Daily Archives: August 4, 2019

August 4 The Trustworthiness of God

Scripture Reading: Psalm 89:1–9

Key Verse: Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Sometimes we find ourselves in deeply threatening situations where we can’t see how God can possibly carry out His promises of being with us always or sustaining us through difficulties. Yet, as we read in Psalm 89 (ncv), David, in spite of the many times he felt his life was threatened and feared he had lost everything, said with conviction, “Your love continues forever; your loyalty goes on and on like the sky” (verse 2).

So, too, God’s loyalty to us is everlasting. His promises are trustworthy. God sees beyond the here-and-now to what was and what will be.

In this one truth, we find our reason for hope and for unwavering confidence. God’s unchanging nature teaches us that even when we feel unlovely, we are beautiful to Him. There is nothing we can do to change His love for us. It is unconditional, and it flows freely from His throne of grace.

Do you trust Him? Have you experienced a strong assurance that comes from placing your faith in His unfailing ability? Roll the burden of your heart onto Him.

Lord, my confidence is in You. My peace comes from the assurance that You know what is best, do what is best, and provide Your best.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 227). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 4 An Inseparable Relationship

Scripture Reading: John 21

Key Verse: John 21:6

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

All the disciples knew to do was to go on about their business. Now that Jesus wasn’t with them physically, they had to make many adjustments. What would life be like now that they were not traveling around the region with Him every day? What did it mean to be fishers of men? Was it all over?

The mood was probably quiet that night on the boat as they fished. Peter must have mused silently as he tugged at the nets, hoping for a catch. The light seemed to have gone out of his life. His heart was sore, for the last thing his Lord had heard him do was betray Him and deny he ever knew Him. Discouragement weighed him down with doubts and fears about the future.

Dawn came. As the light grew stronger, they could make out a figure on the beach. The man called to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” When John said, “It is the Lord,” Peter dived into the water to swim to shore.

Peter would never forget the conversation they had that day by the breakfast fire. He knew Jesus still loved him, and he had the chance to tell Jesus the same. Jesus knew exactly how to comfort Peter, reassure him of His eternal love, give him hope, and reignite his vision for the future. Jesus can do the same for you.

If you’ve shut Him out for any reason, He is still waiting for you on the shore.

Father, forgive me for the times I have shut You out of my life. Reassure me of Your love, give me renewed hope, rekindle my vision for the future.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 227). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 4 The Breastplate of Righteousness

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1–7

Key verse: Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

One of the most essential pieces of spiritual armor is the breastplate of righteousness. In her book Lord, Is It Warfare? Kay Arthur explains why it is so foundational to your defense:

The Roman soldier’s breastplate covered all his vital organs, protecting his body, front and back. Usually the breastplate was made of metal, unless the soldier could afford a scale or chain mail to cover his chest and hips … The breastplate of righteousness is a gift given to every child of God …

When you were nothing but a sinner—helpless, ungodly, and without hope—God justified you … You were forgiven by God for all your sins: past, present, and future … Because your sins were absolutely forgiven, Satan no longer has the power of death over you …

One of Satan’s most effective strategies is to keep our sin before us. He’ll remind us of sins we’ve already confessed or try to convince us that because of them God doesn’t want us or cannot use us. Sometimes he tries to convince us that God will never forgive us, our sin is too terrible. To believe any of this is to go into battle without your breastplate.

So, when condemnation or difficulties come and you think it’s because God doesn’t love you or is punishing you, you must recognize who’s the instigator of those accusations.

Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness of my sins—past, present, and future. I praise You that Satan no longer has power over me.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 227). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Voice assistant companies abandon snooping practices after being found out | RT

Amazon has become the latest of the trio of tech giants to curb their secretive harvesting and processing of voice recordings via virtual assistants. The practice was rife with Google and Apple, as well.

Amazon announced on Friday that it would allow users of its smartphone assistance app Alexa to deny the company access to their private conversations. “We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures,” the Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Also on rt.com Constant surveillance: How big tech’s household devices are SPYING on you

She said that Amazon would also be updating the app’s settings for it to include a disclaimer informing the customers that Amazon might subject their recordings to manual review if they don’t opt out.

That practice reportedly saw Amazon employees listening to and transcribing some of the recordings, with the stated goal of improving the virtual assistant’s services. Amazon was not alone in spying on its customers while keeping them in the dark. Google and Apple were doing the same using Google Assistant and Siri, respectively.

