Daily Archives: January 2, 2019

January 2 Faith Defined

Scripture Reading: Psalm 24

Key Verse: Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

What is faith? Faith is not a power or force that we can use to manipulate God to fit into our agenda. We’re not that smart. Faith is not just confidence. It is not believing in yourself or feeling sure about the outcome of a certain event.

For example, you could visit the bleachers in a ball game, and each side would be confident its team would win. This is not biblical faith.

Faith is not confusing or complicated. It is not the domain of educated men but is meant to be sought and applied by everyday folk in everyday life. Faith is not connected to circumstance. When all is well, we often think our faith is intact. But when foul conditions set in, what happens to our trust? As long as our faith is no deeper than our circumstance, we’re set up for failure.

Authentic faith is simply this: God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Our faith is in the person of Jesus Christ, in His character and attributes. It is completely trusting in the faithfulness of God to do what is right.

Is this the kind of faith that is deposited in your heart? If not, rid yourself of all false notions, and tell God that you are trusting Him as your all-sufficient Savior, Lord, and Life. It doesn’t necessarily mean all will go well, but it will be very well with your soul.

Dear Lord, give me authentic faith. I believe You are who You say You are, and You will do what You say You will do. My faith rests in Your faithfulness to do what is right in my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Hillary Clinton Invites Elizabeth Warren To Remote Location With No Witnesses In Order To Congratulate Her On Running For President — The Babylon Bee

OLD ABANDONED GAS STATION SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS—In order to offer her sincere congratulations on Elizabeth Warren’s decision to run for president in 2020, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Warren and asked if she’d meet in person at a remote location out on the plains of Texas “where there are no witnesses or law enforcement officers who could get in the way of my heartfelt words.”

“I’d like to congratulate you in person,” Clinton said over the phone. “Why don’t we meet a few miles south of Highway 20, out near the old abandoned gas station where no one can hear any of our conversation or any potential screams that might happen?”

“Screams of happiness from the congratulating, I mean,” she quickly added. “Yep, the one out by the old mineshaft. See you there, Liz!”

Warren claimed to already know where the old gas station is, as her Native American tribe has a reservation near the meeting location.

“It’s real nice of Hill to offer to meet somewhere private, where no help can be summoned for miles and miles,” she said. “It just goes to show she isn’t in it for the fame or photo op, but she just genuinely wants a few minutes alone where she can offer me some support and encouragement miles away from civilization and the police.”

At publishing time, Warren was still waiting for Hillary to show up, though she claimed she felt like she was being watched: “It’s the rocks and the trees, probably—sometimes my Indian blood feels the spirit of the earth watching, like a person ready to pounce.”

Hillary Clinton Invites Elizabeth Warren To Remote Location With No Witnesses In Order To Congratulate Her On Running For President — The Babylon Bee

Ocasio-Cortez Continues To Claim She Grew Up On The Hard-Knock Streets Of Mos Eisley — The Babylon Bee

Ocasio-Cortez Continues To Claim She Grew Up On The Hard-Knock Streets Of Mos Eisley

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Despite scrutiny from critics, incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to claim she grew up on the hard-knock streets of Mos Eisley, the thriving hub of the seedy underworld of the desert planet Tatooine.

“I’m still Alex from the most wretched hive of scum and villainy,” she tweeted along with a picture of her new congressional office. “You can take me out of the dangerous, crime-ridden spaceport, but you can’t take the dangerous, crime-ridden spaceport out of me.”

She also added that growing up in a place full of criminals should help her adjust to Washington, D.C. life quickly.

Critics were quick to point out that Mos Eisley is a fictional spaceport from the Star Wars universe, but Ocasio-Cortez hit them with the perfect clapback, accusing her critics of “mansplaining” and “catcalling” her. “Just because Mos Eisley is fictional, doesn’t mean it’s not real,” she said.

At publishing time, Ocasio-Cortez had admitted she actually grew up on the upper levels of Coruscant, but it was “close enough” to qualify as living in the streets of Mos Eisley.

via Ocasio-Cortez Continues To Claim She Grew Up On The Hard-Knock Streets Of Mos Eisley — The Babylon Bee

01/02/2019 — Wretched


• Witness Wednesday at a Christian College:
• What are these people learning in chapel?
• Do we need to fish for people with rap?
• Todd fights through a fog of lingo.
• Salvation by location, or Salvation by affiliation?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 01/02/2019 — Wretched

Local Man Sets More Realistic Goal Of Reading Bible Until He Gets To Leviticus — The Babylon Bee

AUSTIN, TX—In an attempt to be more realistic and honest with himself with his Bible reading goals this year, local man Mike Pattson resolved to read Genesis and Exodus this year and then “peter out around Leviticus chapter 2.”

The believer usually attempts to read the entire Bible, but only makes it through Genesis and part of Exodus before he gets bored with God’s inspired Word. This year, he says, things are going to be different, as he’s sure to accomplish his much more achievable goal of making it to Leviticus and then tucking away his Bible until next January.

“I will read the Bible until the moment the going gets tough this year, and then I will bow out,” the realist wrote on his Facebook page yesterday. “Usually, that’s around Leviticus. Genesis and Exodus are exciting, for the most part, but Leviticus has details and lots of words and stuff, and that’s not what I’m looking for in a book covering the history of God’s people.”

Pattson is reportedly going to supplement his Old Testament reading with a few passages from the New Testament, such as John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13. “I’ll read those couple of verses, but if you think I’m gonna tackle a whole gospel or epistle, dream on. That takes like, fifteen minutes to an hour.”

via Local Man Sets More Realistic Goal Of Reading Bible Until He Gets To Leviticus — The Babylon Bee

January 2 Living Clean in a Dirty World

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14–18

Key verse: John 8:12

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

How do you live clean in a dirty world? One of the first steps toward discovering this comes when you realize that God has given you a different nature from that of the world.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul asked, “What communion has light with darkness?” If you are a believer, the light of God’s salvation burns within you. Jesus is the Light of the World. He told His followers, “He who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).

While you remain physically in the world, your eternal place of residence is in heaven. Through Jesus Christ, God has purified your life. Binding association with the world only darkens the light of Christ’s presence within you.

God instructed the nation of Israel to keep the lamps in the temple lit throughout the day and night. Only the very best olive oil was to be burned in the lamps. However, the people became complacent in their devotion to the Lord and began burning cheaper oil. As a result, smoke filled the temple, blackening its walls.

