Daily Archives: August 14, 2018

August 14: Being Busy

Isaiah 29:1–30:17; Luke 10:1–42; Job 7:1–10

Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with quiet. For most people, chaos, deadlines, managing multiple schedules, and being “so busy” are a way of life. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we like it. Busyness implies we are special and valued and the work we’re doing is necessary. And we have a desperate need to be valued.

When others failed to recognize Martha’s work—when Mary didn’t hold to the same values—she complained to Jesus. He responded by rebuking her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things! But few things are necessary, or only one thing, for Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41–42).

What is the “better part”? Mary “sat at the feet of Jesus and was listening to his teaching” (Luke 10:39), and Jesus praised her desire to listen and learn. Mary was captivated by the “one thing” that would change the world: Jesus and the kingdom He was ushering in. Jesus showed Martha that she should also give Him this reception—being willing to learn, not anxious about her busy schedule. He asked her to shift her perspective.

Choosing the “better part” doesn’t invalidate the things we’re busy with; indeed, Martha’s work served the needs of others. But the things we do shouldn’t shape our identity. The “one thing” that should shape our identity—the one thing we really need—is Jesus. Ultimately, it’s the desire to know Him and serve Him that should shape our lives. And whatever is not dedicated to that service is not among “the few things [that] are necessary.”

What things are you busy with? Why?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]

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

August 14 Showing Kindness

“Love is kind” (1 Cor. 13:4).


Kindness repays evil with good.

Two men going opposite directions on a narrow mountain trail met each other head-on. With a steep cliff on one side and sheer rock on the other, they were unable to pass. The harder they tried to squeeze past one another, the more frustrated they became. The situation seemed hopeless until one of them, without saying a word, simply laid down on the trail, allowing the other man to walk over him. That illustrates kindness, which doesn’t mind getting walked on if it benefits someone else.

The Greek word translated “kind” in 1 Corinthians 13:4 literally means “useful,” “serving,” or “gracious.” It isn’t simply the sweet attitude we usually associate with kindness; it’s the idea of being useful to others. It’s the flip side of patience. Patience endures abuses from others; kindness repays them with good deeds.

God committed the supreme act of kindness when He provided salvation for lost sinners. Titus 3:3–5 says, “We also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us.”

Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matt. 11:29–30). The Greek word translated “easy” is translated “kind” in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Jesus was saying, “Trust in Me, and I’ll redeem you and show you My kindness.”

Since “you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:3), you should be anxious to show kindness to others. That’s what Paul wanted the Corinthian believers to do. He knew they had the capacity, but they needed to repent of their selfish ways and allow love to dominate their lives.


Suggestions for Prayer:  The evil world in which we live gives abundant opportunity for you to express kindness to others. Ask the Lord to help you take full advantage of every opportunity to do so today.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 5:38–48, noting the practical expressions of kindness Jesus instructed His followers to pursue.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 239). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

CLAIM: Barack Obama and John Brennan may be facing imminent criminal indictments – NaturalNews.com

(Natural News) It’s been confirmed that President 44 has formally retained legal counsel in response to multiple potential criminal indictments that both he and former CIA Director John Brennan could very soon be facing.

Insiders familiar with what’s going on claim that Barack Obama is on the verge of being charged with the following crimes:

• “Material Support of Terrorism” for his involvement with trying to overthrow the current Syrian government.

• Creating, funding, and arming the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also sometimes referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which facilitated a litany of “war crimes and crimes against humanity including numerous murders (some by public beheading), torture, rape, theft of oil from Iraq and from Syria, laundering of money from sale of stolen oil, destruction of historical antiquities and … conspiracy to commit such acts with” … leaders of other foreign nations.

• “Shielding drug trafficking by Hezbollah,” as well as making unlawful payments of ransom money as part of his effort to secure a deal with Iran on nuclear inspections.

• “Bribery” for any money he took in from the Uranium-One conspiracy, which involved selling 20 percent of United States uranium to a Russia-controlled country.

These are just a few of the many crimes that not only Obama but also Brennan and many others may be found guilty of committing following the unsealing of their believed-to-be indictments. Hal Turner discussed this on a recent episode of his “The Hal Turner Radio Show,” which you can access at this link.

Remember all those sealed indictments? They’re about to start being unsealed, according to some

On his show “Operation Freedom,” Dr. Dave Janda from USAWatchdog.com has been covering what’s been going on with Brennan as well, revealing that it’s almost time for the first wave of indictments to be brought to light – and that Brennan is likely included in this sweep.

“Everybody who is a freedom fighter is tired of hearing it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, and nothing is happening,” says Dr. Janda.

“What I am told and have been told, and it’s been consistently told to me, is you are going to start to see movement on the indictments after the primaries are over. The primaries are over on August 7 … I think there is going to be restoration of the rule of law. That means serving of indictments.”

While some say that there are now over 40,000 sealed indictments, Dr. Janda believes that only a small fraction of these are going to be unsealed and implemented, at least initially. Some of these indictments are expected to be high-profile names like Brennan’s, which could come as a shock, especially to deranged liberals.

“My understanding is they are not going to dump 1,000 sealed indictments at a shot,” adds Dr. Janda.

“It is going to come in sections and in waves … I think one of the prime players that is going to get dropped in the indictments is John Brennan, former Director of the CIA. I have been told that John Brennan is going to be held accountable for his past actions.”

This is believed to have been one of the subjects discussed between Presidents Putin and Trump during their recent meeting in Helsinki. Dr. Janda says that the two, concerned about deep state spying and meddling, actually met secretly on Air Force One to discuss what’s about to be revealed.

“This is why there was such a hysterical reaction after the summit,” Dr. Janda says.

“They were whisked off and actually went to Air Force One because they felt that was the most secure environment where no surveillance could be implemented. This is the third meeting that nobody talks about that was held on Air Force One where information was handed over from Trump to Putin and from Putin to Trump about Deep State players and activities that were occurring in their respective countries around the world.”

Be sure to check out Dr. Janda’s videos, one of which discusses the 12-plus attempts on President Trump’s life that the mainstream media has ignored.

Sources for this article include:



— Read on www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-14-barack-obama-john-brennan-facing-imminent-criminal-indictments.html

CNN Falls To The History Channel In Primetime Ratings | The Daily Caller

CNN suffered another humiliating defeat in the cable ratings during the week of August 6 through August 12, according to Nielsen Media Research. Cable news competitors Fox News and MSNBC wiped the floor with CNN, with FNC finishing first in average primetime viewers and more than doubling CNN’s primetime ratings. (RELATED: MSNBC Joins CNN In […]
— Read on dailycaller.com/2018/08/14/cnn-history-channel-ratings/


The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling.

Ephesians 1:18

Revival and blessing come to the church when we stop looking at a picture of God and look at God Himself! Revival comes when, no longer satisfied to know about a God in history, we meet the conditions of finding Him in living, personal experience.

Conversely, revival cannot come if we are far removed from God. It cannot come if, instead of hearing His voice, we are content with only an echo!

Put those deficiencies together and you have the reason why we are dissatisfied and empty. You have the reason why there is so little of vivid, vibrant joy in the things of God.

I hold fast to the opinion that our God is ever trying to reveal Himself to us. There is no way for sinful men and women to find their way into God’s presence unless He reveals Himself and appears to us. I do not mean that God is trying to appear to our physical eyesight. Rather, He is trying to appear to the eye of our soul through an inner consciousness. Never apologize for your inner eyes! They are the real eyes for discerning the nature of issues important to God.

Lord, there are so many difficult but important decisions to make in life. Sharpen the eyes of my inner soul to be able to discern Your presence and guidance in my life.[1]

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

Democrats’ History of Foreign Collusion

If serious interest in protecting national security was the motivating factor for Democrats in their loudly raised concerns over Russian election meddling and the “need” to investigate President Donald Trump for alleged collusion, then they must believe that communist China is nothing but a trusted friend with simple curiosity being the explanation behind its history of espionage efforts. This must certainly be the position of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who employed a Chinese spy in her San Francisco office for over a decade. The employee was charged by the FBI with spying for China back in 2013.

Feinstein must believe that the thousands in campaign contributions she and Democrats received from foreign entities, specifically China, as well as her husband’s lucrative multimillion-dollar business deals with China have no bearing on concerns over national security. How could they? The Chinese are our friends.

But when it comes to Russia, Feinstein, who sits as a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, only sees a dangerous foreign power seeking to sow discord and corruption into America’s electoral system.

This is the hypocrisy displayed by many Democrats. Lacking any genuine evidence other than the Clinton campaign’s fabricated dossier, they continue to moan over the influence of Russia and its ongoing threat to the U.S. and the upcoming elections.

