Daily Archives: May 16, 2018

May 16: Dysfunctional Problem-Solving

1 Chronicles 3:1–4:23; 1 Timothy 3:8–16; Psalm 77:1–20

When I locate a problem, I often fixate on it. I think that if I analyze it enough, I can solve it. This is a problem when I come to difficult issues that require someone else’s expertise. Stubbornly, I want to figure out the problem myself. I want to be self-sufficient. When God is the only one who can solve my problem, I’ve just created an impossible scenario.

When the psalmist hit troubling times and questioned the things that were accepted truths in his life, he didn’t seek his answer from anyone but God. When he felt far from God and questioned all he had taken for granted, the questions he asks are close to those in our own hearts: “Why God? Have you removed your favor?” (Psa 77:7). “Has your steadfast love ceased forever?” (Psa 77:8). “Do your promises end?” (Psa 77:8).

It would have been tempting to dwell on his personal experiences to answer these questions. But instead, the psalmist turns to study God’s redemptive work. This seems counter-intuitive to us, but we find this practice throughout the psalms. Why doesn’t the psalmist simply address the problem at hand? He knew that to understand God’s work in the present, he had to look to the past. He had to consider God’s work in humanity—His wonders of old, mighty deeds, holy ways, and power among the peoples. Ultimately, though, the psalmist looks to God’s work of redemption in the exodus from Egypt. He needed a backward glance—a look at God’s faithfulness to His people in the past.

We have an even greater redemptive story than the exodus. When things seem to go wrong, when we question God’s plan for our life, we can look back to Christ’s work on the cross. We’re not leaving our story for another one when we do this; instead, we’re acknowledging Christ’s ongoing work in our lives through the Holy Spirit. His work sets our entire life in perspective.

When life seems complicated, don’t try to be self-sufficient. When your emotions dictate otherwise, take a backward glance at the cross and reckon in your mind and heart what is already true of God’s love for you. There has never been such a testament of His love. Then take a faithful step forward, trusting in Him.

How are you trying to be self-sufficient? How are you taking a backward glance at the cross and stepping forward in faith?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


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

May 16 Friendship Evangelism (Philip)

The twelve apostles included “Philip” (Matt. 10:3).

✧✧✧

Friendships can provide the most fertile soil for evangelism.

Philip was probably a fisherman who was acquainted with Peter, Andrew, James, John, Nathanael, and Thomas prior to their all becoming disciples. We first meet him in John 1:43–46, which says, “The next day [after Jesus encountered Peter and Andrew], He purposed to go forth into Galilee, and He found Philip, and Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. … Come and see.’”

Those brief verses reveal two things about Philip. First, he had a seeking heart. Apparently he and Nathanael had studied the Scriptures in anticipation of the Messiah’s coming. When Jesus said, “Follow Me,” Philip was ready. Jeremiah 29:13 describes such a person: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Second, he had the heart of an evangelist. The first thing he did after his own conversion was to lead Nathanael to Christ. Imagine his joy as he told his friend about the One for whom they had searched so long!

I believe friendships usually provide the best context for evangelism because you’re introducing Christ into an already established relationship of love, trust, and mutual respect. After all, it’s only natural to share the joy of your salvation with someone you love.

I pray that your joy overflows to those around you and that they are drawn to Christ because of your testimony.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Do you have unsaved friends? If so, be faithful in praying for their salvation and asking the Lord to use you as an instrument of His grace. If not, ask the Lord to bring unsaved people into your life so you can tell them about Christ.

For Further Study: The Samaritan woman Jesus met at Jacob’s well spoke of Him not only to her friends but also to the entire city. Read John 4:1–42. ✧ What analogy did Jesus use in presenting the gospel to her? ✧ How did Jesus describe true worshipers? ✧ What was the reaction of the city people to the woman’s testimony?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 149). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

The State of the Bible 2018: Five Types of Bible Readers — Bible Gateway Blog

The State of the Bible 2018 research—commissioned by American Bible Society (@americanbible) and conducted by Barna Group (@barnagroup)—reveals trends in how often Americans are reading the Bible, their perceptions around the Bible, and how much impact the Bible has on their choices, relationships, and lives overall.

[Select a Bible Reading Plan that’s right for you from Bible Gateway]

We’ll unpack the research in the weeks ahead. To begin, here are the five categories in which the survey takers are placed in the report:

Bible Centered (9% of the population) More often than not, Bible Centered adults are
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  • married men from the Baby Boomer generation
  • are 51 years of age on average
  • attend church weekly
  • attend Protestant churches
  • and reside in the South.

Most do not have children under 18 at home. Four out of five Bible Centered adults (80%) use the Bible every day, while the remainder read it several times a week (16%) or once a week (3%).

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Latest Bible-Related Research]

State of the Bible 2018 chart: Scripture Engagement by Age

[Read Bible Gateway Blog posts that Introduce You to the Bible]

Bible Engaged (17% of the population) On average, Bible Engaged adults are 4 years younger than those who are Centered, at 47 years old. Like Bible Centered adults, Engaged

  • are more likely to be married
  • attend a Protestant church
  • are weekly church attenders
  • and reside in the South.

More women than men are in the Engaged category. Three in 10 Engaged adults (30%) use the Bible every day, and another 59% read it at least weekly.

Bible Friendly (15% of adults) Adults in this category average 44 years of age. Men are just as likely as women to be in this group, and they’re just as likely to be married as they are single. Half are non-practicing Christians, that is, they call themselves Christian but either don’t attend church at least once a month or don’t consider their faith very important. They’re just as likely to attend a Catholic church as they are a Protestant church. Just under half (47%) attend church weekly. While only 8% use the Bible every day, just under half use it once a week (47%), compared to 21% who use it monthly, and 24% who use it at least once a year.

State of the Bible 2018 chart: Bible Use Among the Five Engagement Segments

Bible Neutral (5% of adults) interact with the Bible sporadically. More than half (55%) use the Bible at least three or four times a year, 23% use it once a month, and the remaining 21% use it at least one a week or more. They’re younger than other engagement segments, with an average age of 38 and more likely to be men than women. Two-thirds are not practicing Christians, and another one in six (16%) are non-Christians or aren’t affiliated with any faith group. While 42% attend church weekly, more than one-third are unchurched (38%).

Bible Disengaged (54% of the adult population): The largest segment of the population is defined as Bible Disengaged. Those in the Bible Disengaged category don’t necessarily have hostile or negative feelings toward the Bible, but may simply be indifferent. A majority of the Bible Disengaged don’t interact with the Bible at all. 91% use the Bible on their own once or twice a year or less. The Disengaged are primarily classified by their infrequent interaction with the Bible and its minimal impact on their lives.

The average age is on par with Bible Engaged adults at 46. Bible Disengaged are more likely to be

  • Gen X
  • unmarried
  • without children under 18 at home
  • and reside in the suburbs.

They’re roughly split between non-practicing Christians (46%) and non-Christians (48%); few are practicing Christians (6%). They’re largely unchurched (73%), and a small 10% report using the Bible at least three to four times a year. Three in five (60%) say they never engage with the Bible on their own, while 22% use it less than once a year.

via The State of the Bible 2018: Five Types of Bible Readers — Bible Gateway Blog

In Midst of Arab Invasion of Israel, Baptists Denounce Israel — Pulpit & Pen

The State of Israel has had to defend its border in recent days, as the radical terrorist group, Hamas, has tried to find weaknesses in the Israeli defensive lines and infiltrate the nation to kill Jews. Centered in the region known as Gaza, which was occupied by Egypt until 1967 and by Israel from 1967 to 2005, Hamas-backed Palestinians attempted to breach the Israeli border fence, lobbed improvised explosives at Israeli soldiers, fired into Israel with firearms, and burned tires to create a smokescreen for invaders to cross into Israel undetected. In response, Israel has defended its sovereign boundaries against attack, and has killed more than 60 Palestinians who were either attempting unauthorized entry into Israel or who were providing aid and support to those attempting entry. Set off in anger after President Donald J. Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem (many Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist, let alone choose its own capitol), the attack on Israel led to the deadliest period of border conflict since 2014.

