Monthly Archives: April 2016

April 29, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Apr. 29, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

China has denied a U.S. carrier strike group’s request for a port visit to Hong Kong next week amid escalating tensions in the adjacent South China Sea.

The U.S. Supreme Court adopted a rule making it easier for the FBI to access computers remotely when their locations are unknown, a move privacy advocates say gives the bureau the power to hack into thousands of computers.

Ahead of a one-week recess, House Republicans are showing little urgency to act on a bill to help Puerto Rico deal with its debt crisis as the island hurtles toward a potential default Sunday on a $422 million payment.

Russia’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a sixth meeting, saying it may resume easing soon as policy makers await government decisions on budget spending and seek to avoid stoking inflation expectations.

Facebook Inc. revealed that it spent $4.26 million on security for Mark Zuckerberg last year, its first disclosure of such costs, and the highest among companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that have filed proxy statements for fiscal 2015. The expense brings the total cost from 2013 to 2015 to $12.5 million.

AP Top Stories

South Sudan’s transitional unity government was sworn into office Friday, with President Salva Kiir sharing power with ex-rebels in a key step in a long-delayed peace process.

Kim Jong-un has reportedly ordered a new ‘pleasure squad’ of teenage girls to serve his every whim.

Plans have been unveiled for a new tower in Dubai, which will be the tallest in the world. Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based property developers, are planning to build ‘The Needle’, which will reach slightly higher than the 2,716 ft Burj Khalifa – the current record holder.

A couple is suing Snapchat over a car accident that they claim was caused by the company’s ‘Speed’ filter. The messaging app’s speed filter lets users see how fast they’re moving, allowing them to overlay the speed they’re travelling at on a photo or ‘snap’. The lawsuit alleges that the driver was trying to get the car up to 100mph in order to post an image on Snapchat. It also claimed that the teenaged driver continued using Snapchat following the crash, posting an image of her injuries with the words ‘lucky to be alive’.

Venezuela’s opposition tried to sack the food minister for shortages in the crisis-hit country and claimed a million people backed its call for a referendum to remove the president.

A man who threatened to blow up a local Baltimore TV station dressed head-to-toe in a bear costume was carrying chocolate bars made to resemble an explosive device, police said. The 25-year-old was in “serious but stable condition” at a local hospital after police shot him several times when he emerged from the building and walked toward them

UN Security Council diplomats warned North Korea to expect a response after Pyongyang’s repeated failed attempts to test-fire a powerful ballistic missile, the latest defiance of UN resolutions.

North Korea on Friday sentenced a U.S. citizen of Korean heritage to 10 years in prison with hard labor after convicting him of espionage and subversion, the second American it has put behind bars this year.

China wants to put astronauts on the moon by 2036, a senior space official said, the latest goal in China’s ambitious lunar exploration program.

Italian police issued arrest warrants on Thursday for six people suspected of conspiring to join Islamic State, and court documents said three of them had been discussing possible attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.

American women could be required to register for the military draft as soon as next year under an amendment to a defense policy bill passed by a House of Representatives committee on Thursday, and supported by some key members of the Senate.

BBC

Eleven people have been found dead and two are missing after a helicopter crashed west of the Norwegian city of Bergen carrying 13, rescuers said. Eleven of those on board were Norwegian, one was British and one Italian.

Sixteen US military personnel have been punished with disciplinary measures over the bombing of an Afghan hospital that left 42 dead, officials said. No criminal charges have been filed, according to an unnamed official.

Colombia’s top court has legalized same-sex marriage, making the country the fourth in Latin America to do so. Gay couples were already allowed to form civil partnerships, but Thursday’s ruling extends them the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.

The US will no longer subsidize the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a senior state department official has told the BBC. The decision means that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m – two-and-a-half times the original cost – if it wishes to buy the aircraft.

WND

Belgium is to provide iodine pills to its entire population of around 11 million people to protect against radioactivity in case of a nuclear accident.

The University of B.C. student, who describes herself as transsexual, charged with mischief for allegedly burning a rainbow LGBT pride flag at the university last February says she did it to protest what she considers an “offensive” symbol.

In a stunning reversal, the U.S. Army decided late Thursday to retain a decorated Green Beret it had planned to kick out after he physically confronted a local Afghan commander accused of raping a boy over the course of many days.


Top News – 4/29/2016

Pelosi unveils Democrats’ 4-point plan for ‘gay’ agenda
What are Democrats to do when they can’t make same-sex marriage the law of the land in America by going through the legislative process? Count on the U.S. courts and president to do it for them, of course.

Over 1 Million Vow to Boycott Target Over Transgender Bathroom Policy
Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target after the retailer announced last week that its stores will allow customers who are men according to their birth sex to go into women’s bathrooms and dressing rooms.

Earthquake of 4.2 magnitude hits Lima
An earthquake of 4.2 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Cañete in the region of Lima last night, according to the Geophysical Institute of Lima (IGP). The quake was registered at 11:04 p.m. with an epicenter located 46 kilometers west of San Vicente de Cañete.

Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Hits Off Coast Of Vanuatu: USGS
A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off the coast of Vanuatu on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Iran asks U.N. chief to intervene with U.S. after court ruling
Iran asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon…to convince the United States to stop violating state immunity after the top U.S. court ruled that $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be paid to American victims of attacks blamed on Tehran. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to Ban…to use his “good offices…to induce the U.S….to adhere to its international obligations.”

PLO Chairman Erekat calls on Israel to cease Area A operations
Israel rejected the Palestinian Authority’s request to stop all military operations in Area A as part of a possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict PLO Chairman Saeb Erekat claimed on Thursday. The statement was made a few hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported that he rejected the French peace initiative.

Russian Warplane Flies Within 50 Feet of U.S. Spy Plane in Asia
A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week… “On April 21, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol reconnaissance aircraft flying a routine mission in international airspace was intercepted by a MiG-31 Russian jet in the vicinity of the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Free Beacon.

US Supreme Court approves expanded hacking powers
The US Supreme Court has approved a rule change that would allow law enforcement to remotely search computers located anywhere in the US. Previously, magistrate judges could order searches only within the jurisdiction of their court, often limited to a few counties. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said the change was necessary to modernise the law for the digital age.

US ‘drops planned Pakistan F-16 fighter jet subsidy’
The US will no longer subsidise the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a senior state department official has told the BBC. The decision means that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m (£480m) – two-and-a-half times the original cost – if it wishes to buy the aircraft. It comes after Congress refused to approve funding for the deal.

The Backlash to Will Ferrell’s Planned ‘Reagan’ Film
News broke Wednesday about a planned movie starring Will Ferrell as the late President Ronald Reagan. Simply titled Reagan, Variety reported, “the story begins at the start of the ex-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.”

California Lawmakers Reject John Wayne Day
California lawmakers have defeated a resolution intended to honor John Wayne after opponents challenged what they say are racist statements by the late actor.

Obama Admits Couldn’t “Convince Americans Of Recovery”, Bashes ‘The Big Short’
Despite his proclamation that he “saved the world from a Great Depression,” the fact is that Obama will be the first President ever to not see a single year of 3% GDP growth – but only cynical fiction-peddlers would mention facts at a time like this.

U.S. military softens claims on drop in Islamic State’s foreign fighters
The U.S. military on Thursday retreated from a top general’s claim this week that the number of foreign fighters joining Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has plummeted by as much as 90 percent.

