Daily Archives: July 22, 2018

July 22: Showing Kindness to a Stranger

2 Samuel 9:1–10:19; 1 Peter 5:1–14; Psalm 138:1–8

When I was a teenager, I became serious about showing unsolicited kindness while working through a 30-day intensive devotional. The devotional required me to record an act of kindness each day. My efforts included things as mundane as taking out the trash before being asked and closing schoolmates’ lockers to prevent them from becoming the victims of pranks. Although the acts were simple, and mostly meaningless, the effort taught me a discipline. Kindness should be intentional, not random. But what if your kindness stems from guilt?

In 2 Samuel 9, King David shows intentional kindness to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, by offering them Saul’s land after Saul and Jonathan have died. It’s hard to know why David does this, especially since it puts him at risk—his association with the previous regime could anger his warriors, who fought against Saul. Is David merely being a good guy? Does he feel guilty because Jonathan, who had been so loyal to him, died in battle? Is he trying to establish that he is a merciful ruler? Does he have other political motives? The question of David’s motive evokes another one: Why do we treat others well?

Peter addressed this question of motive in his first letter, in which he exhorts ministers to “Shepherd the flock of God among you [being the people of the church], exercising oversight not by compulsion but willingly, in accordance with God” (1 Pet 5:2). He points out that if we are moved by compulsion, our motives are probably wrong.

There are times I wonder whether I treat others well because I subconsciously think that it will earn me points with them or with God. I battle this—it’s something we should all fight against. The state of the heart when helping others is every bit as important as the act itself.

What motivates your acts of kindness? What pure, kind, and intentional act can you perform today?

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.

Andrew McCarthy Discusses The Stunningly Scant and Manipulated FISA Application…. — The Last Refuge

Andrew McCarthy appears on Fox weekend to discuss the released FISA Court application used to obtain and conduct Title-1 active surveillance on U.S. Person Carter Page. McCarthy’s response is worth watching because he only recently (May) red-pilled himself and realized how corrupt the DOJ and FBI had actually become. Prior to May of this year […]

via Andrew McCarthy Discusses The Stunningly Scant and Manipulated FISA Application…. — The Last Refuge

July 22 Praising God for Your Eternal Inheritance

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3).

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God has blessed you richly and is worthy of your praise.

The source of your eternal inheritance is God, whom Peter described in several ways. First, He is our “blessed” God (1 Peter 1:3). The Greek word translated “blessed” in that verse speaks of that which is worthy of blessing, adoration, praise, or worship. Peter’s praise for God is an example for us to follow. Our God is especially worthy of our praise in light of the glorious inheritance He has granted us in His Son (v. 4).

“Father” to the Jewish people of Peter’s day was a new designation for God. The most common Jewish blessings emphasized God as Creator of all things and Redeemer or Deliverer of His people from Egypt, but not as Father (e.g., Gen. 14:20; 24:27; Ex. 18:10). Yet now through Christ we “have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! [Daddy!] Father!’” (Rom. 8:15).

As wonderful a reality as the Fatherhood of God is, Peter’s reference was not primarily to God as our Father but as Christ’s Father. Their unique relationship affirms Christ’s deity (cf. John 10:30–33). God is the Father of believers in a secondary sense because He has redeemed us through Christ and has adopted us into His family (Gal. 4:4–6).

In referring to Christ as “our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3), Peter amplifies His redemptive work. “Lord” speaks of His sovereign rulership; “Jesus” is His name as God in human flesh; and “Christ” identifies Him as the Messiah, the anointed King.

Peter’s final description of Christ is seen in the pronoun “our.” He is “our Lord Jesus Christ,” a personal Lord and Savior—not some distant, impersonal deity. He created and redeemed you because He loves you and wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of your life.

What a glorious God we serve! Worship Him today as He deserves to be worshiped.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Bless God, who is your Father, your Redeemer, your constant companion, and the source of your eternal inheritance.

For Further Study: Read John 4:1–26. What did Jesus say about the Fatherhood of God?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 216). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Judge Jeanine thanks Whoopi for book surge

(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) — Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro thanked Whoopi Goldberg and the other ladies of “The View” for helping to make her book number one on the best-seller lists for Amazon and Barnes & Noble after a contentious interview. “I do want to thank Whoopi and the ladies [of] ‘The View’ for helping to make my book No. 1 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Source: Judge Jeanine thanks Whoopi for book surge

Gowdy SHREDS Schiff and Mueller’s Pathetic ‘Investigation’ in One BRILLIANT Swipe!

