Daily Archives: March 13, 2019

March 13 The Love of God

Scripture reading: Jeremiah 31:1–8

Key verse: Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

God told the Israelites that He loved them with an “everlasting love.” And God has the same type of love for you. No matter what you have done in the past or where you stand in your walk with Him, God loves you. This is His eternal message that reaches across all emotional, physical, and spiritual boundaries.

God loves each one of us, and you cannot change the nature of His love. Doubt, fear, regret, feelings of hopelessness, or sin will not alter His feelings toward you. Love is one of His attributes, which means love is a core aspect of His nature.

You may not always act lovingly toward Him, but He will always care about you. This does not mean He is unmindful of your sin. Instead, it is a testimony of how God honors who He is. He looks at your life and unashamedly declares His love for you. The kind of love God extends to you is the same love He has for His Son.

In the Greek, this love is called agape. Bible expositor W. E. Vines writes, “Agape expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects.” God loved you even when you were lost in sin. True freedom and peace come when you accept the eternal love and forgiveness of God. The good news is that it is available to you right now and forever.

Dear Lord, I thank You that You loved me even when I was lost in sin. I accept Your eternal love and forgiveness.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 76). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 13 How to Count Your Blessings

Scripture Reading: Psalm 34

Key Verse: Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

When you are asked to count your blessings, your list may not be overwhelming. You struggle to make ends meet; your days are hard. You are grateful for much, but weariness clouds your vision.

Pause to think of this: when you have the Lord Jesus Christ, you have the greatest blessing possible. That is not spiritualizing; it is the bedrock of your existence now on earth and one day in heaven.

In Christ you have the guarantee of eternal life. Life may be unsettling, but a place of unparalleled beauty and joy awaits the one who knows Christ as Savior, Lord, and Life. Heaven is real, and its blessings are sure.

In Christ Jesus you have the Source of true life. He gives love, joy, peace, strength, comfort, hope, and patience. He nourishes your soul and energizes your spirit. Possessions are nice, but they cannot impart life—only Jesus can.

In Christ you have a Friend for all seasons. He understands your disappointments, rejoices in your triumphs, and stands with you in your trials. You can confide in Him, weep before Him, and celebrate with Him.

Begin with all you have in Jesus Christ when you count your blessings. Then you will lose count.

Jesus, You are my greatest Source of blessing. You are my life. You give love, joy, peace, strength, comfort, and hope. You nourish my soul and energize my spirit. Thank You, Lord![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 76). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 13 Pouring Forth Your Heart

Scripture reading: 2 Chronicles 20:1–12

Key verse: 2 Chronicles 20:3

Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

Jehoshaphat had a huge problem. This good king of Judah had just received some bad news. The armies of the Moabites and Ammonites were about to march on them. It was a time of national emergency, and most leaders would have called their advisors or mustered the army, but not King Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was afraid and sought the Lord. He didn’t falter, complain, or waste time in pessimistic thinking. Instead, he immediately called the people together for a time of prayer with fasting.

Notice the attributes of God he named at the beginning of his prayer: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” (2 Chron. 20:6).

The king recognized God’s ultimate power and authority; therefore, he was not afraid of what mere men might do to him. Furthermore, he showed that he was willing to be involved in the process of God’s answer. The king didn’t mouth a halfhearted, unemotional statement; he prayed with passion and sincerity.

Have you ever poured forth your heart to the Lord? He wants you to cry out to Him and actively seek His deliverance.

Lord, I pour out my heart before You right now. Hear my cry. Deliver me![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 76). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Obama officials grilled over Hillary’s unauthorized emails

Government watchdog Judicial Watch, whose Freedom of Information Act lawsuit back during the Obama administration originally led to the disclosure of the scandal over Hillary Clinton using an unauthorized email system for state secrets, has announced a series of depositions for government officials involved.

The organization announced on Wednesday its schedule for those depositions that were ordered back in January by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.

Some of the prominent names included are Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and E.W. Priestap, an FBI official.

Much of the scandal already has been revealed: how Clinton set up her own email server and, without authorization, used it for classified national security secrets. Also how she deleted thousands of emails when she was leaving the position of secretary of State. Also how thousands of those emails ended up on a laptop to which former Congressman Anthony Wiener, the husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, had access.

