Daily Archives: August 7, 2015

August 7, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Intelligence Briefing Report

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Aug. 7, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Friday’s labor-market report showed that the number of full-time U.S. jobs as a share of total employment rose to 81.7 percent, the highest level since November 2008. For those worried (including not a few presidential candidates) that this economic recovery has been one that’s created only low-quality jobs, this should be really good news.

Bill Gross, money manager at Janus Capital Group Inc., said the global economy is “dangerously close to deflationary growth.”

The Obama administration said the U.S. can reimpose sanctions against Iran “in a matter of days” if Iran violates terms of its nuclear accord, as Republicans sparred further with officials over the deal.

A group of China-linked hackers that has mowed through the databanks of major American health insurers and stolen personnel records of U.S. military and intelligence agencies has struck at the heart of the nation’s air-travel system, say people familiar with investigations of the attacks.

Record-high egg prices in the U.S. are forcing restaurants to get creative with their advertisements. Denny’s Corp. is pushing burgers instead of omelets, while Dunkin’ Donuts is advertising smoothies and iced coffees. Panda Express has swapped in corn for the eggs in its fried rice. Blame bird flu for the changes. The worst U.S. outbreak of the disease killed more than 48 million fowl in the six months through mid-June. That sent prices surging 31 percent to a record $2.57 for a dozen large eggs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumers paid just $1.96 in May.

China has been struggling to tame its shadow banks for years. Now, a stock market crash has hamstrung some of the fastest growing ones in a matter of weeks. Loans from sources such as online lenders for equity purchases have plunged by at least 700 billion yuan ($113 billion), a drop of 61 percent from this year’s peak, after authorities banned them from funding stock buying in July.

From another economic recession to a juicy corruption scandal embroiling President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil has had a tough 2015. It’s now looking down the barrel of another likely event: a junk rating of its government bonds.

AP Top Stories

It looks like Russian hackers made a significant breach into the Pentagon’s email system. Officials tell NBC News that Russia has launched a “sophisticated cyberattack” against the unclassified email system of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The US Coast Guard said it has seized $181 million worth of cocaine from a submarine-like vessel in the eastern Pacific Ocean, but even more drugs sank during the bust.

The remains of two Japanese climbers who disappeared in the Swiss Alps in 1970 have been found after emerging from melting ice, police said Thursday.

A team of U.S. regulators probing contamination at a Colorado gold mine accidentally released a million gallons of orange-hued waste water containing sediment and metals into a local river system. Media images showed a trio of kayakers floating down a mustard-yellow stretch of the Animas River, near Durango.

For the first time in decades, the U.S. government is authorizing a wide range of large-scale sea travel to Cuba. Since declaring detente in December, the Obama administration has issued permits to dozens of sailboats, at least five ferry companies, four cruise lines and the Palm Beach-based yacht broker that chartered out the Still Water. The 78-foot yacht features satellite Internet, four staterooms and a wet bar.

China’s top policy maker on Taiwan warned the self-ruled island on Thursday it would soon have to choose between continuing the peaceful development of ties, or returning to the “evil ways” of independence, which would threaten the peace.

North Korea announced Friday it was moving its clocks back 30 minutes to create a new “Pyongyang Time” — breaking from a standard imposed by “wicked” Japanese imperialists more than a century ago.

A Thai man was jailed for 30 years on Friday for “insulting” the monarchy on Facebook, in one of the toughest known sentences passed under the junta-ruled kingdom’s draconian lese majeste law.

An extraordinary collection of shipwrecked 17th and 18th century Spanish treasure discovered off the coast of Florida has sold in New York for about $2 million, an auction house said

BBC

The UN has adopted a resolution aimed at identifying those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

A Bangladeshi blogger known for his atheist views has been hacked to death by a gang armed with machetes in the capital Dhaka, police said.

Doctors in Ghana have stopped providing emergency services in a strike over better allowances and free training.

Russia has bulldozed a pile of Western-produced cheese and tons of other foodstuffs imported in violation of sanctions. The country has also steamrollered fruit and burnt a huge pile of bacon. The destruction has caused an outcry from anti-poverty campaigners who say it should have been given to the poor.

WND

Terrorists with ISIS stormed a town in the central Syrian province of Homs and took at least 230 people hostage, including dozens of Christians who were attending church.

While some Texans were planning to monitor American soldiers during Jade Helm exercises, three men in North Carolina were plotting to kill them. The FBI used wire taps, visual surveillance and a secret informant to track the alleged terrorists as they stockpiled weapons and gathered components to make explosives. According to court documents, apparent ringleader Walter Eugene Litteral owned 99 acres in South Carolina and “intended to booby-trap the camp and draw government forces into the camp and kill them.”


Top News – 8/7/2015

5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near Cabo San Lucas
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Gulf of California, about 92 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at 9:34 p.m. on Thursday. Tucson is about 600 miles to the northeast of the epicenter.

1st food and drink on moon: Holy communion
I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe. For there are many of us in the NASA program who do trust that what we are doing is part of God’s eternal plan for man.”

Reported Russian Cyber Attack Shuts Down Pentagon Network
Russia successfully conducted a “sophisticated cyberattack” on the Pentagon in late July, shutting down the unclassified email system for the Joint Staff for nearly two weeks and affecting roughly 4,000 federal employees, officials tell NBC News.

China set to provide Iran with fighter jets in $1 billion deal
According to a report in the Taiwanese press, China is set to provide the Islamic Republic with 24 J-10 fighter jets. In exchange, Iran will permit China access to its largest oil field for the next 20 years. The total estimated value of the deal is $1 billion.

Top Iranian Terror Commander Meets with Putin
Iranian Revolutionary Guards leader Qassem Soleimani met with Russian officials last month, senior Western intelligence officials leaked to the press Friday, despite a travel ban from the UN. Soleimani met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin on July 24, Fox News reported.

BIG SUNSPOT TURNS TOWARD EARTH
What a difference a few days can make. Earlier this week, sunspot AR2396 was completely invisible. Now it has grown into a behemoth more than 120,000 km wide.

‘Where is the outrage?’ asks family of ‘unarmed’ white teen shot dead by police
More than a week after Hammond’s death, his family’s attorney says race is almost certainly playing a role in the disconcerting silence. Unlike the victims in the highest-profile police shootings over the past year — in cities from Ferguson and Cleveland to North Charleston and Cincinnati — Hammond was white. “It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen,” Mr Bland told The Washington Post this week. “The hypocrisy that has been shown toward this is really disconcerting.”

Strong quake hits Rwanda
A strong earthquake struck Rwanda and shook most of the capital Kigali on Friday morning. The magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit Rwanda at 3.25am local time (01.25 GMT), the United States Geological Survey reported. The epicentre of the earthquake was located 35 km north of Cyangugu city in western Rwanda, occurring at a shallow depth of 10 km.

5.3 quake in Mexico Sea of Cortez, 119km northeast of San Jose del Cabo – USGS
The tremor took place 142 kilometers from the city of La Paz at 04:34 GMT. The town has a population of about 200,000 people and is 148 kilometers from Cabo San Lucas with nearly 70,000 inhabitants.

DR Congo earthquake kills two children in Bukavu
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake has hit eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing two children, Information Minister Lambert Mende has said. It was also felt in neighbouring Rwanda were authorities reported minor injuries. The epicentre of the quake was near Lake Tanganyika and Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province in DR Congo, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Islamic State abducts dozens of Christians from Syrian town
Islamic State militants have abducted dozens of Christian families after seizing a strategically located town in the central Syrian province of Homs, a monitor said on Friday. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 230 people were kidnapped, including dozens of Christians, some of whom were taken from a church in Qaryatain, the town captured overnight after heavy fighting with the Syrian army.

Commander of elite Iranian force met with Russian leaders despite US sanctions
According to reports…in July, the chief of Iran’s elite Quds Force visited Moscow to meet with senior Russian figures, violating international sanctions and travel restrictions placed on key members of the Iranian regime. Qassem Suleimani…was allegedly in Russia between between July 24 and July 26, shortly before Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before a Senate Armed Services Committee…

Egypt unveils Suez Canal extension with pomp-filled ceremony
In a defining moment of his young presidency, Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi presided Thursday over the unveiling of a major extension of the Suez Canal that he hailed as a historic feat needed to revive the country’s ailing economy after years of unrest.

Trump jolts first GOP debate, rivals scramble for attention
A combative Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman-turned-presidential candidate, jolted the first Republican debate of the 2016 campaign by warning he might run as an independent if denied the GOP nomination. His startling declaration left his onstage rivals scrambling to compete for attention the rest of the night.

Police say truck bomb in Kabul kills 7 people, wounds 400
A bomb hidden in a truck exploded in the center of the Afghan capital, killing seven people and wounding about 400, police and health officials said Friday.

French Government: Woman Kidnapped in Yemen Set Free
France said a woman who was kidnapped in Yemen in February has been freed. Isabelle Prime, 31, had been working in Yemen for the World Bank for about a year when she was kidnapped. She is now in the hands of French authorities and will be returned to France “in the coming hours,” according to a statement early Friday from the presidential Elysee palace.

The Saudi Oil Price War Is Backfiring
Saudi Arabia has long enjoyed the status of being the top crude oil exporter in the world. With record production of 10.564 million barrels per day in June 2015, Saudi Arabia has been one of the major driving forces behind the current oil price slump. The Saudis have kept their production levels high since last year in order to drive other players (especially U.S. shale drillers) out of business. Equally clear is the fact that this strategy of maintaining the glut and driving out rivals hasn’t worked so far.


