Daily Archives: December 5, 2018

DECEMBER 5 ADMIRING AWE AND SINCERE HUMILITY

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

—1 Peter 5:6

Those of us who have been blessed within our own beings would not join in any crusade to “follow your feelings.” On the other hand, if there is no feeling at all in our hearts, then we are dead! …

Real worship is, among other things, a feeling about the Lord our God. It is in our hearts. And we must be willing to express it in an appropriate manner.

We can express our worship to God in many ways. But if we love the Lord and are led by His Holy Spirit, our worship will always bring a delighted sense of admiring awe and a sincere humility on our part.

The proud and lofty man or woman cannot worship God any more acceptably than can the proud devil himself. There must be humility in the heart of the person who would worship God in spirit and in truth. WHT084

Lord, I bring to You a heart filled with adoration and humility. Accept my worship as something that brings joy to You. Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Nation’s Christians Shocked That Popular CCM Artist Doesn’t Have Robust Theology

U.S.—After a popular CCM artist recently gave a vague answer when asked whether or not homosexuality is a sin, the nation’s believers expressed their utter shock that someone in the Christian music industry doesn’t have a strong, well-grounded theology of God and the Bible.

Christians across the nation were reportedly blindsided to discover that a CCM artist doesn’t have a robust understanding of the Bible and the character of God.

“Just based on the music alone, you’d think they’d have a full-fledged understanding of God,” said one man in Nebraska. “I used to listen to CCM and accept every line as gospel truth. But now I guess I’ve gotta be careful and use some discernment—it’s almost like the people behind the vapid, vague lyrics might have vapid, vague theology, sometimes.”

Many Christians said their sole source of theology was Christian radio up until this point.

“I never really read the Bible or anything. I just listened to Air1 or KLOVE and that was my theological truth for the day,” said a concerned believer in Southern California. “I guess I should turn to the Word of God to find out what God says, rather than people who write and perform CCM for a living.”

Source: Nation’s Christians Shocked That Popular CCM Artist Doesn’t Have Robust Theology

Midweek Apologetics Hit & Misc: Why Biblical Archaeology Is Important

Source: Midweek Apologetics Hit & Misc: Why Biblical Archaeology Is Important

People aren’t paying their credit cards and more accounts are being shut down, and it could be a sign that ‘economic clouds are darkening’

  • Credit-card delinquencies, application rejections, and involuntary account closures are all on the upswing, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • The Fed says these developments are “potentially concerning” given the strength of the economy and comparatively low interest rates.
  • The trends most likely indicate that credit-card companies issued debt too freely in the preceding years.
  • But they could also signal that lenders are bracing for an economic downturn and paring back risk accordingly.

The economy is robust, unemployment is sitting at 3.7%, its lowest mark in nearly half a century, and interest rates, though moving upward, are still relatively low.

So why are credit-card delinquencies, application rejections, and involuntary account closures all on the upswing?

That’s what the Federal Reserve Bank of New York would like to know.

The Fed released the results this week of its “Credit Access Survey” — a quarterly report on US borrowers — and it surfaced a couple of alarming trends that suggest credit-card issuers are getting skittish and paring back risk: Both credit-card rejection rates and involuntary account closures are on the rise.

Rejection rates for credit-card applicants came in at 20.8% in the October survey, up from 14.4% a year ago, while the rejection rate for credit-limit increases ticked up to 31.7%, compared with 24.9% a year ago.

Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents who had an account shut down by a lender reached its highest level since the Fed launched the “Credit Access Survey” in 2013. In October, 7.2% of surveyed consumers reported having an account involuntarily shut down in the previous 12 months, up from 5.7% last year and 4.2% in 2016.

Most of these account shutdowns are credit cards or retail-store cards.

A separate New York Fed report released last month, the “Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,” produced a similar finding. The report, which mines Equifax consumer credit reports for data, showed an uptick in the past year and a half in account closures, again primarily from credit cards.

Why are credit-card issuers rejecting more customers and shuttering more accounts?

One reason is that they may be spooked by the increasing number of people who aren’t paying off their cards. Credit-card delinquency rates began to climb sharply toward the end of 2016, a trend that hasn’t reversed in 2018, according to Fed data.

Given the healthy state of the economy and low unemployment, an increase in delinquencies is “potentially concerning,” according to the Fed, and most likely signals that card companies issued debt too freely and to less-trustworthy borrowers in preceding years and are now trying to reverse course.

That’s consistent with the fact that credit-card issuance inflated substantially starting in 2013 — credit-card balances were up from $670 billion in the third quarter of 2013 to $844 billion in the same quarter this year — and that the sharpest increase in delinquencies is among borrowers with lower credit scores, according to Fed data. The increase in delinquencies among higher credit-score brackets, however, suggests loose lending wasn’t limited to subprime borrowers, the Fed points out.

The uptick in delinquencies, rejections, and account closures could also be symptoms of a much darker malady: early cracks in a weakening economy.

When people lose their jobs or are struggling financially, credit cards tend to be one of the first bills they stop paying, as compared with secured loans for a home or a car in which people risk losing those crucial assets.

If the economy is turning, card issuers have a giant incentive to get ahead of the trend, especially amid the environment of climbing interest rates, which potentially makes life even more difficult for cash-strapped cardholders.

“Credit-card lenders are tightening up the credit approval process as the economic clouds are darkening for our economy. They see a downturn coming, so, in anticipation of that trend, are reducing their risk exposure in the unsecured card space,” Robert Hammer, the CEO of the payments consulting firm R.K. Hammer, told Business Insider when asked about the latest Fed report.

Lenders are already facing a tough outlook heading into 2019 with a saturated US market and declining return on assets, according to Brian Riley, the director of Mercator Advisory Group’s credit-card consulting business.

He predicts growth will slow next year for card issuers as they brace for higher delinquencies among the country’s 470 million cardholders.

It’s too early to say whether the economy will dip into recession or whether delinquencies, rejections, and involuntary account closures will continue to streak higher, but the Fed will be keeping a close eye on these trends, saying in its report that it plans to “continue investigating these issues.”

