Daily Archives: April 17, 2015

Disability and God’s Sovereignty

The Reformed Reader

Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace One of the biggest frustrations about living in this fallen world is the fact that there is disability.  To be sure, all humans are disabled to some extent because we’re sinful creatures and neither our minds nor our hearts nor our bodies are free from the effects of sin.  But it often brings tears to our eyes to think of (or face) worse forms of disability; this is why the stories of Jesus healing disabled people (lame, blind, deaf, blood disordered, crippled, etc.) are such a big part of the Good News.  There is hope in Jesus for sure, and his people can thankfully look forward to a Day where they will be fully and finally healed.

But what about disability and God’s sovereignty here and now?  How do these two relate?  I like how Michael Beates (who has a family member with a severe disability) answered this question in…

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April 17, 2015 Daily News/Commentary Collection

The worst sort of clever men are those who know better than the Bible. —C.H. Spurgeon

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Apr. 17, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. House voted this week to keep the Internal Revenue Service from hitting the nation’s wealthiest mega-donors with gift taxes for their political contributions.

New Jersey had its credit rating cut one level by Moody’s Investors Service, giving Governor Chris Christie the ninth downgrade of his tenure as he considers a 2016 presidential run. The reduction to A2, the sixth-highest rank, brings the Moody’s mark in line with those of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. The move covers a combined $32.2 billion of debt.

The bosses of 43 companies including Ikea, Dow Chemical Co. and HSBC Holdings Plc called for swift action on climate change, a sign businesses are prepared for a United Nations deal this year on limiting fossil fuel emissions.

Legislation sought by President Obama to boost his trade agenda, including a deal with Pacific nations, was unveiled in Congress with key lawmakers agreeing on a compromise.

Iraq’s oil minister said troops were closer to securing the country’s largest refinery after an attack by Islamic State militants last week.

The cost of living in the U.S. excluding food and fuel rose 0.2 percent in March for a third month, signaling inflation is starting to firm.

President Obama’s efforts to let almost 5 million undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. may languish unless he can win over one of the nation’s most conservative appeals courts. Two of the three appellate judges in New Orleans who will take up the case were nominated by Republican presidents, and one of those has described himself as a former “right-wing activist.”

Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot. “The conditions are like a third-world country.”

New single-family houses are selling fast enough in the U.S. that homebuilders will have to pick up the pace of starting them.

Central bankers and finance officials said the deflation shock that marked the start of the year is receding as easy monetary policies show signs of pushing prices higher.

Two Federal Reserve officials said a recent run of weak economic data makes them wary of raising interest rates too soon, reinforcing forecasts the Fed will wait until September to tighten.

China’s island building program in the South China Sea may result in it gaining control of some of the world’s most important waterways.

AP Top Stories

Italy’s migration crisis took on a deadly new twist Thursday as police in Sicily reported that Muslim migrants had thrown 12 Christians overboard during a recent crossing from Libya, and an aid group said another 41 were feared drowned in a separate incident. police said they had detained 15 people suspected in the high seas assault.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter carrying more than 14 tons of seized cocaine returned to a California naval base on Thursday after a two-and-a-half month operation off the coast of Central and South America, officials said.

Older patients taking drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, a common remedy for heartburn and acid reflux, are two times more likely to be hospitalized with kidney failure than peers who don’t take the pills, a study finds.

Israelis have come to a mournful, two-minute standstill as sirens pierced the air in remembrance of the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

According to the latest supplemental survey from the New York Fed’s manufacturing and business leaders surveys, employers in the New York area are facing two main problems: finding workers who can show up on time and workers who can hold a conversation.

A new lending startup called Vouch has been getting a lot of buzz for the unique way it vets potential borrowers. Rather than focusing solely on traditional criteria like FICO scores, debt levels, and income, Vouch lets borrowers prove their creditworthiness by getting friends and coworkers to “vouch” for them.

BBC

Fugitive Iraqi militant leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a former right-hand man to Saddam Hussein, has been killed, Iraqi officials said.

Emotional tributes have been paid to the victims of last month’s Alps plane crash at a memorial service in Germany.

Kansas has tightened its rules out how welfare recipients can spend their aid, banning the purchase of concert tickets, lingerie and dozens of other leisure items.Other states prevent welfare recipients from buying alcohol and cigarettes with government aid.

Satellite images showed China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report said.

About 300 US paratroopers have come to western Ukraine to train with Ukrainian national guard units, the US Army said.

Militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have seized an airport in southern Yemen.

WND

The DEA and the US Army have almost certainly been buying questionable remote access hacking tools for years from an Italian company called Hacking Team. Hacking Team openly advertises what it calls its “Remote Control System,” (RCS) a piece of malware remotely installed on a target’s computer or smartphone.

The Third Amendment, which guards against the quartering of soldiers in citizens’ homes – and which came into being because of the abuse of British troops against American patriots – has just been dinged by a judge who ruled the provision doesn’t apply to police. That means police on official business could claim the legal right to bust into a private citizen’s home and occupy it.


UN peace envoy to Yemen quits as civil war escalates
The UN peace envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has resigned after losing support from Gulf countries for his mission in the conflict-riven country. Mr Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat, had recently irked Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations for his handling of so far unsuccessful peace talks between Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Western and Gulf Arab-backed Yemeni government.   

SOLAR WIND SPARKS BRIGHT AURORAS
For the third day in a row, Earth is passing through a stream of high-speed solar wind. The sustained encounter has sparked some of the brightest auroras of the year around the Arctic Circle.   

6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes near Greek island
– A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck near the Greek island of Crete late Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.   

Nigeria Hit With Mysterious Epidemic In Ondo State, More Deadly Than Ebola
A strange disease has ravaged a small community in western Nigeria, killing at least 14 people in the last 10 days. The symptoms are reportedly different than those of Ebola, which include diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Victims of the unknown epidemic complained of headaches and weight loss before losing their sight and succumbing to the illness, Punch Nigeria news reported Friday. God please, have mercy on us.”   

Holocaust denial a growing trend in the Arab world
“The Arab world is filled with Holocaust denial which comes from the highest ranks,” said Dr. Nesia Shemer of the Department of Middle East Studies. “In fact,” added Prof. Dan Michman, head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, “The Arab world never had a Holocaust education system.”   

US Will Not Survive a Nuclear War Against Russia – Jean-Paul Baquiast
A nuclear strikes exchange between the United States and Russia will lead to the complete destruction of the United States, leaving Russia and China in a far better position, editor of the French portal Europesolidaire Jean-Paul Baquiast said.   

Muslim migrants arrested for allegedly throwing Christians into sea after brawl
Italian police said Thursday that 15 African Muslim migrants have been arrested after witnesses said the refugees threw 12 Christians into the Mediterranean following a brawl.   

TSA Officers Fired for Homosexual Plot to Sexually Molest Attractive Male Passengers
Two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees have been fired following allegations that they plotted to make provision for a male screener to pat down men that he found attractive and touch them in their private places.   

‘Apocalyptic’ dust storm descends upon Belarus
Local meteorologists in the Eastern European region dubbed the ominous occurrence a “haboob” — which means “intense red dust storm” in Arabic.   

US military instructors deployed to Ukraine to train local forces
The announcement came on US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt’s twitter account. The diplomat posted pictures of the US paratroopers marching through the airport in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov.   

Mexico’s ‘Volcano of Fire’ in Colima spews colossal column of ash over neighbouring Ciudad Guzman
Mexico’s Colima volcano has spewed a giant 3.5-kilometre-high column of ash that rained down on a nearby city, authorities say. The Jalisco state civil protection agency said a “moderate” quantity of ash fell on Ciudad Guzman, a town near the western state of Colima, where the volcano is located.   

5.2 earthquake hits Trinidad
“We have been having several earthquakes in the region, with the most taking place in the Leeward Islands,” Lutchman said yesterday. In fact, following Wednesday’s earthquake, there were two earthquakes within hours of each other yesterday, one near Basseterre, St Kitts, and the other near Martinique.   

Yemen crisis: Al-Qaeda seizes southern airport
Militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have seized an airport in southern Yemen, officials say. Troops guarding the site in the major port city of Mukalla, Hadramawt province, have fled, they said. AQAP has exploited the chaos gripping the country, overrunning Mukalla earlier this month and freeing inmates from a prison.   

