copper prices (and other developments) point to ‘yes’

Funny, for many people it still feels like we are in a recession, now we’re looking at another one?

China buys more copper than anyone to make the things China makes. If China’s manufacturing slows so to do inflows of copper.

It’s hard to get good information out of the Crony’s Republic of China. But we do know when they stop buying copper, and what that generally means.

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Duke University becomes a Parisian suburb

Great. In the week after multiple terror attacks by Islamic extremists on Jews and harmless cartoonists in Paris, Duke University has announced it will begin allowing a Friday afternoon Muslim call to prayer to be played via loudspeaker from the Duke Chapel Bell Tower, thereby bringing the suburban Parisian ambience to the upscale campus.


Pelosi to Name Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman to House Intel Committee

Politico reported Tuesday that Nancy Pelosi told a “closed-door meeting” that she was planning in the “coming days” to name the nation’s second Muslim Congressman, Rep. André Carson (D-IN), to the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

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Creeping Anti-Israelism in the Evangelical Movement

So it is that I spend much of my time now researching the decline of Israel support, specifically within American Evangelicalism, once a stronghold of support for the Jewish state.

From visits to captured Palestinian weaponry and propaganda literature displayed in Israel, to sitting in on evangelical leadership conferences that feature anti-Israel speakers, watching the erosion of support for Israel is jarring.

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Rev. Franklin Graham’s Non-PC Move on Live TV

“I want to say something to all the Muslims that may be watching this that are confused and are afraid themselves,” Graham said. “I want them to know that God loves them and that Jesus Christ died for their sins — and Christ will forgive them and heal their hearts.”

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Headlines of Interest

Why Christians Don’t Seek to Avenge Insults against God


While the world’s attention has been focused on terrorist attacks by radical Islamist groups in Europe, Iraq, and Syria, another series of attacks in Africa has largely gone unnoticed. Here are nine things you should know about Boko Haram, the militant group waging a campaign of terror while attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.


Here’s the Faith in the ‘American Sniper’ You Won’t See in the Film

‘The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ Recants Story, Rebukes Christian Retailers

Pope on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to free expression

Email Exchange Between Beth Moore and Discerning Christian Woman

A new Hollywood attempt at selling Jesus

Judge Rules Against Mayor in ‘Houston Pastors’ Lawsuit Over Transgender Bathrooms

Lawyer Who Drafted Roe vs. Wade: “Use Abortion to Eliminate Poor People”

Was ‘The Book of Mormon’ a Great American Novel?

Tanzania bans witchdoctors after albino murders

Further analysis from Chris Rosebrough of Perry Noble’s apology

Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith offers further analysis of Perry Noble’s apology for teaching that there is no Hebrew word for ‘commandment’. The relevant segment starts at 41:40 into the audio.

Words of Comfort: Aquarium.

“The early disciples were fishers of men—while modern disciples are often little more than aquarium keepers.” -Unknown


Three Things That Can Keep You from Following Christ

Colin Smith

I will remove from you your heart of stone. Ezekiel 36:26

Here are a couple more worthless stones in the human heart that can keep you from following Jesus Christ:

1. Comfort. “Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27 NIV

If your heart is set on maintaining a comfortable life, that will keep you from following Christ. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that there will be a cost, and there will be pain in following him. So if your heart is set on choosing the easiest path, you will not follow Christ very far.

2. Cherished Sin. “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19 NIV

How many people have been kept from following Christ because their heart is set on pursuing a sexual impulse—whatever that may be? Satisfying the sexual appetite has become a god for many people today. If that’s what matters most to you it will keep you from following Christ.

3. Self. “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5

Do you see what Satan was saying: “Eve, why should God be God and not you? You can be your own god! You can decide for yourself what is good and what is evil.” You cannot be a worshipper of God so long as you are set on being your own god. The desire to be your own god is a stone in the heart that resists Jesus Christ.

Are any of these things keeping you from following Christ?

[Based on the sermon series “Regeneration: How Christ Changes Your Soul”]

Kiss The Son

by R.C. Sproul Jr.

The Bible assures us that a day is coming when every leader will acknowledge Christ’s lordship. We should labor for that day.