Source: Democrats’ History of Foreign Collusion

President Trump Targets Peter Strzok, Crooked Hillary in Tweetstorm – Then SLAMS AG Sessions AGAIN! — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump unleashed a tweetstorm targeting fired FBI official Peter Strzok, Crooked Hillary and the rigged Mueller witch hunt –then slammed AG Sessions AGAIN for his absence.

This is the second time the President has attacked Sessions in the last few days. On Saturday, Trump accused AG Sessions of being “scared stiff” and “missing in action.”

President Trump continued his attacks on former FBI official Peter Strzok on Tuesday after it was reported he was fired for his misconduct at the bureau.

The President called Peter Strzok a “fraud” who started a rigged, fraudulent investigation.

President Trump once again brought up that Peter Strzok was the architect of the rigged witch hunt and asked why the “probe” hasn’t ended immediately after Strzok was canned.

President Trump then quoted FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett who said earlier they were all in on it to clear Hillary and FRAME Donald Trump for things he didn’t do–Trump then turned his ire towards Sessions and said, “If we had a real Attorney General, this witch hunt would never have been started! Looking at the wrong people.”

“They were all in on it, clear Hillary Clinton and FRAME Donald Trump for things he didn’t do.” Gregg Jarrett on @foxandfriends If we had a real Attorney General, this Witch Hunt would never have been started! Looking at the wrong people.

President Trump slammed Bruce Ohr and his corrupt Commie wife Nellie Ohr.

Bruce Ohr of the “Justice” Department (can you believe he is still there) is accused of helping disgraced Christopher Steele “find dirt on Trump.” Ohr’s wife, Nelly, was in on the act big time – worked for Fusion GPS on Fake Dossier.

The President also praised Judicial Watch boss Tom Fitton for accurately stating:

“The Strzok firing is as much about the Mueller operation as anything else. There would be no Mueller Special Councel to investigate so called collusion but for the machinations of Strzok & his colleagues at the top levels of the FBI. We know this guy was corrupt and had anti-Trump animus. Strzok and others at the FBI should be criminally investigated for the way the conducted this investigation. Instead, Mueller is pretending nothing went wrong. He used Strzok, he used the Clinton DNC Dossier…the whole thing should be shut down. The Strzok firing shows that the fundamental underpinnings of the investigation were corrupt. It should be shut down by the courts or by honest prosecutors.”

“Thank you Judicial Watch, I couldn’t have said it better myself!” President Trump said.

via President Trump Targets Peter Strzok, Crooked Hillary in Tweetstorm – Then SLAMS AG Sessions AGAIN! — The Gateway Pundit

INTERVIEW: Rand Paul Hopes Russia Trip Will Help Those With Trump Derangement Syndrome Understand Why Communication Matters — The Gateway Pundit

The Gateway Pundit spoke to Senator Rand Paul regarding his trip to Russia, how media hysteria impacted it, their promise to stay out of the midterms, and why it is so important that we keep communications open with another nuclear power.

The trip has caused uproar by hawkish partisans on both sides of the aisle who have decided that war would be better than diplomacy — but Senator Paul explained on Tuesday that the trip was a great success.

“I think it was a huge success. Our first day there we met with the Federation, which is the upper house of the Russian Parliament, and they agreed to continue our conversation by coming to Washington in November,” Senator Paul told TGP. “So, we believe that we will have members of the Federation and the Duma Foreign Relations Committee come continue dialogue.”

The only hitch in the visit, which would have huge potential for working towards peace, is that sanctions currently prevent several members of both committees from entering the United States. Senator Paul explained that this is something he hopes to try and remedy.

“One of the things we talked about was whether or not we could try to get to where our sanctions don’t prevent their members from coming to the United States,” he said. “Both the chairman of the Federation and Duma Foreign Relations Committees are banned from coming to the US.”

The Russian lawmakers agreed to send members who are not banned, though they and Senator Paul all hope the sanctions preventing travel can be lifted. Senator Paul explained that if removing those sanctions is unsuccessful, there is also potential for a meeting in a neutral country such as Switzerland in the Spring.

“I think this is a big breakthrough because both Russia and the United States possess 90% of the nuclear arms in the world. I think it’s a mistake for us not to continue the dialogue,” Senator Paul said.

Senator Paul and his team also met with Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, who famously negotiated nuclear weapon reductions with President Ronald Reagan.

“We were excited to meet with Gorbachev. I think Reagan and Gorbachev’s meetings in the 80s were incredibly important, and I think it’s important for us to remember that despite our differences, controversies and ongoing issues — dialogue is incredibly important,” Senator Paul said.

Much like Reagan, both Senator Paul and President Trump understand that diplomacy is a strength.

Senator Paul explained that the US and Russia have several treaties which will expire under President Trump’s administration, one of which is the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). The treaty reduces the number of nuclear missile launchers. In 2017, during President Trump’s first call with Putin, the Russian president reportedly inquired about extending New START.

“I think we have to talk about either renewing that treaty or at least having discussions leading up to that,” Senator Paul told TGP.

When asked if the extremely hostile rhetoric from our media regarding Russia impacted his trip, Senator Paul explained that the Russian lawmakers still deny election meddling — but promised him that they will not involve themselves in 2018.

“We talked about how our country’s politics are consumed by election meddling. They basically responded the same way that Putin has responded, saying ‘we didn’t do it, we aren’t doing it in 2018.’ I think that’s some progress, that they’re saying they aren’t going to be involved in 2018,” Senator Paul said. “Now, like anything else that someone tells you, we need to take everything with a grain of salt. But, what we do to move forward is try to impress upon Russia that those who want engagement, better trade and better interaction between our countries — that any kind of hacking into emails or meddling would backfire in the sense that it would not be in Russia’s best interest. That’s the way countries respond, they make their decisions based on what they think is in their best interest,” Senator Paul said.

Senator Paul stated that Russia has seen what has happened in response to 2016 and he believes they understand that getting involved in 2018 would not be to their advantage. He said that we need to be prepared to move beyond it all and remove some of the harsher sanctions if they keep their word.

“The stick has been the sanctions, but the carrot needs to be resolving some of these sanctions. One of the sanctions that we would like to see removed as soon as possible is the sanction on their legislators that prevents them from travelling to the US. I think that would be a small step forward. It wouldn’t be a removal of all the sanctions, but it would be an improvement in our relations,” he added.

Asked if he worked with the administration on the trip, Senator Paul explained that they met with President Trump several times, including in the White House between the Helsinki meeting and their own trip to Russia. He also noted that President Trump sent a letter that they hand-carried to the Kremlin.

It is important to note that while partisans have accused the senator of planning the trip to take heat off of President Trump after his meeting with Putin, Senator Paul’s office had actually been planning this trip for roughly six months.

“I think President Trump and I do share the understanding that we need to continue the dialogue with what could be the other main nuclear power in the world,” Senator Paul said. “There are possibilities for the sharing of information to prevent terrorist attacks. You know, the Russians gave us information on the Boston bombers. Our country failed to act, but I think Russia did try to help us prevent the Boston Marathon bombing. Likewise, this year, we shared information that helped to prevent a terrorist bombing in St. Petersburg.”

“There are all kinds of reasons why we set dialogue and I think the partisan hysteria in our country, the Trump Derangement Syndrome, has been almost to where every Democrat in the whole country wants no dialogue with Russia. I think that’s a big mistake. I’m hoping that my visit to Russia, and maybe the visit by Russian legislators, will help to get this beyond partisan politics and back into the realpolitik of why we should have communications even with people that we have disagreements with.”

via INTERVIEW: Rand Paul Hopes Russia Trip Will Help Those With Trump Derangement Syndrome Understand Why Communication Matters — The Gateway Pundit

New Evidence Points to Clinton Operatives Colluding with Russians To Frame Trump Campaign

A former Department of Justice official will appear before Congress as lawmakers seek to learn whether there was collusion between the Justice Department and supporters of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

“DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+contacts with dossier author Chris Steele as far back as January 2016. He owes the American public the full truth,” tweeted Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican and member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Steele authored a dossier that contained unsubstantiated claims of misconduct on the part of President Donald Trump. Trump denied the claims, which caused a sensation when they were published but have since been debunked.

A Judiciary Committee letter to the Justice Department said multiple documents prove “that Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr continued to pass along allegations from Mr. Steele to the FBI after the FBI suspended its formal relationship with Mr. Steele for unauthorized contact with the media, and demonstrating that Mr. Ohr otherwise funneled allegations from Fusion GPS and Mr. Steele to the FBI,” The Washington Times reported.

Amid these revelations, the website Real Clear Investigations sought to connect the dots by suggesting that the evidence indicates a highly controversial meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 between Trump campaign staff and a Russian lawyer “may have been a setup.”

As summarized by the site, the various bits of documentation appear to show that “then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, the fourth-highest-ranking official at DOJ, coordinated before, during and after the election with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who did work for the Clinton campaign and Russians; and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who was employed by Simpson.”

President Donald Trump has also tweeted his perspective on Ohr’s involvement.

