States from Oregon to Massachusetts are scrambling to help millions of poor families whose children could lose coverage if Congress fails to reinstate a health insurance program that was approved two decades ago with bipartisan support. The Children’s Health Insurance Program is on the brink of running out of money, and Congress has dragged its feet in passing a reauthorization bill since the program ended on Sept. 30.
A purge in Venezuela’s economically crucial energy establishment reached the top tiers of power as the former heads of the oil ministry and state-run producer PDVSA were accused of corruption and imprisoned.
Hungary’s intelligence services completed a report on the “network” run by George Soros, backing up the claim that the financier is trying to interfere in next year’s elections, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
Japan’s much admired Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate on April 30, 2019, at age 85 in the first such departure from the Chrysanthemum Throne in about 200 years, the government said Friday.
CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. are poised to offer bitcoin futures contracts, easing the way for mainstream investors to bet big while dragging regulators into a realm skeptics call a fad and fraud.
As Americans spend more money shopping online, real estate developers are sinking record amounts of money into new warehouse space, building bigger, taller structures to meet the needs of e-commerce – and the robots that help it along.
House Republican leaders plan to seek a two-week spending bill to fund the government until Dec. 22 and avoid a shutdown next week, a GOP member and aides said Thursday. That will provide more time for negotiations with Democrats on a longer-term funding plan.
AP Top Stories
Argentina’s navy on Thursday formally ended its search for survivors from the San Juan submarine, two weeks after the vessel went missing in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members aboard.
A Japanese court on Friday convicted a U.S. military contractor of murder and rape charges in the death of an Okinawa woman and sentenced him to life in prison.
The United Nations appealed Friday for a record $22.5 billion to provide aid in 2018 to soaring numbers of people slammed by conflicts and disasters around the world.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels said Thursday they fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia and hit a military target, in the second such attack this month, after threatening to retaliate over a crippling blockade.
The government of Niger has approved the use of armed American drones, a U.S. official said on Thursday, expanding the U.S. ability to target militants in the region. Reuters had already reported that Niger had sought to arm U.S drones against jihadist groups operating on its border with Mali, but it had not been previously reported that an agreement had been reached. An ambush in Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers in October has thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counterterrorism mission in the West African country.
The United States warned North Korea’s leadership it would be “utterly destroyed” if war were to break out after Pyongyang test fired its most advanced missile, putting the U.S. mainland within range, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Nigeria’s president said the government had started bringing stranded citizens home from Libya after a global outcry over reports that migrants there were being sold into slavery.
The world’s biggest battery was officially launched in Australia on Friday, a day after the Elon Musk-driven project was powered up early to meet demand amid a bout of hot weather.
With the Federal Communications Commission likely set to abolish net neutrality at its next meeting on December 14, a big, obvious question is just what the internet will look like after the change.
More civilians have died in US-led air and artillery strikes in Iraq and Syria, officials acknowledged Thursday amid criticism the American military is being less cautious about killing innocents. An ongoing review of civilian casualty reports showed at least 801 civilians had been unintentionally killed since operations to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria began in late 2014.
Russia has approved a draft agreement with Egypt for Russian warplanes to use Egyptian military bases, according to a document released Thursday, a deal that would allow Moscow to further increase its military footprint in the Mideast.
NATO should defend Sweden and Finland in the event of an armed aggression, although neither country is an alliance member, a senior NATO official said on Wednesday at an event that underscored growing concerns about Russia’s military buildup.
The Pentagon is putting off indefinitely a ban that was due to take effect in 2019 on older models of cluster bombs which are less safe.
Three primary schoolchildren have been hacked to death by a machete-wielding man in Nigeria. The man attacked the primary school in a remote village in Borno state during break-time. He also wounded a female teacher.
More than 400 US Marines are to leave Syria after helping to capture the city of Raqqa from so-called Islamic State.
A former member of the Nigerian government has claimed his countrymen are being “captured, mutilated and cooked like kebabs” by slave traders in Libya.
Europe’s Muslim population will multiply even if all migration stops permanently, a study has found. On the other hand, high migration sees predictions of some 76 million Muslims dwelling in Europe by 2050.
News – 12/1/2017
Russian Orthodox Church Revives Blood Libel, Claims Romanov Royals Killed in Ritual Jewish Sacrifice
In an “absurd” continuation of age-old blood libels, the Russian Orthodox Church is pushing forward a claim that Nicholas Romanov II, the last tsar of Russia, and his family were killed in 1918 as part of a Jewish ritual murder. On Monday, a conference was held in Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery presenting the initial findings of an investigation into the execution of the royal Romanov family almost one hundred years ago. According to Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov, many church leaders have no doubt the murders were part of a Jewish ritual.