Judicial Watch revealed on Wednesday it now is seeking information about “whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act by using a non-government email system.”

Also, “whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith” and “whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.”

Things get started on Thursday, according to the schedule, with a deposition for Justin Cooper, a “former aide to Bill Clinton who reportedly had no security clearance and is believed to have played a key role in setting up Hillary Clinton’s non-government email system.”

Then on April 5 will be a deposition for John Hackett, described by Judicial Watch as a State records official who was immediately responsible for responding to requests for record.s

Then on April 16 is one for former Hillary Clinton senior adviser and deputy chief of staff Jacob “Jake” Sullivan, and on April 23, it will be Sheryl Walter, former State Department director of the Office of Information Programs and Services/Global Information Services, sitting for questions.

“Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting on the ongoing Clinton email scandal, even as Congress dropped the ball and DOJ and State continued to obstruct our quest for the truth,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The court in our case wants real answers on the Clinton email scandal which is why our request for basic discovery was granted.”

There are depositions for Gene Smilansky and Monica Tillery, both of the State Department, later in April and on May 7 will be the one for Jonathon Wasser, who was a management analyst on the executive secretariat staff.

The deposition for Heather Samuelson, former State Department senior adviser who helped facilitate the State Department’s receipt and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails, is in June.

Judicial Watch confirmed that written questions under oath are to be provided by Monica Hanley, Hillary Clinton’s former confidential assistant, Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant, Priestap, of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Susan Rice, Obama’s former U.N. ambassador who appeared on Sunday television news shows following the Benghazi attacks, blaming a “hateful video.”

Questions also are to be answered by Ben Rhodes, an Obama-era White House deputy strategic communications adviser who attempted to orchestrate a campaign to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video.”

In January, WND reported the July 2014 lawsuit was filed after the State Department refused to respond to FOIA requests for information about talking points given to Rice by the White House and other agencies regarding the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Fitton said President Trump should be demanding to know why the State and Justice Department are colluding with Clinton allies and trying to protect Hillary Clinton and themselves from court-ordered questions on the Clinton email scandal.

The judge in the case has called Clinton’s private email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

When Clinton left the State Department, she had her lawyers decide what needed to be turned over to the government. Ultimately, tens of thousands of emails were concealed from the public.

An FBI investigation found she had classified material on the unsecure system.

Source: Obama officials grilled over Hillary’s unauthorized emails

The Pope Is Creating a One-World Religion to Complement the Coming One-World Government

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The Fall of Rome has commenced. The Pope is holding private meetings in an effort to create a one world religion which will complement the coming one-world government that the UN has publicly stated that they will install by 2030.  Here is the story.

Lisa Page Tells Congress Obama DOJ Stopped FBI From Charging Clinton With Crime

The transcripts of former FBI attorney Lisa Page was made available to the public on Tuesday and it revealed a bombshell.

The FBI had discussed charging Hillary Clinton with “gross negligence,” which is a crime, but former President Obama’s Justice Department told them “no.”

They were hampered from the very start and told that the Justice Department would not prosecute Clinton for the crime, The Washington Examiner reported.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified last year that officials in the bureau, including then-FBI Director James Comey, discussed Espionage Act charges against Hillary Clinton, citing “gross negligence,” but the Justice Department shut them down.

Newly released transcripts from Page’s private testimony in front of a joint task force of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees in July 2018 sheds new light on the internal discussions about an investigation into Clinton’s emails. This goes back to the FBI’s “Midyear Exam” investigation, which looked into whether Clinton committed crimes when she sent and received classified information on her unauthorized private email server while serving as secretary of state.

Comey cleared Clinton of all charges in a press conference on July 5, 2016.

Page told the committee that the FBI “did not blow over gross negligence.” Responding to a question from Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, Page testified the FBI, including Comey, believed Clinton may have committed gross negligence.

“We, in fact — and, in fact, the Director — because, on its face, it did seem like, well, maybe there’s a potential here for this to be the charge. And we had multiple conversations, multiple conversations with the Justice Department about charging gross negligence,” Page said.