Kiss The Son

Newsweek publishes response by Dr. Michael Brown to its Christmas hit-piece on the Bible, but says it ‘stands by our story’

Newsweek publishes response by Dr. Michael Brown to its Christmas hit-piece on the Bible, but says ‘we stand by our story’

Circus by the Glades

With their cover of Britney Spears’ Circus, Church by the Glades illustrates the point of the earlier article, The Church Growth Movement: innovating like it’s 1894.

Circus by the Glades

We Are Not Charlie Hebdo

All of which makes this hashtag war, all the We are Charlie Hebdo manifestations, so very, very hollow. If we will not speak for free speech when it is shut down by special interests, protestors of the politically correct, on campuses and in newspapers, we manifest that we are not serious about free speech. There is no “we” after the killings. There are very few worthy of that claim … and, alas, under the shout of allahu akbar, 12 of them are now quite dead.

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Singing Mouth Open – Mind (partially) Closed

In Protestant Christian worship, music has always been in a subordinate role to aid the worshiper in taking to heart and mind the meaning and richness of the poetic lyric. Though Calvin knew and appreciated the incredible power of music to move hearts, he cautioned against getting music and the objective meaning of the words flipped around, “We must beware lest our ears be more intent on the music than our minds on the spiritual meaning of the words.” But in Revivalism that’s precisely what happened, the words became less important.

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Virginia School Board Threatens Home Schooling Parents With Imprisonment

Goochland County, Virginia School Board is demanding parents and their children justify their religious beliefs under interrogation. The Board changed their policy and now, once a child is 14 or older, the child has to state whether their beliefs are in accord with their parents’ beliefs. They are then to be brought before the board for interrogation so the board can determine if their beliefs are bona fide.

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Atheist Parents Take On Christian ‘Good News Club’ With ‘Better News Club’

The Better News Club and Young Skeptics operate under the assumption that “it’s more important to teach children how to make belief decisions for themselves, rather than accept claims presented to them without thinking critically about those claims,” according to its mission statement. Young Skeptics is thought to be the first nontheistic after-school club for elementary aged school children founded as a direct response to the Good News Club.

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My New Answer To “So, What’s Your Perspective On Gay Marriage?” (Until I Hear A Better One)…

Think about that and let it sink in! From my perspective Rev. Welby is exactly right. There are really only two answers now. We have achieved what I might call “full polarity” on the issue – each side saying with passion and full conviction that, “Being a Christian means…” A. That we cannot ever affirm same-sex marriage and still call ourselves Christians, or B. That we cannot really call ourselves true Christians until we all affirm same-sex marriage.

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Apologetics: Two Reasons Not to Use When Sharing Your Faith

Do I believe the Bible to be God’s inspired Word? Certainly! But remember: the Christian faith is not only known but also shown. We’re called not only to know what we believe but also to be able to show reasons why our beliefs are true… When it comes to the people to whom we’re sharing the gospel, if the only reason we can offer them is our own personal experience with the divine, there’s little difference between our claims and the claims of someone who’s launched a cult.

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7 Ways Religious Affiliation Will (And Won’t) Change In The New Congress

Two-thirds of the Republicans in the incoming Congress (67 percent) are Protestant, about a quarter are Catholic (27 percent) and 5 percent are Mormon. Of the 234 Democrats in the 114th Congress, 44 percent are Protestant, 35 percent are Catholic, 12 percent are Jewish, 1 percent are Mormon, two are Buddhist, two are Muslim, one is Hindu and one does not identify with a particular religion.

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Religious Bias Issues Debated After Atlanta Mayor’s Dismissal of Fire Chief

More pressing is the possible effect that Mr. Cochran’s firing could have on a continuing debate over whether Georgia needs a so-called religious freedom law, which would give more legal sway to individuals who challenge state and local government policies that they believe to be discriminatory.

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Meditating and the Christian Life

Make meditation a central part of your daily and regular private worship. The “prayer closet” is, unfortunately, a lost art. However, like the Sabbath Day it is a spiritual blessing that is worth recovering, primarily because it is such a necessity for our well-being. Setting aside time to meditate on the things of God, within the parameters of Holy Scripture, is a means of sanctification that you cannot live without.