Tonnes of dead fish removed from Rio Olympic rowing venue
Brazilian workers have removed more than 33 tonnes of dead fish from the 2016 Olympic rowing and canoeing venue in Rio de Janeiro. A team of more than 60 people have been working since last week to clear the remains from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Scientists said the fish were starved of oxygen because of pollution.   

Vatican ends crackdown on ‘radical’ US nuns
The Vatican has ended its controversial control of the main organisation representing US nuns. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious was under close supervision from Rome after being accused of undermining Catholic teaching. The Vatican said the group’s focus was now Christ and faithful teaching.   

China ‘building runway in disputed South China Sea island’
Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report says. The images, published by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, show construction work on reclaimed land on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands. The landmass could accommodate a runway about 3,000m long, the report said.   

Senior Hamas official calls to abduct Israelis
In commemoration of Prisoners Day, Palestinians rallied in the the West Bank and Gaza on Thursday. The day is marked in solidarity with Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. “We tell the Zionist enemy: you are all a target for us and the resistance, we will fight you until we finally get rid of you and take as many captives as possible to free our heroes,” said Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas official in the coastal enclave…   

Arab world: Egypt’s dangerous stalemate
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is fighting for his country’s survival – and his own. Islamic terrorism is not abating, hampering vital efforts to bring a better life to the people through a revitalized economy and political stability. Sisi knows he has to show results soon to prevent Egypt from slipping back into anarchy and chaos.   

Police: Muslims threw Christians overboard during Med voyage
Italy’s migration crisis took on a deadly new twist Thursday as police in Sicily reported that Muslim migrants had thrown 12 Christians overboard during a recent crossing from Libya, and an aid group said another 41 were feared drowned in a separate incident.   

Iranian Ayatollah: Emancipate Islam’s Holy Sites From Saudi Control, Hand Mecca To ‘Men Of Piety’
Saudi Arabia and Iran’s increasingly bitter dispute about Islamic pilgrimages to Mecca escalated after a senior Iranian cleric publicly called Saudi custodianship of Islam’s two holiest sites as “servitude” and called for their “emancipation.” Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, speaking to an Iranian seminary class, also denounced the Saudi government’s ongoing military campaign in Yemen, Iranian media reported Thursday.   

Doug Hughes and his gyrocopter: under the radar to make a political point
It was no secret that Florida postal worker Doug Hughes intended to fly his gyrocopter through restricted airspace in Washington – a federal offense that can result in arrest or even being shot down by nearby fighter jets on alert or ground-based missiles.   

Greece May Pay Wages And Pensions In IOUs
Assuming that a deal is not reached next week, there are a couple of routes that the Greek Government might take to avert disaster in the short term. First, it could issue IOUs to pay public sector workers and pensioners and free up money to repay its debts. But this could cause economic chaos if fears that the IOUs would never be paid sparked riots or public sector employees simply refused to work.   

Russia blames U.S. for security crises and turmoil in Ukraine
Top Russian officials accused the United States on Thursday of seeking political and military dominance and sought to put blame on the West for international security crises, including the conflict in east Ukraine.   

Assad’s cousin has been arrested for reportedly ‘conspiring against the regime’
One of Bashar al-Assad’s cousins has been arrested upon direct orders from the Syrian president amid reports he had been conspiring against the regime.   

Corporate bankruptcies are on the rise in America
“Come down to Houston,” William Snyder, leader of the Deloitte Corporate Restructuring Group, told Reuters. “You’ll see there is just a stream of consultants and bankruptcy attorneys running around this town,” he said. But it’s not just in Houston or in the oil patch. It’s in retail, healthcare, mining, finance — bankruptcies are suddenly booming, after years of drought.  


The Number Of Volcanoes Erupting Right Now Is Greater Than The 20th Century’s YEARLY Average

Is the number of volcanic eruptions worldwide increasing? Yes. During the 20th century, there were a total of 3,542 volcanic eruptions globally. That works out to approximately 35 eruptions per year. That may sound like a lot, but according to Volcano Discovery there are 36 volcanoes erupting around the world right now. In other words, the number of volcanoes erupting as you read this article is greater than the 20th century’s yearly average. And all of this is part of a larger trend. In 2013, we witnessed the most volcanic eruptions worldwide that we had ever seen in a single year, and 2015 is already threatening to be another one for the record books. All over the planet, volcanoes that have long been dormant are beginning to wake up, and this is greatly puzzling many scientists. Fortunately, most of the eruptions in recent years have been relatively small. But scientists tell us that if we do see a VEI 7 or a VEI 8 eruption today, the amount of energy that would be released would be somewhere in the neighborhood of a million nuclear bombs going off all at once, and such an eruption would completely literally transform our civilization almost overnight. (Read More...)


Flat Broke, Living In A Moldy Basement And Relying On Food Stamps And Medicaid

Could you imagine being a single parent and trying to survive in America today on $10.50 an hour? For a moment, I want you to imagine that you are living in a moldy apartment that is so badly maintained that rain seeps in whenever it rains. You are employed, but you are completely dependent on government programs such as food stamps and Medicaid in order to make ends meet. Sometimes you would really like to take your small child somewhere fun, like a movie theater, but you can’t really afford the gas money. You are working as hard as you can, but you never seem to get anywhere, and you feel trapped because nobody seems to want to hire you for a better job. What I have just described for you is real life for a 22-year-old single mother from Chicago named Adriana Alvarez, but there are tens of millions of other Americans that have similar stories. If every day seems like it is a soul-crushing struggle for you, I want you to know that you are not alone. The long-term economic collapse that I chronicle on my website is not just about facts and figures. It is about real people that are quietly leading lives of silent desperation, and by now it has becoming exceedingly apparent that our politicians, the mainstream media and the gigantic corporations that dominate our economy do not really care much about the rest of us at all. (Read More….)


Unearthed: A 1995 Video of a Youthful Obama Speech

Obama openly talks about his relationship with his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist and pornographer. Please note Switchblades comment at the end of the article to understand Obama’s real background.

Read more


The Arabian Candidate

The Clinton-Arab connection actually goes back to the time when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas and worked to secure a hefty Saudi contribution to a Middle-Eastern studies program at the University of Arkansas. But let’s skip all that and fast forward to relatively recent times when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed her longtime aide Huma Abedin as Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department. When it was discovered that Abedin’s family was deeply involved in the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia, very few eyebrows were raised.

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Obama’s wanton lawlessness should disturb us all

David Limbaugh: ‘When will more people speak up against these abuses?’

We live in a constitutional republic in which our elected officials are bound by the constraints of the Constitution, which means they don’t have a license to do whatever they please, even if they think it would be best for the country.

That President Barack Obama so flagrantly violates this enshrined legal principle and much of his Democratic Party supports him in doing so is why so many other people are outraged and, at times, fear for their country.

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Iran Massively Ramping Up Arming of Hezbollah in Preparation for Major Assault on Israel

Senior Israeli officials warned on Monday evening that, over the last few weeks, Iran has considerably stepped up its operations to arm Hezbollah in order to prepare its terrorist proxy for a large-scale conflict with Israel.

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Daily Digest

April 17, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!” —Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 36, 1788

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Please Hold While the IRS Ignores Your Call

A few days before Income Redistribution Day, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared the IRS had once again pulled off a successful heist of the American pocketbook tax season. “The system has worked flawlessly,” he said. (We’re sure Lois Lerner would say the same thing.) But those aren’t the words the Treasury’s inspector general would use to describe the IRS’s ability to pick up a phone. According to a new IG report, before March 7, Americans called the IRS 45.6 million times, but the agency answered the phone just 38.5% of the time. And that was after Americans stayed on the line for an average of 25 minutes. About 10 years ago, The Hill reports, the IRS answered its phones 90% of the time and citizens only needed to wait a few minutes. The U.S. tax code has only grown in complexity, while the IRS doesn’t seem to consider customer service as a metric of success. More…

Obama’s Taxing Rhetoric

It’s no surprise that Barack Obama likes to misrepresent his policies and his record. The latest example is the whopper he told a town-hall audience in Charlotte about his record on taxes and spending. “If you listen to some of my political critics, they always want to paint me or the Democratic Party as this tax-and-spend, you know, irresponsible,” he complained. “Since I came into office, the federal deficit’s come down by two-thirds.” He loves this line because his adoring audiences don’t know the difference between “debt” and “deficit,” and because it allows him to leave out two particularly inconvenient truths: First, he and his party nearly quadrupled the deficit before the Tea Party gave Republicans control of the House in 2010; and second, the national debt has gone from $10.6 trillion to more than $18 trillion since Obama took office. But, hey, he cut the deficit! Furthermore, Obama’s never met a tax he didn’t like, and he’s always looking for new “investments” to make in education, infrastructure, job training, or any number of other leftist programs. Raise taxes, spend more money, repeat. That’s the Democrat way.

