Daily Archives: October 4, 2019

October 4 Accomplishing the Task

Scripture Reading: Psalm 66:1–16

Key Verse: Psalm 66:16

Come and hear, all you who fear God,

And I will declare what He has done for my soul.

Fear has a way of gripping us so tightly that it can squeeze hope from us. However, when we realize how unfounded our fears are, we can begin to see how inaccurate they are. Many believers experience feelings of inadequacy because of fear. Some fear the responsibility that God has given them. Others fear failure or criticism. And still others fear yielding to God’s call on their lives.

Fear undermines the understanding of who we are in Christ, leading us to believe that we cannot fulfill the requests God makes. However, we must realize that without Christ, we are inadequate to accomplish God’s call on our lives. But God doesn’t call us to do things for His kingdom without equipping us to succeed. We must realize the blessings of our inadequacies.

Instead of fearing to venture into the unknown, we boldly go forth, trusting that if God is the one calling us there, He is going to help us every step of the way. In realizing our inadequacies, we begin to see God’s power and completeness. No one is beyond His reach nor is any situation beyond His touch. No longer will we try to do kingdom activity on our own. We will trust solely in the Lord to successfully accomplish the tasks He sets before us.

Father, I do not know why I fear Your call. I give my fear to You, claiming Your promise to be with me and equip me for whatever lies ahead.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 291). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Comfort of Election (Or: Pelagianism Has No Pity) [Bavinck] — The Reformed Reader

Some people wrongly think that the biblical teaching of unconditional election is a frightening and dark teaching that hinders evangelism and makes people into fatalists.  It is true that wrong views of election (such as a hyper-Calvinist view, for example) do get in the way of evangelism and can give people a fatalistic outlook.  However, a biblical understanding of election does neither; in fact, it ascribes all glory to God, it gives comfort to followers of Jesus, and it’s a reason to share the gospel with all kinds of people!  Herman Bavinck said it well:

The Son did not move the Father to love; electing love arose from the Father himself. Scripture, accordingly, everywhere teaches that the cause of all the decrees does not lie in any creature but only in God himself, in his will and good pleasure (Matt. 11:26; Rom. 9:11ff.; Eph. 1:4ff.).

For that very reason, both for unbelievers and believers, the doctrine of election is a source of inexpressibly great comfort. If it were based on justice and merit, all would be lost. But now that election operates according to grace, there is hope even for the most wretched. If work and reward were the standard of admission into the kingdom of heaven, its gates would be opened for no one. Or if Pelagius’s doctrine were the standard, and the virtuous were chosen because of their virtue, and Pharisees because of their righteousness, wretched publicans would be shut out. Pelagianism has no pity.

But to believe in and to confess election is to recognize even the most unworthy and degraded human being as a creature of God and an object of his eternal love. The purpose of election is not—as it is so often proclaimed—to turn off the many but to invite all to participate in the riches of God’s grace in Christ. No one has a right to believe that he or she is a reprobate, for everyone is sincerely and urgently called to believe in Christ with a view to salvation. No one can actually believe it, for one’s own life and all that makes it enjoyable is proof that God takes no delight in his death. No one really believes it, for that would be hell on earth. But election is a source of comfort and strength, of submissiveness and humility, of confidence and resolution. The salvation of human beings is firmly established in the gracious and omnipotent good pleasure of God.

Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 401–402.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

via The Comfort of Election (Or: Pelagianism Has No Pity) [Bavinck] — The Reformed Reader

October 4 Preparation for Praise

Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 16:1–36

Key Verse: 1 Chronicles 16:24

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.

Some churches hold special services just for praise. The usual order of worship is set aside so that the entire time can be spent in the act of adoration of the Lord. Singing, prayer, and personal testimonies of God’s goodness are often key ingredients in such gatherings.

The idea of a praise service isn’t a new one, though. In the days of King David, the ark of the covenant was about to be returned to Jerusalem after months in the house of Obed-Edom (1 Chron. 14–16). However, David had earlier made a grievous mistake and angered the Lord. He decided to bring the ark to Jerusalem by transporting it in a manner directly opposing what God commanded.

David learned his lesson well, and his heart was filled with rejoicing at the blessing that would soon come to his people as a result of their obedience. At his directive, the priests made burnt sacrifices to God. A loaf of bread and some meat were given to every man and woman in the land, and spirits were bursting with anticipation.

Then came the final and most important part of the worship preparation: “He [David] appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord, even to celebrate and to thank and praise the Lord God” (1 Chron. 16:4 nasb). David consecrated a time of praise, and that is what God wants you to do in response to His work.

Father, prepare my heart for praise. Let me learn its value and practice it regularly in response to Your wonderful works.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 291). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Gospel Grace in a Courtroom and the False-Gospel Resentment it Provoked — Founders Ministries

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”

– Galatians 1:6-7

Paul wrote these words to Christians he evangelized living in churches he planted. They had been converted by the gospel that he preached—a gospel that teaches that salvation comes by grace alone through Christ alone who can only be received through faith alone. It is a gospel that turns rebels against God into His loyal subjects. It turns His enemies into His children.

This gospel not only transforms our relationship with God it also transforms our relationships with people by fundamentally giving believers a new identity. Paul explains some of the practical implications of this in 2 Corinthians 5. “If anyone is Christ, he is a new creation” (17). What that means is that one who turns from sin and trusts Jesus is now controlled by the love of Christ (14). Christ “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (15). Living for Christ means living according to His way and His commandments. It means submitting to His lordship and learning to think His thoughts after Him as they are given to us in Scripture. It means adopting attitudes, values, and aspirations that are shaped by His life and work.

