Daily Archives: June 13, 2018

June 13: For It Is Better

2 Chronicles 31:1–32:33; 1 John 2:15–17; Psalm 104:16–35

“If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your limbs be destroyed than your whole body go into hell” (Matt 5:30).

We might struggle to relate to this outspoken Jesus; we prefer gracious Jesus, offering us a pardon from sin through His sacrifice. We like friendly, loving Jesus, who wraps His arms around us even when we act disgracefully. Jesus is all of these things, but He is also very serious about sin.

One of the most tragic trends in church history is the increasingly casual attitude toward sin. We so badly want people to receive God’s grace that we’ve stopped expecting others—and ourselves—to fight against sin. Yet Jesus knew that fighting sin was necessary. In Matthew 5:30, He is not suggesting that we can be sinless by our own merit; salvation comes solely from the free grace He offers through His death. Jesus is telling us that we must rip sin out of our lives. Doing so is how we experience heaven on this earth that is, at times, nothing short of a hell. Jesus is building on what He knew about idolatry and the need for it to be completely abolished.

When the Israelites were confronted with their idolatry, they ripped it out of their lives: “All Israel … went out and shattered the stone pillars, cut down the Asherahs, and destroyed the high places and the altars from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh to the very last one” (2 Chr 31:1). We must do the same. What are we idolizing? What is causing us to sin? We need to rip that idol out or rip that arm off. Otherwise our sins will continue to torment us and prevent us from knowing God.

John the evangelist perhaps put it best: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because everything that is in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance of material possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever” (1 John 2:15–17).

Let’s allow the things that are passing away to be destroyed so we can embrace what is eternal.

What sins do you need to remove from your life? How can you do away with the things that are causing you temptation?

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.

June 13 Speaking from a Pure Heart

“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).

✧✧✧

Your speech reveals the condition of your heart.

In verse 22 James talked about the delusion of hearing the Word without obeying it. Here he talks about the deception of external religious activity without internal purity of heart.

That’s a common deception. Many people confuse a love for religious activity with love for God. They may go through the mechanics of reading the Bible, attending church, praying, giving money, or singing songs, but in reality their hearts are far from God. That kind of deception can be very subtle. That’s why James disregards mere claims to Christianity and confronts our motives and obedience to the Word. Those are the acid tests!

James was selective in the word he used for “religious.” Rather than using the common Greek word that spoke of internal godliness, he chose a word that referred to external religious trappings, ceremonies, and rituals—things that are useless for true spirituality.

He focused on the tongue as a test of true religion because the tongue is a window to the heart. As Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Corrupt speech betrays an unregenerate heart; righteous speech demonstrates a transformed heart. It doesn’t matter how evangelical or Biblical your theology is, if you can’t control your tongue, your religion is useless!

You can learn much about a person’s character if you listen long enough to what he says. In the same way, others learn much about you as they listen to what you say. Do your words reveal a pure heart? Remember Paul’s admonition to “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29). Make that your goal each day, so you can know the blessing and grace of disciplined speech!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Lord to guard your tongue from speaking anything that might dishonor Him. Be aware of everything you say.

For Further Study: Read James 3:1–12. ✧ What warning does James give? ✧ What analogies does he use for the tongue?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 177). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JUNE 13 LOVING GOD ONLY

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:12

The first and greatest commandment is to love God with every power of our entire being. Where love like that exists, there can be no place for a second object.

Yet popular Christianity has as one of its most effective talking points the idea that God exists to help people to get ahead in this world! The God of the poor has become the God of an affluent society. We hear that Christ no longer refuses to be a judge or a divider between money-hungry brothers. He can now be persuaded to assist the brother that has accepted Him to get the better of the brother who has not!

Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. God will not be one of many treasures. His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in selfish striving after personal gain. If we love God as much as we should, surely we cannot dream of a loved object beyond Him which He might help us to obtain!

Lord, show me what it means to love You as You commanded—with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind (see Luke 10:27).[1]


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

A Book Review: To Unpack Roma Downey’s “Box of Butterflies” Is to Discover a Core False Teaching (And Christian Leaders Love It)

LTRP Note: The fact that Roma Downey’s recently released, New Age-promoting book, Box of Butterflies, is being endorsed by numerous evangelical leaders like Rick and Kay Warren, Focus on the Family, Jonathan Falwell, Craig Groeschel, John Hagee, Max Lucado, Erwin McManus, Luis Palau Association, Hillsong, and Ronnie Floyd (the last SBC president) is reason … [Read more…]

The post A Book Review: To Unpack Roma Downey’s “Box of Butterflies” Is to Discover a Core False Teaching (And Christian Leaders Love It) appeared first on Lighthouse Trails Inc.

June 13 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, nor is it the “biggest and most dangerous problem” for the United States, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday on his return from a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un showed Russian President Vladimir Putin had been right to advocate direct dialogue as the only way of reducing tensions with North Korea.

At least 15 people died when two boats sank in rough waters Indonesia, authorities said, and rescue workers scrambled to search for dozens believed missing.

The Gulf state of Qatar has extended a $500 mln aid package to Jordan that includes investments, project finance and job opportunities for Jordanians, an official source said on Wednesday.

A Saudi-led alliance of Arab states launched an attack on Yemen’s main port city on Wednesday, the largest battle of the war, aiming to bring the ruling Houthi movement to its knees at the risk of worsening the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

Facebook is installing new controls it says will better inform its members about the way companies are targeting them with advertising, the latest step to quell a public outcry over the company’s mishandling of user data.

Many top U.S. shale oil producers are missing out on the rally in oil prices to more than $70 a barrel – because they sold their oil through futures contracts at about $55 last year when that looked like a good deal. Now, it looks cheap.

AP Top Stories

North Korean state media lauded the summit as a resounding success, saying Trump expressed his intention to halt U.S.-South Korea military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.

A Florida man shot a police officer and killed four children before turning the gun on himself during a nearly 24-hour standoff with authorities, who tried in vain to prevent the massacre.

A dramatic proposal to split California into three separate states has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot during the upcoming midterm elections in November.

Young gun violence prevention advocates gathered in Washington and elsewhere around the country on Tuesday, issuing a call to action on the second anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The loosely organized rallies were held as part of National Die-In Day, an initiative recently launched by three students who say they’re tired of legislative inaction in the face of massacres and routine gun violence.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be glad to host everyone in Moscow, when asked if he would invite high-ranking U.S. officials. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was responding to a journalist who asked if Putin would invite officials from North America to Moscow if the United States won a bid to host a future soccer World Cup.

A GOP candidate is taking heat for comments he made calling diversity “crap” and “un-American.” And instead of apologizing, the New Jersey congressional candidate is doubling down. The April comments made by Seth Grossman, the surprise winner of last week’s Republican primary in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, were posted in a video by American Bridge to the 21st Century, a political action committee monitoring GOP candidates.

BBC

Egypt has been ranked the safest country in Africa and higher than both the UK and US, according to a new global poll. The survey placed Egypt 16th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Singapore was ranked the safest, with Venezuela was seen as the least.

Adulthood is about to come a lot earlier in life for many in Japan. The government has enacted a bill lowering the age of adulthood from 20 to 18, which will affect millions across the country when it takes effect in 2022. It’s the first time the age of adulthood has been changed since it was set in 1876.

Lawmakers in Argentina are due to vote on a draft bill that would allow women to have abortions in the first 14 weeks of their pregnancies.

Indian chess champion Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of an Asian tournament in Iran over the country’s compulsory headscarf rule.

