Daily Archives: August 19, 2015

If we are bearing spiritual fruit in any way, we belong to Jesus

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς Χριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσεν· στήκετε οὖν καὶ μὴ πάλιν ζυγῷ δουλείας ἐνέχεσθε. (Galatians 5:1 NA28)

1 For this freedom, Christ freed us, therefore, stand fast, and be not held again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In Galatians 5:1 (above), the reference to the freedom for which Christ freed us refers to Paul’s arguments from Galatians 4. Never forget the purpose of this letter to the Galatian churches. They were being attacked by “Judiazers” who were attempting to get these Gentile believers to look to keeping the Jewish ceremonial law and regulations because they were saying the atonement bought for them through Christ’s blood was not sufficient for their justification. Paul’s argument is exactly the opposite. In Galatians 5:1, he makes it clear to them that Christ freed us through His atoning death especially for this freedom and those…

View original post 1,632 more words

August 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Aug. 19, 2015

BLOOMBERG

U.S. airlines are gearing up for regular flights to Cuba as the Obama administration pursues a deal to allow commercial travel between the two countries.

Islamic State militants have beheaded an 83-year-old antiquities expert in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, Mamoun Abdel-Karim, Syria’s head of antiquities, said Wednesday. He was accused of supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, visiting Iran and hiding two tons of gold.

A loud explosion followed by gunfire was heard outside Dolmabahce Palace in central Istanbul. Two suspects with automatic weapons were apprehended close to the nearby German consulate. No injuries were reported.

The cost of living in the U.S. rose 0.1 percent in July, the slowest pace in three months, casting doubt on how quickly inflation will return toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.

German lawmakers cleared the way for Greece’s third bailout, voting for the financial lifeline of as much as 95 billion by a wide margin.

Hackers claiming to have stolen data from AshleyMadison.com, a website that facilitates hook-ups between would-be adulterers, have released information they say includes details of more than 36 million user accounts. The data dump appears to be “legit” and includes full names, e-mail addresses, partial credit-card data and dating preferences.

Vietnam devalued the dong for the third time this year and widened the currency’s trading band, the latest sign of stress in Asian exchange rates after China depreciated the yuan last week.

A slump in Russian wages accelerated more than forecast, crippling retail sales and underscoring the risk that the latest bout of ruble weakness will deepen the biggest drop in domestic demand under President Vladimir Putin. Wages adjusted for inflation plummeted 9.2 percent from a year earlier in July after a revised 8.6 percent decline in the previous month.

The first pill for low libido in women will go on sale in the U.S. after regulators decided that despite its modest benefit and serious side effects, the drug was worthwhile to address an affliction with no other approved treatments.

AP Top Stories

Police in Thailand issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for an “unidentified foreign man” shown in a security video leaving behind a backpack just minutes before a deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine, but acknowledged they’re not sure he’s from another country.

A woman calmly called 911 to report her baby son wasn’t breathing on Tuesday and then hours later confessed to killing him and her two other young sons over the past several months because her husband ignored their daughter, authorities said.

Two brothers in northern India beheaded their teenage sister and carried her head through their village because they disapproved of her romantic relationship with a cousin.

A second person to visit California’s Yosemite National Park has been diagnosed with the plague, the latest of several such infections in the Western United States this year, health officials said.

The United States said Tuesday it has launched the biggest allied airborne drills in Europe since the Cold War ended, as fighting involving pro-Russian separatists escalated in eastern Ukraine. Nearly 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO allies are taking part in four weeks of “simultaneous multinational airborne operations” across Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania that began in Saturday, the US army said in a statement.

New rules approved by the California Energy Commission last week will change the current showerhead flow rates of 2.5 gallons per minute to 2 gallons per minute by July 2016.

The US Navy plans to open its famed SEAL fighting units to women, provided they can pass the notoriously difficult training course

BBC

The bomb attack that killed 20 people at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine on Monday was carried out by a “network”, Thailand’s chief of police has said.

Police in Bolivia have clashed with protesters they were trying to evict from a gold mine 125 miles north-west of the city of La Paz. One officer was killed and 10 people injured as police and occupiers confronted each other.

Fishermen have been removing thousands of dead fish from a lake near the western Mexican city of Guadalajara. Local media reported at least 40 tons of popoche chub freshwater fish had washed up on the shores of Lake Cajititlan, in Jalisco state.

The number of migrants at the EU’s borders reached a record high of 107,500 in July, officials say, as a sharp surge in expected asylum requests was reported in Germany. Germany has seen a wave of migration from Syria and the Balkans, and now says it could receive as many as 750,000 asylum seekers this year.

WND

he first openly transgender White House official started work Monday in the West Wing, a milestone cheered by transgender rights activists and President Barack Obama’s top aides.

More Americans are saving for retirement, but most are saving less money than they were a year ago. Fewer than 1 in 5 American workers are saving more for retirement now than they were in 2014.

Likening Iran to the biblical Haman, the main antagonist in the book of Esther who plotted to destroy the Jews of Persia, a coalition of more than 350 prominent rabbis in Israel and abroad has sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the “dangerous” nuclear agreement.

The Muslim jihadists running ISIS already have been documented shooting, drowning, burning, crucifying, beheading, raping and blowing up victims. And they’ve been suspected of trafficking in human organs in the past. Now, a new report cites social media conversations that appear to tie sex slavery to organ trafficking.


Top News – 8/19/2015

Recent Dead Sea Earthquake Ushering In End of Days Prophecy
Scientists have noted that the Dead Sea Rift has affected human civilization through time as well as the flora and fauna of the region, causing migrations and creating water sources. However, it should be noted that the location of Thursday’s earthquake is the precise region of Jericho, known for its city walls that came tumbling down, and also the area of Sodom and Gomorra. A biblical perspective certainly seems in order when considering occurrences of geological proportions.

Rabbi Kanievsky Again Hints at Looming Arrival of the Messiah
Rabbi Kanievsky stated, “By the holidays, the Messiah will come and there will be no need for you to install these emergency systems.” It should be noted that in Hebrew, the phrase the rabbi used, could have several meanings based on the grammar, changing his message to “May it be that by the holidays, the Messiah will come and there will be no need for you to install these emergency systems.” Rabbi Kanievsky, who has devoted his life to studying the Bible and serving God, has been speaking of the Messiah more often and in more immediate terms.

Temple Mount’s Glick: “Obligation of All God fearing People” to Take Up Cause of World’s Holiest Site
How and why has the Temple Mount become such a contentious modern day issue?

Note to Former Pres. Jimmy Carter: PLEASE Boycott Israeli Products & Technology
This peanut-grower sold his rotten soul to the enemies of the United States and Israel, Carter is an avowed anti-Semite who has no love for me or my people. By my own admission, I’m a fair man who hates no one (although I may dislike some people) but I will take this opportunity to remind the cancer-stricken Carter to follow through with the boycott of Israeli products. He should refuse to be treated with any of the lifesaving medication that was discovered by Jews, or medical technology that was researched and developed by Jews – in Israel or any other place.

Blood sacrifice
Abortion-promoting pastors offer blessings to Planned Parenthood.

Get ready for a SUPERWINTER (at least if you believe Old Farmer’s Almanac): Publication predicts record setting cold spells
Just when you thought you had gotten over last winter, be warned: The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts it will be super cold with a slew of snow for much of the country, even in places that don’t usually see too much of it, like the Pacific Northwest. It says there will be above-normal snow and below-normal temperatures for much of New England; icy conditions in parts of the South; and frigid weather in the Midwest.

Syria’s top antiquities scholar beheaded by IS in ancient Palmyra
Islamic State militants beheaded one of Syria’s most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then strapped his body from one of the town’s Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday.

Twin Storms: Goni a Threat to the Northern Philippines, Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands; Atsani Becomes Super Typhoon
Typhoon Goni, located about 600 miles east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan, had maximum estimated sustained winds of 115 mph as of 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday, making it equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Meanwhile, Super Typhoon Atsani, which has been steadily strengthening, is churning several hundred miles to the east of Goni.

Danny Strengthens in the Atlantic
Tropical Storm Danny is slowly strengthening about 1,445 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Maximum sustained winds remain at 50 mph and the central pressure is at 1000 mb. Danny will remain in an environment conducive for further development over the next several days and will likely become a hurricane by Thursday.

Kiev Gathers Huge 65,000-Strong Army on Frontline Near Donetsk
With the Minsk ceasefire agreements formally still in force, the situation in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region remains extremely tense amid reports about Kiev’s mass troop deployments in the area.

Typhoid breaks out in Syria’s Yarmouk camp, situation desperate
Typhoid has broken out among residents of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, the United Nations said on Wednesday, warning of further disease outbreaks because of the appalling conditions there unless aid reaches the camp.

Did You Know That The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves At All?
Recently, I discovered that the U.S. does not have any strategic grain reserves left at all. Zero. Nada. Zilch. As you will see below, the USDA liquidated the remaining reserves back in 2008. So if a major food crisis hit this country, our government would have nothing to give us.

THE SUN IS FLAT-LINING
Solar activity is very low. With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun’s X-ray output is flat-lining. The quiet is likely to continue for at least another 24 hours.

‘Israel Must Be Obliterated’: New Iranian Video Imagines Muslim Invasion of Jerusalem
A new video out of Iran presents the imagined scenario of Jerusalem being conquered by a military alliance of the country’s Revolutionary Guard forces and Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, a Jewish news site reported Tuesday. Quoting the Middle East terrorism research organization the Investigative Project, the Algemeiner reported that the video was released two weeks after the Iran nuclear deal was announced.

U.S. Navy on alert: China, Russia to launch largest-ever joint navy exercise
The Chinese and Russian navies are gearing up for their largest-ever joint exercises, slated to begin Thursday in the Pacific with more than 20 ships and featuring anti-submarine operations as well as a joint-beach landing. The “Joint Sea 2015 II” exercises will run through Aug. 28 in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok.

White House hires first transgender member of staff
The White House has hired its first openly transgender full-time member of staff, officials have confirmed. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan started working as an outreach and recruitment director for presidential staff on Tuesday. Her commitment to transgender rights reflects “the values of this administration,” a senior White House official said.

Lake Cajititlan: Fish die off in large numbers
Fishermen have been removing thousands of dead fish from a lake near the western Mexican city of Guadalajara. Local media reported at least 40 tonnes of popoche chub freshwater fish had washed up on the shores of Lake Cajititlan, in Jalisco state. One local official described their deaths as a “natural, cyclical phenomenon” that occurred every year.

Greece bailout: German MPs urged to back deal
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has warned his country’s MPs that it would be “irresponsible” to oppose a third bailout deal for Greece. He told a debate in parliament before a vote by MPs that they should “seize the chance” for a new beginning for Greece. Voting is under way. Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to win approval but is bracing for a rebellion in her centre-right alliance.

Boko Haram crisis: ‘Dozens drown’ fleeing Nigeria attack
Reports in Nigeria say as many as 60 people may have been killed after a raid on a village in the north-east by suspected Boko Haram militants. The attack on Kukuwa in Yobe state happened last Thursday but details have only just emerged from survivors. Some of the villagers are said to have drowned while fleeing gunmen.

Possible Home of Mary Magdalene Unearthed in Israel
Archeologists have uncovered what was likely a synagogue in the center of Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, the witness of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

Israeli opposition leader fears new Palestinian uprising
Israel’s opposition leader on Tuesday warned that a new Palestinian uprising could be looming after a recent spate of violence and called on both sides to reduce tensions and restart peace talks. The appeal came during a meeting in the West Bank with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a rare face-to-face encounter after a more than yearlong diplomatic standstill.

Man in yellow shirt is focus of Bangkok bombing probe
In the grainy security video, a man in a yellow shirt sits on a bench at the crowded Erawan Shrine, removes a backpack he is wearing, and leaves it behind when he walks away. For police hunting who was responsible for Monday’s deadly bombing in central Bangkok, there was no doubt about the man with youthful shaggy dark hair and glasses.

Syrian archaeologist ‘killed in Palmyra’ by IS militants
The man who looked after the Roman ruins in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra is reported to have been killed by Islamic State (IS) militants. Khaled Asaad was taken hostage by the group after it seized the Unesco World Heritage site earlier this year. The family of the 82-year-old scholar said he had been beheaded by IS fighters, according to Syria’s director of antiquities, Maamoun Abdulkarim.

Europe struggles to respond as migrants numbers rise threefold
More than three times as many migrants were tracked entering the European Union by irregular means last month than a year ago, official data showed on Tuesday, many of them landing on Greek islands after fleeing conflict in Syria.

TV report: Ex-Subway pitchman to admit to child-porn charges
Longtime Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is expected to plead guilty to child-pornography charges, an Indiana television station reported Tuesday. The report on Fox59 comes six weeks after authorities seized electronics and other items from Fogle’s home in Zionsville, an affluent Indianapolis suburb.