Paul draws out a further implication our new life in Christ when he writes, “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer” (16). Being joined to Christ, who shed His blood to reconcile us to God, transforms the way that we regard people—how we think about and relate to them. We no longer look at people through lenses supplied by this fallen world. Rather, we view them with new, spiritual eyes that are supplied by our crucified and risen Lord.

This is what enables Paul to write in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” What Christians share in Christ trumps everything and anything that they may not have in common. What this means is that a middle-aged black Christian who is a husband and father has more in common with a teen-aged white Christian single mother than he does with other middle-aged black husbands and fathers. Oneness in Christ forbids Christians from participating in the tribalism that intersectional ideologies promote so strongly today.

The power of the gospel to work in these ways was put on display this week at the sentencing of Amber Guyger, the Dallas Police officer who mistakenly entered the apartment of Botham Jean and shot him, thinking he was an intruder in her apartment. She was found guilty of murder by a Dallas County jury earlier this week. At the sentencing hearing, a turn of events occurred that can only be attributed to the power of a risen Savior.

Brandt Jean took the stand to speak about the impact of his brother’s murder. In course of his comments, he gave one of the clearest displays of the power of the gospel that I have ever witnessed. Through unimaginable grief and sorrow, he looked at his brother’s murderer and said,

I want the best for you. Because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do. The best would be to give your life to Christ….I think giving your life for Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do. Again, I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.

After this, he asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could embrace her. “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug please? Please?” Such a request is exceedingly rare, if not altogether unprecedented, in such cases. The judged hesitated, then granted permission. What unfolded in the middle of that courtroom over the next few minutes as Brandt and Amber embraced, with sobs and tears, was a sacred moment created by the gospel of Jesus Christ working powerfully in a brokenhearted young man.

Powerful grace displayed. But God was not finished. After that, Judge Kemp, with tears in her eyes, went to her chambers, retrieved her Bible, returned and presented it to Guyger and told her to read and live John 3:16. “You haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven,” the judge said.

Grace upon grace. What kind of God makes people act this way? Only the God who gave up His own Son to be slaughtered on a cross for sinners can create such grace and love in those whom He saves. Judge Kemp stated exactly this when she responded to a statement made by Guyger. “It’s not because I’m good, it’s because I believe in Christ.”

Christians everywhere are rejoicing at the glory of our God being displayed in that Dallas courtroom. We are humbled, rebuked, challenged and encouraged to draw more deeply from the wells of grace that are found in our Savior. The testimonies of Brandt Jean and Judge Kemp make us thank the Lord for such grace and motivate us to follow their example and to pray that such a public commendation of Jesus will be used to bring thousands—millions—into a life-transforming encounter with the gospel.

But not all who name the Name of Christ see it that way. Some, including notable and would-be Christian leaders, indicated that what happened in that courtroom frustrated, angered, and even traumatized them. It’s as if their racism-everywhere narratives were being hijacked by those events. So they took to social media to express their dismay and try to reframe that courtroom scene to help us see what was “really” going on in there.

You think that was grace? That wasn’t grace, according to Bishop Talbert Swan, it was “Post Traumatic SLAVERY Syndrome.” Kyle J. Howard, a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and prominent Baptist advocate of all things social justice related, stated that the day of the sentencing was “filled with racial trauma triggers that left me and many others is [sic] a dark place. Thankfully we had each other.” That day, he continued, “was dark, I was reminded of how Evangelicals weaponized faith against BIPOC [Black/Indigenous/People of color] saints.” Howard elaborated, “Weaponizing aspects of faith like forgiveness as a means of silencing/shaming other aspects of faith like righteous indignation, sorrow, grief, & mourning is a form of spiritual abuse & historically has been an aspect of slave master theology. It’s also common in sexual abuse.”

Jemar Tisby, President of The Witness, a Black Christian Collective, wrote an article for the Washington Post warning us not to get too excited about what happened in that courtroom, making a special point to racialize the reactions.

Some viewed Brandt’s actions as a stunning example of forgiveness, a moment of grace and tenderness that briefly bridged the chasm between races and provided an example for all to emulate. Although Christians of different backgrounds shared a variety of responses, this moment was especially celebrated by white Christians. It seems to indicate a desire to hastily move on from the wrong done and offer a perfect picture of reconciliation.

How can professing Christians look at the events in that Dallas courtroom and see such different—even contradictory—things? A conclusion to which I have slowly, reluctantly, and sorrowfully come, is that some choose to look at events like this with suspicion that is borne of worldly thinking rather than with the lens of gospel grace.

How would Paul respond to that courtroom scene? Or the martyr Stephen? Or Corrie Ten Boom? Or Louis Zamperini? Or those Amish parents whose children were murdered in school? Or Felicia Sanders, whose son was murdered by Dylan Roof during a Bible study? I cannot imagine their responses passing muster with those who are upset by celebration of grace so many Christians have displayed.

Perhaps to gain more clarity, how would Tisby, Howard and Swan (and those like them) tell us we should think about Stephen’s dying words as he was stoned, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60)? Is this post traumatic slavery syndrome? After all, Stephen was a Jew living under Roman domination. Did such subjugation and oppression leave him with delusions that kept him from properly calling for the death of his murderers? Should we be triggered, traumatized, or offended at the thought of another Jewish man being mistreated at the hands of fellow Jews? Or perhaps we should acknowledge the grace of forgiveness at work, but before we get carried away by the power of that grace on display make sure that we underscore how grace doesn’t mean that we don’t care about and seek justice? After all, couldn’t we see Luke’s inclusion of Stephen’s story as an attempt to “weaponize forgiveness?”