China says it will not permit war in the Korean Peninsula. Why now?
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that his country will “absolutely not permit war or chaos” to break out on the Korean peninsula. Addressing a group of Asian foreign ministers, the comments were made in the context of a wider exploration of China’s foreign policy. President Xi also expressed commitment to “comprehensively and fully” implement sanctions targeting North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, as mandated by the United Nations.

Google CEO Pichai Sees the End of Computers as Physical Devices
Forget personal computer doldrums and waning smartphone demand. Google thinks computers will one day cease being physical devices. “Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away,” Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai wrote Thursday in a letter to shareholders of parent Alphabet Inc. “Over time, the computer itself — whatever its form factor — will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day.”


Top Headlines – 4/29/2016

Italy nabs four suspected in ISIS plot to attack Israeli embassy, Vatican

The new UN consensus on Syria: Israel must pay!

Israel rejects French peace plan: ‘Direct talks are only path’

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark safety concerns

Hamas says Jerusalem bus bombing proof of ‘resistance’

Iran Hints at Retaliation Over U.S. Use of Seized Assets

Turkey journalists jailed for publishing Mohammed cartoon

Italy to start fingerprinting migrants at sea

With Iraq Mired in Turmoil, Some Call for Partitioning the Country

Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq, Seeking to Bolster Fight Against ISIS

Biden presses Iraq to not let political chaos upend gains

‘Rein in Assad,’ US tells Russia after Aleppo hospital bombing

Situation in Aleppo “catastrophic”, aid lifeline in jeopardy

Isis has been financially weakened, claim UK and US military figures

ISIS Attackers May Have Targeted Nuclear Power Station

Georgia detains five suspected of selling uranium

‘All Belgians to get iodine pills’ in case of nuclear accident

North Korea Has Now Had 3 Failed Missile Launches in 2 Weeks

China, Russia urge U.S. to drop Korea missile defense proposal

China Plans To Build 20 Floating Nuclear Reactors In International Waters

China passes law imposing security controls on foreign NGOs

Trump’s ‘America first’ speech alarms U.S. allies

Hundreds of Protesters Descend Upon Trump Rally in California, Damaging Police Cars and Blocking Roads

FBI arrests brother of San Bernardino terrorist and 2 others on marriage fraud charges

National sheriffs’ group, opposed to federal laws on guns and taxes, calls for defiance

TSA employees rip agency: ‘No one who reports issues is safe’

Google CEO predicts AI-fueled future

White House struggles to explain weak economy as Obama boasts of job growth

First-quarter GDP shows economy grew at slowest pace in two years

Mortgage Rates: Houses And Cheap Loans To The Economy’s Rescue

Vanuatu tsunami threat cancelled after 7.3 strong quake hits islands

6.6 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern East Pacific Rise

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Magnitude 5.0 earthquake strikes Charente-Maritime area, southwestern France

Eastern Taiwan rattled with 26 earthquakes in one night

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 20,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 19,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Flash Flood Emergency Declared Along Gulf Coast; Voluntary Evacuations Underway Near Biloxi Rivers

EPA Continues To Implement Global Warming Plan Supreme Court Said It Couldn’t

Obamacare Moves to Cover More Criminals

20 Dead, 200 Hospitalized After Reports US Lab “Leaks” Deadly Virus In Ukraine

Lyme Disease: A Ticking Time Bomb for Arthritis

Rio Olympics 2016: South Korea unveils ‘zika-proof- uniforms

Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico grows, endangers pregnant women

Brain Damage in Zika Babies Is Far Worse Than Doctors Expected

State Senate approves fetal tissue ban, despite possible risks to medical research

Parasitic worms may hold key to cutting spread of HIV: researchers

Alabama city: Use bathrooms matching biological sex or face 6 months in jail

Lawmaker Says He’ll Help Target Leave Texas Over Transgender Policy

Court: Oral sex not rape if victim is intoxicated, unconscious

The secret sex parties of North Korea’s elite

Bribing Them For Jesus – Youth Pastor uses Nike Giveaways to Bring Kids to Christ

Houston cult claims sodium chlorite drink can cure everything

The Transgender Con? Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch


The U.S. Economy Officially Joins The Global Economic Slowdown – 1st Quarter GDP Comes In At 0.5%

Slow Down - Public DomainEven the government is admitting that the U.S. economy is slowing down.  On Thursday, we learned that U.S. GDP grew at just a 0.5 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2016.  This was lower than analysts were anticipating, and it marks the third time in a row that the GDP number has declined compared to the previous quarter.  In other words, GDP growth has been declining for close to a year now, and this lines up perfectly with what I have been saying about how the second half of last year was a turning point that plunged us into the early chapters of a brand new economic crisis.  And as you will see below, the official GDP number is highly manipulated, and the way that it is calculated has been changed numerous times over the years.  So the bad number that is being reported by the government is actually the best case scenario. (Read More….)


April 28, 2016

ELIANA JOHNSON — Call it a Hail Mary. With no chance of winning the Republican nomination before the convention in Cleveland and with the odds of a contested convention growing dimmer, Ted Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his potential running mate Wednesday afternoon…. (more)


April 28, 2016

NEWSMAX — Donald Trump left most experts unimpressed following his foreign policy speech in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Politico reports. “It struck me as a very odd mishmash,” Doug Bandow, of the libertarian Cato Institute, said. Cato finds agreement with Trump on limiting the United States’ role abroad, but Bandow said, Trump “called for a new foreign policy strategy, but you don’t really get the sense he gave one.”… (more)


April 28, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Donald Trump complained today that the United States has “lacked a coherent foreign policy” since the end of the Cold War. His vow that a Trump administration would impose coherence is about as credible as his vow to make Mexico pay for his fantasy wall. Indeed, the foreign-policy speech was itself incoherent . . . quite apart from the fact that, just the blink of an eye ago, Trump was enthusiastically supporting – – with his tongue and his wallet – – the very policies he now bemoans…. (more)

April 28, 2016

POLITICO — Back when he hosted a prime-time talk show on MSNBC, Ed Schultz divided the world into heroes and villains. The heroes usually included Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The villains were most Republicans, and especially Donald J. Trump… (more)


April 28, 2016
THOMAS SOWELL — The sudden appearance of Donald Trump on the political horizon last year may have been surprising, but not nearly as surprising as seeing some conservatives supporting him…. (more)

April 28, 2016
DAVID LIMBAUGH — Donald Trump is trying to establish the narrative that he’s already won the Republican presidential nomination. If that’s true, why is his team trying to reinvent him? Trump had a big win in New York, and he had another big day in other Northeastern states this week…. (more)

April 28, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — Caitlyn Jenner revealed Tuesday that she recently took Donald Trump up on his offer to use the women’s bathroom at Trump Tower in New York City. The reality star, formerly Bruce Jenner, made the admission in a speech at the TIME 100 Gala in Manhattan, where Mr. Trump was also in attendance, People magazine reported…. (more)

April 27, 2016

YOUTUBE — Major Announcement. Ted Cruz Picks Carly Fiorina to be Vice President Running Mate Ted Cruz told reporters Wednesday that he’ll be making a “major announcement” during a rally in Indianapolis, where he’s expected to announce that ex-presidential hopeful and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will be his running mate should he win the GOP nomination…. (more)


April 27, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Hours before Donald Trump swept all five GOP primaries Tuesday night, a super PAC leading the charge against him was assuring donors he faces a “nearly impossible path” to the Republican presidential nomination…. (more)


