Daily Archives: September 8, 2018

September 8: Resilient Hope and Red Herrings

Joel 3:1–21; Acts 7:54–8:25; Job 19:1–12

The death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, must have crushed and discouraged the early church. But in this event Luke shows us glimmers of hope. He reminds us that God is working behind the scenes.

Facing death, Stephen prayed for his persecutors, asking that God “not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). God answered that cry of mercy in a generous way. As we watch Stephen being forced out of the city and stoned to death, Luke introduces us to another character present in the crowd: “The witnesses laid aside their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul” (Acts 7:54).

This detail seems like a red herring, but by introducing Saul (later Paul) to us before his conversion, Luke gives his readers hope in desperate circumstances. Saul was determined to squelch this dangerous new sect coming out of Nazareth, but soon Paul would become its greatest advocate. By placing Stephen’s death alongside Saul’s persecution, Luke shows that the church is resilient. Stephen was a source of encouragement and godly leadership for the church. Similarly, and in spite of his beginnings, Paul would expand the influence of the Church far beyond the expectations of its first followers.

In the end, Paul’s presence at Stephen’s stoning is not an irrelevant detail at all. God already had plans to use Paul’s life to further His kingdom work beyond Jerusalem and into the nations of the world. Paul’s conversion would be one of the greatest testaments of God’s saving work, demonstrating that God works to gather His community in ways we might not see. Even when circumstances seem grim, He is active behind the scenes, ready to use characters in His grand narrative for His good purpose.

How can you turn to Jesus for hope in your hopeless circumstances?

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.

September 8 Attacks on God’s Character

“Stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).

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One of Satan’s most effective tactics is to challenge God’s credibility.

Paul’s exhortation to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11) refers to the various tactics Satan employs in spiritual warfare. One of his tactics is to call God’s character and motives into question by raising doubts about His Word.

He used that approach in the Garden of Eden when he said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). In one brief statement Satan disputed and distorted God’s Word. God didn’t forbid them to eat from any tree. They could eat freely from every tree except one—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:16–17).

Satan followed his distortion with an outright denial of God’s Word: “You surely shall not die!” (3:4). He implied that God lied when He said sin would result in death. Satan then went on to tell Eve that if she ate the fruit, she would in fact become like God Himself (v. 5). The implication is that God was withholding something good from Eve, and to keep her from seeking it, He had intimidated her with empty threats of death and judgment.

Do you see the insidious nature of Satan’s approach? Tragically, Eve didn’t. Rather than trusting and obeying God, she believed Satan’s lies and concluded that the tree was “good for food,” “a delight to the eyes,” and “desirable to make one wise.” Then “she took from its fruit and ate” (v. 6).

Satan deceives and spreads his lies from generation to generation (2 Cor. 11:14). Although he is subtle, his attempts to discredit God by disputing, distorting, and denying His Word should be obvious to discerning Christians.

Don’t be victimized by Satan’s attacks. Become strong in the Word through systematic Bible study. Yield to the Spirit’s control through prayer and obedience to Biblical principles.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God for the discernment to recognize Satanic deceptions, and for the wisdom to pursue truth. ✧ Pray for God’s enabling as you discipline yourself for diligent Bible study.

For Further Study: Read 1 John 2:12–14. How did John describe those who are strong in the Word?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 264). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Social justice statement spurs ‘productive conversation’ — Christian Research Network

Baptist Presshas a piece on the battle brewing over a recently released statement titled Social Justice & The Gospel. As a result, “productive conversations” are now taking place by those in the evangelical community who land on different sides of the social justice discussion.  John MacArthur, a conservative evangelical who spearheaded the SJ&G statement, strongly disagrees with Russell Moore, a progressive evangelical who believes that “the Gospel is a Gospel … of both justice and justification.”  We shall see how this all plays out.

Top tier signatories of the statement include John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, Phil Johnson, James White, Tom Buck, Anthony Mathenia, Michael O’Fallon, Tom Ascol, Darrell Harrison, Craig Mitchell, Justin Peters, Jeremy Vuolo and Josh Buice.  Over at SH&G, Phil Johnson clarifies what the signers of the statement believe to be the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in a piece he wrote titled A Gospel Issue

So without further ado, here’s David Roach’s report:

Amid ongoing discussion of social justice in the Southern Baptist Convention, more than 5,500 people — many of them Southern Baptists — have signed a statement claiming “lectures on social issues” in the church and “activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture” “tend to become distractions that inevitably lead to departures from the gospel.”

Since its publication Sept. 4, the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, with Bible teacher John MacArthur as the lead signatory, has drawn diverse reactions from Southern Baptists. The statement stemmed from a June 19 meeting in Dallas involving 14 evangelicals of various denominations.

The statement’s release followed a summer that saw multiple Southern Baptist leaders weigh in on social justice.

Georgia Christian Index senior editor Gerald Harris wrote in a July 30 editorial that “social justice” is among “new emphases subtly infiltrating Southern Baptist life.” The editorial garnered more than 9,300 likes on Facebook, and an Aug. 21 sermon by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley seemed to resonate with some of the editorial’s concerns — though Kelley did not use the term “social justice.”

Meanwhile, in a sermon at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Aug. 29, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore said social justice concerns should be addressed by individual believers and churches. “The Gospel is a Gospel … of both justice and justification,” he said.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. told Baptist Press the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel “could be a helpful part” of an ongoing conversation among evangelicals about “the relative priority of social concerns.”

Mohler, who did not sign the statement, said he shares “many of the concerns” expressed in it but would use different language to express those concerns at some points. Still, “I know the men behind this statement. I know how they love Christ. I know how they love the Gospel and the Scripture and the church. I believe they are making some very important points that need to be made in 2018 in this statement.”

However, “it will require time,” Mohler said, “to see how this statement is understood.”

Mohler denied rumors he has discouraged Southern Seminary professors from signing the statement. View article →

Research:

The Statement On Social Justice & The Bible

Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

via Social justice statement spurs ‘productive conversation’ — Christian Research Network

Saturday Sampler: September 2 — September 8

The Outspoken TULIP

Twist Blend Flowers Sampler

There’s nothing like studying Scripture itself, ladies. I love the way Michelle Lesley constantly encourages us to turn away from canned Bible Studies (which usually aren’t doctrinally sound) in favor of cracking open our own Bibles. Look at The Mailbag: How can I get started studying the Bible itself? for her practical suggestions.

Dealing with people who say God spoke to them or talk about other manifestations can be tricky. Never fear! Clint Archer of The Cripplegate offers great counsel with How do I evaluate claims of supernatural experiences? He has some superb ideas. But we need to question his assertion that he’s Clark Kent.

Hannah Roberts-Antunes invites us to #CheckYourHeart in her post for Biblical Woman. Notice the encouraging twist she brings out from Scripture to distinguish godly self-examination from morbid introspection.

Is It God’s Will to Always Heal? by Tim Barnett of Stand To Reason tells the…

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SEPTEMBER 8 WHAT DO WE LOVE?

But we all…are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18

God wants us to recognize that human nature is in a formative state and that it is being changed into the image of the thing it loves.

Men and women are being molded by their affinities, shaped by their affections and powerfully transformed by the artistry of their loves. In the unregenerate world of Adam, this produces, day by day, tragedies of cosmic proportions!