At best, it’s wearisome. At worst…well, at worst, I fear that we may be seeing a different gospel at work. One which, as Paul puts it, is no gospel at all. J. Gresham Machen faced a similar challenge in his day when liberalism came into evangelical circles like a flood. Once he got clarity and addressed the issues confronting the church, he rightly diagnosed and refuted the error in his 1923 book, Christianity and Liberalism. In that classic work he shows how liberalism is not only a different religion from Christianity, but a completely different kind of religion. His prophetic words are instructive for us today. He writes,

The greatest menace to the Christian Church today comes not from the enemies outside, but from the enemies within; it comes from the presence within the Church of a type of faith and practice that is anti-Christian to the core p. (p. 160).

I fear that the display of God’s grace in the sentencing of Amber Gugyger has further revealed the fault lines within evangelical and even “reformed” Christianity in America. On one side are those who recognize that what they have in Christ trumps all of those things that would otherwise divide us. They are committed to living out their union with Christ by viewing each other and all of life through gospel lenses. On the other side 2are those whose misguided zeal to pursue what they think is justice prevents them from recognizing and celebrating the grace of God in the gospel.

These are not two different kinds of Christianity. One is simply not Christian at all.

via Gospel Grace in a Courtroom and the False-Gospel Resentment it Provoked — Founders Ministries

October 4 The Rewards of Waiting

Scripture reading: 1 Samuel 1:1–28

Key verse: Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

You’ve just finished gathering all the ingredients for baking, and you mix them together carefully in a large bowl. Then you pour the batter evenly in two round pans and slide them gently onto the oven rack. You set the timer and sit back for a while to enjoy the delicious smells coming from the kitchen.

Suppose that twenty minutes before the timer rings you decide you want to take the cake out of the oven anyway. It’s only partially baked, with gooey spots everywhere, and obviously isn’t fit for consumption.

Such a decision would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? Yet in an interesting way that scenario parallels what we do as believers when we try to outrun God’s timing and take ourselves out of His preparation time too soon. We do not give Him time to reveal His purposes in the way He knows is best.

Hannah is an inspiration in the area of spiritual patience. She knew that God was the One in charge of whether she would conceive a child, and she took her sorrows and fears to Him daily. We don’t know how long Hannah waited on the Lord. All the Bible says in 1 Samuel 1:7 is “year by year.” What a wearying process, especially with the taunts of Peninnah.

God knows what you need. Don’t give up and try to satisfy that need your own way. Wait on Him, and He will take care of you according to His goodness.

Heavenly Father, I thank You that I can rest in the assurance that You know exactly what I need.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 291). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Gohmert: ‘Ironically, Democrats Are Accusing Trump of What They, Themselves, Engaged In’ in 2016 | CNS News

House Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) (Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) — House Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a former Army JAG officer and former chief justice of Texas’s 12th Court of Appeals, said the drive to remove President Donald Trump from office is an “impeachment circus” to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation into the Democrats’ “own collusion with foreign governments to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.”

“Ironically, Democrats are accusing President Trump of what they, themselves, have engaged in: colluding with foreign governments to change the outcome of an election,” said Gohmert in an Oct. 3 statement, and now they are trying to stop any investigation of that collusion, which the U.S. Justice Department is actively pursuing under the direction of Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John H. Durham.

“There is a struggle going on in Washington, D.C., which threatens to bring about the destruction of our American experiment in self-governance,” said Gohmert in his statement.

“Not bound to a party affiliation, it is born of the notion the globalist elites of the world know better how to run the lives of the average American citizen than we do ourselves,” he said. “These elites want to destroy the very idea of a government of, for and by the People and are willing to continue in the light of day their lawless coup attempt against a duly elected president.”

Further excerpts from his statement are published below.

“The whistleblower complaint itself reads like a policy rant written by a partisan attorney focused on facilitating the Democrats’ latest lurch toward impeachment. President Trump is alleged to have done what we know Vice-President Joe Biden admitted to doing. Yet again, it is another example of Democrats projecting their criminal acts on President Trump.

“There is no law that restricts the president’s ability to ask a foreign leader – at the request of his own attorney general no less– to give his or her government’s cooperation in an investigation by our Department of Justice. In the instance of Ukraine, there is ample reason to request their cooperation and documentation, as this was one of the countries through which Democrat senators and the Obama Administration sought to derail then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

Former FBI chief counter-intelligence officer Peter Strzok. (Getty Images)

“Just last week, Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham met with Italian authorities in Rome where, according to reports, they were briefed on the Italian government’s investigation surrounding a taped deposition from the mysterious Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud.

“Mifsud, as you may recall, became the linchpin of the FBI’s sham investigation into President Trump after it was revealed that he met with Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos in 2016 and allegedly informed him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who prodcued the Trump “dossier,” which

was paid for by the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic

National Committee.  (YouTube)

“According to a report by the left-leaning Daily Beast, Mifsud feared for his life, sought police protection in Italy and provided authorities with his deposition, ‘to explain just why some people might want to harm him.’ Given the likelihood everything he said that would harm the Trump presidency has already been made public, it becomes clear that his video deposition endangers the authors and facilitators of the Crossfire Hurricane operation to derail the Trump campaign.