April 27, 2016

US NEWS — The Latest on campaign 2016 as voters head to the polls in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland (all times Eastern): 10:55 p.m. Republican Donald Trump says that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is only doing well in the election because of her gender…. (more)


April 27, 2016

THE EDITORS OF NATIONAL REVIEW — The stakes of next week’s Republican primary contest in Indiana could not be much higher. A Ted Cruz victory could make it all but impossible for Donald Trump to secure the nomination outright. A Trump victory could make it all but impossible for him not to. A coordinated, all-out anti-Trump effort of the sort seen in Wisconsin is in order. And that means that, like Scott Walker in the Badger State, Indiana governor Mike Pence needs to step up…. (more)


April 27, 2016
BREITBART — I’ve endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz. I was a contributor to National Review’s Against Trump symposium at the beginning of the year. Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Phyllis Schlafly – -you are friends and allies, serious men and women for whom I have great respect. You and other conservatives disagreed. I pen this open letter to you…. (more)

April 27, 2016

NEWSMAX — Donald Trump is apparently not pleased with the advice and the comments of political guru Paul Manafort, according to Politico. Multiple sources tell Politico Trump was not happy with reports that Manafort characterized the real estate mogul as using a “different persona” and “projecting an image,” during a closed-door meeting with Republican leaders…. (more)


April 27, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — Talk-radio host Michael Savage, a strong supporter of Donald Trump’s campaign for president, took issue with the Republican front-runner’s opposition to North Carolina’s bathroom law, which requires people to use gender-specific public facilities according to their biological sex…. (more)

April 27, 2016
NEWSMAX — Republican Donald Trump took aim at rival John Kasich’s table manners Monday, labeling his eating “disgusting” and calling him “a stubborn guy who eats like a slob.”… (more)

April 27, 2016
NEWSMAX — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a New Jersey police officer who was demoted after his boss mistakenly believed he was involved in a political campaign can still bring a lawsuit alleging a violation of free speech rights…. (more)

April 27, 2016

CHELSEA SCHILLING — Drug cartels are helping Muslim terrorists – – including at least one ISIS militant – – sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border to scope out the targets for terror attacks, according to a Tuesday report from Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch…. (more)


April 27, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — At Georgetown, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning in the U.S., the official teachings of the church against homosexuality have been set aside. Wednesday is the occasion for a “Lavender Graduation” event, described as “a special ceremony for LGBTQ and Ally undergraduate and graduate students,” in order to “acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences at Georgetown University.”… (more)

April 26, 2016

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY — The 2016 presidential election is on the top of most Americans’ minds, according to the latest George Washington University Battleground Poll. Despite, or perhaps because of, the high level of engagement, voters have negative views of almost all major candidates, and report the tone of the race is wearing on them…. (more)


April 26, 2016
NEWSMAX — Voters ages 18 to 29, often called millennials, are not fans of presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to Harvard poll results…. (more)

April 26, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Republican Party could be maimed for years following the 2016 presidential election, party insiders tell the Washington Examiner. They worry not just that front-runner Donald Trump will lose the general election to Hillary Clinton, but that the disruption he’s proudly caused will mean lost elections and diminished influence for years to come…. (more)

April 26, 2016
NEW YORK TIMES — The temporary alliance between Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, formed to deny Donald J. Trump the Republican presidential nomination, was already fraying almost to the point of irrelevance on Monday, only hours after it was announced to great fanfare…. (more)

April 26, 2016
CINCINNATI.COM — No matter how John Kasich fares in the five East Coast primaries Tuesday, he’s staying in the race. The most immediate benefit to Kasich of his new alliance with Ted Cruz comes in the form of certainty for the rest of the GOP primary season. In the long run, the alliance, announced in emails each campaign sent just before bedtime Sunday, marks both candidates’ best chance of keeping front-runner Donald Trump from amassing enough delegates during primary contests to win the GOP nomination outright…. (more)

April 26, 2016

NEWSMAX — Terror groups like ISIS or al-Qaida could launch strikes within the U.S. to affect the presidential election this November, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Newsmax Monday morning…. (more)


April 26, 2016

NEWSMAX — More than half a million people have pledged not to shop at Target after the retail giant said transgender people can use whichever bathroom and fitting room they choose in its stores…. (more)


Cold hard facts on cults


Marsha West
April 29, 2016
Six years ago I penned a piece entitled “Caught up in a cult?” My concern at the time was that a growing number of people were being drawn into cults and cult-like groups that call themselves Christian. They had no clue that they’d strayed off The Safe Path into The Deep Weeds. So I laid out what a cult is and listed several groups to beware of. Six years later the numbers of people in cults has increased. The main reason is that there’s a famine of spiritual discernment in the land . . . [Click for more]

Open Season on Christian Morality & Thought

You just might be the target. A conversation with Carl Gallups.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

read more

Open-Season-on-Christian-Morality-Thought.mp3 21.4 MB


The Hal Lindsey Report – Hal Lindsey

There was a circus at the United Nations last week.

There were no elephants or caged lions, no trapeze artists or sword swallowers. Not even any bearded ladies.

But there were sights to see that we’ll not see outside the circus.

View Article


This ‘n’ That

  • Tip: don’t listen to Bono and Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of the Psalms. Read them for yourself (in a valid translation) and hear them exposited verse by verse by trusted men of God (Don Green and Steve Kreloff are two trusted pastors whose sermon libraries contain many sermons on the psalms).
  • What is the least you can believe to still be a Christian?
  • Thoughts on canonicity from Dr. Nathan Busenitz.
  • Sorry, but you cannot say that someone is a Christian and then later say, “Later in his life, Schulz began to refer to himself as a “secular humanist,’ as his theology became less traditional. This did not mean he was no longer a Christian, but rather that he now believed other faiths might also provide legitimate paths to God.” You see, if someone denies that salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone (Jesus did say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”) then that person is not a Christian. Period.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable (thanks, Paula!).
  • Looking forward to the launch of this website and ministry.
  • Sigh. Whatever. Did we really expect anything different from Jen Hatmaker?
  • I do not understand what this means. Perhaps because I cannot find it in the Bible.
  • The nature of the battle:

This Week in Calvinism – April 29, 2016

  • Tracey Rowland sees the potential for a Catholic revival in Scotland: “It can’t be all that difficult to compete with liberal Calvinism and garden-variety New Age paganism when one has the full treasury of a sacramental Catholicism…”
  • Arminian William Birch lists five reasons why New Calvinism is worth rejecting.
  • Carol Howard Merritt, a feminist who embraces “marriage equality,” proudly dons Calvin’s mantle, despite being against everything he stood for.
  • Dr. Jeff Hagan offers a concise summary of Arminianism and Calvinism.
  • “But the horror genre also shows us how Puritan Calvinism was intimately entwined with witchy folktales,” writes Kathryn Reklis, in her review of the film The Witch. “The fear of witches went hand in hand with the Calvinist God whose inscrutable will predestined some to hell.”
  • Dr. Vern Charette ponders God’s goodness in light of what many Calvinists would consider a false assurance of salvation.

The Daily Discovery (April 29, 2016)

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

Editorial On Abusing Matthew 18 – “Several years ago I wrote a fairly restrained critique of the emerging church movement as it then existed, before it morphed into its present diverse configurations.1 That little book earned me some of the angriest, bitterness-laced emails I have ever received—to say nothing, of course, of the blog posts. There were other responses, of course—some approving and grateful, some thoughtful and wanting to dialogue. But the ones that displayed the greatest intensity were those whose indignation was white hot because I had not first approached privately those whose positions I had criticized in the book. What a hypocrite I was—criticizing my brothers on ostensible biblical grounds when I myself was not following the Bible’s mandate to observe a certain procedure nicely laid out in Matt 18:15–17.”