For His own children, our heavenly Father has provided right moral objects for admiration and love. They are not God but they are nearest to God; we cannot love Him without loving them.

I speak of His righteousness; and the heart drawn to righteousness will be repulsed in the same degree by iniquity. I speak of wisdom, and we admire the Hebrew prophets, who refused to divorce wisdom from righteousness.

I speak also of truth as another object of our Christian love. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am the truth,” and in so saying He joined truth to the Deity in inseparable union. Thus, to love God is to love the truth!

Father, help us to love Your entire Being—not just a few favorite attributes like Your grace and mercy and goodness. Enable us also to love Your attributes of holiness and justness.[1]


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

Obama Criticizes Trump’s Treatment of Press, Forgets That He PROSECUTED and SPIED on Reporters

The hypocrisy from the left is wild.

Do they listen to themselves?

Do liberals have any internal “checks and balances?”

If they did, they may be taken more seriously.

But as it stands now, we have a failed former president, who prosecuted and SPIED on reporters, criticizing President Trump for saying “bad things” about the fake news.

How can any sane person take these ramblings seriously?

Washington Examiner

Former President Barack Obama is right when he says his administration’s attacks on the press can’t be compared to President Trump’s current crusade against the news media.

The Obama White House was far worse for press freedoms.

The former president spoke Friday afternoon at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, urging students to get involved in the November midterm elections. He dedicated a good deal of his address to drawing contrasts between his administration and the administration of President Trump. It was the regular sort of material from Obama. There was a lot about optimism, hope, change, etc.

The real whopper of a lie didn’t come until later in his address when he criticized Trump for routinely attacking the press.

“It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don’t like,” the former president said. “I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down or call them enemies of the people.”

This is some grade-A, primo historical revisionism.

When it comes to being anti-media, Trump only talks a big game. And, boy, does he talk. Obama, on the other hand, is a man of action. As president, he did much more than complain about Fox News. His administration spent eight long years curbing the press freedoms of journalists of every stripe. Obama was a pro at this.

Trump’s war against the press is indeed ugly and often over-the-top. But let that criticism come from someone who’s not guilty of far worse.

In 2009, for example, the Obama White House intentionally excluded Fox News’ Chris Wallace from participating in a round of interviews pertaining to the president’s push for healthcare reform. Later that same year, the administration officials tried to block Fox reporters from interviewing “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg. The White House initially lied about this, and many in the press went along with it. It wasn’t until 2011 that the public learned the truth of the Feinberg episode. An internal email dated Oct. 22, 2009, showed the White House director of broadcast media told Treasury officials specifically, “We’d prefer if you skip Fox please.”

The bigger point is that Feinberg was not the only administration official to have his network appearances limited by the White House.

The Obama White House communications director, Anita Dunn, said at the time, “We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

That language about “legitimate news organizations” and “opponents” is only different from the things Trump says by degree, not by kind.

In 2010, the Obama administration renewed the bogus Bush-era subpoena against the New York Times’ James Risen in a prolonged attempt to determine whether the reporter was the recipient of leaked CIA information. In February 2011, federal investigators were revealed to have spied on Risen. Federal investigators pored over Risen’s credit reports and his personal bank records. The feds even tracked his phone logs and movements.

Later, in 2012, Fox was mysteriously excluded from a White House conference call pertaining to the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Fox was also excluded from an all-network CIA briefing regarding the attacks.

In 2013, the Obama Justice Department labeled then-Fox News reporter James Rosen a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917. And all because the reporter used a State Department contractor as a source for a story. Rosen was also labeled a “flight risk.”

The Justice Department seized the records of at least five phone lines connected to Fox News. The federal law enforcement agency even seized the phone records of Rosen’s parents. The FBI also got a warrant to search Rosen’s emails from 2010.

In May 2013, the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department had secretly collected two months’ worth of personal and work-related phone calls made by AP reporters and editors.

Federal officials secretly obtained records on incoming and outgoing calls made by specific AP journalists, as well as general news staff, the news group reported, potentially compromising many sources totally unrelated to the investigation. Federal investigators even collected data on calls made by AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery.

In 2014, the Obama administration set the record for denying the most Freedom of Information Act requests of any administration. It topped this feat in 2015.

There are only two actions that the Trump administration has taken that can be compared to the Obama-era war on the press. First, the Trump White House barred a CNN reporter in July from a Rose Garden event. Second, the Trump Justice Department seized electronic correspondences between New York Times reporter Ali Watkins and her ex-lover, former Senate Intelligence Committee aide James Wolfe.

Other than the fact that Obama has an extraordinarily ugly legacy of anti-press behavior, he made some great points Friday. He never actually called the news media the “enemy of the people.” He and his lieutenants simply prosecuted and spied on reporters, all while claiming Fox is “an opponent” and not “ really a news station.”

Obama is right to draw a contrast between himself and Trump. One of them has been an actual clear and grave threat to the press, and the other one has an orange tan.

The post Obama Criticizes Trump’s Treatment of Press, Forgets That He PROSECUTED and SPIED on Reporters appeared first on Truthfeed.

Source: Obama Criticizes Trump’s Treatment of Press, Forgets That He PROSECUTED and SPIED on Reporters

STUDY: 1 In 4 College Students Diagnosed With Mental Health Condition…

New survey shows 75 percent of students at U.S. colleges have battled significant stress in the past year, leading 1 in 5 to consider suicide


BOSTON — For some, it’s the best four years of their lives. For others, it’s a period of constant struggle, whether academically, socially, or both. College brings about new experiences and challenges for young adults that can be difficult to adapt to and overcome, so perhaps it’s no surprise that a new study reports high rates of stress and mental health conditions among students.

The newly-published report out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows that a quarter of college students received were diagnosed with a mental health condition in the past year, and a fifth have had suicidal thoughts.

Researchers looked at survey results from 67,308 students across 108 American colleges and universities during the spring of 2015. Students were questioned on the frequency of stressful events, depression or anxiety in their daily lives, and reported whether or not they’d been diagnosed with a mental health condition in the past year. Stressful events were viewed as anything that students viewed as traumatic or difficult to handle, whether academic or personal. That includes financial struggles, family problems, trouble sleeping, self-esteem issues, or health matters.

Participants were also asked whether or not they’d had suicidal thoughts or attempted to take their own lives, or if they’d tried any other form of self-harm.

The results showed alarming rates of mental health issues and a significant risk for suicidal thoughts among all students, though minorities, whether racial, sexual, or gender, were especially prone.

“Colleges and family members who are sending students off to college need to remember that this is a phase of life where young people are confronted with expectations from new relationships and living situations and other encounters that are stressful,” says lead author Dr. Cindy Liu, of the Departments of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and Psychiatry at BWH, in a statement.

The authors found that 75 percent of students faced at least one stressful event in the past year, while one in five reported at least six stressful events in the same period. Such events were linked to a greater risk of mental health diagnoses, self-harm, and suicide. In fact, one in four students was diagnosed with a condition, while one in five considered taking his or her own life. Nearly 10 percent admitted to attempting suicide, and nearly 20 percent had committed self-harm of some form.

