Daily Archives: April 23, 2018

April 23: The Art of Confession

Joshua 10:16–11:23; 2 Corinthians 11:1–6; Psalm 51:1–19

Confession is a lost art. Most Christian communities today have little outlet for doing so, and the systems for confessing that we do have are often tainted by a lack of honesty and trust.

This isn’t helped by the fact that none of us like to admit wrong. Yet God calls us to confession. In revealing sin in our lives, we have an opportunity to change (Jas 5:16). When a sin is revealed, the strength of temptation wanes.

This is not to suggest that we should openly confess our sins to all people, for unsafe and abusive people certainly exist. Rather, in close friendship with other Christians, we should be honest about our failures. Most importantly, we must confess these things to God.

We need to overcome the fatal assumption that because we are saved by Christ’s dying and rising for our sins, we no longer need to confess them. In admitting our sins to God, we move toward overcoming them and into an honest relationship with Him. God already knows who we are and what we’ve done, so there is no reason to fear being honest with Him. And perhaps in learning to be honest with Him we can also learn to be honest with others.

For many of us, the difficulty of praying about our sins is what prevents us from telling God what we need and what we’ve done. God has an answer to this, though: the psalms.

For example, in Psa 51, the psalmist says, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and from my sin cleanse me. For I, myself, know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psa 51:2–3). He goes on to say, “Create a clean heart for me, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and with a willing spirit sustain me” (Psa 51:10–12).

When we confess our sins to God and to others, He is faithful to help us overcome temptations. We have been given the great gift of Christ Jesus, who purifies us from all our wrongs against Him and others. And so we must seek His presence and live in it; in doing so, we can overcome the power of sin. In light of God’s power, sin is nothing; it deserves no stronghold.

Are you currently confessing your sins to God and others? How can you create a safe system to confess your sins in a way that honors God?

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.

April 23 Hindrances to Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

✧✧✧

Sin and falsehood hinder true peace.

Just as righteousness and truth are the noble companions of peace, so sin and falsehood are its great hindrances. The prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately [evil]; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Jesus said, “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts and fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:21–23).

People with sinful hearts create a sinful society that resists true peace. Ironically, many who talk of peace will also pay huge sums of money to watch two men beat the daylights out of each other in a boxing ring! Our society’s heroes tend to be the macho, hard-nosed, tough guys. Our heroines tend to be free-spirited women who lead marches and stir up contention. Psychologists and psychiatrists tell us to stand up for our rights and get everything we can for ourselves. That breeds strife and conditions people to reject the peace of the gospel.

Furthermore, the unbelieving world has never tolerated God’s peacemakers. Christ Himself often met with violent resistance. His accusers said, “He stirs up the people” (Luke 23:5). Paul’s preaching frequently created conflict as well. He spent much time under house arrest and in filthy Roman prisons. On one occasion his enemies described him as “a real pest … who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world” (Acts 24:5).

All who proclaim the gospel will eventually meet with opposition because sin and falsehood have blinded people’s hearts to true peace. That’s why Paul warned us that all who desire to be godly will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). You can avoid strife by remaining silent about the Lord, but a faithful peacemaker is willing to speak the truth regardless of the consequences. Let that be true of you.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for Christ, who is the solution for the world’s problem of sin and falsehood. ✧ Follow Paul’s example by praying for boldness to proclaim God’s truth at every opportunity (Eph. 6:19).

For Further Study: Read Matthew 10:16–25, noting the kind of reception the disciples were to expect from unbelievers.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 126). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

04/23/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0423 •Is this parenting advice worth heeding? •Should we give kids control? •Is Todd too picky about this Gospel presentation? Distracted Father, Clumsy Son, and innocent humans •Why did God give us gifts? •Dead raising classes; modern simony •Todd got a box from Ray Comfort Download Now (right click and save) Subscribe to Wretched Radio…

via 04/23/2018 — Wretched

Christian Publisher Says Google Banned It Over ‘Faith We Express’ — The Federalist

Google ads has refused to do business with a Christian publishing house “because of the faith we express on our website,” said Concordia Publishing House CEO Bruce Kintz in a Facebook post today. “Google ads will no longer accept anything related to the cph.org domain. They stated the reason is because of the faith we…

via Christian Publisher Says Google Banned It Over ‘Faith We Express’ — The Federalist

Too Wretched For Radio 04/23/2018 — Wretched

TWFR2018-0423 •The role of women in the Church and at conferences Download Now (right click and save) Subscribe to Wretched Radio to receive every new episode directly to your device by selecting your device type or by copying the RSS feed link and pasting it into your podcast application. iTunes Android RSS Feed The post…

via Too Wretched For Radio 04/23/2018 — Wretched

APRIL 23 REJOICING IN TRIALS

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.

1 Peter 4:13

The Apostle Peter stated a great Christian truth in the form of an amazing paradox: The obedient Christian believer will continue to rejoice and praise God even in the midst of continuing trials and suffering in this earthly life!

God’s people know that things here on this earth are not all they ought to be, but they refuse to join the worry brigade. They are too busy rejoicing in the gracious prospect of all that will take place when God fulfills His promises to His redeemed children.

This ability to rejoice is demonstrated throughout the Bible, and in the New Testament it rings forth like a silver bell!

The life of the normal believing child of God can never become a life of gloom and pessimism, for it is the Holy Spirit of God who keeps us above the kind of gloomy resignation that marks the secularism of the day.

We are still able to love the unlovely and to weep with those who weep, for in Peter’s words, “When Christ’s glory shall be revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy!” (see 1 Peter 4:13).

