The State Department’s inspector general last year subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation for documents related to work that required approval from the Hillary Clinton State Department, making it now at least four investigations involving the Democratic presidential candidate being conducted by federal agencies.
As I have said before I believe I have seen first hand how “biased” the crony media can be. But it’s a little different than how some conservatives portray the bias. They see often only the leftward bent. But it is a special kind of leftward bent in the crony media, one which is very pro-corporate. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, all the old media is solidly left of center.
Did you know that more Americans now die from suicide than are killed in car crashes each year? According to the CDC, there has been a substantial spike in suicide deaths in the United States in recent years. Today, approximately 9.3 million Americans admit to having suicidal thoughts, and approximately 2.7 million Americans each year actually make a plan for how they would commit suicide. We are a deeply, deeply unhappy nation, but of course this phenomenon is not just limited to America. According to the World Health Organization, suicide is now the third highest cause of death in the entire world. Globally, suicide rates have soared by 60 percent over the past 45 years, and the WHO is now projecting that by the year 2020 someone will be committing suicide somewhere in the world every 20 seconds. (Read More…)
Stock markets around the world continue to collapse as this new global financial crisis picks up more steam. In the U.S., the Dow lost 254 more points on Thursday, and it has now fallen for five days in a row. European stocks continued to get obliterated, and financial institutions are leading the way. But this week what is happening in Japan has been the most sobering. After falling 918 points the other day, the Nikkei plunged another 760 points early on Friday. The Nikkei has now fallen for seven of the past eight days, and investors in Japan are in full panic mode. Overall, global stocks are well into bear market territory, and nearly 17 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has already been wiped out. (Read More….)
This is an issue which we need to revisit soon, and we will at greater length. And there is is some validity to this fear.
First, the Crash of 2008 was a crash caused by central planning. It was the Federal Reserve which created the necessary climate for the Crash. The planners screwed up royally. They kept interest rates too low for too long and everyone came to believe that there was a “Greenspan Put”
New Zealand’s Christchurch rocked by 5.7 magnitude quake, cliffs collapse into sea
A strong 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck near Christchurch in New Zealand on Sunday, causing cliffs to collapse into the sea but no major damage to the city, which was devastated by a 2011 quake which killed nearly 200 people. The epicentre of Sunday’s quake on New Zealand’s south island was 15 kms (9 miles) east of Christchurch and at a shallow depth of 15 km (9 miles), said the country’s seismological body Geonet.
Oklahoma rattled by state’s third-largest earthquake; 5.1 recorded near Fairview
The third-largest earthquake in recorded state history rocked parts of western Oklahoma on Saturday morning near the site of other large, recent temblors. The quake registered a magnitude of 5.1 and was recorded northwest of Fairview at 11:07 a.m., according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Israel’s New Gun Lobby Hopes to Ensure Right to Bear Arms
Following in the footsteps of America’s influential National Rifle Association (NRA), a lobby which has considerable sway in Congress, a Likud MK is establishing a gun lobby here in Israel’s Knesset. MK Amir Ohana will formally launch the initiative on Monday with a caucus aimed at protecting and widening the rights of Israelis to own and carry firearms.
Hawaii governor signs emergency proclamation on Zika, other illnesses
The governor of Hawaii has signed an emergency proclamation regarding Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Gov. David Ige signed the declaration Friday as “a preventative measure” to guard against Zika, dengue fever and other diseases, his office said in a statement.
Fierce Battle Erupts Over Next Supreme Court Judge Following Death of Justice Scalia
News of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday almost immediately sparked a massive debate in the political arena over the weighty question of whether or not President Barack Obama should attempt to fill the opening on the bench during his remaining time in office.
EU talks will go down to the wire, says Philip Hammond
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Britain needs a “robust deal” for staying in the EU, when European leaders meet at a summit on Thursday. Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking EU reform before Britain votes in an in/out referendum before 2018. “There are still a lot of moving parts,” Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Syria conflict: Turkey presses on with assault on Kurds
A Turkish assault on positions claimed by Kurdish fighters in northern Syria has continued into a second day. On Saturday, Turkey began shelling the militia, which it says is linked to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The YPG militia, which is based in Syria, has rejected a demand by Turkey to leave areas it has seized, saying Islamists would return if it left.
China bank chief says ‘speculators’ caused yuan fall
Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan has accused “speculative forces” of targeting the country’s currency, the yuan. He said there was no reason for the yuan to keep depreciating in value and that China would not let international speculators dominate market sentiment. Mr Zhou’s remarks come as Chinese markets prepare to reopen on Monday after a week-long New Year holiday.
Report: Minister’s comments lead to Egypt canceling Netanyahu meeting
Egypt has canceled a scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Cairo, Arab media reported Sunday. The announcement comes after Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said earlier this month 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.”
Iran Plays and Backstabs the US: Iran Dumps Dollar in Trade
he Islamic Republic declared that it is moving away from the US dollar for use in trades and that Tehran welcomes replacing dollar with other currencies.
Justice Antonin Scalia’s death quickly sparks political battle
Justice Antonin Scalia’s death immediately triggered a monumental election-year battle in Washington over whether President Barack Obama should choose a successor who could tilt the Supreme Court toward liberals.
Pope condemns Mexico ‘drugs cancer’
Pope Francis has urged Mexico’s leaders to provide “true justice” to citizens hit by drug violence in the country. Speaking on the first day of his five-day visit to Mexico, he said drug trafficking was a cancer that devoured and destroyed Mexican society.
Syrian army gains ground around Aleppo, looks to Raqqa
Russia said on Saturday a Syria ceasefire plan was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government forces backed by Russian air strikes took rebel ground near Aleppo and set their sights on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province.
North Korea took 70 percent of Kaesong wages for weapons program: South Korea
South Korea said 70 percent of the U.S. dollars paid as wages and fees for the suspended Kaesong industrial project, run jointly with the North, had been diverted for Pyongyang’s weapons program and luxury goods for leader Kim Jong Un.
Turkey strikes Kurd, regime forces in Syria, mulls ground attack
Turkey hit Kurdish and Syrian regime targets on Saturday as Ankara mulled a ground assault with Saudi troops, further complicating efforts to end the war just days after the US and Russia agreed on a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria within a week.
Krauthammer: CBS Republican Debate Was “Thermonuclear War,” “We Went From WWE To The UFC”
Charles Krauthammer analyzes the Saturday night Republican presidential debate moderated by CBS News. Krauthammer said if the previous debates had been World War I or II, then this debate was a thermonuclear war.
Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at West Texas ranch
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said. Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.
Earthquake hits Big Island
HONOLULU (AP) – A magnitude-4.1 earthquake jolted the southern flank of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano Friday morning. The U.S. Geological Survey said that the quake was centered about 26 miles south of Hilo. It hit at 9:23 a.m.
5.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Central, Northern Oklahoma
The 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck at approximately 11:07 a.m. Its epicenter was located 17 miles northwest of Fairview, 39 miles east of Woodward, and 44 miles west of Enid. It was less than a mile deep. Then around 11:17 a.m., a 3.9 magnitude struck in the same area.