In response, Baptists in the United States have issued a statement condemning violence on the part of…Israel. Apparently missing the news that it was the Palestinians who were the violent aggressors and Israel who was defending its border with great restraint, the Baptists’ statement called for evangelicals to “reject theologies that justify oppression and violence” toward Palestinians.

The Baptist group that made the statement is the primarily African American Baptist “denomination,” The Lott Carey Global Christian Missional Community. “Lott Carey” says on its website that its goal is to “be a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, ecumenical community engaged in the Christian witness around the world.” The organization was founded in 1897 as the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Society, named after an African slave born in 1780 who came to faith in 1807 and later led the first Baptist missionaries back to evangelize Africa. For several decades, Lott Carey has primarily focused on matters relating to Social Justice. In 2016, they led an effort to combat consumer debt, claiming that credit card companies and lenders were trying to “enslave” minority groups.

The second sentence of the statement accused the United Nations forming the State of Israel in 1948 due to the influence of “Zionism.” The statement goes on to say that Lott Carey sent a team of “Pilgrims” to Palestine in February of 2017 and witnessed the “injustices” perpetrated upon the Palestinian people by the hand of Israel. The statement continues to say that American media is unfairly portraying the Palestinians.

The mainstream media in the United States inadequately reports these stories. Consequently, great atrocities go unnamed and unnoticed in America. Instead, we receive mostly propaganda that depicts Palestinian people as aggressive, antagonistic actors with irrational and unfounded hatred for Israeli people.

Instead, the Baptist group says, the Palestinian people are longing for justice and suffering under tyranny. The statement reads, “The Palestinians are, with the exceeding generosity of United States taxpayer funding, been systematically disenfranchised and oppressed by the policies of the Israeli state.”

Later in the statement, the group compares Israeli treatment of the Palestinians to Jim Crow laws in the United States prior to the Civil Rights Movement.

The Israeli government imposes a system of injustice similar to Jim Crow laws in the United States that discriminated against African Americans until the mid-1960s and the Apartheid system of racial discrimination against “Black” and “Colored” people in South Africa that ended in 1994. Many of the young Palestinians endure tensions and angst seen today in many African-American youth who live in fear of violence from law enforcement personnel who are supposed to protect and serve but who are held to little or no accountability when they harass, injure or murder innocent people. The message of both groups is the same: “STOP KILLING US!”

You can read the Baptist statement here. 

via In Midst of Arab Invasion of Israel, Baptists Denounce Israel — Pulpit & Pen

Hamas Terrorist At Gaza Border Surprised To Hear Media Describe Him As Peaceful Protester — The Babylon Bee

GAZA STRIP—A member of militant terror group Hamas who had been attempting to breach the Israeli border after the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem confessed he was surprised to hear dozens of U.S. media outlets describe him as a “peaceful protester,” sources confirmed. The aggressive “soldier of Allah,” who has declared he will not…

via Hamas Terrorist At Gaza Border Surprised To Hear Media Describe Him As Peaceful Protester — The Babylon Bee

Andy Stanley Checks Himself Into Theological Rehab — The Babylon Bee

ATLANTA, GA—After yet another “confusing at best” statement by popular preacher and author Andy Stanley, the pastor checked himself into a local theological rehab center Wednesday. Stanley voluntarily enrolled in a six-month rehabilitation program at the clinic after reviewing several troubling comments he had made in the past few years. Arriving at the clinic as paparazzi…

via Andy Stanley Checks Himself Into Theological Rehab — The Babylon Bee

The Law/Gospel Distinction (Olevianus)

The Reformed Reader

An Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism The Reformers understood the difference between the law and the gospel.  It wasn’t just Luther who made this important distinction.  For one example, here’s how Caspar Olevianus (d. 1587) explained it (as quoted by Otto Thelemann):

“With reference to the relation between the law and the Gospel, Olevianus says:

“The law is a principle which God has implanted in nature, and has repeated and renewed in the commandments, in which He presents to us as in a handwriting what we are bound to do and what to leave undone, viz., a perfect inner and outer obedience; and He promises eternal life on the condition that we keep the law of God perfectly all our life. But on the other hand, eternal damnation is threatened if we do not keep it, but transgress it in one or more points. Deut. 27:26. After the law has once been transgressed, there is…

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Presbyterian Minister Blesses Planned Parenthood Clinic, Serves as Clinic Chaplain — Pulpit & Pen

Marvin Ellison is a Presbyterian minister. He is also the volunteer chaplain at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Portland, where he “blesses” the operation in prayer.

Ellison wrote an op-ed in the Maine Press Herald

We’re proud to be part of a highly professional and highly caring health care team. Along with our Planned Parenthood colleagues, we’re committed to showing care and respect for the whole person, including her (or his) physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. As chaplains, we undertake this work not in spite of, but because of our faith and values.

It’s his belief in the Bible, Ellison says, that leads him to work for Planned Parenthood and not against them. In fact, God is absolutely for abortion. His role as a minister, he says, is to help given women “spiritual permission” to [kill their unborn child].

According to LifeSite News editor, Steven Ertelt, “And he is basically meeting with patients to, kind of, give them spiritual permission, if you will,for them to have abortions and kill their unborn children.”

Ellison continued in his op-ed

Recently our chaplains hosted a blessing of the Planned Parenthood health center here in Portland. We did so for three reasons. First, we wanted to express our heartfelt gratitude to the health center and its staff, patients, volunteers and supporters and celebrate the compassion, wisdom, courage and professionalism of this remarkable group of people.

Second, we wanted to acknowledge the very challenging cultural and political context in which the health center operates and give witness to the moral fortitude of the staff in providing high-quality care to patients while continuing to trust women and stand with them (as well as with their male patients) through thick and thin.

Third, we wanted to reaffirm the wider community’s support of Planned Parenthood. We believe in its mission and applaud its life-affirming values. As we said during the blessing, “We thank God for Planned Parenthood and for the amazing work you do, day in and day out, with passion, courage, wisdom and grace” (emphasis ours).

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

via Presbyterian Minister Blesses Planned Parenthood Clinic, Serves as Clinic Chaplain — Pulpit & Pen

Are There Carnal Christians? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

One of the great and ghastly errors—not just error but heresy—that permeates the evangelical world today is the doctrine of the carnal Christian. The doctrine of the carnal Christian was first set forth in a theological framework that taught this: that at regeneration the Holy Spirit can come in and save a person without changing the person at all. There had to be a second stage where there was lordship introduced on the throne of the soul for a person to be Spirit-filled and so on and not be carnal. But the idea was that you could be a believer and be altogether carnal. Now the Bible says we are carnal, we’re sold under sin, and as long as we’re in this life we still have a certain “fleshiness” that accompanies our walk as Christians, but if you’re 100 percent flesh and 100 percent carnal, you’re 100 percent unconverted.

via Are There Carnal Christians? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

MAY 16 HOLY SPIRIT, ALL DIVINE

It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

1 John 5:6

I wonder if any Christian can ever show forth the transforming radiance of the love of God without a complete surrender to the indwelling Person of the Holy Spirit.

Surely that was in the mind of the songwriter, as he prayed and sang:

Holy Ghost, with light divine,

Shine upon this heart of mine;

Chase the shades of night away,

Turn my darkness into day.

Holy Spirit, all divine,

Dwell within this heart of mine;

Cast down every idol throne,

Reign supreme—and reign alone.

Our world is filled with hatred and conflict, violence and bloodshed. Through the plan of redemption, God has dealt graciously with this global problem of hatred in the hearts of men and women. He has sent the source of love and light and radiance to the human bosom; Paul himself testifying: “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).

Lord, may Your divine love minister through me to a hurting person today.[1]


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

May 16, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

North Korea threw next month’s summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump into doubt on Wednesday, threatening weeks of diplomatic progress by saying it may reconsider if Washington insists it unilaterally gives up its nuclear weapons.

A U.S. Senate committee voted on Wednesday in favor of Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be CIA director, and she is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate as soon as next week.

The White House has eliminated the position of cyber security coordinator after President Donald Trump’s first appointee for the job departed last week, a spokesman for the National Security Council confirmed on Tuesday.

The head of the U.S. Homeland Security Department on Tuesday told Congress that the agency needs new legal authority to track threatening drones and disable or destroy them if necessary.

