Daily Archives: May 25, 2019

May 25 Does Your Prayer Honor God?

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16–22

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

The believer’s two most important spiritual disciplines are Bible study and prayer. It is impossible to grow continually in Christ without practicing both. Prayer is the primary means by which we talk to God, and also a way He grows us: it is through prayer that we petition the Lord and trust Him for the answer. In this way, we learn to listen to Him, just as we learn to wait for His answer. And He loves for us to put Him in His proper place of honor through the spiritual act of worship called prayer.

Indeed, prayer is one of the best ways in which we can honor God. When we pray to our heavenly Father, we are acknowledging that He is God, that He truly is the high and exalted One who lives forever and whose name is Holy. God alone deserves glory, and we ascribe honor to Him when we pray continually—that is, maintain a God-ward attitude throughout the day, asking Him to govern every detail of our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Our heavenly Father dwells both on a high and holy place and also with the contrite and lowly in spirit. This means that our motives and the condition of our hearts are very important in prayer. Simply wanting to “get our way” is not the spirit of prayer that honors God. Furthermore, it does not produce prayers that God will answer. The Lord longs for an intimate relationship with us, and time spent in communication is the best way to grow close to Him.

Lord, examine the motives and condition of my heart. I want to exalt You in Your proper place of honor. Make me lowly in spirit.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 152). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Teach Me — The Thirsty Theologian

Teach Me, My God and King

imageTeach me, my God and King,
in all things Thee to see,
and what I do in anything,
to do it as for Thee.

To scorn the senses’ sway,
while still to Thee I tend;
in all I do be Thou the Way,
in all be Thou the End.

All may of Thee partake;
nothing so small can be,
but draws, when acted for Thy sake,
greatness and worth from Thee.

If done t’obey Thy laws,
e’en servile labors shine;
hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
the meanest work divine.

Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017).

Right tune, wrong hymn:

The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

via In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Teach Me — The Thirsty Theologian

May 25 Resolute Trust

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 2:14–18

Key Verse: Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Stock markets rise and fall. Farm prices soar and plummet. Personal health peaks and dips.

Such is the nature of our unstable environment: ever changing, altering, moving, shifting. But believers have a firm anchor in such fluctuation, a sure faith in an unchanging God who promises to never leave us helpless.

God is sovereign. God is always at work in every detail of our lives, using each setback and victory for His primary purpose: to glorify Himself by conforming us to Christ’s image. No event or person is outside the power and rule of God.

God is wise. His wisdom is yours as you humbly ask and expectantly receive. His Word and Spirit will light your path to fulfill His will for your life.

God is loving. Whatever comes you are kept secure in the love of God. His love ensures He will provide for, guide, and sustain you. He tenderly cares for your innermost needs. Nothing can keep you outside His love.

Because God is sovereign, wise, and loving, you can trust Him without reservation. Resolute trust will quell your fears, calm your quivers, and stabilize your emotions. He holds you fast and will not let go.

Precious heavenly Father, You are an unchanging God who never leaves me helpless. You are sovereign and at work in every detail of my life. Use each setback and victory to accomplish Your purpose of conforming me to Christ’s image.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 152). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 25 A Passion for God

Scripture reading: Revelation 3:14–22

Key verses: Revelation 3:15–16

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Christianity is not for fence-sitters. Once rescued from sin’s penalty by faith in Christ, the believer enters an engaging, transforming relationship with God that should be marked with unparalleled intensity and zeal.

The apostle John recorded Jesus’ rebuke of the church at Laodicea for its mediocrity: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot … Because you are lukewarm … I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16).

The Greek word used for “hot” means literally “boiling hot.” Nonchalance or apathy is repulsive to God.

God gave His all to save us. In return, without coercion, He asks us to love Him with all of our hearts, souls, and minds; to serve Him cheerfully and wholeheartedly; to worship Him with grateful fervor.

Why? Because God wants the best for us. He desires that we experience His fullness of life each day. That is impossible if we seek Him feebly, love and worship Him casually, or pray sporadically.

If your relationship with the Savior is tepid, your Christian experience will be lackluster, impotent, and uncompelling to a world awash with mediocrity. But the fire is lit. You can find new passion for God and fulfillment in His service, if you desire.

Lord, I love You with all of my heart, soul, and mind. I want to serve You cheerfully and wholeheartedly and worship You with grateful fervor. Restore my passion.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 152). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Jesse Ventura and Ron Paul: Iran in 1953 was the first time the CIA overthrew a foreign government | RT America

Jesse Ventura and producer Brigida Santos discuss the aggression of US foreign policy and look at the country’s current conflicts including hot wars, cold wars, economic wars and proxy wars. They also break down the history of the 1953 coup in Iran–the C.I.A’s first successful takedown of a foreign government.

Nearly 25% of Americans Are in Debt Just Paying for Basic Necessities Like Food — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

American have an average of $6,506 in credit card debt, according to a new Experian report out this week. But which expenses are adding to that balance the most?

A full 23% of Americans say that paying for basic necessities such as rent, utilities and food contributes the most to their credit card debt, according to a new survey of approximately 2,200 U.S. adults that CNBC Make It performed in conjunction with Morning Consult. Another 12% say medical bills are the biggest portion of their debt.

That makes sense, given that day-to-day costs continue to soar. Middle class life is now 30% more expensive than it was 20 years ago. The cost of things such as college, housing and child care has risen precipitously: Tuition at public universities doubled between 1996 and 2016 and housing prices in popular cities have quadrupled, Alissa Quart, author and executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Projecttells CNBC Make It.

It’s now common to be just scraping by. A majority of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and more than 70% of U.S. adults say they’d be in a difficult situation if their paycheck was delayed by a week, according to a survey of over 30,000 adults conducted by the American Payroll Association released in September.

Click here to continue reading.

SOURCE: Megan Leonhardt

via Nearly 25% of Americans Are in Debt Just Paying for Basic Necessities Like Food — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

EXCLUSIVE: Rumors Swirling that Fired Italian Spies Were Connected in Plot to Eliminate Trump — The Gateway Pundit

Rumors are swirling that the recent firings of top Italian spies were related to Obama and a plot to set up candidate and President Trump in a Hillary email scandal.

Earlier this month  Italian Prime Minister Conte asked for the resignations of four top intelligence officials after his call with President Donald Trump.

And now another Internet Sleuth has uncovered some shocking news related to the recent removal of these top Italian intelligence ministers from their positions as top spies in the government. 

The story begins in January 2017 when Computer World wrote about alleged crimes committed by Italian Giulio Occhionero:

The Tuesday  arrest of Giulio Occhionero and his sister, Francesca Maria, has brought to light what appears to be the biggest, and highest-profile, hacking of institutional and corporate accounts ever reported in Italy.

The siblings have been planting the Pyramid Eye remote access Trojan on computers using a spear-phishing technique over several years, according to the arrest order.

They attacked at least 18,000 high-profile targets, including former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Mario Monti, President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi, as well as employees and heads of various ministries including Internal Affairs, Treasury, Finance and Education.

But Giulio Occhionero claimed that he and his sister, Francesca Maria, were set up.  A piece reported by Frederico Punzi, writing in The Atlantico, notes their denials and more:

Occhionero complained to the Prosecutor of the Republic of Perugia and wrote to the U.S. Congress and the FBI. In fact, there are a number of contradictions and suspicious circumstances in the case.

Occhionero provided the letter that he claims he sent US Congress and the FBI:

No Title

Occhionero claims and it’s reported that:

Members of Italian intelligence were approached by Hillary Clinton, the Obama Administration, and the Deep State in order to frame Trump by PLANTING EVIDENCE on American servers to force Trump to step down from office.

