Daily Archives: February 20, 2015

February 20, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report

One proof of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much poor preaching. —A.T. Robertson

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Feb. 20, 2015

BLOOMBERG

There’s an “undeniable” link between oppression and the alienation that gives rise of terrorism, President Obama said in remarks to officials from more than 60 countries gathered in Washington for a summit on countering extremism.

A new startup by two Harvard seniors finds that women have been considerably more likely than their male counterparts to get bills through, and to achieve that near-unicorn of modern Washington: bipartisan agreement.

The former New York City Mayor called into Bloomberg Politics’ With All Due Respect on Thursday to try and walk back comments he made a day earlier at New York’s 21 Club where he stated, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” When pressed over whether he stood by his remarks about Obama’s love of the country, Giuliani softened his tone.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will address a major United Nations gathering on women’s rights next month, just as the Clinton Foundation releases a major report on women and girls more than a year in the making.

What do gun rights activists working to get firearms on campus have in common with the gun control activists campaigning to keep guns away from potentially dangerous individuals? Both are using women’s issues to promote new gun legislation.

Americans should pay taxes on sugary sodas and snacks as a way to cut down on sweets, though they no longer need to worry about cholesterol, according to scientists helping to revamp dietary guidelines as U.S. obesity levels surge.

U.S. and private security specialists are trying to expel unidentified hackers from the unclassified portion of the U.S. State Department’s e-mail system

Every year at least 23,000 Americans die from bacterial infections that don’t have effective treatments, including two patients killed in a recent outbreak in a Los Angeles hospital that has spurred new attention on the issue.

AP Top Stories

A 3-year-old Toronto boy died Thursday after wandering away from an apartment building into bitterly cold weather overnight.

Kiev accused Russia on Friday of sending more tanks and troops into eastern Ukraine and said they were heading towards the rebel-held town of Novoazovsk on the southern coast, expanding their presence on what could be the next key battlefront.

Nigerian warplanes bombarded training camps and caches of weapons and vehicles belonging to the Islamist group Boko Haram in the northeasterly Samibisa forest, the military said.

On February 20, 1792, President George Washington officially created the modern United States Postal Service by signing a sweeping act that promoted a free press and put privacy safeguards in place.

Ukraine’s military said on Friday more than 20 Russian tanks, 10 missile systems and bus-loads of fighters had crossed Ukraine’s border and headed towards Novoazovsk, a rebel-held town east of the strategic southeastern port city of Mariupol.

After years of avoiding confrontation, the U.S. labor movement is reasserting itself. From the ports of Los Angeles to the car plants of Detroit, unions are demanding payback for sacrifices they say helped revive the economy.

BBC

A group of 158 women and children abducted by Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria last month were reunited with their families.

Fears are growing over three London schoolgirls who have flown to Turkey, amid concerns they may cross the Syrian border and join the Islamic State terrorist group.

Bitterly cold air from Siberia is bringing dangerously low and possibly record-setting temperatures to the eastern half of the US and Canada.

A prominent rabbi in the US pled guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism after secretly filming women prepare to take ritual baths.

The mayor of Venezuela’s capital was arrested amid accusations of a coup attempt, with President Nicolas Maduro saying he must “answer for his crimes”.

Some 20 people, including senior officials, were killed in an al-Shabab attack during Friday prayers in the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses said.

The first rapid blood test for Ebola has been approved for use by the World Health Organization. It should allow patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as quickly as possible in an attempt to bring an end to the outbreak that has killed more than 9,300 people. It is less accurate than conventional tests, but takes minutes rather than hours to get a result.

A diamond trader paid $690,000 for a suit with pinstripes spelling the name of Indian PM Narendra Modi.

Drug-resistant malaria has spread in Myanmar and has now reached the border with India, scientists reported.

WND

The ISIS policing unit in Mosul severely disfigured the faces of 15 Iraqi women by pouring acid on them as a form of punishment after the women were caught without their faces being veiled appropriately, by ISIS standards, last weekend.

California issued 59,000 driver’s licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally during the first month their applications were accepted, state officials said.

The world’s best drug for treating malaria, a medicine that is the key to saving millions of lives in Africa and beyond, is losing its efficacy in a larger swath of territory than previously known.

Common Core continues to be a top concern in the states, with Mississippi and Wisconsin being the latest states taking steps to distance themselves from the controversial standards.


The U.S.-Backed Government In Ukraine Is Starting To Lose The Civil War

The mainstream media in the U.S. is being very quiet about this, but the truth is that the U.S.-backed government in Kiev is starting to lose the civil war. This week, the separatists captured the very important railway junction of Debaltseve despite the fact that a ceasefire is supposed to be in place. Buoyed by a constant influx of Russian weapons and supplies, the separatists have gained a clear upper hand in the conflict. But this was not supposed to happen. When protest groups that were funded, organized and advised by organizations in the United States violently overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian government, the Obama administration was hoping that the Ukrainian people would rapidly embrace their new pro-western leaders. Instead, the nation was plunged into a very bitter civil war that could go on for many years. And as the battlefield stands right now, the government in Kiev will probably be forced to concede even more territory in the months ahead as more weapons and fighters arrive from Russia. The Obama administration could decide to intervene by shipping large amounts of weapons and supplies to the Ukrainian government, but that could turn the civil war in Ukraine into a proxy war between the United States and Russia. And the thing about proxy wars is that sometimes they turn into real wars. (Read More…)


It’s Germany vs. Greece, And The Very Survival Of The Eurozone Is At Stake

Is this the beginning of the end for the eurozone? On Thursday, Germany rejected a Greek request for a six-month loan extension. The Germans insisted that the Greek proposal did not require the Greeks to adhere to the austerity restrictions which previous agreements had forced upon them. But Greek voters have already very clearly rejected the status quo, and the new Greek government has stated unequivocally that it will not be bound by the current bailout arrangement. So can Germany and Greece find some sort of compromise that will be acceptable to both of them? It certainly does not help that some Greek politicians have been comparing the current German government to the Nazis, and the Germans have fired back with some very nasty comments about the Greeks. Unfortunately for both of them, time is running out. The Greek government will run out of money in just a couple of weeks, and without a deal there is a very good chance that Greece will be forced to leave the euro. In fact, this week Commerzbank AG increased the probability of a “Grexit” to 50 percent. And if Greece does leave the eurozone, it could spark a full blown European financial crisis which would be absolutely catastrophic. (Read More….)


Daily Digest

February 20, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Besides, to lay and collect internal taxes in this extensive country must require a great number of congressional ordinances, immediately operation upon the body of the people; these must continually interfere with the state laws and thereby produce disorder and general dissatisfaction till the one system of laws or the other, operating upon the same subjects, shall be abolished.” –Federal Farmer, Antifederalist Letter, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Don’t ‘Embrace the Terrorist Narrative’ By Blaming Islam

A day after Barack Obama insisted at his White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, “We must never accept the premise” ISIL and al-Qaida put forward about their Islamic motivation, he blamed his critics for inflaming ISIL by drawing the connection. “All of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative,” he explained. “That narrative becomes the foundation upon which terrorists build their ideology and by which they try to justify their violence. And that hurts all of us, including Islam, and especially Muslims, who are the ones most likely to be killed.” He’s right that Muslims in the Middle East are the ones perhaps suffering most under ISIL, but it doesn’t help them to deny the role of radical Islam as ISIL’s motivation. Obama can insists all he wants that this is a “very distorted impression” of Islam, albeit with “legitimate grievances,” but if even 5% of the world’s one billion Muslims hold to a radical and violent interpretation of the Koran, that’s millions of what he might call “violent extremists.” For him to blame conservatives for reinforcing this “narrative” only further exposes his cynical and craven political purposes.

