Daily Archives: May 9, 2018

May 9: Success Deceives

Judges 15:1–17:13; Philippians 4:2–9; Psalm 69:18–70:5

When leaders come to power, there are always people who become insistent on stopping them. It’s incredible how easy it is for people to justify envy or hatred for authority figures. Most of us have made the offhand remark, “I hate that guy.” And in those words, even when they’re meant in jest, we reveal the motives of the human heart. But this doesn’t represent who we’re meant to be—people who live for others.

Samson, an Israelite judge, endured that fate. A young warrior, he had enemies who wanted him dead and would do nearly anything to bring him down—spiritually or physically. The Philistines who opposed him went so far as to burn his wife and her father alive (Judg 15:6). Samson brought these trials on himself by disobeying God and marrying a foreign wife who would ultimately lead him to worship foreign gods. Even so, the acts of violence against him were not just his own doing.

The Philistines, like many people today, didn’t like to see an enemy succeed. They were envious and frustrated, and they weren’t used to being second to anyone.

There are lessons here for all of us no matter where we’re at in life. If we succeed, we should be thrilled when others do the same. We should try to help them succeed in the work God has called them to, designated specifically for them. If you have yet to come into that realm of success, you should be excited when others do, for the same reasons. Whatever your position in life, set aside the obstacles of envy or hatred. Set your sight on the work God has called you to and encourage those around you who are working toward theirs.

How can you help others succeed in God’s work? How can you set your sight on your own work without becoming envious?

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.

Sarah Sanders Goes Off On Reporter Who Asked About Pulling The Press Credentials For ‘Fake News’ – The Daily Caller

Sarah Sanders sharply confronted a reporter during Wednesday’s White House briefing for asking about President Trump’s threat to take away the press credentials of the “fake news.”
— Read on amp.dailycaller.com/2018/05/09/sarah-sanders-pulling-press-credentials-fake-news-video/

King James Version Finally Translated Into Biblical Greek, Hebrew — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—The entire Old and New Testaments as rendered in the King James Version of the Bible have at long last been translated into biblical Greek and Hebrew, sources confirmed Friday. After years of working on the historic translation, scholars confirmed they had translated the entirety of the Christian Bible from the original Authorized Version into…

via King James Version Finally Translated Into Biblical Greek, Hebrew — The Babylon Bee

Intentional godliness is the product of a spirit-filled walk

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; Ephesians 5:6-11 (NASB) 

Intentional godliness is the product of a spirit-filled walk. No Christian becomes godly by simply wanting it. Neither do they become godly through self-righteousness. Instead, the walk that is truly godly is one that is not self-focused at all. It is one that is totally wrapped up and empowered by a consistent, deliberate attempt…

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May 9 Building a Leader: The Right Lessons (Peter)

The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).


Peter learned five lessons that every believer must also learn.

We have seen that God uses our experiences to mold us into more effective Christians and leaders. Using Peter as our example, let’s briefly look at five lessons we can learn from our experiences—submission, restraint, humility, sacrifice, and love.

Leaders tend to be confident and aggressive, so they must learn to submit to authority. Jesus illustrated that by telling Peter to go fishing and to look for a coin in the mouth of the first fish he caught (Matt. 17:24–27). He was to use that coin to pay their taxes. Peter was a citizen of God’s Kingdom, but he needed an object lesson in submitting to governmental authorities.

When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter grabbed a sword and would have fought the entire group if Jesus hadn’t restrained him. Peter needed to learn to entrust His life to the Father, just as Christ was doing.

Peter bragged that he would never leave or forsake Christ—but he did. Perhaps humility was the most painful lesson he had to learn.

Jesus told Peter that he would die as a martyr (John 21:18–19). From that day forward Peter knew his life was on the line, and yet he was willing to make the necessary sacrifice and minister anyway.

Leaders tend to be task-oriented and often are insensitive to people. Peter was that way, so Jesus demonstrated love by washing his feet and by instructing him to do loving deeds for others (John 13:6–9, 34).

Submission, restraint, humility, sacrifice, and love should be characteristic of every believer—no matter what role he or she has within the Body of Christ. I pray they are characteristic of your life, and that you will constantly seek to grow in those graces as God continues His work in you.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Spiritual lessons are sometimes painful to learn, but God is patient and gracious. Thank Him for His patience, and thank Him also for Christ, who is the perfect example of what we should be.

For Further Study: Peter learned his lessons well. Read 1 Peter 2:13–18, 21–23; 4:8, 16; and 5:5. What can you learn from Peter’s instructions on submission, restraint, love, sacrifice, and humility?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 142). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Trump’s Iran deal decision is good — and has sound reason – Business Insider


• President Donald Trump reversed a personal pledge made by President Barack Obama when he decided to withdraw from the Iran deal.

• Decisions made unilaterally can just as easily be undone unilaterally.

• The US withdrawing from the deal is largely a good thing.

In castigating his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, critics have sought to paint President Donald Trump’s choice as impulsive, erratic, and plainly irresponsible.

The argument is straightforward: If our leaders can unilaterally rip up international agreements to which the US is party, why would any nation trust us enough to engage in any future diplomacy?

The answer traces back to the deal’s inception. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska who has been one of the president’s most prominent critics on the right, put it best in his statement after Trump’s announcement:

“Today is a reminder that if you live by the Presidency, you die by the Presidency. We ought to be clear about this: Donald Trump isn’t ripping up a treaty; he’s walking away from Barack Obama’s personal pledge. Two and a half years ago, President Obama made a bad deal with Iran without support from Congress, and today President Trump is pulling out of President Obama’s personal commitment, and he doesn’t need Congress’s support to do so. American foreign policy makes lasting progress when it led by the President, approved by Congress, and presented honestly to the American people.”

In the period during which President Barack Obama was forcefully shoving the deal down our throats, his administration failed to shore up a reasonable level of domestic support. In fact, the majority of Americans disapproved of the deal in the summer of 2015.

Perhaps this is because Americans, unlike the administration, were not blinded by an overwhelming desire to prove that they had found a “solution” — even if it was a nonviable one. What’s on display now is same kind of willful ignorance that led the foreign policy establishment to conclude at the time that their deal — an agreement based heavily on a basic trust of Iranian words and intentions — was a good one.

A video has already surfaced of Iranian politicians burning the US flag in their parliament, while chanting “Death to America,” in the wake of Trump’s announcement.

Pundits on the left are treating Trump’s decision as a calamity, as if it will guarantee a nuclear Iran. That is not the case. In the Times, Bret Stephens made the case that the administration is actually now in “a strong position to negotiate a viable deal.”

The goal, he explained, “is to put Iran’s rulers to a fundamental choice”:

They can opt to have a functioning economy, free of sanctions and open to investment, at the price of permanently, verifiably and irreversibly forgoing a nuclear option and abandoning their support for terrorists. Or they can pursue their nuclear ambitions at the cost of economic ruin and possible war. But they are no longer entitled to Barack Obama’s sweetheart deal of getting sanctions lifted first, retaining their nuclear options for later, and sponsoring terrorism throughout.”

Stephens is right about the choice now facing Iran, which explains why our Middle Eastern allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, have celebrated Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal. Americans across the political spectrum should follow suit.
— Read on www.businessinsider.com/trump-iran-deal-decision-implications-obama-2018-5

The Gospel Coalition Excludes White Women at Upcoming Conference — Pulpit & Pen

What’s the best way to promote racial harmony? If you’re the Social Gospel Coalition, the answer is segregation. Genius. The Gospel Coalition (TGC) has advertised an event at 9:15PM on the Friday night of TGC18 Women’s Conference for “Women of Color” only. White women need not apply. Specifically invited are “all women of color.” In…

via The Gospel Coalition Excludes White Women at Upcoming Conference — Pulpit & Pen

He Always Finishes, He Always Rests

Unfathomable Grace

Before the beginning, before anything was made that has ever been made, God existed in perfect Trinitarian communion. We cannot really comprehend this truth, but we can receive and believe God’s testimony and revelation.

