Monthly Archives: February 2019

February 28 Behavior to Match Your Identity

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

An American on business in the Far East is not very likely to assimilate Asian culture. Quite the contrary. The food is different; there is a language barrier; the wardrobes are distinct. He is constantly reminded of the dissimilarities. His identity as an American is well established. He acts and thinks like an American precisely because he is one. Understanding your identity in Christ is a pivotal principle for success in combating the world’s influence.

A dramatic transformation occurred when you were saved. You became a “new creature” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17 nasb). You became a citizen of God’s kingdom. You still live in your indigenous culture, with all of its allures, trials, temptations, and charms; but you are no longer the same man or woman.

Living holy or separately from the impulses of the world is possible only as you realize the amazing metamorphosis that has transpired within. You are quite obviously still “in the world,” but you are now not “of the world.”

The rationale for rejecting the waywardness of the world is that it doesn’t fit your new identity anymore. You don’t act like an unregenerate person because you are a new person in Christ.

Learning who you are in Christ takes time, complete with failure, for your behavior to match your identity; but you have a lifelong, resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to help you along the way.

Precious heavenly Father, You brought me out of the “Egypt” of sin and set my feet on the road to Your promised land. As I continue on this spiritual journey, help me match my behavior with my new identity.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 61). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

How Is Abortion AFTER Birth Not News? — Christian Research Network

“Network coverage of this vote in the first 24 hours? Zero on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Hours after this vote, Sanders appeared in an hour-long “town hall” on CNN without a single question on this. Warren was interviewed by Chris Hayes for 11 minutes on MSNBC, and no question.” 

(Brent Bozell – NewsBusters)  Late in the afternoon on February 25, extremist Senate Democrats voted in favor of legalized infanticide. In the wake of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s bizarre remarks in a radio interview extending the “right to choose” to after-birth abortion (or medical neglect), Sen. Ben Sasse authored the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. 

The bill would require a health-care provider to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child” who survives abortion as he or she would to “any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”

The bill failed a cloture vote because 44 Democrats voted in favor of infanticide, including seven presidential aspirants — Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

Forget massive tax increases and incoherent green deals. This, this should terrify us.  View article →

How Is Abortion AFTER Birth Not News? — Christian Research Network

More Than 100 House Dems: Our Healthcare Bill Will Outlaw Private Coverage, Eliminate Up to Two Million Jobs, and Cover Abortion — Christian Research Network

“For years, Democrats have attacked Republicans for “ending Medicare as we know it,” often resorting to demagoguery and falsehoods. This scheme would literally end Medicare, creating a brand new, massive entitlement that seniors and Medicaid recipients would have no choice but to join.” 

(Guy Benson – Townhall)  More than 100 House Democrats — nearly half of the new majority — have signed on to a new single-payer healthcare bill that supporters describe as “battle ready.”  If by “battle ready,” they mean, “extremely controversial, deeply politically risky, and totally bereft of any acknowledgement of the proposal’s eye-poppingly exorbitant costs,” they’re undoubtedly correct.  Politico’s story on the legislation is full of extraordinary tidbits and quotes.  Here are some of the most important facts we’ve learned:

(1) The bill “doesn’t include a price tag or specific proposals for financing the new system, which analysts estimate would cost tens of trillions of dollars over a decade.”  The lead sponsor of the bill says her crew will release a list of “suggested funding mechanisms” at some point in the future.  One of these mechanisms, we’re told, is “a tax on high earners.”  If you’ve been following this debate, you’re well aware that targeted taxes on ‘the rich’ would be woefully insufficient in raising even a fraction of the expected cost.  Enormous tax hikes on all Americans would be necessary.  This math is not seriously disputed.

(2) Via NBC News, “The legislation’s most contentious provision would end private health insurance and replace it with a government system.”  Yes, virtually all private coverage would be outlawed, forcing every single American into an innovation-crushing, government-run system.  Approximately 177 million Americans currently receive private health insurance, either through their employers, or directly from insurers.  The vast majority of these people are satisfied with their coverage, according to Gallup.  All of these people would be uprooted from their existing plans and funneled into the federal bureaucracy.  On the matter of ripping people away from their existing status quo, this proposal gets worse — both practically and politically:    View article →

More Than 100 House Dems: Our Healthcare Bill Will Outlaw Private Coverage, Eliminate Up to Two Million Jobs, and Cover Abortion — Christian Research Network

February 28 The Foundation of Your Faith

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 3:1–11

Key verses: James 1:6–7

Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

It was 1866 in England, and pastor Samuel J. Stone’s congregation was in an uproar. In fact, the entire Church of England was in a state of upheaval. A certain bishop had just written a book concerning the authenticity of the first five books of the Bible.

In his “intellectual” examination of these books, the bishop called their accuracy into question. Liberals in the church sided with this bishop, while the conservative group continued to assert the inerrancy of all Scripture. The debate raged. Samuel Stone was concerned for the health and stability of his congregation. Controversy was tearing them apart, and surely, severe consequences would follow.

To combat this growing division, Stone composed a series of hymns that focused on church unity. With stirring words he celebrated Christ’s eternal position as Head of the church in his most famous hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation.”

Seeing Christ as the Cornerstone of the body of believers puts peripheral church issues into perspective. You are not swayed by every wind of philosophy and every controversy because you measure them by the Lord (James 1:6–7). On the steadfast mountain of Christ and His Word, you stand prepared for every issue.

Father, help me build my life on the foundation of Your Word, prepared to face every issue on the basis of its life-changing truths.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 61). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February 28, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Purpose of Christian Freedom

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God. (10:31–32)

The purpose of using our liberty carefully and selflessly is to glorify God. The idea of eating and drinking is in the context of things offered to idols, but is not limited to that. Paul is saying that even in the most mundane, routine, nonspiritual things of life, like ordinary eating and drinking, God is to be glorified. His glory is to be our life commitment. It is the purpose of our whole life, which now belongs to the Lord because we have been “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 7:23). Not only when we eat or drink but in whatever [we] do we should do all to the glory of God. (For further material on glorifying God, see the opening section of this chapter.)

A person either lives a life that honors God or that dishonors Him. God’s own people had become such a reproach to Him that He allowed Israel to be conquered and exiled by Assyria in 722 b.c. and Judah to be conquered and exiled by Babylonia in 586. Those conquests, however, at first caused His name to suffer even more reproach, because the heathen nations around Israel and Judah were saying that Jehovah God was not strong enough even to save His own people. Through His prophet Ezekiel, who himself had been taken captive to Babylon, God promised that He would deliver and regather His people. But the purpose would be primarily to “vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord” (Ezek. 36:23). God’s glory is His supreme concern and should also be our supreme concern.

God is dishonored when anyone sins, but He is especially dishonored when His own people sin. Because he has specially honored us by His forgiving grace, we specially dishonor Him by our sin. When in justice He is forced to chastise us, He is further dishonored by unbelievers, who charge, as did the nations around Israel and Judah, that He does not even take care of His own people. Sin of any sort takes glory from God.