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“We worship together because God is worthy.”

by Christopher Ames

“But, contemporary worship brings people to Jesus!”



Ponder Anew | But contemporary worship brings people to Jesus!

GodLife: Just wait…

Scripture: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:24

Do you ever feel like asking God. “What is taking so long? When will things change?”

If God is perfect, as the Bible says, then His timing must be perfect. And sometimes it takes a long time to hear from God. That can be discouraging. But the Bible also says not to worry and to have faith. So, be strong and and wait for the Lord. He will never abandon you. Talk to someone about the things you’re waiting for and get prayer.

Do you know someone who worries a lot? Share this video with them:

Do You Ever Worry?

The Righteous Perish


Q.  For encouragement, I read the story of how God rescued Noah from the flood and also how Abraham prayed for Lot and God heard and rescued him from Sodom. But recently I have been reading through Ezekiel and was struck in Chapter 21 with how God decided he was going to bring judgment on everyone -righteous and wicked alike!  The only comment I can find in my references simply says to compare the story with Noah and Lot. Well, sure,  but WHY? is the question.  Do you have any thoughts on the difference?  Why God rescued the righteous earlier but in this case did not? We have just been praying for God’s mercy because the righteous do often suffer along with the wicked and what’s ahead is not going to be good.

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How Could There Be Any Believers Left?


Q.  How do the sheep who survive the tribulation avoid taking the mark of the beast during the tribulation? The way the scripture reads “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” leads me to believe that those who do not take the mark will be killed by the beast. Which means there would be no believers left, unless of course this is what Yeshua meant when he said he would shorten the days for the elect’s sake because if he didn’t, there would be no flesh left alive.

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Unbelievers In The Millennium


Q.  In Zechariah 14:16-18 it says, “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.  If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain.”

I have thought that all unbelievers would be removed and held for judgment after the Tribulation when Jesus comes the second time, but this seems to be saying different.  Will there still be unbelievers who have fought against Jerusalem on this earth during the Millennial reign?

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Those Who Claim To Be Jews, But Are Not


A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you (Rev. 3:9).

Who are those the Lord accused of claiming to be Jews but are not?  Since Revelation 2-3 applies to the entire Church age, He may have been referring to more than one group.  Looking down through history, I’ve found several groups who have laid claim to the promises made by God to His covenant people. Some may surprise you.

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Words of Comfort: Decisions, decisions.

Many Christian obtain “decisions” by using the following method: “Do you know that you are going to heaven when you die?” Most will say, “I hope so.” The Christian then says, “You can know so. The Bible says ‘All have sinned.’ Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and if you give your heart to Him today, you can know for sure that you are going to heaven. Would you like to have that assurance that you will go to heaven when you die?” He will almost always say, “Yes.” The person is then led in what is commonly called a “sinner’s prayer.”

There are a few serious difficulties with the popular approach: 1) There is no mention of Judgment Day—the very reason men are commanded to repent; 2) There is no mention of hell; and 3) The Law isn’t used to bring the knowledge of sin. The apostle Paul said that the Law was the only means by which he came to know what sin was (Romans 7:7). The modern approach may get a decision or gain a church member, but if there is no biblical repentance, there will be a false conversion.




Who Are The Onlookers Of Ezekiel 38:13?


Q. Re: The onlookers in Ezekiel 38:13.  Who is likely characterized as Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish (and all of their young lions) in this passage? I’ve heard that it may be a reference to a placated US government as well as some veiled reference to Revived Rome. It appears by the passage that they are questioning the apparent invasion in an effort to push diplomacy.

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Was Peter In Rome?


