Monthly Archives: February 2018

February 28 Acknowledging the Ultimate Source

“… joyously giving thanks to the Father” (Col. 1:11–12).

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Joyous thanksgiving acknowledges God as the giver of every good gift.

The inseparable link between joy and thanksgiving was a common theme for Paul. In Philippians 4:4–6 he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!. … Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” He told the Thessalonians to “rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16–18).

As often as Paul expressed thanks and encouraged others to express theirs, he was careful never to attribute to men the thanks due to God alone. For example, in Romans 1:8 he says, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” He thanked God, not the Roman believers, because he knew that faith is a gift from God.

That doesn’t mean you can’t thank others for the kindnesses they show, but in doing so you must understand that they are instruments of God’s grace.

Thanking Him shows humility and acknowledges His rightful place as the Sovereign Lord and the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Those who reject His Lordship and refuse to give Him thanks incur His wrath (Rom. 1:21).

Only those who love Christ can truly give thanks because He is the channel through which thanks is expressed to the Father. As Paul says in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Hebrews 13:15 adds, “Through [Christ] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

As one who is privileged to know the God of all grace, be generous in your praise and thanksgiving today. See everything as a gift from His hand for your joy and edification.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Read aloud Psalm 136 as a prayer of praise to God.

For Further Study: From Psalm 136 list the things that prompted the psalmist’s thanksgiving. How can that psalm serve as a model for your own praise?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 71). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

When Google Met God: Billy Graham’s 1998 TED Talk

Billy Graham, a titan of evangelism and possibly the most well-known evangelical pastor of the 20th century, passed from this life to his reward last week.

While many will rightly mention his crusades, his relationships with many U.S. presidents, or his friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., most probably do not remember the surprising time Billy Graham lectured a group in Silicon Valley about the future, death, technology, and God.

It was 1998, and Graham was speaking at the annual TED Talk conference at Monterey, California. Why Richard Wurman, founder of the conference, had invited Graham is anyone’s guess. Some thought he was parading out a “clown preacher” to fulfill a quota on religious speakers. Whatever the case, Graham had accepted the invitation, and he stood before the young frontiersmen of the internet era.

“You can imagine how out of place I feel,” Graham opened. “I feel like a fish out of water.” Graham knew that his audience was probably either uninterested or outright hostile to his brand of Christianity. Rather than begin his talk by launching into a “call for a decision,” he disarmed his audience with self-deprecating humor and references to the great technological advances of the 20th century. He then pondered why technology wasn’t making us better people:

Have you ever thought about what a contradiction we are? On one hand, we can probe the deepest secrets of the universe and dramatically push back the frontiers of technology, as this conference vividly demonstrates. We’ve seen under the sea, three miles down, or galaxies hundreds of billions of years out in the future.

But on the other hand, something is wrong. Our battleships, our soldiers, are on a frontier now, almost ready to go to war with Iraq. Now, what causes this? Why do we have these wars in every generation, and in every part of the world? And revolutions?

We can’t get along with other people, even in our own families. We find ourselves in the paralyzing grip of self-destructive habits we can’t break. Racism and injustice and violence sweep our world, bringing a tragic harvest of heartache and death. Even the most sophisticated among us seem powerless to break this cycle. I would like to see Oracle take up that, or some other technological geniuses work on this. How do we change man so that he doesn’t lie and cheat and our newspapers are not filled with stories of fraud in business or labor or athletics or wherever?

By the end of his talk, he had given them an answer. Pointing to Pascal, Paul, and ultimately to Jesus Christ, Graham had outlined the solution to human sinfulness.

I don’t want to spoil the power of Graham’s argument, so I recommend that you watch the talk for yourself. Graham shows winsomely and convincingly, as he always did, how Jesus Christ was the answer to all of life’s problems. Hopefully this message, given 20 years before his death, will inspire you to go out and speak courageously from your own platform about “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

The post When Google Met God: Billy Graham’s 1998 TED Talk appeared first on LogosTalk.

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CBS Launches New Show Comedy ‘Living Biblically’ To Mock Christianity And Make Christians Look Like Idiots

It seems with every new television season a show that mocks Jesus Christ and the Christian faith gets a pilot.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3,4 (KJV)

On a regular basis, television studios in Hollywood release pilots that either glorify the Devil, as in the show Lucifer, or mock and belittle Christians and the Bible like we see in this new show, Living Biblically, just released by CBS on February 26, 2018. And of course, the “christian” in the show who goes on a quest to ‘live biblically’ is a New Age, ecumenical, embracing all religions mashup cartoon-like character who is hyper-judgmental and attempts to enact Old Testament justice.

What you do not see in this show, and will not see in this piece of trash, is salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins as the only way to Heaven. But if you read all the way through to the end, we will be happy to show that to you.

This season it is the CBS showLiving Biblically’ – a comedic take on the real life quest of a journalist to live his life “according to the Bible” for one year. From the preview scenes alone, it seems obvious that this show has no intention of representing the Bible accurately or bringing any actual serious discussion about the Christian faith. Instead it seeks cheap laughs and gags all the while mocking The Lord Jesus Christ and those who try their best to follow Him.

“Chip Curry is a modern day man at a crossroads in his life, who decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. A film critic for a New York Newspaper and a soon-to-be father, Chip wants to be a better man following the loss of his best friend. He decides to put his slightly obsessive temperament to use and start living his life 100% by the Bible to find direction. His smart, pregnant wife, Leslie, while both skeptical and entertained by her husband’s new passion, supports him completely. Knowing he’ll need some practical advice, Chip forms a “God Squad” with Father Gene, a Catholic Priest who helps Chip translate the rules of the Bible to a modern world; and Father Gene’s best friend, easygoing Rabbi Gil Ableman, who respects Chip’s chutzpah and is glad to serve as a sounding board when they meet at their local bar.

At Chip’s newspaper, he finds support from his no-nonsense boss, Ms. Meadows, who knows Chip’s self-penned story will sell newspapers, and his co-worker and friend, Vince, who is quick with a reality check and likes to wind Chip up for his own amusement. As he begins his sincere spiritual journey toward a more moral life with the help of his wife and friends, Chip wonders if he’ll be able to take a page – or every page – out of the Good Book, and if the effect will be of Biblical proportions.” (source).