Top Headlines – 8/7/2015

Gulf expert: Arab states oppose Iran deal but don’t want to show agreement with Israel

‘Israel, American war-mongers, alone in crying about deal’, boasts Rouhani

Two top congressional Democrats announce opposition to Iran nuclear deal

Former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar Says Western Confrontation With Iran Inevitable

Quds Force commander Soleimani visited Moscow, met Russian leaders in defiance of sanctions

Netanyahu: Those who condemn terror against Palestinians silent on terror against Jews

Gaza militants fire rockets at southern Israel, no injuries reported

4 Palestinians killed, 30 injured in explosion in Gaza

Palestinian strikes three IDF soldiers with vehicle in West Bank terror attack

Hamas and Islamic Jihad praise West Bank terror attack as ‘heroic act’

Ya’alon: Lone terrorists pose a challenge to security forces

UNRWA warns $101m. shortfall may delay school openings for Palestinian children

Thousands of Gazan children graduate Hamas military summer camp

Summer camps offer hope for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Palestinians

Turkish Muslims Rebuild Synagogue, Embrace Jews

Burning of Christian churches in Israel justified, far-Right Jewish leader says

Israeli Defense Officials Say Hezbollah Boosting Recruitment in Druze Village Near Syrian Border

Security Council Measure Aims to Identify Chlorine Bomb Users in Syria

New diplomatic push for Syria seen, but solution elusive

ISIS calls for jihad in Germany, targets Merkel before killing captives in latest video

Saudi state TV: Suicide bombing at Saudi mosque kills 17

ISIS claims responsibility for Saudi mosque suicide bombing

Islamic State trades women like barrels of oil, says UN

Islamic State abducts dozens of Christians from Syrian town

Mideast archbishops see US discrimination against Christian refugees in grant of visas

Truck bomb in Kabul kills eight, wounds hundreds

Surge in mafia attacks on journalists in Italy

Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets

Violent crimes reigniting debate over immigration laws

Greece bailout expected after August 15

Another Major Pillar of the Bull Market Is Collapsing

Saudi Arabia Might Just Have Blinked In The Oil War

The Saudi Oil Price War Is Backfiring

Russia ‘strongly suspected’ of new Pentagon cyberattack

The Sun and M8+ Earthquakes: The SPF Trigger

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Fiji Islands

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Kabare, Democratic Republic of the Congo

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Cyangugu, Rwanda

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits off the coast of Ecuador

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits south of Africa

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Earthquake swarm near Puerto Rico

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 23,000ft

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 20,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 19,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 18,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 18,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 17,000ft

Typhoon Soudelor maintains strength, barrels toward Taiwan

Tropical Storm Hilda Strengthens Far Offshore in Pacific

Tropical depression 15W moves north of Marianas toward Iwo Jima (Iwo To)

Tokyo Heat Wave Enters Eighth Day, Doubling All-Time Record; 55 Confirmed Dead in Japan

Longest Streak of Triple-Digit Heat Since 2013 Forecast in Dallas

Dangerous Heat to Build Across Germany, Poland

Legionnaires’ disease outbreak: 10 dead

Report: Fetal tissue supplier hired by federal health agencies

Former Abortion Clinic Owner: We Pushed Sex Ed on Kids to Create a Market for Abortion

Planned Parenthood backlash opens Pandora’s Box in Hill budget debate

Alabama makes three states that defunded Planned Parenthood this week

Naples Planned Parenthood Implicated in Latest Abortion Controversy

Franklin Graham Blasts Senator Harry Reid: ‘You Lost Your Moral Compass Years Ago for Supporting Abortion … Murder of Babies in Mothers’ Wombs’

Soul-Searching in Israel After Bias Attacks on Gays and Arabs

Burning of Christian churches in Israel justified, far-Right Jewish leader says

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood and Racism — The Real Legacy

Islamic State abducts dozens of Christians from Syrian town

Bangladesh mob kills another blogger who criticized Islamic religious extremism


Daily Digest

August 7, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[T]here are particular moments in public affairs, when the people stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn.” —James Madison, Federalist No. 63, 1788

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Best of the First Republican Confab

By Mark Alexander

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OK, the “debates” Thursday were endurance exercises, given the number of candidates on both the early and then prime-time stage. We heard from a lot of great Republicans, most of whom are conservatives and connect well with grassroots Patriots across the nation. Because, in both instances, they were answering different questions, there is not an easy “apples to apples” comparison but, as promised, I have compiled a handful of remarks from candidates on the prime-time stage that best represent their platforms.

I commend Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace for asking many good and tough questions — which you would not have heard from CNN moderators if only Democrats were on stage. I note there were some fratricidal bait questions, but most of the candidates avoided attacking each other, and focused on the serious issues threatening Liberty — the result of Barack Obama’s failed domestic policies, and the abysmal failure of Obama/Clinton foreign policies.

In the next 72 hours, the media will be saturated with polls, but as I noted Wednesday in my introduction for this first round matchup of Republicans, “Polls at this stage of a primary are not particularly relevant. I equate them with the weather in Alaska: If you don’t like it, wait 15 minutes.” But reputable polls are somewhat more relevant now that all the candidates have appeared on stage.

I have only one observation about the debate between the second-tier candidates. In my assessment there was one candidate who absolutely shined above all others, and that would be Carly Fiorina, who has earned her way into the first tier. Among other things, she is the “corporate” alternative to Don Trump.

The most consequential question of the whole night was the opener from Bret Baier, who asked for a show of hands from anyone who would not pledge their support for the eventual nominee and instead, run as an independent — and in all probability deliver the presidency to their Democrat opponent. As I noted in “The Trump Card” two weeks ago, “Trump has the potential of being a spoiler in 2016 if his populist campaign lasts beyond 2015 [because] he is a textbook pathological narcissist. He could launch a third ticket and hand the election to Hillary Clinton.”

Predictably, Trump was the only person on stage who raised his hand in response to Baier’s question, and I will leave his supporters to consider the implications.

So in order of their poll rankings entering the first debate, here are just a few remarks that say something significant about each candidate, followed by my own brief assessment of who gained ground on the main stage. (You can read a full annotated transcript of the debate is posted at The Washington Post.)

Donald Trump: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. … We don’t have time for tone. We have to go out and get the job done. … We need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don’t mind having a big, beautiful door in that wall so that people to come into this country legally. … [A single-payer health care system] works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland. … I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said, ‘Be at my wedding,’ and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn’t have a choice because I gave.”

Note: I chose these remarks because Trump’s popularity is based almost solely on his indifference to “PC” and “tone.” However, the most telling thing about Trump was not in his answers, but in this question from Kelly: “Mr. Trump, in 1999, you said you were, quote, ‘very pro-choice,’ even supporting partial-birth abortion. You favored an assault weapons ban as well. In 2004, you said in most cases you identified as a Democrat. Even in this campaign, your critics say you often sound more like a Democrat than a Republican, calling several of your opponents on the stage things like clowns and puppets. When did you actually become a Republican?” In response, Trump said, “As far as being a Republican is concerned, I come from a place, New York City, which is virtually, I mean, it is almost exclusively Democrat. And I have really started to see some of the negatives.”

Jeb Bush: “I’m going to have to earn this. Maybe the barrier — the bar’s even higher for me. That’s fine. I’ve got a record in Florida. I’m proud of my dad, and I’m certainly proud of my brother… I am my own man. I governed as a conservative, and I governed effectively. And the net effect was, during my eight years, 1.3 million jobs were created. We left the state better off because I applied conservative principles in a purple state the right way, and people rose up. … The new normal of 2% [GDP] that the Left is saying you can’t do anything about is so dangerous for our country. There’s six million people living in poverty today, more than when Barack Obama got elected. 6.5 million people are working part-time, most of whom want to work full-time. We’ve created rules and taxes on top of every aspiration of people, and the net result is we’re not growing fast, income is not growing. A 4% growth strategy means you fix a convoluted tax code. You get in and you change every aspect of regulations that are job killers. You get rid of ObamaCare and replace it with something that doesn’t suppress wages and kill jobs.”

Scott Walker: “Let’s be clear, we should be talking about Hillary Clinton … because everywhere in the world that Hillary Clinton touched is more messed up today than before she and the president [came to power]. … It’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than do the members of the United States Congress. … This is not just bad with Iran, this is bad with ISIS. It is tied together, and once and for all, we need a leader who’s going to stand up and do something about it.”

Mike Huckabee: “It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who’s very high in the polls, that doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead. Of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton. … The problem is we have a Wall Street-to-Washington access of power that has controlled the political climate. The donor class feeds the political class who does the dance that the donor class wants. And the result is the federal government keeps getting bigger. Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn’t even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for. And the fact is there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution.”

Ben Carson: “America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation. And that’s what will get us on the right track now, as well. … If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level, and then step off the stage as a world leader and let our enemies increase while we decreased our [military capability].”

Ted Cruz: “I believe the American people are looking for someone to speak the truth. If you’re looking for someone to go to Washington, to go along to get along, to agree with the career politicians in both parties who get in bed with the lobbyists and special interests, then I ain’t your guy. … We see lots of ‘campaign conservatives.’ But if we’re going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative, someone who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative. … We need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling the utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.'”

Marco Rubio: “This election cannot be a résumé competition. It’s important to be qualified, but if this election is a résumé competition, then Hillary Clinton’s going to be the next president because she’s been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight. … Here’s what this election better be about: This election better be about the future, not the past. It better be about the issues our nation and the world is facing today, not simply the issues we once faced. … God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one. … What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States. Future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave the chance to live. … I run for president because I believe that we can’t just save the American dream; we can expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before.”

Rand Paul: “This is what’s wrong. [Mr. Trump] buys and sells politicians of all stripes… He’s already hedging his bet on the Clintons. He’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians. … The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence, and I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights, and I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights. … I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington.”

Chris Christie: “I’m the only person on this stage who’s actually filed applications under the Patriot Act, who has gone before the … Foreign Intelligence Service court, who has prosecuted and investigated and jailed terrorists in this country after September 11th. … This is not theoretical to me. I went to the funerals. We lost friends of ours in the Trade Center that day. … I will make no apologies, ever, for protecting the lives and the safety of the American people. We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way. … If we don’t deal with [entitlement reform], it will bankrupt our country or lead to massive tax increases — neither one that we want in this country.”

John Kasich: “The court has ruled [on same-sex marriage], and I said we’ll accept it. And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do, doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them.”

Finally, before giving my assessment of this first matchup, I am going to do what no other analyst will do today and disclose my own bias. I come into this first round thinking that the most competitive presidential ticket in 2016 would be Walker/Rubio. I am not set on that ticket. That being said, I have subjectively rated the performance of each candidate as either better than I expected, flat or worse than I expected, going into the debate.

So in order of their poll rankings entering the first debate: Donald Trump, flat; Jeb Bush, flat; Scott Walker, flat; Mike Huckabee, better; Ben Carson, flat; Ted Cruz, better; Marco Rubio, better; Rand Paul, worse; Chris Christie, worse; and John Kasich, worse.

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

With Economy Running as Expected, Will Rates Rise?

Welcome to the new normal. Just as The Wall Street Journal predicted, the U.S. added 215,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate remained at 5.3%. For the last few months, the economy has been plodding along, adding 200,000 or so jobs every month, and if you were to tally the words used in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ press releases, “unchanged” would rank high. The labor force participation rate sits at 62.6% — with a record 93,770,000 Americans not working. The great machine of the American economy still has not begun to roar after the 2008 crash. Yet to the Federal Reserve Bank, there may be some encouraging numbers, enough for them to possibly pull the lever and raise interest rates in the coming months. According to BLS’s July jobs report, the U-6 measure of unemployment edged down 0.1 percentage point to 10.4% — a number well above pre-recession levels. Wages, an economic indicator lagging for months despite job growth, increased 5 cents to a $24.99 hourly wage for the average American worker. Furthermore, BLS revised up the jobs numbers for May and June, saying there were an additional 14,000 jobs added in those two months. This may be enough for the Fed to decide that it’s time raise interest rates. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has news conferences scheduled for Sept. 12, Dec. 16 and March 16. Look for “unchanged” to change.