Matthew 18 and the Universal Church – “Last week, I wrote an article about the problems that I personally perceive regarding the ministry of Andy Stanley. I learned a great lesson from that article. I can call out false teachers for heresy, but if I criticize someone within the bounds of evangelicalism for error, I’ve somehow crossed the line. Occasionally, on this blog, I write about books and ministries that people should avoid. For instance, I’ve written about Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. In both cases, I have openly referred to them as heretics. In my article regarding Andy Stanley’s problem with the Bible, I didn’t call him a heretic. I do have serious concerns regarding the trajectory of his ministry given some recent decisions, but at this point, I must still refer to him as a brother.”

Understanding Dispensations – “When God gives a revelation that was previously unknown, and this new revelation makes a fundamental change in the manner of the work that God is doing on earth, this marks the beginning of a new dispensation. To put it simply, that is where we make a cut—where we place a dividing point. To illustrate the magnitude of the type of cut that we are talking about, consider the division of the calendar that occurred when we moved from ‘B.C.’ to ‘A.D.’ In other words, we are referring to points in history where God did something so fundamental that we must recognize a division in terms of man’s responsibility to his Creator.

The Dividing Doctrines of Grace – “Have you ever met a theological fence-sitter? These are those who like to have their proverbial cake and eat it too. They epitomize the old adage, ‘love the one you are with’ so as not to anger any. This phenomenon is found in various circles and even in many professing Christian circles, but the ones of whom I write today are those who waver with the wind in regard to their soteriological profession. One can almost imagine the Apostle Paul shaking his head at the mere thought.”

Jesus I Love, But the Father is Mean – “One of the most unjust claims I repeatedly hear is, ‘Why is God so mean in the Old Testament, but Jesus so nice in the New Testament?’ This accusation would MAYBE be true if the only revelation about the Father before Jesus was Judges or the conquest into Canaan. But, if we read the entirety of the OT, the Father graciously loves His people and He proves it! In fact, when we properly understand sin and justice, we cannot even levy this claim against God in the book of Judges. A simple glance into OT doctrine reveals the Father is compassionate — just as we expect from the Triune God.”


SERMON:

murray

David Murray – The Inspiration of Scripture


VIDEOS:

There is more to adult Christian coloring books than meets the eye.

Open Phones on the Dividing Line


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


A La Carte (April 29)

Sorting through all of the possibilities, I came to just a few noteworthy Kindle deals: Seeing Christ In All of Scripture by Westminster Seminary ($2.99); Baptist Foundations by Mark Dever & Jonathan Leeman ($2.99); A History of Christianity by Joseph Early ($2.99).

Logos users may want to poke through these 7 pages of deals since they will be ending tomorrow. And you’ve got just one day left to download Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung for free from Christian Audio.

Parchments

You’ve probably never thought about this before: How much did it cost Paul to write an epistle? The answer may surprise you.

Governed by Bad News or Good News?

There is lots of bad news all around us. “But we must resist the temptation to be governed by the bad news around us. We must not act as though this is a terrible time to be alive as a Christian in America because the opposite is true.”

Big Mac Economics

Here’s why economists keep track of the prices of Big Macs.

Satan’s Strategies

“In a world of shysters and cons, you are wise to be alert to their strategies. When at the train station in Rome, pickpockets are everywhere so keep money and important documents secure. When you receive internet requests for money, ignore them. When you are promised a 10% return on your investment, don’t give up a penny. And when you have an enemy who is always out to get you, stay current with his schemes.”

Success Is Dangerous

Jared Wilson: “It is perfectly normal for humans to prefer success to failure. You’d be a weirdo if you didn’t. And yet it is perfectly normal for humans to taint all their successes with the swelling of their big fat heads. You’d be a weirdo if you didn’t.”

7 Questions About Transgender People, Answered

From The Federalist: “What social science research we have on transgender people and gender dysphoria is limited, but it does not support the agenda of trans activists.”

Angel Falls

This is some incredible drone footage of the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall.

This Day in 1607. 409 years ago today, the first Anglican (Episcopal) church in the American colonies was established at Cape Henry, Virginia. *

Family Worship for Stability

While this article is written specifically for minorities, its principles apply to any and every family. “As a black Christian man with a multi-ethnic heritage and a multi-racial and multi-cultural family, it is my conviction that a means by which God can keep black, brown, and other Christian minority families close to Jesus, close to each other, and structurally intact is by the Christian men in these families committing themselves to lead their families in regular family worship in accordance with the scriptures.”

Nature Hacks

I don’t know how helpful these hacks are, but they’re definitely interesting.

Carson

Jesus did not come to impress the crowds, but to die for sinners. —D.A. Carson


Links I like

Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Is it Biblical for Churches to Require a Tithe?

Short answer? Nope.

How to preach under pressure

Ray Ortlund:

On 15 August 1937, under intense political pressure, Ernst Käsemann preached a sermon in Germany which led to his arrest.  His text was Isaiah 26:13 and these wonderful words, “O Lord our God, other lords indeed rule over us besides you, but we call upon you alone and on your name.”

Canonicity: Why These 66 Books?

Nathan Busenitz:

There are a number of ways we could answer such questions; in fact, we could spend weeks studying the doctrine of canonicity, carefully walking through all of the relevant biblical and historical details. And there are many wonderful books available that can guide you through that wealth of information.

But in this article, I would like to offer a simple answer that I hope will be helpful – because it gets to the heart of the whole matter.

The Problem With Baby Dedications

Andrew Wilson:

So, baby dedications: perhaps the most widespread yet biblically inexplicable phenomenon in the contemporary evangelical church (with the possible exception of drinking fruit juice from shot glasses). Are they harmless? Useful? Cross-cultural? Evangelistic? Biblical? Celebratory? Quasi-sacramental? Even magical? And what should we do about it?

Griffith Who???

Paul Levy:

Griffith John was a contemporary of Hudson Taylor in China. One of theses two men is well known all over the globe–and has been an inspiration to the Christian church ever since–while the other has been all but forgotten.

Eugene Peterson and Bono on the Psalms

This is a very interesting conversation:

Two Common Hiring Mistakes Churches Make

Eric Geiger:

Every hire is a risk. Every time I have hired someone or have been hired, there was a risk involved. Some argue that proven track records eliminate the risk, but in reality a great history only minimizes the risk. Even when hiring someone who has a proven track record, it is hard to separate the individual’s performance from the organization’s performance. For example, we have seen great assistant coaches hired to be head coaches with dismal results. And sometimes when the coach returns to an assistant role, he is unable to reclaim the “mojo” he once had. In those cases, clearly it was the system around him at his former school that lifted his performance above his capacity. Thus, the hire was a risk, as all hires are.

The risk in hiring can be minimized, but it can’t be eliminated. To help you minimize the risk in your staff hires, below are two of the most common hiring mistakes you must avoid making in church ministry.


Check Out

Blogs

Would You Like to Take a New Testament Course With Me? | Tim Challies
“A little while ago I approached Logos to ask if they would be willing to open up a course in their Mobile Ed platform. They said they’d be glad to do so, and after weighing the various options, I selected one that I thought would be interesting, helpful, and appropriately challenging to any Christian. It usually costs $229.99, but they are giving us access for free!”