In the same way God is specially honored and glorified when His people are faithful and obedient. Just as our sin reflects against His honor, so our loving obedience reflects to His honor. When we resist and forsake sin we glorify our heavenly Father. And when we willingly use our Christian liberty for His sake and for the sake of His other children, we glorify Him still more.

Our living should be so righteous, loving, and selfless that we give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God. Those three groups cover all of humanity. No action of ours should prevent an unbeliever, whether Jew or Gentile, from coming to Christ (cf. Acts 15:20–29), or should cause a weak brother in Christ to stumble (1 Pet. 2:11–19). That many people are offended by the gospel is their problem, but when they are needlessly offended by our way of living, that is our problem; and it dishonors the Lord. The term aproskopos, here translated give no offense, is rendered as “be … blameless” in Philippians 1:10.[1]

31. Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink. Lest they should think, that in so small a matter they should not be so careful to avoid blame, he teaches that there is no part of our life, and no action so minute, that it ought not to be directed to the glory of God, and that we must take care that, even in eating and drinking, we may aim at the advancement of it. This statement is connected with what goes before; for if we are eagerly desirous of the glory of God, as it becomes us to be, we will never allow, so far as we can prevent it, his benefits to lie under reproach. It was well expressed anciently in a common proverb, that we must not live to eat; but eat to live. Provided the end of living be at the same time kept in view, the consequence will thus be, that our food will be in a manner sacred to God, inasmuch as it will be set apart for his service.[2]

31 Paul is now ready to summarize this entire three-chapter unit (chs. 8–10). His “therefore” here is intended to draw his discussion on the food issue to a conclusion. As a general principle, believers should do everything “for the glory of God”—and Paul particularly mentions here (understandably) eating and drinking. To do something for the glory of God means to reflect God’s glory in the way we live. When others look at us and how we live our lives, they should be able to see that the standards we live by are different from those of the pagan world around us. They should be able to see Jesus living in us. Paul deals with this concept in more explicit detail in 2 Corinthians 3:18–4:6, 15–18 (see comments on those verses in this volume).[3]

10:31 / The statement begins with the Gk. word oun, “therefore,” a stronger and more formal inferential particle than is suggested by the niv’s rendering, So.… Paul uses oun seldom and deliberately in this particular epistle (Fee, Epistle, p. 487). Conzelmann rightly observes the importance of this statement and summarizes Paul’s argument poignantly:

In a style characteristic of Paul (eite … eite, “whether … or”), freedom is declared: the criterion lies outside myself. It is an objective and at the same time also a historic criterion: the glory of God. Oun, “so,” indicates the conclusion to be drawn from the now established possibility of freedom of action. (p. 179)[4]

10:31–32. Paul summarized his outlook into two principles. First, whether or not believers partake, they must do it all for the glory of God. The chief end of human beings is the glory of God; his honor should be the principle concern of those who love him (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37).

Second, whether believers partake or not, they should not cause anyone to stumble. They should neither cause anyone to sin nor hinder receptivity to the gospel. The principle of love for neighbor goes hand in hand with love for God (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:39). This concern for others applies to Jews, Greeks, and the church of God. Paul mentioned these groups because each raised different considerations. Both Jews and Greeks are unbelieving, but each group has different standards and expectations. Moreover, the principle of love for neighbor must also extend to the church, which has still different issues.[5]

31. Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God.

In these concluding remarks, Paul utters the same sentiments he writes more expansively in one of his prison Epistles, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17). Paul exhorts the Corinthians to live their lives for God’s glory; to be positive without being offensive; and even in the daily activity of eating and drinking to exalt God’s goodness and grace.

We are unable to glorify God unless our lives are in harmony with him and his precepts. Nothing in our conduct should obstruct God’s glory from being reflected in us. That is, in everything we do and say, no matter how insignificant, the world should be able to see that we are God’s people. Exalting God’s glory ought to be our chief purpose in this earthly life (compare 1 Peter 4:11).[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 248–249). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 1, p. 347). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 349). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 220). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 170). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, p. 358). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

February 28, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


U.S. President Donald Trump said he had walked away from a nuclear deal at his summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Thursday because of unacceptable demands from the North Korean leader to lift punishing U.S.-led sanctions.

Pakistan will return a captured pilot “as a peace gesture” to India, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday, amid efforts by the United States to defuse a crisis between the two nuclear powers a day after both downed enemy jets.

The prototypes for President Trump’s contest for a border wall near San Diego, California, were torn down on Wednesday, to make way for a new section of actual border fencing.

The U.S. Senate is poised on Thursday to confirm President Donald Trump’s candidate, a former coal lobbyist, to lead the nation’s top environmental regulator, a nomination that has infuriated conservation groups and Democrats.

China provided over $158 million to U.S. schools for Confucius Institutes to promote Chinese culture, U.S. Senate investigators said on Wednesday, releasing a report saying the centers have acted as tightly controlled propaganda arms for Beijing and should be changed – or shut down.

Senegal President Macky Sall won re-election with 58 percent of votes cast in last Sunday’s poll, according to provisional results announced by the official counting body on Thursday.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders this week urged regulators to allow pharmacies and manufacturers to resume distributing unbranded, lower-cost versions of a drug used to treat a rare neuromuscular disorder, according to a letter provided by his office to Reuters.

A U.N. human rights expert has published a draft list of questions to measure countries’ privacy safeguards, a first step toward ranking the governments that are potentially doing the most snooping on their own citizens.

U.S. companies installed more robots last year than ever before, as cheaper and more flexible machines put them within reach of businesses of all sizes and in more corners of the economy beyond their traditional foothold in car plants.

AP Top Stories

Transgender athletes are breaking barriers at all levels of competitive sports, but their participation and wins are stirring controversy and resentment among those who believe they aren’t competing on equal playing fields. Schools and professional sports organizations now face the challenge of how to deal with athletes who are transgender.

India is building more than 14,000 bunkers suitable for families living along its border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir state, hoping to keep them safe near their homes instead of evacuating them as artillery shells scream over.

China’s defense ministry defended military cooperation with Tajikistan Thursday following a report of a sizeable Chinese troop presence at a base in the Central Asian state.

The United States, Britain and France proposed on Wednesday that the United Nations Security Council blacklist the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, which said it attacked an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir.

A high-stakes plan by the Venezuelan opposition to bring humanitarian aid into the country floundered Saturday when troops loyal to Maduro refused to let the trucks carrying food and medical supplies cross, but it did set off a wave of military defections unlike any seen yet amid the country’s mounting crisis. Over 320 mostly low-ranking soldiers fled in a span of four days.

Hundreds more people of many nationalities streamed out of Islamic State’s last enclave in Syria under escort from U.S.-backed forces on Wednesday, part of an exodus of both its supporters and victims from its final shred of land.

