Daily Archives: May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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May 21, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Islamic State extremists have seized more than half of Syria after taking full control of the town of Palmyra and its ancient ruins, activists said Thursday.

For 10 hours and 31 minutes, Senator Rand Paul and three fellow Republicans joined seven Democrats to debate terrorism, privacy and the Bill of Rights. The Kentuckian promised not to rest “as long as my legs can stand,” daring President Obama to end bulk data collection, and attempting to delay the debate on Patriot and the USA Freedom Act-the legislation that divides civil libertarians.

President Obama’s long-standing goal to have a fully fuel-efficient government fleet and 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road will not be met. …it became clear that technology and consumer interest were not keeping pace with his ideals.

The House of Representatives voted to revive the tax credit for corporate research and make it a permanent feature of U.S. law. Companies like Microsoft Corp., General Motors Co., and Johnson & Johnson had lobbied for the credit. The break would cost the U.S. government — and save companies — $181.6 billion over the next decade.

After beating back an attempt by energy companies to get Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow fracking in December, groups that only a few months ago were studying seismic activity in Ohio and Pennsylvania have pivoted to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The U.S. is sending Iraq’s military 1,000 antitank weapons to defend against armored vehicles jury-rigged by Islamic State into otherwise unstoppable suicide bombs like those it used to capture Ramadi.

The average number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits over the past four weeks dropped to a 15-year low, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen. The four-week average for jobless claims decreased to 266,250 in the period ended May 16 from 271,750.

Barely more than a year ago, criminal charges against major U.S. banks were considered unthinkable, with lawyers and analysts viewing felony convictions as a death sentence and a threat to the financial system. Now, by granting waivers allowing lenders to keep operating even after a felony plea, the government has managed to punish firms while protecting them from fatal consequences.

UBS Group AG won immunity from criminal fraud charges in a Justice Department investigation into misconduct in the trading of precious metals.

AP Top Stories

Two unemployed men who crashed a Lamborghini and Ferrari as they reportedly staged a “real-life Fast and Furious” race through Beijing were sentenced to jail Thursday for dangerous driving, the court said.

Saudi Arabia is set to become home to the largest hotel in the world with a whopping 10,000 rooms. To be built just two kilometers away from the site of Mecca, which attracts about two million Muslim pilgrims a year for the annual Hajj, the $3.5 billion Abraj Kudai will become the world’s largest hotel when it opens in 2017.

In a major diplomatic breakthrough that could ease Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis, Indonesia and Malaysia offered Wednesday to temporarily take in thousands of people who have been stranded at sea but appealed for international help, saying the crisis is a global, not regional, problem.

Kiev lawmakers annulled five security agreements with Moscow that allowed Russia to transport troops to a separatist region of Moldova and purchase weapons only produced in Ukraine.

German police Wednesday recovered two life-sized bronze sculptures of horses worth millions that once stood outside Adolf Hitler’s chancellery but vanished in the year the Berlin Wall fell.

The Chinese navy warned a U.S. surveillance plane flying over artificial islands that Beijing is creating in the disputed South China Sea to leave the area eight times, according to CNN.

Whites are moving back to Detroit, the American city that came to epitomize white flight, even as blacks continue to leave for the suburbs and the city’s overall population shrinks.

BBC

Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have entered the Unesco World Heritage site of Palmyra after seizing the town next to the ancient ruins, reports said. Unesco said its destruction would be “an enormous loss to humanity”, but no damage has been reported there yet.

A state of emergency has been declared in southern California in the US after two oil slicks, stretching nine miles, formed off the coast.

Militants from the Islamist group al-Shabab briefly took over a mosque in northern Kenya. The jihadists are said to have addressed the congregation for two hours before escaping into a forest.

EU leaders are gathering for a summit with six former Soviet states in Latvia, overshadowed by Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The partnership “is not directed against anyone, it’s not against Russia”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

British bomb-maker Anis Sardar has been found guilty of the murder of a US soldier in Iraq in a roadside bombing.

WND

A Boston University professor has defended to WND his creation of a Common Core-compliant lesson plan that uses role-playing workshops to teach students to sympathize with Hamas, create a Palestinian state and divide the city of Jerusalem.

The Pandora’s box of same-sex marriage has just released a new pairing unimaginable a few short years ago. Norman MacArthur and Bill Novak, father and son, though not biologically, will soon be husband and … whatever, reports the Patch of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

ISIS terrorists are picking out the “prettiest virgins” from the women they capture and sending them to their Syrian stronghold to be sex slaves. And there are horrific reports about the fate of the brave women who resist the murderous terrorists – including one victim who was burned alive for refusing to perform “extreme sexual acts”.


Top News – 5/21/2015

3 Years After He ‘Ended the War’: Obama Declares Iraq a ‘National Emergency’ for U.S.
President Barack Obama sent a message to Congress yesterday giving notice that he was extending the “national emergency” the United States has experienced as a result of the problems in Iraq since 2003, when the U.S. first invaded that country and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Gaddafi’s home town falls to Islamic State in anarchic Libya
Standing guard at his frontline post, Libyan soldier Mohammed Abu Shager can see where Islamic State militants are holed up with their heavy weaponry less than a kilometre away. The militants have effectively taken over former dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s home city of Sirte as they exploit a civil war between two rival governments to expand in North Africa.

Common Core Teaches Kids to ‘divide Jerusalem’
A Boston University professor has defended to WND his creation of a Common Core-compliant lesson plan that uses role-playing workshops to teach students to sympathize with Hamas, create a Palestinian state and divide the city of Jerusalem.

Ceres Bright Spots Seen Closer Than Ever
NASA’s Dawn mission captured a sequence of images, taken for navigation purposes, of dwarf planet Ceres on May 16, 2015. The image showcases the group of the brightest spots on Ceres, which continue to mystify scientists. It was taken from a distance of 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers) and has a resolution of 2,250 feet (700 meters) per pixel.

Netanyahu Tells EU He Is Committed to ‘Vision’ of Two States
We all know that the EU is gung-ho for patronizing the Arabs and trashing Israel unless it gives up the Golan Heights, surrenders all of Judea and Samaria, and release its sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount area, and tell 250,000 Jerusalem Jews to live elsewhere. Israel, for whatever reasons or thousands of reasons, seldom is able to look the EU or President Barack Obama in the eye and say, “Get lost.”

U.S. says South China Sea reclamations stoke instability
China’s land reclamation around reefs in the disputed South China Sea is undermining freedom and stability, and risks provoking tension that could even lead to conflict, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a conference in Jakarta.

Black Racism Fatigue Will Hurt Democrats in 2016
Conservatives say “you can be somebody.” Liberals say “you should hate somebody.” Students who are inheriting a post-civil rights America have been conditioned to believe they’re getting a pre-civil rights America thanks to our first black president and first lady.

Magnitude 6.9 earthquake registered near Solomon Islands
A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck nearby the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Thursday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, Sputnik reports. The earthquake, was centred near the Santa Cruz Island group between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Oceania at a depth of about six miles, the USGS said.

4.0 magnitude earthquake strikes in Salton Sea, near the Mexican border
A 4.0 magnitude earthquake has struck the Salton Sea, a few miles northwest of Calipatria in Imperial County, the United States Geological Survey reports.

California farmers offer to give up some water, avoid cuts
A group of California farmers, in a surprising turnaround, is volunteering to give up a fourth of its available water this year, sharing a resource all but guaranteed to them for more than a century.

Iran’s leader rejects foreign access to military sites, scientists
Iran’s supreme leader vowed Wednesday he will not allow international inspection of Iran’s military sites or access to Iranian scientists under any nuclear agreement with world powers. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military commanders Wednesday that Iran will resist “coercion and excessive demands” from America and other world powers.

North Korea says it has technology to make mini-nuclear weapons
North Korea claimed Wednesday that it has been able to make nuclear warheads small enough to fit on a missile — a development that, if verified, would mark a major advance in the country’s military capabilities and the threat it can pose to the world.