New poll finds fewer people keep the Sabbath than in the ’70s, but many people still value it | Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National
“Half of U.S. adults today (50 percent) say the Sabbath has personal spiritual meaning for them, down from 74 percent in 1978. However, 62 percent of people agree that it’s important for society to have one day a week set aside for spiritual rest, the survey reported – and only 11 percent disagree with that proposition.”

Mizzou Firings — Chronicle of a Campus Crisis | Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review
“…freshman enrollment is down 25 percent, leaving a $32 million funding gap and forcing the closure of four dorms. The month after the protests, donations to the athletic department were a mere $191,000 – down 72 percent over the same period a year earlier. Overall fundraising also took a big hit.”

“Great Disputes”: The Conditionality of the Covenant of Grace | Donald John Maclean, Meet the Puritans
“The conditionality of the covenant of grace is indeed an area of ‘great dispute.’ Pitfalls abound on every side. But Sedgwick is a faithful guide. His careful exploration of the conditionality of the covenant of grace is a fruitful model to follow, both in his precise definitions, and in his theological conclusions.”

The Bible says to Writers . . . | Mary Jackquelyn Moerbe, Meet, Write, and Salutary
“Writers can only write as the Lord allows them. If God did not open our lips, gift us mouths and our other means of expression, we would be mute, anguished, tormented. Yet God gives us more than mere physical means. He gives us content, depth, insight, reflection.”

Governed by Bad News or Good News? | Prince on Preaching
“These and many others tragic realities should drive us to our knees in prayer. But we must resist the temptation to be governed by the bad news around us.”

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace | Aaron Orendorff, Lifehacker
“Here are 10 professional rules for the digital workplace everyone should remember. Keep in mind though, the point of this list is to apply it to yourself. Nobody likes an etiquette cop, online or off.”

Confronting the Public Health Crisis of Pornography | Paul S. Loverde, First Things
“It is about time that we as a nation finally admit to ourselves that pornography is not some benign ‘entertainment’ that affects only those who use or produce it.”

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.


The Fall of Japan by William Craig ($2.99)


The Lord’s Supper (New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology) by Thomas R. Schreiner and Matthew R. Crawford ($0.99)


Six Simple Steps: Find Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife by Diana Davis ($2.99)


A History of Christianity: An Introductory Survey by Joseph Early ($2.99)

Video

How Businesspeople Can Reach the World | John Rinehart, Desiring God


Pelosi Unveils Democrats’ 4-Point Plan For ‘Gay’ Agenda

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 06:22 AM PDT

What are Democrats to do when they can’t make same-sex marriage the law of the land in America by going through the legislative process? Count on the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

FL School Board Rules Students Must Use Bathrooms Matching Their Birth Sex

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:54 AM PDT

The Marion County school board in Florida has decided that children must use bathrooms that correspond to their biological gender after a father complained that a transgender…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Eastern Taiwan shaken by 26 earthquakes in one night

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:49 AM PDT

Eastern Taiwan was rattled with as many as 26 earthquakes overnight, with three of them being identified as main earthquakes, Shin Tzay-chyn (辛在勤), director-general of the Central…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Israel hunting chemical-armed ISIS terrorists in Golan

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:44 AM PDT

Israeli intelligence officials are concerned that an ISIS terrorist cell operating in the southern Golan Heights – along the border with Israel – has obtained chemical weapons….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Targets Refuses To Flinch As Boycott Petition Reaches One Million And Counting

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:41 AM PDT

An online petition urging people to boycott one of America’s largest retailers has reached the million-signature milestone after being launched slightly less than one week ago. Last…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Large Number of Pastors Don’t Believe in the Rapture

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:36 AM PDT

End-time theology is wavering in the Christian church and a large number of Protestant pastors believe there is no rapture. Whether pre-tribulation or post rapture, a new…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Prophet’ Insists He Was Framed for Selling Photos From His Trip to Heaven

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:33 AM PDT

(Jennifer Leclaire) This takes the angel food cake. On a page claiming to be “Prophet” Mboro, the man insists he took a supernatural trip to heaven—and that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Killer Superbugs Could Kill 10 million people a year by 2050

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:29 AM PDT

Human resistance to antibiotics will continue to worsen, and will eventually become “an even greater threat to mankind than cancer,” if no action is taken to reverse…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

U.S. Economy Officially Joins The Global Economic Slowdown

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:21 AM PDT

(Michael Snyder) Even the government is admitting that the U.S. economy is slowing down. On Thursday, we learned that U.S. GDP grew at just a 0.5 percent…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Protests rage outside Trump rally in CA; 17 arrested, police car smashed

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:10 AM PDT

Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Bono Wants Christian Music To Get More Honest

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:07 AM PDT

When U2 musician Bono reads the Psalms, a book of the Bible filled with ancient hymns, he sees the full range of human emotions: anger, irritation, sadness,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF NOAH – Life-sized Noah’s Ark replica to dock in San Diego

Posted: 29 Apr 2016 05:04 AM PDT

A life-size replica of the Bible’s Noah’s Ark – larger than a football field and holding 5,000 people – will eventually dock in Southern California, the director…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UMass Students Freak Out over Journalist Being White, Wearing Cross at Milo Event

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:37 PM PDT

Journalist Mike Mahoney says a group of hostile students ganged up on him after Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent event at the University of Massachusetts, arguing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

1,000 Earthquakes Have Shaken Japan in Two Weeks Since Initial Jolt

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:25 PM PDT

More than 1,000 seismic events had been recorded as of Thursday in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures in the two weeks since a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck central Kyushu,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Lightning strikes plane as sky flashes blood red

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:20 PM PDT

A terrifying video has captured the moment a plane near Heathrow was struck by lightning as the sky flashed blood red. Passengers on the flight into London…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Belgians To Get Iodine Pills’ In Case of Nuclear “Accident”

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:17 PM PDT

Belgium is to provide iodine pills to its entire population of around 11 million people to protect against radioactivity in case of a nuclear accident, the health…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Lyme Disease Is A Ticking Time Bomb’

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:12 PM PDT

Lyme disease is known to wreck lives and strike when people least expect it. Transmitted from ticks, it can take years to diagnose, leaving people suffering painful…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

“Day of Reckoning’ Coming For Stock Markets

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:08 PM PDT

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is “extremely cautious” on the U.S. market, he told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Thursday. “I do believe in general that there will be…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

London naked restaurant has waiting list of 30,000

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 08:04 PM PDT

Remember that naked restaurant in London that we told you about last week with 5,000 people on the waiting list? Yeah, that number’s now at almost 30,000….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Northern East Pacific Rise

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 07:56 PM PDT

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there is no tsunami threat to Hawai’i following a 6.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred near the Northern East Pacific Rise. According…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico grows, endangers pregnant women

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 05:41 PM PDT

Nowhere in the U.S. has been hit harder by the Zika outbreak than Puerto Rico, where 570 people have been diagnosed with the virus, including 48 pregnant…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Russian Warplane Flies Within 50 Feet of American Spy Plane…

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 05:39 PM PDT

A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week, Moscow’s latest aerial saber-rattling against American ships and planes,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Baltimore TV station evacuated over costumed man ‘with bomb’

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 01:04 PM PDT

A costumed man claiming to have documents related to “Panama papers” on a flash drive prompted an evacuation of the WBFF TV station in Baltimore, Maryland. A…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Powerful Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Strikes Off Coast Of Vanuatu

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 01:02 PM PDT

Yet another Powerful earthquake has occurred. The quake hit 31km east-southeast of Lakatoro. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says a Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.  More details…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