Within the next 30 years, there’s a 16 percent possibility of a small to moderate-size volcanic eruption occurring somewhere in California, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

OPEC and its allies will stick with their agreement to cut oil supply, pushing for more adherence despite a demand by U.S. President Donald Trump that the producer group ease its efforts to boost crude prices, a Gulf OPEC source said on Tuesday.

Seventeen civilians were killed and 15 were wounded in a blast caused by a booby-trapped corpse in central Mali, security sources and a local official said on Wednesday.


US economic growth slowed to an annualized rate of 2.6% in the final three months of 2018, figures show. However, the reading was ahead of expectations for a rate of between 1.8% and 2%. The pace of growth was below the 3.4% rate seen in the third quarter thanks to a slowdown in consumer spending.

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill expanding background checks for all gun sales, including those at gun shows and on the internet. The legislation is the most significant gun control measure to make progress in Congress in more than two decades.

News that doctors performed a caesarean section on an 11-year-old rape victim has reignited a debate on Argentina’s abortion rules.


Solar-generated attacks on the unprotected U.S. electric grid cost $10 billion a year, and they are escalating, making the system vulnerable to a catastrophic failure that could cut off electricity for months, federal officials and energy experts warned Wednesday.

A bill to allow weapons, including firearms, within places of worship died in the Virginia House last week. Senate Bill 1024, introduced by Sen. Richard Black, R-Loudoun, passed the Senate along party lines, 21-19, but died in the House Rules Committee. The bill sought to repeal a law on the books since the 1950s.

Workers at the University of Pennsylvania were reportedly told that they were not allowed to celebrate Black History Month by cooking southern food, allegedly for fear that such cuisine might “offend” students on campus.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 28, 2019

The Foundation

“It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping GOD in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.“—John Adams (1776)

War Memorial Crosses in Atheist Crosshairs

The Supreme Court heard an important argument about Maryland’s Bladensburg cross.

Jim Jordan Exposes Dems’ Impeachment Strategy

In the end, Michael Cohen’s testimony may ironically help Donald Trump.

Trump’s NoKo/China Walkout Strategy

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.”

Boys Will Be Girls?

A kerfuffle over two boys competing in track as girls highlights the insanity of “transgenderism.”

Keep the Pressure on China

From trade negotiations to a military buildup, Beijing should be put in check.

House Dems Are Pushing Gun Control — Again

Dems seek to pave the way for a back-door federal gun registry.

Charitable Giving Rises Despite New Tax Law

But growing at just 1.6%, there are a few possible culprits to take into account.

Cop Has Convinced 200 People Not to Jump Off Golden Gate

As part of his job, this California Highway Patrol Officer talks to suicidal people.

Video: Is Harvard Racist?

Harvard University’s admissions policy is proof that some are doomed to repeat history.

Take Sanders’s 2020 Campaign Seriously and Literally

Sanders is crushing his opponents’ fundraising efforts, and his campaign has already signed up more than a million collectivist volunteers.

Today’s Opinion

Larry Elder

Smollett Lies Expose a Culture of Lying to — and About — the Police

Cal Thomas

Kudos to Dianne Feinstein

Tony Perkins

SCOTUS Debates a Cross Country

Victor Davis Hanson

California’s Rendezvous With Reality

Ryan T. Anderson

Maryland’s End-of-Life Bill Is About One Thing: Killing

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top Headline Summary

Nuclear summit, background-check bill, China tariffs, Medicare for All, crime stats, and more.

Thursday Short Cuts

Alpha Jackass: “Yeah, [Trump’s] got a bigger plantation.” —Samuel L. Jackson

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

News – 2/28/2019

As March Begins, Temps Won’t Change Much Across U.S.

The jet is flowing almost directly west to east across the country. This pattern is called Zonal Flow. To the north of the jet we find cold air. To the south of the jet we find warm air. There is almost no north-south movement to the jet, and therefore, very little temperature transport to the north or south. This allows temps to remain relatively constant across the country. Cold areas stay cold. And warm areas stay warm. This will continue to be the case until the jet begins to meander north and south once again.

First CRISPR therapy administered in landmark human trial

The gene-editing therapy, called CTX001, is designed to treat beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. Both conditions are caused by a mutation in a single gene. CTX001 involves engineering a patient’s stem cells with a single genetic change designed to raise levels of fetal hemoglobin in red blood cells. Inside China CRISPR human trials have been ongoing for at least two years now, although no data from these studies has been published and recent reports have begun to suggest significant procedural problems in the research.

Shock Waves Hit DC: These House Members Can’t Believe The Senate Failed to Stop Infanticide

Ripples of shock are rolling through the ranks of pro-life Congress members after Democrats blocked a US Senate bill that would have ensured medical care for children born alive after an attempted abortion.

Warning Shot? Amazon Pulls Out Of Seattle Office Tower At Center Of Homeless Tax Debate

As community activists in Virginia, emboldened by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s successful campaign to drive Amazon out of Queens, push back against Amazon’s plan to build its HQ2 in Crystal City, it looks like Amazon is preemptively scaling back its plans to expand in Seattle as it braces for more pushback from progressives

‘Should I go nuclear on Michael Cohen?’

Candace Owens drops stunner as Dems give Trump critic platform.

What many of you may not be aware of is the fact that I can personally confirm that the ONLY reason Michael Cohen ‘turned on’ the President of the United States is because Mueller threatened to throw his wife in jail for up to 30 years. Period. She is the co-guarantor of a $20M personal loan that Mueller discovered Michael secured back in 2015 by falsely inflating the value of his taxi medallions – effectively making her part & parcel to the federal charge of ‘Making False Statements to a Financial Institution,’ to which Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty.”

Corporate attack on traditional marriage ‘more like a betrayal’

Walmart has launched a “gay dating” video as part of an advertising campaign – a corporate move that the American Family Association says likely has Walmart founder Sam Walton “rolling over in his grave.” “It’s not only a promotion of homosexuality, but it’s really an attack on God’s design for marriage between a man and a woman,” Smith continues. “We believe it’s a very dangerous lifestyle; and the fact that Walmart would release this kind of video is even more in the face of Christian people who believe in God’s design for human sexuality.”

Resolutions Introduced, Senate Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty over Golan

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) introduced companion resolutions on Tuesday urging the United States to officially recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The bill emphasizes the strategic importance of Israeli control over the area, which the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, in protecting civilians from threats such as from Iran in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

A-G expected to announce intent to indict PM Netanyahu for bribery today

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit is expected to announce his intent to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery today, in a decision that could decisively impact the April 9 election. With Netanyahu’s Likud Party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party close in the polls, if the prime minister loses even a few seats due to the accusations against him for public corruption, it could turn the tide.