“Some stressful events cannot be prevented and, in some cases, are completely normal. But for others, a plan should be in place for family, friends, and colleges to provide support,” says Liu. “Our study highlights an urgent need to help students reduce their experience of overwhelming levels of stress during college.”

While sexual minorities were found to have high rates of mental health diagnoses along with reports of self-harm and suicidal thoughts or actions, transgender participants showed high rates over all outcomes. Two-thirds of transgender students admitted to self-harm, while more than a third having attempted suicide. Similarly, more than half of bisexual students admitted to self-harm or suicidal behavior, while more than a quarter attempted suicide.

Asian students showed a greater risk of suicidal behavior, yet lower rates of mental health diagnoses compared to white students. Black students reported lower rates across all outcomes versus white students.

The full study was published September 6, 2018 in the journal Depression and Anxiety.

Source: STUDY: 1 In 4 College Students Diagnosed With Mental Health Condition…

The Deep State and the Anti-Trump Coup: A Retrospective

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/the-deep-state-and-the-anti-trump-coup-a-retrospective/

Recently on LRC Pat Buchanan and Bill Sardi have outlined the ongoing efforts of the anti-Trump coup orchestrated by the deep state.  On October 4, 2015 I first raised the question of the relationship of presidential candidate Donald Trump and the deep state. I believed that this pivotal issue would become the central focus analysts should examine behind the superficial campaign rhetoric of the 2016  election.  How the establishment elites viewed the Trump candidacy would be the crucial subtext to note.  On the November election night in 2016 I issued this following prophetic warning of things to come. My dire prediction is still in the process of being fulfilled.

Source: The Deep State and the Anti-Trump Coup: A Retrospective

Poor Americans are being left behind in the post-recession comeback, and it is creating a huge problem for fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s (WEN)

Hollis Johnson

  • While consumer confidence is on the rise, Wendy’s CEO says that lower-income Americans are “not participating in the real wage growth” to the extent that the rest of the United States is. 
  • Lower-income Americans’ continued financial struggles create challenges for fast-food chains, which rely on budget-conscious shoppers. 
  • Increasingly, chains such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s are forced to depend on deals to win over customers. 

While Americans are spending more and consumer confidence is on the rise, not everyone is experiencing the same degree of prosperity and growth.

And, it’s creating a conundrum for fast-food chains.

“About 40 percent of our consumers are $45,000 and under from an income bracket,” Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor told CNBC this week. “And they’re not participating in the real wage growth to the extent of the rest of the consumer base.”

While median US income is on the rise, top earners’ growth is significantly outpacing the increase in earnings for lower-income households. In 2017, the top 5% of households saw average income rise to 8.7% higher than pre-recession levels. Among the bottom fifth of the population, average income grew but remained 2.7% below pre-recession figures.

These circumstances have been decades in the making. Since 1967, the top 5% of of households have seen income increase by nearly $200,000, or 112%, according to the Center for American Progress. Meanwhile, the bottom 20% has seen an increase of just $2,900 in the same period.

This creates both problems and opportunities for the fast-food business.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Penegor said that the challenges of marketing to low-income customers have resulted in the the abundance of deals that have swept the fast-food industry in recent months. In 2018, Wendy’s expanded its 4-for-$4 bundle deal, Taco Bell doubled down on its $1 menu, and McDonald’s debuted its new $1 $2 $3 menu.

“Deal customers, who are people that love fast food, but they will go to several different outlets based on who’s got the best deal,” McDonald’s CFO Kevin Orzan said in a call with investors in July. “I think that’s the area where we haven’t been as competitive as we’ve needed to be because some of our competition has stepped up on their deal side.”

Customers say “good value” is the top reason they would visit a fast-food chain more often, according to a UBS Evidence Lab survey shared with investors in March.

According to the survey, the emphasis on value is one of necessity. Having “less free spending money lately” and chains being “too expensive” were the top two factors that customers cited for eating at a particular chain less often.

In 2018, the fast-food industry depends on winning over low-income Americans with the lowest prices possible. That can often mean razor-thin profit margins. For fast-food chains like Wendy’s to thrive, America’s poorest households need to become part of the economic comeback the nation’s richest are experiencing.

Source: Poor Americans are being left behind in the post-recession comeback, and it is creating a huge problem for fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s (WEN)

‘End of days’…

A Bible prophecy has been realised as the first ‘red heifer in 2,000 years’ was born in Israel.

The Temple Institute announced the birth on their YouTube channel and said the calf and its mother would undergo “extensive examination” to determine if it’s “blemish free”.

In the announcement, the Institute said the red female calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world”.

In both Christianity and Judaism, red heifers feature in tales about the “end of times”.

The birth of the ‘first red heifer in 2,000 years’ could signal the ‘end of times’

The birth and sacrifice of the red cow is said to precede the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

In mainstream Orthodox Judaism, the rebuilding of the Temple will happen before the coming of the Jewish Messiah.

The two previous temples have been destroyed.

However, The Temple Institute and other organisations have been established with the goal of building the Third Temple on Mount Moriah or the Temple Mount.

But some theologians believe the construction of the Third Temple is linked to ‘Judgement Day’ or the ‘end of times’.

The birth of a ‘blemish free red heifer’ precedes the building of the Third Temple

The Temple Institute have been trying to breed their own perfect red heifer

Director of The Temple Institute, Rabbi Chain Richman, believes it’s now time to build the Third Temple following the birth of the red heifer.

The video on the Institutes’s YouTube channel shows the calf with its mother and proclaims: “a perfectly red heifer was born in the land of Israel”.

The calf has since undergone “extensive examination by rabbinical experts” who confirmed she is a “viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer”.

However, the cow could be disqualified due to “natural causes”.

Bosses at the Temple Institute founded a Raise a Red Heifer in Israel program three years ago.

The building of the Third Temple will happen ‘before the coming of the Messiah’

Source: ‘End of days’…

September 8, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Meaning of Prayer

Philippians 4:6–7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For most people few doctrines associated with Christianity are more generally misunderstood than that of true prayer. It is totally misunderstood by nonbelievers, and it is misunderstood by many who profess the name of Jesus. The problem may be traced to the fact that so few persons know God well enough to be closely associated with him in prayer, and since none of us is as closely associated with him as we ought to be, prayer is at least partially confusing to us all. Does prayer change things? Or does prayer change people? Does God change his mind as the result of believing prayer? Or does God move us to pray? What does it mean to pray without ceasing? Who can pray? How do you pray? And why should a person pray anyway? In any gathering of God’s people many of these questions will receive different and sometimes even contradictory answers.

In the fourth chapter of Philippians there are two verses that are an exceptionally fine statement of the Christian doctrine of prayer. Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6–7).

For Christians Only

What is prayer? Prayer is talking with God, and the place to begin in any true definition of prayer is with the fact that prayer is for believers only. Paul did not write his words about prayer to the pagan world at Philippi or to the world at large. He wrote them “to all the saints in Christ Jesus” at Philippi. This means that prayer is exclusively for Christians. It is the means by which an empty soul that has been touched by Jesus Christ can be thrust beneath the life-giving fountain of God’s grace, can bask in God’s goodness, and can be supernaturally refreshed for life’s tasks. Prayer is the Christian’s antidote for anxiety.