Latest undercover abortion video talks about ‘group purchasing program’
National Abortion Federation members are shown in the video agreeing that payment for fetal parts would be a “win-win” for abortion clinics, “Yeah, it definitely sounds like something some of our members would be really interested in,” Sandy Fulkerson, Training and Education Coordinator at the National Abortion Federation
Report: Russia, Israel, to Sign Free Trade Agreement
Russia and Israel are about to sign a free trade agreement in the very near future, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin told TASS on Friday after talks with his Israeli counterpart. “We’ve discussed the prospects of forming a free trade zone, which the government plans to put on paper within the shortest period of time,”
Moderate earthquake, 5.2 mag strikes near Torata in Peru
A moderate earthquake with magnitude 5.2 (ml/mb) was reported 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Torata in Peru on Friday. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 114.36 km (71 miles) below the earth’s surface. Exact location of event, depth 114.36 km, -70.9129° West, -17.0108° South. The temblor was detected at 22:46:45 / 10:46 pm (local time epicenter). A tsunami warning has not been issued (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist).
World is fighting a new Cold War, Russia’s Medvedev says
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the world was fighting a new Cold War, warning of grave consequences for the West if it didn’t cooperate with Russia in Syria and elsewhere. Medvedev cited the Syria conflict as an arena of much needed Russian-Western cooperation, especially on military issues.
Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Pope hold historic meeting, sign call to end persecution of Christians
Patriarch Kirill, and Pope Francis signed a joint declaration after their first historic meeting in Havana, Cuba. They called on world leaders to prevent Christians in the Middle East from “being completely exterminated” and to help refugees from those regions. The declaration calls on the world to unite against terrorism and help free those who have been kidnapped by extremists.
U.S. Defence Secretary says UK needs nuclear weapons for ‘outsized’ world role
Britain must renew its submarine-borne Trident nuclear weapons system if it is to maintain its “outsized” role in world affairs, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in comments published on Saturday. A decision on replacing the ageing fleet of four submarines which carry nuclear warheads is due to be made this year and while Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to renewal…
Rare Biblical Redemption of Donkey Performed on Mt. Zion
Last Saturday night, a baby donkey was brought to the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion to be redeemed. What many consider an obscure agricultural ritual turned into a joyous celebration that ended with passionate cries for the coming of the Messiah.
Venezuela Declares Another Emergency: It Has Run Out of Food
Venezuela’s opposition legislature has declared a “nutritional emergency,” proclaiming that the country simply does not have enough food to feed its population. The move comes after years of socialist rationing and shortages that forced millions to wait on lines lasting as long as six hours for a pint of milk, a bag of flour, or carton of cooking oil.
US-South Korea missile defence system ‘threatens China’
China’s foreign minister says a planned US missile defence system to protect South Korea from North Korea could threaten Chinese security. Wang Yi told Reuters news agency that the system went “far beyond the defence needs of the Korean peninsula”. The US and South Korea announced plans to deploy the system after the North fired a long-range rocket this month.
Turkish FM: Russia targeting schools, hospitals in Syria
Turkey’s foreign minister said on Friday that Russia was targeting schools and hospitals as part of its bombing campaign in Syria. Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Mevlut Cavusoglu put the blame squarely on Moscow for the wave of tens of thousands of people who have arrived at the Turkish border over the past week.
Jerusalemites torn over Herzog’s proposal to give up Arab neighborhoods
Less than 48 hours after Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog presented a diplomatic plan…to relinquish Arab neighborhoods in the capital to increase security…Israelis expressed conflicting opinions… “It begins with conceding sovereignty over neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city, continues with concessions in the Old City, and…a short path to conceding…the Western Wall, and indicating…we will concede all our rights to this land,” he said.
Analysis: Moscow’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah threatens strategic Israeli interests
GOVERNMENTS AND pundits were stunned last September when Russia sent an expeditionary force into Syria… On the face of it, Putin was challenging Western sanctions…But Russia’s interest in Syria goes much deeper. It is driven by a burning desire to reinstate its Middle Eastern presence and influence…and the great power status it lost with the crumbling of the Soviet empire.
The Pentagon’s vile ‘divided loyalty’ rules for Jews
Congress is rarely called upon to dispel conspiracy theories. But it needs to teach the Pentagon to separate fact from fiction, because American Jews are routinely denied security clearances based on nothing more than a fear that they are Israeli spies.
Investors are flooding into gold like it’s the financial crisis all over again
Investors are flooding into precious metals as fears of a global slowdown grip markets and send people toward so-called safe-haven assets.
Debate Rages Over Praying for Atheist Richard Dawkins After Stroke
Famed atheist Richard Dawkins suffered a recent stroke, forcing him to postpone his tours to Australia and New Zealand. His health crisis rapidly developed into a Twitter debate on if Christians should pray for his recovery.
Assad vows to retake all of Syria, keep ‘fighting terrorism’
President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to recapture the whole of Syria and keep “fighting terrorism” while also negotiating an end to the war, as international pressure mounts for a ceasefire.
Austrians Need Constitutional Right to Pay in Cash, Mahrer Says
Austrians should have the constitutional right to use cash to protect their privacy, Deputy Economy Minister Harald Mahrer said, as the European Union considers curbing the use of banknotes and coins.
Israel Says EU Relations ‘Friendly’ Again After Label Spat
Israel’s foreign ministry says relations with the European Union are “close and friendly” again after tensions arose last year over the bloc’s decision to label West Bank exports. Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the sides had “overcome the crisis” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini spoke Friday.
|Top Stories This Week|
|Quote of the Week|
Scripture reveals the depths of love and its wide-ranging aspects that encompass more than just romantic feeling
An increasing number of students from China who are attending American colleges are finding solace in Christianity. It’s also clear the number of Chinese converts to Christianity among those students is growing rapidly.
With more than a million unique donations being made to Gospel for Asia annually, Monday’s bombshell class action lawsuit against one of the largest missions agencies based in the U.S. could potentially involve no less than &tens of thousands& of plaintiffs and the agency says it’s still waiting to be served.
Shortly before cutting ties with Gospel for Asia last October, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability warned the organization’s leader, K.P. Yohannan, about a list of concerns it has with its financial accounting including the withholding of hundreds of millions of donor dollars earmarked for &urgent& work overseas.
Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, the Tim Tebow Foundation is making it possible for thousands of teens with special needs to enjoy an an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love.
Pastor David Lankford talked to TRUNEWS with Rick Wiles to discuss the reasons Christians are complacent to the implications of many End Time world events
The Rev. Franklin Graham is urging Christians to vote in South Carolina on Tuesday, warning that they may “lose this country” if they don’t engage in the political process.
GFA: ‘We will respond accordingly and transparently’ once class-action allegations are studied.
By the way, Citigroup, the third largest bank holding company in the U.S., thinks the world economy is circling the drain. In a recent report, Citigroup officials called it, “Oilmageddon, a significant and synchronized global recession.”
Ultra-low oil prices have been dragging down stocks around the world. The supposed savior of the global economy, the tech sector, has proven itself a huge disappointment — financially speaking. And everybody knows that China is lying when it says its economy is expanding by 6.9%. China is operating on borrowed money and borrowed time.
Within one hour of news breaking that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep, progressives on Twitter put politics before basic human decency–both celebrating and mocking his death.
Still, we need only look to the so-called “safe space” craze on America’s college campuses to gain a glimpse into what Twitter undoubtedly means here. Understand that, for the left, the word “safe” has nothing to do with, well, safety, and everything to do with censorship.
“After 17 years old, I still had emptiness in my heart,” Sara explained. “I had no desire to live and for me, it was better to die than to live. A friend of my mother told me, ‘I’m taking you to this place.’ She never mentioned church, but she brought me to church. That day the pastor was preaching and he said a word that touched my heart.”
Thousands of Mexicans like Sara are embracing evangelical Christianity.
And whether they pray at small chapels or sprawling megachurches, Christian conservatives across the South are driven by worries that their values are being threatened.