Russia Hacks Pentagon, Which Can’t Find ‘Reset’ Button

Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe,” Mitt Romney said repeatedly in 2012. Barack Obama dismissed it out of hand at the time, saying, “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength, but out of weakness. Russia’s actions are a problem [but] they don’t pose the number one national security threat to the United States.” He both underestimated the problem and misstated Romney’s assertion. Instead, he and his administration — led in part by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — pursued a strategy of what they arrogantly called “smart power.” That included the infamous “reset” button Hillary presented to her Russian counterpart. She later boasted of it being a “brilliant stroke” that “succeeded.” But fast forward to today, and U.S. officials say Russia recently launched a “sophisticated cyberattack” against the Pentagon’s email system. Specifically, an unclassified system used by some 4,000 employees of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The attack was detected in July (though only just reported) and the network remains offline as the Pentagon works to seal the breach. Maybe they just need to fix it with another “reset” button.

Texas’ Voter ID Law Invalidated; but Is There a Silver Lining?

A significant ruling was made this week regarding Texas’ voter ID law, though there does appear to be somewhat of a silver lining. The Wall Street Journal has the lowdown: “A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled Texas voter-identification requirements must be relaxed because they illegally obstruct blacks and Hispanics from casting ballots. But the decision, by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, also said a lower court erred in finding that the Texas Legislature intended its 2011 voter-ID law to harm minorities. The appeals court returned the case to the district judge to reconsider that question under standards more favorable to the state.” And that’s important. The Journal explains, “[A] finding [of discriminatory intent] can lead to the invalidation of the entire law. A finding of disparate impact, however, may result in a less stringent remedy, the court said. While it is possible the district court could still conclude the legislature intended to harm minorities, the Fifth Circuit suggested such a finding would be unlikely. So it laid out suggestions for a remedy the district judge could consider in addressing the voter-ID law’s impact on minorities while still respecting the legislature’s aim of reducing ‘the risk of in-person voter fraud by strengthening the forms of identification presented for voting.'” In summary, despite the Fifth Circuit striking down the law based on “disparate impact” nonsense, at least the judges didn’t perpetuate the myth that the law is intentionally racist. Let’s hope the lower court agrees.

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Charles Krauthammer: “It is only because so many Democrats are defecting [from the Iran nuclear deal] that Obama gave [a] speech in the first place. And why he tried so mightily to turn the argument into a partisan issue — those warmongering Republicans attacking a president offering peace in our time. Obama stooped low, accusing the Republican caucus of making ‘common cause’ with the Iranian ‘hard-liners’ who shout ‘Death to America.’ Forget the gutter ad hominem. This is delusional. Does Obama really believe the Death-to-America hard-liners are some kind of KKK fringe? They are the government, for God’s sake — the entire state apparatus of the Islamic Republic from the Revolutionary Guards to the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei who for decades have propagated, encouraged and applauded those very same ‘Death to America’ chants. Common cause with the Iranian hard-liners? Who more than Obama? For years, they conduct a rogue nuclear weapons program in defiance of multiple Security Council declarations of its illegality backed by sanctions and embargoes. Obama rewards them with a treaty that legitimates their entire nuclear program… With this agreement, this repressive, intolerant, aggressive, supremely anti-American regime — the chief exporter of terror in the world — is stronger and more entrenched than it has ever been. Common cause, indeed.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Upright: “I really don’t know if fiery debates like Thursday evening’s will wind up building interest and excitement in the Republican field, or wearing and tearing it down. I don’t know if we’ll look back on this as the beginning of a making or a breaking. Maybe the former. Anyway, it was alive. I wonder if Hillary Clinton is wondering how she can look alive.” —Peggy Noonan

Alpha Jackass: “Essentially, when you watch [the GOP] debate, just imagine if you are one of the wealthiest people in this country and extremely greedy and selfish, and you’re going to have 10 candidates more or less talking about your needs and not the needs of the working people.” —Bernie Sanders

Braying Jenny: “I’m tired of women being shamed and blamed and dismissed… When you attack Planned Parenthood, you attack women’s health. And when you attack women’s health, you attack America’s health.” —Hillary Clinton

A hit from the Left: “I think [Jon] Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark. … Stewart is certainly a highly successful TV personality, but I think he has debased political discourse.” —liberal academic dissident and feminist social critic Camille Paglia

Late-night humor: “A new study came out and it finds that Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ program may have caused people to actually gain weight. Apparently many mistook the slogan to mean, ‘Let’s move next door to a Cinnabon.'” —Conan O’Brien

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) Republican debates offer insights into American mind more than candidates’ minds

Transcript: Read the Full Text of the Primetime Republican Debate, TIME

2) Opposing journalists both call for honesty from abortion supporters

How to Really Defend Planned Parenthood, New York Times (Katha Pollitt)

There is No Pro-Life Case For Planned Parenthood, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

3) American romanticization of Cecil the Lion neglects reality of danger of lions

n Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions, New York Times (Goodwell Nzou)

4) Robert Conquest, exposer of Stalin’s murderous regime and fruit of Communism, dies

The Triumph of Robert Conquest, Wall Street Journal

In other news…

Democrats Debate the Debates, The Atlantic (David A. Graham)
NIH, FDA tied to fetal tissue firm, Politico (Jennifer Haberkorn and Brett Norman)

American Evangelicalism Is Fueling Homophobia Abroad—So Why Isn’t Obama Speaking Out Against It?, Slate (Oscar Lopez)

Obama calls for restoration of Voting Rights Act, USA Today (Gregory Korte)


In September 2015, Agenda 21 Will Be Transformed Into The 2030 Agenda

United Nations - Public DomainIf you didn’t like “Agenda 21″, then you really are not going to like “The 2030 Agenda”.  Next month, the United Nations is going to launch “The 2030 Agenda” at a major conference that will be held from September 25th to September 27th in New York City.  The Pope is actually traveling to New York to deliver an address which will kick off this conference.  Unlike Agenda 21, which primarily focused on the environment, the 2030 Agenda is truly a template for governing the entire planet.  In addition to addressing climate change, it also sets ambitious goals for areas such as economics, health, energy, education, agriculture, gender equality and a whole host of other issues.  As you will see below, this global initiative is being billed as a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  If you are anything like me, alarm bells are going off in your head right about now. (Read More…)


The Dow Has Already Fallen Nearly 900 Points From The Peak Of The Market

Financial Crisis Stocks - Public DomainIn an eerie repeat of what we witnessed in 2008, U.S. stocks are steadily sliding throughout the summer as we head toward the month of September.  From August 1st, 2008 to September 1st, 2008 the Dow fell by nearly 700 points.  And of course we all remember what happened the following month.  Right now, we are watching a similar thing happen.  The Dow has plummeted nearly 700 points since July 16th, and it is down nearly 900 points from the peak of the market back in May.  At this point the Dow has now fallen for six days in a row and eleven of the last thirteen.  Of course most of the talking heads on television are still insisting that everything is going to be just fine and that a repeat of 2008 is not possible.  So what do you think?  Should we trust them? (Read More….)


David Stockman: “The world economy, including the US, is heading into what is clearly going to be an apical deflation. The likes of which we’ve never seen in modern times.”

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“Kind of a debt supernova.”

Yikes.

It’s a bold statement from a guy who makes bold statements. He’s of course been bearish for a good long while as readers of this site know. However, he is speaking in broad terms here. He is putting together pieces on a global scale. Plus he understands that the market booms we’ve experienced, driven by central banks are not fundamentally sound. That is the key.

Read More


$60 Trillion of World Debt in One Visualization

Debt

Read More

The Dow Has Already Fallen Nearly 900 Points From The Peak Of The Market

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 06:46 AM PDT

In an eerie repeat of what we witnessed in 2008, U.S. stocks are steadily sliding throughout the summer as we head toward the month of September.  From August 1st, 2008 to September 1st, 2008 the Dow fell by nearly 700 points.  And of course we all remember what happened the following month.  Right now, we are watching a similar thing happen.  The Dow has plummeted nearly 700 points since July 16th, and it is down nearly 900 points from the peak of the market back in May.

At this point the Dow has now fallen for six days in a row and eleven of the last thirteen.  Of course most of the talking heads on television are still insisting that everything is going to be just fine and that a repeat of 2008 is not possible.  So what do you think?  Should we trust them Personally, I find that I put a lot more faith in cold, hard numbers than in what the talking heads on television have to say.  And at this moment, the cold, hard numbers are telling us that another financial crisis in imminent. FULL REPORT

The post The Dow Has Already Fallen Nearly 900 Points From The Peak Of The Market appeared first on .

Why So Many People Think Obama Is the Antichrist

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 06:39 AM PDT

Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit, a new podcast from Charisma. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


If you type in “is Obama the Antichrist” into Google, you’ll get about 822,000 results in .34 seconds. By way of comparison, if you ask “is Bush the Antichrist” you get 454,000 results in .43 seconds. (Last week, we learned if you type “is Pope Francis Antichrist” into Google, you’ll get about 425,000 results in .37 seconds. And you ask Google the same question about Pope Benedict you only get 137,000 and it takes a little longer—.47 seconds.)

So just as I asked why so many people think Pope Francis is the Antichrist last week, I’ll ask another pointed question: Why do so many people think President Obama is the Antichrist? Could it be for some of the same reasons his popularity is declining? His approval rating in the United States has dropped from 86% in January 2009 to 44% in August 2015, according to Rasmussen Reports. Indeed, even some Democrats are cooling off to Obama, the first-ever African-American to take office. In fact, the once-hated President George Bush is now more popular than Obama. Fifty-two percent have a favorable opinion of Bush, despite the fact that over 100,000 questioned if he was the Antichrist during his term, according to a CNN/ORC poll. FULL REPORT

The post Why So Many People Think Obama Is the Antichrist appeared first on .

Can the LGBT Community be Church Members?

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 06:27 AM PDT

Charisma News recently ran the headline, Does Brian Houston Allow Gay Members at Hillsong or Not? 

Houston said that all “are welcome to attend, worship, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that they are personally included and accepted within the Hillsong community—but cannot take active leadership roles.” Although I appreciate Brian’s heart—we must love and help everyone—if we tell people that they can be members and participate in all aspects of church life even while embracing the homosexual lifestyle, we are sending the wrong message. Would we also say that someone who is actively engaging in adultery can  become a member, help on the worship team, or serve in other areas?

