Daily Archives: September 1, 2015

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two- edged sword

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two- edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NASB)

In this day in which the truth is said to be unknowable, Christians must rely on the only source of pure truth we have. There is no truth that we can say is the complete truth unless we take it from God’s Word. The Bible is pure truth and it is the authority we rely on in order to have a firm foundation in this lost and dying world that is consuming itself in rebellion against God.

What can we learn from Hebrews 4:12 about this?

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How can we get single men and husbands to be interested in church and ministry?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Church sucks, that's why men are bored there Church is ineffective and impractical, and that’s why men are bored there

Consider this passage from William Lane Craig’s April 2013 newsletter, which made me very excited and happy. (H/T Triablogue)

Here it is:

One overwhelming impression of these engagements is the way in which the intellectual defense of Christian faith attracts men. Both at Texas A&M and again at Miami every single student who got up to ask a question was a guy! I wondered if the girls are just shy. But then I remembered a lengthy clip Jan and I watched of cast members of Downton Abbey doing a Q&A with an audience in New York. Almost every person who came to the microphone at that event was a woman! It wasn’t until late into the evening that a man finally asked a question, which was remarked by all the cast members. Why the difference between that…

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William Carey’s 11 Commandments of Missions

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

An interesting piece here on William Carey’s 11 pieces of advice on missions:

  1. Set an infinite value on immortal souls.
  2. Gain all the information you can about “the snares and delusions in which these heathens are held.”
  3. Abstain from all English manners which might increase prejudice against the gospel.
  4. Watch for all opportunities for doing good, even when you are tired and hot.
  5. Make Christ crucified the great subject of your preaching.
  6. Earn the people’s confidence by your friendship.
  7. Build up the souls that are gathered.
  8. Turn the work over to “the native brethren” as soon as possible.
  9. Work with all your might to translate the Bible into their languages. Build schools to this end.
  10. Stay alert in prayer, wrestling with God until he “famish these idols and cause the heathen to experience the blessedness that is in Christ.”
  11. Give yourself totally to this glorious cause. Surrender your time, gifts…

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The Faith of Rahab

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “The Heroes of the Faith”
Written by, A.W. Pink

RahabHidesSpies_Preview_Video

“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not,
when she had received the spies with peace.”

–Hebrews 11:31

The inestimable value of spiritual faith is strikingly demonstrated in the case we are about to consider…

The Apostle had cited the faith of such illustrious characters as Enoch and Noah, Abraham and Moses; he had mentioned that of a believing company as they had passed through the Red Sea and had marched around Jericho; now he gives an instance of one who had been a notorious sinner, as though to shame us if our faith falls short of hers who had formerly been a harlot. Having shown that the patriarchs, who were so highly venerated by the Jews, were honored by God solely on account of their faith and its fruits, we next behold…

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September 1, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 1, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama pledged the U.S. will combat the “urgent and growing threat of climate change” and take measures to address the impact of warming temperatures on the Arctic. Climate change will “define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other challenge,'” the president said Monday.

President Obama, who said last week that he’s feeling “feisty” as he heads toward his final year in office, plans to show off a bit of his wild side. Obama will appear on NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” a survivalist reality show that will take the leader of the free world on a trek through the Alaskan wilderness.

Canada’s economy shrank again in the second quarter as an oil shock widened, pressuring the central bank to cut interest rates next week.

New York’s first real estate project financed significantly though crowdfunding is set to open, a step forward for a nascent investing model that has yet to prove itself in commercial property.

The unemployment rate for the 19-nation region dropped to 10.9 percent in July from 11.1 percent in June.

The U.K. National Crime Agency’s website was shut down by a massed online attack in apparent retaliation for arrests last week in its investigation into the Lizard Squad hacking group. Lizard Squad’s Twitter account posted a link to the NCA site with the message “#offline” this morning.

The El Nino that’s changing weather across the globe is now the strongest since the record event almost two decades ago.

In a survey of more than 1,800 human resource professionals, 76 percent said they’re more accepting of hiring former employees than they were five years ago. Nearly two-thirds of managers agreed. Employees also reported feeling less anxiety about returning to a company, with 40 percent of those surveyed saying they would consider boomeranging.

AP Top Stories

A county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, invoking her religious beliefs and “God’s authority” – this time in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against her.

Pope Francis declared Tuesday he is allowing all priests in the church’s upcoming Year of Mercy to absolve women of the “sin of abortion” if they repent with a “contrite heart.”

President Obama vowed to push for police officer safety after a Texas sheriff’s deputy was gunned down from behind and shot multiple times at close range.

A fragile truce between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists appeared to be holding on Tuesday as both sides made a renewed effort to silence their guns and make the much-abused ceasefire work.

After three years of scrutinizing the elusive Higgs boson closely, scientists say they’ve determined that the “God particle” behaves just as predicted.

A global survey of over 3,000 people suggests healthcare could be at a turning point to cater to Millennials — who overtook Baby Boomers this year as the largest living generation and who approach their health differently from their parents. One key finding is that 70 percent of Millennials select their doctors based on referrals from family and friends, whereas only 41 percent of those over age 65 do so. What’s more, 51 percent of patients over 65 express dissatisfaction with their care directly to their doctors, while 60 percent of Millennials shout out their unsatisfactory experiences to their friends.

Now that Cuba has restored diplomatic ties with the United States, teaching English in schools will be a priority, the communist party newspaper Granma reported Monday.

BBC

Hundreds of migrants have been protesting outside a major railway station in the Hungarian capital after police sealed off the terminal to stop them travelling through the EU.

Thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails while US secretary of state have been released, including many that have been censored after being deemed classified.

Fighters from the al-Shabab militant Islamist group have overrun an African Union military base in southern Somalia, inflicting heavy casualties, witnesses have told the BBC.

A new method of applying insecticide to netting has proved 100% effective against some strains of mosquito, an international study reports. The electrostatic coating allows the netting to carry much higher doses of insecticide.

China’s factory activity contracted at its fastest pace in three years in August, confirming fears that the country’s growth is continuing to slow.

Russia has opened a laboratory in Siberia devoted to the study of extinct animal DNA in the hope of creating clones, it’s reported.

A satellite image confirmed the main temple in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria has been destroyed by Islamic State (IS) militants, the UN said.

Syrian rebel forces have come under attack from Islamic State (IS) on the outskirts of Damascus.

WND

Several Democrat candidates for president are complaining that their party is protecting Hillary Clinton from scrutiny by limiting the number of debates this election season.

China and Russia are both taking advantage of the hack attacks against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Ashley Madison adultery website, tasking experts to sift the data and see who’s cheating, who has security clearances and who’s vulnerable to blackmail.

“Hundreds of thousands” of people joined Ashley Madison last week, including 87,596 women.

Pope Francis is expected to enthusiastically endorse a new U.N. document that promises to wipe out poverty by 2030 by reordering the world economy along the lines of socialist principles.


Top News – 9/1/2015

Three major hurricanes pictured over the Pacific for the first time EVER and it could be thanks to this year’s mega-El Nino
Three major hurricanes are simultaneously making their way across the Pacific Ocean for the first time in history. Hurricanes Ignacio, Kilo and Jimena were pictured together by NASA and astronauts from the International Space Station this weekend as they straddled the Pacific from Mexico to Hawaii. It is the first time that three storms classed as Category 3 or higher, meaning they have the potential to cause major damage, have been pictured together at the same time.

Milwaukee Sheriff: Obama ‘Started This War on Police’
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. strongly criticized what he called the “black lies matter” movement and stressed that President Barack Obama himself had “started this war on police.” Sheriff Clarke said, “Judge, I am too pissed off tonight to be diplomatic about what’s going on and I’m not going to stick my head in the sand about it.”

El Niño strengthens but a warm Indian Ocean
The 2015 El Niño is now the strongest El Niño since 1997–98. The tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere are fully coupled, with sea surface temperatures well above El Niño thresholds, consistently weak trade winds, and a strongly negative Southern Oscillation Index.

Thousands Gather at South Carolina State House to ‘Stand with God’ Against Sin
“The purpose of ‘We Stand With God’ is to encourage and empower God-fearing citizens to stand in this evil day. Timing is critical,” the event website reads. “The landscape of this great republic is eroding daily and the floods of change are seeking to assassinate the moral fiber of the land we love. Crime rates are rising, civil unrest is abounding and perversion is growing exponentially.”

A Giant Glob of Deadly Algae Is Floating off the West Coast
From the air, the Pacific algal bloom doesn’t look like much of a threat: a wispy, brownish stream, snaking up along the West Coast. But it’s causing amnesia in birds, deadly seizures in sea lions, and a crippling decline in the West Coast shellfish industry. “These are the highest levels of toxicity we’ve ever seen,” says one expert.

ALMOST-BLANK SUN
The sunspot number is plummeting, and the Earth-facing side of the sun is almost blank.

Doomsday Countdown: US Hawks Pushing World to the Brink of Nuclear War
Washington is moving back toward a Cold War-style confrontation with Moscow over Ukraine, apparently forgetting that Russia still possesses a nuclear arsenal as large and as deployable as the US’,

European Islamic Migrant Crisis At ‘Unprecedented Proportions’
“For us today, what is at stake is Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations, and more precisely formulated, their transformation beyond recognition. “Today, the question is not merely in what kind of a Europe we would like to live, but whether everything we understand as Europe will exist at all.”

Iran and the ‘Francis Factor’
Members of Congress trying to derail the Iran nuclear deal will have to contend with the “Francis Factor.” By sheer scheduling luck — let’s just say it probably wasn’t what House Speaker John Boehner intended — Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 24.

Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctioning Russia as well as China in cyber attacks
The United States is considering sanctions against both Russian and Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks… The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no final decision had been made on imposing sanctions, which could strain relations with Russia further and, if they came soon, cast a pall over a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September.

Obama pleads for Paris climate change deal
US President Barack Obama has called on world leaders to agree to cut carbon emissions at crucial talks in Paris later this year. Speaking in Alaska, he said countries including his own were not doing enough to stop global warming. World powers meet in Paris in December with the aim of agreeing to curb global temperature rises.

Hurricane Fred hits Cape Verde islands
A hurricane with winds of up to 120km/h (75mph) has hit the island nation of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa. The government grounded all flights as heavy rain and winds lashed north-western islands in the archipelago. No hurricane has ever been recorded further east in the tropical Atlantic.

Somalia attack: Al-Shabab attacks African Union Janale base
Fighters from the al-Shabab militant Islamist group have overrun an African Union military base in southern Somalia, inflicting heavy casualties, witnesses have told the BBC. The militants said they have killed 70 AU soldiers at the Janale base, 90km (55 miles) south-east of the capital. AU forces have insisted they are still in control of the base.

New Ebola death in Sierra Leone sets back efforts to beat epidemic
A woman who died last week in northern Sierra Leone tested positive for Ebola, the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) said Monday, in a setback for the country’s bid to gain Ebola-free status.

U.S. military deploys drones to Latvia on training mission
The U.S. military has deployed two MQ-1 Predator reconnaissance drones and 70 airmen to Latvia on a training mission as part of U.S. efforts to reassure European allies the United States is committed to their security, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Rise of the bizarre ‘cannabis vomiting syndrome’: Heavy users suffer from severe nausea and pain
A bizarre syndrome that makes heavy cannabis users violently ill and leads them to take frequent hot baths to ease the pain has been reported by doctors. Symptoms of the illness include severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting – and bathing in very hot water up to five times a day for relief.

Ukraine guardsman killed in nationalist protest outside parliament
A Ukrainian national guardsman was killed and nearly 90 others wounded by grenades hurled from a crowd of nationalist protesters on Monday as they were guarding parliament where lawmakers backed giving more autonomy to rebel-held areas.

Supreme Court rules against clerk in gay marriage case
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and the clerk will arrive at work Tuesday morning to face her moment of truth. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will have to choose whether to issue marriage licenses, defying her Christian conviction, or continue to refuse them, defying a federal judge who could pummel her with fines or order that she be hauled off to jail.

Dow posts worst August decline in 17 years
The month of August can be pretty rough for stock investors. But this August has earned its place in the record books, as stocks were unsettled by uncertainty over the state of affairs in the world’s second largest economy, China.


Top Headlines – 9/1/2015

Washington prepares for pivotal September vote in Congress on Iran nuclear deal

Cheney: Iran deal likely to lead to first use of nuclear weapon since WWII

Former Intel chief: US, Israel should reach parallel Iran agreement

‘Big embarrassment for Obama’ as DNC chair blocks support for Iran nuclear deal

Obama: It ‘Hurts’ when I’m Accused of Being Anti-Semitic

Over 1,000 US Rabbis Pen Open Letter to Congress Opposing Iran Deal

Iran’s Rouhani: Israel founded on intimidation, terror, occupation

Merkel: Unacceptable how Iran continues to talk about Israel

Iran unveils 15-year nuclear enhancement program

Obama: US and Israel must improve Intel cooperation to stop Hezbollah from getting missiles

Netanyahu vows to increase security after attacks in Jerusalem, Samaria

‘Threats and dangers changing shape and direction,’ commander of key IDF West Bank brigade says

Israel Asks Egypt: Stop Move to Monitor Our Nuclear Facilities

Egypt launches project to fill Gaza border area with water to stop militant activity

ISIS affiliate in Gaza claims failed rocket launch

Map: There are 10 world heritage sites in Iraq and Syria. Nine are in danger.