It all came to an abrupt end after the clandestine practice was exposed in a series of groundbreaking revelations. Google came under intense scrutiny from a German watchdog after some 1,000 voice recordings were leaked to Dutch public broadcaster VRT NEWS last month. About one-tenth of recordings studied by VRT turned out to have been made in error, without a direct command by the customer. Caught red-handed, Google assured the regulator it would not be making any transcripts of speech data in the EU for at least the next three months.

Also on rt.com Siri ‘regularly’ records sex encounters, sends ‘countless’ private moments to Apple contractors

Apple said on Thursday that it was discontinuing the practice and initiating a “thorough review” as well. That was, however, not before an explosive Guardian report last week revealed that third-party contractors for Apple were able to listen to medical appointments, business deals, sexual intercourse and even what appeared to be criminal interactions while combing through the troves of data vacuumed by Siri.

Amazon was the last of the three to put the human reviews on pause, although Bloomberg reported back in April that “thousands” of Amazon employees could be snooping on customers’ “conversations” with Alexa with the ostensibly noble cause of upgrading the software.

Source: Voice assistant companies abandon snooping practices after being found out

Ron Paul: US turning more fascist than socialist | Video

Former Presidential candidate and Congressman Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) joins Rick Sanchez to talk about the creep of “socialistic corporatism,” the retreat of voluntarism and free market principles and Americans’ capitulation to elites who “have run roughshod over us.”

China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1 | The Most Important News

Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return? At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States. Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things. And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week. Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us. So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all. The following comes from the New York Times

“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.

In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr. Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.

“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you till you are left speechless.”

Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on CNN?

And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.

Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China, but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that anger. Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is enough. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…

The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.

Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.

Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?

And there have also been other signs that China is about to do something drastic

And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously enforcing the law.”

Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China. But according to the agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047

After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”

So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions between our two nations will go up several more notches.

A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are so angry with us right now.

After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to implement “necessary countermeasures”

China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”

“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea.

In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are going to hit us back hard.

And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said similar things when she addressed reporters on Friday

“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.

China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.

“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”

In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade war. The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to fight dirty.

A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the scenario that we have been anticipating. As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election. And to be honest, it is far more likely that our conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months ahead.

The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous amount of economic pain for the entire planet.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going to be just fine.

Source: China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

Mueller Investigation Spent Nearly $32 Million: What a Colossal Waste of Money | LifeZette

So instead of working for the American people, the U.S. Congress frivolously spent time and money that wasn’t theirs on a quest fueled largely by emotional angst.

After listening to former special counsel Robert Mueller give a press conference and then sit before Congress and the American people for two separate live hearings across one day, I do not believe he was a major part of the Russian investigation that bore his name.

Related: The 25 Most Incredible Reactions to Robert Mueller’s Capitol Hill Appearance

I think his minions ran and completed the work.

It’s my opinion he did not write the report — and he may not even have bothered to read it before he testified.

Every taxpayer in the United States should be upset about this, but most people won’t even know about it, because they’re watching the right TV stations or reading the right publications or material.

CNN and the rest of those mainstream channels would never let them know this.

Check out these details:

The special counsel’s office directly spent about $16.4 million since it was brought into the fold in May 2017. Mueller spent approximately $6.56 million in the last eight months of the probe, of which $4.12 million was personally spent from the special counsel’s office, and the Justice Department used up $2.44 million to assist Mueller’s work, according to CNBC.

The nearly $32 million price tag, Politico reports, covered all expenditures through May 31, two months after Mueller wrapped up his investigation and the Justice Department released his 448-page report, with redactions, detailing Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, but did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Though Mueller’s investigation carried an expensive cost, DOJ officials would have accrued $15.3 million throughout the inquiry regardless if Mueller had been brought in to serve as special counsel. The biggest component of Mueller’s receipts covered salaries and benefits, with $9.7 million allocated to the various lawyers, FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other personnel who assisted with the investigation.

Mueller’s office also revealed it spent $3.1 million on rent, communications, and utilities, and $1.6 million was allocated for travel and personal transportation. (source: Washington Examiner)

What a colossal waste of money — and it was all initiated by a bunch of people who should be punished for their political tactics.

Democrats don’t seem to care how they spend our money — and some of them knew the investigation was a lie from the beginning, all in an attempt to ruin a president who beat them in an election.

Related: ‘Disaster for the Democrats’: See All Those Who Had Problems with Mueller’s Testimony

Why wasn’t the origin of the Steele dossier investigated?