‘This is wild,’ USGS says of Dover 4.1 earthquake
A 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck Kent County late Thursday afternoon. The quake struck about 7 miles northeast of Dover Air Force Base at 4:47 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was originally labeled magnitude 4.4 before the USGS lowered the scale of the temblor. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency believes the epicenter was in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. “There are no reports of damage or injuries at this time,” DEMA spokesman Gary Laing said.
Strong mag. 6.3 earthquake – Central Mid Atlantic Ridge on Thursday, 30 November 2017
Date & time: Thu, 30 Nov 06:32:50 UTC Magnitude: 6.3 Depth: 10.0 km Epicenter latitude / longitude: 1.15°S / 23.46°W [Map] Nearest volcano: Unnamed 3.5°S/24.5°W (286 km).
Strong earthquake, 6 mag has occurred near Kerman in Iran
An earthquake with magnitude 6 (ml/mb) was detected on Friday, 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Kerman in Iran. Global date and time of event UTC/GMT: 01/12/17 / 2017-12-01 02:32:46 / December 1, 2017 @ 2:32 am. A tsunami warning has not been issued (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist). Event ids that are associated to the earthquake: us1000bjnz. Id of event: us1000bjnz. Exact location of event, depth 10 km, 57.3306° East, 30.7652° North. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km (6 miles). The temblor was detected at 06:02:46 / 6:02 am (local time epicenter).
Strong earthquake, 6 mag strikes near Finschhafen in Papua New Guinea
An earthquake magnitude 6 (ml/mb) has occurred on Friday, 59 kilometers (37 miles) from Finschhafen in Papua New Guinea. The 6-magnitude earthquake has occurred at 12:50:00 / 12:50 pm (local time epicenter). Global date and time of event UTC/GMT: 01/12/17 / 2017-12-01 02:50:00 / December 1, 2017 @ 2:50 am. Exact location, longitude 147.6011° East, latitude -6.14° South, depth = 52.71 km. A tsunami warning has been issued near Finschhafen in Papua New Guinea
151 UN states vote to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem
The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions. The resolution came as the Trump Administration was rumored to be actively considering relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.
IAF fighter jets fire on terrorist positions in central Gaza Strip
IDF tanks and aircraft fired at six targets in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired a barrage of 12 mortar shells toward an army outpost. Calling the firing of the projectiles a “serious attack,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said the projectiles were aimed at the IDF post and a cement factory on the northeastern edge of the Gaza Strip where construction crews are working on Israel’s new underground border barrier.
Pakistan attack: Gunmen storm Peshawar training college
Gunmen have stormed a college in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 36. At least three men disguised in burkas arrived in a rickshaw and entered the Peshawar Agriculture Training Institute on Friday morning. All of the attackers were also killed, the army said. The Pakistani Taliban said they had carried out the attack.
Israeli soldier stabbed to death in ‘terror attack’
A soldier has been stabbed to death in southern Israel in what police say was a suspected terror attack. Sgt Ron Isaac Kukia, 19, was killed at a bus stop in the city of Arad on Thursday night. Security forces are searching for at least one attacker. The attack comes amid an increase in tension, after a Palestinian was shot dead by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day.
Supreme Court’s cake case pits gay rights versus Christian faith
When conservative Christian baker Jack Phillips in 2012 politely but firmly told Colorado gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig he would not make them a cake to celebrate their wedding, it triggered a chain of events that will climax on Tuesday in highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court arguments. Phillips contends the U.S. Constitution’s free speech guarantees protect him from making a cake that would violate his religious beliefs against gay marriage.
Judge Rules Military Must Start Admitting Transgender Troops on Jan. 1 in New Blow to Trump Ban
President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban openly transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military has been dealt with another blow after a federal judge ruled that such recruits must be allowed in starting Jan. 1.
“A Potential Nightmare Scenario For The GOP”: Tax Vote Delayed To Friday; May Include $350BN In New Tax Hikes
In a dramatic showdown on the Senate floor, GOP leaders agreed to effectively increase taxes by $350 billion in response to a procedural ambush by deficit hawks led by Sen. Bob Corker that nearly killed the GOP tax reform bill. Worse, a key vote has now been pushed back to Friday morning in what has been dubbed “a potential nightmare scenario for republicans.”
School District Bars Church From Distributing Flyers Because They Are Too Religious
Lawyers intervened on behalf of a local church after a Nevada school district barred them from distributing flyers because the flyers were too religious.
Chinese Researchers Are Spraying Things Up Gay People’s Noses To Turn Them Straight
Chinese researchers at Zhejiang University are in the process of conducting a study on how Oxytocin affects gay men, according to a Wednesday report.