The Australian government has accepted almost all recommendations from a landmark inquiry into child sexual abuse as it prepares to deliver a national apology to victims. The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions.

Iceland’s largest online marketplace is to expand the number of drones it flies across the country’s capital, Reykjavik. The company Aha, which launched a limited trial with Israeli company Flytrex last year, will phase in further drones over the next two years.

WND

Two years after the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, gay, lesbian and transgender Americans are nervous. According to the Human Rights Center (HRC), a US LGBTI advocacy group, 52 gay people were murdered in the US last year because of their sexuality, and 28 transgender people met the same fate. In increasing numbers, they are fighting back by taking up arms.

There’s a layer of 300 million-year-old rock under Interstate 95 that’s capable of killing the lights from Washington to Boston and beyond the next time the sun erupts in all its fury. A solar storm is now viewed as enough of a risk in fact that grid operators across North America are working on plans to respond to just such a disturbance.

The Freedom Party of Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders will hold a competition of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad, it said on Tuesday.

One third of Americans are taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as birth control pills, antacids and common heart medications that may raise the risk of depression.


News – 6/13/2018

Unusual Summer Rain: Is God Crying On Jerusalem?
“It just seemed so clear that Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’) was crying,” Wander told Breaking Israel News. “I am going through a roller coaster of feelings because of what is happening there. Families are being torn from their houses.” “Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin and a descendant of King David, agreed with Wander. “We pray for rain in its season and when it comes out of season, this is surely a sign of divine intervention,”

Nasrallah: ‘the whole world can not remove us from Syria’
Nasrallah said that if Israel will continue the occupation a great war will come. He also stated that nothing on earth – except a request from the Syrian government, will make Hezbollah pull forces out of Lebanon.

Putin and Rouhani meet in China, discuss joint efforts in Syria
Rouhani spoke highly of the Russian stand during negotiations over the nuclear deal, from which the US withdrew in May this year, calling the Russian role “important and constructive.”

Hezbollah to be outlawed in Britain
The United Kingdom merely banned Hezbollah’s so-called military wing in 2008, but now all of the terror group will be out of bounds.

Winter hits Israel – in June
Rainfall on Wednesday morning caused flooding in the southern cities of Sderot and Ashkelon, with cars sinking into the water. Sderot resident David Mansour told Army Radio, “The entire city has turned into Venice. Everything is flooded…

U.S. disaster-response force stretched thin as hurricane season starts
With the 2018 hurricane season already underway, FEMA is scrambling to hire more people who are willing to depart at a moment’s notice for assignments that can last months at a stretch. Internal documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show the agency’s disaster-response force is understaffed by 26 percent. And as last year revealed, many of those who sign up don’t always respond when needed.

US changes tactics at UN: From defending Israel to offensive
The United States has decided to change tactics at the United Nations and instead of merely settling for defending Israel, it is now going on the offensive against countries that refuse to condemn the Hamas terror organization.

Homes, residents under threat from 6 wildfires in Colorado
Thousands of homes in Colorado are under threat from growing wildfires in the state, which have also forced a number of evacuations and closures. In Summit County, about 1,400 homes have been evacuated and more than 1,000 could be in danger in the path of the Buffalo Mountain Fire. It’s one of six wildfires burning in Colorado.

Trump Slams OPEC Again, Demands Lower Prices: “Oil Prices Are Too High, OPEC Is At It Again”
Trump doubled down on his oil- price targeting,…”Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!”

Prediction: Courts will end Obamacare for good
Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general for Virgina, tells OneNewsNow he was relieved and excited after learning the U.S. Department of Justice will not defend the Affordable Care Act a case brought by Republican state attorneys general and two governors. “While it is rare for the Department of Justice not to defend a federal statute, it is probably even more rare that the basis of their decision not to defend the statute, in this case Obamacare, is based on court precedent,”

G6 leaders break with Trump, move forward on climate action
Leaders representing six of the world’s most powerful economies committed to addressing climate change and environmental crises at the conclusion of this year’s Group of Seven (G7) summit over the weekend. But the United States made no such agreement, as President Trump doubled down on both his opposition to international climate efforts and his support for fossil fuels.

Colorado Blaze Continues to Grow; Entire San Juan National Forest to Close
A wildfire blazing in southwestern Colorado continues to grow Monday after more than doubling in size over the weekend amid dry, gusty conditions. Due to the extreme fire danger, the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday it plans to close the entire, nearly 3,000-square-mile San Juan National Forest to the public.

Polio Returns to Venezuela As Economic Crisis Cripples Healthcare System
The deadly polio virus has returned to Venezuela 30 years after being eradicated, as the country’s health care system struggles under a nationwide economic crash.

WELLS OF ABRAHAM: PM Netanyahu’s new water plan is truly a light unto the nations
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an ambitious new desalination project that will address the current multi-year drought. But the surprising way he chose to present the new program, offering much-needed aid to Israel’s sworn enemy, had a Biblical precedent as well as prophetic end-of days implications.

Over 2,300 Online Pedophiles Busted in Operation ‘Broken Heart’
The Justice Department announced Tuesday that its Internet Crimes Against Children task force busted over 2,300 online sexual predators.

White South African Farmers Trained By Israeli Special Forces To Fight Off Violent Attacks
With rising violence, being a farmer in South Africa has become a dangerous job. Some are hiring former Israeli special forces experts to teach them self-defense.

Chilling NCMEC Report Shows 88% of Missing Sex Trafficked Kids Come from US Foster Care
America has a dark secret that no one wants to admit. Talk of this secret will get you labelled as a conspiracy theorist, fake news, and outlets who report on it will have their organic reach throttled by social media and Google alike. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many in the mainstream media and the government refuse to see this very real epidemic of child sex trafficking in the United States. What’s more, according to the government’s own data, the vast majority of a portion of these trafficked kids are coming from the country’s own foster care system.

Mass Shootings and Psychiatric Drugs: The Connection
I’ve been tracking the connection since 1999, when I wrote a long white paper, for the Truth Seeker Foundation, on school shootings and psychiatric drugs. The paper was titled: “Why Do They Do It? School shootings Across America.”

Proof Obama sent your money to defeat Bibi in Israel election
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu The U.S. government was informed of the overtly political agenda of OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine – to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – but gave the groups American taxpayer money anyway.

Guatemala Volcano Consumes Entire Village: ‘No Survivors Left’
Rescue workers in Guatemala have been tirelessly searching for survivors within the dark and grey blanket of left after Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted near the capital.

Calls For Sadiq Khan To Resign As Total of 1,296 Stabbings In London This Year
Another stabbing has been reported in the same area of London within a 24 hour period making the bloody knife attack total 1,296 this year alone.

US Special Forces Caught Helping FSA Plot Next False Flag Attack in Syria
US Special Forces has been exposed for helping Syrian rebels plot a false flag attack to trigger strikes from the West in Syria.

California University Refuses To Speak With Pro-Life Group About Free Abortion Drugs
A pro-life group has persistently sought to speak with California State University at Long Beach about its stance on an abortion bill that may soon take effect at all California public universities, but the university has refused to respond.

Kasie Hunt Badgers Jim Jordan Over Tough Immigration Policy — Is It A ‘Christian Approach’? 
MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan three consecutive times on Tuesday if Jeff Sessions’ new crack down on immigrant asylum is a “Christian approach.”


