Daily Archives: February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Feb. 11, 2016


The Republican-led U.S. House panel investigating Hillary Clinton’s response to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, is drafting its final report, which probably will be used to criticize the former secretary of state on the presidential campaign trail.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted to authorize new U.S. sanctions against North Korea, days after the country launched a long-range rocket.

Rank-and-file House Republicans on Wednesday were offered a chance to vote against President Barack Obama’s proposed 2017 fiscal budget, but with a catch — they also would have to vote on a budget bill offered by Republican leaders.

Filings for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined to a seven-week low as hiring managers demonstrated confidence in the outlook after temporary adjustments around the holidays. Jobless claims dropped by 16,000 to 269,000 in the week ended Feb. 6.

Christine Lagarde is set to win a second term as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, after no candidates emerged to challenge her.

Gold climbed to the highest in a year as investors sought a haven from tumbling stock markets after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested the central bank may delay raising interest rates. The metal jumped as much as 3.8 percent to $1,242.26 an ounce.

The yen climbed against every major currency as a drop in global stocks and rising tensions between North and South Korea boosted demand for havens.

South Korea plans to cut off power and water to a joint factory park in North Korea to punish Kim Jong Un for his recent nuclear test and rocket launch, said a government official with knowledge of the matter, shuttering the last avenue for economic cooperation between the countries.

Kyle Bass, the hedge fund manager who successfully bet against mortgages during the subprime crisis, said China’s banking system may see losses of more than four times those suffered by U.S. banks during the last crisis.

AP Top Stories

The last four armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning after law officers surrounded them in a tense standoff.

A gunman fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy inside a crowded restaurant at lunchtime Wednesday and killed another deputy in a shootout, authorities and witnesses said. The gunman was killed in the exchange of gunfire not far from the shopping center where the restaurant was located, Harford County MD Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. Remarkably, no bystanders were hurt.

A man was arrested in the shooting and decapitation of his grandmother and her husband at an Oklahoma City home where they operated a day care, police said Wednesday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that two U.S. aircraft had bombed the Syrian city of Aleppo on Feb. 10, and that Russian planes had not been operating in the area.

Senator John McCain, the head of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday increased pressure on the Pentagon and the Air Force, demanding answers over the continued use of Russian rocket engines for U.S. satellite launches.

A wild elephant went on an hours-long rampage in a town in eastern India on Wednesday, damaging about 100 homes, shops and other buildings, a state minister said.

Dubbed ‘super confessors’, for one year only they can absolve sins usually only pardoned by the pope himself. And on Wednesday over 1,000 of these “missionaries of mercy”, handpicked by Pope Francis, were sent forth to win back the hearts of those who have left the Catholic Church and open the door to repentant sinners across the world.


NATO ships are being deployed to the Aegean Sea to deter people-smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

North Korea has vowed to cut two key communication hotlines with the South, amid rising tensions after Pyongyang’s recent rocket and nuclear tests.

An attacker has opened fire at an education department office in Saudi Arabia’s southern Jazan province, killing six employees. Two other people have been wounded in the assault.

Los Angeles, known as the homeless capital of the US, has passed a $1.87bn plan to help get an estimated 40,000 people off the streets. City authorities hope to expand homeless shelters and build quality housing over the next 10 years.

Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has announced that it will stop recruiting minors.

At least 56 people have been killed in a double suicide bombing at a camp sheltering people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in north-east Nigeria. The bombers, both female, detonated their explosives while the camp’s residents were queuing for rations.


Freedoms of religion and speech, protected in the U.S. by its Constitution and recognized widely in other parts of the free world in law and practice, are under attack again, this time in Kentucky where a local commission is demanding – at the request of a homosexual organization – that a printer produce T-shirts with a message that violates his Christian faith.

Large numbers of babies with borderline normal head sizes were born in Brazil as far back as 2012, two years before the Zika virus is thought to have entered the country, say researchers searching for answers to urgent questions.

Practicing Christians are now a minority in the UK and the Catholic and Anglican churches must pull together in order to survive, according to two senior British clerics. The Right Reverend Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said “we are all minorities now.” “What I see, particularly around London, is that increasingly we are living in a post-denominational era.”

Top News – 2/11/2016

Russian engineers working with ISIS in Syria to produce gas
At the largest gas facility in Syria, the Tuweinan gas facility, Russian engineers are working together with ISIS forces to produce natural gas, according to reports from rebels and Turkish officials.

Vatican: Bishops not required to report abuse
ROME, Feb. 11 (UPI) — A newly released Catholic church document tells bishops they don’t have to report clerical child abuse accusations to the police.

U.S. tells allies campaign to defeat Islamic State must be accelerated
The United States is pressing allies on Thursday to contribute more to a U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State that it says must be accelerated, regardless of the fate of diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s civil war.

Russian Patriarch Kirill flies to Cuba for historic meeting with Pope Francis
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has started his journey to Latin America for a historic meeting with the Pontiff to discuss the persecution of Christians in conflict zones, in particular in the Middle East. The unprecedented meeting, which will take place at Havana’s international airport, is expected to last as long as is necessary to agree on a joint declaration.

Scientists to unveil proof of Einstein’s theory of relativity
In a presentation set for Thursday at the Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, US researchers are expected to announce that they have detected gravitational waves for the very first time, a century after they were proposed by Albert Einstein. “Cornish will provide a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves – or ripples in the fabric of spacetime – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO),”

Modern Sanhedrin and Ancient Jewish Sage Agree: UN, Ban Ki-Moon Cannot Deny the Jewish People’s God-Given Right to the Land
In response to Ban’s comments, the Nascent Sanhedrin recently issued a proclamation calling for the State of Israel to leave the UN. The dispute is not over a point of international law, or even a point in the Middle East peace negotiations. Rather, the Sanhedrin reasons that it is fighting for the essential identity of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People. They feel that the UN and Ban Ki-Moon are rejecting the validity of the Biblical covenant, and perhaps of the Bible itself. In the words of the Sanhedrin:

Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat
Genome editing is a weapon of mass destruction. That’s according to James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence, who on Tuesday, in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the U.S. intelligence community, added gene editing to a list of threats posed by “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation.”