Vaccine Maker Warns Dengue Vaccine Can Cause Severe Dengue
Vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur announced Wednesday that a dengue vaccine already distributed to hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren could instead cause more severe cases of the disease in people who were not already infected.
Trump’s About to Repeat the Mistake of Bush and Obama in the Israeli-Arab Conflict
…Together with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and other key officials, Trump has been putting together a proposal for kickstarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The plan is said to put far more emphasis on normalization of ties between Israel and the broader Arab world, but apparently continues the failure of taking seriously Palestinian obstructionism.
Woman Has 50 Operations to ‘Look Just Like Angelina Jolie & Join the Illuminati’
…19-year-old Sahar Tabar says she underwent the series of reconstructive surgeries because she wants to be just like Jolie and “live in Hollywood, marry a movie star and join the Illuminati.”Tabar said that aside from the surgery, she has also lost 80 pounds, taken up acting lessons, and started “worshipping Satan.”
Democrats Go Silent on Trump Dossier as House Intelligence Republicans Seek More Answers
…FBI and Justice Department officials recently told House Intelligence Committee investigators that they could not verify any of the document’s assertions about collusion, according to a report, and not one Democrat has made a peep in response — in stark contrast with the past.
Lawyer Seeks to Block DWS Hard Drive
A court date for a former Democratic IT aide has been postponed by more than a month after the defendant’s attorney, a former Hillary Clinton aide, said he’s seeking to block prosecutors from using evidence that appears to include a government laptop tied to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Russian spymaster was in Jerusalem as emissary for Israel’s warning to Assad
Jerusalem sources report that Naryshkin was the emissary for passing to Syrian ruler Bashar Assad Israel’s ultimatum: Give Iran military bases in Syria and Israel will abandon its six-year-old policy of military non-intervention in the Syrian conflict.
Christian Cross removed from a famous child hero’s hat to “not insult other religions”
A Belgian national health insurance company removed the Cross from the hat of “Sinterklaas” in a colouring picture that was distributed. The Christian Cross was replaced by a circle. According to the company this was done to “not exclude a single child” and because the “feast is no longer religious, but a feast for all the children, no matter of which religion they are”.
The Briefing — Friday, December 1, 2017
1) Religious liberty in Australia is sacrificed on the altar of the sexual revolution
The Australian (Simon Benson and Dennis Shanahan) –
Liberal fury as freedom laws denied in same-sex marriage bill
Stephen Mcalpine –
While You Were Sleeping
2) Mississippi courts asked to deny the most basic facts of biology
AP (Jeff Amy) –
Mississippi woman seeks parental rights in same-sex divorce
3) Why America is in danger of becoming one giant casino
Washington Post (Robert Barnes) –
Will Supreme Court open a ‘dam burst’ of legalized sports betting?
USA Today (Josh Peter) –
Why ban on sports betting is close to being overturned
New York Times (Joe Drape) –
Among Bettors, College Football Is Shoving the N.F.L. Aside
Have you ever sat through a very long political speech and realized at the end of it that nothing of any real substance was said the entire time? This is what professional politicians have been trained to do. They have been trained to sound good without every really getting very specific about anything. I am running for Congress in Idaho’s first congressional district, and I could be just like the other professional politicians if I wanted to be, because I know all of their tricks. But I would never do that, because I believe that we need to get rid of the corrupt career politicians that are absolutely ruining this country. (Read More…)
The absurdity that we are witnessing in the financial markets is absolutely breathtaking. Just recently, a good friend reminded me that the Dow peaked at just above 14,000 before the last stock market crash, and stock prices were definitely over-inflated at that time. Subsequently the Dow crashed below 7,000 before rebounding, and now thanks to this week’s rally we on the threshold of Dow 24,000. When you look at a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, you would be tempted to think that we must be in the greatest economic boom in American history, but the truth is that our economy has only grown by an average of just 1.33 percent over the last 10 years. Every crazy stock market bubble throughout our history has always ended badly, and this one will be no exception. (Read More…)
Is President Trump about to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? If so, this would be one of the most historic events to happen in the Middle East in a very long time. Needless to say, the government of Israel would be absolutely thrilled by such a move, while the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors would not be pleased at all. In fact, some Palestinians have suggested that if the Trump administration actually moves the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem that it could spark widespread violence or even war. (Read More…)
CBS-SF — Jurors Thursday afternoon acquitted the illegal immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle as she walked with her father on a crowded San Francisco pier of all charges except for felony possession of a firearm…. (more)
