Daily Archives: September 12, 2019

September 12 The Eternal Adventure

Scripture Reading: 1 John 5:6–13

Key Verse: 1 John 5:9

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

When someone testifies about something—a product, an event, another’s character—the testimony is only as strong as the character of the person giving it. And when it comes to God, there should be no question about what He says. His words are truth.

But there is an even greater benefit to knowing God. As we draw near to Him, we learn that He not only provides the guidance we need at every turn in life, but He also gives us a clear map on how to accomplish His plan for our lives.

John wrote, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.… And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:9, 11). The assurance of our salvation is based on God’s Word. We do not have to be afraid that one day we will fall from His grace. This cannot happen to those who have accepted Christ as their Savior. God’s love is eternal. There is never a moment in time when He turns His love in another direction. It is always focused on us.

He provides us the assurance we need through what He has testified about His Son. The moment we accept God’s Word as truth and receive Christ as our Savior, we are saved. The eternal adventure begins with great assurance!

Thank You for salvation and assurance. Thank You, Lord, that Your love is forever focused on me.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 267). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 12 A Spokesman of God’s Truth

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:20–21

Key Verse: Mark 2:17

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

George Whitefield, an English evangelist who lived from 1714 to 1770, delivered more than eighteen thousand sermons in his lifetime of being a traveling preacher. In England and America, his strong voice carried through fields to the crowds of thousands that gathered wherever he went. He was so passionate to spread the gospel that he continued preaching even in poor health.

The people around him recognized that the Lord gave him almost superhuman energy and drive. In their book The Light and the Glory, Peter Marshall and David Manuel described the scene in New Hampshire at his last sermon:

When the time came to speak, he could barely breathe, and one of them said to him, “Sir, you are more fit to go to bed, than to preach.”

“True, sir,” gasped Whitefield. Then, glancing heavenward he added, “Lord Jesus, I am weary in Thy work, but not of it. If I have not finished my course, let me go and speak for Thee once more in the fields, and seal Thy truth, and come home and die!”

God answered his prayer. After delivering a more than two-hour sermon, the exhausted Whitefield went to a pastor friend’s home; he died the next morning as he gazed out the window at the sunrise. Because one man was willing to be a spokesman of God’s truth, two nations were touched with His love.

O Lord, make me a spokesman of Your truth. I have not finished my journey. Don’t let me grow weary along the way. Keep me faithful to the end.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 267). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 12 – Learning to be a child again — Reformed Perspective

Flash forth lightning and scatter them; Shoot out Your arrows and destroy them. – Psalm 144:6

Scripture reading: Psalm 144

Once upon a time you cried out to your parent. You might be older – 80’s or 90’s, but you might still remember a day long ago when you cried out to your dad or mom. Were you hurt? Did you get lost? Maybe you woke up from a terrible nightmare. But you cried out – you needed help! And you probably never considered the possibility that your parent would ignore you. You expected to be answered! Here is King David, the most powerful man in the kingdom with guards and fighting men all around him, but he cries out to God. He knows that only God can rescue him. Is this our practical experience of faith? Is this why we pray, how we pray?

Those two things we most need to know – Who God is and who we are – what do we learn about who we are in this verse? Do we learn that we need help? Do you know that you need to be delivered and do you think about it most every day? The Heidelberg Catechism tells us that we must know how great our sins and misery are…why? When your child acts out and sins blatantly, do you discipline him? Why? Because you want him to learn. So too with knowing our sins. We need to remember that God alone saves us. And in the daily struggles, too, God must rescue us. Is this why you pray? Is this how you pray?

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to show you that being a child in His care is a position of peace and joy.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Harold Miller is the pastor of the Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) of Kansas City, Missouri.

via September 12 – Learning to be a child again — Reformed Perspective

September 12 Taking Charge

Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 1:1–12

Key verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

She stood to the side of the lobby where she could watch him unobserved. He was an acquaintance from years ago, and she had spotted him coming through her office building. She wanted to speak and reintroduce herself, but something held her back.

Every time she wanted her feet to move, she felt rooted to the floor. Her mouth was going dry, and her hands began to tremble. Would he even remember her? Would he care? What if she looked silly? He might laugh, or he could be completely indifferent. No, she finally reasoned, I’m not going to bother.

Have you ever felt the fear of rejection or failure or embarrassment? You probably also know the longing of wishing you had taken a chance and risked being vulnerable. You do not want to let opportunities pass you by, but somehow you feel unable to change.

A key to victory over insecurity and social fear is remembering your identity in Christ. You are not a failure, even when you mess up. You are not ridiculous, even when you make silly mistakes. Paul wrote, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).

Stepping out and taking a chance is not an opportunity for pain; it’s opening up your life in an area of weakness to allow God to demonstrate His strength (2 Cor. 12:9–10). Let the Lord absorb the risk.

God, You have not given me the spirit of fear. You have given me power, love, and a sound mind. Let me reach out to others today.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 267). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Don’t panic about e-cigarettes | The Economist

Banning them all will cause far more harm than good

“IT’S TIME to stop vaping,” says Lee Norman, a health official in Kansas. Six people are dead in America, apparently from smoking e-cigarettes. More than 450 have contracted a serious lung disease. So Mr Norman’s advice sounds reasonable. The Centres for Disease Control and the American Medical Association agree: the country’s 11m vapers should quit. A new idea is circulating, that vaping is worse than smoking. On September 11th the Trump administration said it intends to ban non-tobacco flavoured vaping fluid (see article). Some politicians want a broader ban on all e-cigarettes.

The facts have gone up in smoke, as so often happens during health scares. Although more research is needed, the evidence so far suggests that the recent vaping deaths in America did not come from products bought in a shop but from badly made items sold on the street. In five out of six cases, the tainted vaping products were bought illicitly; the other involved liquid bought in a legal cannabis shop in Oregon. One theory is that the vape fluid was mixed with vitamin E. This is an oil—something that should not enter the lungs. If inhaled, oil causes the type of symptoms that the stricken vapers display.

Source: Don’t panic about e-cigarettes

September 12, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

grace verse 2

His Perfect Provision

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (4:16)

The One who understands us perfectly will also provide for us perfectly. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). Jesus Christ knows our temptations and will lead us out of them.

Come to God’s Throne of Grace

Again, the Holy Spirit appeals to those who are yet undecided about accepting Christ as their Savior. They should not only keep from going back into Judaism, but they should hold on to their confession of Christ and, finally—and necessarily—go on to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace.

Most ancient rulers were unapproachable by the common people. Some would not even allow their highest-ranking officials to come before them without permission. Queen Esther risked her life in approaching King Ahasuerus without invitation, even though she was his wife (Esther 5:1–2). Yet any penitent person, no matter how sinful and undeserving, may approach God’s throne at any time for forgiveness and salvation—confident that he will be received with mercy and grace.

By Christ’s sacrifice of Himself, God’s throne of judgment is turned into a throne of grace for those who trust in Him. As the Jewish high priests once a year for centuries had sprinkled blood on the mercy seat for the people’s sins, Jesus shed His blood once and for all time for the sins of everyone who believes in Him. That is His perfect provision.

The Bible speaks much of God’s justice. But how terrible for us if He were only just, and not also gracious. Sinful man deserves death, the sentence of justice; but he needs salvation, the gift of grace. It is to the very throne of this grace that any person can now come with confidence and assurance. It is the throne of grace because grace is dispensed there.

How can anyone reject such a High Priest, such a Savior—who not only permits us to come before His throne for grace and help, but pleads with us to come in confidence? His Spirit says, “Come boldly all the way to God’s throne that has been turned into a throne of grace because of Jesus. Come all the way up, receive grace and mercy when you need it—before it is too late and your heart is hard and God’s ‘today’ is over.” The time of need is now.