North Korea to cut hotlines with South amid Kaesong shutdown
North Korea has vowed to cut two key communication hotlines with the South, amid rising tensions after Pyongyang’s recent rocket and nuclear tests. It comes after Seoul suspended its operations at the jointly-run Kaesong industrial complex in the North. Kaesong is one of the last points of co-operation between the two Koreas and a key source of revenue for Pyongyang.

Emerging split within Hamas’ military wing following member’s execution
A split began to emerge in the ranks of Hamas’ military wing in recent days after the group executed one of its own members, signaling growing tensions between the organization’s local leadership in Gaza and its leadership abroad. On Monday, Hamas posted on one of its social media accounts that its military wing had executed Mahmoud Rashid Eshtaiwi, for ”behavioral and ethical excesses.”

Next Big Future: Russia and Iran appears close to handing a military victory to Assad in Syria
Days of intense bombing that could soon put the critical city of Aleppo back into the hands of Syrian President Assad’s forces. The USA says there could be no military solution to Syria. The Russians may be proving the United States wrong. There may be a military solution, one senior American official conceded Wednesday, “just not our solution,” but that of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

NYPD reshuffles forces to focus on gang violence, will dismantle Organized Crime Bureau
The NYPD is launching a major reshuffling of its investigative forces, consolidating several in an effort to tackle the city’s biggest crime problem — violence by gangs and youth crews.

FBI closes in on last Oregon refuge occupiers
The FBI appears to be closing in on the last of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Details of exactly what was happening remained unclear late Wednesday. Some of the occupiers were on the phone with a Nevada state assemblywoman, Michele Fiore, on a livestream on YouTube, saying they feared an armed assault by agents was imminent, though there was no confirmation of that.

Senate passes bill to hit North Korea with harsher sanctions
Seeking to derail North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons, Republican and Democratic senators set aside their partisan differences Wednesday to unanimously pass legislation aimed at starving Pyongyang of the money it needs to build an atomic arsenal.

With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes
Pressure is growing on the U.S. military to do more to help Afghan forces repel the threat posed by Taliban militants, and commanders in Washington and Kabul agree that enhanced air power may be where it can make the most difference.

Damascus expects tough but short battle for Aleppo
The Syrian government expects a tough battle for Aleppo, the city that has become the focal point of the country’s long civil war, but is confident of victory and says it won’t be a long fight.

Female suicide bombers kill over 60 people in northeast Nigeria: officials
Two female suicide bombers killed more than 60 people at a camp for people displaced by an insurgency of the jihadist Boko Haram group in the northeast Nigerian town of Dikwa, military and emergency officials said on Wednesday.

Top Headlines – 2/11/2016

Jordanian MP threatens to topple government over Israeli gas import

PA asks EU to recognize ‘Palestine’

Netanyahu: Situation not ripe for two-state solution

After Labor rules out Palestinian state in the short term, Netanyahu says: ‘Good morning, Herzog’

In Meeting with Jewish Group, In Meeting with Jewish Group, Corbyn Endorses Two State Solution Endorses Two State Solution

French FM Fabius steps down, Mideast initiative still on table

French, Israeli ambassadors quarrel in Twitter battle

Erekat: Netanyahu’s plan to surround Israel with fences like South African ‘Bantustan’ system

IDF warns Hamas is focusing on one major terror tunnel

Gaza – a human time bomb

Emerging split within Hamas’ military wing following member’s execution

UN and Palestinian authorities appeal for aid amid Palestinian attacks

Palestinian rock thrower killed in clash with IDF

Orthodox Jewish man, 25, stabbed in Brooklyn in morning attack

Consternation at Austrian case of Nazi camp survivors called ‘a plague’

Bret Stephens: The next US president may not be pro-Israel

US missile defense aid to Israel to cut sharply in 2017

Yaalon: Deal with Turkey only if Hamas returns soldiers’ bodies

Turkey, Greece seek NATO mission in Aegean – German official

Turkey’s Erdogan warns patience will run out on Syria

Erdogan accuses US of making a ‘pool of blood’

Turkey: Taking in some refugees would support Syria’s ‘ethnic cleansing’

Turkey’s Erdogan chastises U.S. for support of Syrian Kurd rebels

Report: Death toll in 5-year Syrian civil war is 470,000

UN warns of hunger in Homs as Syrian offensive strands 120,000

US will not rule out Saudi ground troops being sent into Syria

As sands shift, US struggles to stitch together Syria ceasefire

Iran blames ‘terrorists’ for Syria peace talks collapse

Iran-Backed Militias Lead Attacks on Christians in Baghdad

Iran seeks tourism boost as nuclear chill ends

Senate passes North Korea sanctions bill as nuclear worries grow

Israel says ‘always watching’ Iran’s missile developments following announcement of missile upgrade

Senior Iranian military official: US is subordinate to Iran in Middle East

Iranians mock US sailors on revolution anniversary

US Navy rips Iran after new footage shows captured sailor crying

Attn. Vladimir Putin: U.S. and NATO beef up defenses on Russian border

Chechen Leader Threatens Foes in Bid to Gain Putin’s Support

With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes

US Army orders hundreds of soldiers back to southern Afghanistan

Female suicide bombers kill 58 in a Nigerian camp meant to be a safe haven

French parliament approves stripping citizenship from terrorists

North Korea’s military chief reportedly executed

North Korea: South pulling out of industrial zone is ‘declaration of war’

U.S. Senate approves sanctions against North Korea after rocket launch

Anger: Anti-Beyonce Rally Planned For Next Week At NFL Headquarters

NYPD reshuffles forces to focus on gang violence, will dismantle Organized Crime Bureau

Feds sue Ferguson to force police reform

Oregon standoff: FBI moves in on last refuge occupiers

Documents suggest State Dept. asked Clinton to delete classified emails

Official: Top Clinton aides also handled ‘top secret’ intel on server

Assange: Vote for Hillary Clinton is ‘vote for endless, stupid war’ which spreads terrorism

Cameron: Time for WikiLeaks Leader to Face Rape Charges

Commentators Hail Sanders’ Historic Victory, Warn Jewish Factor Could Ignite Antisemitism

Yellen warns of rising risks to US economy

Yellen: Persistent economic weakness could slow rate hikes

This Is Why the Fed Is Paying Interest to Big Banks

Futures drop as oil falls, investors digest Yellen remarks

Global Stocks Retreat Sharply After Fed Sparks Investor Concerns

Are We Heading For A U.S. And European Crash?

