Daily Archives: January 7, 2016

January 7, 2016 Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jan. 7, 2016

BLOOMBERG

The executive arm of the United Nations pledged new measures in response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test even as weapons experts and the White House dispute the regime’s claims to have successfully detonated a hydrogen device far more powerful than an atomic bomb.

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the U.S. labor market remained robust entering 2016. Jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 277,000 in the week ended Jan. 2.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed to a 12-week high, boosted by improving household attitudes about the state of the economy.

U.S. oil futures in New York slid to the lowest in 12 years as turmoil in China’s markets pushes crude closer to $30 a barrel.

Americans should eat less sugar, fats and sodium, according to new dietary guidelines the U.S. government released Thursday that include specific targets for consumption.

Iran accused Saudi Arabia of damaging the Iranian embassy in Yemen in an airstrike, fanning the tensest standoff between the regional powerhouses in decades. Saudi stocks slid as much as 5 percent.

A grid in Ukraine has been brought down by hackers. The vulnerability they used? As so often with hacking, human stupidity. The engineered blackout scenario is so scary Ted Koppel, the former Nightline host, recently published a book about it. In “Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath,” Koppel claimed the U.S. was unprepared for an attack on one of the three power grids that distribute electricity throughout the country.

In the two weeks or so since the agency started requiring hobbyists to register drones larger than 0.55 pounds, 181,061 drones had been registered as of Wednesday morning. The organizers of CES, the world’s largest annual technology conference taking place in Las Vegas this week, estimated that Americans bought 400,000 drones during the past holiday season, so less than half of them were registered with the FAA. The trade group forecasts more than 2.8 million U.S. drone sales in 2016, with about 1 million of those above the 0.55 pound limit.

AP Top Stories

Officers shot and killed a knife-wielding man wearing a fake explosives vest outside a police station in northern Paris on Thursday, French officials said, a year to the day since an attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo launched a bloody year in the French capital.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico says his government will not allow Muslims to create “a compact community,” and says that integrating refugees is impossible. Slovakia has a tiny Muslim community of several thousand.

The deputy head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) told Saudi Arabia it would “collapse” in coming years if it kept pursuing what he called its sectarian policies in the region.

A woman who collapsed and later died after being forcibly removed from a Florida hospital lay in the parking lot beside a police officer’s car for nearly 18 minutes before a doctor readmitted her, according to police dash-cam audio and video released on Wednesday.

The State Department’s search for documents during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure contributed to “inaccurate and incomplete” responses under federal open records laws, including the existence of her private email account, the agency’s watchdog will report Thursday. Personnel responsible for searching records in the secretary’s office did not “consistently meet statutory and regulatory requirements for completeness” and rarely met deadlines, according to a draft report.

Time Warner Cable said on Wednesday up to 320,000 customers may have had their email passwords stolen.

Two civilian jets landed on the airstrip of a new island China built in the South China Sea, drawing more protests over China’s activities in disputed waters.

China’s foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest, fell $107.9 billion in December to $3.33 trillion, the biggest monthly drop on record, central bank data showed on Thursday.

Indonesia signed a $1.3 billion deal with South Korea Thursday to jointly develop Seoul’s next-generation fighter jets, the South’s aircraft manufacturer said.

Workers are saving more for retirement, and the youngest – not exactly known for squirreling money away – are boosting their savings rates faster than any other age group.

BBC

At least 47 people have been killed by a truck bomb targeting a police training centre in the western Libyan city of Zliten, reports said.

Global shares have fallen sharply after trading was suspended on Chinese markets for the second time this week. Wall Street followed the downward trend, with indexes sliding more than 1%, while European shares were down about 2% in late afternoon trading.

Australian researchers have retrieved a meteorite believed to be around 4.5 billion years old from a remote lakebed. It was dug out of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre on New Years Eve, hours before rain would have washed away any trace of it.

WND

Hillary Clinton’s now-famous debate-stage bathroom break may not have been a simple bathroom break at all – but rather, a medically necessary rest to deal with dizziness and disorientation, due to her previous concussion and blood clot, sources told Breitbart.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon (CNN)A leader of the armed group occupying a federal building in Oregon said he’s been told the FBI has obtained five arrest warrants and planned to raid the property – an allegation that federal or local law enforcement did not confirm.

More than 40,000 backlogged mail packages of veterans’ disability claims material were discovered at a VA regional office in Florida, according to a new report from the VA inspector general.


Top News – 1/7/2016

Human-Animal Chimeras Are Gestating on U.S. Research Farms
The agency, in a statement, said it was worried about the chance that animals’ “cognitive state” could be altered if they ended up with human brain cells.

El Niño likely past its peak
A number of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators suggest that the 2015-16 El Niño has peaked in recent weeks. Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures suggest this event is one of the top three strongest El Niño events of the past 50 years. Climate models suggest the 2015-16 El Niño will decline during the coming months, with a return to ENSO neutral likely during the second quarter of 2016.

Will Pope Francis Become a Holy Man for the World?
Pope Francis I is poised to be more than a very popular pontiff graced with humility and an approach of love and gentleness, two words he often uses. He could rise to become a symbol of holiness beyond the Catholic Church, as the Dalai Lama is a symbol of enlightenment beyond Tibetan Buddhism.

Franklin Graham Starts Cross-Country Rallies: ‘America Needs the Christian Vote’
Evangelist Franklin Graham kicked off a “Decision America Tour” on Tuesday (Jan. 5) in Des Moines, Iowa, urging evangelical Christians to pray about the upcoming election and vote for candidates of any party who agree with their biblical values.

US admits Bashar al-Assad will outlast Barack Obama
Leaked adminstration document says Syrian president will not step down before at least March 2017 – more than five years after Mr Obama called for him to leave

Southern Baptist Churches Start To Ordain Homosexuals And Perform Same-Sex Marriage Rituals
In a highly-ironic twist, the First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC, the same church that produced the very first president of the Southern Baptist Convention, William Bullein Johnson, is now an LGBT-affirming, pro-same sex marriage, and pro-transgender church, and they don’t care what you think of them. Looks like Pastor Jim Dant is leading a revolution to convince his sheep that the Bible supports the LGBT lifestyle. He has created something he calls the LGBT Discernment Team, whatever that is.

Riyadh’s Nightmare: Saudi Shiites Could ‘Secede’ and Take All Oil to Iran
In Saudi Arabia, ruled by a Sunni monarchy, oil is mostly located in regions populated by Shiites. This fuels Riyadh’s “deepest fear,” which involves Saudi Shiites seceding and allying their oil-rich regions with Iran, a Shiite theocracy,

No Gay Marriage in Alabama, Chief Justice Roy Moore Says
Alabama’s chief justice of the state supreme court told state judges that they are required to maintain a ban on issuing same-sex marriage licenses, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling such bans unconstitutional last year.

Expert: North Korea H-bomb is ‘super-EMP weapon’
one top specialist says the monitor results and North Korea’s claims align fully with the scenario of a device designed for a low yield, yet emitting an enhanced amount of gamma rays. Peter Pry, an expert on electromagnetic pulse weapons, told WND the explosion indeed was such a device.

Saudi warplanes attack Iranian embassy in Yemen – Iran
Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of using warplanes to attack the Iranian embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Some guards were reportedly wounded in the attack, according to state news channel IRIB.

CHANCE OF STORMS
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of minor G1-class geomagnetic storms today as Earth passes through a stream of high-speed solar wind.

4.3, 4.8 Magnitude Earthquakes Rock Northern Oklahoma
Many 3.0-or-larger earthquakes rocked northern Oklahoma Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. And dozens of residents called into News 9 after feeling the long lasting quakes.