Is the Russia investigation rigged?

“The Justice Department’s assessment was that it was both constitutionally vague, so that they did not actually feel that they could permissibly bring that charge,” she said.

Ratcliffe asked Page if the decision to negate the “gross negligence” charge was a direct order from the Department of Justice.

“When you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to…,” Ratcliffe said.

Page interrupted the representative abruptly and answered him by saying “That’s correct,” the transcript said.

Page said that the Justice Department told them that “the ‘gross negligence’ standard in 793(f), it was their assessment that it was unconstitutionally vague.”

She was asked why the DOJ said that and she said “I really don’t know… I am confident that it was based on their own research in consultation with others, but I don’t have personal knowledge about what the Department did in order to come to that conclusion.”

Lisa Page said FBI discussed charging Hillary Clinton with ‘gross negligence’ in 2016, and DOJ told them no https://t.co/mNzssf9Rx7

— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) March 12, 2019

Lisa Page confirmed to me under oath that the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information. pic.twitter.com/KPQKINBtrB

— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) March 13, 2019

“During her interview with the Judiciary Committee . . . [Lisa] Page was questioned at length about [the “insurance policy”] and essentially confirmed this referred to the Russia investigation.” https://t.co/wETA4OOAXO

— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 12, 2019

#EndWitchHunt@TomFitton: Lisa Page’s testimony confirms that key FBI officials did bend over backwards to protect Hillary Clinton. This shows the Russia probe has been irredeemably compromised & needs to be shut down as Mueller relied on Page & Strzok. #MAGA #TrumpTrain #Dobbs pic.twitter.com/R4901KoDao

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) March 12, 2019

Lisa Page’s testimony raises significant questions that need to be investigated by the DOJ Attorney General. My Latest: Explosive Lisa Page Testimony: Dossier Timeline Contradictions And DOJ Interference https://t.co/tUyNt9x5kT via @SaraCarterDC

— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) March 13, 2019

Source: Lisa Page Tells Congress Obama DOJ Stopped FBI From Charging Clinton With Crime

7 People You Really Don’t Want to Marry

Dear Roger

I’m thinking about getting married. Can you give me some guidelines that may help me know that I am marrying the right guy?

Sincerely, Kate

Dear Kate,

To begin with, please remember that nobody is perfect. If we expect someone to live up to all of these considerations, no one would ever get married.

As you peruse this list, three or four may “pop out” you. Keep an eye on these, most of the others are not worth worrying about. They may well take care of themselves.

Here are some people we ought to consider twice before marrying: 

Read more: 7 People You Really Don’t Want to Marry

Millennials Are More Than A Trillion Dollars In Debt, And Most Of Them Don’t Even Own A Home

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

When compared to a similar point in time, Millennials are deeper in debt than any other generation that has come before them.  And the biggest reason why they are in so much debt may surprise you.

We’ll get to that in a minute, but first let’s talk about the giant mountain of debt that Millennials have accumulated.  According to the New York Fed, the total amount of debt that Millennials are carrying has risen by a whopping 22 percent in just the last five years

New findings from the New York Federal Reserve reveal that millennials have now racked up over US$1 trillion of debt.

This troubling amount of debt, an increase of over 22% in just five years, is more than any other generation in history. This situation may leave you wondering how millennials ended up in such a sorry state.

Many young adults are absolutely drowning in debt, but the composition of that debt is quite different when compared to previous generations at a similar point in time.

Mortgage debt and credit card debt levels are far lower for Millennials, but the level of student loan debt is far, far higher

While the debt levels accumulated by millennials eclipse those of the previous generation, Generation X, at a similar point in time, the complexion of the debt is very different.

According to a 2018 report from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, mortgage debt is about 15% lower for millennials and credit card debt among millennials was about two-thirds that of Gen X.

However, student loan debt was over 300% greater.

Over the last 10 years, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States has more than doubled.

It is an absolutely enormous financial problem, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution.  Some politicians on the left are pledging to make college education “free” in the United States, but they never seem to explain who is going to pay for that.

But what everyone can agree on is that student loan debt levels are wildly out of control.  The following statistics come from Forbes

The latest student loan debt statistics for 2019 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups. There are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans. Borrowers in the Class of 2017, on average, owe $28,650, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

What makes all of this even more depressing is the fact that the quality of “higher education” in the U.S. has gone down the toilet in recent years.  For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled “50 Actual College Course Titles That Prove That America’s Universities Are Training Our College Students To Be Socialists”.

Our colleges and universities are not adequately preparing our young people for their future careers, but they are burdening them with gigantic financial obligations that will haunt many of them for decades to come.

We have a deeply broken system, and we desperately need a complete and total overhaul of our system of higher education.

Due to the fact that so many of them are swamped by student loan debt, the homeownership rate for Millennials is much, much lower than the homeownership rate for the generations that immediately preceded them.  The following comes from CNBC

The homeownership rate for those under 35 was just 36.5 percent in the last quarter of 2018, compared with 61 percent for those aged 35 to 44, and 70 percent for those aged 45 to 54, according to the U.S. Census. The millennial homeownership rate actually dropped in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter, but was unchanged year over year.

This is one of the big reasons why “Housing Bubble 2” is beginning to burst.  There are not enough Millennials buying homes, and it looks like things could be even worse for Generation Z.

If you are a young adult, I would encourage you to limit your exposure to student loan debt as much as possible, because the debt that you accumulate while in school can have very serious long-term implications that you may not even be considering right now.

Source: Millennials Are More Than A Trillion Dollars In Debt, And Most Of Them Don’t Even Own A Home

Trump Thanks Pelosi For ‘No-Impeachment’ Stance, But Notes “Minor Fact That I Never Did Anything Wrong”

President Trump started off hot on Wednesday, tweeting that while he greatly appreciates House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement that she’s against impeachment, “everyone must remember the minor fact that I never did anything wrong.”

Trump boasted that the “Economy and Unemployment are the best ever, Military and Vets are great – and many other successes!”

“How do you impeach a man who is considered by many to be the President with the most successful first two years in history, especially when he has done nothing wrong and impeachment is for “high crimes and misdemeanors”?”

Pelosi (D-CA) came out against impeaching President Trump in a Monday Washington Post article – telling the paper that she thinks it would be too divisive to the country, adding that Trump is “just not worth it.

I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it. –Washington Post

“I don’t usually talk about him this much,” Pelosi added. “This is the most I’ve probably talked about him. I hardly ever talk about him. You know, it’s not about him. It’s about what we can do for the people to lower health-care costs, bigger paychecks, cleaner government.”

Source: Trump Thanks Pelosi For ‘No-Impeachment’ Stance, But Notes “Minor Fact That I Never Did Anything Wrong”

ECFA Accreditation of Harvest, Despite Glaring Improprieties, Raises Concern — Julie Roys

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) says its mission is “enhancing trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries.” Yet as I’ve reported on this blog and WORLD Magazine, Harvest Bible Chapel, which continues to be accredited by the ECFA, has engaged in extremely disconcerting, and potentially fraudulent, activity.

For example, the church has repeatedly used money donated for one purpose to fulfill other purposes. Money given to Walk in the Word, the broadcast ministry of recently-fired Harvest founder James MacDonald, was used to develop a deer herd at Camp Harvest in Michigan. And $1 million in Walk in the Word funds were used to pay liabilities for Harvest Bible Fellowship when that organization dissolved in 2017.

“What’s perhaps most shocking about this revelation is that not only did the church know and approve these expenditures, so did Harvest’s auditors, Capin Crouse . . . This, of course, raises concern about Capin Crouse. But it also raises concern about ECFA,”

But on Saturday, I reported what was probably the grossest misappropriation of funds. According to past Harvest executives,  MacDonald used church funds to pay for lavish personal expenses, including an African safari, Florida vacation, expensive cigars, and more. What’s perhaps most shocking about this revelation is that not only did the church know and approve these expenditures, so did Harvest’s auditors, Capin Crouse, according to Harvest Elder Bill Sperling. This, of course, raises concern about Capin Crouse. But it also raises concern about ECFA, which certainly should have known about these expenditures too.

Since November, I have been requesting interviews with Dan Busby, president of ECFA. He has declined to interview with me every time. However, Busby released the following statement to the Christian Post yesterday.