China is on a massive gold buying spree

Biohackers implant computers, earbuds and antennas in their bodies

Thanks to science, you can soon wipe out your worst memories

Science and superheroes: how close are we to creating real superpowers?

That Wasn’t a Meteorite That Killed a Man in India, NASA Says

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Taiwan earthquake death toll rises to 59; 76 still missing

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Dukono volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Thames Barrier to be closed for first time this winter to prevent flooding in London

Blizzard causes flooding for coastal Massachusetts

Looming cold snap could break records for Valentine’s Day weekend

Despite carbon ruling, White House says U.S. can meet climate deal goals

Study finds concerning trends among Dutch assisted suicide cases

Walgreens to roll out kiosks that dispense drug antidote without prescription

MRSA superbug found in supermarket pork raises alarm over farming risks

Scientists attack Zika virus from multiple angles

CDC detects Zika in tissue of Brazilian babies who died of microcephaly, finds strongest link yet

Several states seek to block 2nd trimester abortion method

Ohio Senate votes to defund Planned Parenthood after hearing limited public testimony

Pro-life investigator hits back with new footage after judge blocks release of abortion sting videos

Abortion Activist Laughs About Using Aborted Babies to Grow Rat Parts

Barack Obama Pushes FDA to Allow Scientists to Create Three-Parent Embryos

Judge Clears Kim Davis of Interfering With Gay Marriage Licenses

Pope faces Mexicans worshipping skeletal ‘Death Saint’

Obama offers prayer for persecuted Christians suffering under ‘unspeakable violence’

A 918 Point Stock Market Crash In Japan And Deutsche Bank Denies That It Is About To Collapse

Financial Crisis 2016On Tuesday junk bonds continued to crash, the price of oil briefly dipped below 28 dollars a barrel, Deutsche Bank was forced to deny that it is on the verge of collapse, but the biggest news was what happened in Japan.  The Nikkei was down a staggering 918 points, but that stock crash made very few headlines in the western world.  If the Dow had crashed 918 points today, that would have been the largest single day point crash in all of U.S. history.  So what just happened in Japan is a really big deal.  The Nikkei is now down 23.1 percent from the peak of the market, and that places it solidly in bear market territory.  Overall, a total of 16.5 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been wiped out since the middle of 2015.  As I stated yesterday, this is what a global financial crisis looks like. (Read More….)

The Briefing 

1) Argument rejecting CDC’s advice for women to abstain from alcohol a rejection of God’s design

Should all women not on birth control give up drinking?, Lost Angeles Times (Rebecca Kukla)

2) Attempts to change vocabulary around alcohol abuse remove moral responsibility

Language of addiction itself can hurt, advocates say, Boston Globe (Felice J. Freyer)

3) Crisis pregnancy centers challenge law that forces them to be complicit in the culture of death

Pregnancy Clinics Fight for Right to Deny Abortion Information, New York Times (Erik Eckholm)


In other news…

The Library Card, The Atlantic (Deborah Fallows)

A Question of Moral Radicalism, New York Times (David Brooks)
Why A Post-Christian Nation Needs a President of Faith, Christianity Today (O. Alan Noble)
Pope Francis Will Stand With Migrants at U.S. Border, Wall Street Journal (Dudley Althaus and Jose De Cordoba)

Pope faces Mexicans worshipping skeletal ‘Death Saint’, Yahoo News (Laurent Thomet)

Frontrunning: February 11

  • Gold Roars to One-Year High as Turmoil Drives Safe Haven Demand (Read More)
  • Banking Stocks Pummeled in Europe (Read More)
  • Dollar, stocks plunge sparks scramble for safety (Read More)
  • Nymex Crude Slips Below $27 a Barrel (Read More)
  • No Respite for S&P 500 as U.S. Stock Futures Join Global Selloff (Read More)
  • Walgreens Threatens to End Theranos Agreement (Read More)
  • Next Task for Clinton, Sanders: Securing the Minority Vote (Read More)
  • Yen Advances to 15-Month High as Korean Tensions Stoke Haven Bid (Read More)
  • Meet the Man Who Helps Trump Be Trump (Read More)
  • FBI tightens grip on final occupiers at Oregon wildlife refuge (Read More)
  • SocGen Slumps as Quarterly Profit Hurt by Securities Drop (Read More)
  • HSBC CEO Gulliver Said to End Pay Freeze After Staff Revolt (Read More)
  • Donors urge Clinton to sharpen message ahead of debate with Sanders (Read More)
  • Dark Pools’ Market Share Drops for First Time in Europe: Chart (Read More)
  • Russia says U.S. planes bombed Syria’s Aleppo on Wednesday (Read More)
  • Benghazi Panel Nears Final Report Examining Clinton’s Response (Read More)

Daily Digest

February 11, 2016


“I am not influenced by the expectation of promotion or pecuniary reward. I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary for the public good, become honorable by being necessary.” —Nathan Hale, 1776


There’s Nothing Democratic About Democrat Primaries


Hillary Clinton is winning handily against Bernie Sanders. Oh sure, the Democratic Socialist, with his message pledging a “political revolution” against Wall Street, tied in Iowa and cleaned up in the New Hampshire primary. But Clinton campaigned where it matters: to the Democrat Party’s superdelegates — lawmakers and key players in the party that can vote for whomever they want at the convention. Leaving New Hampshire, Sanders had the support of 42 delegates. Clinton? 394. The eventual Democrat candidate for president needs 2,382 delegates to win the party’s nomination.

For all their talk about dark money polluting the political system, Democrats sure do operate an unequal system. National Review’s Jim Geraghty wrote that 10,000 young Democrat primary voters feelin’ the Bern are equal to one superdelegate voting how they please, and those superdelegates are rallying to protect the establishment’s favorite politician in a pantsuit.

It’s false advertising to call the Democrat Party democratic. Why does the party even care about voter ID laws, or even participatory politics with a system tilted with superdelegates? So much for the principle of one person, one vote. The New Democrat Party is one where “Democrats” and Socialists is a distinction without a difference.