Source: People aren’t paying their credit cards and more accounts are being shut down, and it could be a sign that ‘economic clouds are darkening’

Alexander: Tailwinds and Following Seas, President Bush

“There is a God and He is good, and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.” —GHWB

“If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.” —Samuel Adams (1780)

George Herbert Walker Bush, our nation’s 41st president, died in peace last Friday evening. He was 94. With him passes an era, as he was the last warrior statesman of the “Greatest Generation” to serve our nation as president.

Much has been said and written about President Bush in the days since his passing — and it’s no small irony that much of it is in the same Leftmedia forums that were so abjectly biased against him in their coverage of his presidency.

Prior to his single term in office, GHWB served two terms as President Ronald Reagan’s vice president. As my friend Cal Thomas wrote, “Any epitaph on the life of George H.W. Bush must include at least three words: character, honor and integrity. From his service in World War II, to his political career and post-presidency, not to mention his faithfulness to Barbara, his wife of 73 years.”

Indeed, all of President Bush’s service to our nation, and his life in retirement, is framed by his high character, honor, and integrity — and, I would add, heroics.

President Bush was a contemporary of my own father, also a WWII naval fighter pilot, and while I had met Mr. Bush briefly on occasions when he was serving with President Reagan, what I knew best about him was what I knew about my own father and their shared generation: They were prepared to give their lives en masse to defend Liberty for their countrymen and all people.

Like many warriors of their generation, Mr. Bush was shaped to a degree by survivor’s guilt, having witnessed so many friends perish.

During a 1944 bombing sortie in the Bonin Islands, on approach to his target, the then-20-year-old Lt. Bush’s VT-51 squadron TBM Avenger was hit by flak and caught fire. He recounted that he thought to himself, “My God, this thing’s going to go down.”

With his engine ablaze, he completed his bomb drop and piloted his plane and crew back over sea, where he ordered his two-man crew to “Hit the silk” — bailout. But his radioman, Petty Officer Second Class John Delaney, and substitute gunner, Lt. j.g. William White, did not survive. Shortly after he entered the water, Bush was rescued by the submarine USS Finback as the rest of his squadron circled above.

Mourning the loss of his crew, he wondered, “Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?” He asked himself that question on many days since. In essence, he knew at that point that he owed his life to others, to something much bigger than himself.

Indeed, he was a faithful man, and God had much in store for him.

George H.W. Bush hailed from an old, wealthy, Northeastern dynasty of establishment Republicans. His father was Prescott Bush; his mother was Dorothy (Walker) Bush. Prescott was a Wall Street investor and later a U.S. senator from Connecticut. George was a product of Greenwich Country Day School and Andover, but in defiance to his father’s insistence that he go straight to Yale, he enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday.

He married Barbara Bush while still in the Navy. Mrs. Bush said, “I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell my children that, they just about throw up.”

She offered this observation not long before her death: “At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”

Shortly after they were married, George wrote to Barbara, “How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you.” And they were. Of their 73 years together, Mr. Bush said, “I have climbed the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”

Their marriage was a remarkable testament to that sacred institution.

GHWB returned to Yale after the war to complete his education.

His eldest son, George W., was born in 1946.

After graduating in 1948, Bush broke ranks with his family and moved to west Texas, where he pursued a successful career in the oil business. “I was offered a job on Wall Street by my uncle,” he later said, “But I wanted to get out. Make-it-on-my-own kinda thing.”

Five more children were born in Texas: Robin in 1949 (who died of cancer three years later), Jeb in 1953, Neil in 1955, Marvin in 1956, and Doro in 1959.

GHWB lost a 1964 Senate run but was elected a 7th District House representative in 1966 and served two terms. He succeeded by displacing much of his Northeastern establishment Republicanism with Texas conservatism, much as George W. Bush would in 2000.

In 1971, Bush became President Richard Nixon’s UN ambassador, and in 1973 he took over the Republican National Committee as Watergate was swamping Nixon’s administration. Bush was among those who recommended that Nixon resign in the interest of the party and our country rather than face impeachment, and Nixon complied on August 9th of 1974. After the resignation, Bush noted in his diary, “There was an aura of sadness, like somebody died. … The [resignation] speech was vintage Nixon — a kick or two at the press. … One couldn’t help but … think of his accomplishments and then think of the shame.”

In some important respects, Bush held the Republican Party together through its most arduous challenges of the 20th century.

Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, appointed Bush as chief liaison to China (in effect, ambassador), and his 14 months there under Secretary of State Henry Kissinger are viewed, historically, as very beneficial to U.S.-China relations.

In 1976, Ford brought Bush back to serve as CIA director, a role he served in for less than a year before Jimmy Carter replaced him with Stansfield Turner, who, like Carter, proved to be inept.

GHWB’s rise to the presidency came after his resounding defeat in the GOP’s 1980 presidential primary, in which he ran as a moderate alternative to Ronald Reagan. After Reagan’s victory, he added Bush to the ticket for two of the most successful presidential terms in our nation’s history. Despite Bush’s infamous and spurious 1980 claim that Reagan’s supply-side policies constituted “voodoo economics,” President Reagan’s economic and foreign policies were an enormous success — the former launching a historic economic boom and the latter bringing our arch nemesis, the USSR, to collapse.

That success elevated Bush to what was perceived to be a “third Reagan term” in 1988. However, while he shared Reagan’s character and integrity, he did not possess Reagan’s fighting spirit, his ability to create political coalitions, or his broad appeal with grassroots Americans.

Notably, in terms of temperament and personality, our current president, Donald Trump, is the antithesis of Presidents Bush and Reagan. But in terms of domestic and foreign policy success, Trump has excelled beyond even President Reagan’s record of achievements at his first midterm. This is to say that President Bush’s steadfast character, honor, and integrity, while admirable traits that all presidents should demonstrate, do not ensure policy success.

Riding high on Reagan’s economic and foreign policy successes over the previous eight years, Bush declared in his 1988 Republican National Convention acceptance speech: “We are a nation of communities, of thousands and tens of thousands of ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional, and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary, and unique. This is America … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. … I am guided by certain traditions. One is that there is a God and He is good, and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.”