Obama Administration Announces Invasion of Mosul

Any student of history knows that, if a defensive force learns it will be attacked, it will dig trenches deeper. By the time the first skirmishers engage, artillery will be zeroed in on the main roads and sniper nests will litter the area. On Thursday, an anonymous U.S. Central Command official told a group of Washington reporters that before Ramadan (which starts June 17) a force of 25,000 fighters made up of the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish Peshmerga will attack ISIL at the city of Mosul. While it might work out well to have these jihadis gather in one spot, this is a bad move. Not only does this endanger the lives of the soldiers actually fighting ISIL, the Obama administration announced this plan for selfish political reasons. Barack Obama needs to justify his proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force to defeat ISIL and save the world all without a single boot on the ground. This announcement also reframes Obama as a tough actor on the world stage when it comes to national security. Yet his performance over the last few months show that he’s anything but. However, let’s waltz on to Mosul, where 25,000 fighters will march into the muzzles of the waiting ISIL fighters. Announcing D-Day two months ahead of time. Brilliant. More…

Giuliani: Obama Doesn’t Love America

Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani believes Barack Obama hates America. “I very rarely hear [Barack Obama] say the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things I used to hear Bill Clinton say about how much he loves America,” he explained. “I do hear [Obama] criticize America much more often than other American presidents. … [I]t sounds like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter. You can be a patriotic American and be a critic, but then you’re not expressing that kind of love that we’re used to from a president.” Obama’s rhetoric is not the only indication. Actions speak louder than words, and his malfeasant approach to national security combined with his fervor to roll back the nation’s immigration laws and to hamstring the economy with environmental regulation shows he has no respect for this nation. And, Giuliani later pointed out, “We haven’t even mentioned some of the other communists and leftists who educated [Obama] as a young man. But all we need is Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright — 17 years in that church and that man condemned America over and over and over again. And [Obama] remained a member of that church?” That does speak volumes. You don’t seek to “fundamentally transform” something you love. More…

Florida Court Upholds Bearing Arms Outside Home

The Florida Court of Appeal held Wednesday in Norman v. State that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a firearm outside the home. “After Heller I, McDonald, and [other recent rulings],” the court ruled, “it is clear that a total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home cannot survive a constitutional challenge under any level of scrutiny.” The ruling quoted Peruta v. County of San Diego, in which the Ninth Circuit Court (yes, that Ninth Circuit) said a right is essentially “destroyed [if the] exercise of [that] right is limited to a few people, in a few places, at a few times.” The Florida court did uphold the right of states to determine the manner of carry (open or concealed): “The Legislature is permitted to regulate the manner in which arms are borne for the purpose of maintaining public peace and safety, so long as any such regulation leaves available a viable carry mode.” The court also didn’t handle the question of limits to where a gun can be carried — only that the overall right extends outside the home. We’re glad to see another court rule in favor of the Second Amendment — it’s an encouraging trend. More…

Biden’s Somali Friends

During remarks at the White House Summit on Countering All Forms of Violent Extremism Including That of Quakers and Fundamentalist Bingo Groups, Joe Biden said some of his best friends are Muslims. Well, sort of. “Somalis have made my city of Wilmington, Delaware, [their home] on a smaller scale,” he explained. “There is a large, very identifiable Somali community. I might add if you ever come to the train station with me you’ll notice I have great relationships with them because there’s an awful lot driving cabs and are friends of mine. For real. I’m not being solicitous. I’m being serious.” The Washington Post makes short work of Biden’s buddy claim, noting, “More than 75,000 Somali refugees have settled in the United States since 2004, according to the Office of Refugee Settlement. But the detailed annual reports show that since 2000, exactly zero have arrived to live in Delaware.” There’s also no truth to the rumor that Biden was aboard Brian Williams’ helicopter when it was shot down.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Tolerating Radical Islam but Not Christian Bakers

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At the White House Summit on Countering Religious Extremism, Barack Obama demanded we “refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorists’ narrative.” He added, “No religion is responsible for terrorism,” ignoring that the aggressors in the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks this century have had their roots in radical interpretations of Islam, whether through al-Qaida or the Islamic State.

Obama seems to hold a millennium-long grudge against all Christians for the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, but he isolates the blame for terrorist acts to a small percentage of misguided radicals (who are in no way Muslim). That minority is on the march, however, slaughtering other Muslims who don’t conform with their strict interpretation of Islam along with Jews and Christians, like the 21 Coptic Christians recently beheaded in Libya — the ones Team Obama dismissively referred to as “Egyptian citizens.”

Obama, though, hasn’t weighed in on the cultural clash occurring right here at home. In 2013, the owners of an Oregon bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony because doing so conflicted with their religious beliefs. Rather than respect the owners’ religious liberty and choose another bakers in the area, the lesbian couple filed a formal complaint with the state. That led to a recent ruling that the bakers denied the couple “full and equal access to a place of public accommodations.”

It’s the latest in a growing number of instances where those who believe marriage is solely between a man and a woman are being hounded by radicals demanding full recognition of same-sex “marriage.”

In Washington, a florist cited her religion in refusing to create arrangements for a same-sex ceremony — though she had previously served the couple. As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins explained, “[H]ere’s the catch. [Barronelle] Stutzman didn’t deny the men flowers, as the media wrongly suggests, but arrangements — which would have required Barronelle to use her personal artistry to express what she believes is a sinful message.”

Speaking after the state ruled against Stutzman, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner put her finger on the fundamental message of the Rainbow Mafia: “Celebrate us or else.” She warned, “The ruling basically said that if you dare to not celebrate same-sex marriage because it violates your religious convictions, that the government has a right to bring about your personal and professional ruin.”

The florist herself said, after she pays all the fines and legal fees, “There won’t be anything left. They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet.”

Muslims call this tax on non-believers the jizya. American leftists call it tolerance.

So, while Obama tries to excuse those whose religious dogma includes the wholesale slaughter of anyone who doesn’t buy the Islamist cake, American citizens who hold sincere religious beliefs — whose actions might be inconvenient to the “victims” but certainly aren’t fatal or even dangerous — find their livelihoods destroyed by the state in the name of fighting discrimination. That’s what happens when those in government think they grant rights instead of God.

It’s worth noting that, in areas controlled by ISIL, homosexuality is punishable by death. Somehow, that makes one’s inability to purchase a customized cake or flower arrangement from a particular business seem a bit less inconvenient.

ObamaCare: Tax Filing Will Be Rude Awakening for Millions

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Tax season is in full swing, and over the next several weeks millions of Americans are going to experience first hand just how much “free” health care really costs. This is the year that the IRS begins punishing those who have chosen to go without insurance.

The numbers are still sketchy, but estimates are that between four and six million people could face fines this year for not purchasing health insurance during 2014. H&R Block believes that some 3.4 million people who received subsidies will end up owing the IRS money this year.

The Obama administration is trying to take the public’s mind off this unwelcome news by trumpeting the surge in ObamaCare signups. Officials from the 14 state-run insurance exchanges say the surge is due to fear of facing a 2% penalty for not having insurance. But according to the Urban Institute, “More than 4 in 10 uninsured adults who may be subject to the penalty have heard little or nothing about it.” So, never mind then.

Supposedly, only 11.4 million people have signed up for health care coverage across the country. But that’s a far cry from covering the 30-some-odd million uninsured Barack Obama kept telling us were suffering. And it isn’t clear just how many of those 11.4 million people previously had insurance but lost it thanks to ObamaCare.

Conveniently, enrollment closed on Feb. 15 — a full two months before Income Redistribution Day. But enough of their constituents will suffer that Democrat lawmakers have asked the Obama administration to ease up on penalties and expand open enrollment until April 15 so people can avoid the penalty for 2015. Obama’s HHS is considering it.

It’s a bit comical that Democrats like Sander Levin and Jim McDermott are now shedding crocodile tears for constituents who are going to get nailed with unexpected tax bills. Democrats alone passed ObamaCare — without a single Republican vote. They own this law like no other, and they made ObamaCare happen through a relentless campaign of lies.

If the situation wasn’t so serious it would be amusing to watch these politicians wake up to reality. The 2% penalty is not just a slap on the wrist for most. For example, a person making $50,000 a year without insurance faces a $1,000 fine. That is, this taxpayer will have to pay the IRS $1,000 above what he is already forking over in taxes just because he didn’t buy what the government told him to buy.

And let’s not forget the people who for one reason or another were overcompensated with government subsidies to help pay for their insurance. The IRS will be looking to reclaim that money, even though the federal government knew from the beginning that its formula for doling out subsidies (essentially the honor system) was broken.