GREG COROMBOS — The power struggle at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an easy legal decision in favor of the Trump administration, and Sen. Mike Lee says he hopes the change at the top will also lead to the bureau getting reined in or killed entirely…. (more)
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES — A former member of the Nigerian government has claimed his countrymen are being “captured, mutilated and cooked like kebabs” by slave traders in Libya. Ex-culture minister Femi Fani-Kayode lamented the plight of sub-Saharan Africans who arrive on the Mediterranean coast dreaming of a new life in Europe only to be forced into slavery…. (more)
WASHINGTON TIMES — Alabama voters are increasingly skeptical of the accusations against GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, according to new polling released this week that also shows Mr. Moore has recovered his lead in the race. In the middle of November Mr. Moore had lost his lead in the Change Research survey of voters, but is once again back on top in a survey Monday with a 49-44 advantage, the polling company said…. (more)
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal court rejected efforts by anti-Trump forces to take acting control of the 1,600-employee Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, giving the Trump administration a high-profile victory Tuesday in a partisan clash with Democrats and appointees held over from the Obama administration…. (more)
THE COLLEGE FIX — Brown University is implementing a change to its graduate school application that will allow applicants to “self-identify” as persons of color. Multiple efforts by The College Fix to clarify the details of this change were ignored by campus officials…. (more)
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Catholic church is taking Metro to court after the Washington-area transit agency rejected an ad campaign promoting a website aimed at encouraging attendance at parishes throughout the D.C. area. WTOP Radio reported that the Archdiocese of Washington filed the lawsuit Tuesday after Metro rejected an advertisement promoting the website FindthePerfectGift.org. “Find the perfect gift,” reads the ad’s tag line, set against a backdrop depicting shepherds with their flock of sheep looking up into a starry sky…. (more)
KUTV — The Salt Lake Tribune reports President Trump will visit Utah on Monday, Dec. 4 to announce the reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Trump will be flying into Salt Lake City to make the announcement. He is reportedly not expected to spend the night in Utah…. (more)
PAUL BEDARD — The Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under fire by the Trump administration has been a Democratic Party donor bank, its bureaucrats writing checks to liberals at a rate of 593 to one Republican…. (more)
LOS ANGELES TIMES — When he was named special counsel in May, Robert S. Mueller III was hailed as the ideal lawman – – deeply experienced, strait-laced and nonpartisan – – to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign had helped with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election…. (more)
ZeroHedge Frontrunning: December 1
- Tillerson, Cohn Could Leave White House in Wave of Senior Departures (Read More)
- Senate grapples with tax cut plan’s impact on deficit (Read More)
- Here’s Where the GOP Tax Plan Stands Right Now (Read More)
- Markets ignore best European factory data in 17 years (Read More)
- Tax Debate Plays Out in TV Ads Targeting Key States Across U.S. (Read More)
- Hedge Fund Tips for 2018: Oil at $80, No End to Technology Boom (Read More)
- China’s Tech Giants Have a Second Job: Helping Beijing Spy on Its People (Read More)
- As OPEC extends output cuts, Asia turns to North America for more oil (Read More)
- MIT Study Suggests the U.S. Is Vastly Overstating Its Oil Output Forecasts (Read More)
- Bitcoin pauses below record peak; gained 55 percent in November (Read More)
- Tudor Will Shutter Discretionary Macro Fund in Restructuring (Read More)
- Export-Import Bank on Track to Be a Drain on Taxpayers Next Year (Read More)
- Short Sellers May Be Fueling China’s Worst Bond Rout in Four Years (Read More)
- Uber Investor Shervin Pishevar Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Multiple Women (Read More)
- Tezos founders push for legal bailout from Swiss foundation (Read More)
- Warehouses Are Getting Bigger, Taller, Faster (Read More)
- Germany removes Tesla from subsidies list as too pricey (Read More)
- How to Make a Killing Off Those Smug Instagram Hipsters (Read More)
- Turkey hopes gold trader Zarrab will ‘turn back from mistake’, PM says (Read More)
- Mattis Warns He Won’t Accept Any Flawed Boeing Tankers (Read More)
- This $15 Ticket Buys What Tesla Fans Have Waited 20 Months For (Read More)
- British Labour leader Corbyn tells Morgan Stanley: ‘We’re a threat’ (Read More)
- The Unlikely Strategy Behind Buffett’s Investments in Encyclopedias (Read More)
|Look! A perfectly posed Christmas devotional picture!
I’m sure this happened completely by accident.
Well, December is finally here! I know some of you are celebrating by busting out your Christmas sweaters. Others of you are moaning because the days are passing by quickly and there’s simply too much that still needs to be done. Others of us are too busy with non-season specific duties (i.e., work) to even think about the holidays, even though we’d love nothing more than to (for once) actually enjoy the season.