Do you believe the Justice Department worked with Hillary Clinton against President Donald Trump’s campaign?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said that Ohr’s testimony can help sort out exactly who was colluding with whom, and the depth of the Clinton campaign’s involvement.

“What’s come out now, Maria, is that he has been the go-between Christopher Steele, so once Christopher Steele was terminated as a source, for doing all things like talking to the media, at the behest of Glenn Simpson, remember he was working for Glenn Simpson Fusion GPS, who are working for the Clinton Campaign. Christopher Steele was fired, a lot of this information wasn’t shared with the FISA court, especially because of the fact that Christopher Steele was desperate that Donald Trump not become president,” Nunes said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” according to Breitbart.

“After that happened, Bruce Ohr, one of the top lawyers in the Department of Justice, kept continually meeting and providing information from Christopher Steele to who? The FBI.”

He added, “So here you have information flowing from the Clinton campaign from the Russians, likely — I believe was handed directly from Russian propaganda arms to the Clinton campaign, fed into the top levels of the FBI and Department of Justice to open up a counter-intelligence investigation into a political campaign that has now polluted nearly every top official at the DOJ and FBI over the course of the last couple years. It is absolutely amazing.”

“This is just madness. The American people need to know it,” Nunes said, Breitbart reported.

Nunes said that the issue, for once, needs to be fully explained to the American people.

“I will tell you, like I said in the last segment, the fact that the media is ignoring this is even more of a reason that we’re going to have to have more information than usual declassified. We’re going to have to have, I think, an unprecedented amount of information declassified because the media is just not covering this topic,” he said.

Source: New Evidence Points to Clinton Operatives Colluding with Russians To Frame Trump Campaign

August 14, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Compassion from Christ

for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (2:10)

Peter drew an analogy from the prophet Hosea when he introduced the next spiritual privilege for believers, compassion from Christ:

Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.” When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.” Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and in the place where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.” (Hos. 1:6–10)

According to that passage, there was coming a time when the Jews would no longer receive God’s compassion. This was directly fulfilled in the judgment that came on the Northern Kingdom at the hands of the Assyrians (722 b.c.). But there will also be a future time (v. 10), during the Millennium, when He will have compassion on “the sons of Israel” and Judah in saving uncounted numbers of them (cf. Isa. 61:4–6; Jer. 16:14–15; Ezek. 37:20–22; Rom. 11:26–27).

In principle, Peter applied to the church—particularly to its Gentile members—the prophet’s words concerning the Jews (cf. Hos. 2:23; Rom. 9:22–26). As unbelievers, the Gentiles knew no compassion from Christ—they once were not a people. But now they had become the people of God, because they had received His mercy. Mercy is synonymous with compassion and essentially involves God’s sympathy with sinners’ misery and His withholding from them the just punishment for their sins.

Scripture discusses two kinds of divine mercy. First there is God’s general mercy (cf. Ps. 145:9; Lam. 3:22), which is evident in His providential to all creation (Pss. 36:7; 65:9–13; Matt. 5:44–45; Acts 14:14–17; 17:23–28; cf. Rom. 1:20). Common mercy displays God’s patient pity and forbearing compassion toward sinners (3:20; Pss. 86:15; 103:8; 2 Peter 3:9; cf. Luke 13:6–9) because He had every right, in view of their sin, to destroy them all. Instead, at the present time He mercifully chooses not to unleash all the disastrous consequences that humanity’s sinfulness deserves (cf. Gen. 9:8–11). But eventually God’s general mercy will expire and people will feel the full consequences of sin (Matt. 24:4–22; Rev. 6:7–8; 8:7–9:19; 14:14–19; 16:1–21; 18:1–24; 19:17–21; 20:7–15; cf. Gen. 6:3; Isa. 27:11; Jer. 44:22).

Second, there is the divine, saving mercy displayed toward the elect, which is the mercy Peter referred to. They receive not only God’s common mercy in this life, but also His saving mercy for the life to come (Dan. 7:18; John 14:2; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 2:7; 7:16–17; 21:1–7). The elect, although no more inherently deserving than anyone else, receive God’s forgiveness for their sins and His deliverance from eternal condemnation—all according to His sovereign and loving purposes (Rom. 8:28–30; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; cf. Ps. 65:4; Rom. 9:15–16; James 2:5).

Christ’s compassion, or mercy, for believers is a spiritual privilege that beggars language (cf. Pss. 57:10; 59:16–17; 103:11; 136:1–9). It rescues believers from judgment in hell and grants them an eternal inheritance in heaven (1:4; Ps. 37:18; Acts 20:32; 26:18; Eph. 1:11, 14, 18; Col. 1:12; 3:24; Heb. 9:15), which is why Paul called God “the Father of mercies” (2 Cor. 1:3; cf. Rom. 9:23; Titus 3:5). The words of one writer appropriately express how all Christians should feel toward such divine compassion:

When all Thy mercies, O my God,

My rising soul surveys,

Transported with the view I’m lost,

In wonder, love, and praise.

Proclamation of Christ

so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him (2:9e)

Finally, God has provided His kaleidoscope of spiritual privileges for believers for one overarching purpose: that they may proclaim the excellencies of Christ. There is no higher privilege than to be a herald for the gospel.

Proclaim (exangeilēte) is from a Greek word that appears only here in the New Testament. It means “to publish”, or “advertise” and to do so in the sense of telling something otherwise unknown. That which is generally unknown and which Peter encourages believers to publicize is the excellencies of Christ, the Savior. Excellencies (aretas) can imply the ability to perform powerful, heroic deeds. Contrary to what it might indicate in English, the term refers more to those kinds of actions than to some intrinsic royal attributes or qualities. Christians have the distinct privilege of telling the world that Christ has the power to accomplish the extraordinary work of redemption (Acts 1:8; 2:22; 4:20; 5:31–32; Rev. 15:3; cf. Pss. 66:3, 5, 16; 71:17; 73:28; 77:12, 14; 104:24; 107:22; 111:6–7; 118:17; 119:46; 145:4; John 5:36; 10:25 regarding God’s amazing acts).

For God to choose undeserving sinners as His representatives and use them to gather other sinners to Himself is a privilege beyond all expectation. It caused Paul to write:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:12–17)[1]

10 The remarkable nature of this transformation—before and after—is illustrated by yet another interpretive use of the OT (Hos 1:6, 9–2:1, 23), wherein the prophet had drawn parallels between his unfaithful wife and Israel. By the creative, restorative mercy of God, those who were formerly “not a people” were now made “the people of God.” Just as divine compassion and mercy were available to restore Israel, despite her unfaithfulness, pagans as well, who had no former claim on God’s mercy, were candidates (and recipients) thereof. The saints are simultaneously called out of something—spiritual darkness—and to something far greater—spiritual illumination leading to moral transformation.[2]

2:10 / The status of Peter’s Christian readers is again defined, but in different terms. Formerly, before their conversion, they were not a people, a not-people, so to speak: those who did not count in God’s program. But there has been a fundamental change: now, after undergoing a new spiritual birth (1:3), they have been brought into the divine family as full members.

Though once a not-people, they are now part of the people of God. The transformation is described yet again, this time in terms of forgiveness and reconciliation: once you had not received mercy, being outside the covenant of grace, but now you have received mercy, on account of the redeeming work of Christ (1:3).

Readers of Peter’s words with a knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures would at once recognize them as a skillful selection of phrases from Hosea 1–2. For the prophet Hosea, the restoration of relationships with his estranged wife spoke of repentant Israel being brought back to God. For Christian teachers, the episode was seen as foreshadowing the admission of Gentiles into the one true church. It is perhaps surprising that such a strongly negative phrase in the Hosea passage as not a people was interpreted by the rabbis as referring to Israel and not to Gentiles, despite hints that God had something special in mind for the latter (as in Isa. 9:1–2; 11:10; 42:6; 49:6; 60:5–6; Mal. 1:11).

Verse 10 rounds off a passage (from v. 4) in which Peter has been spelling out the blessings, originally promised to Israel, that are now the privilege of the church of believers in Christ. The Jerusalem temple of stone is now replaced by the living stones of the new spiritual temple of believers. The priesthood, formerly limited to the tribe of Aaron and engaged in offering animal sacrifices as the means of approaching God, is now a royal priesthood shared by all believers, who enjoy direct personal access to God. They are individually able to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God because they are made through the perfect sacrifice of Christ. God’s chosen people are no longer confined to the physical descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel, but by divine decision they are now the body of Christian believers. It is not that ethnic Israel has been irrevocably rejected by God and replaced by Gentiles (Paul makes that clear in Rom. 9–11); rather, for both Jew and Gentile the divine blessings to God’s people are available through Jesus the Messiah.[3]

10. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Once again Peter relies on Old Testament imagery. He alludes to the prophecy of Hosea where the Lord addresses the prophet when Gomer gave birth to her second son: “Call him Lo-Ammi [not my people], for you are not my people, and I am not your God” (1:9; and see 2:23). The second part of verse 10 also is an allusion to Hosea’s prophecy. Gomer gave birth to a daughter and the Lord tells Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah [no mercy; or, not loved], for I will no longer show love [mercy] to the house of Israel” (1:6).