Russian jets in Syrian skies

Oldest Koran ‘Destabilises’ Islamic History, Scientists Say It Pre-dates Mohammed

Turkish court charges reporters with terrorism links

Nigeria’s Boko Haram ‘spreads to Lagos’

S.Sudan rebels accuse government of breaking ceasefire

Islamist militants attack African Union base in southern Somalia

Three killed, dozens wounded, in suicide attack on Pakistan forces

Thai police award themselves $84G for arrest of bombing suspect

‘Never again!’ Japanese hold massive rally to protest Abe’s foreign wars bill

China Restores 800 World War II Movies Ahead of Vast Military Parade

Another Massive Explosion Rocks Industrial City in China

Ukraine village for Jewish refugees to officially open Monday

Grenade explodes during Ukraine clashes; 1 officer killed, around 100 injured

In Ukraine, 141 still hospitalized after violent protests

NATO kicks off naval drills in Black Sea with Ukraine

U.S. military deploys drones to Latvia on training mission

Police worry about their own safety after killings: ‘It’s a different world’

New college course on 9/11 sympathizes with terrorists

U.S. weighs sanctioning Russia as well as China in cyber attacks

State Department releases thousands of Clinton emails, 125 contain classified information

Mystery deepens into how classified emails got onto Clinton’s unclassified server

Dow posts worst August decline in 17 years

Europe shares set to follow Asian losses as China PMIs stoke growth fears

A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television ‘confessing’ to causing the stock market chaos

Central banks can’t save the markets from a crash. They shouldn’t even try

World to Fed: We’re prepared for U.S. rate hike, so don’t delay

Printing Money Goes Haywire in Venezuela

80 Year Old Woman Trampled To Death In Venezuela Supermarket Stampede

Venezuelan leader says Colombia plotting his assassination

Russia, Venezuela to Discuss Potential Steps to Stabilize Oil Prices

Why $40 oil is killing Iraq, Venezuela and others, but not Russia

Russian economy, shoppers hit by falling global oil prices

Nepal honours quake victims in festival of the dead

Geologist: Earthquake called the ‘Really Big One’ isn’t hoax

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 26,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

West African archipelago hit in rare hurricane strike

Former hurricane Fred weakens to a tropical storm

Erika Unleashes Flooding Rain From Florida to Carolinas

Asia Fall Forecast 2015: El Nino to Boost West Pacific Typhoons, Intensify Drought From India to Indonesia

Monsoon storm causes heavy damage and flooding in Phoenix

Obama says world must reach climate deal in Paris ‘while we still can’

Cash crunch for Paris conference: UN climate chief

‘Denali’ controversy: Obama makes waves by renaming Mount McKinley

New Ebola death in Sierra Leone sets back efforts to beat epidemic

Cannabis Vomiting Syndrome: U.K. Doctors See Rise In Cases Due To Heavy Marijuana Use

Ben Carson’s perplexing stance on abortion

Reports: Pope blesses lesbian authors for their “excellent Christian values”

Rich Gay Men Wanted: Spain’s Conservatives Make Tourist Appeal

Clerk Must Issue Gay-Marriage Licenses After High Court Rebuff

March For Life Defeats Obama Administration In Court

Univ. of Tennessee tells students to use gender neutral pronouns

Sex cheats’ Ashley Madison website says it has never been busier

Outrage after Auschwitz installs showers to ‘cool down’ visitors


The Briefing

1) Enduring nature of temptation to idolatory illustrated in current events

ISIS Damages Temple of Baal in Palmyra, New York Times (Kenneth Rosen)

Indian Scholar Who Criticized Worship of Idols Is Killed, New York Times (Swati Gupta)

Mount McKinley Will Again Be Called Denali, New York Times (Julie Hirschfield Davis)

Seeing Freedom in Their Future, Psychics Reveal All: ‘It’s a Scam, Sir’, New York Times (Michael Wilson)

2) Indiana editorial’s celebration of total non-discrimination exposes pervasiveness of sexual revolution

Rights for all — it’s time for Indiana to act, Indianapolis Star (Editorial Board)

3) Polygamy lawsuit depends on Supreme Court gay marriage ruling for defense

‘Sister Wives’ clan uses same-sex marriage ruling in polygamy case, Reuters (Curtis Skinner)

In other news…


August 31, 2015
Believers need to assert ‘the power of Jesus’ name’
ALAN KEYES — During the GOP’s mock-up of a debate on Fox recently, Donald Trump stood out by refusing to pledge his support for the eventual GOP nominee. For some conservatives, this added credibility to his pose of adamant opposition to the GOP’s quisling leadership… (more)

August 31, 2015
NEWSMAX — Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz blocked a resolution during the party’s summer meeting that would have backed President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, The Washington Post reports…. (more)


August 31, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — The timing of the execution-style of murder of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth on Friday night may not be purely random. Suspect Shannon J. Miles, 30, of Houston, is accused of shooting Goforth in the head from behind as he fueled his vehicle, then firing several rounds into his body as Goforth lay on the ground…. (more)

August 31, 2015
WASHINGTON POST — Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of the Pretenders, was raped more than 40 years ago. She still believes it was her fault…. (more)

August 31, 2015
NEWSMAX — Outside of evangelical circles, the names Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick are likely to be met with blank stares…. (more)


August 31, 2015
ROBERT KNIGHT — Tie her tubes, or we’ll sue you for sex discrimination, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told a Catholic-affiliated hospital in California. After first declining to do so, Mercy Medical Center in Redding has now slated a tubal ligation for a woman after her scheduled C-section to deliver a baby in late September…. (more)

August 30, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — “Go back to Univision” is how Donald Trump handled Mexican-American “journalist” Jorge Ramos when he tried to disrupt a Trump news conference. When Hillary Clinton compared Republicans to terrorists, the Republican National Committee asked for an apology. This contrast demonstrates why Trump is doing so well and the Republican Party, in general, is doing so poorly…. (more)

August 30, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Following his daughter’s death in a live broadcast shooting in Moneta Va. on Wednesday morning, Andy Parker, who vowed to campaign for stricter gun control laws, has said he will probably have to get a gun to defend himself…. (more)


August 30, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — A defiant Environmental Protection Agency on Friday put into effect controversial new water regulations, despite a federal judge’s decision to place a temporary hold on the rule for fear it would harm states…. (more)

August 29, 2015
AARON KLEIN — After months of financial hardship, the coffers of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization are set to overflow with Iranian financing as Tehran officially reconciles with Islamic Jihad leadership, Middle Eastern defense officials told WND…. (more)

August 29, 2015
NEWSMAX — In a highly anticipated TV event with two of the GOP’s biggest celebrities, Donald Trump told Sarah Palin on Friday that his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is “bringing back the silent majority” of Americans who “want to see America be great again.”… (more)

August 29, 2015
NEWSMAX — Hillary Clinton is so dishonest she leaves a cloud of dust behind her – – just like Pig-Pen in the comic strip “Peanuts,” political law attorney and conservative activist Cleta Mitchell tells Newsmax TV…. (more)

August 29, 2015
BLOOMBERG — A challenge to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone-call data was dealt a setback Friday when a U.S. appeals court said a judge shouldn’t have moved to block the program, which he called “almost Orwellian.”… (more)


August 29, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — Holier-than-thou liberals on the Denver city council are waging war on Chick-fil-A in the name of tolerance and diversity. Now, let me tell you what the squawking is really all about: It’s a distraction, a feint, a mile-high smokescreen…. (more)

August 28, 2015
JOAN SWIRSKY, RA ANALYST — Most people, including me, know that Megyn Kelly is not only gorgeous, but also smart, sassy, incisive in her interviews, and genuinely funny. But the interview she conducted Wednesday night, August 26, with Jorge Ramos was disgraceful – – the kind of toadying and biased interrogation that should be Exhibit #1 in journalism schools across the country about how not to be a legitimate journalist… (more)


August 28, 2015
BOB UNRUH — James Dobson, the high-profile Christian commentator, author and broadcaster who warned the U.S. Supreme Court before it created “same-sex marriage” that it was about to constitutionalize sin, says the fight isn’t really about marriage…. (more)

August 28, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — A county clerk in Kentucky continues to defy the state’s Democrat governor by not issuing marriage licenses despite a new appeals court ruling ordering her to do so…. (more)

August 28, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — In a letter to Congress intended to defend its practices and attack its hidden-video critics, Planned Parenthood wound up lending credence to accusations that it manipulates rules on selling fetal organs to maximize profit…. (more)

August 28, 2015
GREG COROMBOS — Secretary of State John Kerry once again signed the United Nations Arms Treaty on Wednesday, a move that supporters say will help stop weapons from getting into the hands of criminals and terrorists worldwide but critics contend is is a backdoor assault on law-abiding gun owners…. (more)

August 28, 2015
NEWSMAX — House Speaker John Boehner fired a stunning blast at Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, reportedly calling him a “jackass” during a Colorado fundraiser…. (more)

August 28, 2015
THE HILL — A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect…. (more)


August 28, 2015
NBC NEWS — Call it a public display of political affection: Sen. Ted Cruz has invited Donald Trump to Washington next month for a rally against the Iran nuclear deal. The two Republican rivals are set to appear at an event organized by the Tea Party Patriots, the Center for Security Politics, and the Zionist Organization of America, according to the Cruz campaign…. (more)


August 28, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Pakistan could have 350 nuclear warheads, the world’s third largest stockpile, within the next decade if it continues its current addition of 20 nuclear warheads annually, according to a new report released by two Washington-based think tanks…. (more)

August 28, 2015
EXPRESS — A shocking new study suggests there is a clear link between the disease and the number of times a patient has been prescribed the drugs. Those given five or more prescriptions over a period of up to 15 years are up to 53 per cent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those given anti biotics just once or never, scientists have found…. (more)

August 27, 2015
AMERICA’S SURVIVAL — On Aug. 25, RenewAmerica columnist Cliff Kincaid was interviewed by Kevin Boling of Knowing The Truth Radio about the possibility that Pope Francis will endorse socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for president. The pope, who has been outspoken in condemning capitalism, will be visiting the U.S. for six days in September…. (more)


Daily Digest

September 1, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government.” —Mercy Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, 1805

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Alaska Is More Than a Photo Op

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The Coast Guard Cutter HEALY (WAGB – 20). Photo courtesy USCG

Barack Obama has no long-term, consistent strategy for Alaska. Well, other than his climate agenda. He’s visiting The Last Frontier this week to plug for an even more aggressive approach to “man-made” global warming, as he spoke before an international conference in Anchorage Monday. As The Washington Post pointed out, Obama simply used the wilderness as a visual aid for his arguments. Ahead of the conference, titled GLACIER, NASA said sea levels are rising faster than expected, and Obama matched that level of alarm. “We’re not moving fast enough,” Obama warned. “None of the nations represented here are moving fast enough.” Obama’s comments quickly descended into adolescent sniping, as he completely belittled skeptics to his regulation-heavy, Big Government “solutions” to climate change. “The time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past,” he continued. “The time to plead ignorance is surely past. Those who want to ignore the science, they are increasingly alone. They’re on their own shrinking island.”

If Obama wants to talk about shrinking islands, he should reconsider the threat Russia poses in Arctic waters. Just like the situation in Ukraine, Russia is pushing boundaries in the Arctic, trying to grab the natural resources that lie under the ice. Currently, Russia operates 40 icebreakers and is making 11 more. The U.S.? It has only two and Obama proposes the U.S. buy one more. But Obama ignores the long-term significance of Alaska and its waters for our nation’s security and energy policies to yammer about the temperature and to take a hike with reality TV star Bear Grylls.

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About That Rad New Psych Study You Heard Of…

Apparently, the psych science is not settled. The Guardian reports, “Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test.” There are many reasons why an experiment might fail to replicate, but more than this the study has highlighted some issues with academic publishing and modern science. University of Virginia psychology professor Brian A. Nosek, who led the effort to reproduce the experiments, told the Guardian, “The key caution that an average reader should take away is any one study is not going to be the last word. Science is a process of uncertainty reduction, and no one study is almost ever a definitive result on its own.” And while the media might want to breathlessly report on a study that displays some kind of psychological quirk, the real scientific process is much more involved than one study. Climate alarmists take note…

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Think Canada Is a Model? Think Again.

Some presidential candidates have pointed to Canada as a model for things like single-payer health care. (That would be Donald Trump, for those keeping score.) Of course, to keep a single-payer system running costs a lot of money, and that money has to come from somewhere. Or nearly everywhere, as it turns out. Reuters reports, “Canadians spend more on taxes than on food, clothing and shelter combined, according to a report released on Thursday, as increases in an average family’s tax bill have outpaced the cost of basic necessities in the last five decades.” The Frasier Institute report says the average Canadian family brings in about $60,000 (in U.S. dollars), of which 36% goes to cover basic needs and 42% is confiscated by the government. Fifty years ago, those numbers were 56% and 33%, respectively. Oh, and by the way, Canada is now arguably in recession. Call us old fashioned, but the new model doesn’t sound like the one best for America.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Lives Matter

By Nate Jackson

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Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth

Deputy Darren Goforth was gunned down at a Harris County, Texas, gas station Friday evening when he stopped to fill up his squad car. He was 47. The execution appeared unprovoked, though there is an unmistakable angle of racism and anti-cop hatred.

Security footage shows the murderer, who is black, come up behind and shoot 15 rounds into Goforth, who is white. Law enforcement has a theory to why the killer did it. In a press conference, an obviously emotional Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman pinned the blame for this murder on the angry rhetoric surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests. “This rhetoric has gotten out of control,” Hickman said. “We’ve heard ‘black lives matter,’ ‘all lives matter.’ Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So why don’t we just drop the qualifier and just say ‘lives matter’?”

To be sure, blacks aren’t the only ones killing law enforcement personnel. A deranged white man in Louisiana brutally murdered a state patrol officer last weekend. Fourteen officers were killed in August by perpetrators of different races.

Barack Obama condemned the “completely unacceptable” targeting of police officers as “an affront to civilized society,” and he promised to “continue to highlight the uncommon bravery that police officers show in our communities every single day.” Yet he has also driven some of the anti-police sentiment with his irresponsible rhetoric.

Late last year, after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Obama and then-Attorney General Eric Holder launched the 21st Century Policing Task Force, which Mark Alexander labeled “a $265 million charade based on the underlying assumption that cops generally have racial biases.”

They claimed their goal is an “honest conversation” about disparate treatment of blacks by law enforcement. “When anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that is a problem,” Obama said then. “And it’s my job as president to help solve it.”

After reading the Justice Department’s report on Ferguson, it’s hard to conclude there isn’t a real problem in at least that police department, and likely many others. Police are human, after all. But, as Alexander also noted, “This ‘problem’ of ‘not being treated equally’ is Obamaspeak for ‘cops are racists.'” It’s far too broad a brush.

To further illustrate those assumptions, Obama said, “A combination of bad training [and] departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work; a combination in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and, in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different — all of this contributes to a national problem that’s going to require a national solution.”

So while it’s appropriate and welcome for Obama to express outrage at Goforth’s murder, it’s a stark contrast to his previous rhetoric.

Indeed, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke blasted Obama, saying, “I’m disgusted there’s been no sense of urgency by the president of the United States over these cop killings. Look, he breathed life into this anti-cop sentiment, this cop hatred, and he stands by as it goes on. He went out and visited a federal prison, for heaven’s sake — federal prisoners and he pardoned 46 of them.”

That said, it goes too far to lay the blame for these murders squarely on Obama’s shoulders. Each cop killer is responsible for his own actions. To argue differently falls into the same line of thinking that causes leftists to blame Sarah Palin’s Facebook page for the killer in Phoenix who wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords, or the race-baiting hoards that blamed a flag for the Charleston murders.

But there’s an unmistakable thread of racial hate being fomented among blacks by the nation’s first black president — a man whose election was supposed to herald a new age of racial harmony. Instead, our cities are suffering race riots reminiscent of the 1960s and tension between blacks and law enforcement is at a boiling point. A deranged and angry black homosexual just murdered two white journalists on live TV last week because he followed through on hateful racist sentiment.

For some blacks in the “Black Lives Matter” movement, this is about revenge — revenge for real oppression like slavery and Jim Crow but also every perceived slight or different outcome.

Just two weeks before Goforth was murdered, armed Black Panthers shouted, “We will start creeping up on you in the darkness” — exactly what Goforth’s killer did. Another Black Lives Matter rally featured protesters chanting, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” An LA “life coach” tweeted after Goforth’s murder “this is what justice looks like.” We can only hope such abhorrent ideas are held by a tiny minority.

What justice looks like is proper punishment for crimes. What justice looks like is cooperation between law enforcement and the general population. What justice looks like is no longer aborting more black babies than are born alive. An astounding 16 million preborn black lives have been snuffed out since 1973. Do those black lives matter?