What a High Priest we have. He sympathizes and He saves. What more could He do?[1]


16 Verses 14–15 have set side by side the two essentials for the perfect high priest: to be in the position of ultimate authority with God in heaven, and yet also to have a personal knowledge of our human condition. No earthly priest could offer the first, and no angel the second, but in Jesus we have both. So there can be no barrier to the parrēsia (GK 4244), “confidence” or lack of inhibition, with which we can approach God (cf. 10:19–22, where the same word parrēsia is used). In the OT, the priests alone were entitled to “approach” the sanctuary, but now through our great high priest all of us can fearlessly approach God himself. Of course we must not forget the absolute holiness and majesty of the God who “lives in unapproachable light” (1 Ti 6:16), but through Jesus we have come to know that the throne of majesty is also a “throne of grace,” a place of welcome, not of rebuff, where “mercy” and “grace” are freely available through the high priest who has gone there to intercede for his people (7:25). This theme of access to the presence of God will be graphically developed in 12:18–24. And its relevance is not only to our ultimate acceptance before God when this earthly life is finished but also to the present crises of life on earth; in such “time of need,” too, effective “help” is there for the asking.[2]


16 Therefore, says our author, let us come with full confidence to the throne of grace. This throne of grace is the throne of God, where Jesus, as his people’s high priest, sits exalted at the Father’s right hand. It is the antitype, in our author’s mind, to the “mercy-seat” in the earthly sanctuary, of which he speaks below in 9:5; in Tyndale’s New Testament and the Great Bible (1539) the same rendering, “the seat of grace” (following Luther’s Gnadenstuhl), is used both there and here. It was at the earthly mercy-seat that the work of atonement was completed in token on the Day of Atonement and the grace of God extended to his people; the presence of the Christians’ high priest on the heavenly throne of grace bespeaks a work of atonement completed not in token but in fact, and the constant availability of divine aid in all their need. Thanks to him, the throne of God is a mercy-seat to which they have free access and from which they may receive all the grace and power required “for timely help” in the hour of trial and crisis.71[3]


16 Because “we,” as God’s people, have this kind of high priest, the pastor urges us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence” in order to receive the help we need for victorious living. Under the Old Covenant none could “approach” God’s “throne,” the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place, save the high priest, and he but one day in the year. This annual approach was with great fear because God’s throne was the place of judgment against sin.

Now, however, God’s people are urged to draw near to the true heavenly “throne” of God “with confidence” because their High Priest has made that “throne” a throne “of grace,” a true “mercy seat,” for those who approach God through him. God is no less holy than he was in the OT (cf. 4:12–13; 12:25–29), but Christ’s obedient sacrifice has taken away the sin of the faithful and “cleansed” their “consciences from dead works” (9:14) so that they can come into the presence of this holy God. Thus the “confidence” (3:6; 10:19–23, 25) with which God’s people approach is more than a feeling. Through the work of Christ they have received authorization to enter God’s presence. As God’s people the recipients of Hebrews and we as their heirs can be sure of God’s gracious acceptance.

The combination of “mercy and grace” powerfully pictures the total adequacy of the benefits God’s people receive when they enter God’s presence through this “merciful” (2:17) High Priest. “Mercy” is reminiscent of God’s covenant love and unfailing faithfulness demonstrated in the history of Israel and culminating in Jesus Christ. Through God’s “mercy” the faithful are forgiven and released from their sins. The words translated “find grace” are often used in the Greek OT of finding “favor” in someone’s eyes.29 As noted above, this “throne of grace” is a place where God’s people meet with God’s favor and acceptance. “Grace,” however, is much more than passive divine acceptance. “Grace” is the new reality of redemption freely available for God’s people through the death of Christ (2:9) and mediated by God’s Spirit (10:29). God’s “grace” provides the power to overcome temptation and to live faithfully in all the circumstances of life. God’s “help” is “timely” because it is available twenty-four hours a day—whenever his people face trials and temptations. His “help” is sufficient to enable his people to “hold firmly to the faith” they “profess” despite opposition and persecution.

These two exhortations, the first in v. 14 and the second in vv. 15–16, mutually support one another. Because our “great High Priest” (the one who is “the Son of God” and has entered heaven on our behalf) is also “Jesus” (v. 14a), who sympathizes “with our weaknesses” (v. 15), we, as God’s faithful, both can and should draw near to God confident of acceptance and of finding the “help” (v. 16) needed to “hold fast” the “faith we profess” (v. 14b NIV).[4]


4:16 / If the readers are to “hold firmly to the faith” (v. 14), they will need to avail themselves of the help that comes from the very presence of God. Using imagery drawn from the temple cultus (e.g., approach), the author encourages boldness: with confidence (cf. 10:19). It is no light matter to draw near to the throne of grace. But there the readers will find the mercy and grace they need, and just at the time of need. In keeping with the language of the cultus, this throne of grace is probably analogous in the author’s mind to the mercy-seat in the holy of holies (cf. 9:5). It is assumed rather than stated that the high priest who is able to help is there at the throne (cf. v. 14 and 1:3, etc.).

We have now reached that stage in the author’s argument where he must set forth the qualifications of Jesus as high priest. This he does by first reviewing the role and the nature of the office according to the ot Scriptures, and then by showing how Jesus fulfills the same criteria.[5]


16. Let us therefore come boldly, or, with confidence, &c. He draws this conclusion,—that an access to God is open to all who come to him relying on Christ the Mediator; nay, he exhorts the faithful to venture without any hesitation to present themselves before God. And the chief benefit of divine teaching is a sure confidence in calling on God, as, on the other hand, the whole of religion falls to the ground, and is lost when this certainty is taken away from consciences.

It is hence obvious to conclude, that under the Papacy the light of the Gospel is extinct, for miserable men are bidden to doubt whether God is propitious to them or is angry with them. They indeed say that God is to be sought; but the way by which it is possible to come to him is not pointed out, and the gate is barred by which alone men can enter. They confess in words that Christ is a Mediator, but in reality they make the power of his priesthood of none effect, and deprive him of his honour.

For we must hold this principle,—that Christ is not really known as a Mediator except all doubt as to our access to God is removed; otherwise the conclusion here drawn would not stand, “We have a high priest who is willing to help us; therefore we may come boldly and without any hesitation to the throne of grace.” And were we indeed fully persuaded that Christ is of his own accord stretching forth his hand to us, who of us would not come in perfect confidence? It is then true what I said, that its power is taken away from Christ’s priesthood whenever men have doubts, and are anxiously seeking for mediators, as though that one were not sufficient, in whose patronage all they who really trust, as the Apostle here directs them, have the assurance that their prayers are heard.

The ground of this assurance is, that the throne of God is not arrayed in naked majesty to confound us, but is adorned with a new name, even that of grace, which ought ever to be remembered whenever we shun the presence of God. For the glory of God, when we contemplate it alone, can produce no other effect than to fill us with despair; so awful is his throne. The Apostle, then, that he might remedy our diffidence, and free our minds from all fear and trembling, adorns it with “grace,” and gives it a name which can allure us by its sweetness, as though he had said, “Since God has affixed to his throne as it were the banner of ‘grace’ and of his paternal love towards us, there is no reason why his majesty should drive us away.”

The import of the whole is, that we are to call upon God without fear, since we know that he is propitious to us, and that this may be done is owing to the benefit conferred on us by Christ, as we find from Eph. 3:12; for when Christ receives us under his protection and patronage, he covers with his goodness the majesty of God, which would otherwise be terrible to us, so that nothing appears there but grace and paternal favour.

That we may obtain mercy, &c. This is not added without great reason; it is for the purpose of encouraging as it were by name those who feel the need of mercy, lest any one should be cast down by the sense of his misery, and close up his way by his own diffidence. This expression, “that we may obtain mercy,” contains especially this most delightful truth, that all who, relying on the advocacy of Christ, pray to God, are certain to obtain mercy; yet on the other hand the Apostle indirectly, or by implication, holds out a threatening to all who take not this way, and intimates that God will be inexorable to them, because they disregard the only true way of being reconciled to him.