One thing I that I find helpful during the month of December is to find some sort of advent study that will keep me focused on Christ and His incarnation. I know—some people hear “Advent” and assume a legalistic, ritualistic motive, but that is hardly the case. Unless, of course, you consider study of the person and work of Jesus Christ to be empty and merely ceremonial, but I doubt that is true of any of my wonderful readers!
Your Advent study does not have to be anything formal. You might simply determine to read and study through specific, relevant texts from the Old and New Testament. Or perhaps you might study through a book or two on the topic of Christ and Christmas. John MacArthur’s small book, God’s Gift of Christmas, is a good resource and a great gift idea. I recently downloaded The First Days of Jesus: The Story of the Incarnation, and am looking forward to reading that. James Boice’s The Christ of Christmas and The King Has Come are also accessible resources. The ministry of Naomi’s Table also offers an Advent project idea that parents may enjoy walking through with their children.
Whatever December has in store for you, I pray that you will, above all, keep your eyes, heart, and mind fixed firmly on the person of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know I say that often, but we live in a world that seeks to keep us too busy to meditate on the Word our Lord has given us and on our Savior who is revealed therein, and, without daily time in the Word and prayer, we will easily be swept away by those many distractions.
- I’m not opposed to small groups at all, but I like some of the reasoning behind this decision to switch from small groups to Sunday school.
- Steve Lawson talks tulips.
- On suffering for Christ.
- What a sweet and Christ-focused examination of our longing for heaven.
- It’s really a sobering thought to consider how many professing Christians don’t actually understand the gospel.
- Something to think about next time you bring home a library book.
- Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
- Wait, what? Women were integral to the Reformation? They did things in addition to cooking for their husbands and caring for their children? Misogynistic “Christian” men everywhere are having heart palpitations right now and don’t know why.
- I’m looking forward to reading this.
- I can’t believe the White House copied my Christmas decorations.
- Church members watch their leaders for many reasons.
- Hell is not separation from God.
Headlines – 12/1/2017
|South Korea Prepares Six Minutes to Counterattack North’s Missiles
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:42 AM PST
In the dead of night, at 3:17 a.m. on Wednesday, a South Korean air force Boeing 737 early warning aircraft detected the first missile launch from North Korea in more than two months. Six minutes later, the army’s ground-based launchers, navy Aegis destroyers and air force F-16 jets began firing missiles into the waters off eastern Korea, in what was meant as a demonstration of Seoul’s readiness for conflict and its ability to hit back.
The display appeared largely successful, but security analysts said South Korea may not be able to respond as swiftly or accurately in a real wartime scenario.North Korea launched its latest intercontinental ballistic missile—a new type of device that experts say is capable of hitting Washington—from Pyongsong, about 20 miles north of the capital Pyongyang, a site the regime hadn’t previously used for weapons tests. READ MORE
|University demands people be warned about seeing a cross
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:12 AM PST
World War II servicemen barely out of high school were buried under crosses as were troops who served in Korea and Vietnam. But now, one American university says that just seeing crosses can cause “emotional trauma.” That’s the subject of a new lawsuit by the Alliance Defending Freedom over a demand from Miami University of Ohio that pro-life students post warnings about their display of small crosses in the ground.
“No university official has the authority to censor student speech simply because of how someone might respond to it,” said ADF Legal Counsel Travis Barham. “Like all government officials, public university administrators have an obligation to respect students’ free speech rights. “The First Amendment secures the freedom of all students to participate in the marketplace of ideas, and it prohibits university officials from imposing trigger warnings that restrict what some students can say to spare the feelings of others.” READ MORE
|Joaquin Phoenix is About to Portray Jesus in Coming ‘Mary Magdalene’ Film
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:04 AM PST
Universal Pictures on Wednesday released the first trailer for “Mary Magdalene,” a film about the popular biblical figure that will dive deep into some scriptural scenarios and, based on the trailer, will fold in some of the events surrounding Jesus’ life and ministry. Magdalene is played by Rooney Mara, with actor Joaquin Phoenix portraying Christ.
As Faithwire previously reported, the film will reportedly also depict Jesus’ burial and resurrection. According to the Daily Mail, the focus will be on offering viewers “an authentic portrait of Mary,” and the bond she had with Christ. Back in February, Deadline reported that the goal was to create a “humanistic portrait” of Mary, with the outlet describing her as “one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history.” READ MORE
|School Board Member Says Spiritual Battle in Public Schools Worse Than When He Was a Marine
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:57 AM PST
Pastor Alvin Dupree who serves on the Appleton, Wisconsin school board, says he’s facing a tougher fight now than during the twenty years he served as a Marine. Dupree vows he will not back down from speaking about Jesus despite pressure to do so. “This is who I am,” he told CBN News, “I will not be silenced.”
