Daily Archives: January 11, 2019

January 11 Growing Your Faith

Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:14–20

Key Verse: Matthew 17:20

[Jesus said to them,] “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

How do you respond when presented with a challenge that calls for a surge of faith in God? Hesitantly? Tentatively? Fearfully? Optimistically?

The key to breaking the faith barrier and anchoring our trust in God is an exalted view of God Himself.

“But I thought to have more faith, I had to work at it more,” you say. You do, but your work is to see God for who He really is, not to struggle to obtain more faith or have a more positive mind-set.

When the disciples thirsted to have more faith, Jesus told them all that was necessary was faith the size of a mustard seed. “Use what you have,” Jesus was saying, “and your faith will grow in the process.”

We use what faith we have, as little as it may seem, by magnifying the heart’s view of God. When Moses was scared to go to Pharaoh, God exploded Moses’ worries with the revelation of Himself: “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Ex. 3:14 nasb).

We grow in faith by seeing God in a new light. Our faith is as big as our God. If your notion of God is grand, your faith will soar. If it is little, your faith will sag. How big is your God? See Him as He is, and the faith barrier will shatter before you.

Dear God, let my faith soar. Grow faith in me that is as big as You are. O God, I want to see You as You are. Shatter the obstacles of fear, disobedience, and faithlessness in my life. I want to break through the faith barrier.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

CNN Disinvites Local San Diego News Team After Discovering Their Local View Border Walls Work… — The Last Refuge

San Diego local news station KUSI shares how they were contacted by CNN “asking if a reporter could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown.”  However, after KUSI agreed to provide a reporter with extensive knowledge of the effectiveness of a border wall, CNN changed their mind.

(VIA KUSI) […] We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work.

We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it.  (link)

via CNN Disinvites Local San Diego News Team After Discovering Their Local View Border Walls Work… — The Last Refuge

‘Just fire him!’: Ron Paul blasts Bolton, Pompeo for undermining Trump

Former Congressman Ron Paul has come out swinging against neoconservative voices in President Trump’s cabinet. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, he said, should be punished for insubordination.

President Trump’s announcement last month that he would withdraw all US forces from Syria and the news that he was mulling a partial pullout from Afghanistan seemed to be the fulfilment of an often-repeated campaign promise. “I don’t want to be in Syria forever,” Trump said in December. “It’s sand and death.”

Read more

#ICYMI: Trump's Syria pull-out method is going to be slow, messy and angry (VIDEO)

Nevertheless, war enthusiasts in both parties and their cheerleaders in the media reacted with shock. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, known in DC as a foreign policy hawk, called the pull-out a “colossal” mistake and a “grave error that’s going to have significant repercussions in the years and months to come.”

However, Trump found resistance coming from within his own cabinet too. First, National Security Advisor John Bolton walked back the initial 60-100 day timeline for the Syria withdrawal. Bolton noted that the withdrawal would only occur after the US had drawn up a contingency plan with its allies in the region to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria from Turkish forces, and to contain Iranian influence in the war-stricken country.

Then, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took off on a whirlwind trip to the Middle East in the new year, assuring allies that the US would remain open to intervention in Syria, and would maintain a “liberating” presence in the region: business as usual.

“When America retreats, chaos follows,” Pompeo said, in a swaggering, cocksure speech in Cairo on Thursday. “America will not retreat until the terror fight is over.”

“I think what Pompeo and Bolton did was insubordinate,” Ron Paul told RT’s Rick Sanchez later that day. “And I don’t know why Trump puts up with it.”

Trump, he continued, “stakes out, politically, a risky position by boldly saying ‘we should come home.’” Paul, a consistent opponent to foreign wars and interventionism, then blasted Trump for backing down to the likes of Bolton and Pompeo.

“These people who really run the show, they come down very hard on him and then he backs down. But if he were to ask me ‘what should I do with this Bolton guy?,’ I would say ‘just fire him, he’s not helping you in any way!'”

Paul also criticized Trump for calling on the Pentagon to keep its watchdog reports secret. In a cabinet meeting last week, Trump criticized the Department of Defense for releasing a report detailing money wasted in the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and territorial losses by the Afghan government.