“Biblical values we would not be willing to compromise,” explained Dennis Lacy, lead pastor of North Highland Assembly of God in Columbus, Georgia.
“Do we not have any moral compass anymore?” said Dr. Randy Brinson, an evangelical Christian and physician in Montgomery, Alabama, who founded a group, Redeem the Vote, encouraging young people of faith to register and participate.
How could a man used of God as was Martin Luther come to such a conclusion about the Jews? It is written that later in his life, Luther was convinced that he was called of God to save the Jews. When his efforts failed, he became enraged. In one night, in response to his anti-Semitic sermon, synagogues were burned to the ground and over 2000 Jews were slaughtered. Martin Luther was used by God in a mighty way in the Great Reformation, but alas he was merely a man.
A new survey from YouGov finds that millennials have more favorable views of socialism than of capitalism.
As Santayana said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Less than two decades after socialism seemed to have been confined to the dust-heap of history, another generation may have to learn hard lessons.
I would assert that these young, emerging voters are in love with an idea they think is tailor-made for their generation … Socialism. Sadly, they do not know the historical significance of what that system has done in the world, nor do they realize how it will actually impact them. They only know that it promises to unburden them from an alarming financial future.
Kate Bowler is 35 years old, a wife, mother of a toddler, an assistant professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke University, and the author of “Blessed: The History of the American Prosperity Gospel.” Kate recently found out she has stage 4 cancer. In a piece she wrote for the New […]
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:4,5 (KJV)
Pope Francis today attempted something that no pope in the last 1,000 years has dared to do. He met with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church at a neutral location in Cuba to discuss how to begin the process of reuniting.
Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill embraced and kissed one another three times on the cheek as they met in the wood-paneled VIP room at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. The two church leaders then proceeded to a pair of straight-backed chairs turned at angles. Clasping their hands in their laps, both occasionally gestured and nodded as they spoke. They held a two-hour “personal conversation” and then signed a joint declaration.
“We are brothers,” Francis said as he embraced Kirill in the small, wood-paneled VIP room of Havana’s airport, where the three-hour encounter took place. “Now things are easier,” Kirill agreed as he and the pope exchanged three kisses on the cheek. “This is the will of God,” the pope said.
All the news reports today kept using the word “Christianity” to describe the two groups, but don’t be fooled. Pope Francis and Patriarch Krill represent two wings of the Roman Whore of Babylon that was created by Constantine in 325 AD. These men are not Bible believers and neither of their two groups are Christian.
This meeting today is all part of Pope Francis’ plan to create the global One World Religion with the Vatican as it’s titular head. After his meeting in Cuba, Pope Francis then flew to Mexico where he was greeted with a rock concert-like show with blue floodlights illuminating a stage and bandstands and crowds waving yellow handkerchiefs. Mariachis serenaded as his chartered plane pulled to a stop and people shouted “Brother Francis, you’re already Mexican.”
This is high end times drama, and your membership here at NTEB guarantees you a front row seat to prophecy history in the making.
by Beecher Proch
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (also known as Singles Awareness Day), today’s “Stand For Truth Thursday” post is all about one of our favorite four letter words: L-O-V-E.
by Cristi Fredericks
If you secretly hate every girl who will get a Valentine bouquet this month, this post is for you. Here are three ways to rejoice with those who rejoice.
by Bethany Baird
How different would our lives look if we had the same passion, drive, and desire to chase after God as we often do about guys?
by Samantha Nieves
Are we missing the God of the universe because we’ve lost the ability to focus?
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
Don’t Play Travel Ball: Stay in the Rec League – “I have friends I respect whose kids have played (and some who do play) travel ball, and I mean no offense to them by this post. Nor am I categorically condemning their decisions and choices. I am offering these thoughts for parents who are considering whether to put their kids on a ‘competitive’ team, or a ‘travel-ball’ team, or a ‘tournament’ team, or whatever it may be called in your sport and locale. Don’t get me wrong: I love competition. I love excellence. And I want to provide the best competitive opportunities I can for my own kids.”
I’m Happy To Talk with Dr. Phil – “But mention ‘justice’ and that wall of evangelical troops splits like the Red Sea and turns against itself. Men who worked as fellow combatants in the traditional ‘culture war’ begin to suspect and even attack one another when ‘justice’ becomes the topic. Case in point: My brother in Christ, Phil Johnson, had this to say of me recently on his Facebook feed…”
Against Mission Drift – “But I do sincerely love Thabiti Anyabwile, and after I poked at him in a Tweet, he directed some comments at his blog to me. He deserves a reply. So I’m back today for one post, and one post only. I’m not wishing to prolong a controversy. I strongly agree with the gist of Thabiti’s remarks in the video excerpts I posted early Thursday morning. One of the logical corollaries of that excellent 2010 T4G message is that if brothers in Christ find themselves engaging in a prolonged, bitter controversy over something extraneous to the gospel, they have clearly gone off-message.”
For the Record… – “I’m grateful for Phil Johnson’s gracious and clear reply to my post responding to his Facebook ‘poke’ (his word) at me. I’m even more grateful that Phil isn’t interested in a prolonged brouhaha, which the Internet sees too much of on any given day and rarely results in much light. So this won’t be a prolonged reply inviting more exchange, and in a very real sense it’s not directed at Phil, though I’ll use some parts of his post as convenient jumping off points. It’s trying to set matters straight publicly–matters having to do with what I do/don’t think about some very important issues. And since I’m the only one who can definitively say what I think, I suppose I have to be the one to say it.”
Black Lives Matter or black lives matter? – “I have been weighing for some time the possible benefits and dangers of writing something about the current debate over race relations generally and within the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) specifically. The ice of this discussion is notably thin so there is little or no room for error either real or perceived. My goal in this piece is to address the problem of Christians associating with and/or promoting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization and perhaps make a suggestion or two along the way. Since some of my brothers and sisters within the PCA are positively inclined toward BLM to the extent of association and promotion I believe it is important to openly discuss what it is exactly that BLM promotes. “
What Should You Give Up for Lent? Catholicism.
Joel Osteen is Dangerous
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
Just like there has been an intentional dumbing down and irrationalizing of the U.S. academic standards via the absurdities of the Common Core curriculum, there has also been an intentional and deceitful dumbing down and irrationalizing of Christianity via the Seeker-Driven Movement.
Case and point: Andy Stanley’s deceptive re-write of Church History and invention of the so-called “Temple Model”. If you are not familiar with the Common Core-esc attempt to recast Church History in light of the Seeker-Driven agenda, then its time for you to educate yourself.
These segments of Fighting for the Faith will help you identify the problem and fight back with real Church History and genuine Biblical Doctrine.
By Roger Oakland Understand the Times, International Recently, I was informed about a conference held this week in Budapest, Hungary where Willow Creek senior pastor Bill Hybels taught leaders. According to comments posted on Phil Metzger’s Facebook page, the event was held at Calvary Chapel Golgota Budapest where Metzger is pastor. He is also the […]
The post Calvary Chapel, Bill Hybels, and Jesuit Mysticism appeared first on .
That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (Isaiah 30:9-11)
This weekend’s Kindle deals include The Dude’s Guide to Marriage by Darrin Patrick ($1.99); The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre ($3.99); The Allegory of Love by C.S. Lewis ($1.99); The Christian Lover by Michael Haykin (free). Also, Westminster Books is offering 50% on the printed version of Albert Martin’s excellent book The Forgotten Fear.