Palestinian car rams two Israeli police, driver shot dead
Two Israeli policewomen were injured in annexed east Jerusalem on Wednesday when they were hit by a car driven by a Palestinian who was then shot dead, police said.

Bin Laden ‘focused on US to the end’, papers show
In his final years alive, Osama Bin Laden urged his followers to remain focused on attacking the US, newly released documents show. US officials have published a trove of files found at his Pakistan hideout the night the al-Qaeda chief was killed.

Islamic State ‘in control’ of Syria’s Palmyra
Islamic State militants have taken near complete control of the Syrian city of Palmyra, home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins. There are fears that the militants will destroy the ruins, which Unesco has designated a World Heritage site. Government troops have almost entirely withdrawn from the city following an IS advance, an eyewitness told the BBC.

Greece must reach deal with lenders by early June, finance minister says
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Athens must reach a reforms deal with its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders to unlock aid by early June. “This deal must be concluded by the first week of June,” Varoufakis said at an Athens business event.

Iran’s decades-long cold war with Saudi Arabia may finally be reaching a breaking point
On April 27, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen., Mohammad Ali Jafari lashed out at Saudi Arabia and its recent military intervention in Yemen, accusing the “treacherous Saudis” of “following in Israel’s footsteps” by “shamelessly and disgracefully bombing and mass killing” the Yemeni people.

Billy Graham’s Daughter: ‘The Day of the Lord is Near,’ God is ‘Warning America,’ We’re in the ‘Last’ Generation
Anne Graham Lotz, an evangelical preacher, author, and the daughter of pastor Billy Graham, said “the day of the Lord is near,” which is a “time of judgment,” and that God is specifically “warning America.” She added that people must pray for repentance and mercy because, she believes, this is the “last” generation.


Top Headlines – 5/21/2015

Netanyahu to EU: I support two-state solution

Rivlin: The whole world heard Netanyahu’s commitment to two-state solution

France to push 18-month timetable for Mideast peace

Hotovely to Mogherini: The Palestinians, not Israel, walked out of negotiations

Netanyahu shelves Ya’alon’s travel ban for Palestinians after widespread criticism

Palestinian car rams two Israeli police, driver shot dead

US, Israel said to discuss ‘compensation’ in wake of emerging Iran deal

Israel to Buy Bombs and Missiles from Washington

Iran to UN: Israeli defense minister threatened to nuke us

Iranian politician says country to unveil its own ‘S-300’ missile system

Iran’s leader rejects foreign access to military sites, scientists

U.N. announces Yemen talks, Iran to allow ship inspection

Report: Iran stops cash flow to Islamic Jihad organization

With taking of Palmyra, ISIS now controls half of Syria

Anti-Islamic State coalition to meet in Paris on June 2

John Boehner Says Obama Will Not Receive Authorization to Continue Fighting ISIS, Argues Obama Has No Strategy

Legion of foreign fighters battles for Islamic State

FBI Speaks To Bergen County High School Students About ISIS Recruitment Threat

Islamic State finding it hard to gain foothold on Syria’s Israel border

App sets rebel groups a quiz on “law of war” to protect civilians

Obama’s ‘red line’ for Syria is written on water

Bin Laden ‘focused on US to the end’, papers show

Fear of surveillance haunted Bin Laden

Christians in the Middle East rank high on Peoples Under Threat list

11 Christians Are Killed Every Hour, Says Irish Catholic Bishop Who Warns Persecution Has Reached ‘Unprecedented’ High

Anti-Muslim Brotherhood judge sworn in as Egypt’s justice minister

Egyptian authorities using sexual violence on ‘massive scale’

Libyan Islamist leader proposes elections to end conflict

Algerian troops kill more militants in major assault, 25 dead in total

Macedonia’s Muslim uprising seen as flashpoint in East-West energy war

Gunfire Rocks Burundi Capital After President Says Nation Secure

Ukraine’s Poroshenko talks of ‘real war’ with Russia

Ukraine wants roadmap to EU accession at Riga summit

North Korea says it has technology to make mini-nuclear weapons

U.S. says South China Sea reclamations stoke instability

China warns U.S. surveillance plane

Rand Paul filibusters NSA surveillance in Congress

US, Cuba to focus on reopening embassies in Washington talks

Cuba establishes banking ties in US ahead of talks

Greece must reach deal with lenders by early June, finance minister says

For Many American States, It’s Like the Recession Never Ended

40 percent of unemployed have quit looking for jobs

Feds Spent $100 Billion on Food Assistance Last Year

Six Banks Pay $5.8 Billion, Five Guilty of Market Rigging

Leap second could cause problems for stock market, corporate regulator warns

California declares state of emergency after oil pipeline rupture fouls sea and beaches near Santa Barbara

California oil spill estimated at up to 2,500 barrels

6.9 magnitude earthquake hits Santa Cruz Islands

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Bitung, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Meulaboh, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sucua, Ecuador

New swarm of deep earthquakes in Katla volcano

New trigger for volcanic eruptions discovered using jelly and lasers

Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 24,000ft

Zhupanovsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 17,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Texas, Plains Set for ‘Life-Threatening Flooding’ After Day of Tornadoes

Flash Flood Danger Continues into Memorial Day Weekend As Rainfall Nears May Records

California farmers offer to give up some water, avoid cuts

Jeb Bush says climate is changing but human role is ‘convoluted’

Obama frames global warming as national security threat

White House doom: Climate change causes allergies, asthma, downpours, poverty, terrorism

Obama: Climate Change Fueled Rise Of Boko Haram, War In Syria

Scientists cure disorders in mice by resetting their brains

What Aborted Fetuses Have to Do With Vaccines

Indian mother posts gay marriage ad for son in newspaper despite homosexuality being illegal

United Methodist Body Votes to Change the Church’s Position on Homosexuality by Allowing Clergy to Be ‘Practicing Homosexuals,’ Perform Gay Weddings

Antigay Midland pastor outed for soliciting sex from men

Gay rodeo tests tolerance in Arkansas, hotbed of rights fight

Study on gay marriage views retracted after allegations of fake data

More evidence rape a significant problem on US college campuses

Bill aimed at curbing police brutality would require officers to wear cameras

Mass Roundup of Bikers in Waco Shootout Tests Limits of Court System

Hillsong Insider (Part 2): “The Hillsong Takeover of a Norwegian Mega Church”

Wheaton College Defends Decision to Allow Homosexual Student Group on Campus

Michigan Pastor Resigns After Sharing Photos on Gay Dating App

Oregon outlaws gay conversion therapy, joining two other states


Daily Digest

May 21, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another.” —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, 1821

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Warns the Coast Guard of Rising Seas, Not Real Threats

Barack Obama stood before the 200 graduates at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. They may have been sitting there, in their crisp white uniforms, but they would soon go out and enforce maritime law, command ships and lead search and rescue missions. What words could the commander in chief give these graduates that they could take to heart as they serve their country? Obama said, “I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act — and we need to act now.” Instead of mentioning the growing threat of ISIL that will be around longer than his administration, instead of warning about Russia’s belligerence, Obama tried to connect his longtime environmental crusade with national security. In fact, he blamed climate change for civil war in Syria: “Understand, climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world. Yet … [i]t’s now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East.” Obama’s address was full of lies. This speech merely diverted from his failed security policies to focus on his socialist climate change agenda.

Rice Boasts of Ending Two Wars ‘Responsibly’

National Security Advisor Susan Rice doesn’t have a swell history when it comes to accurately describing things. She faithfully started the YouTube video talking points lie regarding Benghazi, and, perhaps less infamously, she declared deserter and likely traitor Bowe Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” So it’s little surprise that she stuck her foot in her mouth once again, this time at a German Embassy photography exhibit of wounded soldiers. With U.S. vets in attendance angry over the recent fall of Ramadi, Rice had the audacity to claim, “Now that we have ended two wars responsibly, and brought home hundreds of American troops, we salute this new generation of veterans.” Neither the war in Iraq nor the war in Afghanistan is over. Barack Obama simply abandoned Iraq, leaving it to the Islamic State, though U.S. forces continue to conduct airstrikes there. American soldiers will remain in Afghanistan for the time being, but the future is uncertain. Either way, “ended” and “responsibly” are not words to describe the actions of this woeful commander in chief.