What was the date they found no interference on the part of the Trump campaign or associates — but continued anyway?

The Mueller investigation has been a rip-off from day one, as I see it.

Politicians, individual congressional members and attorneys got the money, and the citizens of this nation got the screws.

A version of this article appeared in WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.

Source: Mueller Investigation Spent Nearly $32 Million: What a Colossal Waste of Money

WaPo Publishes Gabbard Smear Piece Filled With Blatant Lies | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Washington Post, which is wholly owned by a CIA contractor who is reportedly working to control the underlying infrastructure of the global economy, has published a shockingly deceitful smear piece about Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard in the wake of her criticisms of her opponent Kamala Harris’ prosecutorial record during the last Democratic debate.

The article’s author, Josh Rogin, has been a cheerleader for US regime change interventionism in Syria since the very beginning of the conflict in that nation. It is unsurprising, then, that he reacted with orgasmic exuberance when Harris retaliated against Gabbard’s devastating attack by smearing the Hawaii congresswoman as an “Assad apologist”, since Gabbard has been arguably the most consistent and high-profile critic of Rogin’s pet war agenda. His article, titled “Tulsi Gabbard’s Syria record shows why she can’t be president”, is one of the most dishonest articles that I have ever read in a mainstream publication, and the fact that it made it through The Washington Post’s editors is enough to fully discredit that outlet.

You can read Rogin’s smear piece without giving Jeff Bezos more money by clicking here for an archive. There’s so much dishonesty packed into this one that all I can do is go through it lie-by-lie until I either finish or get tired, so let’s begin:

“Gabbard asserts that the United States (not Assad) is responsible for the death and destruction in Syria, that the Russian airstrikes on civilians are to be praised

This is just a complete, brazen, whole-cloth lie from Rogin. If you click the hyperlink he alleges supports his claim that Gabbard asserts “Russian airstrikes on civilians are to be praised,” you come to a 2015 tweet by the congresswoman which reads, “Bad enough US has not been bombing al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria. But it’s mind-boggling that we protest Russia’s bombing of these terrorists.”

Now, you can agree or disagree with Gabbard’s position that the US should be participating in airstrikes against al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, but there’s no way you can possibly interpret her acceptance of Russia doing so to be anywhere remotely like “praise” for “airstrikes on civilians”. There is simply no way to represent the content of her tweet that way without knowingly lying about what you think it says. The only way Rogin’s claim could be anything resembling truthful would be if “al-Qaeda” and “civilians” meant the same thing. Obviously this is not the case, so Rogin can only be knowingly lying.

“That bias, combined with her long record of defending the Assad regime and parroting its propaganda, form the basis for the assertion Gabbard has ‘embraced and been an apologist for’ Assad, as Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) said Wednesday post-debate on CNN.”

Gabbard has no record whatsoever of “defending the Assad regime”. This is a lie. There exist copious amounts of quotes by Gabbard opposing US regime change interventionism in Syria and voicing skepticism of the narratives used to promote said interventionism, but there are no quotes anywhere in which she claims Assad is a nice person or that he hasn’t done bad things. If such quotes existed, Rogin would have included them in his smear piece. He did not. All he can do is lie about their existence.

“To repeat: There is no quote in which Tulsi praises, supports, or otherwise ‘apologies for’ Assad,” journalist Michael Tracey recently tweeted with a link to his January article on the subject. “I checked the record a long time ago, and it doesn’t exist. This is just a smear intended to delegitimize diplomatic engagement”

“Claiming that politicians are ‘defending’ objectionable rulers they meet with, in pursuit of achieving some alternative to war, is a tired trope that has been frequently used throughout history to discredit diplomatic engagement,” Tracey wrote. “As Gabbard told me in an interview shortly after returning from Syria: ‘The reason why I decided to take this meeting on this trip was because if we profess to care about the Syrian people — if we really truly care about ending their suffering and ending this war — then we should be ready to meet with anyone if there is a chance that that meeting and that conversation could help to bring about an end to this war.’”

Gabbard has been remarkably consistent in explaining her position that she opposes US regime change interventionism in Syria because US regime change interventionism is reliably disastrous. This isn’t “defending” anyone, nor is it “parroting propaganda”. It’s an indisputable, thoroughly established fact.

“Other Democratic candidates have promised to end U.S. military adventurism without making excuses for a mass murderer. It’s neither progressive nor liberal to defend Assad, a fascist, totalitarian psychopath who can never peacefully preside over Syria after what he has done.”