Explosions intensified on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano on Tuesday, spewing ash and triggering a red alert for aircraft for the first time since the latest eruption began 12 days ago.

Ninety-four percent of U.S. public school teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies without reimbursement, according to a Department of Education survey on Tuesday that follows protests by educators who are asking for more pay and funding.

Indonesian police shot dead four men on Wednesday after they used samurai swords to attack officers at Riau police headquarters in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, a police spokesman said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russian military vessels with Kalibr cruise missiles would be on permanent standby in the Mediterranean to counter what he said was the terrorist threat in Syria.

Hundreds of thousands of people remained without power in the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday after ferocious storms packing fierce winds and hail battered the region, killing three people.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union’s Iowa branch said they sued on Tuesday to stop a state law that would impose the strictest abortion limits in the United States from taking effect.

AP Top Stories

Chlorine gas was likely used during an attack in Syria this past February, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed.

The Syrian government retook full control of central Syria on Wednesday as rebels and their relatives were evacuated from final pockets of territory still outside the regime’s grasp.

The Palestinian Authority has recalled its envoys to Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria after their ambassadors attended an Israeli reception marking the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, it said Wednesday.

A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas Tuesday of deliberately putting children in the line of fire amid an outcry over the Israeli army’s killing of dozens of Palestinians along the Gaza border.

A man who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group when he shot a Philadelphia police officer in 2016 was sentenced Monday to a minimum 48 and a half years in prison.

President Donald Trump has picked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s brother-in-law – a man with apparently no government experience and unclear qualifications – to lead a Department of Labor agency responsible for current and future pensions of about 1.5 million people.

A federal lawsuit filed by a Chicago nonprofit in an attempt to block the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park accuses organizers of pulling an “institutional bait and switch” by shifting the center’s purpose away from being a true presidential library. Protect Our Parks Inc. also claims in its lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, that the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago don’t have the authority to transfer public parkland to nongovernmental entity such as the Obama Foundation.

As a group, Americans have shockingly little saved for retirement. Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study , which surveyed 2,003 adults, found that 21 percent of Americans have nothing saved at all for their golden years, and a third of Americans have less than $5,000. Only 24 percent of Northwestern Mutual respondents say it’s ‘extremely likely’ that Social Security will be available when they retire.

BBC

The organizer of a gay pride week in Lebanon says authorities have forced him to cancel the remaining events. Last year, Lebanon became the first Arab country to hold a gay pride week.

Authorities in Venezuela have seized a plant owned by the American cereal manufacturer Kellogg. It comes after the firm announced it was pulling out of the country because of the worsening economic situation. The factory had been handed to workers and would continue production.

A new report says the number of Africans taking refuge within their countries because of conflict has doubled in a single year.

Japan’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2018 for the first time in two years, ending the longest stretch of economic growth since the 1980s.

WND

A judge in California has pulled the plug on the state’s assisted-suicide law, and while Attorney General Xavier Becerra is expected to continue to fight for the provisions that can be used to take peoples’ lives, the decision offers a reprieve from that process for now.

A team of California scientists has been given $213,000 to study … cow farts.


The Briefing — Wednesday, May 16, 2018

1) Why the reality of implicit racial bias is even more true than the secular world can grasp

USA Today (Derek Thomas) –
Before the next videotaped Starbucks disaster, everyone should take implicit bias training

2) Understanding the inevitable implicit bias in tests for implicit bias

 

3) The ad-hoc nature of meaning in a secular age as seen in the wedding announcements of the New York Times

 

4) Why is the popularity of biblical names declining for girls but not for boys?

Social Security Administration –
Top 10 Baby Names of 2017


News – 5/16/2018

Effort to revive brains could invoke ‘living hell’
Reanimating dead brains could lock humans in an eternal “living hell,” a “fate worse than death,” says Nottingham Trent ethics and philosophy lecturer Benjamin Curtis, the London Daily Mail reported. The British paper reported Yale University announced the successful resuscitation of the brains of as many as 200 slaughtered pigs. The brains were kept alive for up to 36 hours. Scientists says the breakthrough could one day allow humans to become immortal by hooking up their brains to artificial systems after their natural bodies have perished.

The US And Europe To Go Separate Ways Pursuing Divergent Goals
What the US did manage was to deal a heavy blow to trans-Atlantic solidarity. Washington set a six-month deadline for European companies doing business in Iran to get out. They’ll have to either terminate their operations or face heavy penalties. This means that the US has now become the main threat to Europe’s economy.

Meet Tesla’s new bondholder: Billionaire George Soros
The investment firm founded and chaired by billionaire George Soros took a stake in Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) bonds during the first three months of the year, giving the electric carmaker run by Elon Musk a prominent supporter.

Trump team ready to ‘pressure’ Mueller at probe’s one-year mark
President Donald Trump’s attorney has an unlikely new role model for special counsel Robert Mueller: James Comey. “Come on! They’ve had a whole year,” “We’re going to raise the pressure to try to get this thing over with. It’s gone on long enough,” he added.

Planned Parenthood joins Soros scheme to give Democrats control of Senate
Left-wing billionaire George Soros is putting his money behind a new campaign to return the United States Senate to Democratic control, and Planned Parenthood is reporting for duty.

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem, two days after U.S.
Just as Guatemala followed the United States in May 1948 and was the second country to recognize Israel, it became the second state after the US on Wednesday to open its embassy in Jerusalem. “This is the beginning of something extraordinary,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the dedication of the new embassy on the third floor of a high-rise office building in the Malha Technological Park in Jerusalem.

Defense Minister: Hamas is a group of cannibals that uses kids as weapons
Hamas is a “group of cannibals” who uses their women and children as weapons, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday after deadly clashes along the Gaza border fence left over 60 Palestinians dead. “The Hamas leadership is a group of cannibals that treats their children as weapons. They have rockets, sidearms and a different kind of weapon: Women and children,” he claimed during a visit to the Gaza Division.

Hamas turns away truckloads of Israeli humanitarian aid destined for Gaza
Hamas turned away two large truckloads of Israeli humanitarian aid intended to relieve medical shortages in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. The IDF said it coordinated the transfer of eight truckloads of vital medical equipment through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing due to severe humanitarian conditions in the Hamas-controlled enclave, exacerbated by two days of violent clashes on the Gaza-Israel border.

Pope condemns Gaza killings, says Mideast needs justice, peace
Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the killing of Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border, saying the deaths would only lead to more violence, and appealed for dialogue to bring justice and peace to the Middle East. “I express my great pain for the dead and wounded and I am close in prayer and affection to all those who are suffering,” he told tens of thousands of people at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

North Korea is dismantling its nuclear site, but is it abandoning its arsenal or hiding evidence?
Satellite imagery shows North Korea dismantling facilities at its nuclear test site, but experts say the images can’t reveal whether it is the first step toward full denuclearization, or an attempt to cloak nuclear capabilities from outside observers. North Korea’s intentions were thrown further into doubt on Wednesday, when it abruptly announced it may “reconsider” meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in June…

Russia’s new hypersonic weapon will likely be ready for war by 2020
A Russian weapon the U.S. is currently unable to defend against will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with direct knowledge of American intelligence reports. The sources, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said Russia successfully tested the weapon, which could carry a nuclear warhead, twice in 2016.

Turkey and Israel expel envoys over Gaza violence
Turkey and Israel expelled each other’s senior diplomats on Tuesday in a dispute over the killing by Israeli forces of 60 Palestinians a day earlier during protests on the Gaza border. Turkey told Israel’s ambassador to leave the country on Tuesday after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Pentagon Wants Cloud Secure Enough to Hold Nuke Secrets
The Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud will be designed to host the government’s most sensitive classified data, including critical nuclear weapon design information and other nuclear secrets. The Pentagon is expected to bid out the controversial JEDI cloud contract this week…the winning company must be able to obtain the full range of top secret government security clearances…

Hundreds of thousands remain without power after deadly storm pounds U.S. Northeast
Hundreds of thousands of people remained without power in the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday after ferocious storms packing fierce winds and hail battered the region, killing three people. Hours after the storms knocked down power lines and trees across the region, some 360,000 customers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were without power, tracking service PowerOutage.us said.

