Daily Archives: January 27, 2016

January 27, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Jan. 27, 2016


After years of lambasting other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore, the U.S. is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, the U.S. is creating a hot new market, becoming the go-to place to stash foreign wealth. Everyone from London lawyers to Swiss trust companies is getting in on the act, helping the world’s rich move accounts from places like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands to Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Stanford University beat Harvard University once again in annual donations as U.S. universities raised a record $40.3 billion, bolstered by at least eight gifts of $100 million or more including art and rare books.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders plan to hold a referendum on the region’s independence, an official said on Wednesday, in a move that could lead to the break-up of OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he has no problem with U.S. investors joining the post-sanctions business rush to his country, adding the obstacle is Washington and that he hopes for “more sensible people” in Congress.

Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul airline, plans to add 37 new planes to its fleet in the fiscal year beginning April as it expands operations in Asia with new destinations. The airline will receive 21 Airbus Group SE A380 superjumbos and 16 Boeing Co. 777s in the year ending March 2017. The aircraft are worth $14.5 billion at list prices.

AP Top Stories

Federal and state law officers arrested the leaders of an armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge, during a traffic stop along a highway in Oregon’s frozen high country that prompted gunfire and left one man dead.

Iran’s navy warned a U.S. warship to leave waters near the Strait of Hormuz where the Iranians were testing submarines, destroyers and missile launchers, news agencies reported.

San Francisco police arrested made 48 arrests, including two murder suspects, in the city’s biggest drug bust in recent memory.

Eight members of the militant group Hamas were missing Wednesday after the collapse of a tunnel in the Gaza Strip caused by rain and flooding, a security source said.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s planned trip to the Taiwanese-held island of Itu Aba in the disputed South China Sea is “extremely unhelpful” and won’t do anything to resolve disputes over the waterway, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Concepcion Picciotto, a 80-year-old Spanish-born nuclear disarmament activist who camped in front of the White House for more than three decades, has died, colleagues said Tuesday. The diminutive weather-worn protester who manned a placard-festooned tent in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue through Washington’s brutal summers and winters since 1981 died Monday.

A Virginia resident who traveled outside the United States has tested positive for the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, state health officials said on Tuesday.

Nuclear-armed North Korea poses an “overt threat, a declared threat to the world”, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Beijing Wednesday following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test earlier this month.

Atomic scientists, including 16 Nobel Laureates, announced Tuesday that the world’s metaphorical “Doomsday Clock” representing how close we are to planetary destruction, or “midnight,” will remain at its 2015 position of 3 minutes to midnight.

Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors lit candles at Auschwitz on Wednesday; exactly 71 years after the Soviet army liberated the death camp that has become the most powerful symbol of the human suffering inflicted by Nazi Germany during World War II.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday the state will assume vast control over Atlantic City’s finances and decision-making, saying the seaside gambling resort is incapable of getting its finances together after years of overspending.

A Southern California woman and her son have been charged with smuggling an arsenal of ammunition and gun parts to the Philippines.


President Obama has called for urgent action against the Zika virus, which has been linked to babies being born with underdeveloped brains. He said research to develop vaccines and treatments must be speeded up.

Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star. The gas giant is one trillion kilometers away, making its orbit 140 times wider than Pluto’s path around our Sun.

Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party has re-elected Nguyen Phu Trong as general secretary for a second term.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorized an investigation into possible war crimes perpetrated during a conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Israel’s defense minister has accused Turkey of buying oil from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, thereby funding the militants’ activities.


An American pastor who was imprisoned in Iran for over three years is now speaking about his time behind bars, acknowledging that he and others were beaten by Iranian authorities.

The Swedish Police force is requesting as many as 4,100 new employees because of the refugee influx and an increased terror threat. The request is made in a letter from the police to the government, to be submitted Monday.

A 17-year-old Danish girl successfully fended off a would-be rapist by using pepper spray is now facing the likelihood of criminal charges, because the popular defense item is against the law.

Top News 1/27/2016

Pope Francis Welcomes Iranian President to Vatican
On the first official Iranian diplomatic visit to Europe in 20 years, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is greeted and welcomed by Pope Francis to the Vatican in the interest of friendly Iran-Rome relations. (video)

Wikileaks: Media is not ‘controlled by Jews’ but by Saudi Arabia: media loyalties purchased around the world
Saudi Arabia controls its image by monitoring media and buying loyalties from Australia to Canada and everywhere in between. Documents reveal the extensive efforts to monitor and co-opt Arab media, making sure to correct any deviations in regional coverage of Saudi Arabia and Saudi-related matters. Saudi Arabia’s strategy for co-opting Arab media takes two forms, corresponding to the “carrot and stick” approach, referred to in the documents as “neutralisation” and “containment”. The approach is customised depending on the market and the media in question.

Netanyahu: World must stand with Israel ‘not for our sake, for theirs’
“Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever, for in this period of resurgent and sometimes violent anti-Semitism, it is commemorations like this that remind us all where the oldest and most enduring hatred can lead,” Netanyahu said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Holocaust – ‘atheists at the heart of the problem’
As UK Christians remember the Holocaust, marked on January 27 as the day in 1945 when Auschwitz was liberated, they have been reminded that it was spawned by godlessness and the rejection of faith.

Netanuahu: Where’s Europe when Iran, ISIS, Hamas call for another Holocaust?
“Unfortunately in Europe and elsewhere Jews are once again being target once again just for being Jews,” he said. “Around the world Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear as we see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state,” he said.

Last megathrust quake hit Vancouver Island 316 years ago
It was January 26, 1700 when a 9.0 magnitude quake struck along the Cascadia subduction zone between California and Vancouver Island causing massive destruction

Blair: Time to get Israel recognized in the region
Addressing European Jewish Congress, former British PM says there is an opportunity to form new alliances between Israel and its neighbors. Blair also said that he sees an opportunity, for the first time ever, “to form an alliance” with Arab states, and even between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

PA arrests relatives of Arab who sold houses to Hevron Jews
In the past several days the Palestinian Authority has arrested the brother and son of a Palestinian Arab man who sold two houses to Jews in Hevron, Arutz Sheva has learned.

Eichmann’s unpublished request for pardon
Israel made public on Wednesday a decades-old handwritten plea from Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann for clemency for his role in the Holocaust, dated just two days before he was executed.

Putin to chair US$22 billion Russian crisis funding meeting – paper
President Vladimir Putin is to chair a government meeting on Wednesday over a 1.7 trillion ruble (15 billion pounds) plan to protect the Russian economy from major economic crises, the RBC daily newspaper reported, citing government sources.

Virginia resident who traveled abroad tests positive for Zika virus
The adult resident had recently traveled to a country where Zika virus transmission was ongoing and the infection was confirmed through testing by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health said in a statement.

The Republicans Who Helped Obama Ruin the Country Support Donald Trump
Let us not be naive or willfully ignorant about what is happening. Donald Trump has a far longer history of affiliation with Democrats and Democrat causes than he does conservative, populist, or Republican causes.

Americans Really, Really Hate The Government
CBS News has just released an article entitled “Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever”, and an average of recent surveys calculated by Real Clear Politics found that 63 percent of all Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction and only 28 percent of all Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction.

5.2 magnitude earthquake jolts Lahore, Pak Punjab cities
The Daily Times reports it was the second earthquake to hit Pakistan in a day, first being the tremors of a powerful 5.2 magnitude earthquake that jolted Peshawar, Islamabad, with Hindu Kush Region of Afghanistan as its epicenter.