Top Headlines – 8/19/2015

France laying groundwork to recognize ‘Palestine’

Herzog to Abbas: Peace deal can be reached within two years

Mike Huckabee declares West Bank to be part of Israel during settlement visit

New footage: IDF eliminates terror cell planting explosives on Syrian border

Palestinian hunger striker regains consciousness, refuses terms for release

Yom Kippur to once again coincide with Muslim holiday

Seven decades delayed, Holocaust survivors make aliya

‘Israel Must Be Obliterated’: New Iranian Video Imagines Muslim Invasion of Jerusalem

Iran threatened ‘harm’ to top nuke inspector to prevent disclosure of secret deal

Dershowitz: ‘Inept negotiator’ Obama gave Iran green light to build nuke

Netanyahu: Khamenei makes it clear Iran will continue to fund terrorism

Iran sending nuke deal money to terror groups on border, Netanyahu warns

Fatah Terror Group Asks for More Money From Iran for Attack Tunnels to Israel

Calling in the God squad to save the Iran deal

Senate leader admits little chance Iran deal will be blocked

Obama administration objects as Russia moves ahead with Iran missile sale

Erdogan gambles on war with Kurds, Syria

Former Iraqi PM Blames Fall of Mosul on Turkey’s Erdogan

Syrian Official: Islamic State Militants Behead Archaeologist in Palmyra

ISIS calls Erdogan infidel, urges followers to conquer Istanbul

UN: More than 1,000 children killed, injured in ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict

UN: More than 1,000 children killed, injured in ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict

Boko Haram attack on Nigerian village leaves 151 dead

Russia’s Putin blames Kiev for increased violence in east Ukraine

U.S. Navy on alert: China, Russia to launch largest-ever joint navy exercise

Bangkok hit with second bombing attack in two days

White House reportedly pushing for deal allowing flights to Cuba by year’s end

A Record 107,500 Migrants Entered the E.U. Last Month

UN urges Greece to take charge of refugee crisis

In Germany, 60 conservative MPs oppose Merkel course on Greece

St. Louis Fed official: No evidence QE boosted economy

Does Fed lack ammo for next economic crisis?

Default Wave Looms As Energy Sector Credit Risk Surges To Record High

Soros snaps up stock of fuel he once demonized

Venezuela’s currency is now so worthless that people are using it as napkins

Report: Hillary’s Server With ‘Mom and Pop’ Shop That Lacked Security

Report: Hillary’s Email Server Was Kept in a Bathroom Closet in Denver

State Dept. uncovers nearly 18,000 missing emails sought from ex-Clinton spokesman

Chinese police arrest 15,000 for Internet crimes

The world’s smallest drone gets ready to take flight

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Atlantic Gives Birth to Tropical Storm Danny; First Hurricane of 2015 May Follow

Twin typhoons Goni and Atsani threaten Southeast Asia

Uruguay flooding forces 4,000 from their homes

Ongoing drought to cost California $2.74 billion -researchers

Record-Challenging Heat to Surge Across Northwest US, Enhance Wildfire Risk

First rainfall since Tianjin explosion leaves city covered in mysterious white foam

First almost fully-formed human brain grown in lab, researchers claim

Scientists remote control a mouse with a wireless LED brain implant

Head Lice Now Resistant to Common Meds in 25 States

Insecticide linked by some to honey bee die-offs found in U.S. stream samples

White House launches plan to counter explosion in heroin use

Tennessee Courts Replace ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ With ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’

First openly transgender official hired at White House

Inside Vanity Fair: Trans America, Our New Special Issue on Gender Identity and Expression

Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Casts Transgender Woman for Season 8

A New Kind of Eternal Life: The Growing Christian Transhumanism Movement

After Hundreds of Years, Closely Guarded Secret of the Messiah’s Arrival Revealed

What is your Ministry?

New Planned Parenthood Video: Intact Brain Harvested From Living Male Fetus 

T.D. Jakes’ Megafest kicks off today in Dallas

Why Franklin Graham’s salary raises eyebrows among Christian nonprofits

Video – World Battleground, 1000 years of war in 5 minutes


The Briefing

1) Oregon’s right-to-die laws destroying trust between patients and doctors

A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine, Wall Street Journal (William L. Toffler)

2) Power of theology and worldview to ISIS appeal to even teens recognized by New York Times

Jihad and Girl Power: How ISIS Lured 3 London Girls, New York Times (Katrin Bennhold)

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape, New York Times (Rukmini Callimachi)

3) Chattanooga gunman discovered to have been motivated by need to have sin forgiven

Chattanooga Gunman Researched Islamic Martyrdom, Officials Say, New York Times (Michael Schmidt and Jodi Roduren)

In other news…

The White House has appointed its first transgender staffer, Abby Ohlheiser (The Washington Post)

The Coddling of the American Mind, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt (The Atlantic)

Hillary Clinton is her own worst enemy, Eugene Robinson (Washington Post)
Stressed out parents: Never again, Daphne Sashin (CNN)
These embryos survived Katrina: Meet Sam & Ben, Mary Ellen Mark, photographer (CNN Money)

Daily Digest

August 19, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” —John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

EPA Targets Oil and Gas Industry With Methane Regs

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Money up in smoke.

Doesn’t the Environmental Protection Agency have better things to do like, oh, cleaning up a Colorado river? The EPA has taken aim at the scourge of methane gas emitted during oil and gas drilling, proposing a rule that would require the oil and gas industry to reduce methane gas emissions by 40-45% of 2012 levels by 2025. It’s a stunning example of government incompetence, as the rule disregards human motivation and the EPA’s own data on the subject of methane emissions. First, methane is natural gas. Natural gas is energy. For an energy company, energy is money. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw notes, “Any methane that escapes the well is literally money floating away into the air. … Believe me, if the drilling companies can get the methane emission levels down to zero … they’re going to do it and it won’t be to make the EPA happy.” Furthermore, the EPA admits that the oil and gas industry has been the driving force in reducing the nation’s methane production. The biggest human-caused culprit driving the rise of methane to the heavens is enteric fermentation — a.k.a. cow farts. (Not to worry: environmentalists have a plan for that too.) But the EPA goes after the energy industry because it fits its propaganda regarding man-made global warming.

It Was Called ‘Operation Wetback’

Clearly, not everyone is a fan of Donald Trump’s immigration plan. The Wall Street Journal, for example, is always eager to hammer the “nativists” and “restrictionists” who don’t buy into the Chamber of Commerce line on immigration. Of Trump’s plan, the Journal’s editorial board opined, “Trump’s [plan] may finally smoke out a real immigration debate within the GOP. Many restrictionists have claimed only to oppose immigrants who break the law in coming to the U.S. Now we’ll see how many join Mr. Trump in calling for mass deportation and walling off America to all newcomers. The last time Republicans tried this, in the 1920s, they alienated immigrant groups like the Irish and Italians for decades until Ronald Reagan won them back. If they want to lose in 2016, they’ll follow Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant siren.” Actually, the last time Republicans proposed and executed a mass deportation strategy was not the 1920s, but in 1954 under Dwight Eisenhower. And it worked. In the first year of “Operation Wetback,” there were 1,078,168 apprehensions and deportations. In the following years there were 250,000 and smaller numbers over each of the next 10 years. Clearly, nothing using the word “wetback” would be palatable in our politically correct era, and there are certainly legitimate arguments to be made for otherwise handling illegals who’ve been here for a long time. But somebody needs to do their research.

Tuskegee Airman Robbed, Carjacked by Black Thugs

Black lives matter, right? Not to some blacks. According to St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI, “A 93-year-old Tuskegee Airman had his car stolen and was robbed in two separate incidents on Sunday night.” The good news is he wasn’t hurt. The perpetrators were all black, and both incidents took place just a few miles from infamous Ferguson. First, the victim got lost trying to get to his daughter’s home. One suspect approached the car, got in, took some cash from the veteran’s pocket, jumped into another car and fled. The victim drove to the intersection where he last saw the suspect and got out of his car to ask two other black men for help. So they stole his car. Fortunately, the car was recovered two days later. Fox interviewed some residents who were none too pleased with “out of control” crime in the neighborhood. One man gave some solid advice: “Find something constructive to do other than rob old people.” Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals immediately began raising money to help the victim, and they’re also giving the World War II vet a “VIP experience” with free tickets and a field pass — including an offer to make the first pitch — in an upcoming game.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Scott Walker’s ObamaCare Replacement

By Nate Jackson

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Step one: Repeal ObamaCare. Step two: Replace it with market reforms. That, in a nutshell, is what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed Tuesday in releasing his presidential campaign’s “Day One Patient Freedom Plan.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Republicans have been wrestling with the “Well, what would you do?” question for six years.

“ObamaCare cannot be fixed. It must be repealed and replaced with a plan that returns power to consumers and the states,” Walker says on his campaign website.

The basics are, well, basic. Rather than mandate everyone buy insurance and then tax them if they don’t, a la ObamaCare, Walker’s plan hinges on tax credits for people whose employers don’t provide health insurance. And the credits are based on age, not income — while kids under 17 would net a credit of $900, adults between 50 and 64 would receive $3,000.

The Wall Street Journal explains, “This is an important change from ObamaCare’s income-based subsidies. As they phase out, income-based subsidies create high marginal tax rates on the next dollar of income that contribute to a poverty trap. A universal credit is fairer and smooths out these labor-market distortions.”

Some conservatives, however, argue these tax credits are merely another expensive and unfunded entitlement.

Walker would also nearly double the annual contribution limits for tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs), which help consumers control what they spend, as well as offer a $1,000 tax credit to those who sign up for an HSA.

The governor would reform Medicaid into three distinct programs — one for needy families, one for disabled and poor seniors, and a third for long-term health needs. He’d also permit people to buy insurance in groups not defined by employment, allow for purchasing insurance across state lines and pursue tort reform.

“It’s all about freedom,” Walker said in Minnesota. “Putting freedom back in the hands of patients and families to make decisions about your health care and about your money.”

His plan is essentially a “tax cut of about a trillion dollars,” he said. “That’s probably about one of the biggest … pro-growth, economic development tax relief plans we’ve had in the past 40 years. That’s going to have a dynamic and important impact on the nation’s economy.”

He’s absolutely right that reforms based on the free market will do far better than Barack Obama’s centralized control, and objections about the cost of his plan should take into account removing the massive economic and tax burden of ObamaCare. But Walker also aims to achieve reform without pulling the rug out from anyone and while offering a wider appeal. One such concession is a provision protecting people from being denied insurance over pre-existing conditions. Like it or not, such a practical approach will almost surely be necessary.

As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein put it, “Walker’s presidential campaign rejected an ideologically purer alternative in favor of a plan that he hopes will prove more politically viable by extending coverage to a wider cross-section of people than rival Republican plans.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan, for example, offers a standard tax deduction rather than the age-based credits. Fewer low-income families could take full advantage of such a plan, though it is the more limited-government idea.

Certainly imperfect, Walker’s plan is still quite good all around — particularly given the political and economic reality any reform has to take into account. As we have said before in noting similar Republican reform ideas from Senators Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch and Richard Burr, ObamaCare has moved the political baseline for health care policy, and any effort at moving policy back to the Right will require accounting for that reality before changing it.

Finally, space doesn’t permit a full review, but Marco Rubio was actually ahead of Walker in offering his own good reform this week — which largely reiterated his earlier proposal.

To perhaps oversimplify, the biggest difference between the two plans is that Rubio would use increasing tax credits to phase out the employer-based health insurance system over the next decade. That’s probably more ideal than Walker’s credits, but also a heavier lift. Rubio also proposes Medicare reform — essentially the Paul Ryan proposal of leaving current seniors untouched but moving to a premium support model. Walker doesn’t address Medicare at all.

In short, 2016 is shaping up to have a robust debate over real conservative prescriptions to cure the chronic disease known as ObamaCare.

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Arnold Ahlert: “For the last few years the promise of electing America’s first black president has given way to the reality that race relations have actually taken a turn for the worse. While some of the grievances that have emerged have been legitimate, there is little doubt that the ‘fundamental transformation of America’ demanded by the Left and their media allies requires the elevation of a narrative over America’s historical record. … What have black Americans gotten from Democrats for their unwavering support over the last 50 years? How about an egregious learning gap in public schools, courtesy of a Democrat/education union symbiosis that protects the odious status quo? Or the utter destruction of the nuclear family, courtesy of LBJ’s Great Society and its change in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program? … When something isn’t working, it is often a good idea to reexamine one’s premises. Perhaps it is time black Americans reexamined their belief that Democrats, and only Democrats, are looking out for their best interests. That reexamination begins with the simplest of questions: Why hasn’t 50-plus years of loyalty yielded little more than the very same discontent that arose in the 1960s? Hint: One definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities.” —Alan Bloom (1930-1992)

Village Idiots: “[N]o matter who is elected to be president, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country. They will not be able to succeed because the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors is so great that no president alone can stand up to them. … [T]hat is why what this campaign is about is saying loudly and clearly: It is not just about elected Bernie Sanders for president, it is about creating a grassroots political movement in this country.” —Bernie Sanders

Braying Jenny: “I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate.” —Hillary Clinton telling the Black Lives Matter crowd how it’s going to be

Intraparty dissent: “[W]e have now abandoned our long-held policy of preventing nuclear proliferation and are now embarked, not on preventing nuclear proliferation, but on managing or containing it — which leaves us with a far less desirable, less secure and less certain world order. So, I am deeply concerned that this is a significant shift in our nonproliferation policy, and about what it will mean in terms of a potential arms race in an already dangerous region.” —Sen. Bob Menendez announcing his opposition to Obama’s Iran nuclear deal

Late-night humor: “There are reports that if Joe Biden runs for president, he would promise to serve for only one term — because nothing says confidence like promising your presidency would be over quickly.” —Jimmy Fallon

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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If History Is Any Indication, Junk Bonds And Copper Are Telling Us Exactly Where Stocks Are Heading Next

Stock Market - Public DomainYields on the riskiest junk bonds are absolutely soaring and the price of copper just hit a fresh six year low.  To most people, those pieces of financial news are meaningless.  But if you understand history, and you are aware of the patterns that immediately preceded previous stock market crashes, then you know how how huge both of those signs are.  During the summer of 2008, junk bond prices absolutely cratered as junk bond yields skyrocketed.  This was a very clear signal that financial markets were about to crash, and sure enough a couple of months later it happened.  Now the exact same thing is happening again.  The following comes from a Wall Street On Parade article that was posted on Tuesday entitled “Keep Your Eye on Junk Bonds: They’re Starting to Behave Like ‘08“… (Read More….)