While Trump called the release of the report “insane” and an aid to America’s enemies, Paul said it proves the United States should not be in Afghanistan in the first place.

“No matter what kind of a crowd I talk to… the solution is following the rules,” he said. “It’s only the people, through their members of Congress, who decide when you get involved in war, and that’s totally ignored, and it’s ignored by both parties.”

Source: ‘Just fire him!’: Ron Paul blasts Bolton, Pompeo for undermining Trump

“Something Biblical Is Approaching” – Here Are The Scenarios Of The Collapse

Submitted by Tuomas Malinen of GNSEconomics

2019 has started more calmly after a very volatile year-end in the markets. Focus has been on the trade deal between China and the US and the words of the central bankers, most notably those of Jay Powell. However, this is all just a distraction, a side-show. The market volatility was only the first sign of an approaching global economic crisis, as we warned in December 2017.

As the recent PMI figures across the globe show, a global downturn has started and the world is utterly unprepared for it. The global imbalances that have been growing for years cannot lead to anything else than a global crisis . However, there are different paths the crisis could take.

Here, we present three scenarios that the global economy is likely to follow, when the global downturn morphs into something much more sinister.

We’ll start with the most likely scenario: Global Depression.

Scenario I: Global Depression

In a depression, everything that has been driven the economic expansion goes into reverse. Asset markets experience severe contraction (in excess of 50 percent), credit becomes restricted, corporations and households de-lever fiercely, and global trade flows stall (for more details see Q-review 2/2018). GDP falls dramatically, between 10 to 25 percent. Unemployment skyrockets. The standard means of stimulus by central banks and governments are exhausted without any notable improvement in the economic environment.

The implosion of the current asset bubble will start a relentless unwinding of leverage and risk in the global financial system. Because major central banks are still “all-in” with rates pinned at or near historic lows, and balance sheets bloated to extreme levels, their ability to respond will be highly restricted. Governments are also highly-indebted, and when interest rates rise, some sovereigns are likely to default, aggravating the global banking crisis, which will probably be in motion already. Combined with the zombified global business sector and a hard landing in China, these factors will lead the world economy into a depression. However, a possibility of something even more ominous is lurking in the background.

Scenario II: Systemic Meltdown

Systemic crisis would mean that the global financial melts down due to an existential deficit of trust between counterparties within the system. Before 2008, a systemic meltdown was mostly a theoretical construct. However, in mid-October in 2008, global leaders were faced with the possibility that banks would not open on Monday. The interbank markets had frozen, because no one knew the amount of the losses banks carried on their books. The global financial system was grinding to a halt. Politicians and central bankers saved the day by guaranteeing bank deposits and by providing capital and extraordinary guarantees to keep the important financial institutions standing and credit flowing.

Now the problem is that many of these measures are already in play and when the next crisis hits, the solvency of governments and central banks will also be in question. This creates a perilous situation because, for example, the shares of the global systemically important banks, G-SIBs, have been falling since the beginning of last year, which was also the time when the balance sheet normalization (QT) program of the Fed kicked into full gear. This is no coincidence and it implies that troubles are, once again, brewing in the banking sector.

Because a crash in the asset values would affect the collateral of banks and because global depression would lead to a massive increase in loan losses, the already-impaired banking sector could, again, face collapse. However, this time around, there is very little authorities can do to stem the panic. These factors make the systemic meltdown an ominously-likely scenario.

Systemic meltdown would mean that all banking actions, distribution of money, loans, swaps, banking services, etc., through the banking sector would stop. Credit cards would cease to function, ATMs would not give out money and loans could not be originated or rolled-over. Following the likely collapse of global trade, the world economy would also collapse. This would imply that the global GDP would experience a harrowing fall of 20 to 40 percent. Modern societies would cease to exist in their current form.

Scenario III: The fairy tale

Could this all be averted somehow? We’ve been pondering this for two years now, and our resounding answer is no. The leverage in the system usually results in a crash at some point, and asset bubbles very rarely deflate in a controlled manner. However, CBs can probably still postpone the inevitable, if they could re-start QE programs or find some other way to push artificial central bank liquidity into the financial markets.