He adds, To help in time of need, or, for a seasonable help; that is, if we desire to obtain all things necessary for our salvation. Now, this seasonableness refers to the time of calling, according to those words of Isaiah which Paul accommodates to the preaching of the Gospel, “Behold, now is the accepted time,” &c., (Is. 49:8; 2 Cor. 6:2;) for the Apostle refers to that “to-day,” during which God speaks to us. If we defer hearing until to-morrow, when God is speaking to us to-day, the unseasonable night will come, when what now may be done can no longer be done; and we shall in vain knock when the door is closed.[6]


16. come—rather as Greek, “approach,” “draw near.”

boldlyGreek, “with confidence,” or “freedom of speech” (Eph 6:19).

the throne of grace—God’s throne is become to us a throne of grace through the mediation of our High Priest at God’s right hand (Heb 8:1; 12:2). Pleading our High Priest Jesus’ meritorious death, we shall always find God on a throne of grace. Contrast Job’s complaint (Job 23:3–8) and Elihu’s “IF,” &c. (Job 33:23–28).

obtain—rather, “receive.”

mercy—“Compassion,” by its derivation (literally, fellow feeling from community of suffering), corresponds to the character of our High Priest “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Heb 4:15).

find grace—corresponding to “throne of grace.” Mercy especially refers to the remission and removal of sins; grace, to the saving bestowal of spiritual gifts [Estius]. Compare “Come unto Me … and I will give you rest (the rest received on first believing). Take My yoke on you … and ye shall find rest (the continuing rest and peace found in daily submitting to Christ’s easy yoke; the former answers to “receive mercy” here; the latter, to “find grace,” Mt 11:28, 29).

in time of needGreek, “seasonably.” Before we are overwhelmed by the temptation; when we most need it, in temptations and persecutions; such as is suitable to the time, persons, and end designed (Ps 104:27). A supply of grace is in store for believers against all exigencies; but they are only supplied with it according as the need arises. Compare “in due time,” Ro 5:6. Not, as Alford explains, “help in time,” that is, to-day, while it is yet open to us; the accepted time (2 Co 6:2).

help—Compare Heb 2:18, “He is able to succor them that are tempted.”[7]


16. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

What encouraging words! The writer throughout his epistle exhorts the readers numerous times, but in this particular verse he has a special word for us. This time he does not exhort believers to rectify their way of life; he commends us for coming in prayer to God and urges us to do so confidently.

  • “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence.” The invitation to approach the throne of grace implies that the readers are already doing this. The author also uses the same verb in Hebrews 10:22 (“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith”). He later repeats the same invitation in slightly different wording (see Heb. 7:25; 10:1; 11:6; 12:18, 22).

The verb approach may have a religious connotation, because it often referred to the priests who in their cultic service approached God with sacrifices (Lev. 9:7; 21:17, 21; 22:3; Num. 18:3). In Hebrews 4:16 the writer urges us to come near to the throne of grace in prayer, for the only sacrifice a believer can bring is a broken and a contrite heart (Ps. 51:17). The great high priest has brought the supreme sacrifice in offering himself on the cross on behalf of his people. The merciful and faithful high priest invites the weak and tempted sinner to come to the throne of grace.

What is meant by the phrase throne of grace? This is an explicit reference to the kingship of the Son of God (Heb. 1:2–4). Jesus sits at the right hand of God and has been given full authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). But the word grace implies that the reference is also to the priesthood of Christ. The sinner who comes to the throne of grace in repentance and faith indeed finds the forgiving grace of Jesus.

Moreover, we are exhorted to come to the throne with confidence; that is, we may come boldly (Heb. 3:6; 10:19, 35), not rashly or in fear of judgment, but “in full confidence, openness to God and in the hope of the fullness of the glory of God.” Jesus invites his people to approach freely, without hesitation. He holds out the golden scepter, as it were, and says, “Come!”

  • “So that we may receive mercy and find grace.” Although the terms mercy and grace are often interpreted as being synonyms, their difference ought to be noted. Westcott makes the distinction succinctly:

Man needs mercy for past failure, and grace for present and future work. There is also a difference as to the mode of attainment in each case. Mercy is to be “taken” as it is extended to man in his weakness; grace is to be “sought” by man according to his necessity.

The mercy of God is directed to sinners in misery or distress; they receive God’s compassion when they approach him. And whereas God’s mercy extends to all his creatures (Ps. 145:9), his grace, as the writer of Hebrews indicates in Hebrews 4:16, extends to all who approach the throne of God. Mercy is characterized as God’s tender compassion; grace, as his goodness and love.

  • “To help us in our time of need.” Help is given at the right moment in the hour of need. The author is not saying that the help is constant, but rather that it alleviates the need of the moment. That need may be material, physical, or spiritual. When we call on the name of the Lord in faith and approach the throne of God, he will hear and answer. He stands ready to help (see Heb. 2:18).

This aid, in the form of grace, comes when temptation seems to sway us. God provides the means to find a way out of our temptations. God is faithful (1 Cor. 10:13).[8]


4:16. Given the fact that we have a sinless Savior, what can we do? What should be our response?

First, we must approach. Worshipers used this verb (Heb. 7:25) in describing their movement into God’s presence. We are to come to God with all the reverence and awe which his worship demands.

Second, we come to the throne of grace. This is a reverent reference to God’s presence. It is the place where God gives out his free favor. The term describes an attitude more than a place. The seeking sinner will find this throne of grace (Luke 18:9–14).

Third, we come in an attitude of confidence. Although we must approach God with reverence, we can enter his presence with freedom and without fear. The term describes a boldness based on an awareness that God has all the grace we need. It is the attitude of customers coming to a store seeking an important item which they know is plentifully stocked.

Fourth, we come for the purpose of obtaining mercy and grace. God’s mercy prescribes pardon for our many failures. God’s grace provides strength for the demands of God’s service.[9]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 114–115). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 73). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (1990). The Epistle to the Hebrews (Rev. ed., pp. 116–117). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Cockerill, G. L. (2012). The Epistle to the Hebrews (pp. 227–228). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 79). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 109–112). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 450). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[8] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 126–127). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[9] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 74–75). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Lindsey Graham: My Goal Is To Declassify FISA Warrant Applications | ZeroHedge News

Via SaraACarter.com,

“My goal is to explain to you and the American public how the system failed and make sure it never happens again,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham on ‘Hannity’ show on Wednesday night.

“We’re going to pursue this in a transparent fashion,” Graham said.

“We’re going to declassify as much as we can, including the FISA warrant applications.”

Graham said he will seek to release to the public as much information possible about former British spy Christopher Steele.

“I’m going to give you all the information that was in the system about how suspicious people were of Christopher Steele, how biased he was, [and] let you read it for yourself. Transparency and accountability is my goal,” he said.

“The system had a lot of notice about [Christopher Steele] bias,” Graham said.

“Mr. Durham will make a decision as to who to prosecute, if anyone,” he added, referencing John Durham, the federal prosecutor tasked by Attorney General William Barr with investigating the origins of the Russia probe.

Source: Lindsey Graham: My Goal Is To Declassify FISA Warrant Applications

WATCH: GOP Senator Hits Back After CEOs Demand Gun Reform: ‘Love Is The Answer, But I Own A Handgun Just In Case’ | Daily Wire

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) responded on Thursday after the chief executives of more than 100 companies wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate urging Congress to pass various anti-gun measures.

Source: WATCH: GOP Senator Hits Back After CEOs Demand Gun Reform: ‘Love Is The Answer, But I Own A Handgun Just In Case’

Judicial ‘Dictators’: When a Single Judge Can Tell the Entire Country What to Do| CBN

WASHINGTON – Of the government’s three branches, the Judiciary is the only unelected one, and at times the most powerful.

The Obama administration faced 20 nationwide injunctions over eight years. President Trump and his administration have already been hit with nearly 40. The judges issuing such injunctions often halt Congress, as well, blocking enforcement of federal laws and policies.