No Tip for You!

Hillary Clinton is “hitting the road to earn your vote,” but she managed to visit an Ohio Chipotle restaurant without actually interacting with or being recognized by anybody. Even the employees didn’t know she was there until after she left. But maybe that was a good thing, since she didn’t leave a tip. The store manager said, “Her bill was $20 and some change, and they paid with $21 and left” without putting anything in the counter tip jar. Normally, it’s not a huge deal to skip the tip at a fast food restaurant when no particular person is serving you at a table. Indeed, even the manager played it off as no big deal. But Hillary is worth north of $100 million and hauls in $300,000 just for making a speech. Surely she could spare a few bucks for the hard-working people at Chipotle when she had the opportunity to make a difference — if for nothing else than a photo-op of her caring generosity. After all, she tells us “everyday Americans need a champion.” Evidently, that champion isn’t her.

Despite Obama Rhetoric, Jihadis Advance in Middle East

The Obama administration keeps trying to tell a rosy narrative about terrorism and Islamic jihad in the Middle East, but the facts keep getting in its way. Despite reports that American military and intelligence have pulled out of the country, Barack Obama continues to claim that Yemen is still a successful model for counterterrorism foreign policy. But this just in: After a brief clash with a Yemeni brigade, al-Qaida captured an airport, a seaport and an oil terminal — and that was just Thursday’s activities for the terrorist organization. So much for al-Qaida being “decimated” or “on the run.” While al-Qaida was taking victories in Yemen, Joe Biden was saying the fight against the Islamic State was turning against jihadis. “The momentum is in the right direction,” he told the National Defense University just last week. But ISIL has taken several towns around Ramadi and stands poised to capture the city itself. Ramadi is the last city in western Iraq controlled by the Iraqi Army. And this is despite the United States’ Operation “Inherent Resolve.” Charles Krauthammer observed, to put it mildly, “The administration is quickly developing a huge problem of credibility.”

Iran Deal Sparks Nuclear Energy Race in Middle East

It didn’t take long for unintended consequences to crop up. In response to the terrible deal with Iran that Team Obama is touting, Turkey announced it broke ground on its first nuclear reactor, with a second one in the works. What further “sweetens” this deal is that Russia is constructing the plant for Turkey. We thought Barack Obama’s deal with Iran was supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation. In March, Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea to build two smallish nuclear power plants in the country to the tune of $2 billion. It’s a small comfort, perhaps, that these countries are at this point only dabbling in nuclear energy, not weapons. But they are surely thinking that if Iran ever breaks out with deliverable weapons-grade fissile material they’ll have the nuclear expertise to catch up more quickly.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Christie’s Third Rail Gamble

By Lewis Morris

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie unveiled a plan to reform entitlements while visiting New Hampshire this week. The potential GOP presidential candidate noted that entitlement spending is “growing the deficit and slowly but surely taking over all of government. In the long term, it will steal our children’s future and bankrupt our nation.” He’s certainly right about that.

Christie’s proposal would change means testing for Medicare, with wealthier recipients paying more for their premiums on a sliding scale. Those at the top of the scale with incomes above $196,000 per year would pay 90% of their premiums out of pocket. The retirement age for Medicare would slowly rise to 69, but not until 2064.

As for Medicaid, Christie suggests simplifying the program so states receive fixed amounts per enrollee. This, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would reduce the deficit by $500 billion over the next decade.

Christie’s plan for Social Security calls for restructuring the system into essentially a retirement insurance policy. He proposes raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69, again very gradually as with Medicare. Means testing would affect payees with incomes over $80,000, and Social Security would be phased out entirely for those with incomes over $200,000. The overall plan wouldn’t kick in until 2022.

The facts aren’t all in yet regarding Christie’s plan, but facts never stop the Left from attacking it. Any time entitlements are mentioned in the same sentence with reform, statists get nervous. A shrinking entitlement means a shrinking government, and a shrinking government means less power for the Left. And that won’t be tolerated.

Senators Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (Unannounced Socialist-MA) have called for simply raising taxes on higher incomes to cover the rising entitlement costs that threaten to swamp the rest of the federal government’s fiscal responsibilities. Raising taxes is such a novel idea, after all.

Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor at National Review, notes that there is no way to tax ourselves out of the coming entitlement train wreck. The numbers are so vast that for any tax increase to work it would have to be so large as to bury individual taxpayers, discourage investment and productivity, and bring the economy to a grinding halt.

But Ponnuru isn’t much of a fan of Christie’s plan, either. While the idea of lower benefits for wealthier people makes sense, Ponnuru notes that Christie’s plans for means testing would discourage people from saving for retirement or working in retirement at a time when both should be encouraged.

Ponnuru writes, “Ideally we would move toward a better system that guaranteed all senior citizens a decent floor of income — something Social Security does not do — while expanding people’s ability to use their own savings to finance retirement above that floor.”

Christie’s proposal brings entitlement reform back into the national debate. He’s the first possible GOP presidential contender to do so, which raises his profile a bit. The one-time shining star of the GOP has suffered a significant fall from grace over the last couple of years. His bold style was once considered to be a game-changer in the famously corrupt blue state of New Jersey, but, after the smoke cleared, his blustering and not-very-conservative policies have done relatively little to reverse the state’s dire economic situation. His fortunes weren’t improved by literally embracing Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy or by the Bridgegate scandal, which the New York Times gleefully reminds us is not over.

None of these facts should discourage an honest assessment of Christie’s proposal for entitlement reform. He has staked his political career on shaking up the established government order, even if to varying degrees of success. He makes valid points about the dangers we face to the growing rate of entitlement spending. And the longer we wait to make a decision on how to fix the problem, the more painful the solution will be.

Ukraine in Need of a ‘Reset’ Button

By Michael Swartz

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While the world is focused on the Middle East and Iran, there’s still a smoldering conflict in Ukraine. But indications are the war in that nation between Vladimir Putin’s Russian proxies and NATO-backed Ukrainian troops will soon be back in the headlines.

European monitors report “a general increase in the number of ceasefire violations,” with the situation escalating both in the besieged city of Donetsk and the coastal town of Mariupol. Both locations have been in the crosshairs before, but Mariupol is particularly important as its fall to Russian-backed rebels could open a land route to Crimea, which was wrested away from Ukraine last year and became a Russian rump republic. Reportedly the Russians have 400 tanks and 700 pieces of artillery in the region despite an agreement in the February cease-fire to withdraw the munitions.

Ukraine isn’t the only place where the Russian bear is poking around, though. Last spring we noted Russian involvement in Moldova’s region of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine on the southwest. In what some perceived as an escalation, 400 Russian troops conducted a drill on Moldovan territory in Transnistria — an exercise The Wall Street Journal surmised was “intended to create the impression Mr. Putin might take more drastic action to subdue the defiant country.” Moldova has a pro-Western government, as does Ukraine.

Moscow, however, considers pro-Western governments to be the true threat to its sovereignty. Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov asserted as much, saying, “It’s clear that measures taken by NATO to strengthen the bloc and increase its military capabilities are far from being defensive.” Pay no attention to the thousands of troops and hundreds of heavy weapons amassing behind the (iron) curtain.