In his inaugural address, President Bush said: “There has grown a certain divisiveness. We have seen the hard looks and heard the statements in which not each other’s ideas are challenged but each other’s motives. And our great parties have too often been far apart and untrusting of each other. A new breeze is blowing, and the old bipartisanship must be made new again.”

He concluded, “The American people await action. They didn’t send us here to bicker. They ask us to rise above the merely partisan. ‘In crucial things, unity’ — and this, my friends, is crucial.”

Unfortunately, in the years since, the Left’s “bickering” has devolved into politically deranged divisions with its resulting uncivil discourse.

Bush’s decisive leadership as commander-in-chief during the Desert Shield/Storm offensive to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and to contain his other regional ambitions was the high point of GHWB’s presidency. Within days of Iraq’s retreat from Kuwait, however, American military leaders were suggesting we should have pursued Saddam all the way to Baghdad and overthrown his regime. That perceived insubordination by some senior officers resulted in their quiet resignation, including that of Commanding General “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf after his return in 1991.

Arguably, Bush 41’s reluctance to move beyond the UN mandate and remove Saddam from power, combined with the failure of Bill Clinton to take down Osama bin Laden on numerous occasions, resulted in the 9/11 Islamist attack on our nation and George W. Bush’s subsequent launch of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Those operations, and subsequent regional operations, have been very costly in terms of human life and national treasure. Of course, the most costly failure in the region was the unchallenged rise of the Islamic State under the Obama/Clinton watch — left for the current administration to clean up. Fortunately, the Trump administration’s military leaders have done that.

All said, the point is that the domino effect of not finishing the job can be very costly.

On the domestic front, perhaps GHWB’s greatest lasting achievement was his nomination and subsequent appointment of Justice Clarence Thomas, following his unfortunate nomination of David Souter, who became a reliably liberal vote on the High Court. Bush also elevated the judicial careers of future Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

Ahead of his 1992 reelection bid, Bush broke his bold 1998 campaign promise — “Read my lips: no new taxes!” In doing so, he betrayed Reagan’s grassroots coalition. His mistake, of course, was one that other Republican presidents have made: trusting Democrats to do what they promised — in this case, to make $2 in spending cuts for every $1 of tax increase in order to reduce the federal budget deficit.

As columnist Ken Blackwell observed, “Despite a stratospheric 91% approval rating following his lightning victory over Saddam Hussein’s forces in the first Gulf War, Bush’s standing sagged for two years. His broken promise fueled grassroots rage and the Perot challenge. Bush 41 fell to Bill Clinton in the 1992 election, gaining an abysmal 37% of the popular vote. Columnist George Will said he had made a sow’s ear of the Reagan silk purse.”

In March of 1992, Bush lamented: “I thought this one compromise — and it was a compromise — would result in no more tax increases. I thought it would result in total control of domestic discretionary spending. And now we see Congress talking about raising taxes again. So, I’m disappointed, and given all of that, yes, [it was] a mistake.”

As economist and scholar Thomas Sowell concluded, “When the first President Bush looked at his watch during a nationally televised Presidential debate, he epitomized what has been wrong with Republicans for years. A member of the audience had just asked a stupid question. Ronald Reagan would have been all over him, like a linebacker blitzing a quarterback. But Bush 41 just looked at his watch, as if he couldn’t wait for this to be over.”

Bush’s character, honor, and dignity did not translate to an effective reelection campaign, and he appeared to be out of fight.

Contributing to his defeat, however, was a lot of “fake news.” That’s right — the mainstream media was saturating its consumers with a lot of fake news then, too.

One example would be the perennial myth that Bush lost a second term because of a failing economy. The fact is, Bush’s last month in office was the 22nd consecutive month of positive growth, capped by an average 3.2% GDP growth for 1992, his last year in office.

And one particularly memorable and effective example of the New York Times’s long history of fake-news reporting occurred during Bush’s reelection campaign.

Under the headline, “Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed,” the Times asserted that, upon visiting the technology section at a National Grocers Association convention, President Bush had never seen an electronic grocery checkout scanner, which had been in wide use for more than 15 years. The Times declared, “This career politician, who has lived the cloistered life of a top Washington bureaucrat for decades, is having trouble presenting himself to the electorate as a man in touch with middle-class life. … Today, for instance, he emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.”

This fake news was consequential because it was dutifully repeated ad nauseam by the rest of the Leftmedia propagandists.

Problem is, it didn’t happen, as columnist Larry Elder documented and debunked in a recent review of NYT fake news. No Times reporter covered the event — they were just headlining some other pool reporter’s fake news. Of the NYT’s reporting, the systems analyst who showed Mr. Bush the scanner said, “The whole thing is ludicrous.”

But the intended damage was done, and the image of Bush as a rich, out-of-touch politician was solidified.

The Party of Reagan withered under the “kinder, gentler” administration of his successor, and, consequently, the nation suffered further indignity under two scandal-plagued Bill Clinton (and Hillary Clinton terms).

But as William Murchison observed, “That man — Bush 41 — did his best for the country he loved and served; furthermore, he did it with class rather than showmanship, dignity and honor rather than demagoguery and the crossing of fingers inside coat pockets.”

Indeed he did.

And President Bush demonstrated his class when, after being defeated in an ugly campaign, he left a kind letter to Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. He wrote in part: “There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.” (That letter stands in stark contrast to the Clinton regime’s actual tenure and, notably, the fact that they and their staff vandalized and looted the White House upon their departure.)

Notably, in another letter to his granddaughter after leaving office, he wrote, “I was right when I said, as President, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others.” Indeed, his life was characterized by service to others, and the same can be said of his sons George and Jeb in their years of public service.

I will remember President Bush best through a few quotes that best capture his character — the talk he walked.

“There is a God and He is good, and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.”

“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”

“In crucial things, unity. In important things, diversity. In all things, generosity.”

“This is America … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”

“Be bold in your caring, be bold in your dreaming and above all else, always do your best.”

“No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”

“We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.”

“The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world.”

“Losing is never easy. Trust me; I know something about that.”

“Tell the truth. Don’t blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Forgive. Stay the course.”

“I do not mistrust the future. I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger. Our challenges are great, but our will is greater. And if our flaws are endless, God’s love is truly boundless.”