“Whenever anyone at National Review … writes in opposition to opening all combat jobs to women or (even worse) drafting women into ground combat, there is predictable hue and cry from the Left. ‘But Israel! You conservatives couldn’t possibly be criticizing Israel, could you?’” Here’s why Israel isn’t the trump card.
This article points out that a future trend in church planting and ministry is people who are deliberately bivocational.
Here’s a brief video overview of the Old Testament.
For a while now we’ve been hearing about concerns with Gospel for Asia. There is now a lawsuit going forward charging that funds have been misused. Yet “citing ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ GFA calls class-action suit a ‘blessing’ for chance to put allegations to rest.”
Jared Wilson says that you should ignore most relationship advice. If I don’t quite agree with the title, I do agree with the article.
This Day in 1939. Happy birthday to my favorite author, R.C. Sproul! Dr. Sproul turns 77 today. (See this infographic I made up 2 years ago.)
If you, like me, use Dropbox, you may be interested in Bound, an audiobook player that works with Dropbox.
I really enjoy Wired’s Absurd Creature of the Week column, and this one is no exception. God made some creatures that are well and truly bizarre.
Thanks to CLC Publications for sponsoring the blog this week with “Have Mercy! Listen to the Stories.”
Nothing built for the glory of man will survive God’s scrutiny. But what is done for His glory will endure forever. —R.C. Sproul
Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.
Video of the Week
The Old Testament in Five Minutes, RiverGlen Christian Church. This is an impressive exercise in engaging brevity—and the artwork is both simple and beautiful. (Also, if you’re following along in our The Whole Story series, be sure to check out all of the resources our Sam James Institute is producing to help explain some of the OT books we’re reading—Genesis, Ecclesiastes, Job, and more.)
Articles of the Week
Seven Ways to Fight Distraction in Prayer, Gavin Ortlund. If you don’t struggle to keep your focus while praying, you’ve definitely got a leg up on me (Chris). I suspect that most Christians, however well-intentioned, have frequent moments when praying drifts from “O God, hear my plea” to “What time is my dentist appointment again?” Ortlund offers 7 helpful ways to keep your prayer life focused on actually praying.
Four Ways to Battle Bitterness, Jen Wilkin. C. S. Lewis once said that we all love the idea forgiveness … until we have someone we actually need to forgive. In moments when we’ve been wronged, our natural bent is not toward forgiveness, but toward bitterness. Most of us know that fostering bitterness won’t do us any good, but it can be tough to actually move past it. Wilkin offers four hard-fought lessons for those of us trying to prevent bitterness from taking root.
What do we do with the, “God has spoken to me,” phenomenon? Michael Kruger. We’ve all been there. You’re having an otherwise normal conversation with your friend, when they drop the bomb on you: “God told me to…” Few statements shut down debate more quickly than this divine trump card. Pastor J.D. has helpfully showed us how to practically handle such mischief in his Jesus, Continued. Here Kruger takes a slightly different approach, pointing out that—historically speaking—it’s always been a bad idea to lead with, “God has spoken to me.”
Three Reasons Why You Should Ignore Most Relationship Advice, Jared Wilson. Unsolicited advice is tricky. In your better moods, you can recognize that your friend/family member is only trying to help, that they really do care, that they want the best for you. In your worser moods (yes, worser is a word), you want to politely tell them to sew their lips shut. It’s a good idea to continue practicing patience and kindness with your wannabe life-coaches. But Wilson gives you three good reasons to take their advice with a grain of salt.
On The Lighter Side
Existential Riddles, Ethan Kuperberg. I know, I know. Every now and then the humor of “On The Lighter Side” is much more, well, “on the darker side.” But this is phenomenal. If you like riddles, and if you find existentialism humorous (don’t we all?), this is a goldmine. (My favorite is the barber riddle.)
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.”
Viewing Black Lives Matter—Part 2 | D. A. Horton, The Exchange
Check out begins today with four thought provoking articles on race-related issues. We start with the second part of D A Horton’s analysis of Black Lives Matter and whether Christians can support it.
I’m Happy to Talk with Dr. Phil | Thabiti Anyabwile, TGC
Here’s Thabiti’s response to Phil Johnson’s strong critique of Thabiti and his support for Black Lives Matter.
…according to Phil, I’m now ‘an agitator for the radical left #BlackLivesMatter movement.’ And, apparently, I’m no longing ‘arguing for a more biblical, gospel-centered approach to ministry.’ If I understand this correctly, I’m the one now suffering ‘mission drift,’ one swept so powerfully to the left that the Bible and gospel have lost its center in my ministry.
Phil’s reply here.
Love the Racist, Confront the Sin | Phillips Holmes, Desiring God
And then Philip Holmes outlines a way for congregations to tackle racism in their midst:
One way for minorities (and even those in the majority) to take action against racism in the church is to practice Matthew 18. If someone in your congregation is an unrepentant racist, Jesus commands us to ‘go and tell him his fault.’ The counsel is given in hopes that all involved will be reconciled with one another. If he doesn’t repent, Jesus instructs us to ‘take one or two others along with you.’ This ensures justice for all involved. If the accusation is shallow, the accused has third parties to come to his defense. If the accusation is founded, the accuser is protected, and the charges are sufficiently established.
Practical Advice for White Families Adopting Cross-Racially | Jarvis Williams, Reformed African American Network
Some practical advice for “white parents who have adopted, plan to adopt, or are raising black or brown babies.”
Raising Pure Kids in an Impure World | Jeanne Harrison, True Woman Blog
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was a teenager, wrestling with sexual purity. By His grace, I believe my parents were the most influential tool God used in helping me stay sexually pure. From their example, I want to share five principles with you. How do we raise pure children in an impure world?”
Stop Texting Men So Much | Nicole Russell, The Federalist
I found some of the stats here quite staggering:
Texting is now as ubiquitous to relationships as cell phones are to people. According to Attentiv, 32 percent of people say they’d rather communicate via text than over the phone, and 51 percent of teens would rather communicate digitally than in person (even with friends). Of course, teen girls–and likely women–text more than men. According to Pew, 79 percent of girls say they spend time texting their partners daily, compared with 66 percent of boys saying the same. This is hardly a surprise or an indictment: Women are hard-wired to be more verbal. We speak 20,000 words a day, 13,000 more than the average man.
5 Takeaways for Preachers from Sinclair Ferguson’s The Whole Christ—Part 1 | David Prince, Prince on Preaching
David Prince begins a series on what preachers can take away from Sinclair Ferguson’s new book.
Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney ($7.99)
Mindscape: What to Think About Instead of Worrying by Timothy Z. Witmer ($2.99)
The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose by Lisa Anderson (currently free!)
The Power of Suffering: Strengthening Your Faith in the Refiner’s Fire by John MacArthur ($1.99)
Thomas Jefferson by Christopher Hitchens ($1.99)
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:13 PM PST
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his country is in a new Cold War with the U.S. and its allies, underscoring the tenuous level of trust that’s putting a day-old plan for a truce in Syria at risk. The clash, with echoes of superpower rhetoric during the 20th century, played out at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday even as Russia, Europe and the U.S. say they’re seeking cooperation to end Syria’s civil war, resolve the armed standoff in eastern
Ukraine and make progress toward lifting European economic sanctions against Russia. Fresh from helping craft the accord for Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that the U.S. is reneging on the agreement and put the chances of success at less than 50 percent. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, addressing the meeting separately, demanded an end to Russian bombing of groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. READ MORE
|Sinkhole In North Carolina Continues To Grow
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST
A sinkhole that has forced the closure of a road in Chatham County for three weeks is growing, and state Department of Transportation officials said it could be another two-and-a-half months before the road is fixed. According to DOT officials, old pipes underneath Lystra Road – which crosses Jordan Lake near Pittsboro – gave way on Jan. 18, at first creating a sinkhole that took up about half of one lane.