U.S. slams Taiwan president’s planned visit to contested South China Sea island
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s planned trip to the Taiwanese-held island of Itu Aba in the disputed South China Sea is “extremely unhelpful” and won’t do anything to resolve disputes over the waterway, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. Ma’s office earlier announced that the president…would fly to Itu Aba on Thursday to offer Chinese New Year wishes to residents on the island…

IDF preparing for possible war on northern, Gaza borders
According to IDF estimations, the likelihood of Israel initiating a war in the next year remains low…Even so, the likelihood of a severe incident leading to an escalation and even a war has increased, and is being described by the IDF as “moderate.” This is due to the tension along Israel’s borders, especially the ones in the north and near the Gaza Strip.

US and China call for new North Korea UN resolution
China and the US say a new UN resolution against North Korea is needed, following Pyongyang’s claim that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb earlier this month. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Beijing for talks, called North Korea’s nuclear ambitions a “threat to the world” and urged new sanctions. But his counterpart Wang Yi suggested China would not support any sanctions.

Senegal detains 900 people in security drive
Police in Senegal have detained 900 people as part of a security operation following militant attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali. The detentions, which were not terror-related, took place over the weekend in the capital Dakar and Thies. The assaults on a hotel in Mali and a hotel and restaurant in Burkina Faso, both claimed by Islamists, have raised security fears in the region.

Rouhani: ‘Israel lobby’ responsible for US hostilities toward Iran
Iran could have better relations with the United States, but it was up to Washington…Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday. “It’s possible that Iran and the United states might have friendly relations. But the key to that is in Washington’s hands, not Tehran’s,” Rouhani said…He also accused the “Israeli lobby” for being responsible for US hostility towards Iran.

1,700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee
Three 1,700-year-old funerary inscriptions referring to rabbis written in Aramaic and Greek were recently unearthed in Moshav Zippori, near the Western Galilee, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Wednesday. The finding was made following a joint effort carried out by residents of the moshav, researchers from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology of the Kinneret Academic College, and the IAA.

Escaped inmate was ordered deported to Vietnam in 1998
One of three fugitive inmates who escaped from a California jail last week was ordered deported to Vietnam in 1998 but has been in this country racking up a lengthy rap sheet, immigration officials said Tuesday.

Israel PM says UN’s Ban ‘encouraging terror’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday accused the UN chief of “encouraging terror” after Ban Ki-moon spoke of Palestinian frustration at Israel’s occupation and said it was natural to resist.

One dead as FBI arrests Oregon occupation leader and others
The leader of an armed occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and others were arrested on Tuesday after shots were fired during a traffic stop, leaving one person dead and another wounded, the FBI said.

Liberty Counsel Defends Undercover Investigator of Planned Parenthood
ORLANDO, FL – Liberty Counsel is defending Susan Merritt in both the criminal indictment announced yesterday in Houston and against Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit claiming that her connection to undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, exposing Planned Parenthood’s gruesome trade in baby body parts, is a violation of the federal “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations” or “RICO” statute.

Israel’s electrical grid attacked in massive cyber attack’
As Israelis cranked up their heaters during the current cold snap, the Public Utility Authority was attacked by one of the largest cyber assaults that the country has experienced, Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Water Yuval Steinitz said on Tuesday.

Top Headlines 1/27/2016

‘Israel’s electrical grid attacked in massive cyber attack’

UN chief: It’s ‘human nature to react to occupation’ – Furious Netanyahu slams Ban Ki-moon for ‘stoking’ Palestinian terrorism

Netanyahu: World must stand with Israel ‘not for our sake, for theirs’

Survivors to address UN on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

UNESCO tells off Iran for Holocaust cartoon contest

Road Project Puts Israel, EU on Collision Course

PA arrests relatives of Arab who sold houses to Hevron Jews

Power: Anger over ‘settlements’ shouldn’t lead to violence

Report: Eight Hamas militants killed after heavy rains cause terror tunnel to collapse

IDF preparing for possible war on northern, Gaza borders

Israel believes Russia’s intervention decreases chance of Israel-Hezbollah conflict

Vulture with Israeli tracking device nabbed in Lebanon

Pope Francis Welcomes Iran’s President to the Vatican

Pope urges Iran to work for Mideast peace, stop spread of terrorism

Rouhani asks pope to pray for him in first visit to Rome

Romans cover their nudes for Iranian leader’s visit

Canada says will lift sanctions against Iran

Death and political jockeying precede Syria peace talks

Bombings Kill 20 in Syria as Peace Talks Invitations Go Out

Iraq says 40 bodies found in mass grave in Ramadi

Kerry to push China over North Korea nuclear activity

Thousands of Cuban Refugees Crossing the Border

Illegal immigrants, especially transgenders, ‘humiliated’ by strip-searches

Milwaukee man, 23, allegedly targeted Masonic temple in thwarted mass shooting that would ‘terrify the world’

Milwaukee man charged with terror plot had planned attack on Israelis

Australian teen arrested on terror-related charges in Sydney

One dead as FBI arrests Oregon occupation leader, four others

Obama on Supreme Court? ‘A great idea,’ Clinton says

$8,314,529,850,339.07: Debt Up $70,612.91 Per Household in Obama’s First 7 Years

Fed seen keeping interest rates steady amid market volatility

China warns Soros against ‘declaring war’ on its currency

Asian stocks struggle as oil falters, China weakens

U.S. stocks end sharply higher, lifted by oil’s rebound

OPEC, Russia talk of oil teamwork, but Saudi talks of investment

‘Doomsday Clock’ reflects grave threat to world

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Dadali, Solomon Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Farkhar, Afghanistan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ngulu, Micronesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Padedewatu, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Tennger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Thanks El Nino! 44-foot rise of Folsom Lake offers hope for California’s worst ever drought

Brazil ‘losing battle’ with mosquito, readies 220,000 troops for eradication effort

First case of Zika virus reported in Arkansas

At least 50 deadly swine flu cases reported in Russia

Scottish parliament has to consider legalising incest due to loophole in the devolution agreement

Discipline upheld for students accused of dorm room exorcism

Culture Mocks God But ‘Gives The Devil a TV Show’

‘X-Files’ Creator Thought FBI Was Going to Shut Down the Show

State senator wants road renamed after Creflo Dollar

Televangelist Morris Cerullo wants to build a Bible-themed resort in San Diego

20 ways pastors can become domineering bullies

Trump gets official and unofficial endorsements from two leading evangelicals

Ted Cruz’s evangelical problem

Florida: Christian schools can’t pray at championship game

Nova Scotia doctors propose rules for assisted deaths

The Briefing

1) Grand Jury’s failure to indict Planned Parenthood a judgment against our nation’s laws

2 Abortion Foes Behind Planned Parenthood Videos Are Indicted, New York Times (Manny Fernandez)

The charges against anti-Planned Parenthood filmmaker, explained, Washington Post (Danielle Paquette)

2) Some in Anglican Communion would prefer sexual revolution to biblical truth and godly order

The Anglican Communion’s un-Christian stance on marriage, Washington Post (Colbert King)

Unholy Split: On gay marriage, Justin Welby misreads history, morality and his job description, Times of London
In other news…

World Still 3 Minutes Away From Destruction, Doomsday Clock Says, TIME (Daniel White)
The New Sexual World Order Is So Confusing, The Federalist (George Fields)

Survey: Religious objections law cost millions, Associated Press (Brian Slodysko)

My Major, Myself The Atlantic (Olga Khazan)
Stay Sane America, Please! New York Times (David Brooks)

Frontrunning: January 27

  • Global stocks, dollar struggle ahead of Fed as oil falters (Read More)
  • Bond Bulls Bank on Fed Mention of Market Chaos as Drag on Growth (Read More)
  • Fees on Mutual Funds and ETFs Tumble Toward Zero (Read More)
  • China Climbs Back Up Janet Yellen’s Worry List (Read More)
  • The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States (Read More)
  • New Jersey Gov. Christie backs Atlantic City takeover plan (Read More)
  • U.S. Universities Raised a Record $40.3 Billion Last Year (Read More)
  • With China weakening, Apple turns to India (Read More)
  • Cash Is King as Europe Adapts to Negative Interest Rates (Read More)
  • Trump pulls out of Republican debate in Iowa (Read More)
  • French Justice Minister Taubira Quits Over Constitutional Change (Read More)
  • Clock ticks down on EU passport free travel dream (Read More)
  • Yuan Bears Denounced as Delusional, Doomed by China State Media (Read More)
  • States Asks High Court to Delay EPA Carbon-Emissions Rule (Read More)
  • AIG Passes JPMorgan, Approaches Wells Fargo on Buybacks (Read More)
  • NYSE’s $2 Trillion ETF Business Sees Heightened Competition (Read More)
  • World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Speaks Out on Liquidity Banks Miss (Read More)

Americans Really, Really Hate The Government

Anger - Public DomainIf there is one thing that Americans can agree on these days, it is the fact that most of us don’t like the government.  CBS News has just released an article entitled “Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever“, and an average of recent surveys calculated by Real Clear Politics found that 63 percent of all Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction and only 28 percent of all Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction.  In just a few days the first real ballots of the 2016 election will be cast in Iowa, and up to this point the big story of this cycle has been the rise of “outsider” candidates that many of the pundits had assumed would never have a legitimate chance.  Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have all been beneficiaries of the overwhelming disgust that the American people feel regarding what has been going on in Washington. (Read More….)

What’s Coming Is Here: “Every Economic Indicator Says We Are In Economic Free Fall”


While central banks and governments around the world threw everything they have at the problem, their only accomplishment is that they were able to kick the can down the road a little bit further. We may now well be at the end of that road, and as Dave Hodges of The Common Sense Show notes in his latest article, perhaps it’s time we stop looking at the problem as an event or set of events that will take place at some point in the future. According to Hodges, “what’s coming is here.”

Things are much worse that they appear. We are entering a time of unparalleled peril. Economic collapse is here and is underway in many parts of the economy.

“Europe is on the verge of collapse” –George Soros

Read Full Story

Dallas Fed Region Activity Plunges to Lowest Reading Since 2009; Production Collapsed


In Philadelphia, all that really happened was that things got worse at a decreasing rate.

Dallas Region Collapse

The Dallas Fed General Activity Index plunged to -34.6 from a revised reading last month of -20.1. The Econoday Consensus Estimate was -14.0 in a range of -17.0 to -10.0. The production index, also plunged. Last month the index was in positive territory at 12/7. It’s now -10.2.

Read Full Story

Daily Digest

January 27, 2016


“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” —John Marshall, 1819


The More Voters See of Clinton, the More They Don’t Like


According to the most recent Fox News poll, Hillary Clinton is bleeding followers nationally. A month ago, she was riding a wave of 56% support among Democrats. Sanders had a 34% following and 4% of the respondents didn’t know who they would support. In the poll conducted Jan. 18-21, Clinton’s support dropped to 49%, Sanders is up to 37% and 10% of Democrats don’t know who they should support in the rapidly approaching primaries.

One of the factors driving uncertainty in the Democrat Party is that her campaign might suffer a sudden death if Clinton is prosecuted by the FBI for mishandling classified information — more bad news dropping this week. The other is that Clinton’s policies lack the pop that Sanders’ have. For instance, Sanders said he wants to hike taxes so that the government confiscates another $20 trillion over 10 years. Clinton’s tax plan proposes raising taxes by $498 billion over that same period — comparatively weak sauce for “progressives” wanting to stick it to the “rich.”

According to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, Clinton’s tax proposal would shrink U.S. GDP by 1%. Furthermore, as Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, said, “Hillary Clinton’s tax hike plan is an absolute disaster. Not only do Clinton’s tax increases fail to pay for her $1.2 trillion spending spree, they will slow economic growth, drive down wages, and kill the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs.” And to think that the economic damage caused by Clinton’s tax hikes will be nothing to what Sanders might unleash on the economy.

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CBO Lowers ObamaCare Enrollment Prediction

Both the Obama administration and the “nonpartisan” Congressional Budget Office predicts a lackluster number of Americans signing up for health care through the federal exchange. In October, the administration estimated there would be 10 million signups in 2016, a modest increase from 2015. The CBO this week, however, revised down its prediction for the number of people getting their health care through Barack Obama’s system. Last year, the CBO estimated 20 million Americans would use ObamaCare in 2016, but now they say it’ll be just 13 million. Remember: The actual numbers of signups have come in well below past projections. Still, the Obama administration has just enough wiggle room to call the downgraded numbers a “success.”

But as the editorial board for The Wall Steet Journal pointed out, “The truth is that liberals can either adapt to the same economic reality that businesses confront or they can keep their regulations in the name of fairness and social justice. If they continue to do the latter, they may find the system is so fair that no one can afford to participate.” The economic winners in the years after ObamaCare was implemented were the large insurance companies. But as WSJ reports, the profit margin for UnitedHealth Group has shrunk to 3.7% from 4.3%. While all other sectors of its business have made money, the health care exchange has cost the company money, thanks to the rules the Obama administration established. As a result, UnitedHealth Group is threatening to leave the ObamaCare exchange, which would be a clear sign the whole system is not working.

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Wages Lead to Trouble in Walmart-Land

Walmart has announced that it’s closing 154 stores, most of them the company’s Express stores operating in small communities. After moving into rural communities, and often choking out independent small businesses, Walmart is tweaking its business model. The reason? The rising cost of wages has overtaken the profit margins of those stores. On one hand, Walmart raised wages to keep workers, but it also announced the move in response to political pressure to raise the minimum wage. $15 an hour, anyone? The company also backed out of establishing stores in the District of Columbia, making the city’s liberal politicians “blood mad.” After all, the stores would have created jobs in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, while providing options for residents to buy groceries and goods. This led the editors at Investor’s Business Daily to write, “Sorry, but forcing employers of unskilled, largely untrained labor to pay higher prices for their labor is a recipe for automation, layoffs and no job creation. It punishes the poor, unskilled and uneducated most of all. The leftist demagogues who push this nonsense should be ashamed.” And liberal politicians wonder where the jobs have gone.

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Strange Bedfellows Lead to the Iowa Caucus

By Louis DeBroux


With the Iowa caucuses less than a week away, the Republican race is the strangest nomination process in memory. After the flame-out of both establishment favorites and conservatives with experience, the race is quickly coming down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, though Marco Rubio may still have an outside shot. How did we get here?

Cruz is loathed by the GOP establishment as a “whack job” because of his unbending allegiance to conservative principles, and for calling out the GOP leadership and establishment for their failures to govern according to the promises on which they campaigned.

Trump is the circus sideshow, a lifelong liberal Democrat with New York values, a reality TV star and casino mogul supposedly without a chance of winning the more conservative Southern states — an absolute must for any Republican. He’s the narcissist who can’t stand to be out of the limelight, and he’ll insult anybody and everybody to get attention. He’s proclaimed he won’t participate in Thursday night’s debate moderated by Fox News, all because he’s seemingly afraid of Megyn Kelly, whom he’s already grossly insulted. Instead, he claims, he’ll host an event to raise money for veterans. We’ll believe it when we don’t seem him on stage, but has there ever been a politician with thinner skin?