He then determined to create our present universe. He could have instantaneously imagined a perfect world into existence, but he chose not to do so. Instead, day by day, he spoke, formed, ordered, and filled. It was as if he was a General Contractor who dumped the necessary raw materials on sight and then went to work as a Master Craftsman. Day after day, at the close of each day, as progress was made, he reviewed his work and uttered forth his assessment, “It is good.”

Then came the sixth day. On this day, the Father, Son, and Spirit took counsel together. A conversation took place as they determined to construct man and woman…

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Mother in Heaven? CA Church Holds ‘Beyonce Mass’

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

You may have heard Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco, held what was called a ‘Beyoncé mass’ last week, and at an evening service where fifty people typically attend, about 900 turned out to hear music by Beyoncé featured.

People are free to worship however they want, but doing this at a church was both confusing and controversial. The Bible teaches Christians to be set apart from the world, not to blend in. And Jesus said if we love the things of this world, God the Father’s love is not in us (1 John 2:15).

The Beyoncé mass was inspired by a guest Reverend, Yolanda Norton, and by an actual class she teaches at San Francisco Theological Seminary: ‘Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible.’ 

Some might argue, ‘It’s just entertainment,’ right? The question is do secular entertainment and unbiblical themes belong in a place of Christian worship…

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Catholic Church Endorses A Vatican Themed And Sex-Infused Fashion Show As Cardinal Dolan Says Event Reflects ‘Truth And Goodness’ — Now The End Begins

Wonder where Rihanna scored that bejeweled papal-looking hat for Monday night’s Met Ball celebrating the Costume Institute’s exhibit of Vatican fashion? Turns out the miter was a loaner — from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the head of New York’s Roman Catholic diocese. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love…

via Catholic Church Endorses A Vatican Themed And Sex-Infused Fashion Show As Cardinal Dolan Says Event Reflects ‘Truth And Goodness’ — Now The End Begins

‘This Is Exactly What the Soviets Did’: Professor Targeted, Forced to Take ‘Tolerance’ Workshop Due to Christian Beliefs — Faithwire

Even though colleges across America claim to have grown in tolerance over the past couple of years, the exact opposite appears to be true for those with Christian or conservative viewpoints. Susana Asberry, a professor at the University of Washington, recently went on KTTH Radio and told host Todd Herman that institution has discriminated against for her…

via ‘This Is Exactly What the Soviets Did’: Professor Targeted, Forced to Take ‘Tolerance’ Workshop Due to Christian Beliefs — Faithwire

America Has a Serious Porn Problem — It’s Worse Than You Think — Faithwire

There is no doubt that pornography usage is at record highs. With the proliferation of smartphones, the development of super-fast wifi and limitless internet browsing, porn is more readily accessible than ever before. The Average Age a Child First Sees Pornography is Shockingly Younger Than You’d Think The stats speak for themselves — just take…

via America Has a Serious Porn Problem — It’s Worse Than You Think — Faithwire

Seeker-Sensitive Church Successfully Attracts Every Genuine Seeker In The World, Zero People Show Up — The Babylon Bee

PORTLAND, OR—After a massive, multi-million-dollar marketing campaign and far-reaching internet advertisement initiative, local seeker-sensitive church Widegate Community Church proudly announced it had successfully attracted every genuine seeker of God in the whole world to its Sunday service, bringing the attendance total to exactly zero. Each and every person on planet earth who decided to seek…

via Seeker-Sensitive Church Successfully Attracts Every Genuine Seeker In The World, Zero People Show Up — The Babylon Bee


A living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1

I am convinced that anyone who brings up the question of consequences in the Christian life is only a mediocre and common Christian!

I have known some who were interested in the deeper life but began asking questions: “What will it cost me—in terms of time, in money, in effort, in the matter of my friendships?” Others ask of the Lord when He calls them to move forward: “Will it be safe?” This question comes out of our constant bleating about security and our everlasting desire for safety above all else.

A third question that we want Him to answer is: “Will it be convenient?”

What must our Lord think of us if His work and His witness depend upon the security and the safety and the convenience of His people? No element of sacrifice, no bother, no disturbance—so we are not getting anywhere with God!

We have stopped and pitched our tent halfway between the swamp and the peak. We are mediocre Christians.

Lord, I pray for Christians in other countries who face persecution as a routine event. Protect and strengthen them, Father. May many come to know Christ as a result of the testimony of believers who remain faithful to You.[1]

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

May 9, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump said that three Americans detained by North Korea have been released and are on their way home with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the CIA will promise lawmakers she will never resume a program of harsh interrogations, often denounced as torture, that has been the major issue complicating her confirmation.

Dismayed European allies sought to salvage the international nuclear pact with Iran after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark accord, while Tehran poured scorn on the U.S. leader.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin watched advanced jets carrying a hypersonic missile he has touted as invincible scream over Red Square, days after the start of his fourth presidential term.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday an Israeli attack on Iranian military facilities south of Damascus had killed at least 15 people, including eight Iranians.

Amazon.com on Wednesday said it has set up model “smart” homes across the United States for shoppers to experience what it’s like for voice aide Alexa to dim the lights, turn on the TV or order more laundry detergent.

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in West Virginia on Tuesday, beating former coal executive Don Blankenship and calming the fears of party leaders who thought the brash ex-convict would spoil their chance to pick up a Senate seat.

Walmart agreed to pay $16 billion for a roughly 77 percent stake in Indian online marketplace Flipkart, the U.S. retailer’s largest deal as it opens up another front to battle rival Amazon.com in one of the world’s fledgling e-commerce markets.

Gunmen set off at least three explosions in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and then battled security forces from buildings they occupied in the latest in a spate of violence to rock the city.

U.S. producer prices barely rose in April after strong gains in the first quarter, held down by a moderation in the cost of both goods and services, which could ease fears that inflation pressures were rapidly building up.

AP Top Stories

Emergency crews ordered Hawaii residents to leave their homes after two new fissures opened up near the Kilauea volcano, almost a week after it started a series of huge explosions.

Ongoing protests at the border between Gaza and Israel, now in their sixth week, are growing increasingly violent, as Palestinian demonstrators have reportedly begun using firebombs, burning tires and wire cutters to breach the barbed-wire border fence. Protesters who breached the barricade on April 27 attempted to cross into Israel, only to be repelled by Israeli soldiers, who fired at them with rubber bullets and live ammunition, killing three and injuring many others.

Mark Harris, a Baptist pastor with a long history of social conservatism, won the GOP primary in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District on Tuesday night, ousting Rep. Robert Pittenger.

Greg Pence on Tuesday won the Republican primary for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District ― a seat his younger brother, Vice President Mike Pence, held for almost a decade.

Uber is dead set on bringing its ride-hailing service to the skies, and the company showed off its latest flying taxi prototype on Tuesday.

Yemen’s Shiite rebels fired ballistic missiles at the Saudi capital on Wednesday, according to the rebels and the Saudi military, which said its air defense forces intercepted missiles in the skies over Riyadh and the southern city of Jizan.

‘The Deodorant Challenge’ is a test of endurance and involves spraying deodorant from an aerosol can directly onto a person’s bare skin. The aim is to see who can hold it there the longest. Burn injuries were so bad that individuals may need a skin graft.