Leaders are held to a higher standard, but so are members. Members of a church share a common faith—a right heart before God should always be sought. There is an enormous difference between someone struggling in sin and someone who embraces it wholeheartedly. There is no wiggle room when it comes to 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. Paul is crystal clear that sin in the camp eventually needs to be dealt with. The purpose of loving confrontation is ultimately restoration, not legalism. FULL REPORT

The post Can the LGBT Community be Church Members? appeared first on .

Commander of elite Iranian force met with Russian leaders despite US sanctions

Posted: 07 Aug 2015 06:19 AM PDT

According to reports from FOX News, in July, the chief of Iran’s elite Quds Force visited Moscow to meet with senior Russian figures, violating international sanctions and travel restrictions placed on key members of the Iranian regime.

Dassem Suleimani, whose wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is only answerable to Ayatollah Khameini, and who has emerged as a pivotal on-the-ground figure spearheading Iran’s broader regional ambitions in the Middle East, was allegedly in Russia between July 24 and July 26, shortly before Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before a Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the nascent nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and international powers. FULL REPORT

The post Commander of elite Iranian force met with Russian leaders despite US sanctions appeared first on .

Warning for Nepal: April Earthquake Didn’t Unleash All Its Energy

Posted: 06 Aug 2015 08:42 PM PDT

The devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April released only a fraction of the energy still trapped in the underlying fault, meaning the area has the potential to host another large earthquake in the future, researchers say. In April, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, killing more than 9,000 people and flattening entire villages. Geologists thought this quake originated on the Main Himalayan Thrust.

“The Main Himalayan Thrust is a fault that has produced large earthquakes every century or so,” said study lead author Jean-Philippe Avouac, a geophysicist at the University of Cambridge in England. “Nepal lost two kings to these quakes, one in 1255, another in 1344. The last large earthquake to hit Nepal, a magnitude-8.2 earthquake in 1934, destroyed Kathmandu, as did a magnitude-7.6 earthquake in 183.” FULL REPORT

The post Warning for Nepal: April Earthquake Didn’t Unleash All Its Energy appeared first on .

A Sign of the Times? Bubonic Plague Strikes US

Posted: 06 Aug 2015 08:36 PM PDT

One by one, the bubonic plague is striking down people in the United States. This week, Colorado confirmed a second victim died of the disease largely associated with the Middle Ages. The state’s first victim was a star athlete who was initially thought to have the flu. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the vast majority of plague cases have been reported in the West, with an average of seven people affected in the U.S. each year.

Public health officials are suggesting the disease is transmitted from fleas or rodents, USA Today reports. While the disease has not been eradicated, it has largely been contained, and Health officials say doesn’t have to be deadly if caught and treated in time. During its hey day, the Black Death was considered the “greatest catastrophe ever.” With symptoms of unsightly buboes, or swollen glands, the re-emergence of a historic disease could be what John prophesied about in Revelation 16:2. FULL REPORT

The post A Sign of the Times? Bubonic Plague Strikes US appeared first on .

Japanese scientists find signs of radiation poisoning in 17 dead dolphins near Fukushima

Posted: 06 Aug 2015 08:30 PM PDT

Seventeen dolphins found mysteriously beached near the site of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have died from radiation-induced heart damage, a scientific analysis has suggested. In March 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns at three of the Fukushima reactors. The ensuing explosions ejected massive amounts of radiation into the air, most of which later settled into the Pacific Ocean.

Since then, groundwater has continued to leak into the failed reactors, becoming radioactive from contact with the nuclear material there. Much of this water has made it back to the sea, either accidentally or through deliberate releases by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). FULL REPORT

The post Japanese scientists find signs of radiation poisoning in 17 dead dolphins near Fukushima appeared first on .

Everybody preparing for a ‘September event’ that coincides with Shemitah

Posted: 06 Aug 2015 08:25 PM PDT

For those old enough to remember Y2K, you may recall that there was widespread concern around the globe that the world’s computer systems were not set up to convert properly to the year 2000, an unforeseen glitch many feared would crash systems that managed financial and social infrastructure. Obviously, the collapse did not occur and, right on time, the world’s computer systems joined humanity as we waltzed into the 21st century without losing modernity. But as September approaches, some are warning of a much more provable threat – one rooted in the Jewish religion and in history – called the Shemitah Year, a 3,000-year-old mystery that is remains part of the Jewish faith. FULL REPORT

The post Everybody preparing for a ‘September event’ that coincides with Shemitah appeared first on .

Kentucky hospital invokes Isolation Lockdown over patient with chickenpox

Posted: 06 Aug 2015 08:17 PM PDT

Officials at a regional medical center in Kentucky ordered the facility locked down days ago after a patient presented in the emergency room with two strains of chicken pox, prompting many to criticize the move as a gross overreaction driven by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-hyped fear. As reported by WTVQ, hospital officials at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville claimed the lockdown was necessary and that the patient had to be isolated to ensure the public’s safety. Following the lockdown, patients and visitors were not permitted to leave the facility until they were tested.

“Emergency Department and Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center followed appropriate policies and procedures to assure that there was no risk to the community,” the hospital’s public relations division said in a statement. “We worked closely with local and state health officials and the Center for Disease Control throughout the entire process.” FULL REPORT

 

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Satellite images show Iran scrubbing nuke facility?

Posted: 06 Aug 2015 08:11 PM PDT

New satellite images of a contested Iranian military facility suggest officials may be scrubbing down the site to remove signs of nuclear activity. Images released by the Institute for Science and International Security reveal a number of new crates, vehicles and oil spills at the Parchin military facility, which could indicate that Iran is trying to clean up the site before international inspectors arrive. “This renewed activity occurring after the signing of the [Iran nuclear agreement] raises obvious concerns that Iran is conducting further sanitization efforts to defeat [International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)] verification,” the think tank said in a statement.

“Although it is difficult to fathom Iran’s motivations for its recent actions at Parchin, this renewed activity may be a last ditch effort to try to ensure that no incriminating evidence will be found.” The images match up with reports on Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials have discovered that Iran is trying to sanitize the Parchin site, where Iran is suspected of having conducted tests on materials related to a nuclear bomb. MORE

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Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“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


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.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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.

August 7, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Intelligence Briefing Report

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An Abuse Survivor Speaks To The Church

We are at a critical time in the history of the church where we have been given the opportunity to rise up and to truly learn how to love. If the church can awaken in response by being aware and conscious of the suffering victim in the midst of their own congregation,  then there is hope. A hope to live an existence of healthy relational bonding rather than feeling imprisoned by managing every relationship out of fear and mistrust. Once the leadership and community of a church are made aware of the victims amongst their own congregation, they can learn to love the victim by establishing boundaries.

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The Failure of Status-Quo Christianity

As I wrote in 1989, like the church of Sardis in Revelation 3, “we have become the ‘perfect model of inoffensive Christianity’ (G. B. Caird), ‘having a reputation of being alive, yet being dead’ (Rev. 3:1). Like Sardis, we have so come to terms with our pagan environment that we provoke almost no opposition and make virtually no impact. And like Sardis, situated high on a mountain rock, we have felt safe and secure in this world.

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For Evangelicalism, The Sky Is Not Falling But The Ground Is Shifting

As I’ve written in USAToday, I believe the future of America will likely resemble the modern Pacific Northwest. While the majority there still claims to be Christian, it is more secular and progressive than other parts of the country. However, there is a significant population of convictional Christians who are living on mission in a post-Christian culture.

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Image Bearers at Planned Parenthood

The devil delights when we diminish the horror of abortion, when we turn it into a mere political issue. He delights when we embrace the socially acceptable moral outrage against Kermit Gosnell or the selling of baby parts. But even when we rightly recognize abortion for just what it is, the cold-blooded murder of our own children, he is there beside us, armed with his favorite weapon, pride. When we dehumanize these dehumanizers we not only fall on the sword of our own hypocrisy, but embrace a Pelagian pride: “I thank you Lord that I am not like other non-humans. I believe babies are humans, lobby to defund Planned Parenthood and give to my local crisis pregnancy center.”

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Does God Really Expect Gays to Be Celibate?

Do not for a second think that being celibate is natural for me. It is not. But it is a decision I have made using my will, not my feelings, because I have given my life to someone who demands complete allegiance. If you don’t understand the demand of Jesus to deny self and take up your cross, then you might need to reevaluate whether you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ.

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How Not To Apply Reprobation

One may be reprobate, but one is not to assume this in deciding how to live. All the more so, since “the decrees of predestination are unknown to us,” as the 1553 edition of Article 17 says. Interesting use of the plural “decrees” there. 

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An Open Letter To Anne Lamott

As a Christian, I know you care about justice. At minimum, that’s what this scandal is about. When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them,” he didn’t mean for us to hasten the meeting so we could cash in on their organs.

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When the Sexual Purity Movement Sounds the Same as LGBT Culture

This language presents sexuality as key to our identity. And it isn’t merely about how we behave, what we do, or even whom we are attracted to. It is about who we are at the core of our being. Sexual desires and decisions are now linked to other strange terms like human flourishing. And this is troubling. What happened to our identity as being made in the image of God?

Read more


Muslim Imam Converts to Christianity, Now Preaches Jesus to Islamists

Muslim Imam Converts to Christianity, Now Preaches Jesus to Islamists

Posted on August 7, 2015 by Christian News

A former Muslim imam in Africa is sharing his story of how he converted from Islam to Christianity and now preaches Christ to Islamists throughout his country. World Watch Monitor recently released the video testimony of a man who once was taught to persecute Christians as a Muslim and is now facing persecution himself as he…

Read Full Article »


Why Is the World Turning a Blind Eye to the ‘Eradication’ of Christians in the Middle East?

Christianity is being “wiped out” of its region of birth, said Cato Institute foreign policy expert Doug Bandow Tuesday during a Family Research Council discussion on the increase in Christian persecution in the Middle East and Africa, and he offered reasons why the international community has done little to save those ancient Christian communities.

View Article


When All the World is One – Hal Lindsey

We know from Bible prophecy that in the last days, just a few people will control the world. They, in turn, will be controlled by the Antichrist. Common sense tells us that the only way that can happen is if the world is completely interlinked. That is happening before our eyes.

We are well on our way to that day when one man will be able to determine who buys, sells, holds a job, even qualifies for health care!

View Article


Americans overwhelmingly favor religious liberty over gay rights

According to Christian Examiner:

If faced with a choice between gay rights and religious liberty, Americans overwhelmingly would choose religious liberty, according to a new poll reported in the Washington Examiner.