But a funny thing happened along the way. Cruz quietly built up an impressive campaign war chest that made him a force to be reckoned with, and his principled conservative record and message, plus his refusal to attack Trump, led to a steady rise in the polls. Trump has defied all political wisdom and held a perpetual lead in the polls based almost entirely on his unapologetically un-PC rhetoric and his brash (if inconsistent) populism on illegal immigration, combating Islamic terrorism, and the economy. Angry voters consider him the best vehicle to express their outrage.

Cruz took the lead in Iowa about a month ago, and he immediately became the target of the GOP establishment — to whom he has been a huge thorn in the side. The establishment clearly prefers a “dealmaker” like Trump. That began to take its toll, and was compounded when the Trump/Cruz détente ended shortly before the last debate. Trump concern trolled about Cruz’s eligibility and began calling him a “nasty” person who can’t get along with anyone in DC. We thought that was a virtue to Trump supporters, but apparently not. Because out comes Trump, boasting that he can get along not only with the GOP establishment, but with Democrats like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

It’s a testament to just how much blinding hatred there is among the GOP base for the party’s leadership that Trump — who is seen by the vast majority of his supporters as a stick in the eye to the GOP establishment — is the frontrunner. He is the establishment’s creation. Trump is the byproduct of a base that had to watch government grow under George W. Bush, grow even more under Obama, and see two historic wave elections in the last two mid-terms wasted when Republican majorities in the House and Senate caved again and again to the demands of Obama and the Democrats. Trump is seen by his supporters as a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners candidate who will do whatever it takes to win.

Nothing The Donald says or does seems to bother his supporters — he brags, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters” — even when those things would render any other candidate unsupportable to the conservative base. Conservatives were outraged at John Boehner for not doing enough to repeal ObamaCare, and they drove him out of office. Yet just a few months ago Trump came out in support of single-payer health care, just like avowed socialist and Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders.

Trump was also for defunding Planned Parenthood one week before he was against defunding Planned Parenthood.

The GOP establishment, which not too long ago warned that Trump would be the death of the Republican Party, is now coming out of the woodwork to extol Trump’s deal-making virtues, saying he is someone they can work with to get things done, unlike Cruz.

In recent days, Trump has received endorsements or de facto endorsements from such GOP moderates and former losers like Bob Dole, or from Republicans like Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who are fearful of losing their special privileges under a President Cruz (Cruz has come out against subsidies for ethanol, which brings in enormous federal money into Iowa, and Branstad’s son runs an ethanol lobbying group). Even evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr. have endorsed Trump.

One would think that Cruz would epitomize for the conservative base the ideal candidate. He is constitutionalist and a strict constructionist who has argued before the Supreme Court nine times as Texas’s solicitor general. He has been unwavering in his conservative, constitutional principles, even when that means enduring the slings and arrows of not only the Leftmedia and the Democrats (we repeat ourselves), but the GOP establishment and its go-along-to-get-along ways. He is a family man who clearly loves America as the Founders envisioned it. Yet he is trailing Trump in the polls.

Iowa is a strange animal, and the caucuses take much more time, effort and commitment by each candidate’s supporters than just voting in a primary. It is the die-hards who turn out. Will Trump’s supporters turn out for him and seriously hamper Cruz’s run at the presidency? Will the embrace of Trump by the GOP establishment as a willing partner to their schemes erode support among Trump’s base? Has Cruz slipped in the polls as much as the media claim? Is Trump inevitable at this point?

We’ll know in less than a week.

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Hans von Spakovsky and Andrew R. Kloster: “The undercover videos that CMP released certainly seem to show that Planned Parenthood employees were trying to receive much greater compensation for the organs of aborted babies than a simple reimbursement of costs. They talk about getting ‘top dollar’ and discuss different prices for various organs. Handling and transportation costs are not going to change whether you are harvesting — what a euphemism for what is really going on — a liver or a heart. You even have one Planned Parenthood executive caught saying she needed to get the right price for aborted organs because she wants ‘a Lamborghini,’ which, if it was a joke, was an atrocious one. The point, however, is that if the grand jury believes that [David] Daleiden should be charged with offering to buy a human organ, based on the videos, it almost inconceivable that the same grand jury would not also conclude that Planned Parenthood should be charged with violating the same statute by offering to sell him human organs. The entire context of the video involves a complicated haggling process, but only one of the two parties appears to actually intend to go through with the illegal sale — and that party is Planned Parenthood. … Law professor Ron Rotunda … told us that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott should stop this abusive prosecution by pardoning the two defendants and then ask that a new prosecutor investigate Planned Parenthood’s apparent trafficking in body parts.”

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Insight: “We have on the one hand a desperate need; hunger, sickness, and the dread of war. We have, on the other, the conception of something that might meet it: omnicompetent global technocracy. Are not these the ideal opportunity for enslavement? This is how it has entered before; a desperate need (real or apparent) in the one party, a power (real or apparent) to relieve it, in the other.” —C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Upright: “We are in a moment of constitutional crisis. America already has one post-constitutional party; we don’t need another. We have a president who does not believe in executive restraint; we do not need another. I am not endorsing any candidate; I am urging conservatives to hold every candidate accountable to keeping their word so that we uphold the Constitution’s system of checks and balances. I’m pro-Constitution and if that makes me anti-Trump, that’s Mr. Trump’s problem.” —Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)

For the record: “No Donald on the debate on Thursday? First let me say: I will believe it when I see it. However this is not surprising if you follow the pattern of Donald Trump. We already have a president who will not talk to Fox News. Now Donald Trump? Only liberal progressives block Fox.” —Glenn Beck

Flashback: “Michele Bachmann just dropped out of prez race — when she didn’t do the Newsmax debate it showed great disloyalty and people rejected her.” —Tweet from Donald Trump on Jan. 4, 2012

Fair share: “We will raise taxes, yes we will.” —Bernie Sanders on how he’ll fund Medicare For All

Braying Jackass: “[T]he Republican Party and the right-wing news entertainment media complex have spent more than eight years trying to find new ways to call Barack Obama — and by extension black Americans en masse — a ‘nig—’ without actually using the slur.” —Salon’s Chauncey DeVega

Alpha Jackass: “It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country. … We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racial tendencies — racist tendencies. … Generally speaking, we’re a bunch of racists.” —Hollywood director Danny DeVito

Late-night humor: “A lot of people got stranded over the weekend and flights were canceled. There was more than two feet of snow in Washington, DC, and New York. All nonessential federal workers in Washington, DC, were told to stay home. … How do you know if you’re nonessential? Do they call you? ‘Steve, I have some good news and some bad news. Good news is you have the day off today. Bad news, you’re worthless.'” —Jimmy Kimmel

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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Why Donald Trump Threatens to Trump the Gospel

Why Donald Trump Threatens to Trump the Gospel

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Christianity Today

There is something more important than our views of the controversial candidate.

Read Full Article »

Is It OK for Christians to Drink Alcohol?

Is It OK for Christians to Drink Alcohol?

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Christian Post

Is it OK for pastors and Christian leaders to drink alcohol? For Jamie Morgan, lead pastor of New Jersey-based Life Church, the answer to that question is a resounding &no.&

Read Full Article »

As Falwell Favors Trump, Pew Says Most Americans Still Want a Religious President

As Falwell Favors Trump, Pew Says Most Americans Still Want a Religious President

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Christianity Today

However, survey also finds Trump is one of few candidates who doesn’t have to be religious to be deemed great.