Trey Gowdy unleashed on the Dems top “Russia Conspiracy theorist” Adam Schiff, and in doing so, brought up a very valid and good point.

Gowdy said, that after over a year of an intense investigation if there were any Russian collusion, Adam Schiff would have leaked it by now.

We agree, there’s no way this type of “bombshell” could or would stay hidden.

Shut down the witch-hunt!

From Daily Caller

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that, after 18 months of congressional investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, he has yet to see a “scintilla” of evidence showing that there was coordination between the two sides.

The Republican also said it is unlikely that any Democrat has seen evidence of collusion because if they had, California Rep. Adam Schiff would have already leaked it.

“I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia, and neither has anyone else, or you may rest assured Adam Schiff would have leaked it,” Gowdy said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“That’s why they’ve moved off of collusion onto obstruction of justice, which is now their current preoccupation,” he added.

Gowdy, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and chairman of the Committee on House Oversight & Government Reform, said he has likely seen more government documents related to the collusion investigation than anyone in Congress.

Source: Gowdy SHREDS Schiff and Mueller’s Pathetic ‘Investigation’ in One BRILLIANT Swipe!

JULY 22 OUR GODLY CONVERSATION

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it.

Malachi 3:16

I have met Christians who were so intent upon winning souls to Christ that they would not talk to you about anything but God and His goodness!

Such a man was the Canadian Robert Jaffray, one of our early pioneer missionaries. His family owned the Toronto Globe and Mail and as a young Christian he was disinherited because he chose to follow God’s call to China rather than join the family business.

That good godly man spent his lifetime in China and the South Pacific, searching for the lost—and winning them! He was always reading maps and daring to go to the most difficult places, in spite of physical weaknesses and diabetic handicap. He sought out and lived among the poor and miserable, always praying to God, “Let my people go!”

When on furlough, he could not sit and talk about common things. Always his thoughts went back to God and missions and winning the lost. I am reminded of Malachi who said, “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened” (3:16).

Thank You, Father, for caring in a special way for all the overseas Christian workers who are serving You abroad today.[1]


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

The U.S. Needs to Face Up to Its Long History of Election Meddling

On Sunday morning, CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul about Russian interference in the 2016 election. At 7:40 AM, a CNN analyst named Josh Campbell tweeted some of Paul’s comments. He quoted the senator as declaring that the Russians “are going to spy on us, they do spy on us, they’re going to interfere in our elections. We also do the same … We all do it. What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected.” He also quoted Paul as labeling Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference with the 2016 election a “witch hunt.”

At 8:23 AM, the liberal author and journalist David Corn retweeted Paul’s quotes with a single word of commentary: “Traitor.” (When I asked Corn about his tweet, he argued that “Paul was excusing a foreign adversary’s attack on the United States. That’s a direct blow at U.S. national-security interests.”)

Corn’s tweet illustrates the danger of this moment. Donald Trump’s refusal in Helsinki to credit his intelligence agencies’ findings about Russian electoral interference has unleashed a nationalist fury in Washington unseen since September 11. In this moment—thick with accusations of “treason” and references to Pearl Harbor—discussing America’s own penchant for election meddling is like discussing America’s misdeeds in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. It’s apt to get you labeled a traitor.

That’s a problem. Discussing America’s history of electoral interference has never been more necessary. It’s necessary not so Americans can downplay the severity of Russia’s election attack. It’s necessary so Americans can determine how—and how not—to respond. The less Americans know about America’s history of electoral interference, the more likely they are to acquiesce to—or even cheer—its return. That’s dangerous because, historically, American meddling has done far more to harm democracy than promote it.

What many Russians, but few Americans, know is that 20 years before Russia tried to swing an American presidential election, America tried to swing a presidential election in Russia. The year was 1996. Boris Yeltsin was seeking a second term, and Bill Clinton desperately wanted to help. “I want this guy to win so bad,” he told Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, “it hurts.”

Clinton liked Yeltsin personally. He considered him Russia’s best hope for embracing democracy and capitalism. And he appreciated Yeltsin’s acquiescence during NATO’s march eastward, into the former Soviet bloc.

Unfortunately for Clinton, ordinary Russians appreciated their leader far less. Yeltsin’s “shock-therapy” economic reforms had reduced the government’s safety net, and produced a spike in unemployment and inflation. Between 1990 and 1994, the average life expectancy among Russian men had dropped by an astonishing six years. When Yeltsin began his reelection campaign in January 1996, his approval rating stood at 6 percent, lower than Stalin’s.