Pence: Trump ‘Greatest Defender of Israel Ever’ in White House
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that President Donald Trump is the “greatest defender of the Jewish state to ever to sit in the Oval Office” at a celebration of the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem in Washington, D.C. “Just as President Truman made history then Trump has made history now—thanks to his leadership, almost exactly 70 years to the minute since the rebirth of the Jewish state, the American Embassy officially opened in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel,”

An End-of-Days Guide to the Embassy Move
On Monday, the US Embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem as per the orders of President Donald Trump in what many believe was an integral part of the Messianic process that will culminate in another architectural landmark: the building of the Third Temple. Several prominent rabbis weigh in on what this really means and why it is not simply another short-lived political agenda. Rabbi Gimpel said. “It would be a tragic mistake to view this historic move as unintentional or a coincidence, coming, as it does, on Israel’s 70th anniversary.”

DOJ responds to request for info on Comey’s law professor friend
“The committees are aware James Comey, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), shared or instructed staff to share at least some portion of the memos he drafted memorializing his conversations with President Donald J. Trump (the Comey Memos) to an individual named Daniel Richman,” the letter read. Richman, who works at Columbia University, previously worked as a “special government employee” for Comey’s FBI on an unpaid basis. The lawmakers said they wanted more information on that arrangement.

Hawaii volcano eruption intensifies, triggering ‘red’ warning
The U.S. Geological Survery upgraded its previous volcano warning from “orange” to “red,” signifying that an “eruption is forecasted to be imminent with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere likely,” or that an eruption is already underway.

Turkey humiliates Israeli ambassador
Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Eitan Naeh was subjected to special security checks in Istanbul Wednesday, after the Turkish government ordered him out of the country amid rising tensions with Israel. On Tuesday, Turkey announced it was expelling Naeh, following Israel’s use of force to defend the border with Gaza…

MSNBC hosts: Trump’s pro-Israel moves are ‘appalling’
Mika Brzezinski slams Trump family for taking part in J’lem embassy ceremony while Gazans rioted, backs claim embassy move was ‘appalling’.

Bennett: we will never even discuss dividing Jerusalem
Education Minister tells critics of US embassy in Jerusalem to ‘get over it’ in interview with CNN.

Forecasters: 2018 Hurricane Season Will Be a Busy One
Parts of the country are still cleaning up after 2017’s devastating hurricane season, but forecasters are already sounding a warning bell about 2018. And even though hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, the first named storm could arrive as soon as this weekend.

Violent storms in India kill at least 86
Indian authorities said Monday at least 86 people have been killed and over 100 injured in a fresh wave of violent sandstorms and thunderstorms that battered vast swathes of the country.

Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau instructed the Canadian ambassador to Israel to boycott the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem
A mere three years later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has turned Canada into a fake friend of Israel, so that he can appease his large Muslim voting base.

Judge pulls plug on California’s assisted-suicide law
A judge in California has pulled the plug on the state’s assisted-suicide law, and while Attorney General Xavier Becerra is expected to continue to fight for the provisions that can be used to take peoples’ lives, the decision offers a reprieve from that process for now.

Disney Parks To Sell Rainbow Gay Pride Mickey Ears As They Continue To Promote Left-Wing Values
Nothing like some good old fashioned youth indoctrination, which seems to be Disney’s primary goal as of late.

Paddock 2.0? Man Claiming to Be Federal Agent Found in Hotel With Arsenal & Psych Meds
After a man’s social media posts were flagged by the FBI, a tip to the Honolulu Police resulted in officers finding a large cache of loaded weapons during a welfare check at his hotel room.

Apocalyptic Lightning Cloud Formation Envelops Skies Above Oklahoma
In a scene uncannily reminiscent of apocalyptic Hollywood sci-fis, the skies over Oklahoma were host to a rare meteorological phenomenon which covered the area in strange puckered clouds.

Facebook Report Shows Censorship Numbers
Facebook removed millions of accounts and pieces of content in the past several months, the company stated in its first ever such report.

Is This The Worst Scandal In Minnesota History? – American Experiment
Five years ago the Fox 9 Investigators were first to report that daycare fraud was on the rise in Minnesota, exposing how some businesses were gaming the system to steal millions in government subsidies meant to help low-income families with their childcare expenses.

United Nations Quietly Working Towards International Gun Control
No matter what is going on in the world, you can count on the United Nations to be slowly and consistently working towards their goal of global dominance.

VIDEO: Gazan Muslim “Protesters”, Meat Cleavers, Bombs, Firebombs in Hand, Cut Through Gaza Fence, Chant “Khaybar, Khaybar!” – Evoking Muhammad’s Genocide of Jewish Tribe
Much like Hitler knew he could count on Der Stürmer,  genocidal, Jew hating Muslims can always count on the enemedia and Euro-Nazi-lefttists government officials to spin, scrub and market Islamic Jew-hatred.

CANADA CHAOS: ‘Migrant Surge’ Hits Major Canadian Cities
Canadian authorities are struggling to get a grip on a massive “migrant surge” that hit major cities across the country in April, with new data showing nearly 3,000 people illegally entered the country in just one month.

University’s Alleged ‘Hate Crime Epidemic’ Dries Up After 400 Security Cameras Installed
After the Massachusetts school installed 400 security cameras, the weekly rate of people reporting bias and hate crimes there dropped by a whopping 93 percent.

Turkey, South Africa Recall Envoys to Israel, Blaming Jewish State For ‘Genocide,’ ‘Violent Aggression’
Turkey, in the face of violent protests from the formal opening of America’s new embassy in Jerusalem, recalled its ambassadors and declared three days of mourning for the “Palestinians” who were killed during riots. South Africa pulled its envoys as well.

Top 7 noticeable signs of anti-health sabotage indicating the depopulation agenda
The U.S. medical paradigm shuffles pills to treat symptoms, not looking for causes.


Mid-Day Snapshot

NoKo Threatens to Cancel Summit, but Will China Let It?

Kim is angling for concessions from Trump before any deal is done, but Beijing is the key.

Jobless in Seattle

Seattle’s new “head tax” of $275 per full-time employee is going to kill jobs.

Compromise in Transgender Debate Demands Rejection of Reality

Conservatism is rooted in the pursuit of objective truth, and the truth is there are only two genders.

Palestinian ‘Demonstrators’ Aren’t Innocent Bystanders

Hamas is convenient cannon fodder, which explains the media’s assigning blame for violence elsewhere.

SNAP: Off the Dole and Back to Work

Republicans aim to revamp food stamps to help more people to be self-sufficient.

Trump Is Correct: China to Blame for Millions of Job Losses

The primary culprit for the loss of American manufacturing jobs is China, not technology.

Video: Israel = Controversial, Cuba = Historic

When it comes to Leftmedia coverage, there’s really no comparison.

Wednesday Short Cuts

“I believe [the FBI] never should have opened a counterintelligence investigation into a political party.” —Rep. Devin Nunes

Wednesday Opinion

Read Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Marc A. Thiessen, Michelle Malkin, Walter Williams and more.

Wednesday Top Headlines

North Korea’s threats, Haspel’s votes, primary results, Seattle’s tax, California malaise, and more.