To soften the eventual blow, and as an extremely desperate measure, central banks could, at least in theory, engage in a “QE-squared”. In it, major central banks would buy a hefty chunk of global risk assets, estimated to total $400 trillion. This would mean that the balance sheet of major CBs would need to expand at least five-fold from the current level of approximately $20 trillion. To cover the crippling losses to their collective balance sheets that these purchases would be likely to inflict, they would need to use their money-printing ability to paper them over.

Central banks earn seigniorage-revenue from all the money they create. This is the difference between the nominal value and the production costs of the money. Because production costs of digital entries are very close to zero, the seigniorage revenue CBs receive from each entry is close to 1-to-1. Still, this would mean that they would need to create new money in the range of tens of trillions of US dollars. By comparison, in 2017, the global nominal GDP of the world was approximately $75 trillion.

To distribute such incomprehensible sums of new money, central banks would need to give it directly to consumers and governments. Even in normal circumstances, the production side of the economy would be unlikely to be able to respond to such a massive increase in (artificially created) demand, and this time there would have been wide-spread corporate bankruptcies driven by global depression. A hyper-inflation would be likely to follow.

There’s also the alternative that CBs would make a complete U-turn and continue to backstop market losses. This would be the “way of Japan”, where the BoJ already owns over 40% of the sovereign bond universe. It would eventually mean the effective nationalization of capital markets which would continue to function in name only.

We have no historical experience with what the expropriation of modern capital markets would cause. However, it would be unlikely to be anything good as capital markets have been around for several centuries, and they are extremely important in allocating financial capital efficiently. If central banks take a permanent active role in the capital markets, it would lead to financial market socialism. It would be likely to bring similar horrors as regular socialism in the form of lost incentives (breaking down of the risk-reward relationship) and inflated asset values. It is unlikely that global central bankers would be willing, or that they would be allowed, to do so.

The endgame nears

The global balance sheet of central banks turned in August 2018 (see Figure1). This marks the start of global QT and thus the end of the most reckless monetary policy experiment in history.

Figure 1. The combined balance sheets of the Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve during 2018. Source: GnS Economics, BoJ, ECB, Fed

When this is combined with the slow-down in China, the engine of the world economy since 2008 (see Figure 2), we have finally entered the endgame of at the current business cycle. The desperate measures of central bankers and China enacted after the financial crisis have pushed the global debt and financial alchemy to never-seen heights. The global financial system has become rigged with leverage, moral hazard and regulatory failures to a point where a “purge” has become all-but-impossible to avoid. This is the end.

Figure 2. Gross capital formation in Australia, Canada, China, euro area, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States in constant (2010) US dollars. Sources: GnS Economics, World Bank

Fortunately, even depressions and systemic crises have the tendency to bottom-out and recover. This is driven by resiliency. Even when faced by cataclysmic economic shock, businesses and people try to move forward, and rebuild their lives. Societies just do not spiral into anarchy and mayhem, even if the system should break down.

Still, every company, household and government should start to make contingency plans. Something ‘biblical’ is approaching.

Source: “Something Biblical Is Approaching” – Here Are The Scenarios Of The Collapse

Grand Mosque of Mecca Plagued by Swarm of Locusts

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

As we continue to watch the worldwide convergence of events which correlate with Bible prophecy, occasionally a news story comes out with such apocalyptic overtones – it can prompt even the unbeliever to take notice.

The holiest site in Saudi Arabia  – the Grand Mosque of Mecca – has been plagued by swarms of locusts and black grasshoppers.

I’m very glad that this story came out in an Israeli news source, the Times of Israel.

From timesofisrael.com

Mecca’s Grand Mosque Plagued by Swarm of Locusts

Authorities dispatch cleaning crews to eradicate insects for the ‘safety and comfort of guests of God’s house’

A massive swarm of locusts plagued Mecca, Saudi Arabia, earlier this week, prompting authorities at Islam’s holiest site to launch a cleaning operation to remove them.