Turkey launches ‘Blue Homeland’ naval drill

Turkey has launched the largest maritime drill in the country’s history, testing its war fighting capabilities in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and eastern Mediterranean simultaneously. Dubbed “Mavi Vatan” or “the Blue Homeland” it will last between February 27 to March 8 and will see the participation of 103 military vessels and thousands of soldiers conducting operations…

Trump-Kim summit breaks down after North Korea demands end to sanctions

A summit between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended with no agreement after the US refused North Korean demands for sanctions relief, President Trump said. “It was all about the the sanctions,” Mr Trump told reporters. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that.” The pair had been expected to announce progress on denuclearisation.

Kushner meets Erdogan on Israel-Palestinian peace plan

White House adviser Jared Kushner discussed his Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, and the two also discussed increasing US-Turkish cooperation and ways to boost economic conditions in the region. Kushner, who has responsibility for Washington’s Israel-Palestinian policy, has said the peace plan will address final-status issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict…

Trump border wall prototypes torn down to make way for new barrier

The prototypes for President Donald Trump’s contest for a border wall near San Diego, California, were torn down on Wednesday, to make way for a new section of actual border fencing. To the president’s supporters, the eight 30-foot-high (9-meter) models were a symbol of his commitment to build a wall along the length of the U.S. Mexico border to enhance national security.

Atmospheric River Is Pummeling California’s Sierra With Feet of Snow, Topping February Records

Another atmospheric river event is pummeling California with feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, shattering February snow records at some ski resorts while also triggering flooding, rockslides and mudslides in lower elevations.

United Methodist Church strengthens ban on same-sex marriage, LGBT clergy

The United Methodist Church voted on Tuesday to uphold and strengthen its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy in a move likely to alienate large numbers of followers who had pushed for reform.

Incest and necrophilia ‘should be legal’ according to youth branch of Swedish Liberal People’s Party

Incest between siblings and necrophilia should be legalised, a branch of the Swedish Liberal People’s Party has argued.

Radical abortion laws cause ‘dramatic’ spike in Americans identifying as pro-life

A new Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus (KofC) finds that just as many Americans consider themselves “pro-life” as “pro-choice,” representing a surprising increase from a poll the same organization released just a month ago.

Israeli company makes water out of thin air!
Imagine being able to pull a glass of water out of thin air when you’re thirsty. Think it sounds like science fiction?

House passes sweeping gun legislation to expand background checks to cover virtually all sales
The Democrat-led House on Wednesday broke a years-long stalemate over gun control legislation, approving a bill to expand background checks to nearly all firearms sales and transfers.

Official Swedish Welcome Sign to City of Gävle Features Woman in Hijab with Connections to ISIS Mosque

…It turns out that the woman on the billboard named Suzan Hindi has connections to a Salafist extremist Mosque which has urged followers to donate money to support terrorism – And now this woman is one of the people featured to represent the Swedish city!

Rocker John Mellencamp Adds ‘Take a Knee’ Segment to His Concerts

Rocker John Mellencamp has added a “take a knee” segment to his concerts to celebrate protests against the United States.

PayPal Censoring Groups With Help from Leftist, Anti-Christian SPLC

The CEO of PayPal has revealed the multi-billion dollar service partners with the leftist organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to decide who should be blacklisted from their company. Using “company corporate values” as their defense, PayPal has taken intentional steps to deny access to conservatives.

Planned Parenthood: ‘There Is No Such Thing as Abortion Until or After Birth’

“There is no such thing as abortion until or after birth,” Planned Parenthood Action declares in a pinned tweet responding to President Donald Trump’s comment that Democrats have become “so extreme they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”

Pelosi and Cuomo Sign Gun Confiscation Bill into New York State Law

Democrats Nancy Pelosi and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Red Flag Bill” into state law this week, allowing authorities to confiscate guns from citizens.

107 Democrats to Launch ‘Medicare for All’ Bill; Eliminates Private Health Insurance; No Funding Plan

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and 106 other Democrats will launch a “Medicare for All” bill on Wednesday that will shift every American to government health insurance and eliminate private insurance — with no funding plan.

Headlines – 2/28/2019

Turkey’s Erdogan meets with Kushner to discuss Mideast peace

Kushner discusses Mideast peace with Saudi leaders

As Cohen rivets Washington, White House announces Kushner met with Saudi crown prince

Kushner, MbS Discuss ‘Increasing Cooperation’ and Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts

Bennett Implores Trump: ‘Let My People Know’ Details of Mideast Peace Plan

Report: ‘Deal of century’ not to include Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital

US peace plan said to include $25 billion in West Bank and Gaza investments

Commentary: The Palestinians’ automatic ‘no’ to peace

Commentary: Can Middle East peace be bought?

Palestinians reject monthly tax transfer from Israel over prisoners dispute

Israel strikes Hamas posts in Gaza after explosive balloon attack

Attorney general reportedly set to notify Netanyahu of bribery charges Thursday

Indictment announcement would be an election game changer, new ToI poll shows

Trump says Netanyahu, facing possible corruption charges, is ‘smart,’ ‘strong’

Poland open to meeting with Israel after Holocaust spat

Outbreak of anti-Semitism forces France to confront painful past

Resolutions introduced in House, Senate recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Golan

Netanyahu meets Putin: ‘our relationship creates local stability’

Netanyahu After Kremlin Meeting: Putin ‘Showed an Understanding of Israel’s Security Needs’

Russia Wants to Get Iran Out of Syria, Netanyahu Says After Putin Meet

Netanyahu in Moscow tells Putin Israel will continue hitting Iran in Syria

Iranian general: ‘We plan to break US, Israel, cleanse world of their filth’

Iran’s Khamenei says U.S. seeks war, sedition ‘everywhere’

Two days after resigning, Iran’s Zarif returns to work

Yemen airstrike kills 22 children fleeing earlier bombing, rebels say

The risk of further bloodshed and oil disruption remains high as Nigeria re-elects its president

Ballots are being counted in a Nigerian election plagued by unrest and other problems

Nigerian President Buhari Wins Second Term While Opponent Calls Election A ‘Sham’

India and Pakistan on Verge of 5th Major Conflict. Why This Escalation Is So Dangerous

Govt unmoved by Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s speech, face-off could escalate

Former Pakistan President: ‘If we attack with one atomic bomb, India can finish us with 20’

India demands Pakistan release pilot as Kashmir crisis intensifies

Commercial flights to and from Pakistan, India disrupted as tensions rise

Pakistan envoy calls on U.S. to play greater role in India-Pakistan tensions

Mob attacks 200 Christian families in Pakistan after 4 women falsely accused of blasphemy

Trump in ‘no rush’ as formal nuclear talks open with Kim

North Korea’s Kim says ready to denuclearize, discussing concrete steps

Trump touts rapport with North Korea’s Kim at summit, ‘satisfied’ with talks

Trump, Kim summit collapses amid failure to reach deal due to a standoff over U.S. sanctions