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“When Men are employ’d they are best contented. For on the Days they work’d they were good-natur’d and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

In Today’s Edition

  • The Republican economy has small businesses nearly as optimistic as ever.
  • Seattle City Council reverses its redistribution scheme.
  • Yes, Snopes, California water restrictions will affect showers and laundry.
  • The Trump/Sessions immigration crackdown is strategic.
  • Why Germany and Canada deserved the G7 smackdown.
  • Leftists contort definitions so as to expand victim classes and, thus, their power.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

Small Business Optimism Through the Roof

Business optimism soars to 1980s levels. Good news for America. Good news for Trump.

Seattle’s Redistribution Scheme Reversed

The city council repealed the “head tax” passed just last month to “combat homelessness.”

Snopes Deceives Again With CA Water Rationing ‘Fact-Check’

“The laws do not render it illegal for Californians to do laundry and take showers on the same day.”

Trump Crackdown on Illegals May Force Dems’ Hand

AG Sessions is leading a new charge of border enforcement and tackling visa overstays.

Why Canada and Germany Deserved a G7 Smackdown

Both nations are failing miserably to uphold their NATO commitments.

The Left’s Catch-All Strategy to Redefine Issues

The underlining cause is the promotion of the neo-Marxist ideology of equality of outcome.

Video: Tucker Carlson on Trump’s Political Genius

“The end game is always the same, which is to take back power. Trump took power away from them.”

Wednesday Short Cuts

“Most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them.” —François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday Top Headlines

Record tax revenue and charity, Tuesday primaries, immigration, Iran, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Trump’s Critics
Byron York
On North Korea, a President Who Tried Something Different
John Stossel
Patriarchy Defender
Star Parker
Why Can’t We Fix Social Security and Medicare?
Walter E. Williams
Diversity and Inclusion Harm

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


ApostasyWatch Daily News

Anthony Wade – When the Apostate Church Leads the Call for Unity

NARpostle Joseph Prince’s kenotic Christ and demonic sonship spirit


Headlines – 6/13/2018

US peace envoys to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt next week for peace talks

Palestinians push for UN vote on Israel’s use of ‘indiscriminate force’ in Gaza

UN to vote on resolution bashing Israel, with US pushing for Hamas condemnation

US changes tactics at UN: From defending Israel to offensive

In Israel, even eggs are cause for conflict: New poultry law slammed as ‘creeping annexation’

DHS secretary tours Israel-Egypt border for Mexico wall inspiration

Johannesburg suspends councilwoman for saying city is a ‘friend of Israel’

The Rampage: Supersonic missile developed to destroy high quality targets

Syrian military reinforcing its air defenses near Israeli Golan

Iranians defy regime on Twitter, express support for Israel

Iran arrests 27 suspects over Quds Day ‘terrorist’ plot

Police minister: Social media monitoring has foiled 200 terror attacks

Islamist militants are ‘preeminent threat’ to the West, Homeland Security chief tells Israeli forum

Hezbollah to be outlawed in Britain

Major Qaeda terror plot thwarted in in eastern Yemen

Dutch anti-Islam party to hold Prophet Mohammad cartoon competition

Saudi-led forces begin assault on key Yemen port city

Rouhani tells Macron: Impossible to stay in nuclear deal unless Iran benefits

Macron urges Iran to ensure commitment to nuclear deal is ‘without any ambiguity’

Trump hopes ‘brutal’ sanctions against Iran will spur ‘real deal’

With eyes on Iran, Netanyahu praises Trump over North Korea summit

Likud minister: Kim summit shows Trump can deal with tyrants; bring on Rouhani

Nancy Pelosi Trashes Trump over North Korea Summit; Called Iran Deal ‘Diplomatic Masterpiece’

Ingraham: Anti-Trump Media Response to Summit ‘Galling, Predictable, Blatant’

Trump praises Kim Jong Un as ‘strong,’ ‘funny,’ ‘smart’ and a ‘great negotiator’ in Hannity interview

Backslapping Trump summit legitimizes Kim, say critics

Labor’s Gabbay: Trump-Kim summit signals peace with Palestinians possible

Joel Rosenberg: The Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore was definitely “historic.” Will it also prove successful? Here are 7 things you need to know.

N.Korea state media says Trump agreed to lift sanctions against North

Trump’s pledge to stop ‘provocative’ military exercises provokes alarm and confusion in Seoul and Washington

GOP senator ‘troubled’ by Trump announcement to halt US-South Korean military drills

Graham warns that Trump’s deal with North Korea needs approval from Congress

Japan’s defense minister says US-S.Korean military drills ‘vital’

S.Korea says halt to US drills may be needed to help denuclearization talks

Trump and Kim commit to ‘complete denuclearization’ of Korean Peninsula

Trump, North Korea’s Kim agreed to visit each other’s country

Mars Opportunity rover is in danger of dying from a dust storm

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Muara Siberut, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Volcano, Hawaii

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Pamandzi, Mayotte

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Muara Siberut, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Muara Siberut, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Severo-Kuril’sk, Russia

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys up to 700 homes, and there’s no end in sight

Yes, it’s hurricane season – but it’s also wildfire, tornado, flood and volcano season, too

Hurricane Bud now a Category 3 storm, forecast to weaken before hitting Mexico’s Baja

Intelligence Community Wants to Use DNA to Store Exabytes of Data

Rare type of tick inexplicably turns up in Arkansas

One in three Americans take meds with depressive side effects: study

Gay Americans are arming themselves to stay alive

A Chip in the Windshield: China’s Surveillance State Will Soon Track Cars

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 06:29 AM PDT

A Chip in the Windshield: China’s Surveillance State Will Soon Track Cars

China is establishing a nationwide program to track cars using an electronic identification system, according to records and people briefed on the matter, adding to a growing array of its surveillance tools used to monitor its citizens.  Under the plan being rolled out July 1, a radio-frequency identification chip for vehicle tracking will be installed on cars when they are registered. Compliancewill initially be voluntary but will be made mandatory for new vehicles in January 2019, the people said.  Authorities have described the plan as a means to improve public security and to help ease worsening traffic congestion, documents show, a major concern in many Chinese cities partly because it contributes to air pollution. But such a system, implemented in the world’s biggest automotive market, with sales of nearly 30 million vehicle a year … CONTINUE

PEACE AND SAFETY? China pulls missiles from South China Sea island in possible nod to Trump

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 06:16 AM PDT

PEACE AND SAFETY? China pulls missiles from South China Sea island in possible nod to TrumpThe Chinese militarization of the South China Sea has been happening for some time. Since the weak Obama administration wouldn’t stand up to any dictator, the Chinese, along with other adversaries, probably just said “Why not?” and proceeded with their malignant behavior in creating the ability to block traffic in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.  Anti-ship missile batteries, anti-aircraft defense

systems, fighter jets and bombers have all been sighted on the atolls in the region that China has claimed and fortified.  Satellite imagery and new analysis from Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat International (ISI), dated June 3, suggested the Chinese surface-to-air missile systems on Woody Island, in the Paracel Islands, may have been removed or relocated, The South China Morning Post reported. CONTINUE

Korean Missionaries Arrested, Church Closed in Wenzhou

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 06:06 AM PDT

Korean Missionaries Arrested, Church Closed in WenzhouChinese authorities arrested two South Korean missionaries in the city of Wenzhou in late May. The police searched their church, which was closed for a week. The community is not part of the Three Autonomies Movement.  Over the past month alone, thirty Korean pastors have been arrested and taken to court in Ningxia region and in the provinces of Shanxi, Hebei and Henan.

