Daily Archives: July 23, 2019

July 23 Fleeing Temptation

Scripture Reading: James 4:7–10

Key Verse: Matthew 6:13

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

A popular response to temptation has made waves in the Christian community in recent years. This method of resistance makes perfect sense—flee from the temptation. On its face, this is a perfectly understandable response. After all, removing yourself from compromising situations is crucial to maintaining solid Christian character.

However, simple flight is not the ultimate answer. Unfortunately, fleeing temptation is only a temporary solution. One way or another, that old temptation will always seem to find you, wherever you have fled.

The idea of fleeing from Satan’s ploys is a slight distortion of biblical counsel. Rather than running away from Satan, Scripture instructs, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers have the ability to send Satan himself running in terror.

Also, it is important for Christians to remember that temptation is not a problem that we can solve ourselves, by fleeing or any other manner. Instead, we need deliverance from temptation. Jesus taught, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13 nasb).

Evil is a God-sized problem. Thinking that we have within ourselves any means to defeat it negates the need for a Savior. We cannot win this spiritual war; however, we can rest in the assurance that Jesus has already secured the victory. When temptation comes, remove yourself from the situation, but also stand firm in the Lord. Remember, you are part of the victorious army.

Lord, I cannot always flee from temptation. And temptation has legs to follow me. Give me the strength to resist temptation wherever I meet it.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 214). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 23 Poor Self-Image

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1–10

Key Verse: Ephesians 2:10

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Christian psychologist Dr. James Dobson once took a poll of women who, by their own admission, were basically cheerful and secure individuals.

Dobson listed ten sources of depression. Included in the list were such topics as fatigue, boredom, in-law conflicts, and financial problems. The women were asked to identify which factor contributed most heavily to periods of depression.

The overwhelming reply was lack of self-esteem. Were the same poll taken by Christians at large, lack of self-worth would probably be ranked at the top.

Proper and healthy self-esteem is possible when we receive God’s evaluation of ourselves, relying on His estimation of our worth, not the faulty opinion of others or our fluctuating personal performance.

God created us in His image. We are His workmanship. A Stradivarius is worthy because of its maker. We are worthy because God is our Maker.

The apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 nasb). We have His adequacy, His power, His competency. Should we ever feel inferior again?

Dear God, thank You that my worth is not based on the faulty opinion of others or my own fluctuating performance. I am worthy because You are my Maker.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 214). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 23 Holding Out

Scripture reading: James 1:2–8

Key verse: Hebrews 13:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

James opened his book with encouraging news for a discouraged group of believers. His audience was the early church that, at the time this letter-turned-book was written, was under severe persecution.

However, James knew that emphasizing the church’s trials would lead only to discouragement. Thus, he opened his letter with instruction about how we should handle the storms of life. It may surprise some that James highlighted joy and faith rather than anger and frustration.

James understood that God had a greater purpose in mind when He allowed the church to face various trials. He told us, “The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:3–4).

Often this lesson is not learned within a short period of time. But God is the Source of our hope, and He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

These early believers wavered in their faith, just as we will at times. But James indicated, as did the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 10:36), that if we hold out, believing that God will guide us through the darkest trial, we will certainly receive a lasting reward.

Dear Lord, strengthen my faith. Help me hold out in hard times, believing You will guide me through the darkest trial.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 214). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why I Left Marxism for the Resurrected Christ: New Credo Podcast with Michael Haykin — Credo Magazine

What drew Michael Haykin toward an intellectual neo-marxism? Why did the resurrection of Christ convince Haykin to leave neo-marxism and eastern religions for the Christian gospel? What persuaded Haykin to become a historian? Why has he devoted his life to studying the church fathers and Baptists like Andrew Fuller?

In this new episode of the Credo podcast, Matthew Barrett is joined by Michael Haykin to discuss his life from intellectual neo-marxism to patristic and Baptist theology.

Michael Haykin (Th.D., University of Toronto) is the Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality and Director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books including Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the ChurchThe Missionary Fellowship of William CareyEight Women of FaithThe Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers, A Sweet Flame: Piety in the Letters of Jonathan Edwards, and To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy

via Why I Left Marxism for the Resurrected Christ: New Credo Podcast with Michael Haykin — Credo Magazine

15,000 WHITE South African Farmers, Fearing for Their Lives, Are Fleeing to Russia | DC Dirty Laundry

This is what happens when racial hostilities get out of hand.