Lord, thank You for helping me not just to cope but to rise above the difficult situations that face me at work, at home, and at church.[1]


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

April 23, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

French President Emmanuel Macron’s arrival in the U.S. kicks off a crucial week for European leaders in an uphill battle to convince Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested a show of respect from President Donald Trump could help yield a prisoner swap.

The U.S. softened its position on sanctions against Russia’s United Co. Rusal, sparking a plunge in aluminum prices.

Bloomberg has compiled the most comprehensive audit to date of China’s presence in Europe. It shows that China has bought or invested in assets amounting to at least $318 billion over the past 10 years. The continent saw roughly 45 percent more China-related activity than the U.S. during this period, in dollar terms.

Syrian government forces moved to cut off Islamic State militants in southern Damascus from nearby rebel-held suburbs in an attempt to force the extremists to surrender or evacuate the district, state media reported.

Chinese hackers have targeted Japanese defense companies, possibly to get information on Tokyo’s policy toward resolving the North Korean nuclear impasse, according to cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.

Now Amazon is working on another big bet: robots for the home. The retail giant has embarked on an ambitious, top-secret plan to build a domestic robot, codenamed “Vesta,” after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family.

Remington Outdoor Co.,the U.S. firearms and ammunition juggernaut will likely go up for sale directly following its bankruptcy. Certain stakeholders, some of whom haven’t been publicly identified, have already started putting out feelers for potential strategic buyers.

AP Top Stories

China’s foreign ministry says 32 Chinese citizens and four North Koreans have been killed in a traffic accident in southern North Korea.

South Korea has ordered the loudspeakers positioned at the border with North Korea turned off, ahead of the inter-Korean summit due to take place at the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday.

A heavily militarized police force of some 400 officers aggressively patrolled a small neo-Nazi rally in this city 40 miles southwest of Atlanta on Saturday and arrested about 10 counter protesters, many for the crime of wearing a mask.

A warning stems from romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona and shipped across the country, the with CDC telling grocery stores, restaurants, and consumers not to eat the lettuce amid E. coli outbreak unless they can be certain it didn’t come from that area. The E. coli outbreak that has infected 53 people across 16 states, including 31 hospitalizations.

At least eleven migrants died at sea and another 263 were rescued on Sunday in two separate operations off the coast of Libya, the country’s navy said.

Air strikes by a Saudi-led military coalition killed at least 20 people attending a wedding in a village in northwestern Yemen late on Sunday.

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned unexpectedly on Monday, an apparent move to bring to an end massive anti-government protests.

Leading Chinese firms including e-commerce giant Alibaba were heavily criticised Monday for gender discrimination in job adverts in a new report which said the landscape for the female workforce in China was deteriorating.

An Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a voter registration center in Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday, killing 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, officials said.

BBC

Officials in Peru are investigating the lynching of a Canadian man in the remote Amazon region of Peru.

Miguel Díaz-Canel has been sworn in as Cuba’s new president, replacing Raúl Castro who took over from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006. There was “no room in Cuba for those who strive for the restoration of capitalism” he said in his inaugural address.

The Finnish government decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest. Currently 2,000 unemployed Finns are receiving a flat monthly payment of $685 as basic income. “The eagerness of the government is evaporating. They rejected extra funding [for it],” said Olli Kangas, one of the experiment’s designers.

Germany’s junior partner in the ruling coalition, the Social Democrats (SPD), has elected its first female leader in the party’s 154-year history.

Iran’s central bank has banned other banks from dealing in crypto-currencies, over concerns the technology could be used illegally.

WND

A demand from atheists that the IRS bill churches and other religious organizations a total of some $1 billion would violate freedom of worship and destroy many congregations.

Chinese-made smartphones that the heads of U.S. intelligence have urged Americans not to buy are being sold to service members across Germany at on-base exchange facilities.

Twitter reportedly blocked a British pro-life activist with Down Syndrome for more than 24 hours after she posted pro-life pictures.

Last week, President Trump announced a plan to deploy troops from the National Guard to the southern border in an attempt to stop the influx of illegal activity in the region. Critics of the move were vocal in their condemnations, claiming it was excessive and subtly racist in nature. The decision, while controversial, is not without precedent, as Presidents Obama and Bush each enacted similar measures during their times in office.


The Briefing — Monday, April 23, 2018

1) Transfer of power in Cuba proves that some of the worst and deadliest ideas seem to persist the longest

New York Times (Azam Ahmed) –
Cubans Doubt a Change at the Top Will Bring Change at the Bottom

Miami Herald (Nora Gámez Torres) –
Video offers rare glimpse of hardline ideology from presumed next leader of Cuba

2) As socialism resurges in the United States, many who identify as socialists don’t really know what socialism is

New York Times (Farah Stockman) –
‘Yes, I’m Running as a Socialist.’ Why Candidates Are Embracing the Label in 2018

3) Why religious organizations’ right to hire people devoted to their religious beliefs is vital to religious liberty

Washington Post (Karla L. Miller) –
Work Advice: Facing termination at a religious nonprofit because of a change of faith


News – 4/23/2018

ANALYSIS: Who will side with whom if Syria explodes?
If anything is going to set off a major conflagration in Syria, it won’t be the recent bombing of Assad’s chemical plants by the US, UK and France, over his military’s use of chemical weapons, all indications are that the spark will come from Iran’s arrogant military activities. With the Iranians controlling Lebanon’s borders through its proxy Hezbollah, plus having its troops and militias in virtual control of Iraq, the regime is now in the final stages of taking over Syria, with Bashar al-Assad confined to being the mullah’s puppet.