USGS geophysicist: Edmond fault could produce large earthquake
A USGS research geophysicist says the recently rediscovered fault under Edmond could produce a quake as large or larger than the Prague quake of 2011 that registered a 5.6 on the Richter scale. It’s the state’s largest on record.

Oil price tumbles to below $33
Oil prices tumbled to $32.62 a barrel on Thursday as a result of rising US energy stockpiles and China’s weakening currency. Brent crude fell 4.7% while US West Texas Intermediate was down 3.9%. For US oil, that was its lowest point since touching $32.40 in December 2008 during the global financial crisis.

N Korea nuclear: US, Japan, S Korea pledge united response
The US, South Korea and Japan have said they will be united in their response to North Korea’s claim to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. North Korea said it carried out the test on Wednesday – if confirmed it would be its fourth nuclear test, and its first of the more powerful H-bomb. The UN Security Council has also agreed to start drawing up new measures against North Korea.

Libya truck bomb targets police recruits in Zliten
At least 40 people have been killed after a truck bomb targeted a police training centre in the western Libyan city of Zliten, reports say. Media in Libya said the attack struck the al-Jahfal training camp. The training centre had been a military base during the rule of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Report: Shots fired at bus carrying Israeli tourists in Egypt
Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on tourists, among them two Israelis, as they boarded a bus in Cairo on Thursday but there were no casualties, security sources said. The attack took place at a hotel in the Egyptian capital on a road leading to the pyramids. One gunmen was arrested at the scene and security forces surrounded the other attacker in another part of Cairo, said the sources.

China Markets in Turmoil as Weak Yuan Fixing Sparks Stock Tumble
The worst start for Chinese markets in two decades showed no signs of letting up after a weaker-than-estimated yuan fixing sent mainland shares tumbling, forcing the world’s second-largest stock market to shut early for the second day this week. China’s CSI 300 Index plunged 7.2 percent before trading was halted by automatic circuit breakers.

Conservatives Tell Paul Ryan, the Honeymoon’s Over!
On the first full day of the new session of Congress, a group of influential conservative lawmakers signaled to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) that the heady days that closed out 2015 are over.

Our Impotent President
We know the President never shed a tear over the innocent lives butchered in the Planned Parenthood videos, but he certainly played it up for the cameras yesterday. He fell all over himself to cry and be angry and blame Republicans and lie. His legacy will be erased by executive order in January of 2017 and Obama can then tour the world bad mouthing the country like Jimmy Carter…

BREAKING: House Passes Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Bill, 240-181
UPDATE: Congressional Republicans have passed legislation to repeal Obamacare for the first time.

800-Year-Old Prophecy Declares When “King of Persia Will Provoke King of Arabia” Redemption is Around the Corner
The Yalkut Shimoni predicted that the year the Messiah would appear, the “King of Persia [Iran] will provoke the King of Arabia [Saudi Arabia].”


Top Headlines – 1/7/2016

Here We Go Again: China Halts Trading For The Entire Day After Another 7% Crash

Chinese Stocks Halted as Yuan’s Slump Sends Markets Into Turmoil

Global Stocks Extend Rout With Commodities as Soros Sees Crisis

Outrage, skepticism greet North Korea’s claim of hydrogen bomb test

US, experts cast doubt on North Korea’s H-bomb claim

US House leaders discussing vote to tighten North Korea sanctions

South Korea seeks U.S. strategic weapons after North’s nuclear test

North Korea nuclear test a ‘wake-up call’ for the world

Israeli Energy Minister Urges Greater Intelligence-Sharing With US to Prevent Repeat of North Korea Scenario: ‘Deal First, Nuclear Bomb Later’

US Republican Cruz: N. Korea incident illustrates what will happen with Iran

Israeli Navy is ‘ready for any threat that comes its way’

Iran unveils new underground missile site

Lawmakers to Obama: Impose sanctions on Iran

New Mossad chief: Iran deal ‘significantly increases’ threat to Israel

Abbas denies concern of Palestinian Authority collapse

Tel Aviv terrorist believed to have snuck into West Bank

As ‘cold war’ with Saudis sharpens, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deliver warning

Saudi-Iran row: Kerry calls leaders to urge calm

Saudi Arabia vs Iran: The view from Turkey, stuck in the middle

Erdogan says Saudi executions ‘internal legal matter’

Iraq offers to mediate between Saudi and Iran, fearing for ISIS campaign

Washington sees Assad remaining in power until 2017

Syria conflict: Thousands of refugees stranded at Jordan border

Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf… New Year’s Migrant Sex Assault In Every Major German City

Putin Cologne Launches In Russia With ‘Attractive, Natural Scent’

The scary little detail regarding “mental competence” in Obama’s executive gun action everyone is missing – the government will be defining it

The IRS has a bold, brand new power. It can take away your passport

Hillary Clinton Says Aliens Could Have Visited Earth, Proposes Area 51 Investigation

Puget Sound hit with swarm of small earthquakes

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Salina Cruz, Mexico

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits North of Ascension Island

4.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Fairview, Oklahoma

Shallow Magnitude-4.5 Earthquake Strikes Rain-Soaked Southern California; Landslides Reported

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Copahu volcano in Argentina erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Dukono volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

California gov declares state of emergency in Los Angeles suburb over massive gas leak

Arkansas to Mississippi communities brace for dangerous river flooding

Chipotle Vows to ‘Cooperate Fully’ With Criminal Probe of Virus Outbreak

Congress sends health law repeal to Obama’s desk for first time

Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood Sent to Pres. Obama’s Desk

Planned Parenthood Abortionist Deborah Nucatola Wins Inaugural Veritas (Truth) Award

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says probate judges have duty to enforce same-sex marriage ban

Utah says it wouldn’t prosecute ‘Sister Wives’ for polygamy

Five Failed Prophecies And Predictions Of 2015
note I do not endorse this website but they are a good source for this type of information

NYC Pastor Caught Stealing Money From Church Claims He Wasn’t Paid Enough

NJ School Bans Children From Saying ‘God Bless America’


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: January 07

  • China turmoil sends oil, stocks sliding (Read More)
  • China’s Stock Traders Go Home After 29 Minutes (Read More)
  • Yuan hits weakest since Feb 2011 on fresh low midpoint (Read More)
  • Stocks Extend Rout, Oil Slides on China as Soros Warns of Crisis (Read More)
  • China’s 29 Minutes of Chaos: Stunned Brokers and a Race to Sell (Read More)
  • North Korea Uses Bomb Test to Boost Dictatorship (Read More)
  • Arab Shiites Are Caught in Iranian-Saudi Strife (Read More)
  • Oil slides below $33 to near 12-year low as China turmoil rattles investors (Read More)
  • Truck bomb kills 65 at Libyan police training center (Read More)
  • China Foreign-Exchange Reserves Extend Slump (Read More)
  • Cameron upbeat but poll shows Britons tilting toward leaving EU (Read More)
  • Europe’s Already Bleak Outlook Shields Bonds From Market Turmoil (Read More)
  • Yahoo Said to Propose Job Cuts as Part of Mayer’s Revival Plan (Read More)
  • Tax-Trade Mess Lingers at Bank of America (Read More)
  • Barclays Plans to Close Most of Its Asia Cash Equities Unit (Read More)
  • Ethanol Backers Mobilize Against Ted Cruz in Iowa Republican Race (Read More)
  • In besieged Syrian town, peace talks seen as pointless (Read More)
  • Apple’s Top Five Aside From CEO Paid $25 Million Each for 2015 (Read More)
  • Star Wars Shoots Past Avatar to Break U.S. Box Office Record (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Religious liberty and LGBT rights are on a collision course in 2016