A young Canadian man who killed four people and injured seven others in a mass shooting in La Loche, Saskatchewan has been sentenced to life in prison.

Five new Australian parliamentarians have been ousted for holding dual citizenship when they were elected. Last year, 10 MPs and senators were removed from office for violating a constitutional rule that prohibits federal political candidates from being dual nationals.

A woman has been stoned to death in Somalia after a court run by militant Islamist group al-Shabab convicted her of polyandry, reports a news site affiliated to the militants. Shukri Abdullahi Warsame was accused of marrying 11 times, without divorcing previous husbands. She was buried neck-deep and pelted to death with stones by al-Shabab fighters.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it is taking swift action to ensure that Ebola does not enter the country following a fresh outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A former Chinese Communist Party official once tipped for a top leadership position has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery.


“Dancing with the Stars” producers have shaken up the show by making it a shortened season this spring focusing on athletes only. When Fox News asked dance pro Gleb Savchenko what other themes he might like to see in the future, he said a same sex season in which the male pros would dance with famous men and the female pros with women celebrities.

The United States had a record 6.6 million job openings at the end of March. That’s the most since the Labor Department started keeping track in 2000.

A cheer squad in East Hanover, New Jersey, is about to get very crowded because one mother complained that her teenage daughter didn’t make the cut. So now everyone who has an interest in cheerleading will make the team, say coaches at Hanover Park High School. There will be no more tryouts or cuts. The high-school athletic director said the mother’s complaint is the reason for the policy change.

The Briefing — Tuesday, May 8, 2018

1) Two hundred years after his birth, Karl Marx becomes cool once again despite the deadly consequences of his ideas


2) A deadly legacy: How Marxism in its truest forms became a deadly ideology that led to human misery

New York Times (Chris Buckley) –
On This Chinese TV Show, Participants Have Nothing to Lose but Their Chains

Wall Street Journal (Valentina Pop and Andrea Thomas) –
Marx Is Home for His Birthday, and Not Everyone Is Happy

Wall Street Journal (Paul Kengor) –
Marx’s Apologists Should Be Red in the Face

3) The theological dimensions of Marxism as understood in the four essential components of a biblical worldview

The Economist –
Rulers of the world: read Karl Marx

4) Nazi Grandma

CBS News –
“Nazi grandma” arrested after failing to report to prison

The Briefing — Wednesday, May 9, 2018

1) As U.S. withdraws from Iran nuclear deal and reinstates economic sanctions, Israel and Saudi Arabia celebrate

Wall Street Journal (Michael C. Bender and Rebecca Ballhaus) –
Trump Withdraws U.S. From Iran Accord

2) Deal or no deal? Why the history of international agreements in the U.S. is marked by a partisan and worldview divide


3) In anti-Semitic speech, Palestinian leader seeks to deny any claim by Jewish people of inheritance in the Holy Land

New York Times (Isabel Kershner) –
Palestinian Leader Incites Uproar With Speech Condemned as Anti-Semitic

News – 5/9/2018

The Trump Land Mine
After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency. But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators. Donald Trump proved to be a catalyst for much of the implosion of the deep state.

Soros-Financed Group Warns Trump of ‘Consequences’ for Bolting Iran Deal
A George Soros-financed organization…has warned Donald Trump that he will “own the consequences” of bolting the international nuclear accord. Ploughshares Fund is financed by Soros’ Open Society Institute. The involvement of Ploughshares in selling the Iran agreement to the public was revealed in an extensive New York Times Magazine profile of Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes…

Iran nuclear: Merkel says Europe faces more duty
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal shows Europe will face increasing responsibility to secure peace and seek political solutions to conflicts. Merkel underlined the commitment of Germany, France and Britain to stick with the accord.

Mormon Church breaks all ties with Boy Scouts, ending 100-year relationship
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday it will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America, ending a century-old tradition deeply ingrained in the religious life of Mormon boys.

Trump Dumps Iran Deal — Hallelujah!
President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is the greatest boost for American and global security in decades.

Europeans scramble to save Iran deal after Trump reneges
“The deal is not dead. There’s an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

MIDDLE EAST CRISIS: Saudi Arabia ATTACKED as country’s air defence intercepts TWO missiles
SAUDI Arabia’s air defence forces have intercepted two missiles flying above the country’s capital Riyadh on Wednesday just weeks after the last attack launched against the Saudis by Yemenite rebels, state media reported.

Iranian lawmakers burn U.S. flag after nuclear deal withdrawal
Iranian lawmakers burned a US flag in the country’s parliament and chanted “Death to America” in a public display of anger on Wednesday following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and five other world powers. Members of the Iranian parliament also set fire to a piece of paper representing the deal.

Netanyahu meets Putin in Moscow, attends victory day ceremony
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbian President Alexander Vujcic at a parade in Moscow’s Red Square commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the Russian victory over Nazi Germany on Wednesday. President Putin had personally invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to participate alongside him in the events of Russia’s annual victory day.

Argentina seeks IMF financial aid ‘to avoid crisis’
Argentina is to start talks about a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday amid reports it is seeking $30bn (£22bn). Finance minister Nicolas Dujovne is due to fly to the IMF’s Washington offices. After recent turmoil that saw interest rates hit 40%, President Mauricio Macri said IMF aid would “strengthen growth” and help avoid crises of the past.

New outbreak of Ebola kills 17 in northwest DR Congo
Seventeen people in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have died from Ebola, the health ministry said on Tuesday, describing the fresh outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact.” “Twenty-one cases of fever with haemorrhagic indications and 17 deaths” have been recorded in Equateur province, it said, citing a notification to the ministry as of May 3.

Saudi Arabia says it intercepts Houthi missiles over Riyadh
Saudi Arabia intercepted two ballistic missiles over its capital Riyadh on Wednesday that had been fired from Yemen, state media reported, after at least four blasts rocked the city centre. Yemen’s Iran-allied armed Houthi movement said it had launched the missiles at economic targets in the Saudi capital. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Trump Reimposes Sanctions on Iran After Withdrawing From Nuclear Deal
President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal on Tuesday, while announcing stiff new economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. “This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Trump said in his announcement from the White House. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”

Very strong earthquake out of the coast of New Britain, Papua New Guinea – May 9, 2018
Magnitude : 5.9 Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown GMT/UTC Time : 2018-05-09 07:57:56 Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km

Very strong deep earthquake near the Afghanistan Tajikistan border – Felt in Pakistan – May 9, 2018
Magnitude : 6.2 Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2018-05-09 15:41:45 GMT/UTC Time : 2018-05-09 10:41:45 Depth (Hypocenter) : 103 km

Earthquake jolts wide swath of Southern California
The temblor in the Cabazon area was felt as far west as the San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley, as far south as Tijuana, and near Barstow to the north. Residents in the Inland Empire reported feeling it strongly in cities like Menifee, Rancho Cucamonga and Temecula.

‘8 Iranians killed from strike in Syria’
According to reports in Syria, 15 killed in strike last night attributed to Israel – among them, 8 Iranians. The death toll in a strike on the outskirts of Damascus has risen to 15 non-Syrian pro-regime fighters, including eight Iranians, a Britain-based war monitor said Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia backs Trump
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies welcome Trump’s decision to withdraw from 2015 Iran deal. It backed Trump’s move to reimpose sanctions and urged the international community to work toward a “comprehensive view that is not limited to its nuclear program but also includes all hostile activities”.