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Ferguson: Rally the Black Vote

As the nation’s news junkies focused their attention on the New Hampshire primary returns, the City Council of Ferguson, Missouri, took another twist related to the 2014 justified shooting death of Michael Brown. The six-member council voted unanimously to approve the Justice Department’s settlement to reform the city’s unjust policing practices — but “subject to certain conditions.” The DOJ responded to the city’s request by filing a lawsuit against Ferguson, just in time to agitate the black vote in the southern primaries.

The city council wants to amend the section of the 131-page consent decree that stipulates a pay increase for its police officers. If you recall, the city was balancing its budget through aggressive policing practices and a court system that collected fines from city residents hand over fist. With the reform already in place, Ferguson is running a $2.8 million deficit, and the DOJ’s plan would increase expenditures $3.7 million in the first year. Perhaps DOJ didn’t understand that unlike the federal government, local governments have to operate on a balanced budget.

“So just to make it clear,” Reason’s Scott Shackford explained, “the city stands accused of having an abusive law enforcement agency that violates the rights of its citizenry in order to fund itself and its court employees, and the correction being imposed by the Department of Justice is to force the city to have to find sources of even more money to fork over to the very officers that have been abusing residents.” What’s Ferguson to do? Raise taxes on its poor residents?

Make no mistake: Timing is everything. The DOJ’s actions will benefit Hillary Clinton throughout the southern primaries, as blacks are reminded once again of injustice. Never mind that Ferguson (and every other city in which Black Lives Matter is fomenting discord) is run by Democrats. “Residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights — the rights guaranteed to all Americans — for decades,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer.” As long as Democrats run the show, they will have to wait longer.

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Presstitutes and the Clintons Who Pimp Them

For at least two prominent Beltway journalists, trading independence for fleeting scoops is all part of the media churn. A recent batch of emails released by the State Department thanks to a FOIA requests contained a 2009 exchange between former Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder and Hillary Clinton mouthpiece Philippe Reines that demonstrated a clear example of transactional journalism. Clinton was a few months into her appointment as secretary of state when she gave a July 15 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations — a speech that The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple notes nobody remembers anymore. Ambinder contacted the Clinton machine to ask for an advance transcript of the speech. In the reply email, Reines said he would hand over the transcript, provided Ambinder complied with three conditions.

1) You in your own voice describe them as “muscular”

2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something

3) You don’t say you were blackmailed!

“Got it,” Ambinder replied. And sure enough, in the journalist’s finished piece, all three of Clinton’s demands were met in the first paragraph. Fellow Beltway scribbler Mike Allen of Politico also used the adjective “muscular” to describe Clinton’s speech, implying that he too followed directions from Clinton’s spin machine.

The two journalists violated a key tenet of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics: To act independently because “[t]he highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.” People may debate whether or not Clinton generally receives favorable media coverage, but it seems evident that some reporters are content to become Clinton’s presstitutes. And then they wonder why nobody trusts the Leftmedia.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Clinton’s Democrats and Sanders’ Socialists, on how the “New” Democrats are all Socialists — but at least Sanders has the integrity to admit it.

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Identity Politics and Demo Damnation

By Allyne Caan


For millennia, humankind has searched for the secret to salvation. At long last, the mystery is revealed — for women, at least. To escape hellfire and brimstone, one must simply vote for Hillary Clinton.

Welcome to the gospel according to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who recently implied of female Bernie Sanders supporters, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

This is truly ironic. Whereas once women battled discrimination due to lack of certain equipage in the nether regions, today’s feminists demand preference on grounds of the same absence. Whereas once women fought to be judged by their minds and not their bodies, today’s “progressives” demand females reject the matter between their ears and vote according to what’s between their legs. Whereas once women sought to show the world they could think for themselves, today’s leftists require blind adherence to their ideology.

Talk about a “war on women.”

Make no mistake, for anyone not deemed an heir to “white male privilege,” anything less than absolute submission to the leftist cause is unacceptable.

But it’s not just Democrat women who are expected to kowtow to the party as a condition of their existence (or of their eternal souls). Leftists have elevated identity politics to a religion.

Consider, for example, the recent story by University of Southern California Professor Roberto Suro. Reporting on Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s respective showings at the Iowa Caucuses, Suro explained why their achievements were not recognized as historic Latino wins. “The answer is not that complicated: Neither Mr. Cruz nor Mr. Rubio meets conventional expectations of how Latino politicians are supposed to behave.”

How is that? For starters, a true Latino would support a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, as this “is central to most organized Latino political interests and … is supported by a great majority of Latino elected officials and Latino voters.” In fact, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos wrote in no uncertain terms, “There is no greater disloyalty than the children of immigrants forgetting their own roots. That’s a betrayal.” In other words, authentic Latino identity requires believing illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship.

But it doesn’t end there. Added to gender and ethnicity, race rounds out the identity trio.

Suro notes that Ramos’ “betrayal,” is a “criticism that echoes the rhetoric aimed at Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court and other successful members of minority groups who are perceived as failing to uphold their own group’s interests.”

Indeed, remember Senator Harry Reid bemoaning the “five white men” of the Supreme Court who voted in favor of rights of conscience in the Hobby Lobby case? Justice Thomas dared defy leftist ideology and was summarily blanched.

Tim Scott, the first black Republican Senator from South Carolina and the first African-American elected to both the House and Senate, also misses the mark of “blackness.” The NAACP — whose acronym-indicated mission is the “advancement of colored people” — gave Scott a failing grade on its legislative scorecard. Forget that Scott has achieved what blacks only dreamed of 150 years ago. For “progressives,” degree of “blackness” is directly correlated to towing the Democratic Socialist Party line.

And leftists can hardly stand the existence of Mia Love, the first black female Republican in Congress. Just after Love’s historic win in 2014, the Huffington Post headlined, “She looks black, but her politics are red.” (As in “red state,” of course, not Democratic Socialist red — which, by the way, is precisely the reason the Leftmedia changed the political colors 25 years ago.) The story noted that Love — female, black and Mormon — is a member of traditionally “oppressed” groups. Yet her values “do not necessarily represent her interests as a member in any of these oppressed groups.” Clearly, these gatekeepers of what blacks are supposed to think would have us believe Love is denying what’s “expected” of her as a female black Mormon by daring to espouse conservative values.