Finally, a question for Hillary Clinton: Knowing what you know now, would you go along with Obama’s plan to retreat from Iraq?

More Governments Fudging Climate Data

Satellite data has found that the mean global temperature has been sitting on a plateau for more than 18 years now, which is in stark contrast to official government numbers. Just this week, NOAA reported that, at 1.33°F (0.74°C) above average, last month was the fourth warmest April recorded globally, and 2015 so far is the hottest on record. But as we’ve documented, the agency is currently mired in allegations of misconduct after it was discovered that historical data was manipulated to make post 1970s/1980s warming appear more alarming. And more and more foreign government agencies are engaging in the practice. Last year, “The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) was … forced to admit it alters the temperatures recorded at almost all the official weather stations in Australia,” H. Sterling Burnett with The Heartland Institute wrote in September. Now, “Switzerland joins a growing list of countries whose temperature measurements have been adjusted to show greater warming than actually measured by its temperature instrument,” Burnett revealed this week. Interestingly, he notes, “Even with fudged data, governments have been unable to hide the fact winters in Switzerland and in Central Europe have become colder over the past 20 years, defying predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists.” Ironically, even data tampering can’t hide one inconvenient fact: Temperature trends are defying the science community’s predictions.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Wounded Warrior Warning, on the Wounded Warrior Project and other veteran support groups..

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Export-Import Bank Means Picking Winners and Losers

By Allyne Caan

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The massive defense contractor Boeing has produced a lot of things, but this may be the first time its been accused of delivering a “bit of bluster.” Yet, that’s exactly what Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) called Boeing’s threat to leave the country if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), a little-known federal agency that gives loans to foreign customers to buy U.S. goods — including those produced by Boeing.

Created in 1934 by executive order (that should have been the first warning), Ex-Im faces extinction if its charter is allowed to expire June 30.

But here’s the thing. Increasingly, conservatives are catching on to the fact that, just like the “too-big-to-fail” bailouts meant the government picked winners and losers, Ex-Im means the government picks winners and losers. Basically, the bank decides what companies, or countries, receive taxpayer-backed financing to purchase U.S. products. And it’s for good reason Ex-Im has been nicknamed the “Bank of Boeing,” given that Boeing receives 30% of the bank’s financing, or, as Veronique de Rugy points out, more than $66 billion between 2007 and 2014.

Those opposed to letting the bank close its doors next month include, not surprisingly, Barack Obama, progressive darling Elizabeth Warren, and House Speaker John Boehner, who claimed that “there are thousands of jobs on the line that would disappear pretty quickly if the Ex-Im Bank were to disappear.”

Only, there aren’t. First, as de Rugy notes, Ex-Im subsidies don’t “create” jobs but merely “redistribute” them from non-subsidized ones to subsidized ones. Hmm, if you like your job you can keep your job? Second, tales of thousands of jobs lost may be greatly exaggerated, as evidenced by criticism from the Government Accountability Office and others of the job numbers provided by the bank.

Furthermore, even if Ex-Im went dark, the life of current loans and loan guarantees wouldn’t be cut short. For Boeing, this would mean, as Hensarling notes, an additional 18 years of financing. Plus, the primary recipients of Ex-Im subsidies have work backorders that would sustain their business for years — Boeing’s threat notwithstanding.

So what’s Congress to do? Well, several members, including several presidential candidates or potential candidates, say the bank needs to go — whether quickly or over time. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, all with eyes set on 2016, have come out against the bank, as have Governors Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal, as well as former CEO Carly Fiorina. Senator Lindsay Graham, not surprisingly, has come out in favor of the bank.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who was for the bank before he was against it, recently announced his opposition to Ex-Im, not on philosophical grounds, but given “recent revelations of corruption and bribery at the institution.” Indeed, Ex-Im has been called out for noncompliance with congressionally mandated reforms and is the subject of 31 open fraud investigations. We’re shocked that any executive agency could have even a smidgeon of corruption.

At issue is whether the federal government has a constitutional reason to redirect taxpayer dollars to foreign countries and customers. Subsidizing the purchase of U.S. exports picks winners and losers at great expense and it’s probably contrary to what the market would dictate.

For the party in congressional power — which supposedly stands for free markets — letting Ex-Im’s charter expire should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen all too often, even no-brainers can sometimes prove a stretch for Republican congressional leadership.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “If Clinton is really worried about the role of big money in politics, she would have done better to have insisted that the Clinton Foundation did not solicit donations from foreign governments while she was the secretary of state. She might have ensured that her family’s foundation distributed 90 percent of its expenditures — instead of a reported 10 percent — directly to the charities it claimed to help, especially given that it has raised close to $2 billion. Clinton might also have blasted former presidents seeking hefty lecture fees and family foundation donations from wealthy entrepreneurs who hope to buy access and influence from either a sitting secretary of state, a former president of the United States — or a future president. Or, Clinton herself might have cut back on lucrative speaking fees, often paid by wealthy corporations seeking influence. Bill and Hillary Clinton have pulled in $30 million in lecture cash in just the last 16 months. Mysteriously, the closer Hillary Clinton got to announcing her bid for the presidency, the more frequent and the more lucrative the Clinton duo’s lecturing became. When news organizations, judges or Americans in general do not think or speak in the correct fashion, then elite progressives believe they must do whatever is necessary to silence them — while making themselves exempt from their own agendas.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle’s own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.” —legendary Greek fabulist Aesop (c. 620–564 BC)

Friendly fire: “[Obama administration officials] go around to ABC and CNN and say, ‘We’re not going to listen to [Fox News], and neither should you.’ To me, it’s so unprecedented. They can’t handle any dissent. It’s got to be completely 100% behind what they want — they don’t want to debate, they won’t send anybody on Fox News. … It goes without saying that if George Bush had done this, he would have been Hitler.” —Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers, who calls herself a “proud liberal”

Non Compos Mentis: “Americans do not seem to be able to handle gun ownership in a way that permits maintenance of a civil society. … In an era of extreme concern about national security, Americans need to recognize that one of the greatest threats to national security is their own heavily armed population. … Unfortunately, our proven inability to handle widespread gun ownership suggests strongly that the way to do this is to deeply restrict access to and ownership of most types of guns.” —University of Texas at Austin professor John Traphagan

Alpha Jackass: “ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sounds like a Republican candidate for president.” —Slate’s William Saletan

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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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The Briefing

1) Appeals Court second denial of Notre Dame case exposes perilous state of religious liberty 

Appeals Court Denies Notre Dame’s Challenge to Health Law’s Contraception Mandate, Wall Street Journal (Louise Radnofsky and Brent Kendall)

Notre Dame birth-control protest denied again, SCOTUSblog (Lyle Denniston)

2) Retraction of gay marriage opinion study reveals need for firm foundation for truth

Co-author disavows highly publicized study on public opinion and same-sex marriage, Washington Post (Fred Barbash)

Study on softening same-sex marriage attitudes retracted over ‘fake data’, The Guardian, (Lauren Gambino)

3) Influence of childhood hometown on likelihood of marriage evidences import of social norms 

How Your Hometown Affects Your Chances of Marriage, New York Times (David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy)

4) Death of Happy Rockefeller reminder of how far society has shifted

Happy Rockefeller, 88, Dies; Marriage to Governor Scandalized Voters, New York Times (Robert D. McFadden)

In other news…

Egotism Is a Necessary Evil of Generous Donations, TIME Magazine (Rabbi David Wolpe)

 


Activists: Islamic State seizes more than half of Syria

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremists had seized more than 36,000 square miles of the country, and had also taken control of “the vast majority” of its gas and oil fields. (Onyanga-Omara, USA Today)

Full Story


The bin Laden library the U.S. government doesn’t want you to see: The porn stash.