President Bush should also be remembered for his lighter moments, such as declaring, “I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

And recall his reaction to “Saturday Night Live” comedian Dana Carvey’s Bush impersonation at the White House Christmas in 1992. He quipped, “I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”

In self-deprecation, he said, “Fluency in English is something I’m not often accused of.” George W. received that gene!

And he said, “I like a colorful sock. I’m a sock man.” He will be interred in a pair of his favorite colorful socks.

Lying in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Monday evening, there were long lines of dignitaries and citizens bidding him farewell.

Addressing those gathered in the Capitol, Vice President Mike Pence said, “The Bible tells us to mourn with those who mourn, and grieve with those who grieve. And today, on behalf of the First Family, and my family, and the American people, we offer our deepest sympathies and respects to your family. And we thank you for sharing this special man with our nation and the world.”

President and Mrs. Trump quietly paid their respects, and typical of the Bush family, they have ensured that the ceremony at National Cathedral Wednesday did not become a “bash Trump” spectacle as did the funeral earlier this year of Sen. John McCain. A Bush family spokesman noted in advance that it would be a fitting “celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave. It’s not going to be about anybody else.”

In his statement on the passing of President Bush, President Trump noted, “Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service — to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world. Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family — especially the love of his life, Barbara. His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41.”

Wednesday morning at National Cathedral, President Bush was eulogized by his devoted son, George W. Bush. He was joined in remarks by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, and his biographer Jon Meacham.

According to Meacham:

“He believed that to whom much was given, much is expected, and because life gave him so much, he gave back again, and again, and again. … in his personal life, he stood in the breach against heartbreak and hurt, always offering an outstretched hand, a warm word, a sympathetic tear. … Abraham Lincoln’s ‘better angels of our nature’ and George H.W. Bush’s ‘thousand points of light’ are companion verses in America’s national hymn. For Lincoln and Bush both called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than two fear, and two heed not our worst impulses but our best instincts.”

For his part, George W. offered these endearing words for the father he loved:

“For Dad’s part, [his] brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life and he vowed to live every day to the fullest. … Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was and empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree. And he was no cynic — he looked for the good and each person and he usually found it. Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary — that one that can serve with integrity and hold true to important values like faith and family. … He recognized that serving others enriched the giver’s soul. To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light. … He loved to laugh [and] placed great value on a good joke. That’s why he chose Simpson to speak! … We tested his patience — I know I did — but he always responded with the great gift of unconditional love. Last Friday, when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The doctor who answered the phone said, ‘I think he can hear you but he hasn’t said anything for most of the day.’ I said, ‘Dad I love you and you’ve been a wonderful father.’ And the last words he would ever say on earth were, ‘I love you too.’ … Finally, every day of his 73 years of marriage, Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. … After Mom died he was strong but all he really wanted to do was hold Mom’s hand again. … In his inaugural address, he said this: ‘We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and his town better than he found it.'”

In conclusion, George W. said, “Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you … the best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again.”

The tears he shed with those final words spoke volumes about the love between a father and son, as well as the foundation of love upon which this family was built.

On Thursday, President Bush will return to Houston for a memorial service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and eulogies by his grandson, George P. Bush, and former Secretary of State James Baker.

God bless you President Bush. Tailwinds and Following Seas. And on your final flight, we wish you Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited!

December 5 Seeing the Reality of a Transformed Life

Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Acts 28:30–31

Today’s verse shows that while Paul was under house arrest “in his own rented house,” he continued to minister. In spite of the circumstances, Paul continued to do what he had been called to do.

You may find yourself thinking, I can’t go and preach the gospel. I can’t be an evangelist, or a Bible teacher. I’m stuck with my job. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re chained to a desk, an assembly line, a classroom, a car, or a sales position—they all provide opportunities for you to further the gospel. The worse your confinement, the greater the opportunity for a godly life to shine.

People often tell me how hard it is to witness where they work. My response is that it is generally harder to witness under ideal conditions than in a more difficult situation. That’s because in difficult situations the reality of a transformed life is more apparent, and that can’t help but be attractive to those who haven’t experienced it.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 366). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

December 5, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

5 ואהבת את יהוה אלהיך, “you shall love YHWH your God”—as W. Moran has remarked, the command to love belongs to the treaty language of the ancient Near East (CBQ 25 [1963] 144–47). It should be noted, however, that the language of loving God is not drawn directly from treaty terminology as such (see J. W. McKay, Tg. 22 [1972] 426–35). The effect is to emphasize that God’s actions in the historical events that make up the exodus-conquest provide the motivation for a covenant relationship between God and his people.

בכל לבבך ובכל נפשׁך ובכל מאדך, “with all your heart and with all your being and with all your might.” The pairing of לבב, “heart,” and נפשׁ, “being, soul-life,” suggests that a distinction of some sort is being made between mental and emotional energy and activity. In terms of modern depth psychology, we would say that our love for God is to embrace the whole of our mind, both conscious and unconscious. Self-discipline is required, in that we are to love God with all our might (מאד) as well.[1]


6:5. The faith statement of the Shema is followed up by the charge to love the Lord your God, implying complete devotion to Him and not just emotional attraction. Moses’ sense of love is to express loyalty to Him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. The whole person is to express this loyal devotion to God. The heart was generally associated in Hebrew thinking with the mind, the soul denoted the innermost being or emotions, and might refers to doing the previous two injunctions exceedingly (lit., “very, very much”). The repetition of the word “all” shows that Israel’s commitment to the Lord was to be undivided and complete.[2]


6:5. To love the Lord means to choose Him for an intimate relationship and to obey His commands. This command, to love Him, is given often in Deuteronomy (v. 5; 7:9; 10:12; 11:1, 13, 22; 13:3; 19:9; 30:6, 16, 20). Loving Him was to be wholehearted (with all your heart) and was to pervade every aspect of an Israelite’s being and life (soul and strength).[3]


6:5 — “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Of all God’s commandments, this is the central and most important one. When we love God first and foremost, obedience follows as a natural result and ceases to be a chore (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).[4]


6:5 love. See 4:37. all. That the Lord alone is Israel’s God leads to the demand for Israel’s exclusive and total devotion to him. heart … soul … might. All Israelites in their total being are to love the Lord; “this is the great and first commandment” (Matt. 22:38). In Matt. 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27, Jesus also includes “mind.” In early Hebrew, “heart” included what we call the “mind”. “Might” indicates energy and ability.