The organization that arguably stands to benefit most from all of this foolishness is the IRS — the same bureaucracy that helped re-elect Obama in 2012 by targeting his political opponents. While the IRS has been complaining about supposed budget cuts, the agency received a $2 billion budget increase this fiscal year, and it will enjoy an 11% staff increase next year. The additional 9,000 employees will be brought on board to enforce 46 new tax provisions that come directly from ObamaCare. When a law grows the IRS that much, you know there’s trouble.

A larger IRS with a broader mandate to intrude into people’s lives should scare every American to the core. If Obama does nothing else to shore up his signature law before leaving office, he is sure to fund the IRS to the greatest extent possible. He will leave behind an organization that is even bigger than the bloated, out-of-control monstrosity that it is today.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

American historian Richard Hofstadter (1916-1970): “A university’s essential character is that of being a center of free inquiry and criticism — a thing not to be sacrificed for anything else.”

Columnist Michael Barone: “The [Supreme] Court ruled 9-0 that Obama couldn’t make recess appointments when the Senate said it was not in recess. It ruled 9-0 that the government couldn’t decide whom a church could classify as clergy. It ruled 9-0 that the government couldn’t fine landowners $75,000 a day to appeal an administrative order blocking construction in an alleged wetland. The Constitution authorizes Congress to pass laws and requires the president to faithfully execute them. Obama seems to take that as not so much a requirement as a suggestion, one he sees fit to ignore when he wants to ‘change the law.’ The Constitution’s framers wrote the faithful execution clause because they remembered that King James II claimed and exercised the power to suspend laws passed by Parliament whenever he liked. James was forced to flee England in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and in 1689 Parliament passed a Bill of Rights declaring ‘that the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal.’ There is a continuum between lawful exercise of discretion and unlawful suspension of the law. Time and again, Obama has lurched toward the wrong end of it.”

Columnist David Limbaugh: “[Obama] says the Islamic State group and other jihadis are not truly Islamic but attempting to hijack the religion. If he is sincere about that, then why does he want to let the worst of that bunch out of Guantanamo Bay and shower them with civil rights? If he is determined to convince peaceful Muslims that we recognize they are not like the terrorists, why does he insult them by coddling the ones he claims are aberrant? If Obama believes that the violent ones are not representative of the religion, why does he insist on treating them like the peaceful ones or assume the peaceful ones would want the radicals treated delicately? After all, if peaceful Muslims don’t identify with the radicals, how would treating those radicals as enemies and enemy combatants alienate the peaceful ones? And if he believes that the billion-plus Muslims he talks about are so peaceful, why does he act as if they are on a hair trigger to become terrorists, to the point that we can’t even call out the radicals among them without fear of every Muslim’s turning into one?”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “Obama has appointed a new head of the Secret Service. The new Secret Service director was so excited that he jumped over the White House fence for joy.”

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Cyclone Lam and Cyclone Marcia: Twin severe storms a ‘First’ for Australia

Posted: 20 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Cyclone Lam and Cyclone Marcia: Twin severe storms a ‘First’ for Australia Australia’s northern coasts are being battered by two severe tropical cyclones on Friday, the first time meteorologists have seen twin storms of such intensity making near-simultaneous landfall. Cyclone Lam crossed the Northern Territory coast about 20 kilometres east of the town of Milingimbi as a category 4 cyclone overnight, knocking out two wind monitors in the process. It has been downgraded to a category 3 as the storm moves inland. About 2000 kilometres to the south-east, Cyclone Marcia has now crossed the coast near Yeppoon, close to Rockhampton, on the central Queensland coast. The storm was rated as a category 5 cyclone, the highest ranking. Cyclone Marcia was downgraded to category 4 by the Bureau of Meteorology at its 11am briefing. While twin cyclones reaching Australia are uncommon, Friday’s combination may be the first involving storms of category 3 or higher, said Phil Perkins, a meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology in Darwin.  “It’s the first time that we have seen two severe cyclones occurring at the same time,” Mr Perkins said. Category 3 storms have sustained wind speeds of 118-159 km/h, with peak gusts of 165-224 km/h, according to the bureau’s definitions. Cyclone Lam knocked out a wind station at Elcho Island late on Thursday, with 150km/h winds the highest recorded at the site. A second station at Milingimbi also halted operations, recording winds at 93km/h at the time. Wind speeds reached 260km/h at their peak, with sustained winds of 175-185km/h, Mr Perkins said. A storm surge has reached all parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria, with some areas recording seas more than one metre above the astronomical highs, he said. MORE

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Greece is on the brink of exiting the European Union as concerns growPosted: 20 Feb 2015 05:29 AM PST

Greece is on the brink of exiting the European Union as concerns grow Germany and Greece face a dramatic eurozone showdown which could see Athens abandon the single currency to ease crippling austerity. Euro finance ministers will hold crisis talks as a deadline for Greece to request an extension to its €240 billion (£176bn) bailout program looms. The last tranche of rescue money destined for Athens will be withheld unless the Greeks agree to more spending cuts and tax hikes. Surrendering the lifeline would leave Greece unable to pay its debts – paving the way for a “Grexit”. Germany has rejected Greek requests for a fresh six-month assistance package that would have reduced Berlin-backed austerity. The decision means Athens is likely to run out of money by the end of the month if a deal is not reached.  The fall-out from a Greek exit would unleash a disastrous ripple effect, eventually hitting Britain and impacting on the UK economy. Its last-ditch plea for a new settlement came less than four weeks after the left-wing Syriza coalition swept to power promising to end austerity. But Berlin said it was “not a substantial proposal for a solution” – opening a rift with the European Commission which had branded the request “positive” only moments earlier. Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis had written to the “Eurogroup” promising to use the six months “to attain fiscal and financial stability”. He said a deal would “enable the Greek government to introduce the substantive, far-reaching reforms that are needed to restore the living standards of millions of Greek citizens through sustainable economic growth, gainful employment and social cohesion”. MIRROR

 

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Worried depositors rush to pull cash out of Greek banksPosted: 20 Feb 2015 05:21 AM PST

Worried depositors rush to pull cash out of Greek banksIn the midst of the dramatic showdown in Brussels between the new Greek government and its European creditors, many Greek depositors—spooked by the prospect of a Greek default or, worse, an exit from the euro zone and a possible return to the drachma—have been pulling euros out of the nation’s banks in record amounts over the last few days. The Bank of Greece and the European Central Bank won’t report official cash outflows for January until the end of the month. But sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as 25 billion euros (US $28.4 billion) have left Greek banks since the end of December. According to the same sources, an estimated 900 million euros flowed out of Greek banks on Tuesday alone, the day after the talks broke up in Brussels, sparking fears that measures will be taken to stem the outflow. On Thursday, by mid-afternoon, deposits had shrunk by about 680 million euros (US $773 million). “If outflows reach 1 billion euros, capital controls might need to be imposed,” said Thanasis Koukakis, a financial editor for Estia a conservative daily, and To Vima, an influential Sunday newspaper. On Thursday, Germany rejected Greece’s application to extend its loan agreement for four months and renegotiate the terms of its bailout, raising the threat of Athens’ running out of money in the coming weeks. Under the current program, the country has received 240 billion euros, or $272 billion, in exchange for pursuing various overhauls. This came just one day after the European Central Bank extended for two weeks a 68 billion euro emergency liquidity package for Greek banks. According to a source close to the banking community, Greek banks must report cash outflows to the ECB and the Bank of Greece three times a day. The situation remains volatile, as the Greek government and its European creditors have not yet managed to reach a deal over financing arrangements concerning the bailout. Greece’s proposal included language that indicated it would not comply with the conditions set in that agreement. The loan agreement formally expires on Feb. 28. More

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Spies Can Track You Just by Watching Your Phone’s Power UsePosted: 20 Feb 2015 05:09 AM PST

Spies Can Track You Just by Watching Your Phone’s Power Use Smartphone users might balk at letting a random app like Candy Crush or Shazam track their every move via GPS. But researchers have found that Android phones reveal information about your location to every app on your device through a different, unlikely data leak: the phone’s power consumption. Researchers at Stanford University and Israel’s defense research group Rafael have created a technique they call PowerSpy, which they say can gather information about an Android phone’s geolocation merely by tracking its power use over time. That data, unlike GPS or Wi-Fi location tracking, is freely available to any installed app without a requirement to ask the user’s permission. MORE

 

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Seven Problems with John Kerry’s Iranian Nuclear Clock :: Gambill at FPRI

by Gary C. Gambill
Foreign Policy Research Institute
February 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5043/iran-nuclear-clock


How Believing In The Bible Can Get You Canned In Today’s America

If you want to get fired, sued or lose your business in today’s America, stand with Biblical convictions …………. Click here for full story


Obama Won’t Back New ISIS War

Two longtime allies are attacking ISIS—and growing frustrated with one another. That’s good news for the so-called Islamic State. The Obama administration was given multiple chances Wednesday to endorse a longtime ally’s airstrikes on America’s biggest enemy at the moment, the so-called Islamic State ………. Click here for full story


Getting Paid to Kill Jews With US Tax Dollars?