By Monday, the sinkhole had grown significantly, taking up much of the two-lane road. Officials said the scope of the work is more complicated than DOT crews can handle, meaning a contractor will be hired to complete the road rebuild. The contractor will be forced to replace two old pipes under the road. A contractor hasn’t been hired yet, and a DOT spokesman said it could be late April before the road is open. READ MORE
|Miracles Happen When She Plays the Violin
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 06:55 PM PST
When I first heard LaDonna Taylor serenading the Lord with her violin, I discerned a strong anointing on every note as sweet melodies washed over the congregation like rivers of living water. But when I watched Taylor play her violin over people at the altar, I witnessed the anointing that breaks the yoke in action as people were healed and delivered in puddles of tears.
It’s been said that music soothes the savage beast—and we know David’s harp caused evil spirits to flee from Saul (1 Sam. 16:23). We also know there are sounds that set the captives free. David wrote a Psalm that holds the key to this mystery of heaven: “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance” (Ps. 32:7, KJV).
Can songs actually come to our rescue? Can music really be an agent of healing? Are there sounds from heaven that usher us into the glory realm of God where all things are possible? Do certain songs compel God to move? What role does faith play in this artistic equation? Can we “soak” our way to freedom? How does this work? CONTINUE
|Sun Reaches Quietest Activity In Over a Century
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 06:53 PM PST
The sun is in the midst of its quietest period in more than a century. Several days ago, it was in ‘cue ball’ mode, with an incredible image from Nasa showing no large visible sunspots seen on its surface. Astronomers say this isn’t unusual, and solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles, and we’re currently in Cycle 24, which began in 2008. However, if the current trend continues, then the Earth could be headed for a ‘mini ice age’ researchers have warned.
We’ve had the smallest number of sunspots in this cycle since Cycle 14, which reached its maximum in February of 1906. ‘With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun’s X-ray output has flatlined,’ wrote Vencore Weather. ‘The number of nearly or completely spotless days should increase over the next few years as we continue to move away from the solar maximum phase of cycle 24 and approach the next solar minimum phase and the beginning of solar cycle 25.’ ‘The current level of activity of solar cycle 24 seems close to that of solar cycle number 5, which occurred beginning in May 1798 and ending in December 1810,’ added an analysis by Watts Up With That. READ MORE
|4 Things the Enemy Wants From You
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 06:47 PM PST
(Rosilind Jukic) I lay in the hospital bed and listened to the woman next to me cry out, “Why me?” A few days earlier they had found a lump on her breast, something every woman fears. She was still in a state of shock as she walked about the room crying and asking no one in particular: “Why me? Why must I have to be the one to suffer this way?” In order to be truly victorious in our lives, we must learn to recognize our real enemy. When you think God is against you, remember this!
This week we’ve read similar words as Job cries out: “Why me, God? Why must I suffer this way?” In the Job 19:21, we read: “Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has struck me!” However, when we look back on chapter 1, we see that in fact it isn’t God who has struck Job but Satan. Satan had created a strategy to destroy Job and turn him against God. Although that strategy didn’t work, Job did not recognize his true enemy. READ MORE
|Woman Opts for Euthanasia After Bad Split With Boyfriend
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 06:41 PM PST
Two women have spoken out about the euthanasia of their sister, Tine Nys, in Belgium. On Christmas Eve 2009, Tine, who was 37 at the time, announced her intention to pursue euthanasia, following a split from her boyfriend. She was killed by lethal injection on April 24, 2010, with her parents and her sisters Lotte and Sophie by her side.
In a recent interview with Terzake, a Flemish current affairs television program, Lotte and Sophie expressed their dismay at the attitude doctors took toward Tine’s request. The law requires that two doctors and a psychologist evaluate a person’s request for euthanasia. In Belgium, euthanasia on the grounds of “unbearable suffering” is permitted. In this case, the doctors decided that Tine’s breakup was a reasonable justification for her wanting to end her life. The two sisters felt that very little effort was made to persuade Tine to live. READ MORE
The post Woman Opts for Euthanasia After Bad Split With Boyfriend appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Turkish and Saudi troops in Syria would be ‘Catastrophic’
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 05:55 PM PST
Where will the Turkish announcement about Saudis sending their troops to a Turkish airbase and planning a ground operation in Syria lead? RT asked experts about the effects of such an operation. Turkey confirmed that Saudi Arabia will send military personnel and fighter jets to Turkey’s Incirlik base located on the Syrian border to fight ISIS.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said Saturday that both Ankara and Riyadh are ready to launch a ground operation in Syria. The announcement came shortly after the Munich Security Conference, where major powers made a decision to implement the so-called “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. Reportedly, the agreement will come into force only next week. The parties also agreed to provide access to humanitarian aid in the conflict areas. READ MORE
The post Turkish and Saudi troops in Syria would be ‘Catastrophic’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Turkish military repeatedly shell Assad forces
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 05:49 PM PST
The Turkish army has shelled Syrian government forces in Aleppo and Latakia provinces, while also hitting Kurdish targets near the city of Azaz in northwestern Syria, including an air base recently retaken from Islamist rebels, with a massive attack. Anatolia news agency reported that the Turkish military hit Syrian government forces on Saturday, adding that the shelling had been in response to fire inflicted on a Turkish military guard post in Turkey’s southern Hatay region.
Turkish artillery targeted Syrian forces again late on Saturday, according to a military source quoted by RIA Novosti. The attack targeted the town of Deir Jamal in the Aleppo Governorate. The agency also cited details of an earlier attack on Syrian government army positions in northwestern Latakia. “Turkey’s artillery opened fire on the positions of the Syrian Army in the vicinity of Aliya mountain in the northwestern part of the province of Latakia,” the source said. READ MORE
|Preacher Cited For Offending Students
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:46 AM PST
An Orwellian nightmare became a reality for an evangelical preacher this week when a cop near the University of Texas at Austin issued him a “disorderly conduct” citation for “offending” a student. An intern with Campus Ministry USA was confronted by multiple police officers on Tuesday and informed he would be written up for offending a student. Video of the incident soon went viral on YouTube.
“We had somebody that was offended by the gestures you were making,” the officer said. “And that’s our job – to make sure that doesn’t happen, because these are students just walking in this mall right here. So the job here is to write you up as a citation, disorderly conduct, for offending someone.” The preacher asked how it was against the law to use biological terms like “penis” during a presentation on science-related issues, but rebuffed. “It doesn’t matter, freedom of speech. Someone was offended – that’s against the law. I don’t want to argue with you. That’s against the law.” READ MORE
|North Korean missile test renews EMP warning
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:41 AM PST
U.S. national security experts have renewed their warning that the purpose of North Korea’s recent missile launch was to test its ability to put a satellite into orbit that could carry a nuclear weapon capable of causing a devastating electromagnetic pulse above the United States. In an article in the National Review, the experts warned that the development constitutes an “existential threat” to the United States, demonstrating “an ability to kill most Americans with an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack.”