Article Image
https://dcdirtylaundry.com by Dean Garrison

Ending apartheid was not enough, now Black South Africans want payback.

If you are not aware of the dangers that White farmers now face in South Africa, read these articles (they will open in a new window so you can return when ready):

South Africans Push Back Against Lying American Media — White Farmers Getting Killed Daily

White Existence Is a Crime, Says South African BFL Party Spokesperson

Neon Nettle is reporting that White farmers in South Africa are fleeing their homeland, fearing for their lives, and moving to Russia.

Latest: 15,000 WHITE South African Farmers, Fearing for Their Lives, Are Fleeing to Russia

A delegation of 30 families that have fled South Africa has arrived in Russia’s farm belt Stavropol Region, according to a report by Rossiya 1 TV.

You’re already being watched by facial recognition tech. This map shows where | Fast Company

Article Image
https://www.fastcompany.com

Digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future has mapped out the physical footprint of the controversial technology, which is in use in cities across the country.

Earlier this month, Oakland, California, became the third city in the United States to ban the use of facial recognition technology by any city agencies, including police, behind San Francisco and Somerville, Massachusetts.

But these cities are in the minority. A new map produced by the digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future illustrates just how pervasive facial recognition technology is across the country: an overwhelming number of red stars on the map indicate where local and state police are using facial recognition, including in Detroit, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can toggle on and off to see the map pins for each of the groups using the technology, which include police departments (both city and state), as well as airports that use facial recognition and cities that are starting to mobilize against the technology.

12 Popular Children’s TV Shows that Have Gay Characters | ChristianHeadlines.com

12 Popular Children’s TV Shows that Have Gay Characters

The PBS children’s show Arthur captured nationwide headlines and drew the consternation of many parents this year when it featured a same-sex wedding.

Arthur, though, is only the latest children’s show to include LGBT characters. In fact, three of the leading mainstream children’s cable channels — including Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network — have shows with gay or lesbian characters.

Here are twelve popular children’s shows with gay characters:

Source: 12 Popular Children’s TV Shows that Have Gay Characters

An Open Letter to the Child Facing End-of-Life Decisions for a Parent | Crossway by Kathryn Butler, MD

July 23, 2019 by: Kathryn Butler, MD

This article is part of the Open Letters series.Dear brother or sister,

We know these moments loom, hovering like shadowy specters as our parents’ bodies break down and give way. We worry about them as we watch a father’s gait waiver, or when we note the blunting of a mother’s characteristic wit. But as if brushing away smoke, we banish the thought that our parents will one day leave us. There are still too many celebrations that require their silhouettes, too many times when we need them to welcome us home, and to assure us that all is well. Too many wounds still throb unhealed. Too many words remain unsaid. And so we tuck our fears into the remote corners of our minds, the ones enshrouded in dust we never sweep clear.

Even now, as the doctors lean forward across a conference table in their white coats, their expressions severe, nothing seems real. Their words garble together, foreign mantras recited underwater. They talk about decisions, about ventilators or CPR. They talk about a need to act.

They don’t acknowledge that your heart is breaking. They don’t know how you feel ripped apart from the inside, how this weight threatens to crush you. How can you make rational decisions while flailing in grief? How can you think about withdrawing a respirator, when your every fiber aches to cling to your mother or father, to rest your head over a familiar heartbeat and beg him or her to stay? Even if you know your parent’s wishes, and even if you can discern the path forward, the steps feel too ghastly to undertake, the burden too heavy.

But you don’t walk alone.

Hope endures, and in these last moments, you can still provide a witness for God’s love in Christ.

The Lord is with you in this shadowy valley (Ps. 23:4). You may be angry with him right now. You may not feel his presence in this harrowing place of alarms and antiseptic. But he sees you (Ps. 139:7–10). Christ knows your suffering (Isaiah 53:3–4). Grief and fear drove him, too, to his knees, in that dark garden when the evils of the world bore down upon him (Matt. 26:36–46). He, too, wept over loss (John 11:33–35). Bloodied and abandoned, he endured all our pain on the cross for our sake. He knows your burdens, and draws near to you when your strength falters (Ps. 34:18, 2 Cor. 12:9).