I know something called prayer is offered a billion times daily by millions of people who are not Christians, but this is not prayer in any real sense. Scores of non-Christian people in the East spend the better part of a day spinning prayer wheels. Savages chant prayers in many jungle clearings. New Agers finger prayer beads. Many poor souls cry out a prayer in the midst of some calamity. Many non-Christians give themselves to a life of meditation. But this is not true prayer, if the person involved is not a Christian. Prayer is talking with God, and the only prayer that God hears and answers is one that is made through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone provides access to his presence.

This truth was taught by Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus did not say that he was one of several ways to come to God, that he was a prophet who pointed out the ways to God; he said that he was the way to come to God, and he added, lest anyone misunderstand him, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” This means that no prayer offered to God apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has ever reached God his heavenly Father.

There are more passages in the Bible that tell when God will not answer prayer than there are passages in which he promises to do it, and God definitely says he will not answer the prayer of anyone who does not come through faith in his Son.

Have you ever tried to pray and found God distant and unreal? Have you gone away without any real hope that God has heard you? It may be that you have never done the first thing God requires. Your sin divides you like a wall from God’s presence. It will only be removed by Jesus Christ. You need to come to him. You need to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that I am separated from you by my sin; but I believe you died for me to remove that sin forever. Remove it now, and accept me as your child. Amen.” If you do that, God will remove your sin, and he will accept you as his child forever.

Barriers to Prayer

Now we must also add that although it is true that God does not hear the prayer of non-Christians, it is also true that he does not hear the prayers offered by many Christians. In fact, the Bible says that God will never hear a Christian’s prayer so long as the Christian is clinging to some sin in his heart. David said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Ps. 66:18). Isaiah wrote, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1–2).

Do these verses describe your prayer life? If so, you must confess your sin openly and frankly, knowing that God “is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We can only pray if our lives are open books before him.

In normal life we must know people well before our conversation with them flows freely. There are many people I know casually to whom I would speak about the weather, their work, their families, but to whom I would never speak about more personal things. There are others I know better; to these I would speak about some problems in my own life or about the concerns of others. Certain things I share only with my wife. How easily I can speak depends on how well I know the person. It is the same in our relationship to God. If we do not know God well, if our sin keeps us from him, if we do not recognize his characteristics and how he operates with people, then he is like a stranger to us and the prayer flows slowly, even though we have come to faith in Jesus. Instead, we must confess our sin and learn to spend time alone with our heavenly Father. When we do that our prayer will become the kind of communion that we have in conversation with a close friend.

Prayer for Others

Everything that I have noted up to this point has ourselves as the center; but if you know what prayer is, you know also that prayer necessarily involves other people. No matter how intimate the conversation may be between a husband and wife, it does not always center on their own affairs exclusively. They share news about their acquaintances and their concerns for them. So it is in prayer. The Bible calls such prayer “intercession.” First Timothy 2:1 says, “I urge you, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.”

As we meet with God in prayer—at the beginning of a day, at its end, or in any moment throughout it—these concerns should also be a part of our conversation with him. We should have great boldness as we present the concerns of others.

That great Bible teacher, Harry Ironside, tells a story about intercessory prayer in one of his books. He had been preaching in the Midwest and had held meetings in a church that contained a most unusual group of believers. They had Sunday services and midweek meetings, but they did not come together for prayer. He spoke to them about this lack. They said, “We don’t need to meet for prayer. We have no spiritual needs, for the Bible says that we have all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And we have no need of material things, for we are well provided for. So we don’t pray.” Ironside said, “Well, that is unfortunate. At the very least, you should pray for me that God will give me freedom of speech as I go about preaching the gospel.”

They could not seem to understand his point, and Ironside left. Some time later he collapsed while in the pulpit. It was found that he had typhoid fever with a temperature of 106 degrees. In time he recovered, and during the next year he was back with this strange group of Christians. They said to him, “When we heard that you were sick with typhoid fever we began to pray for you. We prayed for you twice a week, but after we heard that you had recovered we stopped.” Ironside said, “Well, that is unfortunate also. As long as I was in the hospital room I was all right. All I had was typhoid fever. But now that I am out preaching the gospel, I am faced with the spiritual temptations that come to a Christian minister. Now I need your prayers more than ever.”

I know someone is going to say, “Do you mean to teach that God will only take care of another Christian if we pray?” No, I do not think intercession means that. But it does mean that God allows us to share in the blessings he gives to others and delights in using our prayers as a means through which he operates.

Let me illustrate this by another story. More than a generation ago a man named Hotchkiss went to Nigeria where he spent over forty years as a missionary. One day he was late for a service he was to have in a village located across a large plain. There was a rule in Nigeria in those days that no one ever crossed a large open space for fear of stampedes by the herds of wild game that roamed at large in the country. A safe path always passed within a short run of the trees. Hotchkiss was late, and he knew the quickest way to the village was to go directly across the plain. So he started across it. Halfway across the worst happened. He heard the thunder of rhinoceros hoofs, and as he looked up he saw a herd of the monstrous animals headed toward him. There was nowhere to go, so Hotchkiss knelt down in the middle of the plain, clasped his Bible to his chest, and prayed, “Lord, here I come.” An eternity passed as the roar grew louder and then faded away into the distance. At last all was quiet and Hotchkiss arose. He was standing in the midst of the plain marked with the hoofprints of a hundred or more rhinoceros. But he was alive, and he went on to his meeting in the village.

Years later, a couple from Ohio visited this man in Nigeria. In the course of their conversation the husband said to Hotchkiss, “I had a most unusual experience once that concerned you. One night I woke up suddenly with an irresistible urge to pray for you. And I did, committing you to God’s safekeeping.” Hotchkiss asked if he remembered when it was. The man had written it down that night in his Bible, and when they compared the times, it was on the same day and at the same hour that Hotchkiss had been spared on the Nigerian plain.

Someone may argue that God would have saved Hotchkiss anyway, even if the man had not prayed. Probably. But the point is that in God’s marvelous working he moved a man halfway around the world to pray for Hotchkiss in that hour. Thus, years later the man was able to share in the blessing of his friend’s supernatural deliverance. In the same way we have the privilege as God’s children of committing others into his hands for his blessing—our friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and family. As we do, we are permitted to share in his blessing on them. Our Christian life holds few joys greater than this one.

Supplications

There is one other point about prayer that comes directly from this passage. Prayer is not only talking with God, nor is it only intercession for others. Prayer is also an opportunity to present our requests to him. Paul calls them petitions, and he says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God invites us to place our earnest requests before him.

This is God’s cure for anxiety. Christians are troubled about many things. You may be troubled about your work, your family, the future, money, sex, or happiness. God invites you to place your request about these things before him. The promise of the verse is that the peace of God will keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Have you ever noticed that the verse does not say that we shall necessarily receive the things we ask for? You would expect the verse to say, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and God will fulfill your requests.” But it does not say that. It says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Our prayers are often in error, and we pray for things that are not good for us. God does not promise to give us these things. All things work together for good to them that love God. However, God does promise to give a supernatural peace to those who share their real needs with him.