In other words, members of Italian intelligence found a target in Occhionero, a Republican-sympathizer who had two servers for his company, Westland Securities, located in America. One was in Washington State, and the other in West Virginia.

The plan was for Italian Intelligence to hack into these servers, plant classified emails from Hillary’s servers inside these servers on American soil, and then alert the FBI.

The FBI would then raid these locations, “discover” these e-mails, investigate, link these servers to Trump…

And then force Trump to resign.

Occhionero believes that Obama and the former leader of Italy, Matteo Renzi, worked together on this plan and he provides reports of their meetings in Italy before the 2016 election and in early 2017.

Why Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is Dining With Obama

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is joining Barack Obama for the last formal dinner of his presidency. Why?

Barack Obama Arrives in Milan for Climate Speech, Meeting with Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Former President Barack Obama touched down in Milan, Italy, on Monday, kicking off a two-day trip in which he will meet with former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and also discuss climate change at a conference.

Occhionero’s twitter account has numerous tweets related to this subject, including the fact that Robert Mueller from the Mueller report awarded one of the top spies in Italy the FBI Medal of Honor.

The Italian spy network had a close relationship with Joseph Mifsud, the individual who set up Trump Campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos in Rome and London. 

Mifsud is well known as related to the Italian spy agencies and yet Mueller labeled Mifsud a ‘Russian’ in the Mueller report.

It’s also suspected that former FBI Agent Bill Priestap may have identified connections with Italy which are redacted in his testimony to Congress:

It looks like the Italians have a lot of information that may be of interest to AG Barr and his investigation into the Deep State.  Numerous individuals in Italy are suspected of having knowledge of an attempt by former President Obama to utilize the Italian Intel network to set up President Trump leading to his removal from office. 

It is highly probable that former President Obama and his Deep State FBI worked with foreign countries like Italy to assist in the removal of President Trump from office.  Unfortunately for Obama, his coup even with this assistance failed.

via EXCLUSIVE: Rumors Swirling that Fired Italian Spies Were Connected in Plot to Eliminate Trump — The Gateway Pundit

Edward Snowden: DOJ ‘declared war’ on journalism by charging Julian Assange with espionage | Washington Examiner

Article Image

Edward Snowden said the Justice Department declared “war” on journalism after accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of violating the Espionage Act.

Federal prosecutors filed a new 18-count indictment against Assange on Thursday, adding 17 counts to the single count that was unsealed in early April, alleging he unlawfully received and leaked information related to national defense.

Snowden reacted on Twitter. “The Department of Justice just declared war—€ not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media.” he said.

John Demers, DOJ’s assistant attorney general for national security, said “Julian Assange is no journalist” and argued Assange was involved in “explicit solicitation of classified information,” including leaks by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, called Assange’s arrest in April “a dark moment for press freedom.”

Snowden was charged by the Department of Justice on two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and one charge of stealing property of the U.S. federal government. The Russian government has granted him asylum status since 2013.

Spurious 18-Count Indictment of Julian Assange: A Mockery of Justice | Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman

It was just a matter of time before the Trump regime piled on more spurious charges against Assange, clearly prepared long before Thursday’s release.

They’re on top of falsely accusing him of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion,” according to an unsealed indictment, dated March 6, 2018.

New charges and the above one are all about waging war on truth-telling investigative journalism the way it should be conducted, providing vital information on issues related to the rule of law, fundamental rights, and the public welfare.

On Thursday, the Trump regime’s Justice Department headlined: “WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Charged in 18-Count Superseding Indictment — Charges Related to Illegally Obtaining, Receiving and Disclosing Classified Information (sic).”

Spurious charges include the following:

“Criminal No.1:18-cr-l11 (CMH)

Count1: 18 U.S.C. (US Code) § 793(g) Conspiracy To Receive National Defense Information

Counts 2-4: 18 U.S.C. & 793(b) and 2 — Obtaining National Defense Information

Counts 5-8: 18 U.S.C. § 793(c) and 2 — Obtaining National Defense Information

Counts 9-11: 18U.S.C. §793(d) and 2 — Disclosure of National Defense Information

Counts 12-14: 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) and 2 — Disclosure of National Defense Information

Counts 15-17: 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) — Disclosure of National Defense Information

Count 18: 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1030 — Conspiracy To Commit Computer Intrusion”

According an accompanying DOJ statement, “Assange conspired with (Chelsea) Manning…aid(ing) and abet(ing) her in obtaining classified information with reason to believe that the information was to be used to the injury of the United States or the advantage of a foreign nation” — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Manning is a courageous whistleblower. Material she released exposed US high crimes of war and against humanity, information vital for the public to know about how its government operates — extrajudicially time and again, accountability never forthcoming.

Assange is an investigative journalist. He earlier explained that WikiLeaks has the right “to publish newsworthy content,” adding: “Consistent with the US Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true.”

Everyone in the US has the same right, what the First Amendment is all about, affirming speech, press, and academic freedoms – the most fundamental of all democratic rights bipartisan hardliners in Washington want compromised and eliminated.

Arresting and detaining Assange by UK authorities for extradition to the US for prosecution on the above charges is all about wanting truth-telling on vital issues suppressed — the same true for actions taken against Manning and other courageous whistleblowers.

The US wants scrutiny of its dirty linen prevented. Targeting individuals courageously revealing it harshly is all about intimidating other potential whistleblowers with damning information to remain silent.

Manning, Assange, and others targeted like them are innocent of charges against them. They’re victims of US judicial unfairness, denied their fundamental habeas, due process, and equal protection under law rights.

Manning is currently detained indefinitely for invoking her constitutional right to remain silent — refusing to give grand jury testimony that could unwittingly be used by prosecutors against Assange, potentially leaving herself vulnerable to new falsified charges.

Like Manning in 2010, Assange is charged under the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act, relating to WW I, what should have been rescinded at war’s end.

Following Assange’s unlawful April 11 arrest in London at the behest of the Trump regime, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called the action against him “an attack on press freedom,” a flagrant First Amendment breach, leaving all independent journalists vulnerable to similar actions against them.

In response to Thursday’s 18-count indictment of Assange, ACLU speech, privacy, and technology project director Ben Wizner said the following:

“For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges against a publisher for the publication of truthful information,” adding:

“This is an extraordinary escalation of the Trump (regime’s) attacks on journalism, and a direct assault on the First Amendment.”

“It establishes a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government accountable by publishing its secrets.”

Each charge against Assange carries a potential 10-year sentence. Trump regime hardliners want him punished and silenced behind bars longterm — for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it should be.

In response to Thursday’s indictment, WikiLeaks tweeted: “This is madness.” It represents “the end of national security journalism and the first amendment.”

At age 47 in poor health from his near seven-year ordeal in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid his current fate, a slow-motion judicial unfairness death sentence likely awaits him.

Given deplorable healthcare for US prison inmates, what greatly shortened human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart’s life from her unjustifiable four-year imprisonment ordeal, Assange may not last more than a few years behind bars, especially if abused by US prison authorities.

A Final Comment

Chelsea Manning and her lawyer Moira Meltzer-Cohen said the following in response to Assange’s 18-count indictment:

“The continued detention of Chelsea Manning is purely punitive. Today’s events underscore what Chelsea has previously said, that “(a)ll of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013.”

“I continue to accept full and sole responsibility for those disclosures in 2010. It’s telling that the government appears to have already obtained this indictment before my contempt hearing last week. (The Trump regime) describes the press as the opposition party and an enemy of the people.”

“Today, they use the law as a sword, and have shown their willingness to bring the full power of the state against the very institution intended to shield us from such excesses.”

Manning’s attorney Meltzer-Cohen said “up until now, the Department Of Justice has been reticent to actually indict publishers for work implicating matters of national security, because the first amendment rights of the press and public are so constitutionally valuable.”