Again, claiming that Gabbard has done anything at all to “defend Assad” is a lie. If anything Gabbard has been too uncritical of establishment war propaganda narratives, calling Assad “a brutal dictator” who has “used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people.” Gabbard’s sole arguments on the matter have been in opposition to US military interventionism and skepticism of narratives used to support such interventionism, which only an idiot would object to in a post-Iraq invasion world.

Rogin argues that it’s possible to end US military adventurism without defending and making excuses for Assad, yet this is exactly the thing that Tulsi Gabbard has been doing since day one. Which means Rogin doesn’t actually believe it’s ever okay for any presidential candidate to want to end US military adventurism under any circumstances. Which is of course the real driving motivation behind his deceitful smear piece against Gabbard.

“Gabbard never talks about her other trip — to the Turkish-Syrian border with a group of lawmakers in June 2015, when she met with authentic opposition leaders, victims of Assad’s barrel bombs and members of the volunteer rescue brigade known as the White Helmets. Their stories, which don’t support Assad’s narrative, never make it into Gabbard’s speeches on the campaign trail.”

This one is bizarre. Rogin says this as though Gabbard’s meeting with Assad is something that she brings up “on the campaign trail” rather than something war propagandists like himself bring up and force her to respond to. The fact that those propagandists never bring up Gabbard’s meetings with the Syrian opposition is an indictment of their bias, not hers. The mental gymnastics required to make Gabbard’s meetings with all sides of the Syrian conflict feel more pro-Assad rather than less deserve an Olympic gold medal.

Obviously Gabbard having met with all sides is indicative of an absence of favoritism, not the presence of it. The fact that she didn’t come away from her meetings with empire-allied opposition forces with the opinion that the US should help storm Damascus doesn’t mean she supports any particular side.

“Gabbard’s candidacy should be taken very seriously — not because she has a significant chance of being president, but because her narrative on Syria is deeply incorrect, immoral and un-American. If it were adopted by her party and the country, it would lead the United States down a perilous moral and strategic path.”

Saying a “narrative” can be “un-American” is a fairly straightforward admission that you are authoring propaganda. Unless you believe your nation has one authorized set of narratives, a narrative can’t be “un-American”. This is as close as you’ll ever get to an admission from Rogin that US power structures work to control the dominant narratives about world events, and that he helps them do it. To such a person, opposition to your narrative control agendas would be seen as the antithesis of the group you identify with.

The US empire has an extensive and well-documented history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to initiate military conflicts which advantage it. To continue to deny this after Iraq is either willful ignorance or propaganda.

The fact that Rogin adds “strategic path” to his argument nullifies his claim that his position has anything to do with morality. If your foreign policy concern is with strategic leverage, you will naturally try to interpret anything which advances that strategic path as the moral choice.

“Listening to Gabbard, one might think the United States initiated the Syrian conflict by arming terrorists for a regime-change war that has resulted in untold suffering.”

This is exactly what happened. The US armed extremist militants with the goal of effecting regime change, and before Russia intervened they almost succeeded. According to the former Prime Minister of Qatar, the US and its allies were involved in this behavior from the very beginning of the conflict in 2011. Here is a link to an article full of primary source documents showing that the US and its allies had been scheming since well before 2011 to provoke a civil war in Syria with the goal of regime change. They did exactly what they planned to do, which is exactly the thing Rogin claims they did not do.

But Gabbard never even takes her analysis this far. She simply says the US should not get involved in another US regime change war, because it shouldn’t.

“Responding to Harris, Gabbard called Assad’s atrocities ‘detractions,’[sic] before eventually saying she doesn’t dispute that he’s guilty of torture and murder. That’s a slight improvement from her previous protestations that there was not enough evidence.”

Rogin falsely implies here that Gabbard only just began accusing Assad of war crimes, and that she only did so in response to new pressure resulting from Harris’ criticism. As noted earlier, this is false; Gabbard has been harshly critical of Assad.

“Gabbard then quickly accused President Trump of aiding al-Qaeda in Idlib. ‘That does sound like a talking point of the Assad regime,’ CNN’s Anderson Cooper said. He could have just said she is wrong.”

Even the US State Department has acknowledged that Idlib is an al-Qaeda stronghold, and the Trump administration has taken aggressive moves to prevent the Assad coalition from launching a full-scale campaign to reclaim the territory. Claiming that this did not happen is a lie per even the accepted narratives of the US political/media class.