Iran Says It’s Ready to Attack Israel at Any Moment
Should Israel continue to interfere with Iran’s efforts to establish a firm military foothold in Syria, the Jewish state will face overwhelming retaliation, according to Brigadier General Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards. Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Salami as telling gathering in Tehran: “Our fingers are on the trigger and the missiles are ready to launch, at any moment that the enemy wants to start something against us, we will launch. We have learned methods of overcoming our enemies. We can target our enemies’ vital interests wherever we want.”

Russia to move air defenses to Syria ‘soon,’ warns Israel against attack
Russia will supply Syria with S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems “soon,” a senior Russian official told the Kommersant newspaper on Monday, warning Israel that it would “suffer catastrophic consequences” if it attacks the system. According to the report, the system will be supplied…for no cost and will likely…be deployed to cover Damascus and the regime’s airfields.

South Korea turns off loudspeaker broadcasts into North
South Korea has stopped broadcasting propaganda via loudspeakers along the border with North Korea, ahead of top-level talks later this week. The South has dozens of loudspeakers along the border area, which blast everything from K-pop music to news reports critical of the North. The broadcasts can be heard by the North’s troops stationed along the border and civilians in the area.

Nicaragua president scraps pension cuts after deadly riots
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has scrapped the changes to social security that have prompted violent protests across the country since Wednesday. Speaking on national television, Mr Ortega renewed calls for the private sector to engage in talks. But business leaders say they will only negotiate when the government stops “repression against the protests”.

French, German leaders will bring Trump the same message: Save the Iran nuclear deal
President Trump faces a European double bill this week as a crucial deadline looms for a decision on whether to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, arriving back to back, will bring a unified message: Save the deal.

Chinese smartphones cited by intelligence as security risk sold on US bases
Chinese-made smartphones that the heads of U.S. intelligence have urged Americans not to buy are being sold to servicemembers across Germany at on-base exchange facilities, despite concerns of data theft and espionage. The Huawei phones, which are being sold by TKS, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service concessionary and subsidiary of Vodaphone, could be used to gather sensitive information, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Israel pulls fighter jets from drill in Alaska amid tensions with Iran
The Israel Air Force has decided to scale back its participation in the Red Flag exercise amid increasing tensions on Israel’s northern border. “In light of the situational assessment by the air force it was decided to adjust the planes’ participation in the exercise,” a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said, adding that “Israel’s first participation in the Red Flag exercise in Alaska will take place as planned.”

The richest 1% are on track to control two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030
The U.K.-based House of Commons Library said this month that, if current trends continue, the richest 1% will control nearly 66% of world’s money by 2030. Based on 6% annual growth in wealth, they would hold assets worth approximately $305 trillion, up from $140 trillion today, the Guardian reported. This follows a report released earlier this year by Oxfam, which said that just eight billionaires have as much wealth as 3.6 billion people — the poorest half of the world.

Russia’s New Energy Gamble
Having abandoned any attempt to join the Western global political order, Russia seems to have quickly found a new self-image: as the center and core of the Eurasian supercontinent, it can reach in all directions and provide a bridge between Europe and China on both ends. In this context, the Middle East has emerged as a central axis of Russia’s strategic concerns, perhaps for the first time in the country’s history.

WikiLeaks To Countersue Democrats; “Discovery Is Going To Be Amazing Fun”
WikiLeaks has hit back against a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), announcing over Twitter that they are seeking donations for a counter-suit, noting “We’ve never lost a publishing case and discovery is going to be amazing fun,” along with a link which people can use to donate to the organization. The Democrats are suing @WikiLeaks and @JulianAssange for revealing how the DNC rigged the Democratic primaries. Help us counter-sue. We’ve never lost a publishing case and discovery is going to be amazing fun:https://t.co/E1QbYJL4bB

Lavrov: Russia and China to obstruct U.S. ‘sabotage’ of Iran nuclear deal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday he had agreed with his Chinese counterpart that Moscow and Beijing would try to block any U.S. attempt to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Comey memo “FOUO” marking is evidence of perjury
Now that the actual documents themselves have been released, not only does the fact that Comey contemporaneously emailed these to other government officials make them “government documents,” but critically, Comey’s own designations of the documents makes them “Official” documents. Apart from some of the “SECRET” designations, Comey personally and specifically designated some of the documents as “FOUO,” which means “For Official Use Only.” Therefore, Comey’s Senate Judiciary testimony that any of his memo documents were his “personal documents” and not “government” documents can be defined as perjury.

CBS Broadcasts Armed Anti-Trump Character Saying, ‘We Need to Assassinate the President’
CBS Television on Sunday night broadcast an episode of The Good Fight in which an anti-President Donald Trump character armed with a handgun said, “we need to assassinate the president” and spoke of “regime change”.

Trump State Dept. Just Issued Abortion Announcement We’ve Been Waiting For
President Donald Trump’s administration has been standing up for the unborn since day one, and it just made another huge move to protect human life — one which will be felt all over the world. On Friday, a top diplomat said the administration believes abortion “is not a human right” and will not treat it as such.

Cancer Cure Research Lab in Syria Destroyed by US Airstrikes
A research lab in Syria that was developing a cure for cancer, has been completely destroyed by US-led airstrikes.According to Syrian officials, the strikes by US forces intentionally targeted the cancer cure development institute.

France assures the Muslim world that they will continue to try and destroy Israel by pushing relentlessly for the Two-State Solution
…Following the phone conversation, Abbas declared that the PA would not allow Trump to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “We will not allow Trump or anyone else to say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and we will fight and we are now fighting this decision from the beginning. We will not allow any country to transfer its embassy to Israel,” the PA chairman said, according to i24news.