Assange’s 18-count indictment “signals a real shift, and sets a new precedent for the federal government’s desire to chill and even punish the vigorous exercise of the free press.”

Source: Spurious 18-Count Indictment of Julian Assange: A Mockery of Justice

Professional Assange Smearers Finally Realize His Fate Is Tied To Theirs | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone,

Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said.

“It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”

“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case.

“The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.

Maddow carefully explained to her audience that these new charges have nothing at all to do with the 2016 election or any of the Russiagate nonsense the MSNBC pundit has been devoting her life to, correctly calling what the Trump administration is doing with Assange “a novel legal effort to punch a huge hole in the First Amendment.” She tied this in with Trump’s common references to the mass media as the “enemy of the people”, finally taking mainstream liberalism into a direct confrontation with Trump’s actual war on the press instead of nonsense about his tweeting mean things about Jim Acosta. She rightly highlighted the dangers of allowing a president with a thick authoritarian streak the ability to prosecute journalists he doesn’t like, and discussed the possibility that the UK may not comply with this new agenda in extradition proceedings.

“I think these 17 espionage charges against the WikiLeaks guy are a huge deal, and a very dark development,” Maddow concluded. “Chris Hayes this evening called it a ‘four alarm development’, and I absolutely share that.”

“And, you know, I know you,” Maddow continued, pointing to the camera. “Given everything else that we know about the WikiLeaks guy, I can feel through the television right now your mixed feelings about what I am saying. I can feel what may be, perhaps, a certain lack of concern about Julian Assange’s ultimate fate, given his own gleeful and extensive personal role in trying to help a hostile foreign government interfere in our election in order to install their chosen president with WikiLeaks’ help. Okay? I know. Okay, I feel ya. I got it. But, it is a recurring theme in history, heck, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, that they always pick the least sympathetic figures to try this stuff on first. Despite anyone’s feelings about this spectacularly unsympathetic character at the center of this international drama, you are going to see every journalistic institution in this country, every First Amendment supporter in this country, left, right and center, swallow their feelings about this particular human and denounce what the Trump administration is trying to do here. Because it would fundamentally change the United States of America.”

Wow. Make no mistake, this is a hugely significant development. This isn’t just some columnist for the New York Times or the Guardian, this is Rachel effing Maddow, the Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussyhat-wearing Russiagate insanity. This same pundit was just a couple of months ago not just smearing but outright lying about Assange, deceitfully telling her audience that the new legal rings closing around Assange were about his 2016 publications then instructing viewers not to Google anything about it because they’ll get computer viruses. Now that she’s recognized that this could actually hurt her and her network directly, she’s finally feeding her audience a different narrative out of sheer enlightened self-interest.

The fact that such a hugely influential figure in mainstream liberal media is now pushing back against Assange’s prosecution, and doing so in a way that her mainstream liberal anti-Trump audience can relate to, cannot be over-appreciated. Maddow’s credulous audience would eat live kittens if she told them to, so the way she’s pushing back against a dangerous legal precedent in language they can understand will make a difference in the way American liberals think about Assange’s predicament. It won’t make them like him, it won’t make them value the things he’s done, but it will get them to finally begin resisting something that badly needs to be resisted. And that’s huge.

The danger has always been that this fatal blow to journalism would be meted out with total compliance and support from a population hammered into docility by the ongoing narrative war which has been waged on Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputations with the help of the mass media. There was a very real danger that thought leaders like Maddow were going to choose their feelings over reasoning when the foot finally fell and the charges that criminalize journalism as “espionage” were finally put into play. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if she’d applied that giant intellect of hers into making it possible to ignore it without upsetting her audience and try and figure it out later when it was too late and the legal precedent was set. It would have been so easy to keep feeding into the dominant “Assange is bad so everything bad that happens to him is good” sentiment, but she didn’t. She directly contradicted it.

She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.

If the resting smugfaced apex of liberal psychosis is getting this one right, then many more will surely follow. And indeed, many already are. In addition to Hayes’ coverage of the story, MSNBC’s Ari Melber also did a segment harshly criticizing the implications of Trump administration’s new charges. We’re seeing multiple segments from CNN about the grave dangers of the legal precedent that is being set with the superseding indictment, as well as urgent warnings about the new charges from major publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. The outlets which have been smearing Assange relentlessly are now finding themselves forced to defend him.

A typical comment under Maddow’s YouTube share of this segment reads “This is very strange. Very alarming! There we go again. The GOP is preparing the country for a Dictatorship.” And okay, that’s not exactly what is happening (this has been a bipartisan push and it’s not just preparations, we’re in full swing), but whatever, now this viewer can actually see the monster’s outlines. Finally the Maddow crowd which has been fruitlessly expending all their energy so far on punching at Russian shadows will actually be attacking a real thing.

And I’m quietly excited about that. I’m eager to see what happens to the #Resistance if it actually starts #Resisting something. It doesn’t matter that this is only happening because mainstream liberal media outlets realized that they might be next on the chopping block; it matters that it’s happening, period. Last month I argued that all journalists everywhere should be defending Assange regardless of how they feel about him, “out of sheer, garden variety self-interest.” And now that’s happening, and that’s a good thing.

For years mainstream liberals have been fixating on the fake Russiagate psyop and rending their garments about Trump’s rude tweets while commentators like me desperately implored them to pay attention to the actual dangerous agendas that this administration is actually advancing. They’ve been in a holding pattern of adamantly refusing to do that, and now, because it’s threatening them personally, we’re suddenly seeing a sharp deviation from that holding pattern.

As Bill Murray said at the end of Groundhog Day, something is different. Anything different is good.

*  *  *

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Source: Professional Assange Smearers Finally Realize His Fate Is Tied To Theirs

Obama’s Spying On The Press Was Far More Extensive Than Previously Thought — Christian Research Network

“When not harassing reporters, Obama officials refused to cooperate with them, racking up the worse record for fulfilling FOIA of any previous administration. Obama even routinely banned news photographers from official events so he could keep an iron grip on his image. Michelle Obama banned the press from her taxpayer-paid China visit.” 

(John Merline – Issues & Insights)  President Trump might be openly hostile to the mainstream media, but it was the Obama administration that was engaged in a widespread effort to thwart the media. Which do you think is more harmful to a free press?

The full extent of Obama’s actions against the press are only now coming to light.

The Columbia Journalism Review reports on a newly released government document showing that the Obama Justice Department engaged in a far more sweeping effort to spy on the Associated Press than previously believed.

“In 2013, the Justice Department launched a brazen attack on press freedom,” the CJR notes, “issuing sweeping subpoenas for the phone records of The Associated Press and several of its reporters and editors as part of a leak investigation. At the time, the subpoenas were widely seen as a massive intrusion into newsgathering operations. Last month, we learned that they told only part of the story.”

The spying came in the wake of the AP’s reporting on a thwarted Yemen-based bomb plot, which contained classified information about the CIA operation. Months later, the AP learned that the DOJ had vacuumed up two-months of phone records on 21 different lines trying to find the leaker. View article →

via Obama’s Spying On The Press Was Far More Extensive Than Previously Thought — Christian Research Network

Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks President Trump’s Border Wall Plans — The Gateway Pundit

Another day, another corrupt Obama judge legislating from the bench.

California US District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam, an Obama appointee, issued a preliminary injunction on Friday partially blocking President Trump’s $1 billion border wall plan.

The anti-American ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition who argued Trump’s plan to divert funds from the Pentagon to build the wall is unconstitutional.

The Sierra Club also argued that walls “divide neighborhoods, worsen dangerous flooding and destroy lands and wildlife.”

“Because the Court has found that Plaintiffs are likely to show that Defendants’ actions exceeded their statutory authority, and that irreparable harm will result from those actions, a preliminary injunction must issue pending a resolution of the merits of the case,” the judge said in court.