 
Did you know that radical environmentalism, sustainable development, and the green agenda can be traced back to the socialist agenda of Nazi Germany? Did you know the holocaust was largely based on German paganism and the sacrifice of the Jews was seen by Hitler as a sacrifice for fertility and virility? Do you know that death camps were filled with oak trees as part of the symbolism of known German paganism? The sacrifice of the Jews and all others that were deemed genetically, mentally, and ethically inferior for the production of a superman race were also seen as a plight upon mother earth…
 
 
INTRODUCTION:   We are living in a time of perhaps unmatched Biblical ignorance ­ a general lack of Biblical understanding. Many professing Christian pastors and leaders have given in to the culture and attempt to defend or reason without resorting to God’s Word, (or not at all). 1­ They are abandoning our most powerful weapon ­ God’s Holy Word! They have capitulated to the culture on the issue of Creation.They have capitulated to the culture on the basis that science (so called) has now “established that God did not “create the Heavens and the earth and all that is therein in six days and…
 
 
The huge crowds greeting socialist Bernie Sanders in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination cannot just be attributed to large numbers of left-wingers. There is a hard-core left-wing element to the Sanders candidacy, of course. But Sanders has tapped into what used to be one of Hillary Clinton’s key constituencies, the New Age Movement. A top Sanders adviser is the influential “spiritual teacher” Marianne Williamson, whose self-help books have been heavily promoted by Oprah Winfrey and sold millions. The New Age Movement is a growing group of people in America who have broken with…
 
 
The number of confirmed classified documents found among Hillary Clinton’s emails in a State Department review has climbed to 60, and yet she was joking about it this past weekend in Iowa. “You may have seen that I recently launched a Snapchat account,” said Mrs. Clinton. “I love it. I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves.” But it may not be such a laughing matter for her. There are new reports of Democrats worried about the viability of her candidacy, new polls showing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ahead of Mrs. Clinton in New Hampshire and Iowa, and reports of Vice President Joe…
 
 
“If it weren’t for me,” Donald Trump told the Fox News moderators at the first Republican presidential debate, “you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration.” The record-breaking audience of 24 million, which is ten times Fox’s usual nightly viewership, had to agree.   Trump’s new position paper reinforces the blunt talk that has propelled his rise in the polls: “A nation without borders is not a nation. A nation without laws is not a nation. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation.”   That’s a refreshing contrast to the immigration paper recently released by…
 

Wearable technology: Latest devices allow employers to track behaviour of their workers

Previously, wearable technology has focused on improving basic efficiency or safety in the workplace – but the new gadgets could allow firms to link their staff’s behaviour and physiological data to their business performance for the first time, even alerting them if they are in need of a day off.

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Transgender WH appointee par for the course

“For once we’ve got some truth out of this White House,” he says, “because hiring an openly transgender person – a man who thinks he’s a woman – actually does reflect the White House values because they’ve got everything backwards. Black is white, men are women, marriage is homosexuality. Everything’s backwards from this White House, so [this] makes sense.”

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Obama’s Legacy and the Iran Nuclear Agreement :: Gambill in National Post

by Gary C. Gambill
The National Post
August 18, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5443/obama-iran-legacy


Netanyahu Vindicated As Obama Nuclear Deal Allows Iran To Conduct Their Own Inspections

Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work

The revelation is sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the U.S., Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the deal is built on trust of the Iranians, a claim the U.S. has denied.

The investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the International Atomic Energy Agency is linked to a broader probe of allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear deal.

un-obama-nuclear-deal-allows-iran-to-inspect-their-own-nuclear-facilities

The White House has denied claims by critics that a secret “side deal” favorable to Tehran exists.

The Parchin deal is a separate, side agreement worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers that signed the Iran nuclear deal were not party to this agreement but were briefed on it by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.

Without divulging its contents, the Obama administration has described the document as nothing more than a routine technical arrangement between Iran and the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency on the particulars of inspecting the site.

Any IAEA member country must give the agency some insight into its nuclear program. Some countries are required to do no more than give a yearly accounting of the nuclear material they possess. But nations- like Iran – suspected of possible proliferation are under greater scrutiny that can include stringent inspections.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s full anti-Iran deal speech

But the agreement diverges from normal inspection procedures between the IAEA and a member country by essentially ceding the agency’s investigative authority to Iran. It allows Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence for activities that it has consistently denied – trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Evidence of that concession, as outlined in the document, is sure to increase pressure from U.S. congressional opponents as they review the July 14 Iran nuclear deal and vote on a resolution of disapproval in early September. If the resolution passed and President Barack Obama vetoed it, opponents would need a two-thirds majority to override it. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has suggested opponents will likely lose.

The White House has denied claims by critics that a secret “side deal” favorable to Tehran exists. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the Parchin document is like other routine arrangements between the agency and individual IAEA member nations, while IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told Republican senators last week that he is obligated to keep the document confidential. source


Netanyahu: Iran’s Goal Is to Destroy Israel, IDF Prepared for Any Scenario

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 08:00 AM PDT

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Iran was advancing its nuclear program in order to destroy Israel, responding to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s declaration that the nuclear deal would not change the Islamic Republic’s belligerent attitude toward the U.S. or the Middle East. “What I said was correct and accurate…

Iran is advancing its nuclear program in order to destroy Israel.” said Netanyahu during a tour of the Israel Defense Force’s Northern Command Unit. “I’m here to examine from up close IDF’s readiness to deal with the threats we’re facing. The Israeli army is strong, Israel is strong. We are prepared for any scenario. We will hurt those who try to do us harm.” Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran’s, in a Tehran speech punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. FULL REPORT

The post Netanyahu: Iran’s Goal Is to Destroy Israel, IDF Prepared for Any Scenario appeared first on .

‘Israel Must Be Obliterated’: New Iranian Video Imagines Muslim Invasion of Jerusalem

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:53 AM PDT

Despite the cry of a “Peaceful Nuclear” ambition from Iran and the approval of the White House, A new video out of Iran presents the imagined scenario of Jerusalem being conquered by a military alliance of the country’s Revolutionary Guard forces and Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, a Jewish news site reported Tuesday.

Quoting the Middle East terrorism research organization the Investigative Project, the Algemeiner reported that the video was released two weeks after the Iran nuclear deal was announced. The video showed the fighters preparing for battle with their gear, headbands, shoes and weapons, then descending on Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly pointed to Iran’s continued sponsorship of international terrorist groups including Hezbollah and to its dedication to destroying Israel as two reasons he believes the deal is dangerous for Israel. FULL REPORTThe post ‘Israel Must Be Obliterated’: New Iranian Video Imagines Muslim Invasion of Jerusalem appeared first on .

US launches biggest allied airborne drills since Cold War ended

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:41 AM PDT

The United States said Tuesday it has launched the biggest allied airborne drills in Europe since the Cold War ended, as fighting involving pro-Russian separatists escalated in eastern Ukraine. Nearly 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO allies are taking part in four weeks of “simultaneous multinational airborne operations” across Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania that began in Saturday, the US army said in a statement.

“Swift Response 15 is the largest Allied airborne training event on the continent since the end of the Cold War,” according to the statement from the US army in Grafenwohr in southern Germany. It is designed to help allied “high-readiness forces” act as one and “demonstrate the alliance’s capacity to rapidly deploy and operate in support of maintaining a strong and secure Europe,” it said. The statement made no reference to the crisis in Ukraine where government troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists since April last year, which has claimed the lives of nearly 7,000 people. FULL REPORT

The post US launches biggest allied airborne drills since Cold War ended appeared first on .

If History Is Any Indication, Junk Bonds And Copper Are Telling Us Exactly Where Stocks Are Heading Next

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:35 AM PDT

Yields on the riskiest junk bonds are absolutely soaring and the price of copper just hit a fresh six year low.

To most people, those pieces of financial news are meaningless.  But if you understand history, and you are aware of the patterns that immediately preceded previous stock market crashes, then you know how how huge both of those signs are.  During the summer of 2008, junk bond prices absolutely cratered as junk bond yields skyrocketed.  This was a very clear signal that financial markets were about to crash, and sure enough a couple of months later it happened.  Now the exact same thing is happening again.  The following comes from a Wall Street On Parade article that was posted on Tuesday entitled “Keep Your Eye on Junk Bonds: They’re Starting to Behave Like ‘08“…

According to data from Bloomberg, corporations have issued a stunning $9.3 trillion in bonds since the beginning of 2009. The major beneficiary of this debt binge has been the stock market rather than investment in modernizing the plant, equipment or new hires to make the company more competitive for the future. Bond proceeds frequently ended up buying back shares or boosting dividends, thus elevating the stock market on the back of heavier debt levels on corporate balance sheets.

Now, with commodity prices resuming their plunge and currency wars spreading, concerns of financial contagion are back in the markets and spreads on corporate bonds versus safer, more liquid instruments like U.S. Treasury notes, are widening in a fashion similar to the warning signs heading into the 2008 crash. The $2.2 trillion junk bond market (high-yield) as well as the investment grade market have seen spreads widen as outflows from Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and bond funds pick up steam. FULL REPORT

The post If History Is Any Indication, Junk Bonds And Copper Are Telling Us Exactly Where Stocks Are Heading Next appeared first on .

Iran Deploys New Fighter Jets Meant to Combat Israel

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:28 AM PDT

According to an Israeli Source, Iran’s Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan on Tuesday gave a run-down of the army’s upcoming military buildup, and revealed that a new fighter jet announced in February has been delivered to the Iranian Air Force. Dehqan said the domestic double-cockpit supersonic Saeqeh 2 jets – whose name means “Thunderbolt” – have been deployed, reports the semi-official Fars News Agency.

The jet, unveiled in February, is meant to be capable of tracing American and Israeli fighter jets according to the paper, which cited a senior Air Force commander Col. Houshang Monfaredzadeh saying as much back in February. “Saeqeh 2 fighters have been delivered to the Air Force and a training jet has also been tested and is ready for manufacturing,” Dehqan announced on Tuesday in time for National Defense Industry Day. FULL REPORT

The post Iran Deploys New Fighter Jets Meant to Combat Israel appeared first on .

Are You Really Ready for Christ’s Return?

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:17 AM PDT

As time draws nearer to the coming of the Lord, our attitude should be one of soberness and watchfulness. Every righteous generation of saints has eagerly anticipated the Lord’s coming. The biggest reason He has not come yet is understood in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness. But He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”

The Lord does not want anyone to be lost. His delay is based on His love and patience for all mankind to allow them time and space to repent. Nevertheless, every true Christian is to anticipate the Lord’s coming with desire and eagerness. Early Christians and every righteous generation since then expressed a heartfelt desire for Christ’s immediate return. Along with this desire are exhortations to live a holy life, especially in the light of the Lord’s return drawing nearer: FULL REPORT

The post Are You Really Ready for Christ’s Return? appeared first on .

Indiana Woman Marries Jesus Christ, Becomes Rare Consecrated Virgin

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:13 AM PDT

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception over the weekend for an unlikely wedding ceremony. The bride, Jessica Hayes, was marrying her groom, Jesus Christ. She became the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese’s first consecrated virgin in 25 years, reports CBS affiliate WANE.

Hayes’ is currently the only consecrated virgin in her diocese. WANE reports that consecrated virgin is a fairly rare occurrence in the Catholic Church. There are only 200 in the United States and approximately 3,000 in the world. A consecrated virgin is not the same as a nun. Hayes will still live her life as a lay person. 38-year-old Hayes is a high school theology teacher. She told WANE that this decision represents years of prayer and soul-searching. FULL REPORT

The post Indiana Woman Marries Jesus Christ, Becomes Rare Consecrated Virgin appeared first on .

Rare Fish with ‘Human-Like’ Teeth Found in California

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:03 AM PDT

Photographs of a baffling fish got in the Delta a week ago are turning into a web sensation. The photographs were posted on Facebook by a lady who said she reeled it in close to the Stockton Boat Docks. Numerous are currently thinking about whether it is a piranha.

FOX40 addresses numerous angler along the Delta to check whether they had ever seen it some time recently. Duncan Darr is the administrator of Cliff’s Marina. In the most recent decade, he has turned into a specialist on Delta angling. At the point when FOX40 demonstrated to him the photograph, he had no clue what it was.