Bottom line, leftists want you to think for yourself — provided that what tow the party line based on race, class, gender and ethnicity. Dare to think differently, and you have failed your identity test.

And failure, as you know, will send you straight to hell.

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Mona Charen: “Like Sanders, [Donald Trump is] not interested in reform so much as looking for scapegoats. Sanders blames greedy billionaires for the problems of the middle class and the poor; Trump blames treacherous immigrants, crafty foreigners and incompetent leadership in Washington. Some people seemed surprised that there was overlap between Sanders and Trump supporters, but it makes perfect sense. Some commentators on the right, particularly on talk radio, have ridden the hobbyhorse of immigration very hard — even to the point of welcoming Trump’s rise as a ratification of their fixation. But in Iowa, immigration was rated important by only 13 percent of GOP caucus participants. In New Hampshire, only 15 percent said it was important to their vote. Terrorism, government spending and the economy all ranked higher. Trump and Sanders are disruptive, and people who welcome chaos for its own sake are dangerous. The Founding Fathers of this country were extremely wary of excessive power — whether in an executive or in a mob. They designed the system to be stable and somewhat resistant to every shift in public mood, and it has served us very well. But the voters are the ultimate custodians of the American system, and by turning to demagogues in both parties, they’ve ventured into scary terrain.”

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Insight: “When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.” —H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

For the record: “The people of New Hampshire have a quaint self-delusion that they pick Presidents. In fact, they like to denigrate Iowa specifically by saying ‘Iowa picks corn, New Hampshire picks Presidents.’ The actual truth is that New Hampshire has been on an unrelenting losing streak that goes back over three decades, for both parties. In every contested primary — Republican or Democrat — since 1992, New Hampshire has picked a candidate who either a) lost their party’s nomination or b) lost the general election.” —Leon Wolf

Belly laugh of the week: “I just saw a story the other day showing that if you rank all 50 states across categories like education levels and household incomes, and race and religion, the one state that most closely mirrors America as a whole is Illinois, this state.” —Barack Obama

Delusions: “We saved the economy from a depression. We brought back an auto industry from the brink of collapse. We helped our businesses create 14 million new jobs over the past six years. We cut the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.9%. We covered nearly 18 million more Americans with health insurance. We ignited a clean energy revolution. We got bin Laden. We brought the vast majority of our troops home to their families. We got a lot done. We’re still getting a lot done. And our political system helped make these things possible, and the list could go on. There’s no doubt America is better off today than when I took office.” —Barack Obama

“We don’t have a common basis for what’s true and what’s not. I mean, if I listened to some of these conservative pundits, I wouldn’t vote for me either. I sound like a scary guy. … Nine years to the day that I first announced for this office, I still believe in that politics of hope.” —Barack Obama

Transparency: “I don’t think there is any doubt that [Obama] wants Hillary to win the nomination and believes she would be the best candidate in the fall and the most effective as president in carrying forward what he has achieved.” —former Obama spokesman Jay Carney

Non Compos Mentis: “We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders.” —Bill Maher

Late-night humor: “Valentine’s Day is the only holiday where a plant suddenly becomes astronomically expensive and we’re OK with it. It would be like if on Easter they charged $20 an egg.” —Jimmy Kimmel

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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For the Good of the Country, Hillary Should Quit

A former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under the Obama administration says Hillary Clinton should “step down” from the presidential race to clear the way for the probe of her private email server by the FBI.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports in an exclusive interview that Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (USA-Ret.) thinks the former secretary of state – “for the good of the country” – should quit her run for president and “let this FBI investigation play out.”

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Bachmann on Muslim Migration: ‘This Is A Planned Invasion’ For The ‘Purpose of Destroying Western Christendom’

“”We saw this mass migration, this people movement, which is a historic people movement of Muslims from Islamic nations tending to be the most radicalized nations — from those nations into nations that are known as Western Christendom,” said Rep. Bachmann during a Feb. 6 interview on the Understanding The Times with Jan Markell radio program.

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Rapture Before John Darby

Darby is a favorite target for every non-pretrib activist with a blogger account, as well as a string of published anti-pretribulational writers. They claimed no one prior to Darby ever taught a “dual-phase” Second Advent, much less the pretrib rapture. Most accused Darby of being influenced by the unstable Margaret MacDonald or Edward Irving.

Here’s a typical example from Robert Van Kampen’s website:

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Obama ‘recovery’? $16.5 trillion plunge in global equity markets

‘Crash of 2016’ could dwarf bank crisis that triggered economic recession

The prospect of recovery in global equity markets remains dim, given economic projections indicating the price of oil worldwide will remain at or below $30 a barrel for the remainder of 2016, suggesting global equity markets may be on the precipice of an historic sell-off that could end up with the “Crash of 2016.”

Such a crash could dwarf the bank crisis that triggered a global economic recession at the end of President George W. Bush’s second term in office.

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The Bigger One Is Coming – Todd Strandberg

I have noticed that several fault zones around the world are strangely long overdue in producing a major earthquake. The San Francisco bay area; the U.S. Pacific Coast and southern segments of the state; Tokyo, Japan; Jakarta, Indonesia; the holy city of Jerusalem are all on borrowed time. I can only guess that God is storing up wrath for the Tribulation hour. It is my hope that believers living in the Pacific Northwest will soon be transported to a higher ground that no tsunami can reach.

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Hallmark Ignites Controversy Over Gay Couple Valentine’s Day Ads

Hallmark, America’s largest greeting card company, has stirred controversy over a Valentine’s Day ad campaign that features gay couples talking about their romantic relationships.

The company launched the social media marketing campaign last month, stating that they wanted “to celebrate romantic love of all kinds.”

Known as #CareEnough, the series of video ads posted to YouTube include two same-sex couples, one being two men with a daughter and the other two women.

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Shame on the Pastors Who Anointed Hillary Clinton as President

This is a righteousness issue, and it is shameful for ministers of the gospel to bless a candidate who stands for a woman’s “right” to shed innocent blood in the womb (through all nine months of pregnancy), who aggressively supports the redefinition of marriage and who calls for the changing of cherished religious beliefs.

Shame on those who partook in this ceremony.