Russia warns Israel that they will NOT stop arming Syria, no matter what the threat is to the Jewish State
In the past few days, the Russian government has conveyed an unambiguous diplomatic message to political sources in Jerusalem that, if it should feel the need to, Russia intends to sell the advanced S-300 missile defense system to the Syrian regime.

After some of the most shocking rapes and murders against young girls in recent memory, India will now EXECUTE rapists in major crackdown
INDIA has introduced the death penalty for rapists and paedophiles after a post-mortem on a 11-year-old schoolgirl that had been raped, tortured, strangled and smothered shocked the country.

Oscars Introduce Prestigious New ‘Most Tolerable Christian Movie’ Award
At the upcoming 90th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, the Oscar award for “Most Tolerable Christian Movie” will be handed out for the first time, sources confirmed.

#SexEdSitOut: Parents Say, ‘Enough’ to Planned Parenthood’s ‘Pornographic’ Sex Ed
Parents in cities across the U.S. as well as Canada, Australia, and now, the U.K. are pulling their children out of schools Monday to protest what they view as “pornographic,” “gender-bending” sex ed curricula conducted and promoted by taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Apr. 23, 2018

Jackasses Bray Again: DNC Suing Trump Campaign

Democrats desperately attempt to show their base they’re commitment to fight against Trump.

The Foundation

“There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him.” —Thomas Jefferson (1785)


ApostasyWatch Daily News

Jackie Alnor – When is an Idol not an Idol

Mike Oppenheimer – The origin of the word faith movement 

Satanic Deception: Worshiping a Piece of Bread in the Roman Catholic Church

The Angel of Light’s Plan for World Peace

Don’t Be Gay for Jesus: Understand Why the “Bride-Groom” Metaphor Doesn’t Work for Individuals

An Ancient Description of the Early Christians

Willow Creek Promises Investigation Amid New Allegations Against Bill Hybels

Browbeating Cancer Patients: You Have Cancer Because You’ve Made It Your Buddy Says Joyce Meyer

Money Grubbing Jennifer LeClaire Rebukes Money Grubbing Prophets and Pastors

Insane Jamaican “Pastor” Shoots Up Church with Toy Gun

Author to hold signing for book on Alamo cult

Back rubs with teen girls evolved into sex; another former Modesto pastor accused


Headlines – 4/23/2018

Steven Mnuchin set to lead 250 strong US delegation at Jerusalem embassy opening

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner Expected to Attend Jerusalem Embassy Opening, Officials Say

Trump reportedly asked Netanyahu if he actually cares about peace

Hamas man reported killed, 3 injured in Gaza explosion

3 wounded after IDF opens fire on infiltrators from Gaza

Hamas fighter reported killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Hamas accuses Fatah of ‘exploiting’ death of Gaza teen killed by IDF fire

Shin Bet: Sharp rise in settler youth ‘price tag’ attacks against Palestinians

Congress members call on US Army to buy Iron Dome

North Carolina city bans any training with Israel police or IDF

Is social-media maneuvering against pro-Israel and conservative sites?

Poland: We will always support ‘Palestinian rights’

Kosher Bacon Attempts to Break One of Israel’s Greatest Taboos

Shaked vows to help Ethiopian Jews move to Israel

With Jews Largely Gone From Iraq, Memories Survive in Israel

Steinitz: Assad will pay the price if Israel is attacked from Syria

Russian officials said to warn of ‘catastrophic’ result if Israel strikes S-300s

Satellite photos show precision of raid on Iranian military facility in Syria

Netanyahu Fires Back at Iran’s FM: ‘Huge Gap Between His Moderate Words and Revolutionary Guards’ Actions’

PM says Zarif’s ‘moderate’ talk belied by the fact of Iran’s military aggression

Israel pulls fighter jets from drill in Alaska amid tensions with Iran

Israel hints it could hit Iran’s “air force” in Syria

Israel celebrates but is war with Iran looming?

Iran Doesn’t Seek War With Israel Despite Its Illegal Actions

Russia to Israel: We will not refrain from arming Syria

Russia, China to obstruct US attempt to sabotage Iran nuclear deal

Conflict Between Iran and Israel Will Rest on Fate of the Nuclear Deal

Merkel to Israel TV: Imperfect Iran deal better than no deal

France’s President Says He Has No ‘Plan B’ for Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran nuclear deal: Macron urges Trump to stick with 2015 accord

Macron to meet Trump in Washington with Iran deal’s fate on the line

Iran’s Top Diplomat Says ‘All Options Are On The Table’ If U.S. Pulls Out Of Nuclear Deal

Despite delay, experts say any evidence in suspected Syria chemical attack likely remains

UN Security Council seeks to heal Syria divisions in Sweden

ISIS Kabul Bombing Death Toll Rises to 57, at Least 119 Wounded

Iraq Claims Airstrike on Syria Killed 36 ISIS Militants

It’s Illegal, It’s a War Crime: Chicago Protesters Against U.S.’s Strikes in Syria

Approaching Elections, Turkey’s Erdogan Gives a Master Class in Dictatorship

Saudis down new missile from Yemen rebels: state media

Afghanistan: Kabul voter centre suicide attack kills 57

Watchdog warns of humanitarian crisis in Egypt’s Sinai

Nicaragua cancels social security changes after unrest kills 26

At least 11 migrants dead, 263 rescued off Libya coast

Macron’s party divided as France debates immigration law

Trump’s travel ban faces U.S. Supreme Court showdown

Iran Warns North Korea Against Making Deals With Donald Trump

Trump says N. Korea crisis ‘a long way from conclusion’

Korean peace talks pose new challenge for Trump

South Korea says has halted propaganda broadcasts at border with North

North Korea’s nuclear pledge adds momentum to South’s preparations for summit

China is getting increasingly aggressive with Taiwan – but war would be disastrous for both sides

Corker: Democrats blocking Pompeo nomination to appease base that ‘abhors’ Trump

Trump campaign mocks DNC’s fundraising struggle as ‘conspiracy theory’

The richest 1% are on track to control two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030

The rich are betting they can buy their way to a longer life

Oil Is Fast Approaching $70. Is the Economy Ready for It?