Yet the biggest fear isn’t so much Russia’s expansive actions — which we’ve come to expect over the decades — but the lack of action from both an impotent Europe that relies on Russian natural gas and an irresolute America led by Barack Obama’s malfeasant foreign policy of rewarding enemies and abandoning friends. It’s easy to see that Obama’s “reset” with Russia, conducted through Hillary Clinton’s “smart power” at the State Department, is an utter, if predictable, failure.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964): “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “[H]ere’s an argument against the [‘death’] tax that isn’t well understood. It hardly raises any money. This tax is all economic pain, with no gain. According to the latest IRS statistics, in 2013 the estate tax raised $12.7 billion. In 2001 the tax collected nearly twice as much money ($23.5 billion) as in 2013. So it’s a small and shrinking source of government revenues. That $12.7 billion collected is out of $2.8 trillion in total federal revenue in 2013. In other words, a trivial 0.5 percent of federal tax receipts now come from estates. Get rid of the tax and the government still raises 99.5 percent of its money — at worst. … One reason the tax raises such a pittance is that the exemption level is now $5.4 million on an estate; there just aren’t that many estates above that level. Fewer than 5,000 estates pay the tax each year or about 2 of every 1,000 estates. … Two-thirds of jobs come from small and family-owned businesses. Wouldn’t the smart way to create jobs be to make sure that the next generation can grow these enterprises rather than sell them off at auction to pay this economically destructive and fiscally inconsequential tax?”

Columnist Mona Charen: “Two relatively recent photos of Barack Obama with foreign leaders reveal much about his deep-dyed leftism. The first features President Obama and democratically elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of one of America’s most loyal friends. Obama looks strained. His face is stiff, and his eyes are veiled. The second is a snap of Obama at the recent Summit of the Americas in Panama. He’s seated with ‘President’ Raul Castro, leader of a bitter enemy, who has never received a single free vote. Obama is grinning, his eyes dancing with pleasure. In contrast to the bitterness with which Obama addresses Netanyahu, he is all honey with Castro. … While Obama and Castro were speaking, goons from the Cuban security services beat Cuban human rights activists who had traveled to Panama City at the invitation of summit organizers. That’s a ho hum story. Happens every day of the week in Cuba. But this one happened under Obama’s nose, yet he didn’t retreat an inch from his embrace of the man who ordered it. Everything is forgiven when it comes to the Castros. … Who benefits from the thaw with Cuba? Not the Cuban people, who earn a maximum wage (yes, you read that correctly) of $20 per month. More trade and commerce will benefit their oppressors — the worst regime in our hemisphere, a sworn enemy of the USA, but Obama’s newest pals.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Ted Cruz raised thirty million dollars last week indicating the GOP donors will spend big on this group of candidates. Last month, Jeb Bush had dinner with Wall Streeters and raised ten million dollars. The next morning Donald Trump had breakfast by himself and raised a hundred million dollars.”

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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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RENEWAMERICA — Liberty Tree Alliance, a nonprofit educational organization of Dr. Alan Keyes, has released a new e-booklet, How the Claim to ‘Homosexual Rights’ Destroys the Logic of Liberty, in an effort to challenge the growing myth that same-sex marriage poses no substantial threat to the existence of God-ordained natural marriage… (more)

ALAN KEYES — In my WND column, I apply the logic of America’s founders to the constitutional issue raised by Obama’s refusal to defend the DOMA signed into law during the Clinton era… (more)


April 16, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — A national press conference on April 21, 2015, in the Zenger Room of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. will highlight Republican surrender in the gay marriage fight coming before the U.S. Supreme Court… (more)

April 16, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — In his 1995 book, Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama never discussed the identity of the mysterious “Frank” who had given him important advice on growing up black in what was described as a white racist world… (more)


April 16, 2015
BOB UNRUH — While it’s been widely believed that the “Frank” in President Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” memoir was prominent Communist Party activist Frank Marshall Davis, Obama himself can be heard acknowledging the identity in a 1995 lecture broadcast on municipal TV that now is being spotlighted by an advocacy group…. (more)

April 16, 2015
LARRY KLAYMAN — Thursday, my organization, Freedom Watch, went where no congressional committee had the guts to go before: We took real action to get a federal court to immediately seize the hard drives of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. (See freedomwatchusa.org.)… (more)

April 16, 2015
NEWSMAX — Under fire from the left, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is working hard to keep up with the new progressive orthodoxy on the gay marriage issue, NBC News reported Wednesday…. (more)

April 16, 2015
CHARLES HURT — Madam Candidate of the People was in her magical mystery conversion van, flying over the cornfields of Iowa this week taking enemy fire. This required evasive maneuvers that launched her coterie of handmaidens, purse-holders and security guards all around the plush leather cabin of the magical, age-reversing van…. (more)

April 16, 2015
TIMOTHY CARNEY — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raises an awkward question: How low is the self-esteem of America’s Democrats? Clinton embodies all the things Democrats supposedly reject. But she’s got money and powerful allies in politics, the media and K Street – – and for these reasons, Democratic voters appear ready to settle for her…. (more)

April 16, 2015
NEWSMAX — The Castro dictatorship in Havana remains very much involved in harboring and supporting terrorists ranging from jihadists to fugitive murderers with American blood on their hands, experts say…. (more)


April 16, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — Amid a Gandhi-like hunger strike organized by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is holding to a legislative schedule that likely will further delay a vote on the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general…. (more)

April 16, 2015
BOB UNRUH — A homosexual member of Congress from Colorado and a Muslim from Indiana are proposing a resolution to thwart “so-called religious freedom” laws that reinforce the constitutional protections reserved for religious believers accused of discrimination…. (more)

April 16, 2015
BILL FEDERER — On April 16, 1859, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville died. After nine months of traveling the United States, he wrote “Democracy in America” in 1835, which has been described as “the most comprehensive … analysis of character and society in America ever written.”… (more)

April 16, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — One month after television and radio personality Glenn Beck convinced the National Rifle Association to launch an investigation into charges tax activist and NRA board member Grover Norquist is a secret sympathizer and promoter of radical jihadist agents associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, Norquist has “voluntarily suspended” himself from board activities…. (more)

April 16, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s insistence that his severe facial injuries, including blindness in one eye, were caused by a broken band on an exercise machine doesn’t add up, declared talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday… (more)

April 15, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Obama ended months of stonewalling and agreed Tuesday that he would sign legislation allowing lawmakers to review any nuclear deal with Iran, after Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee banded together to unanimously approve compromise language…. (more)


April 15, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:”… (more)

April 15, 2015
JUDICIAL WATCH — ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector…. (more)


April 15, 2015
NEWSMAX — The left-of-center media hold Democrats to a less-strict standard than they demand of Republicans, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Judith Miller says…. (more)

April 15, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Three months after they voted against John Boehner’s third term as speaker, two Republicans have been removed from a key committee in retaliation for their dissent…. (more)

April 15, 2015
BRENT BOZELL — Last November, Americans sent a stern message to President Obama and the Democrats when they delivered Congress to the Republicans. That’s because Republicans made a lot of promises to them in the last election. Those commitments were instrumental to their victory; they were actions Americans were demanding and Republicans were vowing to deliver…. (more)

April 15, 2015
YAHOO NEWS — The European Union will accuse Google Inc on Wednesday of abusing its dominant position in Internet searches, opening the U.S. tech company up to a risk of massive fines and enforced changes in its business model, the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday…. (more)

April 14, 2015
NEWSMAX — Negotiations with Iran and the perception of American weakness are accelerating the risk of a nuclear weapons race in the Middle East, not reducing it, says former ambassador John Bolton…. (more)


April 14, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — Critics of the Obama administration’s diplomatic clash with Israel and tilt toward Iran, resulting in a nuclear “framework agreement” to be finalized by the end of June, have pointed to the influence of top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, who was born in Iran…. (more)

April 14, 2015
NEWSMAX — Next Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most horrific crimes in U.S. history: the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19, 1995, a disgruntled military veteran named Timothy McVeigh drove a rental truck packed with explosives into downtown Oklahoma City and detonated it in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at 9:02 a.m. Central time…. (more)

April 13, 2015
ALAN KEYES — In an article published earlier this week, I discuss U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s incredibly late awakening to “the boldness of the Iranians.” I highlight the fact that this “belated recognition of ‘the boldness of the Iranians’ is not accompanied by an honest acknowledgment of the boldness of Obama’s treasonous betrayals of the constitutional self-government of the American people”… (more)


April 13, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — With media coverage slanted in favor of gay marriage by a five-to-one ratio, it’s unlikely that the legal documents being filed before the Supreme Court in favor of a traditional one man and one woman marriage will ever be covered in an objective fashion…. (more)