It is by now no secret that the Palestinian Authority uses large portions of the international financial aid it receives to provide salaries and other payouts to terrorists who kill Jews……….. Click here for full story


Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Libya

As ISIS makes inroads into Libya, officials in Rome are panicking about an Islamic State just across the sea—but have no idea how to combat the crisis……….. Click here for full story


It’s Official: Global Economy Back In Contraction For First Time Since 2012 According To Goldman

One can feel it. The initial optimism which spiked in this country with falling gas prices already feels long in the tooth. And the USA is basically the best there is. Pretty much every other major economy in the world is in recession or near recession.

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Obama accused of skirting Islamic extremist threat, at ‘summit without substance’

“Sadly, this was a summit without substance,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “Americans understand we are not at war with Islam. But, we will not defeat these fanatics if we refuse to define them for what they are — violent Islamist extremists.”

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Obama: ‘Islam Has Been Woven Into the Fabric of Our Country Since Its Founding’

We hear a lot about the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage, but according to President Obama, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.” That’s what the president told a White House conference on “countering violent extremism” on Wednesday.

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Israel’s Netanyahu: ‘What is there to hide’ in Iran deal

Israel’s prime minister said Thursday that he knows the details of the deal being forged with Iran over its nuclear program and asked “what is there to hide” after the U.S. said it was withholding some information on the talks.

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Obama: We really need to address the terrorists’ grievances

You listen to this, and your first instinct – which is not wrong – is that you’re listening to class mushbrained left-wing blather about how we all just need to understand each other, etc. But I think Obama’s narcissism may be an even bigger factor here. Following Marie Harf’s bizarre statement that we can’t defeat ISIS by killing them, here comes Obama to say this:

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Jobs for Jihadists

arxists and radical Muslims go together like camels and deserts. They’re now the nightmarish frick and frack of the 21st century. With the shock of YouTubes still going the rounds showing the ISIS beheading of 21 Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya, Barack Obama is taking the Muslim Brotherhood under his protective wing; these poor wretches only need to be given jobs and be shown tolerance by citizens who just don’t understand their righteous grievances.

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Obama Readying USA for Islamic Takeover?

Tragically and with full malice aforethought, the beauty, simplicity and essential to thought subject of Logic is no longer taught in the US Public school system. As a note, little else that matters is now taught either. It was taught when I attended school. For the purposes of this column, I will deal with two forms of logic, as defined by the current on-line Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “A particular mode of reasoning viewed as valid or faulty” and “interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable.” I hope that these will assist those people who still cannot—according to their own words seem to fathom why Barack Hussein Obama does what he does and says what he says.

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Christian Florist Found Guilty of Discrimination for Declining ‘Gay Wedding’ Could Lose Home, Life Savings

A florist from Washington is in jeopardy of losing her business, home and life savings after a judge ruled against her on Wednesday for declining to fulfill an order for a same-sex ceremony, but rather provided a referral for the regular customer.

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‘Mohammed is Dead and Buried…Christ is Alive,’ ‘Do you Want to Follow the Dead or the Living?’ – Franklin Graham

“Mohammed is dead and buried in Medinah,” said Rev. Graham in a Feb. 18 Facebook post.

“Jesus Christ is alive and He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven,” he said. “Who do you want to follow, the dead or the living?”

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Get Ready for Persecution, Warns Moody Bible Institute President

It looks like a recipe for depression. Our beloved nation wracked by cultural change, once-protected freedoms evaporating, the persecution of believers looming. Anyone with sense would either stock up on Valium or claim a cave in Montana. But as Christians we have reason to hope.

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Obama Withholds Iran Negotiation Info from Israel

The betrayal ensues.

In yet another deplorable display of betrayal, the Obama administration belatedly acknowledged that it is withholding information from Israel pertaining to the P5 + 1 talks with Iran. The administration’s shocking announcement followed initial denials by both the State Department and the White House that they were engaged in this type of duplicitous conduct against a strategic ally.

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Fifty Shades of Shame — The Evolution of Pornography – Albert Mohler

By Dr. Albert Mohler

The explosive sales of the Fifty Shades book series alerted many Christians to the fact of female-oriented pornography. While far more attention had been devoted to the visual nature of most male-oriented pornography, the Fifty Shades phenomenon underlined the public mainstreaming of pornography that would find a primary audience among women — narrative pornography in book form.

While many had noted the attraction of so-called “romance novels” to many women, the arrival of the Fifty Shades series announced that the culture at large was ready to shift to what can only be described as explicitly pornographic.

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REAL ID to Launch in 2016: TSA Will Force Airline Passengers to Show National ID Before Flying

Most Americans use a state-issued driver’s license as their primary identification card. However, federal-level politicians have pushed throughout history for the implementation of a national ID card, which privacy and states’ rights advocates have argued against as a threat to citizens’ private information or an affront to state authority. Reports of a move towards a national ID card were often dismissed by skeptics as conspiracy theories until 2005, when the REAL ID Act passed into law. However, the REAL ID has experienced significant pushback from many non-compliant states, forcing federal officials to delay its implementation.

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Britain’s Top NATO Commander Warns Russia May Be Provoking WWIII

Britain’s top NATO commander today warned that current tensions with Russia represent an ‘existential threat to our whole being’ and could escalate into all out war.

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:” Ezekiel 38:2,3 (KJV)

During a speech in London, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use ‘Soviet-style’ tactics to seize former Baltic states such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

General Bradshaw, a former director of British special forces and the deputy supreme allied commander Europe, backed plans to set up NATO force integration units in eastern Europe designed to counter a ‘range of hybrid threats’ claiming they would ‘send a strong signal’ to the Kremlin.

russia-raises-tensions-with-britain-with-soviet-style-flyover-tactics

He said: ‘The threat from Russia and the risk it brings of a miscalculation resulting in a strategic conflict, however unlikely we see it as being right now, represents an existential threat to our whole being.’

The general claimed Russia may use both traditional Soviet-tactic of escalation dominance as well as hybrid warfare techniques to seize NATO territories.

He pointed to the take-over of Crimea as an example of ‘hybrid warfare’ – where the use of un-uniformed soldiers of unknown nationality and propaganda blurred the true extent of their involvement. He said that this makes it difficult to judge the true extent of Russian involvement and it therefore becomes hard for all 28 NATO member states to agree on the appropriate response.

russian-aggression-increasing-in-2015

He explained: ‘The resulting ambiguity [makes] collective decisions relating to the appropriate responses more difficult’. The takeover of Crimea was preceded by Russia conducting large-scale military exercises along their border with Ukraine.”

NATO believes that as the unrest began Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms were secretly sent into Ukraine to bolster separatist forces. It is also believed that Russia has been secretly arming the separatists, something which the Kremlin denies.

Today Secret services in Ukraine accused a senior political aide to Vladimir Putin of directing the snipers in Kiev who sparked the bloodshed that lead to last year’s revolution.

The increasingly fragile ceasefire appeared close to breaking point amid claims by the U.S. that pro-Russian rebels had fired on Kiev forces 49 times in the last 48 hours and more than 250 times since the start of the truce on Sunday.