Even amid the cinderblock and stoicism of the hospital hallways, his grace penetrates through, a shaft of light piercing the black waters. Even now, as you agonize over what to do, over what is “right,” he guides you. He offers you a hope that will endure the tumult of this moment. He calls you to follow him, to take up the cross. “Love one another,” he implores. “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34–35).

The decisions that so overwhelm you can still be an instrument of Christian love. When illness silences your parent, you can be his or her voice. You can affirm that as an image bearer of God, he or she has dignity by design, and is worthy of love. You can set aside any bitterness and unrest that simmers in your relationship, and strive to view your parents as God sees them: cherished, forgiven, wonderfully made, and unique, with no precise equal on earth (Ps. 139:13–14, Eph. 1:7, John 3:16, Rom. 8:35).

As you grapple along the hard road, consider your parent’s mind and heart. Ask yourself who he or she is. What would he or she say, if disease had not stolen speech? God calls us to engage with one another in humility and compassion (Mic. 6:8). Careful thought about the temperament, stories, and passions interwoven into your parent’s life can guide you toward caring for him or her. As we consider such questions, the choices pass from our hands, into those for whom we speak:

• What matters most to my parent? What drives him in life?
• What comments has she made in the past regarding end-of-life care, if any?
• What are his goals? In the short term? For his life in general?
• What is she willing to endure to achieve those goals? What would she be unwilling to face?
• How well in the past has my loved one tolerated pain? Dependence? Disability? Fear?
If he could speak for himself, what would he say about the current situation?

One day, when he returns, Jesus will wipe away every tear from every eye, and make the splintered fragments of creation new (Rev. 21:4). One day, this talk of ventilators, of failing bodies and anguished goodbyes, will vanish from memory. But for now we trudge on through the mire, through the depths (2 Cor. 5:1–4). Christ has conquered death, but while we await his return our cells still degrade and burst, our memories fade. Our loved ones wither away before our eyes. And so you find yourself in this conference room, in this dreaded conversation. The choices confront you. You recoil as they bare their teeth.

Yet hope endures, and in these last moments, you can still provide a witness for God’s love in Christ. Call on the Lord, and he will sustain you (Ps. 120:1). Prayerfully consider the values and experiences that have infused meaning into your parent’s life, and let his or her own words guide you.

Above all, seek out reminders of Christ’s love. Pursue fellowship. Pray without ceasing. And when the time for decisions passes, rest in God’s promise, that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39).

In his love,
Katie


Kathryn Butler (MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) is a trauma surgeon who is board certified in surgical critical care and served on the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. After a decade of experience in surgery, she left clinical practice in 2016 to homeschool her children. She now writes for desiringGod.org, Christianity Today, and the Gospel Coalition blog on topics intersecting faith and medicine.


Popular Articles in This Series

Source: An Open Letter to the Child Facing End-of-Life Decisions for a Parent

Feces & flesh-eating bacteria: Study reveals shocking levels of contamination at America’s beaches | RT USA News

Americans may want to think twice before that next summer swim. Many of the country’s idyllic beaches conceal a filthy secret below the sand and waves: dangerous levels of bacteria that put thousands of bathers at risk every year.

In a recently published study conducted by the Environment America Research and Policy Center, researchers found that the water at beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states contained concentrations of bacteria well in excess of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards – including the harmful organisms that inhabit human feces – which they said could sicken millions of beachgoers annually.

“It’s hard to believe that 47 years after we passed the Clean Water Act that we are still concerned with poop in the water when people want to go swimming,” John Rumpler, clean water program director for the center, told USA Today.

Also on rt.com Bye bye E. coli? Superbug-fighting compound discovered by scientists after 50 year hunt

Bacteria levels can spike to dangerous levels on certain days, such as when rain washes waste from the streets into creeks or streams, which flow into larger bodies of water. Some areas fare much worse than others, however.

In Chicago, all of the 19 beaches sampled were considered unsafe for at least one day in 2018, while the city’s South Shore Beach registered contamination in 93 of the 98 samples collected. California’s Cabrillo Beach also came in high on the list, considered unsafe in 85 out of 175 samples in one section.