Attorney General William Barr wants to stop these injunctions. In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, he wrote, “Shrewd lawyers have learned to “shop” for a sympathetic judge willing to issue such an injunction. These days, virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined—often within hours—threatening our democratic system and undermining the rule of law.”

‘Being a Judge Does Not Mean You’re a Dictator or Czar’

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) told CBN News it provides a judge near-total power.

The House Minority Whip stated, “Being a judge does not mean you are a dictator or a czar. You’re supposed to be there interpreting the laws that are written and upholding the Constitution.  And too often we see a judge that has their own agenda, and they try to carry out whatever they want to do as opposed to what the law says.”

Jeremy Dys is a lawyer fighting for religious freedom through First Liberty Institute.

That becomes a real danger if not properly checked, because who will check the checkers?,” Dys asked. “If the judges themselves are the ones who are going to decide what the Constitution says and we limit that to just one individual, that deprives 330 million Americans of the process that we’re familiar with under our Constitution.”

Dys warned these injunctions should frighten people of faith.

“This comes heavily into play on issues of religious liberty all over the country, where you might have one judge who would have a disagreement with how the Constitution is written or how the First Amendment has been interpreted,” he explained. “But he could shut off those critical civil rights protections for the entire nation.”

How the Process is Supposed to Work

The way it used to be Congress would pass a law, the president would sign it, and it would then take effect. Now if a judge steps in with a nationwide injunction to stop it, the president or lawmakers must slog their way through the entire Judiciary.

“The average case, I think, to the Supreme Court takes roughly six years to percolate up through the system,” Dys noted.

So one judge who differs with what a president decides or a Congress legislates can stymie the whole government.

As Attorney General Barr states in his September 5th Wall Street Journal op-ed, “…nationwide injunctions threaten to turn every case into an emergency for the executive and judicial branches.”

Don’t go to the Judiciary if You Want to be a Lawmaker

As a top lawmaker, it certainly peeves Congressman Scalise.

“It always angers me when I see these activist judges – judges who are not elected – decide, rather than interpreting the law, they want to make their own law,” he fumed. “You shouldn’t go to the judiciary because you want to be a lawmaker. You should run for Congress.   We’re held accountable every two years for the votes we take, the bills we pass, the positions that we take.”

And two men who did just that — run for Congress — are taking action.

Republican  Senator Tom Cotton  and Congressman Mark Meadows have just introduced the Nationwide Injunction Abuse Prevention Act. If passed, it  would prevent lawful policy changes from being blocked by individual district court judges.

The way the Judiciary is supposed to work is local judges decide cases for the people in front of them. Then disputed local rulings go before the district or circuit courts. And if various circuits disagree with each other, the US Supreme Court decides for the whole nation.

‘A Lot More Eyes on the Situation’

“That would give a lot more eyes on the situation rather than just one individual sitting in his chambers making the decision,” Dys said.

As Barr puts it, “A Supreme Court justice must convince at least four colleagues to bind the federal government nationwide, whereas a district court judge issuing a nationwide injunction needn’t convince anyone.”

Dys said of the usual slow march of a case up the judicial ladder, “It’s designed to be slow like that on purpose so that we have time to deliberate the best understandings of what the law ought to be, to see how it actually impacts the world around us.”

“If one judge sitting by himself in his chamber can decide that law is now void for the entire nation, it sets that entire process on end,” he added.  “Actually, it puts the judge above the legislature, and that’s not what the Founding Fathers had in mind with the idea of separation of powers.”

A Real Constitutional Crisis?

Dys had another word of warning about a nationwide injunction.

“The average Joe in the streets of Upland, Indiana needs to realize it’s going to have a real impact on them if one judge sitting in his own chambers can determine that the First Amendment does or does not apply to that person and then also the rest of the country,” he explained. “That can be a real constitutional crisis on our hands.”

Scalise added, “These judges who are appointed for life in some cases don’t think the Constitution is a firm document.  They think they can recreate it in their own view.  And that’s not what the law is all about.”

The Supreme Court itself might step in to do something about all of this.  Justice Clarence Thomas in the 2018 case Trump v. Hawaii labeled nationwide injunctions “legally and historically dubious” and wrote, “If federal courts continue to issue them, this Court is duty-bound to adjudicate their authority to do so.”

Source: Judicial ‘Dictators’: When a Single Judge Can Tell the Entire Country What to Do

Gallup: 83% Blame ‘Failure of Mental Health System’ for Contributing to Mass Shootings | CNSNews

Mass murderer James Holmes. (YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) — Despite calls for more gun control laws in the wake of mass shootings, a new survey shows that the number one factor cited by Americans as contributing to mass shootings is the “failure of the mental health system to identify individuals who are a danger to others,” reported Gallup.

Eighty-three percent of adults see that as the factor contributing “a great deal” and “a fair amount” to the problem.

“Easy access to guns” was cited by 48% of American adults as contributing “a great deal” to mass shootings and another 21% saw it as contributing “a fair amount” to the problem.

Mass murderer Adam Lanza.  (YouTube)

“[T]he factor Americans blame most today remains failure by the mental health system to identify people who might be a danger to others,” reported Gallup on Sept. 11.  “Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults say this contributes a great deal or fair amount to mass shootings, about the same as the 80% from six years ago.”

“There has also been no significant change in those rating drug use (65%) or lack of security at public buildings (62%) as highly responsible,” said the survey firm.

“[J]use one factor — failure of the mental health system to flag dangerous people — is seen by a majority (55%) as contributing a great deal to the problem,” said Gallup.  “The spread of extremist viewpoints on the internet comes close, at 50%.” (Emphasis added.)

President Donald Trump “has pointed to mental health as the key culprit, and has cited violent video games,” said Gallup, “but has faced fierce resistance from public health experts and others who argue that stigmatizing mental illness isn’t the answer.”

In conclusion, the survey firm said, “Americans largely agree that a number of factors are to blame — chiefly reporting by the mental health system, the dissemination of extremist views online and easy access to guns. But they also seem receptive to the arguments that drug use and inflammatory political rhetoric may stoke the flames, while inadequate security at public buildings enables crimes to occur.”

Source: Gallup: 83% Blame ‘Failure of Mental Health System’ for Contributing to Mass Shootings

North Korea Sees Christians as Spies in Propaganda Video | Persecution

09/12/2019 North Korea (International Christian Concern) – A video obtained by The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a Christian NGO that supports persecuted Christians globally, shows how the North Korean government sees Christians as spies and the state’s enemy.

In this propaganda video, the story of a female Christian evangelist, Cha Deoksun, was featured.

Cha suffered during the Great Famine in the 1990s. In search for food and help, she crossed the border into China illegally and found God at Seotap Church. She was deeply moved by the message and decided to bring the Gospel back to her country.

She secretly formed an underground church and the government allowed her to travel to different parts of the country due to her poverty (to make ends meet). During these trips, she gave money to people who were poor, lower class, or suffering. She also connected with the descendants of several prominent Korean Christians and worshipped together with them.

The video claims that these groups of underground Christians gathered every Sunday to worship, pray, sing hymns, and study the scripture—even during the busiest farming season. However, her worship was seen as anti-state activity. The video describes her as a spy seeking to recruit other spies, a typical definition of evangelism used in NK propaganda.

Eventually, Cha Deoksun was reported by “a good and awakened North Korean citizen.” VOM believes that she was either killed by firing squad or died in a gulag.

Although this North Korean government video was used to train state security agents on how to identify and silence believers inside North Korea, while discrediting practitioners of religion, it also proves that underground North Korean Christians continue to risk their lives to advance the Gospel, despite living in the state where Christians are persecuted the most.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

Source: North Korea Sees Christians as Spies in Propaganda Video

“No One Comes Back From This Uninjured” – Fiat Currency Endgame Looms | ZeroHedge News

“No One Comes Back From This Uninjured” – Fiat Currency Endgame Looms

Authored by Lior Gantz via ActivistPost.com,

No One Comes Back From This Uninjured. In one word, the devaluation is set to ESCALATE.