2015 clarified the right to gay marriage. It opened a world of questions for religious objectors., Washington Post (Michelle Boorstein)

2) Court ruling portends restrictions on religious organizations hiring according to beliefs

Milton Catholic school loses gay bias case, Boston Globe (Laura Crimaldi)

3) Federal court’s appropriation of Title IX signals legal revolution larger than SSM ruling

Judge’s ruling against Pepperdine win for LGBT community, USA Today (Michael Schramm)

4) Christian schools seek Title IX exemptions, prove importance of confessional accountability

Religious Colleges Obtain Waivers to Law That Protects Transgender Students, New York Times (Liam Stack)

Dozens of Christian schools win Title IX waivers to ban LGBT students, The Column (Andy Birkey)
In other news…


7 Percent Crash Causes Emergency Shutdown Of Stock Markets In China For The 2nd Time In 4 Days

Panic ButtonDid you see what just happened in China?  For the second time in four days, a massive stock market crash has caused an emergency shutdown of the markets in China.  On both Monday and Thursday, trading was suspended for 15 minutes when the CSI 300 fell 5 percent, and on both days the total decline very rapidly escalated to 7 percent once trading was reopened.  Once a 7 percent drop happens, trading is automatically suspended for the rest of the day.  I guess that is one way to keep the stock market from crashing – you just don’t let anyone trade.  And of course the panic in China is causing other markets to go haywire as well.  As I write this, the Nikkei is down 324 points and Hong Kong is down 572 points. (Read More….)


Marc Faber: S&P will fall between 20%-40% (VIDEO)

Faber c c

Marc Faber is much more concerned with a slowdown in the United States than the one in China. And he makes a good point. The only thing driving the US “recovery” was asset price inflation caused by the Fed. That is over for the foreseeable future.

Faber sees more than a correction on the horizon.

Read More


George Soros Sees Crisis in Global Markets That Echoes 2008

I’m not a big fan of Mr. Soros generally but he is a guy one should pay attention to on international financial matters. It’s no small thing when he says we might be looking at another 2008-like crisis. Though Soros has made big mistakes in the past.

Regardless of what Mr. Soros says, from looking at the headlines the man made storm, the central bank created storm, appears to be picking up steam. Today should be an interesting one in the markets for sure.

Read More


How Corrupt Is the American Government?

Corrupt-Legislation-Vedder-Highsmith-detail-1 cc

Pretty darn corrupt. It’s at all levels and it takes many different forms.

Read More


Don’t Be a Faded Flower

by Bethany Baird

Want a vibrant faith? You need the right nourishment.

5 (More) Big Myths About God’s Word

by Erin Davis

We’re busy busting myths about God’s Word.

5 Big Myths About God’s Word

by Erin Davis

Indulge me as I write my very own MythBusters script. In this episode we’ll tackle five big myths about the Bible

Spread the Word About #ObessedLYWB

by Erin Davis

We’ve got a new obsession in 2016. Help us spread the word.


 

Why are people in rich countries less religious?

Why are people in rich countries less religious?

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Christian Today

Countries like Ethiopia, Pakistan and the Philippines have populations for whom well over 80 per cent see religion as important in their lives. In the US it’s 53 per cent and the Uk just 21 per cent.

Read Full Article »


Orthodox Christmas: 10 pictures that show how it's celebrated around the world

Orthodox Christmas: 10 pictures that show how it’s celebrated around the world

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Christian Today

Orthodox Christians mark the birth of Jesus today, January 7. We look at some of the ways people are celebrating around the world.

Read Full Article »


After the Tree Comes Down: Keeping Christmas in the Ordinary

After the Tree Comes Down: Keeping Christmas in the Ordinary

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Crosswalk

The lights that glimmered, danced, and illuminated the night are now packed away in the corner of the garage for another year, and the world is back to normal, plain, dark, and ordinary. Wait, really? Just… Ordinary?

Read Full Article »


5 Ways to Soothe Conflict in Marriage

5 Ways to Soothe Conflict in Marriage

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Crosswalk

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who controls his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32

Read Full Article »


Why Your Child’s Bad Choice Doesn't Make You a Bad Mom

Why Your Child’s Bad Choice Doesn’t Make You a Bad Mom

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Crosswalk

One day, our child may do or say something that causes us embarrassment or anger. It threatens to make us look like we don’t really know how to parent.

Read Full Article »


Franklin Graham Announces ‘Campaign For God’

“We need Christians to vote for politicians that stand for Biblical principles and Biblical truth.”

Fresh off his publicized divorce from the Republican party due to the politicians’ failure to cut taxpayer funds from abortion conglomerate Planned Parenthood with last month’s omnibus package, Christian Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of the famous Billy Graham, has announced his “campaign for God,” which seeks to get more Christians actively involved in the political process, from voting to running for office.

In an interview with NBC News in Des Moines, Iowa, Graham spoke about his Decision America tour, which will primarily focus on getting Christians to realize the impact they can have at the polls if they voted en masse for the values they treasure.

View Article


Obama and the Insanity of the Liberal Mind

Whether blinded by ideology, motivated by egocentrism and nihilism, or solely focused on their goals of destroying America’s exceptionalism (while ensuring that Democrats rule forever), liberals are incapable of scientific inquiry, common sense analyses, and reason. Their irrationality is best illustrated by examining some of the faux wars they have chosen to fight and the real ones in which they have surrendered.

View Insightful Article



Is There Any Evidence for Jesus Outside the Bible? (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #55)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace describes the ancient non-Christian evidence for the life of Jesus. What would we know about Jesus if we lost every possible Christian document (including the New Testament and writings of the Church Fathers)? What would the earliest unfriendly Greek, Roman, Syrian and Jewish historical documents tell us about Jesus?

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4060450/height/50/width/580/theme/standard/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/


The Daily Discovery (January 7, 2016)

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

What Is Reformed Theology? Some Recommended Reading – “I’m focusing on Reformed Theology as a theological system. And if that’s what you’re interested in exploring, there are a couple of options. One, you could read the Westminster Confession of Faith since is the typical summary statement most people who are Reformed would agree with. Better, you could read Chad Van Dixhoorn’s Confessing The Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith which provides not only the confession, but helpful explanatory commentary. It’s the same idea as a study Bible, just with the confession as the text instead of Scripture.”

What Was the Pre-Flood Population Like? – “The New Testament repeats the truth taught in Genesis that only eight people survived the global Flood (1 Peter 3:20). Every person outside the Ark when the Flood began perished. How many people in all lost their lives at that time? The Bible does not reveal how many people were on Earth when the Flood started, so we can only offer educated guesses about the pre-Flood population.”

A religious test for conservative Christians in academia – “The ironic thing about this religious test is that these admission committees say that they are committed to diversity. But the book makes clear that the diversity is primarily racial and sexual, not ideological. In other words, applicants cannot stray from certain liberal orthodoxies if they wish to be admitted into elite Ph.D. programs. And there is no greater apostasy from liberal orthodoxies than conservative Christianity.”

Orthodoxy Without Christ – “It’s certainly a very serious ordeal. Because the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) behaved very carefully in the public sphere for many years, until the second Maidan, it achieved very good results. People began simply to call it the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, without adding ‘Moscow Patriarchate.’ It genuinely was both the largest and the most influential church in Ukraine. And the fact that it canonically answered to the patriarch in Moscow was not of great concern.”

Obama Admin Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Strike Law That Could Close Most Texas Abortion Facilities – “The Obama administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to strike down new abortion regulations in Texas that some say would close most of the abortion facilities in the state. The brief was one of 45 filed by entities from across the country, including members of Congress and various state attorney generals.”