Dupree spoke at the Appleton North High School graduation last spring, at which time he spoke about the value of leaning on God through tough times, among other things. The school superintendent received a number of complaints saying Dupree’s expression of his devotion to God was offensive. One woman felt it was inappropriate that Dupree mentioned God, Lord or Jesus no less than five times in a public high school graduation ceremony. READ MORE
|North Korea’s New Missile Is Bigger and More Powerful
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:48 AM PST
The intercontinental ballistic missile North Korea launched this week was a new type of missile bigger and more powerful than any the country had tested before, South Korean officials said on Thursday. Photos from the North’s official Korean Central News Agency are providing valuable clues about the capabilities of the missile, named the Hwasong-15. North Korea said it carried a “super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S.”
North Korea’s Hwasong series represents the most successful and formidable part of its ballistic missile arsenal, and photographs of the test suggested improvements over the Hwasong-14, a missile first tested over the summer that showed the country’s capacity to strike the continental United States.“We believe this is a new type of missile,” said Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesman for the South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. “It looks clearly different from the Hwasong-14 in the external looks of its nose cone, the linkage between its first and second stages, and its overall size.” READ MORE
|How to Find Your Prophetic Dream’s Core Meaning
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:19 AM PST
Now what? The next step in interpreting your dream is to take a look at the other elements in the dream. Look at the sub-focuses first, followed by the details.
How to Find the Dream’s Sub-Focuses
The best way to find the sub-focuses is to reduce the dream to its simplest form. How would you tell someone the dream using as few words as possible? Let’s say you dream you’re out on a walk, and you run into a stranger who is wearing all white and seems almost to glow. He hands you a scroll and tells you it is for you to read and keep. As soon as you take it from his hand, you find yourself on a stage in the middle of a stadium, and there’s a crowd of people all around you. How would you reduce this dream to its simplest form? You could say something like this: CONTINUE
|German Supermarket Launches Gay Chocolate Santa Claus in Rainbow Colors
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:11 AM PST
The German supermarket chain Penny has introduced a new LGBT Santa Claus chocolate figure in rainbow colors just in time for the Christmas holidays. Near the checkout lines at Penny supermarkets, customers now find special gay Christmas chocolate men, along with the traditional German Christmas treats of Spekulatius and gingerbread (Lebkuchen). Earlier this month, the supermarket chain informed
its 285,000 Facebook friends that this Christmas season customers could expect to find in their stores a special rainbow-colored “Zipfelmann” (“Tip-Man”) in a show of solidarity with the LGBT movement. Instead of the classical Santa Claus, or Weihnachtsmann, several years ago Penny supermarkets introduced their alternative Zipfelmann, which already had customers wondering whether this was the store’s way of undercutting Christmas. READ MORE
|Facebook now asking users to upload face photos to prove they’re not Russian bots
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:02 AM PST
Soon, you may be forced to upload a clear photograph of your face onto Facebook to prove you aren’t a Russian bot. The tech giant is using a new kind of captcha (a system designed to distinguish human from machine) to prove that its users aren’t bots. According to a screenshot of the identity test that was posted online, verified by Facebook and reported in Wired, the prompt says: “Please upload a photo of yourself
that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers.” The new photo test, which apparently was launched earlier this year but has only shown up in screenshots on Twitter recently, is meant to help the social media company “catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending Friend requests, setting up ads payments, and creating or editing ads,” a Facebook representative told Wired. READ MORE
|Britain’s Muslim population to triple by 2050
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:54 AM PST
The Muslim population in the UK could triple in 20 years, according to projections from the Pew Research Centre. That means the number of Muslims in Britain would rise from 4.1 million in 2016 to 13 million in 2050. In its report ‘Europe’s Growing Muslim Population,’ the US-based research center says the UK has been the major destination for economic migrants coming to Europe, while Germany has been the top destination for refugees. The number of Muslim migrants arriving in Europe surged after
2014 to almost half a million annually, largely due to people fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, it said. The proportion of Muslims among the total population of Britain could rise from 9.7 to 17.2 percent, it said. It attributed the rise to the levels of migration, as well as the fact that Muslims statistically tend to have a higher birth rate and lower average age compared to other Europeans. READ MORE
|Jordanian King says Embassy move must come with “Palestinian State”
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:47 AM PST
Jordan’s King Abdullah warned on Wednesday against moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, asserting that doing so at this stage “would have implications on the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim scene, and would threaten the two-state solution.” According to The Jordan Times, Abdullah, speaking on Wednesday during a meeting in Washington with US lawmakers including House Speaker Paul Ryan, claimed that “there is no alternative to the two-state solution.” He said that the peace process between
Israel and the PA must be given a chance to succeed, such that “moving the embassy must come within a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem [sic] as its capital, living side by side with Israel.” He also claimed that an immediate move “could be potentially exploited by terrorists to stoke anger, frustration, and desperation in order to spread their ideologies.” READ MORE
|NH City’s 10 Commandments Display to Feature Atheist Flag, ‘Peace Flag’ by Faith Groups
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:30 AM PST
A New Hampshire city’s Ten Commandments monument will be the site of two flag raisings, each meant to represent the religious diversity of the community. The City of Somersworth will have two flag-raising ceremonies next Monday at the Decalogue located near City Hall; one featuring an atheist flag while another to include a “peace flag” sponsored by Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders.