We must not think that Paul was recommending something for others that he had not found true for himself. Paul too had had this experience. Do you remember the prayer that Paul wrote in Romans 15? Paul was in Corinth and was about to go on to Jerusalem with the collection from the gentile churches. After that he had planned to travel to Rome as an ambassador of the Christian gospel. He asked prayer for three things: 1) “that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea”; 2) “that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints”; and 3) “that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed” (Rom. 15:31–32).

How were Paul’s requests answered? We do not know every aspect of God’s answers, but we know that Paul’s first request was not fulfilled literally. Paul fell into the hands of unbelievers and spent two years in prison in Caesarea as a result, although his life was spared. We have no information about his second request—that his collection might be received willingly by the saints in Judea—but there is no reason to think Paul received a warm welcome from anyone. Finally, we know that Paul’s third request—for a joyous journey to Rome—was fulfilled, if it was fulfilled, only after long delays and through much hardship. When Paul arrived in Rome at last, he arrived as a prisoner in chains.

God certainly did not answer Paul’s requests as Paul intended. But God did answer, and he answered exactly as Paul indicates in his words about prayer to the Philippians. He answered by giving Paul peace. Paul knew God’s peace even in the most difficult of earthly circumstances, and he writes out of these circumstances to tell us also to make requests of God, our heavenly Father.[1]


6 Anxiety can be good or bad. Paul has anxiety for the progress of the gospel (2:28) and the condition of the individual churches he has founded, and he sometimes loses sleep over them (2 Co 11:28), but he does not seem to regard this concern to be a noxious anxiety. It comes with the task of being an apostle. The anxiety Paul warns against is the kind that unhinges, paralyzes, and incapacitates one—“anxious, harassing care” (Lightfoot, 160). Paul is not calling for them to be indifferent toward life. The root idea of the verb “to be anxious” (merimnaō, GK 3534) is “to be pulled apart.” The Philippians are not to allow their lives to become so wrapped up with material well-being that they fall apart when their standard of living is threatened or their wealth is taken from them. They also need not be anxious about what is going to happen to Paul. Only those who are confident in the coming of the kingdom of God and in their vindication by God will not be overwhelmed by anxiety when trouble comes.

They are to “present [their] requests to God,” not because God is unaware of their needs and needs to be informed, but because it is a way to acknowledge their total dependence on God. When requests are accompanied with thanksgiving, they will be prepared “to surrender themselves to his will whatever the circumstances” (Peter T. O’Brien, “Divine Provision for Our Needs: Assurances from Philippians 4,” RTR 50 [1991]: 24). Michael, 197, writes, “The way to be anxious about nothing is to be prayerful about everything.” If the Philippians are truly thankful for what God has done for them in Christ, they will not be anxious about the assaults of opponents who threaten them. A thankful spirit crowds out selfish pride, checks fear, defuses anger, and directs one’s thoughts outwardly toward others.[2]


4:6 / Because “the Lord is near,” his people need not be anxious about anything. This is in line with Jesus’ own teaching to his disciples: “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear … do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matt. 6:25–34). Christian existence in a pagan world was full of uncertainties: persecution of one kind or another was always a possibility, and the impossibility of membership in guilds which were under the patronage of pagan divinities was bound to involve economic disadvantage. But if the Lord was near, there was no cause for anxiety. Jesus had encouraged his disciples to have done with anxiety because their heavenly Father, who fed the birds and clothed the grass with flowers, knew their needs and was well able to supply them (Matt. 6:26–32 par. Luke 12:24–30). Similarly Paul says, in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. He uses three different Greek words for “prayer” here. There are slight differences of nuance between one word and another, but the main effect of the use of all three is to emphasize the importance in Christian life of constancy in believing and expectant prayer. Like his Master, Paul takes it for granted that an essential element in prayer is asking God for things, with the same trustful spirit as children show when they ask their fathers for things. In the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to use when addressing their heavenly Father, the provision of his children’s daily bread is included along with the establishment of his kingdom on earth.

Moreover, a grateful remembrance of past blessings is a safeguard against anxiety for the future: it adds confidence to the prayer for continued blessings. Hence the importance of thanksgiving in all true prayer.[3]


4:6. Joy replaces anxiety in life, so Paul advises the Philippians not to be anxious about anything. The cure for anxiety? Prayer! Worry and anxiety come from focusing on your circumstances such as imprisonment or persecution which Paul and the Philippians faced. Anxiety or worry doesn’t accomplish anything, but prayer does (Jas. 5:16). Jesus warned against worry which demonstrates a lack of trust in God (Matt. 6:25–34).[4]


6 Anxiety is to have no place in the lives of Christians because in everything there can be prayer, prayer in its various forms and modes, petition, requests, but above all thanksgiving. This is because praise is always due to God and because faith is quickened when we remember in thankfulness what God has done for us in the past. There is an echo here of the teaching of Jesus (Mt. 6:25–34; 7:7–11). 1 Pet. 5:7 is similar as it says, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’, and as J. A. Bengel (New Testament Word Studies, vol. 2 [Kregel Publications, 1978], p. 447) aptly puts it, ‘Anxiety and prayer are more opposed to each other than fire and water.’[5]


4:6–7. Joy and gentleness (vv. 4–5), accompanied with an awareness of Christ’s imminent return, should dispel anxiety. Paul’s appeal to the Philippians is do not be anxious about anything. But this was not a call to a carefree life. To care and be genuinely concerned is one thing. To worry is another. Paul and Timothy cared for the people they ministered to (2 Cor. 11:28; Phil. 2:20), yet they retained trust in God. Jesus warned against worry which obviously eliminates trust in God (Matt. 6:25–33).

Paul exhorted the Philippians to prayer instead of anxiety. Praying with thanksgiving involves trusting God. Four words are used here to describe a believer’s communion with God. Prayer (proseuchē) describes a believer’s approach to God. Petition (deēsei) emphasizes requesting an answer to a specific need. Thanksgiving (eucharistias) is an attitude of heart which should always accompany one’s prayers. Requests (aitēmata) speak of definite and specific things asked for.

When the exhortations of verses 4–6 are heeded, the peace of God (v. 7) will flood one’s troubled soul. The Lord Jesus Christ is a believer’s peace (Eph. 2:14), and every child of God has peace with God through justification by faith (Rom. 5:1). But the peace of (or from) God relates to the inner tranquility of a believer’s close walk with God.

This peace of God transcends all understanding, that is, it is beyond man’s ability to comprehend. This peace guards the believers. Guard (phrourēsei, also used in 1 Peter 1:5) translates a military term which means “to protect or garrison by guarding.” Like soldiers assigned to watch over a certain area, God’s peace garrisons the hearts and … minds, that is, the emotions and thoughts, of God’s children.[6]


the peace of believing prayer

Philippians 4:6–7

Do not worry about anything; but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all human thought, will stand sentinel over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For the Philippians, life was bound to be a source of worry. Even to be a human being and so to be vulnerable to all the chances and the changes of this mortal life is in itself a cause for worry; and in the early Church, to the normal worry of the human situation there was added the worry of being a Christian, which meant taking one’s life in one’s hands. Paul’s solution is prayer. As M. R. Vincent says in his commentary, ‘Peace is the fruit of believing prayer.’ In this brief passage, there is a whole philosophy of prayer.