This is what happens to us when we fail to keep ourselves pure before the Lord. We think our association with the world will not harm us, but it blackens our lives. Then the clarity and brightness of God’s life within us are dimmed. Ask Him to reveal to you any impurity in your life so you can remove it and live clean in a dirty world.

Dear Lord, reveal any impurities in my life so that I can seek Your forgiveness and live clean in a dirty world.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Follower Of Joseph Smith Urges Nation To Reject Morally Flawed Leaders

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Mitt Romney, incoming senator for Utah and follower of Joseph Smith, lectured the nation in an op-ed Tuesday on the need to reject morally flawed leaders.

The man who has devoted his life to the teachings of a con artist encouraged the nation to examine its leaders to see whether they are worthy of our devotion and respect.

“A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect,” wrote the man who follows Joseph Smith, a false prophet, notorious polygamist, and scam artist. He pointed out that the president hasn’t shown himself to be honest or forthcoming in his dealings with opponents and other countries, while Joseph Smith’s own prophecies failed to come true over and over again, and while the Mormon Church continues to deceive its members by covering up its past.

Romney took Trump to task for his immoral lifestyle, slamming him for being divisive, destructive, and sexist, though the first prophet of his church consolidated power throughout his life in order to marry more women and eventually deceive millions into believing a false gospel.

To close his opinion piece, Romney urged the president to live a morally upstanding lifestyle, “and maybe look for wisdom to lead the nation by staring at stones in a hat.”

Source: Follower Of Joseph Smith Urges Nation To Reject Morally Flawed Leaders

Pope Francis Declares In Mass On Tuesday That Worshipping Mary Is ‘Not Optional’ And That She ‘Provides All Blessings’ As The Mother Of God — Now The End Begins

Jorge Bergoglio, also known as ‘Pope Francis’, led Roman Catholics on Tuesday in the observance of the feast day called “The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God,” during which he expressed the hope that Mary would “protect” the people for the new year, and claimed that in times of trouble, men should not only “lift their eyes to our lady” but to also let Mary gaze upon them, for she is “our life, our sweetness and our hope.”

Let me just start by saying that before I got saved, I was a Roman Catholic for 30 years of my life. I attended 12 years of Catholic School where I was taught by nuns and priests, was an altar boy for 3 of those years, and faithfully attended mass and worshipped Mary and Jesus, in that order, as I was instructed to do. Then I got saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, opened the Bible and the sickening feeling of realized I had been lied to all those years swept over me.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV)

Look at the photo of Pope Francis worshipping before the “mother and child” statue, take a good look at it. The Roman Catholic “jesus” is presented as a weak little baby who needs his mother to function. Mary is shown to us as the “mediatrix of all graces“, and nothing could be further from the truth. Not one, single person in the Bible ever prayed to Mary, ever asked for her help on anything, not one time. Furthermore, Mary was present in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, but as a silent observer. She had no recorded input of any kind.

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:4,5 (KJV)

The only place you will find the Mary that Pope Francis demands his 1.4 billion followers worship is in the writings of the Catholic Church. According to the Bible, Mary cannot hear you, cannot help you, and unless Jesus lied in John 14, she has zero power to save you. Worshipping Mary will lead you to one place and one place only – the fiery pits of Hell. As a former Roman Catholic, though I have nothing but disgust for the Roman Whore of Revelation 17 and 18, I have nothing but empathy and compassion for the 1.4 billion lost souls trapped in her vicious net.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4 (KJV)

To all the Roman Catholics who write in to tell me that “we don’t worship Mary, we venerate her”, you can stop saying that now. Pope Francis has already declared that to be not true, and has obviously reaffirmed that yesterday. First step in solving a problem is admitting that it exists. The pope is absolutely instructing his followers to worship Mary, and it’s time to stop doing that. The Bible only shows us one Saviour, Jesus, and He outside of the Father and the Holy Spirit, He needs no assistance of any kind.

‘Pope Francis’ Asserts During New Year’s ‘Mary, Mother of God’ Mass: She Is ‘Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope’

FROM CHRISTIAN NEWS: “May Mary, Mother of God, protect and accompany us during this new year and bring the peace of her Son into our hearts and the world,” Bergoglio tweeted this morning, generating over 62K likes as of press time.

Bergoglio delivered further remarks during mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where he provided a message for the feast day, which is observed every Jan. 1 as the octave of Christmas on the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar.

“Especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to our lady,” he stated, according to the Catholic News Agency and a video posted to YouTube by Vatican News. “Yet first, we should let ourselves be gazed upon by our lady.”

“The eyes of our lady know how to bring light to every dark corner; everywhere they rekindle hope,” Bergoglio continued. “As she gazes upon us, she says, ‘Take heart, dear children; here I am, your mother!’”

He stated that the maternal gaze of Mary helps men to “grow in faith,” and keeps them “rooted in the Church, where unity counts more than diversity.”

“How much dispersion and solitude there is all around us. The world is completely connected, and yet seems completely disjointed. We need to entrust ourselves to our mother,” Bergoglio said. “Mary is a cure for solitude and dispersion. She the mother of consolation. She stands with those who are alone. She knows that words enough are not enough to console; presence is needed. And she is present as a mother.”

“Our lady is not optional; she has to be welcomed into our life,” Pope Francis said to those gathered. “She is the queen of peace, who triumphs over evil and leads us along paths of goodness.”

He pointed to the Salve Regina, also known as the “Hail, Holy Queen,” which refers to Mary as “our life.” He acknowledged that the words of the Marian tune might seem exaggerated because Christ is life, but said that Mary is “so closely united” to Christ and His people that “we can do no better than to put our hands in hers, and to acknowledge her as our life, our sweetness and our hope.”

“Hail, holy queen, mother of mercy/hail our life, our sweetness and our hope/to thee do we cry,” Catholics recite in the Salve Regina, which is also stated to be the last prayer in the rosary.

He then presented a prayer to Mary for his closing remarks.

“Take us by the hand, Mary. Clinging to you, we will pass safely through the straits of history,” Bergoglio prayed. “Lead us by the hand to rediscover the bonds that unite us. Gather us beneath your mantle in the tenderness of true love, where the human family is reborn. We fly to thy protection, holy mother of God.”

As previously reported, the feast of The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God was initially the feast of The Circumcision of Christ until being replaced in 1974 by Pope John VI.