This Is The End: Venezuela Runs Out Of Money To Print New Money

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 12:09 PM PDT

Back in February, when we commented on the unprecedented hyperinflation about the be unleashed in the Latin American country whose president just announced that he would expand…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UNRAVELING: Reports of looting and fiery protests are circulating in Venezuela

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 11:33 AM PDT

Venezuelan cities cleaned up from a night of looting and fiery protests Wednesday as government offices closed their doors for the rest of the week in the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Jenner uses women’s bathroom at Trump Tower

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 10:59 AM PDT

Caitlyn Jenner revealed Tuesday that she recently took Donald Trump up on his offer to use the women’s bathroom at Trump Tower in New York City. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Kenya orders 435-mile wall to keep out terrorists

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 10:57 AM PDT

Kenya’s government announced it will start building a wall that will stretch almost 435 miles along its northeastern border with Somalia as a means of slowing the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

LGBT groups blast Tennessee’s new ‘therapist’ law

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 10:54 AM PDT

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law a bill that underscores the rights of therapists, counselors and other mental-health professionals to refuse clients with issues they believe…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christians to flock to massive atheist rally in D.C.

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 10:50 AM PDT

Call it resistance with love. A massive gathering of atheists that takes place every year in Washington, D.C., will now face some concerted counterpointing, thanks to the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The UN Demand That Israel Give the Golan Heights to ISIS

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 10:37 AM PDT

A century ago, Mark Sykes of Britain and Francois Georges-Picot of France agreed in secret on how the colonial powers would carve up the Middle East after…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Scientists fear asteroids, killer robots and deadly diseases could wipe out humanity

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 10:22 AM PDT

The rise of robots and deadly viruses are among the threats that could wipe out swathes of humanity – but governments are failing to prepare properly for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


Christian Headlines Daily – http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

 NC State: Christian Group Must Obtain Permit to Talk to Other Students
 90-Hour Bible Reading Marathon Set to Take Place at U.S. Capitol
 Pastor Rick Warren: God Doesn’t Want You to ‘Forgive and Forget’
 China: Government Grants Church Right to Land after Pastor’s Wife is Bulldozed by Government Workers
 San Francisco Wants to Ban Business with States That Discriminate against LGBT Community
 Maryland State Senator Looking to Become Only Atheist in Congress
 Eritrean Christian Refugees Describe Horror of Persecution
 ‘God’s Not Dead 2’ Actress: The Name of Jesus Should Not Make People Uncomfortable
 Christian Counseling Student Expelled for Refusing to Counsel Gay Couples
 New Study Shows There is a Flash of Light at Moment of Conception

Opinion

 Strong Female Characters: Here’s What’s Wrong with Hollywood’s Portrayal of Women
 Cruz Names Fiorina His VP
 Our Identity is in Christ: The Story of Archbishop Justin Welby
 Are You a Smartphone Smombie?
 Counting the Cost: A Story of Adoption

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 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


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Renouncing Anxiety

A beloved relative is dying before your eyes; the syncopation of an EKG monitor punctuates each heartbeat. Bleep… Bleep… Bleep…. It’s not the sound of hospital equipment, however, that is dragging your soul into despair; it’s the conflicted thoughts and emotions swirling within. Beautiful memories from the past, tender and most lovely, are now terminated in the cold sterile confines of a deathbed. You seek to apply your faith in God’s providence, but the torrent of emotions rains down mercilessly upon you, causing you to feel hopeless.

Such an experience can be replicated in a thousand different scenarios. We’ve all been there at some point. Some of us live there. You understand quite well the concept of Philippians 4: think on things that are praiseworthy and true, with prayer and supplication, shunning worry in favor of thanksgiving, and God’s inscrutable peace will guard your heart. Indeed, this is a precious promise that is altogether true. But in some moments of crisis you find yourself so exceedingly distracted that you feel unable to control your thoughts and thus incapable of finding peace.

What then?

The Essential Problem

The Lord of glory unifies creation under the reign of Christ in the Holy Spirit’s bond of peace; the devil, on the other hand, comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He divides and conquers. It is a strategy that has been around from the inception of sin. The Son of Man sows good seed into his field, producing a harvest of life that redounds to God’s glory; the devil sows weeds that threaten to choke it out. Such is the pattern. The Father extends his hand of redemption to subdue and organize the chaotic creation under his care; sin manufactures more and more chaos.

When the chaos of sin engages one’s soul, anxiety naturally follows. The word translated anxiety in Philippians 4:6 comes from the Greek word merimnao. It gathers meaning from the words merizo, “to divide,” and nous, “mind.” This divided mind is the unhappy condition of the man whom the Apostle James describes as “double-minded, unstable in all his ways” (1:8). Such instability routinely focuses on the object of anxiety to the exclusion of God. In such moments, the sick feeling in our stomach and shortness of breath in our chest confirms that flaming darts have pierced our spiritual armor. We’ve been hit, and we are in trouble.

Reality Check

If you find yourself in this situation, you ought to seize the first opportunity to get before the Lord. Anxiety imposes a hypnotic trance, which must be broken. If you’ve ever read The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis, for example, this sort of phenomenon is depicted in the scene in which the evil Green Lady, ruler of the underworld, seeks to bewitch Prince Rilian and his friends. You may recall that, just when she seemed to have enslaved them with her lies, Puddleglum stamps out the enchantress’s magical fire and breaks her spell. Rilian then awakes, kills the serpent, and leads the travelers to safety. Our Prince of Peace, Jesus, says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

The truth of God’s Word, regardless of our feelings, constitutes reality. The challenge, though, is opening the eyes of one’s heart to embrace this truth, especially when fiery darts are flying at us fast and furiously. A time of solitude before God is precisely what we need in such moments. We reflect divine peace after carving out time to sit in the quietness of his presence.

Humble Prayer

Truth is recognized in quietness, and then it is galvanized in prayer. While the Greek legacy says “know thyself,” the Roman says “rule thyself,” the Buddhist says “annihilate thyself,” the Muslim says “submit thyself,” and New Age religion says “love thyself,” Jesus says, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Why nothing? Because without Christ we are stuck in the underworld of anxiety without hope of release. Sure, we can pretend to have escaped anxiety, distracting ourselves through drink or amusement, but these momentary releases are forms of denial. It is only in dependence on Christ, expressed through humble prayer, that we enjoy the peace of God that surpasses understanding.

If you find yourself in the cross-hairs of anxiety, get alone with God, read aloud his promises of salvation—which are more certain than the breath that we breathe—and, as you cast your cares upon him, may the peace of Christ be yours.

[Post Credit: Chris Castaldo]

How else do you renounce anxiety with the truth?

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The post Renouncing Anxiety appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

GTY: Forgiving One Another

Ephesians 4:32

Code: B160429

by John MacArthur

For a Christian to be willfully unforgiving is unthinkable. We who have been forgiven by God Himself have no right to withhold forgiveness from our fellow sinners. In fact, Scripture plainly commands us to forgive in the same manner as we have received forgiveness: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

God commands us to forgive others—it reflects His character. Unforgivingness is therefore ungodly. That means unforgivingness is no less an offense to God than fornication or drunkenness, even though we don’t often think of those sins as equally onerous. Certainly unforgivingness is more frequently found in the open among the people of God than the sins we typically regard as heinous. But Scripture is clear that God despises an unforgiving spirit (Matthew 18:21­–35).