Somersworth City Manager Robert Belmore emailed a statement by Mayor Dana Hilliard to The Christian Post on Wednesday afternoon regarding the two events. “Separated by the historic 10 Commandments Monument, representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths will raise the Peace flag symbolizing the fact that despite the differences among their beliefs, all of us share a common bond with humanity,” stated Mayor Hilliard. READ MORE
|More Than Half of children obese by age 35…
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:20 AM PST
More than 57 percent of children in the United States will be obese by age 35 if current trends in weight gain and poor eating habits continue, researchers warned Wednesday. The risk of obesity is high even among children whose present weight is normal, said the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Only those children with a current healthy weight have less than a 50 percent chance of
becoming obese by the age of 35 years,” said the study, led by researchers at Harvard University. Some 36.5 percent of the US adult population is now considered obese, a condition federal health officials define as having a body mass index of 30 or higher. The annual medical costs of obesity in the United States are more than $147 billion per year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. READ MORE
|Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance in Brain…
Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:17 AM PST
Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and
more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable electronic devices for news, information, games, and even the occasional phone call. Along with a growing concern that young people, in particular, may be spending too much time staring into their phones instead of interacting with others, come questions as to the immediate effects on the brain and the possible long-term consequences of such habits. READ MORE
|Embracing your vision during the testing!
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 07:32 PM PST
(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we will show you how the prophet Habakkuk was observing the conditions of his environment and the moral decline of his Nation, leaving him to question God in how he could allow this to carry on? What he didn’t know was that God was working behind the scene! Watch the video below for the entire message:
|Brown University to allow students to ‘self-identify’ as persons of color
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 05:51 PM PST
Brown University is implementing a change to its graduate school application that will allow applicants to “self-identify” as persons of color. Multiple efforts by The College Fix to clarify the details of this change were ignored by campus officials. The policy comes as a result of complaints made by graduate students on the Graduate School advisory board that international and Asian American students are not
treated as members of historically underrepresented groups by the university, according to The Brown Daily Herald. One graduate student, Lydia Kelow-Bennett, told The Herald that this decision has led to “institutional invisibility” for these students. Brown defines historically underrepresented groups as “American Indian, Alaskan Native, African American, Hispanic or Latinx and Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander.” READ MORE
|Parts of Siberia Experiencing -60 Degrees Fahrenheit, and It’s Only November
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 05:42 PM PST
As mild temperatures encompass a large swath of the contiguous United States this week, parts of Siberia are experiencing temperatures colder than minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit – and it’s only November. A low temperature of minus 69 degrees was recorded early Tuesday in Delyankir, Russia. This is colder than the all-time record lows in every U.S. state except Utah (-69 degrees), Montana (-70
degrees) and Alaska (-80 degrees). If that wasn’t incredible enough, the daytime high in Delyankir Tuesday failed to rise above -60 degrees. Oymyakon, Russia, plummeted to minus 66 degrees. This region is generally regarded as the coldest inhabited place on the Earth. The mercury has dipped into the minus 50s or colder eight days in a row in Oymyakon through Wednesday. READ MORE
|Scientists Expand Genetic Code of Life…
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 05:35 PM PST
Scientists are expanding the genetic code of life, using man-made DNA to create a semi-synthetic strain of bacteria — and new research shows those altered microbes actually worked to produce proteins unlike those found in nature. It’s a step toward designer drug development. One of the first lessons in high school biology: All life is made up of four DNA building blocks known by the letters A, T, C and G. Paired
together, they form DNA’s ladder-like rungs. Now there’s a new rung on that ladder. A team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, expanded the genetic alphabet, creating two artificial DNA “letters” called X and Y. A few years ago, the researchers brewed up a type of E. coli bacteria commonly used for lab research that contained both natural DNA and this new artificial base pair — storing extra genetic information inside cells. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: Nikki Haley Warns Latest NK Missile Launch Brings Us Closer To War
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 05:30 PM PST
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says North Korea’s ballistic missile launch “brings us closer to war” that the U.S. doesn’t seek. She told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that if war comes as a result of further acts of “aggression” like the latest launch “make no mistake the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”
Haley says the Trump administration warned North Korea that its future is in the hands of its leaders and the choice was theirs. With Tuesday’s launch, she said, Kim Jong Un’s regime made a choice — “and with this choice comes a critical choice for the rest of the world.” She called on all countries to cut all ties to North Korea. READ MORE
|Did Alexa Really Call The Lord Jesus Christ A “Fictional Character”?