The bottom line is, as Sheriff Hickman put it, lives matter. But in a culture of death, that’s a more difficult message to get through than it should be.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “Famously in the 1920s, the U.S. Department of Interior projected less than a few decades’ worth of recoverable oil in the United States. Jimmy Carter declared in 1980 that by 2000 we’d be nearly out of oil — running on empty. Last month, the Department of Energy reported that the U.S. hit a new energy milestone: We produced 9.52 million barrels a day. That was very close to the highest output level in recorded history. So much for running out. Something else has happened in recent weeks that almost no one — least of all President Obama — would have predicted. The price of oil fell below $40 a barrel. Adjusted for inflation, that makes oil cheaper today than at almost anytime in history. Adjusted for wages, we work less to buy gasoline and oil today than nearly ever before. … The reason we never run out of ‘finite’ resources is that human ingenuity runs forward at a far faster pace than the rate we use up oil, gas or food. … Then why do we listen to the same crowd of doomsayers who still say we are running out of oil or that the earth is going to heat up into a fireball? Their credibility and their ‘scientific consensus’ have rarely been right. They are like the boy who cries wolf over and over. … Paul Ehrlich once said that one thing the world will never run out of ‘is idiots.’ Alas, he was right for once.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “To be controlled in our economic pursuits means to be controlled in everything.” —Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)

Upright: “Only weeks after a hack exposed the names and other confidential information about Ashley Madison’s mostly male clientele, it’s hard to see how the company can recover. By contrast, Hillary Clinton remains the Democratic Party’s likely 2016 nominee for president, even though … she conducted State Department business over her private email. … Seems the market for adulterers has more exacting standards than the market for a Democratic presidential nominee.” —William McGurn in The Wall Street Journal

Observations: “Hillary Clinton actually presents two distinct but mutually reinforcing problems for the Democrats: 1) She’s a lousy politician and 2) she represents a Washington establishment and corrupt status quo that is under siege by populists on the left and the right. Subbing-in Biden might fix some of the first problem but it would do little to fix the second. Any way you slice it, the fact that Biden is the best the Democrats can come up with is a perfect illustration of the damage Obama has done to his party.” —Jonah Goldberg in National Review

Fratricidal infighting: “This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. … We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic party!” —Martin O’Malley complaining about the lack of debates

Gun grabbers: “I do not accept the fact that I have been weak on this issue. In fact, I have been strong on this issue. And in fact, coming from a rural state which has almost no gun control, I think I can get beyond the noise and all of these arguments and people shouting at each other, and come up with real, constructive gun control legislation which most significantly gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.” —Bernie Sanders

The wrong question: “Is anything — anything — likely to happen when it comes to guns given the power of the NRA in the country?” —Fox News host Megyn Kelly

And last… “Right now we have a president who just flew 4,200 miles from Washington, D.C., to Alaska to rename a mountain, who sits down for interviews with internet stars famous for bathing in cereal, and prances all over the White House with a selfie stick. Is a Kanye [West] presidency really that much of a step down for us and our culture?” —IJReview’s Stephen Miller

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


Did You Know That The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves At All?

 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

Once upon a time, it was popular to say that the U.S. government only had enough wheat stored up to provide everyone in America with half a loaf of bread.  But that is not true anymore.  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.  Of course the federal government could always go out and try to buy or seize food to feed the population during a major emergency, but that wouldn’t actually increase the total amount of food that was available.  Instead, it would just give the government more power over who gets it.

The U.S. strategic grain reserve was initially created during the days of the Great Depression.  Back then, the wisdom of storing up food for hard times was self-evident.  Unfortunately, over time interest in this program faded, and at this point there is no strategic grain reserve in the United States at all.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

As for all that wheat held in storage, it became part of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, a food bank and global charity under the authority of the secretary of Agriculture. The stores were gradually depleted until 2008, when the USDA decided to convert all of what was left into its dollar equivalent. And so the grain that once stabilized prices for farmers, bakers and American consumers ended up as a number on a spreadsheet in the Department of Agriculture. 

Read Full Article…. 


Pope Francis’ advice to altar servers: Let Christ draw near to you
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

In his first public audience in a month, Pope Francis told thousands of young altar servers on Tuesday that they should be open to Christ, who isn’t someone far off, but is close to us in the Eucharist and the other sacraments.

“You do not encounter Jesus placed on an inaccessibly high throne, but in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. His word does not shake the doorposts, but rather caresses the strings of the heart,” the Pope said Aug. 4 in St. Peter’s Square.

Read Full Article…. 


For Pope Francis, Mary’s greatness comes down to this one virtue
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

On the feast of the Assumption of Mary, Pope Francis said that faith is the defining virture of her greatness and that the mysterious way she was taken into heaven is a foreshadowing of what awaits each of us. Dogmatically defined in 1950, the assumption of the Virgin Mary’s body into heaven is celebrated Aug. 15 every year, and is one of the most important Marian feast days in the Catholic Church.

Francis pointed to the famous canticle Mary uttered in response, called the “Magnificat,” in which she praises God for the marvelous deeds he has done both in her own life and throughout history. In this prayer Mary expresses her joy, because she is fully aware of what all the great works in her life at that point mean, namely that through her the Lord will accomplish the salvation her people have long been waiting for, the Pope said.The prayer also shows us the full meaning of Mary’s life, he added, explaining that “if the mercy of the Lord is the engine of her story (then) she who bore the Lord of life (could not be touched by) the corruption of the tomb.”

Read Full Article…. 


Iran’s Ayatollah: America is the ‘Enemy.’ ‘We Will Confront Them With All Our Power’
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, gave a speech on Aug. 17 in which he said that the United States of America was the “enemy” and that Iran would confront the United States with all its power.

“We will not allow the Americans to have economic or political influence in our country, nor will we allow them to have a political presence and cultural influence in our country,” said the ayatollah. “We will confront them with all our power which is thankfully great in the present time.

Read Full Article…. 


Israel must be annihilated, top Iranian official declares
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

Iran’s anti-Israel policies remain strongly in place, Hossein Sheikholeslam, the international affairs adviser to the speaker of the Iranian parliament, said on Tuesday. “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all,” Sheikholeslam said. “Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

Sheikholeslam’s comments came following British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s visit to Tehran, during which Hammond claimed that the current Iranian government, led by President Hassan Rouhani, has displayed a more nuanced approach toward Israel than previous Iranian governments.

Read Full Article…. 


Nearly 900 US Rabbis Urge Congress to Reject Iran Deal
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

Nearly 900 American rabbis have signed a petition urging the US Congress to reject the recently-signed nuclear deal with Iran. The online petition hopes to garner 1,000 signatures by September 7 – the date Congress is set to vote on the agreement. So far 887 “ordained rabbis” from various denominations have signed.

A majority vote against is almost inevitable given the Republican majority in both houses, but so too is a presidential veto, which Barack Obama has clearly said he will use in the event the deal is voted down. The challenge then for opponents of the deal is to gain a two-thirds majority in both houses of congress to overturn the veto – an achievement that is looking increasingly unlikely as Democratic legislators have mostly rallied behind the president.

Read Full Article…. 


Would you get yourself chipped?
 Article: Technology For A Global Monetary System

Cats have them. And plenty of other pets have NFC (near-field communications) chips implanted so that they can be identified. So why don’t humans? Imagine the convenience. No need to carry keys or credit cards; your car can recognize you by the special identification number carried in the chip. Terminals for chipped credit cards like they have in Canada and Europe let you tap directly from bank account to store. No more entering passwords for your computer or phone. It’s an electronic business card. If you get mugged and your wallet and phone are stolen, you can still be identified, just like your puppy. Then there’s our aging population. After all, a chipped wandering grandma would be a lot easier to find and identify.

In Stockholm, they are trying out chips at a co-working space, installing card readers at the door and on the copier so you can walk around like you own the place.

Read Full Article…. 


Australia to launch national facial recognition matching system in 2016
 Article: One World Government

The Australian government is expected to roll out a new biometric system next year that will allow law enforcement agencies to share facial images amongst themselves, according to a report by ZDNet.

The facial recognition system will deploy a one-to-one matching functionality to confirm identities of known individuals before gradually introducing additional functionality to match unknown individuals, said the Attorney-General’s department.

“The technical architecture of the capability will adopt a hub-and-spoke model to facilitate ‘query and response’ matching requests between participating agencies,” the department said. “The capability will allow agencies with a lawful authority to collect and share existing holdings of facial images (via the Hub) to check the validity of images presented to them with facial image holdings of other agencies. There are currently over 100 million facial images held by agencies that issue identity documents.”

Read Full Article…. 


The McAvany Intel Memo

To really understand what Obama wants with Net Neutrality (the name given to the FCC takeover of the Internet), you have to remember that he doesn’t like the press, he doesn’t like freedom, he doesn’t like criticism, he doesn’t like competition, and he doesn’t like the power and understanding of the times that the Internet gives ordinary people. Once you understand those facts, you begin to see what this is really about. President Obama has made it clear that our Constitution frustrates him. He can’t do things the way he wants. So he’s doing everything he can through regulation.

In fact, in his first five years in office, President Obama issued 157 major federal regulations. By comparison, President Bush enacted only 62 major federal regulations. In other words, President Obama has enacted 153.2% more regulations than Bush. And Bush was not a small-government president. What’s more, the regulations surrounding Obamacare are still phasing in. And we haven’t seen any of these new FCC regulations on the Internet enacted yet. So the number continues to skyrocket. It is through these regulations that the federal government continues to centralize power.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, April 2015


Dennis Prager Explains Iran Nuclear Deal

Is the nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran a good or bad deal? Would it be harder or easier for Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Would it make Iran and its terror proxies stronger or weaker? Should the U.S. Congress support or defeat the deal? Dennis Prager answers these questions and more.

View 5-minute video


‘Mega’ Agenda 21 resurrected with pope’s help

U.S. visit converges with end of Shemitah, Jade Helm, blood moon

As the choppy waters of September 2015 move ashore, all eyes will be on Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, jittery stock markets and signs in the heavens.

View Article


Little girl gets in trouble for Wonder Woman lunchbox. Guess why? @JonahNRO

Jonah Goldberg writes about a little girl who got in trouble with school authorities for bringing a Wonder Woman lunchbox to school. Why the trouble? Because the school’s policy is that children may not wear clothes or carry gear with pictures of persons who use violence to solve problems. So Wonder Woman was ruled out of order. Jonah Goldberg’s commentary is spot-on. He writes:

If you know anything about superheroes, the underlying morality is pretty much everything. Supervillains use their powers for evil ends. Superheroes use theirs to protect the vulnerable and uphold the good. Teaching kids that there’s no difference between the two is the very opposite of moral education.

It reminds me of William F. Buckley’s famous retort to those who claimed there was no moral distinction between the United States and the Soviet Union. If you have one man who pushes old ladies in front of oncoming buses, Buckley explained, and you have another man who pushes old ladies out of the way of oncoming buses, it simply will not do to describe them both as the sorts of men who push old ladies around.

A country, and a civilization, that actively chooses to render such distinctions meaningless has lost the confidence to sustain itself.

Read the rest here.


Armed Black Panther Members Make Good On Threat To Kill Texas Police Officers

“The revolution is on… Off the pigs,” and “Oink Oink… Bang Bang!,” was the message leveled by the heavily armed Black Panthers directly at Harris County deputies

Armed Black Panther members marched in front of the Waller County jail and shouted, “You’re gonna stop doing what you’re doing, or we will start creeping up on you in the darkness.” The statement was made just two weeks prior to the assassination of a Harris County deputy sheriff.

Shannon Miles, a black male, allegedly came “creeping up” behind Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth in the darkness on the night of August 28. While Goforth stood at a convenience store pumping gas into his patrol vehicle, Miles allegedly raised a pistol and shot him dead.

The comments, made by a leader of the Houston-based chapter of the New Black Panther Party, were captured on a short video clip (above) from the scene by the Houston Chronicle. The writers from the Chronicle made no mention of the threat in their article published that same day.

Not part of a chant, the march leader, wearing the rank of colonel, shouted directly to Harris County mounted deputies through a megaphone. “You think we’re not pissed off a bunch about y’all killing our sisters? You think it’s okay? We’re the wrong n***ers to mess with. You’re gonna stop doing what you’re doing, or we will start creeping up on you in the darkness.”

The rally, also covered by Breitbart Texas, took place at the Waller County Jail where inmate Sandra Bland took her own life by hanging herself with a trash bag after her arrest following a traffic stop in the town of Prairie View. She was accused of an illegal lane change and assaulting a police officer. After being left in jail by her family for three days, Bland hung herself.

In the video above, Breitbart Texas recorded several other violent statements towards police. “The revolution is on… Off the pigs,” and “Oink Oink… Bang Bang!,” was the message leveled by the heavily armed Black Panthers directly at Harris County deputies who had been asked by the Waller County Sheriff to come out to help keep the peace.

Two weeks later, a black man, Shannon Miles, allegedly walked up behind Deputy Goforth and shot him in the head and back fifteen times, according to a Breitbart Texas report on Miles’ first court appearance.

The Waller County jail is located just over 30 miles from the Chevron station where Goforth was executed. The alleged killer, Shannon Miles, also attended the same university as Sandra Bland. It is possible that her arrest and subsequent suicide could have played a role in Miles’ possible motivation. source


Does The ‘Birmingham Fragment’ Prove That Muhammed Did Not Write The Qu’ran?

Historians now say that the parchment may predate Muhammad and believe that this discovery could rewrite the early history of Islam

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: When Muhammed wasn’t busy borrowing characters from the Bible like the Angel Gabriel, it turns out that he also may have been borrowing the entire Qu’ran itself from another author who lived around the same time he did. If this recent discovery turns out to  be true, it will expose the entire early history of Islam as completely fabricated from the way Muhammed said it happened. Turns out that maybe Muhammed and Mormon founder Joseph Smith have more in common than we had suspected with their shared love of magical visits from imaginary angels.

Muslim tradition teaches that the Prophet Muhammed received the “Holy Qu’ran” directly from the Angel Gabriel, memorized it and passed it on orally to his followers. But carbon dating on the world’s oldest Qu’ran may just prove that the Qu’ran was already written and published by someone else who lived right around the same time as Muhammed did. Is the entire religion of Islam actually based on a plagiarized document?

worlds-oldest-quran-birmingham-fragment-islam-muhammed-muslims-plagiarized

Fragments of what is believed to be the world’s oldest Koran. Several historians have said it could even predate the Prophet Muhammad

Fragments of the world’s oldest Koran, found in Birmingham last month, may predate the Prophet Muhammad and could even rewrite the early history of Islam, according to scholars. The pages, thought to be between 1,448 and 1,371 years old, were discovered bound within the pages of another Koran from the late seventh century at the library of the University of Birmingham.

Written in ink in an early form of Arabic script on parchment made from animal skin, the pages contain parts of the Suras, or chapters, 18 to 20, which may have been written by someone who actually knew the Prophet Muhammad – founder of the Islamic faith.

Historian Tom Holland, told the Times: ‘It destabilises, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged – and that in turn has implications for the history of Muhammad and the Companions.’

Keith Small, from the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, added: ‘This gives more ground to what have been peripheral views of the Koran’s genesis, like that Muhammad and his early followers used a text that was already in existence and shaped it to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than Muhammad receiving a revelation from heaven. source


 Preparing for a Potential Economic Collapse in October

Preparing for a Potential Economic Collapse in October

Posted on September 1, 2015 by Tru News

There’s no question that the world economy has been shaky at best since the crash of 2008. Yet, politicians, central banks, et al., have, since then, regularly announced that “things are picking up.” One year, we hear an announcement of “green shoots.” The next year, we hear an announcement of “shovel-ready jobs.” And yet, year …

Read Full Article »


Why America Should Be On High Alert For A Major Earthquake Along The New Madrid Fault

New Madrid Fault Earthquake ZoneDid you know that a magnitude 3.5 earthquake hit the New Madrid fault about a week ago? According to Fox News, the New Madrid fault line is approximately twenty times larger than the San Andreas fault in California, and it is starting to wake up.  Most people don’t realize this, but this fault zone has produced some of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history.  In 1811 and 1812, immensely powerful earthquakes along the New Madrid fault rang church bells in Boston and permanently changed the course of the Mississippi River.  If we had similar earthquakes today, the devastation would be unimaginable.  Unfortunately for us, earthquake activity in the middle part of the country is becoming much more common.  The USGS says that the number of significant earthquakes in the middle part of the country has more than quintupled in recent years, and the USGS has publicly admitted that the New Madrid fault zone has the “potential for larger and more powerful quakes than previously thought“.  Very few Americans are talking about this right now, but as you will see below, the threat is very, very real. (Read More…)


In The Month Of September 2015 We Officially Enter The Danger Zone

Earth Globe Planet Sky World - Public DomainIs September 2015 going to be one of the most important months in modern American history?  When I issued my first ever “red alert” for the last six months of 2015 back in June, I was particularly concerned with the months of September through December, and not just for economic reasons.  All of the intel that I have received is absolutely screaming that big trouble is ahead.  So enjoy these last few days of relative peace and quiet.  I mean that sincerely.  In fact, that is exactly what I have been doing – over the past week I have not posted many articles because I was spending time with family, friends and preparing for the national call to prayer on September 18th and 19th.   But now as we enter the chaotic month of September 2015 I have a feeling that there is going to be plenty for me to write about. (Read More….)