SERMON:

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 1)


VIDEOS:

When you should confront your pastor.

From “Christian” to Lesbian to Born Again: the Emily Satterfield story.


“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 (January 7, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


The President and Gun Control

On Tuesday the President announced executive action on gun control. Now there’s no shortage of political takes on the issue. How about a Christian worldview perspective? Listen Now | Download

Letter to the Editor: Open Letter to Anne Graham Lotz Regarding Circle Maker

From a Lighthouse Trails reader regarding Anne Graham Lotz’s recent promotion of the circle maker concept. Dear Anne, I have always regarded you as a very spiritual woman, but when I read that you had bought into the heresy found in the book The Circle Maker, I thought to myself, how could she be so […]

The post Letter to the Editor: Open Letter to Anne Graham Lotz Regarding Circle Maker appeared first on .


Millennial’s Views of Churches Less Positive than in 2010

Pew Research released findings of generations and their views of institutions. Millennials feel institutions like small businesses, colleges and universities, and technology companies all have a positive effect on our country. However, they’re not too sure about institutions like church and news media.

Pew’s findings revealed that since 2010, Millennial’s views of churches and religious organizations have dropped 18%. This means Millennials are “less likely than their elders to be religious.”

Views among the older generations have remained steady, but 55% of young adults “now say churches have a positive impact on the country compared with five years ago, when nearly three-quarters (73%) said this,” wrote Pew Research.

Millennials’ also have growing negative views of national news media over the past five years along with the older generations: “Just 27% now say it has a positive impact, compared with 26% of Xers and Silents and 23% of Boomers,” according to Pew.

FT_16.01.04_millennialViews_media

How has the church lost Millennials’ vote of confidence and how do we get it back?

More Resource on Reaching Millennials:

Why Millennials Are Sick of Church

10 Reasons Churches Are Not Reaching Millennials

Five Reasons Why Millennials Do Not Want to Be Pastors or Staff in Established Churches

3 Things Millennials Aren’t Finding in Church

Jefferson Bethke on Reaching Millennials, Sabbath Rest and the Challenges of Being in the Spotlight

The post Millennial’s Views of Churches Less Positive than in 2010 appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Greg Laurie on Evangelism: Build Bridges and Drop the “Christianese”

Greg Laurie is the senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. He is an author who is passionate about evangelism. Greg Laurie shares invaluable wisdom on evangelism – something that is for every Christian.

Big Questions:

How do you prepare for ministry in the New Year?

How do you develop an evangelistic culture in a church?

What are some ways you equip your people to do evangelism?

Quotes from Greg Laurie:

I think we have a choice before us to evangelize or fossilize.

There is a calling of evangelist, but having said that, every Christian is called to evangelize.

For many people, really the Great Commission is the “Great Omission.” We don’t do it.

The happiest Christians I know are evangelistic Christians. And the unhappiest Christians I know are the nit-picky kind that are always arguing over theological minutia and I think missing the big picture.

Sometimes I think that in the church we’re arguing theological points, and there’s a place for that, but we’re missing the big picture of a lost world that needs to hear the gospel. And, I think that’s something many in the church need to rediscover today.

I believe that new Believers are the life blood of the church. And if you don’t have a constant flow of new Believers coming in, your church will stagnate.

I think with evangelism the objective is always to build a bridge, not burn one.

Preaching from the pulpit is a monologue. Sharing our faith one-on-one is a dialogue.

Mentioned in the Show

More from Greg Laurie on ChurchLeaders

Around the Web:

The post Greg Laurie on Evangelism: Build Bridges and Drop the “Christianese” appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


A La Carte (January 7)

Thursday News Kindle Deals HeadlinesToday’s Kindle deals include Forgotten Songs by Ray Van Neste ($2.99); Introducing the New Testament by Joe Blair ($0.99); Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias ($1.99); Bonhoeffer Speaks Today by Mark Devine ($2.99); Buried Hope or Risen Savior? by Charles Quarles ($0.99).

Also, Westminster Books is offering 50% off all of their 2015 bestsellers. There are some great books on that list!

Messages That Move

The Good Book Company wants to give you Messages That Move for free (in ebook format). Visit their Facebook page for details.

Finding Forgiveness After My Abortion

Garrett Kell: “When I was 20 years old, I loved my life. It was carefree and full of good times. School, sports, parties, and girlfriends filled my mind most days. Until one day that changed my life forever.”

Nine Questions to Help You Steward All of Your Life for God’s Glory

This is good stuff.

Too Much Bible?!

“For the Christian the deluge can include Bible information. We may have woeful gaps in our Bible knowledge, but at the same time Christians in church cultures focused on expository preaching receive a lot of Bible teaching.” Could it be too much?

The Waning of the ‘Worship Wars’

Christianity Today shares the results of a huge study of American congregations. Not surprisingly “Praise bands and informal style are on the rise, along with Hispanic church leaders and unaffiliated congregations.”

This Day in 367. 1,649 years ago today, church father Athanasius wrote a letter containing a list of what he thought should be considered the canon of Scripture. Over time, his list would be accepted by the church. *

National Geographic Photo Contest Winners

Here are the winning entries in National Geographic’s 2015 photo contest. As you would expect, many of the entries are stunning. Many are available to download as wallpaper for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Is the Existence of the NT Canon Incompatible with Claims of New Revelation?

“ ‘God has spoken to me.’ There are few statements that will shut down debate more quickly than this one.  If Christians disagree over a doctrine, a practice, or an idea, then the trump card is always ‘God has spoken to me’ about that.  End of discussion.”

Vassar

One of the signs of Christian maturity is the ability to disagree with other Christians on secondary matters without vilifying them. —J.R. Vassar


Links I like

links-weekday

How Sporadic Church Attendance Affects Preaching

Scott Slayton:

Pastors face a strategic decision about this new phenomenon. We can berate people for their “lack of commitment” or we can intentionally and compellingly preach the Gospel so their affections are awakened when they worship with God’s people. Our current choices are preaching for behavior modification or preaching for genuine change brought about by the work of the Spirit through the Gospel.

What You Should Ask Whenever Pundits Talk About “The Evangelical Vote”

Good stuff from Trevin Wax.

Becoming Good Wait-ers

Really enjoyed this interview with Carey Bustard, co-creator of Coal Train Railroad, on her new music project Rain for Roots:

In this season of life, I’m juggling between being a stay-at-home and a musician. My main music project, Rain for Roots, integrates these two callings. It’s a collaboration with fellow moms and songwriters, Sandra McCracken and Flo Paris Oakes, that creates songs with biblical truths and good music for kids. For example, our recent advent album, Waiting Songs, includes music to help children and families celebrate the waiting-in-between place. It helps children see that it’s okay to hope and wait and long; after all, Christians are always advent people, hoping and waiting and longing for the kingdom to come in its fullness. And we’ve grounded these songs in Scripture—from Genesis to Isaiah to Luke to Revelation.

Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery

John Piper:

From time to time, the Powerball or Mega Millions lotteries rise to unusually high numbers and get fresh attention in the news (tonight’s and tomorrow’s drawings are announced as $140 million and $400 million).

Here are seven reasons, among others, I have often rehearsed to make the case that you should not gamble with your money in this way.

7 Steps to a Sustainable Schedule

Mark Dance:

Most pastors I talk to are aspiring for some sanity in their schedules. Today I will share my typical work-day ministry schedule, which you will want to customize according to your particular life-stage and ministry.

Your Work Matters to God, But Does It Matter to the Church?