6:5 Love for God is the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37–38). One’s relation to God himself is central to life, and true love for God and reconciliation to God are possible only in Christ (John 14:6; Rom. 5:1–10).[5]


6:5 you shall love The command is not a demand to manufacture false emotion but to cultivate a disposition (see Lev 19:17–18).

with all of your heart and with all of your soul The Hebrew terms levav (often translated “heart”) and nephesh (often translated “soul”) do not refer to separate components of the human person. Rather, the terms overlap in meaning, conveying the internal life, dispositions, emotions, and intellect.

might The Hebrew word here is not a noun but an adverb meaning “exceedingly.” This description of love of Yahweh thus implies totality: as Yahweh is undivided unity and alone worthy of worship, so the Israelites must have undivided loyalty to Him.[6]


6:5 all your might. The Hebrew expresses totality. For this reason the New Testament sometimes renders it with “mind and strength” (Mark 12:30). This is the language of devotion. God does not demand mere outward obedience to a law, but the heartfelt love and commitment of the whole person (Prov. 23:26).[7]


6:5 The principle of love is a major theme in Deuteronomy. In Luke 10:27 Jesus stressed love as the essence of pure religion, and elsewhere He referred to it as a kind of “eleventh commandment” (Matt. 22:34–40; John 13:34; cf. Rom. 13:10).[8]


[1] Christensen, D. L. (2001). Deuteronomy 1–21:9 (Vol. 6A, p. 143). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2] Coakley, J. F. (2014). Deuteronomy. In The moody bible commentary (p. 277). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[3] Deere, J. S. (1985). Deuteronomy. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 274). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[4] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Dt 6:5). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 341). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Dt 6:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 254). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[8] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Dt 6:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

December 5, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump’s top diplomat promised on Tuesday a new democratic world order in which Washington will strengthen or jettison international agreements as it sees fit to stop “bad actors” such as Russia, China and Iran from gaining.

Croatia is suffering a severe labor shortage, most glaringly in its booming seaside tourist resorts, that is compounding obstacles to economic growth and dimming hopes of catching up to more developed European Union peers.

A team from Yemen’s Saudi-backed government left for Sweden on Wednesday to attend peace talks with members of the Iran-aligned Houthi group, in a renewed U.N. push to end a war that has pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

Doctors in Sierra Leone’s public hospitals were on strike on Wednesday to protest against low wages and poor working conditions, and nurses said they may follow suit.

Scores of people were arrested in Italy and other European countries on Wednesday in a raid on the ‘Ndrangheta cocaine-trafficking group that officials said is the largest sweep of its kind.

Alphabet’s Waymo on Wednesday launched a significant development in its costly, decade-long quest for autonomous transportation: self-driving taxis that actually generate fares.

In a vast warehouse complex 40 miles north of London, staff are wrestling with ways to cram in more goods after a surge in demand from companies building stockpiles ahead of Brexit.

Britain’s BT Group said on Wednesday it was removing Huawei Technologies’ equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.

Finland’s Supercell, maker of the Clash of Clans mobile game, said on Wednesday it would fund a new software programming school free of tuition fees to be established in Helsinki next year, to combat a lack of skilled coders.

German auto giant Volkswagen will begin rolling out its last generation of combustion engine cars in 2026 and predicted that the last vehicle with a combustion engine would be sold around 2040, in its latest green pledge as it looks to turn the corner on the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal.

AP Top Stories

The number of migrants arriving in Yemen is set to rise 50 percent this year compared to 2017, with almost 150,000 risking all on the journey from the Horn of Africa toward the Arabian Gulf, the U.N. migration agency said on Tuesday.

The United States urged the European Union on Monday to apply sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program, calling it a “grave and escalating threat.”

The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of France and Britain after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range missile at the weekend.

Teachers employed by a Chicago charter school network took to the picket lines in what their union described as the first strike at any of the privately run, taxpayer-funded schools in the U.S.

Pope Francis has suggested that being gay has become “fashionable” in some modern-day societies ― a remark that has prompted concern among queer Catholics. Francis reportedly said that there is “no place for this kind of affection” in the lives of Roman Catholic priests, religious brothers and religious sisters.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley is urging countries at the United Nations to back a US-drafted resolution condemning the Palestinian Hamas movement, warning in a letter that the United States takes the vote “very seriously.”

Russia will develop missiles now banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty if the United States exits the arms control pact and starts making such weapons, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

Mexico’s new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he was sending a bill to Congress to eliminate presidential immunity, which the anti-establishment leftist says has fueled corruption.

Wisconsin Republicans are attempting a dramatic re-shifting of power in the state that would undermine the incoming Democratic administration even before they even start their first day.

The death toll in California’s Cam Fire has been lowered from 88 to 85 after authorities realized that the remains of at least one person had been mistakenly put into different bags, Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea said Monday.

Madrid has ordered electric scooters off the city’s streets within 72 hours amid claims they are a public nuisance and just days after a 90-year-old pedestrian was killed in a collision.

BBC

A satanic group has added its own statue to a series of displays in the government building of the US state of Illinois to mark the festive season. Placed between a Christmas tree and a menorah, the four-foot sculpture depicts a snake coiled around an outstretched arm holding an apple. It’s the first display sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the Temple of Satan.

A healthy baby girl has been born using a womb transplanted from a dead person. The 10-hour transplant operation – and later fertility treatment – took place in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2016. The mother, 32, was born without a womb. There have been 39 womb transplants using a live donor, including mothers donating their womb to their daughter, resulting in 11 babies. But the 10 previous transplants from a dead donor have failed or resulted in miscarriage.

WND

Detroit woman heading out the door on her way to church Sunday shot and killed an intruder who forced her and two other women back into their home. Detroit Police determined the woman who fired the gun, age 55, acted in self-defense and won’t face any charges.