In fact, I term it Competitive Devaluation. There are several countries that will be the pioneers of it, but it will eventually reach the United States of America. In Europe and in Japan, we are closer to seeing it happening; in the next 2-5 years, you’ll hear about governments’ first official plans to do this.

They will NOT alert the media to notify the public to own gold and silver. They haven’t thus far (and they won’t going forward, either), and meanwhile, they’ve been accumulating them at the fastest pace in more than half a century.

The central banks want to buy gold, uninterrupted. Since they do not buy silver, the mania that will ensue in that niche market will be huge.

Not just gold and silver stand to gain from devaluation; companies that are able to increase prices and not lose consumers will be great winners as well. These are the world-dominators with pricing power, and I will profile my top-5 holdings for the Endgame Decade (2020-2029) in a Special Report due to be published by September 30th.

Real estate prices in metropolitan areas will also continue to rise; these are hard assets that are difficult to increase in supply, but my analysis is that of the three – world-class companies, precious metals, and real estate, silver will be the BEST PERFORMER.

Courtesy: U.S. Global Investors

Central banks are not able to inflate the real debt levels away. The most extreme case of this is Japan, whose central bank has done ALMOST everything under the sun to relieve the country of its deflationary spiral and has failed miserably.

We are a few years from that because many countries have still not reached the negative-yield world. Trump’s entire argument is that the FED doesn’t need to have ammunition come next recession, because interest rates are never going higher again, so just slam the bid, shove the thing to ZERO, or lower and help monetize bonds.

That’s Trump’s attitude, and as bizarre as it sounds, it is becoming our way of life. Under this fiat monetary system, we are never going back to normalized rates; the path is Competitive Devaluation.

Debts will be written off, savings will become extinct and it’s all because our political systems, demographics projection, and growth curves do not align at all.

In the short-term, September will be a month of relief. The Treasury will be funded, the debt ceiling will be raised and dollar liquidity will be increased by the FED; they will lower rates with 100% uncertainty. Any other announcement and the markets will dive by 15%-20%, like in December.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

Of course, people living on a fixed income, who represent most of the individuals in the world (employees with salaries), will be HURT THE MOST.

Inflation has the same effect on society as poisoning the water supply: it contaminates and destroys one of the elementary requisites for an orderly society – a stable medium of exchange.

Worse, it diminishes trust in authorities.

Worst of all, it makes everyone a bit more extreme in their views and raises their primal instincts for survival; it reveals the violent side of the personality.

This past week, my wife, daughter and I have been enjoying the beauty and the architectural splendor of the Liguria Sea, the area known as the Italian Riviera, with the Cinque Terre UNESCO World Heritage Park and the magnificent Portofino peninsula.

When looking at all the tourists who flock these shores in August and early September, it is sometimes unimaginable to envision times in which people will be concerned about their basic needs, when mega-yachts dock on the picturesque marinas, but I can cite a list of more than 20 countries that saw this crisis in the 20th and 21st centuries hit them, seemingly out of the blue.

Just 11 years ago, the U.S. papered-over a major banking disaster. Argentina went from being one of the top-10 economic engines in the world to a criminal enterprise with corruption everywhere. Empires fall, due to mismanagement. Countries collapse, due to wrong policies. It’s the way of the world.

No one will like the endgame or leave it unscathed, but some will be in a better position to capitalize on the boom that follows. Priority No.1 is to meaningfully elevate the active income you derive from your career, by becoming a more valuable person. Priority No.2 is to invest the savings wisely.

The race is only beginning!

Source: “No One Comes Back From This Uninjured” – Fiat Currency Endgame Looms

Government Orders Google To Let Employees Express Unpopular Political Views | ZeroHedge News

In what appears to be a huge victory for Google employees who don’t ascribe to the ultra-liberal Silicon Valley monoculture, the National Labor Relations Board has reached a settlement with Google over complaints that the search giant punishes employees for speaking out on political and workplace issues that don’t comport with the company’s agenda.

The settlement, which was reportedly approved by an agency director this week, according to WSJ, comes in response to a pair of complaints filed by conservative employees about how the company handles workplace dissent.

One complainant, former engineer Kevin Cernekee, claims he was fired for expressing his right-leaning political views on an internal company message board (Google, for what it’s worth, claims he was fired for “misusing company equipment”)

Last month, President Trump tweeted his support for Cernekee, whose complaint became a cause celebre among conservatives.

Fortunately for Google, the settlement is little more than a slap on the wrist: the company won’t need to admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and the NLRB isn’t requiring Google to reinstate Cernekee with back pay, as he had requested.

As part of the settlement, Google will be required to inform its employees that they are free to speak to the media about working conditions, wages and other work-related issues. The company will also be required to withdraw its final warning letter to Cernekee, which claimed he had violated a clause in the company’s code of conduct requiring employees to “respect each other” in his message-board postings.

The other complainant is a current Google employee who claims he was punished for sharing “unflattering opinions” about a Google executive on Facebook.

According to WSJ, right-leaning Google employees have long maintained that expressing their beliefs can make them “lepers” among their fellow Googlers, as well as to the company’s hiring managers. Some left-leaning employees, meanwhile, have complained that the company retaliated against them for raising concerns about YouTube’s hate speech policies.

Google has long maintained that its company culture encourages open debate. Now, it’s being held accountable to ensure that this is, in fact, the case.

Source: Government Orders Google To Let Employees Express Unpopular Political Views

Stanford psychology expert: This is the No. 1 skill parents need to teach their kids—but most don’t | CNBC

As parents, we all want to raise kids who are smart and focused, especially in a world where digital distraction seems to be inescapable. (Even tech titans like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have strategies for limiting their children’s screen time.)

Why? Because in the future, there will be two kinds of people in the world: Those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves “indistractable.”

Becoming indistractable is the most important skill for the 21st century — and it’s one that many parents fail to teach their kids. After years of studying the intersection of psychology, technology and how we engage with it, one of the biggest mistakes I see parents making is not empowering their kids with the autonomy to control their own time.

Allowing them to do so is a tremendous gift; even if they fail from time to time, failure is part of the learning process. Parents need to understand that it’s okay to put their kids in charge, because it’s only when they learn to practice monitoring their own behavior that they learn how to manage their own time and attention.

Teach them at a young age

When my daughter was five and already insisting on “iPad time” with unrelenting protests, my wife and I knew we had to act.

After we all calmed down, we did our best to respect her needs in the way Richard Ryan, one of the most cited researchers in the world on the drivers of human behavior, recommends: We explained, as simply as we could, that too much screen time comes at the expense of other things.

As a kindergartner, she was learning to tell time, so we could explain that there was only so much of it for things she enjoyed. Spending too much time with apps and videos meant less time to play with friends at the park, swim at the community pool, or be with Mom and Dad.

Consumer skepticism is healthy

We also explained that the apps and videos on the iPad were made by some very smart people and were intentionally designed to keep her hooked and habitually watching.

Understanding that companies are motivated to keep kids spending time watching or playing is an important part of teaching media literacy.

It’s important that our kids understand the motives of the gaming companies and social networks: While these products sell us fun and connection, they also profit from our time and attention.

This might seem like a lot to teach a five-year-old, but we felt a strong need to equip her with the ability to make decisions about her screen usage and enforce her own rules.

Kids need sufficient amounts of autonomy

We then asked her how much screen time per day she thought was good for her. We took a risk by giving her the autonomy to make the decision for herself, but it was worth a shot.

Truthfully, I expected her to say, “All day!” But she didn’t. Instead, armed with the logic behind why limiting screen time was important and with the freedom to decide in her hands, she sheepishly asked for “two shows.” Two episodes of a kid-appropriate program on Netflix is about 45 minutes, I explained.