“Gabbard’s 2017 trip was financed and run by members of a Lebanesesocialist-nationalist party that works closely with the Assad regime.”

Former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who accompanied Gabbard on this trip, dismissed this accusation as “so much horseshit I can’t believe it.” All parties involved have denied this narrative, which Rogin has played a pivotal role in promoting from the very beginning and to which he has been forced to make multiple embarrassing corrections.

“Gabbard’s plan to overtly side with Assad and Russia while they commit crimes against humanity would be a strategic disaster, a gift to the extremists and a betrayal of decades of U.S. commitments to stand up to mass atrocities. Democratic voters who believe in liberalism and truth must reject not only her candidacy but also her attempt to disguise moral bankruptcy as a progressive value.”

Another lie; Gabbard has no such plan. Opposing US regime change interventionism isn’t “siding” with anybody, it’s just not supporting a thing that is literally always disastrous and literally never helpful.

Rogin’s closing admonishment to reject not just Gabbard but her skepticism of US war narratives is yet another admission that he’s concerned with narrative control here, not with truth and not even really with a US presidential candidate.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and shameless war propagandists like Josh Rogin are the attack dogs of establishment narrative control.

Source: WaPo Publishes Gabbard Smear Piece Filled With Blatant Lies

Online dating seen from the other side — Reformed Perspective

Editor’s note: In “The pros and cons of online dating” Peter Riemersma shared how he met his wife via a Reformed singles site. In this post Robin shares her side of the story.

*****

I was skeptical about the whole online dating thing…until I saw that the  Soverign Grace Singles website was a smaller, more close knit and “safer” community and would be good to try even to just make friends. Then, Peter from Canada (yikes – it seemed so far at the time) wrote me and I wondered what to do.

So I prayed about it, and thought to myself (with nudges from the Holy Spirit I’m sure)…is anything impossible for God? Maybe He wants me to go through this type of courting, rather than the type I had always imagined. I always thought someone would just be “sent” to my local vicinity and we could spend time in groups together and get to know one another over a long period. The Lord had something quite different in store for me!

Something about Peter was different. I wasn’t afraid, though I was very cautious at first, and we just naturally corresponded even despite the distance. And we both enjoyed doing so. With the proper prayer and caution, I don’t think distance should prevent a relationship.

But it is very difficult, at the same time. Being apart between visits was hard, yet at the same time it forced us to really get to know one another through talking, and not just going to movies together and sitting there like zombies, or getting too physically involved (in fact Peter and I chose not to even kiss until our wedding day). We had to pray for one another remotely, and trust God to work out the immigration details as well. It was a lot to handle…but I wouldn’t trade the whole experience, or having Peter as my husband now, for the world. I see how God led us through everything step by step.

Step by step – I guess that’s the key thing. Try not to feel rushed – and if a gentleman is rushing you slow down and see if he’ll wait or cool it a bit. That’s what I did with Peter for a time, too. We both knew it was right when we felt the same after this “test.”

via Online dating seen from the other side — Reformed Perspective

The pros and cons of online dating — Reformed Perspective

I first wrote on online dating more than a dozen years ago, back when the Internet was still young, and people still called it the “information highway.” A lot has changed since then – Facebook groups, smartphones, and apps, have increased the number of online dating options. But it’s still strangers trying to get to know each other via long distance communication so a lot remains the same.

When I started out, being rather new to computers, I had to be taught the basics of how to get online. Through this cyberspace navigating I came across various ads for “Christian” dating websites. I paid my fee and began to browse many profiles with a particular Christian service. Over time I discovered many familiar faces I knew from various locations. I also discovered some of the pros and cons of online dating.

Watch out for weeds!

Over time I soon noticed that many on this site who claimed to be Christian were not necessarily so, and that there was a real need to test the spirits (1 John 4:1).

That might seem a given. After all, God says there are weeds mixed in with the wheat in the Church (Matt. 13:24-30). But it took me time to realize, and after I did, I had a lot of online correspondence with people on the site trying to warn them to be careful and not trust every site or person who claimed to be “Christian.” 

God can use the “friend-zone”

During my first paid term on the site I met a dear sister in the Lord. After a while of encouraging one another by writing on the site we began encouraging one another with email exchanges using our personal email addresses (all the while still cautiously using our aliases, rather than giving our real names at this point).

From that, more trust began and in time the next step was undertaken and we exchanged telephone numbers and snail mail addresses, and new correspondence again was initiated.