Since April, the Religious Affairs Department has intensified checks on foreign religious. The persecution is particularly centred on missionaries from South Korea. Measures and progress reports have been posted on Chinese government websites regarding the activities of Korean Christians in China.  READ MORE

Tennessee HS football player hospitalized with tick-borne illness, brown recluse bite

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 05:53 AM PDT

Tennessee HS football player hospitalized with tick-borne illness, brown recluse biteJust over a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an increase in tickborne illnesses, a Middle Tennessee high school football player has been hospitalized from a tick and brown recluse bite.  The Mt. Juliet High School football team issued a tweet on Monday asking for

prayers for defensive end Mason Greenwood, a senior at the school.  “No matter what color uniform u wear, or what kind of field you play on, we need ur prayers for 1 of ours. Mason Greenwood, an upcoming SR 4 us, is at Vandy Childrens Hospital & he’s struggling rn. It’s a combo of a brown recluse bite/tick born illness. Please pray 4 him & family.” CONTINUE

Fort Wayne VA hospital replaces military flags with LGBT pride flag

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 05:42 AM PDT

Fort Wayne VA hospital replaces military flags with LGBT pride flagFort Wayne residents took notice after the local VA Hospital removed military branch flags to fly a LGBT flag in its place.   One resident, in particular, said she noticed the difference when she visited the hospital Tuesday morning, June 12, when she saw the usual military flags were all removed and replaced with a pride flag on the northernmost pole in honor of LGBT pride month.

VA Public Affairs Officer responded to the situation with a statement saying the facility was flying the flag to honor LGBT veterans.   He said due to the limitations in the number of poles outside the VA, the Service Flags were temporarily lowered. He said rather than take one flag down completely, all flags were lowered to be equal.  Here is his full statement: CONTINUE

Rare type of tick inexplicably turns up in Arkansas

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 05:35 AM PDT

Rare type of tick inexplicably turns up in ArkansasA hardy, invasive species of tick that survived a New Jersey winter and subsequently traversed the mid-Atlantic has mysteriously arrived in Arkansas. No one is sure how the Longhorned tick, native to East Asia, arrived in the country, nor how it made its way to the middle of the continent. The Arkansas Agriculture Department said late Monday researchers at Oklahoma State University had confirmed a

tick found on a dog in Benton County in the far northwestern corner of the state was a Longhorned tick. Until then, the bug had only been reported in New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. “It’s a mystery to a lot of people who are trying to figure out how exactly it got here,” New Jersey Department of Agriculture spokesman Jeff Wolfe said Tuesday. CONTINUE

City Stops Church from Holding Worship Services in Church-Owned Coffee House

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 05:29 AM PDT

City Stops Church from Holding Worship Services in Church-Owned Coffee HouseA church in Laurel, Maryland opened a coffee shop and planned to serve coffee six days a week, and hold worship services at the shop on Sundays.  But soon after Ragamuffins Coffee House opened its doors, city officials told them to stop using the space for worship services or face steep weekly fines. The church filed a discrimination case against the city in February after relocating its church there

with the hopes of reaching the underprivileged and homeless seven days a week.  The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) recently presented oral arguments before the Federal District Court of Maryland on behalf of Redemption Community Church. “We’re trying to represent the tremendous love of God,” Rev. Jeremy Tuinstra told the Baltimore Sun about the church. READ MORE

Trump Confronted Kim Jong Un About Atrocities Against Christians

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 05:13 AM PDT

Trump Confronted Kim Jong Un About Atrocities Against ChristiansPresident Donald Trump says he addressed the plight of persecuted Christians when meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  “I brought it up, absolutely. They will work on that. We did not put it down in the document. It will be worked on. Christians, yes,” Trump said, according to a transcript. “We brought it up. Franklin Graham spent and spends a tremendous amount of time in North Korea. He has it close to his heart. It did come up and things will be happening.” Open Doors

USA, a Christian persecution watchdog group, ranked North Korea as the No. 1 persecutor of Christians on the planet. Trump’s announcement that he did bring up the Christian persecution encouraged David Curry, president of Open Doors USA: Though we have few details of what was said, President Trump’s decision to address North Korea’s human rights atrocities was diplomatically bold, and we are particularly glad to hear the president say he brought up the plight of the more than 300,000 Christians who face persecution and even death under the regime of Kim Jong Un. READ MORE

Earthquake swarm detected under Galeras volcano, Colombia

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 04:40 AM PDT

Earthquake swarm detected under Galeras volcano, ColombiaColombian authorities are reporting significantly increased seismic activity under Galeras volcano, one of Colombia’s most frequently active volcanos. Increased seismicity was first recorded on May 29 and June 2, 2018. The last eruption of this volcano took place in 2014 (VEI 2).  Earthquakes are located between 1 and 8 km (0.6 – 5 miles) to the northeast of the volcano at depths between 1.2 and

7.5 km (0.7 and 6 miles) from the top of the volcano (4 200 m / 12 800 feet a.s.l.), the Colombian Geological Service (SGC) reported in a special bulletin published 04:35 UTC today. A total of 310 earthquakes have been reported between 09:35 UTC on June 12 when a M4.5 volcano-tectonic earthquake was recorded and 04:35 UTC today. Other geophysical and geochemical monitoring parameters have no significant changes. READ MORE

God is setting YOU up!

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 04:32 PM PDT

God is setting YOU up!In this message, we will show you how the Lord is orchestrating our paths and putting hurting people in our paths so that we can share “Living Water” to those who are dry and thirsty!

Ongoing volcanic eruptions in Hawaii continues to stun scientists

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 04:05 PM PDT

Ongoing volcanic eruptions in Hawaii continues to stun scientistsHawaii’s ongoing eruption continues to stun scientists, with shock aerial footage today revealing that lava from the Kilauea volcano has caused “dramatic devastation” and created flowing rivers on the verge of overflowing.   Hawaii’s explosive volcano has taken another shock turn, as officials revealed the rivers of lava could be on the verge of overflowing.  The fast-moving lava channel was filmed in

stunning footage by a helicopter this morning close to Kilauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone. According to the US Geological Survey, scientists are closely monitoring the lava bank, which is full but not yet overflowing.  The volcano, which has been erupting since early May, also sent huge clouds of ash and volcanic gas into the air today at about 30,000 feet (9,145 meters) above sea level. READ MORE

Maine Allows Third Gender ‘X’ for Non-Binary Persons on Driver’s Licenses, IDs Documents

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 03:56 PM PDT

Maine Allows Third Gender ‘X’ for Non-Binary Persons on Driver’s Licenses, IDs DocumentsMaine is joining the list of states now allowing a third gender option for persons identifying as non-binary on their driver’s licenses and identification documents.  In June of last year a resident of South Portland, Ian-Meredythe Dehne Lindsey, filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission, desiring a driver’s license with a non-binary gender marker but was unable to obtain one due to

computer limitation, the Portland Press Herald reported. An agreement with the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles was reached this week. As can now be done in a few other states, individuals who say that their gender identity does not fit into the traditional male/female category and prefer to go by “gender non-binary,” will be designated as “X.” Starting Monday, Maine residents can apply for a sticker that reads “Gender has been changed to X – non-binary.” READ MORE

Rare river sinkhole in Arkansas creates whirlpool that swallows up and kills kayaker

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 03:28 PM PDT

Rare river sinkhole in Arkansas creates whirlpool that swallows up and kills kayakerA kayaker bypassed a part of an Arkansas scenic river known as Dead Man’s Curve during a weekend trip, but a rare sinkhole created a whirlpool along his alternate channel and dragged him to his death. Donald Wright, 64, from Searcy, Arkansas, died Saturday at Saddler Falls along the Spring River, said

Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. At least one other person was injured. Sinkholes are common in the northern half of Arkansas, where subterranean limestone erodes away easily. Small whirlpools are common where bits of land extend into waterways, but having a sinkhole open a whirlpool in the middle of a stream is uncommon. READ MORE

Korean Churches Witnessing a ‘Miracle’

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 10:46 AM PDT

Korean Churches Witnessing a ‘Miracle’A lot has happened on the Korean peninsula in the last few weeks. South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met for the first time; Kim took some serious steps toward denuclearization; and Kim and President Trump agreed to talk, but Trump abruptly canceled the historic meeting. On June 1, however, following a meeting with a high ranking North Korean official, President Trump announced that he plans to meet Kim Jong-un.  I watched these events unfold with

interest since two months earlier, I had traveled to South Korea with 12 journalism students to report on ongoing religious, political and cultural developments. When we landed at Seoul’s Incheon Airport, the warm diplomatic tailwinds of the Winter Olympics had thawed relations between the North and South. Kim and Moon would soon meet. And there were rumors of a Trump and Kim parlay to follow. READ MORE

Citi bank warns up to 10,000 jobs could be lost to robots…

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 10:39 AM PDT

Citi bank warns up to 10,000 jobs could be lost to robots…Citigroup’s investment bank will shed up to half of its 20,000 technology and operations staff in the next five years, according to the division’s head, as machines supplant humans at a faster pace. The prediction by Jamie Forese, president of Citi and chief executive of the bank’s institutional clients group, was the starkest among investment banking bosses in a series of FT interviews to mark the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis.

Mr Forese said the operational positions, which make up almost two-fifths of investment bank employees at Citi, were “most fertile for machine processing”. “We’ve got 20,000 operational roles. Over the next five years could you make it 10,000?” he added, in comments that had echoes of former Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan’s claim that up to half of the German bank’s workforce could be replaced by technology. READ MORE


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Alexander: Geopolitics: Trump Plays Chess, MSM Plays Checkers

Trump is closer to disarming the NoKo regional and global threat than any president in 60 years.

Mark Alexander

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness.” —George Washington (1793)

I have noted an interesting trend in recent months. Some of my politically astute friends, who have always been economic conservatives but political moderates, have gone through something of a metamorphosis.

Recently, one of these well-connected political moderates told me, much to my surprise, “I thank God every day that Donald Trump is president.” I never anticipated hearing those words out of this individual and thought perhaps he was referring to Trump’s considerable economic and deregulatory achievements in his first year.

But my friend explained his newfound enthusiasm for Trump in this context: “He dropped a bomb on Washington. He dropped a bomb on the status quo in Congress and its special interests. He dropped a bomb on the regulatory behemoths and their bureaucratic bottlenecks. He dropped a bomb on the trade and national security institutions and alliances that have failed miserably over the last eight years.”

In short, what he and others have said about their newly reformed impression of Trump is this: In the face of the most hateful Democrat Party leaders, constituents and formidable MSM propaganda machine, this “political neophyte” has done more to move the political ball in the right direction than any Republican president in a hundred years, with the exception of President Ronald Reagan.

Now, like most military families who have more at risk than armchair politics, voting for Trump to be the next commander-in-chief was, among other reasons, an easy choice. Few Americans are more pleased than military families that Barack Obama did not receive a third term of dangerous foreign policy malfeasance behind the facade of a Hillary Clinton presidency, especially given their epic failures in the Middle East.

But observing the transformation of some moderate urban and suburban white-collar professionals — those who are generally detached from associations with grassroots American Patriots — into Trump supporters has been fascinating.

There is a primary reason for this transformation among moderates and the galvanization of Trump’s support from across the conservative spectrum. It’s the gradual realization percolating to the surface that, despite the grossly biased caricature of Trump projected by the MSM, and too often corroborated by Trump’s social media handlers, this president might be lot smarter than the buffoon the Leftmedia insists he is.

Beyond the success of his domestic economic policies, there are several recent cases in point that affirm Trump’s prowess when it comes to negotiating deals that put American interests on an equal footing with other nations.

Notable trade examples would be his negotiations with China and Europe, as well as his posturing last week at the G7 Summit. In each of these complex negotiations, Trump has taken steps that will lead to concessions serving American interests — serving the American people. Sometimes he uses a fine-tooth comb to level the field, including a myriad of negotiations behind the scenes, but other times he more visibly uses a sledgehammer where necessary.

In more complex geopolitical national security negotiations, Trump has also moved the ball, despite his detractors’ claims to the contrary.

His unwinding of Obama’s so-called “Iran Deal” is turning out to be even more sensible given recent revelations — European negotiators signed on contingent to bribes, Iran’s deceptions were much more dangerous than estimated and, worse, Obama’s unmitigated lies to secure his faux foreign policy legacy were much more egregious than estimated.

And on June 12th, Trump entered historic face-to-face negotiations with China’s nuclear puppet, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, challenging him to tear down his nuclear weapons program. (Recall that it was on that same date in 1987 that President Reagan issued a challenge to another communist dictator at the Brandenburg Gate of what was then West Berlin: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”)

Trump is closer than any president has been in 60 years to reaching an end to the regional and global threat posed by North Korea — and he didn’t have to pay Kim the $150 billion Obama paid Iran for the illusion of a denuclearization agreement. As Newt Gingrich details, “Trump has already accomplished more with North Korea than Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama combined. And this is just the beginning.”

As our analyst Thomas Gallatin noted yesterday in “Trump’s Real NoKo Strategy,” his objective was to cautiously lay the groundwork for North Korean denuclearization with the full understanding that Kim has a history of not keeping his commitments. In effect, the summit was a deal to make a deal to disarm the most unstable and dangerous Pacific threat.

The agreement signed by Trump and Kim established four goals:

  1. The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

There will be additional negotiations to determine the length of the agreement and how to enforce the United Nations resolution and U.S. position calling for the “complete, verifiable, irreversible, dismantlement” of North Korea’s nukes. To be determined will be how to lift sanctions and restore human rights, how many U.S. troops will remain on the peninsula, and, in all of this, China’s role.

There will also be contingencies based on backroom negotiations with China’s dictator Xi Jinping, who is reluctant to give up his NoKo nuke card, but Kim’s tyrannical regime is “seeing the light,” given the gross disparity between the economic standing of his country and that of South Korea.

Clearly, geopolitical negotiations are multifarious, with a myriad of moving parts.

However, most media outlets, Left and Right, don’t have the analytical intellect to assess, much less report, that Trump is a chess master when it comes to positioning our pieces against those of our opponents, whether it is a matter of trade or national security. He is playing a strategic match, while the media reports on each move as if it is a checkers game. I suppose that if Leftmedia journalists reported on strategy instead of tactics, it would significantly curtail their endless churn of every move in order to enhance their advertising revenues.

Of course, geopolitical negotiations are more complex than chess, and not as clean as a chess board because one player can make multiple moves before his opponent, with 10 other players advising those moves.

Furthermore, the contrast between the MSM’s reporting about Trump’s negotiations with Iran and NoKo versus Obama’s failed negotiations on both counts is stark, betraying the Leftmedia’s gross bias. Obama, who was bestowed with a Nobel Peace Prize just eight months into his first term for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” was uniformly hailed by the MSM as a great negotiator.

Conversely, Trump’s Iran and NoKo strategies have been defamed as a failure.

But to be clear, since Trump put Kim on notice months ago, there have been no nuclear tests, no missiles fired over Japan, no more threats against Guam and Hawaii, and Kim has shuttered his primary nuclear test site (verification pending) and released U.S. hostages.