Christian County Clerk Defies Supreme Court Order To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

KENTUCKY CLERK STILL WON’T ISSUE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSES

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The days that we thought we would never see in America, the days of the wholesale persecution of Christians for their faith in Jesus Christ, has begun. Just like in Nazi Germany, the persecution has begun with legal challenges and lawyers wrangling in a court of law. But it will end in modern-day Fema concentration camps that will hold all those who name the Name of Jesus. Are you ready for what comes next?

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — A county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, invoking her religious beliefs and “God’s authority” – this time in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against her.

On Tuesday morning, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ office denied the licenses to at least two couples. At first, Davis was in her office with the door closed and blinds drawn. But she emerged a few minutes later, telling the couples and the activists gathered there that her office is continuing to deny the licenses “under God’s authority.”

kentucky-county-clerk-kim-davis-defies-supreme-court-order-to-issue-same-sex-marriage-licenses-christian-persecution

Keep in mind that the LGBT have never wanted “tolerance” or “acceptance”, what they are after is control of the narrative, and this is exactly what Obama and the Supreme Court have handed them on a silver platter.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the case, leaving Davis no legal grounds to refuse to grant the licenses. A district judge could now hold her in contempt of court, which can carry steep fines or jail time. As an elected official, Davis can’t be fired.

Davis asked David Moore and David Ermold to leave her office after they were denied a license Tuesday morning – the couple’s fourth rejection. They refused, surrounded by reporters and cameras.

“We’re not leaving until we have a license,” Ermold said.

“Then you’re going to have a long day,” Davis told him.

From the back of the room, Davis’ supporters said: “Praise the Lord! … Stand your ground.” Other activists shouted that Davis is a bigot and told her: “Do your job.”

Davis has said her deeply held Christian beliefs don’t let her endorse gay marriages.

She stopped issuing all marriage licenses in the days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal religious faith. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses, and an appeals court upheld that decision. Her lawyers with the Liberty Counsel filed a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court on Friday, asking that they grant her “asylum for her conscience.”

Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees the 6th district, referred Davis’ request to the full court, which denied the stay without comment. After Tuesday’s denials, the rejected couples’ supporters called the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on their behalf. They asked that the attorneys file that day to have Davis held in contempt.

Shortly after Davis’ remarks in her office, the sheriff’s office cleared the room and building of those gathered to support both sides of the issue.

The two groups lined up on the lawn, on either side of the courthouse entrance to chant at each other. Davis’ supporters have told her to “stand firm,” while gay-rights activists shouted “do your job.”

Randy Smith, leading the group supporting Davis, said he knows following their instruction to “stand firm” might mean Davis goes to jail.

But at the end of the day, we have to stand before God, which has higher authority than the Supreme Court,” he said.

Ermold hugged Moore, his partner of 17 years, and they cried and swayed as they left the clerk’s office. Davis’ supporters marched by, chanting.

“I feel sad, I feel devastated,” Ermold said. “I feel like I’ve been humiliated on such a national level, I can’t even comprehend it.” source


El Nino in Pacific Seen as Strongest Since Record 1997-98 Event

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:06 AM PDT

The El Nino that’s changing weather across the globe is now the strongest since the record event almost two decades ago. Sea temperature anomalies in the central Pacific Ocean are now at their highest since 1997–98, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said in a fortnightly update on its website. The values are still below the peak observed in the period, it said. Forecasters in the U.S. predict the El Nino may be the strongest in records going back to 1950. It has already brought torrential rains to parts of South America and dryness to Southeast Asia.

The Philippines plans to boost rice imports to prepare for potential shortages, while Rabobank International warned that the weather event is a key risk to Australian wheat crops. “Most of the eight international climate models surveyed by the bureau indicate there is likely to be some further warming of central Pacific Ocean during the coming months,” the Australian forecaster said. “About half the models indicate the event may begin to plateau during spring to early summer.” FULL REPORT

The post El Nino in Pacific Seen as Strongest Since Record 1997-98 Event appeared first on .


Kentucky clerk is ‘standing for God’, Refuses to Marry Same Sex Couples!

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 06:49 AM PDT

The husband of a Kentucky county clerk who’s refusing to issue gay marriage licenses despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling says his wife is committed to her faith and is “standing for God.” Joe Davis arrived at the Rowan County courthouse Tuesday morning to check on his wife, clerk Kim Davis, shortly after she again denied the licenses to several couples.

Joe Davis says his wife has received death threats, and the couple changed their phone number. But he says he’s not afraid, and he believes in the Second Amendment. He said: “I’m an old redneck hillbilly, that’s all I’ve got to say. Don’t come knocking on my door.” On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to intervene, leaving Kim Davis no legal grounds to refuse to grant licenses. A district judge could now hold her in contempt, which can carry steep fines or jail time. FULL REPORT

The post Kentucky clerk is ‘standing for God’, Refuses to Marry Same Sex Couples! appeared first on .


What’s Wrong With Harry Potter?

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:31 AM PDT

Note: This article ran in the December 2001 issue of Charisma magazine. There are now seven books in the Harry Potter series and they have sold more than 450 million copies. Have things gotten worse in this area in the the last 14 years?

One day I opened the pages of USA Today and noted two children’s books on one of the New York Times Best-Seller lists. Both books, from the Harry Potter series, had occult-sounding titles. I later noticed one of them, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in a prominent place in a local chain bookstore. Curious, I picked up a copy. The seduction of the Harry Potter series, written by an English woman named J.K. Rowling, is potent because the story pulls on one’s heartstrings. Its hero, Harry, is a 10-year-old orphan who is actually a powerful wizard.

He lives a miserable existence with his cruel uncle and spoiled cousin. His life changes on his 11th birthday, when he finds out who he is and is accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for aspiring wizards. Harry’s classes include creating potions, casting spells and performing other occult practices, as well as lessons in riding a magical broomstick. The occult influence is wrapped in a clever plot meant to captivate and thrill. FULL REPORT

The post What’s Wrong With Harry Potter? appeared first on .


Russia to deliver its S-300 missile system to Iran by year’s end

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:21 AM PDT

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said Sunday that Russia has agreed to begin delivering its advanced air defense system to Iran “by the end of the year. ”The Lebanese Al Mayadeen news outlet quoted Dehghan as confirming the delivery date of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile system. The report added that Tehran officials were in talks with Moscow regarding the acquisition of 30 Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets.

Reports of the finalized deal come several months after Russia repealed its embargo on Iran, when both countries began to expand military ties the wake of a historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers last month.The talks were held last week on the sidelines of the Moscow MAKS 2015 air show, and were attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Affairs Sorena Sattari, Iranian media reported. FULL REPORT

The post Russia to deliver its S-300 missile system to Iran by year’s end appeared first on .


Supermoons and Rising Tides – Is the end of the Age Near?

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:16 AM PDT

No it won’t be the “End of the World”, The world itself will never end. However we could very well be moving ever closer towards the “End of the Age”.

Matthew 24:3 – Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

The word “Age” in the passage comes from the Greek word aion, it has a variety of meanings, but for this context it refers to a large period of time or an epoch. The end of the Church Age and the transition to the “Kingdom Age”

Be prepared for something extraordinary on the night of 27 to 28 September: both the brightest full Moon of the year – and the dimmest full Moon. First, we are due a supermoon. Our celestial companion travels round the Earth in an orbit that’s distinctively oval. Every month, the Moon swings from a distance of 360,000km out to 405,000km. When it’s nearest, the Moon naturally looks bigger.

Most months, we’re not really aware of the Moon’s changing diameter. But it’s different when the Moon is closest at the same time as it’s full because its proximity makes the illuminated Moon even more brilliant. Everybody’s now calling this phenomenon a Supermoon – a phrase dreamt up not by astronomers but an astrologer.

On the night of 27 to 28 September, the Moon is closest to us at 2.46am, only an hour before it’s full. As a result, this supermoon will appear 14 per cent bigger in the sky than the Moon at its most distant and smallest, and it should be 30 per cent brighter. The Moon will certainly look unusually big and brilliant around 2am. But at 2.07am you’ll see a small chunk being nibbled out of its brilliant disc by the Earth’s shadow. Sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness, the Moon is totally eclipsed by 3.11am. It remains completely in the shadow of the Earth until 4.23am, when the full Moon gradually begins to emerge. FULL REPORT

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Uproar in St. Petersburg after demon statue destroyed

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 04:51 AM PDT

Hundreds rallied in St. Petersburg Sunday to protest the destruction of a demon statue ripped down last week. A group calling itself the “Cossacks of St. Petersburg” has claimed responsibility. The figure of a bat-winged creature on Lakhtinskaya Street dated to around 1910 and was ripped down and apparently destroyed by vandals. “What happened is awful,” 35-year-old protester Anna Astakhova told the AFP news agency. “If it’s true that the bas relief was destroyed for religious reasons, then we are descending into the Middle Ages.”

In an open letter, the previously unknown Cossack group said the figure encouraged “open worship of Satan” and was unacceptable because it was opposite a church. However, established Cossack groups in the city denied any knowledge of the activist group.
But a spokesman for the powerful Russian Orthodox Church said the attack was an understandable reaction to a malevolent nuisance. “Mephistopheles embodies evil in this world and this person decided to act, most likely, to kill evil,” spokesman Roman Bagdasarov told pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia. FULL REPORT

The post Uproar in St. Petersburg after demon statue destroyed appeared first on .


In The Month Of September 2015 We Officially Enter The Danger Zone

Posted: 31 Aug 2015 08:45 PM PDT

Is September 2015 going to be one of the most important months in modern American history? When I issued my first ever “red alert” for the last six months of 2015 back in June, I was particularly concerned with the months of September through December, and not just for economic reasons. All of the intel that I have received is absolutely screaming that big trouble is ahead.

So enjoy these last few days of relative peace and quiet. I mean that sincerely. In fact, that is exactly what I have been doing – over the past week I have not posted many articles because I was spending time with family, friends and preparing for the national call to prayer on September 18th and 19th. But now as we enter the chaotic month of September 2015 I have a feeling that there is going to be plenty for me to write about.

At this time last month, I declared that we were entering “the pivotal month of August 2015“, and that is exactly what it turned out to be. August was the worst month overall for stocks in three years, and it was the worst month of August for U.S. financial markets in 17 years. Throughout history, there have only been 11 times when the S&P 500 has declined by more than five percent during the month of August. When that has happened, the stock market has almost always fallen in September as well…FULL REPORT

The post In The Month Of September 2015 We Officially Enter The Danger Zone appeared first on .


China Sells Major Part of US Gov’t Bonds to Back Up Yuan

Posted: 31 Aug 2015 08:28 PM PDT

In just two weeks China has cut its property of US government bonds worth around $100 billion. Beijing advocated the progression as a measure to bolster the yuan. On the other hand, the move can likewise be seen as a reasonable cautioning to the United States, DWN composed. China has greatly diminished its possessions of US Treasuries in the most recent two weeks. Beijing educated the US government about the business, however has not showed the careful extent of the transfers, DWN reported.

The Chinese national bank sold the US government bonds, both straightforwardly, and in a roundabout way Bloomberg reported, alluding to insider data. Inside of the most recent twelve months, the bank likewise decreased their remote trade property by 315 billion dollars. This stride is apparently intended to help China to balance out its money related business sector. On August 11, China began to depreciate the national coin and offer US Treasuries to bolster the degrading. FULL REPORT

The post China Sells Major Part of US Gov’t Bonds to Back Up Yuan appeared first on .


Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash

Posted: 31 Aug 2015 08:19 PM PDT

According to Prophecy News Watch, The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power. Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which is causing, “a lot of distortion to the economic system.” The existence of cash — a bearer instrument with a zero interest rate — limits central banks’ ability to stimulate a depressed economy. The worry is that people will change their deposits for cash if a central bank moves rates into negative territory,” states the article.

Complaining that cash cannot be tracked and traced, the writer argues that its abolition would, “make life easier for a government set on squeezing the informal economy out of existence.” Abolishing cash would also give governments more power to lift taxes directly from people’s bank accounts, the author argues, noting how “Value added tax, for example, could be automatically levied — and reimbursed — in real time on transactions between liable bank accounts.” The writer also calls for punishing people who use cash by making users “pay for the privilege of anonymity” so they will, “remain affected by monetary policy.” Dated bank notes would lose their value over time, while people would also be charged by banks for swapping electronic reserves for physical cash and vice versa. FULL REPORT

The post Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash appeared first on .


China and Russia are using hacked data to target US spies

Posted: 31 Aug 2015 08:09 PM PDT

According to a new report, Foreign spy services, especially in China and Russia, are aggressively aggregating and cross-indexing hacked U.S. computer databases — including security clearance applications, airline records and medical insurance forms — to identify U.S. intelligence officers and agents, U.S. officials said. At least one clandestine network of American engineers and scientists who provide technical assistance to U.S. undercover operatives and agents overseas has been compromised as a result, according to two U.S. officials.

The Obama administration has scrambled to boost cyberdefenses for federal agencies and crucial infrastructure as foreign-based attacks have penetrated government websites and email systems, social media accounts and, most important, vast data troves containing Social Security numbers, financial information, medical records and other personal data on millions of Americans. FULL REPORT

The post China and Russia are using hacked data to target US spies 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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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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

September 1, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Ligonier Suspends R. C. Sproul Jr. Over Ashley Madison Visit

“With the revelation of the hack has come the revelation of my sin. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016,” he wrote. “I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And now the world is informed. My sin, sadly, has impacted those who are innocent—my colleagues, friends, and family. I have and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I covet your prayers.”

Read More


Why They Hate Pro-Lifers So

One of the stunningly obvious perceptions of those in favor of abortion is summarized by Harvard-educated Paul Swope: “Women do not see any ‘single’ good resulting from an unplanned pregnancy. Instead they must weigh what they perceive as three evils, namely, motherhood, adoption, and abortion.”

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Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?

It’s possible to love a caricature of Jesus rather than Jesus Himself. So when I ask people “Do you love Jesus at all?” I’m not asking whether they love a Christ who is a hero for kids or a Christ who is a good moral teacher. I’m asking whether they love the Christ who appears in Scripture.

Read more


9 Things You Should Know About Margaret Sanger

On a radio show, Sanger is reported to have said that “morons, mental defectives, epileptics, illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and dope fiends” ought to be surgically sterilized. If they wish, she said, such people should also be able to choose a lifelong segregated existence in labor camps.

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Why We Fail at Family Devotions

“I am convinced a lot of people fail because we feel that Word and prayer are not enough. We read books and blogs by people who do so much more and feel that we do not measure up. We finish, see that only 5 minutes have elapsed, and feel like that can’t possibly be enough.”

Read More


Hong Kong Christian Groups Feel New Scrutiny From Mainland

“As the government of President Xi Jinping has stepped up efforts to limit the influence of Christianity in the mainland, including a controversial campaign to take down crosses in parts of eastern China, the activities of some of Hong Kong’s churches have come under official scrutiny.”

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Christian Missions And The Spread Of Democracy

Today we may think of missions as mere footnotes in the historical sweep of economics and ideology, but Woodberry argues that prior to the mid-twentieth century, “missionaries were the main source of information about life in the colonies.”