Read Full Article »

Voters warm to candidates who are not religious

Voters warm to candidates who are not religious

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Religion News

(RNS) Americans still prefer a strongly religious president but it’s no longer essential, a new survey finds.

Read Full Article »

World marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

World marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Religion News

The anniversary, marked each year since 2005, falls on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland by the Russian army in 1945. One million people died there.

Read Full Article »

Joel Rosenberg talks about how Obama's nuke deal could unleash Iran's Apocalyptic Muslims

Joel Rosenberg talks about how Obama’s nuke deal could unleash Iran’s Apocalyptic Muslims

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Christian Examiner

Joel Rosenberg gives a shocking explanation of Apocalyptic Islam.

Read Full Article »

A Lesson in Context: Don't Forget the Other Half of the Verse!

A Lesson in Context: Don’t Forget the Other Half of the Verse!

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Crosswalk

You probably know James 4:7 – &Resist the devil and he will flee from you.& But do you remember the first half of the verse? The part with the condition in it?

Read Full Article »

Are You Asking Your Man to Walk in Faith Like a Woman?

Are You Asking Your Man to Walk in Faith Like a Woman?

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Crosswalk

We have expectations of our men that are too high for them to meet. That’s because we’re unintentionally expecting them to be more like women, than men.

Read Full Article »

Do We Understand the Danger of Emotional Abuse?

Do We Understand the Danger of Emotional Abuse?

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Crosswalk

The things we say can cut deeper than any scalpel, and the Bible has warned Christians more than once about the damage our words can inflict.

Read Full Article »

Healthcare sharing ministries gaining members

Healthcare sharing ministries gaining members

Posted on January 26, 2016 by World Magazine

HEALTHCARE | Amid Obamacare woes, healthcare sharing ministries are gaining members in healthy numbers

Read Full Article »

Why We’re Where We Are (Part 2)

If we think the strange fire coming from Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley is new, let us think again. Each of these men minimize belief in Bible prophecy; an intended outcome of that is the marginalization of Israel. If the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Jews’ eternal possession of the Holy Land is in question…then today’s state of Israel is perhaps illegitimate and her national claims on the land are certainly illegitimate.

View Article

Pope Francis to Get Involved in Mideast Peace?

VATICAN CITY — Iran’s president paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican Tuesday during a European visit aimed at positioning Tehran as a potential top player in efforts to resolve Middle East conflicts, including Syria’s civil war.

View Article

Evangelicals flocking to Trump

Among white evangelical Republican voters nationally, Trump earned the support of 37 percent, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose father is a pastor and has played a key role in recruiting faith leaders to support his son, is at 20 percent.

View Article

Discernment: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

When it comes to spiritual discernment, Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley urges believers to know the distinction between personal preferences and biblical doctrine. For example, does “speaking the truth in love” simply mean being nice? Ephesians 6:10-19 states that Christians are at war with spiritual powers of wickedness. So, what are some of […]

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Pope Francis Holds Closed-Door Political Meeting With Iran President Hassan Rouhani

The Vatican meeting was a key part of the Iranian effort to take a more prominent place on the world stage after the nuclear deal with Western powers.

“For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:17,18 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Revelation 17 and 18 say that the Whore of Babylon, commonly known as the Vatican, will “reign over the kings of the earth” politically, economically and spiritually. So today’s unprecedented meeting at the Vatican between Pope Francis and Iran’s president is fascinating. Here we have Pope Francis and the Vatican controlling a Muslim nation like Iran, making political deals and ending it with the Muslim president actually asking the Roman Pope to “pray for him”. It’s like Revelation 17 is LEAPING off the pages and into the headlines. Francis is getting very close to trading in his pope’s fish hat for a king’s crown.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis held talks with Iran’s president at the Vatican Tuesday, calling on Tehran to play a key role in stopping the spread of terrorism as Iran tries to improve its image in the global arena following an agreement on its nuclear program.

Holy See: Iranian Pres. Rouhani and Pope Francis exchange gifts in Vatican visit

The pontiff warmly clasped the hand of President Hassan Rouhani in the first official call paid on a pontiff by an Iranian president since 1999. They held 40 minutes of private talks before Rouhani met with other top Vatican officials.

The talks “delved into the conclusion and application of the nuclear accord, and the important role that Iran is called upon to play, together with other countries of the region, was highlighted,” the Holy See said.

It added that that role should “foster adequate political solutions to the issues plaguing the Middle East, fighting the spread of terrorism and arms trafficking.”

The “cordial” talks also stressed common spiritual values, the statement said.

Usually it’s the pope who asks his audience to pray for him. This time, after the two men spoke with the help of Italian and Farsi language translators, it was the guest who asked the pope for prayers. “I ask you to pray for me,” Rouhani said.

The Vatican meeting was a key part of the Iranian effort to take a more prominent place on the world stage after the nuclear deal with Western powers.

Iran, which agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for an end to economic sanctions, is eager to carve out a bigger role in mediating Middle East conflicts. Pope Francis’ papacy has emphasized mediation and conflict-resolution, including his role in helping Cuba and the United States to normalize their relations.

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Video Clip: David Barton Prays For The Holy Spirit To Speak Through New Age Mormon Glenn Beck Before He Speaks For Ted Cruz Rally

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False Teachers Love Ted Cruz: Now Ted Boasts of Endorsement by Mike Bickle of International House of Prayer


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Would You Want Your Pastor to Endorse a Political Candidate and Campaign With Them?


Why and how do pastors lower their credibility, damage the gospel, and confuse the mission of the church when they get into a spiritual enterprise with politicians? Topic: David Jeremiah, James MacDonald, Kirk Cameron, and Casting Crowns take part in a Ben Carson political event that his campaign called a “prayer worship experience”. Why would Jeremiah, MacDonald, and Cameron want to hold a spiritual event with a Seventh-Day Adventist, or any politicians for that matter? Do they now agree with the false religion of the Seventh-Day Adventist? Brannon explains the proper way for evangelicals to respond is simply to pick the political candidate they want to support and support them on the issues and stop mixing the calling of the church, worship services, and theology with politics. The mission and purpose of civil government is not the same as the mission of the church. Support whatever candidate you want but stop turing political campaigns into religious or spiritual causes. Evangelicals need to stop trying to make a political campaign a spiritual event.

Topic: Why the rise of Donald Trump? Phyllis Schlafly explains why and Brannon will read it to you. National Review says social justice evangelicals like Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention are to blame for the rise of Trump. Brannon says he believes that Trump is rising because Americans realize the two-party system is really one system something he has said for years. Brannon also believes the American people are sick of the neo-conservatives that are funded by the globalists and military industrial complex that makes a fortune on war and nation building. Brannon also explains why he believes many of the American people look at who the super scary religious right nuts embrace and then run from those candidates. Seriously; do you want your national leaders listening to religious right zealots that want to take over every power-center and all governments so they can usher in their religious theocracy based on their twisted eschatology and theology? So whether you support Trump or do not support Trump, the reason for his rise is largely to blame on the rats nest in a wood pile that is made up of politicians, neo-cons, the pro-family industrial complex, and religious right zealots and liberal media. The American people are sick of all of these groups and their self-serving agendas that can be traced by following the money.

Click here to listen now:

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Will the Republican Establishment Stand Down?

Obama Continues Caving to Iran While Taking Credit for Diplomacy

How Long, O Lord? Steadying Our Soul in the Midst of the Storm

How Long, O Lord? Steadying Our Soul in the Midst of the StormSatan is filled with fury against Christians because he knows he’s already lost, and his time here is short.