Read the rest of this story on Daily Mail UK…

The post Britain’s Top NATO Commander Warns Russia May Be Provoking WWIII appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 


February 19, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — The Obama administration may be on the same side as the Muslim Brotherhood, but at least we know where they stand. Congress, by contrast, sounds tough and does nothing…. (more)

February 19, 2015
NEW YORK POST — They’re burning and beheading victims in the name of Islam, but President Obama delivered a major speech Wednesday on combating violent extremism – – while refusing to use the words “Muslim terrorists.”… (more)


February 19, 2015
ANN COULTER — Now that a federal judge has held Obama’s illegal executive amnesty unconstitutional, perhaps U.S. senators will remember that they swore to uphold the Constitution, too…. (more)

February 19, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Let me put it this way: If Republicans don’t stop the nomination of Loretta Lynch to the office of attorney general, they just won’t ever stop anyone for any reason for any position at any time. The case against Lynch has gotten eminently stronger since her name was first mentioned as a replacement for Eric Holder…. (more)


February 19, 2015
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Victoria Jackson, a six-year veteran of Saturday Night Live, is publicly wondering if her opposition to gay marriage prompted Lorne Michaels to treat her differently than the other cast members who attended the 40th anniversary of the show Sunday…. (more)

February 19, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Oscar-nominated movie “Citizenfour,” which features NSA defector Edward Snowden and celebrates his theft and release of classified documents… (more)

February 18, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — The White House opened a summit Tuesday aimed at countering generic “violent extremism” amid complaints that the administration is partnering in the effort with a Boston-based mosque with past links to terrorism…. (more)

February 18, 2015
DAILY MAIL — Militants from Islamic State have burned 45 people to death in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, according to the local police chief. Col Qasim al-Obeidi said the motive was unknown but he believed some of the victims were members of the security forces… (more)

February 18, 2015
AARON KLEIN — Egypt, now at the forefront of fighting ISIS, is warning it has intelligence revealing the global jihadist group is planning a worldwide offensive this spring or summer that could reach targets within the United States…. (more)

February 18, 2015
NEWSMAX — Sen. Ted Cruz has hailed a court ruling that slams the brakes on President Barack Obama’s immigration actions, calling it a “turning point” in the GOP’s fight against amnesty…. (more)


February 18, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Late Monday, a federal district judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction that bars the Obama administration from proceeding with the president’s unilateral decree of effective amnesty for millions of illegal aliens…. (more)

February 18, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — The federal court order Monday temporarily blocking the Obama administration’s de facto amnesty of millions of illegal aliens confirmed that President Obama never signed an executive order following his Nov. 20 address to the nation on immigration…. (more)

February 17, 2015
BREITBART — Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai declared that President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet, coupled with potential FEC regulations would be “pretty dangerous” on Monday’s “Sean Hannity Show.”… (more)


February 17, 2015
JERUSALEM POST — Israeli-US public sparring over the Iranian issue continued Monday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking, if the emerging agreement with Tehran is a good one, why hide the details?… (more)

February 17, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — In the wake of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, beheading 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Tom McInerney is slamming the Obama administration for failing to take obvious military steps to destroy the terrorists and identify radical Islam as the motivating factor for the atrocities committed throughout the region…. (more)

February 17, 2015
NEWSMAX — Blame President Barack Obama and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton for turning Libya into a “feeding ground” for the Islamic State (ISIS), says former Rep. Allen West, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis…. (more)


February 17, 2015
NEWSMAX — A federal judge in South Texas on Monday temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders…. (more)


February 17, 2015
BREITBART — As Republicans work to overcome a Democratic filibuster of a House-passed Department of Homeland Security bill that blocks President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is highlighting the Obama administration’s long history of dismantling immigration laws…. (more)

February 17, 2015
NEWSMAX — Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch needs the support of just four Republicans to gain confirmation in the Senate, but many GOP lawmakers are starting to back away from her over concerns about her stance on immigration and a perceived lack of “independence” from the White House…. (more)

February 17, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — Today, it’s legal. Tomorrow, it might not be. By executive fiat, the Obama administration intends to eliminate one of the most common types of .223-caliber ammunition, used by the AR-15 and other general-purpose rifles…. (more)

February 17, 2015
ROBERT KNIGHT — It’s been a good couple of weeks for the truth. It always is when lies are found out. President Obama’s chief strategist admits in a new book that Mr. Obama lied all along during his first-term election campaign about opposing same-sex “marriage.”… (more)

February 16, 2015
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — In less than two weeks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled to announce its intent to deprive you of your right as a citizen to have access to the internet without government interference. But you’re not supposed to know about it… (more)

February 16, 2015
ALAN KEYES — In the aftermath of the 2012 election’s gloomy choice, I wrote a blog post in which I noted Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s promising call to his supporters: “Go home with the knowledge that we are going to stand for the acknowledgment of God.”(more)

February 16, 2015
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama is correct when he says federal law trumps state law, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore told Fox News, but Moore says the president is forgetting one thing: judge’s rulings are not law…. (more)

February 16, 2015
BRYAN FISCHER — The New York Times has Judge Roy Moore’s back. The Gray Lady came to the defense of the embattled chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in a piece by Emily Bazelon, the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School…. (more)

 

Former Megachurch Pastor Rob Bell – Christianity Irrelevant If It Continues Quoting The Bible

Former Mars Hill Bible Church pastor and best-selling author Rob Bell told media mogul Oprah Winfrey on Sunday that the American church is “moments away” from embracing gay marriage and thinks “it’s inevitable.” ……… Click here for full story


New research shows where church attendance is highest and lowest

It’s often warmly referred to as “the Bible Belt” but church attendance is actually higher in one Western state than in the South, according to new research released this week. (AOL News)

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Court rules ‘God bless America’ not unconstitutional

by Marsha West

Christian Headlines reports:

The Florida high school that told a student not to say “God bless America” during morning announcements said this week that the student did not violate the U.S. Constitution.

“Upon consultation with legal counsel and review of legal advisories, the Nassau County School District has taken the position that a student’s use of the phrase “God Bless America” during the morning announcements at Yulee High School does not violate the Constitution of the United States,” the school district said in a statement.

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Buying a bestseller

by Marsha West

In 2014 WORLD Magazine revealed that Seattle’s Mars Hill Church paid a California-based marketing company somewhere around $250,000 to ensure that a book by its pastor Mark Driscoll and coauthored with his wife, Grace made the New York Times best-seller list. Some say the practice is “dishonoring to the Lord.” The magazine now reports that popular pastor and author David Jeremiah’s ministry, Turning Point, purchased copies of at least three of Jeremiah’s books to ensure that they would make the New York Times bestseller list. Last year WORLD asked Jeremiah about his book marketing practices, to which he replied: “You can’t just write a book and say I’m not going to have anything to do with marketing. If you don’t care enough about it to try and figure out how to get it in the hands of other people, nobody else is going to either.” In the acknowledgments section of his 2012 book God Loves You, Jeremiah even credits the man who got Driscoll in so much trouble – the president of Result Source, Kevin Small – as the “genius behind the plan.”

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Rob Bell: we’re moments away from the church embracing gay marriage

by Marsha West

Former Mars Hill Bible Church pastor and Emergent leader Rob Bell is a controversial figure. Recently, Bell was invited by Oprah Winfrey to host The Rob Bell Show on her OWN channel. Bell denies the existence of hell, promotes “Mother God,” and insists that homosexuality is not a sin, thus our “homosexual brothers and sisters” must be accepted by the Church. Therefore, it is no surprise that he is reportedly thrilled by the idea that same-sex ‘marriage’ may soon become legal in America. Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, offers Christians this advice:

When it comes to heretical teachers like Bell, we are NOT to “eat the meat and spit out the bones (advice found nowhere in Scripture), but instead we are to follow the command to mark and avoid false teachers.

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Christian florist found guilty of discrimination for declining ‘gay wedding’; could lose home, life savings

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

A florist from Washington is in jeopardy of losing her business, home and life savings after a judge ruled against her on Wednesday for declining to fulfill an order for a same-sex ceremony, but rather provided a referral for the regular customer.

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Matzo Bread At Communion?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. When, as believers, we break bread at the Lord’s Supper should we use Unleavened Bread, or normal everyday bread? I can understand using Matzos (unleavened bread) at Passover, but the rest of the year?  A secondary question is:- Do we need to use Matzos even at Passover as this is a Jewish Feast under the Law?

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More On the Lamb’s Book Of Life

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  In your book “Understanding Revelation” you explain “predestination” very nicely.  It got me to thinking about all that and it made me wonder if the list of names in the Lambs Book of Life is the “full number” of believers.  Would the full number be complete when the last person in the book believes?