The corrupt Obama judge cited the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches in making his decision.

“The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Gilliam wrote.

The ACLU celebrated the activist judge for making a political decision to undermine President Trump and put our national security at risk.

“This order is a win for our system of checks and balances, the rule of law, and border communities. The court blocked all the wall projects currently slated for immediate construction. If the administration begins illegally diverting additional military funds, we’ll be back in court to block that as well,” Dror Ladin, attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

In February, President Trump declared a national emergency to divert funds from the Defense Department to pay for a portion of the border wall.

The crisis at the US-Mexico border is the worst it has ever been as over 100,000 illegal aliens flood across the border every month and the Democrats along with their activist judges are doing everything they can to prevent Trump from stopping the invasion.

via Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks President Trump’s Border Wall Plans — The Gateway Pundit

JP Morgan Slashes Second-quarter GDP Forecast to Just 1% — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

A truck hauls a shipping container at Yusen Terminals (YTI) on Terminal Island at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. (Mike Blake | Reuters)

J.P. Morgan economists said they now see much slower second-quarter growth of just 1%, down from their prior forecast of 2.25% and way off the 3.2% reported in the first quarter.

“The April durable goods report was bad, particularly the details relating to capital goods orders and shipments. Coming on the heels of last week’s crummy April retail sales report, it suggests second quarter activity growth is sharply downshifting from the first quarter pace, ” the economists wrote.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now tracker has GDP growth for the first quarter at 1.3% for the quarter.

The J.P. Morgan economists also changed their view on the Fed, and now do not expect the next move to be an interest rate hike.

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SOURCE: Patti Domm

via JP Morgan Slashes Second-quarter GDP Forecast to Just 1% — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

May 25, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day


and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (5:5b–6)

Inseparably linked to and underlying a submissive attitude is a mind given to humility (cf. Ps. 25:9; Dan 10:12; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 5:3–5; Eph. 4:1–2; James 4:10). Because always the truly humble—and only the humble—submit, both of Peter’s commands encompass all believers.

Clothe (egkomboomai) literally means “to tie something on oneself,” such as a work apron worn by servants. Here it describes figuratively covering oneself with an attitude of humility as one submits to authorities over him. The word for humility here is tapeinophrosunēn, “lowliness of mind,” or “self-abasement.” It describes the attitude of one who willingly serves, even in the lowliest of tasks (cf. 1 Cor. 4:1–5; 2 Cor. 4:7; Phil. 2:5–7). Perhaps even more so than today, humility was not an admired trait in the first-century pagan world. People saw it as a characteristic of weakness and cowardice, to be tolerated only in the involuntary submission of slaves.

As Peter wrote this verse, he likely recalled Jesus’ tying a towel on Himself and washing the disciples’ feet, including his own, as recorded in John 13:3–11 and applied by Jesus in verses 12–17, as follows:

So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (cf. Ps. 131:1–2; Matt. 25:37–40; Luke 22:24–27; Rom. 12:3, 10, 16; Phil. 2:3–11)

To reinforce his exhortation for humility, Peter quoted from Proverbs 3:34, God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble (cf. James 4:6). Peter’s quote differs slightly from the Septuagint by substituting God for the Septuagint’s “Lord,” but the names are obviously synonymous. Without question, that the Lord is opposed to the proud (cf. Prov. 6:16–17a; 8:13) is the greatest motivation for saints to adopt the attitude of humility. Pride sets one against God and vice versa. On the other hand, God blesses and gives grace to the humble (cf. Job 22:29; Ps. 37:11; Prov. 22:4; 29:23; Matt. 11:29; Luke 10:21; 18:13–14; 1 Cor. 1:28–29; 2 Cor. 4:7–18). The prophet Isaiah stated the principle well, “For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isa. 57:15; cf. 66:2).

The apostle Paul knew the grace that comes to the humble:

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:7–10)

Based on the above verse from Proverbs that Peter mentioned, this command comes forcefully: therefore humble yourselves in submission, not only to avoid divine opposition and to receive divine grace, but because the authority over all believers in the church is none other than the mighty hand of God. Or as James stated it, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord” (4:10a).

The mighty hand of God is descriptive of God’s sovereign power at work in and through the elders of the church, as well as in the life experience of His people (cf. Isa. 48:13; Ezek. 20:33–34; Zeph. 1:4; 2:13; Luke 1:49–51). Whether for deliverance (Ex. 3:19–20; 13:3–16), for testing (Job 30:20–21), or for chastening (Ezek. 20:33–38), God’s might is always accomplishing His eternal purposes on behalf of His own (cf. Pss. 57:2; 138:8; Isa. 14:24–27; 46:10; 55:11; Jer. 51:12; Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:28; 9:11, 17; Eph. 3:11; Phil. 2:13). In their time of persecution, suffering, and testing, that assurance would encourage Peter’s audience to persevere (cf. Ps. 37:24; Prov. 4:18; Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Rom. 8:30–39; Heb. 12:2–3; James 1:4, 12; Rev. 3:5), knowing that all their suffering is only so that He may exalt them at the proper time (cf. 5:10). Even as Jesus Christ was born at the appropriate time (Gal. 4:4; Titus 1:3) and died a substitutionary death at the exact time God designed (1 Tim. 2:6), God will exalt (hupsoō, “to raise or lift up”) believers out of their trials, tribulations, and sufferings at His wisely determined time. Some have suggested that this exaltation could be a reference to the final eschatological glory that comes to believers at the Second Coming, the “last time” Peter referred to in 1:5 (cf. 2:12); but the Greek phrase en kairō is literally “in time” (cf. Acts 19:23; Rom. 9:9) and is not an eschatological term. It is better to see this as the appointed time when the Lord lifts the humble and submissive believer up out of difficulty.

If the foundational attitude for spiritual growth is submission, humility is, then, the footing to which the foundation is anchored. To become proudly rebellious, fight against the Lord’s purposes, or judge His providence as unkind or unfair is to forfeit the sweet grace of His exaltation when the trial has fulfilled its purpose (cf. James 1:2–4). It is the Lord Jesus Himself who promised, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).[1]

Humble Yourselves

1 Peter 5:5–6

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:5–6)

The Global Need for Humility

The pioneering missionary William Carey wrote a letter to one of his sons on the occasion of Carey’s birthday:

I am this day 70 years old, a monument of Divine mercy and goodness, though on a review of my life I find much, very much, for which I ought to be humbled in the dust; my direct and positive sins are innumerable, my negligence in the Lord’s work has been great, I have not promoted his cause, nor sought his glory and honor as I ought. Notwithstanding all this, I am spared till now, and am still retained in his work. I trust for acceptance with Him to the blood of Christ alone.

This is an astonishing statement, given the scope of Carey’s devotion and labor. He went to India in 1793 and worked without respite, with scarcely a tenth of the resources or support he needed. He hardly rested as he evangelized, taught, and translated the Bible, in whole or in part, into forty languages or dialects. How could Carey possibly fault himself for sinfulness and sloth? Did he suffer from poor self-esteem, morbid self-inspection, or the ancient battle with age and mortality?

Carey’s letter seems strange today because so many people succumb to pride. Just as some physical diseases are treated but never cured, so spiritual pride is treated but never fully removed. Pride is also a malady that resists treatment. Flaws such as an explosive temper and procrastination are hard to deny because the evidence is public. But some sins are hidden, even from those who suffer them. Pride and self-righteousness are cases in point because awareness of sin is precisely what the proud lack.

If someone points out a sin, the proud plead special circumstances or a misunderstanding. If a friend points out that the very refusal to admit any sin is pride, and that pride is the root of the problem, the proud protest that, too: “But I haven’t done anything wrong. Why are you picking on me? You are so critical.” The proud examine themselves and say, “Very good.”