Reports that pornographic material was found in the compound were first published by the news agency Reuters on May 13, 2011, just weeks after a U.S. military raid on the site left the al-Qaeda leader dead. (Taylor, The Washington Post)

Full Story


Professor punished student who refused anti-Christian assignment

Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel told “Fox and Friends” that Russum is a “militant atheist” who intended to destroy the student’s faith – and the faith of other students, too.

Liberty Counsel described the anti-Christian language of the course curriculm in a letter to Polk, pointing out that the professor’s Facebook page includes a photo of Jesus giving the middle finger along with other anti-religious postings.

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The Most Amazing Victory Even Military Experts Can’t Explain

View Stunning 90 second video on the Six Day War of 1967


Greece Says That It Will Default On June 5th, And Moody’s Warns Of A ‘Deposit Freeze’

The Greek government says that a “moment of truth” is coming on June 5th. Either their lenders agree to give them more money by that date, or Greece will default on a 300 million euro loan payment to the IMF. Of course it won’t technically be a “default” according to IMF rules for another 30 days after that, but without a doubt news that Greece cannot pay will send shockwaves throughout the financial world. At that point, those holding Greek bonds will start to panic as they realize that they might not get paid as well. All over Europe, there are major banks that are holding large amounts of Greek debt and derivatives that are related to the performance of Greek debt. If something is not done to avert disaster at the last moment, a default by Greece could be the spark that sets off a major European financial crisis this summer. (Read More….)


Is This Global Drought Being Caused By The Systematic Destruction Of The Hydrologic Cycle?

Have you noticed that severe drought seems to be gripping much of the planet right now? You probably have. But why is this happening? Could it be possible that we are doing this to ourselves? Many want to try to link the rise and fall of precipitation levels to temperature variations, but there is something much more obvious that they are overlooking. Trees play an absolutely critical role in our water cycle, and every single minute the amount of land that is deforested around the globe is equivalent to 36 football fields. By extracting water from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere, trees provide a critical link in the hydrologic cycle that we all depend upon. If there were no more trees, life on this planet would become exceedingly difficult for humanity. So the fact that we are literally ripping the lungs out of the planet is a very big deal. (Read More...)


Anne Graham Lotz: ‘Return of Jesus in the Rapture’ Will Occur During ‘My Lifetime’

“So the birth pains, the signs that Jesus gives, whether it is in the environmental world or national world, the wars, or the persecution of Christians, the persecution of Jews, when we see that ratcheting up and increasing in frequency and in intensity in the same generation that sees the Gospel being preached to the whole world and Israel reborn as a nation, that’s the generation that is the last,” Lotz stated.

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Are They About To Confiscate Money From Bank Accounts In Greece Just Like They Did In Cyprus?

Do you remember what happened when Cyprus decided to defy the EU? In the end, the entire banking system of the nation collapsed and money was confiscated from private bank accounts. Well, the nation of Greece is now approaching a similar endgame …………. Click here for full story


Hamas Using Truce To Prepare For Next Clash With Israel

In the nine months since Hamas fought a 50-day war with Israel, the terrorist group has exploited the months of recent quiet to prepare itself for the next clash, which it assumes will inevitably come …………. Click here for full story


Daniel’s “Covenant With Many” – Waiting To Be Implemented?

“If Israel accepts the peace plan and makes a commitment to implement it, 22 Arab states and another 20 Muslim counties will commit to normalizing relations with you,” Eshki says. “You need to internalize the fact that we want coexistence between the Arab states and Israel.” According to the Saudi initiative, the brainchild in 2002 of then-crown prince Abdullah, the Israeli-Arab conflict will come to an end in return for an Israeli undertaking to withdraw to the pre-Six-Day War 1967 borders. ………… Click here for full story


‘Risen,’ New Movie About Jesus’ Resurrection, Linked To Mel Gibson’s Massively Successful And Gritty ‘Passion Of The Christ’

Will “Risen,” an upcoming movie about the events following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, prove as successful as Mel Gibson’s gritty and controversial “Passion of the Christ,” the top-grossing Christian movie of all time? ……….. Click here for full story


Largest Christian Pentecost Celebration In Israel’s Modern History

At the 11,600-seater Jerusalem Pais Arena in Israel Monday morning, workers here were busy trying to get the brand new 40,000-square-meter facility ready for what could be the largest Christian Pentecost Sunday celebration in the Jewish nation’s modern history……….. Click here for full story


Liberals Pressing Hard To Make Pedophilia Legal In Preparation Of Sharia Law In America

Months ago, I wrote a piece on the perversions of Islam. I had to begin it with a warning.

I know that the greater percentage of readers of NTEB are Christian, and the content of that article was so disgusting – I told people to stop reading if they could not handle knowing what the Muslims do. It’s all from the Qu’ran. Muhammad literally wrote the book on perversion.

I wrote on the practice of Islamic female genital mutilation. I also wrote about grown men having sex or foreplay with girls younger than nine years old. Oh yes! Even the Ayatollah summed up the guidelines of how men are to derive sexual pleasure with young girls and boys according to their book:

“A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate vaginally, but sodomising the child is acceptable. If a man does penetrate and damage the child then, he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl will not count as one of his four permanent wives and the man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister… It is better for a girl to marry at such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband’s house, rather than her father’s home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven. Tahrirolvasyleh”, fourth edition, Qom, Iran, 1990 source

liberals-pressing-hard-for-legalized-pedophilia-to-prepare-america-for-sharia-law-islam-muslims

After reading that, can you understand that men in Islamic culture, consider boys, girls and women to be “property” and not a person. And can you believe that the greatest cheerleaders of these perverts are the liberal press and our liberal politicians? Liberalism IS a mental disorder. I’m convinced of that.

SHARIA LAW

Ok, now stay with me: The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood and all of its minions, is world domination. That is, to instate Sharia law in every country. We are seeing this in America right now. The Islamization of Dearborn, MI, AKA Dearbornistan, is so blatant, that Americans tread lightly there, and some are in a constant state of fear. We are seeing it in Texas. There are outcries by Americans, but the Islamists are bound and determined to see America with Sharia law in all 50 States.

But in order to achieve this lofty goal of Sharia Law, something MUST be done about those pesky pedophilia laws in every state. Enter NY Times.

“Hey remember when crazy right wingers predicted that gay marriage would lead to legalizing polygamy? Well that happened. Also they predicted that the next step would be to seek the same civil rights protections for pedophiles. And that’s happening in no less a forum than the New York Times which couldn’t find any terrorists to slot into its op-ed page and went with pedophilia instead.

How can you possibly make child rape sympathetic? Liberals always find a way.

Think back to your first childhood crush. Maybe it was a classmate or a friend next door. Most likely, through school and into adulthood, your affections continued to focus on others in your approximate age group. But imagine if they did not.

By some estimates, 1 percent of the male population continues, long after puberty, to find themselves attracted to prepubescent children. These people are living with pedophilia, a sexual attraction to prepubescents that often constitutes a mental illness.

This is so dishonest on so many levels that if boggles the mind. Pedophilia isn’t some sort of delayed development. Like rape, it’s about power. It’s not a mental illness. No more than homosexuality is. Framing it this way suggests that it’s something everyone grows out of.

But this is the liberal playbook.

1. Make evil seem relatable and sympathetic

2. Project its actions as uncontrollable due to persecution

3. Suggest that understanding evil will prevent it from committing more abuses

All three are present here.

A second misconception is that pedophilia is a choice. Recent research, while often limited to sex offenders — because of the stigma of pedophilia — suggests that the disorder may have neurological origins.

Well if it’s not a choice, then it’s not a crime. Men with pedophilia are three times more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous, a finding that strongly suggests a neurological cause.

Gays are also more likely to be left-handed. But assuming that there’s a neurological cause confuses correlation with causation at best. Without legal protection, a pedophile cannot risk seeking treatment or disclosing his status to anyone for support. He could lose his job, and future job prospects

We should make a sitcom to teach people to accept them.

