Top News – 2/7/2016
Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we’ve seen before
A global recession is on the way. This truism of economics holds at any point in which the world is not in the grips of a contraction. The real question is always when and how deep the upcoming downturn will be. “The crash will come, but it would be nice if it came two years from now”, Thomas Thygesen, head of economics at SEB told over 200 commodity investors and analysts in London last month.
NY to probe ‘radioactive’ water leak at Indian Point
ALBANY – New York will investigate the Indian Point Energy Center after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County. Cuomo…called for the probe after he said Entergy Corp., the Buchanan plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells.
Migrants should be rounded up and put into detention centres, urges Government politician
MIGRANTS should be put in closed detention centres and be banned from obtaining permission to remain in the country, a politician has said. At a party conference the Oslo delegation passed several policies, including deporting youth migrants when they reach 18 and banning migrants from obtaining leave to remain in the country. The delegation also called for the Schengen agreement to be scrapped and for Norway to leave the Refugee Convention’s additional protocol of 1967 meaning migrants from Africa, Asia, and South-America would no longer have the right to apply for asylum.
China’s currency reserves plunged in January
China’s foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January, the People’s Bank of China reported. China has been running down its vast foreign currency reserves in an attempt to boost the value of its own currency and stem a flow of funds overseas. At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings.
North Korea rocket launch: UN Security Council to meet
The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting later following North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket. The meeting was requested by South Korea, Japan and the US to agree on a collective response to the launch. Pyongyang said it fired the rocket to place a satellite in orbit, but critics believe the real purpose was to test a ballistic missile.
Tunisia builds anti-terror barrier along Libya border
Tunisia says it has completed the first part of a 200km (125-mile) barrier along its border with Libya, designed to deter terrorism. The barrier is made of sand banks and water trenches. It was announced last summer after 38 people were killed on a beach by a gunman said to have trained in Libya.
Senior PA official: ‘Do we have to hijack planes for you to care about our cause?’
A senior Palestinian Authority official has suggested that the West ignores the Palestinians when they maintain security, rhetorically asking if they have to resort to “hijacking planes” and “destroying airports” to garner Western support for the Palestinian cause. In an interview translated by MEMRI on the PA-backed station Awdha TV last week, Nabil Sha’ath asserted that being moderate does not turn heads.
Next time it’ll be 100,000: UK and EU cities see day of co-ordinated anti-Islamic rallies
UK PEGIDA has warned there will be “100,000 Britons marching on the streets against Islam” by the end of the year after a day of sometimes violent anti-Islamic migrant protests were staged across Europe.
Growing support for an OPEN FIRE border policy on illegal refugees in Germany
This, say observers, is proof of the greatest fear among liberal politicians – citizens pushed into the embrace of the far-right and its intolerant attitudes which brought Hitler to power in the 1930’s.
Swine flu to KILL OFF ISIS: Panicked Daesh issues urgent health warning after dozens die
The reported death toll, which rose to “around 20 people” this week, has put the panicked terrorists on edge and prompted a desperate health shut down. According to watchdog Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS), the epidemic had triggered “panic among civilians” and taken the lives of at least two children so far.
Brink of WORLD WAR 3? US threatens SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES after North Korea launches ROCKET
NORTH Korea has vowed to launch more long-range rockets after successfully firing a satellite into space. Pyongyang claimed the latest rocket launch, which was fired from a launch pad on the west coast between 9.30am and 9.35am local time, had successfully delivered a satellite into orbit and vowed to continue launching satellites in future.
‘Astonishing’: CNN rips into Ted Cruz for ‘categorically false’ characterization of Iowa controversy
“What Senator Cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false,” the statement read. “CNN never corrected its reporting because CNN never had anything to correct. The Cruz campaign’s actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN’s reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing.”
Somali officials: Suicide bomber may have blown hole in jet
A suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive that blew a hole in a jetliner, sucked the man out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing on Tuesday in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, Somali officials said Saturday.
Turkey must cut migrant flows to Europe, top EU official says
Europe needs Turkey to dramatically cut the number of migrants reaching Greece within weeks or the pressure for more border closures and fences will grow, the EU’s top official in charge of ties with Ankara warned on Saturday.
8 dead after explosive-laden motorcycle rams Pakistani security forces vehicle
A man rammed his explosive-laden motorcycle into a Pakistani security forces’ vehicle, setting off a blast that killed at least eight people and injured about 20 others, officials said.
Taiwan Quake Kills at Least 18 as Search for Missing Continues
A strong earthquake rocked a region of Taiwan that’s a hub for chipmaking suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., killing at least 18 people and forcing rescuers to pull hundreds from the rubble of collapsed buildings.
N Korea launches long-range rocket despite warnings
North Korea has launched a long-range rocket, violating UN resolutions and doubling down against an international community already determined to punish Pyongyang for a nuclear test last month.
Top Headlines – 2/7/2016
Top News – 2/6/2016
Trump’s Ban on Muslims: The Discussion the Media Won’t Have
◾Trumps call to ban the entry of Muslims to the U.S. seemed to indicate that it should be temporary, until the American leadership has figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world – religious, political, economic, cultural, and so on– contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war with the United States.
The parents of a Briton who travelled to Syria and has been dubbed ‘Jihadi Jack’ were arrested by police after sending their son money
The parents of a British man who travelled to Syria and has been dubbed “Jihadi Jack” were arrested by police on suspicion of sending money overseas which could have been used for terrorism purposes, Channel 4 News revealed.
First case of Zika confirmed in Austin, disease continues to spread in U.S.
According to the department’s website, a man under the age of 50 contracted the virus while abroad in Columbia. Currently, there are 10 confirmed Zika cases in Texas including seven in Harris County, one in Bexar County and two in Dallas County.
Baghdad to build a WALL and a MOAT around city to keep ISIS out
A GIGANTIC wall and moat is being built around Baghdad in a bid to protect it from bomb attacks by Islamic State. A 100km barrier, almost four metres high is being consructed that will surround the city and help to keep out suicide car bombers and terrorists.
EUROPE’S CLOSED: 70,000 Syrians head for Turkish border as authorities shut off country
UP to 70,000 Syrians are flocking to the border with Turkey to flee the civil war which has seen Aleppo bombed to obliteration.
Bombshell: Obama cutting border surveillance in half
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to cut 50 percent of the budget for aerial surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border, agents revealed at a congressional hearing Thursday. In an effort to understand why DHS is cutting funding, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, wrote a bipartisan letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “Any decrease in aerial observation is not only imprudent, but contradicts the very mission of border security enforcement,” the letter states.
5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar
The quake’s epicenter was in the Sindhupalchowk district, 55 km north-east of Kathmandu, according to The National Seismological Centre, news agency Press Trust of India reported. People were injured as they ran from their houses in panic during the tremor, the Nepal home ministry spokesperson said.
Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no tsunami risk
An earthquake has struck close to Tokyo, shaking much of the metropolitan region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami risk. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the 7.41am Friday morning quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.6.
Iran’s army chief vows to bolster ballistic missile program
Iran will continue to develop its missile program, and it should not be considered a threat to neighboring and friendly countries, Iran’s…news agency quoted the head of the army as saying on Thursday. Under a deal reached between Iran and six major world powers in 2015, most international sanctions imposed on Iran due to its nuclear program were lifted last month. However, sanctions imposed on its missile program remain in place.
Magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan; 5 dead
At least five people were killed Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan, the Taiwanese Disaster Response Center said.
Brazil finds Zika in saliva, urine; expert warns against kissing
Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected patients… prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin. The discovery added to the rising concern over Zika, which is spreading rapidly in the Americans and has been linked to thousands of severe birth defects in Brazil.
Japanese volcano erupts, nearby nuclear plant unaffected
A Japanese volcano about 50 km (30 miles) from a nuclear plant erupted on Friday, shooting ash nearly 2 km into the night sky along with fountains of lava, but there were no immediate report of damage and operations at the power station were not affected.
Highest EU Court Considers Criminalizing Website Hyperlinks
The highest court in the European Union this week heard arguments which could impact the ability to link to content on the Internet. …Meanwhile in the US…news aggregator Matt Drudge…told Infowars …copyright laws which prevent websites from linking to news stories were being debated. “I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” said Drudge.
Immortality Quest Aims to Preserve Brain 100 Years
…Neuroscientists are pursuing new methods for preserving brains for future revival. They’re being spurred on by visions of post-humans and a cash prize that’s now well over $100,000. Someone always seems to be hot on the trail of human immortality, but this time the competitors are… neuroscientists vying for the Brain Preservation Foundation‘s Tech Prize have impressive credentials and come to the table with published research.
North Korea advances ‘satellite’ launch
North Korea has brought forward the possible date of a controversial “satellite” launch to as early as Sunday, regional governments say. The secretive state will launch the satellite-bearing rocket between 7-14 February, the Japanese government has said, according to reports. Pyongyang previously said the launch would take place between 8-25 February.
Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe surpass 300,000 barrels post-sanctions
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday that Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran had already reached above 300,000 barrels, according to the ministry’s news agency. …After the rubber-stamping of the nuclear deal with world powers last year, however, Tehran has ordered a 500,000 bpd increase in oil output.
Steinitz: ‘Egypt floods Hamas tunnels, in part due to Israel’s request’
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday that Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the flooding of several Hamas tunnels linking Egypt to the Gaza Strip, to a certain extent, “due to Israel’s request.” The minister affirmed that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt is “better than ever,” and asserted that “flooding is a good solution” for the challenge of tackling Hamas’ intricate tunnel system…
Defeat BDS the non-government way
Government should concentrate on international diplomacy and leave public diplomacy to non-government organizations and Zionist groups which it must help with funding. The Israeli government has 108 delegations abroad, and plans to close 6 of them. The 22 Arab League nations alone have 1799 delegations. Turkey has 233 delegations. That is more than double the number of Israeli missions abroad. With its limited manpower, the Israeli government cannot cope with the added responsibility of challenging the thousands of global non-government, anti-Israel, groups that are practicing BDS and delegitimization of Israel
Palm Bay, FL Protects Religious Freedom, Rejects GLBT Ordinance
The proposed ordinance would have directly infringed on the religious freedom of churches, religious organizations, businesses, and individuals. Palm Bay, FL – At 1:30 AM this morning, the Mayor and City Council of Palm Bay voted 4-1 to reject a proposed ordinance that would have added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its non-discrimination policy that applies to employment and public accommodations, including churches, religious organizations and businesses. Liberty Counsel provided a letter analyzing and detailing the clear danger and far-reaching consequences this ordinance posed to the Palm Bay community.
Obama’s faith: hidden in plain sight
Based upon context—the ongoing 7 year pattern of concrete deeds—one can only surmise an active and “secret” Muslim faith. No other reasonable conclusion can be drawn. As a so-called Christian Mr. Obama should easily recognize Romans 2:6 in which it is written: “God will repay each person according to what they have done.” Applying colloquial language to Scripture it means ‘evaluate every person by their behavior not their words’. With this sensible standard as a guide, Mr. Obama is so stalwart in his Christian faith that when giving a 2012 speech at Catholic-founded Georgetown University all religious signs and symbols were covered up including the small letters IHS, signifying the name of Jesus Christ.
Hear Obama! Muslims Are Not The Victims, They Are The Perpetrators
Obama’s recent visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a radical mosque with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a slap in the face to all Americans whose lives have been altered due to Islamic warfare. While Obama continues to lecture us about the “victimized” Muslim community here in the United States, his comments fly in the face of reality. Who is really victimized here?
Rome Enters the Presidential Election
Pope Francis and his global warming slogan-chanting, singing nuns have wandered far away from God who created our “Common Home” and closer to the growing pagan religion of Gaia. God Bless” on Planned Parenthood, Catholic nuns have jumped into the fray to elect his successor, abortion advocate Hillary Clinton. With songs and slogans, 13 congregations of Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley hit the campaign trail in Iowa earlier this week.
UN chief: 34 groups now allied to Islamic State extremists
UNITED NATIONS — Thirty-four militant groups from around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group as of mid-December — and that number will only grow in 2016, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report Friday.
Strong quake hits Taiwan, killing 3; 221 rescued from rubble
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people and three dead from a residential high-rise complex that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside.
Ted Cruz’s Campaign Spread False Report in Iowa That Ben Carson Was Quitting Race
As Iowa Republicans headed to the caucuses on Monday night, Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign left recorded messages for supporters with “breaking news” that Ben Carson would drop out of the race, and told them to “inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead.” The false report, echoed in an email and in a text message sent to campaign volunteers, was trumpeted by at least some Cruz precinct captains when they addressed their caucuses. When Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, arrived at two precincts to speak on his behalf, she was furious to learn that speakers for Mr. Cruz had suggested moments earlier that her husband was quitting the race.
Top Headlines – 2/6/2016
Are you living “the American Dream”? If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate, because most Americans are not. In fact, as you will see below, a new survey has found that there is nowhere on the entire planet where the average wage earner is making enough money to live “the American Dream”. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now the middle class makes up a minority of the population, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year, and poverty is growing rapidly. The American Dream is essentially dead, and even the mainstream media is starting to figure this out. (Read More…)
As bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse. Layoffs are increasing at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession, major retailers are shutting down hundreds of locations, corporate profit margins are plunging, global trade is slowing down dramatically, and several major European banks are in the process of completely imploding. I am about to share some numbers with you that are truly eye-popping. Each one by itself would be reason for concern, but when you put all of the pieces together it creates a picture that is hard to deny. The global economy is in crisis, and this is going to have very serious implications for the financial markets moving forward. U.S. stocks just had their worst January in seven years, and if I am right much worse is still yet to come this year. The following are 22 signs that the global economic turmoil that we have seen so far in 2016 is just the beginning… (Read More….)
The descent of evolution
SCIENCE | Observable scientific data does not support Darwin’s theory of macroevolution
Billy Graham’s Grandson Tullian Tchividjian: God Has Met My Guilt With His Grace
Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham who resigned as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida in June, says God has met him in his darkest moments and has helped him heal.
Tullian Tchividjian Reflects on Past Indiscretions, Adultery, Reveals He’s Doing Better ‘Spiritually, Emotionally and Mentally’
After enduring a difficult 2015, in which he in which he filed for divorce from his wife amid multiple adultery accusations and resigned from his position at Coral Ridge Church, Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham, has revealed that today, he is doing better “spiritually, emotionally and mentally” than he has in years.
Why should Christians care about theology?
Theology can often seem dense and unappealing, but Krish Kandiah believes it’s an essential companion to our flourishing as Christian disciples.