In rare act of dissent, Arafat’s nephew resigns from Fatah Central Committee
Arafat’s nephew makes his move to succeed Abbas. On Monday, Fatah vice chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul announced that Qudwa’s resignation was rejected “following consultations with President Abu Mazen and members of the Fatah Central Committee,” a statement from Aloul’s office said, referring to Abbas using his nickname.

Syria blames Israel for strike near Damascus; target was Iranian missiles aimed at Israel – Israel News
Syria on Tuesday said Israel carried out an attack on a military base south of Damascus, which was used by Iranian forces. According to reports, Israeli fighter jets entered Syrian airspace and struck Iranian…

Record temperatures skyrocketing into triple digits in Southwest
The highest temperature in the nation Sunday was in Thermal, California, where it reached a daily record of 110 degrees. Phoenix hit a record high of 106 Sunday, breaking the record from 1947. Tucson, Arizona, hit their first 100-degree reading for the year, too.

Phoenix tops out at 106 degrees, breaking 70-year-old record
Temperatures in Phoenix have reached a new high, breaking a 70-year-old record. National Weather Service meteorologists say the desert city hit the 106-degree mark (41 degrees Celsius) just after noon.

HTLV-1: Cousin of HIV plaguing Australia and the world
An ancient virus infecting residents across Australia’s Northern Territory is leaving death and despair in its path, and doctors are now calling for greater efforts to stop the spread of infections.

Chicago sees its most violent week of the year: 9 killed, 76 wounded
The last seven days in Chicago have been the most violent week of the year, with just three police districts on the West Side bearing the brunt, according to data kept by the Tribune.

BREAKING: Israel Launches Air Strike Against Syrian And Iranian Forces Close to Damascus
Israel launched an air strike against Syrian and Iranian positions in Kisweh, an area just south of Syria’s capital Damascus.

GOP Candidate Bassilian Discovers US Center for Disease Control Diverted $3 Million to Liberal Group for Democrat Campaigns
…Let’s call this CDC grant for what it is. It’s the heyday of Obama era politics – funneling government money into organizations that just go organize and advocate for the Democratic Party.

Europe Under the Vaccination Gun: An Expanding Tragedy
Storm clouds are gathering…First the solution—leave the European Union. Do it soon. Don’t knuckle under. Europe is moving closer to mandatory vaccination. The drive is spearheaded by a collaboration between the European Union (EU) and Big Pharma companies.

Democrats Openly Saying National Motto ‘In God We Trust’ Offends Them
We knew it was only a matter of time before we were reporting this ridiculousness: Democrats are now openly saying “In God We Trust” offends them.

Shocker: Soros Funded Creeper Schneiderman
Disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned after being accused by four women of sexual misconduct, was partly funded by none other than billionaire George Soros and the Soros family.

ERDOGAN’S DARK VISION: Uniting an ‘Army of Islam’ to Destroy Israel in 10 Days
 An article in a Turkish paper with close ties to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exposes the regime’s desire to form an “Army of Islam” to attack and destroy the State of Israel.

Pope Francis: Gun Owners ‘Can’t Call Themselves Christian’ Anymore
Pope Francis continued his week of anti-gun comments on Sunday by saying that those who manufacture, sell or own firearms are “hypocrites,” and not Christians.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Promise Kept — Trump Nukes Iran Deal

Yet another pillar of Barack Obama’s horrible legacy crumbles at Trump’s hands.

Dems’ Tax-Hike Plans Take a Hit

Some key Republican primaries went better than much of the MSM predicted.

NYT: It’s Wasteful to Prosecute Criminals for Gun Crimes

The Left aims at Second Amendment rights instead of crimes committed with guns.

STD — Sexually Transmitted Discrimination?

Reports indicate a rise in STDs, and some are blaming — you guessed it — racism.

Video: Walt Disney: American Dreamer

Americans, unlike other people in other countries, don’t rely on the government to get things done.

Wednesday Short Cuts

“Far from isolating the United States, President Trump is proving that the United States is the indispensable nation.” —Andrew McCarthy

Wednesday Opinion

Read Ben Shapiro, Marc A. Thiessen, Byron York, Star Parker, Walter Williams and more.

Wednesday Top Headlines

Reactions to Iran deal, Medal of Honor, Russian influence, Haspel confirmation, and more.

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

The Foundation

“But if we are to be told by a foreign power … what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.” —George Washington (1796)

Headlines – 5/9/2018

Defying world, Trump says US withdrawing from Iran nuclear deal

Trump Pulls U.S. Out of ‘Disastrous’ Iran Nuclear Deal, Imposes ‘Powerful’ Sanctions

‘Very strong sanctions’ will bring Iran back to negotiations, US treasurer says

Trump to renew sanctions on Iran: A diplomatic crisis for the EU

Leaders in Congress split on Iran deal pullout

John Bolton: Pulling Out of Iran Deal ‘Got Back to Real Objective’ of Stopping Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

Obama, Kerry slam Trump pullout from nuke deal they championed

Obama, Kerry slam Trump withdrawal from Iran deal as path to war

Trump slams John Kerry on Iran deal negotiations: ‘You are hurting our country’

Barack Obama Calls Donald Trump Decision to Kill Iran Deal ‘A Serious Mistake’

Obama calls Trump’s decision on Iran nuclear deal ‘misguided’

Russia ‘deeply disappointed’ at Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal

Jordan urges political solution to rid Mideast of nuclear arms

Saudi Arabia stresses need to unite against interference of Iranian regime

Saudi Arabia, Gulf allies welcome Trump pullout from Iran deal

Saudi ambassador to US: Deal fueled Iran’s malicious regional expansion

Nixing of nuclear deal turns Rohani into lame duck, empowers conservatives in Tehran

Iranian state TV says Trump decision is illegal

Iran ‘grand bargain’ all but impossible as U.S. exits nuclear pact

Iran vows to stick with deal after ‘pesky’ Trump’s departure

Rohani: Iran to remain in nuclear deal but ready to restart enrichment

Pardo :’Iran has not breached nuclear deal’

US Treasury’s Mnuchin does not see Iran sanctions hiking oil prices

Oil prices jump after U.S. walks away from Iran nuclear deal

Fate of nuclear deal now in Europe’s hands, US negotiator says

In joint front, Europe’s Merkel, Macron and May vow to uphold Iran deal

Israel says it has briefed 22 countries on smuggled Iran nuclear archive

Netanyahu: Israel ‘fully supports’ Trump’s ‘bold’ pullout from Iran deal

Netanyahu praises US withdrawal from Iran deal as ‘correct, intelligent and courageous’

PM Netanyahu: Iran deal was “recipe for disaster”

Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal sets up best relations with Israel in a decade

Donald Trump just put Israel in immediate danger

Trump and Netanyahu are triggering a risky, unnecessary war of choice in the Middle East

Revolutionary Guard commander says Iran not afraid of US ‘military attack’

Bolton says Iran violating nuke deal, but US exit not a prelude to war

Turkey says US decision on Iran deal will cause instability, new conflicts

Economy minister: Turkey will keep trading with Iran, not accountable to anyone

Syria ‘strongly condemns’ US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Syria Hit by New Strikes As Trump Cancels Iran Deal and Israel Calls High Alert

Syria accuses Israel of striking military site south of Damascus

Syria Blames Israel for Strike Near Damascus; Target Was Iranian Missiles Aimed at Israel

Nine Iran-linked fighters reported killed in alleged Israeli strike on Syria

Netanyahu says Iran deploying arms in Syria to threaten Israel

Syria says it has downed two Israeli missiles near Damascus

IDF instructs opening bomb shelters in Golan Heights

Iran’s missile threat and Israel’s message to Russia and Assad

Israel will ‘eliminate’ Assad if he continues to let Iran operate from Syria, minister warns