There’s no question that the extension of civil rights protections to people with pedophilia must be weighed against the health and safety needs of others, especially kids. It stands to reason that a pedophile should not be hired as a grade-school teacher.

Oh you kidders. Ten years from now they’ll have to hire them or be sued for discrimination. Twenty years later, Disney will punish employees who work in the boy scouts because they won’t let pedophiles become Scoutmasters.

We already saw this movie. We know how it ends.

The direct-threat analysis rejects the idea that employers can rely on generalizations; they must assess the specific case and rely on evidence, not presuppositions. Those who worry that employers would be compelled to hire dangerous pedophiles should look to H.I.V. case law, where for years courts were highly conservative, erring on the side of finding a direct threat, even into the late 1990s, when medical authorities were in agreement that people with H.I.V. could work safely in, for example, food services.

So we shouldn’t worry that courts will force schools to hire pedophiles as teachers because they forced cafeterias to hire workers with HIV?

Arguing for the rights of scorned and misunderstood groups is never popular, particularly when they are associated with real harm. It’s always popular when you’re a liberal. Unlike arguing for the rights of children abused by the liberal victim of the month.

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with mental disabilities, in areas such as employment, education and medical care. Congress, however, explicitly excluded pedophilia from protection under these two crucial laws.

Okay I’m done. Will the last one still subscribing to the New York Times please use it to clean this up. Now the New York Times chose to run this, but censored McCain’s op-ed when he was running against Obama. That says it all. [1] – source

So you see, this is the newest liberal goal. They must make pedophilia a choice, not a crime! These knuckleheads are so pro Muslim/Sharia law/and Jihad, they are willing to allow these twisted, animalistic perverts, to hurt our children for the sake of their great cause. The liberals are completely duped into believing that the jihadist Muslims love them, because they speak for them.

What a surprise it will be, when the liberal press and politicians are thrown to their knees and hear the words “Submit or die!” All we can do at this point is get on OUR knees and pray to our Lord that He might give America one more chance.

Personally, I believe it’s too late.

MARANATHA!

 

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Pope Francis Appoints Radically Liberal, Pro-Homosexual Priest To Vatican Council

Pope Francis has appointed radically liberal, pro-homosexual Dominican Father Timothy Radcliffe as a consultor for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” Revelation 16:13 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pope Francis, the man we deem likely to fulfill the role of the False Prophet of Revelation, will bring the LGBT into the Catholic Church, with full papal blessing. And as such, the Catholic Church will cease to preach against homosexuality as the Pope continues to build the end times One World Religion, where all points of view will be welcome except that of the bible believing Christian.

The Holy Father made the appointment on Saturday, according to Vatican Radio. Father Radcliffe, an Englishman, author and speaker, was Master of the Dominican order from 1992 to 2001, and is an outspoken proponent of homosexuality.

pope-francis-appoints-homosexual-priest-timothy-radcliffe-to-pontifical-council

“We must accompany gay people as they discern what this means, letting our images be stretched open,” he said in a 2006 religious education lecture in Los Angeles. “This means watching ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ reading gay novels, living with our gay friends and listening with them as they listen to the Lord.”

In 2005, as the Vatican deliberated the admission of men with homosexual tendencies to study for the priesthood in the wake of the Church sex abuse scandal, Father Radcliffe said that homosexuality should not bar men from the priesthood, and rather, those who oppose it should be banned.

As a contributor to the 2013 Anglican Pilling Report on human sexual ethics Father Radcliffe said of homosexuality:

How does all of this bear on the question of gay sexuality? We cannot begin with the question of whether it is permitted or forbidden! We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift. We can also see how it can be expressive of mutual fidelity, a covenantal relationship in which two people bind themselves to each other for ever.

Father Radcliffe often celebrated Mass for the U.K. dissident group Soho Masses Pastoral Council (now renamed the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council).

The priest is also a supporter of the proposal of to allow communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. source

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Magnitude 4.1 Earthquake shakes up Calipatria, California

Posted: 20 May 2015 08:25 PM PDT

The West Coast continues to reel from earthquakes as a magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck Calipatria, California. No report of injuries or damage at this time. USGS

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Strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Solomon Islands

Posted: 20 May 2015 08:17 PM PDT

A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but no tsunami was expected and there were no immediate reports of damage. The earthquake, with a magnitude 7.0, was centered near the Santa Cruz Island group between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which measured the quake at magnitude 6.9, said that based in its available data, no tsunami was expected. The quake originally measuring a 7.0 was later downgraded to a 6.8 by the USGS. The South Pacific nations are still recovering from a devastating cyclone that hit the region in March. EP

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Concerns mount as deadly canine flu spreads beyond Midwest – 8 dogs have died, no vaccine

Posted: 20 May 2015 08:13 PM PDT

The same strain of dog flu that has killed pets in the Midwest has been detected in a dog in the metro Atlanta area, according to the University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. And protecting man’s best friend from the potentially deadly virus may involve a low-tech approach for now. The Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory said it identified the first positive case of Canine influenza in Georgia on May 15. The infected dog was coughing, had fever, lethargy and anorexia. It was up to date on its DHLPP, Rabies and Bordetella vaccinations. The affected dog had been in contact with other dogs at a metro Atlanta boarding facility, according to UGA officials. Officials have not revealed which boarding facility the affected dog was in.

But the most common way to avoid viruses like dog flu – vaccinations – won’t work in this case, officials are now saying. That’s because there is no vaccine for this specific strain just yet – only the older more common version. And while some boarding facilities are stepping up vaccination requirements others are taking a wait-and-see approach and not requiring them. “Our local vets don’t recommend that we require this vaccine. They’ve informed us that it give them zero protection to this strain,” an employee of Dog Days Boarding in Buckhead said. The contagious flu strain, known as H3N2, has killed at least 8 dogs and sickened more than 1,700 in the Chicago area, according to NBC News. FULL REPORT

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Tepco may need to dump Fukushima waste water into the sea, UN says

Posted: 20 May 2015 08:07 PM PDT

Tokyo Electric Power Co. should consider discharging water contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi reactor meltdowns into the Pacific Ocean, the International Atomic Energy Agency said. More than four years after the nuclear power-plant disaster in Japan, the United Nations agency renewed pressure for an alternative to holding the tainted water in tanks and offered to help monitor for offshore radiation. “The IAEA team believes it is necessary to find a sustainable solution to the problem of managing contaminated water,” the Vienna-based agency said in a report. “This would require considering all options, including the possible resumption of controlled discharges into the sea.’

Tepco officials are still using water to cool molten nuclear fuel from the reactors and while on-site tanks were installed to hold 800,000 cubic meters of effluent, engineers have battled leaks and groundwater contamination. The assessment, published Thursday, was based on visits by an IAEA team in February and April. The IAEA also said it would send scientists to collect water and sediment samples off the Fukushima coastline to improve data reliability. ‘‘TEPCO is advised to perform an assessment of the potential radiological impact to the population and the environment arising from the release of water containing tritium and any other residual radionuclides to the sea in order to evaluate the radiological significance,’’ the agency said. ‘‘The IAEA team recognizes the need to also consider socio-economic conditions .’’ FULL REPORT

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Tornadoes, Hail and Floods Hit Plains From Texas to Minnesota

Posted: 20 May 2015 08:00 PM PDT

A powerful storm system stretching from Texas to Minnesota brought flash flood warnings early Sunday after kicking up at least 29 damaging tornadoes overnight and pounding the region with baseball-sized hail. Thousands of customers were without power but there were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries.  Forecasters said the system was continuing its march eastward as radar showed storms across Iowa, Missouri and a large area of Texas. Twenty-seven of the tornadoes were a part of the large, violent weather system covering the Plains, according to the Weather Channel.