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 02:03 PM PST
Comedian Steven Crowder went viral over Thanksgiving weekend when he recorded an impromptu video in which he and his producer peppered an Alexa device with questions. They asked Alexa a series of questions designed to find out whether or not Alexa was a social justice warrior, and they appeared
shocked after hearing Alexa’s answer to a question about Jesus. “Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?” Crowder asked, to which Alexa replied, “a fictional character.” We here at Faithwire were as shocked as Crowder was – but could it possibly be true? Our own Billy Hallowell has an Alexa, and got a more standard Wikipedia esque type answer when asking his device the very same question. CONTINUE
|Does the latest Barbie doll promote LGBT?
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 01:46 PM PST
The Barbie children’s doll is being used to further LGBT issues. “Proud to wear this “Love Wins” shirt,” states a Barbie-associated Instagram account, along with a photo of two dolls wearing the LGBT-themed t-shirt. The “Love Wins” slogan is associated with support for legalization of gay marriage. An iconic blond Barbie doll representing the @BarbieStyle Instagram account is pictured in the post along
with a brunette Asian doll representing fashion blogger Aimee Song. Song confirmed via her Instagram account that the brunette doll was created for her and sales of the t-shirt benefit an LGBT suicide prevention group. She thanked Mattel and Barbie, saying it was important to have the doll represent who she is and what she believes. LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Mattel on an inquiry to confirm the dolls were licensed Mattel products and specifics of what the company sought to convey with them. READ MORE
|19 killed, thousands of homes affected as floods and landslides hit Java, Indonesia
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 01:36 PM PST
At least 11 people have been killed after heavy rain produced by Tropical Cyclone “Cempaka” triggered severe floods and landslides in East Java, Indonesia on November 28, 2017. Cempaka is the first named storm of the 2017/18 Australian region cyclone season. In addition to heavy rain, strong winds caused by Cempaka brought volcanic ash from erupting Mount Agung to Bali’s Gusti Ngurah Rai International
Airport, canceling flights for the third day in a row. On November 22, 2017, TCWC Perth and TCWC Jakarta started to monitor a weak tropical low that had developed about 332 km (206 miles) south of the city of Surabaya, the capital of Jawa Timur (East Java) province of Indonesia. By 06:00 UTC of November 26, the system was classified as a tropical depression and TCWC Jakarta began issuing advisories. READ MORE
|Another fireball streaks over England, UK
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 01:32 PM PST
A bright fireball was seen streaking through the twilight sky over England, UK around 17:19 UTC on November 29, 2017. The event lasted about 3 seconds. The International Meteor Organization (IMO) collected 24 reports within the first 3 hours. The fireball was seen from England and Wales, UK and
Bretagne, France. There are no reports of a sound associated with the event. NEMETODE’s all-sky camera at Ravensmoor detected the fireball at 17:06 UTC. Their initial analysis suggests a magnitude -6.9 December Alpha Draconid. “We are awaiting additional network data to confirm shower and absolute magnitude.” READ MORE
|Israel expects Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital within days
Posted: 29 Nov 2017 01:06 PM PST
The Israeli government considers it extremely likely that US President Donald Trump will declare in the next few days that he recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that he is instructing his officials to prepare to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, an Israeli TV report claimed Wednesday. The Hadashot news report came a day after US Vice President Mike Pence said Trump was”actively
considering” moving the US embassy. “In Jerusalem, there is a very high expectation” that Trump will declare that he “formally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructing his team to actively prepare to move the embassy,” the Hadashot news report claimed. It said this declaration was expected within days, and possibly as soon as Sunday. There was no official confirmation of the claim from Israel or the US. READ MORE
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:
JESUS IS GOD
While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.
Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).
C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).
If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!
JESUS IS HOLY
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).
As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)
God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
JESUS IS THE SAVIOR
Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”
That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).
God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy
Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).
JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH
Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless
If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.
Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.
JESUS IS LORD
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him
The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.
Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).
It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.
JESUS IS THE JUDGE
All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?
Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.
Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).
Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer
This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com
(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.
A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.
*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.