“Does 45 minutes seem like the right amount of screen time per day for you?” I sincerely asked. She nodded in agreement, and I could tell by the hint of a smile that she felt she had gotten the better end of the deal. As far as I was concerned, 45 minutes was fine with me, as it left plenty of time for other activities.

Becoming indistractable is the most important skill for the 21st century — and it’s one that many parents fail to teach their kids.

“How do you plan to make sure you don’t watch for more than 45 minutes per day?” I asked. Not wanting to lose the negotiation that she clearly felt she was winning, she proposed using a kitchen timer she could set herself.

“Sounds good,” I agreed. “But if Mommy and Daddy notice you’re not able to keep the promise you made to yourself and to us, we’ll have to revisit this discussion,” I said, and she agreed.

Prevent distraction with ‘effort pacts’

Today, as a spirited 10-year-old, my daughter is still in charge of her screen time. She’s made some adjustments to her self-imposed guidelines as she’s grown, such as trading daily episodes for a weekend movie night. She’s also replaced the kitchen timer with other tools; she now calls out to Amazon’s Alexa to set a timer to let her know when she’s reached her limit.

The important thing is that these are her rules, not ours, and that she’s in charge of enforcing them. Best of all, when her time is up, it’s not her dad who has to be the bad guy; it’s her device telling her she’s had enough.

Without realizing it, she entered into an “effort pact,” a kind of pre-commitment that involves increasing the amount of effort required to perform an undesirable action.

Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to follow through.

This type of pre-commitment can help us become indistractable. Many parents want to know if there is a correct amount of time kids should be allowed to spend on their screens, but no such absolute number exists. There are too many factors at play, including the child’s specific needs, what the child is doing online and the activities that screen time is replacing.

Discussions and respectful disagreements are healthy

The most important thing is to involve the child in the conversation and help them set their own rules. When parents impose limits without their kids’ input, they are setting them up to be resentful and incentivizing them to cheat the system.

These strategies are no guarantee of parent-child domestic harmony. In fact, we should expect to have heated discussions about the role technology plays in our homes and in our kids’ lives, just as many families have fiery debates over giving the car keys to their teens on a Saturday night. Discussions and, at times, respectful disagreements are a sign of a healthy family.

It’s only when kids can monitor their own behavior that they learn the skills they need to be indistractable — even when their parents aren’t around.

Photo: Caiaimage/Chris Ryan

Source: Stanford psychology expert: This is the No. 1 skill parents need to teach their kids—but most don’t

September 12, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request by President Donald Trump’s administration to fully enforce a new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, a key element of his hardline immigration policies.

Leading Democratic White House contenders Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren will share the stage for the first time on Thursday when the top 10 candidates for the party’s presidential nomination meet in a debate in Houston.

A new shale technology called electric fracking promises to slash oil producers costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The downside: these systems could obsolete existing investments by struggling oilfield service companies.

More than 100 chief executives of some of the nation’s most well-known companies on Thursday called on the U.S. Senate to take action to tackle gun violence, including expanding background checks and strengthening so-called red flag laws, according to media reports.

Up to 50 people were killed when a cargo train derailed in Congo’s southeastern province of Tanganyika in the early hours of Thursday, government officials said, though reports on casualties differed widely.

The trial of a man accused of shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 51 people has been delayed by a month because the original court date coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a judge said on Thursday.

Chinese companies have started to inquire about prices for U.S. agricultural goods purchases, Beijing said on Thursday, in a further sign of potential de-escalation in the bitter and protracted trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The ECB will be able to buy private sector bonds yielding less than its currently -0.5% deposit facility rate under its new, 20 billion euros per month bond purchase scheme, it said on Thursday.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to a five-month low last week, suggesting the labor market remains strong despite slowing job growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 204,000 for the week ended Sept. 7.

AP Top Stories

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that continued rocket fire from Gaza is making another war against Palestinian militants in the coastal strip inevitable, his latest headline-grabbing announcement just days before he seeks re-election.

A September 10 strike on Iraq’s Qanus Island killed an estimated 25 Islamic State (ISIS) fighters. The fighters were using the island “like a hotel,” stopping for one or two nights on their way from Syria to Iraq. US Air Force F-35 Lightning II and F-15 Strike Eagles carried out the attack, dropping 80,000 pounds of ordnance on the island. Iraqi CTS soldiers then swept the island, finding a weapons cache that included rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPGs), several rockets, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Israel is believed by US intelligence to be responsible for planting surveillance devices near the White House in a bid to spy on US President Donald Trump, Politico reported Thursday.

Iran is believed to be holding two British-Australian women captive in the hope of exchanging one of them for an Iranian imprisoned in the US on charges of evading American sanctions.

President Donald Trump has left the impression with foreign officials, members of his administration, and others involved in Iranian negotiations that he is actively considering a French plan to extend a $15 billion credit line to the Iranians if Tehran comes back into compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani without preconditions while maintaining “maximum pressure” on Tehran.

Pope Francis said he does not fear a schism within the Roman Catholic Church, as criticism grows among conservatives of his liberal views on migrants, the protection of the environment and giving communion to divorcees.

The high court in Massachusetts on Monday ruled on the side of Boston’s district attorney, Rachael Rollins, in a high-profile dispute with a city judge who refused to drop charges against counter protesters arrested at last month’s Straight Pride Parade.

BBC

Drug-making giant Purdue Pharma has reportedly reached a tentative multi-billion dollar agreement in the US to settle a host of lawsuits against it. The firm is accused of helping fuel the US opioid crisis through drugs like painkiller OxyContin. The deal would remove Purdue from the first federal trial over the opioids crisis, set to open in Ohio in October.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has warned the country to expect problems with fuel supplies in the coming weeks. The distribution, especially of diesel, was being badly affected by US sanctions against Venezuela – Cuba’s principal oil supplier.

A Catholic school in Dakar will allow Muslim-students to wear a headscarf after an attempted ban provoked an outcry in the Senegalese capital.

Researchers have found that a couple of skeletons known as the Lovers of Modena, because they are holding hands, were both men.

WND

An ad created for Facebook by the Ariel Jewish Center to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, also known as the biblical Feast of Trumpets, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, wasn’t too complicated. “This ad isn’t running because it is sexually provocative or overly suggestive,” the tech giant announced.

In a major first, scientists have detected water vapor and possibly even liquid water clouds that rain in the atmosphere of a strange exoplanet that lies in the habitable zone of its host star about 110 light-years from Earth. A new study focuses on K2-18 b, an exoplanet discovered in 2015, orbits a red dwarf star close enough to receive about the same amount of radiation from its star as Earth does from our sun.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Sept. 12, 2019

The Foundation

“When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

‘Some People Did Something,’ ‘Airplanes Took Aim’

Dehumanizing the 9/11 terrorist attacks shows that too many people have forgotten.


SCOTUS Backs Trump on Asylum Rule

A ruling against nationwide injunctions that have hampered Trump’s immigration policy.


The United States of Google?

Breaking up “Big Tech” isn’t going to address the assault on American’s privacy.


Lessons America Should Learn From the Long War

And hard truths we must accept in order to effectively defend our nation.


Trump’s Tariffs Taking Toll on Chinese Economy

Beijing maybe closer to seeking an agreement to end the trade war than many realize.


Another WaPo Pollaganda Whopper

Collusion between the Democrat Party and its MSM propagandists is an abject betrayal of the First Amendment.


Boy Uses Money for Disney Trip to Help Dorian Evacuees

His ultimate birthday wish was to serve others as they evacuated before the hurricane.


Video: Feminist Victimhood

Christina Hoff Sommers joins Bill Maher to discuss the trouble with modern feminism.


Video: Is There No Such Thing As ‘Too Far Left’?

Pushing abortion for population control, scrapping borders, and promising everything “free.”