 Obama backs ban on ‘conversion’ therapy for gay, transgender youth (Fox News)


On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Rubio’s openness to attend gay wedding result of mixing approval of people with ceremonies 

Marco Rubio: I’d attend a gay wedding, Politico (Nick Gass)

2) Perception politics of primary reveal Americans unsettled in values for candidate

In Perception Primary, It’s Folksy Hillary Clinton vs. Statesmen-Looking Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, New York Times (Patrick Healy)

3) Disappearing established Church in Britain exposes its dependence on culture

Faith no more: how the British are losing their religion, The Guardian (Andrew Brown)
In other news…

Google Joins Its U.S. Peers Under Europe’s Scrutiny, New York Times (Indu Goel, Quentin Hardy And Mark Scott)

Gay marriage court briefs both wacky, profound, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal (Andrew Wolfson)
Tennessee Senate OKs 48-hour abortion wait period, The Tennessean (Anita Wadhwani)

Adam Maarschalk – 30 AD – 70 AD: “The Crimson Thread Remained Crimson”

Girl Fell From Tree, Visited Jesus In Heaven And Awoke Cured, Mom Claims In New Book

Kong Hee Trial – Numbers in cashflow tables came from Kong Hee and Tan Ye Peng

Muslims Charged with Murder in Italy – Threw Christians Overboard

Pastors Wife: Iran Guards Say Saeed Abedini He Will Never Go Free Until He Denies Christ

 


Bible Not Available in 57% of World Languages; Most Americans Believe the Bible Is Available in Every Language

The State of the Bible survey, which was conducted by the Barna Group and surveyed 2,000 Americans, found that 72 percent of Americans believe the Gospel is available in all of the world’s languages. (Smith, The Christian Post)

Full Story


Billions of jellyfish appearing off the British coastline after two weeks of warm weather

Posted: 17 Apr 2015 07:53 AM PDT

Billions of jellyfish appearing off the British coastline after two weeks of warm weatherThis week’s warm weather may have tempted you to take a dip in the UK’s usually chilly waters. And if you had, you wouldn’t have been the only one swimming around the coastline. Billions of jellyfish have appeared in our waters, apparently attracted by the higher sea temperatures. Hundreds of the barrel jellyfish – each the size of a dustbin lid – have been hauled in by fishermen on the Devon and Cornish coast, with dozens of sightings reported to the authorities. Passengers aboard a sea life cruise were stunned after coming across a giant swarm of thousands of the jellyfish – the largest species found in south-west England – over a mile in length on Wednesday. The jellyfish, which can grow up to six feet and weigh 55lb, were sighted just off Pendennis Point near Falmouth, Cornwall. Keith Leeves, captain of AK Wildlife Cruises, said: ‘It was eerie and a little unnerving. ‘There were thousands of them. I’ve never seen anything like that in all the years I’ve been doing this – it was spectacular.’ MORE

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Mexico’s ‘Volcano of Fire’ in Colima spews colossal column of ash over neighboring Ciudad Guzman

Posted: 17 Apr 2015 07:45 AM PDT

Mexico’s ‘Volcano of Fire’ in Colima spews colossal column of ash over neighboring Ciudad GuzmanMexico’s Colima volcano has spewed a giant 3.5-kilometre-high column of ash that rained down on a nearby city, authorities say. The Jalisco state civil protection agency said a “moderate” quantity of ash fell on Ciudad Guzman, a town near the western state of Colima, where the volcano is located. A civil protection official said there were no reports of damage or injuries in the city of 100,000 people. Officials urged the population to use masks if they venture out of their homes, remove excess ash from rooftops so they do not collapse and cover water drains. The 3,860-metre mountain, also known as the Volcano of Fire, is among the most active in the country. EP

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Iran poses growing cyber threat to US

Posted: 17 Apr 2015 06:26 AM PDT

Iran poses growing cyber threat to US Iran poses a growing threat to America’s computer networks and has launched increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and spying on US targets, according to a new report released Thursday.Iran’s far-reaching hacking efforts indicate the regime is searching for vulnerable infrastructure that could be hit in future cyber assaults, said the study by private cyber security company Norse and the American Enterprise Institute think tank. “Iran is emerging as a significant cyber threat to the US and its allies,” the study said. Iran’s skill in the cyber realm has markedly improved in recent years and “Iran has already penetrated well-defended networks in the US and Saudi Arabia and seized and destroyed sensitive data,” it said. The hacking, including espionage and attacks, has expanded despite high-stakes negotiations between Iran and world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program, it said. The study cited data from a network of millions of sensors set up by Norse. The sensors are designed to look like real websites or other computer systems — for banks or power plants — that might attract the interest of a hacker. The data showed Iran was staging cyber assaults and probes from inside Iran as well as outside the country. Iranian state companies, including some with links to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, are allegedly hosting servers and other computer systems located in the West to carry out digital attacks, according to the report. MORE

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NATO Simulating War Against Russia During Drills

Posted: 17 Apr 2015 06:16 AM PDT

NATO Simulating War Against Russia During DrillsDuring its military drills, NATO is increasingly often simulating the war with a conditional enemy understood as Russia instead of practicing anti-terror activities, Russian General Staff head Valery Gerasimov said Thursday. Russian General Staff head said that the number of NATO exercises had almost doubled in 2014. “While in previous years the issues of crisis settlement and counteraction to terrorism were central at drills, today the priority is military action against a simulated enemy, which could easily be guessed as the Russian Federation,” Gerasimov said. NATO accuses Russia of aggressive foreign policy to justify its own existence and expansion, head of the Russian General Staff said. “Accusing Russia of aggressive policy on the post-Soviet space and the idea on the need of its [Russia’s] containment have become the driving force of NATO.” The defense official added that NATO extensively used the crisis in Ukraine to stir up its activities. The deployment of US anti-missile defense systems in Europe is yet another step of the United States and its allies at reaching global supremacy and destroying the current system of international security, Russian General Staff head Valery Gerasimov said Thursday. During an international conference on security, Army General Gerasimov said that this was “one more significant military threats to the Russian Federation and is a growing problem in maintaining the strategic stability in the world.” MORE

 

 

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One Million People Pre-Order The Apple Watch On First Day

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 07:01 PM PDT

One Million People Pre-Order The Apple Watch On First Day ANALYSTS PREDICT THAT APPLE WILL RAMP UP PRODUCTION OF THE APPLE WATCH AFTER PRE-ORDERS TOTALED MORE THAN 1 MILLION ON FRIDAY ALONE, PUSHING WAIT TIMES WELL INTO THE SUMMER FOR SOME MODELS.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The lead-in to people fully accepting an internal tracking chip has always been a 3-step process. Step One was getting everyone in front of a computer. This began in 1994. Step Two is getting a computer on everyone, which has been happening for the past few years and is officially launched with the release of the Apple Watch. Step Three will be to place the technology inside of people, which as the first two steps have shown you, will be eagerly adopted by the vast majority of people. In fact, they will demand it and pay top dollar for it.