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Free Will, Really?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I have a question that’s been bothering me like crazy lately.  If God knows everything before it happens,  then He knows what we are going to do before we do it, so how is that free will?  Its like He knows this person is going to hell and that one to heaven and He cannot be surprised, so why was he mad at Adam and Eve if he knew they were going to eat from the tree?

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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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February 20, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

Nine possible reasons for your spiritual drought

Need some refreshment in your season of spiritual drought?

If you have been a Christian for any amount of time, you know that spiritual passion, sight, and affections ebb and flow. At times our sense of spiritual realities can be strong and vibrant; other times, our hearts feel like lead weights and we find ourselves longing for God to visit us once again and bring refreshment (Psalm 85:4-7). These seasons are usually referred to as times of “spiritual drought” or “spiritual dryness,” and find intimate expression in many of the Psalms. David often cried out to God in times where his soul seemed like dust, and he yearned to be refreshed by the presence of the Lord (Psalm 13; Psalm 63). Other Psalmists expressed their longing to have their parched souls to be replenished by the Lord (Psalm 42). Those who have tasted of the goodness of Christ know what it means to be without that taste; it leaves us pleading, “light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:3)

Spiritual drought, though a persistent and unwelcome visitor, is not something with which we must constantly live. There are Biblical means by which we can, by grace, put ourselves in the way of refreshment; we can be restored to once again feel the joy of our salvation. But this can only happen if we are able to discern why we might be experiencing spiritual dryness so we can take the appropriate action. With this in mind, I would like to suggest a few reasons we may be experiencing a season of spiritual drought and provide the correlating remedies.

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When Black-and-White Becomes Grey

Now that Presidents’ Day is behind us we can be sure of one thing: “Fifty Shades of Grey” brought in a whole lot of green. According to box office analysts, the carnally erotic full length motion picture brought in $94.4 million over the extended Valentine’s Day weekend.Thanks to mass marketing visionaries, it seems as if the bedroom of society has been transformed overnight into a chamber of bondage. It seems as if the American culture has finally learned to normalize darkness.

But there is also one more thing that we can be sure of with the release of “Fifty Shades of Grey:” the black and white clarity of the Bible has strangely turned grey in the lives of many in the church. Perhaps the most visible example of this has been Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who hasn’t allowed his professed Christianity to stop him from “enjoying” the film. But he is only an example of a much larger problem within cultural Christianity. Somehow, someway, those who claim Christ have rationalized perversion as being normal. How does that happen? Through the slow and indiscernible process of cultural assimilation.

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12 Reasons Why Church Leaders Don’t Delegate

By Chuck Lawless

I admit it – I don’t delegate responsibilities as much as I should. In my attempts to do better, though, I’ve tried to learn from others who share the same struggle. Based on my own experiences and these informal interviews, here are twelve reasons for church leaders not delegating.

  1. We base our worth on results. If our organization does well, we look better; if not so well, the failure hits at the core of our being. When we base our value on the success of the organization we lead, seldom do we delegate responsibility to others. It’s simply too risky to do so.
  2. We don’t really believe the Body of Christ imagery in 1 Corinthians 12. If God puts the Body together as He wishes, He knows which person should play each role. We deny that truth when we choose to play the role of every part of the Body – either by doing it all ourselves or by following to “clean up” what others have done.
  3. We have never seen good delegation modeled. We struggle because no one ever delegated anything to us as we sought to learn ministry. No leader trained us, trusted us, and held us accountable. Instead, our own role models did the work themselves, and we’ve followed faithfully in their steps.
  4. We suffer from “idolatry of the self.” What else can we call it if we believe (1) no one can do it better than we can, and thus (2) no one else should do it? We may explain it as our simply “sacrificing all for God’s glory,” but it’s really nothing more than self-idolatry.
  5. We don’t have time or energy to train others. Training is time-consuming. It’s messy. It’s risky. Rather than take that chance, it’s just easier to do it all ourselves and cloak our efforts under “the urgency of the gospel.”
  6. We like control. Let’s face it: with every person we train and release, we move one step away from controlling everything under our watch. Anything out of our control creates stress and anxiety, so it’s better on us not to delegate.
  7. We have had bad experience with delegation. We’ve tried delegation, but our past stories are defeating. We spent so much time cleaning up messes that it’s just easier to avoid the mess in the first place.
  8. We have no system in place to help believers determine their giftedness. Because few churches have a clear strategy to help believers recognize how God might use them, we have no clearinghouse to help us trust delegating to others. How can we delegate to people whose lives we don’t know?
  9. Our churches don’t always see the need. “After all,” they say, “that’s why we hire staff.” The congregation that thinks that way may see delegation as shirking responsibility or indicating laziness. The church leader with little patience to change this mindset will likely succumb to the congregation’s wishes not to delegate – or leave.
  10. We fear others will do better (and perhaps get the glory). No one wants to admit this possibility, but some of us wrestle with this thinking. If others do better than we do, it seems we diminish our own role and responsibility. Few people really want to delegate themselves out of a job.
  11. We do not see the vast needs of the world. It’s easy to hold on to everything when the full scope of our ministry is only our church and perhaps our community. Multiply those needs by the 2 billion people in the world who have little exposure to the gospel, however, and the need to delegate becomes obvious. Unless we multiply ourselves by training and delegation, we will not make a dent in that darkness.
  12. We don’t pray enough for laborers. Jesus – our Lord, who Himself delegated the work of the kingdom to a bunch of nobodies – taught us to pray for more laborers even as we work in the fields (Luke 10:1-2). If we truly prayed like Jesus taught us, we would need to be prepared and willing to share the workload with others.

What other causes for failing to delegate do you see?


Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

PhD_ThomRainer

photo credit: Floyd Abrams by David Shankbone via photopin (license)

The post 12 Reasons Why Church Leaders Don’t Delegate appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


The Right Use of the Present Life

On the other hand, there are many nowadays who seek a pretext to excuse intemperance in the use of external things, and who desire to indulge the lusts of the flesh. Such people take for granted that liberty should not be restricted by any limitations at all; but to this we can never agree. They clamor that it ought to be left to the conscience of every individual to use as much as he thinks fit for himself.

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Former Megachurch Pastor Rob Bell Tells Oprah the Church Is ‘Moments Away’ From Embracing Gay Marriage

Bell warned that if the church keeps resisting same-sex marriage it would “continue to be even more irrelevant.” “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life,” he said.

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The Genesis Crisis

The doctrine of inerrancy becomes useless when men like Wright, Keller, and Waltke let atheists weigh in on what parts of the Bible are acceptable to believe. And while they don’t explicitly deny Scripture, their reinterpretation relegates it to a meaningless text. It is true that not all scholars who take such positions call themselves evangelicals, but they wield great authority in evangelical circles, and their capitulation is spreading like a disease.

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Mainline Protestant Decline and Hope

My United Methodist friend remarked upon hearing this story that in general we know what will grow a church. It’s not a mystery. The real question is, do we want the biblical message and ministry that will attract new people, or do we prefer less challenging alternatives, with predictable outcomes. Church vitality or decline to a large extent are choices. For 50 years, once Mainline denominations have chosen to decline. Some Evangelical churches have chosen to grow. The Lord sets that choice before every church and honors the decisions made.

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Would Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman Do Multi-Level Marketing?

God’s creative design demands that no program or pre-packaged marketing technique will lead to success for every woman. Instead as image bearers, we possess distinct gifts and the capacity to create within ourselves. We are responsible to develop and steward those gifts, using them to serve others as God leads. This may mean hosting parties for kitchen gear, demonstrating stick-on nails, or pitching the perks of health shakes. But then again, for many of us, it won’t.

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The Progressive Wish to Replace Marriage

“Marriage is not like voting or drinking. In some circles, it plays better to tell ourselves that we are doing nothing more than taking an existing institution and making it more fair. Deep down, though, we know that this is not accurate. The old institution of marriage does not treat people equally and with respect. That is why we as a society are replacing it with a new and more equal institution. This is a good thing, whatever Moore says. Progressives should be honest about this fact, and embrace it.”

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To Speak Words that Bring Life

Simple words, but well-timed words. Simple words, but words that carried divine power and authority. I took her words not as advice from a friend, but as instruction and assurance from God. They are, after all, a direct quote from Galatians 6. To me they said, “Yes, it has been a long and trying day. But don’t stop now, because there is still good to be done. You can do it.” Just like that, the words gave me a second wind.