Read More


Hacking “Ashley Madison” – A Pastoral Perspective

The death of ministries, marriages, hopes and dreams now become nightmares. But in the midst of this “death march” we have good news. There is a Savior who, on the Cross, has won the victory over sin and removed the sting of death. By His amazing and transforming grace He can make roses of majesty out of the ash heap of sin. Ashley Madison? Ashley Madison is one more reason and one more opportunity to tell lost sinners and remind wandering saints that there is a Redeemer. His name is Jesus Christ.

Read more


Rebuilding Marriage Culture: A Fourfold Mission for the Church

“Here I want to suggest four things the church in particular should do to help rebuild a strong marriage culture. After all, the church – either through action or inaction – will play a major role in the debate over the meaning of marriage.”

Read More


My Wife’s Plea to Christian Men

Stop believing that this is a special sin that women just can’t understand—we do understand sin. This isn’t a special sin, it is just sin: God-belittling, Christ-mocking, Spirit-despising sin. Stop pretending like there are no future consequences to your actions. Stop putting your selfish desires first. Stop engaging in activities that bring shame on the gospel. Stop doing things that leave us picking up the pieces of your devastated wife. Stop indulging in your sin, and start thinking and acting like a God-honoring, Christ-praising, Spirit-glorifying man. For the love of God and his church, stop.

Read More


Faith-Based Film 'War Room' Stuns Hollywood With $11 Million Debut, Producers Say 'God Gets the Credit For What's Happening'

Faith-Based Film ‘War Room’ Stuns Hollywood With $11 Million Debut, Producers Say ‘God Gets the Credit For What’s Happening’

Posted on September 1, 2015 by Gospel Herald

The faith-based drama War Room, by filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, earned a staggering $11 million in its box-office debut over the weekend despite playing in only 1,135 theaters.

Read Full Article »


Franklin Graham Praises Christian Students at Duke University Who Refused to Read Porn Novel, Warns Parents About LGBT 'Propaganda'

Franklin Graham Praises Christian Students at Duke University Who Refused to Read Porn Novel, Warns Parents About LGBT ‘Propaganda’

Posted on September 1, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Franklin Graham has praised a group of students from Duke University who refused to read an assigned novel because its pro-LGBT, pornographic content violated their Christian beliefs. He has also warned parents to be aware of the LGBT community’s attempts to push their “propaganda on America’s young people.”

Read Full Article »


Brace yourself for Ashley Madison's impact on church kids

Brace yourself for Ashley Madison’s impact on church kids

Posted on September 1, 2015 by Ministry Matters

The recent Ashley Madison hack leaves us watching marriages within the church crumble before our eyes. But the betrayal of an affair doesn’t just affect husband and wife…

Read Full Article »


“The Shack,” with film pending, called “greatest deception” to church “in the last 200 years”

An evangelical seminary professor is calling The Shack the “greatest deception foisted on the church in the last 200 years” and urging Christian leaders to speak out against it ahead of its release as a movie.

James B. DeYoung, professor of New Testament language and literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., says controversy over the 2007 bestselling book by William Paul Young will resurface when the film – which began shooting in June – is released.

View Article


The End of the Age: Part I

It is here that the three famous questions were poised to Him, and His answers, albeit somewhat cryptic then, are now seemingly being played out in our own day.

-When will these things be?
-What will be the sign of your coming?
-What is the sign of the end of the age?

View Article


Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce

Timothy C. Morgan, columnist for Christianity Today, has the not so surprising story of the break-up of a marriage that came about because both the husband and the wife committed the sin of adultery: Tullian Tchividjian, Billy Graham’s grandson, filed for divorce on Thursday in Broward County, Florida. Tchividjian resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge […]

The post Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce appeared first on Berean Research.


Ligonier suspends R.C. Sproul Jr over Ashley Madison account

Uh oh. We knew there would be heartbreaking news of pastors involved in this: Ligonier Ministries has suspended R. C. Sproul Jr. until July 2016 due to his admission that he visited the adultery matchmaking website Ashley Madison. Ligonier was founded by his father, R. C. Sproul Sr., who still serves as board chair. The […]

The post Ligonier suspends R.C. Sproul Jr over Ashley Madison account appeared first on Berean Research.


“The Shack,” with film pending, called “greatest deception” to church “in the last 200 years”

(Christian Examiner, By Michael Foust) — An evangelical seminary professor is calling The Shack the “greatest deception foisted on the church in the last 200 years” and urging Christian leaders to speak out against it ahead of its release as a movie. James B. DeYoung, professor of New Testament language and literature at Western Seminary in […]

The post “The Shack,” with film pending, called “greatest deception” to church “in the last 200 years” appeared first on Berean Research.


Who are the apostates?

In this piece Mike Ratliff of Possessing the Treasure points out something that many Christians are unaware of: “An apostate can remain in an organized so-called “Christian Church” and be very religious and remain quite active in the “ministry” of deceiving as many people as he or she can. I mentioned it earlier in this […]

The post Who are the apostates? appeared first on Berean Research.


Trump Hosts Televangelists Who Fleece Their Flocks

No wonder The Donald is so lucky with money! He’s been planting seed faith cash into  strategic WOF alliances.  God will surely smile and bless his campaign….(/snark) Hat tip to Janet Mefferd for sharing this from the Daily Beast: Donald Trump, who meets next month with a group of televangelists, has strong ties to the […]

The post Trump Hosts Televangelists Who Fleece Their Flocks appeared first on Berean Research.


Reports: Pope blesses lesbian authors for their “excellent Christian values”

Pope Francis has reportedly pronounced two “married” women  fruitful, with excellent Christian values. Lesbian author Francesca Pardi, who writes and publishes books such as “Why you have two mummies“, wrote to Pope Francis after the publishing company she runs with her wife came under fire from Christian groups. Now she is getting a Papal blessing […]

The post Reports: Pope blesses lesbian authors for their “excellent Christian values” appeared first on Berean Research.


Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast

Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries challenges her readers to put on their thinking caps as they evaluate material LifeWay released to promote Beth Moore’s upcoming simulcast. Are there any red flags?  You’ll have to read Lareau’s piece to find out. , I have decided to take another break from my series about submitting in everything to […]

The post Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast appeared first on Berean Research.


70% of Americans are Christians? Seriously?

A recent report indicates that 70% of Americans are Christians.   If this is true, what it says to this writer is that a whole host of people who profess faith in Jesus Christ neglect to read the instruction manual that reveals everything we need to know about the object of our faith. I’m referring to […]

The post 70% of Americans are Christians? Seriously? appeared first on Berean Research.


The Apostatizing of James MacDonald

Those of you who follow the teaching of Pastor James MacDonald should read this piece by Glenn E. Chatfield.  What he has to say about MacDonald will change your mind about him.  For one thing, he promotes wolves. More… I’ve never been one for listening to the radio, mostly because we often only get it […]

The post The Apostatizing of James MacDonald appeared first on Berean Research.


Planned Parenthood Buyer Wants “Another 50 Livers/Week”

This is a new video just published this morning from the folks at The Center for Medical Progress. Yes, it’s awful, but please do not become numb. I share these not for those of you who already know it’s sheer evil. I post these in the hopes that those of you Christians who lean Left, […]

The post Planned Parenthood Buyer Wants “Another 50 Livers/Week” appeared first on Berean Research.


Christian Missions and Colonialism

There are plenty of objections which have been raised against Christianity over the centuries. One common complaint is that the history of Christi missions is really the history of oppression, imperialism, chauvinism, exploitation, Eurocentrism, and ugly colonialism.

This is standard fare found in the writings of those who dislike Christianity. Atheists, secularists, humanists and others dish up these charges quite often. But the question is, are they true? Have Christian missions been a force for evil in the world, or, on balance, have they been a force for good?

Read more


‘All Lives Matter’: Franklin Graham Responds to Shannon Miles’ Unprovoked Killing of Texas Deputy Darren Goforth


Focus on The Family Builds Homes for Families of 20 Coptic Christians Beheaded By ISIS: ‘God’s Presence Reigns Sovereign Amid Tragedy’


Young Christian Man Killed in Pakistan, Wife Shot By Muslim Relatives for Marrying Him and Leaving Islam, Attorney Says


Chinese Authorities in ‘China’s Jerusalem’ Detain Christian Leaders Who Protested Cross Removal Campaign


Faith-Based Film ‘War Room’ Stuns Hollywood With $11 Million Debut, Producers Say ‘God Gets the Credit For What’s Happening’


Kay Warren Says U.S. Mental Health System Is ‘Broken,’ Encourages Every Church to ‘Be a Solution’ by Developing Mental Health Ministry


Billy Graham’s Son-in-Law Danny Lotz, Husband To Anne Graham Lotz, Died at 78: ‘He Was God’s Man Who Triumphantly Finished His Race’


Families of Three Americans Who Stopped French Train Attack Credit Christian Faith, God’s ‘Providential Will’ for Heroic Act


Paul Trip Weighs on Divorce of Fellow Pastor Tullian Tchividjian: ‘There Are Times When the Trust is So Deeply Broken It’s Best to Move On’


Jeremy Lin Shares Christian Faith in Beijing, Says ‘True Success Is Found in Understanding God’s Love’ in Speech Broadcasted to 100 Million Chinese


Rev. Franklin Graham Encourages Those Exposed In Ashley Madison Hack: ‘You Can Be Forgiven’


96-Year-Old Evangelist Billy Graham to Release 33rd Book, ‘Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond’


‘Duck Dynasty’ John Luke Robertson and Wife Mary Kate’s Wedding Recap and Photos


3GT Episode 4: Grenades + Women = ?

Our latest episode of the 3GT podcast is up!  You can go here to download or listen below.  Here’s a humorous description of what it contains written by one of us that’s not me:

With bazooka and machine gun in hand, Austin defends longer podcast lengths. From there it is only natural (um, sure) to talk more about The Sermon on the Mount, specifically whether or not it serves as a model for preaching. Lastly, we dive into the current theological scuffle between John Piper, Carl Trueman and Doug Wilson regarding the boundaries of complementarianism.


By Matt Slick

On August 29, 2015, I debated Shadid Lewis, a Muslim, on the topic, “Why did we choose to accept or reject Christianity?”  Following are my notes from the opening statement.  I did not necessarily use all of the information here.

——————————-

The title of our debate now is “Why did we choose to accept or reject Christianity?”  As a Christian theologian, and in particular, one who holds to reformed theology, I chose to follow Christ because he first chose me. The Bible tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 that God chooses us for salvation. In Philippians 1:29 we are told that God grants that we believe. Jesus said in John 6:28-29 that it is the work of God the Father that we believe.

I am a Christian not because of my wisdom, not because of my ability to recognize that I needed God, or my rationality, and not because of some good quality in me. Rather, I’m a Christian because of God’s divine grace that he, in his infinite mercy, shed upon me so that I might be enabled to believe in him, be forgiven of my sins, and granted eternal life.

Therefore, I give all the glory and honor and praise to God who, in his mercy, granted that I come to Christ (John 6:65).

My reasons need not to be based on my preferences and my criteria.  That is subjective. Instead, I focus on God.  So, let me speak from the perspective of why I would chose Christianity.

…read more


The Absurd is Flooding…Into Generic Evangelical Churches
by Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, 8/12/15 The Plumbliine

Recently, Copeland and over a thousand Word-Faith pastors were gathered in a yearly conference and received a direct communication from the Vicar of Christ upon the earth, direct from the Vatican, none other than Pope Francis. In this direct smart phone projection of Francis, the new Pope called upon the charismatic communion to come into fellowship with the Vatican. Kenneth Copeland positively returned the smart phone communication to the pontiff, and the over one thousand Word Faith pastors in attendance cheered together.

Click here to read this article!

 

Insider’s View of Rob Bell’s Stop in SF for “Everything is Spiritual Tour”
at Lighthouse Trails, 8/19/15 LT Publishing

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.

Click here to read this article!

Pathway to Apostasy
by Roger Oakland, 8/19/15 Understanding The Times
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.

Former Southern Baptist Church to Allow Gay and Transgender Ordination, Same-Sex Marriage
by The Gospel Herald, 8/16/15

A historic, former Southern Baptist Church has adopted a new non-discrimination policy which will allow it to perform same-sex weddings and employ openly gay and transgender individuals without telling them their lifestyles violate Biblical mandates.

Click here to read this!


Heidelberg Catechism 122: What It Means To Say “Hallowed Be Your Name”

Our familiarity with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) might give us the impression that it is rudimentary. It is not. Right at the outset we are confronted with a challenge. The first petition is not quite what we might think. There is depth and complexity to the first petition that we might miss. 122. What […]

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If There is Any Dedication

Larry E. Ball explains why he never dedicates babies to God: “Infant baptism is not primarily a promise of parents to God, but first and foremost a promise of God to the parents.  If there is any dedication, God is dedicating himself to his oath to be a God to both the parents and to […]

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What Is America’s Largest Protestant Denomination Doing to Combat Predatory Prosperity Preaching?

From the Christian Post: The question was posed to Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention that represents more than 15 million Southern Baptists in the public square. The outspoken ERLC president has been vocal about everything from abortion and gay marriage to racial reconciliation and Christian […]

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Serving Two Masters?

Jesus warned us sternly that no man can serve two masters–God and money.  That ultimately a man would choose to love one and hate the other.  And as Christians we can easily fool ourselves into thinking we are keeping money in its correct biblical perspective. There are Word Faith televangelists racking up millions of dollars […]

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400 Pastors Resigned Last Sunday

(Christian Headlines By Jim Denison) Fallout from the Ashley Madison scandal continues. The company’s CEO has resigned; several people who used the adultery website have committed suicide. And some 400 clergy resigned publicly from their ministries last Sunday.Let’s put that number in perspective.One pastor who seeks to have an affair is one too many. Infidelity shatters the spouse, devastates […]

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Pope tells priests to pardon women who have abortions

According to the Bible man does not have the authority to absolve anyone of their sins (Mark 2:7). God is the only one who can pardon the guilty sinner. But the apostate Roman Catholic Church sees it differently. The RCC teaches that priests have the authority to absolve people of their sins, as we see here:

Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Tuesday called on priests to pardon women who have abortions, and the doctors who perform them, during the upcoming Jubilee year — overruling hardline traditionalists within the Catholic Church,

“I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it,” he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-tells-priests-pardon-women-abortions-110936598.html


Pope Francis Announces Abortion is Forgiven

During the church’s Jubilee Year, a Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis announces priests can now forgive women who have had abortions.

In the past, abortion was cause for excommunication in the Catholic church. However, the excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict in 2009.  BBC writes, “Until now, permission for forgiveness had to be sought from a bishop, who would then delegate an expert priest.”

REUTERS reports the Vatican chief spokesman Father Federico Lombardi stated, “This is by no means an attempt to minimize the gravity of this sin but to widen the possibility of showing mercy.”

In a letter published Tuesday, Francis acknowledges this issue and “tragedy of abortion” and announced he has decided to “concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.”

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

Editor’s Note: Here are three things I wish every woman really knew about forgiveness when it comes to abortion…

1. You’re already forgiven

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

2. We can love and forgive each other (and ourselves)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

3. Forgiveness comes from Christ alone, not a priest’s authority

“The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Romans 3:22-26

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Gayle Haggard: When Your Husband “Falls From Grace”

The phone rang at the respectable hour of 9:00 last Wednesday morning. My husband, Ted, answered, and the voice on the other end was hesitant, and immediately he detected fear.

“I need to talk to someone. I am really in trouble. I’ve followed your story and feel that maybe you’re someone I can talk to, someone who might understand.”