(1) Paul stresses that we can take everything to God in prayer. As it has been beautifully put, ‘There is nothing too great for God’s power; and nothing too small for his fatherly care.’ Children may take anything, great or small, to their parents, sure that whatever happens to them is of interest there, their small triumphs and disappointments, their passing cuts and bruises. In exactly the same way, we may take anything to God, sure of his interest and concern.

(2) We can bring our prayers, our petitions and our requests to God; we can pray for ourselves. We can pray for forgiveness for the past, for the things we need in the present, and for help and guidance for the future. We can take our own past and present and future into the presence of God. We can pray for others. We can commend to God’s care those near and far who are within our memories and our hearts.

(3) Paul lays it down that ‘thanksgiving must be the universal accompaniment of prayer’. Christians must feel, as it has been put, that all through life they are, ‘as it were, suspended between past and present blessings’. Every prayer must surely include thanks for the great privilege of prayer itself. Paul insists that we must give thanks in everything, in laughter and in tears, in sorrows and in joys alike. That implies two things. It implies gratitude and also perfect submission to the will of God. It is only when we are fully convinced that God is working all things together for good that we can really feel the perfect gratitude towards him which believing prayer demands.

When we pray, we must always remember three things. We must remember the love of God, which only ever desires what is best for us. We must remember the wisdom of God, which alone knows what is best for us. We must remember the power of God, which alone can bring about that which is best for us. Everyone who prays with a perfect trust in the love, wisdom and power of God will find God’s peace.

The result of believing prayer is that the peace of God will stand like a sentry on guard over our hearts. The word that Paul uses (phrourein) is the military word for standing on guard. That peace of God, says Paul, as the Revised Standard Version has it, passes all understanding. That does not mean that the peace of God is such a mystery that the human mind cannot understand it, although this also is true. It means that the peace of God is so precious that the human mind, with all its skill and all its knowledge, can never produce it. It can never be of our contriving; it is only of God’s giving. The way to peace is in prayer to entrust ourselves and all whom we hold dear to the loving hands of God.[7]


4:6 Is it really possible for a Christian to be anxious for nothing? It is possible as long as we have the resource of believing prayer. The rest of the verse goes on to explain how our lives can be free from sinful fretting. Everything should be taken to the Lord in prayer. Everything means everything. There is nothing too great or small for His loving care!

Prayer is both an act and an atmosphere. We come to the Lord at specific times and bring specific requests before Him. But it is also possible to live in an atmosphere of prayer. It is possible that the mood of our life should be a prayerful mood. Perhaps the word prayer in this verse signifies the overall attitude of our life, whereas supplication signifies the specific requests which we bring to the Lord.

But then we should notice that our requests should be made known to God with thanksgiving. Someone has summarized the verse as saying that we should be “anxious in nothing, prayerful in everything, thankful for anything.”[8]


4:6 Paul exhorts the Philippians to pray about their circumstances instead of worrying over them. be anxious for nothing: Although the same word in 2:20 describes Timothy’s concern for the Philippians, here Paul uses the word to refer to worry. He prohibits the Philippians from worrying about their own problems. Instead they are to commit their problems to God in prayer, trusting that He will provide deliverance.[9]


4:6 — Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God .…

Anxiety wanes and eventually disappears when we take our concerns to the God who has the power and the wisdom to take care of them, believing that He always has our best interests at heart.[10][1] Boice, J. M. (2000). Philippians: an expositional commentary (pp. 238–243). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Garland, D. E. (2006). Philippians. In T. Longman III (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 253). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (2011). Philippians (p. 143). Peabody, MA: Baker Books.

[4] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 261). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Foulkes, F. (1994). Philippians. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1258). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[6] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 663–664). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] Barclay, W. (2003). The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (3rd ed. fully rev. and updated, pp. 90–92). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1978–1979). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1556). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Php 4:6). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

This Week in Politics Summed Up By 13 Cartoons

This week was a very busy week, politically speaking.

We had the controversy over the new Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man:”

Nike choosing Colin Kaepernick to be the new spokesman for it’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign:

We had the NFL season opener:

And of course the circus that was the Kavanaugh hearings:

Finally because the week contained days that end with the letter “y,”, the Democrats beclowned themselves trying to take President Trump down:

Lets see what fun next week brings!

Source: This Week in Politics Summed Up By 13 Cartoons

US Military Preparing For “Options” In Syria

Events are moving rapidly in Syria as Russian jets pound insurgent positions in Idlib Province and as the Syrian Army initiates a ground invasion which Damascus has described as coming in a “phased” approach.

The White House responded to the Syrian and Russian bombing campaign by vowing it would act “swiftly and vigorously” should chemical weapons be used, and a day ago claimed there’s “lots of evidence” chemical weapons are being prepared by the Syrian forces, citing intelligence of such activities. 

And now America’s top general has confirmed the Pentagon is drawing up military options to attack Syria and is in currently in close discussion with the White House over the plans.  Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters on Saturday during a trip to India, according to Reuters:

he was involved in “routine dialogue” with the White House about military options should Syria ignore U.S. warnings against using chemical weapons in an expected assault on the enclave of Idlib.

President Trump has already ordered Tomahawk missile attacks on Syria twice, in the past 2 Aprils.

However, Gen. Dunford noted that no decision has been made to intervene militarily in response to Idlib.

“But we are in a dialogue, a routine dialogue, with the president to make sure he knows where we are with regard to planning in the event that chemical weapons are used,” he told a group of reporters.

Dunford added in reference to his talks with President Trump: “He expects us to have military options and we have provided updates to him on the development of those military options.”

Trump had previously bombed Syria twice after allegations that Assad ordered a chemical weapons attack  in April 2017 and April 2018 the former was in response to a claimed sarin attack on Idlib.

White House officials have vowed to hold Assad responsible for any chemical attack allegations that emerge.

France also indicated last week that it too would respond with military force should chemical weapons be deployed.

When pressed by reporters over whether the US actually has intelligence to back its claims, Gen. Dunford responded, “I wouldn’t comment on intelligence at all, in terms of what we have, what we don’t have.”

Meanwhile in Idlib, some truly strange theatrics have already begun, with Al Jazeera depicting locals preparing paper cups, bags and cotton, which are somehow supposed to serve as “chemical protective” gear.

Nevermind that nerve agents are absorbed through the skin, or that a little cotton and charcoal can do nothing, it’s all about setting the stage for a “provocation” in order to draw in US military intervention against Assad’s forces. 

* * *

Meanwhile Russia has cited its own intelligence saying that Syrian armed groups in Idlib are preparing for a staged chemical provocation, which Moscow says the West will use to justify a strike against Syrian government forces.

Speaking to Newsweek ahead of this week’s events, Syria analyst Joshua Landis said that there is every reason to doubt the veracity of past rebel claims regarding government chemical weapons usage — a surprising admission given his prominence as speaking from within the heart of the media foreign policy establishment.

Landis said, “I don’t know what to make of the U.S. and Russian war of words over the potential use of chemical weapons in Idlib. The final reports on the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta were not definitive.”

“There was no evidence found for the use of nerve agents, but controversy over the use of chlorine gas. The rebels had reason to carry out a false flag operation, as the regime and Russians suggested, but the regime refused to let U.N. inspectors in to test for chemical weapons until after a lengthy delay, which was suspicious,” he concluded.