“Based solely on hearsay from an anonymous whistleblower and empowered by the Speaker of the House, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have now begun a farcical ‘impeachment inquiry’ where they have no authority or jurisdiction in impeachment matters. They were chosen decidedly by the Speaker, I would argue, for their proximity to the Deep State Intelligence Community apparatus where this latest of their three-year-long drive to impeachment has surfaced.

Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS and a former journalist, who hired Christopher Steele, who

“Ironically, Democrats are accusing President Trump of what they, themselves, have engaged in: colluding with foreign governments to change the outcome of an election. The top brass operatives in the Obama Administration, including coup leaders at the helm of the Obama DOJ and FBI, the Clinton campaign, DNC, Fusion GPS and the discredited former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele, the foreign governments of Russia, Ukraine (under the former, corrupt regime) and rogue, elitist elements in the intelligence apparatus of the Brits and Australians were involved in the anti-Trump plot.

“This entire impeachment circus is an attempt to obstruct the Department of Justice investigations into their own collusion with foreign governments to affect the outcome of the 2016 election while once again accusing the President of doing the colluding.

Former Obama administration CIA Director John Brennan, who is anti-Trump,

accuses the president of impeachable behavior and labels him “treasonous” and

a tool of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“… We stand on the precipice of the greatest self-governing country in history being destroyed by political manipulators who would rather end freedom for the world than lose political control as a result of losing a lawful election. What they did not anticipate was a president who would not go gentle into that good night as other ‘good Republicans’ have in the past.

“And by the way, it isn’t a legitimate, actual impeachment hearing until the House Judiciary Committee is formally having an impeachment proceeding; not an ‘inquiry.’ Any other is yet another lie added to the ultimate deceit. The accessory list continues to grow.

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, who claims Donald Trump is an

“illegitimate  president” and a “puppet” of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. (YouTube)

“God bless President Donald J. Trump.”

Rep. Gohmert is a senior member on the House Judiciary Committee.

Source: Gohmert: ‘Ironically, Democrats Are Accusing Trump of What They, Themselves, Engaged In’ in 2016

NY Fed Announces Extension Of Overnight Repos Until Nov 4, Will Offer 8 More Term Repos | ZeroHedge News

Anyone who expected that the easing of the quarter-end funding squeeze in the repo market would mean the Fed would gradually fade its interventions in the repo market, was disappointed on Friday afternoon when the NY Fed announced it would extend the duration of overnight repo operations (with a total size of $75BN) for at least another month, while also offer no less than eight 2-week term repo operations until November 4, 2019, which confirms that the funding unlocked via term repo is no longer merely a part of the quarter-end arsenal but an integral part of the Fed’s overall “temporary” open market operations… which are starting to look quite permanent.

This is the statement published moments ago by the NY Fed:

In accordance with the most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directive, the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will conduct a series of overnight and term repurchase agreement (repo) operations to help maintain the federal funds rate within the target range.

Effective the week of October 7, the Desk will offer term repos through the end of October as indicated in the schedule below. The Desk will continue to offer daily overnight repos for an aggregate amount of at least $75 billion each through Monday, November 4, 2019.

Securities eligible as collateral include Treasury, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities. Awarded amounts may be less than the amount offered, depending on the total quantity of eligible propositions submitted. Additional details about the operations will be released each afternoon for the following day’s operation(s) on the Repurchase Agreement Operational Details webpage. The operation schedule and parameters are subject to change if market conditions warrant or should the FOMC alter its guidance to the Desk.

What this means is that until such time as the Fed launches Permanent Open Market Operations – either at the November or December FOMC meeting, which according to JPMorgan will be roughly $37BN per month, or approximately the same size as QE1…

… the NY Fed will continue to inject liquidity via the now standard TOMOs: overnight and term repos. At that point, watch as the Fed’s balance sheet, which rose by $185BN in the past month, continues rising indefinitely as QE4 is quietly launched to no fanfare.

And remember: whatever you do, don’t call it QE4!

Source: NY Fed Announces Extension Of Overnight Repos Until Nov 4, Will Offer 8 More Term Repos

Ben Shapiro: On impeachment, Democrats have already begun to move the goalposts | FOX newsby Ben Shapiro

As the grounds for the impeachment inquiry broaden, it’s becoming clear that the Democrats’ enthusiasm for impeachment outweighed their supporting evidence.

Source: Ben Shapiro: On impeachment, Democrats have already begun to move the goalposts

President Trump Impromptu Remarks Departing White House – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

Chopper pressers are the best pressers.  Earlier this morning President Trump delivered remarks to the assembled press pool as he departing the White House for a visit with wounded warriors at Walter Reed medical center in Bethesda, Maryland.  [Video and Transcript below]

.

[Transcript]

via President Trump Impromptu Remarks Departing White House – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

Discipline of the Mind and Devotion — David Fiorazo

The human mind is powerful and God intended for us to use it for His purposes. But in our high tech, instant everything, ADHD, IPhone society, we’re often too busy, distracted, and self-discipline is either fleeting or resisted. If this is the case, our spiritual lives are out of balance.

Remember: No discipline, no discipleship.

To pursue holiness, a believer must hear biblical preaching and teaching, and participate in corporate worship, the Lord’s Supper, Bible reading, meditation, prayer, and fellowship. Further, he must deny many legitimate pleasures if he is to win the prize.

JUST THE SCRIPTURES: GOD’S WORD IS ENOUGH

I want to begin tonight by establishing a foundation of biblical truth and allow God to speak to our hearts from His Word. I think your spirit will appreciate just hearing these truths from God’s Word.