From the preview clips alone, the show seems intent on turning the lead character Chip into a walking, breathing negative Christian stereotype. He is judgmental, hyper-critical and even violent, because “the Bible says so.” This attempt to highlight the view of the Old Testament revealing a God who is harsh, violent and lacking compassion is a common argument for critics of the Christian faith.  Living Biblically seeks to make this argument in a more subversive manner by having its lead act out these negative traits all in the name of seeking to live a righteous, holy “Biblical lifestyle.”

When Chip seeks counsel from a Roman Catholic priest and tells him of his plan, the priest laughs in his face – clearly mocking the fact that anyone would take the Bible literally.

“People need to start talking about religion again,” producer Patrick Walsh said. “I don’t buy the idea that we live in a ‘godless society.’ Eighty-four percent of the world aligns themselves with religion, and 9 out of 10 people believe in God, yet religion is never discussed because everyone is too scared to offend. In talking about it, you can erase so many misconceptions about it on either side.” source

Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven and to have forgiveness of your sin debt, every other way is 100% wrong

The anti-Christian clowns in Hollywood will never, ever give you the truth about the Bible, salvation or Jesus Christ. But we here at NTEB exist to do just that. Want to know how to become born again, and have a home in Heaven? Here it is, share it with a friend.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJV)

Our sins have separated us from a righteous and holy God, but in His Mercy and love towards us He has made a way of escape for all those who seek it. I am talking to you, right here and right now. God has an AMAZING gift for you, it costs you nothing but it caused Him to shed every drop of blood He had so He could purchase it for you. What is it? It’s your salvation.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5: 8-10 (KJV)

There is a penalty for your sins – eternal torment in a place called Hell

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23 (KJV)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)

Jesus Christ is God’s Provision for Your Sinful Condition.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16 (KJV)

You Can Be Saved–Right Now. Every Saturday afternoon we go out on the streets in the town where we live, and we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just today, a young man named John stopped to listen. We presented him with the exact same gospel that you are reading right now, and asked him if he knew he was a sinner. He was very honest, he said “yes, I do”. We told him that salvation is not a “magic bullet”, a “get out of jail free card”, or some “30 second prayer” someone gets you to pray. Salvation is a legally-binding transaction, as the Bible declares, when you the sinner take your sins to a sinless Saviour – Jesus Christ – and you trade your sins for His Righteousness.

Jesus Christ was crucified, died, was buried and rose again on the THIRD DAY according to the Scriptures. He did all that for YOU, to buy your pardon to SET YOU FREE. All you have to do is accept or reject that FREE GIFT. If you reject it, when you die, you will burn forever in a place called Hell. If you accept it, the Bible says the moment you die you will be with Christ in Heaven never to die again. Which one do YOU want?

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

Pray and ask the Lord, “Lord Jesus, be merciful to me a sinner, and save me. I now, with a repentant heart, receive you as my personal Saviour”.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13 (KJV)

The post CBS Launches New Show Comedy ‘Living Biblically’ To Mock Christianity And Make Christians Look Like Idiots appeared first on Now The End Begins.

FEBRUARY 28 RATIONALISM: A DANGER IN TODAY’S CHRISTIANITY

Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

JOHN 7:19

The theological battle line in our day is not necessarily between the fundamentalist and the liberal.

There is a difference between them, of course. The fundamentalist says, “God made the heaven and the earth.” The liberal says, “Well, that is a poetic way of stating it—but actually, it came up by evolution.”

The warfare, the dividing line today, is between evangelical rationalists and evangelical mystics. I will explain what I mean.

There is today an evangelical rationalism which is the same doctrine held by the Jewish religion in the day of Jesus. They said the truth is in the word, and if you want to know truth, go to the rabbi and learn the word. If you get the word, you have the truth.

That is also the view of evangelical rationalism in our day: “If you learn the text you’ve got the truth!”

This evangelical rationalism will kill the truth just as quickly as liberalism will, though in a more subtle way. The evangelical rationalist wears our uniform but he insists that the body of truth is all you need. Believe the body of truth and you are on your way to heaven and you cannot backslide and you will get a crown in the last day!

I believe the Bible is a living book, a revelation from God. But there must be illumination before revelation can get to your soul. It is not enough that I hold an inspired book in my hands—I must have an inspired heart. Truth has a soul as well as a body![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

February 28, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

The Briefing — Wednesday, February 28, 2018

1) Are boys broken? How a basic change in the moral air of American society has led to the systemic devaluation of life

Wall Street Journal (Peggy Noonan) –
The Parkland Massacre and the Air We Breathe

2) Symptoms of the subverted family present themselves on America’s college campuses

New York Times (David Brooks) –
A Generation Emerging From the Wreckage

3) Is there a morality to eating one animal rather than the other?

New York Times (Andrew Keh) –
An Olympic Challenge: Eat All the Korean Food That Visitors Won’t

USA Today (Martin Rogers) –
Inside the grim scene of a Korean dog meat farm, just miles from the Winter Olympics

4) Do dogs feel guilt? What the doctrine of creation tells us about our pets

New York Times (Kelly Whiteside) –
No, That’s Not a Mop. It’s a Puli.

The Atlantic (William Brennan) –
Your Dog Feels No Shame


News – 2/28/2018

Iran to host ‘Hourglass Festival’ to count down to Israel’s destruction
Themes of the festival include Israel, a cancerous tumor; Israel, a fake, racist and colonialist regime; and the Quds-occupier regime (Israel) and terrorism promotion. This coming April, Iran will host its first-ever International Hourglass Festival, dedicated exclusively to counting down to the “imminent collapse of the Zionist regime.”

Jerusalem embassy will bring war, warns grand mufti
A key Palestinian religious leader is warning that there will be war if the United States follows through on its announced plan to open an embassy in Jerusalem, which Washington now formally recognizes as Israel’s capital. The threat, according to Palestinian Media Watch, comes from Sheik Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem. Last week, the State Department announced the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will open May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.

Reputed MS-13 defendants laugh, smile as slain teen’s family glares
Three members of the notorious Salvadoran gang MS-13 showed no remorse as they laughed and joked while the family of one the Long Island high school teenage girls they are accused of killing grimly looked on. Enrique Portillo and brothers Alexi Saenz and Jairo Saenz laughed, smiled and joked with each other as prosecutors said they were waiting to hear from the U.S. Justice Department about whether they can pursue the death penalty.

U.S. finds China aluminum foil imports dumped, subsidized
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it had made a final determination that imports of aluminum foil from China are being sold in the United States at less than their fair value and producers are benefiting from subsidies from Beijing.

Sweden to host donors’ conference for UNRWA
A donors’ conference will be held next month to help fill a funding gap at the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” in the wake of the U.S. cutting its aid to the agency, Sweden’s deputy UN ambassador said Tuesday, according to AFP. The U.S. recently announced it would cut some of its funding to UNRWA, citing a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

United States may help expand Saudi nuclear capability
The Trump administration is in talks with Saudi Arabia over a deal that would allow Riyadh to enrich and reprocess uranium domestically in exchange for the US building nuclear reactors there. The negotiations appear pressing, as the White House directed US Energy Secretary Rick Perry to cancel planned travel to India for talks in London with his Saudi counterpart.

U.N. report links North Korea to Syria’s chemical weapons program
North Korea has been shipping materials to the Syrian government that could be used for the production of chemical weapons, according to a secret UN report, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The report, which was written by a panel of experts, stated that the supplies, which included acid-resistant tiles, valves and thermometers, were part of at least 40 previously unreported shipments to Syria between 2012 and 2017. Additionally, North Korean missile experts were spotted inside Syria, working at known chemical weapons and missile facilities.

Report: Images reveal new Iranian military base outside Damascus
New satellite images of an area near the Syrian capital of Damascus show a new permanent military base which may house missiles capable of striking Israel, Fox News reported Wednesday. The images of the base, some 12 kilometers northwest of Damascus, were taken by ImageSat International (ISI) and shared with Fox. They show two recently constructed hangars which are similar in appearance to Iranian bases in Syria.

How Russia is using Syria as a military ‘guinea pig’
Russia’s deputy defense minister claimed Thursday that Moscow has tested over 600 new weapons and other military equipment in Syria since intervening in the conflict in 2015. “The chance to test in real combat can’t be overestimated,” Yuri Borisov asserted, adding that “customers have started queuing up for the arms that have proven themselves in [battle].”

Iran to host ‘Hourglass Festival’ to count down to Israel’s destruction
This coming April, Iran will host its first-ever International Hourglass Festival, dedicated exclusively to counting down to the “imminent collapse of the Zionist regime.” At a press conference announcing the festival on Tuesday, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Secretary General of the International Conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifada, said that “the Islamic Republic won’t allow the Zionists to play with the security” of the Middle East.

Boris Johnson: Irish border row being exploited to stop Brexit
Boris Johnson has said the row over the border in Northern Ireland is being used to frustrate Brexit. The foreign secretary insisted there were “very good solutions” to avoid the need for a hard border. There is a stand-off on the issue with the EU publishing a legal draft of its Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Europe freezes as ‘Beast from the East’ arrives
Much of Europe has been blanketed in snow as cold weather spreads as far south as the Mediterranean coast. The cold spell, nicknamed “the Beast from the East” in the UK, is carrying freezing winds across the continent, and temperatures as low as -30C (-22F). At least 10 people have died since Monday, including many who were sleeping rough in cities.

N Korea ‘providing materials to Syria chemical weapons factories’
North Korea has been sending equipment to Syria that could be used to make chemical weapons, a UN report says. Some 40 previously unreported shipments were made between 2012 and 2017, the report found. Materials included acid-resistant tiles, valves and pipes. The report – yet to be released – said N Korean missile specialists had been seen at Syrian weapon-making centres.

Dow falls 299 points after Powell signals Fed will keep raising rates to contain inflation
U.S. stocks fell for the first time in four days Tuesday after comments from new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sent rates higher. The new chair signaled the central bank could hike rates more than three times this year in an effort to keep the economy from overheating, sparking anxiety among equity traders.

Russia Claims It Now Has Lasers To Shoot Satellites
Russian defense companies have created a plane-mounted laser that can hit satellites — at least according to an anonymous source quoted by Russian news agency Interfax. On Saturday, an Interfax report cited the source as saying that weapons maker Almaz-Antey has “completed work on the anti-satellite complex,” which includes the laser and associated ground control gear.

People in Sweden Now at Risk of Losing Access to Notes
People living in the world’s most cashless society may soon lose their access to notes and coins. To avoid that extreme scenario, Swedish cash-handling provider Loomis AB wants authorities to force banks and retailers to continue accepting cash. The warning follows similar calls from the Swedish central bank, which is worried that the rapid disappearance of cash will ultimately…undermine its task to promote a safe and efficient payment system.

Polish delegation heads to Israel for talks on Holocaust Law
A Polish delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki will arrive in Israel Wednesday to attempt to reach an understanding regarding the wording of the controversial Polish Holocaust Law which has sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two countries. The delegation will meet with a team headed by the Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Yuval Rotem on Thursday.

Oil to edge higher in 2018 as OPEC cuts help offset U.S. supply growth
Oil analysts expect the price of crude to rise steadily this year but remain in a tight band dictated by U.S. shale output growth on one side and OPEC supply restraint on the other, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. The survey of 37 economists and analysts forecast Brent crude LCOc1 would average $63 a barrel in 2018, slightly higher than $62.37 projected in the previous month’s poll.

Government now looking to hire pagan priests
Move over Christians, there’s now a demand for pagan priests to help Wiccans and Druids behind bars. The British government is now taking out advertisements looking for seven pagan chaplains to minister across the nation. The part-time job pays the equivalent of up to $40,000 per year.

DEEP Voice AI Can Scan Vocal Cords In Seconds Then Say Anything In Your Voice
Chinese AI titan Baidu announced earlier this month it’s new ‘Deep Voice AI’ was now capable of cloning voices of individuals just by a few seconds of hearing the persons vocal cords in action.

River flooding: Cities brace for more damage after deadly storms
A new storm is expected to bring additional weather misery this week to areas struggling to recover from a relentless series of weekend storms and tornadoes. On Tuesday, downpours and gusty thunderstorms will drench areas from central Texas to central Arkansas and southern Tennessee, AccuWeather said.

Breaking: Possible Chemical Attack, 11 People Treated for Nose Bleeds, Burning Sensations after Suspicious Letter Opened at VA Base
At least 11 people were treated for nose bleeds and burning sensations after a suspicious letter was opened at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington on Tuesday afternoon.

Group Sues PA Over Noncitizen Voters
A conservative legal group is suing Pennsylvania for records that could show thousands of noncitizen residents registered to vote over the last two decades.

United Nations Boss Unveils New Global Mass Migration Policy: ‘No More Borders’
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has announced new plans for global mass migration in which countries will need to “welcome” foreign migrants.The UN’s new policy is designed to teach people how “migration can benefit the world,” by allowing immigrants to “take jobs” local workers “cannot fill.”

Obama to Skip Billy Graham Memorial Services
Former President Barack Obama is not planning to attend memorial services for the late evangelist Rev. Billy Graham this week.

Norway to Spend $12.7M Upgrading ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault
Norway plans to spend $12.7 million upgrading its “doomsday” seed vault, which was built 10 years ago to protect the world’s crops and plants from being wiped out in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, such as nuclear war or global warming.

Obama Admin Official Who Helped Anti-Trump Dossier Author Was Exec at Lobbying Firm for Russians Who Bought Uranium One
Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing with the author of the controversial, largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier, served as senior vice president of a firm that did lobbying work for Tenex, the U.S. subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow.

The Vatican Teams Up With Vogue And Versace To Display Rare Papal Vestments Of Mystery, Babylon The Great
Yahoo News reports that the Vatican’s culture minister joined Donatella Versace and Vogue’s Anna Wintour on Monday to offer sneak peek of ‘gorgeous Vatican liturgical vestments, jeweled miters and historic papal tiaras’ that will star in a spring exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

New Chicago ID Card Created For Illegal Aliens Will Be Accepted For Voter Registration
Leftists normalizing the crime of voting by non-citizens

BREAKING: Ingraham=> Sheriff’s Dept Told Broward Deputies NOT to Enter School Unless Their Body Cameras Were On 
On Monday night, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham revealed sources told her the Sheriff’s Dept instructed the Broward Deputies NOT to enter the school unless their body cameras were on. WOW.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Feb. 28, 2018

Is ObamaCare on Its Last Legal Leg?

A new lawsuit highlights tax reform in an attempt to derail the health care law in its entirety.

The Foundation

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws … undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?” —James Madison (1788)


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: February 28

  • Dick’s Raises Age for Gun Buyers, Won’t Sell Assault Weapons (Read More)
  • How Defective Guns Became the Only Product That Can’t Be Recalled (Read More)
  • The First Day of School After Florida Shooting (Read More)
  • NFL Partners With Pizza Hut After Split With Papa John’s (Read More)
  • Manafort Joined Trump as Ukraine Work Dried Up (Read More)
  • Summers Warns Next U.S. Recession Could Outlast Previous One (Read More)
  • GM Is Raking In the Cash (Read More)
  • Goldman Sachs, Adviser to the Elite, Wants to Be Your Local Bank (Read More)
  • U.S. regulators examine Wall Street’s Volcker rule wish list (Read More)
  • State Health Policies Show Stark Divide Along Party Lines (Read More)
  • In Syria, Foreign Powers’ Scramble for Influence Intensifies (Read More)
  • Mogul Is $13 Billion Richer After Leaving NYC for China (Read More)
  • China’s military flexes muscles for domestic objective: more funding (Read More)
  • Lowe’s Punished by Investors for Not Growing Like Home Depot (Read More)
  • Cyprus’s Anastasiades says no peace talks as natgas standoff persists (Read More)
  • Big Short’s Eisman Says U.S. Bank Outlook Is Best Since 1990s (Read More)
  • Forecasts for Oil Prices Rise for Fifth-Straight Month (Read More)
  • Musk’s Dream of Space-Based Internet Sent Others Crashing to Earth (Read More)
  • Bayer to win EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto deal (Read More)

Headlines – 2/28/2018

Jared Kushner said to lose top secret security clearance

Kushner’s security downgrade will hinder but not halt his Mideast peace role

Tillerson, Kelly Reportedly Frustrated With Jared Kushner Running U.S. Foreign Policy In the Middle East

Israeli officials discussed ways to manipulate ‘naive’ Kushner

Haley praises Honduras for backing embassy move to Jerusalem

US team said headed to Israel to coordinate consulate transformation

Entire US Senate calls for Israel to be added to expedited screening program to enable Israeli travelers to quickly enter country, in recognition of Jewish state’s 70th anniversary

Islam Respects Right of Jews to ‘Live in Dignity,’ Muslim World League Chief Muhammad al-Issa Declares

Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopens post Jerusalem tax spat

Ophel excavation director discusses biblical discoveries, Temple Mount

Paris woman’s brutal murder declared anti-Semitic act

Dutch groups cancel speeches by Palestinian ex-terrorist

Shin Bet foils ISIS-inspired attack on Temple Mount

Liberman: Security forces foil 20-30 terror attacks each week

Netanyahu: Zero tolerance for rockets – ‘they get hit immediately’

Senators call for an increase in military aid to Israel

Pro-Assad media accuses opposition of faking child injuries in Ghouta with forged video

N Korea ‘providing materials to Syria chemical weapons factories’

Satellite image said to show new Iranian military base in Syria

Sen. Lindsey Graham returns from Israel: We must ‘stop the Iran-Assad machine’

Fighting resumes in eastern Ghouta despite ‘humanitarian pause’

Syria conflict: Women ‘sexually exploited in return for aid’

Egypt aborts suicide attack in Sinai, 11 terrorists killed

After UN defeat, US and allies condemn Iran over Yemen arms

Trump’s tough talk nudges Europe into eyeing new Iran deal

Iranian minister accused of human rights abuse addresses UN rights body

Blacklisted Iranian Official Stirs Outrage at U.N. Human Rights Council

Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly Shaking Up Its Military

Saudi Crown Prince: Anti-corruption campaign was ‘shock therapy’ to kingdom

Saudi Arabia is building a $500 billion mega-city that’s 33 times the size of New York City

Afghanistan’s Ghani offers peace talks with Taliban ‘without condition’

U.S. envoy for North Korea to retire after Trump rejects unconditional talks

Obama Admin Official Who Helped Anti-Trump Dossier Author Was Exec at Lobbying Firm for Russians Who Bought Uranium One

Mueller is reportedly interested in Trump’s Russia business dealings before his presidential run

Judge sides with Trump on challenge to Mexico border wall

Oakland mayor helped criminal illegals escape, ICE chief says

Venezuelan Inmates Eating Rats and Pigeons to Avoid Starvation

Dow falls 299 points after Powell signals Fed will keep raising rates to contain inflation

Home prices surge 6.3% in December amid critical housing shortage

Gas Prices Are Heading Back Toward $3 a Gallon

Bill Gates Says Cryptocurrencies Have Caused Deaths

U.S. congressional Republicans reject new limits on guns

Suspicious mail triggers illness at Virginia military base

US government may have ability to access any iPhone

Moon to get first mobile phone network

Papua New Guinea: at least 16 dead after strongest ever earthquake hits

Papua New Guinea officials say whole villages flattened by deadly quake

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Porgera, Papua New Guinea

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits West of Macquarie Island

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Porgera, Papua New Guinea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Mendi, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Mendi, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Mendi, Papua New Guinea

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 11,000ft

Why New Zealand is releasing a rabbit-killing virus

Britain flooded with super-strength cannabis which could be driving mental health problems

Wash. State Bill Would Force Religious Employers to Pay for Drugs That Could Cause an Abortion

Trump is ‘most pro-life president in all of history,’ Pence tells religious broadcasters

‘Bachelor’ hopefuls routinely get rejected for having STDs, new book claims

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Actor Chris Pratt Faces Twitter Storm After Offering This Prayer Request

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 04:31 PM PST

Actor Chris Pratt Faces Twitter Storm After Offering This Prayer RequestThe war against prayer that ignited after politicians began calling for “thoughts and prayers” instead of “taking action” after the Florida school shooting has made its way into Hollywood. Actor Chris Pratt is receiving a massive backlash on Twitter for offering up prayers to a fellow Hollywood star, Director Kevin Smith, who suffered a heart attack on Sunday. Pratt, a Christian, took to Twitter when he got wind

of Smith’s circumstance after the director tweeted that he “could’ve died” from the 100 percent blockage in his heart had he not gone to the hospital. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star was quick to voice his admiration for Smith tweeting, “I have loved you since Clerks,” and “You inspired me.” Pratt went on to say he would be praying for him. READ MORE

New Orleans secretly tests predictive policing technology

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 04:20 PM PST

New Orleans secretly tests predictive policing technologyIn May and June 2013, when New Orleans’ murder rate was the sixth-highest in the United States, the Orleans Parish district attorney handed down two landmark racketeering indictments against dozens of men accused of membership in two violent Central City drug trafficking gangs, 3NG and the 110ers. Members of both gangs stood accused of committing 25 murders as well as several attempted killings and armed robberies.  Subsequent investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local agencies produced further RICO indictments,

including that of a 22-year-old man named Evans “Easy” Lewis, a member of a gang called the 39ers who was accused of participating in a drug distribution ring and several murders.  According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim.  READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Marines Hospitalized After Suspicious Letter Opened At Base…

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 04:12 PM PST

DEVELOPING: Marines Hospitalized After Suspicious Letter Opened At Base…Two patients are currently being assessed following a hazmat incident at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington Tuesday, according to Arlington County Fire officials. Fire officials report 11 people fell after coming in contact with a suspicious letter in the Consolidated Administration Building on-base.

Three people were transported to the hospital. Their condition is stable. CNN reports a corporal, gunnery sergeant and a colonel “exhibited symptoms of burning hands and face and one person had a nosebleed” when the letter was opened. READ MORE

Dutch Sheets Claims A Turnaround Is Coming That Will Save Billions of Souls

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 06:17 AM PST

Dutch Sheets Claims A Turnaround Is Coming That Will Save Billions of SoulsInternationally-known evangelist Dutch Sheets is bringing word to the nation’s capital that a turnaround is coming that will lead to a worldwide harvest of billions of souls.  “We are about to see the greatest influx of souls in history,” Sheets told CBN News in an exclusive interview. Just before the February 22-24 Turnaround Conference began at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Sheets explained what’s led to such an audacious prediction.

He said his frequent ministry partner Chuck Pierce prophesied back in April, “10 months of turmoil before the breakthrough came. And then it’d be three years of a turnaround for America.” These last 10 months certainly have seen all sorts of turmoil — political upheaval, hurricanes, fires, floods and more. But Sheets said now’s the time for God’s people to push for the promised turnaround. “There’s another level of intercession, prophetic declaration, kingly intercession, making decrees for Him that is going to now launch us into what we’ve been asking for 25, 30 years: a Third Great Awakening in America, another great awakening around the world. READ MORE

California Could Become First State to Force Universities to Provide Abortion Pill

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 06:13 AM PST

California Could Become First State to Force Universities to Provide Abortion PillAbortion advocates estimate that more than 1,000 pregnant college students in California get an abortion every month. Still, they’re pushing for a new law to make having an abortion easier by requiring campus health centers to provide abortion pills. The state Senate has already approved the bill, known as SB320, and the Assembly is currently considering it. “I firmly believe that all students should be able to decide what to do with their own bodies and when to factor a family into their life,” said Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, the bill’s author.

“After all, women do not lose the constitutional right to end a pregnancy simply because they are a college student.” If the bill passes, California will become the first state to require that its campus health centers offer abortion pills. Currently, very few campus health centers across the country provide the pill. A 2015 survey by the American College Health Association (ACHA) found just two campuses that said they offer it. READ MORE

Deputies were told not to enter Florida High School

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 06:02 AM PST

Deputies were told not to enter Florida High SchoolFox News’ Laura Ingraham reported Monday that Broward Country deputies were told not to go into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the mass shooting earlier this month.  The alleged reason? They didn’t have any body cameras with them. “Now, our sources near the Broward County sheriff’s department are telling us that the deputies who arrived at the scene of the shooting were told

not to enter the school unless their body cameras were turned on, and then we found out that the deputies did not have body cameras so they did not enter the building or engage the shooter,” Ingraham said. “Curiously, police also lost radio communications during the parkland shooting. And our source claims that radio communication also went dead during the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting in 2017 that he also got a lot of criticism for.” FULL REPORT

Scriptural Ways to Keep the Devil From Sabotaging Your Mind

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 05:55 AM PST

Scriptural Ways to Keep the Devil From Sabotaging Your Mind(By Selenia Vera) Most of us can relate to this example: You’re doing just fine, heart content, emotions at peace; all in life is seemingly going well. When suddenly, someone says something, an experience or event takes place and in a moment, you feel your peace and joyful resolve leave you.  Before you know it, the warmth of God’s love and goodness seems to be blocked. It happens faster than you can blink. It’s a mystery—your thought life swept up in the seduction of self-talk, your body now paralyzed. You sigh, breathe deeply and welcome regret into your conversation. He whispers, You wish things had been different in your life, your relationships, experiences. You wish you had known better, done differently, everyone around you seems to have what you would like to have—in their relationships, life circumstances—emotionally, materially, spiritually, physically, intellectually, professionally.

They’ve won, and you have lost. You immediately muster up smiles, but no one notices. You cover up so no one suspects. You are silent, and no one relates. Locked away in loneliness, your heart aches. The happiness of others only seems to make your pain feel worse. Social media taunts you: “You are not enough, never will be.” Envy, jealousy, grief, anger—you feel hopeless. You coast along, muttering through emotions now flooded by the slow raindrops of failure. Self-pity, your familiar friend, wraps her arms around you and holds her spoon up, offering it as if it were ice cream. It’s icy alright, just one spoon will freeze you paralyzed. CONTINUE

 

‘Living Biblically’ Producer Says CBS Show Will Inspire People to Talk About Faith Again

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 05:48 AM PST

‘Living Biblically’ Producer Says CBS Show Will Inspire People to Talk About Faith AgainTo encourage Americans to “start talking about faith,” Hollywood producer Patrick Walsh made the largely unprecedented — and admittedly risky — decision to marry religion and comedy with his new show, “Living Biblically.”  “People need to start talking about religion again,” Walsh told The Christian Post in an exclusive interview. “I don’t buy the idea that we live in a ‘godless society.’ Eighty-four percent of the world aligns themselves with religion, and 9 out of 10 people believe in God, yet religion is never discussed because everyone is too scared to offend. In talking about it, you can erase so many misconceptions about it on either side.”

Airing on CBS Feb. 26, “Living Biblically” follows Chip Curry, a modern-day man at a crossroads in his life, who decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. A film critic for a New York newspaper and a soon-to-be father, Chip wants to be a better man following the loss of his best friend and decides to live his life 100 percent by the Bible to find direction. Seeking guidance, Chip forms a “God Squad” with Father Gene, a Catholic Priest who helps Chip translate the rules of the Bible to a modern world, and Father Gene’s best friend, easygoing Rabbi Gil Abelman. READ MORE

 

Superbugs set to kill more people than cancer

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 05:35 AM PST

Superbugs set to kill more people than cancerSuperbugs will kill more people than cancer without swift action to stop GPs doling out needless antibiotics, Jeremy Hunt has warned. It came as new research found at least one in five prescriptions by family doctors should never have been issued, fuelling antibiotic resistance. Health officials urged GPs to rein in prescribing of the drugs, amid warnings that routine hospital operations could become too dangerous if common medications become ineffective.

Leading family doctors said the findings were “extremely disappointing,” but said GPs should not be blamed for handing out so many needless drugs. The study by Public Health England (PHE) and Imperial College London found British doctors were twice as likely as those in the Netherlands to prescribe the drugs. Overuse of antibiotics fuels the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, which kill 5,000 a year in the UK. The medication only works against bacterial infections, when the vast majority of coughs, colds and sore throats are caused by viruses. READ MORE

 

South Carolina church vandalized with satanic messages, derogatory comments about Billy Graham

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 05:22 AM PST

South Carolina church vandalized with satanic messages, derogatory comments about Billy GrahamYet another church community in Greenville County went to Sunday service only to be welcomed by satanic messages spray-painted on to the church walls, some of it involving Billy Graham. The vandalism

discovered at Life Spring Community Church in Simpsonville on Sunday was one of four to occur in the County in less than a month. At this time, no suspects have been identified. READ MORE

Purdue University Tells Students to Stop Using Sexist ‘Man’ Words

Posted: 27 Feb 2018 05:17 AM PST

Purdue University Tells Students to Stop Using Sexist ‘Man’ WordsPurdue University is instructing its students to use “non-sexist” language in their writing assignments by making sure they don’t include words that have “man” in them — such as “congressman” or “mailman.” An updated handout produced by the Indiana public research institution’s Online Writing Lab tells students to avoid “using language that is stereotypical or biased in any way.”  Purdue University is

instructing its students to use “non-sexist” language in their writing assignments by making sure they don’t include words that have “man” in them — such as “congressman” or “mailman.” An updated handout produced by the Indiana public research institution’s Online Writing Lab tells students to avoid “using language that is stereotypical or biased in any way.” READ MORE


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70 Prompts for Adoring God

I worship you, my God, because of who you are:

  1. Eternal, immortal, and invisible, you alone are God (Psalm 90:1-2; 1 Timothy 1:17; Isaiah 45:5).
  2. You are Spirit (John 4:24).
  3. You are living (Joshua 3:10).
  4. You are one able to create ex nihilo, or out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3), in six days, and resting on the seventh (Genesis 1).
  5. You are independent of all creation, and have life in and of yourself (John 5:24).
  6. You are known to all (Romans 1:19-20).
  7. As self-existent Yahweh, you are self-revealing to your people (Exodus 3:14-15).
  8. You are omnipresent, or everywhere, always (Psalm 139:7-12).
  9. You are omniscient, knowing everything (Proverbs 15:3).
  10. You are omnipotent, or all-powerful (Matthew 19:26; Hebrews 1:3).
  11. You are omnisapient, or all-wise (Romans 16:27).
  12. You are sovereign (Ephesians 1:11, 20-21).
  13. You are one God in three Persons (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 8:6).
  14. Each Person of the Trinity is fully and equally God; in appearance and outworking, the Father begets the Son (John 1:18), and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 14:26; 16:7).
  15. Jesus Christ was preexistent before the incarnation (John 6:38; John 17:5).
  16. Jesus Christ humbled himself (Philippians 2:5-7).
  17. Jesus Christ became incarnate in the flesh (John 1:14), conceived by the Holy Spirit without a human father and born from a virgin (Matthew 1:18).
  18. Jesus Christ, with a human nature, experienced the weakness and growth that are a part of the human experience (Mark 2:15; 14:33; 15:34; Luke 2:40; 7:9).
  19. Jesus Christ was tempted and overcame (Luke 4:2); with a divine nature, he could not sin.
  20. Jesus Christ is God—the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and the one of whom deity is claimed (Luke 1:43; John 1:1; Matthew 22:44; Hebrews 1:10-12).
  21. Jesus Christ’s omnipotence is displayed through his miracles over nature (Matthew 8:26-27; Matthew 14:19; John 2:1-11).
  22. Jesus Christ’s eternality is known through self-revealing statements (John 8:58; Revelation 22:13).
  23. Jesus Christ’s omniscience is displayed through perceiving hidden thoughts (Mark 2:8; John 1:48), and in knowing all things as attested to by his disciples (John 16:30).
  24. Jesus Christ is omnipresent, as seen in his claim to be with the disciples always (Matthew 28:20).
  25. Jesus Christ is sovereign, as demonstrated in his authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7).
  26. Jesus Christ is worthy to be worshipped and adored (Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 5:12).
  27. Though not relinquishing any divine attributes, Jesus Christ gave up the outward appearance and radiance of his glory in order to complete the mission of the Father (Philippians 2:7), using his divine attributes only as necessary for his mission and ministry, out of submission to the Father.
  28. Jesus Christ is one Person without separation, including two natures without confusion—human and divine—in hypostatic union (Hebrews 1:3).
  29. The Person of the Holy Spirit has intellect, emotions, and will. With intelligence, he knows the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11); with emotions he can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), and according to his will, he distributes spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11).
  30. The Holy Spirit is deity with omniscience (1 Corinthians 1:11-12), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7), and involvement in creation (Psalm 104:30); blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy against God (Matthew 12:31-32).
  31. Father, Son, and Spirit—one God—you are unity (Deuteronomy 6:4).
  32. You are Elohim, sovereign and transcendent over all the earth (Deuteronomy 2:30; 33; 3:22).
  33. As El-Shaddai, you are God Almighty, powerful and strong (Genesis 17:1).
  34. As El Elyon, you are God Most High who reigns supreme (Genesis 21:33).
  35. As El Olam, you are God Everlasting and changeless forever (Genesis 21:33).
  36. As Yahweh Jireh, you are “The Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14).
  37. As Yahweh Nissi, you are “The Lord Our Banner,” the victorious (Exodus 17:15).
  38. As Yahweh Shalom, you are “The Lord is Peace” (Judges 6:24).
  39. As Yahweh Sabbaoth, you are “The Lord of Hosts,” the commander (1 Samuel 1:3).
  40. As Yahweh Maccaddeshcem, you are “The Lord Thy Sanctifier” (Exodus 31:13).
  41. As Yahweh Tsidkenu, you are “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6).
  42. The way you relate to your creation can be described by many images, like the image of Father (Matthew 6:26; 2 Corinthians 6:18; 1 John 3:1).
  43. The image of Mother (Isaiah 66:13; Isaiah 49:15; Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34).
  44. The image of Husband (Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:19; Revelation 21:1-7).
  45. The image of Friend (John 15:12-15).
  46. The image of Shepherd (Psalm 23; John 10:11)
  47. The image of Teacher (Psalm 32:8; Isaiah 48:17).
  48. The image of Ruler (Psalm 103:19; 1 Timothy 6:15).
  49. The image of Judge (Isaiah 33:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).
  50. The image of Deliverer (Exodus 6:6; Matthew 1:21).
  51. And the image of Justifier (Romans 3:26).
  52. You are a preserver of all you have made (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:17).
  53. You are one who gives decrees that are all-encompassing, or inclusive of all creation (Ephesians 1:11).
  54. Your decrees are for your own glory (Psalm 19:1), and they are based upon your sovereign contentment (Daniel 4:35).
  55. Your decrees are best because they are based upon your infinite wisdom (Psalm 147:5; Psalm 104:24).
  56. You are morally pure and set apart (Leviticus 11:44-45).
  57. You are holy (Revelation 4:8).
  58. You hate sin and are angered by it (Joshua 7:1).
  59. You are perfectly wrathful (Romans 1:18; Nahum 1:2).
  60. You are compassionate (Psalm 103:13-14).
  61. You are patient (Romans 2:4).
  62. You are love (1 John 4:8, 16).
  63. You are good (Psalm 25:8).
  64. You are just (Genesis 18:25).
  65. You are righteous and gracious (Psalm 145:17).
  66. You are rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4).
  67. You are immanent, near and active (Jeremiah 23:23-24; Acts 17:27-28).
  68. You are immutable, or unchangeable (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17).
  69. You are true (Isaiah 65:16).
  70. You are the blessed and only King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15).

Help me to know you, to love you for who you are, and to value what you value, my God.

Amen.

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

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GTY: The Goal of Life Is Personal Happiness

Ecclesiastes 2:1-17

Code: B180228

I just don’t believe God wants me to be so unhappy.

I’ll never forget those words. I had just asked a young man—a professing believer—why he thought it was acceptable for him to leave his wife for another woman. And his response was the tragic verbalization of a lie too many people believe—that the goal of life is personal happiness.

While most people don’t articulate it in exactly these terms, they live in a relentless pursuit of their own personal happiness. Theirs is a nonstop quest, because they’re effectively chasing rainbows—where satisfaction constantly beckons just beyond their reach. There’s always another dollar to gain and another pound to lose. There’s always a better car to drive, a nicer place to live, a bigger prize to win, and a more enticing romance to enjoy. For most people, happiness remains an elusive destination.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Even those who do possess the means to fulfill all their material desires and personal goals find the happiness of those achievements fleeting and hollow. That’s the nature of worldly happiness—it’s rooted in insatiable lusts and sinful pride. No matter what sinful man achieves and accumulates, his wretched heart only longs for more. For the unrepentant soul, there is no true satisfaction or lasting happiness.

Few people could speak more authoritatively on that subject than King Solomon, a man who indulged the pursuit of happiness in a way most people can only fantasize about.

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; . . . I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun. . . .

Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:1–57–1115–17)

Solomon dripped with the world’s bounty yet it left him decidedly underwhelmed and despairing. But beneath his philosophical disappointment are great rewards for the thoughtful reader. His lament can potentially spare us from investing our efforts and wasting our lives climbing the wrong mountain. Solomon has already ascended the summit of worldly happiness and sent his report back to us at base camp: It was all “futility and striving after the wind”—an utterly pointless pursuit.

Yet Ecclesiastes closes by pointing us in the right direction when it comes to the true goal of life. Solomon calls us to embark on the only quest worth pursuing.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every work into judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14)

The Goal of Life Is God’s Glory

Giving glory to the One who will inevitably judge us is the only worthwhile pursuit in life. That very point undergirds the opening lines of the Westminster Catechism.

Question 1: What is the chief and highest end of man? Answer: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.

Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What is the only goal in life worth pursuing? The great seventeenth-century theologians who formulated the Westminster Catechism began their treatise by answering all of those questions in fifteen words. Life is not about pleasing ourselves—we can’t, because our sinful appetites know no satisfaction. Instead, the goal of our lives should be glorifying our Creator.

That is the purpose for which we were created. And we’re confronted every day with the consequences of abandoning that calling, as the culture around us futilely pursues the sinful self-satisfaction it cannot attain.

True happiness is only possible when we lift our eyes off ourselves and pursue the glory of God. The resounding testimony of Scripture is that God is glorious and infinitely worthy of our steadfast devotion. As the psalmist Asaph wrote,

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works. (Psalm 73:25–28)

The apostle Paul recognized God’s place as the glorious epicenter of the entire universe: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever” (Romans 11:36). Our response, therefore, should be to glorify God through every facet of our lives. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Commenting on that verse, John MacArthur reminds us that

God is to be glorified. His glory is to be our life commitment. It is the purpose of our whole life, which now belongs to the Lord because we have been “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 7:23). Not only when we eat or drink but in whatever we do we should do all to the glory of God. [1]

Scripture offers us many practical ways in which we can glorify God. John MacArthur points to several examples: the confession of sin (Joshua 7:19), trusting God (Romans 4:20), bearing spiritual fruit in our lives (John 15:8), giving thanks (Psalm 50:23), suffering for Christ (1 Peter 4:14–16), contentedness (Philippians 4:10–20), praying (John 14:13), and preaching (2 Thessalonians 3:1). [2] Everything we do and say should be for the sake of bringing God glory.

The highest purpose any individual can have is to be totally absorbed in the person of God, and to view all of life through eyes filled with His wonder and glory. That is the perspective of the true worshiper, the one who truly glorifies God. [3]

The goal of life is not personal happiness. But we shouldn’t ignore the second part of the answer to question one in the Westminster Catechism: “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever” (emphasis added). In other words, the only true and lasting joy we can know on this side of heaven is the byproduct of glorifying God. That is the only happiness worth pursuing and proclaiming.

 


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Tips and resources on using Social Media

The End Time

social-media-2636256_960_720 Photo Pixabay ,CC

Do you feel trapped by social media? Does it make you sad, or anxious? Do you waste time? Many people say yes to all of the above.

I like social media. I have an account at Pinterest, Twitter, 2 Facebook pages- (a theological page and a personal page), two blogs (one theological and one personal) and an Instagram. My personal blog is 11 years old, my theological blog is 9 years old. I have 4,325 essays at my theological blog.

I am also on GroupMe, a mass group text messaging service. LOL I obtained my very first cell phone last month, solely for the purposes of calling AAA when my car breaks down (and is always does) and to receive church messages. I have photo accounts at Flickr and Unsplash. My account at Flickr is 11 years old and I have 1,936 pictures there. Unsplash is…

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‘This Nation Is in a Mess’: Why Billy Graham’s Daughter Believes His Death Could ‘Shake the Church’

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of famed evangelist Billy Graham, believes that her father’s death could help “shake the church” — something that she said is desperately needed in the modern era.

WATCH: Thousands Line the Streets to Pay Respects for Billy Graham

Lotz also revealed why she believes America is in such a “mess,” telling WRAL-TV that she believes the country and the church at large is missing the message of the gospel.

Some churches, she said, have stopped showing people how to pray and read the Bible and, in turn, aren’t bringing people into a relationship with Christ, as the Bible implores.

“That’s why this nation is in a mess. We’ve lost our focus. We’ve lost our message,” she said. “People go to church, but they’re not getting what they’re going for.”

Lotz also lamented the state of division, anger and polarization and concluded “Jesus is the answer.” As for Billy Graham’s life and legacy, she said that his life shows that it is entirely possible to cut across divides.

“Whether it’s a racial divide, a political divide, a social divide. People all across the spectrum love and honor Billy Graham. Why?” Lotz asked. “Because of his message and because he presented Jesus, and Jesus is the one who unifies us and brings us together.”

Watch her comments below:

https://www.wral.com/news/local/video/17375158/?version=embedded_v2&player_options=%257B%2522embedded_autoplay_next%2522%253Atrue%257D

Lotz believes her father’s death is an important reminder for the world to wake up and realize that tomorrow isn’t promised and that each individual has an important decision to make.

“You need to decide now where you’re going to spend eternity,” she said.

(H/T: WRAL-TV)

Source: ‘This Nation Is in a Mess’: Why Billy Graham’s Daughter Believes His Death Could ‘Shake the Church’