“Okay,” my husband replied. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

The man on the other end proceeded to tell my husband his story. “I am a pastor. I really do love God. I really want to serve him. I can’t believe I’ve messed up like this. I’ve hurt my wife, my congregation, everyone I truly love. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I may have lost everything and everyone I care about. Please help me know what to do. Will I ever be okay again?”

Ted offered him hope and explained to him the process of repentance.

We get calls like this every week, from pastors, worship leaders, evangelists, youth leaders, all types of believers and even nonbelievers. All are looking for a safe place to pour out their hearts, their pain, their shame, and their fears. Most have a secret sin they are battling to overcome or that has been found out. Many have been trapped by a sin they never thought they would succumb to. They have become participants in the unthinkable, and they are searching for a way out, a way to get back up again.

My husband understands. He walked through his own version of this scenario a few years ago. I understand. I walked with him, and I learned a thing or two along the way.

After the revelation of my husband’s entrapment by the sin that “so easily beset him,” and his subsequent repentance, I watched a remarkable set of events unfold. Many in the body of Christ donned their “pseudo” righteous robes, and picking up stones, began hurling them at my husband. We felt the sting of their stones when we read their blogs, posts, and comments in Christian periodicals and caught wind of their whispers. I wondered if there were any who understood, any with wisdom to heal, to gently restore and reconcile. The longer I watched, the more I understood that the story that had unfolded in my husband’s life was common to our faith. It was and continues to be a human story of God engaging a son whom He loves.

Recently while speaking at a Catalyst lab session, I asked the crowd to raise their hands if they had sinned since they believed on the Lord. Everyone raised their hands. I then asked any who had struggled with a sin stronghold since becoming a believer to stand up. No one remained seated. As I looked around the room of standing pastors, leaders, and other professing Christians, I asked them, “So what is the big deal about Ted Haggard?” They smiled back at me. They got it.

Now I am not so naïve to discount the “high profile” positions my husband held (the founding and senior pastor of New Life Church, with a congregation of 14,000, and president of the National Association of Evangelicals), and the inherent expectations placed on a leader. But I contend that my husband’s sin did not invalidate the power of the gospel and thus embarrass Christians everywhere; it validated it. If we are smart Christians, we will understand this. He is as human as the next person and succumbed to the weakness inherent in his human condition just as the rest of us have. This in no way discounts the sincerity of his faith. In fact, by getting back up and pressing on in faith, Ted has proven to all of us that he believes and values the gospel.

Again, if we are smart, we will understand the power of this story. The gospel is not, nor has it ever been, about our righteousness. It is and always has been about a righteousness that comes from God. For this, I am forever grateful.

I have thanked God many times for a front row seat as I’ve watched the tender mercies of our God at work in a son He loves. I want to be more like God. He is neither shocked nor ruffled by our human struggles and failings. He understands our human condition. This is the point of the gospel. He is the wise Father who gladly and gently reconciles, restores, and receives his sons and daughters who’ve stumbled or gone astray. He gives his grace courageously and freely.

In countless articles and diatribes, my husband has been referred to as a “disgraced pastor” and described as having fallen from grace. I am reminded of Galatians 5:4 where the Apostle Paul clearly defines what it means to fall from grace. He emphatically states, “For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” (New Living Translation) Here Paul appears to be saying it is not the one who stumbles who has fallen from grace, but the one who thinks himself righteous on his own account.

I understand when my husband says he didn’t fall from grace; he fell into it.

May we all be so blessed.

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Christian Clerk Violates Supreme Court Order on Gay Marriage

You know what’s crazy?  People who think they’re above the law.

Kim Davis is a Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky. It’s her job to give marriage licenses, but she’s refusing to give homosexual couples marriage licenses. She appealed the Supreme Court’s Order, but was denied the stay. But she’s still denying licenses.

What gives this one woman authority to deny a couple a marriage license?  She says she’s “under God’s authority.”

Now both sides are speaking out (aka protesting). Kentucky has a lot of strong feelings.

Some support Kim Davis, a Rowan County Clerk who refused to give a marriage license to a gay couple.

protest 2

Others support the couple (and the Supreme Court ruling).

protest 1

NPR wrote, “Davis was waiting for an appeal she didn’t get.  On Monday, the Supreme Court denied that stay, essentially ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis could be held in contempt of court.”

David Ermold and his partner of 17 years said they would not leave until they were given a marriage license.

Before walking off, she said, “Then you’re going to have a long day.”

 

When Davis denies the couple a right by saying she’s “under God’s authority,” the couple responds by saying “Well, I don’t like your God.”

What do you think about Davis’ stand? Is she helping or hurting the name of Christ by her actions.

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31

 

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Is Donald Trump the Ideal Evangelical Candidate?

It’s with horror and fascination that I watch Donald Trump jockey to be the Republican candidate for president. It would be an humorous diversion if there weren’t so many people who seem supportive of the idea. It’s almost as if Mike Judge’s classic film Idiocracy was some sort of prophecy.

On July 26, 2015, CNN posted the results of a political poll revealing quite a bit about the grass-roots support of the Donald Trump candidacy. There were no huge surprises, but in an article summing up the poll’s responses, this paragraph jumped out at me:

“The majority of those Republicans surveyed that wants Trump to remain in the race includes numbers of those seen as the core of the GOP primary electorate: 58% of white evangelicals, 58% of conservatives, and 57% of tea party supporters.”

58% percent of white evangelicals!? Seriously? At first I thought, “well, it’s obviously just a bad poll” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, in many ways, Donald Trump is American evangelicalism’s perfect doppelganger. Here are three things about Trump that might be resonating with evangelicals (because we recognize it in ourselves):

1. He thinks he’s an outsider (spoiler alert: he’s not)

Trump’s whole race is predicated on the idea that he’s a political outsider and the answer to everyone’s frustration with Washington. The problem is that he isn’t really an outsider. He might be newer to the political process, but he has the only thing that’s really important to the process — money!

The whole problem with Washington is money. Wealth and lobbying has had such a corrosive influence on the political climate, and that’s what Trump brings to the table in spades. He is constantly selling his billionaire status as a sign of his success and why he would make a great president, and then consistently demonstrating that his wealth and privilege isolates him from understanding issues like immigration and the problems experienced by common, middle-class Americans.

He’s just not the stranger to the political process that he’d like to imagine himself to be. His privilege has put him in the same circles and processes that most political pundits frequent. In fact, the way Trump’s donations have been courted by politicians, he’s more insider than he’d have us believe.

Like Trump, American evangelicalism likes to think of itself as an outsider. We’ve developed a mythos that makes us the put-upon and abused minority existing on the outskirts of American culture, but it’s just not true. The fact that we want to believe we’re outsiders leaves us just as out of touch as the Donald.

Christianity has spent over a century at the center of cultural authority in the U.S. When prayer was practiced in schools, it was Christian prayer. When we’ve had faith-based monuments in public spaces, they’ve primarily been Christian.  For decades, despite how evangelicalism views itself, it’s been one of the most courted demographics in American politics.

Evangelicalism was born into social influence in the same way that Trump was born into wealth. And every time there is a small shift toward equability for people who don’t share our values, it solidifies in our minds the idea that we’re outsiders. We try to establish our place at the head of the table by appealing to the Judeo-Christian values America was founded upon in the same way that Trump points to his success on NBC’s The Apprentice as a sign that he’d make a great commander-in-chief.

It’s no wonder that evangelicals love Trump; he’s spinning the same fable we are.

2. He exalts candor over wisdom

One thing I hear over and over from people is, “Trump tells it like it is. He’s not afraid to say what we’re all thinking.”

But then I look at some of his gaffes:

–“[John McCain’s] not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

–“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”

–“I don’t think Ivanka [his daughter] would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

–“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

–“Rosie O’Donnell’s disgusting both inside and out. You take a look at her, she’s a slob.”

I think that if Trump is saying the kind of things you wish you could say, there’s a problem.

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4 of the Most Misquoted Verses in the Bible

By Brian Orme

OK, let’ me confess: I’m guilty of using Bible verses to say what I want them to mean.

This short list is more of a personal correction than anything else. Also, let me be clear, I don’t think it’s a felony to use verses in slightly different contexts. I’m not the Bible verse police, but I do think it’s helpful to know the original context so we can understand and apply the full and beautiful meaning of Scripture.

So, take this list with a grain of salt.

1. I Can Do All Things.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

bodybuilding

This short verse is often quoted by sports teams, bumper stickers and tag lines as a rally cry to accomplish great things like running a marathon, climbing a mountain, winning the championship, finishing the remodel on the kitchen, etc. However, this short — and powerful — passage gets its meaning amidst the context of contentment. Paul is writing this letter to the church in Philippi to let them know that God has taught him to be content in times of plenty and in times of desperation (he’s writing this letter in prison).

So, in its proper context, this verse is a tribute to a man who learned to follow God in any circumstance. Whatever came Paul’s way, he handled with faith. It could be stoning, prison, shipwreck, beatings, etc. This passage is not a clarion call to go out and accomplish great feats of strength, but a beautiful reminder to pursue faith and trust God in the midst of the ups and downs of a life given fully to the cause of Christ.

2. Plans to Prosper.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

kanye

This verse is often quoted during a trial to encourage or inspire — pointing us to the promise that God has specific plans to help us prosper so don’t worry! However, in context, this verse is dealing with a particular promise given to Israel from God; the promise points to the end of their Babylonian exile in specific terms — 70 years (verse 10). So, the word prosper doesn’t refer to money or material blessings, but physical and spiritual salvation.

But, someone might say, God still wants us to prosper, right? Well, in terms of salvation, yes. In fact, this passage is a great reminder of the fulfilled prophecy and the perfect Word of God. This is an amazing story that points us to a greater release and redemption for all of God’s people. So, taking away our specific, individually focused application doesn’t subtract the awesomeness from this passage. In fact, it enhances it and reminds us of the collective salvation of God’s people in history and in the future, still to come–which is much better than money or material things in the here and now, right? Riiiight.

3. Where Two or Three Are Gathered.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”— Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

rudy

This verse is often used as an encouragement that God is with us in tough circumstances — all we need are two to three people in a prayer group and we’re set. In fact, you don’t even have to say the full verse, just start it out: “Where two or three are gathered … ” and other church members will shake their heads in agreement. However, this passage really deals with building a testimony in the context of church discipline.

A proper, and reliable, testimony was extremely critical in the Jewish context. This passage was an encouragement to the church leaders during difficult times of confrontation and church discipline — that God would be present with the witnesses as they sought to make matters right and restore a fallen member. Is God still with us when two or three are gathered? Yes, of course.

He’s also with us when it’s just one or one thousand.

4. All Things Work for Good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28 (NIV)

basketball

This passage is often used to encourage another believer who’s going through a tough time — reminding them that it will eventually work out for something good in their life. In other words, don’t worry about getting fired — God has something better in store for you … all things work out for good, remember? There are two major issues in this passage to deal with to keep it in context.

First, the passage deals with those who love him. That’s an important distinction. It’s not for everyone, but specifically for believers.

Second, the “good” that’s described in context is about God’s ultimate sovereign plan of salvation and restoration, not so much our comfort.

So, the good here leads us to glorify Christ and His divine plan that’s being accomplished no matter how hard the circumstances and no matter how devastating the loss. It’s not so much about God changing your loss of job into a new opportunity as it is God using all of our circumstances for His divine good.

Are there any verses you would add to the list?

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China’s Hero Eric Liddell Is Honored with Statue

Eric Liddell was born in the Chinese municipality of Tianjin in 1902. He was the Scottish athlete who wouldn’t run on a Sunday. But ‘the Flying Scotsman’ went on to win a bronze and gold medal in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. His life has been documented in the Oscar-winning 1981 film, Chariots of Fire. Liddell was a missionary in China from 1925 until his death in 1945 in a Japanese civilian internment camp. Sadly, “in 1943 he was interned at Weifang and he died of a brain tumour just months before the end of World War II, at the age of 43,” writes BBC.

His legacy continues with an unofficial sequel, The Last Race starring British actor, Joseph Fiennes. It is being filmed largely in China by a director from Hong Kong –Stephen Shin, who also wrote the script. The film, which is co-directed by Canadian Michael Parker, will depict Liddell’s work as a missionary in China after his victorious turn at the 1924 Paris Olympics.”

A monument has been revealed in China to honor his life. The statue was presented before Liddell’s two daughters and Joseph Fiennes. Liddell is a Chinese hero. His story is taught in schools and they hold his memory in high esteem.

b8ac6f923221173e857302BBC notes, “It will be a remarkable honour for a Christian missionary in a Communist country.”“We are all missionaries. Wherever we go we either bring people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ.” ― Eric Liddell

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R.C. Sproul Jr., Ashley Madison and the Rest of Us

SproulIt was recently revealed that R.C. Sproul Jr. was one of the many people who visited the Ashley Madison adultery website. You can read the story here.

I am not here to condemn Sproul. I have no reason to doubt Sproul’s honesty about the situation. I believe him that he never committed adultery in a physical sense. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for many other pastors, church leaders and others.

The reason I share this is not to drag Sproul’s name through the mud, as most pastors have committed adultery in their minds and many have been involved in pornography. I have a very specific reason for this blog post.

NOTHING WILL REMAIN SECRET.

The advent of the internet promised the illusion of secrecy and anonymity. This is why so many people are into internet pornography, even though they would never consider purchasing a pornographic magazine or walking into an adult movie store.

YOUR ANONYMITY IS ONLY AN ILLUSION.

When you consider looking at porn or having an improper relationship, you need to tell yourself that this will be revealed. Everything will come to light.

During some military training, one of the instructors taught the soldiers, “Always assume that someone is filming you and that what you do will appear on YouTube. Only do what you are comfortable to be made public.”

That is good advice that covers most areas of life. If you do not want your family, friends or community to known just don’t do it. Do not fool yourself that this one thing will be able to be kept secret.

ALL WILL BE REVEALED.

If you are struggling with pornography, you may find help here.

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NEW BOOKLET TRACT Provides Irrefutable Evidence: A Serious Look at Richard Foster’s “School” of Contemplative Prayer

LTRP Note: For thirteen years, Lighthouse Trails has been warning about the contemplative prayer movement. In this new booklet tract, Ray Yungen has provided new information that makes the contemplative argument (against it) irrefutable. We intend to send a copy of this booklet to all of the major Christian leaders whom we have challenged including […]

Next-Door Strangers

Next-Door StrangersDo you know your neighbors? I’m asking about the people who live immediately to your right and your left, maybe across the street or beyond your backyard or across the hall. If you can name them, the statistics suggest that this knowledge sets you apart in today’s America.

But how much do you really know about them?

What do they do for work? What do they like to do on the weekends? What matters most to them? What makes them happy? What are their fears, their struggles? What’s the most significant thing that happened to them in the last year? What do they think about Jesus?

Pretty basic, right?

For all that technology has accomplished in connecting us with people all over America and even around the world, it’s built miles of distance between next-door neighbors. Most of us live less than fifty feet from our neighbor’s front door, and yet we couldn’t live further apart. It almost feels like you have to book a flight. Technology — think garage doors, air-conditioning, Amazon, smartphones, and Netflix — has tragically made strangers out of neighbors.

One recent study on social trends concludes,

Americans spend significantly less time with their neighbors. In the 1970s, nearly 30 percent of Americans frequently spent time with neighbors, and only 20 percent had no interactions with them. Today, those proportions are reversed.

In 2013, Trulia cited a similar study that looked at dynamics between neighbors in America, concluding that almost half didn’t know their neighbors’ names.

Relationships that used to be normal and natural have become rare and even inconvenient. As a people commissioned by God to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), trends toward isolation and away from real, face-to-face friendship should trouble us. These relationships are the highways for the good news, the widest channels for true hope, life, and happiness.