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The Coming One World Religion and Government

It is inevitable according to the Word of God:  The world will turn to Satan and anti-christ for the “solutions” to the crisis that the world is experiencing.  And while no one knows the exact date this will happen Jesus did warn us to look at the signs of the season so we might know […]

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Is Twitter Censoring Non-Politically Correct Viewpoints?

According to The Daily Signal:

TwitterThe folks running Twitter may be too young to have heard of George Orwell, or perhaps they simply do not care that their new advisory council sounds frighteningly Orwellian. Either way, the brand new “Twitter Trust and Safety Council” seems like a board ready to censor comments in deference to political correctness.

It doesn’t help that among the more than 40 organizations that make up the council, one finds such groups as the “Dangerous Speech Project,” a group with ties to the liberal John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and to financier George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

Another council member is GLAAD, formerly an acronym for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (the organization now goes by just its initials). Feminist Frequency, which also seeks to monitor free speech, is another member of the council.

The council does include some groups that appear to do good work preventing cyber-bullying against the young. Absent, however, are any conservative-leaning groups.

Read more

15 Questions for Following Jesus on Social Media

How are you using social media to follow Jesus? Or is it leading you into darkness? This article appeared first on Unlocking the Bible and is used with permission. –Ed. BCC logo Social media is everywhere today. We can’t watch anything on TV without being reminded of the option to tweet about what we are watching. Now with smartphones we can use social media in the car, in the bathroom, at a meeting, and even—gasp!–at church.

When we stray from our God-given purpose, we quickly fall away from where he wants us to be.

While there are many advantages to social media, we should ask the question: Is it good for us? More importantly, how can we obey the Great Commandment to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength while using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+?

1. Are you seeking to glorify God through social media?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

The foundational question “Are you seeking to glorify God?” can be addressed to any situation in life because we were created to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7). When we stray from our life’s God-given purpose, we quickly fall away from where God wants us to be.

2. Does social media lead you into sin?

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:29)

Social media is itself a morally neutral thing, neither inherently good nor bad. But when put in the hands of sinful human beings, it should be no surprise that it can be used for a host of sinful behaviors: bullying, sinful relationships, sexual perversion, worldly ideas, and allowing yourself to be led astray by bad influences. Pray that God would reveal your sins and the idols that may exist or be fed through social media, and for the grace and power to repent.

3. Does your speech build up or tear down?

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:10)

Social media is rampant with gossip, bullying, pessimism and complaining. Instead of conforming to the world, be a light and use your words to build others up. Know your weaknesses and be on your guard when someone posts something that pushes one of your buttons. Before you post, pray Psalm 19:14:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

4. Do people see the light of Christ in you based on what you post?

…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Social networks present a unique opportunity to let your light shine before others by show the hope you have in Jesus Christ. You are able to challenge and encourage others to believe in Christ and follow him. Don’t forget the awesome opportunity you have to proclaim to the world the unsearchable riches of Christ!

5. Is social media your master?

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Don’t become a slave to the beeping of your phone or computer and always be checking your notifications online. Do you really need to check each notification, or can you check a few times throughout the day? Instead of constantly checking notifications with spare moments, read Scripture, pray, or let your mind rest.

6. Does your use of social media help you redeem the time?

…making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)

Let’s be honest: Some social media sites act as a black hole that suck up our time. It can be easy to go on Facebook to “check one thing” and to stay on for an hour. What else could you have done with that hour? Was that making the best use of the short life God has given you?

7. Does your use of social media help you renew your mind in God’s truth?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

God can use little moments we give to him throughout our day to grow us, including time on social media. You can use your Facebook and Twitter streams to grow your faith by following accounts that honor God. I have sought to develop the discipline to stop and read Scripture whenever I see it posted to remind me that everything else posted is of limited importance compared to the Word of God that has eternal importance (1 Peter 1:24-25).

8. Do you use social media as a platform to complain?

Do all things without grumbling or disputing… (Philippians 2:14)

Paul had a lot he could have complained about (2 Corinthians 11:23-28), yet he still tells us to “do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Some turn to social media to complain, but God’s will for his children is that they give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Which characterizes you: thankfulness or constant complaining?

9. Do you use social media for unprofitable arguments?

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)

There is no shortage of social media arguments about politics, sports, religion – you name it! While some conversations can prove profitable, many others are a waste of time. Instead of arguing with fools, invest your time and energy into something more worthwhile.

10. Do you value social media interactions more than real-life relationships?

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)

God made us for relationships. Increasingly today, these relationships can take place through technology and can make people less social in real life. (So much for social media!) Instead of merely “liking” a picture or favoriting a tweet, invest in real relationships by having meaningful conversations. Take the extra step by letting people important to you know that you care about them. Or take an even greater extra step – actually talk with your friend face-to-face!

11. Does social media make you a healthier and more productive person?

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Social media causes some people to have a shorter attention span, lose sleep, and even be depressed. Is that you? God desires that we honor God with not only our body, but also our entire being. Don’t let social media suck away your ability to follow that command.

12. Do you have any relationships through social media that you should cut off?

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to connect with everyone you’ve ever known – for better or for worse. Some of our connections can discourage us in our faith or lure us into sins like gossip, bullying, and rekindling unhealthy relationships. Many divorces today are caused by discontented spouses rekindling old flames on Facebook. Don’t let this happen to you! Exercise godly wisdom and cut off “bad company” that will hinder a holy life.

13. Does social media help you be content?

…godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

Social media can add fuel to the fire of covetousness and insecurity because it can lead us to compare ourselves to others and their relationships, possessions, and lifestyle. Have you ever thought that your friend always posting pictures of their possessions might not be content? The secret to contentment is not having everything you want, but being thankful with what you have. May we learn to be like Paul who learned to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11-13).

14. Do you use social media to boost your ego?

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)

We can believe the lie that we only have value if people follow us or like our posts. If your mood depends on the number of “Likes” or “Retweets” your post receives, you care too much about gaining the approval of man. Rejoice in the fact that the gospel says that God accepts you because of what Christ has done.