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


The Foundation

“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.” —James Madison (1816)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: May 16

  • North Korea Bristles at U.S. Demands; Summit in Jeopardy (Read More)
  • Trump Is ‘Ready to Meet’ Despite North Korea’s Threat on Summit (Read More)
  • Italian markets jolted by 5-Star, League coalition proposals (Read More)
  • Italian Bonds Fall While Populists Debate $300 Billion Write-Down (Read More)
  • EU Readies Measures to Protect Firms From U.S. Sanctions on Iran (Read More)
  • Israel says Hamas curbed Gaza protests after Egyptian warning (Read More)
  • Why the Credit-Card Boom May Have Just Peaked (Read More)
  • How Rusal escaped the noose of U.S. sanctions (Reuters)
  • Military firms flourish in Sisi’s Egypt (Read More)
  • Pennsylvania’s Voters Break Up All-Male Congressional Delegation (Read More
  • EU leaders explore ways to save Iran economic ties from U.S. sanctions (Read More)
  • Trump’s Goal for Nafta Rewrite Looks Unattainable in 2018 (Read More)
  • Top Novartis lawyer exits over Trump attorney deal error (Read More)
  • Justice Department and F.B.I. Are Investigating Cambridge Analytica (Read More)
  • Meet Tesla’s new bondholder: Billionaire George Soros (Read More)
  • Tesla Workers Can Now Make Dinner With Vending-Machine Meal Kits (Read More)
  • You’ve Got Air Miles, but Can You Use Them? Top Frequent-Flier Programs for 2018 (Read More)
  • Hundreds of thousands remain without power after deadly storm pounds U.S. Northeast (Read More)
  • A Venezuelan paradox: Maduro’s critics long for change but won’t vote (Read More)
  • Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices for Prime members in new grocery showdown (Read More)

Headlines – 5/16/2018

Quelling health fears after ‘minor’ ear op., Abbas calls for two-state solution

UN chief calls for political solution for Gaza: “a two state solution allowing Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and security together”

Netanyahu: ‘No point of peace based on lies’

Cheering Israel’s 70th, descendants of Nazis march in Jerusalem

Pence calls Trump the greatest defender Israel ever had in White House

Democrats conspicuously absent from Israeli embassy’s DC party

The U.S. embassy move: A powerful message, America will stand by our friends

In rare rebuff of Trump, Saudis reject US embassy transfer to Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia: US embassy in Jerusalem represents prejudice against Palestinian rights

Colbert Rips Into Ivanka and Jared as ‘Peace-Treaty Barbie’ Opens U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemala to follow in U.S. footsteps, move embassy today

State Department: Hamas using embassy move as excuse for violence

Arab League calls on ICC to investigate ‘Israeli crimes’

White House: Israel Not To Blame For 58 Palestinian Deaths

Haley to UN: ‘No country would act with more restraint than Israel’

‘Enough is enough’: UN condemns Israel as Palestinians bury their dead

UNHRC: Palestinians approaching fence not ‘sufficient grounds’ for live fire

UNHRC: Israel ‘ignores international law again and again’

UN Human Rights Council to hold special session on Israel-Gaza violence

Gaza violence: Israelis and Palestinians in fierce exchanges at UN

Hamas said to offer Israel quiet at Gaza border if airstrikes curbed

Hundreds In Israel And Beyond Protest Killings Of Palestinians On Gaza Border

Ramadan in Gaza: Muslim Holy Month Comes as Israel Kills More Palestinian Protesters

24 out of 61 slain protesters were terrorists

Trump marks start of Ramadan by praising Muslims

Nakba Day draws only 2,000 demonstrators in West Bank and Israeli Arab towns

Uneasy Calm Falls Over Gaza After Israel Kills Scores at Protests

Gaza hospitals struggles to cope with high casualty toll

Hamas trying to use deadly Gaza clashes to secure humanitarian relief, Israel believes

Israeli military sends aid to Gaza

Pipe bomb thrown at IDF force in Hebron

Gaza violence spurs global worry about US Mideast policies

France says Middle East is ‘explosive,’ disagrees with US policy

Ireland dresses down Israeli ambassador over Gaza border deaths

Meeting Erdogan, UK’s May calls for investigation into Gaza border violence

Erdogan: Hamas is not a terrorist organization

Erdan calls to resume targeted killings of Hamas leaders

In Gaza, Palestinians feel abandoned to their fate by an indifferent world

Marking new low in ties, Abbas recalls Palestinian envoy from US

‘Freedom Flotilla’ sets sail from Sweden to the Gaza Strip

In rare move, Knesset c’tee pushes for applying new city elections bill in settlements – within weeks

Al-Qaeda chief says Tel Aviv is also Muslim land

Nasrallah: ‘If Israel crosses red line, next strike will be at its heart’

‘I gave the US trucks and ammunition to Al Qaeda’: The chaotic US effort to arm Syrian rebels

Iraq election: Prime minister trails rivals

Tunisian policemen foil knife attack outside synagogue – Would-be assailant reportedly shouted that he hates Israel

South African leaders tell country’s Jews to reject ‘Nazi-like’ Israel

Israel expels Turkish consul in Jerusalem after Ankara boots Israel’s ambassador

PM Netanyahu: ‘Erdogan knows terrorism and slaughter well, he shouldn’t preach to us’

Bahrain strips 115 of nationality over ‘terrorism’

Netanyahu discusses Iran with Merkel, Gaza with Macron

Iran says will not renegotiate nuclear deal; Warns Israel

Iran to resume uranium enrichment if nuclear talks with EU fail

Report: Iran says can resume nuclear activity to much higher level than before 2015 deal

Iran says EU should make up for US withdrawal from nuclear deal

Iran’s Rouhani asks EU to stand against US ‘illegal and illogical’ actions

Merkel says European ties with US set back over Iran

US imposes sanctions on Iran’s central bank chief, others

EU tells Iran it will try to protect firms from US sanctions

Iran upbeat on nuclear deal after EU talks

North Korea suspends high level talks with South Korea over military drills with US

North Korea threatens to call off U.S. summit amid military drills

Putin drives truck over new controversial bridge linking Russia to Crimea peninsula

Russia’s bridge to Crimea: A metaphor for the Putin era

Putin’s bridge to Crimea illustrates his power – and his regime’s weakness

Russia inches towards making observation of US sanctions a crime

Filling up the gas tank cost Americans an extra $4.4 billion in April

3,000 People In Sweden Have Inserted Microchips Under Their Skin

Lie-detecting computer kiosks equipped with artificial intelligence look like the future of border security

Subcutaneous Fitbits? These cows are modeling the tracking technology of the future

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Pamandzi, Mayotte

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Enarotali, Indonesia

Ring Of Fire On Alert After Philippines Earthquake: California Is Warned

Miscoded test Tsunami Warning wrongly distributed in Alaska and causes public concern

La Palma volcano: Canary Islands hit by 40 tremors

Red alert declared on Hawaii’s Big Island; major Kilauea eruption ‘imminent’

Hawaii volcano sees new burst of volcanic ash as officials warn of ‘continuous explosive activity’

Hawaii Volcano Escalates, Threatening to Shoot Rocks ‘the Size of Trucks’

Hawaii residents near volcano deal with falling ash, toxic gas, fears of the ‘big one’

Dangerous sulfur dioxide near Hawaii volcano may cause ‘inability to breathe’

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Reports: State of Emergency issued in New York after severe storms batter northeastern US

At least 2 dead, hundreds of thousands without power after violent storms slam Northeast

Two surgeons in China developing a method to transplant a human head

Judge overturns CA assisted-suicide law on legislative process grounds

Spikes in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis take STDs to record highs in California

Untreatable ‘super gonorrhea’ case could be ‘tip of the iceberg’

Italy anti-abortion posters spark outcry in Rome

Lebanon’s gay pride week brought to halt after crackdown

Maryland Becomes the 11th State to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors

Does the Devil Make Us Do Things?

Posted: 16 May 2018 10:29 AM PDT

Does the Devil Make Us Do Things?“When the devil had ended all the temptations, he departed from Him until another time” (Luke 4:13).

(By Shane Idleman) One simple story illustrates an example of an opportune time, “Alexander was trying to save all the pennies that he could in order to buy a baseball bat. But he had a hard struggle. One night when he was saying his prayers, his mother heard him say fervently, ‘O Lord, please help me save my money for a baseball bat. And, God, don’t let the ice cream man come down this street anymore’!”