The article was authored by former Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James Woolsey; former Strategic Defense Initiative Director Henry F. Cooper; William R. Graham, President Reagan’s science adviser and acting director of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration and former chairman of the congressionally-mandated EMP Commission; Fritz Ermarth, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council; and Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a former CIA analyst. READ MORE
|Christians frustrated with GOP’s unfulfilled promises
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:37 AM PST
Inside the Sunshine Coin Laundry near the Piggly Wiggly supermarket, Lagretta Ellington removed her family’s clothes from one of the large dryers and began to neatly fold them on a nearby table. The air was moist and smelled of detergent. The floor was concrete. Her views of the presidential race were anything but. She was unsettled, and distrustful. The candidates just seemed like entertainers.
“I’m going to pray on it,” the 48-year-old Ellington said. “Hopefully, God will lead me in the right direction.” In the South, now the pivotal battlefield of the 2016 presidential campaign, faith and politics walk the aisle together. And while Christians have always dominated American politics – Bernie Sanders this week became the first non-Christian ever to win a presidential primary in U.S. history – conservative Christians feel under siege. READ MORE
The post Christians frustrated with GOP’s unfulfilled promises appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Arrest of China’s Largest Megachurch Pastor ‘Will Shake the Spirit’ of Christian Leaders, Says China Aid Founder
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:33 AM PST
China Aid, a Christian human rights organization based in the U.S., believes that Pastor Gu Yuese of Hangzhou’s Chongyi Church, the largest government-sanctioned church in China, has no chance to escape sentencing by the Communist Party for standing up against the crackdown on churches. “I think the likely scenario to happen is that he will be indicted, and depending on his confession, and how cooperative he is, the length of sentence can be negotiated,” Bob Fu, founder and president of China Aid, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday.
“All factors combined, I do not see any way that the Communist Party will let Pator Gu leave the prison without a criminal sentence,” Fu added. Gu was taken into custody and placed under “residential surveillance at a designated location” on Jan. 28, but was only formally charged on Feb. 6 on charges of embezzling funds, Fu told CP. READ MORE
|DEVELOPING: Northeast braces for possible ‘life-threatening’ cold weather
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:28 AM PST
The National Weather Service said Friday the coldest air mass of the winter may hit the Northeast this weekend and New Yorkers are being urged to take notice. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned residents to take “extreme precautions” over the weekend and heed cold-weather warnings. He said city workers would also bring people living on the street to shelters or hospitals.
A wind-chill advisory was in effect for New York City beginning Saturday afternoon and will continue until noon Sunday. With the actual temperatures falling as low as 4 degrees below, the weather service said the city could see wind chills of 18 degrees below to 24 degrees below. Wind gusts could reach up to 45 mph. New York officials also canceled the Central Park Ice Festival because of the upcoming bitter temperatures, according to The Guardian. The festival is a free event featuring ice carving. READ MORE
The post DEVELOPING: Northeast braces for possible ‘life-threatening’ cold weather appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Robots Could Leave Half the Population of the World Unemployed by 2050
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:24 AM PST
Machines could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy should not be understated. Expert Moshe Vardi told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.
“I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: if machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?” Physicist Stephen Hawking and the tech billionaires Bill Gates and Elon Musk urged a similar message last year. Hawking warned that AI “could spell the end of the human race” and Musk said it represents “our biggest existential threat”. The fear of artificial intelligence has even reached the UN, where a group billing itself the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots met with diplomats last year. READ MORE
The post Robots Could Leave Half the Population of the World Unemployed by 2050 appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Hawaii governor signs emergency proclamation on Zika
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:19 AM PST
The governor of Hawaii has signed an emergency proclamation regarding Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Gov. David Ige signed the declaration Friday as “a preventative measure” to guard against Zika, dengue fever and other diseases, his office said in a statement.
The action follows the recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take emergency steps to prepare for and mitigate the Zika risk, the statement said. “There have been no locally acquired Zika cases in the U.S. or Hawaii, and we’d like to keep it that way,” the new release quoted the governor as saying. “This is about getting in front of the situation across the state.” READ MORE
The post Hawaii governor signs emergency proclamation on Zika appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|‘Guerrilla warfare house-to-house method’ needed to fight Zika in USA
Posted: 13 Feb 2016 07:15 AM PST
It was standing room only at the annual conference of the American Mosquito Control Association this week. In a chilly convention center ballroom here, the leading lights of mosquito control gathered, as they do every year, to talk about bugs and new ways to get rid of them. But this year an ominous urgency infused the session. Mosquitoes in this hemisphere have an unpredictable new weapon, the Zika virus — a threat that left the participants comparing notes like field commanders before summer battle.
Nearly a year after the first cases of Zika were diagnosed in Brazil, the virus, which is suspected to cause birth defects and other neurological problems, is bearing down on American shores. It is already in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. There have been more than 50 cases of Americans infected abroad, and most experts believe that by summer, the continental United States will have some of its own homegrown cases, meaning that domestic mosquitoes will have the virus. READ MORE
The post ‘Guerrilla warfare house-to-house method’ needed to fight Zika in USA appeared first on End Time Headlines.
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.
The Gospel In A Nutshell
Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.
Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl
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.
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
This post was originally posted on:
(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).
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Pastors sometimes say stupid things. Sometimes those stupid things are catchy and wind up being repeated by many other pastors. One of the more preposterous pithy statements I have heard many preachers say is, “Sheep are dumb.” They say this as shepherds and are referring to the sheep of the church—the congregation. The idea is that sheep are dumb, and must be led well. We shouldn’t be surprised when they do stupid things.
My problem with this statement is that it disrespects people made in God’s image and redeemed by God’s Son. It is a mocking of the church and an exaltation of self. The church isn’t stupid. Sinful, yes. Stupid, no. Speaking of the church in this way will get a chuckle from some leaders (who aren’t already bored by the worn-out expression), but will create distance between leadership and those pastors are called to lead.
The sheep are not dumb. In fact, we would do much better if we thought of the sheep in the way in which the Puritan, Thomas Watson, described them in his sermon, “The Good Shepherd.”
Sheep are Innocent
Sheep are not harmful creatures, but harmless and peaceful. Christians are, by their new nature, peaceful and peacemakers. Watson said, “They would rather suffer wrong—than do wrong. Those who are set upon mischief, are not Christ’s sheep but are ravenous birds of prey.”
Sheep are Meek
Sheep are meek creatures who know their place and willingly submit. They “let the shearer take its wool, it does not resist. If you strike a sheep, it does not snarl or fly in your face. All Christ’s sheep are meek-spirited, 2 Samuel 16:12. Though a child of God may sometimes fall into a froward fit—yet he grieves for it and weeps for his unmortified passion.”
Sheep Are Clean
Sheep look for clean, green pastures and search out clean water. And Christ’s sheep have been made clean—they are justified and sanctified. “Though they are not perfectly holy—yet they are perfecting holiness in the fear of God. …they will suffer anything rather than defile their conscience. a good Christian breathes after sanctity. A child of God may fall into sin unawares, as did David—but he does not lie in sin. He recovers himself again by repentance. A sheep may fall into the mire—but it does not lie there; it gets out again.”
Sheep are Useful
Every part of a sheep is useful. Its meat, wool, and skin are offered up for the good of others. In a similar way the whole life of a believer is useful. “They are still doing good, they are profitable to others by their knowledge, counsel, example, prayers, and good works. They are useful in their places.”
Sheep are Content
Watson said, sheep “will feed upon any pasture where you put it. Put sheep upon the bare common—and they are content. They feed upon the little they pick up in the fallow ground, a perfect emblem of true saints who are the sheep of Christ. Let God put them into whatever pasture He will and they are content, Philippians 4:11. They have learned in every state therewith to be content.”