“Once you were not a people [useful to God], but now you are the people of God.” Here is an obvious reference to the past of these recipients. They were Gentiles and Jews who through the preaching of the Word of God had been converted (1:12). God saved them through the redemptive work of his Son and now these same persons are part of the body of believers known as “the people of God.” They are God’s special people, whom Peter designates “a people belonging to God” (v. 9).

“Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” The Greek wording indicates that the recipients had lived without God for a long time, during which they had tried but failed to obtain mercy for themselves. Peter contrasts the past of these people with their present: “now you have received mercy.” That is, they have received remission of sin and rejoice in the love and the grace of God.

The prophet Hosea contrasts the unfaithfulness of his contemporaries in ancient Israel with the electing love of their covenant God (Hos. 1:1–2:23). In the New Testament, Paul applies the prophecy of Hosea to the Gentiles (Rom. 9:25–26). Moreover, he regarded as Gentiles the Jewish people who had broken God’s covenant. Yet God takes Gentiles and converted Jews into a covenant relationship with himself. Peter affirms this same truth when he addresses both Jewish and Gentile Christians in his epistle: “You are … a people belonging to God.”[4]

2:10 Peter closes this section by referring to the book of Hosea. Using the prophet’s own tragic family life as an object lesson, God had pronounced judgment on the nation of Israel. Because of their unfaithfulness to Him, He said He would no longer have pity on them and that they would no more be His people (Hos. 1:6, 9). But the casting aside of Israel was not final, for the Lord also promised that in a future day, Israel would be restored:

“… I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ” (Hos. 2:23).

Some of the people to whom Peter was writing had once been part of the nation of Israel. Now they were members of the church. Through faith in Christ, they had become the people of God, while unbelieving Jews were still cast aside.

So Peter sees in the condition of the converted Jews of his day a partial fulfillment of Hosea 2:23. In Christ, they had become God’s new people; in Christ, they had obtained mercy. This handful of saved Jews enjoyed the blessings promised to Israel through Hosea long before Israel nationally would enjoy them.

No one should conclude from this passage in Peter that because the church is now God’s people, He is through with Israel as a nation. Neither should one assume that the church is now the Israel of God, or that the promises made to Israel now apply to the church. Israel and the church are separate and distinct entities, and an understanding of this distinction is one of the most important keys to interpreting the prophetic word.

Israel was God’s chosen earthly people from the time of the call of Abraham to the coming of the Messiah. The nation’s rebellion and faithlessness reached its awesome climax when Christ was nailed to the cross. Because of this crowning sin, God temporarily set aside Israel as His chosen people. They are His ancient earthly people today but not His chosen people.

During the present age, God has a new people—the church. This Church Age forms a parenthesis in God’s dealings with Israel. When the parenthesis is closed, that is, when the church is caught away to heaven, God will resume His dealings with Israel. Then a believing portion of the nation will become God’s people again.

The final fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy is still future. It will take place at the Second Advent. The nation that rejected its Messiah will “look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10). Then repentant, believing Israel will receive mercy and will become God’s people once more.

The point Peter is making in verse 10 is that believing Jews today enjoy an advance fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy, while unbelieving Jews are still alienated from God. The complete and final fulfillment will take place when “the Deliverer will come out of Zion” and “turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:26).[5]

2:10 obtained mercy: Although we once deserved condemnation because of unbelief (John 3:18, 36; Eph. 2:1–3), we no longer are under the sentence of judgment (Eph. 2:4–7).[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 132–134). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Charles, D. J. (2006). 1 Peter. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 318). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (pp. 69–70). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 93–94). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 2261–2262). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1681). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

August 14, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill on Monday that authorizes military spending and includes watered-down controls on U.S. government contracts with China’s ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies .

An 11-year-old boy managed to hack into a replica of Florida’s election results website in 10 minutes and change names and tallies during a hacker convention, organizers said, and stoking concerns about security ahead of nationwide votes.

Malta on Tuesday said it agreed to let the Aquarius humanitarian ship dock in one of its ports and disembark 141 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya last week, ending a European standoff over who should accept the ship.

France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg have agreed to take some of the 141 migrants on the Aquarius humanitarian ship, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

Afghan troops backed by U.S forces gained control of most of the embattled city of Ghazni on Tuesday, officials said, while a Taliban attack in another province raised new questions about Afghanistan’s defenses against the insurgency.

A man deliberately drove a car into pedestrians and cyclists on Tuesday before ramming it into barriers outside Britain’s parliament in what appeared to be the second terrorism attack on the building in just under 18 months, police said.

At least 22 people were killed when a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rains on Tuesday morning over buildings in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, and the deputy transport minister said the death toll would rise.

Taliban fighters overran a northern Afghan army base, officials said Tuesday, killing at least 17 soldiers with dozens feared captured in a stinging blow to security forces already struggling to push insurgents from eastern Ghazni.

AP Top Stories

A three-year-old boy found buried at a New Mexico desert compound died in a ritual to “cast out demonic spirits,” but his extended family believed he would “return as Jesus” to identify “corrupt” targets for them to attack, prosecutors said in court on Monday.

Iran has cancelled a visit by Iraq’s prime minister after he said that while he was opposed to renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran he had no choice but to abide by them, an Iraqi official said.

Another round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is inevitable, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, despite attempts to reach a long-term truce.

North and South Korea agreed on Monday to hold a summit in the North in September, another step towards boosting cooperation between the old rivals, even as doubts grow over efforts to end the North’s nuclear weapons program.

Islamic State still has as many as 30,000 members in Syria and Iraq – a far higher number that previously estimated, a United Nations report has found.

OPEC on Monday forecast lower demand for its crude next year as rivals pump more and said top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, eager to avoid a return of oversupply, had cut production.

An Ethiopian court has freed 11 police officers on bail after they were detained on suspicion of negligence in a grenade attack on a rally in June attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Iran unveiled a next generation short-range ballistic missile on Monday and vowed to further boost its capabilities, Iranian media said, at a time of rising tensions with the United States.

First, China developed long-range “carrier-killer” ballistic missiles. Now, Russia’s Iskander ballistic missile system may have the same mission.

West Virginia lawmakers impeached all four state Supreme Court justices for spending issues, including a suspended justice facing a 23-count federal indictment.

Rights group Amnesty International said on Monday it will conduct “full and independent external inquiries” into the suicides of two of its staff in the last three months.

President Trump signed a bill asks the Pentagon to pursue more options for defeating U.S.-bound North Korean missiles by using radar and more missiles to spot and shoot down inbound threats.


The Austrian capital, Vienna, has beaten Australia’s Melbourne to be named the world’s most livable city.

Up to 80 vehicles have been set alight in Sweden overnight, in what police say may be a coordinated criminal action.

Philip Wilson, a former Catholic archbishop, will serve a maximum 12-month sentence in home detention for concealing child sexual abuse, an Australian court has ruled.

Zambia’s main opposition party has condemned the government’s move to introduce a daily tax of $0.03 on all internet based calls, calling them “visionless”.


A building in Santa Cruz, Calif., is being converted into a worship space and public brewery by a pro-gay church that plans to donate some of its beer proceeds to Planned Parenthood, according to reports.

Democrats view socialism better than capitalism by a significant margin, according to a new Gallup poll, with 57 percent viewing socialism in a positive light against just 47 percent viewing capitalism positively.

Left-wing activists carrying red flags in a counter-protest in Washington, D.C., Sunday called for an end to the United States.

The mastermind behind malware attacks that programmed ATMs to spit out cash on demand and caused more than $1.2 billion of losses, has been arrested in Spain.

News – 8/14/2018

‘I would murder him, for the people’ Secret Service probing antifa threats against Trump
“Multiple members of the progressive protest group who gathered outside the White House Sunday threatened President Trump with physical violence and murder,” the report said. “The Secret Service tells The Daily Caller they are now ‘aware’ of the threats and are ‘investigating’ the progressive protesters.”

North Korean scientists attempting to CLONE humans for Kim’s super army
Dictator Kim Jong-Un wants to create an army of super soldiers who will obey his every command. Genetic scientists have spent billions on a secret cloning programme started by Kim’s grandfather more than 30 years ago. Now intelligence experts believe the 35-year-old tyrant wants to create perfect copies of both his father Kim Jong-il, grandfather Kim II-Sung, the founder of the modern state, and other family members – which could include himself. MI6 believes the secretive Communist state has already cloned cats, dogs and horses – and has been experimenting on human embryos for at least 10 years.