Q. Was Peter ever in Rome? I have a friend who is catholic, and she thinks Peter was the first pope. I can’t convince her this is not true. I know Paul went to Rome, he was to minister to the gentiles. Wasn’t Peter to minister to the circumcised? Thank You for taking the time to help me with this. continue reading

A Salvation Question


Q.  I have a question regarding my Salvation.  I was required to attend Church by my Grandmother.  I can clearly recall the Pastor giving the Altar Call and without any outside influence, I went forward at age 12.  I was Baptized and continued to attend Church.  You mention that our Salvation depends on acknowledging that we are sinners and need a Savior and that we believe God raised Jesus from the Grave.  I now believe all of that.  However, at the time I answered the Altar Call, no had told me I was a sinner and even my Grandmother did not tell me that I needed to be saved and how to be saved.  My question is was God providing for my Salvation without my knowing it?  Also, I spent 4 years on an aircraft carrier during Viet Nam and can assure  you I completely forgot about God.  After returning, I realized I needed Church and returned. How does that relate to my Salvation?

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Our Time is Short

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

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GTY Blog: In Light of Recent Events (Islam)

Code: B150115

Recent and potential terrorist attacks in France currently dominate the news cycle. Analysts, experts, and commentators discuss and debate the facts, often with skewed and confused perspectives on Islam, and offer a variety of political and emotional responses.

It’s no surprise that every time tragedy occurs—especially at the hands of Islamic terrorists—the world struggles to find answers and understand the spiritual realities involved. Discussions about politics and how governments should respond have their place. But void of spiritual truth, no discussion can fully deal with how to think about and respond to these horrific events.

Over the years John MacArthur and the Grace to You staff have put together messages and articles that relate well to these current events and can help you bring biblical truth to bear on your conversations with family and friends. We trust that the following resources will help and encourage you.

The Gospel According to Islam

Understanding Islam

Is God Responsible for Evil?

“Why Does Evil Dominate the World?”

An Interview with James White: A Primer on Islam

Terrorism, Jihad, and the Bible

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150115
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

GTY Blog: Be Respectable and Hospitable

1 Timothy 3:2-3

Code: B150114

by Cameron Buettel

The number of people successfully masquerading as pastors astounds me. How do these imposters manage to carve out lengthy and prosperous careers, often in spite of obvious character flaws and an utter lack of biblical fidelity? The short answer is that too many congregations prize personal preferences over biblical standards for shepherds.

Through the pen of the apostle Paul, the Lord has given us a comprehensive list of qualifications for pastors and elders. These biblical standards help God’s people know what to look for in a true shepherd. And just as important, they help us know what to avoid.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. (1 Timothy 3:2-3)

So far in this series, we’ve examined what it means to be above reproach, as well as some of the specific qualifications Paul mentions above. Today we’ll consider two more.


Paul instructs that an overseer must be respectable. John MacArthur explains:

Kosmios (respectable) carries the idea of “orderly.” A man prudent in mind will have a respectable or orderly life. His well-disciplined mind leads to a well-disciplined life. In his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, Homer Kent said, “The ministry is no place for the man whose life is a continual confusion of unaccomplished plans and unorganized activities.”. . . the word kosmos, from which kosmios derives, is the opposite of “chaos.” A spiritual leader must not have a chaotic, but an orderly lifestyle.

The orderliness, or lack of, in a pastor’s life has a direct influence on his ministry. If he cannot order his own life, how can he bring order to the church (1 Timothy 3:5)? Sadly, there are many leaders today who ignore Paul’s admonition for church services to be conducted “properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40). There are even charismatics at the far end of that spectrum who fervently believe that chaos is the conduit through which the Holy Spirit operates:

Random and chaotic ecclesiology brings no honor to God. Instead it sows confusion and distraction into the church, and weakens believers’ confidence in the veracity and authority of God’s Word. Chaos has no place in the church or in the orderly lifestyle the Lord requires of the shepherds of His sheep.


God also requires approachability and accessibility from those who would shepherd His flock. Paul tells Timothy that church leaders must also be hospitable. According to John MacArthur, “The word literally means ‘to love strangers.’ It is a frequently commanded Christian virtue (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9).” So the hospitality Paul is highlighting is not primarily about entertaining friends, but rather showing hospitality to strangers. Jesus said:

When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:12)

There was a time not too long ago when pastors primarily communicated with their people face-to-face, or at least personally over the phone. But with the advent of email, text messages, and social media, church leaders today can keep a layer of separation from their congregations. Some take an even more aggressive approach to their privacy:

If left unchecked, that kind of toxic attitude will permeate the entire church, sowing division where there ought to be unity. It’s a selfish arrogance that is the exact opposite of how believers are commanded to behave (Romans 12:10-13; 15:1; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:3-4). Division comes easily enough to most churches without encouragement from the pulpit—it must never be the fruit of the pastor’s example.