Syrian army official: Russia orders to bolster Syrian defense

Netanyahu sets off to Moscow as tensions skyrocket over Iran, Syria

Bennett warns ‘Syria will be Iran’s Vietnam’

Bennett: Nasrallah will ‘lose Lebanon’, Iranian regime ‘on borrowed time’

Storm exposes 70-year-old copy of Israeli independence declaration

Square near U.S. embassy in Jerusalem to be named for Trump

Abbas: Moving embassies to Jerusalem is against int’l law

Abbas: Ready to hold serious negotiations with Israel

Hamas aims for big turnout in next week’s Gaza marches

U.S. urges post-election Lebanon to keep policy of staying out of foreign wars

Al Qaeda branch threatens attacks on Western companies in Africa

Believe It Or Not, Bolton’s Right – North Korea Will Follow The “Libyan Model”

Trump deploys Pompeo to North Korea to prep nuclear summit

S.Korean official: Pompeo, in N.Korea, to return with detained Americans

Russian lawmaker: Trump’s decision to leave Iran deal puts Korean process in doubt

White House: Trump, Xi agree sanctions should continue on North Korea

Leaders of Japan, China, SKorea agree to cooperate on NKorea

NAFTA talks resume amid fears of ‘zombie’ deal

Argentina seeks IMF financing to stabilize economy

U.S. Senate to vote to reinstate open internet rules

Google’s New ‘Smart Compose’ Feature Will Use AI to Write Emails For You

Google’s robot assistant now makes eerily lifelike phone calls for you

Amazon’s smart doorbell company wants to help stop neighborhood crime

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Kodiak, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bannu, Pakistan

Magnitude 4.5 earthquake is latest warning of San Andreas’ power

Quakes and eruptions spark talks of Yellowstone supervolcano

Volcano eruption fears as almost 300 earthquakes rock Spanish holiday hotspot

Hawaii volcano triggers more evacuations as 2 new vents appear

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Worst river flooding since 1975 to threaten lives, property in Montana

Deadly flash floods hit east African countries already in dire need

Dust storms wreak havoc across India

Coldest April in 20 years across the United States, feds say

Indonesia declares state of emergency amidst worsening oil spill

Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Record High in Earth’s Atmosphere

New outbreak of Ebola kills 17 in northwest DR Congo

Mormon church to sever its 105-year-old ties to the Boy Scouts at end of 2019 after the Scouts announced the organization will drop the word “boy” and change its name to Scouts BSA

United Methodist Church Rejects Constitutional Amendment Saying God Isn’t ‘Male or Female’

New York Times: Teaching Children to Delay Having Sex is ‘Anti-Science’

Polanski calls #MeToo movement ‘mass hysteria’

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Scaling the NAR language barrier: ‘Local Church’ means ‘One City-wide Church Government

Rick Warren Praises Catholic Pastoral Letter as ‘New Standard’ for Mental Health Ministries

Ron Carpenter Passes Baton to John Gray as Redemption Church Becomes Relentless

Report: So-Called Christians Have Sense of Humor

The Vatican denies agreeing deal with Saudi Arabia to build churches for Christians living in the Muslim country

In Final Paper Before Death, Atheist Stephen Hawking Strengthened Case for God

Posted: 09 May 2018 10:00 AM PDT

In Final Paper Before Death, Atheist Stephen Hawking Strengthened Case for GodOne of the world’s most notorious atheists, the late Stephen Hawking, purportedly strengthened the scientific case for the existence of God in his final published paper. In his work, Hawking addressed the complex idea of a “multiverse” – a hypothetical group of several separate universes that exist alongside each other.  Previously, Hawking had argued the presence of great variety in the scientific laws found in these different universes.

However, according to the Guardian, in his final paper, “A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?,” Hawking and his co-author Thomas Hertog, formulated “strict limits to the kind of universes that populate the multiverse.” So why is this so significant? Well, the problem is that when less variety is assigned to these hypothetical universes, the less capable the multiverse hypothesis becomes with regards to explaining the finely-tuned and unique nature of the Earth, complete with its metaphysical laws and perfect conditions for life, is often used in order to argue for God’s existence. READ MORE

Strong Magnitude 6.2 earthquake strikes Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan

Posted: 09 May 2018 09:55 AM PDT

Strong Magnitude 6.2 earthquake strikes Hindu Kush region of AfghanistanA strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as 6.2 hit Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region at 10:41 UTC (15:11 local time) on May 9, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 111.9 km (69.5 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 100 km (62 miles).  According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 28.1 km (17.5 miles) ENE of Chākarān (population 0), 36.6 km (22.8 miles) NW of Ishqoshim

(population 26,000), 37.1 km (23.0 miles) NNW of Ashkāsham (population 12 120), 49.6 km (30.8 miles) ENE of Jurm (population 12 106), Afghanistan and 57.8 km (35.9 miles) SSW of Khorugh (population 30 000), Tajikistan. There are 80,000 people living within 100 km (62 miles). Some 3,054 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 102,288 000 weak. READ MORE

Tens of thousands of fish wash up on popular beach

Posted: 09 May 2018 05:32 AM PDT

Tens of thousands of fish wash up on popular beachTens of thousands of dead fish have washed up on a popular beach. Environmental officials are now investigating the bizarre occurrence.   Residents and tourists in the town of Ar-Rams, in the Ras Al Khaimah area of the United Arab Emirates, woke up to the unusual sight. They say the stench from the dead sardines, which washed up along a 1.6-kilometre (one-mile) stretch of the beach, is keeping visitors away.

The Ras Al Khaimah Environment agency said the cause of the mass deaths was unknown. They are currently investigating the incident.Dr Saif Al Ghais, executive director of the Ras Al Khaimah Environmental Protection and Development Authority, said officials had already met to discuss the incident. A team of investigators had been set up to review the results of tests on the local sea water and on samples of some of the dead sardines. READ MORE

More Forerunners of the Coming “Mark of the Beast”

Posted: 09 May 2018 05:22 AM PDT

More Forerunners of the Coming “Mark of the Beast”In this special message, we will discuss how more systems are being put in place to track populations around the World as well as restrict them from buying and selling without submitting to a system put in place by the powers that be. Discover how the forerunning technology is in place and leading to the fulfillment of Revelation Chapter 13 and the coming “Mark of the Beast”

5 Shallow Earthquakes Felt in California Over 18-Hour Span, Including Pair of 4.5 Temblors

Posted: 08 May 2018 08:12 PM PDT

5 Shallow Earthquakes Felt in California Over 18-Hour Span, Including Pair of 4.5 TemblorsA series of five temblors struck California in about 18 hours, three of them near the small town of Cabazon, according to the US Geological Survey.  Just before 5 a.m. (8 a.m. ET) Tuesday, two small earthquakes struck within minutes of each other, roughly 7 miles north of the Southern California city of 4,000. Cabazon is about 45 miles east of the Los Angeles suburb, Riverside.  The first quake was a 4.5 magnitude,

while the second was a 3.2, the USGS reported. A third temblor, a 2.5 magnitude, hit a couple of miles south of the epicenter of the first two quakes around 10 a.m (1 p.m. ET), the agency said. About 12 hours earlier, two more temblors hit opposite ends of the Golden State. The first, occurring around 5:39 p.m. (8:39 p.m. ET) Monday, hit a few miles east of Ocotillo Wells, which lies 50 miles north of the Mexico border.  READ MORE

4 Reasons Why Trump Was Right to Pull Out of Iran

Posted: 08 May 2018 03:53 PM PDT

4 Reasons Why Trump Was Right to Pull Out of Iran(By Joel C. Rosenberg) After a careful policy review by senior administration officials and consultation with a wide range of U.S. allies, President Donald Trump today kept his promise by announcing the U.S. will terminate the nuclear deal that President Obama and Secretary John Kerry negotiated with Iran.  The president also announced the U.S. will imposing severe economic sanctions on the terrorist regime in Tehran.