From laboratory in far west, China’s surveillance state spreads quietly
Filip Liu, a 31-year-old software developer from Beijing, was traveling in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang when he was pulled to one side by police as he got off a bus. The officers took Liu’s iPhone, hooked it up to a handheld device that looked like a laptop and told him they were “checking his phone for illegal information”.

Horrifying details released in investigation of ‘extremist Muslim’ compound that allegedly conducted school-shooting training
The children discovered at an “extremist Muslim” compound in New Mexico earlier this month were both trained to use firearms and taught multiple tactical techniques in order to kill teachers, law enforcement and other institutions they found corrupt, state prosecutors revealed on Monday.

A long, narrow hole has opened in the sun’s atmosphere, and it is spewing high-speed solar wind into space. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the fissure on Aug. 13th pointing directly at Earth.

MK Kahlon confirms Netanyahu met Sisi about Gaza
Moshe Kahlon: “Everything that will happen in Gaza will be done with Egyptian mediation and involvement.”

Pipe bombs thrown at Rachel’s Tomb
Border Police officers discovered two pipe bombs which had been thrown into the Rachel’s Tomb complex in Beit Lechem (Bethlehem). No one was injured.

Rabbis Weigh In: Who Is Amalek Today?
“There is no real purebred Amalek today since, according to the Talmud, King Sennacherib mixed up the nations,” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. “This means that we cannot point at any one nation and say that they are Amalek. It also means that Amalek has gotten mixed into the other nations and a little bit of Amalek is in everyone.”“Amalek is more than a physical people. It is also a concept and a spiritual reality. Different people can embody that concept. First and foremost, Amalek is doubt in divine providence.

Turkish Lira Sinks Against Dollar, Economy in Trouble
The Turkish lira plunged as much as 11% against the dollar, hitting a record low, before recovering some of its losses in volatile trading. The lira had already plummeted more than 20% last week as a political clash with the United States intensified and investors fretted about the Turkish government’s lack of action to tackle the problems plaguing its economy. The lira’s tailspin has unsettled global markets, with shares of European banks coming under particular pressure because of concerns over the lenders’ exposure to Turkey.

Argentina places blame for Gaza violence squarely on the Palestinians
In a sign of Buenos Aires’ changing attitude toward Israel, the Argentine Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that seems to put the blame for recent clashes between the Israeli military and Hamas squarely on the Palestinians. Referring to the recent escalation in tensions…Friday’s statement expressed its “deep concern” over the violence, which it said was “caused by the launch of rockets towards Israel.”

Westminster car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences
A man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament. The vehicle swerved into cyclists and pedestrians shortly after 07:30 BST, injuring three people. The suspect, in his late 20s, is not believed to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police, and is not co-operating with officers.

Sweden cars: 80 set on fire by gangs in several cities
Dozens of cars have been set alight in Sweden overnight, in what police say may be a co-ordinated criminal action. Up to 80 vehicles were badly damaged by gangs of black-clad youths, beginning at about 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT). Most of the damage took place in the western city of Gothenburg, but incidents were also reported in cities up to 100km (60 miles) away.

FBI agent Peter Strzok ‘fired over anti-Trump texts’
A veteran FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with a colleague during the election has been fired from the FBI, his lawyer has said. Peter Strzok has been accused by Republicans of being biased against Donald Trump, and seeking to prevent his election victory. Mr Trump has pointed to the text exchanges as evidence of bias in the special counsel’s Russia probe.

Taliban blindsides U.S. forces with surprise Afghan offensive
The Taliban is on the verge of dramatically expanding its control over southern and eastern Afghanistan in a surprise offensive that has caught Afghan and U.S. forces off guard and thrown a vexing new wrench into the Trump administration’s strategy for ending the nearly 17-year-old war there. The Afghan Defense Ministry said Monday a Taliban assault on the city of Ghanzi…has killed roughly 100 Afghan security forces and some 20 civilians over the past three days.

From laboratory in far west, China’s surveillance state spreads quietly
Filip Liu, a 31-year-old software developer from Beijing, was traveling in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang when he was pulled to one side by police as he got off a bus. The officers took Liu’s iPhone, hooked it up to a handheld device that looked like a laptop and told him they were “checking his phone for illegal information”.

Cash machines could be mass-hacked in global cyber attack, FBI warns
Banks have been warned of an imminent threat that their cash machines could be mass-hacked by cyber criminals. In a confidential alert on Friday, America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation told international banks that criminals are plotting a concerted global malware attack on cash machines in the next few days.

Russian warships enter Gibraltar waters for ‘combat training’ days after Royal Navy intercepted them in the English Channel
TWO Russian warships have entered Gibraltar waters for “combat training” – days after the Royal Navy intercepted them in the English Channel. The missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov and anti-submarine destroyer Severomorsk sailed past the British territory on the way to the Mediterranean Sea at the weekend. The vessels, which are part of Vladimir Putin’s Northern Fleet, will reportedly bolster the Russian Navy’s operations supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the civil war.

Chelsea Clinton: ‘Roe’ Helped Add ‘Three and a Half Trillion Dollars to Our Economy’
Abortion has been an important economic stimulus ever since it was legalized by the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, Chelsea Clinton claimed at a “Rise Up for Roe” event on Saturday.

United Methodist Church of Minnesota Removes ‘Father’ From Apostles’ Creed
At the annual Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church, the historic Apostles’ Creed was edited to remove the word ‘Father,’ to make it more compliant with culture.

Algae crisis explodes into leading campaign issue in Florida
..The worst toxic algae bloom to hit Florida’s Gulf Coast in a decade is decimating marine life — killing thousands of fish, in addition to dolphins, manatees, turtles, and potentially a whale shark. Humans are also suffering the effects — the “red tide”, so named because of the rust color the algae lends to the water, can be deeply detrimental to people. Floridians have reported respiratory issues and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cautioned that algae can also induce nausea and other extreme symptoms, like vomiting.

Paris Creates ‘Eco-Friendly’ Urinals On Streets
Paris created “eco-friendly” public urinals on the city streets causing negative reactions from residents.

Polling Milestone: Democrats Officially Prefer Socialism To Capitalism
Democrats have a more positive view of socialism than they do of capitalism, a Gallup poll published Monday reveals.

15 Acid Attacks a Week in UK, 73% in London
The United Kingdom’s surge of the previously unheard of phenomenon of acid attacks has seen an average of 15 a week over the past three years, with the vast majority taking place in the crime-struck capital, London.

Google tracks your movements, like it or not
Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

Trump Signs Massive Defense Bill: Biggest Pay Raise For Soldiers In Nine Years
On Monday, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a bill authorizing an increase of over 15,000 troops as well as a long-overdue pay raise for soldiers. The military spending package includes $717 billion for national defense in the next fiscal year, according to the White House.

Soros Funded Group Caught Inciting Violence With ‘Be Like Maxine’ T-Shirts
The George Soros funded activist group “Color of Change” was caught launching a ‘hateful’ marketing campaign encouraging people to “Be Like Maxine” and promoting Rep. Maxine Waters who endorses violence against Trump supporters and officials.

US Clashes With Cuba, Venezuela As UN Approves Leftist Human Rights Chief
The U.N. General Assembly’s quick approval – without a vote – of the next U.N. human rights chief produced a clash between representatives of the U.S., Cuba and Venezuela, following concerns that the Latin American socialist nominated to the post has been sympathetic to the two leftist regimes.

Bishop Blows Whistle: Catholic Church is Protecting Pedophile Priests
Bishop David Zubik has blown the whistle to reveal that a large number of predator pedophile priests who were named this month are being protected by the Catholic Church and will remain in ministry.

Human Remains Found At Site Of Stolen Horizon Air Plane Crash Near Seattle
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found human remains at the crash site of the Horizon Air plane an employee stole and wrecked near Seattle.

Obama Admin Holdovers Perpetrating “Greatest Political Scandal In American History”
In today’s toxic environment found inside “the swamp,” I am often reminded of the old saw about evil flourishing when good people do nothing. I consider this a truism, an absolute, a defined value that is not zero. Unfortunately, I have had the opportunity to see this phenomenon up close and personal.

Turkey begs the Trump to resume negotiations, as President’s heavy tariffs on the Islamic regime are crippling their country
Turkey’s trade minister on Friday implored U.S. President Donald Trump to return to the negotiating table on tariffs, hours after Trump imposed higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, including a 20 percent duty on aluminum and a 50 percent duty on steel.

Almost 10,000 Diagnosed With Cancer Caused By 9/11 – Media Blackout
Almost 10,000 people have been diagnosed with cancer that is linked directly to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Cente back in 2001, according to the federal World Trade Center Health Program.