A true pastor is someone who personally cares for his sheep and strangers in need of his care. John MacArthur shares the following insights:

Persecution, poverty, orphans, widows, and traveling Christians made hospitality essential in New Testament times. They had no hotels or motels, and the inns were notoriously evil. Often they were brothels, or places where travelers were robbed or beaten. . . .

The door of the Christian home, as well as the heart of the Christian family, ought to be open to all who come in need. That is especially true of the overseer. Elders are not elevated to a place where they are unapproachable. They are to be available. A pastor’s life and home are to be open so that his true character is manifest to all who come there, friend or stranger.

Pastoral leadership is a high calling that must not be taken lightly. Unqualified shepherds are dangerous to your spiritual growth, and a destructive cancer to the Body of Christ. Even in areas as seemingly mundane as orderliness and hospitality, God has high standards for His shepherds.

People looking for a new church, or churches looking for a new pastor are often too narrowly focused on the skills the pastor has to offer. Scripture calls us to focus on personal character and conduct.

But there is one—and only one—skill pastors must have (1 Timothy 3:1–7). That one skill is an indispensable ability required by all who would shepherd God’s flock. We’ll look at it next time.

(All quotations from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Timothy unless otherwise noted.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150114
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Is the President’s ISIS strategy working? No. New reports indicate that after months of US & allied airstrikes, the Islamic State is gaining ground Syria. The latest.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(Source: WSJ) (Source: WSJ)

Today I leave Austin and head to Dallas. I’ll be speaking this weekend at Prestonwood Baptist Church on “The Gathering Storm and the Future of the Middle East.”

One area I plan to touch on is the sobering fact that the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS is not working. To the contrary, ISIS continues to gain ground, recruit new jihadists, and endanger Americans and our allies.

Consider several disturbing stories I’m reading this morning:

  • FBI arrests Ohio man, foils attack on Capitol (Boston Herald) — “The arrest of an Ohio man for what the FBI called a foiled terror plot to bomb the U.S. Capitol and open fire on members of Congress rattled some law­makers who said yesterday they only learned of the alleged ISIS-­inspired ambush through news reports. Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, who went by the name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, was arrested on charges of attempting to kill U.S. government…

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No Relationship with God without Theology

Apologetics for the Church

Theology simply means “the study of God,” and doctrine means “teaching.” Since the main message of Scripture is the unfolding mystery of Christ, who reveals his Father and reconciles us to him, theology is a central concern of every believer. It would be odd if we told our spouse or other loved ones that we wanted to spend time with them and experience their fellowship regularly but did not want to know anything about them… Yet when it comes to God, people often imagine that it is possible to have a personal relationship with God apart from theology. In fact, some Christians assume that knowing doctrine and practical living are competing interests. The modern dichotomy between doctrine and life, theology and discipleship, knowing and doing, theory and practice has had disastrous consequences in the life of the church and its witness in the world. I hope to change some readers’…

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The Cripplegate: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Receiving Reproof

salvationBecoming a Christian is a colossal demonstration of power in so many ways. When an individual trusts in Christ for reconciliation to God, big things happen. Christ’s lordship is joyfully embraced. The soul’s knee is eagerly bowed. The guilt is instantly lifted. The Bible is hungrily inhaled.

And in the most glorious display of spiritual coup d’état, God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the soul. He is a great gift, essential to our well-being. And as he settles in, he begins to storm the citadel of our sin. It’s a fight, but there is victory. The Spirit comes to slay the fortress of the flesh.

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Gal 5:17).

The true power of the Spirit is demonstrated by an identifying of the flesh, attacking the flesh, and subduing the flesh. It’s what the Spirit does. There are battles, and, sadly the flesh sometimes seems to prevail, but over the longhaul, the Spirit drains the lifeblood of the flesh.

One of the great demonstrations of the Spirit’s power is how we respond when our sin is addressed by others. It’s often painful, but through the necessary inquiry of others, the Spirit works to identify and crucify remaining sin.