Two others — one each in Louisiana and Wyoming — were unrelated. Severe storms were likely Sunday for the Upper Midwest and mid-Mississippi Valley, including the possibility of isolated tornadoes. Flash flood warnings were in effect in North Texas, where Johnson County officials responded to 14 high-water calls Sunday morning. Ten people and five dogs were rescued, and the remaining people were safe, said Jamie Moore, the director of Johnson County Emergency Management. FULL REPORT

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Pope Francis Appoints Radically Liberal, Pro-Homosexual Priest To Vatican Council

Posted: 20 May 2015 07:51 PM PDT

POPE FRANCIS HAS APPOINTED RADICALLY LIBERAL, PRO-HOMOSEXUAL DOMINICAN FATHER TIMOTHY RADCLIFFE AS A CONSULTOR FOR THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” Revelation 16:13 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pope Francis, the man we deem likely to fulfill the role of the False Prophet of Revelation, will bring the LGBT into the Catholic Church, with full papal blessing. And as such, the Catholic Church will cease to preach against homosexuality as the Pope continues to build the end times One World Religion, where all points of view will be welcome except that of the bible believing Christian.

The Holy Father made the appointment on Saturday, according to Vatican Radio. Father Radcliffe, an Englishman, author and speaker, was Master of the Dominican order from 1992 to 2001, and is an outspoken proponent of homosexuality. FULL REPORT

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North Texas hit with 10 tornadoes on Tuesday, 42 Tornadoes since April 18th

Posted: 20 May 2015 07:45 PM PDT

The National Weather Service says North Texas had 10 tornadoes last night. That means there have been a total of 42 tornadoes just since April 18th. Three were EF 1s and seven were EF 0s. There were several tornadoes, high winds, hail and flooding late Tuesday night, mostly in Palo Pinto, Ellis, Denton and Wise counties.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado that inflicted heavy damage to houses and apartment buildings in Runaway Bay, which is about 50 miles northwest of Fort Worth. FULL REPORT

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Boy Scouts Banned From Water Pistol Fights Because They Involve “Simulated Firearms”

Posted: 20 May 2015 02:16 PM PDT

Boy Scouts In the US have been all but prohibited from engaging in water gun fights and water balloon tomfoolery by scouting officials citing a lack of kindness in the activity. Water pistols and other toys such as rubber band guns and potato guns have been banned for anything other than target practice, and “eye protection must be worn,” according to page 99 of the 2015 Boy Scout handbook. The handbook also provides ludicrous guidelines, stating “For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball.”

Scouting Magazine’s Bryan Wendell flagged the new rules in a blog post, citing the ‘kindness’ rule scouts must follow. “Why the rule?” Wendell added. “A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: “A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?” “Our mission is to prepare young people for life and part of that duty is to ensure our youth become civically-minded adults,” said Michigan Crossroads Council of Boy Scouts spokesperson Kerrie Mitchell. FULL REPORT

 

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House Democrat Introduces Gun Registry Bill

Posted: 20 May 2015 02:12 PM PDT

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would effectively create a firearms registry by forcing private sellers at gun shows to report sales to the Attorney General and by requiring gun show organizers to register with the Justice Dept. The bill, H.R. 2380, would also force gun show organizers to provide the identities of all their vendors to the Attorney General. “The legislation would call on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to hire investigators to inspect gun shows and examine records kept by gun show operators and vendors,” The Hill reported.

For the past several years the Justice Dept. has been pressuring banks to refuse service to gun stores, so if gun show organizers and private sellers are forced to provide information to the Attorney General, expect to see more gun owners and dealers blacklisted by banks.“Federal law enforcers are targeting merchant categories like payday lenders, ammunition and tobacco sales, and telemarketers – but not merely by pursuing those merchants directly,” Jason Oxman, the CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, wrote on the subject. “Rather, Operation Choke Point is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands.” FULL REPORT

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Men Used Federal Student Loan Money To Join ISIS

Posted: 20 May 2015 01:58 PM PDT

Two of the Twin Cities men accused of trying to join ISIS are now charged with student loan fraud. Investigators say both Hamza Ahmed, 19, and Hanad Musse, 19, used more than $1,000 from federal student loan accounts for plane tickets to Turkey and Greece. Prosecutors say they were really going to Syria to join ISIS. On Tuesday, prosecutors combined two separate cases, meaning that seven young Minnesota friends will eventually be tried together for allegedly trying to join the terror group.

Prosecutors combined the case of Ahmed, who was arrested and charged in February, with that of six young men who were arrested in April. Prosecutors say Ahmed’s arrest should have served as a warning to the others. The initials of some of those who were arrested in April appear in the Ahmed complaint. FULL REPORT

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Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, May 21, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Man Spends 10 Years Handwriting and Illustrating Bible, Sells It for Charity

Collateral Damage? 63 Churches Hit in Syrian Civil War

NBA MVP Stephen Curry: The Holy Spirit is Moving through Our Locker Room

5-Year-Old Feeds, Prays with Homeless Man in Waffle House

‘Cowboy Pastor’ Spreads the Gospel by Riding a Bull in Church

Chinese Woman Ordered to Have Late-Term Abortion to Keep Job

Atheist Activist Plans to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ from US Currency

Michigan Pastor Resigns after Caught Sharing Photos on Gay Dating App

Michael W Smith Donates VIP Concert Experience and Signed Guitar to Help Military Families

New Classroom Curriculum Will Teach Gender Fluidity as Normative

Opinion

Good News in Las Vegas, Iraq and Waco

Philosophers Accuse Intact Families of Unfair Advantage

Religious Liberty at Risk as Supreme Court Approaches Gay Marriage Decision

For SBC Missionaries, The Baptist Faith and Message is the Touchstone

Bright Spots and Tough Challenges for Evangelicals in Pew Survey


Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


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). “A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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.

May 21, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Maybe Christianity In America Is Dying Because It’s Boring Everyone To Death

That’s how you stop the “decline” of Christianity in America. Tell people the truth. The truth, that’s all. Move them. Love them. Make them feel anger, and fear, and longing, and sadness, and happiness, and hope, and determination. All of these things. These are all a part of our Faith, because our Faith is everything. As Chesterton said, “there is more in it; it finds more in existence to think about; it gets more out of life.” Yes, Christianity gets more out of life. And whatever it gets might not be comfortable, convenient, or relaxing, but at least it isn’t boring. And best of all, it’s true.

Read more


If the Supreme Court Imposes Same Sex Marriage, You Could Lose Your Church

Imagine if your house of worship needed to turn a hefty profit, so it could pay the same taxes on its property and income as a casino or a strip joint — unlike Planned Parenthood, since that abortion business is a tax-exempt (and federally funded) “charity.” Imagine if none of the money you gave your church were deductible from your taxes, unlike the money you sent to Greenpeace.

Read more


The Sabbath In All Of History

If Adam, in Eden, would have decided to make an idol, he would have sinned. If Adam, in Eden, would have murdered or would have stolen, he would have sinned. However, if Adam failed to set up cities of refuge in Eden, he would not have sinned. The moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, was binding for him. The other laws are specific applications of this moral law to the people of Israel, or to the world as a whole now stained with sin.

Read more


Two Preaching Giants And The ‘Betrayal’ That Tore Them Apart

The tension between Andy and his father had been building even before the divorce. They were partners in ministry, but they were becoming rivals. As Andy’s congregation started outdrawing his father’s, people told Charles that his son was becoming a prima donna who wanted to take over the entire church.

Read more


Will The Real Anglicanism Please Stand Up?

By Reformation Anglicanism, I mean Anglicanism as it developed during the time of the Reformation. Reformation Anglicanism was dominant in the Church of England from the reign of Edward VI through Elizabeth I (of course, with the exception of Mary Tudor’s reign). Reformation Anglicanism was largely formed under the leadership of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer. It claims such heroes as Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, John Jewell, and Richard Hooker to name a few.

Read more


Can You Be A Christian Without Believing In Christ?

What if morality isn’t the heart of Christianity but a byproduct of the Christian gospel? The gospel is not about good people getting better but about bad people being made right with God. It’s not about humans making the world a better place but the Son of God making the world his home and then dying and rising to save us.