Read more: Discipline of the Mind and Devotion — David Fiorazo

Planned Parenthood Fights To Hide Evidence Of Selling Fetal Tissue In Daleiden Trial — The Federalist

The federal civil jury trial brought by Planned Parenthood against undercover journalist David Daleiden and others associated with the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began Wednesday in a San Francisco federal court.

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit alleges that Daleiden and CMP committed 15 different crimes including wiretapping, conspiracy, trespassing, and breach of confidentiality. Daleiden’s defense team is arguing the project in question was not a criminal conspiracy, but an undercover journalism project. What remains to be seen over the next 6 to 8 weeks of trial, and what the defense’s argument relies on, is whether Planned Parenthood can keep the “why” behind Daleiden’s alleged crimes out of the courtroom.

Peter Breen, lead defense attorney, vice president, and senior counsel at the Thomas More Society said Planned Parenthood’s strategy from day one has been to deny the use of any evidence related to fetal tissue trafficking, born-alive infants, or its profiting from the sale of human fetal tissue.

“You can’t keep out from the lawsuit the reason why the entire project was undertaken,” Breen told The Federalist. “You can’t have a trial without telling people what they were doing in there or why they were there. That has a significant bearing on how you view the project.”

Planned Parenthood’s lead trial lawyer, from one of the world’s largest law firms Arnold & Porter, argued in opening statements on Wednesday that CMP’s undercover investigative work was an attempt to “destroy” the abortion industry giant by whatever means necessary. So far, Planned Parenthood has successfully kept significant evidence barred from the trial, and the judge has agreed that evidence related to the substance of the undercover videos is “prejudicial,” according to Breen.

The defense has also been barred from bringing up any other outside investigations or cases brought against Planned Parenthood, such as the Senate investigation or the state of Texas’ enforcement actions. Planned Parenthood has even already dismissed some of its original claims in hopes of avoiding any presentation of evidence that proves it was selling fetal tissue for profit or evidence that babies were born alive during abortions in its clinics.

In opening statements, Judge William Orrick told the jury the case “is not about the truth of whether plaintiffs profited from the sale of fetal tissue or otherwise violated the law in securing tissue for those programs,” and, “Those issues are a matter of dispute between the parties in the world outside this courtroom.”

Planned Parenthood initially sought over $16 million in damages, but damages have since been reduced to somewhere between $600,000 and $700,000 plus legal and attorney fees, which could still be in the millions of dollars.

Trial dates are currently scheduled through Nov. 15. The court has allotted each side 45 hours to present their case.

Paul Jonna, the defense attorney representing CMP’s undercover investigator Adrian Lopez, told the jury, “This case is about undercover reporting, the First Amendment, the rights of ordinary citizens to expose unethical and potentially illegal conduct on the part of large and powerful corporations.”

via Planned Parenthood Fights To Hide Evidence Of Selling Fetal Tissue In Daleiden Trial — The Federalist

Atheist Group Files Complaint Against Judge In Amber Guyger Case For Talking To Her About Redemption — Christian Research Network

“[Freedom From Religion Foundation] is filing a judicial complaint about this unconstitutional proselytizing. We need more compassion in our criminal justice system, but here, compassion crossed the line into coercion. Judges cannot impose their personal religion on others.”

(Amanda Prestigiacomo – Daily Wire)  An activist atheist group has filed a complaint against the judge in the widely covered case of off-duty Dallas cop Amber Guyger, who was sentenced to ten years behind bars on Wednesday for the killing of Botham Jean. Guyger shot and killed Jean after she says she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, believing the 26-year-old accountant was an intruder in her own home.

To the disapproval of the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation, Judge Tammy Kemp confronted Guyger with her own personal Bible, highlighting a verse from the Gospel of John concerning redemption through Jesus Christ.

“After speaking to Botham Jean’s family, Judge Kemp left the room to get her personal Bible,” NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported Wednesday. “She returned to the courtroom and read a passage to Guyger, telling her ‘this is where you need to start,’ and ‘this has been put in front of you for a reason.’ Kemp gave her personal Bible to Guyger and the two hugged before Guyger exited the courtroom.”  View article →

Related

Amber Guyger & Botham Jean

via Atheist Group Files Complaint Against Judge In Amber Guyger Case For Talking To Her About Redemption — Christian Research Network

NO CONSPIRACY THEORY HERE: UKRAINE – The Democrats’ RUSSIA

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Are you confused about what is really happening in Ukraine?  Join the club.

But soon, documentation will be available to the American people.

I want the reader to know that I am generally not a great fan nor a follower of Glen Beck. But I also want you to know that in this case, I believe that Glen gets it right.

Do you remember when the buzz in Washington was all about Impeachment of Trump?  This was months ago.  But then, out of nowhere, Pelosi said that the Impeachment plans should not go forward.  Were you as surprised as I was?

But now Nancy Pelosi changed her mind and said “Full steam ahead – IMPEACH him!”   But why?  It’s because the Dems needed to control the narrative because the truth is now leaking out and becoming known, and the Left is SCARED.

I do hope that you will…

View original post 681 more words

October 4, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

1–2 The experience of salvation is the story of what God has done: “he turned … and heard … he lifted … he set” (vv. 1–2; cf. 116:1–2). Psalm 27 concluded on a repeated exhortation to “wait for the Lord” (v. 14), and our psalmist recounts what happens when one waits “patiently” for him (v. 1; cf. 37:7, 10, 34; 38:15; 39:7). Answer to prayer may not be immediate, but perseverance in prayer expresses itself in humble submission to God’s sovereignty and the longing for a “new” expression of God’s covenantal faithfulness (cf. 37:34; 38:15; 39:7).