“This celebration, assigned to January 1 in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation,” John XI wrote. “It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the ‘holy mother … through whom we were found worthy … to receive the Author of life.’”

“It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewed adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the queen of peace, the supreme gift of peace,” he said.

The day is also known as the “World Day of Peace” for this reason.

Bergoglio tweeted on Sunday, “May Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless and protect all families around the world, so that love, joy and peace may reign within them.” The tweet generated 72K likes. READ MORE

Holy Mass for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God 2019-01-01

None of what you will see here in this video, not one bit of it, if biblical in any way imaginable. This is nothing but pagan worship of dead people who cannot save you. 

via Pope Francis Declares In Mass On Tuesday That Worshipping Mary Is ‘Not Optional’ And That She ‘Provides All Blessings’ As The Mother Of God — Now The End Begins

January 2, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Trump invited Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to the White House for a border security briefing on the 12th day of a partial federal government shutdown triggered by the Republican president’s demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.

U.S. border agents launched tear gas into Mexico early on Tuesday to deter a group of migrants that one official called “a violent mob” from crossing over from Tijuana.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave his farewell message to the U.S. armed forces on Monday, telling them to “keep the faith in our country” and stand firm alongside allies after he resigned over policy differences with President Donald Trump.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the United States would continue to cooperate with Israel over Syria and in countering Iran in the Middle East, even as President Donald Trump plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

The top U.S general in Afghanistan told NATO troops on Tuesday to prepare themselves to deal with “positive processes or negative consequences” as peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban to end a 17-year war gain momentum.

The U.S. Navy has informed lawmakers of its intent to pursue a block purchase of two Ford-class aircraft carriers, Senator Tim Kaine’s office said on Monday, a step officials have said could save billions of dollars as the Trump administration tries to expand the size of the fleet.

The death toll from landslides and devastating floods in the central Philippines triggered by a tropical depression climbed to 85, officials said on Wednesday, and 20 people were missing as rescuers slowly reached cut-off communities.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told civilian leaders of the U.S. military to remember “China, China, China” even as they wage counter-insurgency battles, in remarks during closed-door talks on Wednesday recounted by a U.S. official.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed Venezuela with the foreign minister of Brazil’s new right-wing government on Wednesday, in the context of what he termed a joint front against authoritarian regimes in Latin America.

Sudanese authorities are blocking access to popular social media platforms used to organize and broadcast nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis, internet users say.

A retired U.S. marine who has been detained by Russia for alleged spying was visiting Moscow for the wedding of a former fellow marine and is innocent of the espionage charges against him.

AP Top Stories

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he might take a “new path” if Washington maintains sanctions amid his country’s push for economic development, but experts say it may be too late to change the trajectory of negotiations.

At least eight people were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle plowed into crowds celebrating New Year’s Day in Tokyo early on Tuesday.

A man injured four people in Germany after driving into a group celebrating the New Year, in what police described on Tuesday as an anti-migrant attack.

The United States and Israel officially quit the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft pulled off the most distant exploration of another world, skimming past a tiny, icy object 4 billion miles from Earth looks to be shaped like a bowling pin.

Pope Francis, in his first message of the new year on Tuesday, bemoaned a lack of unity across the world, and warned against a soulless hunt for profit that benefits only a few.

The 11th day of the partial federal government shutdown, which has forced furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal government employees, has left many parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep parks running.

Afghanistan’s neighbors, caught off-guard by reports of U.S. plans to withdraw thousands of troops, have begun preparing for the risk that a pullout could send hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing across their borders, diplomats say.

Beijing will not rule out the use of force to ensure the “unshakable historic task” of its complete reunification with Taiwan, Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, said on Wednesday, warning that independence for the island would bring “profound disaster.”

Ocasio-Cortez has been calling for the creation of ‘Green New Deal’ legislation, which would eliminate much of the United States’ fossil-fuel consumption. So far, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., and 40 House Democrats have said they support the proposal, but incoming House Democratic leadership has put it on pause for now.


Two Indian women have made history by entering a prominent Hindu shrine in the southern state of Kerala, following months of protests against their entry.

As an increasing number of young South Africans reveal that their gender identities differ from their sex at birth, schools are learning about the challenges these students face.


The Washington Examiner reports the FBI has barred “a record number of cases of illegal immigrants from buying guns.” The FBI report lists a total of 7,836,000 cases of illegal or unlawful aliens being reported.

A new Israeli law restricting the use of cash for either wages or payments for transactions has taken effect.

German citizens who are ‘intersex’ – people who do not fit biologically as either male or female – will be able to choose a ‘third gender option on official documents as of, January 1.

 Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would…most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.” —George Washington (1783)

Reflections on 2018, Predictions for 2019

A mix of observations from the year past and predictions for the year to come.

Warren Is a Presidential Pretender

It begins: The Massachusetts Democrat became the first to launch her 2020 White House bid.

Corporate-Driven Gun Control

Gun grabbers aim to use credit-card companies to deny Second Amendment rights.

Religion Still ‘Important’ to Majority of Americans

72% of Americans say that religion is important to them and holds the answers to today’s problems.

Video: Trump Shutdown Pushes Democrats to the Wall

Did Trump and Republicans play a long game to force Democrats to approve the border wall?

Video: Will Some Insider Tell the Truth About Trump?

Peggy Noonan asks why no credible administration official will say what it’s really like in the White House.

Video: Media Focuses on Melania’s Clothes Rather Than Good Works

Kelsey Harkness: There’s a double standard in coverage of Melania Trump versus Michelle Obama.

Wednesday Short Cuts

Alpha Jackass: “My New Year’s resolution is to make sure that the Republican Party dies.” —actress Jane Curtin

Wednesday Top Headlines

Congress reconvenes, border wall talks, violent mob repelled, Fauxcahontas running, stocks down, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Michelle Malkin

Say His Name: RIP Cpl. Ronil Singh

Byron York

When Democrats Embraced the ‘Southern Border Fencing Strategy’

Walter E. Williams

The Worst Enemy of Black People

Edwin J. Feulner

A Victory for Free Speech

Marc A. Thiessen

Trump’s Top 10 Successes of 2018

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

News – 1/2/2019

5.0 magnitude earthquake rattles Alaska

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake has rattled Alaska residents on New Year’s Eve but no damage or injuries are reported. The Alaska Earthquake Center says the quake occurred Monday around 6 p.m. in the Cook Inlet region. It was widely felt in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

‘We are at ground zero of new medical epidemic

“Only once has a known teratogen like cannabis been marketed globally. That was thalidomide,” said Dr. Albert Reece, a professor at Edith Cowan University. “In the womb, it can not only interfere with brain development but basically amputate the forebrain,” he warned. “But as with thalidomide, no one is properly looking at the side-effects. They are frightening.”