Gaye Clark:

Our Sunday school class recently had a series on the workplace. In an opening lesson, as a man in a video spoke of how secular jobs were just as kingdom-significant as those labeled “Christian ministry,” I could feel my angst rising. Conscious of my frustration, I opted not to speak when we broke into smaller discussion groups.

That was a great plan until the woman beside me poked me and said, “Surely you have some thoughts on all this?” Everyone nodded.

With a pained smile, I cleared my throat. “I’m honestly thinking that nearly everyone in this room—from the doctors and lawyers to the lady who cleans houses for a living—knows their work matters to God. What I really want to know is, does my work matter to the church?”


Check out

Blogs

Nine Questions to Help You Steward All of Your Life for God’s Glory | Biblical Counseling Coalition
Simple and straightforward advice on guidance.

We love routine | Aaron Armstrong
Aaron argues that we need more routine not more radical.

Burning and Yearning | Tim Challies
“The Bible allows us to distinguish between two kinds of sexual desire, a pure and sinless sexual desire and an impure, sinful one. We can term these yearning and burning. Yearning is a legitimate sexual desire, the desire to explore and experience sexuality with a God-given spouse. Burning is an illegitimate form of sexual desire, the desire to explore and experience sexuality with someone who is not a God-given spouse”

Deacons and the Poor in the Church | Feeding on Christ
“Currently, we are in the process of training and electing our first deacons at New Covenant. Consequently, I’ve had the privilege of studying, in a focused way, the nature and function of this important office. I have found careful biblical and historical research on this branch of ecclesiology to be exceedingly beneficial.”

Pushing Back the Darkness | En Route
“My son’s days will come to an end sooner than later. And no matter how much I wish I hadn’t even gotten a virus, I did. The darkness has had its victory, but not the final say. I will spend every day thanking God for the gift of Calvin’s life. My family will rejoice that we get to discover beauty and meaning in places few have ventured. The darkness is just a few turns away but I’m not going back. There’s way too much here.”

New Book

Theodore Beza: The Man and the Myth

Kindle Books

When I read books like the next two, I’m not expecting to agree with everything in them, but I am looking for a couple of key tips that could have a significant beneficial impact. Read through the lens of Scripture.

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How To Create a Peaceful, Simpler Life by Richard Karlson $1.99.

Effortless Reading: The Simple Way to Read and Guarantee Remarkable Results $2.99.

Video

Running The Race of Life
Pastor Mike Williams’ testimony about God’s all-sufficient grace as he faces terminal cancer.


UNRAVELING – Disasters Continue to Increase in America

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 07:17 AM PST

(Ricky Scaparo) Have you noticed lately how many disasters are taking place in America? In case you haven’t noticed we are seeing events transpiring all around us from earthquakes to methane Gas leaks to water contamination! Just last month we saw massive wildfires and giant tornadoes right around Christmas. The wildfire that erupted northwest of Los Angeles on Christmas Day and the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the Dallas area can be added to a growing list of disasters that have struck the United States since the month of September.

Reports indicated that the Texas blizzard “Goliath” may have claimed more than 30,000 Cows in Texas. The same storm that led to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous flooding also drove the North Pole to the freezing point 50 degrees above average for the normal in December. 

Then we have the “Unstoppable” California gas leak that is now being called the worst Catastrophe since the BP Oil spill. In fact the story over at ENENews tells us about the largest gas leak ever recorded, equivalent to the strength of a volcanic eruption, and according to one expert, “It’s so far above and beyond what I’ve ever seen.” Telling us that what we’re now watching unfolding in Los Angeles (with barely a peep from the mainstream media!!!) is ‘potentially devastating on a planetary scale’, we’re also told we’re watching a disaster unfolding in slow motion that may take up to 4 months or more to stop and is leaving thousands of Californians suffering nosebleeds and vomiting according to this story.

Then we have Michigan, Where Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency  for Flint and Genesee County Tuesday as a result of the contaminated drinking water crisis.  The move — a cost-cutting measure while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager — resulting in a spike in lead levels in children, which causes permanent brain damage.

The there is Levees in Illinois and Missouri that are breaking after a rare winter flood. The Mississippi River was already swollen after an unseasonably wet late fall/early winter. Beginning on December 26, 2015, most of Missouri was drenched by heavy rains. More than 10 inches of rain fell over a period of three days, and the area was left flooded, which doesn’t usually happen in the Midwest until spring.

Earthquake Swarms are increasing in Oklahoma and the Pacific Northwest as just today a Magnitude 4.7 And 4.8 Earthquakes Shook Oklahoma 30 Seconds Apart as 22 Quakes Reported In 13 Hours and felt from central Kansas to southern Oklahoma and the eastern Texas panhandle, including in Wichita, Kansas, and the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Meanwhile Hundreds Of Tremors Continue To Shake the Pacific Northwest! The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network plotted 427 tremors on a map. “What’s happening is there’s an episode where the deep plate boundary is kind of rumbling,” said Dr. John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

America’s Economy is being rocked the first week of the new year as China’s Market is halted twice in one week resulting in the Dow Closing at Triple Digits, Posting Worst Opening Day In 8 Years. Meanwhile Billionaire financier George Soros is warning of an impending financial markets crisis as investors around the world were roiled by turmoil in China trade for the second time this week.

Now Scientists are warning that Yellowstone Super-Volcano could blow at anytime and kill millions. The report indicated that there is few real contingency plans in place to deal with the ticking time bomb, which they conclude is likely to go off within the next 80 years. The world’s most dangerous active volcanoes include Yellowstone, Mount Vesuvius in Campagnia, Italy, and Popocatépetl i near Mexico City.

I recently warned about these disasters increasing on a greater scale for not only America but expanding worldwide as we are entering the stronger “Birth-Pangs” of the Messiah and the Nations of the world continue to be defiant against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The cup of the wrath of God is becoming full and I fear lest there is a true cry of repentance soon we could just be witnessing the beginning of sorrows!

 

The post UNRAVELING – Disasters Continue to Increase in America appeared first on End Time Headlines.

WAR DRUMS – Saudi warplanes attack Iranian embassy in Yemen

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 06:38 AM PST

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of using warplanes to attack the Iranian embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Some guards were reportedly wounded in the attack, according to state news channel IRIB. The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen says it will investigate the accusation, according to coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, as cited by Reuters.

Asseri acknowledged that coalition jets carried out heavy airstrikes in Sana’a on Wednesday night, targeting missile launchers used by the Houthi militia. He added that the group has used civilian facilities, including abandoned embassies. He said the coalition had requested that all countries supply the coordinates of their diplomatic missions, adding that accusations made on the basis of information provided by the Houthis “have no credibility.”

The Saudi-led coalition, which is supported by the US, is targeting Houthi rebels aligned with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who resigned in 2012 following a popular uprising against his rule. FULL REPORT

The post WAR DRUMS – Saudi warplanes attack Iranian embassy in Yemen appeared first on End Time Headlines.

8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Could Strike Himalayas, North India at Risk

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 06:28 AM PST

After the high intensity disastrous quakes that hit Manipur, the Union home ministry’s disaster management wing have warned that much intense quakes might hit Himalayas soon. The experts from the department believes that earthquakes of over 8.2 magnitude on the Richter scale might hit the Himalayas, which will have an adverse impact on whole north India.

The series of earthquakes which hit Nepal, Manipur and Sikkim regions since last year (all close to 7 magnitude on Richter scale), has reportedly affected the plates and triggered the fear of multiple quakes of close to 8.0 magnitude.