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Baubau, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bitung, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Calama, Chile

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 12,000ft

Michael Bloomberg to give $4.5 million to cover US climate accord commitment

NY State Health Officials Issue Measles Warning

Health Ministry Warns of Possible Measles Outbreak in Israel

Facing legal threats, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic stands defiant

Sharing nude photos of current or ex-partners protected under First Amendment, court rules

Shooting At Tennessee Waffle House Leaves 4 Dead, Naked Suspect Flees Scene

Nashville schools in ‘lock-out’ mode as manhunt intensifies for Waffle House shooting suspect

Mexico murder rate soars with 7,667 killed in 3 months

The world’s oldest person died at 117. She was the last known person born in the 19th century.

Parents plan ‘Sex Ed Sit Out’ to protest sexualized school curricula

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 06:50 AM PDT

Parents plan ‘Sex Ed Sit Out’ to protest sexualized school curriculaMany of America’s public schools are teaching youths “pornographic” subject matter these days, some parents argue, so they’re planning a “Sex Ed Sit Out” on April 23.  They want like-minded parents to keep their children at home that Monday, to send a message to local school boards and elected officials. Cities planning to participate include Charlotte, N.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Bloomington, Ind.; Austin and

San Antonio, Texas; Spokane, Wash.; and Martinsburg, W.Va., the Washington Times reported. The effort is being run in partnership with socially conservative groups such as the Family Research Council, the American Life League and the Liberty Counsel, the Times reported.  One of the sit-out organizers is Elizabeth Johnston, a North Carolina blogger who calls herself “The Activist Mommy.” She first revealed plans for the sit-out during a radio interview April 4, the Christian Post reported. READ MORE

Thousands of Android apps track kids, Break federal law

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 06:43 AM PDT

Thousands of Android apps track kids, Break federal lawThousands of free Android educational apps available in the Google Play store are tracking children in violation of a major federal data-privacy law, exposing kids to targeted ads and automatic profiling. The  study “Won’t Somebody Think of the Children” was published in the scholarly journal Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies. The researchers say the problems are rampant and parents are

provided a privacy analysis of each app, including the popular Google Classroom and Khan Academy.  With almost no public oversight, Google quickly took over America’s classrooms by developing the “free” Google Apps for Education suite, or GAFE, and circumventing administrators, opting to go straight to teachers. Rather than pushing specific products, Google convinced educators that students’ college and career prospects could be improved by the creative use of online tools. READ MORE

 

 

Atheists demand IRS bill churches $1 billion

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 06:38 AM PDT

Atheists demand IRS bill churches $1 billionA demand from atheists that the IRS bill churches and other religious organizations a total of some $1 billion would violate freedom of worship and destroy many congregations, a new court brief contends.  In a case now at the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, churches are seeking to overturn a stunning district court decision by Judge Barbara Crabb. At issue is the tax exemption provided for employees whose housing is determined by their employer. That includes pastors of Christians churches and leaders

of congregations of other faiths, often referred to as the parsonage allowance. It provides that a housing allowance is not considered taxable income when the house is for the convenience of the employer. While pastors do benefit, the tax deduction also is available for workers who live overseas, employees of educational institutes, any member or former member of the uniformed services, government workers living overseas, any American citizen living abroad and others. READ MORE

 

Why Christians Can’t Afford to Be Ignorant of God’s Prophetic Timeline Right Now

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 06:25 AM PDT

Why Christians Can’t Afford to Be Ignorant of God’s Prophetic Timeline Right NowWe are entering a period, a season, that is of tremendous prophetic importance to the entire body of Messiah. Yet, many within the body of believers have little or no expectations that something significant is set to take place. This is largely because many followers of Yeshua (Jesus) have been blinded to this profound moment on G-D’s timeline due to traditions established and handed down by those who came before us. The result of this blindness is that believers often miss out on the blessings and promises of G-

D in their lives. Those who believe in the writings of the New Testament are very familiar with what took place in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The Spirit of G-D was poured out on upon those in the upper room and the revival that followed that outpouring resulted in first 3000 and then 5000 people coming to faith in Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel. Yet, those same people that know the importance of the day of Pentecost regularly do little more than mention the date in passing as a part of their weekly announcements. After all, they might say, READ MORE

Are These Undeniable Signs We Are in the End Times?