15. Do you use social media to hide?

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. (Proverbs 25:14)

Have you ever known someone who acts cool online but is a radically different person in real life? Unfortunately, social media can act as a mask hiding our true identity. The root of this issue is pride – we want people to think we are cool and have it all together. Remember the truth of James 4:10:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

The Daily Discovery (February 11, 2016)


(Click title to go to full article)

Is War Ever Justified? A Reality Check – “The words of Jesus are unambiguous: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.’ (Matt. 5:9) These familiar words from the Sermon on the Mount form the basis of any Christian understanding of war and its morality. For the Christian, the standard is already set and the goal is absolutely clear–we are to seek the peace.”

Adorable And Dangerous – “She’s adorable with her big eyes, Southern drawl and funny (while also touching) stories that resonate with women. She makes the Bible seem so personal. And lately she assures women that Jesus longs to romance each of them–an idea that I can’t help understanding as a sort of divine polygamy. Okay, so I don’t adore Beth Moore.”

Five Reasons to Not Observe Lent – “No more than 24 hours into the 2015 Lenten season and a plethora of Evangelical #lent posts began appearing in the social media world. The Lenten season and Evangelical’s strange desire to participate, is as confounding as it is misguided. This strange situation is undoubtedly the unholy fruit of rapidly increasing Biblical and confessional illiteracy within the overall Protestant church and its many denominations.”

Giving up Lent – “Today is Ash Wednesday, so the big talk this week around the office involves fasting. It’s always a curious thing to hear avowedly secular people discuss Lenten fasting. It’s become a kind of cultural artifact—it’s something you do because everyone else does, or because your family always did–like secular Jews celebrating the ‘high holy days.’ People I know who deny the God of Scripture or the deity of Jesus are still fasting (though they are very particular about the exact rules—I won’t do this at these certain times in these certain circumstances). It’s interesting to see that, in doing this, they’re creating another man-made law to follow, and willingly taking on the yokes they shape themselves. It’s like, deep down, there’s still a desire to fashion our own righteousness…”

Gleanings from Judges – “Judges can be a disturbingly dark and tragic book. We see the people of God sliding into apostasy, becoming like the pagans the were told to destroy from out of the land. But the book of Judges really begins in Genesis, for that is where we have the record of Canaan’s cursing after Ham’s sing against his father, Noah (Genesis 9:20-28). The Canaanites became the inhabitants of the land God promises to Israel, and throughout Genesis and Exodus, the people who descended from Canaan persecuted the people of Israel and engaged in unimaginable wickedness.”


Pastor Dan

Dan Phillips – A Prisoner’s Glorious Prayer


Biblical Love

An Evangelical Christian’s Opposition to Gospel Preaching

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

The post The Daily Discovery (February 11, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.

A La Carte (February 11)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Power of Suffering by John MacArthur ($1.99); A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Laconte ($3.99); Help My Unbelief by Barnabas Piper ($3.99); To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain by Matt Chandler ($3.99); and Mindscape by Timothy Witmer ($2.99). I know Christians are still divided on Harry Potter, but if you enjoy the series, there is now a Complete Collection for just $14.99 that gets you all 7 books.

Conscripted for Life, Not War

There are a couple of key lines in this article. “God gave women marvelous strength. Strength that wasn’t meant to be compared or measured against a man. Last time I checked, I’d never met a man able to give birth. I’ve also never known a man able to handle months of sleep deprivation during which he fed a tiny human round the clock from his very own body…”

I Love My Church!

I enjoyed this pastor’s expression of love for his church.

Hollow Square Hymnal

Hollow Square Hymnal is a new album just released by Cardiphonia. You can buy it or listen to the whole thing online.

5 Tips for Young Apologists

Yes! Here are some great tips for young apologists.

Don’t Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church

“When I talk to people about their churches I almost sense a little embarrassment about the size and perceived scope of their church. Apologetic words like small and ordinary come out. I would argue that these words are not bad at all—and perhaps even quite accurate—but it is the sentiment behind them that is concerning, especially in light of what the church is and does.”

This Day in 1948. 68 years ago today, Wayne Grudem was born! As we celebrate Dr. Grudem’s life, let’s continue to pray for his fight against Parkinson’s disease. *

Don’t Play Travel Ball

Jim Hamilton argues that it’s best to skip travel ball and to keep your kids in rec leagues.

The Triumph of Trans Lysenkoism

Rod Dreher: “This is how they work: screaming that anyone who doesn’t bend to their demands is causing trans suicides, is creating unsafe spaces, and so forth. When applied to science, it is LGBT Lysenkoism, the Soviet-era agricultural disaster caused by trying to make science fit into Stalinist political correctness.”


It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather he accepts us despite the way we are. —Sinclair Ferguson

Fukushima clean-up ‘may take 40 years’

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:10 AM PST

Cleaning up Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years. The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO.

“If I may put this in terms of mountain climbing, we’ve just passed the first station on a mountain of 10 stations,” said Akira Ono, head of the Fukushima plant. It’s almost five years since the earthquake and the tsunami it triggered killed more than 15,000 people and destroyed coastal towns on March 11, 2011.TEPCO has attracted fierce criticism for its handling of the disaster. READ MORE

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Russia and Iran appears close to handing a military victory to Assad in Syria

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:01 AM PST

Days of intense bombing that could soon put the critical city of Aleppo back into the hands of Syrian President Assad’s forces. The USA says there could be no military solution to Syria. The Russians may be proving the United States wrong. There may be a military solution, one senior American official conceded Wednesday, “just not our solution,” but that of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

The Russian military action has changed the shape of a conflict that had effectively been stalemated for years. Suddenly, Mr. Assad and his allies have momentum, and the United States-backed rebels are on the run. If a cease-fire is negotiated here, it will probably come at a moment when Mr. Assad holds more territory, and more sway, than since the outbreak of the uprisings in 2011.

Mr. Kerry enters the negotiations with very little leverage: The Russians have cut off many of the pathways the C.I.A. has been using for a not-very-secret effort to arm rebel groups, according to several current and former officials. Mr. Kerry’s supporters inside the administration say he has been increasingly frustrated by the low level of American military activity, which he views as essential to bolstering his negotiation effort. READ MORE

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Why are so many Christians biblically illiterate?

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:57 AM PST

Emblematic of the Bible’s declining influence is what Harper Lee penned in her 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in which the character Miss Maudie says, “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of [another]. Most Christians know enough about the Bible to be dangerous. The Bible in America is a massive industry ($2.5 billion) yet it is the best seller few read and fewer understand.