A principal in Nebraska banned red and green items from her school this time of year because they are “Christmas colors.” But the draconian order from Principal Jennifer Sinclair of Manchester Elementary School in the Elkhorn Public Schools District was overturned after her actions drew a response from Liberty Counsel.


News – 12/5/2018

Survey Reveals Many Christians Deeply Confused About Biblical Theology
To give an example of how the survey exposed heretical beliefs held by the majority of the Christians interviewed, 52% responded that most people are basically good, 51% believe that God accepts the worship of all religions and 78% subscribe to the Arian Heresy, which teaches that Jesus was the first and great being created by God the Father. In fact, Jesus is not a created being; He is God the Son.

Rouhani: If we can’t export oil, no one will
Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday appeared to threaten to disrupt other countries’ oil shipments through the Gulf if Washington presses ahead with efforts to halt Iranian oil exports, Reuters reported. “America should know that we are selling our oil and will continue to sell our oil and they are not able to stop our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud.

Yellow vest protesters reject Macron government U-turn on fuel tax hikes
However, many of the “gilets jaunes” who have been blocking roads and even fuel depots around France for the past three weeks insisted the measures were “too little too late” and called for fresh protests next Saturday. Most opposition figures said the same. “We don’t want crumbs, we want the whole baguette,” said Benjamin Cauchy, one of the founding figures of the movement, who called for nothing short of a “new division of wealth in France”.

Australia to pass sweeping anti-encryption laws
Technology companies are concerned that the law would undermine cyber security for businesses by allowing the government to force the installation of back doors allowing for secret access. They argue that it is not technically possible to create a back door which only government authorities could access. Despite these criticisms, the government has warned companies that they could face multi-million dollar fines if they fail to comply with its orders. “But this compromise will deliver security and enforcement agencies the powers they say they need …”.

As crisis grips France, Europe holds its breath
The man who won French elections in a landslide is seen increasingly as tin-eared when it comes to the concerns of millions of French people. They are motivated by the perception that the system now favours only the rich, the elites and the ruling class. Sound familiar?

Iran to increase missile range despite US criticism
Iran plans to increase the range of its missiles, a senior military official said Tuesday, according to Reuters. “One of our most important programs is increasing the range of missiles and ammunition,” said the head of the Iranian air force, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Rand Paul: Deep State is rising
The Washington Examiner reported Paul was reacting to a briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in which only a select few senators were admitted. This is the very definition of the Deep State,” the Republican senator said. “The Deep State is that the intelligence agencies do things, conclude things, make conclusions, but then the elected officials are prevented from knowing about this.

U.S. Asserts Authority at NATO in Stinging Criticism
Pompeo, addressing a gathering of NATO leaders on Tuesday, offered a sobering rebuke of the international treaty group, telling the crowd the Trump administration will not stand down in the face of rising threats from a host of rogue regimes. Pompeo had harsh words for the United Nations as well, telling leaders the international organization has failed to uphold Western values amid rising threats from rogue nations that seek to buck the global order. “At the United Nations, peacekeeping missions drag on for decades. The U.N.’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations as a vehicle to redistribute wealth,” Pompeo said.

Media: Turkey planning to create naval base in Northern Cyprus
Turkey is planning to create a naval base in Northern Cyprus, Turkish media reported Dec. 3. The reports note that the issue was discussed against the backdrop of tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Mediterranean. The naval base is expected to be established in early 2019, the reports said. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has earlier said that Turkey can establish a naval base in Northern Cyprus, if necessary. He noted that the presence of the Turkish armed forces in the territory is very important.

US Navy sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf in display of force after Iran’s ballistic missile test
Following Iran’s brazen nuclear-capable ballistic missile test over the weekend, the U.S. is deploying an aircraft carrier to the region. USS John C. Stennis and its support ships are en route to the Persian Gulf in the first U.S. military activity in the region in some eight months, a presence intended to act as a show of force against Iran,

Russia offers reserved support for Israel’s anti-tunnel operation
Moscow expressed reserved support on Wednesday for Israel’s efforts to neutralize terror tunnels from Lebanon, but said it hoped these efforts will not conflict with UN Security Council Resolution 1701. That resolution from 2006 put an end to the Second Lebanon War and called for the Blue Line, the border between Israel and Lebanon, to be respected.

Lebanese president tells army to ‘closely monitor’ IDF anti-tunnel operation
President of Lebanon Michel Aoun called on Lebanon’s military and security wings to “closely monitor” the situation in the south on Tuesday, in response to the initiation of the IDF’s Operation Northern Shield, according to Lebanese news agency Naharnet. The IDF had launched an operation in which the military is seeking out and destroying suspected Hezbollah built tunnels leading into Israel.

US reopens diplomatic mission in Somalia after 28-year closure
The US has established its first diplomatic presence in Somalia for nearly 30 years. The state department said the “historic event” reflected the progress the east African nation had made. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto is heading the embassy in Mogadishu. Previously it had been based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Satanic Sculpture Installed At Illinois Statehouse, Just In Time For The Holidays
In the Illinois Capitol rotunda this month, several traditions are being celebrated. There’s a Nativity scene for Christmas, a menorah for Hanukkah, and then something a little different: an arm holding an apple, with a snake coiled around it. It’s a gift from the Chicago branch of The Satanic Temple. Called “Snaketivity,” the work also has a sign that reads “Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift.”

IMF’s Lagarde urges US, others to reject ‘dystopian’ path
Countries that go it alone and fail to adapt to new economic realities could face a “dystopian” future where an angry majority are left behind, IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday. She urged world leaders to remember the lesson of the global recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis: “international cooperation is essential, not optional.”

Hezbollah’s plan to conquer the Galilee
Hezbollah’s “Conquering the Galilee” plan has made headlines long before the IDF launched Operation Northern Shield…to expose and neutralize terror tunnels…along the Israel-Lebanon border… The plan entails fighters from Hezbollah’s elite Radwan unit infiltrating Israel from Lebanon, entrenching themselves in Israeli communities near the border while taking hostages and using Israeli citizens as human shields.