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 06:20 AM PDT

Are These Undeniable Signs We Are in the End Times?Are we living in the biblical end times? That’s a question that has consistently emerged over the past two millennia, with scores of Christians wondering when Jesus’ Second Coming will unfold. It’s a topic that famed Christian author Joel Rosenberg has often discussed, as the prophecy expert routinely shares what he believes the Bible says about the end of days.  Rosenberg, author of the new book, The Kremlin Conspiracy, said during a recent appearance on PureFlix.com’s Pure Talk that he believes humanity

technically entered the last days once Jesus came, died, rose and set the gospel message into motion.
While Rosenberg said the Bible tells us not to date-set, he pointed to signs that he believes indicate that humanity is moving further toward the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. “I don’t know when, I don’t have a date … but if you look at all the prophecies … one wonders,” he said. “You see a lot of global chaos .. more Christians have been slaughtered in the last century than at any other time in human history—and that’s saying something, because we’ve been often slaughtered.”  READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: Israel pulls fighter jets from drill in Alaska amid tensions with Iran

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 02:05 PM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: Israel pulls fighter jets from drill in Alaska amid tensions with IranAccording to a statement by Air Force public affairs officer Kitsana Dounglomchan, Israel’s Air Force decided not to send F-15 fighter jets to the two-week-long drill, which will run between April 26 – May 11, out of Eielson Air Force base in Fairbanks and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.  “Despite this change, we are looking forward to hosting the Israeli contingent that will be partaking in Red Flag-Alaska 18-1,” Dounglomchan was quoted by local media as saying.  The Red Flag exercises take place

several times a year bringing together US and international forces for drills on realistic simulated combat situations. A statement released by Pacific Air Forces, the Alaskan Command’s higher headquarters which directs the exercise, said that over 60 aircraft “from more than a dozen units” will be taking part in the drill. Israel regularly participates in US Air Force’s main Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada …. READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: Iran pledges to destroy Israel within 25 years as tensions rise

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 01:56 PM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: Iran pledges to destroy Israel within 25 years as tensions riseThe head of Iran’s army, Abdolrahim Mousavi, threatened to “annihilate” Israel on Saturday as tensions escalated between the two countries.   At a ceremony in Tehran, Mr Mousavi warned that any acts of war against his country would put his country on the offensive.  “Hands are on the trigger and missiles are ready and will be launched at any moment that the enemy tries to carry out its sinister plot against (our)

lands,” Tasnim news agency quoted him as saying.  His comments came a day after the Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami also issued a threat and said Israel could be destroyed if tensions escalate to war.  Salami added Israel would “fade away” in the next 25 years despite the support it receives from the United States.  READ MORE

TICK..TICK…TICK … California fault line is ‘tectonic time bomb’ for disastrous earthquake

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 12:23 PM PDT

TICK..TICK…TICK … California fault line is ‘tectonic time bomb’ for disastrous earthquakeResidents in the San Francisco Bay Area are living along a fault that is a “ticking time bomb” that could generate an earthquake that could kill hundreds, according to a report released Wednesday.  The U.S. Geological Survey said in a report called the “HayWired Scenario” that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Hayward Fault located under Oakland could kill as many as 800 people and injure up to 18,000.

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com“This fault is what we sort of call a tectonic time bomb,” USGS earthquake geologist emeritus David Schwartz told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s just waiting to go off.” Researchers said the Hayward Fault is dangerous because it runs through “one of the most urbanized” areas in the nation, stretching along the East Bay from Richmond and Berkeley up north, through Oakland, and spanning south toward Fremont. READ MORE

GQ Magazine Puts the Bible on List of Most Overrated Books Ever

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 12:11 PM PDT

GQ Magazine Puts the Bible on List of Most Overrated Books EverThe Bible is one of the most overrated books of all time, according to a recent article by GQ Magazine.  The article, written by “the editors of GQ,” ranks the sacred text No. 12 on the list of 21 books “you don’t have to read.”  “Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comat times ill-intentioned,” the article states.  Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris called the list and ranking “foolish” and that “it’s a shame.” “I think what [GQ] is trying to do is say, ‘Hey listen, we need to go [in] a very different direction,’” Morris said. Other books on the list include “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Old Man and the Sea” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” READ MORE


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Pink Floyd Frontman Leaks Email Exposing How White Helmets Recruit Celebs With Saudi Money – The Daily Bell

Article Image
• thedailybell.com By John Vibes

In the days since Waters has taken several interviews to further explain his views, the most interesting of which was with a group called the Grayzone Project, where exclusive Emails were featured, showing conversations between Waters’ team and representatives of the White Helmets.

Waters’ first encounter with the White Helmets was actually long before his April 13 concert, back in October 2016 when Saudi-British billionaire Hani Farsi invited him to a lavish fundraiser that he was holding on behalf of the White Helmet affiliated group “The Syria Campaign.”

The Syria Campaign is a subsidiary of the New York-based PR agency, Purpose, which claims to be impartial in the Syrian civil war. But as Alternet reported, they are on a mission to provoke western intervention in the region and have even openly called for a no-fly zone. The Syria Campaign works very closely with the White Helmets and likely has many of the same members.

Last year, the Syria Campaign paid actors up to $600 each to participate in a pro-White Helmet flash mob and orchestral performance at New York City’s Grand Central Station.

April 23 Monday: Betrayed by a Close Friend

By James Boice on Apr 23, 2018 12:00 am

In Psalm 52 David’s presence in Nob had been disclosed to Saul by Doeg the Edomite. It concerns David’s betrayal by a foreigner. In Psalm 54 David has been betrayed by the people of Ziph, that is, by his own countrymen. This short series of betrayal psalms reaches a strong climax in Psalm 55 with its description of David’s betrayal by an intimate friend.

Read more…

April 23 Free to Serve

They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Lev 21:6a

In the Gospel according to Leviticus, we come to a section which is specifically addressed to priests, to Aaron the high priest and his sons. This family was set aside in Israel to do a specific work of ministry in relationship to God. All the members of Aaron’s family were priests by birth. They did not become priests by choice or by desire on their part, but by being born into the family of Aaron. There was no other way to become a priest. No other family was ever recognized as having valid membership in the priesthood.