Source: US Military Preparing For “Options” In Syria

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 09/08/2018

‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ Sparking Protests in Southern Cities   Sep 04, 2018 03:01 pm

Screenshot: Nola.com YouTube Residents in some Southern cities have pushed back against plans to bring “Drag Queen Story Hour” to their local library, an event that features men dressed as women reading stories about topics such as homosexuality and “gender fluidity” to young children in an effort to impart acceptance of those lifestyles. “DQSH captures the…

Continue reading the story


‘She Had Been Praying to Be Adopted’: Girl’s Reaction to Note Inside Gift Box From Foster Parents Goes Viral   Sep 02, 2018 07:25 pm

ATHENS, Ga. — A video of a 10-year-old girl’s tearful yet joyous reaction to the news that she was going to be adopted, along with her siblings, has gone viral. Paige Zezulka of Athens, Georgia recently shared the video on social media as she and her husband Daniel had surprised little Ivey with a framed note that they placed inside of a gift box. “She had…

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Australian Christians Turning to Homeschooling Amid a Massive Rise in Bullying   Sep 04, 2018 11:29 am

Photo Credit: Sam LeVan (Daily Mail) — Families with deeply religious values are resorting to home schooling their children more frequently, as schools report an increase in religious bullying. Disgruntled parents cited incidents in which their children were taunted and targeted for opposing same-sex marriage. New figures reveal the number of pupils being…

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California Lawmaker Pulls Bill Prohibiting Therapists From Advertising, Offering ‘Any Practices’ Seeking to Change ‘Sexual Orientation’   Sep 01, 2018 03:29 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California lawmaker who had proposed a bill prohibiting professional therapists from advertising or selling “conversion therapy” services to those seeking to fight homosexual temptation, attaching the prohibition to existing consumer fraud law, has withdrawn the legislation—for now—after speaking with faith leaders in the state. “I…

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Nigerian Pastor, Three Sons Burned Alive Among at Least 20 Killed in Latest Plateau Massacre   Sep 07, 2018 04:55 pm

Photo Credit: World Watch Monitor (World Watch Monitor) — A spate of attacks, in which at least 20 were killed in Nigeria’s central Plateau State over the last week of August, has shattered peace efforts by religious and political leaders in its capital, Jos. … On Aug. 28, communities including a mining site at Wereh village (Ropp District), Abonong,…

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Indian Couple Beaten After Leaving ‘Old Gods’ for Jesus   Sep 02, 2018 10:19 am

Photo: Open Doors USA (Open Doors USA) — Preeti and her husband were tied up with ropes and brutally beaten by neighbors in their community for one simple reason: They refused to reject their Christian faith and participate in a local ritual. When Preeti and her husband told the people in their village that they didn’t want to participate in the ritual…

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Billboard by ‘Reproductive Justice’ Group Defends Abortion as ‘Self-Care’ as if Day at the Spa   Sep 03, 2018 04:05 pm

DALLAS, Texas — A Texas-based group that identifies itself as a “reproductive justice” organization for African American women has purchased a billboard advertisement in Dallas that claims “abortion is self-care.” The advertisement has been characterized by some as downplaying the murder of the unborn as if a woman were taking a day to be pampered at the…

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Judge: Pa. House of Reps. Policy Prohibiting Atheists From Delivering Invocation ‘Discriminates’ on ‘Basis of Religion’   Sep 03, 2018 11:02 am

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President George W. Bush has ruled that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives may not continue to deny atheists the opportunity to present an invocation before the House, as doing so “intentionally discriminates” on the basis of religion in violation of the First Amendment. “We conclude that the…

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Chinese Government Relentlessly Demolishes Crosses in Henan   Sep 06, 2018 11:50 am

Photo Credit: China Aid (China Aid) — Henan authorities continue tearing down crosses in Zhengzhou, Nanyang, and Yuzhou. Christians of Chinese Gospel Fellowship Tongxin Church located in Anpeng, Nanyang sang hymns to encourage each other in their empty church after the cross was demolished. It is unprecedented that Henan officials massively destroy crosses….

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Violent Incidents Embody Pakistan’s Growing Intolerance of Christians   Sep 03, 2018 12:15 pm

World Watch List 2018: Pakistan from Open Doors USA on Vimeo (International Christian Concern) – In August, two Christian families became the victims of Pakistan’s ever-growing religious intolerance. In both incidents, the families were subjected to extreme violence due to the low social standing Christians are afforded in Pakistan’s Muslim-dominated…

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A Gospel Issue? — Christian Research Network

“To insist that social justice activism is an essential tenet of gospel truth is a form of theological legalism not fundamentally different from the teaching of those in the early church who insisted circumcision was a gospel issue.”

(Phil Johnson – The Statement On Social Justice & The Gospel)   When the morning worship service ended last Sunday, a woman whom I had never met before made a beeline for me and stood between me and the aisle. I was trapped in a row of seats. She said she was a guest from out of town, but she seemed to recognize me, and she said she wanted to help me understand the “social justice” issue.

“Despite what you think,” she said, “it is a gospel issue.” “Injustice is everywhere in the world. I am fighting it full time. Right now I have several lawsuits pending against injustice in the health-care industry. Don’t tell me that’s not gospel work. You’re not being a faithful witness unless you’re fighting for social justice. It’s built right into the gospel message: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

I tried to sound as agreeable as possible under the circumstances: “That’s surely one of the most important tenets of God’s moral law, and it does distill the idea of human justice into a single commandment,” I said. “But be careful how you state it. That’s not the gospel. That’s the Second Great Commandment.”

“Oh, right,” she said. “I meant to say the gospel is ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’”

“Well, that’s the First Great Commandment,” I said. “That’s still law, not gospel.”

“What do you mean?” she said. “I can show you those verses in the Bible.”

“Yes, ma’am, I know,” I said. “It’s Matthew 22:37-40. But that’s a summary of the law. It’s not the gospel.”

“But it’s in the Bible,” she repeated. “So it’s a gospel issue.”

I tried to explain: “Gospel and law aren’t the same thing. The law is a prelude to the gospel, not really part of the gospel. The law tells us what God requires of us. But then it condemns us, because it requires perfect obedience and curses anyone who doesn’t obey its every jot and tittle. But none of us obeys so thoroughly. And ‘whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.’ That’s James 2:10. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 that the standard the law sets for us is God’s own absolute perfection. We can’t live up to that. The law therefore brings wrath (Romans 4:15), not salvation. The law can only condemn us, because we are guilty. All of us.

“Furthermore… View article →

Research:

The Statement On Social Justice & The Bible

Sign the Statement

Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

via A Gospel Issue? — Christian Research Network

Obama’s bitter sore spot: The Trump economy

Oh, what a nasty, bitter little man, attempting to take credit for an economy he never understood.

Back on center stage and partisan as ever, President Obama leaped back into politics Friday with a stemwinder stump speech on behalf of his fellow Democrats, declaring Democrats the fount of all progress, bringing up his favorite hobbyhorses, and, most notably, blasting Trump for his economy…before saying the economy was all his.

I think we know what Obama’s sore spot is now.