Again and again, the Scriptures tell us that God opposes the proud and brings them low, even as he exalts the humble. According to 1 Samuel 2:7–8, “The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.” David agrees: “Though the Lord is on high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar” (Ps. 138:6). Job 5:11 declares that God “sets on high those who are lowly.” And Isaiah 2:11 agrees: “The lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (all esv).

With tiny variations, Jesus says the same thing on three separate occasions: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11; 18:14; Matt. 23:12; cf. Matt. 18:4; Luke 1:52). Both 1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6 quote the Septuagint of Proverbs 3:34 almost verbatim, saying, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Clearly, the call to humility pervades Scripture. In 1 Peter, it is the apostle’s last word on leadership and the first in his series of closing exhortations for the church.

The Need for Humility before Leaders

In 1 Peter 5:1–4, Peter told the church’s elders—its leaders—to shepherd and oversee the flock in three ways. They must serve eagerly, not for personal gain; they must serve willingly, not grudgingly; and they must not domineer, but set an example. If these are the duties of the elders, then the prime duty of the younger is to be submissive, to yield, to follow, to defer, even to obey (see chapter 8).

Peter teaches that elders must lead and that young men must be submissive (1 Peter 5:1–5). But he quickly moves to the whole church: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’ ” (5:5).

In 1 Peter 5:5, the niv says that “young men” must be submissive, but the original is simply “the younger” (see esv). A few interpreters believe that “the younger” means younger leaders, who should defer to older leaders, but there is no real evidence that the early church had a recognized body of younger leaders. Rather, Peter shifts from the duty of shepherd to flock to the duty of flock to shepherd. “The younger” might seem like an unusual term for the whole church. Peter does call his readers “dear friends” twice (2:11; 4:12), but he doesn’t have a favorite term of address as, for example, the epistles of James (“brothers”) and John (“beloved”) do. Further, Peter has already used “in the same way” (niv) or “likewise” (esv) to introduce reciprocal duties in 3:1, 7. So it makes sense to match the duties of “the elders” (5:1) with the duties of “the younger.”

It is human nature for adults, especially “the younger,” to pick and choose what we like in the style and direction of our leaders. But we need to question ourselves. If we constantly judge our leaders, deciding what we do and don’t like, what we will and won’t heed, we aren’t truly following them. The songwriter Jeff Tweedy illustrates the point. He leads a band, Wilco, that one critic called peaceful on the outside, demented on the inside. The band plays soft ballads with jazzy chords, then scorching, cacophonous guitar licks. Laid-back country rock plays beside electric distortion that hides simple melodies. The band changes styles radically between albums and sometimes even within a song. Some suspect that they aim to befuddle their fans. Their song “Side with the Seeds” addresses the issue. It starts bluesy, tuneful, and slow. It picks up speed, until two guitars race to a dissonant, exhausted coda. The lyrics lament that some fans of trees “side with the leaves” and some “side with the seeds.” To side with the seeds is absurd, since trees need leaves and seeds alike. People try to choose between the two sides of Wilco—the tuneful band and the experimental one. But Wilco is both, and it’s impossible to choose between them. The song’s last line says, “I’ll side with you, if you side with me.” So Tweedy asks fans to side with him and his band as a whole, not to choose between the parts that they love or hate. True loyalty goes to whole persons, in both their winsome and difficult aspects. That is true in friendship, in marriage, and in leader-follower relationships.

Good leaders are loyal to the whole church, even the people and policies they dislike. Wise followers yield to the church and its leaders as a whole, even if certain decisions seem flawed. Jesus loves both sides of us, the beautiful and the ruined. We can do the same for each other and the church.

The Need for Humility in All Church Relationships

By chapter 5, Peter has already spoken of subjection to authorities several times (1 Peter 2:13, 18; 3:1), so he can quickly shift from his words on church leadership to the first of his closing exhortations for his church. While the younger should especially submit to their elders, everyone should be humble: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’ ” (5:5b).

By definition, a church is a gathering of the humble. Disciples are confident of their worth, since we know that God created us in his image and valued us enough to send his Son for us. Yet every believer is aware of his sin and need. Every disciple has repented, and when we repent, we both confess particular sins and admit that we are selfish and rebellious to the bone. Knowing that we are incapable of self-reform, we trust in Christ to forgive and restore us. This is the conviction of every Christian.

For this reason, Peter says, “God opposes the proud.” This is a global principle, often repeated in Scripture. It is a gospel principle, essential for a saving relationship with God. Yet it is vital for human relationships, too. Peter wisely leads with it as he offers his guidance for a church that needs to survive constant pressure, even persecution.

It is human nature—fallen human nature—to be proud. Left to ourselves, we will be the center of our universe and our own chief concern. We trust ourselves and our resources. If we succeed, we crow, “Behold what I have done.” If we falter, we rationalize, “I had no resources! What could I do?”

Self-reliance, a sense of our merit, runs strong in humanity. Yet believers are humble in principle because we know and confess that we sin. More important, we are sinful and too weak to reform ourselves. Therefore, we should be humble.

In Psalm 51:5, David confessed that he sinned because sin dwells deep within: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” After twenty-five years of daunting service to the Lord Jesus, the great apostle Paul confessed that he was still “a slave to sin” in Romans 7:14.

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.… For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (Rom. 7:14–15, 18 esv)

This means, first, that we deserve none of God’s favor, that his salvation is entirely gracious. We could easily keep our attention there, but we must hear the exhortation to practical humility: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’ ” (1 Peter 5:5). It is illuminating to outline the passage:

5:5 Command: “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,”

Reason: “because God opposes the proud,”

Promise: “but gives grace to the humble.”

5:6 Command: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,”

Promise: “that he may lift you up in due time.”

The Christ-centered theologian might focus on 1 Peter 5:6 and the gospel. Yet at the moment, Peter uses the gospel to motivate conduct. Given the context, we realize that Peter wants believers to obey their spiritual leaders. Beyond that, Peter urges the reciprocity between all believers that lets Christian community thrive.

This reminds us of Peter’s prior statement of the need for mutuality in 1 Peter 4. There, in similar language, Peter said that believers should “keep loving one another earnestly, … show hospitality to one another without grumbling,” and “serve one another” with our God-given gifts (4:8–10 esv). In 1 Peter 5, the common motif in the commands lies with motivation, not mutuality. If we remove some subordinate clauses, the interest is clear (following the niv):

5:5 “Clothe yourselves with humility … because ‘God opposes the proud.…’ ”

5:6 “Humble yourselves … that he may lift you up.”

So Peter offers theological motives for his instruction. The command “Clothe yourselves with humility” imagines humility as a garment that believers fasten to themselves. The root of “clothe yourselves” refers to an apron that a slave or herdsman tied over his tunic to keep it clean. In Greek culture, humble-mindedness “meant an attitude expected of slaves but unworthy of free people.” Our word humiliation has similar emotional heft. Yet believers should wrap themselves in humility because “God opposes the proud.”

God does indeed oppose the proud, as the Bible often says (Isa. 26:5; Lam. 1:5; Ezek. 17:24; Hos. 14:9). Well-known narratives show how pride operates and how pride toward God ruins relations with neighbors. For example, Cain and Abel both brought gifts to God in Genesis. Abel brought the first and best from his flocks. Cain brought whatever he pleased from his fields. When God preferred Abel’s gift of the first and the best (“fat portions”) to Cain’s featureless offering of “the fruits of the soil,” Cain took umbrage (Gen. 4:1–5). Instead of repenting, Cain stuffed himself with false rage, then murdered his innocent-but-envied brother Abel. When God confronted him, he denied everything. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” When God rebuked Cain for this, he refused to repent, and the Lord banished him, for he opposes the proud (4:6–13).