But even though they were members of the family of Aaron they could serve as priests only if they met certain qualifications. So there is a difference between merely being a priest and serving as a priest. That is important and instructive to us because this priesthood of the family of Aaron is a picture of the ministry that we have uniquely as believers in Jesus Christ. Every one of us who is born again, born into the family of our great high priest Jesus Christ, is by that fact inescapably a priest. But whether we can serve as a priest or not depends upon the qualifications in our life. Membership in the family is by birth; service in the family is by qualification.

In order to exercise this priesthood, a priest must be holy. Once again let me remind you that this word holy, like so many other words from the Bible, has been twisted and distorted in our thinking so that it is usually taken to mean something which is not very attractive. We are likely to think that being holy is to be long-faced and solemn and sour, but it isn’t that at all! Holiness means wholeness. It means to be healed.

How can you help someone unless you yourself have been helped? How can you encourage someone when your own heart is discouraged and defeated? How can you help somebody to cheer up, and be joyful and genuinely glad in the midst of pressure, unless you have learned how to be glad in the midst of pressure and struggle? How can you deliver somebody from a loathsome moral sickness if you are a victim of the same thing yourself? How can you help somebody who has a blemish in their spiritual life unless you have been delivered from that blemish yourself and thus know how to say the delivering word?

You must be set free first. You must have experienced the joy of God, the life of liberty in the spirit of God, in order to help. You must be whole in the area in which you are attempting to help. You may not be whole in every way, but you must be whole in that area where you are trying to help, by the redeeming work of Christ indwelling.

Lord Jesus, how often I have found renewed ministry when I have dealt with these areas which were wrong in my life! Teach me now to draw strength from you, to be holy, and to set aside my blemishes.

Life Application
What are the incredible privileges and attendant responsibilities of being born into the family of the Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest? Are we healed, whole, and free to serve the One who heals and makes whole?
Related Message
For more on this portion of Scripture read the message:
Free to Serve

Profiles of Godliness: Martha and Mary – GTY.org Blog

Friends of Christ

Code: B180423

When we think about the life of our Lord, we generally focus on His preaching, His confrontations with religious hypocrites, and His relationships with His disciples. But we can easily overlook the friendships He enjoyed with everyday people—those with whom He found hospitality, fellowship, and refreshment.

Throughout the course of the four gospels, we repeatedly encounter two friends of Christ—Martha and Mary. Scripture consistently presents these extraordinary women together, and displays a distinct and instructive contrast in the character of these two sisters.

Scripture doesn’t give us many personal details about Martha and Mary. They lived with their brother, Lazarus, in the small village of Bethany. That was within easy walking distance of Jerusalem, about two miles southeast of the Temple’s eastern gate (John 11:18)—just over the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem’s city center. Both Luke and John recorded that Jesus enjoyed hospitality in the home of this family. He went there on at least three crucial occasions in the gospels. Bethany was apparently a regular stop for Him in His travels, and this family’s home seems to have become a welcome hub for Jesus during His visits to Judea.

One Key Similarity

Martha and Mary make a fascinating pair—very different in many ways, but alike in one vital respect: both of them loved Christ. They became cherished personal friends of Jesus during His earthly ministry. Moreover, He had a profound love for their family. The apostle John, who was a keen observer of whom and what Jesus loved, made it a point to record that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5).

We’re not told how this particular household became so intimate with Jesus. Since no family ties are ever mentioned between Jesus’ relatives and the Bethany clan, it seems likely that Martha and Mary were simply two of the many people who heard Jesus teach early in His ministry, extended Him hospitality, and built a relationship with Him that way. In whatever way this relationship began, it obviously developed into a warm and deeply personal fellowship. It is clear from Luke’s description that Jesus made Himself at home in their house.

The fact that Jesus actively cultivated such friendships sheds light on the kind of man He was. It also helps explain how He managed to have an itinerant ministry in Judea without ever becoming a homeless indigent, even though He maintained no permanent dwelling of His own (Matthew 8:20). Apparently, people like Martha and Mary regularly welcomed Him into their homes and families, and He was clearly at home among His many friends.

Certainly hospitality was a special hallmark of this family. Martha in particular is portrayed everywhere as a meticulous hostess. Even her name is the feminine form of the Aramaic word for “Lord.” It was a perfect name for her because she was clearly the one who presided over her house. Luke 10:38 speaks of the family home as Martha’s house. That, together with the fact that her name was usually listed first whenever she was named with her siblings, implies strongly that she was the elder sister. Lazarus appears to be the youngest of the three, because he was named last in John’s list of family members (John 11:5), and Lazarus rarely comes to the foreground of any narrative—including John’s description of how Lazarus was raised from the dead.

Some believe Martha’s position as owner of the house and dominant one in the household indicates that she must have been a widow. That’s possible, of course, but all we know from Scripture is that these three siblings lived together, and there is no mention that any of them had ever been married. Nor is any hint given about how old they were. But since Mary was literally at Jesus’ feet each time she appeared, it would be hard to imagine them as very old. Furthermore, the starkly contrasting temperaments of Martha and Mary seem unmellowed by much age. I’m inclined to think they were all three still very young and inexperienced. Indeed, in their interaction with Christ, He always treated them much the same way an elder brother would, and many of the principles He taught them were profoundly practical lessons for young people coming of age. A few of those lessons rise to particular prominence as we consider their recorded encounters with Christ.