White House limits press access at Trump-Kim meeting after reporters ask questions about Cohen

Michael Cohen testifies before Congress as the ‘son of a Holocaust survivor’

Full text: Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s prepared remarks to Congress

Michael Cohen’s shocking picture of Trump’s mob-like world

David Bossie: Michael Cohen spends a day lying about Trump to aid Democratic witch hunt

Lynne Patton defends Trump from Cohen racism charge

Lawmakers clash in Cohen hearing after Republican accused of using black woman as a ‘prop’

This Cohen hearing fight was everything wrong with how America talks about “racism”

Florida Bar investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz over threatening tweet directed at Michael Cohen

Every Law Professor With a Twitter Account Says Congressman Matt Gaetz Just Committed Witness Tampering

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz says he has ‘personally apologized’ to Michael Cohen for tweet about affairs

Michael Cohen hearing becomes platform for Dems to float sensational Trump theories

DC attorney general subpoenas Trump Inaugural Committee: report

Michael Cohen hearing is ‘official unveiling’ of Dems’ push to impeach Trump, Rush Limbaugh says

House votes to approve first major gun control bill in 25 years

Dem gun bill threatens to turn gun owners into criminals

Republican party branch compares Bernie Sanders to Adolf Hitler on Facebook

Commentary: The truth about democratic socialism

Venezuela removed 8 tons of central bank gold last week

US flying more reconnaissance flights off Venezuela, military sources say

Venezuela FM says Maduro and Trump should meet to ‘find common ground’

Cuban Christians Unite Against New Constitution

Puerto Rico drug gang fed victims’ bodies to caimans, 75 indicted on trafficking charges: feds

Italy’s anti-establishment M5S could be headed for ‘political disaster’ as support collapses

Treason convictions in Russia raise questions about 2016 hack on Democrats

Kremlin Says U.S. Cyberattacks On Russia Are ‘The Reality We Live In’ – shows why Russia is pursuing an autonomous Internet

FedEx will trial autonomous delivery robots this summer

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Surian, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Mohean, India

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 16,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 10,000ft

‘Atmospheric river’ spawns massive flooding in California, turns town into ‘island’ as thousands told to flee

Santa Rosa obliterates rainfall records, mandatory evacuation for Russian River area, California

Rise of drug-resistant superbugs rings alarm bells in Europe

Officials deny lack of vaccinations caused whooping cough outbreak in Los Angeles

Missouri House passes wide-ranging abortion restrictions

Planned Parenthood Doc Said She Would “Break the Baby’s Neck” if Born Alive After Abortion

“Record-breaking” preemie weighing as much as an onion at birth goes home healthy

Pentagon spent nearly $8 million to treat 1,500 transgender troops since 2016

Methodist Church votes to ban gay clergy and same sex marriage, evoking debate among members

Nebraska attorney general subpoenas records on sexual abuse from 400 Catholic churches, institutions

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Two Guys Who Know Explain Why Jesus Must Have Died On The Cross

James Goll Shills for Contemplative Prayer, Visualization, Centering and Inebriation

‘Cussing Pastor’ defends twerking contest held at church, tells critics ‘f*** you’

Church pastors impersonated in email scam

Filmmakers: America’s ready for truth about abortion

ABC, CBS, and NBC Blacked Out Coverage of Democrats Supporting Infanticide

Mob attacks 200 Christian families in Pakistan after 4 women falsely accused of blasphemy

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Dems: ‘The Only Thing More Precious Than A Newborn Baby Is The Right To Kill It’ — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Amid deliberations on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which was somehow seen as controversial, Democrat leaders reaffirmed their belief that newborn babies are precious gifts, nearly as precious as the right to kill them.

“Don’t get us wrong, we believe newborn babies are very precious,” said Senator Kamala Harris. “We just don’t believe they’re quite as precious as your constitutional right to snuff out their innocent little lives.”

“When I see their little joyful faces, I’m reminded that miracles are real, as are your rights to smother their lives before they’ve gotten to experience life at all,” she said.

Other Democrat leaders agreed with Harris’ comments, with Cory Booker claiming that he loves children as well as your “God-given right to kill them.” “It’s like, this is our Spartacus moment,” he said. “This is our moon shot: are we going to let their adorable little faces stop us from ending their lives? Are the women of this nation going to give up their right to kill babies just because they’re a human life? I think we can do better. I think we can do it.”

“I am Spartacus! I am Spartacus!” he added for some reason.

At publishing time, Democrat legislators had clarified that universal healthcare, climate change action, and raising taxes on the wealthy are also more precious than the face of a newborn baby.

via Dems: ‘The Only Thing More Precious Than A Newborn Baby Is The Right To Kill It’ — The Babylon Bee

Jim Jordan: Cohen Hearing ‘First Step’ in Dems’ ‘Crazy Impeachment Plans’ — National Review

Ohio congressman Jim Jordan speaks at CPAC. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Jordan’s comments came hours after Cohen publicly disparaged his former boss as a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat” during his public testimony before Congress.

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said Wednesday evening that Democrats called Michael Cohen to testify before the panel in order to set the stage for President Trump’s impeachment.

“I do not think you could believe much of what this guy says. What I do think was going on today is that this was the first step in the Democrats’ crazy impeachment plans,” Jordan said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Special Report.”

Jordan’s comments came hours after Cohen publicly disparaged his former boss as a “racist,” a “conman,” and a “cheat” during his public testimony before Congress. Though Cohen accused Trump of engaging in “illicit acts” while in office, including the reimbursement of hush-money payments made during the campaign to his former mistresses, the former attorney admitted he did not have knowledge of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Jordan and fellow Republicans on the Oversight Committee spent the hearing impugning Cohen’s credibility, frequently raising the fact that he previously lied to Congress under oath about the timing of plans to build a Moscow Trump Tower when he testified in August.

Democrats, meanwhile, said their Republican colleagues were angry that Cohen had stopped lying to protect the president, and argued he had nothing to gain by continuing to lie. Despite Cohen’s Wednesday testimony, Democratic leaders remain hesitant to openly broach the prospect of impeachment.

“Isn’t it interesting that not one person on our side even mentioned the word impeachment?” Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) said after the hearing. “Not one.”

Speaker Pelosi told reporters Wednesday that she did not watch Cohen’s testimony.

via Jim Jordan: Cohen Hearing ‘First Step’ in Dems’ ‘Crazy Impeachment Plans’ — National Review

Facebook censors criticism of Democrat Party, especially before “important elections”


Big social media companies like Google, YouTube and Twitter are very open about censoring and shawdow-banning conservative voices. These companies do not support free speech or ideological diversity. They are careful to hire only those who share their secular leftism and fascism. But sometimes, one accidentally hires a non-fascist, and we get a glimpse at the internal workings of company.