Law restricting use of cash goes into effect

A new Israeli law restricting the use of cash for either wages or payments for transactions has taken effect. Officially titled the Law to Reduce the Use of Cash, the measure was passed in the Knesset in March, but only went into effect on Tuesday with the start of the new year.

Kurds Feel ‘Betrayed’ by US’s Syria Withdrawal, May Move Closer to Russia, Iran

The Kurds in eastern Syria are in panic mode after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that an estimated 2,000 soldiers would soon be removed from the country. “The Kurds must decide between total annihilation by Turkey or the [Bashar] Assad dictatorship,” implying that the Kurds would choose Assad. Perhaps their worry is exaggerated, but it has for the time being led the Kurds to quickly consolidate their relations with the Russia-Iran-Syria axis…

Is Tel Aviv a Holy Muslim City? Iran Thinks So

Although sovereignty over Jerusalem has always been a precondition demand by the Palestinians in their negotiations with Israel based on the claim of it being a Muslim holy site, Iran’s supreme leader recently addressed a group of Palestinian leaders in Tehran, emphasizing the true goal of their struggle: to see a Palestinian flag over the “holy city” of Tel Aviv.

Damascus Fever

…for what it’s worth, I think the Trump Doctrine of America First is wise and welcome. He’s already making other countries pay for their own wars, conflicts we have been funding.

5 Biblical Prophecies Fulfilled in 2018 and 5 Expected in 2019

Indeed, many extraordinary events signal the miraculous times in which we are living. Breaking Israel News looks back on these prophetic moments and suggests five further prophecies that could be fulfilled in 2019.

Trump: ‘We’re Going to Win at Everything We Do’

“The Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall,” Trump tweeted. “You see, without the Wall there can be no Border Security – the Tech “stuff” is just, by comparison, meaningless bells & whistles…

Philippines, Saudis in talks to open Saudi airspace for flights to Israel

The Philippine government is working with Saudi Arabia to enable flag carrier Philippine Airlines to fly through Saudi airspace en route to Israel, local media reported on Wednesday.”We’re pushing for the signing of the overfly agreement by this quarter, as Israel is a seasonal market. Most passengers would like to travel there during the cold months,” Philippines Transportation Undersecretary Manuel Tamayo said.

Egyptian general crosses into Israel, apologize for stray bullets hitting Nitzana

An Egyptian general visited the southern Israeli community of Nitzana on Sunday to apologize to residents for stray bullets fired by his troops which hit the youth village in late December. According to a report by Hadashot, the general who commands forces along the Israeli border crossed the border on a previously unpublicized visit and inspected the damage caused by the rounds of .5mm bullets which were fired during a live-fire drill on December 20th.

Xi Jinping says Taiwan ‘must and will be’ reunited with China

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the people of Taiwan to accept it “must and will be” reunited with China. In a speech marking 40 years since the start of improving ties, he reiterated Beijing’s call for peaceful unification on a one-country-two-systems basis. However, he also warned that China reserved the right to use force.

Russia Magnitogorsk blast: Death toll rises to 19

Russian rescuers have now pulled 19 dead bodies from the rubble of a collapsed apartment block in the city of Magnitogorsk. The death toll rose from 14 to 19 on Wednesday, and 27 people are missing. The condition of an 11-month-old boy rescued on Tuesday is serious but not life-threatening. He is in a Moscow hospital and will not undergo surgery for now.

Israel opposition in dramatic split ahead of election

Israel’s centre-left opposition dramatically split on Tuesday ahead of an April 9 election, with leader Avi Gabbay announcing he would no longer partner with veteran politician Tzipi Livni as she sat stone-faced next to him. The announcement means the end of their Zionist Union alliance, which finished with the second most seats in the last general election in 2015 but which has since tumbled far in opinion polls.

2018 Saw A Global Revolt Against Climate Change Policies

Despite increasingly apocalyptic warnings from U.N. officials, 2018 has seen a number of high-profile defeats for policies aimed at fighting global warming. Politicians and voters pushed back at attempts to raise energy prices as part of the climate crusade. It started in June with election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford…on a platform that included axing the Canadian province’s cap-and-trade program.

Israeli settlement activity in West Bank appears to surge in Trump era

With little resistance from a friendly White House, Israel has launched a new settlement push in the West Bank since President Donald Trump took office, laying the groundwork for what could be the largest construction binge in years… The figures, gathered from official government sources by the anti-settlement monitoring group Peace Now, show an increase in building in 2018 and a sharp spike in planning for future construction.

Honduras to talk with Israel, U.S. on Jerusalem embassy

Honduras will hold talks with Israel, joined by the United States, aimed at opening an embassy in Jerusalem, the countries said on Tuesday, as the small Central American nation looks to follow U.S. President Donald Trump’s much-criticized move. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez held a meeting in the Brazilian capital…

U.S. and Israel officially quit UN cultural agency

The United States and Israel officially quit the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias. The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace.

U.S. agents fire tear gas into Mexico at ‘violent mob’ near border

U.S. border agents launched tear gas into Mexico early on Tuesday to deter a group of migrants that one official called “a violent mob” from crossing over from Tijuana, according to a Reuters witness and the U.S. government. Clouds of the noxious gas could be seen wafting up from around the fence at the border. One migrant picked up a canister and threw it back into U.S. territory.

Google wins U.S. approval for radar-based hand motion sensor

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google unit won approval from U.S. regulators to deploy a radar-based motion sensing device known as Project Soli. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in an order late on Monday that it would grant Google a waiver to operate the Soli sensors at higher power levels than currently allowed. The FCC said the sensors can also be operated aboard aircraft.

Microsoft gets green light from Qatar for global data center: QNA

Qatar’s cabinet approved the establishment of a Microsoft global data center in the small Gulf country, state news agency QNA reported on Wednesday. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, announced plans to expand into the Middle East for the first time last year by setting up data centers in the neighboring United Arab Emirates.

China Sees $2.4 Trillion Stock Market Loss Amid Trump Trade War

China’ stock investors and forecasters have seen a dismal year plagued with unwelcoming downward curves amid the continuing trade war with the United States.