As God’s children, we are to mirror His character. At salvation we are given a new nature that bears God’s spiritual likeness (Ephesians 4:24). So forgiveness is an integral part of the Christian’s new nature. An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction in terms. When you see a professing Christian who stubbornly refuses to relinquish a grudge, there’s good reason to question the genuineness of that person’s faith.

Unnatural Forgiveness

Yet to face the issue squarely, we must all admit that forgiveness does not come easily, even as Christians. Often we do not forgive as speedily or as graciously as we should. We’re all too prone to nurse offenses and withhold forgiveness.

Forgiveness is costly. It requires us to set aside our selfishness, accept with grace the wrongs others have committed against us, and not demand what we think is our due. All of that runs counter to our natural, sinful inclinations. Even as new creatures, we retain a remainder of sin in our flesh. Sinful habits and desires continue to plague us. That is why Scripture commands us to put off the old man and clothe ourselves with the new (Ephesians 4:22–24; Colossians 3:9–10). And the new man is characterized by forgiveness—it is an essential garment for “the new self” (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13).

Essential Forgiveness

Forgiveness is so important to the Christian’s walk that it was never far from the focus of what Christ taught. At the heart of the Lord’s Prayer is this petition: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Both the context and the cross-reference in Luke 11:4 indicate that the “debts” referred to here are spiritual debts; “debtors” are those who have committed transgressions against us.

It is significant that of all the phrases in the Lord’s Prayer, it was this phrase that Christ saw fit to explain in the most detail. Immediately after the prayer’s amen, He turned to the disciples and said,

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matthew 6:14–15).

That has always been a difficult passage for expositors. At first glance it seems to make God’s forgiveness revocable. Some have cited this verse to argue that if we refuse forgiveness to those who offend us, God will withdraw His forgiveness from us, implying that a Christian who does not forgive can lose his or her salvation.

But the forgiveness spoken of here is not the judicial forgiveness of justification. It is the daily, parental forgiveness we are to seek when our sin has grieved our heavenly Father. One interpretive key is the prayer’s address: “Our Father.” This is a prayer for parental, not judicial, forgiveness. What Jesus is actually saying here is tantamount to: “If you refuse to forgive, your heavenly Father will discipline you severely for your sin of unforgivingness.”

Pharisaical Forgiveness

But that divine priority concerning forgiveness wasn’t shared by the Pharisees. Most of the influential religious teachers of Jesus’ day portrayed forgiveness as optional. The rabbis did acknowledge that the Old Testament permitted and even encouraged forgiveness in some cases. However, they strictly limited to three the number of times any person could be forgiven for the same offense.

They believed they had biblical authority for that view. They drew support for it from the book of Amos, where God pronounced doom on the enemies of Israel with these words: “For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment” (Amos 1:3). In that same chapter God pronounced similar judgments against Gaza, Tyre, Edom, and Ammon, always with the words, “For three transgressions . . . and for four” (cf. Amos 1:6, 9, 11, 13). In other words, each of those hostile nations was permitted three offenses that God overlooked, and He judged them for the fourth offense.

The rabbinical scholars reasoned that if God forgives men only three times, it would be presumptuous and even wrong for mere creatures to forgive their fellow creatures any more than that. So they set a limit on the number of times forgiveness could be extended.

No doubt because of the stress on grace and forgiveness throughout Christ’s teachings, the apostles knew that He was calling them to a higher standard. Since Christ Himself had never quantified the number of times forgiveness is to be granted, Peter wanted to get some clarification. Matthew 18:21 says, “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ ”

Peter no doubt thought he was being magnanimous. He doubled the rabbinical prescription, then rounded the number up to a perfect 7, possibly thinking the Lord might commend him for his generosity. Jesus’ reply undoubtedly stunned Peter and all the other disciples.

Unlimited Forgiveness

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). The fleshly mind immediately protests what seems an unreasonable standard. Doesn’t forgiveness have a limit? Common sense would seem to suggest that repeat offenders should not be granted pardon indefinitely. At what point does grace become gullibility? Seventy times seven is 490! No one can possibly even keep count of such a high number of offenses!

But that is precisely the point! Keeping count has nothing to do with true forgiveness. If an offense is sincerely forgiven, it cannot be held against the offender. The rabbinical system in effect required the offended party to remember and record supposedly forgiven offenses and stop forgiving after the third time. Jesus’ teaching eliminated any limit on forgiveness whatsoever. “Seventy times seven” set the standard so high that it would be pointless to keep an account of the injuries we have borne. But that is fitting, because the sort of love Christians are called to exemplify “does not take into account a wrong suffered” (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Since God’s forgiveness sets the criterion by which we are to forgive, the standard is set blessedly high. What may seem at first like an impossibly unfair and unattainable standard is in fact wonderful news for anyone who has ever needed to seek the forgiveness of God for repeat offenses. Jesus is teaching here that the forgiveness we extend to others should be as boundless as the mercy of God we desire for ourselves. That shatters all the limits anyone would try to place on human forgiveness.

Genuine forgiveness is not feigned or grudging, but is given as freely as we ourselves desire to be forgiven. It involves a deliberate refusal to hold the guilt over the head of the offender. It means ending the bitterness, laying aside anger, and refusing to dwell on the offense that has been forgiven. It is a complete letting go of any thought of retaliation or reprisal. It is, as nearly as possible, the human equivalent of what God promises—to remember the sin no more (cf. Jeremiah 31:34).

Such forgiveness does not come easy, particularly when it deals with the kinds of sins that destroy lives and relationships. When we’re talking about a personal slight or an unkind word, it’s relatively easy to forgive. But what if the offense is more serious? Where do people find the strength to forgive when they discover a spouse has cheated, or when a drunk driver causes the death of a loved one? Is it humanly possible to forgive such offenses?

It may not seem humanly possible, and it certainly does not lie within the power of fallen human nature alone to forgive such things from the heart. But it certainly is possible for redeemed people, under the influence of the Holy Spirit’s power, to forgive even the most serious offenses.

(Adapted from The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B160429
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You

The Christian and Joy

“The Holy Spirit has exhorted the faithful to continue clapping their hands for joy until the advent of the promised Redeemer,” wrote John Calvin in a comment on Psalm 47:12. Paul would heartily concur! Writing from a prison cell from which he had no certain knowledge of escaping other than to his execution, joy is what came to mind. Joy is what the epistle to the Philippians is all about. So much is Philippians about joy that George B. Duncan once referred to it as “the life of continual rejoicing.” The opposite of joy is misery, and miserable is something we are not meant to be. The Reformers caught the centrality of joy in the affections of Christians when they insisted that our chief goal in life is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (WSC, Q. 1).

Christians are tempted, of course, to be discouraged and depressed by the force of overwhelming circumstances. But in such circumstances, we must tell ourselves that we have no right to feel the way we do! Paul, who knew what it was to be in prison, to be beaten and spat upon, to be cold shouldered and ignored, commands us to rejoice, despite what we may feel: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).

Joy Portrayed

Paul was never one to ask others to do what he did not do himself. That is why, throughout the record of his life, we can detect his joy even in the most difficult and testing of situations.

Incarcerated for obedience to the Gospel, the apostle is denied his freedom and dignity. He may well be dealing with personal resentment of his circumstances. Certainly, the Philippians were at pains to understand the wisdom of it all: that the most useful servant God had was cooped up in prison. Some were questioning the wisdom or sovereignty of God. Some may have been questioning both!