Headlines – 8/14/2018

Defense minister: War with Hamas is just a matter of time

Bennett says Israel’s policy of restraint in Gaza has failed

Israel and Hamas reportedly near truce after days of relative quiet

Israel to discuss easing restrictions on Gaza if lull in arson attacks continues

Netanyahu reportedly had secret talks on Gaza with Sissi in Egypt in May

Ministers reportedly reject plan to return PA control to Gaza

‘The Palestinians’ goal is to wipe Israel off the map’ – Deputy Minister Michael Oren blasts PA’s demand to expel Israel from the UN over the Nationality Law

Merkel party’s think tank compares Israel’s security wall to Berlin Wall

UK Labour’s Corbyn trades barbs with Netanyahu on Mideast violence

Tech giants seek assurances about war scenarios in Israel

BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate

Radioactive sheep bolster nuclear weapon test claim against Israel, researchers say

Former Mossad chief doubtful Russia can force Iran out of Syria

UN report: Up to 30,000 Islamic State members in Syria, Iraq

Death toll in Syria arms depot blast rises to 69

Caspian Sea Dispute: Here’s Everything to Know About the Landmark Deal Between Russia, Iran and Others

Iran’s Top Leader Faults Rouhani for Crisis, Saying He Crossed ‘Red Lines’

Khamenei rules out any military confrontation with U.S.

Khamenei Bans Any Talks With Trump as Iran Unveils New Version of a Short-range Missile

Iran just unveiled a new ballistic missile called the ‘Bright Conqueror’

Iraq to respect dollar ban but not all US sanctions on Iran, PM says

Trump’s Ambassador Threatens U.K. With ‘Serious Consequences’ if Iran Trade Continues

Trump Uses Sanctions to Spark Painful Market Moves for Adversaries

The reason Turkey’s economic collapse is so scary is that Iran, Russia, and Syria are waiting in the wings

Kremlin Backs Turkish Plan to Dump the Dollar and Trade in National Currencies

Turkish lira recoups losses following Central Bank intervention

Turkish lira record low ripples through global currency markets

World equities slip on Turkey currency woes

‘What happens in Turkey won’t stay in Turkey’: Why this debt crisis could be different

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

Turkish journalist: Erdogan seeming more and more like Hitler

Trump aide Bolton met Turkish envoy to discuss U.S. pastor: White House

Egypt voices concern over Red Sea security after Houthi attack

Yemen war: Mass funeral held for children killed in bus attack

Pompeo, Trump mum on Saudi-led airstrike that hit Yemen school bus

Taliban blindsides U.S. forces with surprise Afghan offensive

Top U.S. Gen. Warns: Islamic State in Afghanistan ‘Harboring Intentions’ to Attack West

South Korean leader to meet Kim Jong Un on his turf

Bill asks Pentagon to examine more options for stopping North Korean missiles

Trump’s ‘Space Force’ no punchline to military insiders amid rising Russia, China threats

Has China’s ‘Area 51’ been found in the Gobi Desert?

Days after a bizarre drone attack, Venezuela’s government may be getting ready for another crackdown on the military

Return of Pirates of the Caribbean: Piracy Jumps 163 Percent Amid Venezuela Crisis

Cash machines could be mass-hacked in global cyber attack, FBI warns

An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes

Quake damage to Indonesia’s Lombok exceeds $342 million as deaths top 400

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hirara, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohara, Japan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

‘Child of Krakatoa’ volcano flings lava bombs hundreds of feet during mesmerizing eruption

Severe Tropical Storm Leepi to slam southern Japan on Tuesday

Tropical Storm Bebinca to bring flooding rainfall to China, Vietnam this week

Flood Cripples Philippine Capital as 54,000 Are Evacuated

Heavy rain prompts flash flood emergencies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Searing heat could make countries in North Africa and along the Persian Gulf unlivable

Worst may be yet to come amid an extreme California wildfire season

Al Gore: Trump has had ‘less of an impact so far than I feared’ on environment

Governor Scott declares state of emergency due to red tide in Florida

Significant rise in mosquito “disease danger days” in U.S., report warns

Michigan county fair attendees test positive for rare strain of swine flu

Using DNA for digital data storage… and other miracles

Big Pharma Would Like Your DNA

In the small indigenous territory of Guna Yala off Panama’s eastern coast, a flourishing ‘third gender’ community is defying stereotypes

Disney sparks backlash after casting straight actor to play gay character in ‘Jungle Cruise’

Boy at New Mexico compound died in ritual ceremony to “cast out demonic spirits”

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RenewAmerica Newsletter for August 14, 2018

August 14, 2018
WES VERNON — You may think you know everything there is to know about the ongoing night-and-day pounding inflicted on the public ear by an angry Hate America left hell-bent on bringing down a duly elected president of the United States. But you don’t – – not until you’ve plunged into Gregg Jarrett’s The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump. The book is so amazingly up-to-date one would suspect parts of it were written in “real time.” Obviously, the narrative will be extended when “the dust has settled,” if ever. (The ongoing battle in what some fear may be a developing “second civil war” in America is not likely to let up soon.)… (more)

August 14, 2018
Alan Keyes highlights why separation of governmental power is necessary
ALAN KEYES — Private persons can only offer advice and have no coercive power if their advice should not be accepted. And the law should have coercive power in order to induce others effectively to virtue, as the Philosopher says in the Ethics. But the people or a public personage has such coercive power and the right to inflict punishment…. And so, it belongs only to the people or a public personage to make law. Summa, ST I-II, Question 90, Article 3, Reply to Objection 2… (more)

August 13, 2018
Agent’s lawyer claims scheming 21-year veteran ‘wrongly dismissed’
ART MOORE — The FBI has fired agent Peter Strzok, known for exchanging text messages vowing to prevent Donald Trump from being elected while investigating Hillary Clinton’s abuse of classified information and later alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia…. (more)

August 13, 2018
CHERYL K. CHUMLEY — Leftists have been particularly crafty about clamping down and chilling conservative thought lately, boldly going where milder-mannered censors have previously feared to tread and managing to make several righteous-sounding cases, at least among their circles of progressive types, for the booting of deemed hate speakers from social media. But their censorship argument dangles precariously on the meaningless claim that in America there’s no room for hate speech…. (more)

August 13, 2018
They’re misguided, inflated, and confused
ROBERT KNIGHT — The progressive left is in a panic over the Senate’s coming confirmation vote on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. How do we know this? They keep telling us. In a national conference call sponsored by People for the American Way (PFAW), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, said, “We’re in the fight of our lives.”… (more)

August 13, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Republicans in a joint session of House committees are set to interview former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr this month to gauge whether a complex conspiracy against Donald Trump existed among Hillary Clinton loyalists and the Justice Department…. (more)

August 13, 2018
BYRON YORK — In Washington in the 1990s, it was a sure bet that whenever conservative journalists and activists got together, the conversation turned to the Clintons, Kenneth Starr, and the Whitewater investigation. There was a good bit of what one editor memorably called “hush-hush and heavy breathing” when insiders discussed momentous developments that were surely on the way. Somebody knew somebody who had heard from somebody close to Starr that big indictments were imminent – – just around the corner…. (more)

August 13, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes declared Sunday that Hillary Clinton’s campaign “colluded” with nearly every top official in the Justice Department and FBI. An interview on Fox News had turned to the topic of Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and his ties to Bruce Ohr, a high-level DOJ official who fed the FBI information from the ex-British spy even after he was cut as a source for providing confidential information to the media…. (more)

August 12, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A judge late Wednesday signed off on the settlement between the IRS and hundreds of tea party groups, closing out the last major legal battle over what all sides now agree was unwarranted and illegal targeting for political purposes. The IRS agreed to pay $3.5 million to groups that were wronged by the intrusive inspections, and insists it’s made changes so that political targeting can’t occur in the future…. (more)

August 12, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A new piece by The Atlantic purports to explain why the popularity of clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson has become an obsession for critics: His “stardom is evidence that leftism is on the decline – – and deeply vulnerable.” The bestselling author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” has spent the past year staring down protests on college campuses, enraging the Durham city council and confounding British journalist Cathy Newman. The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan says efforts to “unperson” him are underway because he is influencing young people as an intellectual “kryptonite to identity politics.”… (more)

August 12, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — A few weeks before I was ordained a Catholic priest in the late autumn of 1994, my superior in the seminary told me that, in his opinion, it was probably the most difficult time in a century to become a priest. Yet, he went on, it was also the most exciting time. I really did not take much notice of what he said. In fact, in my overconfidence, I thought he was talking nonsense…. (more)

August 12, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — An in-production movie about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion has attracted more attention for actors it didn’t cast than for the recognizable stars it did, a development its writer-director attributes to “fake news.” Actor turned filmmaker Nick Loeb said his production of “Roe v. Wade,” in which he makes his directorial debut, is under siege by unfriendly media that are reporting erroneously about the film. He cites as a key culprit the Daily Beast, which reported that actors Kevin Sorbo of TV’s “Hercules” and Stephen Baldwin of “The Usual Suspects” – – both veterans of faith-based movies – – turned down the project after reading the script…. (more)