Mark Zuckerberg’s 2019 Resolution: More Censorship on Facebook

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to better prevent “election interference” and “the spread of hate speech” — neglecting to define either term — in a blog posted on his company’s platform.

Texas Reports Most Teacher-Student Sex Misconduct Cases in 2018, Data Show

At the close of FY2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced it investigated 429 cases of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students during the 2017-18 academic year, a 42 percent increase from the 302 the agency launched in 2016-17.

Independent research confirms that rampant glyphosate use has contributed to the increase in chronic diseases worldwide
It’s to be expected that anything produced by the world’s most evil corporation would be distinctly harmful, and that has certainly proven true of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

Disturbing evidence suggests that WiFi radiation could increase the risk of miscarriages by almost 50%
Modern society is drunk on technology. It surrounds us everywhere we go, from the computers, tablets and laptops we use for work, to the “smart” phones we carry around and the movies we stream via WiFi…they should have big, fat warning labels on them, because the EMF (electromagnetic frequency) radiation they transmit has been recognized as a class 2B possible carcinogen (cancer causer) by the World Health Organization,

34 Reasons Why War with Russia Is Inevitable
I frequently hear the following: Russia is a Christian nation. Putin is good Christian man. Russia only wants to defend its borders. Putin  is the only obstacle between the New World Order and the people of the world. Perhaps this is true, but Putin is indeed preparing to start World War III and he has been for the past four years. This could be a war that will kill billions, destroy nations and threaten all of humanity.

Repo Rate Soars Most On Record As Yield Curve Goes Nuts In Year-End Liquidity Chaos

The last day of the year held some surprises for traders who were already in a festive mood: from an odd 15 spike in the S&P in the last second of trading, to a record surge in the overnight repo rate, to a bizarre inversion in the Treasury curve.

Number of Witches in U.S Dramatically Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million

The number of witches (and Wiccans) in the United States have risen dramatically since the 1990s and maybe a least 1.5 million, according to a report from the Christian Post.

US and Israel exit UN cultural agency, claiming bias
The United States and Israel officially quit the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

Christian man beaten and threatened by Muslims in Pakistan faces imminent deportation from UK

Could Theresa May’s government get any more venal, to say nothing of suicidal? Britain is under siege from Islamic jihadists, and they’re deporting Christians. Last night a Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” stabbed three people in Manchester. Was he born in Britain? Whether he was or not, there are plenty of jihadists in Britain today who were not born there, and they are not being deported. Instead, this Christian is. The land of the Magna Carta is dead and decaying rapidly.

Headlines – 1/2/2019

Liberman revealed Trump peace plan details to Palestinian officials – Liberman says report ‘incorrect’

Netanyahu: Election campaign would be worst time for U.S. to release peace plan

Bennett and Shaked’s ‘New Right’ Party Will Bring a Second Oslo Accords Disaster, Says Israeli Minister

Israeli settlement activity appears to surge in Trump era

Honduras agrees to advance Jerusalem embassy move

Nikki Haley slams UNESCO as ‘corrupt and politically biased’ as US, Israel officially quit UN agency

Rouhani meets Palestinian terror leader, says Israel trying to ‘dominate region’

Prominent Ex-Israeli Diplomat Calls for Establishment of NATO-Like Body to Thwart Iran’s ‘Dreams of Regional Hegemony’

Pompeo to Netanyahu: Syria pullout doesn’t alter commitment to Israel’s safety

‘Orphaned’ Syrian opposition despairs as Assad cements comeback

Syria rebels and extremists clash, killing 19

Turkey deploys new military reinforcements to Syrian border

Two ISIS suicide bombings rock southern Libya in one day

Trump and Egypt’s Sisi discuss Middle East in phone call

22 political parties call for formation of transitional government in Sudan

Sudanese central bank announces 2019 policies to curb deadly protests

Congo cuts internet for second day to avert ‘chaos’ before poll results

Armed men kill 37 civilians in part of Mali hit by ethnic violence

Netflix takes down comedy show critical of Saudi Arabia after kingdom complains

Kim says ready to meet Trump ‘anytime,’ warns of ‘new path’

‘Sink two aircraft carriers’: Chinese Admiral’s chilling recipe to dominate the South China Sea

Hong Kong leads markets rout as 2019 starts on sour note

Britain sends ships to tackle migrant crossing surge

Pope bemoans disjointed world, praises unity over diversity

Trump ushers in 2019 saying ‘calm down and enjoy the ride,’ amid new year challenges

Incoming Sen. Romney: Trump hasn’t ‘risen to the mantle’ of presidency

Virus named for bored anime demon Ryuk is likely culprit in attack on Union-Tribune, other newspapers

China’s Chang’e 4 Spacecraft Will Land on Dark Side of the Moon in the Next 60 Hours

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft signals from most distant object ever visited

September 2017 nuclear test triggers 2019 earthquake in North Korea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Muara Siberut, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Habibola, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sangiyn Dalay, Mongolia

Krakatau volcano in Indonesia erupts to 40,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 18,500ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 18,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 15,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Indonesia Landslide Triggered by Torrential Rain Crashes Into Village, Killing 15

Austrian women celebrate country’s first same-sex marriage

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Bear market picks up momentum if this gives way! — Kimble Charting Solutions

One of the broadest stock market indices in the states is starting off the year with a key test, that could send a very important message for months to come! This chart takes a look at the New York Stock Exchange index (NYSE) over the past 20-years. Since the 2011 lows, the index has spent…

via Bear market picks up momentum if this gives way! — Kimble Charting Solutions

Ten Predictions for 2019 – Confusion, China and Christ. — TheWeeFlea.com

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 16.59.33
Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Last New Year I tried to look ahead and predict what would happen in 2018 – https://theweeflea.com/2017/12/30/war-poverty-the-rise-of-the-machines-10-prophecies-for-society-in-2018/   I think I got 9.5 right!  So let’s have another go for 2019.

1) ) We will continue to live in a confused culture – on sex and gender 

Our society has the MeToo movement – supposed to be a protest against mistreatment and sexual abuse of women.  I thought of this when watching  Little Mix appearing on the Graham Norton show –

But if you look at the video it is nauseating.  Showing beautiful girls being pawed by men.  Yet Little Mix are role models for prepubescent girls in our culture.  What message is being sent to them?