“The new information alleging financial impropriety at Harvest Bible Chapel is obviously a cause for significantconcern. We will be addressing the implications of these allegations immediately and expect to have more information about ECFA’s response in the coming days.”

I sincerely hope the ECFA is concerned. But given ECFA’s inability to spot financial impropriety at Harvest, I’m concerned too—not just about Harvest, but about ECFA. This group offers its seal of approval to 2,200 evangelical Christian organizations, which allegedly comply to ECFA’s Seven Standards. But given ECFA’s track record with Harvest, how can donors believe ECFA’s assurances?

In November, I sent an email to Busby through his public relations representative with the following specific questions about Harvest:

  • Two former staff members told me that Harvest has a “black budget” — about 20% of the budget that only a very select people within the organization see. For example, the person who used to do payroll for the church said he paid 380 of the church’s 400 employees, but the top 20 executives were paid by Fred Adams, presumably under the authority of the executive committee, but he wasn’t sure. Similarly, the former comptroller said 20% of the budget that was kept secret from him. This included money for top executive salaries and other unspecified projects. Is this common at megachurches? Is this something the ECFA monitors?
  • The top salaries of Harvest employees and those of the MacDonald family are determined by a small executive committee of elders, but the larger board is not aware of those salaries, nor do they ratify them. Does this practice violate step #6 in ECFA’s compensation setting standards?
  • What salary range does the ECFA consider acceptable for senior pastors of a church the size of Harvest? Does MacDonald’s salary fall within that range?
  • Sources have told me that James MacDonald has created numerous LLCs, and that these LLCs are paid funds by the various ministries within the church. So MacDonald may not get a salary directly from these ministries, but instead it goes into one of his LLCs. Can you confirm that this is — or is not happening?
  • Harvest has bought two church buildings by creating two LLCs that have buy the buildings and then lease them back to the church at 6% interest.  At least two executive committee members (“disqualified persons”) are part-owners of those LLCs. Is ECFA aware of this? If so, can the ECFA confirm that the larger board ratified these agreements with full disclosure of the disqualified persons participation?
  • Harvest has many ministries under the umbrella of the church (Walk in the Word, Vertical Church Worship, Harvest Christian Academy, the former Harvest Bible Fellowship, etc…). The money between these ministries seems rather fluid. For example, when Harvest consolidated the former Harvest Bible Fellowship, it took $1 million from Walk in the Word to balance the books. Is that okay? Also, Harvest has used hundreds of thousands of dollars from Walk in the Word to create and maintain a deer herd at Camp Harvest. Proceeds from the herd (which are small in comparison to the cost) go to Camp Harvest scholarships.
  • The main reason Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF) pastors cited for the Fellowship dissolving was that they confronted Harvest Bible Chapel for using HBF money for its own purposes, instead of the purposes of the Fellowship. They also complained that Harvest could not support the allocation of about $573K. Can ECFA vouch for Harvest’s allocation of this money?

I also sent a follow-up email, inquiring about former Harvest CIO, Jeffrey Parham, who was reported to authorities for allegedly embezzling $270,000 from the church since at least 2017. I wondered, as many have, how this could have occurred without Capin Crouse or ECFA noticing it? (I also sent emails to Capin Crouse, requesting an interview, but the organization did not respond.)

ECFA responded with a statement announcing that the group would do an on-site evaluation of Harvest. That evaluation occurred on December 10, after which Busby sent the following statement:

“As part of its ongoing compliance review process, ECFA staff were on-site at Harvest Bible Chapel earlier this month. Of particular interest was the church’s compliance with ECFA’s Standard 6, Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions.

“Harvest Bible Chapel is in full compliance with each of ECFA’s Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship and remains a member in good standing with ECFA.”

This is absolutely stunning, given the financial abuse at Harvest, and evidence that ECFA’s accreditation may be nothing more than a false assurance.

I again have reached out to Busby and requested an interview. For the sake of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of donors, I hope he agrees to one. Given ECFA’s glaring failure at Harvest, these donors deserve answers.

via ECFA Accreditation of Harvest, Despite Glaring Improprieties, Raises Concern — Julie Roys