Sheep are Timorous
Finally, Watson said sheep are “timorous.” “It is very fearful if any danger approaches. It is easily frightened by the wolf. Thus the saints of God, who are Christ’s sheep, pass the time of their sojourning here in fear. They are—fearful of provoking God; fearful of wounding their peace; fearful of temptation; fearful they should come short of heaven through sloth, Hebrews 4:1.”
The sheep recognize the dangers around them and trust in the shepherd to protect them; to guard and guide them.
Go on calling the sheep “dumb” and you will encourage foolishness in them and pride in yourself. But call them what they are by God’s grace and watch them flourish in grace.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17 ESV)
Originally published at The Christward Collective
By Cameron Buettel
All over the world, on any given day of the week, Jesus Christ’s body is repeatedly sacrificed. According to the Roman Catholic Church, that’s what happens every time they celebrate the Mass—their version of Communion, or the Lord’s Table.
In The Faith of Millions—a book certified by the Roman Catholic Church to be “free of doctrinal and moral error”—Catholic priest John O’Brien explains what happens during the Mass:
When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.  Rev. John A. O’Brien, The Faith of Millions, revised ed. (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1974) 255–56.
The supposed ability to wield such supernatural power over almighty God is one of the priesthood’s most blasphemous acts. As O’Brien describes it, the priestly office is a position of immense, even ultimate power, as the priest yanks Christ out of His eternal kingdom and hurls Him once again onto the sacrificial altar.
The repeated sacrificial process is called transubstantiation, wherein the bread and wine transform into the literal body and blood of Christ. It may sound cannibalistic and creepy, but they argue that it’s what the Bible actually teaches:
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (John 6:53–56)
But is that really what Jesus meant by those graphic words? Was He truly prescribing the repeated and violent sacrifice of His physical body? Is that what Christ intended when He instituted Communion?
The simple answer is, No.
Linking Christ’s discourse in John 6 with the Lord’s Table is a significant leap. The events described in John 6 took place during His ministry in Galilee—it would be roughly a year before He and His disciples would meet in the Upper Room.
And even then, there are significant flaws with the Catholic interpretation. Apologist James McCarthy makes a salient point regarding Jesus’ physical body and the institution of the Lord’s Table. He notes that when Jesus referred to the bread, saying “This is my body” (Matthew 26:26), He was physically present with the disciples. McCarthy rightly observes: “Surely they would not have thought that Jesus’ body was both at the table and on the table.”  James G. McCarthy, The Gospel According to Rome (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995) 135–36.
In his commentary on John’s gospel, John MacArthur compellingly refutes any connection between Jesus’ words in John 6:53–56 and the celebration of the Lord’s Table:
It should be noted that the Roman Catholic Church appeals to this passage as a proof of the doctrine of transubstantiation—the false teaching that the body and blood of Christ are literally present in the bread and wine of the Mass. Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott writes, “The body and the blood of Christ together with His soul and His divinity and therefore the whole Christ are truly present in the Eucharist” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma [St. Louis: B. Herder, 1954], 382). It is a false foundation for a false doctrine, however, to suggest that Jesus was referring to the Eucharist (Communion or the Lord’s Table) here, since He used the word sarx (flesh). A different word, sōma (“body”), appears in the passages referring to Communion (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:24, 27). Two additional considerations reinforce the fact that this passage does not refer to Communion: First, the Lord’s Table had not yet been instituted; therefore, the Jews would not have understood what Jesus was talking about if He were speaking of Communion. Second, Jesus said that anyone who partakes of His flesh has eternal life. If that was a reference to the Lord’s Table, it would mean that eternal life could be gained through taking Communion. That is clearly foreign to Scripture, however, which teaches that Communion is for those who are already believers (1 Corinthians 11:27–32) and that salvation is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8–9).  John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: John 1–11 (Chicago: Moody Press, 2006) 259–60.
And the disconnect between Scripture and the Catholic Mass runs far deeper than the nature of the elements. The author of Hebrews repeatedly states that Christ’s atoning sacrifice was a “once for all” event never to be repeated:
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10–14)
There is simply no way to harmonize the idea of Christ being repeatedly sacrificed when the New Testament clearly spells out the singularity and sufficiency of Christ’s perfect atoning sacrifice.
What’s clear is that no amount of contorting Scripture will create any endorsement of the Roman Catholic Mass. From every angle, it is biblically indefensible.
But that doesn’t give us an answer for what Jesus actually meant in John 6:53-56 regarding eating His flesh and drinking His blood. As with most interpretive challenges in Scripture, clarity is found in the surrounding context. And in this case, Christ’s statement makes a lot more sense when you read the whole chapter.
John 6 begins with Christ’s feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1–14). That miracle immediately won Him enormous popularity in a place where food was hard to come by. Jesus, knowing His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), had to go into isolation to avoid the masses from installing Him as king in Herod’s place (John 6:15). Instead of capitalizing on His popularity and ability to draw a large crowd, Jesus saw it as a hindrance to His larger mission.
But a free lunch is nothing to be sneezed at, especially among the poor, so the crowds continued to pursue Christ with hopes of more bounty. Jesus was acutely aware of their superficial faith and told them, “You seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (John 6:26–27).
A lengthy dialogue then followed where Jesus continually urged the crowds to move beyond their temporal hunger and seek eternal sustenance. But His audience relentlessly pled with Him to prove His messiahship through a sign that involved food—hinting at the manna God provided the Israelites when they were wandering in the wilderness (John 6:31).
Jesus contrasted that perishable “bread out of heaven” (John 6:31–32) with Himself, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35). In His immense patience with their unbelief, the Lord repeated that same point in an increasingly explicit manner:
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. (John 6:48–51)
Jesus’ audience remained oblivious to what He was really talking about. That’s why He chose such provocative language as His discourse drew to a close. Dr. James White facetiously refers to Christ’s severe terminology and ghastly imagery in John 6:53-56 as “the beginning of the church shrinkage movement.” And with good reason; after Jesus spoke those words many of His disciples abandoned Him (John 6:66).
Their departure was by design. The Lord was determined to drive away followers who were nothing more than shallow hangers-on. Instead of capitalizing on His popularity, He saw it as a hindrance to His mission.
His message was clear: Temporal bread would only sustain them temporarily. They needed to eat eternal bread—flesh and blood—to live eternally. John MacArthur explains the significance of Christ’s metaphor in his sermon, I Am the Bread of Life:
If you want eternal life, eating is necessary. . . . You can’t just come and admire. You have to eat, which is to believe fully. But eating is in response to hunger. So, the people who eat are the people who are what? Hungry! What is hunger? It’s the aching of the heart of one who knows he’s empty. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit to make the heart hungry. That’s where the Father starts to draw. The hungry heart sees the bread. . . .
Eating is personal. It’s not a group event. You can all go out to dinner, but the food has to go in your mouth. Lots of people can do lots of things for you. They can come over and change the curtains, fix the room. People can do a lot of things to help you. You have to eat. You can’t do that by proxy. Eating is necessary. Eating is in response to hunger. Eating is personal and eating is transformational. If you don’t eat physically, you will die. If you eat, the food you take in transforms you, and that’s what Christ does.
The simple truth is our physical food cannot change our eternal destiny—not even the gruesome rituals of the Catholic Mass. Eating the body and blood of Christ was a necessary way for Him to express to an audience fixated on their physical hunger the need for all people to find salvation—to satisfy their spiritual hunger—through Him.
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B160212
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You
I think there may be many of us who wonder what love looks like. You did not see it modeled at home. You have found it difficult to sustain relationships. So you want to know what love looks like.
Well, 1 Corinthians 13 is the place to begin.