Googling God: What autocomplete tells us about modern faith-seeking
Internet giant Google’s automatic search suggestion function has been in the news this week, after allegations of mysterious political bias.
Franklin Graham Shares Thoughts on Obama’s Controversial Mosque Visit: ‘The Foundations of This Nation Have Nothing to Do With Islam’
The Rev. Franklin Graham emphasized that the “foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam” after U.S. President Obama visited a mosque in an effort to recast what he said was “a warped image” of the Muslim faith.
DOUGLAS ERNST — Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh wants to know why President Obama became a Christian when his public comments indicate he is mesmerized by the Islamic faith…. (more)
REUTERS — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has received more than 100 tip-offs that there are Islamic State fighters among the refugees currently staying in Germany, Berliner Zeitung newspaper cited the agency’s chief as saying…. (more)
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday…. (more)
NEWSMAX — Former Democratic president Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that he would choose Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination over Ted Cruz…. (more)
NEWSMAX — Donald Trump’s insulting tirades have become something to expect after the GOP presidential front-runner doesn’t get his way, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Newsmax TV…. (more)
BREITBART — Thursday in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Sen. Rick Santorum, who dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, was asked to name any accomplishments of Sen. Marco Rubio, the candidate he endorsed upon departing the race…. (more)
NEWSMAX — The Rev. Franklin Graham Wednesday lashed out at President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque, saying on Facebook that “the foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam.”… (more)
‘Pastors’ Lay Hands on ‘President-to-Be Clinton’ to ‘Decree and Declare Favor of the Lord’ Feb 04, 2016 02:12 pm
A Headache for Evolutionists? Scientists Discover ‘Unimaginable Complexity’ in DNA Feb 01, 2016 08:56 am
Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison Feb 03, 2016 09:51 am
ISIS Video Threatens Attack on Western World Worse Than 9/11 for Crushing Muslim Rule in Spain Jan 31, 2016 11:59 am
‘I’ve Changed My Mind’: Homosexual Rights Activist Now Supports Fined Christian Bakers Feb 02, 2016 08:29 am
Oklahoma High School Wrestlers Charged With Raping Male Teammates on Bus Feb 02, 2016 11:58 am
Catholic Seminarian Arrested for Seeking Sexual Relations With Infants, Toddlers Feb 01, 2016 10:53 am
Obama Calls Upon Muslims, Christians to ‘Build Bridges’: ‘We’re All Descendants of Abraham’ Feb 04, 2016 08:38 am
Restaurateur Sentenced to Nine Years Behind Bars for Slipping Girlfriend Abortion Drug Feb 03, 2016 05:12 pm
Trump Shows Off Bible Gifted by Mother in Effort to Woo Evangelicals Jan 31, 2016 09:21 am
|Top Stories This Week|
|Quote of the Week|
Is there a test by which Christians can choose the best candidate?
Bible believing Christians, who take biblical doctrines seriously, may use this test, but apostate Christians and those who have caved to the immorality of the day are disqualified, not to mention disinterested, in such a test.
The Bible clearly warns that a man’s words and his deeds must line up. In politics the words are changed slightly to a candidate’s record and his or her rhetoric. In either case it is a simple matter of the synchronization of a person’s words and deeds.
This is test one.
Citi: World economy seems trapped in ‘death spiral’
“This is fundamental to avoiding a proper/full global recession and dangerous disorder across financial markets. The stakes are high, perhaps higher than they have ever been in the post-World War II era,” he said.
Christians “Should be Eradicated”: Researchers Document Anti-Christian Agenda Among Powerful Elite
Professors George Yancey and David Williamson shared their findings in their newly released book So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? The researchers say that while Christianophobia — which the sociologists define as “unreasonable hatred or fear of Christians” — isn’t common among common people, it does characterize those in the upper echelons of American society. It’s intense, too.
How Strong Delusion is Setting the Final Stage (Part 2)
Jan Markell, Eric Barger and Michele Bachmann continue in part 2 of programming talking about how the strong delusion that has been poured out on the earth, is setting the final stage. Perhaps this is why evil seems to now be empowered. The three remind listeners that God remains in control and the events are fulfilling some predicted scenarios in the Bible. Bachmann also comments on the Trump phenomenon, the 2016 election, and about a coming financial implosion. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.
Low Information Voter in Action
Media analyst Mark Dice conducted a man-on-the-street experiment in which he asked passersby to sign a petition in support of Hillary Clinton’s just-announced running mate: her and President Obama’s long-time economic adviser Karl Marx.
No one blinks an eye at the name, even when Dice describes him openly as “Communist Karl Marx.”
Facebook’s War on Freedom of Speech
Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.
Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley has done a stellar job of delving into the teaching of conservative evangelical Kay Arthur, who is held up as a “great Bible teacher.” Michelle begins with this clarification: I want to be clear from the outset of this article that, while I regret that I cannot […]
(35 Minutes)Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=18161914396
A few weeks ago I listed 10 Ways To Hate God. Today, 10 ways to hate people, which Paul says comes very naturally to us (Titus 3:3).
1. Grudge their success
2. Blacken their name
3. Desire their failure
4. Ignore their graces and gifts
5. Suspect their motives
6. Rejoice when they fall or fail
7. Refuse their confession
8. Highlight only their defects
9. Despise their callings and roles
10. Take vengeance upon them
But God’s love can turn the worst of haters into the best of lovers, as Paul immediately highlights:
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:4-5)
- “Dear non-Calvinist…“
- Mitch Bogen discusses Bob Dylan’s “beautiful Calvinism.”
- Calvinism as an apologetic.
- Roger Olson writes, “‘Reformed’ is a spiritual-theological identity not tied to ‘five point Calvinism’ and certainly not tied to complementarianism or belief in biblical inerrancy.”
- Richard Mouw reflects on Abraham Kuyper’s words regarding the mingling of church and state.
- The impact of Calvinism on culture.
- From Christianity Today: “American Christians apparently aren’t Calvinists when it comes to football.” True. Even though I know the outcome of the game is predetermined, I still cheer like an Arminian.
- Writes Arminian William Birch:
Calvinists evoke mental images of an impersonal and analytic God who cares primarily about rescuing numbers — objects — instead of caring about and loving helpless sinners in need of His grace and mercy. We are presented with a calculated God who gives people cancer, like John Piper’s God (link), and who has decreed that people suffer, while they evoke their myriad passions during the suffering He has brought about, while He shows no passion whatsoever.
When all else fails, create a straw man.
That’s right, folks, Wisdom For Your Weekend is back! I hope you missed me. In some small way, I missed you, too.
For those of you who may be new to this (welcome!), W4YW is our weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.
Articles of the Week
Four Arguments Against Christianity Turned On Their Heads, Trevin Wax & Randy Huff. We share Wax’s love for the larger-than-life G. K. Chesterton. And this article shows one of the many reasons why. In the space of a few short words, Chesterton is able to undo what seem like air-tight arguments against Christianity. Whether you agree with Chesterton or not, one thing is for certain: you would not want to enter a war of wits with the man.
Six Tips in Becoming a Prolific Writer, Dan Darling. In addition to having one of the more iconic names in existence, Darling has a knack for language. But as he points out here, it’s not something that comes without effort. If you see yourself as a wordsmith in need of some fine-tuning (even better, if you see yourself as a wordsmith who doesn’t need fine-tuning), start here.