Islamic State executing people in Syria’s Deir al-Zor: U.N.
The United Nations has reports of Islamic State (ISIL) executing people perceived as cooperating with rebel fighters in Deir al-Zor governorate in eastern Syria, the U.N. human rights boss said on Wednesday. Michelle Bachelet, speaking to a news conference in Geneva, voiced deep concern for 7,000 civilians who she said were trapped between Islamic State fighters preventing them from leaving Deir al-Zor and air strikes by a U.S.-led coalition.

New Caledonia, Vanuatu order evacuations after powerful quake, but suffer little impact
New Caledonia and Vanuatu ordered coastal evacuations on Wednesday after a powerful undersea earthquake triggered tsunami warnings in the South Pacific, but appeared to have suffered little damage. The quake tmsnrt.rs/2QdrtkL of magnitude 7.6, which struck east of New Caledonia, was just 10 km (6 miles) deep and about 155 km (95 miles) east-southeast of the Loyalty Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

First sun-dimming experiment will test a way to cool Earth
Researchers plan to spray sunlight-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, an approach that could ultimately be used to quickly lower the planet’s temperature.

Nancy Pelosi Tries to Reassure Jews After Incoming Democrats Back Anti-Israel BDS
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the likely next Speaker of the House, is trying to reassure Jewish groups after several newly-elected Democrats have vowed openly to support “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS) against Israel.

LADYBOY: The Odds-On Favorite To Win The Miss Universe Pageant In Thailand This Year Is Actually A Transgender Man Named Angela Ponce
can remember when being a woman was seen as a special thing. Think about it. Only half of anyone ever to be born, in all of human history, could be one. No painting, so sculpture, no line of music, however exotic or compelling, could ever hope to compare with the visual beauty seen in the face of a God-created woman. After God had given Adam literally everything, He had to make a women in order for Adam to be complete and fulfilled. Not any more.

Just In: Thousands Of Emails Of Top Republican Officials Stolen In Major Hack
..Email accounts from four top aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee were hacked and surveilled for several months. The hack was first detected in April by an MSSP, a managed security services provider that monitors the NRCC’s network; the FBI was then alerted.

Iran vows to increase missile range despite looming UN meet
Ahead of a UN Security Council meeting concerning Iran’s weekend test of a nuclear-capable missile, Tehran’s air force chief adopted a defiant tone Tuesday, insisting his country would continue to increase the range of its missiles.

Criminal Record for Doctor Who Gave Illegal Sex Hormones to Kids
A GP who gave out sex-change hormones to children as young as 12 has been fined £14,000 after she was criminally convicted of running an illegal online gender clinic from her home in Wales.

Leaked Documents Reveal Democrats’ Plans to Control Social Media
A leaked memo has exposed plans by the Democratic Party to take control of the Internet’s leading tech platforms.

Lebanese Army On High Alert As Israel Launches ‘Operation Northern Shield’ To Destroy Complex Network of Hezbollah Underground Tunnels
Since 2012, terror group Hezbollah has had a plan they call ‘Conquering the Galilee‘, and it is basically what you would think it is. It is the endless and ongoing operation by Islamic terrorists to drive the Jews into the sea, and destroy Israel once and for all.

South Africa: Johannesburg names road after “Palestinian” terrorist Leila Khaled
This is no surprise. South Africa’s government has long distinguished itself for its Jew-hatred. Pro-jihad former South African President (and polygamist and accused rapist) Jacob Zuma had downgraded  South Africa’s embassy in Israel to “Liaison Office” status. Along with Mahmoud Abbas, they have tried to stop Israel from achieving further diplomatic relations with African countries.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“It is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our government… Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

Is Mueller’s Investigation Wrapping Up?

The special prosecutor recommends no jail time for Flynn. Meanwhile, Grassley reminds us of Clinton.

Socialist Climate Policies Drive France’s Riots

French protesters want what all socialists want: Lavish benefits paid for by someone else.

Trump and Graham Play Good Cop, Bad Cop

Trump’s strategy is to keep the Saudis in our corner but get them to be better allies.

Paul Ryan’s Tarnished Speakership

Despite his reputation as a budget hawk, Ryan watched as spending skyrocketed again.

Pope Francis: Homosexuals Should Leave Priesthood

“It is better that they leave the priesthood or the consecrated life rather than live a double life.”

Government and Alcohol

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the end of Prohibition … at least federally speaking.

Video: Google and Facebook Cross ‘The Creepy Line’

John Stossel talks about how they collect information about us and sell it to advertisers.

Wednesday Short Cuts

Non Compos Mentis II: “Face it — you can’t claim to be a feminist and still eat eggs.” —PETA

Wednesday Top Headlines

NRCC cyber intrusion, Dow plunges, troop deployment extended, INF treaty in limbo, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Jonah Goldberg
George H.W. Bush Was a Steward of Stability
Marc A. Thiessen
For Just a Few Days, Let’s Be the Nation George H.W. Bush Wanted Us to Be
Hans von Spakovsky
Cohen, Manafort Developments Don’t Reveal Any Illegal Conduct or Collusion by Trump, His Campaign
Walter E. Williams
Miseducated or Stupid?
Star Parker
Thinking About What’s Right in America

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


Headlines – 12/5/2018

Israel’s Army Says It Found Tunnels Dug By Hezbollah Beneath Border With Lebanon

Israel announces operation to destroy Hezbollah tunnels under its northern border

IDF says 200-meter attack tunnel from Lebanon uncovered as operation launches

Israel uses robot to fire on Hezbollah operatives in discovered tunnel

Katz: Nasrallah was left ‘in shock’ by Israel’s tunnel operation

Lebanese president instructs security forces to ‘closely monitor’ Israeli operation

Operation Northern Shield expected to take weeks to complete

‘Operation could be precursor to war’

Hezbollah tunnels are ‘concrete threat’ to Israel’s Galilee region, Netanyahu says

Tunnels are only a precursor to the real threat

Analysts: dealing with Hezbollah tunnels first step before going after missiles

Hezbollah: Netanyahu is in crisis

Israel to protest Hezbollah tunnels as violation of U.N. resolution

Israeli delegation to UN to file complaint against Lebanon’s hostilities

Bolton: U.S. strongly supports Israel’s efforts against Hezbollah

US envoy: ‘we strongly support Israel’s efforts to defend itself’