This was absolutely the right decision, and the president deserves tremendous credit.  As I’ve noted previously: “The president should scrap this insane and dangerous deal.
1) It’s not a real treaty signed by both sides.  2) It wasn’t confirmed by the U.S. Senate according to the Constitutional process. CONTINUE

DEVELOPING: Iran military base in Syria attacked

Posted: 08 May 2018 03:46 PM PDT

DEVELOPING: Iran military base in Syria attackedAn Iranian military base in Syria was attacked on Tuesday, sources confirmed to Fox News.  Western military sources said the military compound that was hit is located about 10 miles south of the Syrian capital city of Damascus.  Syrian TV reported that it was an Israeli airstrike and that Syrian air defense

systems shot down two missiles. The attack happened in Kisweh, according to the official news agency SANA, about an hour after President Trump’s announcement that he would be pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal. READ MORE

Pastor Arrested at Movie Theater for Preaching After ‘Avengers’

Posted: 08 May 2018 12:49 PM PDT

Pastor Arrested at Movie Theater for Preaching After ‘Avengers’Pastor Michael Webber made national headlines last week when his preaching at a movie theater in Redlands, California, following a showing of the “Avengers” caused people to run for their lives and led to his arrest on a misdemeanor charge.  In an interview with The Christian Post, Webber, the 28-year-old

pastor of Truth & Triumph Ministries, said he often evangelizes at movie theaters. But following a showing of the “Avengers” on the evening of April 26 the lights in the theater were still off when he began to preach, and he believes that’s what led to the chaos of people running for the exits and some being injured as they tried to escape. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Ebola returns in Congo! 17 Dead

Posted: 08 May 2018 12:44 PM PDT

DEVELOPING: Ebola returns in Congo! 17 DeadSeventeen people in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have died from Ebola, the health ministry said on Tuesday, describing the fresh outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact.”  “Twenty-one cases of fever with hemorrhagic indications and 17 deaths” have been recorded in Equateur province, it said, citing a notification to the ministry as of May 3.  It is the DRC’s ninth known

outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the deadly viral disease was first identified in then-Zaire by a Belgian-led team. In Geneva, the World Health Organization (WHO) said lab tests in the DRC confirmed the presence of Ebola virus in two out of five samples collected from patients. “WHO is working closely with the government of the DRC to rapidly scale up its operations and mobilize health partners, using the model of a successful response to a similar… outbreak in 2017,” it said in a statement. READ MORE

Israel prepares missile defense systems and bomb shelters as US leaves Iran nuclear deal

Posted: 08 May 2018 12:33 PM PDT

Israel prepares missile defense systems and bomb shelters as US leaves Iran nuclear dealIsrael has deployed multiple iron dome defense systems across the northern parts of the country as Israeli authorities fear an Iranian attack is imminent following the US’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.  Israel has instructed local authorities in the Israeli-held Golan Heights to “unlock and ready bomb shelters” after identifying what the military described as “irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria”.

The military statement further said that its defense systems had been deployed “and IDF (Israel Defence Force) troops are on high alert for an attack”. The deployment comes as the Israeli defense minister praised Donald Trump’s announcement today that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. READ MORE

Jerusalem to name city square in Trump’s honor…

Posted: 08 May 2018 12:27 PM PDT

Jerusalem to name city square in Trump’s honor…Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced his intention to formally name the square near the US embassy site the “United States Square in honor of President Donald Trump,” the Jerusalem Press Office released on Tuesday.  An official event with American dignitaries will be held in the future to celebrate the naming.   “This is the way in which Jerusalem returns love to the president and residents of the United

States who stand by the state of Israel,” said the mayor. “President Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people, stand on the side of historical truth and do the right thing.” Located at the junction of David Flusser Street and Kfar Etzion Street, the square was formally green-lighted to get a new name a year ago by the naming committee of Jerusalem.  READ MORE

Trump pulls out of Iran Nuclear Deal, Mideast on High Alert

Posted: 08 May 2018 12:23 PM PDT

Trump pulls out of Iran Nuclear Deal, Mideast on High AlertPresident Donald Trump announced Tuesday the U.S. will pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, declaring he was making the world safer but dealing a profound blow to allies and deepening the president’s isolation on the world stage.  “The United States does not make empty threats,” he said in a televised address from the White House. Trump said the 2015 agreement, which included Germany, France and Britain, was a “horrible one-sided deal that should never ever have been made.”

He added that the United States “will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.”  Trump’s decision means Iran’s government must now decide whether to follow the U.S. and withdraw or try to salvage what’s left of the deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he was sending his foreign minister to the countries remaining in the accord but warned there was only a short time to negotiate with them and his country could soon “start enriching uranium more than before.”  READ MORE

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United Methodist Women Doubles Down on Radical Left at Assembly — Juicy Ecumenism

As the official women’s organization of the United Methodist Church convenes this weekend in Columbus, Ohio for its quadrennial gathering, the list of speakers should raise eyebrows. United Methodist Women (UMW) will feature keynote addresses from two co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington: Linda Sarsour and Tamika D. Mallory.

The United Methodist Women Assembly has long been known as a hotbed of hard-left political activism, and the May 18-20 gathering will be no exception. According to UMW, approximately 8,000 women are expected to participate. An invitation to Sarsour and Mallory to address the gathering is a step further than the organization has gone in recent memory.

The UMW cites Mallory as “a champion of the new civil rights movement”, but the activist drew criticism from Jewish and Israeli media when she pledged her support for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who has a long history of anti-Semitic statements.

Sarsour is promoted as “an award winning racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, and mother of three”. An American Muslim of Palestinian descent, Sarsour has been criticized for a string of social media messages praising the Muslim Brotherhood, attacking U.S. military recruiters, police, and declaring “Nothing is creepier than Zionism”.

At the last UMW Assembly held in 2014, former U.S. Secretary of State and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton was invited to keynote, prompting the IRD to issue a press release calling on Clinton to distance herself from the more troubling aspects of the UMW’s Assembly, including an anti-Israel workshop entitled “Why Justice in Palestine Is a Racial Justice Imperative” led by an anti-Israel activist.

“UMW’s anti-Israel stance doesn’t represent the views and policies of Hillary Clinton in her public life,” said IRD President Mark Tooley. “It would be so helpful if she urged UMW’s officials in a new, more helpful direction of democracy, security, liberty and especially religious freedom for all.”

In 2016, Clinton, just before a vote of the United Methodist General Conference on church divestment from companies doing business with Israel, reasserted that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was counterproductive to peace. Later the conference voted to encourage church boards and agencies to end their affiliation with an organization that promotes boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Anti-Israel activism isn’t the only area where the UMW has diverged from the United Methodist General Conference. The Women’s March featured abortion provider Planned Parenthood as one of its two premier sponsors of its 2017 rally, and organizers’ decided to remove a pro-life woman’s group from partnership status.

Just two years ago UMW was reined in by the United Methodist General Conference, which instructed the agency to disassociate from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), of which it was at the time a coalition member. The organization, formerly known as the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, exists to provide a veneer of religious support for unrestricted abortion-on-demand.