There will continue to be confusion about gender and the Trans agenda.  You would think it couldn’t get any madder than children being taught in school that boys can have periods, women being replaced by Womxn and male rapists being sent to female prisons….but our elites will find a way!


2) Immigration will become even more of an issue. 

As the internet, ease of travel and people smugglers enable the middle classes from poor and more dysfunctional countries to travel – there will be continual pressure on the more developed countries.  The whole issue is incredibly complex, without simplistic solutions  – but there must be solutions – or we will end up with those who believe in The Final Solution, coming to power.

The Strange Death of Europe – 3 – Islam

3)  There will be growing turmoil in the EU

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 16.49.45The Belgian government has just been forced to resign after its Prime Minister signed up to the EU migration pact.   Italy is being bullied by the EU.  Greece, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Austria and Sweden all have difficulties, but the big issues for 2019 will involve Germany (as Merkel prepares to leave) and France – where Macron is turning into the most unpopular democratically elected leader in the world.


4) In politics Brexit will not happen in any meaningful form –

Mrs May could well get some form of her deal through parliament, there could be a no deal Brexit, or parliament could force another referendum (you can forget the Labour party coming to power this year and being able to change anything – in effect they want the same as May’s deal – they just won’t support it because they want her out).  If it is the latter it will be a disaster for democracy in the UK.   My own view is that a no deal Brexit would be the best option.

5) The SNP will pay the price for focusing on Brexit.

There are some within the SNP who are beginning to see this.  The trouble is that Nicola Sturgeon keeps promising jam tomorrow (in the form of Indy Ref2) whilst seeking her own jam today (keeping the UK in the EU).  Her ill-considered decision to support a second EU referendum, without consulting her party, has done that party a great deal of harm.   The trouble is that if she succeeds in this latter policy she will have killed Indy for at least a decade, if not longer.  Furthermore there are growing tensions within Scotland and frustration caused by failures in the NHS, education and transport system.  If the SNP go ahead with their ill thought out virtue signalling Gender Self-Recognition Act, then I suspect there will be a popular backlash against it, which if the Tories will reap the benefit from, if they have enough suss and courage to oppose it.

6) The Battle for Marriage and Family will continue –

Our Western liberals, in their hubris and arrogance, seem to think that their pushing means that SSM is inevitable throughout the world.   But that is not the case.

It was interesting how last year the most pro-gay country in Asia voted against SSM. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/how-taiwans-silent-majority-blocked-same-sex-marriage-momentum

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 16.11.56

You can also expect significant pushback in Brazil and even in Europe.  Merkel’s successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as a conservative Catholic is strongly opposed to SSM.

The trouble for the liberals is that although they largely control mainstream media, the academy and the state institutions, they do not yet control the internet or social media.  But I suspect that the tech giants – who are all run by silicon valley liberals, will continue to seek to censor socially conservative views.  Facebook for example have just apologised for banning Franklin Graham over his comments on transgender.

It is possible that this coming year I may find more of this happening to me as well – Dear Twitter – Why Have You Banned Me?

7) Education  will be a key battleground

As education in our culture moves away from being about education and more about social engineering and the indoctrination of children into the new doctrines of the political classes – the classroom will be a key battleground.  It was fascinating that Nicola Sturgeon felt she had to, for the first time, make a special Christmas message to Scotland’s Catholic community – promising them that their State Catholic schools would be safe.


The problem for the Scottish government is that, now they have turned the non-denominational schools into either non or anti-Christian centres, there will be those of us who are not Catholics who also want our children to be educated in schools with a Christian ethos.  How could they deny us that, whilst offering it to the Catholic church? Would that not be discrimination?

8) China will face a turbulent year

I listened to this brilliant ‘World this Weekend) programme from the BBC – which was almost entirely devoted to China.


downloadCommunist China will be 70 years old this year.  It will become increasingly authoritarian (controlling its people through ‘social credit’ as well as money and the police) and militaristic.  There is every possibility that the situation in the South China Sea and with Taiwan could lead to armed conflict with the US.   If the Chinese economy falters (as it did in the latter part of 2018) then trade wars could easily turn into military wars.

9) The battle for democracy

There is a real battle for democracy.  In this brilliant commentary from Australia (an essay well worth reading) we are warned of the dangers of turbulent areas in the world – like Brazil and above all of the clash between Western democracy and the Chinese version of capitalism.  https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-01/stan-grant-2019-the-end-of-history/10675572

“It is 30 years this year since a then-little-known US State Department official and emerging political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, declared “the end of history”. In 1989, he surveyed the crumbling Soviet Union and the final days of the Cold War and penned an essay for the National Interest magazine, where he crowned western liberal democracy as humanity’s high point.It may constitute, Fukuyama argued, the “end point of mankind’s ideological evolution — the final form of human government”.

This hubris became the doctrine of the West and resulted in disasters like the Iraq war and the failure to take seriously China.  Surely everyone would want to be like ‘us’?!  It has not turned out that way and indeed there is a real possibility that rather than China becoming democratic, it will be the EU and the USA which become more autocratic.  The world could easily become divided into great power blocs, rather than individual nations.

10) Atheism will decline and a spiritual hole will be left –

The Times recently reported a decline in the number of people in the UK who profess to be atheists – from 35% five years ago, to 33% today.  They even suggest that the number of people going to church has increased (although they don’t go as frequently). https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/atheism-is-down-as-uk-gets-spiritual-z00nxczn7

I don’t think this indicates a renewal of Christianity.  It just shows us that atheism is a wholly unsatisfactory belief system on which to base your life.  The ‘God-shaped’ hole may be filled by other religions and cults, but the truth is that it gives biblical Christians a wonderful opportunity to get out there and not only say there is a God, but that he can be known, loved and served through Jesus.  May 2019 be a year of Gospel renewal – wherever you are based.

The trouble with atheism is that it is a blind belief based upon a faith which is intellectually vacant.  Christians don’t hold to a blind faith approach.  We don’t think that just having faith is enough.  It is who we have faith in that matters.  Which is why we need to argue that our faith in Christ is based upon evidence, rationality and reality.  In that respect I leave you with this video of my meeting Dawkins from six years ago – in which Dawkins, unwittingly, gives us the best description of Christian faith – it is belief based upon evidence.  Enjoy ….



Quantum 22 – 2018 – End of Year Review

via Ten Predictions for 2019 – Confusion, China and Christ. — TheWeeFlea.com

Opinion: Trump Is Doing The Right Thing, But He’s Doing It As Trump, Which Means It’s Still Bad

It’s important in politics to be consistent. That’s why I’m always consistent in criticizing Trump no matter what he does.