Here’s Project Veritas, doing the journalism that the mainstream media won’t do:

Project Veritas has obtained and published documents and presentation materials from a former Facebook insider. This information describes how Facebook engineers plan and go about policing political speech. Screenshots from a Facebook workstation show the specific technical actions taken against political figures, as well as “[e]xisting strategies” taken to combat political speech.

[…]According to the insider, the documents revealed a routine suppression of the distribution of conservative Facebook pages. The technical action she repeatedly saw, and for which Project Veritas…

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No, Women, You Are Not Called to Preach! — Christian Research Network

“The vast majority of these lady preachers aren’t just preaching to women anyway. Women — like Beth Moore and Priscila Shirer — are mainstream preachers. Their audiences consist of as many men as women.”

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte)  From Beth Moore to Christine Caine, from Joyce Meyer to Priscilla Shirer — women, women everywhere, are standing up and drawing crowds to preach. The phenomenon, which is historically scarce throughout the entirety of Church history, is gaining a lot of traction. I’m going to argue that the primary reason that women are drawn to preaching is not actually a love for God’s word, but a hatred of it.

The Bible is clear that preaching and teaching in the church is a responsibility reserved for men.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

1 Timothy 2:12

Seriously, it doesn’t get any clearer than that. Still, some say that this verse is just saying that women can’t preach to men or teach men. No, Paul says he does not permit a woman to teach OR to exercise authority over a man. These are two separate clauses — neither are permitted.

But even if that weren’t the case, the vast majority of these lady preachers aren’t just preaching to women anyway. Women — like Beth Moore and Priscila Shirer — are mainstream preachers. Their audiences consist of as many men as women.

These lady-preachers, if you will, consistently argue that they are “called by God” to preach. One class that Beth Moore taught for years consisted of hundreds of people, including men, where it was argued,

God began to do a new thing, stirring the heart of Beth to move to a new meeting place, meeting time, change the name of the class, and allow men to attend.

Unsurprisingly, women who usurp the authority of male leadership — by preaching or teaching in the Church — are false teachers. Aside from the fact that they teach falsely on women preachers, many are wrapped up in prosperity theology, like Joyce Meyer and Christine Caine, claim extra-biblical revelations, like Beth Moore who said God gave her a vision of Him uniting Catholics and Protestants, romanticize their relationship with God, like Ann Voskamp who says she flew to Paris to “make love to God,” or promote various other heresies such as LGBT inclusiveness, like Jen Hatmaker. And even if you do — rarely — see a lady-preacher who seems solid, she’s still a false teacher on the premise that she’s not allowed to preach.

So why do women do this? Apart from the fact that a growing number of male leaders in the Church — like Matt Chandler, JD Greear, etc. — are becoming New Complementarians (e.g. egalitarians) and are too afraid of women to speak up, more than that, it’s because these women hate their God-given role as submissive servants in the Church.

As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 3If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35

You will never hear Beth Moore preach on that verse. You will never hear Christine Caine preach on that verse. You will never hear Priscilla Shirer preach on that verse.

Why? Because they hate it. They are in rebellion against God and hate what God has designed them to do. Women are not called to preach. But the new feminist movement has mainstreamed this notion.

However, men, you are just as guilty of this sin when you enable it.


Beth Moore

Joyce Meyer

Priscilla Shirer

Christine Cain

Republished with Reformation Charlotte’s permission. Visit the site here.

via No, Women, You Are Not Called to Preach! — Christian Research Network

February 28 Are You Off Course?

scripture reading: Revelation 3:1–6
key verse: Revelation 3:12

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

A small sandbar off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia, emerges during extremely low tides. Area natives love to venture out to it because it is a haven for sand dollars and small shells.

However, there is a trick in navigating the walk. The sandbar is located at the mouth of an inland river, and returning high tides can quickly overtake and strand inexperienced people. What appears to be a short journey back to shore can quickly turn into a dangerous venture.

Beachcombers often start back to shore with a certain destination in view. But with little warning, ankle–deep water soon becomes knee deep and then chest deep. Before they know it, they are drifting off course into dangerous waters.

The same thing happens to people when they are entangled in matters that hinder their devotion to God. Those who fall prey to spiritual drifting never see it coming. They think, I’m just a little off course. I can get back. But before they know it, they have been swept away by an invading sin or temptation.

Make it your goal to stay on course with God. Ask Him to order your daily steps and keep the devotion of your heart turned toward Him.

Order my daily steps. Let the devotion of my heart be turned toward You, Father. I don’t want to drift into dangerous waters. Keep me on course.[1]

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

28 february (1858) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Particular redemption

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

suggested further reading: Matthew 27:45–54

See the Saviour’s limbs, how they quiver! Every bone has been put out of joint by the dashing of the cross into that socket! How he weeps! How he sighs! How he sobs! Indeed, how at last he shrieks in agony, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” O sun, no wonder thou didst shut thine eye, and look no longer upon a deed so cruel! O rocks! no wonder that ye did melt and rend your hearts with sympathy, when your Creator died! Never man suffered as this man suffered. Even death itself relented, and many of those who had been in their graves arose and came into the city. This however, is but the outward. Believe me, brethren, the inward was far worse. What our Saviour suffered in his body was nothing, compared with what he endured in his soul. You cannot guess, and I cannot help you to guess, what he endured within. Suppose for one moment—to repeat a sentence I have often used—suppose a man who has passed into hell—suppose his eternal torment could all be brought into one hour; and then suppose it could be multiplied by the number of the saved, which is a number past all human enumeration. Can you now think what a vast aggregate of misery there would have been in the sufferings of God’s people, if they had been punished through all eternity? And recollect that Christ had to suffer an equivalent for all the hells of all his redeemed. I can never express that thought better than by using those oft-repeated words: it seemed as if hell was put into his cup; he seized it, and, “At one tremendous draught of love, he drank damnation dry.” So that there was nothing left of all the pangs and miseries of hell for his people ever to endure.

for meditation: The secret things of the sufferings of Christ belong to the Lord our God (Deuteronomy 29:29)—we could never begin to take them in. But God has given us a glimpse behind the scenes—meditate on the alternate torment and trust recorded in Psalm 22:1–21.

sermon no. 181[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 66). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

28 FEBRUARY 365 Days with Calvin

Held by my Right Hand

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast held me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23

suggested further reading: 2 Timothy 1:6–12; 4:17–18

When the psalmist speaks of God “holding him by the right hand,” he means that he was, by the wonderful power of God, drawn back from the deep gulf into which the reprobate cast themselves. He ascribes wholly to the grace of God that he was restrained from breaking into open blesphemies and from hardening himself in error. That he was brought to condemn himself of foolishness, he also ascribes wholly to the grace of God, who stretched out his hand to hold up the psalmist and prevented him from a fall that would have destroyed him.

From this we see how precious our salvation is in the sight of God, for when we wander far from him, he continues to look upon us with a watchful eye and to stretch forth his hand to bring us to himself. We must beware of perverting this doctrine by making it a pretext for slothfulness. Yet experience teaches us that when we are sunk in drowsiness and insensibility, God exercises care for us. Even when we are fugitives and wanderers from him, he is still near us.