United Methodist Women claims to be the largest faith-based women’s organization in the world, but it has also experienced significant decline in recent years. At its height in 1974, the UMW reported 1.36 million members. Statistics made available by the United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration (GFCA) show that UMW dropped to 438,543 members in 2016, the most recent reporting year, a 68 percent decline in one generation. The 5.37 percent rate of decline in 2016 (-24,871 from the previous year) exceeds that of the denomination’s overall U.S. membership, which dropped only 1.62 percent in the same time period.

Themed “The Power of Bold” the 2018 Assembly centers around four Social Justice priorities: Maternal & Child Health, Climate Justice, Mass Incarceration and Economic Inequality. The UMW Assembly program states that throughout Assembly 2018, participants will explore the biblical story of Mary, mother of Jesus.

Mary is a religious, social, civic and even cultural icon whose story is deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of people around the world,” the program reads.

via United Methodist Women Doubles Down on Radical Left at Assembly — Juicy Ecumenism

Messengers of Reconciliation — Grace to You Blog

2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Code: B180509

Our primary ministry as Christians is the natural extension of God’s ministry to us.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:18–21)

Five times in those verses, we see the word “reconcile” in some form, and the repetition is no mistake. The message of the gospel is the message of reconciliation. The alienated sinner can be reconciled to God. That’s what we pray for, what we teach, and it’s why we live. Some even die for it. It is the unparalleled message of reconciliation with God through the work of Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. In a sense, it’s simply another way to describe the Great Commission—going into all the world, preaching the gospel to every creature, making disciples, baptizing, and teaching them to observe all the things that Christ has commanded (Matthew 28:18–20). The ministry of the gospel is the good news that sinners can be reconciled to God.

Left to himself, man cannot bring about such a reconciliation. To begin with, reconciliation has to be initiated by the offended party. David’s tragic spiritual collapse included his affair with Bathsheba and the vicious murder of her husband, Uriah. But when he finally faced the totality of his wickedness, he understood his sin was ultimately an offense against God. In Psalm 51, he cries out in confession, “Against You, You only, I have sinned” (Psalm 51:4). Although we frequently sin against and offend one another, sin’s primary characteristic is that in the end, it is an offense to God. And reconciliation for our lives of sin is available only if God, as the offended party, makes it possible.

From the human side, hell is inevitable. Damnation will occur. As hopeless sinners, we are dead—unable to awaken ourselves, shed our blindness, or bend the knee to God. There’s nothing we can do to shift the affections of the heart away from sin and toward the Lord. As sinners, our destination is eternal punishment. We have no powers within us, morally or spiritually, to devise a way of reconciliation. If there is ever going to be a change in the relationship, it has to come from God.

The good news—the greatest news—is that God has mercifully chosen to reconcile sinners to Himself. He has graciously made a way of redemption and restoration available to us through the sacrifice of His Son. Moreover, He has made those who are reconciled the agents of His redeeming work to a world in desperate need of it.

In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul calls us “ambassadors for Christ”—the Greek word is presbeuomen (related to presbuteros, a bishop or elder), and refers to representatives who bear responsibility. We are God’s ambassadors, tasked with the solemn responsibility of bringing the word of reconciliation to sinners. And if we are going to effectively carry out this responsibility, we must understand the features of the message.

One of my consistent disappointments in ministry is to see how few people who profess to know and love the Lord can give a detailed, coherent presentation of the gospel. It should not be so difficult for Christians to explain and exalt the work of Christ in their lives. After all, it is the only reason we’re still here.

The only reason God has kept us in the world is for the work of evangelism. Yes, we’re saved to worship, but God tolerates our imperfect worship on this side of eternity for the sake of adding to His kingdom. We’re also saved to be sanctified, but God tolerates our inadequate, incomplete sanctification to keep us here to evangelize. He endures all our consistent errors and failures because He has work for us here that we cannot accomplish in heaven. The only thing we can do better in this life than in the life to come is evangelism. And as we consider Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, we see four essential aspects of God’s reconciling work and the glorious gospel we proclaim.

Come back next Monday for the first of those aspects as we consider “Reconciliation by the Will of God.”


(Adapted from Good News)


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via Messengers of Reconciliation — Grace to You Blog

The Gracious Work of the Holy Spirit — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Many people come to faith in Jesus Christ long before they are able to articulate the theology of regeneration and conversion. Slowly, we realize that what seemed a “simple” act—trusting in Christ—was in fact a complex experience of divine activity. The Holy Spirit needed to be secretly active, since “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3).

Woven into this work of grace, then, is the unnoticed activity of the Spirit as He persuades us that the Scriptures—our ultimate source for knowing Christ—are the Word of the God. Coming to this conviction also seems simple and straightforward. But when examined closely, it reveals a similar complex of marvelous divine activity.

In the case of faith in Christ, the pattern is:

(1) the incarnation of the Son;
(2) His revelation of His identity;
(3) His multifaceted corroboration in words and works;
(4) illumination in the hearts of believers.

All this results in our seeing who Jesus really is and trusting Him.

Thus, the Spirit persuades us about Jesus entirely on the basis of Jesus Himself. Yet this persuasion arises because the Father has sent Him, because Jesus gives evidence of who He is, and because the Spirit opens our blind eyes to recognize Him. As with Peter, our conviction is not a flesh-and-blood matter (Matt. 16:16–17); like Mary in the garden, we may not at first recognize who Jesus really is (John 20:14); like the disciples on the Emmaus Road, our eyes need to be opened (Luke 24:31).

However, our only access now to the knowledge of the Living Word (Jesus) is through the written Word. Faith in Christ depends upon Scripture’s divine character and testimony. We come to Christ through the Apostles’ words (John 17:20).

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the process by which we are convinced that Scripture is God’s Word has an underlying structure similar to faith’s conviction about Christ:

(1) The inspiration of Scripture—it is God-breathed.
(2) The revelation of Scripture’s identity in its internal claims to be the Word of God.
(3) The corroboration of Scripture’s authority in the evidences that it is God’s Word through its message about God’s character, His saving works, fulfilled prophecy, and its effects in the lives of God’s people.
(4) The illumination of Scripture’s message through the Spirit’s softening of hard hearts, bowing stubborn wills, and opening blind eyes as we read and hear its message.

Question: Why, then, do conversion to Christ and conviction about Scripture as God’s Word seem to us so simple: “I believe in Jesus Christ” and “I believe Scripture is the Word of God”?

Answer: Because in both instances, the object we trust is the final reason for our trust. Thus, the Spirit does not add new information about Jesus. He simply opens our eyes to see who He really is: “You are the Christ.”

Nor does the Spirit whisper directly and personally to us, “The Bible is the Word of God.” No, His testimony comes through the Scriptures themselves. He enables us to see Scripture as it really is when we read or hear it. He causes our hearts to burn when we experience that, in Scripture, God “addresses you” (present tense; Heb. 12:5).

Thus, the Spirit convinces us about Scripture ultimately from Scripture itself.

This was Timothy’s experience. God “breathed out” the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16). They claimed to be the Word of God (v. 15). Timothy was confronted with the evidence (including the changed lives of his mother, grandmother, and spiritual father; vv. 10, 14). Timothy was convinced (v. 14).

This was the Thessalonians’ experience. Paul carried the Word to Thessalonica; it was spoken as the Word of God; it gave evidence of its identity; the Thessalonians “accepted it, not as the word of men, but as it really is, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13). This persuasion was the Spirit’s work (1:5). This is the doctrine of the internal testimony of the Spirit expressed in its simplest form.

This is our experience, too. The same testimony of the Spirit is experienced whenever anyone comes to faith in Christ and trusts Scripture as God’s Word. Someone will experience it today. Pause, and thank God for it.