A Plan for Your Neighborhood

God has put you on the planet and in your neighborhood so that you and all the people in your life might seek him. That’s God’s mission statement for your neighborhood, wherever you live and regardless of the number of Christians there. Paul says that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him” (Acts 17:26–27).

God has determined your dwelling place today — your home, in your neighborhood, in your city, in your state — so that you would seek him and help others do the same. It’s not beyond God to use you to convert someone in a moment on a bus ride or through a random, brief interaction with a stranger at the gym or a coffee shop or the office. But friendships are the front lines of making disciples, and friendship requires some shared interest or hobby or space — a place where paths cross. Even the always-traveling apostle Paul found time for that kind of relational, life-on-life evangelism and discipleship (1 Thessalonians 2:8; Romans 1:11; Philippians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:4).

Old-Fashioned, Friendly Freaks

Don’t expect people to answer the door the first time you ring the doorbell. Would you? But don’t let that keep you from ringing (or answering), either. They’ll immediately assume you’re selling something. But you’re not, so do not fear. Keep greeting, keep knocking, keep inviting until they know you’re really only there because you love them. Be the old-fashioned, friendly freak on your block. You may even be surprised how many people around you have been starving for this interaction.

Being an engaged and friendly neighbor ironically will make you seem like a foreigner at first. You’ll be weird. And buried in that weirdness is the unique window through which you witness to Jesus. In that way, even though neighborhood relationships have become more cumbersome, ministry may have become strangely easier, precisely because Christian efforts toward friendship will be all the more strange.

Face-to-face friendship is a lost art that’s critical to loving the lost. When God put you where you are, he wanted you to be a witness to real people. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria” — and Minneapolis and Houston and your hometown — “and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Being that kind of witness, in word and in example, will require some kind of consistency over time. It requires a friendship aimed at Jesus’s fame.

It Starts with a Name

Start simple: Learn (and remember) their names. Names are a small thing, but a crucial thing. It’s the most basic unit of currency in friendship, but remembering someone’s name says so much about whether you really care or not (and most people in any given neighborhood simply don’t). Write their names down somewhere you’ll see it — like on a prayer list — and pray for them.

As you have more opportunities to talk, ask questions and try to remember details here and there. You could start with the list above, but don’t box yourself into any one series of questions. Look for what they love to talk about, and walk down that road with them as far as they’ll take you. The real counter-cultural act of love in an attention-famished world like ours is to remember what they told you and bring it up later on.

  • If they love a particular sport or team, ask them about it later or even invite them over for a game.
  • If they’re into gardening and have flowers all over their house, drop off flowers.
  • If they watch a lot of movies on Netflix, plan a movie night.
  • If they’re foodies, take them out to an unusual, little-known restaurant.
  • If they have kids, offer to babysit to give mom and dad a night out.

Jesus’s test in Luke 6:45 — “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” — can be used to expose evil and it can be used to build bridges for the gospel. People talk about what they love. Listen closely and leverage their loves to lead them to Jesus.

It’s never too late to be a better neighbor. The awkwardness may last a few moments initially, but the results also may endure eternally. Take the next step in their direction — they’re only a few steps away — and trust God will overcome the weaknesses in you and the brokenness in American society to draw his own to himself.


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The Apostles’ Creed

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How God Grows You Through the 6 Phases of Faith

Did you know that God uses a very predictable process to build your character? I call it the Six Phases of Faith. If you don’t understand the process, you’ll get discouraged when problems arise. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me?”

But if you understand and cooperate with what God is doing—in your life and with your faith—you’ll develop great strength. It’s like stretching a muscle to make it stronger.

PHASE 1: A DREAM
God gives you a dream: an idea, goal or ambition. Every great accomplishment first begins as a God-given dream in someone’s mind. “God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes” Eph. 3:20 (LB).

PHASE 2: DECISION
A dream is worthless until you decide to do something about it. For every 10 dreamers, there’s only one decision-maker. This is the moment of truth where you decide to invest your time, money, energy and reputation—and to let go of security. If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat! “You must believe and not doubt … a double-minded man is unstable in all he does” James 1:6 and 8 (GN).

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PHASE 3: DELAY
There is ALWAYS a time lapse before your dream becomes reality. God uses this waiting period to teach you to trust Him. Remember: A delay is not a denial. Maturity is understanding the difference between “no” and “not yet.”

God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Hab. 2:3 (LB).

PHASE 4: DIFFICULTY
Now the problems start popping up. The two most common types: critics and circumstances. Don’t worry! It’s all a part of God’s plan. “At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold” 1 Pet. 1:6-7 (Ph).

PHASE 5: DEAD-END!
Your situation will deteriorate from difficult to IMPOSSIBLE! You’ll find yourself backed into a corner; you reach the end of your rope. The situation looks hopeless. Congratulations! You’re on the edge of a miracle. Trust God.

“At that time we were completely overwhelmed … in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet, we now believe we had this sense of impending disaster so that we might learn to trust—not in ourselves—but in God who can raise the dead” 2 Cor. 1:8-9 (Ph).

PHASE 6: DELIVERANCE!
God provides a supernatural answer. Miraculously, things fall into place! God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections so you can see His greatness. “I expect the Lord to deliver me once again so I will see his goodness to me” Ps. 27:13.  

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Crucified to the World

Crucified to the WorldWhat does it mean for us to die to the world or for the world to die to us (Galatians 6:14)? In this lab, John Piper explains what happens when we belong to Jesus. What kind of new creation are we, and what does that mean for our lives? Piper pulls in several texts to answer difficult questions.

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Three Traits of Biblical Womanhood

Over five years ago, I sat alone in a small, cold, quiet room in the back of the doctor’s office. The doctor shared with me some test results, about which I was rather hopeful and optimistic, when I heard his words: “You have a one to two percent chance of ever conceiving.” The doctor started rattling off treatments to “fix” my problem, and it was as though the room started spinning, the walls caving in around me.

I walked in to that doctor’s office wondering what was wrong, if anything was wrong, and I walked out with a new identity:

Barren.

In a matter of seconds, I moved from identifying with women-kind as a life-bearer, the trait that knits women together as females, to feeling broken, marginalized, and defective.

How can I, a God-fearing woman, continue to pursue becoming a biblical woman apart from fulfilling the calling of motherhood?

Can a barren woman bear fruit, apart from bearing children?

It was here that my journey to understanding true biblical womanhood began. I started to ask the question, “What is the mark of a true biblical woman?” and seek out answers for myself.

The Pigeonholing of Biblical Womanhood

According to Pinterest, a true woman is one that meal plans, stays home, doesn’t dare wear a bikini, knows how to sew, and can turn toilet paper rolls into beautiful decorative wreaths. There, I found articles on being a self-controlled wife, keeping the home (including practical tips for tackling laundry), raising godly children, and biblical motherhood.

Most of our resources on biblical womanhood point us to roles as wives and mothers.

But what about a Christian woman who will never marry? Never have children? Is she considered less of a woman?

Perhaps it’s time that we as the church clarify our definition and broaden our understanding of biblical womanhood to include every “type” of woman. While a biblical woman may fulfill the role or calling of wife and mother, that is not her highest calling. Her highest calling is fear of the Lord.

Perhaps the most famous passage about “biblical womanhood,” Proverbs 31 teaches that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30). This virtuous woman is commended for being a precious wife, a hard worker, a homemaker, a business-woman, a woman who cares for the poor, for having children that bless her, and for having a teaching ministry of kindness and wisdom.

However, this woman of valor is all of these things because she first and foremost fears the Lord.

In my research on biblical womanhood, I learned that the book of Ruth directly proceeds Proverbs 31 in the Hebrew Bible, illustrating a woman of virtue. Why? How could a barren, widowed, single woman portray this Proverbs 31 woman of virtue? Because of her fear of the Lord.

Ruth understood the great calling it was to be a follower of Yahweh, to be grafted into God’s chosen people, and she responded with gratitude and obedience. She served her mother-in-law with loyalty and served her God with faithfulness. She worked hard and broke cultural barriers by gleaning in the fields and making herself noticeable to Boaz. She is commended and honored, not for her role as a wife and mother (for at the time she was neither), but for her fear of the Lord.

The Posture of Biblical Womanhood

The Proverbs 31 woman and Ruth have taught me that true biblical womanhood has less to do with your place as a wife or mother, and everything to do with your posture of heart, surrendered and submitted to God, in fear and reverence of him.

A biblical woman, a virtuous woman, understands three things:

1. A biblical woman understands she is created in the image of God.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

2. A biblical woman understands she is redeemed as a follower of Jesus, regardless of her roles.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:28-29)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7)

3. A biblical woman understands she is gifted and empowered by God.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

The biblical woman is a gospel-centered woman. She is created, redeemed, blessed, and gifted to be a blessing to those around her.

The biblical woman is a gospel­-cente­red woman. She is created and redeemed to be a blessing.

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Church, as we teach our women what it means to pursue “biblical womanhood,” may we clarify our definition and broaden our understanding, moving beyond marriage and motherhood.

May we as the church learn how to better respond to our single and barren sisters, helping them become all that God has called and gifted them to be, without diminishing their season of life. May we better illustrate biblical manhood and womanhood through fear of the Lord, rather than through our titles and our roles.

May we as women learn to be marked by our fear of the Lord, living in gratitude of the gospel. May our lives, like Ruth’s, illustrate Proverbs 31 through the work of our hands and the posture of our hearts.

What other traits of biblical womanhood would you add to this list?

RELATED POSTS:

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‘Twas the Night Before Middle School

‘Twas the Night Before Middle SchoolIt was one of those kind of nights. I tossed and turned, looking at the clock each time I raised my head. I wanted to be sure I didn’t oversleep the morning my oldest child ventured out of our home to begin middle school.

And through the night, I battled numerous fears in my mind. What if the kids are mean to her? What if she has no one to sit with at lunch? What if she gets on the wrong bus home? Would it be too uncool to walk her to the bus stop? Can I still give her a hug goodbye in front of the other kids?

But when the alarm finally went off, and I went downstairs to ensure she ate a good breakfast, I found her completely ready for the day. Lunch was packed, breakfast eaten, backpack waiting by the door. My little girl is becoming a young, independent woman. And she didn’t seem half as worried as her mom when we headed out the door.

Schooling Decisions

Schooling decisions do not come easily in our house. With our three oldest children, we have tried Christian school, homeschooling, and public schooling. Our ever-changing philosophy and the differing personalities of our children have caused us to evaluate what is the best option for each child, which until this year, has meant different schooling methods for different kids.

However our choice this year, to put our oldest child in public middle school, came by surprise. She had been in Christian school three years and homeschooled for four. Yet there were various signs of her needing a change — from boredom and loneliness to a desire for more extra-curricular opportunities, to needing to belong to a community of kids her own age. I had said I would never put my child into public schools during the middle school years. Never say never, I guess.

The temptation I have faced with this decision is to think of all the bad situations that could possibly happen, and dwell on them. All the what-if scenarios can loom like giants in my mind.

Walking in Faith, Not Fear

A few weeks ago, I was sharing all my fears with my husband when he gave me a gentle rebuke. “This is an exciting time in her life. We need to not be living in fear, but be eagerly anticipating what God has planned for her.” It was true. We had prayed about this decision for a long time. We had toured schools, talked with administrators and other parents. We had sought godly counsel. This was the decision we came to, and I needed to be at peace with it.

The middle school years shouldn’t be looked at as a dreadful encounter with teenage life, but an exciting time of discovering God’s plan for them. I needed to be excited for her and the young woman she is becoming, not living in fear of all the what-if situations. My husband’s words convicted me of not trusting the decision that God had led us to make. And he caused me to re-evaluate how I should be thinking in this new season of life. For all you moms who might be tempted to fret over your schooling decision for this year, here are a few points to consider with me.

1. Seek to Have Contagious Excitement

The way we are dealing with our own anxiety about the school year will be easily absorbed by our children. If we demonstrate a hopeful anticipation about the new school year, speaking of new friends they will make or interesting classes they will have, our kids will most likely be inclined the same way. But if we’re vocal about our fears and doubts, such as questioning the capability of a teacher or the ungodly influences of certain kids, we will be instilling those same fears and doubts in their own hearts and minds.

Our attitudes about schooling are passed to our kids as easily as our gene pool.

2. Let Go and Trust God

Parenting is a series of letting go, little by little, as our children get older. Part of what made this decision so difficult for me was letting go of things that I felt like I had control over. Our daughter would no longer be in my presence the majority of time. I won’t know who is in her classes or what is happening on the bus. But God had led us to this decision, and was calling me to trust him with all the unknowns.

Could I trust God to protect her when I wasn’t there? Could I trust him to provide a friend for her at the lunch table?

3. Pray Hard and Seek to Be at Peace

Like any big decision in life, choosing the right schooling method requires ample time spent in prayer. When you have searched the Scriptures for wisdom, prayed diligently and sought godly counsel, you have good cause to be at peace with the decision made. Worrying will profit nothing. Jesus himself said, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).

Grace Enough for Mom Too

Throughout the first day of middle school, I kept looking at my clock, figuring out what class my daughter would be in and sending up prayers to God. The fears still lingered, but as I felt myself let go and trust God, I was able to be at peace as I waited for the midafternoon school bus. And as I walked down the street to pick up my other two children at our neighborhood school, I caught a glimpse of my curly blond-haired middle schooler, coming up the hill with our neighbor, smiling and laughing.

“How was your day?” I eagerly asked. “It was good, Mom. Really good.”

We’re grateful for a good first day. And we’ll continue to trust God even on the difficult days. He is more than able to handle the middle school years and a mother’s battle with anxiety.


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One Body, One Head, Many Parts: Why We Need Each Other

To be functioning at its peak, a body needs every part to be working effectively. Our role as the body of Christ is to equip and build one another up “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13). To this end, those of us who are stronger, more mature or given gifts, ought to use what we have to empower and equip others in their journey.

This doesn’t make us more important—quite the opposite, it requires an attitude of servanthood. Instead of the “hierarchy” of the world, where people jostle for power, prestige and privilege, we have a “low-rarchy” in the church—in God’s kingdom, the way up is down, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

We follow a king who rode a donkey, who washed his followers’ feet, whose coronation was a crucifixion, who laid aside his right to equality with God and took on the form of a servant. Unlike the power-hungry ways of the world, “leadership” in the church is always framed in terms of servanthood or building others up. We are never to “lord it over” or “exercise authority over” one another as the “rulers of the Gentiles” do (Matt 20:25)—the way of love ushers in an entirely new paradigm of inverted hierarchy, where those of us with high status need to step down the ladder to lift up those on the bottom rungs. We go down, not to debase ourselves, but to lift others up. “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matt 20:27-28).”

Here is what that looks like in the church:

The mature mentor the immature.

The elders instruct the younger.

The rich share with the poor.

Those who have gifts equip others for acts of service.

The powerful defend the powerless.

The strong bear with the failings of the weak.

And nobody ever positions themselves in Christ’s rightful place, as head of the church.

Our current structures for church are holding us back from empowering and building one another up by positioning us either as performers or audience members, as broadcasters or passive listeners. Pulpits and pews separate us into two camps, and prevent the mutual ministry and one-anothering described over and over again in Scripture. We need to rethink our meeting spaces, our seating arrangements, our use of music and our information delivery methods to find creative ways that release all of God’s people to be active participants in their journey toward unity and spiritual maturity. We need to be willing to step off the stage and into the circle, to talk less and listen more, to use our status to lift others high, and to get out of the way and let God work in his people.

This is an excerpt from the chapter I contributed to Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity. Order a copy now to learn about simple church practices from some great writers.  