In past crises the Lord had rescued the king in response to his intense and patient longing. The allusions to death and dying in the words “slimy pit,” “mud,” and “mire” (v. 2) suggest that David was seriously sick (cf. Ps 38), even to death. Healing was then salvation from the netherworld (cf. 69:2, 14), out of which the Lord “lifted” him (see Reflections, p. 663, Sheol—Grave—Death in the Psalms). But the metaphors may also express the threat to Israel’s national existence by an enemy attack. The king personified the severity of the crisis by the imagery of his own suffering and the Lord’s deliverance. The deliverance experienced personally by the king was representative of the experience of the nation.[1]


1–3 In the opening section of the psalm, as is typical in songs of thanksgiving, the psalmist recalls a time of crisis and the divine help that delivered the psalmist from the crisis (cf. 30:2–3, 6–12). It should not be missed here that the audience to which the psalmist addresses his words is other humans. This is not yet speech to God (prayer), but speech about God (testimony). This, too, is typical of the song of thanksgiving.

Looking back on such a time, the psalmist recalls, I waited and waited for the Lord. Many versions translate the emphatic phrase with which the psalm opens, qawwōh qiwwîṯî, as “I waited patiently.” But qāwâ denotes an expectant longing for God to act, rather than a patient endurance. This is indicated clearly in 130:5–6: “I wait expectantly. My inmost being (waits expectantly) for the Lord, more than those watching for the morning, those watching for the morning.” The emphatic repetition of qāwâ only makes the translation “patiently” more inappropriate. The psalmist is recalling a desperate, impatient waiting for the Lord to deliver him from an intolerable situation. Thus, I waited and waited.

This abrupt opening announcement of the song immediately transitions into a more gentle melody. The psalmist reports, he turned and heard my cry. The verbs employed in this report, turn (nāṭâ) and heard (šāmaʿ), are typical pleas found in prayers for help (cf. 27:9; 31:2; 4:1; 17:1). By using verbs typical of the petitions in prayers for help, the psalmist is connecting the dots for his listeners—he cried to the Lord in distress, the Lord heard the cry and delivered him, and now he has come to praise God in grateful response.

The poet’s report of deliverance is rounded out and expanded through the use of two metaphors. The first metaphor draws upon vocabulary and imagery for the place of the dead. The bôr šāʾôn (desolate pit) and ṭîṭ hayyāwēn (wet clay) both refer poetically to the place of the dead, a place of separation from God (cf. 30:3; 69:2, etc.). The image, which was characteristic not only within Israel but also among Israel’s neighbors, evokes the image of a body being buried. That is, it is an image for one who was near to death (near to being buried) but was saved. The counterpart of this image is the image of having one’s feet set upon a rock, making my steps secure. Both the image of being set upon a rock or some other firm foundation (26:12; 27:5; 31:8, etc.) and the image of not stumbling/have sure steps (121:3; 30:6) are stock images for security, deliverance, and safety. These images also naturally evoke the frequent metaphor of God as the psalmists’ rock of refuge (18:2; 31:3, etc.). Thus, the metaphor powerfully communicates the experience of delivery from a near death experience, while also offering compelling and thankful testimony that the rescue came from God.

The singer closes the opening stanza of the song with a statement of confidence. The psalmist is confident that many of the faithful will respond to the thankful testimony in faith. They will see, fear, and put their trust in the Lord. The statement of confidence is a reminder that the purpose of thanksgiving and praise is testimony. Praise and thanks are not primarily for God, but for the neighbor. A slightly mixed metaphor may confuse the reader. Given the testimony, one expects “many will hear” in place of the poem’s many will see. But Hebrew they will see (yirʾû) plays poetically off of they will fear (yîrāʾû). In addition, it calls attention not only to the psalmist’s song, but to the psalmist’s entire life as testimony to God’s salvific intervention.[2]


1. “I waited patiently for the Lord.” Patient waiting upon God was a special characteristic of our Lord Jesus. Impatience never lingered in his heart, much less escaped his lips. All through his agony in the garden, his trial of cruel mockings before Herod and Pilate, and his passion on the tree, he waited in omnipotence of patience. No glance of wrath, no word of murmuring, no deed of vengeance came from God’s patient Lamb; he waited and waited on; was patient, and patient to perfection, far excelling all others who have according to their measure glorified God in the fires. Job on the dunghill does not equal Jesus on the cross. The Christ of God wears the imperial crown among the patient. Did the Only Begotten wait, and shall we be petulant and rebellious? “And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Neither Jesus the head, nor any one of the members of his body, shall ever wait upon the Lord in vain. Mark the figure of inclining, as though the suppliant cried out of the lowest depression, and condescending love stooped to hear his feeble moans. What a marvel is it that our Lord should have to cry as we do, and wait as we do, and should receive the Father’s help after the same process of faith and pleading as must be gone through by ourselves! The Saviour’s prayers among the midnight mountains and in Gethsemane expound this verse. The Son of David was brought very low, but he rose to victory; and here he teaches us how to conduct our conflicts so as to succeed after the same glorious pattern of triumph. Let us arm ourselves with the same mind; and panoplied in patience, armed with prayer, and girt with faith, let us maintain the Holy War.

2. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit.” When our Lord bore in his own person the terrible curse which was due to sin, he was so cast down as to be like a prisoner in a deep, dark, fearful dungeon, amid whose horrible glooms the captive heard a noise as of rushing torrents, while overhead resounded the tramp of furious foes. Our Lord in his anguish was like a captive in the oubliettes, forgotten of all mankind, immured amid horror, darkness, and desolation. Yet the Lord Jehovah made him to ascend from all his abasement; he retraced his steps from that deep hell of anguish into which he had been cast as our substitute. He who thus delivered our surety in extremis, will not fail to liberate us from our far lighter griefs. “Out of the miry clay.” The sufferer was as one who cannot find a foothold, but slips and sinks. The figure indicates not only positive misery as in the former figure, but the absence of solid comfort by which sorrow might have been rendered supportable. Once give a man good foothold, and a burden is greatly lightened, but to be loaded and to be placed on slimy, slippery clay, is to be tried doubly. Reader, with humble gratitude, adore the dear Redeemer who, for thy sake, was deprived of all consolation while surrounded with every form of misery; remark his gratitude at being upborne amid his arduous labours and sufferings, and if thou too hast experienced the divine help, be sure to join thy Lord in this song. “And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” The Redeemer’s work is done. He reposes on the firm ground of his accomplished engagements; he can never suffer again; for ever does he reign in glory. What a comfort to know that Jesus our Lord and Saviour stands on a sure foundation in all that he is and does for us, and his goings forth in love are not liable to be cut short by failure in years to come, for God has fixed him firmly. He is for ever and eternally able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing that in the highest heavens he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Jesus is the true Joseph taken from the pit to be Lord of all. It is something more than a “sip of sweetness” to remember that if we are cast like our Lord into the lowest pit of shame and sorrow, we shall by faith rise to stand on the same elevated, sure, and everlasting rock of divine favour and faithfulness.[3]


1–3 (A1) Fruitful waiting. Simply waiting (in hope and confidence, 1) leads to personal deliverance, security, renewal and effective public impact (2–3). 1 Waited patiently, rather ‘I only waited.’ 2 Slimy, meaning uncertain, maybe ‘noisy’/‘desolate’. 3 New, ‘fresh’, responding to ‘new’ mercies. Many. How we react to life constitutes a potent testimony and nothing is more powerful than to maintain a simple attitude of waiting trust. It is noted (see), prompts reverence for the God who responds to faith (fear) and brings others to faith (trust).[4]


40:1 The speaker is Messiah Jesus. He waited patiently for the Lord to hear His prayer and to deliver Him out of death. Even our blessed Lord did not always receive instant answers to prayer. But He realized that delays do not necessarily mean denials. God answers prayer at the time that is best suited to the accomplishment of His purposes in our lives.

God’s help comes, not too soon,

lest we should not know

the blessedness of trusting in the

dark, and not too late,

lest we should know the misery of

trusting in vain.

40:2 The Savior likens His glorious deliverance out of death to being rescued out of a horrible pit and from a miry bog. Who can imagine what it meant to the Giver of life to step forth from the tomb as the Victor over sin, Satan, death, and the grave—alive forevermore!

Though Christ’s deliverance was unique, in a lesser sense we can all experience the power of God in saving us out of the pits and bogs of life. As we all know, life is full of these deep holes. The unconverted person who is being convicted of his sins by the Holy Spirit is in a particularly horrible pit. The backslidden believer also finds himself in a treacherous quagmire. There are the bogs of sickness, suffering and sorrow. Often when we are seeking guidance, we seem to be in a dark dungeon. And of course we sometimes founder in the morass of bereavement, loneliness, or discouragement. These are unforgettable experiences, times when we pray and cry and groan but nothing seems to happen. We need to learn from our Savior’s example to wait patiently for the Lord. In God’s own time and way He will come to our side, pulling us up out of the pit, setting our feet upon a rock and making our steps secure.[5]


40:1 Waited patiently shows faithfulness to the Lord in refraining from taking things into one’s own hands (see note at 27:14) or going to another source for help. The Lord is the only source of help for those who trust in him (40:17; 70:5).

40:2 Pit can refer to a deep well. Someone trapped in a well would probably sink down in the muddy clay and die if someone did not pull him out (Jr 38:6, 10). Figuratively the term is related to Sheol, representing death (see note at Ps 28:1). To be brought … up means to be rescued from death (30:3).[6]


1. In waiting I waited. The beginning of this psalm is an expression of thanksgiving, in which David relates that he had been delivered, not only from danger, but also from present death. Some are of opinion, but without good reason, that it ought to be understood of sickness. It is rather to be supposed that David here comprehends a multitude of dangers from which he had escaped. He had certainly been more than once exposed to the greatest danger, even of death, so that, with good reason, he might be said to have been swallowed up in the gulf of death, and sunk in the miry clay. It, nevertheless, appears that his faith had still continued firm, for he ceased not to trust in God, although the long continuance of the calamity had well nigh exhausted his patience. He tells us, not merely that he had waited, but by the repetition of the same expression, he shows that he had been a long time in anxious suspense. In proportion then as his trial was prolonged, the evidence and proof of his faith in enduring the delay with calmness and equanimity of mind was so much the more apparent. The meaning in short is, that although God delayed his help, yet the heart of David did not faint, or grow weary from delay; but that after he had given, as it were, sufficient proof of his patience, he was at length heard. In his example there is set before us this very useful doctrine, that although God may not forth-with appear for our help, but rather of design keep us in suspense and perplexity, yet we must not lose courage, inasmuch as faith is not thoroughly tried, except by long endurance. The result, too, of which he speaks in terms of praise, ought to inspire us with increased fortitude. God may succour us more slowly than we desire, but, when he seems to take no notice of our condition, or, if we might so speak, when he seems to be inactive or to sleep, this is totally different from deceit: for if we are enabled by the invincible strength and power of faith to endure, the fitting season of our deliverance will at length arrive.