While some have suspected that the initial shortages are part of Apple’s marketing strategy, the company will get its assembly lines humming a little faster, some Wall Street analysts said Monday. Research firm Slice Technology estimated Monday that 957,000 people ordered the Apple Watch, committing to an average of 1.3 watches at an average price of $503.83. MORE

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Mystery blob in the Pacific messes up US weather and ecosystems

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 06:54 PM PDT

Mystery blob in the Pacific messes up US weather and ecosystemsAn unusual threat is looming off the Pacific coast of North America from Juneau in Alaska to Baja California. Now roughly 2000 kilometres wide and 100 metres deep, a mass of warm water that scientists are calling “the blob” has lingered off the coast for a year and a half and has set temperature records, with waters between 1 °C and 4 °C warmer than normal. Fresh research published in Geophysical Research Letters has examined the causes and impacts of this area of water, which has grown more recently. The blob has changed water-circulation patterns, affected inland weather and reshuffled ecosystems at sea. Although scientists say the planet’s warming oceans may not be responsible for the mysterious and long-lived anomaly, some see it as an early warning of changes that might be coming to the Pacific in the next few decades. Satellite imagery first alerted scientists to the strange formation in August 2013, when the roundish blob was seen over the Gulf of Alaska. Researchers think that a long-lasting weather pattern called a high-pressure “ridge” deflected winds that stir up cool waters from the deep and bring cool air and water from high latitudes.Months later, fishermen and officials around Alaska reported sightings of species found in more temperate or even tropical waters, including skipjack tuna, thresher sharks and sunfish. Other marine species showed up thousands of kilometres north of their normal ranges, including pygmy killer whales and tropical species of copepods – tiny crustaceans that are key to marine food webs. MORE

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Flat Broke, Living In A Moldy Basement And Relying On Food Stamps And Medicaid

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 06:49 PM PDT

LFlat Broke, Living In A Moldy Basement And Relying On Food Stamps And MedicaidCould you imagine being a single parent and trying to survive in America today on $10.50 an hour? For a moment, I want you to imagine that you are living in a moldy apartment that is so badly maintained that rain seeps in whenever it rains. You are employed, but you are completely dependent on government programs such as food stamps and Medicaid in order to make ends meet. Sometimes you would really like to take your small child somewhere fun, like a movie theater, but you can’t really afford the gas money. You are working as hard as you can, but you never seem to get anywhere, and you feel trapped because nobody seems to want to hire you for a better job. What I have just described for you is real life for a 22-year-old single mother from Chicago named Adriana Alvarez, but there are tens of millions of other Americans that have similar stories. If every day seems like it is a soul-crushing struggle for you, I want you to know that you are not alone. The long-term economic collapse that I chronicle on my website is not just about facts and figures. It is about real people that are quietly leading lives of silent desperation, and by now it has becoming exceedingly apparent that our politicians, the mainstream media and the gigantic corporations that dominate our economy do not really care much about the rest of us at all. MORE

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Saudi-Iran Rivalry Deepens in Battle for Middle East

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 06:42 PM PDT

Saudi-Iran Rivalry Deepens in Battle for Middle EastSaudi Arabia’s government insists it is not at war with Iran despite its three-week air campaign against Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen, but the kingdom’s powerful clerics, and its regional rival’s theocratic government, are increasingly presenting the conflict as part of a region-wide battle for the soul of Islam. The toxic rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran is playing out on the battlefields of Yemen and Syria, and in the dysfunctional politics of Iraq and Lebanon, with each side resorting to sectarian rhetoric. Iran and its allies refer to all of their opponents as terrorists and extremists, while Saudi Arabian clerics speak of a regional Persian menace. The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran does not date back to Islam’s 7th century schism, but to the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, which toppled a U.S.-backed and Saudi-allied monarchy and recast alliances across the region. The standoff worsened after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, which toppled a Sunni-led dictatorship that had long been seen as a bulwark against Iran’s efforts to export its revolution. But even if today’s power struggle has more to do with politics than religion, the unleashing of increasingly sectarian rhetoric on both sides has empowered extremists and made the region’s multiplying conflicts even more intractable. MORE

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Armed National Guard Troops Patrol Residential Streets in California

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 06:38 PM PDT

Armed National Guard Troops Patrol Residential Streets in CaliforniaVideo footage out of Ontario, California shows armed National Guard troops patrolling residential streets and practicing traffic control. The video, which was shot this past weekend, features Guard troops marching in formation while chanting a military cadence. Troops also take turns to practice blocking traffic. The troops, followed by a humvee, marched close to an elementary school and single family homes. “I just watched it again and recognized the low block wall and the elementary school! It was right there where my sister and her husband live! OMG how frightening!” one YouTube commenter responded, while others insisted the patrols were a routine occurrence. However, another respondent insisted that the patrol was not normal. “During the last few seconds I got a quick glimpse of my sister and brother-in-laws house on Fuschia. Ave,” wrote the commenter.”That motorcycle was parked almost in front of their house. They told me they saw this procession going on from their front yard. They have lived in that house for 30 or so yrs and this is the first time they have seen this type of thing in their neighborhood. Might be a common thing to do their training someplace else but not in that area.” MORE

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Massive Apocalyptic Dust Storm TURNS DAY TO NIGHT In Belarus

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 06:32 PM PDT

Massive Apocalyptic Dust Storm TURNS DAY TO NIGHT In BelarusAn “apocalyptical” storm swept through several regions in Belarus, including the capital. But it was in the city of Soligorsk where clouds as black as ink obscured the sun light, while strong winds ushered in a sand storm. Soligorsk residents, about 120 kilometers from the capital Minsk, were both scared and excited by the weather phenomenon that hit Belarus on Monday. At around 17:00 local time, darkness descended on the city with over 100,000 residents opting to stay indoors.People reportedly had to move around several districts with flashlights. The storm’s heavy rains led to electricity being cut off, trees falling down and damage to buildings. MORE

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Obama’s White House Opens All Gender Restroom To Support Radical LGBTQ Agenda

The White House has opened its first gender-neutral restroom in what is seen as a symbolic step by President Barack Obama to protect the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT community in the workplace.

“He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” Job 41:34 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Restrooms were never segregated because of discrimination, separate facilities for men and woman exist for personal safety and moral decency. But in Obama’s mongrel vision of a “no rules” America where anything goes, these natural protective barriers are being pulled down. Do you honestly want your 13 year old daughter using the restroom with middle-aged men and transgender and bisexual people? If you answer yes to that question, you need mental help.

White House spokesman Jeff Tiller said the all gender restroom is in the Eisenhower executive office building where many employees have meetings and offices and is next door to the West Wing, which houses the president’s offices.

barack-obama-all-gender-restroom-white-house-lgbtq

The initiative is the latest in a series of actions by Obama to support the LGBT community. On Wednesday the president issued an executive order barring companies that do business with the federal government from discriminating against LGBT staff.

“The White House allows staff and guests to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, which is in keeping with the administration’s existing legal guidance on this issue,” Tiller said.

Obama has taken a firm stand on gay, lesbian and transgender rights, an area of debate that is becoming hotly contested.

Last year, in a presidential first, he used the word “transgender” in the annual state of the union address and he has also endorsed same-sex marriage, marking what may be one of the most significant advances of his presidency.

President Obama’s Historical LGBT record

Also on Wednesday Obama called for an end to psychiatric therapies that seek to change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian and transgender youth, also known as conversion therapy.

The number of gender-neutral bathrooms has grown in the United States in recent years, in workplaces and in colleges, but the White House’s initiative comes as some US states mull legislation that would curtail transgender people’s ability to chose what restroom to use. source

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While America Sleeps, Obama’s Militarized Police State Now Nearly Complete (VIDEO)

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

OK folks, put the blue pill down and take the red one. It’s time you woke up to reality. The America we live in is under tyranny. We are monitored and controlled at nearly every turn and the chains are getting tighter every day.

We have heard how the Occupant has been fighting every attempt by Congress to vote on whatever nuclear arms deal is made with the insane Mullah’s in Iran. Captain Tee-Time is not used to being accountable to anyone, but now Senate is proposing legislation that some experts are warning rewrites the treaty provision of the Constitution.

barack-obama-matrix-red-blue-pill-police-state-destroy-constitution

Under the Constitution, the president has the power to negotiate international treaties, with the requirement that two-thirds of the Senate concur for any treaty to be ratified. Such a supermajority (67 votes) was designed by the nation’s Founders to prevent one person or a single body from wielding dangerous levels of power.

We’ve heard how Senator Bob Corker has proposed a bill that basically demands Obama abide by the Constitution on this Iranian agreement. However, today we find out that isn’t the case at all. The bill he is pushing will actually make Obama’s power grab easier!

Under the proposed legislation, Congress will review the president’s deal with Iran and can reject it with a 6-vote margin. But Obama can turn around and veto that, which would then require a 67-vote total to overturn his veto. This is completely bass-ackwards to the way the Constitution set things up.

Talk show host, Mark Levin explains “We’ve turned the treaty provision on its head. Instead of requiring two-thirds of the Senators present to approve, this bill explicitly demands 67 votes to STOP the president. You need 67 votes to override a presidential veto to undo what Obama’s done. Now, we need a supermajority to override the president rather than a supermajority where the president needs approval for a treaty.”