“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence” (Prov 15:31-32).

Less and less are the days of our flesh protecting, promoting, and parading itself. The Holy Spirit is too good to allow it. And too powerful. The Holy Spirit is alive. He never takes a soul-sabbatical. Again, there are battles. It’s rarely clean. But the Spirit is never waving the white flag to our flesh.

So, if we are someone who cannot have our sin confronted and cannot respond in genuine humility to confrontation, it’s a potential sign that we do not have the Holy Spirit.

“He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing” (Prov 29:1).

“A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, he will not go to the wise” (Prov 15:12).

Not the Holy SpiritI am not saying that one is not a Christian if they struggle to respond humbly to confronted sin at times. However, if we habitually respond in a fleshly way to confronted sin, we would be hard-pressed to conclude that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not like a rock-star hockey goalie, looking to slap away inquiries into the soul’s sin. Quite the contrary.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot” (Rom 8:6-7).

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:13).

cheetah_kill_2_MasaiMara_2013 The Holy Spirit is no more friendly to the flesh than hungry cheetah’s are to gazelles. Like the gazelle, the flesh does just fine in a big yard by itself, grazing, prancing, and enjoying itself. But drop that famished feline in there and things happen. The cheetah will have to run, chase, and exert, but it’s going to subdue. That’s what hungry cheetahs do. Now, if that gazelle is never being subdued, but prances around unthreatened and unsubdued, we could not conclude that there is a cheetah in the yard with it. So it is with our sin and the Spirit.

The subduing of the flesh is a feat accomplished solely by the heroics of the Holy Spirit. To appreciate the Spirit’s power, consider a few contrasts between a Spirit-filled response to reproof vs. that of the flesh.

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Paganism Parading as Christianity

Zwinglius Redivivus

Founding pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church asked his Hillsong Church London, “Are you ready for the Word?” This was the response to Brian Houston’s question:

What we have here is nothing but pseudo-christianity. If this appears to be legitimate to you as an expression of Christianity, you really are very far from understanding Christianity. Rather, you only know Christiantainment.

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NTEB: Firestorm As Colorado School Forces Students To Wear Islamic Dress On Class Trip To Mosque

“All students must wear appropriate long pants. Ankles must be covered. Girls must bring wide scarves or hooded sweatshirts for the mosque.”

The Islamization of America is a very real and serious thing. As will all cultic indoctrinations, school age children are the targets. That’s exactly what Adolf Hitler believed and how he created Nazi Germany.



Rocky Heights Middle School in Colorado is taking a class trip to the Denver Mosque today as part of their World Religions field trip.  as part of their World Religions field trip. The notice sent home read as follows:

The world religions field trip is next Tuesday, January 13. We will be visiting the Denver Mosque, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and the Rodef-Shalom Synagogue. We will then eat lunch at Park Meadows Food Court. Students must either bring a sack lunch or money to purchase lunch at the food court.

THERE IS A DRESS CODE FOR THIS TRIP: All students must wear appropriate long pants. Ankles must be covered. Girls must bring wide scarves or hooded sweatshirts for the mosque.

The students were not told to accommodate the dress code wishes of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, or the Rodef-Shalom Synagogue, only the mosque carried any weight. The field trip itself was not mandatory, but for those who wanted to go the Muslim dress was not optional.

You can read the pathetic official rebuttal from the Douglas County School District by clicking here


The post Firestorm As Colorado School Forces Students To Wear Islamic Dress On Class Trip To Mosque appeared first on Now The End Begins.

NTEB: Duke University Starts Forced Amplified Broadcasts Of The Muslim Call To Prayer From Bell Tower

A weekly call to prayer for Muslims will be heard at Duke University starting Friday, school officials said

“The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer” – Barack Obama

The Islamization of America continues, as it has since Obama was elected in 2008, at a frightening pace. Public amplified broadcasts of the Muslim call to prayer exists in Muslim majority countries, and is a symbol that they have taken that nation over. If I had a child attending Duke University they would pulled out so fast it would make your head spin.