Listen Now

12 Reasons People Give Up On The Church

Most, if not all, of us know someone who attended church but then simply gave up on God’s people. Based on my work with churches and the unchurched, here are some of the reasons I’ve heard:

  1. They see nothing different in Christians. They come looking for the difference the gospel makes, but they find only people who act like the rest of the world acts.
  2. They hear nothing but judgment. Presented lovingly, judgment is part of helping people see their need for Jesus. The problem is that they too often hear it presented unlovingly.
  3. They hear only stories and humor. They come to church desperately wanting to hear something from God to help them with their chaotic lives, but they instead hear little or nothing from the Word.
  4. Nobody connects with them. They may come with some desire to be anonymous, but most do not come with a hope of being ignored. When nobody talks to them, they see little reason to keep coming.
  5. They see no relevance in its message. Frankly, I lay this issue at the feet of preachers. If we don’t help folks know how to apply the Word in their lives, they leave with head knowledge rather than heart change.
  6. Somebody hurt them or their family. Sure, they need to forgive and press on – but some folks aren’t there yet. They carry their anger with them and depart the church.
  7. They have other options today. Via the Internet, they can “attend” church virtually and listen to sermons electronically. And, they can do that without putting on their “church” clothes.
  8. Everything is “over their head.” Nobody taught them the basics of Christianity. They struggle understanding what they hear – and they’re too embarrassed to ask for help.
  9. They’re tired of church drama. Some of the most ridiculous interpersonal fights I’ve ever seen have been among believers. It’s no wonder some people walk away from the silliness.
  10. Nobody answers their questions. “Just because the Bible says so” isn’t always the best answer for seekers who are asking honest questions in their spiritual quest.
  11. They feel unneeded. They’d love to get involved, but no one’s asked them. As far as they know, the church doesn’t need them.
  12. They’re not ready for the commitment. When they really do hear the gospel, they hear its call to give up self. Those who aren’t ready for that commitment avoid its call by leaving the church.

What other reasons have you heard?

Check Out


Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face it. Literally
“I remember a particular ‘green’ moment in my first year of full-time ministry when I asked the guys during a staff meeting (this was about 4 months in), ‘Is it always like this?’ To which they lovingly responded, ‘It is Mach IV with your hair on fire. Buckle up. Heaven will be great.’ This was during a particularly tumultuous time, but it has nevertheless characterized ministry. Those of you who are in ministry know what I am talking about.”

Yes, Your Pastor Needs a Sabbatical
“Focused, intentional rest doesn’t come easy, because we have become addicted to productivity. Our inability to faithfully rest is due to a number of things, yet at the top of the list is an unhealthy drive to perform, control, and produce. The affects are that we can slowly begin to forget that God can keep things going without us.”

30 Pieces of Advice for the New Wife
This sweet post is from a 3-month-old wife. If you’ve been married for more than a few years or have kids, you’ll have a good laugh at the beautiful ideals!

Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God (Coming Soon!)
An upcoming book from Tim Challies and Josh Byers. “In this book, we have made the deepest truths of the Bible accessible in a way that can be seen and understood by a visual generation. We have prepared what we see as a theology of the Christian life, a book that explains the ‘now what?’ of living as a Christian. It is ideal for the new or seasoned believer.”

The Great Ebook Battle of 2016
Ebooks or print? Which do you prefer?

Handwriting Helps You Learn – Business Insider
“Typing is fast. Handwriting is slow. Weirdly, that’s precisely why handwriting is better suited to learning.”

Kindle Books

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin ($4.99)

The Pastor’s Family: Shepherding Your Family through the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry by Brian and Cara Croft ($3.99)

The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism by D. A. Carson ($3.99)

A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering
by Michael S. Horton ($3.99)

New Children’s Book

God’s Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise by Douglas Bond ($4.99 Kindle, $9.99 Paperback)


From Ivy League to Furniture Maker

12 Church Enemies

Every pastor will eventually have to face enemies within the church, people who are dedicated to damage and even destroy them. As these enemies have a range of motives and methods, and can be deadly if not recognized early, here’s a selection of the kinds of enemies that can be found in many churches (some belong to more than one category – some belong to all!)

Open Enemies: They are in-your-face, out-and-out, no-holds-barred, to-the-death enemies.

Secret Enemies: They undermine you and oppose you behind your back, in secret, in private conversations.

Procedural Enemies: They use ecclesiastical rules and procedure to tie you in knots, to obstruct you, to stymie proposals, to humiliate you in front of others.

Voting Enemies: They reserve their opposition for church courts and congregational meetings. No matter what you propose, they are against it. You could propose that “This Church believes in breathing” and you know you’ll have one vote in the “No” column.

Wounded Enemies: You crossed swords with them a few years ago, maybe a doctrinal argument or the discipline of a family member. Those wounds have never healed and now they are just waiting for the right time to exact vengeance.

Financial Enemies: There will almost always be somebody who thinks the pastor is earning too much or spending too much. Although these enemies are often some of the wealthier members, they love to cut the pastor’s salary or benefits.

Doctrinal Enemies: They oppose what you teach and use every opportunity to attack it and to spread the opposite message.

Liturgical Enemies: They like your doctrine but oppose the content or style of worship. They aren’t called “worship wars” for nothing.

Prove-me-right Enemies: They voted to call another pastor but lost. Now they’re just longing for you to fail so that they can be proven right.

Deserved Enemies: You wronged someone, you humiliated someone, you broke a promise to someone, you acted foolishly towards someone, you annoyed someone. Now they hate you. Your sin brought it upon you. You deserve to have these enemies. You earned them.

Campaigning Enemies: Not satisfied with being enemies on their own, they recruit others to their side and build an army of enmity.

Surprising Enemies: One minister told me that the couple who welcomed him and his family most at the beginning were the same ones at the vanguard of driving them out of the ministry some years later. They smothered them with love at first, then tried to smother them at the last.

Smiling Enemies: They rarely stop to talk with you, but simply flash an extra-stretch smile as they pass you. Their dagger eyes tell the true story.

I’m sure there are other enemies you can think of, but regardless of how many they are or what kind they are, we must respond in the same way — fury, retaliation, vengeance, imprecations, anathemas, fire and brimstone, waterboarding, and anything else that will cause them maximum pain for maximum time.

Eh, not quite.

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:44-45).

11 Questions to Ask Ourselves About Debt

It’s one thing to trust God to provide for our present needs (Matthew 6:33). It’s another to presume upon Him by dictating (via a decision to incur debt) the terms of His future provision. By choosing to go into debt, we twist God’s arm to provide not only for our needs, but also our wants.

Do we believe God knows best what our needs are? Debt spends money we don’t have. So isn’t our decision to go into debt proof that we believe we need more than God has given us? If we don’t have the resources to buy something, and if we feel such need for it that we’re borrowing to get it, aren’t we saying God has failed to meet our needs?

If God knows best, and if He knows what we need, then why hasn’t He provided sufficient funds? Is He encouraging us to pray for provision rather than take things into our own hands by borrowing? In this age where we seem unwilling to wait for anything, does God want us to learn what it means to “wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 30:18)?

Before we go into debt, we should ask ourselves the following questions:

1. Is debt our way of getting around depending on God? (Why trust God to provide when we can get a loan?)

2. Is debt our means of short-circuiting the God-created means of acquisition—including work, saving, planning, self-discipline, patience, and waiting for divine provision?

3. What message are we sending to God when we go into debt rather than live on what He has provided? What are we really saying when we take out a loan? How does it reflect on our view of God? What are we saying about His sovereignty, goodness, wisdom, or timing?