Keith Koffler at the White House Dossier blog agrees. “He’s right. Because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate to be accepted as law. Corker’s bill turns that on its head, allowing Congress to vote down the treaty with Iran but giving Obama veto power, which must be overridden by a two-thirds vote. Meaning that instead of needing two-thirds of the Senate to approve his treaty, Obama only needs one-third.”

He continued “With the Corker bill, he (Obama) now has Congress in his pocket, as he joins Iran in shredding the Constitution over a Swiss negotiating table. And in ten to fifteen years, when Iran conducts its first nuclear test, Congress will have had a role in the tragedy.”

The startling similarities between the rise of Hitler and Obama

Need I remind you that the American people voted overwhelmingly in November to set up the House and Senate with conservative representatives? Well, we can see how well THAT is working! Instead of looking out for our interests, our “representatives” are busy enjoying their cushy jobs and rewriting our Constitution to suit their Globalist, Israel-hating goals.

Speaking of which, the Third Amendment supposedly guards against the quartering, or setting up house, of soldiers in the private homes of American citizens. However, federal district court Judge Andrew Gordon dismissed a lawsuit from a Henderson, Nevada family who had suffered that very circumstance in July, 2011.

The suit was brought by Anthony Mitchell and his parents, Michael and Linda Mitchell for an incident described in court papers. “On the morning of July 10, 2011, officers from the Henderson Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at a neighbor’s residence…Police told Mitchell that they needed to occupy his home in order to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ against the occupant of the neighboring home. Anthony Mitchell told the officer that he did not want to become involved, and that he did not want police to enter his residence.”

The cops went to the Mitchell house anyway, proceeded to bang forcefully on the door while yelling at Mitchell to open up and smashed in the door with a metal ram. Once inside, police pepper sprayed Anthony and his dog, screamed conflicting orders and ultimately arrested him. He was released from jail the next day.

So much for the ‘tactical advantage’ over the situation at the neighbor’s home!

Mitchell and his parents filed suit, rightly claiming their Third and Fourth Amendment rights were violated because the cops were outfitted and acting like members of the military, and entered the home against the occupant’s wishes. Judge Gordon dismissed the claim!

His reasoning was this: “Various officers…entered into and occupied Linda and Michael’s home for an unspecified amount of time (seemingly nine hours), but certainly for less than 24 hours. The relevant questions are thus whether municipal police should be considered soldiers, and whether the time they spent in the house could be considered quartering. To both questions, the answer must be ‘no.’ I hold that a municipal police officer is not a soldier for purposes of the Third Amendment.”

That’s just peachy. Another incremental infringement on our protection from police aggression. Here’s this man, minding his own business in his own home, when the cops demand to enter and set up shop so they can watch the slob next door beat his wife or girlfriend. They disregard his choice to be left alone and unmolested, break his door down, commit assault and battery on him and his dog, scream nonsensical commands, put him in handcuffs and haul him off to jail for the night! And a federal judge says that behavior is OK.

So next time, what’s to stop the cops from smashing your door in at 3 a.m., setting up their surveillance equipment in your living room, helping themselves to your food and gang-raping your teenage daughter, all under the auspices of ‘tactical advantage?’ Guess what? We apparently have no recourse to this kind of abuse from those charged to protect and serve the community.

Operation Jade Helm is a terrifying turn to tyranny

The police officer oath that is widely used by the International Association of Police Chiefs states: “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character of the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.” Is that so?

Look matrix red-pill-takers, America has been taken over by extremely evil men and women, bent on our destruction. The Globalists must destroy this country in order to usher in their beloved New World Order global government. The superb design of our Constitution and Bill of Rights stands in direct conflict with their plans, and the American people have to be conquered and subdued.

This July-September 2015, American military forces will conduct a massive exercise called Jade Helm in the states of Florida, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah and Nevada. This will consist of members of the Green Berets, Navy Seals, Air Force, Marines and the 82nd Airborne and other special forces, who will “infiltrate the civilian population to practice operating undetected.” Doing what?!

The supposed reason for this exercise? The Army released a statement March 24, 2015 saying “The size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven (now eight) states. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.” Yep, they must need to practice controlling all those shopping malls in Baghdad.

The martial law plan to seize America is well underway

Nighttime footage obtained by Infowars in the last week of March, 2015 shows the military and law enforcement officers in Ft. Lauderdale, practicing the internment of citizens during martial-law style training. The article by Paul Joseph Watson, reports that the “clip shows armed troops arresting role players on the street, before a column of prisoners are marched towards a mock internment facility. Black hawk helicopters are also seen whizzing between buildings.”

A Sun-Sentinel article stated that “Broward county police would be assisting U.S. Special Operations Forces who are undergoing urban warfare training.” Urban warfare training against whom?!

So let’s look at the big picture. We have an ISIS training camp 8 miles from our southern border. We have members of our own military planning to infiltrate the civilian population of America to see if they can operate undetected. We have American soldiers training to arrest and deliver prisoners to internment camps. We have the militarization of local and state police forces who may now consider our homes fair game. And we have a Congress full of representatives who have NO intention of reining in our treasonous, usurping President and his administration.

If you don’t think this is all pointing to the subjugation and demise of the American people and our way of life, you are completely delusional! Snap out of your Kardashian coma and look around you. As far as I can see, there are only two options left to save this country from turning into one big Nazi nightmare.

The Church falls on her face in repentance and turns from her evil, greedy, God and Bible ignoring ways. Maybe, just maybe God will have mercy on us. OR, the American people rise, take up our arms and physically clean out Washington D.C.

You and I know neither scenario is going to happen. The Powers That Be are planning and practicing the destruction of the American people, right before our very eyes. The only true hope we have is to make sure we are ready to be snatched home when the Lord Jesus comes to rescue His Bride.

Are you saved and covered by the Blood of the Lamb of God? Have you repented and turned from your sinful habits and lifestyle? Are you living a holy and righteous life with the help of the Holy Spirit? Then you have nothing to fear. Your future is sparkling bright and secure!

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Psalms 34:3-7 (KJV)

If not, I suggest you mentally prepare yourself to be rounded up like the sheeple you are, taken to a FEMA camp and separated from your spouse and children. It won’t be long before you’re given the option of being released, but only if you agree to have a chip or some other type of marker implanted in your right hand or forehead. If you refuse, you’ll be exterminated. If you become a Christian during this time, you’ll be tortured before you’re murdered.

THAT is your future. It IS coming whether you believe or not. Our Constitution has been neutered and is no longer worth the paper it’s written on. Come out of the matrix and accept the pardon for sin that Jesus died to provide for you while you still have time. Once the Bride is gone, those who are left are as good as dead.

The post While America Sleeps, Obama’s Militarized Police State Now Nearly Complete (VIDEO) appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 


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Why Presidential Candidates Want to Appear Down-to-Earth


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist)

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

April 17, 2015 Daily Christian Blogroll Collection

The worst sort of clever men are those who know better than the Bible. —C.H. Spurgeon

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Why Can’t a Father Marry His Adult Son? A Mother Her Adult Daughter?

If the court officially severs the ancient connection between marriage and procreation, then it really has no grounds for denying marriage to these other ensembles. If there is a limit to the principle, then Kennedy et al. are obligated to declare what it is in advance. So far, Kennedy hasn’t done that. And it is not too much to ask him to do so before declaring out of whole cloth a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Read more


Dear Westboro “Baptist”

I’m posting this letter here for two reasons—one is simply because you didn’t respond to my email and you refused to talk to me in person. The second is to spare others the time. I want other churches to know if you go there, your goal is not anybody’s repentance. Your goal is simply to cause a scene, hopefully win a lawsuit, and root for fire from heaven. I pray God silences you by converting you to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Read more


Hear Him!

Will we see Jesus in glory when He finally takes us home? Only if we hearHim on this side of glory. Let’s not waste our time with silly books and movies about people going to heaving and coming back again. They are just worthless fables.

Read more


Marriage as a Blood Covenant?

The third reason I think this teaching is unbiblical is that we now live under the covenant of grace after the last, best, and only true sacrifice has already taken place. Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, and there are no more sacrifices. Ever. Why would any Christian who has been bought by the precious blood of Christ teach that a woman must offer a sacrifice of blood to seal her marriage?

Read more


Delighting in Death?