Today’s Opinion

Jeff Jacoby
Why Hong Kong’s Protesters Fly the Stars and Stripes
R. Emmett Tyrrell
Climate Change and the Democrats
Cal Thomas
When Government Runs Health Care
Victor Davis Hanson
Is England Still Part of Europe?
Larry Elder
Media Bad-Mouths the Economy Like It Did in 1992
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Asylum restrictions, judicial nominees, trade war, Clean Water Rule, e-cigarettes, and more.


Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Condoleezza Rice, Stephen King, Don Lemon, Matt Walsh, and more.



Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

Headlines – 9/12/2019

UN chief: Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan would be illegal and undermine “two-state solution”

Amman warns Jordan Valley annexation pledge puts peace treaty ‘at stake’

Saudis call emergency summit after Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty pledge

Hezbollah blames Gulf states for Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty plan

‘You will never break our will’: Palestinians to Netanyahu after annexation pledge

Ahead of Sochi trip, Russia scolds Netanyahu over Jordan Valley annexation vow

Russia warns that plan to annex Jordan Valley could escalate tensions

Netanyahu: I tried to annex Jordan Valley before election but AG said I couldn’t

Shaked: Netanyahu could annex Jordan Valley in a day if he wanted

Topping off annexation pledge, PM moves to legalize Jordan Valley outpost

False alarms triggered north of Gaza as IDF bombs Hamas sites in reprisal raids

Hamas lauds rocket attack as spooking Netanyahu, shaking Israel’s image

IDF attacks Gaza, terrorists try and down military aircraft

Netanyahu: Israel Will Probably Have No Choice but to Go to War in Gaza

Facebook Takes Steps Against Likud After Netanyahu Warns ‘Arabs Want to Annihilate Us’

Facebook suspends Netanyahu’s chatbot for hate speech against Arabs

National security ‘chaos’: John Brennan says Bolton ouster sends a signal to American enemies

Muslim group ‘appalled’ as Kupperman tapped as Bolton’s interim replacement

Former Israeli Defense Minister: “Trump’s firing of Bolton was a victory for Iran”

Amid Iran Outreach and Bolton Ouster, Top Trump Ally on Capitol Hill Says US Commitment to Israel ‘as Strong as Ever’

Trump said to mull easing Iran sanctions to secure Rouhani meeting

Trump mulls $15b bailout plan for Iran if complies with nuclear deal – report

Israeli ambassador urges US to ‘stay the course’ on pressuring Iran

Iran denounces ‘U.S.-Israeli plot’ over nuclear program

Germany aims to host Libya conference to stabilize oil producer

In 9/11 speech, al-Qaeda chief calls for attacks on Israel, West

US Evangelicals Visit Saudi Arabia on Eve of 9/11

US-Israeli Christian leader discusses peace process with Saudi crown prince

Lindsey Graham claims border fraud so prevalent ‘a terrorist could easily get in’

Supreme Court allows Trump asylum restrictions to take effect, ending 9th Circuit injunctions

Sotomayor dissents: Trump asylum ban comes when stakes ‘could not be higher’

Trump officials look to fix California homeless problem, state officials say back off

Trump says Fed ‘boneheads’ should cut interest rates to zero ‘or less,’ US should refinance debt

Hong Kong Stock Exchange just proposed a $37 billion deal to buy the London Stock Exchange

U.K. Government Outlines ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ for No-Deal Brexit

Study: More than Half of Americans Trust Law Enforcement to Use Facial Recognition Responsibly

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits South of the Fiji Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Kuril Islands

3.3 Earthquake recorded overnight in Northern Arkansas

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Sangeang Api volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas lists 2,500 people as missing

People drowned in their attics as Dorian submerged whole houses

Trump ordered NOAA statement supporting claim that Alabama was at risk from Dorian – Lawmakers, Commerce Department launch investigations

A tropical storm might actually impact Alabama Sunday and Monday

Amazon sees more than 100,000 fires, causing spike in air pollution

Indonesian forests are burning, and Malaysia and Singapore are choking on the fumes

Burning haze blanketing cities sees hundreds of schools closed across Malaysia

There are 2 northern white rhinos left worldwide. Scientists created embryos to save the animal from extinction

Scientists Create A Device That Can Mass-Produce Human Embryoids

Chinese Scientists Edit DNA in Attempt to Cure Man’s Cancer, HIV

‘There’s no such thing as anonymity’: With consumer DNA tests, sperm banks reconsider long-held promises to donors

Republican senators slam Facebook for ‘censorship’ of pro-life content as fact-checking group gets investigated

Dutch court clears doctor in landmark euthanasia trial


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Faith Comes From God

Is Calvary Enough for You? A Look At Two More Blasphemous Healing Arguments

Jeff Fenholt Dies: Broadway’s Original ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Was 68

El Centro church accused of labor trafficking more like “a cult,” says former parishioner

Newsflash: Pro-Gay Churches Are Shrinking, Not Growing

Senate Demands Pastors Reject Biblical Counseling For LGBT Californians

Austin, Texas Becomes First City to Pay Women to Kill Their Babies in Abortions

Dutch court clears doctor in landmark euthanasia trial


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

Joe Biden’s Platform Illustrates The Breakneck Speed Democrats Are Lurching Left — The Federalist

Joe Biden’s Platform Illustrates The Breakneck Speed Democrats Are Lurching Left

Joe Biden’s billing as the moderate-in-residence of the Democratic primary is a telling statement on the breakneck speed at which the party is radicalizing. His platform offers proof.

A Tuesday report in McClatchy compared Biden’s 2020 platform to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 platform, finding the former vice president’s policy prescriptions have drifted leftward from the former secretary of state’s. “From health care to climate change to criminal justice, Biden has proposed ideas more ambitious and liberal than policies supported by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign,” the article declared. It even went so far as to correctly note that “Biden’s current set of policy prescriptions would likely be considered radical if they had been proposed in any previous Democratic presidential primary.”

Examples include his health care plan, his climate change plan, his criminal justice reform plan, and his position on the death penalty.

Biden hasn’t clinched the nomination, and whether he eventually will is far from clear. But he’s the frontrunner, and like Clinton, a septuagenarian establishment Democrat willing to evolve along with the far left for the sake of political expediency. The movement from Clinton’s platform’s to Biden’s illustrates the level of hard leftism required to compete in the primary and, more broadly, reflects the movement of the party. What’s remarkable is that it happened in the span of three years.

For Biden, part of this is the impossible balancing act that involves placating the far-left base and appealing to older Rust Belt Democrats, all without blowing up his appeal between the coasts in a potential general election. In Biden, voters get a leftist wrapped in the packaging of good-old-days nostalgia, which can read as “moderate” in a cultural sense.

As McClatchy notes, Biden’s platform isn’t as far left as the platforms of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), so perhaps he’s “moderate” compared to a democratic socialist and someone like Warren. These distinctions will hopefully be clarified at Thursday’s Democratic debate, where all three candidates will be on stage together at last.

Some of this is the product of a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein the coastal media, surrounded and comprised of coastal progressives, has artificially accelerated the party’s ideological movement by a) convincing party leaders the Democratic electorate is farther left than it is (based on their own experiences in urban bubbles), and b) forcing candidates to comply with leftist litmus tests lest they risk bad press. The Biden campaign seems to understand the disconnect between the media and the broader Democratic base.

Whatever label fits Biden best, the movement from Clinton’s platform to his is evidence not just that the Democratic Party is lurching left, but that it’s doing so at a remarkable speed. If you accept that the media’s involvement is having an outsized impact on the party, it’s more evidence the lessons of 2016 have not been internalized.

via Joe Biden’s Platform Illustrates The Breakneck Speed Democrats Are Lurching Left — The Federalist

SLAP DIRT Suicide Assessment — Paul Tautges

What do you do when you fear a friend or family member may be suicidal? How do you assess the seriousness of your suspicion or their suicidal comments? The following assessment tool is from the mini-book HELP! My Friend Is Suicidal by pastor and Police, Fire & EMS chaplain Bruce Ray.