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

via The Gracious Work of the Holy Spirit — Ligonier Ministries Blog

May 8, 2018 RenewAmerica Newsletter

May 8, 2018
ALAN KEYES — In an article published last week, I politely critiqued a headline of an email I received, which welcomed the possibility of “a paradigm shift in America,” in which media featuring people “empowered with a Christian worldview” become “the dominant mainstream in television programming.”… (more)

May 8, 2018
Daniel Hoffman says the former intel chief is aiding a Russian plot to deepen America’s partisan divide
WASHINGTON TIMES — A behind-the-scenes U.S. intelligence community fight over the merits of publicly scorning President Trump has burst into the open recently, with the CIA’s former Moscow station chief accusing Obama-era spymaster John O. Brennan of crossing a red line through incessant Twitter and cable news excoriations of the current commander in chief…. (more)

May 7, 2018
NEW YORKER — Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has long been a liberal Democratic champion of women’s rights, and recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes…. (more)

May 7, 2018
NEWSMAX — Israeli defense officials have warned that Iran is planning to order its proxies to fire missiles at northern Israel in retaliation for recent airstrikes in Syria attributed to Israel that killed Iranian personnel, The Times of Israel reported on Sunday…. (more)

May 7, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is pushing to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress this week for not complying with a subpoena. Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting classified information for his committee’s investigation into abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and counterintelligence inquiries, including the targeting of Americans such as former Trump campaign official Carter Page, but the letter was ignored…. (more)

May 7, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Thousands of supporters of Iranian opposition groups rallied just blocks from the White House on Saturday for the downfall of Tehran’s theocratic government and to invite President Trump to “rip up” the Iran nuclear deal. The rally came one week before Mr. Trump’s May 12 deadline to decide whether to pull out of the Obama-era Iranian nuclear deal that saw the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China ease sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program. Mr. Trump has criticized the 2015 accord since it took effect…. (more)

May 7, 2018
The Texas senator has some ideas about how the GOP can pass more bills with fewer than 60 votes.
NATIONAL REVIEW — Shortly after his speech to the NRA’s annual meeting Friday, Texas senator Ted Cruz took a few moments to speak to National Review about what Republicans can get done in the remainder of the year, and the options they have for working around the filibuster efforts of Senate Democrats…. (more)

May 6, 2018
DAILY CALLER — The FBI attorney who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with another bureau official resigned on Friday, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. The FBI confirmed that the lawyer, Lisa Page, tendered her resignation…. (more)

May 6, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Fired FBI Director James Comey has repeatedly denied during his book tour that he ever testified that FBI agents concluded that retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn didn’t intentionally mislead them. That adamant assertion came into question Friday night when the Republican majority on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released portions of Mr. Comey’s closed-door testimony. The section had been classified when the panel’s Russia report was first released last month…. (more)

May 6, 2018
It’s time to level with the public about the basis for Mueller’s investigation.
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — ‘How do you know Trump’s not a suspect?” I’ve been hearing that question a lot these days. News reports indicate that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may try to coerce President Trump’s testimony by issuing a grand-jury subpoena if the president does not agree to a “voluntary” interview. That has sparked a public debate over the question of whether Mueller, an inferior executive officer, has such authority to strong-arm the chief executive – – the official in whom the Constitution reposes all executive power, including the power that Mueller exercises only as long as the president permits it…. (more)

May 6, 2018
Dozens of organizations join hundreds in Congress asking for rules changes to reach goal
BOB UNRUH — Now is the time for President Trump’s administration to fulfill a campaign promise of defunding the giant abortion business Planned Parenthood. That’s according to a letter submitted to the federal Department of Health and Human Services by representatives of nearly 90 organizations, including National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Eagle Forum, Live Action, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the Catholic Association…. (more)

May 6, 2018
Warm welcome contrasts with boos at previous graduation speeches
WASHINGTON TIMES — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos received a standing ovation Saturday where she might have least expected it – – at a college graduation ceremony. The friendly reception came at Ave Maria University, a small Catholic liberal arts college near Naples, Florida, after her commencement speech on the importance of public service that included a jab at the “pernicious effects” of big government…. (more)

May 6, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A long-awaited report on free speech protections at the University of California, Berkeley, blames “hard to defend” conservative speakers for inciting left-wing students to violence. A commission of Berkeley faculty, students formed in 2017 after violent and costly student protests called its commitment to free speech into question. Their months-long study of the issue resulted in the conclusion that “ultra-conservative rhetoric” by the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter only exists to “advance a facile narrative that universities are not tolerant of conservative speech.”… (more)

May 5, 2018
REUTERS — A federal judge said Special Counsel Robert Mueller should not have “unfettered power” in probing ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, and accused Mueller of using criminal cases to pressure Trump’s allies to turn against him…. (more)

May 5, 2018
FOX NEWS — A federal judge on Friday harshly rebuked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during a hearing for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort – – suggesting they lied about the scope of the investigation, are seeking “unfettered power” and are more interested in bringing down the president…. (more)

May 5, 2018
Former U.S. attorney: ‘To question the integrity is unprecedented’
GREG COROMBOS — A federal judge blasted the special counsel investigation of Robert Mueller Friday, accusing the former FBI director of assuming “unfettered” authority and maintaining control of the Paul Manafort prosecution solely to squeeze out incriminating information about President Trump…. (more)

May 5, 2018
REUTERS — The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said…. (more)

May 5, 2018
BREITBART — President Donald Trump took the podium at the NRA convention on May 4 amid massive applause, thanked NRA leadership and the “American patriots of the NRA,” then launched into a speech reaffirming that our natural rights originate in God…. (more)

May 5, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump on Friday reiterated his call to arm qualified teachers as part of the response to the recent Parkland, Florida, school shooting, while slamming gun-free zones as invitations to potential mass killers. “We strongly believe in allowing highly-trained teachers to carry concealed weapons,” Mr. Trump said, also calling for “highly trained security guards.”… (more)

May 5, 2018
Report: ‘First time in the country’s history’
WORLDNETDAILY — For the “first time in the country’s history,” Saudi Arabia has agreed to build Christian churches for its Christian population, which before now has been banned by law from practicing their faith openly…. (more)

May 4, 2018
If you want more Deep State inroads, send Romney to Washington; if not, Utah has a choice
WES VERNON — So it’s all settled: Mitt Romney is Utah’s next United States Senator. Right? Not necessarily. There’s a conservative alternative in the June primary, but that (ahem) is mere formality. The skids supposedly are greased. He’s in. That’s what the Deep State tells us.”Deep State” includes powerful media; moneyed elitists in both parties; Democrats who tolerate Republicans who behave and cave to Democrat demands, etc…. (more)

May 4, 2018
CBN NEWS — After President Donald Trump held a celebration for the National Day of Prayer in the Rose Garden, and signed an executive order setting up a new faith-based office, Vice President Mike Pence did an interview with CBN News’ David Brody – – in his office…. (more)

May 4, 2018
CBN NEWS — He had the backing of Pope Francis, but what about the Church in his home country of the United Kingdom? Did 23-month-old Alfie Evans and his parents’ alternative plan of medical treatment in Italy have its support?… (more)

May 4, 2018
WORLDNETDAILY — Federal investigators were reportedly “monitoring” at least one phone call Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to the White House before the FBI raids, a revelation that prompted Rudy Giuliani to demand intervention by Attorney General Jeff Sessions…. (more)

May 4, 2018
Pat Buchanan: President should tell Congress: ‘Impeach me and be damned’
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN — If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions…. (more)