Some international seismology experts believe that after north eastern part of India was hit by a series of earthquakes, there is a fear of at least four earthquakes to hit Himalaya regions which might be greater the 8.0 magnitude on Richter scale. But, the Indian scientists turned down all such claims about any such fear of earthquakes on the Himalayas. FULL REPORT

The post 8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Could Strike Himalayas, North India at Risk appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Magnitude 4.7 and 4.8 Earthquakes Shake Oklahoma 30 Seconds Apart; 22 Quakes Reported in 13 Hours

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 06:21 AM PST

A pair of moderate earthquakes shook northwest Oklahoma late Wednesday night, part of the latest swarm of Sooner State temblors since Wednesday morning.

A 4.7-magnitude tremor was followed 30 seconds later by another 4.8-magnitude quake centered in a sparsely populated area about 20 miles northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma, about 97 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The quakes struck at depths of 2.1 and 3.7 miles below the surface.

The twin earthquakes occurred at 10:27 p.m. CST Wednesday night and were felt from central Kansas to southern Oklahoma and the eastern Texas panhandle, including in Wichita, Kansas, and the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. FULL REPORT

The post Magnitude 4.7 and 4.8 Earthquakes Shake Oklahoma 30 Seconds Apart; 22 Quakes Reported in 13 Hours appeared first on End Time Headlines.

MARKET MELTDOWN – China’s 29 Minutes of Chaos: Stunned Brokers and a Race to Sell

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 06:16 AM PST

Even by the rough-and-tumble standards of China’s stock market, it was a chaotic 29 minutes.
With share prices going into free fall almost as soon as local exchanges opened, market gurus at Huaxi Securities Co. were at a loss to explain why. One manager of $46 million in Shanghai liquidated all his holdings. Other investors, including a top-performing hedge fund, tried in vain to cash out as circuit breakers brought trading to an abrupt halt.

By 9:59 a.m. local time it was all over — except that it wasn’t. Next came a torrent of calls from angry clients upset by the carnage in a week that’s seen two abbreviated trading sessions and a 12 percent tumble in the benchmark CSI 300 Index. And it’s only January 7th.

“We are dealing with a flood of angry phone calls from clients complaining about the market plunge and the circuit breaker,” said Wei Wei, an analyst at Huaxi Securities in Shanghai. “We are also feeling at a loss and confused today as we didn’t quite figure out what was going on in the market.” FULL REPORT

The post MARKET MELTDOWN – China’s 29 Minutes of Chaos: Stunned Brokers and a Race to Sell appeared first on End Time Headlines.

George Soros Gives Warning! “It’s 2008 All Over Again Markets At Beginning of Crisis” Trillions Vanish

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 06:12 AM PST

Billionaire financier George Soros is warning of an impending financial markets crisis as investors around the world were roiled by turmoil in China trade for the second time this week.

Speaking an economic forum in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, he told an audience that China is struggling to find a new growth model and its currency devaluation is transferring problems to the rest of the world, according to media. He added that a return to rising interest rates was proving difficult for the developing world.

The current environment reminded him of the “crisis we had in 2008,” The Sunday Times in Sri Lanka reported on Thursday morning. “China has a major adjustment problem,” he added, according to Bloomberg. “I would say it amounts to a crisis.” China’s CSI 300 tumbled more than 7 percent in early trade Thursday, again triggering the market’s circuit breaker. As well as roiling sentiment across Asia, it also battered European risk assets with the German DAX down 3.5 percent at 11 a.m. London time. FULL REPORT

The post George Soros Gives Warning! “It’s 2008 All Over Again Markets At Beginning of Crisis” Trillions Vanish appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Unprecedented Catastrophe Underway Near Los Angeles, California

Posted: 07 Jan 2016 06:07 AM PST

The story over at ENENews tells us about the largest gas leak ever recorded, equivalent to the strength of a volcanic eruption, and according to one expert, “It’s so far above and beyond what I’ve ever seen.” Telling us that what we’re now watching unfolding in Los Angeles (with barely a peep from the mainstream media!!!) is ‘potentially devastating on a planetary scale’, we’re also told we’re watching a disaster unfolding in slow motion that may take up to 4 months or more to stop and is leaving thousands of Californians suffering nosebleeds and vomiting according to this story.

Being called the biggest environmental disaster since the 2010 BP oil spill, activist Erin Brockovich joins Democracy Now in the 2nd video below to talk about this unbelievable mess that has left one California city a ‘ghost town’ as shared in the 3rd video below while in the 1st video below, we hear the warning from a medical doctor, “if you’re in the area, get out now!” FULL REPORT

The post Unprecedented Catastrophe Underway Near Los Angeles, California appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Be Careful When You ‘Touch God’s Anointed’

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 07:57 PM PST

Psalm 105:15 is one of the Scriptures most taken out of context in the Bible. Many have invoked the passage, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do no harm to my prophets” as a means of skirting accountability for false teaching and for sin. Unwittingly, I have been guilty of callously spewing this scripture in the past to defend certain preachers. I didn’t do it because of defiance or an attitude of superiority, but because of my own biblical ignorance. I simply did not know the Word of God. Recently, I have repented and taken great steps to correct this.

Unfortunately, I am not the only one who ever has committed the error of misrepresenting Psalm 105:15. I’m sure each time someone does, it grieves the heart of God. An article by Watchman Fellowship’s Clete Hux called “Accountability: The Way to Touch God’s Anointed,” helped clear up this issue for me.

When studying Psalm 105:15, Hux says you will see that it has nothing to do with questioning the teachings of church leaders. In this context, rather, the words “touch” and “do no harm” refer to inflicting physical harm upon someone. Specifically, the phrase “touch not the Lord’s anointed” refers to David’s hesitance to kill King Saul when the opportunity arose. Previously, David indeed had rebuked Saul publicly, and he had done it more than once. CONTINUE

The post Be Careful When You ‘Touch God’s Anointed’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Top Christian Headlines

 Arizona Churches Offer Refuge to Illegal Immigrants Who Face Deportation
 New Jersey School Stops Saying ‘God Bless America’ to Avoid Costly ACLU Lawsuit
 Candy Carson: Wife of GOP Candidate Sees God Working in Campaign, Marriage
 Franklin Graham Starts Cross-Country Rallies: ‘America Needs the Christian Vote’
 President Obama Quotes Jesus in Speech for Gun Control
 NYC Pastor Caught Stealing from Church Offering
 Christian College Professor Who Claimed Christians and Muslims Worship Same God Finds Job in Jeopardy
 Kenya’s Garissa University Reopens Nine Months after Massacre
 Donald Trump to Court Evangelicals in Talk at Liberty University
 Country Singer Craig Strickland Found Dead from Hypothermia

Christian Opinion

 The President and Gun Control: is There a Christian Perspective?
 How the Gospel is a Remedy for our Performance-Driven Culture
 Praying for Life: Invoking God’s Mercy to End Abortion
 North Korea Announces Detonation of Hydrogen Bomb
 Living in an Increasingly Secular Society: How Taking Religion out of Schools Promotes Ignorance

Daily Digest

January 7, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1808

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President?

By Allyne Caan

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What? I’m just sayin’.

If you thought the end of Barack Obama’s presidency would (thankfully) mark the end of controversy of a politician’s birthplace, think again. Thanks to Donald Trump, the issue has returned, though this time with a bull’s eye on Ted Cruz — not coincidentally one of Trump’s most formidable primary opponents.

Cruz was born in 1970 in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother. The Constitution requires that the president be a “natural born” citizen of the United States, and Trump suggested Cruz’s Canadian birthplace might imperil his presidential eligibility — or at least he suggested that other people might suggest it. Perish the thought.