Isn’t that true of temptation? It takes from us, while at the same time, it looks so appealing. Commentator Klyne Snodgrass states it well, “Mention of the ‘schemes’ of the devil reminds us of the trickery by which evil and temptation present themselves in our lives. Evil rarely looks evil until it accomplishes its goal; it gains entrance by appearing attractive, desirable, and perfectly legitimate. It is a baited and camouflaged trap.” That’s important to note: we can miss evil for what it really is until after it has accomplished its purpose. Only by comparing thoughts and actions to God’s Word can we have the insight to see beyond the circumstances. READ MORE

PROPHECY WATCH: King of Turkey urges Islamic Nations to “Unite against Israel”

Posted: 16 May 2018 10:23 AM PDT

PROPHECY WATCH: King of Turkey urges Islamic Nations to “Unite against Israel”Prophetic headlines are once again leaping off the pages as reports are now indicating that Turkey has urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel after dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border.  Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his ruling party in parliament that Ankara would call an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  “Islamic countries should without fail review their relations with Israel,” Premier

Yildirim said, adding, “The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre.” Yildirim said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the body, called the OIC summit on Friday.  Yildirim said that after the summit at 3:00 pm a giant rally would be held at the vast Yenikapi meeting area in Istanbul under the slogan of “Stop the Oppression” to express solidarity with the Palestinians.  READ MORE

Hawaii Volcano In chain Of 169 Volcanoes, 50 Are Ready To blow

Posted: 16 May 2018 06:20 AM PDT

Hawaii Volcano In chain Of 169 Volcanoes, 50 Are Ready To blowThe Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is not the only one people should be concerned about. In fact, the volcano is in a long chain of 169 others and of those, 50 are poised to explode, said scientists.  The United States Geological Survey (USGS) lists a total of 169 volatile volcanoes across the Western US, Hawaii, and Alaska. The US volcanoes have been active to varying degrees over the years but the ongoing eruption in Hawaii has reminded people of the unexpected dangers of mother nature;

especially considering scientists say that at least 50 of the fiery mountains listed have been deemed by the USGS to be a “high priority” for the scientific monitoring for an eruption.  According to the USGS, “volcanic unrest is persistent” in Alaska and Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands are at the end of a chain of volcanoes that formed more than 70 million years ago.  Mauna Loa, for example, the world’s largest active Hawaiian volcano and neighbor to Kilauea on Big Island, has erupted 33 times in the last 175 years. A yellow volcanic advisory for Mauna Loa has been in effect since April after a bout of tremors rocked deep underground beneath the volcano.  READ MORE

Colorado hailstorm so powerful snowplows were dispatched to clear roads of 3 inches of hail

Posted: 16 May 2018 06:10 AM PDT

Colorado hailstorm so powerful snowplows were dispatched to clear roads of 3 inches of hailA May hail storm caused some trouble for residents on the southern and eastern edge of the Denver metro area with more than 3 inches of hail reported near Parker and drivers forced to pull over on Monday afternoon.

Here some incredible pictures and videos of that sizeable hail that pelted cars and quickly piled up on roads to the point that snowplows were dispatched to clear high traffic areas.  It looked a lot like snow but it was more than three inches of hail that was reported at the Pinery.  READ MORE

3 ways the devil Is attacking the Church today

Posted: 16 May 2018 05:53 AM PDT

3 ways the devil Is attacking the Church today

(By Asher Intrater) One of the amazing graces we receive from God through Yeshua, along with forgiveness of sins, eternal life and the Shekhina presence of the Holy Spirit, is the power and authority to heal the sick and cast out demons. Although casting out demons is portrayed in the entertainment world as some kind of weird, insidious, dark ritual, it is actually a commonplace event in the lives of true followers of Yeshua,

to be accompanied by true repentance and a commitment to a pure and honorable life afterwards.  While it is exciting to think of the ability to cast out demons, there is also spiritual warfare against the works of the devil on a wider, more corporate level. Individual demons cause sin and sickness, but greater powers of evil are assigned to destroy the community of faith as a whole. That corporate attack on the Ecclesia comes on three levels: CONTINUE

Theologians warn that Andy Stanley’s message to ‘Unhitch’ Old Testament Is heresy

Posted: 16 May 2018 05:46 AM PDT

Theologians warn that Andy Stanley’s message to ‘Unhitch’ Old Testament Is heresyMegachurch pastor Andy Stanley’s recent message in which he urged Christians to “unhitch” their faith from the Old Testament continues to draw flak, with some calling it heresy.   Both Kevin DeYoung of Christ Covenant Church and Wesley Hill of Trinity School for Ministry are calling Stanley

out for what they contend is heretical teaching — namely, Marcionism — that stems from the early church days. “Most of the 39-minute talk can really only be described as an elaborate and educated flirtation with the old Christian heresy of Marcionism—the belief that the Old Testament is not authoritative in matters of Christian doctrine and morals,” Hill stated, referring to Stanley’s sermon from April. READ MORE

Russia’s new hypersonic weapon likely to be ready for war by 2020

Posted: 16 May 2018 05:40 AM PDT

Russia’s new hypersonic weapon likely to be ready for war by 2020A Russian weapon the U.S. is currently unable to defend against will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with direct knowledge of American intelligence reports.  The sources, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said Russia successfully tested the weapon, which could carry

a nuclear warhead, twice in 2016. The third known test of the device, called a hypersonic glide vehicle, was carried out in October 2017 and resulted in a failure when the platform crashed seconds before striking its target.  The latest revelations come more than two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin touted his nation’s growing hypersonic arsenal as “invincible.”  READ MORE

4 Ways Porn Can Destroy Your Child

Posted: 16 May 2018 05:35 AM PDT

4 Ways Porn Can Destroy Your ChildThe increase of pornography use and addiction among adults is a growing concern around the world. Sadly, it is far worse for today’s children who are growing up in a fully connected world. Porn is devastating an entire generation of young people.  According to ChildLine founder Dame Esther Rantzen, “Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. We know they

are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, and they are telling us very clearly that this is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them.”  Many studies report that the average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. But security technology company Bitdefender’s research states that children under the age of 10 now comprise 22 percent of online porn viewing for youth under 18 years old. The under-10-years-old group now accounts for 1 in 10 visitors to porn video sites. READ MORE

At least 61 dead in four states from deadly dust storms

Posted: 16 May 2018 05:26 AM PDT

At least 61 dead in four states from deadly dust stormsAt least 61 people have died in fierce dust storms across four Indian states since Sunday evening, with officials warning of more bad weather to come.  High-speed winds and lightning devastated many villages, bringing down homes and leaving dozens injured.  The northern state of Uttar Pradesh reported the highest death toll – 38.

More than 70 people had died in dust storms in the state earlier in May.  Officials told BBC Hindi that casualties could go up further.  Twelve people were reported dead in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, which was also severely hit by the storms. Nine people were killed in the eastern state of West Bengal, while two people have been confirmed dead in Delhi. READ MORE

Ring Of Fire on alert after Philippines earthquake: California has been warned

Posted: 16 May 2018 05:21 AM PDT

Ring Of Fire on alert after Philippines earthquake: California has been warnedAfter a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines, the Ring of Fire was put on alert. After dozens of earthquakes rocked Hawaii this month, followed by a volcanic eruption, many fear the Ring of Fire has become much more active, which has prompted scientists to warn California.   The recent and strong Philippines earthquake struck 113 miles from Davao, which is home to about 1.2 million people. No tsunami threat has been issued for the Philippines, however, which is made up of more than 7,500 islands.

The lack of tsunami warning has slightly calmed the fears of those living in the vicinity of the quake, but those who reside near the Ring of Fire are on alert. Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which could be set to unleash its biggest eruption yet in the coming week, along with the 5.2 magnitude earthquake in the Philippines has scientists looking more closely at the densely populated state of California. According to The Express UK, the Pacific Ring of Fire volcanoes are more explosive than the ones located in the island state of Hawaii. READ MORE

Pence says Trump is ‘Greatest Defender of Israel Ever’ in White House

Posted: 15 May 2018 12:34 PM PDT

Pence says Trump is ‘Greatest Defender of Israel Ever’ in White HouseU.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that President Donald Trump is the “greatest defender of the Jewish state to ever to sit in the Oval Office” at a celebration of the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem in Washington, D.C.  “Just as President Truman made history then Trump has made history now—thanks to his leadership, almost exactly 70 years to the minute since the rebirth of the Jewish state, the American Embassy officially opened in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of

Israel,” Pence declared at the event that also celebrated Israel’s 70 anniversary, which fell on May 14 on the secular calendar.  Pence’s speech came several hours after the United States officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a key promise made by Trump and Pence. Pence added: “By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction—and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace.”  READ MORE