On the cleaner end of the spectrum, Georgia’s Jekyll Driftwood Beach provided only 2 contaminated samples out of 46, and Florida’s Bird Key Park resulted in 17 dirty samples out of 67, suggesting that even the tidier beaches can be risky on some days.

Also on rt.com Man dies from FLESH-EATING bacteria after swimming in Florida

The harmful microbes found in the water can cause a litany of unpleasant symptoms in their human hosts, ranging from gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, as well as ear, eye and skin infections. However, the most nightmarish surprise lurking below the depths, and one not covered by the center’s study, goes by the name of necrotizing fasciitis – or flesh-eating bacteria. While the horrifying condition is rare, some of the 30 or so organisms that cause the illness are native to America’s lakes and coasts. Two recent cases in Florida left one man dead, while another man nearly lost a leg.

Fortunately, things might not be all bad when it comes to America’s squalid beaches. Luke Ginger, water quality scientist for environmental organization Heal The Bay, told USA Today that the national trends were moving in the right direction, particularly through local government initiatives to treat stormwater runoff, among other anti-pollution measures.

“There are improvements that can be made but for the most part, there’s really good water quality,” Ginger said. “There are just a few beaches that have issues.”

Source: Feces & flesh-eating bacteria: Study reveals shocking levels of contamination at America’s beaches

The UK, German and Italian economies are all tanking at the same time | Business Insider

Business Insider

  • Three of Europe’s largest economies are under threat of recession, which could spell a crisis across Europe.
  • Dozens of companies in Germany have turned to “short-time” work — cutting employee hours — a canary in the coal mine of industrial weakness
  • Britain could also already be in a recession despite having not left the EU due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit. 
  • View Markets Insider for more stories. 

Three of Europe’s biggest economic engines — the UK, Germany, and Italy — are sputtering simultaneously.

Eurozone growth looks “dire” in the second quarter, Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a report on July 22, “primarily thanks to a crash in German growth.”

The economists see “elevated risks of outright falls in Italian and German GDP,” despite the “resilient” economies of France and Spain.

Outside of the eurozone, but not yet out of Europe, the UK is stumbling as well. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research, said that uncertainty surrounding the decision to leave the EU three years ago means there’s a one-in-four chance the economy could already be in recession.

Pantheon Macroeconomics

Since the end of last year, the German manufacturing sector has performed poorly and is “effectively in a recession,” Pantheon Macroeconomics says.

There are other warning signs. German companies are now putting their workers on “short time.” The Financial Times, citing the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys, reported: “German industrial weakness is now beginning to leave its mark on the country’s labor practices,” with “more and more companies seeking to curb their wage costs by reducing employees’ working hours — a sign of emptying order books and slowing output.”

Read More: Germany, the backbone of Europe’s economy, ‘hit a brick wall’ in the second quarter

Pantheon Economics

Italy’s debt is a huge problem

Italy’s economy, meanwhile is “still on the ropes” says Pantheon Macroeconomics head eurozone economist Claus Vistesen. GDP in Italy “probably stumbled again,” falling 0.21% in the second quarter, he said in the note.

While labor data “will weaken in the second half of 2019,” he said in a separate note on July 16.

Pantheon Macroeconomics

See More: Italy’s ‘perma-recession’ could trigger a €2 trillion financial crisis that threatens the eurozone itself

However, it is debt that is one of the real issues. It currently stands at about €2 trillion ($2.25 trillion). Debt to GDP has reached 130%, a level not seen since World War II.

Jack Allen, an analyst at Capital Economics, told Business Insider back in April that the public debt ratio will probably continue rising and eventually prove unsustainable.

“This would be a bigger problem than the previous euro-zone crisis and could once again endanger the single currency itself,” Allen said.

And then there’s the UK

Read more: The UK might already be in a recession — before even leaving the EU

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will have the challenge of tackling leaving the EU, which will likely cause decline in the economy whatever the deal.

And given that Johnson, in the run-up to being elected leader, said that Britain would leave the EU “do or die,” “no deal” scenarios are now more likely.

NIESR says: “In an alternative, orderly no-deal scenario, we would expect GDP growth to fall to zero in 2020, and CPI inflation to rise above 4%.”

NIESR

Source: The UK, German and Italian economies are all tanking at the same time