The newspaper reported Americans, asked to choose theoretically between the rights of a gay couple and Christian photographer who objects to photographing a gay wedding, chose 4-to-1 (82 percent) in favor of the photographer’s right to decline the business of the gay couple.

The question was part of a survey conducted by Caddell and Associates, the polling firm founded by Pat Caddell, a former Carter administration staffer and now a FOX News contributor.

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/americans.overwhelmingly.favor.religious.liberty.over.gay.rights/49339.htm


Romans Chapter 1 in Complete Context

One of the challenges we face as Bible-believing Christians is this:  All of us at times hold firmly to the the verses we love, but want to discount the verses that make us uncomfortable.  But when we profess our complete faith in Jesus Christ and His Word, we do not have the option to pick […]

The post Romans Chapter 1 in Complete Context appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Romans-Chapter-1-in-Complete-Context-guest-David-Fiorazo.mp3 24.6 MB


Should goats and sheep worship together?

We know that the Church – with Christ at the head – is a place for repentant sinners who are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, where we gather to be equipped, to break bread in fellowship, to love and serve one another and to grow in our faith. The biblical model set up by […]

The post Should goats and sheep worship together? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Should-goats-and-sheep-worship-together_.mp3 24.4 MB


Brian Houston August 4, 2015 Statement on Homosexuality

Brian Houston released the following statement.

The post Brian Houston August 4, 2015 Statement on Homosexuality appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Heading into dark places

Today in our program we are going to spend some time asking you to consider the enormous influence of one megachurch empire on the Visible Church:  That global organization is Hillsong, known not only for its music and its millions of fans and members around the world, but its slide down a Word of Faith […]

The post Heading into dark places appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Heading-into-dark-places-guest-Dave-Bell.mp3 24.4 MB


UPDATE: Hillsong issues statement 8 months after worship leader announces his upcoming homosexual marriage

When one of Hillsong New York City’s worship leaders announced he is a practicing, unrepentant homosexual, and that he is marrying his fellow church singer and boyfriend, Hillsong leadership says nothing. (UPDATE: The couple’s announcement came in January, eight months ago. Today, less than 24 hours after this story published, finally, Hillsong issues a press […]

The post UPDATE: Hillsong issues statement 8 months after worship leader announces his upcoming homosexual marriage appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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News the mainstream won’t touch

Today we’re reporting on news that you won’t hear on most media channels, and in many cases Christians are silent about these matters. We can think of no better example than the best news of all: The Gospel. So that’s how we are starting the program. The rest of the news headlines pales in comparison, […]

The post News the mainstream won’t touch appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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News-the-mainstream-wont-touch.mp3 24.5 MB


Historic church which produced first Southern Baptist Convention president will allow gay ordination and transgender, same-sex marriage

Christian Examiner reports:

A new non-discrimination policy at First Baptist Church in Greenville will offer same-sex marriage ceremonies and allow membership, leadership positions, church ordinances, and ordination to openly gay and transgender individuals without telling them their lifestyles contradict biblical teaching.

“It’s going to open up a space for evangelical gay people to have a place again,” Pastor Jim Dant said of his church’s recent consensus to “not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

First Baptist Church of Greenville has a storied history dating back to its 1831 founding when William Bullein Johnson led fundraising efforts to start the church. Johnson later served as the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention upon its organization in 1845. The church was the original home of Furman University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven

Heaven is so heavenly that it’s often hard for earthly creatures to understand what it will really be like. That’s why the Bible often describes heaven in terms of what will not be there. For example, the last two chapters of the Bible tell us eight things that will not be there:

1. No Sea (Rev. 21:1): Does not necessarily mean that there will literally be no sea. Rather “sea” is a common biblical metaphor for the storms of life, the mysteries of life, and the barriers and distances that separate us in life.

2. No Tears (21:4): Why? Verse four tells us, there will be no more pain or death. Imagine, we will never cry or hear a cry ever again.

3. No Temple (21:22): “Yes! No churches!!” says an unbeliever. But it’s no churches because everything is church; everything and everywhere is worship. Here we often experience churches without God. There we will experience God without churches. How? Because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”

4. No Sun or Moon (21:23): Again, not necessarily literal but a biblical symbol for time. No more time pressure, no more stress of having too much to do and too little time to do it. No sun and no moon also means no shadows, no fluctuations in life, no ups and downs. How can this be? “For the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

5. No Locked Gates (21:25): Because no threats and no thieves. All is at peace and all is at rest. Perfect and total security.

6. No Night (21:25): Meaning, no ignorance. The smallest child in heaven knows more about God than the greatest theologian on earth. No night also means no spiritual drowsiness and sleepiness.

7. No Sin (21:27): All the causes, acts, and effects of sin will be abolished. Impossible to even think a sinful thought.

8. No Curse (22:3): Not just no curses from men and women. Also, no evidence or experience of any curse of God on us or the environment. Because Christ became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), not one atom in us or our new world will have any trace of the divine curse.

These eight things will not be there.

The question is, will you be there?


Cecil the Lion and Planned Parenthood

As God’s image-bearers and as caretakers of His creation, we must not choose between Cecil the lion or Planned Parenthood. Listen Now | Download

Sins’ Here– Part Six

If ministers are at all honest, the vast majority of them will have to confess that there were times when their behavior was out of line, and they nearly ruined their ministry. Indeed, history is littered with tales of ministers who did precisely that, and never recovered to do good work for the Lord thereafter. [Read More…]

The Living Letters of the New Covenant

“You are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
– 2 Corinthians 3:3 –

2 Cor 3;3As false apostles in Corinth are challenging Paul’s credibility, they object to his authority and promote their own on the basis of letters of commendation. They’ve got doctored letters from some church in Jerusalem, and they’re calling Paul out because he has none. Paul responds by saying that Christ Himself has written him a letter of commendation. And it wasn’t written with mere ink or on stone, but by the Spirit on human hearts. The salvation of the Corinthians themselves was all the commendation Paul needed.

If we follow Paul’s imagery carefully, we wouldn’t have expected him to set up a contrast between human hearts and tablets of stone. He’s just spoken of natural letters written in ink, and you don’t use ink on stone. We would have expected Paul to say something like, “Not on papyrus, or parchments, which fade away along with the ink written on them.” But he doesn’t say that. He contrasts “tablets of human hearts”—literally, “tablets that are hearts of flesh”—with “tablets of stone.”

Why? Well, the false apostles (i.e., those whom Paul was defending himself against in 2 Corinthians) were Judaizers. They were teaching that circumcision and keeping the ceremonial law of Moses was necessary for salvation. And so by changing the contrast from “written on paper” to “written on tablets of stone,” Paul is contrasting the impotence of the law in under the Mosaic Covenant with the almighty sanctifying power of the Spirit under the New Covenant, which has now dawned with Christ.

Think about it. What else was written on tablets of stone? The Ten Commandments (Exod 31:18). But what was the New Covenant promise? Jeremiah 31:33: “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God and they shall be My people.” Philip Edgcumbe Hughes writes,

“At Sinai the law had been written by the finger of God on tablets of stone; but this was an external law-giving, whereby sinful man was confronted with his awful inability to fulfill the just requirements of his holy Creator. Jeremiah 31:33, however, promises a lawgiving that is internal, namely, the writing by God of His law in the very heart itself” (90).

And how will that come to pass? Ezekiel 36:26 says,

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

When the Corinthians experienced the reality of their conversion through his preaching of the Gospel, Paul says this hundreds-of-years-old promise was coming to fulfillment! God, through Christ, and by the Spirit, removed their heart of stone, and gave them a heart of flesh! Christ’s letter of commendation on behalf of Paul wasn’t written on tablets of stone, but on the fleshy tablets of the human heart made alive by divine grace!

All that the Judaizing false apostles could commend to the Corinthians, was the law etched on tablets of stone, which could never take away the sin so securely rooted in hearts of stone. The Mosaic administration had its purposes in the redemptive plan of God, absolutely. But all it could ever do was to inform us of our duty, and demonstrate how powerless our hearts of stone were to ever attain to the righteousness that God requires of us.

When teachers insist that you need to do something to be true beneficiaries of Christ’s work—whether it’s receiving circumcision, doing penance, or just keeping a list of man-made rules—they are simply devolving and regressing back to the ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7)—the ministry of condemnation (2 Cor 3:9). But, dear friends, the ministry of life has come! The day of the ministry of righteousness (2 Cor 3:9) has dawned with the coming of the Christ who is the fulfillment of God’s law, and with the coming of the promised Holy Spirit who is now shed abroad in your hearts (Rom 5:5).

Ezekiel 36;26 - New Heart

And God has promised to His people, that by the work of that very Holy Spirit, that He would remove your spiritually dead heart of stone, would give you a heart of flesh, and would put His law within you and write it on your hearts—so that with the Spirit dwelling within you, and the law written on your heart, God’s commandments would no longer be pressure from without, only and ever informing you of what you must do but can never do, but that they would be power from within, empowering you to live a life of joyful obedience to God, with eagerness and gladness.

Moses gave instructions for worship in the tabernacle, which was a mere copy and shadow of the heavenly tabernacle. But now, Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises (Heb 8:5–6).

Paul says, “My Corinthians, the New Covenant is here. The letters of the false apostles commend to you a ministry that could never save you, could never sanctify you, and so pointed you to the ministry that was to come. This is the very Gospel I preached to you: regeneration—the new birth—effected by the Holy Spirit Himself permanently dwelling in you, all received by the grace of God alone, through faith in Christ alone.”

Dear reader, have you received this Gospel? Have you trusted this Jesus? Have you partaken of the glorious ministry of this New Covenant that has come in Christ? Have you owned and confessed your guilt and unrighteousness before a holy God. Have you acknowledged that your sins have violated God’s law, have separated you from Him, and have earned for you the just judgment of eternal punishment? Have you confessed to Him that there is nothing you could ever do to pay the penalty your sins incurred? Not Bible reading, not prayer, not church attendance, not any kind of good work! Have you abandoned pursuing a righteousness of your own, derived from any kind of commandment-keeping (cf. Phil 3:9)?

If you haven’t, do nothing else before you do that now. Turn and put your trust in Christ alone for your righteousness. Look and see this promised Messiah, crucified and killed, and buried—and resurrected!—conquering sin and death. Look and see in Him all the righteousness you will ever need to stand in the presence of God Almighty, and count on His righteousness alone to get you there.