Videos posted to social media showed the insects swarming around cleaners and worshipers in the city’s Grand Mosque, where millions of Muslim…

View original post 131 more words

Divine Message? Mecca’s ‘Grand Mosque’ Plagued by Massive Swarm of Locusts (VIDEOS) — The Gateway Pundit

 

A massive swarm of locusts blanketed Mecca, Saudi Arabia this week which prompted a cleanup crew to come in a remove the pests.

Every year, millions of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca’s ‘Grand Mosque’ which is considered Islam’s holiest site.

The Times of Israel reported that authorities in Mecca said, “Specialized teams have been directed to work in the fight to eliminate these insects.”

CNN identified the locusts as “black grasshoppers” and reported that 138 people were a part of the cleanup crew to deal with the infestation.

VIDEO:

Many took to social media to posts pictures of the insect invasion.

In the book of Exodus, in a demonstration of power, God sent swarms of locusts to plague Egypt in order to humble Pharaoh after he refused to free enslaved Israelites.

The locusts swarmed Egypt, darkened the sun, blanketed the ground and destroyed vegetation.

Is this a divine message?

via Divine Message? Mecca’s ‘Grand Mosque’ Plagued by Massive Swarm of Locusts (VIDEOS) — The Gateway Pundit

This ‘n’ That for January 11, 2019 — Do Not Be Surprised…

  • Well, we can pray that it’s a start, I guess.
  • Just because you’re proposing marriage is no reason to leave sound theology by the wayside. Sorry, Tebow, she’s not “internally flawless.”
  • Love and doctrine are not mutually exclusive.
  • I prefer hymnals, but in my opinion, if you’re using them, get rid of the screens. We humans love to stare at screens and we get enough of it in our daily lives as it is.
  • Good for her. But wait, shouldn’t she have waited for a man to come help her? After all, beating someone up—even someone trying to mug you—isn’t very feminine. (Do you sense the sarcasm? I hope you do.)
  • What’s up with that star of Bethlehem?
  • This is very cool, but it makes me think of this (unfortunately).
  • I’m very thankful this young lady has been found.

Now, there is no help against original sin but almighty grace, and there is no way of having almighty grace except through the free gift of God. This He may give as He pleases, for He has a right to bestow it or to withhold it; but He promises to give it to all who come humbly confessing their sin, and casting themselves, by faith, upon Jesus Christ, His Son. —Charles Spurgeon

via This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised…

January 11 Unconditional Love

Scripture reading: 1 John 4:13–21

Key verse: Romans 5:8

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God is not afraid to love us just the way we are, with all our flaws and shortcomings. He is secure in who He is. Therefore, He loves us unconditionally and without regard to our failures.

He created us not to live apart from His love but to be partakers of His holiness. However, He knows that there will be times when we look and act unholy. Our misguided actions do not erase or stop the love of God. Sin can separate us from His blessings and intimate fellowship, but there is never a time when God withholds His love.

In loving us, God knows that we can never give back to Him what He has given to us, but He does require us to love one another with the same love that He has demonstrated toward us.

In his book Mighty Is Your Hand, David Hazard paraphrases the words of Andrew Murray,

In our life with people, the one thing on which everything depends is love. The spirit of forgiveness is the spirit of love. Because God is love, He forgives. Consequently, it is only as we are dwelling in the love of God that we can forgive as God forgives.

Our love for others is the evidence of our love for God. It is our grounds for confidence before God in prayer. It is our assurance that our prayer will be heard (1 John 4:20).

Let your love for God be a symbol of love and forgiveness to all you meet.

Lord, let Your presence shine through my life as a symbol of Your unconditional love and forgiveness.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Weekend Apologetics Hit & Misc: Read the Bible Better

Source: Weekend Apologetics Hit & Misc: Read the Bible Better

Trump Preparing To Replace Ginsburg As Rumors Say She Could Retire Today

President Donald trump has begun to work on a plan to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as rumors of her retirement have started.

Some prominent pundits have said they have heard rumors that she would retire as soon as this week.

