Daily Archives: February 3, 2016

February 3, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 3, 2016

BLOOMBERG

President Obama will ask Congress for $1.1 billion in his next budget to combat the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic, a crisis so severe that it’s emerged as a 2016 campaign issue and has led two senators to block his nominee to run the Food and Drug Administration.

Bill Gross says central bankers are “increasingly addled” as their low and negative-interest rate policies fail to produce sustainable growth, with even U.S. Federal Reserve leaders showing uncertainty about their next steps.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is suspending his run for the Republican presidential nomination.

China has 21 percent of the world’s population with just 9 percent of its arable land, according to Jefferies Group LLC. That’s where China National Chemical Corp.’s purchase of Syngenta AG comes in. The Basel, Switzerland-based company’s position as the world’s largest pesticide maker and its yield-boosting genetically modified crops will help increase the amount of food China produces per acre and give it muscle to take on rivals including Monsanto Co.

President Vladimir Putin is considering selling stakes in some of Russia’s state jewels to foreign buyers to raise cash for an economy brought to its knees by the collapse in oil prices and sanctions related to Ukraine. Investors are dubious.

The U.S. air-traffic control system would be spun off to a nonprofit corporation and airline passengers wouldn’t be allowed to talk on mobile phones under sweeping legislation being unveiled Wednesday to set aviation policy for the next six years. The job of guiding planes would be taken away from the Federal Aviation Administration and put under the auspices of a new nonprofit funded by fees on commercial flights that would replace most current airline taxes.

China’s gold demand will keep expanding as investors seek safe assets and jewelry buying increases, the China Gold Association said. Consumption in the country that vies with India as the world’s biggest user climbed 3.7 percent to 985.9 metric tons in 2015 from a year earlier.

AP Top Stories

Criminal exonerations hit a record high in 2015 due largely to district attorneys in places such as Houston, Dallas and Brooklyn, New York, setting up units to review cases where the legal system may have acted unjustly, a report released on Wednesday found. There were 149 known exonerations in 2015, where the exonerated defendants served on average more than 14 years in prison. That topped the previous recorded high of 139 in 2014.

The World Health Organization (WHO) voiced concern on Wednesday over a report the Zika virus had been sexually transmitted in the United States and called for further investigation into the mosquito-borne virus. The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed an abortion-related bill into law Tuesday after a delegation of lawmakers presented it to him in his Capitol office. The measure updates the state’s informed consent law requiring women seeking abortions be told of medical risks and benefits at least 24 hours beforehand.

Yahoo is laying off about 1,700 employees and shedding some of its excess baggage in a shake-up likely to determine whether CEO Marissa Mayer can save her own job.

The Taliban on Monday gunned down a 10-year-old soldier who had been hailed as a hero by the Afghan government for leading an attack against the terror group last year. Wasil Ahmad was shot twice in the head by a man on a motorcycle as he walked out of his house in Tirin Kot city to buy vegetables.

Officials with Chicago Public Schools said Tuesday they’re ready to cut $100 million from school budgets and force teachers to pay more pension costs after their union rejected the latest contract offer, ratcheting up the tone of contentious negotiations that have lasted over a year.

The State Department said that John Kerry, when he was a senator, used a private email account to send information now deemed classified to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her personal server.

BBC

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has agreed to repay some of the $23m the government controversially spent on upgrading his private rural home.

Australia’s High Court has ruled that the government’s policy of detaining asylum seekers offshore is legal. The court rejected a challenge brought by lawyers for one detainee who argued the policy was unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for more than 250 people, including 37 babies, to be deported to a detention camp on the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru.

Two Sydney residents who recently returned from the Caribbean have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, Australian health officials said.

Somalia has launched an investigation after a commercial plane made an emergency landing with a gaping hole in its fuselage in the capital, Mogadishu.

An Egyptian court has overturned the death sentences of 149 supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and ordered a retrial.

WND

Wow. NBC went there. The freshman comedy Superstore went out of its way to offend Christians by having characters opine on Jesus’ beliefs about gays – including suggesting that Jesus Himself was gay!

The Pentagon’s top brass said Tuesday that if all military jobs must be open to women, then lawmakers should make it mandatory for them to register for future drafts.

Swedish social workers were told that an in-house memorial service for one of their murdered peers was forbidden because it might upset Muslim refugees. The young woman died of stab wounds inflicted by a migrant.

Demand for commercial and industrial loans has plunged in 2016, with declines happening across business sizes. Large- and medium-sized businesses had an 11.1 percent decline, while demand from small businesses fell 12.7 percent.


Student: Gay-straight alliances are NOT a safe place for me
Let me get this through your head: I DO NOT FEEL SAFE. This idea that Gay Straight Alliances make a safe space for everyone, is false.

American Jewish Leader Urges Jews to Get Out of America
Palatnik is referring to the dangers of increased anti-Semitism. “There’s been a build up. Anti-Semitism is worse than before the Holocaust. In Paris you can’t wear a kippah on the street. Is that what we’re waiting for?” she asked.

Hiker Discovers 3,500-Year-Old Egyptian Seal in Galilee
this particular seal is dedicated to Pharaoh Thutmose III, who reigned around the 15th century BCE and imposed Egyptian administrative rule over Canaan.

CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Feb 3rd when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field.

West’s lack of morals & disregard for law caused current political crisis – Duma speaker
“The tensions in the international situation have seriously increased over the past few years and this happens primarily because a group of Western nations, first of all, the United States of America, are neglecting the major principles of international law or interpret them freely,” Interfax quoted the Russian parliamentary leader as saying at a meeting with law students on Monday.

NATO should keep its promises for Russia to trust it – security chief
Russia is open to negotiating better relations with NATO, but it’s only possible if the Western military bloc starts keeping its promises and considering the national interests of other countries, the head of the Russian Security Council told the press.

Russia assures Israel: We’re not passing weapons to Hezbollah
An internal Russian probe has determined that Israeli fears of Russia passing arms to the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah are baseless. The Israeli ambassador to Moscow, Zvi Heifetz, relayed the findings to a Knesset committee and added that the relations between the two countries “are flourishing in an unprecedented manner.”

First U.S. Zika virus transmission reported, attributed to sex
The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it likely was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite, a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.

‘Journalists orchestrating events to make Israel look bad’
MKs, IDF accuse media of fomenting conflict in West Bank; journalists’ groups say security forces are increasingly violent towards reporters.

Oil rises after Russia says open to OPEC meeting
Oil rose on Wednesday, paring earlier losses after fresh comments from Russia about its openness to talk with OPEC over output cuts helped revive hope among investors that the world’s largest producers could act to boost prices. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if there is consensus among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members to meet, “then we will meet”.

Fears Zika virus could contaminate emergency blood supply
New concerns have emerged over the widespread Zika epidemic as it’s feared the virus can be spread through sex and can impact blood donations. Scientists probing the rapid onslaught of the virus claim pregnant women can catch it through unprotected sex. At least one UK resident was warned not to have sex without a condom after contracting the virus.

The Fed Wants to Test How Banks Would Handle Negative Rates
As interest rates turn negative around the world, the Federal Reserve is asking banks to consider the possibility of the same happening in the U.S. In its annual stress test for 2016, the Fed said it will assess the resilience of big banks to a number of possible situations, including one where the rate on the three-month U.S. Treasury bill stays below zero for a prolonged period.

Microsoft buys UK AI firm SwiftKey
UK-based artificial intelligence firm SwiftKey has been acquired by Microsoft, the company has confirmed. The Financial Times reports the deal is worth $250m (£174m). SwiftKey is known for its predictive keyboard, which can be found installed on millions of smartphone devices.

Egypt overturns death sentences for 149 Muslim Brotherhood supporters
An Egyptian court has overturned the death sentences of 149 supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and ordered a retrial. The defendants were convicted of carrying out a 2013 attack on a police station in Kerdasa, near Cairo, in which at least 11 officers were killed. Egypt has cracked down on Islamists since the army overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Zika virus infection ‘through sex’ reported in US
A rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex, not a mosquito bite, has been reported in the US. A patient infected in Dallas, Texas, is likely to have been infected by sexual contact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told the BBC. The person had not travelled to infected areas but their partner had returned from Venezuela.

South Korea warns North against satellite launch
South Korea has warned the North it will “pay a harsh price” if it goes ahead with its plan to launch a satellite into space. North Korea said on Tuesday it intended to carry out the launch between 8 and 25 February. Critics say it is a cover for a test of ballistic missile technology.

US House passes bill again to restrict Obama lifting Iran sanctions
The US House of Representatives narrowly approved legislation on Tuesday that would restrict President Barack Obama’s ability to lift sanctions under the international nuclear deal with Iran… House members voted 246-181 to pass the “Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act,” almost entirely along party lines, with almost every “yes” vote coming from Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly opposed to it.

German FM urges Iran’s President Rouhani: Please visit Germany
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that he had told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani he was welcome to visit Germany the next time he comes to Europe. Speaking after meeting Rouhani in Tehran, Steinmeier said he had urged him “to keep Germany in mind as a destination on his next trip to Europe.”

Top German Journalist Admits Live On Air National News Agenda Set By Government
A retired media boss at a major German state broadcaster has admitted his network and others take orders from the government on what — and what not — to report.

Poll: 63% of Israelis Rank President Obama ‘Worst for Israel in The Last 30 Years’
A survey shows that Jewish Israelis rank Barack Obama as the “worst” U.S. president in relation to Israel in the last 30 years — 63% of Israelis put Obama in the “worst” category while 16% rated Jimmy Carter as the second “worst” president.

‘Zero confidence’ in Obama to stop Zika virus
The World Health Organization now calls the Zika virus a global emergency and a 30-year immigration official says the U.S. response should be obvious, but he suspects President Obama will do virtually nothing to stop the virus from entering the U.S.

N. Korea confirms imminent satellite launch
North Korea confirmed Tuesday it was planning an imminent space rocket launch — a move the US immediately condemned as “another egregious violation” of UN resolutions following Pyongyang’s nuclear test last month.

Syrian army threatens to encircle Aleppo as talks falter
A Syrian military offensive backed by heavy Russian air strikes threatened to cut critical rebel supply lines into the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, while the warring sides said peace talks had not started despite a U.N. statement they had.

Plane makes emergency landing after explosion tears gaping hole in its side
A passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Somalia on Tuesday when an explosion shortly after takeoff tore a large, gaping hole in its fuselage. Two people were hurt in the incident onboard the Dijbouti-bound Daallo Airlines flight, officials told BBC News, which occurred at 10,000 feet over Mogadishu. Local reports also suggested that at least one man was blown out of the plane.


Headlines – 2/3/2016

Palestinian political analyst incites to kill Palestinian Authority President Abbas

Hamas calls for ‘Palestinian elections’ 10 years on

Palestinians activists to launch fundraiser for ‘al-Aksa martyrs’

Tunnel collapse kills two Hamas men

Hamas operatives pose as medical patients to infiltrate Israel

IDF demolishes EU-funded illegal Arab buildings near Hevron

High Court halts razing of Palestinian homes in West Bank firing zone

Israel Air Force embroiled in ‘war between wars’

Herzog to Kerry: Current Israeli-Palestinian security situation ‘can’t continue’

Herzog to Kerry: Israelis are being murdered, we can’t wait for long peace talks

Poll: 63% of Israelis Rank President Obama ‘Worst for Israel in The Last 30 Years’

No holds barred: Torrent of anti-Israel advice found in Hillary’s emails

‘Journalists orchestrating events to make Israel look bad’

BDS Event to Be Held by Columbia Students Demanding The University ‘End Investments in Israeli Apartheid’

US busts Hezbollah drug, money laundering scheme

Explosion, fire from possible bomb on board Somalia plane forces emergency landing

Egypt kills 9 alleged terrorists in Sinai

UN envoy: All hope to resolve Syria conflict could be lost if lastest peace talks fail

Syrian army threatens to encircle Aleppo as talks falter

Russian FM: We won’t stop Syria strikes until ‘terrorists’ defeated

Lebanese army kill 2, arrests 27 militants in Syria border town

ISIL threatens Libyan oil refineries, ports

Jordan’s economic troubles may leave it vulnerable to Islamic State

ISIS releases 16 Assyrian Christian hostages

Pentagon Said to Seek 35% Fund Boost for Islamic State Fight

Miscalculation: Iran Gets Twice As Much In Sanctions Relief, State Department Blames Treasury Department

House OKs bill targeting Iran deal; Obama vows to veto

Rouhani invites American firms to invest in Iran

German FM in Iran: Nuclear deal opened new window to Tehran-Berlin ties

Iranian negotiator a contender for Nobel Peace Prize

US backs Turkey, says Russia violated Turkish airspace

In bid to counter Putin, Obama seeks to quadruple military spending in Europe

South Korea Warns North Korea Not to Launch Satellite

S.Korea to tell planes to avoid areas potentially affected by North’s rocket launch

North Korea, Defying Warnings, Prepares to Launch Long-Range Rocket

N. Korea confirms imminent satellite launch

Japan readies military to shoot down N Korean rocket

Russia says deeply concerned by North Korea’s planned rocket launch

US: We will increase sanctions against North Korea

Top German Journalist Admits Live On Air National News Agenda Set By Government

White House won’t say if it’s behind Facebook gun ban

NASA probes AnonSec hack claims, denies that one of its drones was hacked

No specific, credible threat to Super Bowl 50, officials say

Microsoft Goes Deeper Into Artificial Intelligence With Latest Acquisition

License reader company offers trove of info to Texas cops, for a cut

The Fed Wants to Test How Banks Would Handle Negative Rates

UBS bank shares plunge as rich investors withdraw money

Dow down 296; oil off 5.5% and back below $30

Oil rises after Russia says open to OPEC meeting

Criminal charges filed against utlity in Southern California gas leak

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Yonakuni, Japan

Small Quake Shakes up Sleepy Down East Maine

White House rallies public, private efforts to prepare for devastating earthquakes

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 16,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Tornadoes Damage Homes, College, Church, Prison in Mississippi and Alabama

Severe snow hits parts of the Midwest U.S.

China snow strands ‘nearly 100,000’ at Guangzhou station

Water officials vote to extend California drought emergency

World health officials mobilize on Zika threat

Scientific ignorance about Zika parallels Aids crisis in 1980s, say Brazilian experts

Authorities seek to protect blood supply from Zika virus

Australia reports two cases of Zika virus, detects mosquitoes at Sydney airport

Sexually-transmitted Zika case confirmed in Texas

New aborted fetal cell line emerges for vaccine production

House fails to override president’s veto of Obamacare repeal

Porn a public health crisis? Utah state senator thinks so

LGBT Indians dare to hope as Supreme Court rules on anti-gay law

San Francisco’s tech bros told: get out of the gayborhood

Transgender Illinois Girl Scout sells thousands of boxes of cookies despite hateful remark and social media trolls

DC bill would pay people stipends not to commit crimes

Rev. Graham: ‘America Is Being Systematically Stripped of its Christian Heritage’ By Politicians ‘Hostile to Christianity’

Rick Joyner – If Panthers win Super Bowl God will release revival!

Ted Cruz Victory in Iowa Proves Non Tithing Christians Are Not Cursed

Bill Johnson Uses Non-Biblical Story to Correct Bible-Believers

Mark Driscoll Restores Himself, Will Launch New Church in Phoenix This Year

Pope Francis advises; Ask Mary’s help if illness makes it hard to trust God’s mercy

Texas Mega-Church to Pay $1.525 Million to Leave Denomination

Pastor of China’s Largest Church Jailed for Protesting Removal of 1,500 Crosses

Officials: Boko Haram burns kids alive in Nigeria, 86 dead


Frontrunning: February 03

  • Oil lifts stocks off lows, yen and low-risk debt in favor (Read More)
  • Yes, this agaim: Oil gains after Russia says open to talking with OPEC (Read More)
  • More forecasts: Oil Prices Could Jump 50% by the End of 2016 (Read More)
  • New Risks for Trump After Iowa Loss (Read More)
  • Yuan Gap Widens Again as Depreciation Bets Swamp PBOC Fightback (Read More)
  • Germany Struggles to Assess Security Threats Ahead of Carnival Season (Read More)
  • Marco Rubio becomes early hope for mainstream U.S. Republicans (Read More)
  • Dollar Bears Awaken Before Jobs Report as BOJ-Stoked Rally Fades (Read More)
  • Yahoo to Cut 15% of Workforce, Explore Strategic Options (Read More)
  • Merck’s Top-Selling Diabetes Drugs Fall Short of Sales Estimates (Read More)
  • Euro-Area Price Cuts Intensify Pressure on Draghi to Act (Read More)
  • Syngenta Agrees to $43 Billion ChemChina Takeover (Read More)
  • China seeks food security with $43 billion bid for Syngenta (Read More)
  • Starboard Takes 6.7% Stake in Marvell Technology (Read More)
  • Australian asylum ruling paves way for deportation of infants (Read More)
  • Perks Keep Getting Nicer???for Some Workers (Read More)
  • Greek military to oversee response to refugee crisis (Read More)
  • Putin Prepares to Court Foreign Investors Wary of Past Stumbles (Read More)

The Briefing 

1) US looks to register women for the draft, comes face-to-face with egalitarian implications

Army and Marine Corps chiefs: It’s time for women to register for the draft, Washington Post (Dan Lamothe)

Is it Biblical for Women to Lead in Politics, Military?, Christian Post (Anugrah Kumar)

2) Recent pro-life victories in Kentucky made possible by election of pro-life governor

Bevin signs abortion bill as soon as it arrives, Louisville Courier-Journal

Bevin counsel: Planned Parenthood got bad info, Louisville Courier-Journal (Deborah Yetter)

Planned Parenthood exec visits amid dispute, Louisville Courier-Journal (Deborah Yetter)

3) While some religious liberty battles are inevitable, Bevin shows how others are avoidable

Bevin Signs an Executive Order in Kentucky, Resolving the Dispute over Religious Liberty, National Review (Andrew Walker)

4) China detains Christian pastor, sends signal to those who would challenge the atheist regime

China Has Imprisoned the Pastor of Its Largest Official Church, TIME (Rishi Iyengar)
In other news…


European banks near ‘terrifying’ crisis: Raoul Pal (VIDEO)

 

Sure, “European banks.” All banks.

People in America are just plugging along seemingly oblivious to the storm which continues to gather strength overseas and in some cases is already buffeting the United States. It is foolhardy. We have just gotten used to the new post-2008 lower standards of living in this country and we want to think that the global depression which started in 2007-2008 is all over. It’s not.

Will the world go to hell in a hand basket tomorrow?

Read More


 

What is The War on Cash? Why should we be concerned? Will cash soon be banned? Will your pay soon be locked within the banking system? (VIDEO)

Joe Salerno, Pace University economist and Mises academic vice president explains why we should be very concerned with the emerging war on cash. This is a concept with which all of our readers should be at least somewhat familiar. It will affect your life and it is becoming an important issue very quickly as the world economy appears to be trending downward.

The war on cash is a war on everyday people.

Read More


The war on cash continues, a dispatch from the German front

Central banks don’t like cash, particularly when they want to impose negative interest rates on a failing global economy. (If banks were to offer negative rates cash would provide a yield and as such few would put money in the bank. The central bankers are very afraid of this scenario because it takes control away from them.) Central governmental authorities don’t like cash either because they can’t track each and every transaction for tax purposes if people do business in cash.

Read More


Daily Digest

February 3, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” —Thomas Paine, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Bernie Sanders Represents New Democrat Party

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For liberals across the nation, the rest of the primary race will be tainted with the question: Was it Bernie Sanders who actually won the Iowa Democrat Caucus? Early Tuesday morning, the Iowa Democrat Party declared Hillary Clinton the winner by the thinnest of margins. Despite calls from the Sanders campaign to recount, the party’s chair said the results are final. But there’s plenty to question. At least six precincts reportedly chose their candidate through coin flips, but an accurate number is unknown. Furthermore, Democrat caucus attendees reported ill-trained caucus chairmen, long lines and chaos. And due to the Democrat’s method of simply counting people standing in groups, the official tally cannot be recounted.

One stark fact has emerged from Monday night’s chaos: The socialist Sanders, a politician relatively unknown on the national stage a year ago, has become the philosophical leader of the Democrat Party. As columnist David Harsanyi wrote, “a socialist nearly won Iowa” — and that’s a big deal. The wild-haired Vermonter captured the imagination and votes of Millennials, as 84% of Iowans under 30 “felt the Bern.” As the older Hillary supporters step out of the political process, the Democrat Party will embrace full-on socialism.

Columnist Peggy Noonan hypothesized this is because of Millennials’ experience with the U.S. economy. “If you are 20 or 30 you probably see capitalism in terms of two dramatic themes,” Noonan wrote. “The first was the crash of ’08, in which heedless, irresponsible operators in business and government kited the system and scrammed. The second is income inequality. Why are some people richer than the richest kings and so many poor as serfs? Is that what capitalism gives you? Then maybe we should rethink this!”

Unless the message of Liberty is communicated in a persuasive manner, Millennials appear poised to repeat the mistakes of the last century. “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess,” Margaret Thatcher said in 2000. “They always run out of other people’s money.”

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$19 Trillion and Counting

When Barack Obama took office, the national debt stood at about $10.6 trillion. He called the spendthrift Bush administration “unpatriotic” for running up the tab. But Obama’s on pace to nearly double the debt during his tenure in office. “On Monday the U.S. national debt hit a new record: $19,012,827,698,418,” reports The Daily Signal. “This is the first time the national debt has ever exceeded $19 trillion. That’s more than $58,000 for each person that lives in the U.S. today (including children).” Major entitlements like Medicare and ObamaCare are going to put that increase ever more on autopilot.

Obama and the Democrats in particular, with some aiding and abetting from Republicans, used the 2008 fiscal crisis to expand not the economy but government. Last year, Congress effectively suspended the debt ceiling — not that it was doing much good. Presidents and Congresses of both parties happily spend whatever they want when in power, raising the debt ceiling whenever they reach it based on phony fears of default. And the reason is simple: Most Americans don’t actually want smaller government if it means cutting their own favorite spending. Politicians in Washington didn’t sell out the American people. They heard exactly what the people were saying. Until and unless that really changes, U.S. debt will continue to grow at a tremendous rate.

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$12 Trillion Won’t Save the World

Two degrees Celsius. That’s the maximum amount of future global warming environmentalists say the world can tolerate. Anything more, they claim, and our efforts to stave off a climate catastrophe will fall flat. It’s a spurious magic number, but one that was formally adapted into the Paris climate agreement in December. And it won’t come cheap.

“If the world is serious about halting the worst effects of global warming, the renewable energy industry will require $12.1 trillion of investment over the next quarter century,” according to a new report published in Bloomberg. For perspective on just how much money we’re talking about here, consider that gross domestic product in the United States was $17.4 trillion in 2014, according to the World Bank. That’s good for number one in the world. But China, which came in at number two, produced $10.4 trillion in GDP. That means an entire year’s worth of Chinese economic output wouldn’t be enough to cover the low-carbon investments the Bloomberg report says is needed over the next quarter century. So it comes as no surprise that current funding projections are well short of the goal:

The findings from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists, show that wind parks, solar farms and other alternatives to fossil fuels are already on course to get $6.9 trillion over the next 25 years through private investment spurred on by government support mechanisms. Another $5.2 trillion is needed to reach the United Nations goal of holding warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) set out in the climate agreement.”

And no doubt that gap will be filled via wealth redistribution. Even worse, these numbers aren’t as bad as depicted in other studies, such as the International Energy Agency’s $16.5 trillion cost estimate. And that’s just through 2030. Instead of redistributing trillions of dollars, the better option would be for poorer countries to invest in energy sources we already know save lives — and let the free market figure out the future of energy.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Primary Known Unknowns

By Louis DeBroux

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Still early in the horse race

The results of the Iowa caucuses have shown us several important things. 1) Everybody hates the establishment of both parties. 2) No one trusts the media anymore. 3) Pollsters have no clue how to conduct polling in the fast-paced world of smartphones and social media.

Ted Cruz easily won the Iowa caucuses on the Republican side, despite trailing Donald Trump by as much as 20 points in some polls, and despite the GOP establishment and the ethanol lobby doing their best to take him down. In fact, the establishment’s scorn is a huge part of Cruz’s appeal. Cruz’s net favorability leads all Republican candidates with a rating of +45% (61% favorable, 16% unfavorable) among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, according to a recent Gallup poll. Establishment favorite Jeb Bush has a net favorability of -1%.

The top five vote-getters on the GOP side were all anti-establishment/outsider candidates: Ted Cruz (28%), Donald Trump (24%), Marco Rubio (23%), Ben Carson (9%) and Rand Paul (5%) (though Paul just announced he is ending his campaign). That is an astonishing 89% of votes cast. And before anyone claims that Rubio, among the first Tea Party candidates elected, is now an establishment guy, ask yourself why the establishment attacks against him are second in intensity only to those waged against Cruz. Rubio has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 98 (out of 100). He has a perfect NRA rating. Citizens Against Government Waste gives him a 95, and National Right to Life gives him a 100. Without Rubio’s participation in the Gang of Eight fiasco, he would arguably be the undisputed favorite at this point, with heavy support from the conservative grassroots — because he’s a genuine conservative.

Now the questions are these: What does this all mean? Is Trump now mortally wounded? Does Cruz have a clear path to the nomination? Is Rubio’s rise a growing fire or a shooting star?

It’s important to note we’ve completed a contest in just one of 50 states — one that accounts for only 30 of the GOP’s 2,472 delegates. New Hampshire, with 23 delegates, will account for even less, though with the exception of 1996 and 2000, the Granite State has chosen the eventual nominee in every contested primary since 1968.

These two states have outsized importance because they represent two very different constituencies early in the nominating process, and any candidate who doesn’t win one of those two states is highly unlikely to win the presidency. In the last 40 years, only Bill Clinton lost both and still moved into the White House. With Ted Cruz having won Iowa and Donald Trump well ahead in polling in New Hampshire, a loss there makes it difficult for any other candidate to justify staying in the race.

That said, Rubio, though he didn’t win Iowa and is unlikely to win New Hampshire, has a more plausible reason to stay in. South Carolina is after New Hampshire, and in that state he has been endorsed by two of its most popular elected officials, Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy. Not too long after South Carolina comes the primary in Rubio’s delegate-rich home state of Florida.

Trump needs to win New Hampshire and then win either South Carolina or Nevada to validate his long ride atop the GOP primary polls. The shocking loss in Iowa damaged his aura of invincibility, and his campaign, based primarily on the idea that he is a winner, may find itself struggling without convincing wins in the next few races. Trump has very deep and loyal support, but he’s not winning over undecided voters like Cruz and Rubio did in Iowa.

Cruz will need to consolidate his win in Iowa with a win in either South Carolina or Nevada to be well-positioned going into the “SEC Primary,” but even second- or third-place finishes in those states won’t be fatal. Cruz is poised to do very well in the Southern states, including his home state of Texas which, at 155 delegates, is the second most delegate-rich state behind California. Cruz also has the benefit of having as much cash on hand as his next four rivals combined (other than Trump, who is self-funded). Cruz has a very sophisticated analytical, social media and ground game, and he looks to be in it for the long haul. His win in Iowa will only improve his fundraising efforts.

Rubio needs to place in the top three of the next few races leading into the SEC Primary. If he succeeds, notwithstanding recent establishment attacks he may eventually become the non-establishment candidate most palatable to the establishment. And there’s a big difference between being palatable to the establishment and actually being establishment.

In recent weeks, the establishment has become cozy with Trump, but if Trump’s fortunes fall, and if Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie continue to run campaigns from the Witness Protection Program, we may see the establishment rally to Rubio, if for no other reason than to ensure the hated Cruz does not win the nomination.

Only one thing is certain in this election cycle: If anyone tells you they know who will emerge victorious, it’s time to fit them for a straightjacket.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Michelle Malkin: “Latin America’s Zika virus is the latest undocumented immigrant to hit our shores, but have no fear. Self-appointed Zika Warrior Prince Charles Schumer has declared that he is here to stop it. The New York Democrat has a ‘three-point plan’ of attack to build a ‘firewall’ that will prevent an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness from spreading across our mainland. … While he makes theatrical grand gestures to stop foreign viruses from entering through the front porch, he and his amnesty-promoting pals in both parties have left the side and back entries swinging wide open for illegal immigration. People from Central and South America … make up nearly 15 percent of the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. They flooded the border in record numbers in 2013 as Schumer and company were pushing mass amnesty on Capitol Hill — and as President Obama was implementing blanket deportation freezes in advance of his executive illegal immigrant waiver policies. The Democrat-manufactured border surge ushered in a resurgence of tropical diseases across the Southwest. Meanwhile, laborers here illegally and amnestied migrants who have never been screened for disease obtained Obama work permits to hold low-wage jobs in places like Chipotle, which shut down scores of its restaurants over the past three months after two separate E. coli outbreaks. … The Beltway posturing of open-borders engineers is enough to make you sick.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.” —Justice Millard Fillmore Caldwell (1897-1984)

Upright: “The real source of power in politics resides in personalities, not parties. It’s been hard to see this until recently because the personalities of old were career politicians — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama — hiding behind the partisan light show like the man behind the Wizard of Oz. Whether or not Trump and Sanders go on to win the nomination, they’ve already played a historic role. They’ve exposed the parties as the weaklings they’ve long been.” —Jonah Goldberg

Excuses: “Because I was told I could not do well in Iowa, I spent very little there — a fraction of Cruz & Rubio. Came in a strong second. Great honor.” —Donald Trump, who led almost every Iowa poll for months but somehow had low expectations

Biggest (Sore) Loser: “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad! … Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.” —Donald Trump, who initially tweeted Cruz “illegally stole” Iowa (The fact that Bernie Sanders, who unlike Trump was actually in a near-deadlock with Clinton, is acting like the adult here speaks volumes.)

Please no: “Who’s up for doing the Iowa Caucuses over again on both sides? C’mon, it’ll be fun.” —John Hayward

Observations: “[Donald Trump] says fraud. Iowa GOP is forced to respond. Maybe RNC is forced to respond too. He declares race unfair, launches independent bid.” —Gabriel Malor (And that’s exactly what Trump said he’d do if he wasn’t “treated fairly.”)

And last… “So, it turns out that you can’t call Iowa voters ‘stupid,’ skip a debate in Des Moines because you don’t like the moderators and still expect to prevail in the state’s caucuses. Who knew?” —WSJ columnist Jason Riley

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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The Super Bowl: Does God care who wins?

The Super Bowl: Does God care who wins?

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Baptist Press

Most Americans are skeptical about divine intervention in Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, according to a new survey from LifeWay Research.

Read Full Article »


Obama gives speech at Baltimore mosque condemns speech by Christian politicians, not Muslims

Obama gives speech at Baltimore mosque condemns speech by Christian politicians, not Muslims

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Tru News

President Obama made a visit to a mosque Wednesday to promote Islam. He gave a speech in Baltimore, where he blasted “inexcusable political rhetoric”,

Read Full Article »


I Know Why the Government Went after Pro-Life Investigative Journalists

I Know Why the Government Went after Pro-Life Investigative Journalists

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Christianity Today

For Americans determined to speak out according to our deeply held beliefs, the price tag is becoming increasingly steep.

Read Full Article »


Exploring Evangelicalism: An Interview With Brian Brodersen of Calvary Chapel—Part 2

Exploring Evangelicalism: An Interview With Brian Brodersen of Calvary Chapel—Part 2

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Christianity Today

Brian Brodersen explains what some Evangelicals have misunderstood about Calvary Chapel

Read Full Article »


What #realclergybios tells us about how pastors really feel

What #realclergybios tells us about how pastors really feel

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Christian Today

Clergy started offering brief glimpses into their world, in 140 characters or less.

Read Full Article »


3 Things Every Christian Voter Should Consider

3 Things Every Christian Voter Should Consider

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Crosswalk

It’s easy for anyone, Christian or not, to become disillusioned with politics and to think that our personal vote doesn’t matter. However, there is a lot to be said for performing our civic duty as Christians.

Read Full Article »


Genetic manipulation: Government warming to 3 parent babies

More of the “Days of Noah”…..

Advisors to the government now say it is ethical to test a procedure which would see the creation of a baby from the DNA of three people — a man and two women.

View Article


Should Christians Get Involved in Politics?

I absolutely reject that Christians should leave the law-making to the pagans. Go back to our nation’s own founding documents. People say we should unquestioningly obey the law and the governing authorities, and even Jesus Himself through Paul’s writing in Romans 13 makes it very clear that we should be in subject to governing authorities. But, our own Constitution begins with the first three words: “We the People.”

View Article


U.S. Military Denies ISIS Targets Christians

“We’ve seen no specific evidence of a specific targeting towards Christians.” – Col. Steve Warren.

“Thousands [of Iraqi Christians] have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee,” noted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview with Col. Warren last week. “There is legitimate fear – you’re there in Baghdad – that the long history of Christians living peacefully, productively in Iraq, is coming to an end. How worried should we be about the Christian community in Iraq?”

The response: “Wolf, ISIL doesn’t care if you’re a Christian … We’ve seen no specific evidence of a specific targeting towards Christians.”

View Article


‘This Lines Up With Scripture’: Michele Bachmann’s Warnings About Biblical End-Times ‘Invasion’ and ‘Global Government’

Former congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) believes that signs of the end-times could be upon us, making some biblical claims after saying late last year that she believes that Jesus is “coming soon” and that “we’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of her eyes.”

In a radio interview posted on the Olive Tree Ministries website, Bachmann pointed to the current collaboration between Iran and Russia inside war-torn Syria, warning that the alliance could have broad implications for the future; she also alluded to the fact that she believes that President Barack Obama would back a global government.

View Article


Franklin Graham: ‘America Is Being Systematically Stripped of its Christian Heritage’ By Politicians ‘Hostile to Christianity’

Secularism has infiltrated our government, schools, and society to such a vast extent that it is stripping America of its “Christian heritage,” and replacing it with “a worldview that embraces atheistic humanism and is devoid of biblical values,” said Rev. Franklin Graham, son of world-renowned preacher Billy Graham.

View Article


Meet the “Harbinger Man”?

According to Amy Spreeman of Berean Research, the popular blog WND (World Net Daily) is only for those with spiritual discernment. Over the years WND has promoted false teachers such as Jonathan Cahn and sold his books. Likewise they’ve offered “The Blood Moons Prophecy” penned by word-faith teacher John Hagee and controversial Christian historian David Barton’s book on Thomas Jefferson that noted history scholars say is full of misinterpretations and errors. In fact, Barton’s scholarship was so shoddy that publisher Thomas Nelson had the books pulled from bookstores and stopped distribution for what it deemed factual issues with the text. But that hasn’t stopped WND from selling it — and now they’re offering “Harbingr Man.” Amy has the full story:

Harbinger Man“There are few books that change the course of a nation. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Harbinger, is such a book.” – WND

Seriously?

WND, a ministry that promotes everything from blood moons to mystical soaking prayers, is the go-to news site for millions of Christians. It also heavily promotes author Jonathan Cahn. WND is now peddling a film titled, The Harbinger Man: The Jonathan Cahn Story, released a few months ago.

I’m just going to let the promotional copy speak for itself, with a couple of external research links from recent events:

Read more


Christian meditation: what’s biblical and what’s not

By Marsha West In Joshua 1:8 God said: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” So, what exactly did God have in mind when He told […]

Read more of this post


War Room: Buyer beware! Needs some discernment to watch

From Berean Research:

In his commentary, Glenn E. Chatfield touches on some of War Room’s theological problems and also discusses what he feels are the movie’s positive aspects. All in all what he has to say is fair and balanced.

In my view, the Kendrick brothers certainly have good intentions in making “Christian” films. But what I find troubling is that much of their teaching on prayer is decidedly unbiblical. This presents a problem in that many who see the film lack the discernment to know that what they’re learning about prayer doesn’t line up with Scripture. This is why the movie’s critics say that those who were involved in it (producers/writers/directors/cast, etc.) have led the sheep down a very rocky path.

Read more


Wisdom for the Young (Part One)

Pat Quinn explores the challenging question that youth inevitably face: How can I know God’s will for my future? Monumental decisions face youth as they transition from living under their parents’ roof to living under their own roof. How can they be sure they are going down the path God wants them to? Continue reading

You Are the Hands of Jesus

You Are the Hands of JesusWhat’s calling for your attention? What’s demanding to be done and requiring your energy and focus?

We have emails to be answered, phone calls that need to be made, church events to plan, church functions to attend, dinner that must be made, groceries to grab in order to make the dinner, children to encourage, a spouse to love, and so on and so forth. But with all of these various good things pulling for our attention every day, it can be easy to forget about those who need care.

Throughout Scripture, we see God’s care for those in need, and it is also reflected in his character. As his redeemed image-bearers, God has given the Christian a call to care as well.

It can seem more reverent to wonder at the majesty and holiness of God. God is worthy of all of our awe, and it is good to fear the Lord. But have you ever given much thought to how intimate God’s love and care is for people? And I don’t mean his care through salvation. We know that is his ultimate display of love is through his sacrifice of his unique Son, Jesus. There’s no doubt about that. But as I read the beginning of Psalm 68, I’m reminded of one of God’s attributes — God is love.

God of Wonders

We get a glimpse of his holiness in the first two verses of Psalm 68, “God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him! As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God!” (Psalm 68:1–2).

There is no one like our God, and no enemy could ever overtake him. Even those who hate him will flee and be driven away. The Lord our God is indeed a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 2:24; Hebrews 10:31), but the righteous will be glad and exult before God. The righteous have nothing to fear (as in fearing his wrath) and are jubilant with joy (Psalm 68:3).

But I love how the Psalm turns from this view of God’s awesomeness to his deeply personal love for the weak and hurting. “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land” (Psalm 68:5-6).

Father of the Fatherless

God is a father to the fatherless. The orphan — abandoned or through death — can imagine their heavenly Father walking with them through life’s confusing and difficult circumstances as a father would. For the child like me who lost their father to illness, we can have conversation with our heavenly Father — those intimate ones that we would have had with our dads, knowing that our Father knows more and loves far more abundantly than our earthly father ever could.

God is also a protector of the widow. The God-given role of the husband-protector is replaced for the widow by the one who can truly and fully protect. How kind of God to express protection to a scared and likely confused woman. The solitary and lonely are given a home — God himself. He cares even for prisoners, leading them from a destitute place to prosperity.

Before we sing in this psalm about God’s love and care for those who are helpless, we are prompted, “Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him!” (Psalm 68:4). Why? Because God is truly an awesome God! He looks at the weak and sees us in our need, extends His mighty hand, and pours out His loving kindness on us. Knowing that we have the joy and honor as God’s image bearers to reflect aspects of him, I’m also reminded through this Psalm to pursue this type of love.

Pure and Undefiled Pursuit of God

There are several calls to care for those in need in the Scriptures, but perhaps the most recognizable comes from James. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).

If we want to be doers of the word and not simply hearers, we’d do well to heed these words from James and our heavenly Father. There is a clear Christian call to care and show mercy to others, specifically in this case to the orphan and widow. Our practical love for those in need reflects the Father’s heart and is part of how we image our Creator God. So, what are we to do with this challenge from James? Here are a few simple suggestions.

  1. Pray: Ask the Lord to comfort those who are afflicted. God is a very present help in time of need — let’s pray that those who are weary sense his presence. Pray for the orphan to find a family.
  2. Research and Investigate: Find out who are those in your church or neighborhood who might need this type of compassionate care. Investigate your church ministries to see where you might get involved. Learn about area resources like pregnancy crisis centers.
  3. Act: Serve a meal. Learn about foster care or adoption. Serve those who are caring for others, like adoptive and foster parents). Visit the sick or “solitary,” like our elderly brothers and sisters in retirement homes. Invite a widow into your home for a meal.

And in all of it, remember the gospel, that as we seek to serve others, we must not do so in order to feel morally right, satisfied, or acceptable before God and man. Let the gospel of grace motivate you to love your neighbor. Be free in your service knowing that it doesn’t earn you anything before our Father. It is by grace that you have been saved, by faith, and this is not your own doing but a gift of God.

Seek to cultivate and express a heart of love for others, not as a means to show your righteousness, but as a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a dying world.


Trillia Newbell is editor of Women on Life: A Call to Love the Unborn, Unloved, and Neglected,” featuring chapters by Newbell, Kristie Anyabwile, Christina Fox, Courtney Reissig, Betsy Childs Howard, and others.


More from Desiring God

  • Ten Biblical Truths on the Obedience of Children | Most of us parent by intuition and tradition. That’s not all bad. Parenting is an art, not a science. But our human intuitions and traditions should be shaped by God’s revelation. (article by John Piper)
  • When the Detour Becomes Your New Road | When my plans go awry, I want to believe that I have taken a temporary detour. But what if my new sufferings and pain are now my new normal? (article by Vaneetha Rendall)
  • How to Have Intimacy with God | We look for intimacy with God in all the wrong places. Here’s a better way to pursue deep and rich intimacy with the God of the Bible. (article by Jon Bloom)

The Daily Discovery (February 3, 2016)

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

Boys Need Their Moms – “Thinking back, I wonder if people thought I was a bit of a mama’s boy. I grew up in a stable home and loved and respected both of my parents. I regularly spent time with each of them. But I was always closer to my mother. If this was true when I was young, it was even more pronounced when I was a teenager. In those years I was a boy, a young man, who needed his mom.”

War Room: Buyer Beware! Needs Some Discernment to Watch – “In my view, the Kendrick brothers certainly have good intentions in making ‘Christian’ films. But what I find troubling is that much of their teaching on prayer is decidedly unbiblical. This presents a problem in that many who see the film lack the discernment to know that what they’re learning about prayer doesn’t line up with Scripture.”

Christian Clichés: When God Closes A Door He Opens A Window – “Christians sometimes find their theology in the strangest places. That’s not meant as an indictment—most of us are not searching for truth outside the confines of Scripture. But the church seems to have a nasty habit of allowing the world’s influence and wisdom to encroach upon territory that rightfully belongs to God alone.

Christian meditation: what’s biblical and what’s not – “In Joshua 1:8 God said: ‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.’ So, what exactly did God have in mind when He told Joshua to meditate on His word? Well, we can be certain of one thing. The Lord was not suggesting that Joshua sit in the lotus position repeating a mantra until he attained an altered state of consciousness.  ‘These help bring one into states other than normal waking consciousness, in which a person becomes open to mystical experience, the spirit realm, or cosmic consciousness,’ warns Bill Muehlenberg.”

Elders and Deacons (oh, and Don’t Forget Trustees) – “Last week I offered some observations about the differences between the lists of the elder qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 and you can read that here. This week I want to look at the difference between the roles for ‘elders’ and ‘deacons.’ The resurgence of elders and elder-rule in evangelical churches in the last 40 years has led to a significant reconfiguration of the roles of elders and deacons.”


SERMON:

David Kaneversky – Only Sure Word


VIDEOS:

Do you love the fight?

Sometimes it is wise to “leave unbelievers in hell.”


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


A La Carte (February 3)

Today’s Kindle deals include Sexual Fidelity by Mike Abendroth ($2.99); Burning Hearts by Josh Moody ($2.99); Uncensored by Brian Cosby ($1.99); Jesus On Every Page by David Murray ($1.99); The True Story of Noah’s Ark ($2.99).

Your 7 Job Responsibilities as a Church Member

Just imagine what a church can be when all the members are functioning like this.

5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional Church

Jared Wilson is a big believer in the local church, so he isn’t being flippant when he tells you to consider leaving your attractional church. Be sure to consider the article in light of the caveats he provides.

Being a Pastor Isn’t Fair

Mike Leake wants to tell you one way in which being a pastor isn’t fair at all…

Don’t Panic

This could be true: “With all due respect to baseball, panicking is America’s favorite public pasttime.”

Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching

Derek Thomas has an article preachers would do well to read. Here’s just one quote: “Speaking generally is always dangerous, but it is probably true to say that few young preachers can sustain a lengthy (and slow) series of expositions on a particular book of the Bible.”

This Day in 1469. 547 years ago today, Johannes Gutenberg died. He was famous for developing movable type, which became a powerful tool in the spread of the Protestant Reformation. *

Meet the Puritans

This new site may be one to subscribe to.

Prioritizing Communication and Romance

This is short and sweet.

How To Pronounce ‘Newfoundland’

Sooner or later you’ll be thankful that you know how to pronounce it properly.

Dever

There are no closed countries. Only places where it’s more difficult to preach your second sermon. —Mark Dever


Links I like

links-weekday

Christ-Centered Exposition commentaries

Every title in the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series (except one) is on sale right now for $2.99 each:

5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional Church

Yep.

Being a Pastor Isn’t Fair

Mike Leake shares one way being a pastor isn’t fair.

Politics Is Never Enough

Aaron Earls:

This one vote will not save (or doom) our nation or our society. Believers must have a better understanding of politics’ scope and effectiveness.

What Does True Forgiveness Look Like?


Check Out

Blogs

When A Christian Sins | Jason Helopoulos, TGC
Discouraged by sin in your life? Here are some sweet Gospel comforts.

The Big List of Notable Church Technology, Ministry Tools & Christian Apps | churchrel evance.com
“We have curated a list of what we believe to be the most notable and a few novel uses of technology in Christian ministry. Please use this list not to compete but to be inspired by how technology can be used for the good of God’s Kingdom.”

Welcome to Meet the Puritans 2.0 | Daniel Hyde, Meet the Puritans
Introducing the revamp of Meet the Puritans site.

The Unbusy Pastor | Eugene H. Peterson, Leadership Journal
The case is overstated but there’s more than a germ of truth in it. A provocative taster:

The word busy is the symptom not of commitment but of betrayal. It is not devotion but defection. The adjective busy set as a modifier to pastor should sound to our ears like adulterous to characterize a wife, or embezzling to describe a banker. It is an outrageous scandal, a blasphemous affront.

Don’t Have Time to Read Books? Try This One Weird Trick | Justin Taylor, TGC
“Here’s my suggestion: if you don’t have time to read books, start reading chapters instead.”

Take Action Against Adultery | Josh Squires, Desiring God
“People rarely (only six percent, according to Neuman) just ‘fall into bed together.’ The vast majority of time when an affair is consummated, it is done with someone that they’ve known at least a month and with whom they have had multiple interactions. That means that there is time to notice the warning signs. ”

New Book

Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition by S. Donald Forston III and Rollin G. Grams ($24.27 paperback, $9.99 Kindle)

Kindle Deals

Exalting Jesus Commentary series (most $2.99) See how Jesus is exalted in different books of the Bible. Click the link above to see the different commentaries available.
Amazing Grace by Steve Turner ($1.99)
Loving God with All Your Mind: Thinking as a Christian in the Postmodern World by Gene Veith ($2.99)
History of Religious Liberty: From Tyndale to Madison by Michael Farris ($2.99)
An Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith by Robert Shaw ($0.99)


Robots Ready to Replace Workers, Work 24/7, No Lunch and No Salary

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 06:18 AM PST

The Locus robot can zip around a clothing warehouse larger than the size of six football fields. It can also work for 24 hours, without a break for lunch or a salary. The new bot, created by Locus Robotics, just launched in its first warehouse: a Devens, Massachusetts space owned by Quiet Logistics, a warehousing company that fills online orders for both small startups and megabrands like Zara and Bonobos.

The robots transport items that have been picked off the shelves by humans, and bring them to the front of the warehouse to be sealed and delivered. “We developed a system where the robots do all the walking,” Locus Robotics CEO Bruce Welty tells Tech Insider. “As retailers continue to exceed expectation around next-day shipping, they’re going to look to technology to help them provide an even faster turn-around.” The bots work alongside humans and do all the normal grunt work. Warehouse workers usually walk 12 to 16 miles each day. With the robots, they don’t have to. FULL REPORT

The post Robots Ready to Replace Workers, Work 24/7, No Lunch and No Salary appeared first on End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Japan puts military on alert to shoot down NKorean rocket…

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 06:12 AM PST

Japan on Wednesday condemned Pyongyang’s plan to launch a space rocket, calling it a thinly disguised test of a long-distance ballistic missile. The government ordered Aegis ballistic missile defense warships of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and land-based Patriot PAC-3 rocket units to respond should projections show components falling in Japanese territory.

“This will effectively mean the firing of a ballistic missile. It would be a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and a grave, provocative act against the security of our country,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a Lower House session Wednesday. “Japan, in cooperation with the United States and South Korea, will strongly urge North Korea to refrain from (conducting) the launch,” Abe said. FULL REPORT

The post DEVELOPING: Japan puts military on alert to shoot down NKorean rocket… appeared first on End Time Headlines.

UK Church Leaders Condemn ‘Christian Values’ March as ‘Blasphemy’

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 06:00 AM PST

Church leaders from across the U.K. have condemned a “Christian values” march in Bedfordshire town by a far-right group that handed out anti-Islamic pamphlets. Catholic Herald reported that the group, called Britain First, marched through the town carrying crosses with the aim to defend “Christian values,” with former British National Party Councillor Paul Golding describing its mission as to maintain “British national sovereignty, independence and freedom.”

The “Christian Patrol” march apparently went through what the group labeled an “Islamist hotspot,” with members of Britain First handing out leaflets and arguing with local Muslims. Several different churches have spoken out against the group, however, claiming that it does not represent Christianity in Britain. “Let’s get this straight. Britain First do not speak for Christians. Their message of hate is entirely at odds with the Christian faith,” a spokesman for the Evangelical Alliance said, according to the Huffington Post. FULL REPORT

 

The post UK Church Leaders Condemn ‘Christian Values’ March as ‘Blasphemy’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

U.S. City ‘Overrun’ With Criminal Refugees

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 05:41 AM PST

More than 120 people braved the snow and ice Monday to rally in front of the Missoula County Courthouse, protesting an effort by the Obama administration and its army of community organizers to plant foreign “refugees” into small cities in western Montana. One of the speakers was a woman who moved recently to Montana from Amarillo, Texas, which has been inundated with thousands of refugees over the past 15 years.

“Amarillo is overrun with refugees,” said Karen Sherman, who stood and spoke to the crowd amid blowing wind and falling snowflakes. Sherman just moved to Missoula, a college town that serves as home to the University of Montana. It’s a far cry from Amarillo, which she described as a city of rampant crime and cracking social fabric, thanks to the heavy influx of refugees sent there by the U.S. State Department in cooperation with the United Nations. “Our city is failing because of the refugees. We have 22 different languages spoken in our schools. We’ve got 42 languages being fielded by our 9-1-1 call centers, and crime is just through the roof. We need to exercise caution, especially for the sake of our children,” she said. FULL REPORT

 

 

The post U.S. City ‘Overrun’ With Criminal Refugees appeared first on End Time Headlines.

UN nuclear agency suggests using radiation to fight Zika mosquitos

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 05:36 AM PST

Aiming to prevent the further spread of the dangerous mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil, male insects might be exposed to X- or Gamma rays to irradiate their sperm, the UN’s nuclear agency announced on Tuesday. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the so-called Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) can help tackle the outbreak which has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). IAEA experts are set to meet with Brazilian officials on February, 16, Reuters reported.

Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador are among other states that have also requested the technology from the UN atomic agency. “If Brazil released a huge number of sterile males, it would take a few months to reduce the population,” IAEA Deputy Director General Aldo Malavasi told reporters on Tuesday, adding that other methods of fighting the dangerous insects should not be off the table. The method involves exposing laboratory-bred male mosquitoes to nuclear radiation, and making their sperm sterile before their release into the wild to mate with the females. Mosquito eggs from such copulation never hatch, helping reduce populations of the insect. FULL REPORT

The post UN nuclear agency suggests using radiation to fight Zika mosquitos appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Hamas Rolls Out Its New ‘Tank’ to Fight Israel.

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 05:32 AM PST

During a memorial service Saturday for seven Hamas militants killed when the tunnel they were in collapsed on them, Hamas rolled out what it called a “locally-produced” tank it said was fashioned out of an Israel Defense Forces’ tank captured two years ago.  However, a number of observers, both Palestinian and Israeli, noticed that there was something odd about the armored fighting machine which a Hamas spokesman warned would be used on the “path of jihad.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman pointed out that the contraption appeared to be a mockup constructed of wood placed atop another vehicle whose wheels could be spotted poking out of the bottom. Others suggested the gun turret was actually a sewage pipe. The pro-Israel Elder of Ziyon blog reported Tuesday that a poster was created by Hamas’ rival Fatah mocking the tank display. The poster stated: “Can they excite the feelings of their supporters with … sewer pipes and fiberglass panels?” FULL REPORT

The post Hamas Rolls Out Its New ‘Tank’ to Fight Israel. appeared first on End Time Headlines.

‘I Am Raising Up the Unlockers’

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 05:16 AM PST

(Ryan Lestrange) I hear the Father saying that He is raising up the “unlockers!” Those that have been given keys of: authority, revelation and assignment. They are being released to unlock plans and purposes in regions—territories. They have been commissioned by the Spirit of the Lord. As they move into their assigned places, there is divine ability in them to bring release of things in the spirit that have seemingly been locked. These things have not been locked away from the children of God but reserved for the children of God.

“And the key of the house of David will I lay on his shoulder. Then he shall open, and none shall shut. And he shall shut, and none shall open” (Is. 22:22, MEV). There has been a “timing element” upon some of these plans. Those that have been mantled with the assignment to unlock will step into a divine timing and alignment moment. They are being released in the timing of the Father. They go with His keys in their hands! I see prophetic keys being given to the servants of the Lord in this hour. I see key revelations being provided that access realms of deliverance and breakthrough for the people of God. CONTINUE

The post ‘I Am Raising Up the Unlockers’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

63% of Israelis Rank President Obama ‘Worst for Israel in The Last 30 Years’

Posted: 02 Feb 2016 06:59 PM PST

A survey shows that Jewish Israelis rank Barack Obama as the “worst” U.S. president in relation to Israel in the last 30 years — 63% of Israelis put Obama in the “worst” category while 16% rated Jimmy Carter as the second “worst” president. The survey was conducted by Panels Politics in Tel Aviv, and the results were published in the Jewish Journal.

In the survey, Israelis were asked to identify the “best for Israel” U.S. president of the last 30 years, and the “worst for Israel” U.S. president. These included Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama. FULL REPORT

The post 63% of Israelis Rank President Obama ‘Worst for Israel in The Last 30 Years’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Top Headlines

 Al Shabaab Kills Christians in Raid on Village in Coastal Kenya
 Fierce Battles in Southeast Turkey Hedge in Christians
 AME Church Founder Honored with Postage Stamp
 British Evangelicals Fear Government Restrictions of Religion
 Pro-lifers Defend CMP’s David Daleiden, Question Indictment
 Christian Actress Candace Cameron Bure Says She’s Open to Discussing LGBT Issues on ‘Fuller House’
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 Task Force: America Needs Prisons That Work
 Huckabee and O’Malley End Presidential Bids

Opinion

 The Most Important Thing Christians Should Know about Forgiveness
 Worldwide Persecution of Christians: Open Doors 2016 Watch List
 The Iowa Caucuses: 4 Reflections
 What Does the Bible Actually Say about Wealth?
 Will New Transgender Rules in the Olympics Create Unfair Competition for Female Athletes?


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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

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

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


Question Evolution Day 2016

Source: Question Evolution Day 2016

February 12th is Question Evolution Day.

Here are some great resources for you to celebrate Question Evolution Day.

We’ll begin with the entire first and second seasons of Creation Today.

Seasons three and four of Creation Today can be viewed at Creation Today’s YouTube channel.


As a Christian apologist I first learned how to scientifically challenge evolution from the late Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith.

Dr. Wilder-Smith was not a hack. He was a scientists scientist and his observations and scientific analysis of Evolutionary theory were devastating (and still are).

Below you will find several segments and an entire episode of Fighting for the Faith dedicated to exposing the bankruptcy of Evolutionary Theory. Each of them contains lectures from the late Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith along with other resources that give sound reasons why Christians should never compromise when it comes to human origins. Enjoy!


Program #1 – The Bankrupt Theology of Biologos

PROGRAM SEGMENTS:

• Adam and the Gospel: Is a Historical Adam Necessary?
• Ken Hamm and Death The Enemy
• 7 Postulates of Evolution by Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith


Program #2 – Is Biogenesis Scientific by Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith


Program #3 – The Great Debate: Evolution or Creation by Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith

When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Window

Source: When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Window

Romans 8:28-30; Psalm 37:23-25

Code: B160203

by Jeremiah Johnson

Christians sometimes find their theology in the strangest places.

That’s not meant as an indictment—most of us are not searching for truth outside the confines of Scripture. But the church seems to have a nasty habit of allowing the world’s influence and wisdom to encroach upon territory that rightfully belongs to God alone.

That’s why we’re occasionally dumbfounded by other believers who boil down Christ’s work of salvation and regeneration to little more than His taking up residence in your heart. It’s why we have to patiently correct and disciple others who are sincerely confused when they can’t locate the Bible verse that says we need to first love ourselves before we can love others. Frankly, it’s why we’ve undertaken this blog series on debunking popular Christian clichés—there aren’t enough biblically minded gate keepers in the church.

What makes the cliché before us today all the more embarrassing is its bizarre origin. Given its pervasive use in the church, you’d think it came from some pseudo-theological work or apocryphal book—something close to the truth, in relative terms.

But no. Instead, it comes from The Sound of Music.

To be fair, Rodgers and Hammerstein should not bear all the blame for popularizing the notion that “when God closes a door, He opens a window.” While they may have first spelled it out in those terms, the general sentiment had been around for much longer. For example, both Helen Keller and Alexander Graham Bell are credited with very similar statements about life’s doors closing and opening; however, neither included a direct reference to God.

Regardless, it’s the version popularized by The Sound of Music that has become a prominent Christian cliché, giving hope to many that God will always find a way to satisfy their hopes and fulfill their dreams.

The phrase is most commonly deployed as a reassurance in the face of missed opportunity.

So you didn’t get the job, the spouse, the home, the (blank) of your dreams? Don’t worry! When God closes a door, He opens a window.

The implication is that although things don’t always go according to our plans, that doesn’t mean God won’t have some other way to fulfill our desires. In that sense, God’s sovereignty means He has infinite ways to get us what we want and where we want to be. And when He does close a door, it’s not that He’s actually saying no to us—He’s merely calling “Over here!” from an alternate path to our fulfillment.

That mindset has a lot in common with another popular misconception we covered last year as part of our blog series on Frequently Abused Verses. The false hope that God will always find another path to our satisfaction is essentially the same error as expecting Him to cause “all things to work together for good” in the here and now.

Far from a promise that believers will always come out on top, we saw that Romans 8:28 is a promise of eternal blessing. In its larger context, it’s clear what “good” Paul is emphasizing.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

In his sermon “Groanings Too Deep for Words,” John MacArthur explains the assurance and comfort we ought to take from Paul’s promise.

The point is this: Because of the plan of God and the provision of Christ and the protection of the Holy Spirit through His intercessory ministry, God is causing all things to work together for our final, eternal, ultimate good. Not everything in this life works out for good—far from it. Oh, you might draw a good lesson from it. You might draw a good outcome from it. You might be drawn to the Lord. It might increase your prayer life. It might strengthen you. It might give you patience. It might perfect you, mature you. It might make you able to counsel other people and strengthen them because . . . you’ve been comforted by God in the same struggles.

All of those are wonderful realities, but that’s not the good that’s being spoken of here. The good that dominates this passage is that ultimate, final good that is the glorification of true believers. We are secured to that final good, that which is the best.

That same perspective ought to guide our understanding of how the Lord supposedly closes doors and opens windows in our lives. It’s not a matter of fulfilling our hopes, plans, and desires—God moves in our lives and throughout all of history to bring about His will. Our temporal satisfaction is not a factor. And instead of always counting on Him to creatively pave the way to our happiness, we need to humbly accept that God has the authority to say no to us without having to say yes somewhere else.

Moreover, we need to humbly submit our lives to His sovereign control, and accept that our disappointments don’t make Him any less good, loving, or faithful. Sometimes He closes a door because He wants us right where we are.

Rather than worry about how the Lord will fulfill our hopes and dreams, we need to focus on the path He lays out before us and be willing to go wherever He leads—both through doors of blessing and of trials—with firm confidence in His sovereign care and our future with Him.

Our lives need to echo the assurance of David proclaimed in Psalm 37:23-25:

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B160203
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You

The Idol Named Sport

Source: The Idol Named Sport

Over the past few weeks, I’ve intentionally tried to find quiet moments to search my heart, asking God to reveal in me ways I can grow and develop as a mother, wife, employee, daughter, friend, and as a child of the Most High God.

One particular day, during the mundane task of emptying and filling the dishwasher, a random thought fired through my brain: Sport is an idol.

This thought popped into my mind as quickly as it left.

Since that day, I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on how I’ve not only subconsciously but willingly contributed to the building of a high seat of prominence for the idol named “Sport” in my home. God has graciously revealed to me how our family’s priorities, as they relate to our children’s sporting activities, have been askew in recent years.

As Jesus becomes greater to us, everything else falls into its proper place.

TWEET

Let’s face it, it’s easily justified that our children’s participation in sports is a very positive and healthy life decision. Yet, I’ll be the first to admit that our family has succumbed to the mounting pressure society has placed on Sport; it has dictated almost every aspect of our daily lives, including church attendance, work schedules, a significant line item in our family budget, when and where we recreate…and even if we recreate.

Parents with children in travel and club sports find it commonplace to attend “critical tournaments” on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekends. And, as parents, we willingly take one on the chin for our kids, all in the name of “giving a leg-up” for our children.

The prophet Zechariah warns of idols when he says,

The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2, NIV)

If worshiping idols causes us to wander, feel oppressed, and lose sight of God our Shepherd, then why do we do it? What is so alluring about idols? How do we recognize idols before they take root, and how do we authentically turn our worship back to the Lord?

Why Do We Worship Idols?

Before we can understand why we worship idols, we must first understand what an idol is:

Pastor, author, and founder of DesiringGod.org, John Piper, defines an idol as

…the thing loved or the person loved more than God, wanted more than God, desired more than God, treasured more than God, enjoyed more than God. It could be a girlfriend. It could be good grades. It could be the approval of other people. It could be success in business. It could be sexual stimulation. It could be a hobby or a musical group that you are following or a sport or your immaculate yard… It could be anything.

By God’s very finger, the first two of the Ten Commandments were written (“I am the Lord your God” and “You shall have no other gods before me” from Exodus 20:3-4) because God knew we are a sinful, easily-distracted people who fail to remember Who deserves our praise. God gave us these commands as a constant reminder of the truth because he knew we’d frequently lose sight of it.

Though all of God’s creation is designed to worship him (Psalm 66:4), we humans have a long history of pride and arrogance whereby we misdirect our innate desire to worship God and turn our worship toward the things of man instead.

And, we’ve been worshiping golden calves ever since.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:21, 25)

What’s the Allure of Idols?

As Zechariah states, idols speak deceitfully (10:2). They make promises they can’t keep and ultimately cause us to give into sinful behavior.  Parents who identify with the idol “Sport” taking root in their homes can likely agree it has deceived many into believing:

  • The better our children become in the sport of their choice, the greater opportunities they’ll be given in social settings, in school, and potentially in life.
  • If we toil and mountain move enough, our children will make the high school teams, college teams, and potentially acquire scholarships to Division 1 schools.
  • Offering our children greater opportunities than we were given as kids justifies the crazy, maddening pace and, in some cases, unacceptable behavior.

Recently, a dear friend shared with me that her seventh-grade daughter was playing a basketball game in the Dallas area.  Now, we know Texans are competitive people, but, in this case, the opposing team’s parents felt justified in hurling foul language at the opposing players. Really? Has our society come to a place where adults can justify slandering children for the sake of a “win”?   

While there is nothing wrong with wanting good for our children and working hard for it, idols allure us with false narratives that slowly pull our attention away from the truth of the Father. As for Sport, it leads many down an alternate path of belief: that we are the determiners of our future and our children’s future.

Scripture tells us precisely the opposite, and this is why we must ruthlessly protect our hearts, minds, and very lives from idols taking root.

They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. (Psalm 106:36)

How Can We Recognize Idols Before They Take Root?

My name is Annie Sander, and I have an idol problem.

I’m assuming all humanity shares this issue with me and that it is hidden inside each of us. The question is, how can we become increasingly aware of the power idols have in our lives, rather than carelessly subjecting ourselves to their influence?

A Christianity Today article, entitled “How to Find Your Rival Gods,” author Tim Keller suggests that, to find our “rival gods” which compete for our worship, we must first examine our heart’s true desires by asking ourselves the following questions:

  • What is it that occupies our minds/imagination when we have nothing else to think about?
  • How do we spend our money? (“Where your treasure is, there is your heart also” from Matthew 6:21)
  • What are we really living for? What is our real – not just professed – God?
  • Identify your most uncontrollable emotions (i.e. anger, fear, or despair). Then examine that emotion at its deepest root. Typically there, idols cling.

How Do We Turn Our Worship Back to God?

If we are to become all that God desires for us – if we want to truly rid ourselves of the idolatry that prevents us from living a faithful life – we must turn our gaze toward God!

In a sermon on worship, Pastor Colin Smith says,

How is it possible for us to worship God when all of us have gone astray?…The Lord has laid on [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all…

That gives us a picture of what God has done with our sins in their many forms – our self-absorbed rebellion, our self-pitying resentment, our self-indulgent reclining, and our self-righteous recounting…

Can you own this truth about God today? That he has gathered up the sins of his people; and that he has lifted them from you and taken them upon himself in Christ Jesus?

When we see and trust what Jesus has done for us, even though we didn’t deserve it, we will begin to love him above all other pursuits! The Son of God, who never made an idol in his life, took all of our idolatry upon himself at the cross. When we begin to love and trust Jesus, we will find the influence of lesser gods—even Sport—losing their grip over our lives.

Some practical ways to set Jesus before our gaze might be Bible reading, prayer, conversation with other Christians, and regular worship. To know Christ and to love him happens by spending consistent time with him, while owning the truth that Jesus gathered up our sin in himself so we could be freed from it.

As Jesus becomes greater to us, everything else—even Sport—falls into its proper place.

Can you recognize your “rival gods” by answering Tim Keller’s questions? What can you do to be vigilant to resist the allure of idols in your life?

RELATED POSTS:

Idol

The post The Idol Named Sport appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Albert Mohler Blog: “Secularization and the Sexual Revolution: Evangelical Theology and the Cultural Crisis (Part 1)”

This post is the first in a four part series on the relationship between secularization and the sexual revolution. Mohler writes:

“The challenge of the moral revolution threatens to shake the very foundations of Christianity in the United States and far beyond. And yet, even as we understand this revolution to be a new thing, its roots are not recent. As a matter of fact, the church has seen the sexual revolution taking place turn by turn for the better part of the last century. What now becomes clear is that most Christians vastly underestimated the challenge this sexual revolution would present.”

Click Here to Read More

The Invitation and the Attire

Unfathomable Grace

In Matthew 22, Jesus tells another parable regarding the kingdom. It is very bad news for some. It is the best of news for others. Here is the teaching from the mouth of the King of Kings:

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, “Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.'” But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers…

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Christians’ Blessed Hope

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11-14 NASB)

There are false Christians today in the world, there were in the past, there will be in the future. The world is always full of false Christians. As I have been saying for many years, there are more false Christians than true ones. I’m afraid to say there may be more false prophets than true prophets. There are certainly more false representatives of Jesus…

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Hillsong’s success secret: scrapping early years & scratching itching ears

SCRAPPING EARLY YEARS: WRITING A PAEDOPHILE OUT OF HILLSONG’S SUCCESS STORY

Brian Houston’s “success secret” in building his Hillsong empire is not because of his faith in God, or his love for people. Rather, Brian Houston’s success rests solely on his paedophile father (Frank Houston) who founded CLC and then merged his mass ‘move of God’ into Brian Houston’s church before he was exposed for molesting children.

Frank-Brian_Hillsong_CLC_Royal Commission Do you think Hillsong will ever be honest with their history of “success”?

Face it – Hillsong’s success story is not a rags to riches story.

Brian Houston has deliberately lied to various media groups and the general public about his church’s past, omitting the facts of his father’s involvement with his early beginnings.

The reality is that Brian Houston’s success was founded on the fraudulent ministry of the paedophile Frank Houston. And it took the son of a paedophile to cover up his father’s crimes to merge their corporations to form the…

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Gay marriage collides with freedom of conscience and religious liberty in the UK

WINTERY KNIGHT

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

It’s not just happening in Canada and the United States.

Here’s the UK Telegraph article.

It says:

The Christian bakers taken to court for refusing to make a cake promoting gay marriage say their experience is like living in a dystopian “science fiction” world where the state orders people to say things they do not believe.

[…]The family firm, based on Newtonabbey, near Belfast, found itself at the centre of an international storm in summer 2014 after cancelling an order for a cake featuring the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie with the slogan “support gay marriage”.

[…]The McArthurs, who are evangelical Christians, said they could not in conscience make the cake because they believe same-sex marriage is against the teaching of the Bible.

[…]But Mr Lee, backed by the Equality Commission, a state-funded body which operates in Northern Ireland, said it amounted to discrimination under…

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Eugenics: Do You Think That This Ended With Hitler? Think Again

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Population-Control-Agenda-Of-The-United-Nations1

Medical technology can be a wonderful thing. It has given the world hope when their joints have worn out. We have seen organ replacement surgeries which significantly prolong a person’s life.

But, as with anything else in this fallen world, technology can and is being used in nefarious ways.  In my research, I’ve discovered plans to use medical technology in ways which sound like something from a science fiction novel. I wish that it was “fiction” but it’s real.  I have written articles on the United Nations and their 2030  and Agenda 21 Initiatives for a “perfect world.”  One of the criteria which is not openly discussed is massive depopulation of the earth.

By mid 2016, the world’s population will reach 7.4 Billion.  The goal of the elites and of the U.N. is to substantially decrease the population. The magic number?  That would be 500 million.  Is that substantial enough…

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