For my dear brothers and sisters who know Christ and the sweet saving graces of the New Covenant, does your life reflect this Gospel that you are saved by? Is your life a letter of Christ, bearing the marks of Christ’s own handwriting, penned with the ink of the Holy Spirit Himself (cf. 2 Cor 3:3)? Is your life a letter of commendation for the ministerial labors of your pastors and shepherds? And is it legible? Is it known and read by all men? Can people look at the transformation of your life—at your speech, at your actions, at your attitudes—and say, “There is a man who has partaken of the New Covenant! There is woman upon whom the promise of the ages has come! There is a heart in which the law of God has been written, so that she delights to obey His commandments! There is a heart in which the Spirit of God reigns, so that he delights to put off sin, and walk in the way of righteousness!”

I pray you can answer yes. And to whatever degree you come short of that, pursue it all the more, strengthened by the glory, loveliness, and delightfulness of that sufficient Savior Himself—that mediator of a better covenant, enacted upon better promises—who, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish to God, to cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14).

Look to Christ, and be saved. And look to Christ, and be sanctified.


Be a Human Infusion of Hope

Be a Human Infusion of Hope

Encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

His name was Joseph. But he “was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)” (Acts 4:36). Joseph. Barnabas. I guess that would make him “Joe Encouragement.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be such an encouraging person that your friends simply call you Encouragement?

Courage is the resolve to face a fearful threat. And courage is fueled by hope — a hope in something stronger than what we fear.

Discouragement sets in when our hope leaks. We begin to cower before our fear. When this happens, and it happens often, we need an infusion of hope. That’s what encouragement is. Barnabas went around giving people hope-infusions, which helped them keep fighting the fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

We need Barnabas people. We need to be a Barnabas.

A Deluge of Discouragement

We live in a deluge of discouragement. Criticism, contempt, critique, and correction. It’s the native language of our fallen world. These things roll easily off the human tongue far more than affirmation and encouragement, because the fallen human heart has an abundance of pride (Matthew 12:34).

We human beings are by sinful nature viciously critical of one another. We’ve even made “critic” a profession. The vast majority of the analyses of people, ideas, organizations, movements, and governments we hear, whether in the press, on blogs, or at the table next to us, are negative. (Brace yourself for another presidential election cycle.) There are, of course, things that legitimately need critique and correction. But the over-abundance of negativity is largely due to the fact that the prideful eye of the fallen human heart is trained to see others’ weaknesses, foibles, mistakes, and sins. It looks for them and relishes in them. It even sees ones that aren’t there. Why are we like this?

Ironically, one reason is that we are all looking for hope for ourselves. Courage comes from hope. Discouragement sets in when hope leaks. So we sinful humans are on the lookout for any reason to lighten our own discouragement and the guilt of our own failings and sins. When faith in the gospel of the grace of the God of encouragement (Romans 15:4) is absent or deficient in our hearts, we look to others’ failings and sins to make ourselves feel better.

We should not be surprised that this is the case. What else would we expect from a culture in a world under the governance of the evil one (1 John 5:19)?

And we should not even be surprised when the church falls into a disproportionate amount of discouraging negativity. Our remaining indwelling sin is bent in this way and Christians are under constant assault by spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). Critical discernment is necessary for spiritual survival.

But in the chaos of the battle we can easily wound each other with critical friendly fire, and forget that encouragement is also necessary for spiritual survival.

Encouragement Is Spiritual Warfare

Encouragement is spiritual warfare. If we’re going to encourage anyone, we will have to fight Satan and our own sin to do it.

The devil is constantly trying to discourage us. He’s the “the accuser of [the] brothers . . . who accuses them day and night before our God” (Revelation 12:10). And his minions are frequently throwing “flaming darts” of condemnation and jealousy and resentment at us (Ephesians 6:16). Resist them (1 Peter 5:9)!

And our sin nature wants to discourage others. It desires self-exaltation more than anything. So it relishes focusing on others’ weaknesses and sins out of arrogance or envy. Pride is why so much of what we think or say or interpret or hear about others is negative and uncharitably critical.

But the “God of encouragement” (Romans 15:5) has given us the weapon that is designed to defeat these enemies: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Bible was “written for our instruction, that . . . through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). And when we have hope, we will have courage.

A Call for Barnabas People

Joseph was called Barnabas most likely because he had an eye trained to see the grace of God in whatever happened. No matter what theological controversy or persecution or financial crisis or criticism or failure, Barnabas had a resilient hope in God. When some threat discouraged his friends, he would consistently remind them of God’s promises in such a contagiously hopeful way that their courage would revive.

And that’s what we want to be like. We need to be Barnabas people.

Barnabas people are those who soak in and store up God’s word (Psalm 119:11), and by doing so are able to walk and talk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). And when they talk they tend to only speak what “is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

This is not a simplistic call to stop thinking critically and be nice to each other. After all, Barnabas, the paragon of encouragement, clearly had a backbone. He went toe-to-toe with Paul over Mark (Acts 15:36–39). But he was characterized by encouragement, not combativeness or critique.

So this is a call for us to cultivate a culture of encouragement wherever we are. It’s a call for us to become Barnabas people, odd people who are so characterized by being encouraging that it becomes part of our identity. Barnabas people give grace to those who hear them. They are at-large hope-infusers to the discouraged.

If you, like me, need help in becoming a Barnabas person, one of the best, most practical things I’ve ever read on encouraging others is Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree. Sam is a Barnabas, and a maker of Barnabas people.

But becoming a Barnabas person really begins by asking the God of encouragement to transform us into sons of encouragement who have Spirit-empowered discernment so that we leave whomever we interact with today more encouraged than we found them.

“Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).


Related Articles


Satan Eats Faith for Breakfast

Satan Eats Faith for BreakfastIn five minutes, John Piper talks about the epic daily warfare for your faith. Satan wants to devour you, but the risen Jesus promises to pray for you. With Satan against you, and temptation around every corner, how do you know you will be a believer tomorrow morning? Piper reminds us from 1 Peter about the seriousness of Satan’s desire for you and the absolute security we have in Christ.

Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.

As part of this new initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. Below, you can find all the video from our Look at the Book weekend on 1 Peter 1–2. The clip above is from Part 7: Why Your Faith Will Not Fail.

Rejoicing in the Refiner’s Fire

Part 1: A Survey of Suffering in 1 Peter

Part 2: Basics for Reading the Bible

Part 3: Exiles on the Earth

Part 4: Set Apart by the Spirit

Part 5: The Word Awakens Joy and Worship

Part 6: Born Again to a Living Hope

Part 7: Why Your Faith Will Not Fail

Part 8: Simultaneous Joy and Sorrow

Part 9: A Faith More Precious than Gold

Part 10: New Passions Are the Path to Holiness

Part 11: The Infinite Price of Your Freedom

Part 12: Born Again by the Book

Part 13: Destined to Obey, or Disobey

Part 14: Called to Be Lights in the World


Check out

Blogs

Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing of the Middle-Class Clergy | The Atlantic

A Pastor’s Greatest Regret After a Lifetime of Ministry | Lifeway Pastors

18 Things I Try to Remember When Preaching | Mark Altrogge

Help Me Teach the Bible | David Helm on Daniel | TGC: Nancy Guthrie

Biblical Counseling and the Concept of Integration | Biblical Counseling Coalition

Pastors, Counseling & Mental Health: 6 Guidelines for Pastors | The Exchange: Sarah Rainer

Scalia Gets It Pretty Much Right | Huff Post

Three Bad Pro-Life Arguments | R C Sproul Jr.

What’s it Like to Abort Your Own Child | TGC

How Your Personality Determines How You Learn | Fastcompany


A La Carte (August 7)

Video Killed the Pulpit Star – Here’s an interesting outsider’s perspective on the multi-campus model of church. It includes some solid insights.

How to Repent Without Really Repenting – I thnk we are all pretty good at this, aren’t we?

8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven – David Murray tells about 8 things you won’t find in heaven.

3 Reasons the Campaign on Planned Parenthood is Winnable – Doug Wilson: “Here are three basic reasons why we should see this campaign as one that is preeminently winnable. Planned Parenthood can go down the same way that ACORN did.”

A Pastor’s Greatest Regret – I know that far too many pastors live with this same regret. Pastor, protect yourself. Church, protect your pastor.

What Does Sola Scriptura mean? – John MacArthur has a brief refresher for you.


The Daily Discovery (August 7, 2015)

The Smell of Babies Burning – “The brief article is a gut-wrenching, disturbing, graphic account of the emotional trauma abortion wrecks on those who perform them. For example, in 2008, Dr. Lisa Harris explained what happened while she, 18-weeks pregnant at the time, performed an abortion on an 18-week-old fetus. She felt her own baby kick at the same time she ripped off a fetal leg with her forceps. This prompted a visceral response.”

What Does Sola Scriptura Mean? – “The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. It is not a claim that all truth of every kind is found in Scripture. The most ardent defender of sola Scriptura will concede, for example, that Scripture has little or nothing to say about DNA structures, microbiology, the rules of Chinese grammar, or rocket science. This or that “scientific truth,” for example, may or may not be actually true, whether or not it can be supported by Scripture—but Scripture is a “more sure Word,” standing above all other truth in its authority and certainty. It is “more sure,” according to the apostle Peter, than the data we gather firsthand through our senses (2 Peter 1:19). Therefore, Scripture is the highest and supreme authority on any matter on which it speaks.”

Could Crosses Ever Be Outlawed in America? – “We pray this would never happen in America—but it’s reported to be happening in China as you will read below. Meanwhile, the free exercise of Christianity is definitely under threat in the US, as I have posted about many times. A recent Associated Press news report stated…”

7 books Christians should read on abortion and adoption – “One of the most frequent charges laid against Christians who oppose abortion is that we care about a child’s life before they’re born and once they die, but don’t really give a rip about anything in between. This, of course, is absolute bunk, especially when you consider the number of Christians who are passionate adoption advocates, who are assisting those in need through organizations like Compassion International.  But even though the charge is bunk, it persists. And Christians would do well to educate themselves about the realities of abortion and its alternatives. Here are a few books I’d recommend to help in this area…”

Is Gender Just A Social Construct? – “It’s a very old idea. In the 5th century B.C., the pre-Socratic sophist Protagoras declared ‘Man is the measure of all things: of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not.’ One can draw a fairly straight line from that ugly seed of an idea to the transcendental hands of Kant, tilled under the fertilizing rants of Nietzsche, and lately growing like a weed until it covered the recent issue of Vanity Fair, featuring a person we now call Caitlyn Jenner. We’ve even heard, out of the mouth of Rick Santorum, the ancient echo of Protagoras: ‘If [Bruce Jenner] says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman.’ We make what’s true, true. As sure as thunder following lightning, friends, let’s never doubt that ideas have consequences.”