4. What effect will going into debt today have on our ability or willingness to tithe and give voluntary offerings tomorrow?

5. What effect will today’s decision to go into debt have on tomorrow’s freedom to follow God wherever He wants us to go?

6. By taking out a loan that commits us to make payments over a number of years, are we presuming upon God? (Certainly, if we will require more income to make the payments, we’re presuming on God. We may “know” that we’ll receive a promotion and pay raise in September, but God hasn’t guaranteed it. Plans change, companies go out of business, and employees fail to get “certain” promotions.)

7. Although our income today might be enough to make debt payments over the next twenty years, is it right to assume that we’ll continue to generate the same level of income? (Many people’s income increases over the years, but many others’ decreases. Many incur increased financial commitments beyond their control, such as health-related expenses or caring for an elderly relative. People get laid off. Has God promised that can’t happen to us?)

8. Are we mortgaging the future to pay for the whims of the present? Are we mortgaging God by supposing to commit Him to pay off something He may disapprove of?

9. Is debt our way of getting around depending on God? of circumventing prayer, patience, and waiting on God to provide?

10. If we “must” go into debt to provide for our “needs,” is it because our “needs” are really wants in disguise? Have we spent so much money on our wants that there’s not enough left for our needs? Have we robbed God and forfeited His financial blessing by failing to give Him the firstfruits?

11. Have we really exhausted all other avenues to avoid going into debt? Have we given up expensive activities, hobbies, and memberships, and liquidated valuable possessions? (Often, we think we have no choice but to go into debt, when in fact we’re making many unnecessary choices that drive us toward it.)

One of the strongest arguments for not going into debt is that we’re not God. We’re not sovereign, omniscient, or omnipotent. James 4:14 warns that we cannot know what will happen tomorrow. And if we don’t know and cannot control all that the future holds, how can we be sure that we can pay off new debts? We can be certain that God will provide for our basic material needs if we seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:25-34), but where does the Bible promise that God will provide for all the debts we incur though our own greed, impatience, or presumption?

If we are seeking first His kingdom, will we put ourselves in bondage to debt?

Photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo

The Daily Discovery (January 27, 2016)


(Click title to go to full article)

Selfie Righteousness – “Christians truly are a unique bunch. We are in the world, but not of it. We strive to serve our Lord Jesus Christ well in the midst of a world that is hostile to Him and to His message. We know we have been called out of this world because, in reality, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom.”

An Open Letter to Women Considering Abortion – “Last week I attended the march for life in Washington D.C. which is a yearly peaceful protest of the Roe v. Wade decision from 1973. As we were marching down the road with the snow falling from the sky, with thousands of people and signs everywhere, my eyes caught a sign that made the whole event come to life for me.”

Abortion Is Everyone’s Issue – “Conversations about abortion can be grim and bleak. There are a lot of facts we can’t shy away from or ignore. The reality is that, from 1973 – 2015, 55 million babies were aborted in the United States alone. The majority of these abortions were performed for convenience, not because of a medical emergency. This is more lives lost than the Holocaust of World War II. More than the communist regime of Stalin in the former Soviet Union. This is a terrifyingly huge number, and it’s not even a worldwide number; we’re only talking about the U.S. here.”

My Husband’s Cancer and the Lord of Steadfast Love – “I was far from perfect in the storm of my husband’s cancer diagnosis. I was weak. I envied every couple I saw. Hand-holding love birds rubbed salt in my wounds.”

Calvin On The Substance Of The Covenant Of Works – “Because what God so severely punished must have been no light sin but a detestable crime, we must consider what kind of sin there was in Adam’s desertion that enkindled God’s fearful vengeance against the whole of mankind. To regard Adam’s sin as gluttonous intemperance (a common notion) is childish.”


Mike Leake – Equipped for Messy Ministry


Rob Bell & “The Shack” Blaspheme GOD

How to know God’s will for your life.

“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 27, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.

A La Carte (January 27)

Today’s Kindle deals include Rejoicing in Lament by Todd Billings ($2.99); Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur ($1.99); New Atheism: A Survival Guide by Graham Veale ($2.99); Hope Reborn by Adrian Warnock ($1.99); Though He Slay Me by Jamie Freeman ($1.99); Men of Science, Men of God by Henry Morris ($2.99); The Formation of Christian Doctrine by Malcolm Yarnell ($2.99).

Announcing the all-new PrayerMate v5

One of my favorite everyday apps has gotten an update. I was part of the beta test and have already enjoyed this new version.

Do Something Small For God

I think we all need these reminders from time to time. “We can feel like if we don’t do something great for God, why bother. Well, here’s what God says: ‘Do small things for me.’”

Prescribing Hospitality for Growth in the Christian Life

Here’s an interesting take on the value of showing hospitality to others.

Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face It

How do you respond when there is trouble in life and ministry? Erik Raymond shows why you need to just face it.

11 Questions to Ask Ourselves About Debt

This is the kind of stuff Randy Alcorn does so well.

This Day in 417. 1,599 years ago today, Pope Innocent I condemned and excommunicated Pelagius. *

The Small Group Book for 2016

Westminster Books has quite a few items on sale including one they are calling “the small group book for 2016.”

The History of London

I’m not sure about the 40,000-year bit, but this is brief video history of London is beautifully done.

The Big Chill

Melissa Kruger: “We sit across the table from one another. Tears brim. I speak the painful words I have contemplated with so many: Sometimes the loneliness in marriage is lonelier than being alone. She nods.”


A sermon is not over when the minister says ‘Amen.’ Rather that is when the true sermon begins. —Joel Beeke

9 Things That Worked in the Church a Decade Ago That Don’t Today

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:48 AM PST

(Carey Nieuwhof) So you entered into church leadership full of enthusiasm and fresh ideas. And for a season, a lot of those ideas worked. You saw your ministry grow, people come to faith and the mission advance. But times change. And—these days especially—culture is changing faster than ever before. As a result, the shelf life of ideas, assumptions and approaches is shorter than it has ever been. What used to work, doesn’t. Not anymore. The challenge is to know what’s stopped working and what hasn’t. Not everything that worked a decade ago in the church was great. But the truth is many churches saw growth anyway. And that’s changing and will continue to change. What got you here won’t get you there. Here are nine things that used to work in ministry a decade ago that aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be.

1. Relying on an automatic return to church
There was a day when you could fairly safely assume that once young adults got married and had a child, they would automatically come back to church. Those days are gone or largely gone. (You can catch more about what’s changed in Episode 24 of my podcast where I interview David Kinnaman, President of Barna Group.) The average unchurched person doesn’t think about going to church any more than the average Christian thinks about going to synagogue. It just doesn’t cross their mind. Having an exceptional next generation ministry that reaches out to the community is critical. Want a better way to impact families? I know of no better approach than this. The Orange strategy is the strategy we use, and our kids’ ministry is the fastest growing ministry at our church. You can’t assume families will reach out to you, so you need to reach out to them. FULL LIST

The post 9 Things That Worked in the Church a Decade Ago That Don’t Today appeared first on End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Apple’s Safari browser is crashing on iPhones and Macs worldwide

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:38 AM PST

Apple’s Safari browser appears to be experiencing issues worldwide this morning. Searching from the address bar in both iOS and OS X is causing the browser to crash in some instances. The Verge has confirmed the problem on several of our own iOS devices and at least one OS X machine. Steven Troughton-Smith, an iOS developer, notes that the problems are related to Safari’s search suggestions feature.