Neither did individual anglers, Ben Pelka or Jerry Buchman. So we swung to the specialists. “This is known as a Pacu. It’s in the piranha family,” California Fish and Wildlife representative Andrew Hughan sand. The Pacu is local to the Amazon. In California, it is viewed as an obtrusive species, and probably, somebody simply dumped it in the Delta. “In a few states they are legitimate to be foreign made. Some person likely brought them when they moved here from another state. It happens,” Hughan said. SOURCE

The post Rare Fish with ‘Human-Like’ Teeth Found in California appeared first on .

Epidemic of sea mammal deaths explodes as Fukushima radiation contaminates one-third of the earth

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 06:48 AM PDT

Dead and dying sea mammals continue to wash ashore at unusual and alarming rates along the California coast. Scientists are stumped, suggesting that the cause may be food shortages caused by abnormally warm waters – but unsure of what has caused the ocean off the California coast to warm so rapidly.

Meanwhile, the radioactive plume released into the Pacific Ocean following the Fukushima nuclear disaster draws ever closer to North America’s western coast. At the same time, radioactive material is still pouring into the sea from the Fukushima site. Could the ongoing radioactive poisoning of the Pacific and the dying of its marine mammals be related? FULL REPORT

The post Epidemic of sea mammal deaths explodes as Fukushima radiation contaminates one-third of the earth appeared first on .

Treatment-Resistant Head Lice have now spread to 25 U.S. states

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 06:33 AM PDT

Just in time for the new school year, head lice have become literal superbugs. Lice have developed a high level of resistance to the most common over-the-counter treatments in 25 states, according to research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. “If you overuse a product, over time, the selection pressure will cause insects to develop resistance to it,” Kyong Yoon, an assistant professor of biological and environmental science at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and lead author of this ongoing research, told a group of journalists.

Head lice are most commonly treated with pyrethroids, a widely used class of indoor-outdoor insecticides, often used for mosquito control. Yoon and his team found that lice developed a gene mutation, known as knock-down resistance (kdr) against the pyrethroids — rendering them ineffective. In 104 out of the 109 lice populations Yoon tested, the insects were resistant to pyrethroids. “Lice don’t have wings, and they don’t jump, so they move where people move,” Yoon said. That’s why the new school year is such a vulnerable time for head lice transmission. Kids bring lice back from vacations and into the classroom, where they pass the infestation on to their classmates. FULL REPORT

The post Treatment-Resistant Head Lice have now spread to 25 U.S. states appeared first on .

 


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

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August 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Obeying God in the Hard Places

In these troubling times when we become disheartened by those ruling over us, it is good to know “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1. Most of us here in the West have never faced serious persecution for obeying Christ, but that may change as the freedom to exercise our religious convictions are restricted.

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What Our Children Need from Us

Here’s what our children don’t need: to be worshiped. Some parents tend to control and manipulate their children, trying to micro-manage them (guilty!), while others think they do no wrong and spoil and over-indulge them. These can both be symptoms of over-valuing our children to the point of worshiping them or finding our worth and security in them and their well-being. Our children need us to worship God, not them or ourselves. They need us to be in prayer and praise, in worship both privately and publicly.

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Hate Comes Naturally, Love Is Learned

The point is, we are not born with an innate ability to love and do good. Scripture, and history, shows the exact opposite to be true. We need to reject the notion that our children are innocent, when Scripture declares it to be otherwise. So we pray to our Father in heaven that the LORD will redeem our children and save them. They need God’s grace just as much as we do.

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10 Lessons From my First Year in Pastoral Ministry

Taking risks and working hard is important, but as my professors would always remind us “you can lose your ministry and keep your marriage, but you cannot lose your marriage and keep your ministry”. You don’t realize the weight and busyness of ministry until you’re in it. It’s very easy to neglect the family, and to have a selfish mentality when coming home. As we’ve seen in many pastor’s lives, even this past year, it’s very easy to lose your family if you don’t care for it.

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John Piper’s Advice For Women in the Workforce

I am having a hard time understanding these guidelines. My influence in the civil sphere has to be non-personal and non-directive? Or I will upset the feminine masculine dynamic? Should we then get rid of women doctors and nurses? I don’t see how one could do that job without being both personal and directive. I’m sure they have many male patients whom they have to tell what to do. And we wouldn’t want women in any administrative roles then either. There would be so many jobs that “mature” women would not be able to serve in were they to follow these principles.

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Don’t Give Up

So take heart. You have a one-person extreme makeover team living in you. When you resist temptation you going against the grain of your old sinful habits – and that’s tough. But you are going with the grain of the Holy Spirit. You have his desires, his life, his power – and that makes all the difference.

Read More


New Study Says Church Involvement is Secret to 'Sustained Happiness' and Long-Term Fulfillment

New Study Says Church Involvement is Secret to ‘Sustained Happiness’ and Long-Term Fulfillment

A new study has found that joining a church contributes more to an individual’s “sustained happiness” and fulfillment than any other form of social involvement, including volunteering at a charity or taking a class.

Read Full Article »


Pain: A Secret Garden of Pride

Pain: A Secret Garden of Pride

Pain can be a secret garden of pride. We don’t talk about it often because it’s so sensitive, so vulnerable — so painful. As touchy as the topic of pain is, though, it’s equally dangerous to tiptoe around it. John…

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Tullian Tchividjian Deposed of Clergy Credentials by South Florida Presbytery Following Extramarital Affair

Tullian Tchividjian Deposed of Clergy Credentials by South Florida Presbytery Following Extramarital Affair

Tullian Tchividjian, former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale and a grandson of famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, has been deposed of his clergy credentials by the South Florida Presbytery.

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Franklin Graham Headlines 'Good News Festival' in Oklahoma With Artists Skillet, Lacey Sternum, Michael W. Smith

Franklin Graham Headlines ‘Good News Festival’ in Oklahoma With Artists Skillet, Lacey Sternum, Michael W. Smith

Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and son of the Rev. Bill Graham, will be speaking at the &Good News Festival,& a multi-day revival event held in Oklahoma City this weekend.

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8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven

8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven

&The smallest child in heaven knows more about God than the greatest theologian on earth.&

Read Full Article »


Why is Christianity growing so quickly in mainland China

Why is Christianity growing so quickly in mainland China

Christianity is spreading rapidly in China, and it could be because of how well the faith fits in with modern scientific technology, Cathol

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Your Bible Is a Mine, Not a Museum

Your Bible Is a Mine, Not a Museum

&To miners, the knowledge they acquire is not merely interesting; it’s vital.&

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Warning: The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health

Warning: The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health

If there has ever been a book that is designed to make you uncomfortable and challenge your way of thinking, it’s the Bible.

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What Jesus Really Meant When He Said

What Jesus Really Meant When He Said “Judge Not”

Crosswalk.com sits down with David B. Capes to chat about his new book Slow to Judge: Sometimes it’s OK to Listen, and how Christians can learn to judge biblically, listen well, and develop true wisdom.

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Tech Calls Baby's Heart Beat

Tech Calls Baby’s Heart Beat “Cool” During PP Brain Harvesting

The horrific details of baby body part harvesting at Planned Parenthood just keeps coming.

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Seventh Planned Parenthood Expose': Some Babies Are Alive When Organs Are Harvested

Seventh Planned Parenthood Expose’: Some Babies Are Alive When Organs Are Harvested

The seventh expose’ video surrounding Planned Parenthood’s alleged harvesting and sale of aborted babies was released today, featuring testimony that suggests that some babies are alive when their organs are harvested. The footage, released by the Center for Medical Progress, features clips from the past six videos, as well as new footage from an interview…

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Is Your Church Worship More Pagan than Christian?

There is a great misunderstanding in churches of the purpose of music in Christian worship. Churches routinely advertise their “life-changing” or “dynamic” worship that will “bring you closer to God” or “change your life.” Certain worship CD’s promise that the music will “enable you to enter the presence of God.” Even a flyer for a recent conference for worship leaders boasted:

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It Is About Control

The word “devil” means deceiver. Satan is the master of deceit. He wants a world government. It is a goal of the United States. It is in the UN Charter.

Many Republicans and Democrats are cooperating with each other to establish one. If someone like Trump comes along that these Globalists can’t control, they will try to make sure that that person doesn’t win.

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Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure? – Markell

Pope Francis is revealing himself to be a blatant Marxist. He has also pulled back from issues Catholics have considered sacred. He apparently has replaced abortion with social justice and environmentalism. Most troubling, however, is his call for a “new world order” and that there be a global constitution, a global court and a one-world government. Scripture is clear that the Antichrist will be the head of a one-world government (Revelation 13).

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New Iranian Video Imagines Muslim Invasion of Jerusalem

A new video out of Iran presents the imagined scenario of Jerusalem being conquered by a military alliance of the country’s Revolutionary Guard forces and Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, a Jewish news site reported Tuesday.

Quoting the Middle East terrorism research organization the Investigative Project, the Algemeiner reported that the video was released two weeks after the Iran nuclear deal was announced.

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What’s Wrong With Participation Trophies?


How the apostate church defends abortion

In this piece Lee Duigon, contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, addresses the left’s fabrication that abortion mill Planned Parenthood is “doing God’s work.”   Duigon isn’t buying it,  He says scornfully: “As if God’s work were to kill babies in the womb and auction their organs. Can you say “blasphemy”?” What better way to begin […]

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Let’s remember the baby boy whose brain was harvested in Planned Parenthood’s abortion mill. #DefundPP

The video above is beyond horrific. In it, Holly O’Donnell gives a first person account of a little boy who survived a Planned Parenthood abortion with heart still beating. Instead of trying to save the boy’s life, O’Donnell and another worker cut his face open, removed his brain, and sold it for research.

No matter your views on abortion, everyone agrees that it is an atrocity to kill a living human infant outside the womb. Everyone agrees that killing that live human infant outside the womb is a legally defined as murder. There is no question that what O’Donnell describes is a murder in cold blood.

God help us as a people if we are ready for this story to go away so that we can think about other things. God help us if we forget that little boy born alive, left to die, and mutilated to sell his brain. God help us if we are so infected by pro-abortion propaganda that we will not think about that little boy’s body cast aside as medical waste. God help us if our consciences are so seared by our political allegiances that we ignore this precious life brutally ended in a Planned Parenthood abortion mill.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of abortions–over 300,000 every year. Planned Parenthood sells countless baby body parts to researchers every year. And the federal government subsidizes this monstrous organization to the tune of half a billion dollars annually. Obviously, the federal funding must cease. But more than that needs to happen. There needs to be investigation and prosecution of the homicides committed by Planned Parenthood personnel.

This is not a shady, gray moral issue. No, this is clear. This horror cannot stand. This horror must not stand. If we as a people cannot muster the moral courage to end this, then we will deserve whatever judgments we receive. God help us.


GENETIC RESEARCH SCIENTIST: LIKELY SOME ABORTED BABIES ARE “ALIVE UNTIL THEIR HEARTS ARE CUT OUT”

According to Breitbart:

Baby in the womb

The biomedical scientist—who assisted the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in its preparation to infiltrate Planned Parenthood and expose its practice of harvesting aborted baby parts for sale to biomedical companies—says she suspects that the “babies in some of these cases were alive until their hearts were cut out” for harvesting.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Dr. Theresa Deisher, a world-renowned scientist in the field of adult stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine, discussed what is involved in harvesting the organs of aborted babies.

“If you read scientific publications, in which they use the fetal material for some indications, particularly, cardio-vascular, or nerve cell research, they discuss the necessity of having tissue in the digesting buffer solution within five minutes for optimal yields,” she explains. “So, within five minutes of death, you would have to have the heart removed, and flushed of all blood, cleaned of any extra tissue that might be there, and the heart put into a liquid with enzymes that would digest the connective tissue and release the muscle cells.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/17/genetic-research-scientist-likely-some-aborted-babies-are-alive-until-their-hearts-are-cut-out/


Planned Parenthood Butchers Cut Through Live Baby’s Face To Extract Brain

In the latest video produced by the Center for Medical Progress, Holly O’Donnell describes a medical technician using scissors to cut through the face of a newly aborted but nearly fully developed baby boy at a Planned Parenthood facility so that his intact brain could be extracted.

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:” Matthew 5:21 (KJV)

Planned Parenthood is working hard to counter the steady drip of damning videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, but not even the highest priced Washington, D.C. flacks are likely to be able to erase the thought picture of someone cutting through a child’s face with scissors.

Holly O’Donnell and her Planned Parenthood colleague were harvesting organs that day at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, a mega-clinic in San Jose, California that has an annual budget of $100 million or 10 percent of the national organization.

O’Donnell, who turned whistleblower after leaving StemExpress, said the child was the most fully developed she had seen up to that point. She describes in great detail how the newly aborted boy was rinsed off and prepared for dissection.

Her colleague called her over and, according to O’Donnell, said, “Hey Holly, come over here, I want you to see something kind of cool, kind of neat.” O’Donnell said she was flabbergasted to see “…the most gestated fetus and closest thing to a baby I’ve seen.”

Her colleague then took an instrument and “tapped the heart and it starts beating.”