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Should We Pray for the Defeat of ISIS, or Their Conversion?

It sounds awfully spiritual, at first blush, to say that we should not pray for the defeat of our enemies on the field of battle. But that’s only the case if these enemies are not actually doing anything. This terrorist group is raping, enslaving, beheading, crucifying our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as other innocent people. To not pray for swift action against them is to not care about what Jesus said we should seek, what we should hunger and thirst for, for justice. A world in which murderous gangs commit genocide without penalty is not a “merciful” world but an unjust horror show.

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A Mother’s Greatest Enemy

Those who suffer the fallout of “the mommy wars” will be relieved to hear that their suspicions have been confirmed. There are forces at work in this world that are hell-bent against them. But this devilish letter, intercepted by the Ministry of the Defense Against the Dark Forces, reveals that their strategy is coming unhinged.

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Malignant Demon, Atheism and Search For Truth

by Prayson Daniel

“Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind,” rhetorically asked Charles Darwin, “if there are any convictions in such a mind?” (Darwin 1881) In Darwin’s July 3rd 1881 letter to William Graham, we encounter a problem of epistemological uncertainty of our cognitive faculties. Darwin believed that Graham had accurately portrayed his conviction […]

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How Preaching Shapes Liturgy

by Scott Aniol

Every church follows a form of liturgy, whether intentional or not. Unfortunately, some churches tend toward two extremes in this matter. Some traditions take liturgy very seriously, but treat it as if it exists independently from preaching. Others uphold the priority of preaching as if necessary liturgical choices are only marginally important. Instead, we must learn to treat both preaching and liturgy as essential to corporate worship; that they exist in a relationship of mutual dependence.

Assuming the priority of preaching in symbiotic relationship, biblical exposition shapes liturgy in several important ways.

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Quick: Define “Christian”

OK, I’ll make a statement and you fill in the blank with the first words that come to mind: “You can’t be a Christian if you ____”. If every one of the thousands of people listening would email me with the first words that came to your mind—and I compiled them all into one “statement […]

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Murdered for who ISIS thinks they are

Today we continue our discussion from yesterday regarding salvation and ask “Which Biblical doctrines are essential to salvation, and which can Christians respectfully disagree on?” (See, So you say you’re a Christian…) Later, I will read my thoughts on our discussion: Quick: Define “Christian” Up first we check in with William Murray of the Religious […]

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Judge authorizes personal financial ruin for Christian woman

“I’m sorry. I cannot do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.” And with those words, she is losing everything. Even though the gay couple could have gotten free flowers from other florists. It’s hard to imagine that a judge could authorize the personal financial ruin of this woman. But it has happened. […]

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Fire chief terminated because of Christian faith

What a headline. How can this be? Please see this article via Todd Starnes at Fox News: The city of Atlanta fired its fire chief solely because of his religious beliefs about same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court. The lawsuit was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys […]

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Special Revelation

by Kevin T. Bauder

General revelation encompasses truth concerning God that can be known by experiencing or examining what God has done, whether in the natural world or in the human conscience. General revelation is always indirect. In contrast to general revelation, special revelation always involves the direct disclosure by God to humans of truth that humans did not know and could not otherwise have known. Special revelation is God speaking.

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We Must Engage – and Ignore the Critics

by Bill Muehlenberg

As I have written hundreds of times now, battles are raging all around us. Anyone who love Jesus and who is concerned about faith, family and freedom should realise that all we hold near and dear is under incessant and fierce attack.

That is because there is a devil who opposes God and everything about him, and he has his willing workers on earth, just as God has his workers and foot soldiers. We are in a real war, in other words, which commences in the heavenlies but is being fought on every other level: the political, the social, the cultural, the legal, the ideological, the philosophical, and so on.

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To Love Others, Do I Have to “Love Myself?”

by Erin Davis | 2/19/15

I’m a bit of a celebrity news stalker. In particular, I am fascinated when celebrity romances crash and burn. If the most beautiful girls in the world can’t stay in love with the world’s most handsome fellas even with enough cash flow to fund constant romantic getaways, I want to figure out why.

Recently, two celebrity stories caught my eye. Both featured an A-list Hollywood starlet with a history of broken relationships. (I’ll let you guess which ones. It’s a long list!) Both seem to have finally found lasting love. Both shared the same secret to finally winning at romance.

“I learned to love myself.”

Both thanked their expensive therapists for helping them realize they could never truly love someone else until they loved themselves.

Mind if I make a cynical prediction? This won’t be the last time I will see these girls’ names in the headlines. They haven’t unlocked the secret to lasting love. “Loving themselves” won’t keep the home fires burning forever. How do I know? Because the Bible gives us a formula for lasting love that doesn’t teach us to love ourselves first.

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The Biased Constraint of Scientism

With his unique background as a detective, J. Warner Wallace has been filling a hole in the field of apologetics by teaching people how to assess evidence. In your conversations with friends about Christianity, you’ll likely encounter misunderstandings as to what counts as evidence and how much/what kind of evidence is needed in order to reach a reasonable conclusion.

Here’s what he has to say about the charge that Christians are too biased to fairly evaluate evidence:

If you’re like me, you have non-believing friends who claim that Christians are biased. They know that we, as Christians, believe in the existence of God, so they assume that we are unable to evaluate the evidence properly. Non-believers are convinced that Christians start out with a presupposition that clouds our judgment. In truth, however, many of our “rational”, “science based” friends are far more constrained by their presuppositions.

Remember that ALL of us have a point of view, but this does not necessarily mean we are unfairly biased. Bias has nothing to do with holding a viewpoint. Bias occurs when this viewpoint eliminates certain forms of evidence and evidential conclusions before we even begin the investigation. And while atheists may argue that Christians have this kind of bias, a quick examination of the culture’s reliance on science reveals that just the opposite is true. I bet you’ve heard a friend say something similar to: “I am a science and evidence person. Truth can only be determined empirically, and science is the only way to really know truth.” When people make statements like this, they may be revealing something more than a point of view; they may be exposing a rigid bias that is grounded in an over-reliance on science known as “scientism.” …

[T]he Christian worldview has the ability to embrace natural explanations without rejecting the supernatural ones out of hand. An over-reliance on science (often described as “scientism”) causes us to reject anything supernatural before we even begin to investigate an explanation. Which of these two approaches is most prejudicial?

Read the rest of his post. (See also “What Qualifies As Evidence? Everything!”)

 


Prison Reform, the Colson Way

Here at BreakPoint, we think about Chuck Colson quite a bit. And I’m happy to say that when it comes to prison reform, Congress has remembered him also.
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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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Cold Case Christianity: The Moral Argument for the Existence of God (Podcast)

Cold Case Christianity Podcast

In this podcast re-post, J. Warner examines the axiological argument for the existence of God. Do objective moral truths exist, and if so, how can these truths be grounded? Does God’s existence best account for objective moral truth claims?

Listen here

The Perversion of the American Justice System in Three Pictures

Zwinglius Redivivus

In America presently, the government can force a florist to provide services for anyone it wants and thereby denies said florist the privilege of self determination.

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Oddly, were the ‘shoe on the other foot’, the American government would certainly not act the same way.

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Consequently, it’s plain to any unbiased and sane observer that American justice is no longer justice. It is

Just-us

I.e, justice for the individual has been replaced by the tyranny of the minority. Justice has become ‘Just Us’. In the case of the florist, just us are those who think that business owners are required by law to serve those without shirts and without shoes.

When the government can come into your business and tell you by whom you may be employed, it has overstepped its bounds.

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Florist may lose her business, home and savings for refusing to service gay wedding

WINTERY KNIGHT

I remember reading a blog post by very well known atheist from Washington just after his state legalized same-sex marriage. He said he was very proud of his state. Now we get to find out what he was so proud of.

The story is reported by Alliance Defending Freedom.

They write:

A state judge has determined that the government can force a floral designer to do custom design work and provide wedding support services even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. Barronelle Stutzman was found guilty for referring her friend and long-time customer to another florist because the customer wanted her to design floral arrangements and provide services for a  same-sex wedding. Barronelle’s referral ensured the customer received the services he wanted, but has been labeled “discrimination” under Washington law.