Read more


Ask a Swedish Pro-Life Midwife about Her Country’s Reputation for Tolerance

Mona Sahlin, the national coordinator against violent extremism, proclaimed in February at a conference on religion and democracy that the “one who refuses to participate in abortions is an extreme religious practitioner,” one who is simply “on a different level from the Islamic State” — that is, a pro-life medical practitioner is like ISIS, just not as extreme.

Read more


The Free Church of Scotland General Assembly – Day 2

All in all it was a thrilling day – if somewhat bizarre. The impression left on my heart is just simply that whether the footman at the door, the Lady at the table, or the beggar on the street – all of them need to hear about and be invited to, the Feast of the King of Kings.

Read more


“Q” Is Cool

This is theologically flawed! Both Jesus (Matthew 19:5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) cite Genesis 2:24 as normative for sexual ethics. What distorted machinations will bright minds employ to justify a subjectively chosen, culture-pleasing view of moral practice? I never thought I would live to read such unsustainable argumentation from the pens of so-called Evangelical scholars!

Read more


Christians Should Be Seen But Not Heard?

When I was a child one thing I would hear too often from my parents was “Children are to be seen, but not heard”. We were to be submissive and obedient children but not express opinions when adults were in the room. Are we seeing this philosophy imposed on Bible-believing Christians these days? Christians around […]

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The Curse of Magic Christianity

by Scott Alan Buss

Praying that God will do miraculously what we refuse to do through obedience Why do we pray for God to “magically” do what He has commanded and equipped us to do through His Spirit and Word? Why do we pray for God to “do something” to protect our children from the consequences of the very things […]

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Heaven Is Fo Reals! (And other extra-biblical “revelations”)

by Scott Alan Buss

People inherently love to learn about Jesus and Heaven. Not the real Jesus or the real (purged of sin and unrepentant sinners) world to come, of course, but the happy, fluffy, man-affirming versions that they’ve made up in their self-referential little heads. You know, smiling, happy, uncritical Jesus, and “everybody but Hitler will be there” Heaven. As for learning […]

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National Review: For gay marriage and against Christian teaching

by Denny Burk

I am not going to write an extended refutation of Jason Lee Steorts’s National Review article defending legal same-sex marriage. His arguments have been dealt with extensively elsewhere (see here or here for instance). But several quick comments are in order:

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The blandness of relevance

by Michael Riley

Some thoughts by Matt Walsh on the banality of contemporary Christianity.


Assemblies of God exposed to New Apostolic Reformation through Empowered21

by Marsha West

According to John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire, the apostate New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement has infiltrated the Assemblies of God (AG), a Pentecostal Christian denomination. Lanagan fills us in on the E21 event that is currently going on in Jerusalem. NAR “prophetess” Cindy Jacobs “was not only a featured speaker … at the Amman, Jordan event, but is the co-chair of the Jerusalem2015 Prophecy and The End Times Ministry Track.”

A few comments, observations, and a question or two for Assemblies of God General Superintendent George Wood and his E21 co-chair, Billy Wilson of Oral Roberts University:

Sit under the teaching, gifting, and anointing of the world’s top Spirit-empowered pastors, leaders, and teachers. –E21 promotional for Jerusalem 2015 event [1]

In the past few years we have seen a dilution of biblical doctrine occurring throughout the Body of Christ. Now, it seems anything called “Jesus”—The Shack and Jesus Calling come to mind—is welcomed without question by huge numbers of Christians.

Is the same thing happening in terms of the Holy Spirit? Are increasing numbers in the visible church beginning to place less emphasis on doctrine in order to facilitate Spirit-empowered unity?

This brings us to the Empowered21 organization:

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Here’s the New Liturgical Revolution

by Christopher Ames

We’ve raised concerns here that “liturgy” is in danger of becoming a new means to the same self-affirming ends that much contemporary worship often unwittingly pursues. In other words, you can worship a god who is just like you using forms that arose in the Christian tradition just as easily as you can worship a god who is just like you using forms that arose in night clubs. This is not to say that form is adiaphora, but it is to say that human depravity can flourish anywhere. Good form is good, but good form can be employed by idolators; and when so employed, it will seem to lend legitimacy to their idolatry.

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Ruth Bader Ginsberg Officiates Same-Sex ‘Wedding’ as Supreme Court Deliberates National Case

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated a same-sex “wedding” last weekend as the nation’s high court deliberates a monumental case that will decide states’ rights regarding the definition of marriage.

Ginsburg wore her traditional black robe and lace collar as she presided over the ceremony of Michael Kahn and Charles Mitchem. According to reports, Ginsburg put an emphasis on the word “Constitution” as she declared that she was uniting them under the “powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States.”

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MOVIEGUIDE Props Up Profane Preacher

by Marsha West

Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly. What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian. Don’t stop reading here. This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber. What it’s about is his pastor, Judah Smith, who is a rising star in Christendom. Smith is the teaching pastor of The City Church, a megachurch in Seattle. His wife and mother, who started the church with her late husband, are two of several City Church pastrixes. I should point out that it is unbiblical for women to be pastors and elders.

The late Ken Silva, Christian apologist and owner of Apprising Ministries, once called Judah Smith a “charismatic quasi-prosperity preacher.” If you’re unfamiliar with the Word of Faith/prosperity gospel (name-it-and-claim-it), it is outright heresy. Some readers will likely disagree with me on this and may even think I’m being too harsh. So I urge you to do as the Bereans did by going to the Word of God to see if what I say is true. (1 John 4:1)

A few years ago when Pastor Smith was first becoming a rising star, Ken Silva produced a short video showing him addressing a crowd of 60,000 young people under the age of twenty-five at the 2013 Passion Conference. While the founder of Passion, Louis Giglio, looked on, Smith paraded around the stage abusing the Lord’s Name. Yes, a “pastor” chose to use OMG five times. (See the video below) Perhaps he did it for shock value. Or maybe he uses the Lord’s Name in vain all the time and didn’t realize he was saying what he said. Regardless, when it comes to the clergy, neither of these reasons holds water.

Smith certainly knows the Bible warns about the power of words. He’s also aware that the Christian’s role is to glorify God. I mean, that’s what the Passion Conference is all about. According to its website, “Passion exists to glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation.”

Did Smith think that using the Lord’s Name in this way would glorify God? Probably not. I rather suspect he’s aware that Christians have a responsibility to watch how we speak. One can only conclude that he doesn’t think Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…” applies to him.

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Anne Graham Lotz: ‘Return of Jesus in the Rapture’ Will Occur During ‘My Lifetime’

“So the birth pains, the signs that Jesus gives, whether it is in the environmental world or national world, the wars, or the persecution of Christians, the persecution of Jews, when we see that ratcheting up and increasing in frequency and in intensity in the same generation that sees the Gospel being preached to the whole world and Israel reborn as a nation, that’s the generation that is the last,” Lotz stated.

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Some Thought-Provoking Quotes By Emerging Church Leaders

“My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ,” McManus, author of a new book called The Barbarian Way, said in a telephone interview. “Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right.”—Erwin McManus

“Many Christians use “Breath Prayers” throughout their day. You choose a brief sentence, or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath.” —Rick Warren

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Miley Cyrus May Not Care, But We Should

She’s losing it, but who will tell her the truth? Miley Cyrus is cussing, partying, and twerking in dangerous territory; openly rebelling in the face of the God she once claimed to believe in. Tragically, she may be taking millions of young kids with her. I just saw a concert video clip of her that is too offensive to describe.

Rather than be an enabler or a “yes man,” will someone speak up and warn her before it’s too late? Miley may not care and those closest to her may not care, but I hope they don’t end up regretting it one day. All you and I can do is pray for her from a distance that she will turn to Jesus Christ.

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Blogs

Does R.C. Sproul Believe in Miracles? by R.C. Sproul | Ligonier Ministries Blog

God’s Google | Challies Dot Com

Presence & Absence | Gentle Reformation

Young, Restless, Foolish | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

10 Hidden Traps that Trip Pastors Up – ChurchPastor.com

Sally Lloyd Jones: A Mini Interview | Redeemed Reader

Ireland, Look to America’s Cautionary Tale on Gay Marriage

LGBT Activists Arm For Further War On Free Speech

Can We Have Religious Liberty In Modern America?