So the Clinton administration sprang into action. It lobbied the International Monetary Fund to give Russia a $10 billion loan, some of which Yeltsin distributed to woo voters. Upon arriving in a given city, he often announced, “My pockets are full.”

Three American political consultants—including Richard Dresner, a veteran of Clinton’s campaigns in Arkansas—went to work on Yeltsin’s reelection bid. Every week, Dresner sent the White House the Yeltsin campaign’s internal polling. And before traveling to meet Yeltsin in April, Clinton asked Dresner what he should say in Moscow to boost his buddy’s campaign.

It worked. In a stunning turnaround, Yeltsin—who had begun the campaign in last place—defeated his communist rival in the election’s final round by 13 percentage points. Talbott declared that “a number of international observers have judged this to be a free and fair election.” But Michael Meadowcroft, a Brit who led the election-observer team of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, later claimed there had been widespread voter fraud, which he had been pressured not to expose. In Chechnya, which international observers believe contained fewer than 500,000 adults, one million people voted, and Yeltsin—despite prosecuting a brutal war in the region—won exactly 70 percent. “They’d been bombed out of existence, and there they were all supposedly voting for Yeltsin,” exclaimed Meadowcroft. “It’s like what happens in Cameroon.” Thomas Graham, who served as the chief political analyst at the U.S. embassy in Moscow during the campaign, later conceded that Clinton officials knew the election wasn’t truly fair. “This was a classic case,” he admitted, “of the ends justifying the means.”

Why does this history matter now? Because acknowledging it begs a question that few American pundits and politicians have answered yet: Is the problem with Russia’s behavior in 2016 that it violated principles of noninterference in other countries’ elections that America should respect as well? Or is the problem simply that America’s ox was gored?

During the Cold War, America’s leaders saw nothing wrong with electoral interference, so long as the United States was conducting it. Dov Levin, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, has identified 62 American interventions in foreign elections between 1946 and 1989. The large majority—like Russia’s in 2016—were conducted in secret. And, overall, America’s favored candidates were no more committed to liberal democracy than their opponents; they simply appeared friendlier to American interests. In 1968, for instance, Lyndon Johnson’s administration—fearful that the people of Guyana would choose a socialist, Cheddi Jagan—helped Jagan’s main opponent, Forbes Burnham, win an election marked by massive voter fraud. Burnham soon turned Guyana into a dictatorship, which he ruled until his death in 1985.

U.S. officials sometimes claimed that the left-leaning candidates America worked to defeat were more authoritarian than their right-leaning opponents. But as the Boston College political scientist Lindsey O’Rourke notes in her forthcoming book, Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold War, “There is no objective truth to their claim that the leftist parties” the U.S. “targeted were ‘inherently antidemocratic.’ To the contrary, many of these groups had repeatedly committed themselves to working within a democratic framework, and, in some cases, U.S. policymakers even acknowledged this fact.” The University of Kansas’s Mariya Omelicheva, who has also researched America’s Cold War election meddling, told me she “cannot think of a case in which America’s democracy concerns superseded its national-security concerns.”

But in recent decades, some experts contend, America’s behavior has changed. First, America’s interventions have grown more public. In 1983, Ronald Reagan created the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which—by giving grants to “political parties, trade unions, free markets and business organizations, as well as the many elements of a vibrant civil society”—does openly what the CIA once did in secret. Second, the United States now focuses primarily on strengthening democratic processes and institutions, not backing particular candidates. “Unlike Russian electoral meddling,” argues Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “U.S. democracy promotion does not … favor particular candidates, or undercut the technical integrity of elections. On the whole, it seeks to help citizens exercise their basic political and civil rights.”

These principles, when followed, distinguish America’s recent behavior from Russia’s. There is a moral difference between open interventions and secret ones. If a government publicly urges another country’s citizens to elect a particular candidate, then those citizens can judge for themselves whether the intervening country has their best interests at heart. That’s why Russia’s attacks on Hillary Clinton via the English-language television station RT—which it openly funds—were less worrying than its clandestine social-media campaign, let alone its alleged hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party emails.

It’s also legitimate for governments to fund organizations that promote free elections and human rights. The United States isn’t alone in doing that; many European governments do, too. In theory, foreign governments should be able to do the same in the U.S. Imagine if Russia gave money to the NAACP to combat voter ID laws that suppress the African American vote. Sean Hannity would howl. But unless the U.S. government was prepared to shut down NED, it would have little basis upon which to object.