Peter himself illustrates God’s grace to the humble. Before the crucifixion, Peter proudly insisted that he, unlike the other disciples, was ready to go with Jesus to prison and death. Jesus told the disciples, “This very night you will all fall away” (Matt. 26:31), but Peter boasted, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.… Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” (26:33, 35; cf. Luke 22:31–33). In his pride, Peter trusted himself, wandered into temptation unprepared, and denied Jesus three times. Yet afterward, Peter wept, repented, and declared anew his love for Jesus. So the Lord gave grace to him, a humbled man (Luke 22:62; John 21:15–17).

First Peter 5:6 continues, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Peter does not say, “The Lord will humble you,” but “Humble yourselves.” The command “Humble yourselves” signifies that we don’t wait for God, an adversary, or the hardships of life to humble us. We must act on ourselves. Peter doesn’t specify how we humble ourselves, but the phrase “under God’s mighty hand” supplies a hint. The phrase “mighty hand” is common in Exodus, where God’s power delivered Israel from slavery and oppression in Egypt. God’s mighty hand defeated Pharaoh and humbled him, although he did not humble himself (Ex. 6:1; 13:3–16; Deut. 3:24; 4:34).

God’s strong hand also showed itself in the ministry of Jesus—in the miracles and above all in Jesus’ saving death and resurrection (Acts 4:28–30). As with Jesus, so also with the church, suffering leads to glory. God already has power to do what he now promises, that he will lift up his people at the right time.

The “due time” (1 Peter 5:6) or right time (Greek kairos) can be the moment that suits God’s purposes (Eph. 5:16). Or it can be the time of God’s great acts of redemption, including his return. First Peter 1:5b uses time in the second way. Even if we are uncertain when God will act, in this lifetime or later, when this age ends, he promises to restore the humble.

This was an essential promise as Peter’s churches endured the threat of harm. It remains a strong promise for Jesus’ people in every nation as they face hostility. We can respond to hardships, sorrows, and delay in God’s action in one of two ways. We can grumble and accuse God, or we can trust him. Peter exhorts his readers to take the second path. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Israel, sadly, often took the wrong path by grumbling against God. Consider the episode recounted in Exodus 17:1–7. Shortly after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they ran out of water when they camped at Rephidim. The people quarreled with Moses, accusing him of bringing them out of Egypt to kill them. They also tested God, demanding that he act at once, when they issued a foolish ultimatum: “Is the Lord among us or not?” That is hardly the voice of someone who humbly waits for God to act. Of course, we can tell the Lord about our pains and losses. But we must remember that the Lord has a mighty hand, that he cares for us, and that he acts on his schedule. Believers wait for the Lord; they do not demand that he act at our word.

Pride and Humility

God granted humans dignity at creation, but that dignity is threatened by internal and external forces. If we grew up in an abusive home, or if our spouses, coworkers, or friends belittle us, we might need to reassert and restore our honor. But sin and selfishness readily corrupt the proper desire for respect. We seek glory, adulation, and domination. We become proud.

Peter spoke to the church in time of trial, to believers who knew the gospel. In their trial, Peter urged them to stay together and to clothe themselves with humility. The New Testament tells us to “put on” virtue several times (Rom. 13:12; Eph. 6:11–14; 1 Thess. 5:8). Peter’s term means “to tie something on”—as we tie on an apron to protect our clothes (see above). So we should wrap or drape ourselves in humility.

People are prone to feel slighted when their honor is questioned. Athletic teams constantly protest: “We get no respect. We’re going to show the world …” Political debates constantly play upon slights, real or imagined. A U.S. senator derides an amendment to a bill. Instead of saying, “Nothing substantive changed, so it’s as bad as ever,” he says, “That’s like putting lipstick on an ostrich.” Immediately, his rival declares that his state’s ostrich farmers are offended. When people ask, “Why wasn’t I chosen, informed, called, invited?” it could be the voice of pride complaining, “But I’m an important person!”

Pride can have more complex roots. A young man once told me about his battle with pride, saying something like this: “I grew up in a rough home. My parents constantly shouted and threatened. Sometimes they tried to hit us and sometimes they connected. My father was talented but addicted, so he was always losing one job, getting another, and moving on. That meant a new school, so I was an outsider. And since I was small, I was also a target for bullies. Between my parents and the bullies, I learned to give off a ‘Don’t mess with me’ aura. I acted tough and threatening, and got tattoos with knives and skulls. It became my identity. After I graduated and became a professional, the attitude seemed useful, even if I was shaking with fear. It was a facade, but I never tried to change until I met the Lord.” However our lives differ from this man’s, we get the point. To preserve our honor (or pride), many of us pretend to be someone we are not. We strike poses that convey strength and confidence. We might persuade others, but it’s dangerous if we persuade ourselves.

The gospel brings us low and lifts us up. The gospel brings us low because it leads us to confess that we are sinners. We have no hope, except in God’s sovereign mercy. It brings us low because it says that we can do nothing to redeem ourselves. We must wholly depend on Jesus, the Son of God, who died for our sins and was raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). By his wounds we have been healed (1 Peter 2:24). The gospel exalts us because it demonstrates that the Lord sets great value on us and loves us. To come to the Lord as he is offered in the gospel is to be humbled and exalted. We become children of God, called with a purpose, and heirs of life. So let us wrap ourselves in humility. In that way we own the gospel and let it permeate our lives. As Peter says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (5:6).[2]

6. Humble yourselves therefore. We must ever bear in mind for what end he bids us to be humble before God, even that we may be more courteous and kind to our brethren, and not refuse to submit to them as far as love demands. Then they who are haughty and refractory towards men, are, he says, acting insolently towards God. He therefore exhorts all the godly to submit to God’s authority; and he calls God’s power his hand, that he might make them to fear the more. For though hand is often applied to God, yet it is to be understood here according to the circumstances of the passage. But as we are wont commonly to fear, lest our humility should be a disadvantage to us, and others might for this reason grow more insolent, Peter meets this objection, and promises eminency to all who humble themselves.

But he adds, in due time, that he might at the same time obviate too much haste. He then intimates that it is necessary for us to learn humility now, but that the Lord well knows when it is expedient for us to be elevated. Thus it behoves us to yield to his counsel.[3]

6  The quotation from Prov. 3:34 acts like a hinge, for while humility toward (and thus submission to) one another was the ostensible reason for the quotation, the verse mentions humility without qualification and moves the focus to God. This allows our author to turn the topic back to God and the suffering of his readers. He has already mentioned that persecution comes to faithful Christians according to God’s will (3:17), that it is not foreign to their existence as followers of Christ (4:12–16), and that it is in fact God’s purifying fire (4:17–19). If this is so, the duty of the believer is not to resist (either attacking the persecutors or raging against God), but to “humble [himself] under the mighty hand of God.”  The concept of humbling oneself, of making oneself low, has already been noted in the previous verse. Jesus himself valued this attitude before God (Matt. 18:4; cf. Matt. 5:3, where “poor in spirit” is probably another way of expressing the underlying Hebraic concept of being God’s ʿānȋ or ʿᵃnāwȋm), so there is no surprise in discovering that his followers would also value it (however difficult it may be actually to live out). “God’s mighty hand” is also a good biblical image, deeply rooted in the OT. It was this “hand” that delivered Israel from Egypt (e.g., Exod. 3:19; 6:1; 13:3, 9, 14, 16; Deut. 9:26, 29; 26:8; Jer. 21:5; Ezek. 20:33–34), and it was this hand that was behind his works in the NT (Luke 1:66; Acts 4:28, 30; 11:21; 13:11), most of which are his signs and wonders, but some of which are his judgment (Acts 13:11), including the death of Jesus (Acts 4:28), which for Peter is archetypal for the suffering of the church.  Thus they are to see God at work behind their suffering and submit, allowing themselves to be brought low, for his purpose is that “he may exalt you in due time.”

That humiliation leads to exaltation is a common theme of Scripture (e.g., 1 Sam. 2:7–8; Ezek. 17:24; Matt. 23:12; Luke 1:52; 14:11; 18:14; Jas. 1:9).  God’s purposes are never simply to humiliate people, but that out of their coming low before him (often spoken of as a “death to self”) 4 he might exalt them in and with Christ. This he will do “in due time.” For Peter the due or opportune time is surely the return of Christ, the parousia, this expression here being a shortened form of that in 1:5.  It is then that these folk will be vindicated, that their enemies will be judged, and that they will receive in exchange for their persecution that inheritance which is already waiting for them in heaven (1:3). This is indeed something worth humbling oneself for, for those who resist God (the proud) will never receive it.[4]

5:6 / While the previous verse spoke of the expression of humility toward those who share the common faith, Peter now goes more deeply. The foundation of Christian humility is a dependent attitude toward God and his ability to rescue. That involves turning one’s attention away from self and away from circumstances, however pressing and however painful. The believer’s attitude must be one of taking it for granted that God’s hand remains in control of events. In the ot, the expression the mighty hand of God almost always refers to divine deliverance. His power to deliver can still be relied upon, says Peter, provided there is trust on the believer’s part. A drowning man must submit to the one who comes to his aid. If he struggles in his own strength to try to save himself—in effect in the pride of self-sufficiency—he is likely to defeat the best efforts of his would-be rescuer, who in the end may even have to disable him before getting him to safety.

Trust in divine deliverance will be rewarded in due time, not necessarily with the immediacy that one often craves in distress, but at the divinely right moment, as God sees the whole situation. Certainly at the end of days (1:5; 2:12), the believer’s trust will be justified and the persecutor’s stance exposed as one of opposition to almighty God himself.[5]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 277–279). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Doriani, D. M. (2014). 1 Peter. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 218–226). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 148–149). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Davids, P. H. (1990). The First Epistle of Peter (pp. 185–187). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (p. 145). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Nolte: Another Wave of Job Cuts Hits Embattled CNN | Breitbart News

Lies, doublespeak, slow-walking an inconvenient truth, Friday afternoon news dumps… In every way imaginable, CNN is a political operation.

“Sanjay Gupta is safe, but much of the rest of CNN’s Atlanta-based staff that covers health care found out Tuesday they are getting pink slips,” reports Fox News.

Some of you might recall that it was just a few weeks ago that CNN promised its employees, “There are no mass layoffs at CNN. I have no idea where that crazy rumor came from.”

Yeah, gee, where could that crazy rumor about mass layoffs have come from?

Could it have come from CNN’s mass layoffs?

You see, CNN made that statement just after we learned the fake news network was cutting over a hundred jobs. But CNN told us that those jobs cuts weren’t layoffs … they were “buyouts.”

“We have recently offered a voluntary buyout option for employees, and just over 100 people voluntarily decided to take it. That’s it,” a snippy executive vice president told Fox News on May 7.

Yep, CNN even spreads fake news about itself.

Hey, come on, we’re all adults here, and we all know how the real world works… If  “buyouts” aren’t accepted, the ax swings. But CNN still wants us to believe those 100-plus veteran staffers who agreed to take a “buyout” don’t count as layoffs or terminations or job cuts — and that’s because CNN is genetically programmed to lie about absolutely everything.

And for all we know, CNN gave everyone a five-dollar Krispy Kreme gift certificate and called it a “buyout.”

Does anyone doubt Brian Stelter wouldn’t grab that deal with both hands?

Speaking of CNN’s Tater McSerialLiar, remember how he reassured everyone that “there’s a rumor making the rounds today about big impending layoffs at CNN. A CNN spokeswoman is knocking it down on the record: ‘No layoffs.’”

Oh, except now there are layoffs.

CNN isn’t even bothering to disguise this latest round of cuts as “buyouts.”

Maybe things have gotten so bad, the company can no longer afford those Krispy Kreme gift certificates?

“As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” a CNN spokesperson told TVNewser … on a Friday afternoon … three days after it happened … just as everyone stopped paying attention to the news and started watching the clock in anticipation of that three-day holiday weekend.

“As part of the normal course of business,” we wiped out almost an entire news division because things are going so well at CNN, so swimmingly, we are able to enjoy things that qualify as the normal course of business, such as the mass layoffs we told you two weeks ago would never happen.  

Lies, doublespeak, slow-walking an inconvenient truth, Friday afternoon news dumps… In every way imaginable, CNN is a political operation.

One wonders if Sanjay Gupta or Jake Tapper or Chris “The Fredo” Cuomo or Tater — you know, these pillars of redistributionist decency — offered to shave a little off their own seven-figure salaries to save some of these jobs. Perhaps they offered to pay tuition at a community college that teaches computer coding?

Oh, I’m sure they did something and are keeping the gesture quiet because we all know how uncomfortable they get when signaling their own virtue.

Anyway, the good news is that CNN is dying, not just in the ratings (which are catastrophic), but as a credible news outlet.

After all, if CNN is willing to lie about the little things — like its own layoffs, imagine the lies it tells about things that actually matter, things like…

  • Hispanic George Zimmerman: The White Racist Killer
  • Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
  • Trump Can’t Win
  • Brett Kavanaugh: Serial Rapist
  • The KKKids from KKKovington High School
  • Trump Colluded with Russia

CNN will continue to thrive, though, because 89 million suckers who do not watch CNN still subsidize the Hate Network through their cable bills.

Time to cut the cord, suckers.

Source: Nolte: Another Wave of Job Cuts Hits Embattled CNN

Gutfeld Torches Media and Democrats as ‘Incestuous’ and ‘Interchangeable’ | CNS News

On Friday’s edition of The Five, the panel weighed in on the feud between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as the media’s reaction to it.  After playing clips of media figures exulting about how Pelosi got under the President’s skin, co-host Greg Gutfeld described how the montage showed that “the media and the Democrats are almost…they’re incestuous, they’re interchangeable,” adding “you don’t know which one’s on the leash and which one’s pulling the pet.”

Source: Gutfeld Torches Media and Democrats as ‘Incestuous’ and ‘Interchangeable’

FBI lawyer tells on 3 big players; implicates Comey, McCabe and Yates in mishandling of FISA warrant | Conservative News Today

grabs from https://youtu.be/-Ra1rcrUEDk and https://youtu.be/421_UwoseCQ and https://youtu.be/Ap72ykDdB4M
Screen captures … James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates … Credits: NBC, CBS

This week, Rep. Doug Collins released the balance of transcripts pertaining to the House Judiciary Committee’s probe into decisions made at the Department of Justice and the FBI to exonerate Hillary Clinton and to spy on the Donald Trump campaign. One such transcript of FBI attorney Trisha Anderson’s testimony revealed that she said the application process for the Carter Page FISA warrant was handled in a very “unusual” way, with high-level Obama-era FBI officials pushing it through.

Essentially, Anderson’s testimony indicated the way the FISA warrant process was performed in this case was in reverse order from how it normally takes place. High-level political appointees approved the application before anyone else in the process saw it.

RedState reported …

In other words, things were done completely backwards. Instead of going through the normal checks and balances, a bunch of political appointees at the top approved the application before anyone else got ahold of it. Sally Yates, representing the DOJ, had signed off on it before the FBI’s legal department had even done their analysis.

A major check on fraudulent FISA applications was simply skipped. Anderson stressed that this was not normal.

The Page FISA application was filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by the DOJ and FBI in October 2016. A surveillance warrant was granted and three renewals were eventually approved. The application depended on unverified research in British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier on candidate Trump’s ties to Russia, which was compiled through his employment with opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm.