The Bible has become a moving target. One can strip it down, twist it, misread it, add to it, supplement it, and even overrule it, and, unfortunately, 95 percent of the congregation will not realize it. Why? Because Americans no longer know the Bible. The evidence is overpowering that contemporary Christianity is Bible-ish, at best, and at worst, in some cases, Bible-less. The American Bible Society releases an annual State of the Bible report and their research is persuasive in understanding the declining influence of the Bible in America. READ MORE

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First case of Zika identified in Alabama, Virus has now spread to 20 U.S. states

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:49 AM PST

The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Alabama.  Officials in Alabama said the person had recently traveled to a country affected by the virus and returned infected. The individual, who has not been identified, is a resident of Morgan County in the Tennessee Valley and is said to be ‘fine’. Four other people have been tested and are awaiting results, while another person, who had returned from Latin American country, came back negative.

‘The person is fine,’ Dr Jim McVay, from the Alabama Department of Public Health, told Al.com.  Dr Tom Miller, acting state health officer, said he expected more cases to be identified in Alabama. ‘We knew it was only a matter of time before we would have the first positive case of an individual in Alabama with Zika virus,’ he said. ‘Given the frequency of international travel to affected areas, we anticipate having additional positive cases. We are working with the medical community to identify high-risk individuals.’ The Zika virus is now believed to have spread to 20 states, as well as Washington, DC. READ MORE



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Health officials warn of Zika outbreak in Florida

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:40 AM PST

Urging Congress to provide more resources in the fight against Zika, a top federal health official on Wednesday warned Congress that the virus is likely to spread into tropical areas of the United States such as Puerto Rico and South Florida, where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is common. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden told members of the Foreign Affairs Committee that the number of U.S. Zika cases has risen and cautioned that if the virus takes root, it could spread as rapidly as the chikungunya virus did in 2014,

when the disease, also carried by mosquitoes, crisscrossed Puerto Rico in less than a year. Acknowledging that a case of Zika was spread through sexual contact in Dallas, Frieden said much was still unknown about the virus, including the depth of its health effects and how long it could survive in bodily fluids. He said mosquito eradication remained the best way to fight the virus. READ MORE


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The world can’t afford another financial crash – it could destroy capitalism as we know it

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:25 AM PST

They bounce back after terrorist attacks, pick themselves up after earthquakes and cope with pandemics such as Zika. They can even handle years of economic uncertainty, stagnant wages and sky-high unemployment. But no developed nation today could possibly tolerate another wholesale banking crisis and proper, blood and guts recession.
We are too fragile, fiscally as well as psychologically.

Our economies, cultures and polities are still paying a heavy price for the Great Recession; another collapse, especially were it to be accompanied by a fresh banking bailout by the taxpayer, would trigger a cataclysmic, uncontrollable backlash. The public, whose faith in elites and the private sector was rattled after 2007-09, would simply not wear it. Its anger would be so explosive, so-all encompassing that it would threaten the very survival of free trade, of globalisation and of the market-based economy. There would be calls for wage and price controls, punitive, ultra-progressive taxes, a war on the City and arbitrary jail sentences. READ MORE

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DEVELOPING: Sweden Cuts Rates Deeper Into Negative Territory, May Go Further

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:21 AM PST

Sweden’s central bank lowered its key interest rate even further below zero and said it’s prepared to use its full toolbox of measures as it battles to revive inflation and keep the krona from appreciating. The repo rate was reduced to minus 0.50 percent from minus 0.35 percent, the Stockholm-based bank said. A cut was predicted by 10 of the 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, though only three had anticipated this magnitude.

The bank said government bond purchases will continue as planned for the first six months of 2016 and that it “will reinvest maturities and coupons from the government bond portfolio until further notice.” “Uncertainty regarding global developments is still high, with low inflation and several central banks pursuing more expansionary monetary policy,” the Riksbank said. “Swedish monetary policy must relate to this. Otherwise the krona exchange rate is at risk of strengthening at a faster rate than in the forecast, which would make it harder to push inflation and stabilize it around 2 percent.” READ MORE

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Dollar and Global Stocks trampled in stampede to safety

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:17 AM PST

The dollar hit a 16-month low against the yen on Thursday to put it on course for its worst week since the Lehman crisis as investors scrambled for relative safety, buying up gold and top-rated bonds and dumping stocks. Investors were spooked by worries over the direction of the global economy and by cautious comments from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve that were taken to mean further rate hikes are unlikely in the near term.

Wall Street <ESc1> <NQc1> was expected to open almost 2 percent lower. European stocks <.FTEU3> were down over 3 percent at a 2-1/2 year low led by another 6 percent plunge in banks, and the Swedish crown <SEK=> tumbled as its central bank waded in with a surprise cut to its already deeply negative interest rates. “What this shows is that the risk-off mode has come back very quickly and that the worst may still be to come in these markets,” said Rabobank European strategist Emile Cardon. READ MORE

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Our Time is Short

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

What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is the Gospel?

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

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

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

The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more

Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed

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Are you still in your sins?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order:Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:22-24 NASB)

“Christian Universalists” say that God would not send people to burn in Hell for eternity. What is their basis for this? They misquote passages such as the one I placed at the top of this post saying that “all’ and “all’ means all people. The basis for taking this stand is this, “I reject that God will send all unbelievers to burn in Hell eternally!” Really? On what are you basing that? It sure cannot be Sacred Scripture unless you are one who…

View original post 1,840 more words

When Satan Dresses Up The World

The Reformed Reader

Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices (Puritan Paperbacks) One  of the many things Satan does to try to keep us from growing in holiness and serving the Lord is to attempt to get the Christian to love the world.  He dresses up the world and tries to make it desirable for the Christian, with the aim that the Christian walk away from Christ.  How can we fight this temptation of Satan?  Thomas Brooks has some good advice – I especially like the story of Chrysostom in #2:

  1. The first remedy against this device of Satan is to dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.  They are not able to secure you from the least evil, they are not able to procure you the least desirable good.  The crown of gold cannot cure the headache….

  2. The second remedy against this device of Satan is to dwell upon the vanity of them [worldly things] as…

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