Minister says northern op proves Liberman resignation was ‘irresponsible’

White House Asks Arab Countries to Support UN Resolution Against Hamas

Israeli envoy confident UN condemnation of Hamas will pass

Netanyahu hated George H.W. Bush’s peace plan. Now it’s his policy

Hundreds Of Holocaust Survivors Speak Up About Anti-Semitism At Global Hanukkah Event

Evidence of Rohingya genocide is ‘compelling,’ US Holocaust Museum says

Syrian Army Raises Alert Over Israel Air Force Activity Along Lebanese Border, Report Says

The Russian-Israeli Crisis over Syria Lacks an Exit Strategy

Like Ukraine, Israel Must Confront Putin and His Evil Intentions

Analysis: The Iranian plan for attacks from Syria that Israel wants to thwart

Iran moves closer to adopting law against funding terrorism

Cracks in Iran deal coalition? Europeans fume over Tehran missile test

Iran wants to expand missile range despite US ire

US urges UN to condemn Iran missile test

UN Security Council to meet on Iranian missile test

Missiles have given ‘veto power’ to Iran in strategic regional issues

Iran’s Rouhani renews threat to blockade Gulf oil shipments

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatens to close Strait of Hormuz if US blocks oil exports

US will not stop Iran exporting oil, Iranian president says

Oil prices slip on global growth concerns, swelling U.S. supply

Kremlin: Putin doesn’t feel snubbed by Trump canceling talks

U.S. threatens to kill nuclear treaty after Russia found in violation

Russia says U.S. has shown no evidence it is in breach of nuclear treaty

Kremlin: US ultimatum on nuclear treaty is tactical ploy

Growing split in Seoul over North Korea threatens Korea detente, nuclear talks

John Bolton says North Korea failure to meet commitments requires second Trump-Kim summit

After CIA Briefing, Senators Lay Blame On Saudi Crown Prince In Khashoggi Killing

Trump largely alone as world leaders take aim at nationalism

Study: More than 7-in-10 California Immigrant Households Are on Welfare

Mattis orders US troops to stay on southern border through Christmas

Republican campaign emails hacked months before election

Mueller memo says Michael Flynn has provided ‘substantial assistance,’ recommends lenient sentence

Roger Stone pleads Fifth, won’t give testimony or documents to Senate Judiciary Committee

Grassley wants answers about FBI raid on whistleblower with information on Clinton Foundation, Uranium One

In the Age of Trump, Can Scandal Still Sink a Politician?

IMF’s Lagarde urges US, others to reject ‘dystopian’ path

Donald Trump Building New Liberal World Order Despite Global Critics, Mike Pompeo Declares

Trump says there will be a ‘REAL DEAL’ or no deal at all with China

Dow falls 800 points on China trade confusion and mounting fear tariffs are choking global growth

Bank stocks fall the most since June 2016, enter bear market

Britain can unilaterally stop Brexit process, EU lawyers say

Digital-media bubble is bursting. That’s hurting generation of promising young journalists.

Secret Service testing use of facial recognition outside White House

NYPD launches drone program

Strong earthquake hits South Pacific on “Ring of Fire”

7.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

6.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Sibolga, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Farallon de Pajaros, Northern Mariana

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Sarangani, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 10,500ft

France protests: Will the environment be the true victim of the fuel-tax riots?

France’s protesters are part of a global backlash against climate change taxes

Trump points to French riots to justify pulling out of Paris climate deal

5.1 million pounds of beef added to recall due to salmonella

Wisdom Tooth Surgery a Gateway to Teen Opioid Addiction, Study Finds

500 British kids get emergency vaccinations after measles spreads from Israel

Blood test to detect cancer within just 10 minutes developed by scientists

World’s First Baby Born Via Uterus Transplant From Deceased Donor

Rumours Claim The Chinese ‘CRISPR Babies’ Scientist Has Gone Missing

China’s 30-40 Million Men Who Will Never Have Wives Driving Sex Slavery of Girls

Gamblers Doubling Down on Transgender Miss Universe Contestant to Win Pageant

‘VeggieTales’ Called Racist Because Enemies Are ‘Vegetables of Color’

Satanic Sculpture Installed At Illinois Statehouse, Just In Time For The Holidays

Satanic statue displayed at Illinois capitol building alongside nativity scene, menorah

Phrases like ‘bringing home the bacon’ may soon be eschewed following rise in veganism, academic claims


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December 5 Christ Remained God

“Although He existed in the form of God, [Christ] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself.”

Philippians 2:6–7

✧✧✧

Christ emptied Himself without ever surrendering His deity.

Note the contrast in Philippians 2 between verses 6 and 7: Christ didn’t think equality something to be grasped but instead emptied Himself. Paul used the contrasting connective “but” to show that being equal with God didn’t lead Christ to fill Himself up but instead to empty Himself.

The Greek verb translated “emptied” (kenoo) is where we get the theological term kenosis—the doctrine of Christ’s self–emptying as part of His incarnation. The verb expresses Christ’s self–renunciation, His refusal to cling to His advantages and privileges as God.

What did Christ empty Himself of? Certainly not His deity. He coexists with the Father and the Spirit. For Him to become less than God would mean the Trinity would cease to exist. Christ could not become less than who He truly is.

Professor Paul Enns, in his Moody Handbook of Theology, explains the emptying of Christ this way: “The emptying was not a subtraction but an addition. The four following phrases (Phil. 2:7–8) explain the emptying: ‘(a) taking the form of a bond–servant, and (b) being made in the likeness of men. And (c) being found in appearance as a man, (d) He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death.’ The ‘emptying’ of Christ was taking on an additional nature, a human nature with its limitations. His deity was never surrendered.” Christ didn’t exchange deity for humanity; He retained His divine nature.

In his hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” Charles Wesley correctly presented the truths of Christ’s deity when he wrote:

Veiled in flesh the God–head see;

Hail th’ incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with men to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

May those words be the song of your heart as well.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for emptying Himself for your sake.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 8:9. Why did Christ become “poor”? ✧ Look at Romans 8:3. Why did God send “His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh”?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.