Unfortunately, Obama’s policies were based, by his own account, on this principle: “Don’t do stupid s—t,” which, ironically, is all he did. His policy of “Strategic Patience” with NoKo led to Kim’s rise as a nuclear power.

These negotiations are tenuous, but one thing is indisputable — unless your anti-Trump blinders are superglued to your opinion filter: Trump is a very good negotiator, whereas over the last three decades most of the negotiating has been left primarily to inept career State Department bureaucrats.

To that end, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) protested what she claimed was the president’s “marginalization of the vast expertise of the State Department.” She concluded that Trump is “hindering a lasting, stable pathway to peace.”

But Trump’s policies with China, Iran and NoKo are based on the same principle held by most American presidents prior to Obama: America First. But unlike every previous president, Trump is roundly maligned for that position.

Leading the chorus of the most malignant maligning was Obama’s incompetent former CIA director John Brennan, who conspired with James Comey to launch the bogus Trump/Russia collusion investigation. Just before Trump departed for the Singapore negotiations, Brennan issued this outrageous statement: “[Trump’s] wrong-headed protectionist policies & antics are damaging our global standing as well as our national interests. [Trump’s] worldview does not represent American ideals. To allies & friends: Be patient, Mr. Trump is a temporary aberration. The America you once knew will return.”

Brennan, Comey, Clinton and Obama are all desperately endeavoring to salvage whatever legacy they can before being tossed onto the trash heap of history. They all assumed their legacy was secure with the certain election of Clinton.

Good luck with that.

And a footnote: Tomorrow, June 14th, is the anniversary of the 1777 resolution by the Second Continental Congress adopting the American flag, celebrated as “Flag Day.” On Flag Day, 1946, Donald Trump was born. That should make a few snowflake heads explode!

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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25 Rules for Strong Friendships

by Erin Davis | 6/13/18

We could all use a little help in the relationship department from time to time. Here are twenty-five “rules” for friendship, straight out of the book of Proverbs.

Rule #1: Don’t get mad over nothing.

Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm (Prov. 3:30).

Rule #2: Don’t try to change a friend who is unwise.

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you (Prov. 9:8).

Rule #3: Hatred leads to more fighting. Choose love.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses (Prov. 10:12).

Rule #4: Don’t be two-faced.

The one who conceals hatred has lying lips (Prov. 10:18).

Rule #5: Don’t talk trash.

Whoever utters slander is a fool (Prov. 10:18).

Rule #6: Pick humble friends.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom (Prov. 11:2).

Rule #7: Keep criticism to yourself.

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent (Prov. 11:12).

Rule #8: Keep secrets.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered (Prov. 11:13).

Rule #9: Don’t be a mean girl.

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself (Prov. 11:17).

Rule #10: Be an encourager.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad (Prov. 12:25).

Rule #11: Just because you think it doesn’t mean you have to say it.

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (Prov. 13:3).

Rule #12: Choose wise friends.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm (Prov. 13:20).

Rule #13: Don’t get mad easily.

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly (Prov. 14:29).

Rule #14: Don’t be jealous.

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot (Prov. 14:30).

Rule #15: Don’t be cranky.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Prov. 15:1).

Rule #16: Stay away from that girl with the temper.

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention (Prov. 15:18).

Rule #17: Get advice from wise friends.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed (Prov. 15:22).

Rule #18: Speak sweetly.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Prov. 16:24).

Rule #19: Don’t talk behind your friends’ backs.

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends (Prov. 16:28).

Rule #20: Don’t get mad easily.

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city (Prov. 16:32).

Rule #21: Don’t jump ship.

A friend loves at all times (Prov. 17:17).

Rule #22: Pick a few close friends over lots of acquaintances.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24).

Rule #23: Don’t be easily offended.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense (Prov. 19:11).

Rule #24: Avoid the drama.

It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling (Prov. 20:3).

Rule #25: Don’t celebrate when your frenemy has trouble.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him (Prov. 24:17–18).

What friendship rules has the Lord shown you in His Word?

Which “rules” are the most challenging for you to live out?

Source: 25 Rules for Strong Friendships

June 13, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Controller

and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, (17:26)

God is not only the sovereign ruler of the universe but also the controller of the affairs and destinies of men and nations. Paul declares that He made from one (Adam) every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth. That statement was a blow to the national pride of the Greeks, who scornfully referred to non-Greeks as “barbarians.” All men are equal, because all were created by God. He determined their appointed times; the rise and fall of nations and empires are in His hands (cf. Dan. 2:36ff.; Luke 21:24). God also set the boundaries of their habitation, placing certain nations in specific geographical locations (Deut. 32:8) and determining the extent of their conquests (cf. Isa. 10:12–15).[1]


26 The Western text (D E) and Byzantine text (L P), together with a number of early versions (e.g., recensions of the Old Latin and Syriac) and church fathers (e.g., Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Theodoret), read ἐξ ἑνὸς αἵματος (ex henos haimatos, “from one blood”) rather than the shorter Alexandrian text (P74 א A B and Vulgate and Coptic Sahidic versions) reading ἐξ ἑνός (ex henos, “from one [man]”). The Western and Byzantine readings were incorporated into the TR and so appear in the KJV. Most text critics, however, prefer the Alexandrian reading and view the inclusion of αἵματος (haimatos, “blood”) as a pious expansion.[2]


17:26 / If God is the creator, then he is the creator of human beings in particular. Concerning this Paul has two things to say. First, from one … he made every nation of men. The Greek does not say who or what the one is. From “the one nature,” “the one Father,” “the one man” have all been suggested, and in the end they all come to much the same thing. But Paul probably meant “the one man,” Adam. There is also uncertainty as to how every should be understood. Was Paul contemplating “the whole human race,” or should we translate pan ethnos, “every nation,” as though he would draw attention to their distinctiveness while at the same time asserting their common origin? Either could be argued from the Scripture, but the latter is probably the better rendering of the Greek (many Athenians would have cared for neither, for it was popularly held that they had “sprung from the soil,” i.e., that they were indigenous and therefore different—superior—to others). The result was that the nations now inhabited the whole earth. But this, too, came within the ambit of God’s sovereign control. For he determined beforehand the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. Here again we are faced with more than one possible interpretation, depending on how we have understood the first half of the verse. If the whole human race is in view, then the times means the cycle of seasons of which Paul had spoken at Lystra (14:17), or perhaps the life span of each person, and the exact places where they should live the natural boundaries between the land and the sea (see esp. Ps. 74:17; cf. Job 38:8–11; Ps. 105:5–11). But if the reference is, as we suppose, to every nation, then the thought is of the eras that belong to particular nations—their rise and fall, much as Jesus had spoken of “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24)—and of the places where these nations are found. In this way Paul moved from speaking of God as creator to God as the Lord of history, perhaps deliberately setting his own belief in divine providence over against the fatalism of his Stoic auditors.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1994). Acts (Vol. 2, p. 140). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 985). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Williams, D. J. (2011). Acts (pp. 306–307). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Price… By Norway

The summit in Singapore has made US President Donald Trump “a man of peace,” according to two Norwegian parliamentary representatives (from the Frp party), and as NRK reports, they have nominated him for the most gifted award of all of them.

Representatives Christian Tybring-Gjedde (Frp) and Per-Willy Amundsen (Frp) believe it qualifies Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

What’s happening now is historical. A process is underway to ensure world peace in the future. It’s a fragile process, but we must of course do what we can to help this process bring good results. I think that we can do by sending a clear signal by giving Trump the peace prize.”