August 12, 2018
NEWSMAX — Federal authorities on Saturday were seeking to learn what drove an airline worker to steal an empty airplane from Seattle’s airport in a security scare that caused the scrambling of U.S. fighter jets and ended when the plane crashed onto a sparsely populated island…. (more)

August 11, 2018
NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump again tore into special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation on Thursday, repeating his assertion that the probe is ” a rigged witch hunt” triggered by Democrats…. (more)

August 11, 2018
Earned millions from Beijing investments amid political favors
ART MOORE — The revelation that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a 20-year employee who spied for China while she chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee takes on greater significance in light of the California Democrat’s decades of favors to the communist regime that have co-coincided with China investments that have helped make her one of the richest members in Congress…. (more)

August 11, 2018
Soros, Clinton, Obama accused of inciting murders
WORLDNETDAILY — A clerk’s entry of default has been filed against a defendant in a major lawsuit alleging George Soros, Barack Obama, Louis Farrakhan and others incited their supporters to “engage in threats of and attacks to cause serious bodily injury or death upon police officers, Jews and Caucasians.”… (more)

August 10, 2018
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — A crew laminated vinyl stars and placed them on blank squares in Hollywood. Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – – destroyed on several occasions by detractors who sometimes wield a pick-ax – – mysteriously multiplied over night so that on Thursday morning there were several dozen stars…. (more)

August 10, 2018
YAHOO NEWS — A Boston newspaper is proposing a coordinated editorial response from publications across the U.S. to President Donald Trump’s frequent attacks on the news media…. (more)

August 10, 2018
CBS-SF — A San Francisco jury Friday ruled in favor of a former Benicia Unified School District groundskeeper who claimed the chemical glyphosate – – contained in the popular herbicide “Roundup” – – caused his cancer…. (more)

August 8, 2018
JERRY NEWCOMBE — When I was a kid, there was an expression: “Stop the world. I want to get off.” Glancing at the headlines sometimes make me feel that way. For example, here are some stories highlighted on Drudge today (8/6/18):… (more)

August 8, 2018
BRYAN FISCHER — In a development that is almost too Nazi-esque to believe, our own government is working with Planned Parenthood to get “fresh” tissue from aborted babies to produce “humanized mice.” Although it is almost impossible to believe, every word you read in that first paragraph is true…. (more)

August 8, 2018
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s warm relationship with and advocacy for Communist China go back decades and involve millions, if not billions, of dollars.
THE FEDERALIST — “I sometimes say that in my last life maybe I was Chinese.” – -Sen. Dianne Feinstein. As media, intelligence agency, and political scrutiny of foreign meddling is seemingly at its apex, a story with big national security implications involving a high-ranking senator with access to America’s most sensitive intelligence information has been hiding in plain sight…. (more)

August 8, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday the Justice Department would not partner with groups that discriminate against or defame others, singling out the Southern Poverty Law Center for its “hate group” campaign. The attorney general, speaking at the Alliance Defending Freedom Summit on Religious Liberty, accused the SPLC of wielding the “hate” designation as a “weapon … against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak their conscience.”… (more)

August 8, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — An Islamic extremist was training as many as eleven children to commit school shootings at a dilapidated compound in New Mexico, according to court documents filed by government prosecutors Wednesday. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the son of a suspected co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, was training the children to use assault rifles before his compound was raided by authorities on Friday, CBS News reports…. (more)

August 8, 2018
BYRON YORK — Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch’s behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele’s research and the oligarch’s affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation…. (more)


How to Commit National Suicide in Three Easy Steps

Throughout history we have seen empires rise and fall – empires like the ancient Greek and Egyptian empires; the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Greek empires; and finally the Roman Empire. In modern times, we have seen the rise and fall of much shorter-lived empires – such as the former Soviet Empire (74 years) and the Nazi Empire (only 12 years). Although the final stages of collapse can be rapid and violent, the actual collapse is gradual and occurs over years and decades (except for the collapse of the Third Reich – via conquest … at the culmination of WWII).

Because of gradualism, the collapse is usually imperceptible to the people. Only a handful observe the increasing oppression of the people and recognize it for what it is. And the great majority never learn from history. There are several schools of thought as to what precipitates the end of empires. Two years ago, Stratfor, the global think tank for multinational corporations, analyzed two of them. Citing the 1987 study on The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, it pointed out that western powers since 1500 AD all fell after they were drawn into foreign entanglements that forced them to spend more of their wealth for wars. This created underinvestment in domestic needs, sending the country into an economic and social decline that emboldened more enemies. This created a cycle of more war and oppression.

In The Collapse of Complex Societies, author Joseph Tainter suggested that empires collapse following a loss of confidence in the ruling elite and traditional institutions. This idea was echoed in the book Civilization by Niall Ferguson. Do you see this in America today? These are probably true and one could add another: There is a direct connection between debauching of the currency and the moral and social breakdown of society. America is experiencing all three simultaneously: 1) engagement in multiple foreign entanglements (wars); 2) loss of confidence in the ruling elite and traditional institutions; and 3) debasement of the currency through money printing.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, December 2017)

Barna Infographic | Why People Are Reluctant to Discuss Faith

Spiritual conversations are harder in an increasingly secular age dominated by technology. This infographic outlines common reasons why Americans are reluctant to engage in spiritual conversations—from avoidance to ambivalence and everything in between.

Read more

Massive Efforts Made to Hide Nellie Ohr’s Involvement in ‘Spygate’ – She May Be the Link Between Former CIA Head Brennan and His Boss – Obama — The Gateway Pundit

As the details behind the Spygate scandal are uncovered, the connections to former President Obama are unearthed.

According to Zero Hedge, the head of opposition research firm Fusion GPS admitted in December 2017 in a court filing that his firm paid the wife of a senior Justice Department official to help dig up damaging information on then-candidate Donald Trump.

Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, filed the signed declaration in a D.C. court this week affirming that Nellie Ohr, wife of demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was contracted by Fusion through the summer and fall of 2016 “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump,” according to the filing. The House Intelligence Committee determined that in November 2016, Simpson met with Bruce Ohr shortly after the election to discuss their findings regarding Russia and Trump. Bruce Ohr lost his senior-level position at the DOJ as associate deputy attorney general after his meetings with Simpson and British spy Christopher Steele, who assembled the Trump-Russia dossier, were discovered.

And why would Fusion GPS hire Nellie Ohr? Aside from the obvious connection to her DOJ husband who was in a position to provide Fusion GPS with information on Trump gathered by US intelligence agencies, Nellie Ohr also represented the CIA’s “Open Source Works” group in a 2010 “expert working group report on international organized crime” along with Bruce Ohr and Glenn Simpson.

The connections between Nellie Ohr and the ‘Spygate’ scandal were hidden at a distance for months.

As noted last week at TGP, Nellie Ohr is a Communist sympathizer connected to Russia as well as a corrupt Never-Trumper.

American Spectator recently posted an article on Nellie Ohr, who they call “the “dossier” spying scandal’s woman in the middle.”

To one side of Ohr, there is the Fusion GPS team, including fellow contractor Christopher Steele. To the other, there is husband Bruce Ohr, who, until his “dossier”-related demotion, was No. 4 man at the Department of Justice, and a key contact there for Steele.

As central as Nellie Ohr’s placement is, her role in the creation of the “dossier” remains undefined. For example, the House Intelligence Committee memo on related matters vaguely tells us that Nellie Ohr was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump”; the memo adds that Bruce Ohr “later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research.” Senator Lindsey Graham more sensationally told Fox News that Nellie Ohr “did the research for Mr. Steele,” but details remain scarce.

What’s more revealing about Nellie Ohr is the men in her life are protecting her involvement in the Russia scandal:

Notably, the “dossier” men in her life have tried to shield Ohr from public scrutiny, even at professional risk. Her husband, as the Daily Caller News Foundation reports, failed to disclose his wife’s employment with Fusion GPS and seek the appropriate conflict-of-interest waiver, which may have been an important factor in his demotion from associate deputy attorney general late last year.

Under Senate and House questioning, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson consistently failed to disclose Nellie Ohr’s existence as one of his firm’s paid Russian experts, let alone that he hired her for the red-hot DNC/Clinton campaign Trump-Russia project.

Even Christopher Steele may have tried to keep Nellie Ohr “under cover.” Steele, put forth as the “dossier” author ever since its January 2017 publication in BuzzFeed, does not appear to have let on to his many media and political contacts that he had “dossier”-assistance from at least two fellow Fusion GPS Russian experts, Nellie Ohr and Edward Baumgartner. Baumgartner, interestingly, was a Russian history major at Vassar in the 1990s when Nellie Ohr taught Russian history there.