Listen to Your Suicidal Friend!

Be willing to talk about suicide plainly. Many suicidal people want to voice their thoughts but their family and friends won’t let them! You don’t have to have all the answers; you just need to be willing to listen. Take your friend seriously. Don’t discount her concerns. Don’t say, “It’s not that bad…” To her it is! Don’t tell her what to do, but show her biblically what God wants her to do. Help her to take every out-of-control thought and bring it into submission to Jesus Christ. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

When in Doubt, Ask!

If your friend’s intentions are not clear, ask him point blank: Are you thinking about suicide? It seems counter-intuitive, the opposite of what you think you should do, but asking will not push him to act. Talking about his thoughts and feelings may actually serve as a release-valve, thus buying more time. Learn as much as you can about his suicide plan. A suicide threat assessment tool that I find helpful is easily remembered by the acronym SLAP DIRT:

  • Specific plan – has your friend thought about how, where and when he would commit suicide? A plan that is specific is much closer to being carried out than one that is only general: “I don’t know how, but I’m gonna do it.”
  • Lethality – how deadly is the plan? I’m not overly concerned about a plan to overdose on Vitamin C, but if someone says they’re going to shoot themselves or jump from a freeway overpass, they have my full attention.
  • Availability (of means) – does your friend have or can he easily get what he needs to carry out his plan?
  • Proximity (of help) – How close help is can indicate determination. Fred moved in with his daughter and her family after his wife died. They were glad to have him there and Fred did much of the gardening. One evening he said he was going for a walk. He actually went to a park in a neighboring city. In the gazebo in a remote part of the park, Fred put a handgun to his head and pulled the trigger. He went to an isolated place so that there would be no one nearby who could interrupt what he had decided to do.

If there has been a previous attempt(s), add DIRT to the mix:

  • Dangerousness – how dangerous were the previous attempts? Is there is a pattern of para- or pseudosuicidal attempts that were deliberately unsuccessful, and is your friend more determined now?
  • Impression – whatever the actual danger might have been, what is your friend’s impression of how dangerous her previous attempts were?
  • Rescue – how did your friend survive previous attempts? Did he use less than lethal means, or were there friends or other people who came to his rescue?
  • Timing – some people attempt suicide expecting to be rescued. Linda rigged a vacuum cleaner hose from the tailpipe of her car in the garage into the passenger compartment, expecting her estranged husband to find her (and save her) when he came to pick up their children. She forgot he had a dentist appointment. As a result of that miscalculation, Linda died and almost killed her kids when carbon monoxide filled the house.

When depression is present, suicidal persons can send out conflicting signals. One of the most dangerous periods is on the way down, when they are unhappy with life and close to the bottom but still have enough energy to carry out a plan.

At the bottom of the curve, life is flat and depressed persons have little energy to do anything. This is when they don’t go to school or work, don’t seem to get anything done, and spend a lot of time unable or unwilling to get out of bed or off the couch. When they start to come out of the depression, that’s the next most dangerous period because they are beginning to regain energy and can again carry out a plan. Often friends are misled into thinking that the suicidal person is getting better: “He seemed so much happier the last few days….” That apparent happiness may be because the person has a plan and now has the energy to carry it out.

Don’t Try to Be a Hero!

Suicide intervention is risky. It places you in harm’s way, between a suicidal subject and the means of carrying out his plan. Your priority must always be your own personal safety first. Don’t try to be a hero, and don’t become a victim. Call for appropriate help from police, fire, or the local suicide crisis line.

[This article was originally posted on April 10, 2013.]

If it’s too late to help your friend, this follow-up mini-book will help you and their loved ones: HELP! Someone I Love Died By Suicide

Your church or counseling center can order bulk quantities of both mini-books directly from Shepherd Press.

via SLAP DIRT Suicide Assessment — Paul Tautges

‘We Were Targeted’: Facebook Confronted Over ‘Censorship’ of Popular Pro-Life Website — Faithwire

Four Republican senators sent a letter Wednesday morning to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, rebuking the social networking site for its recent “fact check” of content posted by the pro-life advocacy organization Live Action.

The letter was signed by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.). The group of lawmakers condemned Facebook’s “pattern of censorship” and called for an external audit of the Silicon Valley-based company.

In late August, Live Action was notified by Facebook that its content — two videos shared by the organization’s president and founder, Lila Rose — constituted “false news,” because fact-checkers for the left-leaning Health Feedback described the claim that abortion is “never medically necessary” as “inaccurate.”

However, as the senators’ letter points out, the fact-checkers cited by Facebook — Daniel Grossman and Robyn Shickler — are both abortion providers.

“No reasonable person would describe Grossman or Shickler as neutral or objective when it comes to the issue of abortion,” the letter states. “Yet Facebook relied on their rating to suppress and censor a pro-life organization with more than [three] million followers.”

In a statement obtained by Faithwire, Rose thanked the four senators “for their leadership in condemning Facebook’s decision to make two abortionists the arbiters of the national debate on abortion.”

“Thousands of medical professionals hold the position that abortion — the intentional and direct killing of a child in the womb — is never medically necessary, and that the medical community should see both mother and child as patients,” she said.

Rose went on to explain Live Action is demanding Facebook rescind its fact-check, notify all users of the reversal, and offer a public apology for the entire ordeal.

Speaking last week with Faithwire, Alison Centofante, director of external communications for Live Action, said the pro-life group has been told by Facebook the company “is reviewing their process.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Centofante said.

via ‘We Were Targeted’: Facebook Confronted Over ‘Censorship’ of Popular Pro-Life Website — Faithwire

Facebook uses pro-abortion “fact checkers” to label pro-life pages “fake news”

WINTERY KNIGHT

Facebook banned Franklin Graham for "hate speech" Facebook banned evangelist Franklin Graham for “hate speech”

Recently, this blog’s Facebook page reached 5000 likes. We were immediately hit with a fact-check by a secular leftist, who labeled an  satirical meme image as “fake news”. Facebook informed me that they would be lowering our distribution for not being secular leftists. In fact, Facebook is censoring anyone who disagrees with the Democrat party, because the 2020 election is almost here.

Here’s the story from the Daily Caller:

Live Action founder and President Lila Rose said Facebook allowed abortionists to fact check Live Action content and label it as misinformation.

Facebook cited a fact check from two third-party fact checkers, telling Rose and Live Action that their statement “abortion is never medically necessary” was both inaccurate and misleading.

The Aug. 30 fact check, published in Health Feedback, targeted an August 9 video that included the statement “abortion is never medically necessary.” Another video shared by…

View original post 906 more words

Michael Brown Defends the Worst of the Worst Blasphemer and Idolater — Christian Research Network

“The problem with men like this is that they want to speak orthodox language. They want to give a facade of orthodoxy, giving lip-service to the gospel and to the Bible, but they twist it just enough to make it difficult to detect. They will say they love Jesus and that Jesus is the only way — but their Jesus is a different Jesus.” 

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte)  Michael Brown is the world’s premier apologist for the ancient heresy of Montanism. Montanism is the heresy that teaches that certain spiritual gifts, such as prophecy, continue today and that it is possible to receive direct, divine revelation from God apart from Scripture….

The heresy has been re-packaged in modern times into what is known as the charismatic movement. Charismatics and Pentecostals hold to the unbiblical position that the apostolic sign gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, and the gift of healing are still for the Church today.

Some of the worst offenders of this heresy today are Bill Johnson of Bethel Church and Benny Hinn — two of Michael Brown’s friends and colleagues. While Brown brands himself as a “moderate” who doesn’t hold to the “extreme” positions of some of these charismatic offenders, he continues to defend them while condemning those who urge against it. View article →

Research

Michael Brown

Todd White

New Apostolic Reformation

via Michael Brown Defends the Worst of the Worst Blasphemer and Idolater — Christian Research Network