SERMON:

Art Azurdia – A Clarion Call to Worldly Christianity [Part 1]


VIDEOS:

Fund Planned Parenthood you Anti-Feminist Woman Hater!

Jesus never said anything about homosexuality?


“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 (August 7, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, August 7, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Kentucky Clerk Ordered to Issue Same-sex Marriage Licenses Sues Governor

For Some Churches, Food Trucks are a Vehicle for Serving the Poor

Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders to Speak at Liberty University

City of Philadelphia to Close 25 Miles of Highway to Welcome Pope Francis

Planned Parenthood Scandal Repercussions in NH, FL

2 Latin American Presbyterian Churches Sever Ties with PC (USA) over Gay Marriage Acceptance

Pope Francis Says Church Must Welcome Divorced, Remarried Catholics

45 Suspected Human Trafficking Victims Rescued in Indonesia

Pregnant, Unwed Assistant Professor Sues Christian University over Firing

Christian Tourist in Israel Attacked by Muslims

Opinion

Cecil the Lion and Planned Parenthood: A False Dichotomy

Why Robots are Bad for Men

Serving Others: A Key to Contentment and Joy

Why Donald Trump is Leading the Polls

What Chuck Colson Would Say about the State of Our Culture


Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“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


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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Obama Alters U.S. Oath of Allegiance to Comply with Islamic Law :: Ibrahim at FrontPage

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
August 6, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5423/us-oath-of-allegiance-shariah

The Obama administration recently made changes to the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in a manner very conducive to Sharia, or Islamic law.

On July 21, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced some “modifications” to the Oath of Allegiance that immigrants must take before becoming naturalized. The original oath required incoming citizens to declare that they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States” when required by the law. Now the USCIS says that “a candidate [to U.S. citizenship] may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection.”

The new changes further add that new candidates “may be eligible for [additional?] modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.”

Islamic law allows Muslims to feign loyalty to a non-Muslim authority, but bans them from fighting fellow Muslims on behalf of it.

These changes serve incoming Islamic supremacists especially well. For, while Islamic law allows Muslims to feign loyalty to non-Muslim “infidel” authorities, it bans Muslims from living up to the pretense by actually fighting or killing fellow Muslims on behalf of a non-Muslim entity, such as the United States.

The perfectly fitting story of Nidal Hasan—the U.S. Army major and “observant Muslim who prayed daily” but then turned murderer—comes to mind and is illustrative. A pious Muslim, Hasan seemed a “regular American,” even if he was leading a double life—American Army major and psychiatrist by day, financial supporter of jihadi groups and associate of terrorists by night.

However, when time came for this American soldier to “bear arms on behalf of the United States”—to quote the original Oath of Allegiance—against fellow Muslims, things got ugly: he went on a shooting spree in Fort Hood, killing thirteen Americans, including one pregnant woman in 2009.

Much of Hasan’s behavior is grounded in the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity. According to this essential teaching, Muslims must always be loyal to Islam and fellow Muslims while having enmity for all non-Islamic things and persons.

Asked by the judge about his oath upon being sentenced for the attempted May 2010 Times Square car bombing, naturalized U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad replied, “I sweared [sic], but I didn’t mean it.”

However, whenever Muslims find themselves under the authority of non-Islamic institutions and persons, they are permitted to feign loyalty—even to the point of cursing Islam and pretending to have abandoned it—with one caveat: Muslims must never take up arms on behalf of “infidels” against fellow Muslims. In other words, their loyalty to non-Muslims must be skin deep.

Many are the verses in the Koran that support this divisive doctrine (3:28, 4:89, 4:144, 9:23, and 58:22; the last simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—”even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin”).

Most germane is Koran 3:28: “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels rather than believers: and whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.”

The words translated here as “guard” and “precaution” are derived from the Arabic word taqu, from the trilateral root w-q-y—the same root that gives us the word taqiyya, the Islamic doctrine that permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims whenever under their authority.

Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), author of one of the most authoritative commentaries on the Koran, explains taqiyya in the context of verse 3:28 as follows: “Whoever at any time or place fears … evil [from non-Muslims] may protect himself through outward show.” As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad’s close companion Abu Darda, who said, “Let us grin in the face of some people while our hearts curse them.”[1]

Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923), author of another standard commentary on the Koran, interprets verse 3:28 as follows:

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.[2]

And therein lies the limit of taqiyya: when the deceit, the charade begins to endanger the lives of fellow Muslims—who, as we have seen, deserve first loyalty—it is forbidden. As al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri puts it in his treatise on Loyalty and Enmity, Muslims may pretend to be friendly and loyal to non-Muslims, so long as they do “not undertake any initiative to support them [non-Muslims], commit sin, or enable [them] through any deed or killing or fighting against Muslims” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 75).

Thus the idea that Nidal Hasan might be deployed to a Muslim country (Iraq or Afghanistan) was his “worst nightmare.” When he realized that he was about to be deployed, he became “very upset and angry.” The thought that he might injure or kill Muslims “weighed heavily on him.” He also counseled a fellow Muslim not to join the U.S. Army, since “Muslims shouldn’t kill Muslims.”

Hasan is not the only Muslim to expose his disloyalty when pushed into fighting fellow Muslims on behalf of the United States.

The Obama administration has made it so that no Muslim immigrating to America need worry about defending it.

In 2010, Naser Abdo, another Muslim soldier who joined the U.S. Army, demanded to be discharged on the claim that he was a “conscientious objector whose devotion to Islam has suffered since he took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies.” The Army agreed, but while processing him, officials found child pornography on his government-issued computer and recommended that he be court-martialed. Abdo went AWOL and later tried to carry out a terrorist attack on a restaurant with the use of weapons of mass destruction.

And in April 2005, Hasan Akbar, another Muslim serving in the U.S. Army, was convicted of murder for killing two American soldiers and wounding fourteen in a grenade attack: “He launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq.”

In short, the first loyalty of any “American Muslim” who follows the Koran is to fellow Muslims, regardless of their nationality. It is not to American “infidels,” even if they be their longtime neighbors whom they daily smile to (see here for examples). Hence why American Muslim Tarik Shah, who was arrested for terrorist-related charges, once boasted: “I could be joking and smiling [with non-Muslims] and then cutting their throats in the next second”—reminiscent of the aforementioned quote by Muhammad’s companion.

Now, in direct compliance with Islamic law, the Obama administration has made it so that no Muslim immigrating to America need ever worry about having to defend her—including against fellow Muslims or jihadis.

Raymond Ibrahim, a Judith Friedman Rosen writing fellow at the Middle East Forum, is a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians.


[1] ‘Imad ad-Din Isma’il Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Karim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiya, 2001), vol. 1, p. 350, author’s translation.

[2] Abu Ja’far Muhammad at-Tabari, Jami’ al-Bayan ‘an ta’wil ayi’l-Qur’an al-Ma’ruf: Tafsir at-Tabari (Beirut: Dar Ihya’ at-Turath al-Arabi, 2001), vol. 3, p. 267, author’s translation.

NTEB: Obama Administration Agency Purchased Aborted Baby Parts From Planned Parenthood

A new report indicates the Obama administration may have purchased the body parts of aborted babies from a biotech firm Planned Parenthood sold the body parts to after killing the babies in abortions.

 “Thou shalt not kill.” Exodus 20:13 (KJV)

The revelation comes after five videos have exposed the baby body parts sales scandal occurring at Planned Parenthood abortion centers across the country. According to the report in Politico, one of the biotech firms mentioned in the undercover videos identified as a fetal tissue supplier Planned Parenthood sold aborted babies to earned at least $300,000 from federal governmental agencies after selling fetal tissue to them. Officials say they are unsure if the specific fetal tissue sold to the Obama administration came from babies aborted at Planned Parenthood.

Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) has had contracts with the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration since 2009. In one of the videos, Katharine Sheehan, a former medical director of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, mentioned selling fetal tissue from aborted babies to ABR and admitting a long-term relationship with it.

obama-planned-parenthood-purchased-aborted-baby-parts-abortion

We have already a relationship with ABR,” Sheehan says. “We’ve been using them for over 20 years — a really long time… They’re doing the big collection for government-level collections.”

According to the Politico report, the National Institutes of Health has paid Advanced Bioscience Resources $257,000 since 2009 and spent $53,000 on fetal tissue from aborted babies. The babies victimized by abortions were between 17 and 22 weeks old at the time they were aborted.

Meanwhile, FDA officials confirmed the Obama administration agency paid approximately $73,000 to the biotech company since 2009 for body parts from aborted babies, including livers and thymuses. The Politico report indicates ABR charged the Obama administration $340 for a 17- to 22-week human fetal thymus, $340 for a 17- to 22-week human fetal liver, $325 for a maternal blood test — in addition to shipping costs.

An Obama administration official defended the purchase of aborted baby body parts.

“Voluntary donation of tissue for research has helped understand, treat, and cure a number of conditions and diseases that affect millions of Americans, and it has enjoyed bipartisan support and the support of leading scientists and disease groups,” Health and Human Services spokesman Kevin Griffis said in a statement. “We make clear to all our grantees and researchers the legal obligations they are under and we know of no violations of laws in connection with the research done at our agencies.”

Politico said Advanced Bioscience Resources did not return multiple requests for comment.

The purchases make it more understandable why the Obama administration has refused to investigate or de-funding Planned Parenthood. source

The post Obama Administration Agency Purchased Aborted Baby Parts From Planned Parenthood appeared first on Now The End Begins.

Alabama Governor terminates contract with Planned Parenthood

WINTERY KNIGHT

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

ECM sent me this great story about the great state of Alabama.

Excerpt:

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday that he was terminating the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood, making it the third state to cut ties with the abortion provider following the release of undercover videos that allegedly show employees discussing the distribution of fetal organs.

“The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have decided to stop any association with the organization in Alabama,” said Bentley in a statement. “As a doctor and Alabama’s Governor, the issue of human life, from conception to birth and beyond, is extremely important to me. I respect human life, and I do not want Alabama to be associated with an organization that does not.”

In addition to Bentley’s actions, Alabama’s Senate also advanced a measure Thursday that would make it a felony to…

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Berean Research: Answering Rachel Held Evans’ misguided Planned Parenthood post

Susan Michelle of Live Action News takes emerging author, blogger, and speaker Rachel Held Evans to task over a recent Facebook post where she states that she’s pro-life but supports abortion mill Planned Parenthood.  For those who are unfamiliar with Evans, here’s a bit of background info from a piece over at Stand Up For The Truth: “She […]

Read more of this post


Answering Rachel Held Evans’ misguided Planned Parenthood post

by Marsha West

Susan Michelle of Live Action News takes emerging author, blogger, and speaker Rachel Held Evans to task over a recent Facebook post where she states that she’s pro-life but supports abortion mill Planned Parenthood. For those who are unfamiliar with Evans, here’s a bit of background info from a piece over at Stand Up For The Truth:

“She writes an uber-popular blog, and many of her articles are adored and shared by Christian women everywhere. Sadly, even women in Christian leadership don’t see the harm in sharing cool reads from a woman who no longer believes the Bible is true, who supports gay marriage and homosexual pastors, and who doesn’t believe Jesus is the only way.”