O’Donnell says, “I am sitting here looking at this fetus and it’s heart is beating and I don’t know what to think.” She said she didn’t know if the child was alive or dead but “it had a face. It wasn’t completely torn up. Its nose was very pronounced. It had eyelids and its mouth was pronounced.”

planned-parenthood-cuts-though-live-babies-face-to-extract-intact-brain-abortion-01

The medical technician said the child was so intact that they could “procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure a brain.” The tech told O’Donnell they would need to “go through the face.” The medical tech took scissors and cut through the child’s lower jaw up through the mouth. O’Donnell was directed to cut the rest of the way through “the middle of the face.”

“I can’t even describe what that feels like,” said O’Donnell. O’Donnell had to take the boy’s remains and put him in a bio-hazard container and “then I realized I was the only person ever to hold that baby.”

Obama Tells Planned Parenthood “God Bless You”

“That was the moment I realized I couldn’t work for StemExpress any more,” she said.

The latest video is both the least graphic and the most graphic video produced by David Daleiden and his team. Sometimes words alone have a more powerful effect than even the pictures of medical technicians picking through baby body parts.

The video comes at a time when Planned Parenthood is trying to fight back with high-powered PR people and a new and very expensive advertising campaign that just launched in selected markets.

A number of states have defunded Planned Parenthood and formal investigations have begun in others. Even StemExpress has severed ties with the abortion giant. Attempts to use the courts to stifle the release of new videos have largely failed.

Up to now Planned Parenthood has been successful in convincing Americans that the federal funded group performs very few abortions. Planned Parenthood has claimed that abortions make up merely 3 percent of their overall annual “services.” Even liberal outlets have debunked that claim.

Even so, polls show that most Americans don’t believe Planned Parenthood performs abortions at all, when in fact it performs more than 300,000 every year, more than any other group, generating more than $100 million in revenue from abortions alone. source


Who Are the Weak among Us Today?

Our church recently finished a series through the book of Judges. I won’t sugar-coat it: the book does not end well. The last five chapters of Judges depict the darkest moral hours of Israel’s checkered history. Priests are available for hire to the strongest clan. Women are bought, sold, kidnaped, raped, and murdered with impunity. One horror follows another, until the book merely grinds to a halt: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

It’s easy to read Judges and condemn the people for their heinous acts. But we’ve got to realize that we aren’t any different. What we see in Judges 17–21 is just the inevitable result of casting off the rule of God. It begins with re-defining morality, and it always ends with the strong oppressing the weak.

This raises the question for us: who are the weak among us today? Where has our society, in a frantic rush to dismiss the wisdom of God, left a trail of pain and brokenness in its wake?

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Easy Pickings for Satan?

By every measurable standard it is clear that Biblical Christianity in America is on the decline and in a growing state of crisis.  Youth, being heavily influenced by a public education system increasingly hostile toward God, are leaving the faith in record numbers.  And many professing Christians do not understand, or disagree with, basic tenets […]

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Read Your Bible Like A Pharisee!

In just a few short, easy steps you too can learn how to read your Bible like a bona fide Pharisee! “Why would I want such a thing?” you ask. Trust me – life is just easier when you read the Bible like a professional.  Read more of this post


The Problem With Preppers

Socrates spoke with great wisdom when he reminded us that before we can have a fruitful discussion it is always wise to define our terms.

Today I would like to talk about the problem with preppers, but before I do I want to make a distinction between “preppers” and “preppies.” The terms are not synonymous, in distinction to the terms “trekkers” and “trekkies,” but it is an important distinction and I also note that preppies don’t actually have any problems. A preppy is a person who dresses properly, like I do. Preppers, on the other hand, are folks committed to doing a great deal of work and preparation for what they perceive to be some kind of soon-coming calamity; some great upheaval culturally speaking.

But before I get to the problem, let me speak well at least of the principal. I expect that it may be a bigger problem, in terms of raw numbers, the way most of us move through our lives with a safe and happy assumption that everything is going to continue to be safe and happy. We have this head in the sand perspective about things that assures that “they” won’t let anything terrible happen to us.

Today I was in the car with my nine-year-old son, Reilly and (I am not sure what brought this thought to mind) but he asked me what would happen if a giant asteroid struck the planet. I gave him a description as best as I could, being no science expert, but I tried to describe what I thought would happen and the hardships that would happen. And you know what, hardships do happen. That is why I am not opposed to the principle which says you should be prepared for hardship.

I live in Florida and we are in the midst of hurricane season. Every so often, a hurricane pops up in the Caribbean and it sets out on its path and the experts try to guess where it is going to go and the next thing you know you can’t get a gallon of water at the grocery store; you can’t get a flashlight at the grocery store; you can’t get milk at the grocery store; you can’t even get duct tape at the grocery store. How bad is that? Everybody rushes out to make their preparations. And, sadly, too often people make their preparations too late. So I’m not opposed to the idea that we should be wise, that we should recognize that the peace and the stability that we enjoy is not a promise from God. We know we will not have the whole world flooded, but beyond that I’m not sure that we know much else about what might happen to this planet or what might happen to us culturally with respect to the stability of our government. Things can change.

My counsel has always been to make appropriate preparations for appropriate issues. Let’s go back, as embarrassing as it may be for me, to the year 1999. The Y2K scare turned millions of us into preppers and I was sometimes deemed to be a great scaremonger, though I don’t know that that is true. My counsel then was very straightforward: You should do what you can to prepare in such a way that if nothing happens your life won’t be ruined. The kinds of preparations that my wife and I made were to, for about a year, get some more of something that would last every time we went to the grocery store. It might be dried pasta, it might be canned vegetables, or it might be canned beans. But I would get a couple of extra things that, if nothing happened, we could just rotate right into our weekly menu and work our way through them–and it worked fine. We also put in a wood burning stove in our basement which we continued to delight to use into 2000, 2001, and 2002. I replaced a battered old electric stove in the canning area in the house with a gas stove so that I would be able to cook if there was some type of disruption. That is what it means to store some water in case of a potential hurricane; that is what it means to make wise decisions.

But sometimes you get the sense that preppers are almost disappointed when the calamity doesn’t come. There’s a pride, almost a gnostic pride, that suggests that “I am in the know and I know the secret.” This too is something I have been tempted to fall into as someone who understands a little bit about economics and spends a bit of time reading about economics. We had economic doomsayers even inside the reformed world for decades warning that hyperinflation is just around the corner or warning that gold is going to go to $10,000 an ounce–but none of this has happened yet, though it does not mean it won’t. But it does mean that any overconfidence that it is going to happen is inappropriate.

It is one thing to make appropriate steps for potentiality, it is another to think that you have mastered the future. It is one thing to say, “I don’t know what is going to happen and therefore I’m going to take these precautions,” and another to say “I do know what is going to happen and therefore I am going to make these preparations.” God is on His throne and certainly that does not preclude the possibility of calamity. Nations have risen and nations have fallen and I certainly would not have wanted to have been left behind in 70 A.D. in the city of Jerusalem. But Jesus told the preppers of His day that they needed to be ready to go, they needed to watch for these signs, and that when they came they were to go. You don’t fix the calamity, you don’t ride out the calamity. Sometimes God will put us in places that will challenge us. Our calling is to trust and rest in Him and to be good stewards of all that He provides.

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Insider’s View of Rob Bell’s Stop in SF for “Everything is Spiritual Tour”

LTRP Note: We post this because it is important for people to understand what the deception looks like that young Christians are being saturated with through individuals such as Rob Bell. Bell’s tour, Everything is  Spiritual, is panentheistic in nature but disguised in some Christian vernacular. Bear in mind, Rob Bell isn’t the only one […]

Guardian Angels?

Guardian Angels

“You must have a guardian Angel watching over you!” You’ve either heard it said or have said it to someone after their life took an unexpected and much needed turn for the better. It might seem like an irrelevant question in our post-modern, technological, post-enlightenment, scientific world; but, I care deeply about whether or not there are such things as guardian Angels appointed by God to watch over believers. I am one of those who fights to hold onto the unseen and supernatural world revealed in Scripture. I believe in an infinite and Almighty God who is Triune in His being; I believe that He is immortal and invisible; I believe that He created the world out of nothing and carries it along by the word of His power; I believe in a Savior who is both God and man–made possible by a virgin birth; I believe in the resurrection from the dead and I believe that all men will spent eternity in Heaven (i.e. in the New Heavens and New Earth) or in Hell. In short, I believe all of what we confess in the Apostles Creed. Oh, and I believe that there are Angels–lots and lots of Angels. I have often wondered why the phrase “I believe in Angels” didn’t make it into the Creed. At least the phrase, “We believe in One God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things…invisible,” made its way into the Nicene Creed.

While this is so, I sometimes catch myself feeling a sense of timidity wash over me when I tell unbelievers about the way in which Jesus, at the cross, conquered the one who conquered man–an unseen being called Satan (i.e. the Devil or the Evil One) who holds the entire world under his sway. I feel this timidity, not because I question its veracity–or because I am ashamed of believing these things–but because it is so incredibly countercultural in our day to believe anything remotely along these lines. I know certain ministers in large cities in the US who have made the conscious decision to abandon the use of the name “Satan” or “the Devil,” and to replace it with the more psychologically charged nomenclature, “the Evil One”–in order to take the edge off of the stigma. In the pre-technological, pre-enlightenment, pre-scientific world, it was standard fare to believe in fallen and unfallen Angels. Today, when most people speak of demons, they are referring to out-of-control sin in someone’s life. It is quite a sophisticated way to take the focus off of personal accountability for sin. “She has a demons,” they say–when, in fact, those who say such things don’t believe the biblical record of unfallen Angels.

On the other hand, I sometimes feel timidity because of the warped views about these things woven into the fabric of modern evangelicalism. Fantastical epics flow from the pen of leading voices in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. In doing so, many have promoted a view of the Angelic world that sounds more like something out of a bad sci-fi movie than something out of the Scriptures. With the unbelieving world rejecting the unseen world of Scripture and the mystical branch of Christianity misrepresenting it, we find ourselves in a sort of no-man’s land when it comes to our understanding of Angels. Nevertheless, we should labor diligently to uncover everything we can about the doctrine of Angels from the Scriptures. In the words of John Calvin, “if we desire to know God by his works, we surely cannot overlook this noble and illustrious specimen.”1

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin has given us one of the most helpful summaries on the biblical teaching about Angels. Designating almost an entire chapter (Institutes 1.14) to this subject, Calvin writes:

In Scripture, then, we uniformly read that angels are heavenly spirits, whose obedience and ministry God employs to execute all the purposes which he has decreed, and hence their name as being a kind of intermediate messengers to manifest his will to men. The names by which several of them are distinguished have reference to the same office. They are called hosts, because they surround their Prince as his court,—adorn and display his majesty,—like soldiers, have their eyes always turned to their leader’s standard, and are so ready and prompt to execute his orders, that the moment he gives the nod, they prepare for, or rather are actually at work. In declaring the magnificence of the divine throne, similar representations are given by the prophets, and especially by Daniel, when he says, that when God stood up to Judgment, “thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him,” (Dan. 7:10). As by these means the Lord wonderfully exerts and declares the power and might of his hand, they are called virtues. Again, as his government of the world is exercised and administered by them, they are called at one time Principalities, at another Powers, at another Dominions (Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:21).2

Calvin will, from there, proceed to treat the subject with the utmost care, bringing the reader to the place of understanding the prominent role that Angels play in the life of believers. For instance, in 1.14.5, Calvin explained:

The point on which the Scriptures specially insist is that which tends most to our comfort, and to the confirmation of our faith, namely, that angels are the ministers and dispensers of the divine bounty towards us. Accordingly, we are told how they watch for our safety, how they undertake our defense, direct our path, and take heed that no evil befall us. There are whole passages which relate, in the first instance, to Christ, the Head of the Church, and after him to all believers. “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Again, “The angel of the Lord encamps around them that fear him, and delivers them.” By these passages the Lord shows that the protection of those whom he has undertaken to defend he has delegated to his angels.3

This brings us back again to the question of whether or not each believer has one, single guardian angel entrusted to watch over him or her. Many have suggested so based on an appeal to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:10 and to a passing reference to Peter’s “Angel” in Acts 12:15. In the passage in Matthew 10, our Lord says, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” A cursory reading–taken together with the Acts 12 passage–makes such an interpretation seemingly viable. At first glance, it appears that our Lord Jesus is teaching that each of His “little ones” (i.e. believers) are watched over by an Angel. However, as B.B. Warfield, has helpfully noted in his article “The Angels of Christ’s Little Ones:”

“The real difficulty of explaining these passages by the aid of the notion of “guardian angels” is that this notion does not in the least fit their requirements. Where should a “guardian angel” be, except with his ward? That is the essential idea of a “guardian angel;” he is supposed to be in unbroken attendance upon the saint committed to his charge. But neither in Mat. 18:10, nor in Acts 12:15 are the angels spoken of found with their wards; but distinctly elsewhere. Our Lord says that the angels of the little ones of which he speaks, are not on earth with their charges, but “in heaven, constantly beholding the face of my Father who is in heaven.” It was because the Christians gathered in Mary’s house could not believe it was the imprisoned Peter who was at the door, that they supposed it must be his angel. It is thus characteristic of these angels mentioned in the New Testament that they are not constantly with those whose angels they are. If “guardian angels” are intended, one wonders how it gives force to the warning that we would do well not to despise a single one of these “little ones,” to be told that their “guardian angels” are not with them but are “always in heaven, beholding the face of my Father which is in heaven.” And one wonders whether if Peter had a guardian angel at all, it would not be just the time when he would be supposed to be with him, when he lay languishing in prison, expectant of the worst on the morrow. One knows that God’s angel—which seems something better than Peter’s angel—was actually with Peter, ministering to his needs at this exact time.”4

While many other objections may be raised about any sort of biblical teaching regarding individual “guardian angels” entrusted by God to watch over individual believers, of this much we can be sure–God will not spare to send the entire host of heaven to the aid of His people if He so chooses. They are, after all, called “ministering spirits” in the book of Hebrews, where we learn that they are “sent forth to minister to those who will inherit eternal life.” We may not be sure as to whether or not one specific angel is appointed to a specific believer, but our faith is stirred as we step back and have our eyes opened to see “the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” and his servant as they were being pursued by the King of Syria (2 Kings 17). We are built up in faith as we hear our Lord Jesus tell the eleven disciples, “do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”–an entire legion of Angels for each of them (Matt. 26:53). What comfort is derived from the thought that “if God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all” how will He not employ the service of the army of heaven to bring His children to glory.