Paul gives seven distinguishing marks of genuine love in these verses.
Love is patient… (1 Corinthians 13:4)
God’s Word has a wonderful way of bringing us down to earth. If you say to me, “Colin, do you love your kids?” I will say, “Yes, of course I do.”
If you say, “Colin, are you patient with your kids?” I will say, “…Could do better…”
Think about a person you care about. Do you want them to feel your love? Be patient with him. Be patient with her. Be patient with them. Grow in patience, and you will deepen your love.
Another way of translating what Paul says here is “love suffers long.”
Love expands your capacity to put up with difficult people and desperate situations.
That’s a wonderful thing because you can’t live in this world without coming across difficult people and desperate situations. If you expect to that everybody is going to care for you and seek the best for you in this world, you are going to be disappointed.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble!”
Living in this world, you have to develop the capacity to handle the injuries, disappointments, frustrations, let-downs, conflicts, and offenses that you will experience throughout the course of your life.
How do you develop that capacity? How do you live in a world like this, when people will wrong you and disappoint you in so many ways?
Answer: Love will give you the capacity to suffer long. Growing in love will give you the resilience you need to live in this fallen world.
Love is kind. It does not envy. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Scripture always brings us down to earth. We like to flatter ourselves about our character, but God’s Word searches us out.
If I asked, “Do you love your best friend?” most of you would say, “Yes I really love my best friend.”
But if I asked, “Are you generous to your best friend?” there would probably be a range of different answers.
Love is kind. Love is generous. The degree to which you are growing in kindness is the degree to which you are growing in love.
Someone has said that “the greatest thing a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of his other children.”
If you want to grow in love, try to bring pleasure to those God has placed around you in every way that you can.
Henry Drummond says,
Whenever you attempt a good work you will find other men doing the same kind of work and probably doing it better.
Here you are raising a child – someone else is doing it better.
Here you are running a business – someone else is doing it better.
Here you are serving in ministry – someone else is doing it better.
Whatever you are doing, there is always competition.
Now, how are you going to respond to that?
You meet up with someone from your college years, and it becomes very obvious that they have prospered more than you. How do you react?
Love will release you from preoccupation with yourself.
Can you rejoice in the blessing they have received from God? Or do you come away saying, “Why did that not happen for me?”
It doesn’t really matter how talented or hard-working you are because there will always be someone else who does better, who is paid better, who looks better, and who is better.
How are you going to handle the greater success of other people?
Grow in love, and you will be released from envy. Cultivate a generous spirit, and you will be blessed.
Love does not boast. It is not proud. It is not self-seeking. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
The word that is translated “proud” here literally means “a wind bag.” This is a person whose conversation is mainly about himself or herself.
There’s a phrase that’s sometimes used to describe this kind of person: He was a missionary to the “When I” tribe: “When I did this, and when I did that…”
Alan Redpath once said,
When a man begins to boast, he is advertising his emptiness and his ignorance. There is no swagger about love. It is too big for that. The Lord Jesus Christ never ‘showed off.’ His greatness was revealed not merely in what He displayed, but in the things He suppressed.
“Love is not self-seeking” means that when you are growing in love, you don’t always have to get your own way.
Jonathan Edwards wrote,
A person of selfish spirit is ready to make much of the afflictions that he himself is under, as if his privations or sufferings were greater than those of anybody else.
Speak to anyone who has gone through major suffering – cancer, sudden bereavement, tragedy –and you will find someone who visited them and spent a great deal of time talking about their own indigestion or some other ailment!
The person who is self-seeking makes much of his or her own difficulties and, as a result, becomes insensitive to the needs and pain of others.
Love is not self-seeking.
Do you want to grow in love?
Stop being obsessed with yourself. Start taking a genuine interest in other people.
Love will release you from preoccupation with yourself.
Love begets forgetfulness of self, and forgetfulness of self is health.
Love is not rude. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
If you are in a situation where love is burning low, then this is the simplest place to begin.
Courtesy! Love is not rude.
Courtesy is like oil in the machinery of human relationships.
We all know what it is to barge in on what another person is saying with what we want to say. But love is not rude.
Courtesy says, “I will listen. I am interested in what this person is saying. I value what they think.”
It is easy to slip into the habit of speaking about people we love in a way that highlights their faults and their weaknesses. “Oh, he’s always like that.”
If you truly love someone, you will want others to think the best of them. Don’t bring out the worst in the person you love.
Love covers over a multitude of sins. Courtesy is discreet.
Practice courtesy in the words you withhold.
Love is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Love is not easily provoked, not irritable, not touchy, and not easily upset or offended.
Do people feel that they have to handle you with kid gloves? Do they feel cautious to speak to you freely because they are not sure how you will react?
It is not love that makes you like that.
In Jesus’ story about the prodigal son, there was an older brother who stayed at home. He was dutiful, loyal, hard-working, and upright, but there was a coldness in his soul.
When the father threw a party for his wayward brother who had returned home, the older brother “became angry, and refused to go in” (Luke 15:28).
Bad temper is a sure sign of a poisoned soul.
Have you ever caught yourself reacting sharply and then said to yourself, “Now why did I do that?” If you are burning on a short fuse, it tells that something has gone sour within you.
What can you do about that?
You need a fresh filling of the love of Christ.
Love will help you to exercise restraint on the frustrations that you feel. It will help you to keep your poise when you are provoked. Love is not easily angered.
Jonathan Edwards points out that there are many situations in which it is legitimate for a Christian to be angry. But he warns us about the danger of being angry for a long time:
If a person allows himself long to hold anger towards another, he will quickly come to hate him. And so we find that it actually is among those that retain a grudge in their hearts against others for week after week, and month after month and year after year. They do in the end truly hate the person against whom they thus lay up anger, whether they own it or not.
Then he says,
Ask yourself, “What good has been obtained by your anger, and what have you aimed at in it?”
Then love’s restraint is seen in this: It keeps no record of wrongs. Love is selective in its recall.
Love will choose to remember the good about a person, rather than to dwell on the wrongs they may have done.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)
Love finds no pleasure in other people’s failures.
When a man has fallen, love will think about the battle he must have fought and the struggle he must have had before he went down.
Love always thinks the best. It never presumes the worst.
Have you ever found yourself jumping to conclusions, only to discover that you had completely misjudged a situation?
Elijah presumed the worst when he came to the conclusion that the erosion of faith in Israel had become so desperate that he was the only one left who truly worshipped the Lord. But when God told him the truth, it turned out that there were 7,000 who had not turned the knee to Baal.
Eli came into the house of the Lord and saw a woman called Hannah. She was praying in her heart, so her lips were moving, but there was no sound. Eli presumed the worst, and he was quite sure that she was drunk.
He decides to confront her: “How long will you keep getting drunk. Get rid of your wine!”
Then he found that he had completely misjudged the situation and that this was a godly woman who was pouring out her soul to God in prayer, and God was listening.
How often on thorough examination have we found better things of others than we have heard and that at first we were ready to judge.
Could it be that a gloomy pessimism has taken root in your soul?
Do you find that your instinctive reaction is one of suspicion? Have you cultivated the habit of presuming the worst, rather than thinking the best? You need to be renewed in love.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Notice the word “always.” Love is consistent. And it never gives up.
God is calling us to live like this, not just on Sundays, high days, and holidays, but every day.
Love is not an occasional gesture but an obvious aspect of character.
So here is a snapshot of what genuine love looks like: It is patience, generosity, humility, courtesy, restraint, joy, and consistency.
Look at your life at work and at home. Ask yourself these questions honestly: