Daily Archives: March 13, 2018

March 13: Nostalgia: My Old Friend

Numbers 14:1–45; John 19:17–42; Psalm 14:1–15:5

Regret and nostalgia can destroy lives. They are mirrored ideas with the same pitfalls: neither can change the past, and both keep us from living in the present. When we live wishfully rather than interacting with the present, we’re bound to miss out and hurt others. Since other people don’t necessarily share our feelings about the past, they feel less important to us here and now. And indeed, we’re making them less important. We’re concerned instead with how things could have been or used to be.

This is precisely what happens after the Israelites flee Egypt: “Then all the community lifted up their voices, and the people wept during that night. And all the children of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and all the community said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt or in this desert!’ ” (Num 14:1–2).

As usual with regret and nostalgia, these words were said in frustration but born out of fear: “Why did Yahweh bring us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little children will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt” (Num 14:3).

And their fear even takes them to the next level of disobedience against God’s will—they will overthrow Moses’ leadership: “They said to each other, ‘Let us appoint a leader, and we will return to Egypt’ ” (Num 14:4). Nostalgia is dangerous: it causes us to forget the wretchedness of the past and exchange it for fond memories. We begin to focus on the good things and drift away from obedience in the process. Regret, too, is dangerous, as we wish we had never ended the good times but kept on living the life that was never good for us to begin with.

This scene in Numbers illustrates a profound point: collective memory enables regret and nostalgia to create mob rule instead of God rule.

What memories are you holding too dearly? How are they holding you back from the life God has for you now?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

March 13 Recognizing God’s Fatherhood

“Our Father who art in heaven” (Matt. 6:9).

✧✧✧

Prayer begins with the recognition that God is your Father and has the resources to meet your needs.

The term Father is one of the most commonly used terms in our prayers, and rightly so, because that’s how Jesus taught us to pray. But as common as that term is to us, it was very uncommon to the people of Christ’s day.

At that time, most of the people who worshiped false gods thought of them as distant, capricious, and immoral beings who were to be feared. Even the Jewish people, who should have understood the Fatherhood of God, had removed themselves from His Fatherly care through their sin and apostasy. Consequently He seemed remote to them. Even some who did claim God as their Father were rebuked by Christ, who called them children of the Devil because they rejected the Son (John 8:44).

Against that backdrop, Christ’s teaching was revolutionary. He proclaimed God as a caring and gracious Father who desires intimate fellowship with His children. That fellowship can come only through faith in the Son.

Beyond that, Jesus revealed the Father’s character in everything He said and did. When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus replied, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Jesus also proclaimed God as a Father who has all the treasures of Heaven at His disposal and who makes them available to His children so they might glorify Him: “Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him. … Do not be anxious. … But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all [you need] shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:8, 31, 33).

Your faith in Christ is what makes God your Heavenly Father. He loves you, listens to your prayers, and supplies your needs according to His abundant resources. Look to Him today, and live as a thankful, obedient child.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God that He is your gracious and loving Father. ✧ Praise Him for the abundant blessings He gives to you.

For Further Study: Read Proverbs 3:5–6 and Matthew 7:7–11. ✧ What are you exhorted to do? ✧ What specifically will God do for you? ✧ How should those passages affect your relationship with God?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 85). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

MARCH 13 THE IMAGE WE PROJECT

O come, let us worship and bow down…For he is our God.

Psalm 95:6–7

Are we presently missing important elements of worship in our churches? I speak of the genuine and sacred offering of ourselves as we worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must ask the question, even though we are building great churches and large congregations. We are boasting about high standards and talking about revival. But as evangelical Christian believers, are we as concerned as we should be about the image we really project to the community around us? It cannot be denied that many who profess the name of Christ still fail to show forth His love and compassion!

It should say something to us that the often-quoted Jean Paul Sartre described his turning to philosophy and hopelessness as a turning away from a secularistic church.

His indictment: “I did not recognize in the fashionable God who was taught me, Him who was waiting for my soul. I needed a creator: I was given a big businessman!”

O Lord, convict me by Your Holy Spirit if I am projecting a false impression of You to others. Express Your love and compassion through me so that others will be attracted to You.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

March 13, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was ousted Tuesday after a turbulent tenure with President Donald Trump, blindsiding the former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO just hours after he returned from a nearly week-long trip to Africa. “I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State.” Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel will succeed Pompeo, becoming the first woman to lead the agency.

President Trump on Tuesday will showcase eight wall prototypes constructed in the desert south of San Diego as he fights to overcome resistance from Democrats and skepticism from some Republican lawmakers over the cost of a barrier that was a central promise of his presidential campaign. The White House has requested $18 billion for the project.

Sweden’s governing Social Democrats pledged to ban religious schools in an effort to combat segregation, as it outlines its education policy ahead of this year’s general election.

A bomb struck a convoy carrying the Palestinian premier as it entered Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the latest setback to a months-old reconciliation effort supposed to heal factional rifts.

A Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that aims to reduce the kingdom’s dependency on oil has engaged a top K Street firm to lobby for approval of future acquisitions in the U.S., according to a March 8 filing with the Justice Department.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined the British government in saying the poison used in an attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. clearly came from Russia, calling the episode an “egregious act” that will trigger a U.S. response.

Amazon.com, Inc. is on track to reach $1 trillion in market capitalization by 2022. That would be a 29 percent jump from Monday’s valuation of $773.8 billion, already greater than the combined market value of Walmart and Alibaba Group Holding the next two biggest retailers.

U.S. consumer prices continued to firm in February, indicating inflation is creeping up toward the Federal Reserve’s target without the kind of breakout that would warrant a faster pace of interest-rate hikes.

Australia is standing firm amid growing calls for immigration curbs, even as the U.S. and Europe succumb to rising populism. It has little choice if it’s to continue a period of record economic expansion. A flood of arrivals that’s swelled the population by 50 percent over the past three decades has underpinned economic growth and allowed a succession of governments to boast of avoiding recession since 1991. Populists are blaming immigrants for over-burdened infrastructure, soaring housing prices and low wage growth.

Small businesses in the U.S. were the most optimistic in more than three decades as recent tax cuts and economic growth spurred expectations for sales gains, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday.

AP Top Stories

At least 49 people were killed on Monday when a Bangladeshi airliner crashed in cloudy weather as it came in to land at the Nepalese capital’s hill-ringed airport.

After driving nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country, Myanmar’s military is building bases where some of their homes and mosques once stood, Amnesty International said on Monday, citing new evidence from satellite imagery.

A third explosion has been linked to two other deadly attacks at homes in Texas this month, where police are warning residents not to touch any unexpected boxes that end up on their door steps.

Vladimir Putin, who is set to extend his long rule to 2024 in Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, has stamped his total authority in Russia, silencing opposition and reasserting Moscow’s lost might abroad.

As countries race to militarize and exploit the Arctic, two U.S. Navy fast-attack submarines have arrived in the Arctic Ocean for a five-week biennial exercise, called ICEX 2018.

German prosecutors said Monday they were notified that a former Nazi death camp guard dubbed the “Accountant of Auschwitz” died before he could begin serving his 4-year sentence.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a South Korean representative on Tuesday he wants talks with North Korea, called to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, to resolve a dispute over past abductions of Japanese citizens as well.

A Saudi general may have been tortured to death and several wealthy businessmen were allegedly abused in captivity at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent crackdown on powerful figures in Saudi Arabia, according to a newspaper report.

Russia will apparently place a early pre-production version of its fearsome RS-28 Sarmat liquid-fueled heavy intercontinental ballistic missile on duty before the weapon enters series production. The massive new ICBM recently started testing and will eventually replace Russia’s existing arsenal of RS-36M2 Voevoda (NATO: SS-18 Satan) missiles.

BBC

The Argentine navy has rescued four US scientists and a contractor from an Antarctic camp after the US icebreaker due to pick them up could not reach them because of thick sea-ice.

The Turkish military says it has surrounded the Kurdish-held city of Afrin in northern Syria, the focus of an offensive against a Kurdish militia.

Thirty-eight people have died in Ethiopia after the bus they were travelling in plunged off a cliff.

WND

For the first time, scientists have corroborated with direct evidence that the Earth has oceans of water deep within mantle by actually recovering some trapped inside diamonds.

Three illegal aliens in Illinois were indicted on felony charges for voting in the 2016 election. The clerk’s office of Lake County, north of Chicago, discovered the alleged crimes, charging three illegal aliens with perjury for misrepresenting their citizenship. Two other local residents were charged with voting twice, the Chicago Tribune reported.


The Briefing — Tuesday, March 13, 2018

1) Why the loss of frozen embryos is a tragedy infinitely greater than many American’s realize

2) Surrogate pregnancies and frozen embryos pose new ethical questions

3) Has the normalization of marijuana become a matter of social justice?


News – 3/13/2018

Trump Fires Rex Tillerson; Replaces Him With CIA Chief Mike Pompeo

According to WaPo, the president — who has long clashed will Tillerson, who he believes is “too establishment” in his thinking — felt it was important to make the change now, as he prepares for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as upcoming trade negotiations, three White House officials said.

Report: Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan is Almost Finished

According to senior American officials who spoke to The New York Times, the Trump White House is currently putting the final touches on its Middle East peace proposal. Unlike past proposals from presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Trump’s plan will reportedly eschew broad (read: vague) suggestions and predetermined outcomes. Rather, it will take head-on the very specific issues currently preventing an agreement and offer very specific solutions to them.

Uh-oh. A.I. is actually hallucinating

A new report at Wired is raising the specter of a huge problem that has appeared in Artificial Intelligence programs and projects. It hallucinates. The systems, according to the report, can see things that aren’t there. “That could be a big problem for products dependent on machine learning, particularly for vision, such as self-driving cars. Leading researchers are trying to develop defenses against such attacks – but that’s proving to be a challenge,”

House intel panel concludes: No collusion with Russia

Amid an expansion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, House Intelligence Committee Republicans announced they have finished the interview phase of their own probe and have found no evidence Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

ISIS’s new insurgency in Kirkuk and Hawija in Iraq

Dozens of civilians and members of the Iraqi Security Forces have been killed along with a similar number of ISIS fighters, according to numerous reports. The US-led coalition is still carrying out air strikes against ISIS targets, even though the country was supposed to have transitioned to stabilization in the run-up to elections in May.

Hamas condemns assassination attempt on Palestinian Prime Minister

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and PA General Intelligence Services Chief Majid Faraj survived an assassination attempt on Tuesday after entering the Gaza Strip, the official PA news site Wafa reported. Hamdallah and Faraj’s motorcade was targeted by an explosion and came under gunfire in the Beit Hanoun area in northern Gaza, according to the Wafa report.

Third Temple Calendar Launches This Saturday, On The ‘New Year Of Kings’

As part of his passion for the Temple, Prager decided 36 years ago that he wanted to create a calendar for the Third Temple. But the project was so complicated and requires so much research that the first calendar is only coming out now. The King’s Calendar tracks all the activities that took place in the First and Second Temples and which will be performed again when the Third Temple is built.

Guns Don’t Kill People, Ideas Do

That does not mean that we ought to push the 1st Amendment under the train, the way that the media has been trying to do to the 2nd Amendment, but it does call for soul-searching and responsibility not by the people who make guns or defend the right to carry them, as the media insists, but by the people who make school shootings and subway suicides. The people who insist that everyone must search their souls, but them.

Abbas: Hamas responsible for assassination attempt on Prime Minister

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and PA General Intelligence Services Chief Majid Faraj survived an assassination attempt on Tuesday after entering the Gaza Strip, the official PA news site Wafa reported. Hamdallah and Faraj’s motorcade was targeted by an explosion and came under gunfire in the Beit Hanoun area in northern Gaza, according to the Wafa report.

With Red Sea mega-city, Saudis eye economic unity with Egypt, Jordan

To observers, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud’s flagship idea may seem overly ambitious – to build a mega-city known as Neom along the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea that extends across the borders to Jordan and Egypt. Indeed, its proponents are describing the planned 26,500 square kilometer city in almost messianic terms.

Kushner and Greenblatt to host session on Gaza crisis

The Trump administration will host a “brainstorming session” at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. According to Jason Greenblatt, the US special representative for international negotiations, the administration “believes that deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza require immediate attention.”

Afrin: Turkish forces ‘encircle’ Syrian Kurdish city

The Turkish military says it has surrounded the Kurdish-held city of Afrin in northern Syria, the focus of an offensive against a Kurdish militia. A statement said troops and allied Syrian rebels had also captured “critically important areas”. Kurdish sources said all roads into Afrin were being targeted by shellfire, but denied that it was encircled.

Saudi crown prince to visit White House on March 20

US President Donald Trump will host Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on March 20, the White House said Monday. “The president looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia,” spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in announcing the meeting. The hugely influential Saudi prince is visiting Egypt, Britain and the United States as part of a long foreign trip, his first as crown prince.

Police link two deadly package bombs in Austin, Texas, to earlier attack

Two package bombs left outside homes in Austin, Texas, exploded on Monday, killing a teenager and injuring two women in attacks that police linked to a deadly blast earlier this month. The latest bombings came as the Texas capital hosted its annual South by Southwest music, technology and film festival downtown. The victims in all three cases were African-American or Hispanic, and police said they were examining the attacks as possible hate crimes.

Spring Break is on as tens of thousands descend on beaches for debauchery

The scene was one of ‘controlled chaos’: hundreds of students openly smoking drugs, shot-gunning beer and performing lewd dance moves as the first weekend of Spring Break got underway on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Beach. Others could be seen swigging from bottles of vodka and whiskey or guzzling tequila hidden in water pistols while some had to be helped off the sand after becoming too drunk to stand.

Beaver County Sees Uptick In STD Numbers Among Young People

The numbers are hard to comprehend in this time of social media, advanced medicine and awareness. “I think that the younger population is more promiscuous today than probably ever before,” says Dr. Frank DiCenco…Dr. DiCenco says the numbers in a state health department alert about STD’s and HIV among 15-24 year olds in Beaver County are “quite concerning and we, in our practice, have seen an uptick in the number of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia cases.”

Opioid Crisis Drives Up Illinois ER Visits by 66 Percent

According to a new report, the opioid crisis in Illinois has driven up emergency room visits by 66 percent.

3 Package Bombs in Austin Kill 2

Police in Austin Texas said they believe three package bombs in the past 11 days are related and are warning residents not to touch any packages they were not expecting.

World health chief stokes the panic fires by warning that a catastrophic global pandemic is imminent… humanity WIPEOUT foreshadowed?

Dr. Tedros Adhanom, director-general for the World Health Organization(WHO), has said that the next outbreak that will hit us will be a “terrible” one, causing huge amounts of death all over the world. Fears of a pandemic have been hovering lately after the worst flu outbreak in recent years devastated Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Obama Cronies Form Anti-Trump National Security Think Tank

A group of nearly 50 Obama administration officials have formed a think tank called National Security Action to attack President Trump’s national security platform.

Expert: Erdogan Regime Considers Christians, Jews ‘Enemies of the State’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian government has deemed members of religious minorities, such as Christians and Jews, “enemies of the state,” an analyst tells Breitbart News, echoing the U.S. State Department.

Pence: Abortion will end in U.S. ‘in our time’

Vice President Pence predicted Tuesday that legal abortion would end in the U.S. “in our time.” “I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America,” Pence said at a luncheon in Nashville hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List & Life Institute, an anti-abortion organization.

Merck Will Give Young Mothers The Most Dangerous Vaccine Of All: Trial

The University of Alabama at Birmingham recently announced a collaboration with pharmaceutical behemoth vaccine producer Merck, to perform Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine trials on postpartum mothers between the ages of 16 and 26, immediately after having their children at the UAB hospital.

Record-Breaking Crowd of 100,000 Pro-Life People Rally in Ireland Against Legalizing Abortion

Save the 8th has said that its campaign is “energised and motivated ” by the huge attendance at today’s Rally for Life in Dublin, which saw up to 100,000 people take to the streets to reject the Government’s plan for a UK-style abortion regime in Ireland.

Church of Scientology Readies to Launch a TV Network

The Church of Scientology is about to get its own television channel starting Monday. A Twitter handle, website and app for Scientology TV appeared Sunday posting updates to hype the network’s availability on DIRECTV, AppleTV, Roku, fireTV, Chromecast, iTunes and Google Play.

House Sets Vote on Bill Allowing Use of Unproven Drugs for Dying Patients

Legislation that would enable terminally ill patients to use unproven, investigational drugs will go before the House Tuesday for a vote,according to The Hill.


RenewAmerica Newsletter

March 12, 2018
ALAN KEYES — The Florida Legislature moved forward with a bill last week “that includes new restrictions on rifle sales and a program to arm some teachers.” The measure also includes a provision to “raise the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21.” At least one Florida lawmaker has rejected that age provision as unconstitutional…. (more)

March 12, 2018
Book review
JOAN SWIRSKY — The word Politicide was first coined by Abba Eban – Israel’s foreign minister in 1967 – to describe the attempted murder of the sovereign, independent State of Israel by enemies both within and outside of the fledgling state. When Victor Sharpe first read the word, he told me how it resonated in “the deepest parts of my heart and soul.”… (more)

March 12, 2018

THE HILL — The House Intelligence Committee is shutting down its contentious investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the top Republican leading the probe announced on Monday…. (more)


March 12, 2018
NEWSBUSTERS — On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee closed its inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, much to the chagrin of the liberal media. The committee confirmed that the Russians were indeed trying to cause chaos in the election, claimed they weren’t out to help candidate Donald Trump specifically and that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. But during their evening broadcasts, ABC and CBS downplayed the findings while NBC ignored them…. (more)

March 12, 2018
NEWSMAX — Conservative economist Larry Kudlow is the front-runner to replace Gary Cohn as President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, CNBC’s Jim Cramer reports…. (more)

March 12, 2018

NEWSMAX — The White House on Sunday pledged to help states pay for firearms training for teachers and reiterated its call to improve the background check system as part of a new plan to prevent school shootings. But in a move sure to please the gun lobby, the plan does not include a push to increase the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons to 21, which President Donald Trump had repeatedly championed…. (more)


March 12, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Democrats have marked the first year of the House’s investigation into Russian election meddling by promoting conspiracy tales in the Christopher Steele dossier and leaking to the press more than two dozen stories, some of which Republicans contend were way off base…. (more)

March 12, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Former intelligence chief James Clapper is poised to avoid charges for allegedly lying to Congress after five years of apparent inaction by the Justice Department…. (more)

March 11, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A Russian billionaire writes that George Soros, a major financier of liberal causes, is funding Fusion GPS, the firm that orchestrated the Christopher Steele dossier. If true, it is possible that Fusion GPS’s ongoing anti-Trump investigations have not only been funded by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign, but also by currency trader Soros. He recently pledged $18 billion to a cast of liberal groups and causes…. (more)

March 11, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Internal radio-dispatch recordings released Thursday contradict the narrative advanced by the Broward County sheriff’s deputy who sheltered in place rather than trying to stop the massacre occurring inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In the face of widespread criticism, Deputy Scot Peterson publicly insisted that he believed the mass shooting, which claimed 17 lives on February 14, was taking place outside on the athletic fields surrounding the school…. (more)

March 11, 2018
BYRON YORK — It’s become a hot topic in coverage of the Trump-Russia investigation: A Trump supporter met with a Russian in the Seychelles in January 2017, and something consequential may or may not have happened. The Trump supporter was Erik Prince, the former Navy SEAL best known as the founder of Blackwater, the security firm that helped guard U.S. forces and installations in Iraq…. (more)

March 11, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — ‘What’s good for the goose . . .” is more an understandable impulse than a useful rule of thumb in legal controversies, particularly legal controversies in which an error has been made. The White House and congressional Republicans have watched in ire as the Trump administration has been tied in knots by the no-boundaries Mueller investigation. “Okay,” they’re thinking, “now, it’s payback time.”… (more)

March 10, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The National Rifle Association filed a federal lawsuit Friday against Florida over its new law making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy a rifle. Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott had signed the bill into law earlier that day, raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. “We filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the constitutional rights of 18 to 21 year olds,” Marion Hammer, a NRA lobbyist in Florida, told The Tallahassee Democrat…. (more)

March 10, 2018
NEWSMAX — China’s on track to contain the world’s largest Christian population thanks to a surge in underground house churches and state-sanction places of worship, according to the Council of Foreign Relations. In a background document titled “Christianity in China,” the CFR estimates of the number of Protestants at anywhere from 58 million to 115 million and higher – – though fewer than 30 million attend officially registered churches…. (more)

March 10, 2018

NEWSMAX — Mitt Romney is shaking hands, posing for pictures and cracking jokes as he barnstorms Utah seeking votes for his Senate bid. What he isn’t doing is talking about his well-documented feuds with President Trump. Wearing blue jeans and flashing his famous smile, Romney strode into a gymnasium lined with elk antlers and rifles to greet a group of sportsmen not far from the Bears Ears National Monument, downsized recently by the Trump administration…. (more)


March 8, 2018
NEW YORK POST — President Trump has agreed to sit down with his North Korean nemesis Kim Jong-Un sometime in the next two months to discuss stripping the hermit nation of its nuclear arsenal, it was announced Thursday…. (more)

March 8, 2018
GREG COROMBOS — Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says North Korea has no intention of scrapping its nuclear program, it’s trying to sucker the United States into relaxing sanctions, and it’s now just months away from being able to deploy nuclear weapons capable of reaching any point in the United States…. (more)

March 8, 2018
ART MOORE — A lengthy, glowing New Yorker magazine profile on the anti-Trump “dossier” author, Christopher Steele, reported the former MI6 agent knew that his work was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee…. (more)

March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON TIMES — Mitt Romney is being hit with the first attack ad of the Utah Senate race Thursday, a slickly produced video that portrays him as a darling of the D.C. establishment and gives him the nickname “flip-flopper Mitt.” The ad from Republican candidate Larry Meyers slams Mr. Romney, the presumptive front-runner in the GOP race, with accusations of not being conservative enough for Utah voters…. (more)


March 8, 2018
WORLDNETDAILY — Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday that documents related to the failed Fast and Furious federal gun-running program that former Attorney General Eric Holder kept hidden are going to be released…. (more)

March 8, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Border Patrol says it’s been forced to release a drunken driver back onto the streets, and nearly missed out on nabbing a fake UPS delivery van carrying 77 illegal immigrants – – all because California’s new sanctuary city laws have soured cooperation between police and federal authorities…. (more)

March 8, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Progressives who have never quite cut the cord with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan despite his anti-Semitic rants are suddenly paying the price, starting with the Women’s March leaders. Calls for Women’s March president Tamika D. Mallory to resign erupted after she attended a Feb. 25 speech in Chicago at which Mr. Farrakhan railed against “the Satanic Jew,” saying “powerful Jews are my enemy” while singling her out for recognition…. (more)

March 8, 2018
NEWSMAX — The FBI has detailed to Congress a series of mistakes and missed opportunities to intervene before a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school last month. FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich made the comments in a closed briefing Tuesday with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees…. (more)

March 8, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — If Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a reputation for anything, it’s keeping a cool head in a crisis. How he is navigating the latest may help determine whether he wins a new job in November. In the aftermath of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Mr. Scott has begun drawing fine lines between himself and more unyielding positions of powerful groups…. (more)

March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON TIMES — Clinical psychologist and professor Jordan B. Peterson’s critics catapulted him into the news again this week with Queen’s University protests and the ominous threat, “Lock em in and burn it down.” The Amazon bestselling author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” has a chapter titled “Assume That The Person You Are Listening To Might Know Something You Don’t.” Canadian students decided on Monday night that it might be preferable to assault or kill their guest speaker – – and his audience – – instead…. (more)


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: March 13

  • Trump ousts Rex Tillerson as secretary of state (Read More)
  • Stock futures jump after data dims fears of inflation overheating (Read More)
  • Bond Market’s Most Feared Traders Threaten Treasuries Once Again (Read More)
  • Russian military says will respond if U.S. strikes Syria (Read More)
  • Murder and Protests Rock a Small European Nation (Read More)
  • A Sea Change Is Underway in Money Markets (Read More)
  • Roger Stone claimed contact with WikiLeaks’s founder in 2016, two associates say (Read More)
  • New York financier Lynn Tilton puts her Zohar funds into bankruptcy (Read More)
  • Kushner Companies’ Brooklyn Sale Linked to Japanese Government (BBG)
  • Microsoft women filed 238 discrimination and harassment complaints: court documents (Read More)
  • China Central Bank Gains More Power in Xi’s Regulatory Shift (Read More)
  • Saudi Aramco international listing looks increasingly difficult (Read More)
  • Havens Just Aren’t Safe Anymore, Goldman Says (Read More)
  • VW Just Gave Tesla a $25 Billion Battery Shock (Read More)
  • South Dakota urges Supreme Court to click ‘buy’ on internet sales tax (Read More)
  • New Boeing jet to accelerate services shake-up (Read More)

Headlines – 3/13/2018

Nearly finished US peace plan won’t call for two-state solution – report

Abbas to meet Jordan’s King Abdullah on ‘nearly finished’ US peace plan

White House to meet on Gaza crisis Tuesday, as it prepares to unveil peace plan

PA prime minister to visit Gaza on Tuesday

Hamas calls to resume suicide bombings

Netanyahu to meet Liberman as coalition hangs in balance

Addressing coalition crisis over draft law, Bennett slams ‘fake leadership’

In Jerusalem’s Old City, futuristic hi-tech illuminates ancient biblical past

Israel’s as secure as it’s ever been but that can change quickly, new book warns

Nearly half of US arms exports go to the Middle East

U.S. Warns United Nations: If You Don’t Act On Syria, We Will

Macron: France will strike Syria chemical arms sites if used to kill

Russian agencies say Syrian army found rebel chemical weapons workshop in Ghouta

Syrian jets hit south in first attacks since truce, rebels say

UN chief: Syria fighting worsened after truce

Russia calls for renewed truce efforts in Syria

Over 500,000 dead in seven years of Syrian war, monitor says

Sex for food: With nowhere else to turn, women of Syria’s Aleppo face exploitation by aid workers

‘Our Lions Have Infiltrated’: ISIS Video Depicts Future Caliphate Located in the West

Duterte goes to war with UN as he threatens to throw rights team to the crocodiles

US urges UN to keep North Korea sanctions until ‘real progress’ in talks

Eighteen years in power, Putin’s grip on Russia looks stronger than ever

Putin: UK should ‘get to bottom’ of spy attack then we’ll talk

Poisoning of Russian Ex-Spy Is ‘Almost Beyond Comprehension,’ Tillerson Says

Tillerson: US ‘outraged’ by poisoning of ex-spy that ‘clearly came from Russia’

Americans see Putin as clear danger, want Trump to do ‘much more’

House Intel finds ‘no evidence of collusion’ between Trump campaign and Russia

Republicans Are Ending House Russia Probe Over Democrats’ Objections

Mueller invokes unusual ‘conspiracy to defraud government’ charge to ensnare more targets

‘He Has An Affinity for Dictators’: Clinton Rips Trump, Says ‘Pressures’ Caused White Women to Vote for Him

Austin, Texas, on edge after spate of package bombs kills two

Texas package bombs probed as possible hate crimes

Expert warns of “terrifying” potential of digitally-altered video

Elon Musk Warns First Travelers to Mars: ‘Good Chance You’ll Die’

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Mid-Indian Ridge

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Kirishimayama volcano on Japan erupts to 14,000ft

The third nor’easter in less than two weeks is on the horizon

Schwarzenegger to Sue Big Oil for ‘First Degree Murder’

Indiana college newspaper blames Florida school shooting on ‘toxic masculinity’

College student kicked out of class for telling professor there are only two genders

Kansas GOP’s Vote Against Transgender People Part of ‘Concerning’ and ‘Unacceptable’ Trend

Jewish woman’s same-sex wedding takes the spotlight in Brazil

Stormy Daniels offers to pay back $130,000 for freedom to speak about Trump

Possible Justice Kennedy retirement would give Trump opportunity to tilt Supreme Court to right

Tony Perkins: Religious Freedom Restoration Under Trump Will End If Evangelicals Don’t Vote Republican

DEVELOPING: NASA warns massive Solar Storm could cause power outages

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 10:27 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: NASA warns massive Solar Storm could cause power outagesA solar storm is Earth-bound and scientists have warned the storm could wipe out power and trigger the Northern Lights in parts of the UK in a wave of geomagnetic activity. An enormous explosion on the surface of the Sun blasted an array of solar particles Earth’s way and the storm will hit tomorrow. Scientists have warned the storm could wipe out satellites, GPS navigation systems and mobile phone signals.

The solar storm will hit the northern hemisphere, which could lead to the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, being seen as far south as the upper reaches of Scotland. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who spotted the solar storm using two NASA satellites, said: “A minor geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect for the 14 and 15 March, 2018. Aurora may be visible at high latitudes.” READ MORE

Hundreds Of U.S. Marines and IDF carry out dills in Israel, Largest operation in 6 years

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 10:13 AM PDT

Hundreds Of U.S. Marines and IDF carry out dills in Israel, Largest operation in 6 yearsHundreds of Israeli soldiers and US Marines trained shoulder-to-shoulder Monday in southern Israel as part of Juniper Cobra 2018, drilling on close urban combat and tunnel warfare.  While the two-week-long joint Israeli/American military exercise drills on various scenarios adapted to Israel’s operational reality such as missile threats in various sectors simultaneously, the Marines have not directly participated in the missile drills which comprised the majority of Juniper Cobra. Instead the

650 Marines trained with Israeli troops at the Tzehelim army base in several operational scenarios, including live fire and artillery drills, in order to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the two allies. Calling the training with the Israelis “incredible,” Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, told reporters that this year’s Juniper Cobra is the largest that the Marine Corps and navy have participated in for the last six years.  READ MORE

Muslim Radical-Turned-Christian Shares How God Saved Him From Jihad

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 06:30 AM PDT

Muslim Radical-Turned-Christian Shares How God Saved Him From JihadJay says it’s a “miracle” that he came to faith in Christ.  Having grown up in a well-to-do fundamental Muslim family in Afghanistan and at one point in his life even thinking about joining a terrorist group, he could have never imagined the way that he’d be rescued from the suicidal depression he faced after he abandoned Islam. Jay (not his real name) told The Christian Post in a phone interview last week

that there was a point in his life that he would inwardly glorify deadly terrorist attacks in the name of Islam as they happened around the world and even considered doing his own “jihad” after being indoctrinated online. The 30-year-old who came to the U.K. in 2001 as a 15-year-old asylum-seeker fleeing the Taliban and United States retaliation to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, explained that he grew up to become the very thing that he told the U.K. government that he escaped from. READ MORE

College Student Banned From Religious Studies Class After Saying There Are Only 2 Genders

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 06:27 AM PDT

College Student Banned From Religious Studies Class After Saying There Are Only 2 GendersA student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania claims that he has been barred from a religious studies class he needs to graduate this May and asked to apologize after voicing his belief that there are only two biological genders.  Last week, IUP student Lake Ingle took to his Facebook page to let his disbelief be known. He is being punished, he wrote, by the university for his response after the professor of his class on “self, sin and salvation” showed a TED Talks video featuring transgender woman Paula Stone Williams. Ingle detailed his “best and fairest” account of the incident that transpired after Dr. Alison

Downie showed the video to the class on Feb. 28, in a now-deleted Facebook post. “On Wednesday, February 28th, in one of my major-required courses, the instructor played a ‘Ted-Talk’ during which a transgender woman discussed her previous experiences of manhood as well as her current experiences of womanhood,” Ingle wrote. “During her speech, she gave accounts of things such as ‘mansplaining’, ‘male-privilege’, and ‘sexism’ and deemed them systemic. She also alluded to the REALITY of the gender wage gap, stating women ‘…work twice as hard for half as much.’”  READ MORE

Scientology opens their own television channel

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 06:15 AM PDT

Scientology opens their own television channelThe cult of Scientology has announced that they are opening their own television channel today. In a tweet from the ScientologyTV account, the group claims, “It’s time for us to tell our story” on “DIRECTV, AppleTV, Roku, fireTV, & Chromecast.”  Most likely this public outreach is being done to try and recover Scientology’s reputation after Leah Remini’s A&E docuseries “Scientology and the Aftermath” and Alex Gibney’s Emmy-winning documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”

Scientology was built by a deluded individual named L. Ron Hubbard who believed that his organization would create a utopian society, “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.” On “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” Season 2 episode 12, “Propaganda Arms,” we get a full perspective of exactly how the church of Scientology uses carefully crafted propaganda to attract new members and squeeze more money out of their existing members. READ MORE

Demon Possessed Home in Indiana makes Mainstream Media Headlines

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 06:11 AM PDT

Demon Possessed Home in Indiana makes Mainstream Media Headlines(By Nate Brown) The host of “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel, Zak Bagans, is releasing a documentary that recounts the story of the Ammon’s, a Gary Indiana family who says their “Demon House” was infested with over 200 demons that caused demonic possession.  Bagans purchased the house soon after the Ammon’s photos and story made national news. During his time filming, he faced extreme demonic oppression and illness. Bagans interviewed numerous police officials, a former Department of Child Services family case manager, a priest and others.

Ammons’ description of strange occurrences involving her and her three children spurred an Indiana Department of Child Services intervention, multi-agency police investigation and a series of exorcisms that a priest claimed were the first authorized by the bishop of the Catholic Church’s Diocese of Gary. “It’s taken me a while to move past that,” said Valerie Washington, a former DCS family case manager who claimed she saw Ammon’s 9-year-old son walk backward up a wall to the ceiling before flipping over his grandmother, landing on his feet. Washington added, “I believe that it was something going on there that was out of the realm of a normal living person.” READ MORE

Your God-Given Key to Deliverance From Addiction

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 06:01 AM PDT

Your God-Given Key to Deliverance From Addiction(By Joyce Tilney) The world is full of self-help information on breaking addictions and easy ways to break a habit. A dictionary definition of “addiction” is:  “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, alcohol or food);  persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.”  So what is the problem?  We are educated, intelligent people. Why can’t we break an addiction? The world is full of information, but only God’s Word can bring transformation in a life. For years, I fought the battle of the bulge, riding the roller coaster of emotions that accompany this battle.

I did not understand the cravings for food that led me to poor eating habits, causing the relentless urges, short-term satisfaction and long-term guilt. The guilt brought shame, anxiety and weight gain. The consumption of a poor diet doesn’t just affect our taste buds and waistline, but over time, it will rewire our brain. Pleasure and reward, entwined with our emotions, make a powerful force that is hard to break. One day I saw five words that changed my life: “The devil wants you fat!”  Those five words brought reality to my life. This is a spiritual battle! The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). I was playing right into his hands. Life was being drained from me; spirit, soul and body, one bite at a time. CONTINUE

University Librarians Warn Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is a Form of Christian Aggression Against Muslims

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 05:58 AM PDT

University Librarians Warn Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is a Form of Christian Aggression Against MuslimsA group of librarians at Simmons College in Massachusetts have published a new “anti-oppression” guideline, which claims Christians are Islamophobic if they say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” to Muslims.  The guideline, called “Anti-oppression: Anti-Islamomisia,” says discrimination against Muslims can take place in the form of micro-aggressions. The library defines microaggressions as “commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which

communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults in relation to the beliefs and religious practices of Muslims.” These microaggressions include endorsing religious stereotypes, thinking Islamic clothes are “trendy,” believing Muslims follow the “wrong” religion or saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” to Muslims. The librarians also say Christians commit microaggressions if they deny they’re committing them, especially “if their words or behaviors may indicate otherwise.” READ MORE

Eschatology Author Joel C. Rosenberg’s Latest Book Is Once Again Eerily Prophetic

Posted: 13 Mar 2018 05:55 AM PDT

Eschatology Author Joel C. Rosenberg’s Latest Book Is Once Again Eerily PropheticNew York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg has written numerous gripping political thrillers—many of them dealing with radical Islam. But his latest book takes on a different threat to the U.S. and the West: Russia.  Rosenberg’s past efforts have turned out to be prophetic, “ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.” His latest book mirrors today’s disturbing global developments once again. With an American president distracted by growing tensions in North Korea and Iran, an ominous new threat is emerging in Moscow.

A czar is rising in the Kremlin, a Russian president feverishly consolidating power, silencing his opposition, and plotting a brazen and lightning-fast military strike that could rupture the NATO alliance and bring Washington and Moscow to the brink of nuclear war.But in his blind spot is the former Secret Service agent, Marcus Ryker, trained to protect but ready to kill to save his country. Everything he learned to protect our president, he must use to take out theirs.Rosenberg says the Russian president in his new book is not precisely meant to be Russia’s Vladimir Putin, but is “Putinesque.”  READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Series of delivered package explosions rattle Texas residents

Posted: 12 Mar 2018 10:59 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: Series of delivered package explosions rattle Texas residentsA woman in her 70s was injured in the second reported explosion at a home in Austin on Monday, Austin-Travis County EMS said. Authorities investigate an explosion at a home on Galindo Street in Southeast Austin on Monday. The incident was the second reported explosion on Monday and the third in two weeks. Photo by Austin Fire Department. Medics were sent out to the 6700 block of Galindo Street, near Montopolis and East Riverside drives in Southeast Austin at 11:49 a.m., EMS said. The

woman was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Another woman in her 80s was being treated for an unrelated medical issue but was not being hospitalized, EMS said.  The incident marks the second reported explosion in the city on Monday and the third in two weeks. An explosion earlier in the day in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive in East Austin killed a 17-year-old and injured a woman described as in her 40s. Hours after that incident, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said that explosion appeared similar and likely related to another explosion in Northeast Austin on March 2. READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: US prepared to act on Syria if UN Security Council won’t

Posted: 12 Mar 2018 10:54 AM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: US prepared to act on Syria if UN Security Council won’tUS envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has warned that the US will take action in Syria on its own if the UN Security Council fails to do so. The official cited last year’s attack on a Syrian airbase as an example of possible US action.  “It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again,” Haley told the UN Security Council meeting on Monday. “When the

international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action.” When the Security Council “failed to act” after the Khan Sheikhoun chemical incident last year, the US “successfully struck the airbase from which Assad had launched his chemical attack,” Haley stated. It should be noted that the US attacked the base only three days after the incident, without any investigation into it, while the blame was promptly pinned on Damascus.  READ MORE


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The Call to Repentance and the Championing of Grace

“We’re losing the nerve to call people to repentance.”

That’s what a retired pastor recently told me, expressing his concern that while the next generation loves to champion the unconditional love and grace of God, rarely does their message include Christ’s call to repentance. Younger pastors, he said, want to meet people where they are, in whatever mess they’re in, and let the Spirit clean them up later. God will deal with their sins down the road.

But in the Gospels, Jesus seems much more extreme. His good news was the announcement of God’s kingdom, and the first word to follow? “Repent!” No wonder Jesus didn’t tell the rich young ruler to walk with Him for a while until he stopped coveting. No, He got to the root of an unrepentant heart when He said, “Sell all your possessions and give them to the poor.” In other words, Repent. Turn around.

“I’m cheering for the next generation,” the pastor said, “but I feel like an ogre for stressing repentance all the time.”

Maybe you feel like that pastor. You’re concerned that the evangelical church is shaving off the hard edges of the gospel. You agree with the sentiment recently expressed by Kevin DeYoung, that repentance has become the “missing word in our gospel.” And yet you are concerned that that you may appear harsh and unloving if you stress repentance. Shouldn’t we just focus on grace?

Who Separated Grace and Repentance?

Here’s where we so easily take a wrong turn. Wherever did we get the notion that the call to repentance is opposed to the championing of grace? When did truth and grace get separated? Or repentance and faith?

To think that the message of grace and the call of repentance are opposed to one another is to miss the beautiful, grace-filled nature of what repentance actually is. The call to repent is one of greatest expressions of the love of God.

Christians, We Are Repenters

During the years I spent doing mission work in Romania, I came to see myself not only as a Christian, but as a repenter – a derogatory term applied to Romanian evangelicals, but one that was embraced as an accurate description of the full Christian life. Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation by reclaiming this truth, that the whole of the Christian life is to be one of repentance.

That’s why it puzzles me whenever I hear Christians talk about repentance as if it’s a harsh word that needs to be “balanced” by grace and love. We could make the case that grace is even more scandalous and offensive. And love in action, as Dostoevsky wrote, is a harsh and fearful thing compared to love in dreams.

God’s Compassion Behind His Command

For some reason, Christians frequently pit God’s compassion over against God’s command. No, no, no. God’s compassion doesn’t do away with His command. God’s compassion is the basis for His command. God commands us to repent not because He is an angry tyrant who wants to squash our fun, but because He is a loving Father who wants our best.

Our youngest child is four. Let’s say that his idea of fun is taking toys and stuffing them into the wall outlets at home. As his father, I raise my voice and say, “Son, stop! Don’t do that again.” His four-year-old mind may wonder why I’m making such a big deal of his little game. Why is Daddy being firm? Why does he sound so mean? Why is he squelching my fun? Imagine a counselor who comes along and says, “You know, a father needs to show some compassion. You need to show grace.”

Amen to compassion and amen to grace! The question is: What form does grace take on in this situation? Would it be compassionate for a father to let his son run into danger? Would it be gracious to fail to warn a child of painful consequences? No. The father’s command—his warning and the raising of his voice—is not a failure of compassion, but the very way he demonstrates his love for his son.

The Call to Repentance as an Expression of Grace

Likewise, when we call people to repent, we are not opposing God’s grace; we are expressing it. The kindness of the Lord is behind His call to repentance.

When you read the Old Testament prophets, you see that their main message is Repent or else! But read a little closer. Their call is far from the comic strip with the long-haired prophet walking around casually with a sign, clear on the message but cold and distant to the reader. The striking aspect about the warnings we find in the prophets is how often God’s anger is expressed in a context of grieving and weeping. The angry, fiery God of judgment is the spurned Husband who wants to woo back His wayward people from the brink of destruction.

The call to repentance is the call to return home. It’s the call to be refreshed by our tears. It’s the call to be cleansed from all our guilty stains. We need the scalpel of the Spirit to do surgery on our diseased hearts, so that we can be restored to spiritual health.

Don’t pit the call to repentance against the championing of grace. Jesus didn’t. Paul didn’t. We shouldn’t either.

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