If Americans believe in these principles, however—if they want to draw a distinction between America’s behavior and Russia’s—then they must defend them not just against Vladimir Putin, but against their own government. Carothers may be right that since the Cold War, America’s electoral interventions have become more transparent and less focused on engineering a particular outcome. But America’s Cold War habits haven’t entirely disappeared. Clinton has admitted that in 1996, the same year he tried to elect Yeltsin, he also “tried to help Shimon Peres to win the election” against Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. In 2002, a key NED grantee—the International Republican Institute—helped conservative opposition groups in Haiti work to oust left-leaning president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In his memoir, the former Defense Secretary Robert Gates accuses Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, of “doing his best to bring about the defeat of [Hamid] Karzai” in the Afghan elections of 2009.

If such interventions grew rarer after 1989, it’s largely because global circumstances changed. Once the Cold War ended, American leaders simply didn’t care as much about the outcome of foreign elections. Even if countries elected anti-American candidates, those candidates could no longer link up with a rival superpower. It was this “change in U.S. interests,” notes Carothers, which helped prompt “an evolution of norms in many parts of the U.S. policy establishment about the acceptability” of Cold War–style meddling.

But great-power competition is now back. European elections now shift the power balance between America and Russia in a way they haven’t since the 1980s. In countries like the Philippines, they also shift the power balance between America and China. This could easily erode the fragile norm against secret interference on behalf of particular candidates that has emerged in the United States since the Cold War. Imagine an election in Italy or France between a pro-Russian political party and a pro-American one. I suspect that some of the hawks who are most upset about Russia’s interference in recent American and European elections would support American interference to meet fire with fire. Trump himself may have little interest in meddling to defeat a pro-Russian party, since he seems to consider American and Russian interests closely aligned. But it’s not hard to imagine him embracing Cold War–style political subversion in U.S. adversaries like Venezuela or Iran. Before becoming national-security adviser, John Bolton declared, “We once had a capacity for clandestine efforts to overthrow governments. I wish we could get those back.”

Washington’s current burst of nationalist indignation, like the one that followed 9/11, is both vital and dangerous if not tempered by an awareness of America’s own capacity for misdeeds. When liberals start calling people “traitors” for acknowledging that capacity, they’ve gone badly astray.

Source: The U.S. Needs to Face Up to Its Long History of Election Meddling

Carter Page: FISA Warrant Language Misled the Court — ‘Complete Joke’

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” while being interviewed by host Jake Tapper, ex-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page said the released Department of Justice and FBI obtained FISA surveillance warrant was a “complete joke.” Page said, “This is so ridiculous. It’s just beyond words. You know, it’s — you’re talking about misleading the courts. It’s just so misleading going through the 400 plus page documents, where do we even begin? It’s literally a complete joke.” He continued, “I’ve never been an agent of the foreign power in any — by any stretch of the imagination. You know, I may have back in the G20 when they were getting ready to do that in St. Petersburg, I might have participated in a few meetings that a lot of people including people from the Obama administration were sitting in on in Geneva and Paris and et cetera. I’ve never been anywhere near what’s being described here.” When Tapper pressed him on being a Kremlin advisor, Cater added, “It’s really spin. I mean, I sat in on some meetings but to call me an adviser, I think is way over the top.” Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

Source: Carter Page: FISA Warrant Language Misled the Court — ‘Complete Joke’

FLASHBACK: Obama said election meddling wasn’t real (“stop whining”)

Article Image
• thehornnews.com

At the height of the election, then-candidate Donald Trump warned Americans of the voter fraud troubles happening at the voting booths.

Instead of addressing the concerns of election meddling by outside sources, Obama told Trump that he needed to “stop whining” because his claims were “unprecedented” and false.

Speaking at a press conference at the White House in October of 2016, Obama said, “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

“I have never seen, in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts,” he added.

Source: FLASHBACK: Obama said election meddling wasn’t real (“stop whining”)

FBI used anti-Trump media to obtain spy warrants on Carter Page, campaign

The FBI continued to tell judges that dossier writer Christopher Steele wasn’t the source of a news article the bureau used to corroborate a wiretap application when in fact Mr. Steele had publicly acknowledged he fed the anti-Trump story.

Source: FBI used anti-Trump media to obtain spy warrants on Carter Page, campaign