Addressing Signs of Leadership Fatigue

By Chuck Lawless

Previously, I posted on “13 Signs of Leadership Fatigue.” Several readers asked me to write a follow up post about ways to deal with these signs. Maybe these suggestions will help you move past leadership fatigue.

1. Living by a “get me through the day” philosophy – You may begin the day with prayer, but surviving the day is your prayer theme.

  • Ask God each day to help you see glimpses of His work like an answered prayer or a restored relationship.
  • Actually watch for those glimpses. Trust that God will show you

2. Losing vision – Fatigued leaders don’t consider vision beyond the end of this workday.

  • While not ignoring the “big picture,” strengthen your vision for one area of the church about which you are passionate.
  • Talk to local leaders about needs in your community. Your vision will expand when you see again the world outside your church.

3. Developing poor sleep patterns – The patterns may vary, but in any case, you’re exhausted.

  • Read scriptures that address resting in God (e.g., Psa. 4:8, Prov. 3:24), and let the Word of God bring you comfort.
  • If the patterns persist, consider talking to your physician – just in case some other underlying cause is present.

4. Declining spiritual disciplines –Weariness leaves little room for anything like Bible study and prayer that requires “discipline.”

  • Reading one more verse a day or praying one more minute each day is positive. So, do that – read a little more, and pray a little longer each day.
  • Take a brief retreat from the needs of the people around you (Luke 5:15-16). It’s not only okay to get away from people to be with God; it’s necessary.

5. Repeating lessons and sermons – Finding something in the file is much less draining than the hard work of praying about and developing a sermon or lesson.

  • Invite a guest speaker for a week. That guest might have something to say to you while you rest.
  • Teach through a shorter book of the Bible. Its brevity will help you stay focused, and the intentionality of study will revive you.

6. Faking joy and excitement – Few actions are more exhausting than pretending to have joy you don’t have.

  • Bear your soul before God. He won’t be surprised by your thoughts.
  • Do something in your ministry that really does excite you. If it’s taking a church member to a ball game, do it. If it’s sitting in the woods and praying, do that.

7. Frustrating family members – Leaders who fight to get through the day often dump on their family when they get home.

  • Don’t talk about work for the first two hours at home. Spend that time focusing on your family.
  • Give your spouse permission to say, “Honey, you’re dumping too much on me” – and then stop.

8. Magnifying minors – What seemed insignificant last month is unexpectedly huge when we’re tired.

  • It might sound silly, but count to ten (or 100, if needed) or take a walk before determining what’s really important.
  • Ask yourself, “Will this issue really matter a year from now?” If not, file it under “Not as important as I thought.”

9. Failing to return emails and phone calls – Weary leaders tend to delay responding to others, if they choose to respond at all.

  • Calendar a daily time to return communications (preferably no more than one hour).
  • Handle the most stressful stuff first. Get it out of the way, using your time wisely because other emails and phone calls wait.

10. Misdirecting affections – When nothing they do brings joy, fatigued leaders sometimes turn to others for affirmation.

  • Go back to #7 above, and reinvest your time in your family.
  • Talk to yourself throughout the day: “I’m really stupid if I do this . . . ,” and RUN from temptation.

11. Decreasing exercise – Professional and emotional fatigue quickly lead to physical tiredness. Exercise becomes that much more difficult.

  • Take 10-minute walks throughout the day. Get out of your office.
  • Find a workout partner to hold you accountable to increasing your exercise.

12. Focusing on a “grass is greener” syndrome –Every other role, it seems, is suddenly better than our current one.

  • Force yourself to make a list of God’s blessings in your current ministry.
  • If you can’t create that list, ask someone in the church to help you. I suspect others see God’s hand where you may not. Give thanks in all things.

13. Avoiding people who speak truth – When we know we’re tired of leading, it’s just easier to avoid people who know us well enough to recognize the problem.  

  • Don’t avoid those persons; invite them to lunch. Sharing your burden will be good for you.
  • Choose to listen more than complain.

 

What other suggestions do you have?


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.

The post Addressing Signs of Leadership Fatigue appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


The Daily Discovery (May 21, 2015)

 

When Feelings Triumph Over Truth, Sin Is Revealed – “It continually amazes me when professing Christians behave like unbelievers—insulted by God’s Word, repulsed by discipline and loving reproof (or strong rebuke when necessary), and deferring to their feelings rather than the Word of God.”

Spurgeon Speaks: The Priority of Pastoral Ministry – “The great 19th century pastor, Charles Spurgeon, was committed to training young men for pastoral ministry. One of the ways he did this was by giving regular lectures to the young men attending his Pastor’s College. Spurgeon wanted to prepare the young men for the rigors of ministry…”

Christians, Now Is Probably A Good Time To Stop Watching “Game of Thrones” – “Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve gotten many emails from people asking my opinion of Christians watching ‘Game of Thrones.’  Here it is.  Of course, ‘Game of Thrones’ isn’t the whole issue, just one example. In general, many of us have become pretty permissive and lackadaisical about the media we choose to consume, and I think it’s a worthy and important thing to discuss.

Talk with your deceased loved ones using new virtual-reality software – “Paranormal Games is the brainchild of Steve Koutsouliotas and Nick Stavrou. Before Project Elysium, they released titles such as ‘Flappy Ears’ (in which a player takes the role of big-eared Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and dodges spiky pillars, using only the flapping power of his ears), and Dead Kitty Racket (in which you … yes, hit dead kittens with a racket). Judging from their previous endeavors, Project Elysium will either be an interesting or bizarre experience.”

Pastor resigns after outed on Grindr – “This piece is posted on USA Today. The actual headline reads ‘Antigay pastor resigns after outed on Grindr.’ There’s nothing in the article that comes close to showing that Matthew Makela is antigay. The writer quotes him as saying that he supports biblical marriage. Apparently USA Today would like its readers to think that anyone who supports biblical marriage is antigay. No, we’re ‘probible’ and those who reject the Bible’s teaching are ‘antichrists.’”


SERMON:

C.H. Spurgeon – Self Delusion


VIDEOS:

Do not let people tell you to put your sword away.

Heckled By Chance


“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

The post The Daily Discovery (May 21, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Judgment Before Rapture?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Do you think America will be judged before the Rapture? America has changed drastically the last 6-10 years and I do not recognize her any more. Is it wrong to ask God to spare America and the Christians who live there?  I long to see King Jesus and my family.  I have many there including my first born and only son.  I am so ready, especially since my children are covered and my granchildren are under the age of accountability.

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Earthquakes And Volcanoes

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  My question is in regard to the recent earthquake activity.  Since God’s wrath doesn’t start until the tribulation, are the earthquake “birth pangs” a result of creation crying out for Christ’s return?

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The Lord’s Army?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.   Is the Body of Christ, the Church, anywhere in Scripture, referred to as His army? This claim, based on Hebrews 10:5 as the reference, according to this source, has a double meaning, the first one being that God prepared a body for Jesus as the ultimate and final sacrifice for sin. This ministry takes this further and says that also means God is preparing an army from the Church which has become His Body. This person refers to this Scripture’s meaning as multiple layers, like an onion, with more than one layer of meaning. This seems not right to me. We are His Church, His Body, His Bride. But His Army?

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


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


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The Future of Christianity is Sub-Saharan Africa

Zwinglius Redivivus

Via Conrad Hackett on the Twitter

christianity

Christianity is declining in Asia, Europe (dramatically) and North America.  It is holding steady in the Middle East and is only on the rise (dramatically) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

By the middle of the century African Christians will be sending missionaries to Europe and North America.  And I’ll say ‘I told ya so’.

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Our Lord’s example of being angry but not sinning

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” (John 2:12-16 NASB)

Some today have made a caricature of our Lord Jesus Christ. This man-made image is far from the truth we see in…

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