“A little birdie (in DC) tells me Ruth Bader Ginsburg announces her retirement tomorrow. If so, get ready 4 Trump Derangement Syndrome squared. Libs will need kiss from mommy, straight jacket & rubber room. Lots of moaning, wailing & heads banging against doors,” Newsmax TV’s Wayne Allyn Root wrote.

A little birdie (in DC) tells me Ruth Bader Ginsburg announces her retirement tomorrow. If so, get ready 4 Trump Derangement Syndrome squared. Libs will need kiss from mommy, straight jacket & rubber room. Lots of moaning, wailing & heads banging against doors.

— Wayne Allyn Root (@RealWayneRoot) January 11, 2019

“Word is Ruth Bader Ginsburg is about to retire…President @realDonaldTrump and the Republican controlled Senate will have another chance to confirm a Conservative Justice. 3 Trump appointed Supreme Court Justices to lead our nation’s Laws back to God,” Pastor Mark Burns, who often appears on Fox News, said.

Word is Ruth Bader Ginsburg is about to retire…President @realDonaldTrump and the Republican controlled Senate will have another chance to confirm a Conservative Justice. 3 Trump appointed Supreme Court Justices to lead our nation’s Laws back to God. #PromisesMadePromisesKept

— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) January 11, 2019

And those rumors are being helped by news that President Trump is preparing to replace her, Politico reported.

The White House is reaching out to political allies and conservative activist groups to prepare for an ailing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible death or departure from the Supreme Court — an event that would trigger the second bitter confirmation battle of President Donald Trump’s tenure.

Should Justice Ginsburg retire?

The outreach began after Ginsburg, 85, on Monday missed oral arguments at the court for the first time in her 25 years on the bench. The justice, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, announced in late December that she underwent a surgical procedure to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs.

The White House “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates, reaching out to key stakeholders, and just making sure that people are informed on the process,” said a source familiar with those conversations, who spoke on background given the delicate nature of the subject. “They’re doing it very quietly, of course, because the idea is not to be opportunistic, but just to be prepared so we aren’t caught flat-footed.”

Ginsburg had a pulmonary lobectomy, the Supreme Court said in a statement, and her doctors said that post-surgery there was “no evidence of any remaining disease.” She has also recovered from several past health scares. But her departure from the Court would allow Trump to nominate a third Supreme Court justice — the most in one presidential term since President Ronald Reagan placed three judges on the highest court during his second term.

The nine-member court is currently divided 5-4 between its conservative and liberal wings. Ginsburg’s departure would allow Trump to create the Court’s strongest conservative majority in decades, a scenario sure to bring intense opposition from Democrats and liberal activists still furious over the October confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“It would be a brutal confirmation,” said John Malcolm, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. “The first two were not easy at all, but this would be much harder in this respect: When Neil Gorsuch was the nominee, you were replacing a conservative with a conservative. With Kavanaugh, you were replacing the perennial swing voter, who more times than not sided with the so-called conservative wing, so that slightly solidified the conservative wing.”

“But if you are replacing Justice Ginsburg with a Trump appointee, that would be akin to replacing Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas,” Malcolm added. “It would mark a large shift in the direction of the court.”

Justice Ginsburg has stated that she wants to stay on the Court until age 90, but she has said she would retire when she could no longer do the job at 100 percent, The Washington Examiner reported.

Although Ginsburg said last summer that she hopes to serve until she is 90, she has been consistent about when it will be time for her to hang up the robe: “I said I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam,” she said on Dec. 17 at the New York City premier of “On the Basis of Sex,” a movie based on her early career. Five days later, Ginsburg underwent surgery to remove early-stage cancerous nodules and was hospitalized for several days.

Last February, Ginsburg used the same phrase during an event at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. “As long as I can do the job full steam, I will be here,” she said.

“I will retire when it’s time,” Ginsburg told NPR’s Nina Totenberg in 2016. “And when is it time? When I can’t do the job full steam.” She used the same “full steam” phrase on at least two other occasions.

Source: Trump Preparing To Replace Ginsburg As Rumors Say She Could Retire Today