CUP OF TREMBLING: Israel faces diplomatic fallout after dozens killed in Gaza…

Posted: 15 May 2018 12:24 PM PDT

CUP OF TREMBLING: Israel faces diplomatic fallout after dozens killed in Gaza…Israel faced a growing backlash Tuesday and new charges of using excessive force, a day after Israeli troops firing from across a border fence killed 59 Palestinians and wounded more than 2,700 at a mass protest in Gaza.  Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador, while Ireland and Belgium summoned Israeli envoys. Leading European countries and the U.N. human rights office called for an

investigation of the bloodshed, and the U.N. Security Council held a moment of silence for the Palestinians killed Monday as it opened discussions on the Gaza situation.  Israel says it has the right to defend its border against a possible mass breach and accuses Gaza’s Hamas rulers of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests. A military spokesman said Tuesday that 14 of those killed a day earlier were involved in attacks.  MORE


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Part 5: Who’s the Boss? — Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

God is like someone who is always there for you; I don’t know, it’s like God is God. He’s just like somebody that’ll always help you go through whatever you’re going through. When I became a Christian I was just praying, and it always made me feel better. (fifteen-year-old Hispanic conservative Protestant girl from Florida quoted by Smith)

[Religion matters] cause God made us and if you ask him for something I believe he gives it to you. Yeah, he hasn’t let me down yet. [So what is God like?] God is a spirit that grants you anything you want, but not anything bad. (fourteen-year-old white Catholic boy from Pennsylvania quoted by Smith)

God’s all around you, all the time. He believes in forgiving people and whatnot, and he’s there to guide us, for somebody to talk to and help us through our problems. Of course, he doesn’t talk back. (seventeen-year-old conservative Protestant girl from Florida quoted by Smith)

 

We’ve been looking at America’s Default Religion, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. We’ve looked at the first 3 statements of the unofficial creed herehere, and here. This time, we will see a further aspect of the therapeutic and deistic nature of this religion in considering the unofficial creed’s fourth statement.

via Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Part 5: Who’s the Boss? — Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

Jesus Calling, Contemplative Prayer, the New Age, and Psalm 46:10 — Lighthouse Trails Inc

Jesus Calling, Contemplative Prayer, the New Age, and Psalm 46:10 By Warren B. Smith Countless references to meditating, being quiet, being still, relaxing, resting, letting go, and reciting Psalm 46:10 are found throughout God Calling and Jesus Calling. They are all suggested ways of entering into “the silence” to experience God’s presence. The New Age/New…

via Jesus Calling, Contemplative Prayer, the New Age, and Psalm 46:10 — Lighthouse Trails Inc

May 16 Wednesday: Low Deeds in High Places

By James Boice on May 16, 2018 12:00 am

The stanzas of the New International Version are a reasonable way to outline this psalm. The first stanza is itself in two parts, since verses 1 and 2 address the wicked directly while verses 3-5 describe what they are like. But there is a sense in which the entire stanza is a portrait of these people. Stanza two is a prayer that they might be overcome or destroyed, a malediction. It occupies verses 6-8. The final stanza, verses 9-11, is a prediction of the end of the wicked and the vindication of the righteous. It concludes with a striking summary in verse 11.

Read more…

May 16 Confrontation!

They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 5:40b-42

I love that. They did not stop. They counted themselves fortunate to suffer dishonor for his name. It seems to take Christians so long to face up to the simple declaration of Scripture that, when they were called to be a Christian, they were called to suffer. As Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him. (Philippians 1:29). We are called to this. Suffering is an integral part of the Christian experience. It is not something that is unusual or reserved for just a few; it is for all. Peter wrote, Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12). Don’t think it is strange. You go through problems, difficulties, heartaches, disappointments, ostracism and coolness from others, all for the sake of the Name. Don’t think that is strange. It is that to which we are called.

In a world that is run by illusions, governed by deceptions, and is a victim of lies and maliciously evil falsehoods, what else can we expect if we stand for the truth? People will think we are strange, at times. People will think we react in funny ways. There will be some degree of coolness, even among those who are, in many other ways, friendly toward us. They will think we are a little odd. But it is they who are odd; it is we who are normal. When a normal person lives in a world full of oddballs, they think he’s odd. But that is the suffering to which he is called. Like these disciples, we ought to thank God for it and rejoice in it. Jesus said that, didn’t he? Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name’s sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, … for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you… (Matthew 5:11-12 KJV).

The church, then, is not to wring its hands, and say, Oh what a terrible thing! We’re being opposed! What an awful thing! No! Rejoice, like these early Christians did. Count it an honor that you have been called to suffer a little for his name’s sake. Stand up and be counted.

Father, help me to understand that we are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world, and we must begin to act that way again.

Life Application
When ‘truth has fallen in the public squares’ are we prepared to fulfill our calling to speak for Truth? Do we resist the forces of evil for Christ’s sake, in His wisdom and with His Truth?
Related Message
For more on this portion of Scripture read the message:
Confrontation!

May 16, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Great Thanksgiving

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (15:57)

Because of Jesus’ perfect obedience to the law (Rom. 5:19) and the satisfaction He made for its victims, those who trust in Him “are not under law, but under grace,” having “been released from the Law” (Rom. 6:14; 7:6). Jesus has both fulfilled the law and fulfilled righteousness. Because His life was sinless and therefore fulfilled the law, His death conquered sin.

Paul gives thanks to the One who will give us the great transformation of our bodies and who has made the great triumph over sin and death. That which we could never do for ourselves God has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot live sinlessly and thereby fulfill the law, nor can we remove sin once we have committed it, or remove its consequence, which is death. But on our behalf Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, fulfilling the law; removed our sin by Himself paying the penalty for it, satisfying God with a perfect sacrifice; and conquered death by being raised from the dead. All of that great victory He accomplished for us and gives to us. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). He took our curse and our condemnation and gives us victory in their place.

How can we do anything but thank and praise God for what He has done for us? He has promised us an imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual body for one that is perishable, dishonorable, weak, and natural. He promises us the heavenly in exchange for the earthly, the immortal in exchange for the mortal. We know these promises are assured because He has already given us victory over sin and death.

For Christians death has no more power (Heb. 2:14–15), because God has taken away our sin. For Christians death is but the passing of our spirits from this life to the next, the leaving of earth and going to be with Christ. Paul had only one reason for wanting to remain on earth: to continue his ministry for Christ on behalf of others. But for his own benefit and joy he had but one desire: “to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better” (Phil. 1:23–24).

In Christ’s victory over death, death’s sting is removed; it is declawed, defanged, disarmed, destroyed. “And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire, … and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 20:14; 21:4).[1]


57 Thus, not only has the sting of death (sin) been removed, but also the power of sin (the law) has lost its grip—all through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the message that Paul triumphs in v. 57: “Thanks be to God,” who has given us the victory through what he accomplished in Jesus Christ. It is Christ, and Christ alone, who has achieved the victory.[2]


15:57 / Lest the readers become uneasy by the future cast of Paul’s discussion of the resurrection of the dead, in this verse he continues with a doxological declaration of the meaning of all that he has written, especially in relation to the present. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and in the establishment of his lordship in the context of earthly existence, God had already anticipated and actualized in an anticipatory form the ultimate victory that will come in the mysterious end about which Paul has been writing.

This energetic word of thanksgiving to God for the victory given through the Lord Jesus Christ recognizes the present significance of what God is already doing and mitigates against the misperception that what God is doing in Christ has little to do with life in this world. Yet, the dominant future bent of Paul’s reflections is an important corrective to the denial of the resurrection of the dead.[3]


15:57. This brief doxology of thanks to God solidifies the gospel allusion in the preceding verse. Of course, the victory of which Paul spoke was the resurrection of believers, not forgiveness. The victory comes through Jesus Christ not because he died, but because he was raised from the dead. Because believers are united to Christ, they must be resurrected like him.[4]


57. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s jubilation is an appropriate climax to his lengthy discourse on the resurrection. In this climax he expresses his gratitude to God for the victory obtained through Jesus Christ. The key word in this verse is the term victory, which echoes the Old Testament quotations in the previous verses (v. 54–55).