There is no temptation, be it ever so slight, that would not easily overwhelm us if we were not upheld and sustained by the power of God. The reason why we do not succumb, even in the severest conflicts, is because we receive the help of the Holy Spirit. He does not always put power in us in an evident and striking manner (for he often perfects it in our weakness), but it is enough that he succors us. Though we may be ignorant and unconscious of it, he upholds us when we stumble and lifts us up when we have fallen.

for meditation: God’s faithfulness becomes so clear when we wander from him and he does not fail to hold us by our hand. Beginning with your childhood, meditate on God’s faithfulness toward you throughout your entire life.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 77). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Thursday Briefing Feb. 28, 2019 –

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Quick Shot Responses to “The Bible is Full of Contradictions” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E2) — Cold Case Christianity

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “The Bible is full of contradictions.” These responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Be sure to watch the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast on NRBtv every Monday and Saturday! In addition, here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

Quick Shot Responses to “The Bible is Full of Contradictions” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E2) — Cold Case Christianity

Our Days are Numbered

By Elizabeth Prata

*I heard an Adrian Rogers sermon several years ago that stayed with me. He talked about how people delay their decision for or against Jesus, thinking they have lots of time to go into that. Rogers shared several deaths that were unexpected, sudden, and odd that shows we don’t have the time we think we do. One was when a man was lawnmowing and ran over a nail, which the mower threw up and it went into his heart. The other was a woman walking by a building at the same time a person sitting on the edge of the sill nudged a plant pot and it fell out the window onto her head. His point was, decide now, today, what you will believe.

There have beem some equally odd deaths I’ve read about that brought his sermon to mind again. Isolated, freak accidents, they are called…

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February 28, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

1  Give ear to my words, O LORD;
consider my groaning.
2  Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
3  O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 5:1–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

3 With the dawning of each new day, prayer is renewed, with the hope that the Lord will soon respond. The “morning” is symbolic of a renewal of God’s acts of love (cf. La 3:23). The change from darkness to light brings with it the association of renewed hope. In the early morning hours (cf. 55:17; 88:13; 92:2) the psalmist sought the Lord (his covenantal God) in prayer because he knew that Yahweh would not forsake him. It is to this end that he presented God with his “requests” (or “offerings”; see Notes). During the day he waited “in expectation” to see what the Lord would do for him.[1]

5:1–3 / In the language common to the individual prayer psalm, this one begins with petitions for Yahweh to give ear to the speaker’s cry for help. Perhaps in response to the performance of an entry liturgy such as Psalm 24, the opening address is particularly mindful of my God (an address frequent in individual laments) as my King (only here among the individual laments, though note 84:3). Morning, perhaps because of the appearance of first light, symbolized salvation, newness, and hope (30:5; 46:5; 90:14; 130:6) and was thus considered the most opportune time for God to hear the petitioner’s voice. The confession, I … wait, shows that worshipers cannot presume on God’s favorable hearing (cf. 130:5; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 2:1). No ritual conveys the notions of respect for and dependence on God more strongly than that of waiting.[2]

Affirming Submission to God (5:1–3)

5:1–3. David began by imploring God to give ear (i.e., “to attend carefully to someone or something” with the intent of responding for the petitioner’s benefit) to his words, and to consider his meditation (not groaning, as in the NASB). He followed this with reference to God as his King, underscoring that God is the true king of Israel, whereas David, like his son Solomon and all the human kings after him who “sat on the throne of the Lord” (1Ch 29:23; see also 28:5) were only custodians of God’s kingship. This opening sentiment is paralleled by the opening affirmation of God’s kingship in Jesus’ own model of prayer (Mt 6:9–10).[3]

1–3 Confidence in the Lord who hears prayer. Prayer (a) is putting the problem (sighing) into words (1) (b) carries with it a guarantee of being heard. Note the sequence (2) Listenfor (because)I pray. (c) comes first in the day: morning by morning (v 3ab) is simply ‘in the morning’. The thought is not so much regularity (cf. Is. 50:4), as priority in the day (d) is watchful for an answer (3c).[4]

Morning prayer (5:1–3)

5:1–3. The psalmist pleaded with God to hear (Give ear.… Listen) his lament as he prayed morning by morning (lit., “in the morning”) with full expectation. “In the morning” is repeated in verse 3 for emphasis. It stresses that his first thoughts each day were prayer.[5]

5:3 David’s prayers were not spasmodic but regular. Every morning the Lord heard his voice. Every morning the man of God prepared a sacrifice of praise and prayer and watched for the Lord to reveal Himself during the day. Too often we do not watch for God’s responses. “We miss many answers,” said F. B. Meyer,” because we get tired of waiting on the docks for the returning ships.”[6]

5:1–3 Give ear: As in 4:1, this is the language of a person who believes from experience that God has forgotten his plight. The sufferer calls on the Lord to listen, even though the Lord has been continually listening and caring. Meditation here refers to incessant groaning. My King: The psalmists often address God in heaven as King, the ruler over all. At times, the psalms focus on prayer in the morning (88:13)—a commendable habit that helps a person to dedicate all the activities of the day to the glory of God.[7]

5:3 In the morning … In the morning. These words have led many to label this a morning psalm (cf. Ps 3:5).[8]

5:3 I prepare a sacrifice for you is difficult in the Hebrew, which could also be rendered as in the ESV footnote, “I direct my prayer to you.” The mention of the morning here, and the Lord’s house in v. 7, favors “sacrifice”; the idea here is that the prayer comes in the context of a faithful worshiper who receives assurance and expresses personal consecration by way of these ordinances; it is small wonder that such a person will watch, looking around and ahead in expectant faith.[9]

5:3 and I will watch The psalmist expectantly waits for Yahweh’s response (Mic 7:7; Hab 2:1).[10]

5:3 This psalm is sometimes called a “morning psalm” and underscores the importance of a daily devotional time. Much depends upon how we start each day, and what better way to begin the day than with a personal time of meditation. An intimate fellowship demands communication. The breakdown of communication presupposes disruption in fellowship (cf. Gen. 3:8). Therefore, to enjoy fellowship with the Creator, one must make time to communicate with Him. God speaks to man through His Word (103–105; 119:9–16); man talks to God through prayer andthen listens for the divine response (cf. 1 Sam. 3:3–15; Matt. 7:7, 8). One cannot live a Spirit-filled life without daily direction and sustenance from God (cf. Prov. 3:6; John 6:33–35).[11]

5:3 In the morning is repeated and indicates the time of the prayer (88:13). Plead my case is literally “prepare” or “set in order.” While it could mean preparing a sacrifice, there is no other indication that a sacrifice was being offered. Instead, it was more likely preparing words (Jb 32:14) in a request for vindication.[12]

[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 115). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (pp. 58–59). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Rydelnik, M., Vanlaningham, M., Barbieri, L. A., Boyle, M., Coakley, J., Dyer, C. H., … Zuber, K. D. (2014). Psalms. In The moody bible commentary (p. 764). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 491). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 794–795). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 553). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (pp. 650–651). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[8] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 5:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 945–946). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[10] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 5:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[11] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ps 5:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Warstler, K. R. (2017). Psalms. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 821). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Dissecting the Cohen testimony | American Thinker Blog

Did yesterday’s circus live up to the hype?