So obviously Evans is not a Christian in the true sense of the word, even though Michelle refers to her as a “progressive Christian.” This means she’s a liberal “Christian”…..which is an oxymoron.

Susan Michelle writes:

Author Rachel Held Evans has gained notoriety in Christian circles in recent years as a “progressive Christian.” Now she’s making waves on Facebook by asserting that we can’t suddenly strip Planned Parenthood of its funding.

Progressive Christianity is a liberal religion that leans more toward social justice, saving the earth, and even multiple views of Jesus’ purpose. A website devoted to progressive Christianity says it:

Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey

Progressive Christianity includes churches that are part of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a pro-abortion advocacy organization that includes the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian USA, Evangelical Lutherans and Episcopal Church.

Answering Rachel Held Evans’ misguided Planned Parenthood post

Mercy, and her snow-white throne

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

game-of-thrones-season-5-poster-lead-15227-665x385

Once on a time, Mercy sat upon her snow-white throne, surrounded by the troops of love…

A sinner was brought before her, whom Mercy wanted to save. The herald blew the trumpet, and after three blasts thereof, and with a loud voice, he said, “0 heaven and earth, and hell, I summon you this day to come before the throne of Mercy, to tell why this sinner should not be saved.” There stood the sinner, trembling with fear….

He knew that there were multitudes of opponents, who would press into the hall of Mercy, and with eyes full of wrath, would say, “He must not, and he shall not escape; he must be lost!”

The trumpet was blown, and Mercy sat placidly on her throne, until there stepped in one with a fiery countenance; his head was covered with light; he spoke with a voice like thunder, and out of…

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Redeeming God: Christian Magic Words: “…in Jesus’ name, Amen”

Jesus says that whatever you ask for in his name will be given to you (John 14:13-14)

In an attempt to follow Jesus’ instructions, many parents and churches teach (usually be example) that every prayer should conclude with the words “…in Jesus’ name, Amen.” But is this what Jesus meant?

In Jesus name

Sometimes you hear people take this idea to an extreme, and they say, “…in Jesus’ name” over and over throughout their prayer such as this:

Father, we come before you in the name of Jesus, to ask  you, Father, that you bless our time together, in Jesus’ name. And we bring forward our needs to you, Father, thinking of Ruth and her ingrown toenail, that you would heal it, Father, in Jesus’ name. And we lift up to you the sick cat of Carol. You know, Father, how the cat has been throwing up all night, and how Carol loves the cat which you gave her, and so we ask that you reach down out of heaven and touch her cat in Jesus’ name, Father, and deliver her cat from this malady that is causing the cat and Carol so much problem, in Jesus’ name…

And so on. (And while you might think I am trying to be funny with requests about toenails and sick cats, if you have been in many prayer meetings, you know that these sorts of requests are not uncommon.)

Even when Christians are able to root out of their prayers all the repetitious mentioning of “Father” and “in Jesus’ name,” it is still quite common for most Christians to end their prayers with the word, “… in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

I admit I do this. It is a habit I just cannot break.

in Jesus nameBut why would I want to break it?

Doesn’t Jesus tell us to pray in His name?

Well, yes, He does. But His instruction does not mean that we liberally sprinkle our prayers with the magic words “in Jesus’ name” or that we even close out our prayers with these words.

When we do this, are treating the words “in Jesus’ name” like they are some sort of magical incantation by which we will get whatever we ask for in prayer. But that is not at all what Jesus meant, and in fact, mindlessly repeating the words “in Jesus’ name” to get what we ask for in prayer is actually the exact opposite of what Jesus meant when He invited us to pray in His name.

What does it mean to pray “in Jesus’ name”?

To pray “in Jesus’ name” means to pray as if Jesus Himself was praying our prayers.

When an ambassador visits another country “in the name of the king” (or president) it is as if his king (or president) is speaking the words that the ambassador speaks. The leaders of these other countries are to assume that whatever the ambassador says, it is as if the king (or president) himself said them.

Obviously then, the ambassador had better be certain that what he says is exactly what the king himself would say. If an ambassador says something foolish or insulting, he could easily start a war or ruin a trade agreement or destroy a treaty. To be a good ambassador, the ambassador needs to know the mind and heart and will of his king so intimately, that the two minds are nearly one.

This is what it means to pray “in Jesus’ name.” They are not magic words to get what you want, but are a mind frame we must adopt when praying to God. We must so intimately know the mind and heart and will of Jesus in whatever situation we are praying about, that the words we speak are the same exact words Jesus would speak if He Himself were the one making the petition to God.

How to Pray in Jesus’ Name

So to expand a bit on what Jesus said in John 14:13-14, I think His words could be paraphrased this way:

But when you pray, spend time thinking about what I value, what I have instructed you, how I lived my life, the kind of example I provided, the people I hung out with, the goals I sought to achieve, the relationship I had with God. Take careful notice of what I taught and what I prayed for. Then, offer your requests to God in light of these things. And when you do, make these requests boldly, knowing that the words you speak are the same words I am speaking. And when you pray this way, know that your prayers will be answered.

in Jesus name amenIf you are not completely confident that what you are praying is what Jesus Himself would pray, this is when it is best to add the little caveat to your prayers of “if it is your will.” This way, in your conversations with God, you can tell Him what is heavy on your heart and weighs on your mind, but you are telling Him that you trust Him to make the best decision since you ourselves do not know what is best.

In my opinion, most of the prayers we pray will be of this second sort, where we recognize that our hearts can be deceived and our minds darkened, and so we leave judgment and decision up to God.

To “pray with faith” is not to summon up so much “confidence” that God is somehow “forced” to do what we ask. No, to pray with faith is to offer our requests to God, knowing that He loves us and will do what is best for us, even if this involves not giving us what we have asked for.

So let us stop praying with magical words by which we try to coerce God and manipulate Him to do what we want. Stop using magic words in your prayers.

Instead, let us spend time learning the heart and mind of Jesus so that our prayers can match His prayers, and then, when we pray, pray with the humility of faith, knowing that God will do what is best for us.

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The post Christian Magic Words: “…in Jesus’ name, Amen” appeared first on Redeeming God.

Rainer on Leadership: Why Women Leave a Church

A recent post, Six Reasons Why Women May Be Leaving Your Church, really generated a lot of feedback. So much so, that we took today’s episode to discuss the topic further and cover these six reasons. While they may apply to men in the church as well, these are specific issues we are hearing from women as to why they decide to leave a church.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • When they are overworked in the church, many women will disengage from church or just move to another one.
  • Generally speaking, women are more relational than men and can be more relationally hurt than men.
  • Children’s ministry is one of the key areas for the church in the present and future.
  • If a church does not address safety and security issues in its children’s ministry, it will not reach young families.
  • Most of the time, churches have funds to do what is needed. They are just spending the money elsewhere.
  • What you do in the workplace and at home is ministry—not just what you do at church.
  • If a husband does not attend church, it is extremely difficult for the wife to go by herself.
  • There is a big need for a church to have a place for a woman to connect in small group if her husband does not attend.

The six reasons why women may be leaving your church are:

  1. They are overworked.
  2. They do not feel valued.
  3. They are relationally hurt.
  4. There is a lack of quality childcare.
  5. They are too busy.
  6. Their husband does not attend.

Resources

The post Why Women Leave a Church – Rainer on Leadership #148 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.

Of the Practice of Covetousness in Spending 

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Being Gouge’s own summaries of his sermons on Covetousness from his Commentary on Hebrews, Courtesy of Puritan Sermons – Fire & Ice
Written by, William Gough, Puritan, 1575-1653

40

A covetous practice in spending is manifested two ways:

1.   By spending too sparingly and too miserly in all things, as when men hoard their wealth; so that they live beneath where God has called them to live and to that place, so as they regard not decency in apparel or other like things, as when they afford not necessaries to themselves or to those that are under their charge: these are parsimonious pinch-pennies.

Thus does the wise man set out such a one, ‘A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires: yet God gives him not power to eat thereof,’ Eccl. 6:2.

2.   By being…

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Daily Devotionals: (7th Aug.) The Insufficiency of Self-help. Pt. 1

thinkGOSPEL blog

Reading: Genesis 3:7

After Adam’s sin we find him a troubled individual. He realised that he was for the first time in a state of sin. But there is another problem: he feels the pain of personal sin. Like many today Adam attempts to fix this problem himself; he “sewed fig leaves together.” Satan keeps pursuing. Having brought Adam down into sin he promises him a quiet conscience by personal reformation.

This is the original self-help and it is based on the belief that man can meet his own needs, that he has the capacity to self-help, self-rectify, self-recover, self-improve. But to use that which caused the sin as an instrument to fix the sin only serves to show the depth of sin in the human heart. There are three aspects to this self-help.

First, it ignores God. Adam was created for fellowship with God and to follow the will…

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Who is God? Comparing Atheism, Theism, Deism, Pantheism, and Polytheism: A Closer Look

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Note: To see our post called Five Approaches To The Existence of God, see here: 

Note: Another post that may help with this topic is Who is the One True God? A Look at Prophecy as a Verification Test

Or, see Edward Feser’s post called “The one God Further Objection”

From my own experience I would say most discussions about God are centered around 5 “isms”- that being Atheism, Theism, Deism, Pantheism, and Polytheism. So let’s take a look at some of the differences:

1. THEISM

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, are all theistic faiths. One of the major areas of disagreement between these three faiths is the issue about the identity of Jesus. In Orthodox Christianity- Messianic Judaism, Jesus is both God and man/Jesus is an uncreated being. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah as foretold in the Tanakh (the acronym that is formed from the first three parts of the…

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For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not of yourselves, it is God’s gift

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner.’ (Luke 18:13 NASB)

In our day it is not unusual to hear a man-centered version of the Gospel message that has everything turned around backward and is presented in such a way that is meant to appeal emotionally to unbelievers with a statement such as, “Christ’s crucifixion is proof of our worth to God!” The appeal is meant to show that if Christ was willing to go to Cross to save sinners like us then that proves we are of value to God. I have even heard one version of this that says that Jesus would have gone to that Cross even if it was for just one unrepentant sinner. Is that found anywhere in God’s…

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