Read More: Obama’s bitter sore spot: The Trump economy

Week of Kavanaugh Hearings Summed Up By 13 Hilarious and Savage Cartoons

The Kavanaugh hearings this week were nothing if not entertaining and we learned two very important things.

First Judge Kavanaugh is a star and will make an excellent Supreme Court judge.

The American people also learned what we who follow politics closely already know. The Democrats live in crazytown.

Here are 13 cartoons that sum up a week of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh:

First the warm up:

Now let the games begin:

Then it got savage as Democrats lost all sense of propriety and went insane:

Then came the moment that will forever haunt head Senate clown Cory Booker:

Finally at then end, Democrats worst fears were confirmed:

While the hearings may be over, you can be assured Democrats won’t give up until he’s confirmed and the stunts will continue to get nuttier.

 

Source: Week of Kavanaugh Hearings Summed Up By 13 Hilarious and Savage Cartoons

Worldview and Apologetics in the News — Truthbomb Apologetics

Podcast: Bill Dembski on the AI Boogeyman, and the Real AI Danger

Ed Feser on the Pope and Scandal

Paul McCartney claims to have seen God

Why Christians Should Read Good Literature: Karen Swallow Prior Talks New Book, On Reading Well

Has the Bible Been Changed Since It Was Written?

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Courage and Godspeed,
Chad
Last week’s edition is here.

via Worldview and Apologetics in the News — Truthbomb Apologetics

A Comparison of Two Presidents: President Trump versus President Obama – Their First 600 Days — The Gateway Pundit

As we approach the first 600 days into the Donald J. Trump Presidency it’s again time to assess his accomplishments.  What better way to perform this analysis than to compare his results to the prior Administration’s – President Barack H. Obama’s?

On Friday former President Barack Obama gave a speech in Illinois where he was critical of the current President while never referring to President Trump as “President”.  Obama then took credit for President Trump’s economy.

Sean Hannity on FOX News shared parts of Obama’s speech and compared it to events from the Obama era –

As we approach President Trump’s first 600 days in office, we decided to compare his economic results to those of Obama for the exact same time period.  We start with the stock market results.

The DOW

After President Obama was elected President the already low stock market crashed.  When Trump was elected the stock market skyrocketed.  The markets are a gauge of the economy and include expectations of the future.

The day President Obama was elected President, November 4th, 2008, the DOW stood at 9,625.  Immediately however, the DOW began to tank and by March 9, 2009, the DOW could go down no further as it landed at 6,547 for a decrease of more than 30%.

After President Trump was elected the DOW exploded.  On November 8th, 2016, the DOW stood at 18,332.  Since that date the DOW has soared and it never looked back.

Not only has the DOW skyrocketed since Donald Trump was elected President, the market’s rise is record breaking.  Since the 2016 election, the DOW has closed at new record all-time highs 99 times!  (President Obama never saw a new all-time high in the DOW his entire first term and only saw 105 all-time closing highs from his first election win until Trump’s.)

President Trump’s first year in office (2017) saw the most all-time stock market closing highs (71) as well as the largest increase in DOW history (4,956 points).  Prior to 2017, no year in the DOW’s more than 100-year history ever saw the DOW increase by more than 3,500 points, let alone 4,900.  The most all-time highs in a year prior to 2017 was 69 in 1995.

Since President Trump was elected President the DOW tied the record for the most all-time closing highs in a row.  In January of 1987 President Reagan saw the DOW increase to new all-time highs a record 12 days in a row.  In February of 2017, President Trump matched Reagan’s record.

The DOW reached its fastest 500 point increase between major milestones under President Trump.  In January of this year the DOW surpassed 26,000 and six days later the DOW surpassed 26,500.  Under President Trump the DOW has seen the fastest 1,000; 2,000; 3,000; 4,000; 5,000; 6,000 and 7,000 point increases in DOW history.   No similar records occurred during the Obama years.

Also, President Trump didn’t ride an Obama wave, the DOW under Obama went down in 2015 and stayed relatively flat until the 2016 election.

Russell 2000

The Russell 2000 is a major index of US small cap stocks recognized throughout the financial industry. The 2000 companies in the Russell 2000 are the bottom 2000 companies in the Russell 3000. These companies have seen incredible results as well since President Trump was elected President.  The Russell 2000 reached 31 new highs in 2017 and this year already has reached 30 new all-time highs. 

The Russell 2000 never reached a new high in Obama’s first 600 days and only reached 3 new all-time highs in his entire first term!  The other major indices are all the same, recording massive gains since President Trump was elected into office with dismal results in Obama’s first 600 days in office.

GDP and Debt

According Rex Sinquefield at Forbes in October of 2016 –

The Obama recovery of the last seven years remains the worst in postwar American history. Average gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the bottom of the recession in 2009 was barely above 2.1% per year. The average since 1949 is well above 4% per year during the previous 10 expansions.

This result is not just bad, it is catastrophic.  The average American should not be wondering if his or her income is a bit above or below 2007 levels. Just by historical averages, the average American should be 20% better off than in 2007. And this slow growth is settling in as a permanent new-abnormal.

I believe the root cause of abysmal growth is the huge tax increases imposed by Obama and the Democrats in Congress since 2008. The most harmful were the increase in the capital gains tax from 15 to 20 percent, the increase in top bracket income from 35 to 39.6 percent, and the new tax of 3.8 percent on investment income in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The massive increase in regulatory burden through the ACA and Dodd-Frank bills are also crushing, but unfortunately are harder to measure.

President Trump however last quarter reached a GDP of 4.2%.

In regards to debt, President Obama increased the amount of US debt astronomically.  By the time Obama left office he had doubled the US debt to $20 trillion and incurred as much debt as all previous Presidents combined.  President Trump is slowing that trend.

In his first 600 days President Obama increased the amount of US debt by $2.8 trillion.  In his first 600 days, in spite of increasing interest rates and the massive debt that he inherited, President Trump’s debt increase is around half that of Obama’s ($1.5 trillion).

As a result, the debt to GDP ratio is going down.  President Obama increased the US debt to GDP ratio by 40% from around 60% in 2009 to over 100% in 2016.

With his increasing GDP and slowing of debt increases, President Trump has managed to decrease the debt to GDP ratio in his first 600 days in office.  This is a very good result that is rarely mentioned by the MSM.

 

Jobs

Charles Payne from FOX Business reported on some stunning manufacturing news.  Via Making Money with Charles Payne:

Speaking of jobs, I looked at the ADP report yesterday, Tammy, 830,000 new manufacturing jobs in the last 19 months. The prior 19 months, 26,000.

Trump bested Obama by 804,000 manufacturing jobs since taking over White House when compared to the 19 months prior to the 2016 election!  These high paying jobs are the same jobs that Obama said would never come back.

In President Obama’s first 600 days in office, the US lost over (4.4) million jobs.  In President Trump’s first 600 days in office, the US has gained over 3.4 million jobs.

In summary, in every major economic category, President Trump’s economy is moving in the right direction and is mostly record breaking.  In comparison, President Obama’s economy his first 600 days were some of the worst months in US economic history.  President Trump has reversed the Obama economic nightmare.

via A Comparison of Two Presidents: President Trump versus President Obama – Their First 600 Days — The Gateway Pundit