And amid all the left’s dismay at just what was agreed, the two Norwegian parliamentarians, however, do not believe that a peace-winning nomination is too early.

“It’s not a binding agreement, but it’s an initiative to visit both ways, it’s an initiative to end the disaster going on and to put a damper on the military exercises the United States has with South Korea. As such, this is a push to Donald Trump to continue what he has already started,” says Tybring-Gjedde.

“It would not be the first time giving the peace prize to anyone involved in a process. It has happened before. Obviously, we will follow the process carefully, but at least you have arrived, I think is worth a peace prize, “says Amundsen.

The Norwegian nomination follows a group of 18 GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana, who signed a letter formally nominating President Trump for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in May.

We can think of no one more deserving of the Committee’s recognition in 2019 than President Trump for his tireless work to bring peace to our world.”

Mission Accomplished?

The Nobel Committee received peace prize nominations at Donald Trump in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. However, this year the alarm went off, and the Nobel Institute linked the police because they thought they had received a fake nomination on Trump .

Trump’s nomination this year will be for the 2019 Nobel.

“In this situation, Trump is obviously a man of peace. He tries to get something that others have not gotten, and when he makes it, he deserves fame,” says Tybring-Gjedde.

Amundsen adds that he thinks the summit and the agreement between Trump and Kim, go right into Nobel’s testament.

“This goes straight into the core of the Nobel testament. It’s about disarmament and about creating peace. These are the results that count.”

Source: Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Price… By Norway

The Real America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, And Negative Economic Growth

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Every time the mainstream media touts some “wonderful new economic numbers” I just want to cringe.  Yes, it is true that the economic numbers have gotten slightly better since Donald Trump entered the White House, but the rosy economic picture that the mainstream media is constantly painting for all of us is completely absurd.

As you are about to see, if honest numbers were being used all of our major economic numbers would be absolutely terrible.  Of course we can hope for a major economic turnaround for America under Donald Trump, but we certainly are not there yet.  Economist John Williams of shadowstats.com has been tracking what our key economic numbers would look like if honest numbers were being used for many years, and he has gained a sterling reputation for being accurate.  And according to him, it looks like the U.S. economy has been in a recession and/or depression for a very long time.

Let’s start by talking about unemployment. 

We are being told that the unemployment rate in the United States is currently “3.8 percent”, which would be the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”.

To support this claim, the mainstream media endlessly runs articles declaring how wonderful everything is.  For example, the following is from a recent New York Times article entitled “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are”

The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately.

So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low.

Doesn’t that sound great?

It would be great, if the numbers that they were using were honest.

The truth, of course, is that the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession.  According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

So what is the reason for the gaping disparity?

As I have explained repeatedly, the government has simply been moving people from the “officially unemployed” category to the “not in the labor force” category for many, many years.

If we use the government’s own numbers, there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  That is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

We are being conned.  I have a friend down in south Idaho that is a highly trained software engineer that has been out of work for two years.

If the unemployment rate is really “3.8 percent”, why can’t he find a decent job?

By the way, if you live in the Boise area and you know of an opening for a quality software engineer, please let me know and I will get the information to him.

Next, let’s talk about inflation.

According to Williams, the way inflation has been calculated in this country has been repeatedly changed over the decades

Williams argues that U.S. statistical agencies overestimate GDP data by underestimating the inflation deflator they use in the calculation.

Manipulating the inflation rate, Williams argues in Public Comment on Inflation Measurement , also enables the US government to pay out pensioners less than they were promised, by fudging cost of living adjustments.

This manipulation has ironically taken place quite openly over decades, as successive Republican and Democratic administrations made “improvements” in the way they calculated the data.

If inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1990, the inflation rate would be 6 percent today instead of about 3 percent.

And if inflation was still calculated the way that it was in 1980, the inflation rate would be about 10 percent today.

Doesn’t that “feel” more accurate to you?  We have all seen how prices for housing, food and health care have soared in recent years.  After examining what has happened in your own life, do you believe that the official inflation rates of “2 percent” and “3 percent” that we have been given in recent years are anywhere near accurate?

Because inflation is massively understated, that has a tremendous effect on our GDP numbers as well.

If accurate inflation numbers were being used, we would still be in a recession right now.

In fact, John Williams insists that we would still be in a recession that started back in 2004.

And without a doubt, a whole host of other more independent indicators point in that direction too.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Peter Diekmeyer

Williams’ findings, while controversial, corroborate a variety of other data points. Median wage gains have been stagnant for decades. The U.S. labour force participation rate remains at multi-decade lows. Even our own light-hearted Big Mac deflator suggests that the U.S. economy is in a depression.

Another clue is to evaluate the U.S. economy just as economists would a third world nation whose data they don’t trust. They do this by resorting to figures that are hard to fudge.

There, too, by a variety of measures—ranging from petroleum consumption to consumer goods production to the Cass Freight Index—the U.S. economy appears to have not grown much, if at all, since the turn of the millennium.

In the end, all that any of us really need to do is to just open our eyes and look at what is happening all around us.  We are on pace for the worst year for retail store closings in American history, and this “retail apocalypse” is hitting rural areas harder than anywhere else

This city’s Target store is gone.

So is Kmart, MC Sports, JCPenney, Vanity and soon Herberger’s, a department store.

“The mall is pretty sad,” says Amanda Cain, a teacher and mother. “Once Herberger’s closes, we’ll have no anchors.”

About two-thirds of Ottumwa’s Quincy Place Mall will be empty with Herberger’s loss.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. economy that is troubled either.

We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in global history, many nations around the globe are already experiencing a very deep economic downturn, and our planet is literally in the process of dying.

So please don’t believe the hype.

Yes, we definitely hope that things will get better, but the truth is that things have not been “good” for the U.S. economy for a very, very long time.

Source: The Real America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, And Negative Economic Growth

A Christian Response to Suicide or Suicidal Thoughts (Part 2)

The phone rang in the middle of my seventh birthday party. Mom answered and quickly passed the phone to Dad. I saw concern on his face and shortly after my party ended, he slipped out of the house, still clearly shaken. Later that week, I learned that the call was about a young man in his youth ministry that had just taken his life.

 

Some have wondered how my dad, a youth pastor, became a well-known Biblical counselor. That day had much to do with it. He knew that future lives could be saved if the church could learn to give better answers to struggling young people. It led to his pursuit of suicide prevention training at Penn State University and on to pursue a doctorate in Biblical counseling at Westminster Seminary.

 

In part one of this series, we attacked the misguided notion that suicide is best viewed as brain malfunction, terminal disease or the result of improper use anti-depressants. Rather, we said that suicide is better seen as a downward progression beginning with intense disappointment that ultimately leads to despair and destructive choices if a person is without hope to get out of the slough of despair. Yes, the physical brain is affected by painful circumstances that lead to despair, but it is not helpful to say that most suicides can simply be explained by a brain malfunction that compels suicide. This cannot be supported by good science nor by a Biblical description of life in a fallen world. We are far more complicated than just biological, psychological, theological, cultural or social responders. Our very being experiences life in all of these dimensions, and our spiritual life (heart desires, beliefs, values) significantly impacts all of these, as well.

 

So how do we engage with those considering suicide as an option?

We first have to remember that suicidal thoughts feel out of control to those we are helping. Suicidal thoughts are often accompanied by aroused anger, uncontrolled anxiety, relational conflicts, substance abuse and debilitating stress. Incidentally, these are also the same risk factors that mental health researchers have identified as increasing and prolonging depression. Depression and suicide often walk hand in hand, and both desperately need the hope of the Gospel.