I’ll criticize Trump for not doing what I want. And then when he does what I said I wanted, I’ll still criticize him. Some smaller minds might call this hypocrisy, but there is no hypocrisy, because I’m sticking to the core principle that Trump is dumb and bad. Even when Trump does exactly what I want, he’s still doing it as Trump, which makes whatever it is now stupid and wrong.

For instance, the other week I railed against Trump for not visiting the troops at Christmas. And when I learned that he secretly went over to visit the troops, I criticized him for how unhelpful his visit was. That’s because he didn’t just visit the troops as president—he visited them as President Trump. Furthermore, he started pulling troops out of the Middle East—something I’ve been demanding forever—but he’s doing it in a Trump way, and now it seems like the most wrong thing ever.

It’s like that time he visited a farmer’s market, and one farmer gave him two apples and then another gave him two more apples and Trump said “I now have four apples!” And I made fun of him for adding two plus two and getting four. Yes, mathematically that seemed right before, but out of his mouth it just sounded like something only a racist moron would believe.

It’s clear that Trump can’t do anything right because he will stubbornly insist on being Trump while doing it. That’s why he must resign—though I will then criticize him for abandoning the country in our time of need.

Source: Opinion: Trump Is Doing The Right Thing, But He’s Doing It As Trump, Which Means It’s Still Bad

True Religion And Progressivism Cannot Co-Exist — Christian Research Network

“The worldview of the Left fills that space handily. Hence, a secular Leftist is not actually secular at all. That person’s original faith is just supplanted by another. Progressivism becomes the main value system of the person, even if they technically are a Jew or a Christian by birth.”

(Jeremy Frankel – Daily Wire)  Why is it that the more secular a culture becomes, the more progressive it becomes as well?

In most religions in the United States, progressivism, otherwise known as Leftism, is pervasive in the secular factions. As a Jew, I always find myself intrigued at the political leanings within my own community. …

Hillary Clinton won the Jewish vote over Donald Trump overwhelmingly, 70-25%. However, if the percentages in the Jewish community are broken down by faction, we can see an entirely different picture. In the Orthodox Jewish community, which is the most religious of the sects, Trump beat Clinton handily, 54-13%. A stark contrast was witnessed among Reform Jews, the least observant sect of Jewry, where Clinton won 78-10%.

But it is not just Judaism that presents this phenomenon. Religion, in general, tends to correlate with political affiliation. A Gallup poll conducted in 2014 supports this hypothesis — the more religious voters lean conservative, while non-religious and secular voters lean more liberal.

The clear question is, why? What do secularism and progressivism have to do with one another?  View article →


Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

via True Religion And Progressivism Cannot Co-Exist — Christian Research Network

Top 10 Progressive Endorsements of Child Abuse in 2018 — Christian Research Network

“More clinics opened in children’s hospitals to facilitate body mutilation of confused minors. The quackery of childhood gender “transition” treatment continues to gallop through mainstream medicine without valid research to support its benefits, while ample evidence of its harm piles up.”

(Linda Harvey – Mission: America)  There’s a lengthy, sordid history of the damage children suffer because of “progressive” values and policies. In 2018, the harm went beyond passive side effects.

The left is now brazenly cheering over the corruption, pain and heartbreak of children. And sometimes, their deaths.

What can be done? We must work within all lawful means possible to stop this evil. Here are some of the year’s worst examples, although this article could go on and on:

  1. Colleges are now recommending 4-year-olds engage in sexual activity.Yes, some UC Santa Barbara academics have advanced the idea that pre-schoolers should engage in “sexual play.” Hopefully law enforcement officials are checking these folks’ laptops for child porn links, and will issue the proper indictments.
  1. Sixth graders in Washington state were asked as a class if any of them questioned their gender identity. One girl at Sequim Middle School relates the indoctrination session HERE. Kids were also encouraged to go online privately to research “gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender” groups. This is a segment of the highly controversial F.L.A.S.H. curriculum and just one of many examples where activist teachers use children as sexual agenda guinea pigs, unless parents call a halt.  View article →


Homosexual Agenda

via Top 10 Progressive Endorsements of Child Abuse in 2018 — Christian Research Network

How well is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialism working out in socialist Venezuela?


Well, it looks like young people are getting more and more exciting about the prospect of voting in socialism. We have a $22 trillion debt, we’re running $1 trillion plus deficits, and now’s the time for the government to take over the economy and give everybody free everything!!! Well, trouble is, that’s actually been tried… in Venezuela.

The Daily Wire reports:

Once considered the wealthiest country in Latin America, Venezuela has become a socialist hellhole where girls as young as 14 are selling their bodies in exchange for a few bucks a “service” and heterosexual men are prostituting themselves out on the gay sex market. These desperate souls are trying to escape the economic policies advocated here in United States by the Left’s increasingly mainstream Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing.

A Fox News report from journalist Hollie McKay exposed the socialism-induced horror show on the trail from Venezuela to neighboring Colombia…

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Sam Storms on Charismatic Gifts

The Reformed Reader

The Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Gifts by Dr. Sam Storms, http://www ...

(Note: This is a re-post from June 2015)

I have not read many books about spiritual gifts from a charismatic perspective.  Therefore, I recently worked through Sam Storm’s book, The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts, to learn more about charismatic theology/practice.  As a Reformed Christian, I’m not charismatic, but I do want a proper understanding of this movement.  Below is a brief review of this book.

There are ten chapters in this book: 1) When Power Comes to Church (an introduction), 2) Right? Wrong? (10 myths about charismatic/spiritual gifts), 3) Words of Wisdom and Knowledge (prophecy and utterances), 4) Faith and Healing, 5) It’s a Miracle (miracles in the church), 6) Prophecy and Distinguishing of Spirits, 7) Who Said God Said? (knowing the Bible in order to test prophesies), 8) What is the Gift of Tongues, 9) Tongues and Interpretation, 10) Letting Your Gift Find You. There’s also an…

View original post 529 more words

January 2, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

29:14 — “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.”

We give nothing to God that He has not first given to us.[1]

29:14 who are my people Compared to the greatness and sovereignty of God, David recognizes their humble position. He acknowledges their place as sojourners in God’s creation and recognizes their mortality.[2]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (1 Ch 29:14). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Ch 29:14). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

January 2 Confidence to Face the Future

scripture reading: Matthew 6:25–34
key verse: Matthew 6:33

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Who knows what the coming year may bring? Prosperity or economic hardship? Marital intimacy or discord? Peace or war? New opportunities or lost ones?