Trump claimed Cruz’s birthplace was a “very precarious” issue that could be detrimental to Cruz should he cinch the nomination. “Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” said Trump. He added that “a lot of people are talking about it,” and that he’d “hate to see something like that get in his way.” Yes, we’re sure he would simply hate that.

But is there any validity to Trump’s “concern”? In a word, no.

The Congressional Research Service, the arm of the Library of Congress which for more than a century has been tasked with providing (allegedly) non-partisan research and legal analysis to members of Congress, has described a “natural born” citizen as one who is a citizen “at birth” or “by birth,” as opposed to a “naturalized” citizen. According to the U.S. Code, those who are citizens at birth include “a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years.” Cruz’s mother was born and raised in Delaware and attended college in Texas, more than fulfilling this requirement.

Furthermore, Neal Katyal and Paul Clement wrote for Harvard Law Review last year, “Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution.” The pair liken the case to that of John McCain, who “was born outside the United States on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone to a U.S. citizen parent,” as well as Sen. Barry Goldwater and Gov. George Romney, who each ran for president without problems regarding their places of birth.

In short, despite Trump’s musings, Cruz is constitutionally and by statute eligible for the nation’s top elected office.

Still, it’s not surprising that Trump has summoned the ghosts of eligibility to haunt the campaign trail — conveniently blaming “other people” for raising the topic. What better way to stir up doubt among Cruz supporters in the weeks leading up to Iowa — where by the way Trump trails Cruz — than to use the Left’s typical tactic of passive aggressively wondering, “Nice candidacy you’ve got there; shame if anything happened to it.”

Indeed, although Trump still leads most polls, in Iowa as well as in delegate-dense California, Cruz is in front. For a campaign that’s big on splash and much smaller on substance, going after the birth issue is only par for the course.

It’s worth noting that Trump seems to be following the same political playbook as Obama, using radical leftist tactics drawn from Saul Alinsky for his own political gain. Suggesting Cruz’s ineligibility for the presidency, for example, aims to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty among the “enemy” — Alinsky’s third rule. Throw a grenade and watch the scramble.

In truth, Trump’s raising the citizenship issue says more about where his own campaign is heading than it does about Cruz’s eligibility. Next thing you know, Trump will be challenging the validity of the Constitution itself. Oh wait, he already has.

Footnote: In addition to all the above considerations for Cruz’s citizenship, those of us who hold the life of unborn children sacred believe they have citizenship standing as well.

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TOP RIGHT HOOKS

ObamaCare’s Impact on The Patriot Post

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In a 240-181 vote, the House passed a reconciliation bill repealing ObamaCare and defunding Planned Parenthood, sending a bill that would defund Barack Obama’s signature legislation to his desk. Although this is the first time such a measure passed both chambers, Republicans in the House voted 50 times in the past to repeal ObamaCare. This bill faces certain veto, but it’s still a victory for Republicans, as it forces Obama to issue a veto days before his final State of the Union Address. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) told reporters, “Any time that you make someone in elected office take a stance, it’s extremely valuable because the American people don’t watch too much until then. So [Obama] will absolutely say, ‘I refuse to understand that you as Americans are hurting because of this bill, that you’re losing your jobs, some of you have been cut back to part time … many of you now have lost the insurance that you’ve spent decades preparing for your family, and I, as the president of the United States, am going to tell you forget it, I’m going to veto it.’ I think that’s extraordinarily valuable in the political circumstances.”

Take The Patriot Post for an example of how ObamaCare is affecting small businesses. We just completed our year-end financial review and part of that was to see, again, that our health insurance premiums increased a whopping 25% last year — and that’s for a group of healthy professionals whose average age is a tick under 40. Next, the GOP must move beyond the critique of ObamaCare and work on a replacement to the health care boondoggle. Finally, after years of criticism, we’ll see just how well the Republican Party can lead by promoting policies steeped in conservative values.

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NRA Declines Debate With Obama

The question is this: Can the Second Amendment hold up before a freewheeling and possibly rigged debate? Should a defender of Liberty enter a situation where he or she is unfairly targeted and present their ideas to a potentially hostile audience, hopefully winning some over? While we believe that the truth ultimately prevails, the National Rifle Association declined to send a spokesman to defend its views on firearms to Barack Obama’s face. CNN is scheduled to hold a town hall event with the chief executive to talk about the issue of “gun violence” in Virginia Thursday night. But as the NRA told the network through its spokesman Andrew Arulanandam, “The National Rifle Association sees no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House.” They’re absolutely right about Obama’s intentions, but perhaps this was also a jab at CNN, which regularly carries water for the administration. But in a way it’s a lost opportunity. Now, more than ever, Americans need to hear that owning a firearm is not only not bad, but good. It’s participating in American government.

As David French so aptly wrote in his response to Obama crying while announcing his executive orders on gun control, “Gun ownership goes to the heart of what it means to be a responsible citizen in our constitutional republic. It goes to the heart of what it means to be a responsible parent or spouse. It isn’t merely about hunting, or the joy of an afternoon at the firing range, or ‘looking tough.’ It isn’t about fear. It’s about autonomy, independence, and a deep and self-sacrificial regard for the lives of those you love. It’s about exercising the fundamental human right to defend oneself and others.”

What would Obama have to say to that?

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The Case for Clinton’s Indictment

Will Hillary Clinton be indicted? This former U.S. attorney thinks so. Joe DiGenova, a Ronald Reagan appointee, says the FBI has “reached a critical mass in their investigation of the secretary and all of her senior staff, and, it’s going to come to a head, I would suggest, in the next 60 days.” He argues she’ll be indicted because Attorney General Loretta Lynch won’t be able to avoid it. “It’s going to be a very complex matter for the Department of Justice, but they’re not going to be able to walk away from it,” DiGenova said. “They are now at over 1,200 classified emails. And, that’s just for the ones we know about from the State Department. That does not include the ones that the FBI is, in fact, recovering from her hard drives. … I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable.” Finally, he said, “The evidence against the Clinton staff and the secretary is so overwhelming at this point that if, in fact, she chooses not to charge Hillary, they will never be able to charge another federal employee with the negligent handling of classified information. The intelligence community will not stand for that. They will fight for indictment and they are already in the process of gearing themselves to basically revolt if she refuses to bring charges.” Of course, only time will tell, but it sure would be earth-moving if he’s right.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Every Patriot’s Resolve, a few wise words from our Founders to serve as a beacon to all American Patriots.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “Over the last seven years, the world has become acclimatized to the lead-from-behind role of the United States. Under Obama, friends and enemies bet that America was conflicted about the wisdom and morality of the entire American-led postwar global enterprise and reacted accordingly. But — who knows? — the next American president may identify radical Islam as the catalyst for terrorism directed at the West. Cuba in 2017 may no longer be seen as a newfound friend but as an old-time violator of human rights. Next year, will the Islamic State still be seen as a ‘jayvee’ organization, or as an existential danger to the U.S. homeland? In all of these cases, uncertainty rather than assured continuity in present U.S. foreign policy is likely — largely because the stubborn and tone-deaf Obama administration has lost the support of the American public on almost all of its foreign policy initiatives, from signing the Iran pact, to dealing with terrorism, to handling China and Russia. Unfortunately, the predictable corrections under a new president in 2017 will make 2016 more dangerous than any year since 1980.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” —Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

For the record: “There reportedly are more than 300 million privately owned guns floating around the USA. If just 1 percent of those guns were used to kill someone every year, there would be 3 million gun homicides in the United States. In 2014, according to the FBI, there were 8,124 gun homicides. It’s still way too many, and most of them are in cities or states with strict gun laws. But if my calculator is correct, that means 0.00002708 per cent of the guns in America were used in 2014 to kill someone and .99998 percent were not. I don’t know how many knives and sharp objects there are in the United States, but in 2014 about 1,561 of them were used to murder someone. Is an executive action on knife control next on the president’s emotional bucket list? Clubs and hammers? Didn’t Cain kill Abel with a rock?” —Michael Reagan

Non Compos Mentis: “Our permissive gun laws are a manifestation of racism, an evil that, in other contexts, most gun-control advocates see as a fundamental threat to American society. … If we fail to oppose with equal passion and vigor the relentless political pressure of (mostly white) gun advocates, we force a large number of black citizens to live with the constant threat of gun violence. We’re in effect letting the Second Amendment trump the Fourteenth Amendment, implicitly preferring the right of gun ownership to the right of black people to live free from fear.” —Notre Dame professor Gary Gutting in a New York Times op-ed (Oddly enough, gun control started out as a way to prevent blacks from owning firearms.)