Of course, this is all highly speculative. But it seems to me that the passion and enthusiasm involved in being pro-choice on life issues cannot simply be explained by talking about unwanted pregnancies or the prevention of unnecessary end-of-life suffering. And why does modern liberalism on matters of abortion and suicide so often go along with advocating the annihilation of the significance of bodily difference in the realm of sexuality?

Read more


Faithfully Delivering the Gospel

If we really believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation we probably would not mess with it. It is not wise to edit perfection; we have not been given proofreading writes by God to add or delete elements from his masterpiece of Christ exalting truth.

Read more


Wormology: the Abuse of a Doctrine

Wormology stunts the growth of believers and leads to apathy in the pursuit of holiness. And, it is biblically untenable. Instead of embracing – or even focusing on his sin and failures – the Apostle Paul acknowledges his own weakness, but is not satisfied to wallow in the mire of his sinful condition: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul’s focus is not on who he was in his own sin, but who he is in Christ Jesus:

Read more


The Religious Compartment

Wilberforce is saying that nominal Christians give a portion, or compartment, of their life to the Christian religion. That compartment has a place in life along with other things, and sometimes the religious compartment claims some of their time or thoughts or money, and they think that’s good enough. The other compartments of life are theirs to do with what they want. What happens then, as Wilberforce notes, is that the religious compartment doesn’t affect/influence other parts of life.

Read more


Dual or Conflicting Citizenship?

America has been a shining light of freedom for nearly 250 years. As citizens, we have been blessed by the freedom to worship, the freedom to speak our minds and the ability to work hard and become successful. Christians in America hold “Dual Citizenship”: We are permanent citizens of the eternal kingdom of God on […]

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On Attending Homosexual Weddings

by Bill Muehlenberg

I have written on this subject before in bits and piece, but since it keeps coming up for debate, and since I do not have an entire piece devoted just to this, let me do so here. The latest trigger for this was a very recent remark made by Presidential hopeful and Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

But let me first mention that two issues arise here, so I can here deal with both since they are related. That is, it is one thing for a small business owner to cater for homosexuals and so on, but it is another matter to have to cater for a homosexual event which conscience may not allow.

Read more


The Daily Discovery (April 17, 2015)

Discerners of the Discerning: Hypocrisy Cloaked in Piety – “Last week Dave Miller, of SBC Voices, published an article entitled Peas in a Pod: The Self-Appointed Prophet/Discernment Enforcer Playbook which attempted to summarize the folly of charismaniacs and discerners in one fell swoop. Sadly, the piece was rife with hypocrisy, mischaracterizations, and broad-brush shaming all in the name of “God’s love”. In fact, I hate to have to write this rejoinder as I’ve grown weary of the inter-Christian tit-for-tat pettiness now running rampant. However, I’ve grown just as weary of brothers in the faith scoffing at even the slightest whiff of biblical discernment.”

How Compromise Happens – “Today we are talking about how compromise can happen so easily in this age of political correctness, even to those who are known for standing for God’s Word as truth. Could it happen to you?”

Faith Improves Our Sight – “I have a lot of pet peeves – you might say I am the Dr. Doolittle of Pet Peeves. It’s because I am an intransigent man, and you’ll get no apologies from me for it.”

Live Q&A on “Embers of a Dying Fire,” Wilderness Radio this Friday – “The Pulpit & Pen Program is teaming up with the Bible Thumping Wingnut for a live Q&A on Voice in the Wilderness Radio this Friday evening, 8PM CST. ALL theonomy questions regarding JD’s post-debate thoughts, “Embers of a Dying Fire” will be answered. We will address the lacking, far-reaching and desperate critiques of this work at American Vision and answer any and all other questions you may have. You can call in by dialing 720-789-BTWN.”

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren – “The test of true faith is that which is revealed in how one lives and walks through this life. Right belief, that is, a faith that lives in a regenerate heart born from above, is exhibited in right living as James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ wrote in the passage above. Notice also that he began that passage in v16 with, “Do not be deceived,” or Μὴ πλανᾶσθε from the Greek.”


SERMON:

Mike Morrow – Traits of a True Christian


VIDEOS:

Rev. Kenny Gooden Naming Christ

God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle?


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

Source


Can a Hint . . . Hurt? (True Woman 201, part 5)

“Not even a hint . . .”

“It’s okay to live together. How else will you know if you’re sexually and practically compatible.”

“Homosexual sex isn’t really a sin. When the Bible condemned homosexuality, it was in the context of homosexual prostitution.”

“A transgender individual might really love Christ and want to reflect the image of God, but what if he wants to do it as a she? Aren’t they still honoring gender?”

All of these statements—spoken to me by believers in the past few weeks—are in drastic contrast to God’s plan that sexual intimacy be experienced within the boundaries of marriage between one man and one woman. I’ve had to correct these misguided thoughts with loving dialogue and practical theology in the last few weeks.

With the conversation spinning so far away from truth, no wonder married Christian women are reading erotica to “spice up their love life.” Or the Christian unmarried couple is pushing the envelop with that not-so-innocent goodnight kiss. Or the single woman who loves Christ is asking how she can express herself sexually. Many are watching TV programs wrought with sexual humor. Many times I have justified sin like this because it’s “not as bad” as other stuff out there. Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian point to a Scripture that we all need when that kind of thinking creeps in to our minds.

Not Even a Hint!

  • Do we hint at sexual sin when we pull out the low-cut blouse knowing it will turn heads?
  • Do we hint at sexual sin when we laugh yet again at a sexual innuendo on a popular sitcom?
  • Do we hint at sexual sin when we glance through mildly sensual photos online?

How are you possibly hinting at sexual sin?

Even a pre-marital kiss—while not a sin per se—can move in the wrong direction if we are not carefully guarding our minds. It’s simple science.

  • Saliva contains testosterone, which increases sexual arousal.
  • Researchers believe that a man can subconsciously measure estrogen levels, increasing his sexual desire.
  • The body’s Autonomic Nervous System, the system that controls sexual response, is heightened by a kiss. This system is not controlled by your mental faculties, but by your physical experiences. Desire can begin to control you whether or not you would chose for it to.

Our sexual desires are strong. You can get carried away in the current of it before you know it. Considering all that’s at stake, stick to a “brotherly kiss” that the apostle Paul would be proud of.

Is there a better way to respond to sexuality and the topic of it? Yes, and it’s mentioned in the verses Nancy and Mary reference in the video above. Take a peek at the verse again here.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God  (Eph. 5:3–5, italics added for emphasis).

Our conversation about sexuality should not be hinted with sexual humor and innuendo. Instead, we should be so overwhelmed with the truth of this beautiful gift of sexuality that our conversation is fueled by gratitude.

Take a moment today and ask the Lord to reveal to you how you have hinted at sexual sin, if any. Then, ask him to reveal to you how he would have your heart be speaking the language of gratitude for sexuality with all its tender boundaries and protective guidelines.

Source


Becoming All Things To All People

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Can you explain what the context and meaning is of 1 Corinithians 9:19-23?  In this day and age so many Christians are being influenced by the culture rather than Christians influencing the culture.  They seem to have this nees to be “relevant” in this world.  Jesus wasn’t “relevant”.  Are these verses addressing evangelizing?

continue reading


Who Should We Love?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. In 1 Cor. 13:1-5 Paul is adamant that without  “ Love”  none of the other efforts  will matter.  Who is he wanting  us to “Love” and what is his definition of “Love”?

continue reading


Counting Our Tears

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I am trying to find out the Bible scripture and verse that says that “God counts every tear that a woman sheds”. Can you please give me the scripture and verse because I know it says it in the Bible somewhere. Thank you.

continue reading

 



Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist)

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

What Makes Heaven Rejoice?

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

Parable of Lost SheepLuke 15 may be one of the greatest chapters in the entire Bible. It contains three parables about things that were lost and then found. These stories are pictures of how God seeks us and the joy heaven experiences when we are found. Let’s begin reading in verse 1:

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

There were two different groups present in Jesus’ audience: the religious leaders and the sinners. The Pharisees and teachers of the law had become the enemies of Jesus by this time. They followed Him around looking for a reason to condemn Him. These religious fanatics were so scrupulous in their observance of the law; they would never sit down and eat with “sinners” like tax collectors and common men. The…

View original post 1,412 more words

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