1. John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.14.3

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., 1.14.6

4. B.B. Warfield, “The Angel’s of Christ’s Little Ones” in The Bible Student (Columbia, S.C.: The R.L. Bryan Co., 1902) p. 241

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There Is No Better Life

There Is No Better LifeThe old catechism says it well: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. You and I exist for God’s glory. In fact, all things exist for God’s glory. We get that. But how? How do we glorify God? I want to list 4 simple ways that you can glorify God today and every day.

Glorify God by Admiring God

You glorify God by admiring God, by simply appreciating him for who he is and for what he has done. Within the Bible we see plenty of examples of each.

Consider Paul admiring God at the end of Romans 11. Paul has spent all this time discussing man’s great need and God’s great provision in Jesus Christ, and then he just can’t help himself: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” He just has to break into this little song of worship, this little song that brings glory to God.

You can also admire God for who he is, pondering his character and attributes. We see this in the little doxology at the end of Jude: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude considers who God is and then naturally glorifies him.

You glorify God through your admiration of his character and his ways. Do you make it your habit to admire God?

Glorify God by Worshipping God

You glorify God by worshipping God. Just think of Psalm 29 which begins like this:

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

Worship is one of the great privileges of the Christian life (which is why I recently asked What Would I Lose if I Lost Worship?). Worship is ascribing to God his own worth. It is “the art of losing self in the adoration of another.” When we worship him we give him honor, we magnify him in the sight of those who join with us. We declare that he is the point and purpose of our entire world and our entire existence. God is glorified in this kind of self-forgetful worship.

Do you love to worship? Do you take every opportunity to worship? Do you worship for God’s sake and God’s glory?

Glorify God by Obeying God

You glorify God by obeying God. This is true whether that obedience is expressed through character or through action. You glorify God by living a life of obedience, by doing those things he says to do and by refusing to do those things he forbids. The New Testament tells us with crystal clarity that there is an old way of living that God tells us to turn away from and a new way of living that he tells us to embrace.

It makes God look great, it brings glory to his name, when you stop sinning, when you put to death those evil deeds and evil desires. It makes God look great when you begin living righteously and, even more, when you long to behave righteously. Why? Because you prove that the power of God is active in you.

God is glorified in your holiness, not in your sin. Do you grow in holiness so that God can be glorified? God is glorified in your selfless deeds, not your selfish ones. Do you love and serve others?

Glorify God by Delighting in God

Finally, you glorify God by delighting in God. To delight in God is to have great affection for him, to find your heart moved by him, to find ultimate joy in him. It is to love and long to do things that make him look great. It is to engage all you are and all you’ve got in the full-out pursuit of God. Like Jesus said, it is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” When you delight in God you express free and willing love toward him. You see God as a great treasure who is worthy of your pursuit, worthy of your affection.

I love how Thomas Watson says it: “True saints are seraphims, burning in holy love to God.” Could it be said of you that you are burning in love to God?

No Better Life

God does all things for his glory. If you can get this in your mind and into your heart, it will transform the way you look at the world and the way you live in the world. It will change everything. It will allow you to give up pride and position as long as God is glorified. It will allow you to give up lifelong dreams and treasured sins as long as God is glorified. It will even allow you to joyfully give up your life, firmly believing that God will be glorified. There is no better life than the life lived for the sake and the glory of God.

Note: These 4 points were drawn roughly and loosely from Thomas Watson’s commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism.


10 Reasons Even Committed Church Members Are Attending Less Often

It comes up in a surprising number of conversations these days. And no one’s quite sure how to respond to it.

The issue? Even committed church attenders are attending church less often.

Sure, the trend has been happening for years (gone are the days when people attended 50 out of 52 Sundays), but the issue is reaching a tipping point in the church today.

I first wrote about this two years ago in a post called 7 Ways to Respond as People Attend Church Less Often. In the last 24 months, the conversation has come up far more often and, to many leaders, feels much more urgent.

This isn’t a post about why people have left the church (that’s a different subject). This is the first in a series of posts about church attenders who love God, appreciate the local church and are even involved in the local church, but who simply attend less often.

This post is the first part of a five-part series on why people are attending church less often:

Part 2: CNLP Episode 23: Why People Are Attending Church Less Often—an Interview With Will Mancini.

Part 3: 5 Ways to Embrace Infrequent Church Attenders

Part 4: 10 Predictions About the Future Church and Shifting Attendance Patterns

Part 5: CNLP Episode 24: Churchless: Why and How America Is Learning to Live Without the Church—an Interview With David Kinnaman

If you want to access the podcast interviews easily on your phone or other device, the best way is to subscribe to my leadership podcast for free on iTunes or Stitcher.

So why all this attention?

This trend isn’t going away … in fact (as the podcasts will show) it’s accelerating,

It impacts almost every church regardless of size, denomination or even location.

It probably marks a seismic shift in how the church will do ministry in the future.

Of course, church attendance is never the goal. But attendance a sign of something deeper that every church leader is going to have to wrestle with over the next few years.

The first key to addressing what’s happening is to understand what’s happening.

So … why are even committed attenders attending less often? There are at least 10 reasons.

1. Greater affluence

Money gives people options.

If your church is at all engaging the middle class, the upper middle class or a suburban demographic, an interesting trend is developing. The middle class is shrinking, but as this New York Times report shows, it’s shrinking (in part) because more of the middle class is becoming upper class. Both U.S. and Canadian personal disposable incomes are at all time highs.

There are simply more affluent people than there were decades ago, which may in part explain why so many ‘average’ people indulge their obsessions with granite counter tops, designer homes and decent cars, even without being mega-wealthy.

Naturally, this leaves a huge theological void about ministry to and with the poor, but it helps explain what’s actually happening in the suburbs and increasingly with the re-urbanization of many cities as the affluent move back downtown. Please … I’m not arguing things should be this way. I’m simply showing that this seems to be what’s happening.

And again … people with money have options. Technology options. Travel options. Options for their kids. And, arguably, that affluence may be one of the factors moving them further away from a committed engagement to the mission of the local church. It’s perhaps fueling some of the reasons outlined below.

The post 10 Reasons Even Committed Church Members Are Attending Less Often appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Why God Makes You Wait

There are times in the Christian’s life when we wait upon God, when we wait for relief from some kind of affliction, and when we wait for a long time for God to answer prayer. I am certain that you have experienced times like these, and know that the temptation in such times is to despair and to demand, to grow angry and impatient. But in The Mystery of Providence John Flavel warns: Though God means to give you the comfort or mercy you long for, he usually first exercises your patience by making you wait. He does that for these three reasons:

1. Because this is not the right time for you to receive that mercy. Simply stated, God does not judge time as you do. You are in a hurry, but God is not, and he knows the perfect time to dispense his mercy. “For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18). Will you wait for his timing?

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2. These difficult circumstances have not accomplished in your heart what God means for them to accomplish. Though you may be earnest and impatient in your desire for what you believe are better circumstances, God will wait until the trial has accomplished his purposes.

3. The more you pray and the more you search your heart, the sweeter the relief will be when it comes. God means to overwhelm you with his grace, and it may take fervent prayer and humble patience for you to respond to his mercy in the right way. “It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation’ (Isaiah 25:9 ESV).”

Always consider that God’s heart can be toward you even while his hand appears to be against you.

As a sinful human being, you are prone to judge your circumstances by your senses and observations. Always consider that God’s heart can be toward you even while his hand appears to be against you. If your circumstances continue unabated you may be tempted to think that your prayers have been useless and that you are without hope in the world. You may even go so far as to conclude that God is angry with you and has closed his ears to your prayers. But the God who has saved you will never turn his back on you.

The post Why God Makes You Wait appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Desperation In The Storm

In Matthew 14 we find the story of Jesus having compassion on the multitudes, healing their sick and teaching them many things.  As the day draws to a close, He miraculously feeds 5,000 men, plus the women and children, using only five loaves and two fish.  Then the account reads, “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:22&23).

On one hand, we see another amazing snapshot of Christ’s model of prayer and intimacy with the Father.  The text indicates that He began praying around sundown and continued in prayer until at least 3 a.m. (the fourth watch), when He appeared to His disciples by walking on the water past their wave-tossed boat in the midst of a terrible storm.

On the other hand, we see that Jesus intentionally sent the disciples into a storm on the lake rather than inviting them to join Him on the mountain to pray.  Knowing there were other times when He invited some of them to pray and when they were observing Him as He prayed (Luke 9:28; Mark 14:33-35; Luke 11:1), I wonder why He made this choice with the disciples on this particular evening.

Ready to Pray?

Perhaps Jesus simply wanted alone time with the Father.  Perhaps there were reasons related to the disciples that prompted Jesus to send them away rather than join Him to pray.  Several ideas emerge at this point:

1. They probably would have slept rather than prayed.  Earlier in the day, they had returned from a grueling ministry assignment.  They had been so busy they did not even have time to eat and Jesus invited them to come apart to a quiet place.  Instead, they were interrupted by the crowds and the feeding of the 5,000 ensued.  Surely, Jesus knew they were tired; perhaps too tired to pray.

2. They were not in the proper frame of faith to pray.  When the writer Mark speaks of this incident, he writes of the disciples, “for they had not understood the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”  Even after the miracle feeding, they were not in the place of faith that the Lord desired.

3. They needed a greater revelation of Christ.  That night on the sea created a desperation in the hearts of the disciples.  The appearance of Jesus on the water struck holy fear in their hearts.  His declaration to them,“Take courage! It is I (literally, ‘I Am’). Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27) called them to embrace His divinity.  His power to calm the wind and the waves caused them to fall on their faces in worship and declare, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).

Our Lessons about Prayer

There are some lessons in this story for us.  First, Jesus still invites His followers to pray.  He wants us to seek His face.  He wants His church to be a house of prayer.  Many times we join Him – often sleepy, lacking faith, and without a high, holy, and captivating view of who He is.

As He did with the disciples, He allows us to encounter storms that wake us from our faithless doldrums.  He uses the storms to stir desperation in our hearts.  Until we become desperate, we seldom pray with passion and perseverance.

In that desperation, we come to a greater biblical revelation of His character.  Christ wants us to see Him in the greatness of His power and glory.  This place of genuine worship is the foundation of life-changing prayer.

Storms to Stimulate Our Seeking

If we are struggling in our prayer lives, we know that the Lord is not content that we neglect our relationship with Him.  We also know that He will not just let us go through the motions.  Because He loves us, and purposes that we love and know Him through prayer, He will bring storms to make us desperate, that we might gain a fresh vision of His majesty, and pray in a transforming fashion for His glory.

The post Desperation In The Storm appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Free Youth Lesson Package: “Jesus Wants All, Not Some”

Free Youth Lesson Package

From this lesson, “Jesus didn’t want half-hearted fans; Jesus was after all-in faith. Jesus could tell what was holding people back from being all-in—and he directly challenged them on it..”

This lesson package includes:

  • Teaching Slide without title
  • Teaching Slide with title
  • Teaching Outline – Word Doc
  • Teaching Outline – PDF


Get Download Now

Resource provided by YouthMinistry.com


Download Instructions: 
Follow the on-screen directions at the download site.

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Why Do Students Leave Their Faith After Graduation? According to Research, This Is the Biggest Factor

Kara Powell, our recent guest on the ChurchLeaders Podcast, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith and more.

In our conversation we cover the changing trends in youth ministry, why high school graduates really leave the church, and why we should listen to our student’s doubts and hit tough topics head on.

LISTEN NOW!

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Here are the highlights from Kara’s incredible insights, research and ideas (edited for clarity), but be sure to listen to the entire podcast and subscribe in iTunes!

Kara, what has changed the most in youth ministry over the last decade?

The professionalization of youth ministry. There is much good as a result of this like better trained leaders, more called people, better pay, more resources, and specialized education programs. The downside is many churches feel like they can outsource spiritual formation of young people to their designated staff member. The result is churches have moved away from investing in the lives of students themselves.

So what’s the #1 Reason this generation walks away from their faith?