The court also ruled that both the state and the…

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February 20, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Daily Prayer – Friday 20 February 2015

Christians in North Korea are brutally punished, along with their whole families, in the country’s notorious labour camps.  Although little news of our suffering brothers and sisters reaches the outside world, our Heavenly Father knows what they need (Matthew 6:32).  Commit these courageous believers into His hands.


Brother Of Slain Coptic Christians Thanks ISIS For Allowing Martyrs To Proclaim Jesus Before Dying

He thanked ISIS for allowing the “proclamation of faith in Jesus” to be heard in the video of the beheadings.

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:9-10 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is what real Christianity, biblical Christianity looks like and sounds like. The brother of 2 of the Christians slain by ISIS said in an interview the other day that he THANKED ISIS for allowing his brothers to have the opportunity to PROCLAIM JESUS before they were slain. If ISIS did that to YOUR family, would those words come out of your mouth? #RealChristianity 

The brother of two Coptic Christians, slain by ISIS for their faith, spoke out. One would think that he might condemn the Islamic Terrorists, but instead, the sweetest words proceeded from his mouth. He thanked ISIS for allowing the “proclamation of faith in Jesus” to be heard in the video of the beheadings. He said that it strengthened his own faith by hearing the cries for Jesus Christ!

brother-of-slain-copyic-christians-thank-isis-for-allowing-victims-to-declare-love-for-jesus

“Speaking on a live prayer and worship program on Christian channel SAT-7 ARABIC yesterday, Beshir Kamel said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy Estafanos Kamel (25) and Samuel Estafanos Kamel (23) because they were “a badge of honour to Christianity.”

“He said: “Since the Roman era, Christians have been martyred and have learned to handle everything that comes our way. This only makes us stronger in our faith because the Bible told us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us.”

Invited to pray for his brothers’ killers, Beshir prayed: “Dear God, please open their eyes (ISIS) to be saved and to quit their ignorance and the wrong teachings they were taught.” [1] – source

Oh, Lord Jesus. Help us who love You, to have the faith and the love of these martyrs and of this man who has forgiven these terrorists of their horrible crimes. Help us to see ISIS and all Islamist terrorist, as unsaved people who need You so much, Lord. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

MARANATHA!!!

The post Brother Of Slain Coptic Christians Thanks ISIS For Allowing Martyrs To Proclaim Jesus Before Dying appeared first on Now The End Begins.


China: Lawyers Claim Pastors’ Trial is “Illegal”

Wife Says His Bible Was Confiscated and He is Forced to Work Hard Labor

By Corey Bailey

2/17/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern)-Chinese Christians, Xin Xuemei and her husband Huang Qiurui are no strangers to persecution.


Christian Neighborhood in Pakistan Demolished Leaving Christians Homeless Due to Faith

ICC Note:

Christians living outside of Faisalabad have been left homeless for about a year after government workers demolished their homes. According to Christian residents, local Muslim leaders were upset with the presence of Christians and convinced local authorities that the Christian neighborhood was illegally built.


Sudanese Government Helps Muslim Investors Take Over Last Piece of Church Land

ICC Note: On February 18th, 2015, the Sudanese government aided Muslim investors as they took over the last piece of land belonging to Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church.


Shooting of Witness Threatens Trial of Coptic Christian’s Murderers

ICC Note: On January 13, Shahid Nesemis Saoufim was shot and killed in the Nag Hassan village in Luxor, Egypt. While another victim of violence against Christians, Shahid’s murder is connected to the trial of those responsible for the murder of four others nearly 18 months earlier.


Florist Found Guilty of Discrimination for Declining Same-Sex Wedding Could Lose Home and Life Savings

ICC Note: After Baronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington declined to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding due to her beliefs, she was faced with a lawsuit in March of 2012.


Milad Zaky | The 21 Christians Killed by ISIS

On Sunday, February 15th, the world heard the horrible news of 21 Egyptian being brutally beheaded by militants affiliated with ISIS. Milad Makeen Zaky, 27, from the village of Al-Our, was one of these brave men.


Fears Growing for Two South Sudan Pastors Held by Sudanese Intelligence

ICC Note: Fears rise as time passes for reverends Yat Michael and David Yein Reith who are currently being detained in an unknown location by Sudanese intelligence officials.


Release Expected in Asia Bibi Case, But Family Must Flee Pakistan

ICC Note:

Asia Bibi, a Christian mother sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy, remains in prison. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, believes his wife will be released from prison, but that the entire family must flee Pakistan very soon after the release.


Jesuit Priest Doubts Modi’s Words on Religious Tolerance in India

ICC Note:

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech regarding the defense of religious freedom in India earlier this week, many have praised the Prime Minister’s statements.


Authorities Raid Homes of Three Christians, Pastor Irani Refused Conditional Release

ICC Note: Iran has continued its crackdown on religious minorities across the country. Three more Iranian Christians had their homes raided and many of their goods confiscated by the Iranian intelligence service.

OT War and Jihad!?

The Reformed Reader

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God Is God a Moral Monster?  Paul Copan’s apologetic discussion of some of the difficulties in the Old Testament is a good book to have if you’re interested in defending the Christian faith from an OT point of view.  Andrew and I have both mentioned it before on the blog.  One section worth pointing out is where Copan contrasts the holy wars in the OT (Copan calls this “Yahweh War”) and Islamic jihad.  I can’t reproduce the chart Copan used, but here is his explanation (slightly edited):

1) Geography: Yahweh war in the OT was geographically limited to the Promised Land.  In Islamic jihad, there are no geographical limitations.  The non-Muslim world is the ‘abode of war.’

2) Historical length/limit: Yahweh war was limited primarily to one generation (around the time of Joshua), though minor conflicts continued with persistent enemies of Israel.  Islamic has no historical/temporal limitations…

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Genuine Christians are dead to sin while being alive to God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows:“ DO not say in your heart, ‘ Who will ascend into heaven? ’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘ Who will descend into the abyss? ’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “ The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:6-10 NASB) 

Easter is approaching as I write this. It’s still over a month away, but it seems like we are already in some…

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40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week of Ash Wednesday: Friday)

Friday

Day 3: Were the disciples having hallucinations?

Confession: Psalm 51:9–12

Hide your face from my sins,

and all my iniquities blot out.

Create a clean heart for me, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence,

and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and with a willing spirit sustain me.

Reading: Mark 9:2–13

And after six days, Jesus took along Peter and James and John, and led them to a high mountain by themselves alone. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothing became radiant—extremely white, like no cloth refiner on earth can make so white. And Elijah appeared to them together with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! And let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (For he did not know what he should answer, because they were terrified.) And a cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus alone.

And as they were coming down from the mountain, he ordered them that they should tell no one the things that they had seen, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. And they kept the matter to themselves, discussing what this rising from the dead meant. And they asked him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And he said to them, “Elijah indeed does come first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that indeed Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it is written about him.”

Reflection

If other men cannot read our motives, we ought at least to examine them carefully for ourselves. Day by day, with extreme rigour, must we search our hearts. Motive is vital to the goodness of an action. He who gives his body to be burned might yet lose his soul if his ruling passion were obstinacy and not desire for God’s glory. Self may be sought under many disguises, and a man may be utterly unaware that thus he is losing all acceptance with God.

We must not impute ill motives to others, but we must be equally clear of another more fascinating habit—that of imputing good motives to ourselves. Severity in estimating our own personal character very seldom becomes excessive; our partiality is usually more or less blinding to our judgment. We will not suspect ourselves if we can help it; evidence must be very powerful before it can convince us of being governed by sordid aims. The stream of generosity does not always spring from gratitude to God. Zeal is not at all times the offspring of deep-seated faith. Even devotional habits may be fostered by something other than holy affections. The highest wisdom suggests that we spend much patient and impartial consideration upon a matter so fundamental as the heart’s intent in the actions which it directs. “If your eye is sincere, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt 6:22). Dear reader, stand by your inner springs and watch, and make faithful notes of what you see, lest you be deceived.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

Springs Uncovered

Response

Do you know yourself for who you truly are? This knowledge is not an end in itself, nor does it end with ourselves. Truly knowing ourselves means we are constantly fleeing to Jesus. Set time aside daily to honestly examine the motives of your heart and then turn to God in prayer.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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