Over time the limitations caused by our distance from one another became obvious and an in-person meet-and-greet was arranged. This was somewhat nerve-wracking – I certainly made a point of being on time for our “date”! We met, spent a few days together, and in parting ways both of us agreed to remain as friends.

While our relationship didn’t go any further, our correspondence and encouragement continued until one day she informed me that the Lord had led her to a godly man she had begun to court. They soon got engaged too, and shortly after I opened my snail mail to find a wedding invitation. This was to be a Reformed wedding, as their relationship had become one built on the Reformed faith. They have built their marriage on this and the promises of God’s infallible word. This was the doing of the Lord and she credits me for being used by the Lord as to the one who introduced her to the riches of the Reformed faith. And how rich they are!

A need for more than generic “Christian”

At this same time the Lord had begun to stir an interest in someone I’d soon get to know. This brother in the Lord saw the need to create not only a truly Christian online singes website, but a specifically Reformed Christian online singes website. And it came to him as he was on a fishing trip!

So in 2005, Dean Scott had SovereignGraceSingles.com (SGS) up and running. Once it was, many friends who had been on the previously mentioned “Christian” website were alerted about this new Reformed website – a site that would be specifically for us who were different in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ than those in mainline churches.

I prayerfully decided to try it out. I’m very thankful for the sister in the Lord who led me, and many others, to it, as I soon realized this site was indeed legitimate. It was a great environment in which to meet godly sisters and brothers in the Lord. 

Try and try again

It was then that I met a sister on the site who, at one point, I thought was to be my life partner. But that’s not how things went.

After this second “failed” online relationship, I began to get rather disillusioned with online dating. And in response to this disappointment I reminded myself, as I have various times through my life, “You will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” But I took this passage more seriously than perhaps I had ever done before in my life. Recalling someone’s wise advice, I considered how I was to surrender all of my desires to the Lord and delight in Him, “and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). I knew I needed to make the Lord’s priorities my own. Instead of impatience, I would be content, knowing He was in charge.

So I went back to my computer, but with a very different mindset, and heart. In browsing the SGS website I noticed the profile of someone new. I did not know it then, but the Lord had also placed it on her heart to wait on the Lord and let “His will be done,” as well as to give “cyberspace relationships” one more try.

When I came across her profile I prayed once again “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” and I initiated contact with her. Not expecting anything from it, I once again was put to the test, and called upon to practice the gifts of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Two days later, upon revisiting SGS’s website, I noticed there was a message in my mailbox from her (we did not know one another other than our aliases). And we both, having sought God’s will, began encouraging one another.

Our communication became more regular, and we began to focus on really getting to know one another exclusively. Praise God! Today as a married couple we are united as one in Christ. “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

Ask, ask, ask

In addition to my gratitude to God, I will always be grateful to Dean Scott and for SGS, for how they helped bring my wife I together.

But am I trying to say that you shouldn’t use any other “Christian” or singles websites? Not quite. But the problem that comes with these other sites is the constant temptation to compromise your faith – compromise your relationship with God – because most of the people you meet are not going to be a spiritual match with you. And God should never be second. So I’ve seen people become willing to compromise, and they have either left the Reformed faith, or been misled by not fully understanding their mate by not watching for red flags.

So, the only way to use a secular, or generically Christian site, is if you are willing to ask tough questions right away, and ruthlessly weed out anyone who does not love the Lord as you do.

Even on a Reformed site, you need to be cautious. Much grief can be avoided by observing potential life partners very carefully in their natural habitat and immediate surroundings in meet and greets. Also, never presume something – when in doubt, ask! You should also get to know his/her pastor, elders, or deacons. Ask them for a character reference or referral, and take time to get to know your suitors’ family, closest friends, and congregation.

When appropriate ask about how they handle their finances. And most of all – ask yourself serious questions. If it is a long-distance relationship, ask, am I prepared for long intervals apart? Am I prepared to be faithful, both mentally and physically? 

Conclusion

So…are you considering looking for a mate online?

If so, the very first thing to do is get your relationship with God right. Spend time praying and in His Word. Enjoy time with and serve your local Body of Christ. Do the work the Lord has given you for employment or vocation with all your heart. And pray. Wait on Him and ask for healthy relationships. One of them – whether online or not – may just turn out to be a lifelong love, blessed by God and truly joyful.

A version of this article first appeared in Christian Renewal back in February of 2009. Peter’s wife Robin shares her side of their story here.

via The pros and cons of online dating — Reformed Perspective