Of all the youth group participation variables we’ve seen, being involved in intergenerational worship and relationship was one of the variables most highly correlated to young people’s faith. So in other words, while it’s great that there are better trained, more called, more specialized paid and volunteer youth leaders—the downside is that the gap between the overall congregation and the youth ministry is growing, which ends up being toxic to young people’s faith.

As a result, students graduate and all they know is the youth ministry and the youth leader. They don’t know their church; they don’t know adults in their church. No wonder they drift away from the church because they feel like they’ve graduated out of it. Really good research indicates that almost half of young people drift from God and the church after they graduate.

This is why the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) does what they do. They are figuring out how to get students to have “sticky faith.”

What is needed to bridge that gap between the youth and the church?

We need a 5 to 1 ratio. Many children’s and youth ministries will have one teacher for every five kids. But to bridge the gap, there should be five adults for each student. This is a research-based reversed ratio. Ideally, there should be five people praying for one student by name and showing up at their sporting events throughout the year. It’s a paradigm shift. It’s not about finding five small group leaders per student, it’s about finding five adults who show an interest in your student or child.

The church can creatively empower parents to surround kids with their team of adults. Ask your son, daughter, niece or student, “Who’s on your team?”

(Research shows five people is best, but Kara clarifies it doesn’t have to be five people. Even just one person or two people is better than none.)

The key is to motivate and equip parents to create that team. Then the youth pastor can focus on the kids who don’t have parents at home who are able to do this.

Here are a few practical steps for youth leaders to get started:

  • Talk to senior pastor and/or supervisor. Explain the vision and get their support. It’s helpful to know your supervisor’s love language (adapted from Gary Chapman’s work). Know what is most meaningful to them whether its scripture, research, or examples. Then frame the change you think God intends for your ministry along those lines in ways most meaningful in the context of your church like evangelism, discipleship, and growth.
  • Next, get parents on board and train them. Explain why you’re doing this and how you plan to accomplish the vision, then offer resources and training.
  • Identify the students who don’t have involved or available parents. Talk to them and get an idea of who they look up to and who they might like to have on their team. You can be the catalyst to create that team with them.

How should the church approach doubt in ministering to students?

One of the greatest surprises out of the Sticky Faith research was data related to doubt. In their 3 year study of over 500 students in first three years of college, they found doubt is fairly pervasive in young people, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. What is toxic is unexpressed or unexplored doubt. When young people have the opportunity to express or explore their doubt, it is correlated with stronger and more mature faith.

Kara shares it’s often those tough questions that help God become even more real to us. However, toxic messages of doubt start young. When something bad or scary happens, it’s typical for a third or fourth grader to say, “I don’t understand why God would allow this earthquake to happen.” So often, well-intentioned Sunday school teachers quiet the young student instead of offering an answer. This tells kids the church can’t handle their questions and neither can God.

Leaders should raise tough questions on purpose. The church and youth ministry should be the first place young people feel they can go to with their questions. This starts with adults. We must raise our own tough questions and talk about tough sections in scripture. This shows students God is bigger than your toughest question.

The four most powerful words can be “I don’t know, but.” Maybe you don’t have a ready answer, that’s okay! Discover the answer together or get back to them.

The worst response is to do nothing. The best response is to partner with parents. Students do best when they feel like they’ve come to their own conclusions. We can look at scripture together and talk through “what do you think this means?” It’s messier and harder, but so worth it because young people will own the insights from those conversations.

Now what?

Kara shared the number one reason why young people are walking away from their faith—it’s a lack of intergenerational worship and relationship. But we can be part of the solution. Focus on connecting and cultivating relationships between youth and adults within the church. Make that a primary focus for your ministry and we’ll see those statistics start to shift.

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Kara Powell: #1 Reason Youth Leave the Church—And How to Reverse the Trend

kara_powellDr. Kara Powell discusses the greatest change in youth ministry today and the number one reason this generation walks away from their faith.https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3744521/height/60/width/640/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

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Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith.

Big Questions:

What has changed the most in youth ministry over the last decade?

What’s the #1 Reason this generation walks away from their faith?

What is needed to bridge that gap between the youth and the church?

How should the church approach doubt in ministering to students?

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Of all the youth group participation variables we’ve seen, being involved in intergenerational…
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Almost half of all young people drift away from God and the church after they graduate.
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It’s not doubt that is toxic, but unexpressed or unexplored doubt that is toxic.
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On purpose, raise tough questions about what’s happening in our world.
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A La Carte (August 19)

There are once again some good Kindle deals to be had: The Pastor’s Family and The Pastor’s Ministry by Brian Croft ($3.99 each); The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity by Alex McFarland ($1.99); Compelled by Ed Stetzer & Philip Nation ($2.99); Colossians & Philemon by Murray Harris ($0.99); Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce ($0.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George ($2.99).

Little Screens and Corporate Worship

I’m not sure I agree with everything H.B. Charles Jr says here about corporate worship and digital devices, but I do think his article is worth reading and considering.

When Is Divorce a Sin?

Christianity Today interprets a recent study on Christian views of divorce. As is so often the case, it seems to me that the questions are too broad to be very helpful. Is divorce sinful when spousal abuse has occurred. How could people answer confidently without knowing other details like the kind of abuse and the extent of the abuse? Still, it’s worth looking at.

Credo Magazine

A new issue of Credo magazine is ready for free download or online reading. This issue “brings together some outstanding contributors to teach both parents and those in ministry alike how to better approach children so that they know God in a saving way.”

This Day in 1662: Blaise Pascal died at the age of 39. A French scientist by trade, he is remembered today primarily for his Pensées, an apologetic for Christianity. *

The Divisive Person

Jared Wilson on the true nature of division: “It isn’t those who believe the Bible when it says sin is sin that are being divisive; it is those who are introducing the idea that some sins aren’t.”

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty

Sinclair Feruguson offers guidance on properly exercising Christian liberty.

When You Get the Raw End of the Deal

It happens to all of us at one time or another, doesn’t it? “You’ve been mistreated. Gotten the raw end of the deal. Unjustly overlooked in a promotion. Spent many hours trying to help someone only to be rejected…”


When life begins

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Humans and persons

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The Daily Discovery (August 19, 2015)

There Is No Better Life – “The old catechism says it well: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. You and I exist for God’s glory. In fact, all things exist for God’s glory. We get that. But how? How do we glorify God? I want to list 4 simple ways that you can glorify God today and every day.”

Ten Things to Remember as the Presidential Campaign Season Gets Into Full Swing – “I’m not telling you whom to vote for. I’m not predicting who will win their party’s nomination. I’m not giving you a primer on which issues to consider as you vote in a caucus or primary (several months from now) or as you vote (over a year from now) in the presidential election. Before you think through any of that, keep these ten things in mind.”

Trigger Warning! The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health – “Before you read this article, be warned! You may come across something you disagree with, or an idea that makes you uncomfortable, or a statement that causes offense. Please shut off your mobile device or close your browser, and back away slowly from your computer.  I’m kidding, of course. But only a little.”

8 Reasons Why We Should Want to Change – “Am I wrong to want more than justification? Am I wrong to want more than forgiveness of sins? Am I wrong to want more than deliverance from hell and the guarantee of heaven? Am I wrong to want more than adoption?  Because I do.”

5 Prerequisites for Success in College – “One of the hardest things about working with college students is growing in friendship with them over a summer only to watch them leave for school come August.  After unsuccessfully trying to convince them to stick around and attend the local college, the only thing left to do is to do my best to equip them to be able to thrive while they are away. So here are five prerequisites to have success in college.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Nate Pickowicz – “Our Hope in Christ’s Return” (John 14:1-3)


VIDEOS:

Marrio Esco – Spiritually Dead

Sye, a Fool, and the God of Miracles (VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED)


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (August 19, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure?

 By Jan Markell Olive Tree Ministries I am cautious about “pinning the tail” on the Antichrist and the False Prophet.  We cannot know ahead of time who these personalities are; however, Pope Francis comes close to “filling the bill” on the False Prophet. Or he may be but a “type” of that man just like […]

False Prophet Pat Robertson says he’s not psychic, God speaks directly to him.

Famous CBN televangelist and false prophet, Pat Robertson, was questioned on his show by a viewer via email asking where he gets his information during the show when he performs healings. The viewer asked:

I have started watching the 700 Club recently. At the end of the program, you call out people who are sick and need healing. How do you know about these people? I would call this a psychic ability of sorts. Are these real healings? I just want to know how you pick these people. Have they sent prayer requests, or are you going with what you’re told inside from our Lord? – EMMA

Now, perhaps this viewer is relatively new to the faith, or isn’t a believer at all. Regardless, she rightly questions Robertson’s ability to communicate directly with God.

Robertson then goes on to support his practice of divination by proclaiming that 1 Cor. 12 teaches that the Holy Spirit will “give us a word of knowledge,” in which God tells him who to perform healings on during his show. He claims that his practice has nothing to do with psychic abilities, but as with all false prophets, two way communication with God outside of Scripture is essential, and central to their practice. Since their prophecies are purposely vague and ambiguous, they become difficult to verify and or disprove in some cases, and in most cases, creates confusion and causes divisions.

God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. – 1 John 4:1-6

 


SEE IT: Iranian Animated Video Showing An Islamic Invasion of Jerusalem In Israel

The animated video, produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, depicts soldiers preparing for battle. One dons the IRGC insignia on his left arm, another the emblem of the Iran-backed Iraqi Shia Badr Organization.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” Luke 21:20 (KJV)

Yet a third dons a headband bearing the Lebanese Hezbollah logo, and a fourth is seen clad in Hamas’ characteristic balaclava and the Qassam Brigades green headband. Each brandishes a weapon, a helmet and a keffiyeh. They are shown poised on a hill overlooking the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, prepared for battle.

The clip then transitions to a black screen with Persian script that says “Israel must be obliterated,” or literally, “erased from the annals of history,” a command first issued by Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini and famously repeated by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as leaders of Iran’s proxies such as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The video continues, “and the youth will definitely see that day when it comes.” The soldiers are then seen marching to battle towards Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Old City. Their depiction isn’t exactly as the Bible has foretold it, but it’s fairly close. The one big missing player is Turkey.

 

We here at NTEB have been telling you for years now about the coming invasion of Jerusalem as prophesied in the Bible. The Bible says it will happen in the days after the Rapture of the Church, during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Listen to what the Spirit has to say about it:

“For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:3-7 (KJV)

In the New Testament, Jesus explains the same thing to His disciples in Matthew 24:

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:15-22 (KJV)

The day is coming when Israel will indeed be surrounded by Russia, Iran, Turkey, Germany and all the others mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The powers of darkness will indeed rise and fulfill prophecy. Jews will be driven out of the Israel and they will flee to the Red Rock City of Selah, Petra.

But the victory will come when the Lord Jesus Christ returns on horseback with His Army, the Church to save His people the Jews. Revelation 19 describes it this way:

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16 (KJV)

Until then, however, things will only get worse. Much, much worse.



Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, August 19, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

John Kasich Says He Doesn’t Read the Bible to Figure out His Policy Decisions

Imprisoned Iranian-American Pastor Suffers Prison Cell Raid by Guards

Story Behind Hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ Being Told on Broadway

John Oliver Unmasks the Corruption of the Prosperity Gospel

Congress Investigates Obama Admin’s Connection to Planned Parenthood Scandal

Sudanese Christian Woman Sentenced to 20 Lashes for ‘Indecent Dress’

Church Leaders Discuss Tighter Security Measures for Churches after Charleston Shooting

Utah Governor Orders State Agencies to Stop Disbursing Federal Funds to Planned Parenthood

Atheist Group Backs Couple Who Were Forced to Marry by Texas Judge

Husband of Anne Graham Lotz Nearly Drowns in Swimming Pool

Opinion

Trigger Warning! The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health

Sexual Revolution Versus the Gospel

Does Ben Carson Have a Blind Spot on Fetal Tissue?

Archaeological Find: A Testament to God’s Work Throughout History

Three Reasons We Need ‘Shade Balls’ for Our Souls


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:

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

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Join Your Local #ProtestPP Event Saturday August 22, 2015

airō

baby

My family and I will be attending the ‪#‎protestPP‬ event this Saturday at the Falls Church, VA Planned Parenthood. There are over 300 PP facilities in America, and likely one near you. The protest is from 9am-11am on 8/22/15. Go here to join a protest at your local Planned Parenthood.

We are attending this protest with the understanding there will be Christians, religious, and non-religious folks there. We are joining them as Americans to protest the evils of Planned Parenthood. But we will also be doing more than that.

We will not be holding signs that say “‪#‎PPSellsBabyParts‬”. Yes, PP selling baby parts is evil, but only because the murder of babies is evil. That is what we will primarily be protesting.

This is an opportunity to not only stand with fellow citizens to protest Planned Parenthood’s butchery-for-profit, but to be light among these fellow citizens to highlight the…

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Albert Mohler Blog: “When ‘Discernment’ Leads to Disaster”

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

 

In this blog essay, “When ‘Discernment’ Leads to Disaster,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler responds to First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina and their decision to allow same-sex marriage and ordain openly homosexual ministers. Mohler writes:

“This is one of the central lessons now revealed two decades after the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention had gained control of the denomination. The moderate-to-liberal faction in the SBC is now affirming theological and moral positions that the leadership of that movement would have condemned at the height of the controversy. The old liberal wing of the SBC is marching steadily left, and the new generation of more liberal leaders is pushing far beyond where the older leadership of their own movement would have gone.”
Click here to read more

What Does the Bible Teach About Satan?