Paul’s feelings may well have dictated that depression, resentment, or anger was the fitting response. Instead, the apostle looks for the good in his circumstances. As a result of his imprisonment there were certain members of Caesar’s palace guard who had been exposed to the Gospel. Paul may be in prison but “the word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9). For the apostle, the evangelism of the praetorian guard was worth any suffering on his part. Despite his difficult predicament, Paul was able to rejoice because he perceived another agenda, one which took into consideration greater motives than his own immediate comfort.

Paul had enemies who were determined to do him wrong. Shockingly, they were fellow preachers of the Gospel who were envious of Paul’s success and popularity. They preached so as to aggravate Paul’s sufferings, supposing that by their actions they would “afflict me in my imprisonment” (Phil. 1:17). Some were evidently quite pleased to see the apostle receive what they considered to be what he deserved.

Paul was at the mercy of the Roman judiciary. In the very first chapter he had spoken of the possibility of death (Phil. 1:20). Later, he enlarges on it by suggesting, “I am to be poured out as a drink offering” (2:17). It is a realistic acknowledgement on the apostle’s part that his toils and suffering could lead to martyrdom. Is the apostle downcast? Is he resentful? Not at all! “I am glad and rejoice with you all,” he adds.

Joy Incarnate

Can we define with greater clarity what this joy is from what Paul writes in Philippians? Two theological truths bring the source of joy into focus. First, Joy is the outworking of our union with Christ. God created us, and then re-created us in Christ, so as to form deep and lasting relationships; they are the source of our greatest joys. But no relationship surpasses our fellowship with Jesus Christ in the Gospel. Paul began his letter to the Philippians by reminding his Christian readers of their relationship to Jesus Christ: they were “in Christ” (1:1). By doing so, Paul underlined a fundamental truth. Faith, as Jesus reminded His disciples, is a believing “into” Christ (John 14:12). Faith involves a union in which we totally depend upon the resources of another. This truth was elaborated upon in Jesus’ horticultural analogy: He is the vine, we are the branches (John 15). Jesus assures His disciples: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (v. 11). It is not clear whether Jesus meant to say that believers were the recipients of joy or the objects of joy. Both are probably intended. Christ restores to us—who have lost all joy—the joy He finds in us! And as He sees us bearing the kind of fruit we ought to, including, of course, joy (Gal. 5:22), it makes Him joyful too! Perhaps now we see the importance of joy in our lives: for it makes the heart of our Savior glad!

Second, joy flows from the taste of the sweetness of grace. The answer to misery is to remind ourselves of where we would be apart from the grace of God. “Grace, tis a charming sound,” wrote Philip Doddridge, thereby echoing what Christians have always felt about God’s dealings with us. Grace is the opening and closing salutation of this letter (Phil. 1:2; 4:23). And following the opening salutation he tells the Philippians of how joyful he felt whenever he thought about them, adding that the reason for his joy was that “you are all partakers with me of grace” (1:7). Christians find their joy in the way God has dealt with them.

Joy springs from knowing the value of what God has given us. When Paul became a Christian something happened to him: his assessment of the value he placed on the things of this world changed. The grace of God became the object of his chief delight. By comparison, the world’s baubles he reckoned by the Greek word skybala—sensitively rendered rubbish in the English Standard Version, but “dung” is more to the point (3:8). By comparison to what God had given him—a righteousness which is not of his own—Paul is constrained to want to know more and more of this wonderful grace of God (3:7-10).

Joy Commanded

Two things follow: First, in as far as we are able, we must learn to control our feelings. There are various kinds of depression, to be sure, and some are the result of complex physical and psychological disorders. But there are times when we are spiritually depressed for no good reason. There are times when the best thing to do with our feelings is to challenge them: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Ps. 42:11).

Far too often we spend our days in misery and gloom, all because we are not taking what we know to be true about God and His control over our lives seriously. We must pray and ask God for strength to overcome our depressive, melancholy states. There is such a thing as a will that will not bend to God’s. We can become hardened, refusing to see the good hand of God. It is a cancer that will destroy us.

Second, no matter what our circumstances may be, we must seek for the interpretation that forces us to rejoice. We are to “rejoice in our sufferings” too (Rom. 5:3). I think of the story of Horatio Spafford, a businessman in Chicago in 1873 who lost his entire business in the Chicago fires. Sending his wife and four daughters across to England on the SS. Ville de Havre, he was to learn that the vessel struck another (the Lochearn) in the mid-Atlantic with the loss of 261 lives including his four daughters. Mrs. Spafford, who had been rescued, sent him a cable that read: “Survived alone.” Boarding the next available ship to meet her, Horatio was to be told by the captain of the vessel of the very spot where his daughters had drowned. It was then that he wrote these lines:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

That is the way God wants us to live. We have no right to expect that our lives are going to be free from trouble. But in every circumstance, if we are the Lord’s people, we are assured of God’s care and providence. He is working out every detail. There are no mistakes with Him (Rom. 8:32ff.). Every moment of our existence is cause enough for joy: the good and the bad together should integrate to form a hallelujah symphony to the praise of Almighty God.

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

Source: The Christian and Joy

It is Finished! Scream it Loudly.

Daily Devotions

Before Jesus was hoisted on the cross, a great transaction was in progress. God had demanded holiness, righteousness, and obedience from men. Perfect law-keeping was his standard, and such worship was required for any to commune with the Holy God. However, there was none righteous, no not one. All sinned and transgressed the holy decrees of God. All proved to be converts and disciples of the devil. However, in undeserved love, Jesus came to earth as the God-appointed substitute for many. He lived a perfectly obedient life. He proved himself to be the perfect worshiper with whom the Father was well pleased. And as he walked on this earth, he earned one-hundred percent of the righteousness deserved, desired, and demanded by the Father. Jesus earned it all. He fulfilled the righteousness requirement. For anyone who would be married to him, there would be nothing left for them to pay.

Later, after Jesus was hoisted on the cross, a great…

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Do You Have Difficulty Making Decisions?

Happy Living!

shutterstock_136427111A day is made up of hundreds of small decisions – I’ll wear this; I’ll buy this; I’ll have this for lunch; I’ll go here at 3’oclock; I’ll respond to this e-mail; I’ll delete this one.

For some people, none of this is a big deal. For others, however, making decisions (big and little ones) isn’t easy. They agonize over what to do, vacillating back and forth, and second-guessing themselves even after the decision has been made.

Good decision-making is a skill that comes easily to some people, but not so easily to others. Choices are confusing. Choices can make you anxious. They can cost you peace of mind, even after you’ve made the decision. Have you ever spent hours in your head trying to “undo” the choice you made? “Oh my gosh, I wish I hadn’t done that!”

The skill of good decision-making has become increasingly important. Why? Because…

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How to Switch Off an Angry Person

Happy Living!

bigstockphoto_anger__1167749-resized-600Any time I see people having angry altercations, I perk up my ears and observe intently. I watch their displays, not in a sadistic or feeling superior kind of way, but fascinated with how it unfolds: “Will it work for them? Are they going to get what they want with this approach”?

I have practically never seen it work, not during my observations in therapy or in personal life.

Even on rare occasions where it seems to work in the moment, yielding some win-loss resolution, it never works sustainably. Peace can never be found on a shaky and fake foundation of emotional tyranny. As humorist Kin Hubbard said, “nobody ever forgets where he buried a hatchet.”

Here are four strategies for dealing with difficult (angry) people, organized around the main psychological premises driving their anger: fear and need for control.

1. Disengage and don’t take it personally

People are…

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