Three Questions Christians Should Ask about Donald Trump, John Stemberger, CNN. Perhaps you’re tired of hearing about Sir Donald. Perhaps not. But like him or not, the fellow won’t go quietly into that good night. As we take more and more steps into the gruelingly lengthy primary season, it’s important for us to know what questions to ask about our candidates. And Stemberger has three insightful ones about Trump. (Also, don’t miss Bruce Ashford—one of the Summit’s directional elders—and his cheeky insight concerning Trump: Evangelicals, Take Off Your Beer Goggles Before You Vote)
The Porn Phenomenon: A Comprehensive, Ground-Breaking New Survey, Dan Wooding. According to this article, this recent survey by Worldlink Media is the “most comprehensive, in-depth, and wide-ranging” study on pornography in the American church. Definitely worth a close look. Not a lot here in the way of prognosis, but as a diagnosis, it’s pretty telling. As one of many examples, take this surprising fact: young adults consider not recycling more immoral than pornography. (And, by the by, if you’re looking for more prognosis on pornography, don’t miss the invaluable resource from Brad Hambrick: False Love)
The One Question To Ask When You Are Left Out, Sharon Hodde Miller. This is a clever article taking a principle of photography—what isn’t in the picture is as important as what is—and applying it to our social media lives. The natural question to ask when you are “left out of the picture” (literal or metaphorical) is, “Why wasn’t I there?” But Sharon’s got an infinitely more important question we should all be asking: “Who else was left out?”
On The Lighter Side
The Most Cringeworthy Christian T-Shirts of All Time, Relevant Magazine. It may be my penchant for the punny, but I actually think some of these are pretty good. Well, sorta.
Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
- How did God start His church?
- One of my favorite books, The Attributes of God, by A.W. Pink, is free for Kindle.
- Chintzy, seeker-driven, false teaching pastors are joining Netflix. Fantastic, now we really are surrounded by nonsense. It’s cool, though, because Ed Young Jr. says, “I believe if Jesus were on planet Earth today in the flesh, He’d be on Netflix.” Uh huh. Yeah…
- Speaking of false teaching and chintzy pastors, Mark Driscoll has reinstated himself to ministry and is starting a new church in Phoenix.
- Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
- Um…what used to be the deal with Christians and puppets? These awkward Christian music album covers are terrifying (thanks a lot, Lori!).
- Pastors, do you want to be faithful, or popular?
- What is the most dangerous place on earth?
- Um…wait…”Pa” Ingalls looks nothing like Michael Landon. This may have shattered my childhood.
- “If Echo wants to be a human, that’s fine, but it’s not my job as a parent to tell it that it is.” If? If? I do not understand.
- Thanks to Lyndon Unger for the shout-out!
- Old and New Testament parallels reveal a continuity that only God could create.
- What is true worship?
- Preparing for spiritual war:
Yesterday my wife paid $1.99 per gallon for gasoline, a price lower than almost anyone expected a few years ago. From 2010 to early 2014, oil prices were fairly steady at close to $100 per barrel. Beginning in June 2014, oil prices began falling, recently falling below $30 per barrel. It is not clear how low oil might go.
Economists and forecasters are concerned about the low price of oil because it reflects the fact that growth of the world economy is slowing and recession is likely. Low oil prices, like low economic growth rates, however, may last a few years, but eventually rise. The best response of governments to the upcoming recession and to declining oil prices is to do nothing and allow market forces to bring things back to normal.
Oil prices are important in high-income and developing countries. Problems arise when they rise or fall too rapidly. Why does the price of oil fluctuate so sharply? The price of oil, like other prices, is determined by supply and demand. The recent low prices of oil are the result of supply increasing faster than demand. The daily world oil supply has risen by about 7 percent since 2012. Demand has been growing in China and other developing countries, but not enough to keep up with supply.
One reason oil prices fell so much is that consumption and supply are not very responsive to price. When supply increases and demand falls, price must fall considerably to motivate consumers to buy the additional oil being supplied. Oil producers also do not cut their production much when price falls. Most of their costs are fixed, so that even when the price is $25 per barrel, they earn more on each barrel than it costs to pump. They would lose even more money if they stopped pumping the oil.
Falling oil prices are bad for oil producers, but good for consumers and producers of energy-intensive goods like automobiles. Low oil prices mean that consumers spend less on gasoline and heating oil, which frees up money for them to spend on other goods and services. It also means fewer jobs in oil-producing states like North Dakota.
Since the United States is still a net importer of oil, it might seem that lower oil prices should provide positive net benefits to the U.S. economy. The problem is that a large percentage of recent capital investment has been in the oil and gas sectors. Falling oil and gas prices threaten many oil-service companies with bankruptcy and may have a negative effect on some large financial institutions that lent to oil producers.
In spite of the current glut, the world has been running out of oil. Even with technology increases, the amount of oil that can be recovered from shale is limited. Thus, supply is likely to decline in the future as more oil is used. One way to deal with the current low prices would be to store the oil in hopes of selling it in the future at higher prices. Storing oil, however, is very costly. Also, some investors are afraid that alternative energy sources will become cost competitive with oil, which could keep oil prices from rising.
So what’s next? Asian and European governments are trying to stimulate their economies by quantitative easing, something the U.S. Federal Reserve stopped doing more than a year ago. This may raise or stabilize the price of oil in Japanese yen, Euros and other currencies, but it won’t keep the dollar price of oil from falling. When recession comes to the United States, which is likely in the next year or two, we can expect the Federal Reserve to resume quantitative easing here as well. When that happens, if not before, oil prices will likely begin rising again.
If you are an investor, and if you are patient, you can eventually profit from rising oil prices. Now may be too early, but in the next few years oil prices will start rising, and just as they fell rapidly, they are likely to rise quickly, too. The only thing that would prevent this would be large reductions in the price of alternative-energy sources that can be used as a substitute for oil, or discovery of new oil reserves and advancements in technology that lower the cost of making oil available to consumers.
The best way to deal with falling prices, whether oil or other goods, is for governments and central banks to leave markets alone and let them adjust. Falling prices are good for savers and would also hasten the process by which unwise investments made in the past are liquidated. This would free up resources to be invested in industries expected to be profitable in the future, which may eventually include the oil industry.
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
4 Reasons the Bible Can’t Be “Probably” True – “I remember sitting in my seat, stunned quite a number of years ago by what I’d just heard. My mind replayed the words of the recent seminary grad just to make sure I didn’t mishear him. ‘We can’t be absolutely sure the Bible is true or that the God of the Bible exists,’ he stated again in the Sunday School class. What’s worse is that he went on with the approval of the silently nodding heads in the room as if he had just communicated what everyone had always thought. They were just not intellectually honest enough to admit it. The class went on, and the teacher went on to argue how God and the Bible are practically absolute because they are so probably absolute.”
Psalms 3-9: Glory lost, glory found – “The book of Psalms begins with the pillars of God’s authority and the reality of his glory. Psalm 1 tells us that blessing comes from wisdom and worship, while Psalm 2 describes God’s authority while it gives a warning for those who would revolt against him. Then comes Psalms 3–9. Here the book shifts focus, and begins to tell a story of glory lost and glory realized through the life experiences of David.”
5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes – “Finally, after all your training and praying and longing, you receive a call from your first church. You are elated—and determined to do a great job. They are God’s people, and he has graciously allowed you to serve them as their pastor. You have so many ideas for how to make them a stronger, more doctrinally sound, more Christ-centered church. Three years later, after a series of anonymous letters, tense deacon confrontations, and rancorous business meetings, you are summarily dismissed from the office you couldn’t wait to hold. What happened? What could you have done differently? Could you have avoided this outcome?”
The Deadly Sin of Coveting – “Many individuals are like the Rich Young Man when Jesus said to him, ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 19:18-19), readily reply, ‘All these I have kept’ (Matthew 19:20). A person may rationalize they have never murdered, committed adultery, or stolen, however untrue their claim may be, but no person in their right mind would say they have never coveted. The final commandment of the Ten Commandments, ‘You shall not covet,’ stands out from the rest. In those few words, the very heart of the Law is laid open to us. God’s Law does not concern itself with our actions alone. ‘You shall not covet’ unreservedly proclaims that our thoughts, feelings, inclinations–matters of the heart–matter a great deal to the Lord.”
How Colossians 1 Combated Erroneous Teaching in the Church – “Today we are seeing the rapid decline of the church all over the Western world. While different influences have played their part in this, we cannot overlook the fact that this decline has come about largely as a result of the church’s acceptance of the day’s philosophy: evolution and millions of years. The appeal to the church to accept the philosophy of the day, however, is not new to modern times. The Apostle Paul understood the challenge that philosophy posed to the church in his day. In his Epistle to the Colossians, Paul wrote to them so that no one would ‘deceive [them] with persuasive words,’ (Colossian 2:4) and to warn them not to be taken captive by ‘philosophy’ (Colossians 2:8).”
Andy Lynch – Comparing True & Fickle Faith (John 8:31-38)
Catholicism, Robert Schuller, Billy Graham
Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets!
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
00:10:31 – Vicar Nicky Gumbel Declares 2016 The Year of Jubilee
00:20:43 – Tavner Smith Says It is Illegal for God to Operate in the Earth
00:37:30 – Perry Noble Twist Scripture to Defend Driscoll
00:56:14 – Joel Osteen Gets Grilled by Stephen Colbert
01:14:19 – Sermon Review: I’m Happy Without Jesus by Alex Farncomb
Email your questions or comments to: email@example.com
Todd Friel exposes a lot about false teachings in charismatic churches, Bethel Redding, IHOP, Jesus Culture, et al. The sad thing about this article/video is the comment section with comments by all sorts of people lacking discernment and attacking Todd for exposing this junk — often with ad hominem attacks. Many of these commenters sound like cult members.
The Problem of Evil: The Role of Love and Character Development (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #58)
In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace examines the classic problem of evil and offers a cumulative case response. In this second of several related broadcasts, J. Warner examines the roles that love and character development play in helping understand why an all-powerful, all-loving God would allow evil to exist in the universe. For more information about the cumulative case for the existence of God and the problem of evil, see J. Warner’s latest book, God’s Crime Scene.
LTRP Note: For 6 years, Lighthouse Trails has been following the story of homosexual-turned-Christian-believer, Lisa Miller and her young daughter, Isabella. “Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison” By Heather Clark Christian News Network BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Mennonite pastor who was convicted of providing assistance to an ex-lesbian […]
The post America Sends Mennonite Pastor to Prison For Protecting Child Against Homosexual Abuse appeared first on .
You probably know the book of Proverbs as a collection of practical advice for God’s people. Proverbs itself, though, defines its purpose in a deeper, more significant way.
One of the things I’ve done terribly over the years is address false teaching. As a new Christian—and worse, a new Christian developing doctrinal convictions—I tended to wield my lofty opinions (some of which were even right) as a mighty hammer with which to smash my perceived foes. So I would do stupid things like blurt out, “Why would you read that—don’t you know it’s heretical nonsense?”
And let me tell you, that does not win friends or influence people.
But over time, I’ve smartened up a little bit (I hope), as I’ve come to realize that sometimes my mighty theological hammer of justice doesn’t always have the effect I intend. And frankly, trying to argue people into orthodoxy doesn’t really work all that well. After all, as my wife is so fond of saying, those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.
The problem, of course, starts with the fact that far too many of us—even in churches committed to expository preaching—are woefully biblically illiterate. We either have no idea what the text says, what it means, or how it makes a difference in our lives. And because of this, we’re so easily swayed by teaching that sounds wise, helpful and spiritual, but might be complete nonsense.
We are easy prey because we don’t know that what we’re hearing is wrong.
So how do we protect ourselves? I’ve really come to appreciate the simple truth that the best way to protect ourselves against false teaching (and protect others from it as well) is not always with lofty arguments, but with the consistent study of Scripture. J.C. Ryle makes the point well:
What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.1
The most important words when dealing with any teaching is to consistently ask ourselves, “What do the Scriptures say?” When we read a book, even by a generally trustworthy source, we need to ask this. When we listen to our pastors’ sermons, we ought to do likewise. When we read blogs and tweets and other such things, we must always ask this question. When we do this, when we are committed to, with the help of the Holy Spirit, seeking to understand the Scriptures to the best of our ability, and when we hold all teaching—even good teaching—up to its light, there is no place for false teaching to hide.
Over-thinking: Did you know this is another name for a habitual worrier? Guest writer and biblical counselor Julie Ganschow of Reigning Grace Counseling Center shares help and hope for people prone to worry. This article appeared first on Julie’s blog and is used with permission.
I know a woman who has spent a large part of her life as an over-thinker.
What is an over-thinker you ask? An over-thinker is nothing more than a habitual worrier. This is the kind of person who wakes up at 5 in the morning and wonders what she will make for supper at 5 PM. She goes over an exhaustive mental checklist of things before she is even out of bed. She feels like she cannot take a breath or a moment to relax because she has so much to do. Understandably, this woman is overwhelmed by life.
The Lord gives us some very sound advice and wisdom when he tells us not to worry about tomorrow.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
The Problem of Worry
It is the cares of this world that will choke the life out of the Word He puts into our hearts. It’s the little worries about things that always seem to get us. We do not always trust what we cannot see (God). And because we do not understand what is happening to us or why, we fret and worry as though God were not in control.
Our worrying and fretting is really us telling God that He is not big enough, smart enough, or powerful enough to handle any problem we could possibly have. We can be such faithless creatures.
In Matthew 6 Jesus reduces our responsibilities to those of today. If you are an over thinker or a habitual worrier, narrow your focus from the big picture to the little one. Today is all the Lord has asked you to manage, and He is here to help you do that.
Worriers Get Stuck in Their Own Plans
The command not to worry must be applied in times of circumstantial difficulty. You can’t practice not worrying when times are good. We imagine that a little worry and concern will show how wise we really are when in fact, it is an indication of how foolish and sinful we really are.
Here is another important point: If we were content to let God have his own way, we would not be worried. But because we are determined to have our own way, we worry that something is going to happen that will upset our little idea of what reality should be. If all this weren’t enough, understand that when we worry we are in effect telling God that his plans are not good enough for us either.
Sometimes we act like God has a way of messing up our plans. We plan things without counting God in and then are somewhat surprised and dumbfounded when He shows up! We like to leave God out of the everyday activities of our lives unless it is a spiritual thing. With those things we think it is necessary and even desirable to invite Him to participate, but the mundane and ordinary tasks of life we think we can handle ourselves. We must keep in mind that we are the servants, He is the Master. We are to be available to do his bidding and work regardless of our personal thoughts on the matter.
Worriers Pray Little
Habitual worriers tend not to pray much. To overcome worry God says I must pray, and I must not be anxious and doubt that God will answer my prayers.
My responsibility is to prayerfully present my needs, and my questions, and my desires and longings to God; and to do so with humility and thanksgiving for everything I have in my life (Philippians 4:6).
Suggestions for prayer
You can begin praying by telling God the very things you worry about. The people in your life, the items on your list of things to do, or the money that you have or that you don’t have.
Offer Him rights to your home, your possessions, and last but not least, give God give yourself to God. You belong to Him anyway, so you might as well agree with Him in prayer that He has the right to change any part of your day or life that He chooses or needs to do so to accomplish His will in you and glorify Himself. Doing this changes your outlook on things when the unexpected comes up.
Once you have given the Lord His rightful ownership over your time, schedule, family, and all the rest you can proceed to your day. Having prepared your mind, planned your day, and then prayed over it and through it, you can proceed in faith and obedience.
You will find an amazing thing will happen! Whatever the challenge, task, crisis, or interruption, God will provide for you. He will provide wisdom (James 1:5), strength (Philippians 4:13), and whatever you need (Philippians 4:19). Since God has commanded us not to worry, He will certainly provide a way for us to obey Him in this.
God Teaches Worriers in Their Trials
One final thought; when I look back on challenging times in my life when I did not succeed with not worrying, I am well aware that God was teaching me through it. He enabled me to deal with difficult circumstances. His grace was completely sufficient, and I grew spiritually because of what I faced.
I can also tell you, I’m a much stronger Christian today because of those times in my life that were full of legitimate reasons to worry. As a result, I know more about God today. I know more about waiting, trusting, and persevering.
So, where does today find you?
What are the circumstances of your life? Are your emotions stretched to the limit? What fires are purifying your faith?
Whatever it is that burdens you today, Jesus is calling you to live one day at a time. He is commanding you not to worry about tomorrow and to be anxious about nothing. No matter what your particular challenges are, praying and trusting God by faith will help you as you manage life’s demands.
God is here to help us as we face daily life and he promises we will see beautiful fruit from our obedience and reliance upon him.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting expanded extracts of a popular-level address I gave on “The Impact of Calvinism on Culture.” Here’s an introduction to the series. (You might also want to read a few previous posts There’s More to Calvinism Than the Five Points of Calvinism, There’s More to The Doctrines of Grace than the Doctrines of Grace, and The Five Distortions of Calvinism).
If there’s one thing that Calvinism’s friends and enemies agree about, it’s that Calvinism has had a huge impact upon culture. After narrating how much hostility to Calvinism he had found in various academic locations, Australian theolgian Peter Jensen observed, ”The enemies of Calvinism are right in seeing in Calvinism an extraordinarily powerful ideology, one which they do well to be alarmed about.” 
In Engaging with Calvin, Mark Thompson wrote: “He [Calvin] can legitimately lay claim to being one of the most influential of all Western thinkers.” Thomson also asserted that Calvinism “is a movement that has not only contributed to the origin of the modern world but has played a socially and ecclesiastically significant role on all continents down to the present day.”
Despite this agreement about Calvinism’s impact on the culture, when we get down to details, there is much debate about three main words in the title of this series. First, what is “culture”? Second, what is “Calvinism”? Third, what is “impact”? So let’s briefly answer some of the questions about the question before we get to some of the answers about the question in future posts.
First, for the purposes of this series, we will limit the word “culture” to six particular areas: education, politics, economics, marriage/the family, the law, and the arts. As we shall see, Calvinism has had a significant impact on these central components of Western culture, and consequently on American culture.
But I want to finish the series with a focus on American culture in particular, noting seven historical phases in Calvinism’s impact on America, from the first immigrants all the way up to New Calvinism, which Time magazine (March 12, 2009) ranked as one of the ten most influential ideas of our generation.
Second, as the inclusion of “Calvinism” in the title suggests, we will be tracing how Calvin and his followers (not just Calvin) applied his thought to various areas of life in influential ways.
Third, when measuring “impact” we’re talking about positive impact. Professor of Apologetics, Robert Knudsen asked:
Why is it that Calvinism has had a positive attitude toward culture and has been able to make constructive cultural contributions? Why indeed is it that this positive attitude belongs to the very genius of Calvinism, so much so that Calvin had in view not only a reformation in doctrine, in individual life, and in the life of the church, but also a transformation of all of culture in the name of Christ? 
In terms of positive impact, we won’t just highlight what Calvinism introduced that was brand new, but also at how it tweaked existing ideas and influences, and how it built upon them in ways that made them better.
Next time, we’ll begin to look at Calvinism’s impact on education.
 Peter F. Jensen, Engaging with Calvin: Aspects of the Reformer’s Legacy for Today, ed. Mark D. Thompson (Nottingham: Apollos, 2009), 255.
15 Practical Steps to Racial Reconciliation | Jarvis Williams, Reformed African American Network
“I applaud and praise God for the progress that has been made on race relations in the evangelical movement. However, I think every aspect of the evangelical movement can do much better on race relations. Therefore, I offer evangelicals (and anyone else with ears to hear!) 15 practical steps they can take toward reconciliation.”
Do You Keep Your Commitments – Even When It Hurts? | Jim Newheiser, Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs
“Times will come when one might regret making a commitment, but…it is necessary to keep one’s word. In other words, let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes.’”
My Indebtedness to the Puritan | Joel Beeke
“While there are many ways that the Bible-saturated books of the Puritans have influenced me, I would like to highlight three special lessons I have learned from them about experiential, practical Christian living.”
Learning to Pastor from Leviticus | Derek Rishmawy, TGC
“When I was a college minister, Leviticus wasn’t the book I typically went to for pastoral theology. Actually, Leviticus wasn’t the book I typically went to for most things, with the exception of an atonement talk here or there. I suspect I’m not alone. Most of us don’t relish the idea of delighting our parishioners with details of cleansing skin diseases. But I’ve recently been learning how mistaken we are when we take this approach to Leviticus.”
5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes | Hershael York, TGC
“…often conflicts arise because well-intentioned pastors make rookie mistakes—the missteps that occur at the intersection of the ideal and reality.”
13 Helps For When a Friend Battles Depression | Mike Leake, Borrowed Light
#4: “Take seriously the way they relate their feelings and distresses. It does no good to tell them, ‘this is all imaginary’.”
Feeding on Christ Leadership Principles and Pastoral Ministry | Nicholas T. Batzig, Feeding on Christ
“The Psalmist summed up David’s leadership in the following manner: ‘David shepherded [Israel] with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them’ (Ps. 78:72). A minister needs to have both an upright heart and a skillful hand.”
Christian Freedom (Grace Essentials) by Samuel Bolton ($7.99)
Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcy ($3.99).
Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews by Jeff Myers and David A. Noebel ($3.99)
The A to Z Guide to Finding It in the Bible: A Quick-Scripture Reference Baker Books ($1.99)
When to Speak Up and When To Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler ($0.99)
Speaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore the day before the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama again sent an ideological message in need of fact-checking to Americans as he called for tolerance toward Muslims and unity of all faiths. Obama’s visit to the U.S. mosque was controversial because its former imam, Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, was […]
James Montgomery Boice has some excellent advice to young people in his sermon series on the Minor Prophets (volume 2, p. 510). He identifies a major problem with young people today:
As I counsel with people in our day, many of them young people, I am convinced that one of their biggest problems is that they expect shortcuts. They want a simple principle that will explain all the Bible and eliminate the need for concentrated and prolonged Bible study. They want an experience that will set them on a new spiritual plateau and eliminate the need for hard climbing up the steep mountain paths of discipleship. They want a fellowship that has all the elements of a perfect heavenly fellowship without the work of building up those elements by their own hard work and active participation. This is not the way God has ordered things. He could have given shortcuts, but he has not.
To young people out there: there are no shortcuts. And if there are, they usually lead to long delays, as Pippin would say in The Fellowship of the Ring. Things are not going to be handed to you on a platter. Life is not something you can simply let happen to you. This is not a popular message in an age of instant gratification.
Young Christians often think this way as well. After the euphoria of conversion is passed, they often come to a hard shock: the Christian life is hard work! They often think that they didn’t sign up for this. As Pliable turns back in the Slough of Despond, the very first sign of trouble, so also do many today who call themselves Christians. However, as any seasoned Christian can tell you, conversion is the peace with God that starts the war on the world, the flesh, and the devil. In many ways, life is far more difficult after conversion than before.
Do not think of the Christian life as having shortcuts. Study your Bible thoroughly and deeply. Pray over it and meditate over it. Wrestle with God in prayer. Prepare for the Sabbath Day every single week, so that the Word will dwell richly in you. The Christian life is cumulative.
This has been a bit of a slow week for Kindle deals. That is, in part, because so many of the deals cycle on a regular basis and I try not to link to them if they’ve come up recently. There should be some new ones on Monday. Until then, here’s some reading for you:
“Out of the destruction and looting [in Iraq], and partly because of it, emerge striking gains in knowledge of our oldest literary inheritance.”
This is a good one from Bob Kauflin. He focuses on what makes singing in church different from every other kind of singing.
Here’s an interview with Adam Lewis Greene who Kickstarted a beautiful redesign of the Bible. “The expected form of the Bible almost across the board for the last 200 years or so has not been conducive to appreciating biblical literature as literature. Rather, the Bible is designed to be an easily-navigated theological encyclopedia.”
If you read with Kindle, you may be interested in Clippings, a service that does a great job of extracting and formatting your notes and highlights. You can also use it to copy your notes right over to Evernote or other programs.
Here are a few things to remember in those times you stumble into the deep ditches of doubt.
This Day in 1951. Sam Storms turns 65 today! You can wish Sam a Happy Birthday on Twitter.
Have you ever checked out Psallos? It is a concept album based on the book of Romans.
If you are heading to Together for the Gospel, you might be interested in CBMW’s preconference. They’ve got quite a list of speakers for you to hear.
Also, if you are from Canada or interested in ministry in Canada, be sure to come to this breakout.
My thanks goes to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with “Why the Bible Is Hard to Understand—and What You Can Do About It.”
A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it. —C.S. Lewis
Posted: 07 Feb 2016 03:10 AM PST
At least 18 people were killed and more than 500 were injured Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan, the official Central News Agency reported. More than 350 people were rescued from damaged structures, many from a 16-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan, officials told CNN. At least 16 of the dead were from the Weiguan Jinlong building, CNA said.
As of Saturday night, dozens of children were among at least 153 people still unaccounted for in Tainan, CNA reported, citing the local fire department. A cold wave moving into the area added to their sense of urgency. The video shows what appears to be a huge opening in the earth that was a direct result of the powerful earthquake that struck the region. FULL REPORT
The post Giant Crack Appears after Taiwan Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|10 Well-Known Pastors and Leaders Respond to the Question: “Is Homosexuality a Sin”
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:59 PM PST
These pastors and leaders all spoke out publicly on their views about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We believe it’s important for pastors and leaders to have an answer ready on this hot-button cultural issue.
So we invite you to watch how these well-known pastors handled themselves in the public space when asked directly, “Is homosexuality a sin?” and we encourage you to share your feedback in the comment section below. CONTINUE
The post 10 Well-Known Pastors and Leaders Respond to the Question: “Is Homosexuality a Sin” appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Rick Joyner Claims Panthers Win in Super Bowl Will Usher in Third Spiritual ‘Great Awakening’
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:45 PM PST
Rick Joyner is predicting that if the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl on Sunday, it will user in the third spiritual Great Awakening in America and possibly “the greatest in-gathering of all time.” Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mill, South Carolina explained his position on his broadcast “Prophetic Perspectives” on Tuesday, which was also posted online.
He said that the first person to make the prediction was the late Bob Jones, who he also billed as a prophet. “[Jones predicted that] when our Carolina Panthers won the Super Bowl, major revival, awakening, moves of God are going to break out in America,” Joyner said. He told the story of when the Black Panthers, a black power organization, came to Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1980’s. Joyner said that he received a call from Jones about the development, which he found to be concerning. FULL REPORT
The post Rick Joyner Claims Panthers Win in Super Bowl Will Usher in Third Spiritual ‘Great Awakening’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Colorado Shaken Up By Rare Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:38 PM PST
Colorado has been struck by a noteworthy M4.0 earthquake at the Trinidad, CO oil + gas pumping (fracking injection) operation. This is the largest earthquake to strike Colorado in a fairly long time, well over a year. This M4.0 range fracking operation movement was expected to occur this week, (read below for more information). Clearly this location is part of a much larger gas injection / extraction operation.
The earthquake forecast issued 6 days ago SPECIFICALLY called for M4.0 earthquake activity to strike the midwest Colorado + Oklahoma fracking operations this week. Today (Feb. 6), hours before this earthquake in Colorado, we saw another near M4.0 earthquake strike due East at the Oklahoma fracking operations. FULL REPORT
The post Colorado Shaken Up By Rare Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|WAR DRUMS: Japan Vows To Take Action After North Korea Rocket Launch
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:30 PM PST
North Korea has fired a long-range rocket over Japan, drawing international condemnation. The Pentagon confirmed the launch, which saw the rocket fly over Okinawa, where Patriot missiles had been stationed with orders to shoot it down if it threatened Japanese territory. The U.S. and South Korea were tracking the rocket’s trajectory but have provided no other details. South Korean Press reported that the rocket launch failed – however this has not been confirmed by any official source.
North Korean state television said the satellite successfully made it into space, and that Pyongyang was planning further launches. A rocket was seen soaring into the air shortly after the launch.
The post WAR DRUMS: Japan Vows To Take Action After North Korea Rocket Launch appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|WAR DRUMS – Moscow claims Turkey is planning to Invade Syria after discovering ‘hidden preparations of armed forces’
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:20 PM PST
The Russian military has claimed it has ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that Turkey is making intensive preparations for a military invasion of neighboring Syria. Images of a checkpoint on the border between the Turkish town of Reyhanli and the town of Sarmada in Syria taken in late October and late January show a buildup of transportation infrastructure. The Russian military claims the infrastructure could be used for moving in troops, ammunition and weapons, spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in an English-language written statement.