Briefly stated, Wednesday was a sad day for our republic.  Former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen answered questions from Republicans and Democrats for almost seven hours.  I endured the entire event but have gleaned little new information or understanding about the events that the anti-Trump aficionados claim demonstrate Trump’s unsuitability for office.  In addition, it is disappointing that no Republicans could offer specific defenses for Donald Trump and chose only to tear apart Cohen.  There is plenty to tear apart in Cohen’s testimony, by the way.

The summary of the testimony can be boiled down to a few key points.  First, Cohen can offer no direct evidence for Russian-campaign collusion.  This raises the question of the origin of Mueller’s investigation.  Cohen is and was always a Democrat, with a short period during which he served the Republican National Committee.  No surprise that Lanny Davis is one of his lawyers.

Cohen claims to be an excellent lawyer but admitted to rarely giving Trump legal advice concerning many actions he acknowledged were illegal.  One can say this proves that he was a corrupt lawyer.  In this regard, his pleadings demonstrate a desire for self-enrichment through misleading and false financial reporting and tax filings.  He did not serve his client well, preferring to maintain his position in the Trump sphere.  He “lovingly” took shots at the Trump children as a way of hurting his former boss.

Cohen stated conclusively that Donald Trump never asked him to lie to Congress.  He admitted that he had no direct evidence of collusion with Russia to abuse the election of 2016.  He had a feeling since Donald would do anything to win.  However, he had previously indicated that Donald did not expect or intend to win the election. 

Michael Cohen indicated that the rumors about a “love child” are false, that he would not harm his wife (in the elevator) and that no video of such existed.  He stated that Trump did not abuse drugs, that he has a large ego and bought a portrait for an inflated price.

His information about the payoffs to the two women claiming relationships with Trump is a thorny area.  Some would argue that his check proves illegalities.  As has been stated before, if a personal reason (keeping his wife from finding out) exists to make the payments, then the election campaign rationale may be irrelevant.  One will argue that Trump misled the public about his knowledge of Stormy Daniels and others, but this is not illegal.  Cohen did indicate that he sent bills for his work.

Cohen did not adequately demonstrate that he had no interest in a job in the administration.  In this, he contradicts the N.Y. federal filings.  He did solicit business based upon his connection with Trump as president.  He admitted to several contracts.  Again, self-benefit is a clear motivator.

Michael Cohen did given testimony to Trump inflating his assets for beneficial banking.  He also stated that Trump reduced assets for tax breaks.  On this issue, the evidence offered to taxing authorities must be convincing.  By the way, this is a tactic that Cohen used illegally.  This line of questioning by Ro Khanna, a Democrat, is quite interesting and could be a source for the NYC federal attorney’s inquiries.  This is the most troubling issue for Trump, but is not an issue from his tenure in office.

The Democrats shamefully used the same week as the Vietnam meetings with Kim Jung-un to embarrass Trump, weakening his negotiating position.  They would love to stop him from any success that helps him get re-elected.

Rep. Tlaib attacked Rep. Meadows which Chairman Cummings had to mediate.

The move to impeach Trump was given some boosts yesterday by partisan Democrats, but little in the way of “high crimes and misdemeanors” was demonstrated by the president while in office.  The anti-Trump crowd will feel that this hearing was fruitful, but I suspect that most Americans found the hype misleading and hardly worth the effort.

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Core Christianity | God’s Hidden Purposes in Your Suffering

In one of my favorite sermons by Sinclair Ferguson, he points out that God is often working not just for our good but for the good of others through us. Sometimes in our American context, we can get a little wrapped up in our own little world. We can think that our suffering is just all about us and God, that God is only doing something in my life. But as Dr. Ferguson also points out in his sermon, the truth is that God is always working in multiple lives and in multiple ways all at once. 

Dr. Ferguson uses Joseph’s story as an example. Certainly, Joseph learned great personal humility and patience during his sufferings, which were intense. Thrown into a pit by his own brothers and then enslaved to Egypt, he faced not only the physical suffering of brutal slave labor (at least in the early years), but he also suffered the mental and emotional trauma that comes from being abandoned by his family. No doubt he spent many days and nights wondering where God was in all of this? But as we eventually see, Joseph’s sufferings were leading him to be placed in circumstances at a crucial time to save his family from starvation. Suffering is both for you and for others.

Is “Why?” the best question for our suffering? 

Often the first question we ask when we suffer is “why me?” I wonder what would happen if we changed that question to “for whom?” How would this question change our perspective on our sufferings, moving it from inward focused to outward focused? I remember one of the elders in the church I went to in college had Parkinson’s Disease. One time he had some of us college kids over to his house. In a moment of open vulnerability, he shared with us how difficult it was for him to have Parkinson’s but that he thought one of the reasons God allowed this suffering was so that he could sympathize with the sufferings of others. It struck me at the time as an incredible statement. 

The more I think about it, the more I think it is true that an aspect of our suffering we can often miss is how it might be for others. I think we see evidence of this in the Bible. Throughout history, God has always used people’s sufferings for his good purposes. The prime example is Jesus himself. Consider how the sufferings of Jesus were not about him. His sufferings were all about others: he suffered so that he would be a sympathetic high priest, he suffered so that his people would not have to suffer eternal condemnation for their sin, he suffered in humble obedience to his Father. Jesus knew exactly why he was suffering, and he knew that it had to be him. This didn’t necessarily make the suffering any easier, but neither was it pointless. 

Similarly, God uses our own sufferings both for our spiritual growth and for others. Our suffering may help us be more empathetic with the sufferings of others and thereby share their burden. Or God’s work in your faith may help strengthen the faith of others, or God may use your suffering to bring out the conversion of someone who otherwise would not see the power of God.

Whatever it is, whether we are able to see it or not, God always works for good in the lives of his people. And as the body of Christ, the good of others is your good and your good is connected to the good of others (1 Cor. 12:14-26). 

I wonder how it would change our attitude and even make our sufferings bear the fruit of godliness if we kept in mind that our sufferings are not only about us. If we discerned the opportunities our sufferings give us to witness to Christ and serve others, how would the gospel spread and our faith blossom? God used Jesus’ sufferings to bring redemption to the world and he can surely use our sufferings for good purposes as well. And he can faithfully bring us through those sufferings into our eternal glory and rest just as he did for Jesus (Heb. 2:9-10).  
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