 

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Rise of the “Done With the Church” Population

John is every pastor’s dream member. He’s a life-long believer, well-studied in the Bible, gives generously and leads others passionately.

But last year he dropped out of church. He didn’t switch to the other church down the road. He dropped out completely. His departure wasn’t the result of an ugly encounter with a staff person or another member. It wasn’t triggered by any single event.

John had come to a long-considered, thoughtful decision. He said, “I’m just done. I’m done with church.”

John is one in a growing multitude of ex-members. They’re sometimes called the de-churched. They have not abandoned their faith. They have not joined the also-growing legion of those with no religious affiliation—often called the Nones. Rather, John has joined the Dones.

At Group’s recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones. He explained these de-churched were among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations. To an increasing degree, the church is losing its best.

For the church, this phenomenon sets up a growing danger. The very people on whom a church relies for lay leadership, service and financial support are going away. And the problem is compounded by the fact that younger people in the next generation, the Millennials, are not lining up to refill the emptying pews.

Why are the Dones done? Packard describes several factors in his upcoming book, Church Refugees (Group). Among the reasons: After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all. One of Packard’s interviewees said, “I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do.”

The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn.

Will the Dones return? Not likely, according to the research. They’re done. Packard says it would be more fruitful if churches would focus on not losing these people in the first place. Preventing an exodus is far easier than attempting to convince refugees to return.

Pastors and other ministry leaders would benefit from asking and listening to these long-time members, before they flee. This will require a change of habit. When it comes to listening, church leaders are too often in the habit of fawning over celebrity pastors for answers. It would be far more fruitful to take that time and spend it with real people nearby—existing members. Ask them some good questions, such as:

  • Why are you a part of this church?
  • What keeps you here?
  • Have you ever contemplated stepping away from church? Why or why not?
  • How would you describe your relationship with God right now?
  • How has your relationship with God changed over the past few years?
  • What effect, if any, has our church had on your relationship with God?
  • What would need to change here to help you grow more toward Jesus’ call to love God and love others?

It’s time to listen. Even as I’m writing this today, another high-capacity lay leader emailed me with his decision to leave his church. He’s done. Like many others I know, he’s also a nationally known Christian leader. But he’s done.

Your church, even if it’s one of the rare growing ones, is sitting on a ticking time bomb. The exodus of the Dones, the rise of the Nones and the disappearance of the Millennials do not look good for a church afraid to listen.

It’s not too late to start.  

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“I Will Lie Down and Sleep”

In peace I will lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety (Ps. 4:8).

Little did I know just how much I would need this verse when I came across it in my reading two weeks ago. There was something about it that suggested strongly that I should commit it to memory. Maybe it was because I am prone to worry and many nights have been consumed with anxious thoughts of what might be and how things might fall out . . . so memorize it I did. And it soon became a first resort when the clouds of anxiety began to form in my heart.

Could this little Bible verse handle clouds this dark?

This past Sunday night provided an unexpected opportunity to test the power of this truth. We had returned home from the hospital after having our son admitted. There was an enormous amount of fluid on his brain and throughout his body that they were concerned about being able to remove without damaging his heart. It was so hard to see him in that condition. And, true to form, the clouds of anxiety began to form—dark, foreboding clouds. These were battle clouds, ready to carry me away as a prisoner to that familiar place where worry rules and reason flees. Could this little Bible verse handle clouds this dark?

The battle raged as the reality of his condition sunk in. Yet through the mist, the truth of Psalm 4:8 sounded a clarion call:

  • In peace—This peace doesn’t require that hostility/evil/sickness dissipate, just that I can get ahold of His presence; therein is peace that the world does not understand. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you” (Isa. 26:3).
  • I will lie down—I will stop striving, trying to figure out what I should do or say to change things. I will lay down my self-sufficiency and the rescuer persona that I readily take on as a mother . . .
  • And sleep—I will accept the sweet gift of sleep. Because the Almighty neither slumbers nor sleeps, I can rest!
  • For You alone, Lord—I find peace in knowing that He has been working behind the scenes. He is a never-failing Friend, Comforter, and Provider. He keeps those who trust in Him. May our eyes be opened to see His merciful hand at work even in the darkest of circumstances.
  • Make me dwell in safety—He has always kept me safe; He has always kept Nathan safe, and He promises to do that even throughout eternity, in that eternal home that He has prepared for His children. “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. . . . Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Ps. 23:2, 4).

What then? By His amazing grace I slept that night . . . and the next night . . . and the next night in the power of this wonderful truth. Our God is able to give us sweet rest in the midst of great adversity. He is a cloud-scattering, darkness-blasting God!

Perhaps the songwriter, Daryl Coley, said it best:

Though the storms keep on raging in my life
And sometimes it’s hard to tell the night from day . . .
But if the storms don’t cease
And if the winds keep on blowing in my life
My soul has been anchored in, in the Lord.

In what ways have you found Him to be an anchor amidst life’s storms? How do the words of Psalm 4:8 speak to your heart?

PS: We are so grateful that Nathan was discharged from the hospital and is doing better. All praise to our glorious God!

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “Ruled by Peace and Rooted in Joy.”


A La Carte (September 1)

There are lots of new Kindle deals today: Jesus, Continued by J.D. Greear ($1.99); Teach Us to Want by Jen Pollock Michel ($2.99); Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers ($2.99); Preaching to a Shifting Culture by Various ($1.99); The Gospel of John by William Barclay ($2.99). You may also like to sort through Amazon’s new batch of monthly deals. Free for Logos users this month is a solid commentary on Amos. (You can get a second commentary for $1.99, but the deal doesn’t seem to work yet.)

Ligonier Suspends R. C. Sproul Jr. over Ashley Madison Visit

I was sickened and so sorrowful to hear this news. Christianity Today reports “Ligonier Ministries has suspended R. C. Sproul Jr. until July 2016 due to his admission that he visited the adultery matchmaking website Ashley Madison.”

The Weakness of Ruth Is Greater than the Strength of Samson

I really enjoyed reading this one. “If the book of Judges were all we had to capture this time in Israel’s history, it would be a dismal piece of history indeed. But there’s another story, a hidden sub-plot, to what’s going on in Judges. It’s the tiny companion volume known as Ruth.”

The Word Study Fallacy

William Barrick writes about a common fallacy. “Word studies are also subject to radical extrapolations and erroneous applications. It is not always possible to strike exegetical gold by extracting a word from the text for close examination. Word studies alone will not suffice.”

This Day in 1957: Billy Graham’s New York Crusade came to an end. For sixteen weeks he had preached six nights a week, drawing capacity crowds to Madison Square Gardens. By the time it was over, some two million people had attended.

Growing in Christ, Serving in Ministry

This month’s Tabletalk interview features Sinclair Ferguson, who invariably has insightful things to say.

The Most Popular Bible of the Year

It sounds strange to hear about “the most popular Bible of the year,” doesn’t it? Nevertheless, the Washington Post writes about the enduring popularity of God’s Word and a brand new study Bible.

Protect Your Children, Protect Mine

Melissa makes a very important point: “When you protect your child from the porn industry, you also protect mine.”

I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)

Lately I’ve really been enjoying the song “I’m Going Free” by Vertical Worship. (Occasionally I just need to listen to some loud modern worship music!) I especially appreciate that tiny little line, “The judge is my defense.” What a great salvation.


The Daily Discovery (September 1, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Totalitolerance – “There are two kinds of tolerant societies. The first is one which contains the principles of liberty within its framework of foundational values, and the second is a society in transition, flipping from one set of intolerances to another set. During the switch, during the transition, demands for tolerance are the battering ram used against the establishment intolerance, in order to make way for the new set of intolerances. As it suits them, advocates of the rising intolerance may pretend to be principled in their tolerance, but it is all just a sham.”

Trump Hosts Televangelists Who Fleece Their Flocks – “No wonder The Donald is so lucky with money!  He’s been planting seed faith cash into  strategic WOF alliances.  God will surely smile and bless his campaign….(/snark)  Hat tip to Janet Mefferd for sharing this from the Daily Beast…”

‘The Shack,’ with film pending, called ‘greatest deception’ to church ‘in the last 200 years’ – “An evangelical seminary professor is calling The Shack the ‘greatest deception foisted on the church in the last 200 years’ and urging Christian leaders to speak out against it ahead of its release as a movie.  James B. DeYoung, professor of New Testament language and literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., says controversy over the 2007 bestselling book by William Paul Young will resurface when the film – which began shooting in June – is released.”

Mailbag #14: Discipling without “Picking Favorites”; Tricky Baptism Situation; Churches and Name Changes; Numerical Growth v. Spiritual Growth – “Recently we have been teaching a lot on discipleship, especially intergenerational discipling friendships. By God’s grace, we have seen a spark ignite into a flame among our congregation. However, a snag we are experiencing is this: as we have charged our older men and women to reach out to younger men and women, we have seen a pattern of “picking favorites.” Those with favorable or noteworthy reputations in the church get first-string attention and those who don’t get left out entirely. The problem that results is twofold: How does one go about declining an invitation to discipling friendships simply because they are already meeting with five different people? And, how do they redirect these older men/women to reach out to others in light of a passage like 1 Timothy 5:1?”

America’s One Enduring Legacy in History – “Two millennia ago, ‘a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered’ (Luke 2:1). The most apparently powerful earthly head-of-state ordered a census because the empire needed more tax revenue to fund its budget. At least in Judea, this required people to register in their ancestral tribal homes.  Unforeseen by everyone at the time, except a young Jewish couple and a few of their confidante relatives, the greatest outcome of this plan to stimulate the Roman economy was that it moved the fetal cosmic Head-of-State from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where according to prophecy he was to be born.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Ken Fryer – The Duties of an Elder Part 2 “Exhorting the Body to Godliness” (Titus 2:1-15)


VIDEOS:

Exposing the falsehood of Sikh religion

Feminism: A Rebellion against God or against Men?


“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 (September 1, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, September 1, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

R. C. Sproul Jr. Suspended from Ministry after Admitting to Visiting Ashley Madison Website

David’s Tent 424-day Worship Session to Take Place in DC

Rubio Surges Among Evangelical Insiders

Catholic School Revises Hiring Policy to Include Gays and Lesbians

Denver Discriminates Against Chick-fil-A Over CEO’s Marriage Beliefs

Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage Rally in South Carolina Attracts Thousands

How Republicans Have Helped and Hurt Evangelicalism

Belarus Cracks Down on Evangelical Churches with Recent Raids

States Face Obstacles in Planned Parenthood Defunding Fight

Ohio Pro-Lifers Expect Down Syndrome Abortion Ban to Pass

Opinion

God’s Crime Scene: Examining the Evidence for Creation

Learning How to Have Humility

Whom Shall We Worship: A Look into Canaanite Culture

More On-air Shootings Expected

Ashley Madison and the Death of Monogamy


Only Two Religions!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

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

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

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


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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

Source


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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Hacking “Ashley Madison” – A Pastoral Perspective

In Perspective

Upon returning to Birmingham from a refreshing study sabbatical I was greeted with a news flash, a warning and a probing question. The news flash informed me that there was a website devoted to providing a network for married people to pursue adultery – euphemistically identified today as an “affair.” This website predictably was not only easily accessed but also promised privacy to its 38+ million subscribers while attracting them with the catchy motto – “Life is short. Have an affair.” Furthermore the website had been hacked and the hackers had warned they were going to make public the names of its participants. The website’s name is Ashley Madison – then came the warning.

The website had a large number of well-known, well-situated and prominent subscribers. But even more ominously I was warned the list included professing Christians and leaders from Evangelical churches and organizations – then came the probing…

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott takes action to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood

WINTERY KNIGHT

Texas Governor Greg Abbott Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican

This story is from leftist ABC local news.

Excerpt:

Gov. Greg Abbott launched a new set of proposals Friday to defund Planned Parenthood and pass restrictions on the collection of fetal tissue.

[…]On Friday, Gov. Abbott announced a new initiative in response under the acronym “LIFE.”

“Gruesome – and potentially illegal – harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood cannot be allowed in Texas,” Abbott said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Treating unborn children as commodities to be sold is an abomination. The barbaric practice of harvesting and selling baby body parts must end.”

The initiative states, “Laws must be changed to make it a felony under Texas law to perform a partial-birth abortion; and make it illegal for abortion doctors to risk a woman’s health by altering the procedure to preserve fetal body parts.”

[…]It further states, “Funding for Planned…

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Doctrine of the Church

The Good Light Project

images

Periodically, I love to share material that needs none of my assistance. I have a dear brother in Christ McKinley Caughman who constantly drops gems for the masses on social media. I am standing on his shoulders today. Thank you so much for your faithfulness brother! The Heidelberg Catechism contains so many of the glorious truths of scripture and I highly recommended taking a look at it when you get a chance. Doctrine always must be sound and good theology flows from the study of God himself. What exactly is the doctrine of the church? It is great question that has an amazing answer; enjoy a piece of our history and be encouraged.

  1. WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH?

The doctrine of the church is the entire and uncorrupted doctrine of the law and gospel concerning the true God, together with his will, works, and worship; divinely revealed, and comprehended in the writings of the…

View original post 550 more words

Our Pride vs. God’s Word…and the winner is?

The Good Light Project

pride

Why write an article on pride when we can read God’s Word and witness the utter destruction of any insinuation that pride is tolerated by God.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 16:5

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 29:23

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Galatians 6:3

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Proverbs 27:2

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.

James 4:6

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Proverbs 26:12

Do you see…

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Daily Devotionals: (1st Sept.) Meditations on the Fall of Peter

thinkGOSPEL blog

The Folly of Pride and Presumption

daily-devotionalsPride and presumption have been, in the godly as well as the ungodly, the forerunners of a fall. The first man, Adam, and the first apostle, Peter, both fell by these. Had Adam given less heed to a weaker sex and Peter to the presumption of a weak confidence, the one would not have plunged humanity into the depth of wickedness, or both themselves into the depth of sorrow. High conceits and resolutions built on shallow ground can promise nothing but ruin on the head of him that builds them.

Dr. Edward Reynolds was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He received his BA degree at Oxford in 1618. In 1622, before studying for his masters, Reynolds became a chaplain to the king and preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, London. The puritanical inclinations of Dr. Reynolds were well known; his character of piety and decorum…

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Tactics: the worst mistake a Christian can make when doing apologetics

WINTERY KNIGHT

I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

So, this is just an advice post for doing apologetics.

Here are three situations I’ve run into while doing apologetics in the last month.

First situation. I was talking with a lady who is an atheist. I had a copy of “God’s Crime Scene” in my hand, and she asked me about it. I told her that it was a book written by the guy who solved the homicide case that I asked her to watch on Dateline. She remembered – it was the two-hour special on the woman who was killed with a garrotte. She pointed at the book and said “what’s in it?” I said, it has 8 pieces of evidence that fit better with a theistic worldview than with an atheistic one, and some of them scientific. Her reply to me was – literally – “which denomination do you…

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The Bible, and the Fullness of it with the Doctrine of Election

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “The Doctrine of Election”
Written by, A.W. Pink

Slide12

There is not a single book in the Word of God where election is not either expressly stated…

…strikingly illustrated, or clearly implied. Genesis is full of it: the difference which the Lord made between Nahor and Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, and His loving Jacob and hating Esau are cases to the point. In Exodus we behold the distinction made by God between the Egyptians and the Hebrews. In Leviticus the atonement and all the sacrifices were for the people of God, nor were they bidden to go and “offer” them to the surrounding heathen. In Numbers Jehovah used a Balaam to herald the fact that Israel were “the people” who “shall dwell alone, and shall not be numbered among the nations” (23:9); and therefore was he constrained to cry “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy…

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