He said these were among growing signs of ‘hidden preparation’ of the Turkish armed forces for active actions on the territory of Syria. ‘Maybe, in peacetime, these facts would indicate the expectation of trade turnover growth between the neighboring countries,’ Konashenkov said. ‘However, during wartime, in such a way the transport infrastructure is preparing on the eve of military intervention.’ FULL REPORT
|Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:02 PM PST
The Obama administration is ordering Border Patrol agents to release illegal immigrants without making them appear in court or keeping track of their whereabouts, and it’s also dramatically rolling back aerial surveillance along the southern border, leading a senior congressman to suggest the public is unaware it is being “betrayed” by its commander in chief. What’s sad is the people of the United States don’t recognize that they’re being betrayed by their own president and also betrayed by those people in the Congress and the Senate who have been going along with this amnesty program,” said Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif., a leading voice against amnesty and for border enforcement.
On Thursday, reports emerged that the Obama administration was effectively telling U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents to stand down and not process people entering the United States illegally. They further state that agents are told not to order illegals to appear at a deportation hearing and not make efforts to track them down inside the U.S. FULL REPORT
The post Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Michigan Man Supported ISIS Plan to Target Mega-Church
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 07:57 PM PST
Federal authorities are accusing a Dearborn Heights man of supporting Islamic State extremists and planning to “shoot up” a Detroit church. Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, hasn’t been charged with terrorism-related crimes but faces federal charges of illegally having a firearm while using a controlled substance. But a complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S.
District Court reveals the FBI has been investigating him since May “regarding increasingly violent threats he has made to others about committing acts of terror and martyrdom — including brutal acts against police officers, churchgoers and others — on behalf of the foreign terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.” Besides allegedly using Twitter to express support for the terror group — often referred to as ISIS or ISIL — Abu-Rayyan reportedly told an undercover FBI employee about a plot to target a church. FULL REPORT
The post Michigan Man Supported ISIS Plan to Target Mega-Church appeared first on End Time Headlines.
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:35 AM PST
Iran wants post-sanctions’ oil contracts denominated in dollars and have buyers pay in euros, Reuters reported. Tehran is also keen to receive money owed to it since the pre-sanctions days in the European currency. The country’s crude deliveries are to be restored soon, with companies such as the French giant Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco and the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil already holding contracts. Reuters source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told the agency that Tehran wants to receive payment in euros.
“In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery,” the source said. Tehran also wants to receive billions of dollars worth of assets frozen under the sanctions in euros, said another source. Iran has an estimated $100 billion in assets and around half of these would be unfrozen under the upcoming sanctions relief. FULL REPORT
|China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:25 AM PST
China’s largest and most powerful rocket the Long March 5 underwent final tests at the Wen-chang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province. The rocket’s first flight will be conducted in September, according to a senior project manager. The Long March 5 is China’s latest and most technologically advanced rocket. The tests were conducted for more than 130 days of September last year.
The Chang’e 5 lunar probe, which will land on the moon and take samples before returning to Earth, also took part in the tests, said Li Dong, a senior designer at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and head of the Long March 5 project, newspaper China’s Daily reported. Li said the tests were the riskiest and most sophisticated that China has ever conducted on its rockets and involved about 300 engineers. FULL REPORT
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|Kenneth Copeland Declares That Ted Cruz Has Been ‘Called And Anointed’ By God To Be The Next President
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:15 AM PST
Earlier this year, Ted Cruz’s father and primary presidential campaign surrogate, Rafael, spoke at Pastor Kenneth Copeland’s church in Texas, where Copeland declared that Ted Cruz has been anointed by God to be the next president. Copeland introduced Cruz’s father by asserting that “I believe, with all my heart, that his son is called and anointed to be the next president of the United States.”.
After Cruz delivered his speech urging Christians to vote in order to turn the Nation back to God, Copeland asked him to recount how the Holy Spirit had descended upon a Cruz family prayer session and convinced Ted to seek the presidency, which Rafael took as a sign that “God has raised him up for such a time as this.” After his speech, several church elders gathered around Cruz and laid hands upon him and prayed while Eagle Mountain International Church senior pastor George Pearsons proclaimed that “we are in the midst right now of the new birth of this nation.” FULL REPORT
|Trump promises “forward motion” on gay issues
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 08:32 PM PST
The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination today promised “forward motion” on gay and lesbian equality if he is elected. In an interview with NECN’s Sue O’Connell just days before the crucial New Hampshire primary, Trump cast himself as a uniter on LGBT issues. O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected.
O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected.
“When President Trump is in office can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?” O’Connell asked him. “Well, you can,” Trump answered. ” And look, again, we’re going to bring people together, and thats your thing and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together and if we don’t we’re not going to have a country anymore.” FULL REPORT
|UPDATE: Powerful Earthquake hits Taiwan; 160 pulled alive, many trapped
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 07:40 PM PST
Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people and three dead from a residential high-rise complex that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside. Firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the building that folded like an accordion in a pile of rubble and twisted metal and extracted dazed survivors.
The emergency response center told The Associated Press that three people were killed, including a 10-day-old infant, a 55-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man. Taiwan’s official news agency said the infant and the man were pulled out of a 17-story Wei Guan residential building and that both were later declared dead. The agency said 256 people were believed to have been living in 92 households. FULL REPORT
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|When a ‘Radical’ Muslim Finds Jesus
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:59 PM PST
Growing up in the United States, there is a common belief that the very nature of prison itself is so awful that it would inspire in criminals a conviction never to return, and therefore to stay on the “straight and narrow.” This perspective, though, doesn’t account for the reality that numerous factors – education, access to jobs, a stable family life, and a sense of purpose – impact recidivism (the rate at which people return to prison). In fact, a sense of purpose – faith – may be the most important among these factors that influence change. And faith is something that can develop inside prison walls.
Walking through the gates that separate R.J. Donovan State Prison from the rest of the world, it’s difficult not to imagine what it would be like to come into this place knowing that you wouldn’t be coming back out. This is the reality for the majority of the inmates I met on my visit to the prison with The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI.) TUMI facilitates a seminary class for interested inmates that teaches coursework on spiritual disciplines, and I was invited with a group of colleagues to catch up with these inmates on their work. I was not prepared for what I encountered there. FULL REPORT
|North Korea ready to launch rocket by Super Bowl kickoff
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:24 PM PST
Satellite images taken this week of North Korea’s Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past one to two weeks before a rocket launch, a US think tank said on Friday. North Korea has told UN agencies it will launch a rocket carrying what it called an earth observation satellite some time between 8 and 25 February, triggering international opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test.
Commercial satellite images from Wednesday and Thursday show the arrival of tanker trucks at the launch pad, said Washington-based 38 North, a North Korea-monitoring project. It said the presence of the trucks likely indicated the filling of tanks within bunkers at the site rather than a rocket itself. “In the past, such activity has occurred one to two weeks prior to a launch event and would be consistent with North Korea’s announced launch window,” the report said. FULL REPORT
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|How One Man Was Delivered From Homosexuality and Drug Addiction
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:17 PM PST
Pastor and speaker Kegan Wesley lives a lifestyle of love. But years ago, he expressed those some sentiments by a different standard: As a gay man addicted to drugs. It started when he was raped and molested at a birthday party when he was 9. “I didn’t know where to go or who to go to,” Wesley says. “…
but I didn’t know if they would believe me, so I began to believe that lie in my heart.” But at 18, he encountered God. “I was borderline atheist. I didn’t believe because I didn’t know Jesus,” Wesley says. “Long story short, I went to the altar that night, didn’t know what to say, or how to pray.” FULL REPORT
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Our Time is Short
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.
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.
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
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 is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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