 

One of the principles in our training is what we call the “Good Samaritan Principle” or what other Biblical counselors have referred to as “Involvement.” We train on depression and suicide in our Lay Counseling Certificate course because our counselors need to know how to respond and know that it takes a teamwork approach to help the suicidal person. Over the years, our counselors have identified common objections to getting involved with suicidal persons. However, saving lives is too important for us to allow these objections to go unchecked.

 

  

Objection #1 – I can’t really help; I’m not a professional and lack credentials.

Answer: When you suspect someone you know might be suicidal, it can be daunting to think that God might have you to minister to that individual. Wouldn’t it be better if they talked to a licensed and professional counselor about these things? However, please realize that no professional counselor would likely be involved without a friend or family member first asking, “Are you ok? Do you need help?” While some might fear an awkward conversation, suicidal persons almost always come to appreciate the heartbehind that awkward conversation. Your questioning will not hasten their suicide and is often the reason that suicidal individuals relent.

 

Objection #2 – I can’t really help because I’m not a doctor.

Answer: Medicine is a complicated issue for suicidal persons because so many have already tried medicine and found its lack of results to be yet another disappointment. Recent Black Box Warnings often create a fear that psychiatric medicine “makes people suicidal”[1] while their doctor or friends may fear that failure to take the medicine will increase their suicidal ideations. Though we may be closer to having scientific answers to these types of questions, we can expect this to continue to be hotly debated in the corners of the internet.[2] In reality, if any medicine had an undeniable success rate in abating suicidal thinking, wouldn’t that be clear by now? The choice to take medicines to slow one’s thinking and to level off the intense feelings of despair is a personal choice and may be helpful to those suffering with suicidal thoughts. Mood stabilizers can often help a person regain a feeling of control.[3] However, no medicine can truly deal with disappointment, discontentment, despair and a desire to self-destruct to escape the pain. Those struggling with suicidal thoughts need wise and faithful friends who will walk with them over time as they learn to deal with life’s disappointments in healthier ways.

 

Consider the message of hope found in Romans 5:2-5.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5: 2-5 ESV)

 

Bottomline: Suffering produces endurance, which produces character, which brings hope.

Experts in outdoor survival affirm that one of the most powerful forces that allows a person to make it out alive is hope. Once hope is lost, it’s not long before the situation rapidly deteriorates. Perhaps the reason God brought you into contact with someone who is suicidal is so you can remind them to keep fighting for hope. Proverbs 13:12describes well this fight for hope. “Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Notice how hope and life correspond here. It’s an undeniable truth.

Fighting to keep hope protects our hearts from despair, discouragement, and destructive actions.

 

Proverbs 10:28-29 reminds us that the hope of the righteous is not in ourselves. The hope of the righteous is a confident trust that God will take care of us no matter how the circumstances around us may change. It is choosing to put our hope in God knowing that He will work this trial out for our good and his glory (Rom 8:28-29). When we embrace God’s glory as the goal of our lives, rather than our own happiness, we can learn from any trial, no matter how difficult. Then God will guard our hearts with his perfect peace.

 

If you need immediate help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255., or go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

 

Tomorrow, we will be presenting a simple plan for engaging with those who are suicidal or who have suffered the loss of someone close to them.

 


[1] https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp1408480 [2] https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/black-box-warning-antidepressants-raised-suicide-attempts-n134896 [3] http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/suicide/psychopharmacological-treatment-reduce-suicide-riskThe post A Christian Response to Suicide or Suicidal Thoughts (Part 2) appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.

Revoice, Concupiscence, and Cosmic Treason — Pulpit & Pen

The stage was set. A standoff with infinite consequences. Jesus Christ was brought face to face before the ruling authorities and political pressures of his day. He would either be acknowledged and accepted for who he is or wholly rejected. So it was written:

“Jesus answered…To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?” – John 18:37

In today’s politicized climate, Jesus Christ is once again in the crosshairs. The Luciferian state has gone so far as to virtually declare the word of truth a form of hate speech. Jesus and his teachings are a foreign and domestic threat to the prince of this fallen world and his minions who blindly and foolishly seek to redesign the landscape into the image of corruptible man. Those who stand for nothing, in particular, will fall for anything but the true and living word. Nothing exemplifies the open rebellion against all that is good, sacred and pure than the radical sexual revolution.

Radical social engineers and their homofascist front group the LGBTQ –as in questioning and undermining absolute, eternal truth are the battering ram and existential sledgehammer used to drive the foundations of God-fearing, thriving society to the fringes…

Why are evangelicals adopting their language and following their lead?

A quick review of the ‘gay identity’ affirming REVOICE conference is just the latest in a series of alarming developments…

http://www.revoice.us

Cosmic Treason 

Theologian, RC Sproul faithfully has done what so many others have failed to do by vividly exposing the ‘cosmic treason’ wrought by the sin and depravity of man:

Sin is not restricted merely to an external action that transgresses a divine law. Rather, it represents an internal motive, a motive that is driven by an inherent hostility toward the God of the universe. It is rarely discussed in the church or in the world that the biblical description of human fallenness includes an indictment that we are by nature enemies of God. In our enmity toward Him, we do not want to have Him even in our thinking…

Sproul ultimately brings the focus back to Jesus Christ when he declares:

The most violent expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the Cross. If ever a person had room to complain for injustice, it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath of God, let us stagger at the Cross. Here is where our astonishment should be focused.

Philosophers, ideologues, and spiritualists who dabble in scientism, Marxism and Gnosticism will offer dehumanizing global solutions that place the proposed needs of the creation over the souls and bodies of the individual. They will think nothing of sacrificing the spiritual and bodily health of the citizenry at the altar of arbitrary, manufactured pagan consent.

However, it’s the resurgence of secular culture’s influence on mainstream evangelicals, primarily in the form of a minimization of personal/original sin, which is the most perplexing. We should expect outside resistance, but we must vehemently call out the wolves on the inside as well. It is one thing to be deemed a ‘hater,’ for Jesus deemed it would be so, it is yet another to be cast off as a traitor.

The Sexual Identity Fallacy

Everything which is in man, from the intellect to the will, from the soul even to the flesh, is defiled and pervaded with this concupiscence; or, to express it more briefly,  that the whole man is in himself nothing else than concupiscence – John Calvin (Institutes 2.1.8)

Lest we forget, it is the mortification of sinful desires and inclinations which remains at the heart of the radical transformation in the life of a Christian. We cannot compromise with sin. As soon as our sin is made known to us it must be rooted out. It must be wholly rejected and extinguished. The sinful condition of the natural man is spiritual trauma that must be overcome and replaced with the saving and healing power of Christ. But how can we be reconciled and sanctified if we are still holding onto our sin?

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” – Ephesians 5:31

Before God and man, we must boldly affirm that the categorization and legitimization of sexual identity run completely counter to God’s word. We were made male and female and our lusts and passions are to be annihilated in our submission to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The secular labels and language regarding sexuality don’t apply as the thoughts and inclinations toward those of like design are nothing short of an abomination. These are the truths that must be upheld.

Revoice Rejoice!

The good news is that the greater our depravity, the sweeter our deliverance. Scripture testifies of the blessed state of those wholly devoted to God…

“He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 7:32

The true way is the only way for those who have labored and are heavy laden.

*Recommended Read: Concupiscence: Sin and the Mother of Sin