Herein lies our confidence—God knows. He is carefully, wisely, and deliberately orchestrating all things according to His schedule and eternal design. We can be secure because God is in full control of what the year brings forth. Our confidence is not in our abilities, but in His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. What seems perplexing and puzzling to us is perfectly rational and plain to our all–seeing, all–caring Father. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Nothing thwarts His purposes. Nothing foils His plan.

You may find yourself in hard times. But if you boast in God and endure and trust in Him, you can learn. You may encounter unanticipated changes, but your fears and anxieties can be dispelled as you rest in His providential direction and provision.

Do not worry about tomorrow. God is already there. He will guide you through the fog, lift you above the pain, and clarify your uncertainty. Be confident in Him.

I am so thankful, Lord, that You are in control of my tomorrows. I am secure in the knowledge that nothing catches You by surprise. Guide me through the fog of my circumstances. Lift me above the pain. Clarify my uncertainties.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2 JANUARY 365 Days with Calvin

God’s Provisions in Nature

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28

suggested further reading: Psalm 8

God here confirms what he said before about dominion. Man was created with the condition that he should subject the earth to himself; but now he is put in possession of his right, when he hears what has been given to him by the Lord. Moses expresses this more fully in the next verse when he says that God is granting to man the herbs and the fruits. It is of great importance that we touch nothing of God’s bounty but what we know he has permitted us to touch since we cannot enjoy anything with a good conscience unless we receive it as from the hand of God. Therefore Paul teaches us that in eating and drinking, we sin unless faith be present (Rom. 14:23).

We are instructed to seek from God alone whatever is necessary for us. In the very use of his gifts, we are to meditate on his goodness and paternal care. For God in effect says, “Behold, I have prepared food for you before you were formed. Acknowledge me, therefore, as your Father, who has so diligently provided for you when you were not yet created. Moreover, my care for you has proceeded still further. It was your business to nurture the things provided for you, but I have taken even this charge upon myself. Wherefore, though you are, in a sense, constituted the father of the earthly family, it is not for you to be over-anxious about the sustenance of animals.”

for meditation: God has wondrously provided for our needs and given us dominion over the earth he created. It is not, therefore, a sin to use what God has given for our use. Nevertheless, our dominion is to be benevolent and wise; we are not to abuse or recklessly consume God’s good creation but to care for it as good stewards.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 20). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Is Saving the Earth More Important than Saving Souls? (The Ten Commandments of Progressive Christianity #10). — Canon Fodder

Over the past year, I have slowly worked my way through my series on “The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity.”  It’s an examination of 10 core tenets of progressive (or liberal) Christianity offered by Richard Rohr, but really based on the book by Philip Gulley.

We finally come to the tenth and last “commandment” of progressive Christianity and this one is a classic: “Life in This World is More Important than the Afterlife.”

It’s hard to imagine a statement that better captures the ethos of progressive Christianity than this one.  It marks a profound pivot away from matters eternal and toward matters earthly.  Let’s not worry ourselves about what happens after death, we are told, because no one knows anyway.  All that matters is helping the poor, feeding the hungry, and relieving human suffering.

This commandment marks a fitting end to the series because it embodies (in a single statement) many of the values of liberal Christianity pointed out by J. Gresham Machen many years ago. Here are a few of them:

Prioritizing the Horizontal over the Vertical

For progressive Christians, humans have a real problem. But it’s not that they are rebellious sinners who have offended a holy God.  Rather, the problem for humanity is that there is suffering, war, poverty and disease.

In other words, human problems are defined in purely horizontal terms (the way humans relate to the world or to fellow humans), and not in vertical terms (the way man relates to God).

As a result, the highest ideal of progressive Christianity can be nothing other than fixing present, temporal problems.  For them, speaking of eternity is a distraction at best, and a waste of time at worst.

Thus, Gulley laments the church’s “preoccupation” (175) and “overemphasis” (176) on the afterlife and how “fortunes are spent saving people from the imaginary dangers of imaginary places” (184).

Preaching Moralism not Salvation

If there’s no eternity to worry about, then what should humans focus on?  Well doing good works, of course.  Helping our fellow man.  The hallmark of progressive Christianity is a deep commitment to being “good” and doing “good” things.

Gulley states, “If the Church were Christian, we would do what Jesus did–equip one another to live better in this world and stop fretting about the next one” (184).

Of course, anyone familiar with the teachings of Jesus should find this statement genuinely stunning.  Jesus was quite concerned with the next world and spoke of it often.  Consider just one example: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell” (Matt 10:28).

If there is no hell, no sin, no judgment, then progressive Christianity has no other option than to become a moralistic religion.

Claiming Uncertainty While Espousing Certainty

At the core of Gulley’s argument is the belief that hell isn’t real. “I decided not to invest any effort in saving people’s souls from a hell I didn’t believe in” (181).

Indeed, Gulley repeatedly states that hell isn’t real throughout the chapter.  He is banking his eternal fate (as well as the fate of others) on this conviction.

But, how does he know this?  Missing from Gulley’s argument is any reason to think he could know such a thing.  He just states his claim without any basis to back it up.

The irony of such a claim is that Gulley actually positions himself as the humble seeker, uncertain of his beliefs. “I’ve not yet arrived at a definitive understanding of God and I don’t suspect I ever will” (182).

This highlights one of the most notable trends in progressive Christianity:  Claim uncertainty on the front end, but then smuggle your own certain convictions through the back door.

In the end, Gulley’s final commandment is a masterpiece of progressive Christianity. It downplays doctrine for morality, focuses on man instead of God, and claims uncertainty while all the while being very certain.

Sadly, this entire affair clouds the real message of Christianity; the real message of Jesus.  For the record, Jesus cared about the sufferings of humans.  And he has called Christians to do the same. But, we don’t address human suffering as an act of moralism. But, as a response to the grace shown to us at the cross.

Moreover, we don’t address temporal human suffering only.  Even if we could alleviate allhuman suffering, that would not, in the end, meet humanity’s greatest need.  As Jesus reminds us, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matt 16:26).

Is Saving the Earth More Important than Saving Souls? (The Ten Commandments of Progressive Christianity #10). — Canon Fodder