We do too: “I regret it every day.” —Joe Biden reminiscing on his decision to forgo another White House run

Dezinformatsia: “Hillary doesn’t want to be a socialist. … That title would kill her in the general, I assume, she’s thinking. And it’s probably not at all true. I think she is a centrist Democrat in my own thinking.” —Chris Matthews

Clinton’s war on women: “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73… it never goes away.” —Juanita Broaddrick

And last… “Gun control people don’t need townhalls where they explain their views. They need introspection on why they’ve been failing for decades.” —Frank Fleming

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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/ )”


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


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


Resource Links

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.

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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Three Ways God Makes All Things New

Source: Three Ways God Makes All Things New

New is great. New sounds like potential and opportunity…unless I think about it too much. Then it sounds like change and the unknown. As this new year begins, I’ve promised myself that instead of fearing the unknown I will choose to hope in the known. So what is known about new? What do I know to be true that I can securely place my hope in? I know this — that God is the author of new. And since he authors every good and perfect thing, I can trust that this new year will bring good with it (James 1:17).

 

New is one of God’s promises to us, and we know that all of his promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). As believers, our hope ultimately rests in the promise that Christ will come back for us one day and make all things new (Revelation 21:5). But what about the here and now? What can I hang my hope-hat on today, tomorrow, and every other day of this new year? Luckily, Scripture is full of stories that show us how God makes things new for his glory and for the good of his people. Let’s look at just a few of them and at the hope they bring.

1. He Restores

I love God most for his ability to restore. He restores us to a right relationship with him through the gift of forgiveness and justification. He is able to restore earthly relationships. And he can even restore days and years that have been lost to the effects of sin (Joel 2:25). That has to be greatest evidence of the extravagant nature of God’s mercy. Not only can he renew a life and redeem its future, but he can also redeem its past.

Our hope rests in the promise that Christ will come back for us one day and make all things new.

TWEET

In Scripture, we see God’s power of restoration countless times. When Jacob was finally reunited with his lost son, Joseph, he described the grief-filled days of his life as “few and evil” (Genesis 47:9). But in his last days, through God’s mercy, Jacob was able to look back on his life and see that God had been his shepherd all along and that he had been redeemed from the evil that once marked his life (Genesis 48:15-16). In the story of Ruth, we see God take a family whose name faced extinction and not only restore to them a secure future but knit them into his grand story of redemption by placing them in Jesus’ family line.

In the New Testament, we see Jesus live a ministry of restoration. He restores sight to the blind, the ability to walk to the crippled, hearing to the deaf, and new clean skin to the diseased (Mark 8:22-26; Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 7: 31-37; Luke 5:12-25). In all of these accounts, Jesus didn’t just heal a condition. He restored life, security, and hope to broken people.

What has God restored to you? Time? Relationships? What are hoping in Christ for in the new year?

2. He Renames

Names carried a lot of significance in Scripture. Throughout the Bible, people are introduced to us by name and by the meaning of their name. Eve was “the mother of all the living,” Isaac was “laughter,” and Samuel was “asked of God” (Genesis 3:20, 21:6; 1 Samuel 1:20).

What’s even more significant is the renaming of people in Scripture. When God gave someone a new name, it was always a sign of renewed purpose and a redeemed life. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham to signify his promise to make him the father of many (Genesis 17:5). He changed the names of Hosea’s children from No Mercy and Not My People to My Loved One and My People to symbolize his love for Israel and his plan to redeem her from idolatry (Hosea 1-2). Simon became Peter, and Saul became Paul when they became Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 4:18; Acts 13:9). They received new identities in Christ as they forsook life in the flesh.

While we may not actually receive new names when we become Christ-followers, we certainly receive new identities. My name, Caitlin, happens to be a great reminder of this to me. It’s a Gaelic name that means “pure.” The irony is that my sins make me anything but pure. But because of Christ’s sacrifice, I am washed white like snow, pure and clean. I get to wake up and put on Christ’s righteousness every day as if it’s my own.

So as I look at the new year ahead, I can trust and hope in my identity in Christ. I know that, no matter how I fail, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3: 22-23). He has made me worthy of my name and called me his in Christ.

If you are in Christ, you have been given a new name, a new identity. Are you living according to your new name with renewed purpose and redemption?  

3. He Resurrects

God makes dead things alive again. Literally. He has power over death in every sense, and he demonstrated that to us when he raised Jesus from the grave. Scripture says that, as believers, we have that same power dwelling in us. It’s what gives life to our dead souls (Romans 8:11).

I can get so easily discouraged when I think about all the times I’ve failed and given in to temptation…just in the last week. And it makes the idea of fighting this battle for another year of life seem overwhelming. But this truth, that I have the same power that raised Christ from the grave dwelling in me, gives me great hope. If I lay down my weak, flawed existence every day, I can trust that God will resurrect it with new life and new grace.

Do you trust in God’s power to resurrect? Are you living in the truth that God can bring new life to your soul each day? Or are you living as one defeated by sin and shame?

All Things New

As I begin this new year, I’m committing to hope in God’s power to make things new. He restores lost time, bestows new identities, and creates new life. He offers renewed mercy to his own with each day. He promises good plans for his people, plans that include a hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:11).

So rather than seeing the start of another year as a daunting task to be met or an unknown to be feared, my prayer is that I can trust in God’s sovereignty over new. There will be new blessings, new trials, new failures, and new victories, but his goodness will guard them all.

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Christian Know-It-Alls

The Reformed Reader

Most of us know someone who is a “know-it-all” or we’ve played the part of a “know-it-all” ourselves. “Know-it-alls” are usually not the best examples of or spokespersons for the Christian faith since their mouths and minds get in the way of the truth. (As an aside, Reformed circles have their share of “know-it-alls”!)  Os Guinness explains:

‘He just doesn’t let up. Arguing with him is like running into a bulldozer or being thrown onto a wall of razor blades. He is arguing for the Christian faith, but he’d be the same if he argued for atheism, a political party or football club. Regardless of the points at stake, he’s simply got to be right and to have the last word.’ That damning comment came from someone breaking away in disgust from the discussion group in which the Christian student was waxing more dogmatic than either eloquent or loving.

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Our Justification and its fruits

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29 NASB)

In my younger days when I was working on my undergraduate degree, I had a professor who used to work in a major manufacturing company in the US. He used his experiences there in analogies pertaining to the management topics we were studying. He used one of his former co-workers there as an example, a bad example, as he taught us how we should work together toward our common goals, et cetera. This fellow’s nickname at that company was ‘Yeah-but.’ He told us that it never failed that in meetings when someone had a solution to an issue or a concept of a better way to do things…

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