Simply disabling this feature will stop Safari crashing, or using the private mode option in the browser as a temporary workaround. Not everyone is affected, and this could be because some have the search suggestions cached locally or they’re still able to reach Apple’s servers thanks to a DNS cache. The Verge has reached out to Apple for comment on the problems, and we’ll update you accordingly. CONTINUE

The post DEVELOPING: Apple’s Safari browser is crashing on iPhones and Macs worldwide appeared first on End Time Headlines.

China has cyber capability to take down U.S. power grid, warns NSA

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:35 AM PST

The U.S. is vulnerable to cyber attacks from China and other countries capable of shutting down the power grid and disabling vital infrastructure, according to Admiral Michael Rogers, head of both the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command. Rogers recently warned the House Intelligence Committee: “We’re seeing multiple nation-states invest in those kinds of capabilities.” Cybersecurity firm Mondiant confirmed that China had hacked into U.S. utility systems and has the knowledge potential to exploit vulnerabilities and shut down or disrupt them.

Rogers says this could allow Chinese hackers “to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure that forestall the ability to provide that service to us as citizens.” Such an attack could have catastrophic effects, to say the least. Rogers agreed with recent predictions that a major cyber attack will occur within the next decade: “It is only a matter of the when, not the if, that we are going to see something traumatic.” China is not the only player in the cyber warfare game. Although Rogers declined to name other countries involved, it’s generally acknowledged that Russia has advanced cyber warfare capabilities. CONTINUE


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China warns Soros against ‘declaring war’ on its currency

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:30 AM PST

Not long after billionaire George Soros forecast a so-called hard landing for the Chinese economy, Beijing fired back by calling out the high-profile investor, warning him of betting against its currency, according to media reports Tuesday. “Soros’ challenge against the renminbi and Hong Kong dollar is unlikely to succeed, there is no doubt about that,” said a government official in an opinion piece widely cited by several media outlets.

The article headlined, ”Declaring war on China’s currency? Ha ha,” was published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party which is widely viewed as Beijing’s propaganda tool. A translation of the Mandarin version of the editorial linked by ZeroHedge includes references to the U.S. suffering from a “Dutch disease” and “financial predators.” Reports of the People’s Daily’s article follow Soros’ recent prediction that a precipitous slowdown in the Chinese economy is inevitable. CONTINUE

The post China warns Soros against ‘declaring war’ on its currency appeared first on End Time Headlines.

This Simulation Shows What Would Happen If an Earthquake Caused a Mega-Tsunami

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:25 AM PST

With the East Coast buried in snow from a megastorm sparking our natural-disaster competitiveness, we on the Pacific Rim can counter with an ocean-crossing tsunami generated by a historic megathrust earthquake. The last one that erupted along the 600-mile-long fault of the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Northwest was at 9 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the year 1700. Hopefully the next one won’t hit any time soon, but another is due every 300-500 years. So, we can thrill in the thought of that magnificent danger!


In fact, on Friday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center published a re-enactment of the massive waves in a model animation. Here’s the explanation from the Center’s YouTube page: By comparing the tree rings of dead trees with those still living they could tell when the last of these great earthquakes struck the region. The trees all died in the winter of 1699-1700 when the coasts of northern California, Oregon, and Washington suddenly dropped 1-2 m (3-6 ft.), flooding them with seawater. That much motion over such a large area requires a very large earthquake to explain it—perhaps as large as 9.2 magnitude, comparable to the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964. CONTINUE

The post This Simulation Shows What Would Happen If an Earthquake Caused a Mega-Tsunami appeared first on End Time Headlines.

The Religious Distraction

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:21 AM PST

(Ryan Johnson) There is a major problem that seems to grow within every movement of Holy Spirit among different leaders and denominations that must be addressed in our time before we fail to see the reality of unity in the Body of Christ. It’s become so common that many have begun to accept it as a part of ministry although it’s the furthest thing from what is Biblical. How easy of a snare that it is and how quick we are to be trapped within the grips as a simple bait that the enemy continues to use for division among the Church. So, what exactly are we talking about here? I am talking about the distraction that causes us to miss the attraction.

Remember the passage of scripture found in John 8:1-11? In the scriptures we discover the story of a woman that was brought before Jesus because she had been caught in adultery. You know, the woman that was brought before a crowd in her humiliation. The one where the religious leaders of the day demanded that Jesus give a verdict of punishment, according to the Law of Moses. The scripture where Jesus took the time to actually write in the sand. Got it? Good, let’s dive into this some more for clarity to how we must overcome the issue before us today. CONTINUE

The post The Religious Distraction appeared first on End Time Headlines.

MILITIA LEADER JAILED: Ammon Bundy, 7 others arrested after gun battle at highway traffic stop kills 1

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:15 AM PST

The leader of a group of armed protesters who had occupied a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon for 24 days was arrested along with four others Tuesday after a traffic stop prompted gunfire that reportedly left the group’s spokesperson dead and another person injured. The FBI and Oregon State Police arrested Ammon Bundy, 40, his brother Ryan, 43, Brian Cavalier, 44, Shawna Cox, 59, and Ryan Payne, 32, at around 4:25 p.m. local time on U.S. Highway 395.

Three other people were arrested separately. The FBI said Joseph O’Shaughnessy, 45, and Peter Santilli, 50, were arrested in the nearby town of Burns, Ore. Hours later, authorities said Jon Ritzheimer, 32, turned himself in to the Peoria, Ariz., police department. The FBI said all eight face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats. CONTINUE

The post MILITIA LEADER JAILED: Ammon Bundy, 7 others arrested after gun battle at highway traffic stop kills 1 appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Trump says he won’t participate in GOP debate on Fox News

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:09 AM PST

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump abruptly announced here Tuesday that he would not participate in Thursday’s scheduled debate, escalating his off-and-on feud with Fox News Channel and throwing the GOP campaign into turmoil. Trump’s assertion, which his campaign manager insisted was irreversible, came less than one week before the kickoff Iowa caucuses. He once again defied the conventional rules of politics, and used his power and prominence to shape the campaign agenda and conversation.

So far, Trump’s untraditional moves have only expanded his support, but his threatened boycott leaves him open to criticism that for all his tough talk he is ducking face-to-face confrontations with his opponents and scrutiny from the Fox moderators. Given Trump’s past flirtations with boycotting Fox, many will doubt his declaration until they see the other candidates take the debate stage on Thursday night without him. CONTINUE

The post Trump says he won’t participate in GOP debate on Fox News appeared first on End Time Headlines.

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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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Are Mormons Christian?

A Ruby In The Rough

Via Triablogue:

Joseph Smith, Jr. (1843 photograph)“We have no desire to become a part of mainstream Christianity. We do want to be better understood and appreciated for what and who we are, but we are not traditional Christians and have never claimed to be. We do in fact see ourselves as Christians with a difference. Mormonism professes to be restored Christianity, and its adherents believe that God has chosen to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith, and that the divine priesthood authority he received—the power and authority to act in the name of God, apostolic authority—has continued in rightful succession to modern apostles and prophets within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today.”

~Robert L. Millet, Coordinator, Office of Religious Outreach, Professor Emeritus of Religious Education, Brigham Young University


Photo: Photograph of Joseph Smith, Jr. by Lucian Foster, 1843.

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The one and only true Gospel

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘ There He is, ’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:23-24 NASB)

I will be 65 years old later this year. I have been a Christian for over 30 years, but I grew up in a “Christian” home going to church every Sunday until I grew up and went my own way. I know that Christians are commanded to be forgiving, kind, and gentle with others. However, we are also commanded to stand firm and withstand false teachers and their doctrines. When I began writing and blogging as an extension of my teaching ministry, I soon experienced a very rude awakening. When I wrote about things that were experiential and not…

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