Yesterday, President Trump’s attorney, former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani outed former Obama CIA Director John Brennan as the man in charge of ‘Spygate’.  Rudy claims Brennan orchestrated the ‘Spygate’ scandal and was the quarterback:

It appears that the men in Nellie’s life did all they could to prevent Nellie Ohr from being outed for being involved in the dossier because she also has links to the CIA and therefore to Brennan.

If Brennan is outed as the quarterback of the dossier scandal, then by association, so is his boss, former President Obama.

Now we know that communist sympathizer Nellie Ohr, and the men who surrounded her, her husband, business partners, John Brennan, and by association President Obama, were all connected.  Together they attempted to prevent Candidate Trump from being elected and later to remove duly elected President Trump from office. 

via Massive Efforts Made to Hide Nellie Ohr’s Involvement in ‘Spygate’ – She May Be the Link Between Former CIA Head Brennan and His Boss – Obama — The Gateway Pundit

Roger Stone: The Witch Hunt Continues

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One of Stone’s Rules is “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Even I may have taken exception to that rule last Friday.

If you followed the news last Friday, you know that my longtime friend Kristin Davis testified before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury, that my longtime associate and wingman Andrew Miller was held in contempt for his refusal to testify for the grand jury, and that a subpoena was dropped on Randy Credico who, despite his public denials, was the source who first told me that Wikileaks had the goods on Hillary and would release them in October. It was a Deep State Trifecta!

Andrew Miller’s contempt citation is a bit more complicated and his appeal may be problematic for Mueller down the road.

Mueller is running a criminally abusive, constitutionally -unaccountable, professionally and politically incestuous conspiracy of ethically conflicted cronies colluding to violate my Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights and those of almost everyone who had any sort of political or personal association with me in the last 10 years.

He has conducted a supposedly comprehensive investigation of a very narrow and limited issue as an open-ended, totally limitless Grand Prosecution, with absolutely no articulable or even identifiable criminal predicate to substantiate it as a lawful investigation, even under ordinary circumstances.

Mueller’s team of partisan prosecutors seek to prove the unprovable — that I received allegedly hacked e-mails from the Russians or Wikileaks and passed them on to Donald Trump. This threadbare false narrative is harped on endlessly by the slugs at MSNBC and other despicable “fake news” outlets.

Now, because of the accuracy of my tweets — in which I merely followed the tweets of Wikileaks and the many public interviews of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange — Mueller and his hit-men seek to frame some ludicrous charge of “defrauding the United States.”

August 14 Jesus Urges Compassion

But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice.”—Matt. 9:13a

Jesus never shied away from speaking directly and bluntly if the situation demanded such talk. Here He pins the Jewish leaders to the wall by quoting from their own most honored scriptural authorities. Their own prophets rebuke them for their spiritual ignorance and their lack of obedience to God’s clear commands.

Jesus paraphrases Hosea’s prophetic and divinely inspired words: “I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hos. 6:6). The perfect Word of God should have been the Pharisees’ supreme concern, as it should be ours, rather than the flawed words and ideas of humanity. Without true and godly compassion, all the Pharisees’ rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices were worth nothing to God. The person who is indifferent toward other people verifies that he or she is also indifferent toward God, no matter how correct their theology or impeccable their morality.

Ritual separated from righteousness and a concern for the downtrodden and lost has always been an affront to God. Through the prophet Amos, the Lord declared, “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:23–24).


In what ways have you let duty and religious reputation become elevated in importance beyond genuine love and compassion for others? What is so empty about the former . . . and so rejuvenating about the latter?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 235). Chicago: Moody Publishers.


Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning….


The Bible was written in tears and to tears it will yield its best treasure. God has nothing to say to the frivolous man.

It was to Moses, a trembling man, that God spoke on the mount, and that same man later saved the nation when he threw himself before God with the offer to have himself blotted out of God’s book for Israel’s sake. Daniel’s long season of fasting and prayer brought Gabriel from heaven to tell him the secret of the centuries. When the beloved John wept much because no one could be found worthy to open the seven-sealed book, one of the elders comforted him with the joyous news that the Lion of the tribe of Judah had prevailed. The psalmists often wrote in tears, the prophets could hardly conceal their heavyheartedness, and the Apostle Paul in his otherwise joyous epistle to the Philippians broke into tears when he thought of the many who were enemies of the cross of Christ and whose end was destruction. Those Christian leaders who shook the world were one and all men of sorrows whose witness to mankind welled out of heavy hearts.

There is no power in tears, per se, but tears and power ever lie close together in the Church of the Firstborn! By the law of just compensation, the heart of the religious trifler will be destroyed by the exceeding brightness of the truth he touches. Tearless eyes are finally blinded by the light at which they gaze![1]

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

August 14 The Right Group

There are few who find it.

Matthew 7:14

Those who are drawn by God’s Spirit to enter at the narrow gate and travel the narrow way are in the right spiritual group. Those in the wrong spiritual group include all pagans and nominal Christians, all atheists and superficial religionists, all nominal theists and secular humanists, and people from all ethnic and economic backgrounds who don’t have a saving faith in Jesus Christ. They enter through the wide gate and travel the broad way that leads to destruction.

Jesus said “‘Many are called, but few are chosen’” (Matt. 22:14). The right group is not small simply because the gate is too narrow or the way is too restrictive. Believers are few because so many people refuse to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus for salva–tion. They would rather die in darkness (see John 3:19).

Everyone who wants to come to Jesus Christ can, with God’s help, do so: “‘All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out’” (John 6:37). And those who come will forever be in the right group.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 247). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Trump Should Release Secret Report on the True Number of Palestinian Refugees | Smith at Washington Examiner

by Clifford Smith

Washington Examiner

August 12, 2018


The Trump administration is supposedly considering declassifying a State Department report that tallies up the true number of Palestinian refugees.

If Trump does this, the repercussions could go a long way to settling the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, or UNRWA, classifies refugees unlike any other organization in the world, and in a way that contradicts common sense. Whereas the number of refugees from the original 1948 Arab-Israeli war would likely number in the tens of thousands, the UNRWA also counts people generations removed from the conflict, many of whom are citizens of new countries, in addition to everyone living in their internationally recognized homes of Gaza and the West Bank.

This politically motivated definition raises the number of “refugees” to an estimated 5.3 million. And that number is used by Palestinians to claim a “right of return” to Israel for a number greater than half of Israel’s entire population.

Until today, there has been no official acknowledgment of the true number of refugees. Governments and international organizations around the world instead pay lip service to UNRWA’s fiction that the number of refugees has expanded many times over since the 1948 war.

This will change if the Trump administration releases the classified report.

The origin of the report goes back to 2012, when the Middle East Forum’s Washington Project approached then-Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. with the idea that America should adopt a policy that only recognized as refugees those who would fit its own legal definition of a refugee. Kirk proposed sweeping language to appropriations legislation to that effect, but President Barack Obama’s State Department objected that this would be prejudicial to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides wrote that the provision “would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue.” Largely as a result, Kirk’s original language was not adopted.

But Kirk did manage to get compromise language, requiring the State Department to issue a report on the issue of the true definition, passed as part of the fiscal 2015 appropriations legislation. But then no one heard nothing more about the report for over a year. Kirk assumed the State Department had simply ignored the committee’s direction.

But as it turns out, that wasn’t so. The Middle East Forum learned that the report had, in fact, been written. Committee staffers in the House of Representatives were even informed of its existence. But instead of making it public, the clear intent of the legislation, the State Department classified it. Moreover, it failed to inform Kirk’s office, which had the largest stake in the report, or relevant Senate committee staffers that it had been completed.

Upon learning this, Kirk moved in 2016 to pass another provision forcing the State Department either to produce a nonclassified version of the report, or to inform the Committee why it could not do so. State still chose not to declassify the report.

This year, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., wrote a letter to President Trump signed by 50 other members of Congress, asking that the report be declassified. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, viewed the report, and said in a subsequent interview that “there’s no reason in the world it’s classified.”

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies also called for declassification, as did Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, saying “The American people deserve to see this reported State Department assessment, so Congress and the administration can have a transparent and productive debate about America’s role in the organization.”

In July, the American Center for Law and Justice obtained a version of the report via a Freedom of Information Act request and a subsequent lawsuit. Unfortunately, it was heavily redacted and omits the most crucial information — the true number of refugees. A recent story citing State Department sources pins the total at just 20,000 refugees, nowhere near the 5.3 million that UNRWA claims and the State Department has previously adopted. The public won’t know for sure unless the Trump administration finally releases an unredacted version of the report.

Hopefully, the Trump Administration will release this report. Telling the truth about the number of refugees, rather than the fictional number provided by UNRWA, would be a big step to unraveling expansive “right of return” claims, ending a threat to Israel’s existence.

Cliff Smith is Washington project director for the Middle East Forum.