Snapshots of the Sisters

Scripture gives three significant accounts of Jesus’ interaction with this family. First, Luke 10:38–42 describes a minor conflict between Martha and Mary over how best to show their devotion to Christ. That is where we initially meet Martha and Mary in the New Testament. The way Luke described their clashing temperaments was perfectly consistent with everything we see in two later incidents recorded by John. (We’ll return to focus mostly on the end of Luke 10 next time, because that’s where the contrasting personalities of these two are seen most clearly.)

A second close-up glimpse at the lives of these two women comes in John 11. Virtually the entire chapter is devoted to a description of how their brother Lazarus died and was brought back to life by Christ. Jesus’ personal dealings with Martha and Mary in this scene highlighted their individual characteristics. The death and subsequent raising of Lazarus affected both Martha and Mary profoundly, but differently, according to their contrasting personalities. John gave very detailed and poignant descriptions of how deeply the sisters were distressed over their loss, how Jesus ministered to them in their grief, how He mourned with them in a profound and personal way, and how He gloriously raised Lazarus from the dead at the very climax of the funeral.

More than any other act of Jesus, that one dramatic and very public miracle was what finally sealed the Jewish leaders’ determination to put Him to death because they knew that if He could raise the dead, people would follow Him, and the leaders would lose their power base (John 11:45–57). They obstinately refused to consider that His power to give life was proof that He was exactly who He claimed to be: God the Son.

Martha and Mary seemed to understand that Jesus had put Himself in jeopardy in order to give them back the life of their brother. In fact, the full depth of Mary’s gratitude and understanding was revealed in a third and final account where both of these women appeared together one more time. John 12 (with parallel accounts in Matthew 26:6–13 and Mark 14:3–9) records how Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly ointment and wiped His feet with her hair. Although both Matthew and Mark described the event, neither of them mentioned Mary’s name in this context. It was nonetheless clear that they were describing the same incident we read about in John 12.

Both Matthew 26:12 and John 12:7 indicated that Mary, in some sense, understood that she was anointing Jesus for burial. She must have strongly suspected that her brother’s resurrection would drive Jesus’ enemies to a white-hot hatred, and they would be determined to put Him to death (John 11:53–54). Jesus Himself had gone to the relative safety of Ephraim right after the raising of Lazarus, but Passover brought Him back to Jerusalem (vv. 55–56). Mary (and probably Martha as well) seemed to grasp more clearly than anyone how imminent the threat to Jesus was. That surely intensified their sense of debt and gratitude toward Him, as reflected in Mary’s act of worship.

That’s where we’ll pick it up next time, as we consider the godly—but contrasting—character of these two women.

 

(Adapted from Twelve Extraordinary Women.)

 


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Bleep! Why Christians Shouldn’t Cuss — The Cripplegate

In 2005 the American Film Institute voted that the best movie line of all time was the one that Clarke Gable deftly delivered as the character Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. If you endured all four hours of melodrama you’ll certainly recall his parting dismissal of Scarlett O’Hara’s whiny interrogative, “Where shall I…

via Bleep! Why Christians Shouldn’t Cuss — The Cripplegate

Hope for the Person Contemplating Suicide — Paul Tautges

“There is ultimately only one reason why people commit suicide. Most of them have not lost their minds, but all of them have lost hope. They have developed tunnel vision and cannot see any other workable options. Suicide is the only choice left that makes sense – i.e., the only option that to them seems…

via Hope for the Person Contemplating Suicide — Paul Tautges

Discernment in an Age of Propaganda — Pulpit & Pen

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of…

via Discernment in an Age of Propaganda — Pulpit & Pen

Proof of God’s Judgment — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

Yesterday morning, I had the privilege to preach Romans 1:24-32 in our series through Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. In our previous study, we covered Paul’s warning regarding God’s wrath and how it’s poured out upon those who continue to suppress the truth and ignore the reality of God’s existence and God’s grace.…

via Proof of God’s Judgment — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

A Question of Torment: Can You Lose Your Salvation? — The Blazing Center

Can you lose your salvation? It was a question that haunted me. Tormented me. Sent me into an existential panic. Not only did I struggle to find assurance of salvation, I was also terrified of losing it. And it didn’t help that I grew up in the 90’s evangelical world, where every youth conference contained…

via A Question of Torment: Can You Lose Your Salvation? — The Blazing Center

Willow Creek Promises Investigation Amid New Allegations Against Bill Hybels — Christian Research Network

(Bob Smietana – Christianity Today) Last night, Willow Creek Community Church made a promise to its members following the early departure of its founder and senior pastor, Bill Hybels. “Even though Bill is no longer in his role, our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of [Willow] is not done,” the…

via Willow Creek Promises Investigation Amid New Allegations Against Bill Hybels — Christian Research Network

Please don’t say ‘broken’ when we mean sin — Christian Research Network

According to Elizabeth Prata of The End Time, the word broken is being used by Christians to change perceptions, even to redefine sin. “Is it acceptable to use the word broken when referencing already-saved Christians? Or even non-saved people?” inquires Prata. No! “The truth is, we are not broken. We are sinners WITHOUT righteousness. We are totally corrupt.…

via Please don’t say ‘broken’ when we mean sin — Christian Research Network

Nation Patiently Awaits GQ Article Calling Koran Overrated — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—After revered men’s fashion magazine GQ published an article claiming the Bible was overrated, the nation began patiently waiting for the publication to claim the same for the Koran or other religious texts, sources confirmed Monday. Upon learning of the mag’s recent criticism of the Bible, the nation collectively refreshed GQ’s website and scanned for…

via Nation Patiently Awaits GQ Article Calling Koran Overrated — The Babylon Bee