According to the Washington Examiner, Anderson said she was the Senior Executive Service approver for the “initiation” of the Page FISA, including determining whether there is legal sufficiency.

However, Anderson testified, “in this particular case, I’m drawing a distinction because my boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application.” She stressed, “this one was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature.”

Anderson said that FISA approvals are usually “tracked in a linear fashion” and that someone in the Senior Executive Service “is the final approver on hard copy before a FISA goes to the director or deputy director for signature.” She reiterated that the Page FISA was approved outside regular procedures.

“Because there were very high-level discussions that occurred about the FISA,” Anderson indicated she believed “the FISA essentially had already been well-vetted all the way up through at least the Deputy Director [McCabe] level on our side and through the DAG [Yates] on the DOJ side.”

The Examiner reported …

Yates had already signed the application by the time it made it to Anderson’s desk.

The publicly available Page FISA documents show then-FBI Director James Comey also signed off on it.

Because the FISA application had already been approved at such high levels, Anderson said she did not look at the Page FISA application with much skepticism. “I wouldn’t view it as my role to second-guess that substantive approval that had already been given by the Deputy Director [McCabe] and by the Deputy Attorney General [Yates] in this particular instance,” she said.

When she was asked why this FISA application was different, Anderson said she believed “the sensitivity level of this particular FISA resulted in lots of very high-level attention both within the FBI and DOJ.”

“The General Counsel [Jim Baker] … personally reviewed and made edits to the FISA, for example,” said Anderson. “The Deputy Director was involved in reviewing the FISA line by line. The Deputy Attorney General over on the DOJ side of the street was similarly involved, as I understood, reviewing the FISA application line by line.”

The FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier is increasingly being scrutinized, with at least three federal investigations into alleged FISA abuse and other matters related to the way the FBI and DOJ conducted the Trump-Russia investigation.

Today I’m releasing the remaining interview transcripts from @JudiciaryGOP’s investigation into decisions made at the Department of Justice and FBI. To read the transcripts, visit https://t.co/EcAYT7JPdA. pic.twitter.com/kYy9YKSIZI

— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) May 20, 2019

Source: FBI lawyer tells on 3 big players; implicates Comey, McCabe and Yates in mishandling of FISA warrant

Kanye West Says Liberals Are The Biggest Bullies In America | The Federalist Papers

Pop music superstar, husband of Kim Kardashian and the world’s most famous President Donald Trump supporter, Kanye West is angry.

And he is angry at the liberals who he says are bullying everyone in the United States that disagrees with them and their politics.

West, who has said that he himself has been bullied, made the statement during an appearance on an episode of David Letterman’s Netflix show which airs Friday May 31, Variety reported.

The Daily Beats called the episode “not only one of the best interviews Letterman has ever conducted, it’s also one of the most coherent and engaging interviews Kanye has ever given, even if it does go off the rails at times.”

It is surprising as The Daily Beast is a liberal leaning website, which means they likely did not approve of his statements about President Trump.

“This is like my thing with Trump — we don’t have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel,” he says, claiming that his donning a “Make America Great Again” hat is “not about politics” but rather an attempt to break the stigma around showing support for Trump.

Letterman brings up the Republican-led voter suppression efforts during the recent midterm elections. “So if I see a person that I admire talking about Donald Trump can think whatever he does,” Letterman says, “I wonder if those thoughts, indirectly, aren’t hurting people who are already being hurt.”

Instead, West replies that Trump voters are “treated like enemies of America because that’s what they felt.” After Letterman makes a case that Trump actually is not helping those who vote for him, West says, “Have you ever been beat up in your high school for wearing the wrong hat?”

Asked who the real bullies in America are at the moment, he replies, “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!”

.@kanyewest says liberals “bully” @realDonaldTrump supportershttps://t.co/bKxnVag5rC

— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 24, 2019

‘Liberals bully Trump supporters!’: Kanye West claims people who voted for the president are ‘treated like enemies of America’ and says he wore MAGA hat to break the stigma
via https://t.co/BR8uKYmiL9 https://t.co/OFdTwINuz6

— GEOFF.S.KERNOW,OFFICIAL. U.K.LEGEND. (@Geoffkernow) May 25, 2019

Note to Kanye: When liberals insist on authoritative facts, instead of rabbit hole material, that is not being a bully, that is pointing out stupidity.
West Says Liberals ‘Bully People Who Are Trump Supporters’ https://t.co/HkTyGZ9SXh

— William O’Neil (@woneilattorney) May 25, 2019

David Letterman: “Did you vote for Trump?”
Kanye West: “I’ve never voted in my life.”
Letterman: “Then you don’t have a say in this.”https://t.co/rlog9j0wbp

— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 24, 2019

Kanye West still very firmly on the Trump Train: “Have you ever been beat up in your high school for wearing the wrong hat?” he asks Letterman. “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!” https://t.co/h7nmZBRhcS

— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) May 24, 2019

Kanye, Free Thinkin Like a Boss, Takes it to Raggedy Ass Letterman

Kanye West has never voted and says Liberals bully Trump supporters https://t.co/28pZywEGeZ via @MailOnline

— Joy Tiz (@joytiz) May 25, 2019

Kanye West: “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters” https://t.co/hW9Yq5koib pic.twitter.com/RCDpx78fmB

— The Hill (@thehill) May 24, 2019

Kanye West spars with David Letterman about politics: ‘Liberals bully Trump supporters!’https://t.co/I5eFGYQOiD pic.twitter.com/TJFK6efR4B

— warlock012 vodka (@warlock012) May 24, 2019

Source: Kanye West Says Liberals Are The Biggest Bullies In America

‘Don’t be fooled by the left’: Jon Voight calls Trump greatest president since Lincoln (VIDEOS) | RT USA News

Hollywood actor Jon Voight has hailed Donald Trump as the greatest US president since Abraham Lincoln for making all the right moves, much to the delight and disgust of Twitter.

Voight trended on Twitter after posting his two-part video endorsement of Trump addressed to “My fellow Americans,” in which the film star commended the president for “battling the left and their absurd words of destruction.”

The Academy Award winner goes on to urge people not to be fooled by the political left about Trump’s performance in office, saying he has made America stronger and safer “because our president has made his every move correct.”

Many were quick to back Voight in his assessment of Trump, thanking him for “telling the truth.”

Love you Jon, thank you for being a patriot and a stand up guy. God Bless . 🇺🇸

— Denise Plain and Simple (@DeniseB28480321) May 25, 2019

Thanks for supporting our President❤️🇺🇸

— AJ Broxon (@AjBroxon) May 25, 2019

I love you. Finally a ‘Hollywood’ voice of reason 💜 I’m not even American, but I see the hate constantly spewed by the left and that is wrong. We ALL have skeletons in our closets…that gets old fast. I sincerely believe he is doing good things for ALL.

— Steph (@infinitimom72) May 25, 2019

Others, however, sent rolling-eyes memes and dismissed him as “crazy as hell” for his comments, or suggested that maybe Trump had written the script for Voight’s videos.

We stand with the presidency which is why we oppose this president. Get that straight.

— Joseph R. Skeen (@DuluthDreaming) May 25, 2019

I think his daughter needs to stage an intervention

— Stephen Bright😎🌊🌈🧷;🐈🇺🇸♏️✝️🎤🎭👂🏻📎 (@StephenBright) May 25, 2019

Sorry but that’s a “no” for me.

— You Know Who (@filmandsoccer) May 25, 2019

Also on rt.com From Pocahontas to SleepyCreepy: 5 most effective Trump nicknames & 3 he couldn’t make stick

Source: ‘Don’t be fooled by the left’: Jon Voight calls Trump greatest president since Lincoln (VIDEOS)