The Reformed Reader

Fallen: A Theology of Sin (Theology in Community) Although some critics and skeptics say that Christians made up a figure like Satan to scare people into morality, the truth of the matter is that Satan is real.  Even some non-Christian religions talk of evil beings and spirits, and a leader of these evil beings.  So what does the Bible teach about Satan?  Sydney Page has a nice summary in chapter nine of Fallen: A Theology of Sin (edited by C. W. Morgan and R. A. Peterson).  Here’s an edited outline of his excellent essay:

1) Satan is a created being.  Evil has not always existed, nor has the Evil One.  Scripture clearly represents Satan as being on the creature side of the Creator/creature distinction (Col. 1:15-20, etc.).

2) Satan is a fallen being.  Not only does Scripture present Satan as a created being, but also it presents him as a fallen being.  The first…

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Pathway to Apostasy

Commentary by Roger Oakland
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries
http://www.understandthetimes.org
1.800.689.1888

http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c166apostasy.shtml

Recently, I was contacted by a friend and colleague who also has a discernment ministry. He was surveying other discernment ministries in order to come up with a list of the top ten subtle ways the body of Christ is presently being led astray. As I was busy speaking at a conference at the time I received his e-mail, I wrote him back and told him I would get back to him in a few days.

While flying back to my home after the conference, I took out my computer and responded to my friend’s request. The topics I had presented at the conference were still fresh in my mind. Following are the first ten trends I have personally encountered. While I am certain there are many more, the following ten trends provide a good overview of what is taking place in the church today:

 

  • Ecumenical unity at any cost yet completely void of any connection to the message that Jesus died on the Cross.
  • The church-growth movement, which is focused on a market-driven seeker-friendly Christianity emphasizing a megachurch mentality.
  • A Christianity focused on following men, their methods, and their movements.
  • A Jesuit agenda promoted by publishers and pastors proclaiming the teachings and ideas of Roman Catholic church fathers and Roman Catholic mystics.
  • The rejection of biblical creation and the acceptance of theistic evolution and progressive creation.
  • The acceptance of New Age ancient Babylonian practices such as yoga and contemplative prayer as a means of “getting closer to Jesus.”
  • A false Christianity that substitutes the gospel according to the Scriptures with a social gospel.
  • The “Purpose-driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan” that prepares the church for a global one-world religion.
  • An experience-based “Christianity” that seeks after signs and wonders and rejects the biblical warnings of a Last Days spiritual deception found in the Bible.
  • The compromising of the church in order to become “postmodern” and “progressive” in an attempt to reach the postmodern generation.

 

It was not my objective to place these various trends in their order of importance. The fact is, each one is occurring, and the vast majority of professing Christians are not even aware these trends are happening or even that there is a problem. Perhaps in the future, these ten points would make good chapter headings for a small book that would deal with each topic in more detail.

For now, let me say I believe biblical Christianity is under attack like it has never been before. We are not only on a “slippery slope”—Christianity is ready to fall off the cliff. As Jesus asked in Luke 18:18: When the son of man cometh, will he find faith?

Current events indicate the pathway to apostasy is leading exactly in the direction foretold by the Scriptures.

 


 

[1] February 4, 2014, The Voice of Russia.com

[2] Ibid.

Dear Mother

The Domain for Truth

earlyembryo

Dear Mother,

I love and care for you.  I do not write this letter out of hate for you.  I write this with compassion.  There is too much at stake concerning this matter than to just stand on the fringes and not take any action.  I want to protect you from the emotional, physical, and spiritual scarring that many woman have experienced.  I write this letter with words not drawn from the well of human subjectivity or rationalism, but it comes from the profundity of God’s Word.  They are the words of God that reveals who we are before our Holy Maker. We do not deserve to live, but in His grace, He has preserved our heartbeat.  His truth has the power to provide peace and tranquility.  But the words of the world that are anchored in lies brings a melancholy spirit that causes the soul to cleave to the…

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J. Warner Wallace: 10 important questions for Jehovah’s witnesses

WINTERY KNIGHT

A conflict of worldviews A conflict of worldviews

So there’s this group of people called Jehovah’s Witnesses that use Christian language to describe a religion that denies key parts of the Christian worldview. They like to go door-to-door to tell people what they believe. Since you may might them knocking on your door to tell you about their worldview, it might be worth it to read this post from J. Warner Wallace over in advance.

I’ll just post a snip of the first I use when they come to my door. It’s also the first on Wallace’s list:

If I am to accept the teaching of the Jehovah’s Witness religion, I am first going to have to trust the source of this teaching. But how can I trust someone who claims to speak for God when they have been wrong about prior predictions?

There are a number of false predictions made either by Charles…

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THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT AS THE COMFORTER

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “The office and work of the Holy Spirit”
Chapter V, The work of the Spirit as the Comforter
Written by, James Buchannan

download

Our blessed Lord intimated to his disciples before his departure, that he would not leave them desolate, or orphans…

…but would send them the Holy Spirit that he might abide with them forever; and he spoke of the Spirit as a paraclete (an expression which has been translated in our version—a comforter, but which admits of being rendered—an Advocate, or monitor), whose office it should be to plead the cause and to secure the welfare of his people in various ways, by helping their infirmities, guiding them into all truth, strengthening them against the assaults of temptation, sustaining them under the pressure of trial, and aiding them in the exercise of prayer. It is the less necessary to dwell on the mere meaning of…

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COLLEGE BOUND! 5 WAYS TO BE SUCCESSFUL THIS SEMESTER with Jordan Standridge

The Good Light Project

5 ways to be successful in College

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By: Jordan Standridge

One of the hardest things about working with college students is growing in friendship with them over a summer only to watch them leave for school come August. After unsuccessfully trying to convince them to stick around and attend the local college, the only thing left to do is to do my best to equip them to be able to thrive while they are away. So here are five prerequisites to have success in college.

Spend Time with the Lord:

Psalm 73:25-26 says, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

These are the words Asaph shouts as He thinks about his Lord. The chief end of man is to glorify his Maker. We want to make sure that everyday…

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Timeline of events: The critic, the “church” and the closet

For years, Hillsong has been vague on their stances on various issues. Whenever questioned or confronted on clear Christian stances, they play word games to weasel their way out of giving direct biblical answers. Even before the controversial story of Joshua Canfield and Reed Kelly broke out, Hillsong have already created distrust among Christians due to their postmodern obfuscation tactics.

So when this story broke, it wasn’t very surprising for many Christians to find that Hillsong had homosexuals in positions of leadership. However, this did confirm to many Christians that both homosexual, Christians and the global community cannot trust Hillsong, even if their life depended on it.

Josh Canfield Reed Kelly Hillsong United

The main issue here isn’t that there are homosexuals leading worship at Hillsong, (although that is a byproduct of it). The problem is the fact that Hillsong still refuses to handle God’s Word faithfully and stand for the things God stands for. And…

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Resources for the Study of Messianic Prophecy

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

*Acknowledgements: Myself, my friend Brad Cooper, and Dr. Tim McGrew helped put this together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“The prophecies are the strongest proof of Jesus Christ.
It is for them also that God has made most provision….”
~ Blaise Pascal (1660) in Pensees, XI: 706

ONLINE VIDEOS: INTRODUCTORY

  1. “My Search For Messiah” (2-Part Series produced by Day of Discovery). Dr. Michael Rydelnik shares his story of how he grew up as a Jew and came to know that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Torah, by looking closely at several key messianic prophecies. *Part I (26 min): https://dod.org/featured-videos/dod2370.html *Part II (26 min): https://dod.org/dod2371.html
  2. “In Search of Messiah” (22 min). Dr. Michael Brown discusses individuals whom the Jews have claimed to be the Messiah and compare them with Jesus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6j-q_ZOGfY
  3. “Isaiah 53: Who Is the Servant?” (5 min). A roundtable discussoin with Dr. Michael Rydelnik, Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Walter Kaiser, and Dr. Darrell…

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Hypocrite

The Good Light Project

untitled

We condemn network news media as false & fabricated and then cite it as a reliable source to make a point; we condemn the use of social media by monitoring and using social media. We indict those who court attention and we court attention to bring attention to those who court attention.

We grumble and complain about the people who grumble and complain. We gossip about people because we don’t like people who gossip. We hate politics and can’t stand politicians so we look for a new politician to fix what the old ones couldn’t do and then discuss politics exhaustively. We are ‘victims’ of society but get angry by when we are treated like a ‘victim’. We hate racism so we justify our racism toward those being racist.

We totally justify slander because we were slandered. We are critical of others because they are critical of us. We want…

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Seven ways to bless your missionaries…

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

blessing missionariesChrist has called us all to be part of His mission to reach the nations with the gospel. Justin Vander Ark of To Every Tribe has a great list of ways that the body of Christ in the local church can support their missionaries.  Here are just seven ways out of ten that were featured in the free mission Ekballo Magazine:

1 . Pray
If you don’t do anything else on the list, please do this. Prayer is a weapon of warfare that God has given to His saints. If you don’t know how to pray for your missionaries, download David Sitton’s free ebook Warfare Prayerand read it. Don’t worry, it’s a quick read. Or, simply ask your missionaries how you can specifically pray for them.
2. Give
Almost every missionary I know is below their monthly support goal and have to spend precious time and resources on…

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The Bible and its Consolation in our Time of Sorrow

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Written by, James Buchanan (1804-1870)
Edited for thought and sense

Bible-Verses-For-Grief-300x200

Mourners in Zion, be comforted!

If yours is a life of sorrow, yours also is a religion of hope. If the book of Providence seems to you to be “written within and without,” like Ezekiel’s roll, in characters of “lamentations, and mourning, and woe” (Ezekiel 2:10), the Bible is filled with consolation and peace. And the more stormy your passage through this world, the more awful God’s judgments, the more severe and confounding your trials and sorrows may be, the more should that blessed book be endeared to your hearts—of which every true disciple will say with the afflicted Psalmist, “This is my comfort in my affliction” (Psalms 119:50).

It is not one of the least benefits of severe affliction that it shatters our confidence in every other object of reliance, breaks up our hopes from every other quarter, and…

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Hillary Clinton walks out of press conference when questioned about e-mail server

WINTERY KNIGHT

What difference does national security make? What difference does national security make?

This is from The Hill.

Excerpt:

Hillary Clinton dismissed the controversy surrounding her private email server and defended her conduct as legal during a press conference Tuesday in Las Vegas.

A visibly aggravated Clinton repeatedly insisted that she had done nothing wrong and seemed frustrated by questions about the issue.

[…]Asked if the server, which has been turned over to the Department of Justice, had been wiped clean, Clinton initially shrugged and later joked: “Like with a cloth or something?”

“I don’t know how it works digitally at all,” she added.

With a cloth or something? That’s the contempt she has for those who try to get the truth and hold her accountable. That’s what she would be like as President – “how dare you judge me, peasants?”

Although Clinton said that no material on her e-mail server was classified… well, let the

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Daily Devotionals: (19th Aug.) Sorrow in Perspective

thinkGOSPEL blog

Reading: Genesis 3:16-19

The salvation promised in Christ is not just the deliverance of the soul from eternal destruction, but the redemption also of the physical body (Romans 8:20; 1 John 3:2). The body will be delivered from all suffering, pain, and disease. Paul says we are saved “in the hope of,” being “delivered” from the vanity to which we have been subjected (Romans 8:20–24).

The sorrow to which mankind is subjected is the effects of the curse, not the curse itself. Death is the curse; “the wages of sin is death.” Satan is cursed (verse 14), and the earth is cursed (verse 17) “for man’s sake.” As God deals with Adam after the fall He does not give him a second curse. He saves him from the curse of death and curses the ground for man’s sake.

Suffering, for the woman (verse 16) and for the man (17–19), which…

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A Public Service Announcement Regarding Goshen and EMU.

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

PSA

So, at the “convenient” time when the US legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states,two Mennonite Church USA schools were prepped and ready to flee biblical fidelity.

The US passed  Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015.  Eastern Mennonite University released there newly revised “Non-Discrimination Statement” on July 16, 2015, and Goshen College released theirs two days later.

What does that mean now?

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Let’s Hunker Down and Be Pious: Another Example of Misguided Bible Teaching

Thomistic Bent

I have a presentation that I call What Is The Mess We Are In And How Did We Get Here? In the presentation, I review the history of western churches over the last 150 years, how they reacted to the non-Christians who were attacking the integrity of the Bible. An all-to-common reaction was for Christians to retreat into the sanctity of the church rather than deal with the difficult issues they encountered in the world.

The result was predictable. If the Christians remove themselves from public discourse, they take their moral compass with them, and the only people left to direct society were those who fundamentally disagreed with Christian positions. Over much of the last hundred years, the cycle increasingly got worse, with skeptics increasing their attack on the Bible, and Christians either capitulating and agreeing the Bible is filled with error, or staunchly holding to the integrity of the…

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