What is this victory? Jesus died because of our sins and conquered death for us by rising from the grave. Through his death, he set us free from the bondage of sin and declared us righteous before God. On the basis of his resurrection and glorification, we look forward to being like him. By faith in Christ, we share his victory over Satan, death, hell, and the grave (compare 1 John 5:4). Conclusively, our risen Lord triumphantly holds the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:18).

While serving Christ, Paul repeatedly faced death. Even though he knows that death is still a powerful force on earth, he is absolutely certain that Jesus Christ has conquered death. Hence, he writes “God … gives us the victory.” Paul uses the present tense; that is, God keeps on giving us the victory in Christ. We may appropriate Jesus’ triumph and rejoice in the riches of salvation that are ours.

Paul clearly states that God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. He notes first the work that Christ performed to set us free; next, he identifies Jesus as our Lord. We acknowledge him as our Lord and in gratitude serve him without distraction by doing his will. Christ is our victorious Lord and we are his grateful servants.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (p. 446). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 405). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 353). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 272). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, p. 586). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Che Ahn: “The 1994 revival in Toronto restored the office of the apostle”.

One of the reasons why we are publishing a lot of particular articles at the moment is to lay the groundwork in order to expose Dr. Michael Brown’s attempt to mainstream the New Apostolic Reformation’s teaching on the ‘new apostolic paradigm’ of restored offices of apostle and prophet. To do this, we need to acknowledge the top leaders of this movement and how they perceived the revivals of the 1990s – and how they read that in light of the developments of the New Apostolic Reformation.

In this article, we look at the work of Che Ahn, a leading NAR leader who openly talks about the New Apostolic Reformation and calls it the ‘Apostolic Reformation’ or the ‘apostolic movement’.

 

 

In 2009, Che Ahn wrote a book titled ‘When Heaven Comes Down’. (The foreword is written by Rolland & Heidi Baker.) In the book extract below, Che Ahn links…

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May 16 The Lord’s Prayer: An Overview, Part 2

Pray, then, in this way.—Matt. 6:9a

Over the years people have had misunderstandings about the Lord’s Prayer (more accurately, the Disciples’ Prayer) that need correcting. First, Jesus’ words were not meant to be repeated as a formal prayer. The disciples had asked Him how to pray, not what to pray. And He hardly would have given them a prayer to recite after He had just warned against “meaningless repetition” (v. 7).

Second, people often don’t realize that Jesus’ teaching here is simply a skeleton or pattern for prayer. As believers, we are to flesh out the skeleton with our own words of worship, praise, and intercession as we come to the Father.

Third, people have seldom realized how versatile Jesus’ pattern for prayer is. Each phrase reflects the relationship between Creator and creature, and each one demonstrates an attitude and spirit of prayer. Similarly, we can variously outline it to show God’s glory versus our need, the threefold purpose of prayer (hallow His name, usher in His kingdom, and do His will), or to present our concerns from a past, present, and future standpoint.

We can see God’s overall purpose in prayer throughout the Lord’s Prayer. The primary focus is on God, which includes our adoration of Him, His worthiness, and His glory. From this model we see that prayer is not so much our asking to meet our own needs and wants, but our affirming God’s sovereignty, holiness, and majesty, and conforming our desires and purposes to His will.

ASK YOURSELF

What have people forfeited the most by viewing this prayer primarily as a rote, methodical, unthinking recitation before God? Does this argue against stating it in unison at church or in other religious gatherings? Or is there value in quoting it together—as long as our hearts are attuned to its meanings?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 145). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

MAY 16 POLITE SOCIETY: “RELIGION MUST NOT GET PERSONAL”

And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

LUKE 24:11

I remind you that it is characteristic of the natural man to keep himself so busy with unimportant trifles that he is able to avoid settling the most important matters relating to life and existence.

Men and women will gather anywhere and everywhere to talk about every subject from the latest fashions on up to Plato and philosophy—up and down the scale! They talk about the necessity for peace. They may talk about the church and how it can be a bulwark against communism. None of these things are embarrassing subjects.

But the conversation all stops and the taboo of silence becomes effective when anyone dares to suggest that there are spiritual subjects of vital importance to our souls that ought to be discussed and considered. There seems to be an unwritten rule in polite society that if any religious subjects are to be discussed, it must be within the framework of theory—“never let it get personal!” All the while, there is really only one thing that is of vital and lasting importance—the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ “was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”[1]


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

Blessed: The Prosperity Gospel in (and Beyond) America — Tim Challies

The United States has a dominant economy and is a powerhouse for exporting goods to other nations. What is America’s most significant export? Answers vary by time and criteria, but most experts point to products related to food or to petroleum. Across all categories, more than $2 trillion in goods and services are sold to foreign businesses each year. But I can’t help but wonder whether history will show that America’s most prominent export in this period of history was not goods or services at all, but a movement most commonly called the prosperity gospel. This movement is the subject of the book Blessed, a fascinating history of America’s prosperity gospel.

“The movement goes by different names,” says Kate Bowler, “ranging from the slightly pejorative (Health and Wealth or Name It and Claim It) to the vaguely descriptive (Faith or Word of Faith) to the blunt shorthand, the prosperity gospel. Though it is hard to describe, it is easy to find.” This movement that began in America—and could only have begun in America—rapidly spread across the world so that today it is the dominant expression of Christianity in nations stretching across the globe. To many of its adherents, it isChristianity. Bowler’s purpose in writing about it is to “show how millions of American Christians came to see money, health, and good fortune as divine.” To do this she follows three lines of argumentation. First, she introduces many of the major figures and features from the movement’s slow but sure development in the twentieth century. Then she shows how the prosperity gospel represents not merely a theological movement but a “transformation of popular religious imagination that has not yet ended.” Finally, she attempts to point out the major themes of the prosperity gospel movement.

It is these themes that receive the bulk of her attention, and she hones in on four of them: faith, wealth, health, and victory.

  • Faith. According to the prosperity gospel, faith is a kind of power that activates or unleashes spiritual forces. These forces have the ability to transform the spoken word into reality. In other words, faith is the means through which human beings can persuade God to grant their desires.
  • Wealth. If faith is the means through which we gain our desires, wealth and health are the clearest demonstrations of it. This means that faith can be quantified by a person’s possessions so that “material reality is the measure of the success of immaterial faith.”The pursuit of wealth varies across the prosperity gospel from a subtle theme to an all-out obsession.
  • Health. According to the tenets of the prosperity gospel, physical health demonstrates a robust faith and physical weakness or illness demonstrates a weak faith. Along with money, health is a clear demonstration of the presence and strength of an adherent’s faith. “The drama of healing and health is a defining feature” of the movement “as believers use their bodies, and not just their finances, as the testing ground for their faith.”
  • Victory. Those who have faith and who properly demonstrate it expect to live lives marked by victory or favor. “Believers trust that no political, social, or economic impediment to faith, and no circumstance, can stop believers from living in total victory here on earth.” Christians are meant to be victors, not victims; they are meant to overcome all obstacles as they transform and dominate the world.

Blessed is a fascinating book that both traces the development of the prosperity gospel and describes its current state. And while Bowler is analytical and dispassionate, her observations and experiences aptly display the full horror of this false gospel. She can’t help but show how it misuses scripture, how it sanctifies greed, how it benefits the few at the cost of the many, how it offers only sorrow to those who do not grow rich or who do not maintain health. At the same time, she insists it is not merely the desire for health and riches that motivates its followers. “On one level, the appeal of prosperity theology is obvious. The faith movement sells a compelling bill of goods: God, wealth, and a healthy body to enjoy it. But it is the enjoyment, the feelings that lift believers’ chins and square their shoulders, that is its fundamental achievement.” Its chief allure, she insists, is its simple optimism.

This ugly movement uses what is visible to both quantify and qualify the invisible. It substitutes what is material for what is spiritual, what is lasting for what is fleeting, what is holy for what is profane. It creates its own metrics (wealth and health) and then uses them as the sure measure of a person’s faith and as the means to guarantee a successful life. In this way and so many others it radically overturns orthodox Christianity (which is to say, Christianity drawn faithfully and carefully from the pages of holy scripture). In this way it is nothing less than a false gospel that must be rebuked and repudiated.

via Blessed: The Prosperity Gospel in (and Beyond) America — Tim Challies