Islam is not compatible with any free society, it is an religious ideology of forced, violent submission. Every nation where it is dominant is in chaos. Islam is against all American values and ideals, and has no place in a free society.

The azan is the Devil’s call to prayer, don’t answer it.

—Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association will chant the call, known as adhan or azan, from the Duke Chapel bell tower each Friday at 1 p.m. The call to prayer will last about three minutes and be “moderately amplified,” officials said in a statement Tuesday.


“The adhan is the call to prayer that brings Muslims back to their purpose in life, which is to worship God, and serves as a reminder to serve our brothers and sisters in humanity,” said Imam Adeel Zeb, Muslim chaplain at Duke. “The collective Muslim community is truly grateful and excited about Duke’s intentionality toward religious and cultural diversity.”

In majority Muslim countries across the globe, the adhan is broadcast from mosques and on television and radio stations five times a day to correspond with prayer times. On Fridays, the day of worship in Islam, sermons are also broadcast. In the United States, amplified adhan exists in a handful of communities.

The Muslim call to prayer is an eerie, scary, demonic-sounding whine. But the words of what is sung should really make you afraid:

“This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” said Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”


“Religious Pluralism”? Now, that is funny. Islam only pretends to accommodate other religions when they are in a minority, but the very world “Islam” itself means submission. Not a submission of you to God, but a submission of your will to the will of Islam. Islam converts at the edge of a sword and the barrel of a gun, their goal is not and never has been “religious pluralism”. Their goal is to drive the whole world to it’s knees in worship of the moon god Allah, and his “prophet” Mohammed.

Please contact Duke University and let them know how you feel about their forced indoctrination of Islam on American citizens:

Office of News Communications
615 Chapel Drive
Box 90563
Durham, NC 27708
phone: 919-684-2823
fax: 919-684-5760

Article on Duke’s website: Muslim Students at Duke to Begin Weekly Call-to-Prayer


The post Duke University Starts Forced Amplified Broadcasts Of The Muslim Call To Prayer From Bell Tower appeared first on Now The End Begins.

NTEB: Muslims To Hold ‘Stand With The Prophet’ Rally In Garland, Texas

“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” – Barack Obama

With the carnage and horror that took place in Paris at the hands of Islamic terrorists, one would hope that Muslims who disagree with this would finally speak out. One would hope…

But instead, there is to be a “Stand With the Prophet in Honor and Respect” conference, a weekend forum that is being billed as a “movement to defend Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message,” according to event information.


All these accusations were invented by Islamophobes in America,” the group claims. “As we celebrate the Prophet in our now annual, nationwide event: Stand with the Prophet, we recommit ourselves to rectify his image, peace be upon him.”

This annual event, filled with propaganda about Muhammad, should be rescheduled, in my opinion. Right now, this is an In Your Face to the entire world – still reeling from the terrifying events in Paris at Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Deli, which took 17 lives before the terrorists were done.

Join Pamela Geller: AFDI to hold “Stand With Free Speech” demo outside anti-free speech “Stand With the Prophet” conference. Click here for more info…

Having a Muslim president, who stated that “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” (from The Audacity of Hope) the people of America have little to say about these things. Barack Obama has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and he’s not ashamed to state this. To date, he still refuses to tie Islam with Terrorism. He never puts those two words together – Islamic Terrorism. Instead, he maintains that this sort of behavior does not represent Islam.

“Keynote speakers at the event will include Georgetown University professor John Esposito, founding director of the school’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, which has come under fire for, among other things, hosting 9/11 Truthers and a member of Egypt’s Nazi Party.

Also scheduled to attend the forum is controversial New York-based Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who was an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings trial. Wahhaj has called the FBI and CIA the “real terrorists” and expressed a desire for all Americans to become Muslim, according to the New York Post.” source

It is incredulous to me that these people are doubling down with their tiresome and false narrative. I suppose having Obama in the White House gives them the “audacity,” and yes, I used that word on purpose!

When: Saturday, January 17, 2015 @. 5:00 pm
Where: Curtis Culwell Center 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd., Garland, TX 75040
More Info: Visit the official website


The post Muslims To Hold ‘Stand With The Prophet’ Rally In Garland, Texas appeared first on Now The End Begins.

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