2. And he drew me out of the roaring pit. Some translate, from the pit of desolation, because the verb שאה, shaäh, from which the noun שאון, shaon, is derived, signifies to destroy or to waste, as well as to resound or echo. But it is more appropriate to consider that there is here an allusion to the deep gulfs, where the waters gush with a tumultuous force. By this similitude he shows that he was placed in as imminent peril of death as if he had been cast into a deep pit, roaring with the impetuous rage of waters. To the same purpose also is the similitude of the miry clay, by which he intimates that he had been so nearly overwhelmed by the weight of his calamities, that it was no easy matter to extricate him from them. Next, there follows a sudden and incredible change, by which he makes manifest to all the greatness of the grace which had been bestowed upon him. He declares that his feet were set upon a rock, whereas formerly he had been overwhelmed with water; and that his steps were established or upheld, whereas before they were not only unsteady and slippery, but were also stuck fast in the mire.[7]


Ver. 1.—I waited patiently for the Lord; literally, waiting, I waited—a common Hebrew idiom, when an idea is to be emphasized. No writer enforces upon us more earnestly than David the duty of awaiting God’s pleasure (Pss. 27:14; 37:7; 62:1, 5; 69:3, etc.). And he inclined unto me; literally, bent towards me—an anthropomorphism, but most expressive. And heard my cry; i.e. answered it—gave me what I prayed for.

Ver. 2.—He brought me up also out of an horrible pit; literally, a pit of tumult or uproar, which is variously explained. Some imagine a pit with rushing water at the bottom of it, but such pits are scarcely known in Palestine. Others a pit which is filled with noise as a warrior, with crash of arms and amid the shouts of enemies, falls into it. But pits, though used in hunting, were not employed in warfare. The explanation that שׁאון here is to be taken in the secondary sense of “destruction” or “misery,” seems to me preferable (see the Septuagint, ἐκ λάκκου ταλαιπωρίας. Out of the miry clay (comp. Ps. 69:2, 14). Such “clay” would be frequently found at the bottom of disused cisterns. And set my feet upon a rock; i.e. upon solid ground, where I had a firm footing. And established my goings; literally, and make my steps firm (comp. Pss. 17:5; 18:36; 94:18).[8]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 365). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Jacobson, R. A., & Tanner, B. (2014). Book One of the Psalter: Psalms 1–41. In E. J. Young, R. K. Harrison, & R. L. Hubbard Jr. (Eds.), The Book of Psalms (pp. 374–376). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 27-57 (Vol. 2, pp. 235–236). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[4] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., pp. 511–512). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 610). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Warstler, K. R. (2017). Psalms. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 853–854). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[7] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 2, pp. 89–91). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 1, p. 312). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

Podcast #17: Candace Owens INSTANTLY REGRETS Babylon Bee Interview — The Babylon Bee

Listen to this episode on our podcast page or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform here.

In the seventeenth episode of The Babylon Bee podcast, editor-in-chief Kyle Mann and creative director Ethan Nicolle interview lib-owner-in-chief Candace Owens. They talk about her recent run-in on C-Span, children being used as political props, marriage advice, and more. At one point in the interview, Ownes is left literally speechless. Kyle and Ethan also go over recent news stories in front of their first live studio audience: A guy named Joe.

via Podcast #17: Candace Owens INSTANTLY REGRETS Babylon Bee Interview — The Babylon Bee

How the SBC Went from Uber-Conservative to Ultra-Liberal on Sexuality, Race, and Gender in Just Five Years — Pulpit & Pen

 “Earnest Attention is Requested for this Paper…We are going downhill at breakneck speed.” – Spurgeon, The Downgrade Controversy I

Who would have thought that a Democratic congressional staffer, if given control of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, would try to liberalize the SBC?

Just kidding. Everyone should have seen that coming. The man is a Democrat.

Track with me for a minute and get the big picture. I’m running off to do pastor things for the rest of the day, but I felt it important to put down my thoughts considering the ERLC conference going on currently that really is a watershed moment in the SBC.

THE BIG PICTURE

Read more: How the SBC Went from Uber-Conservative to Ultra-Liberal on Sexuality, Race, and Gender in Just Five Years — Pulpit & Pen

Brilliant! President Trump Reminds Reporters He was Investigated by Obama in 2016 Campaign! – And His Admin Is Investigating Obama Spying Today! (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

For the past several days the Democrats and their fake news media have been OUTRAGED that President Trump would dare investigate the Biden Family crimes.

The Democrats believe Biden should not be investigated over his billion dollar pay-for-play scandal.

On Friday while talking to reporters President Trump reminded reporters that he was investigated by the Obama regime in 2016. Trump also warned the Deep State that he is investigating the Obama administraion, the deep state and foreign influence by the UK, Italy and Australia in the 2016 campaign.

President Trump: What I asked for and what I will always ask for is anything having to do with corruption with respect to our country. If a foreign country can help us with respect to corruption and corruption probes, I don’t care if it’s Biden or anybody else. If they can help us, if Biden is corrupt, when his son is corrupt. When his son takes out billions of dollars, billions, and he has no experience, he just got fired from the Navy. When they do that, that’s no good. So, just to finish your question, anything having to do with corruption, I actually feel I have an obligation to do that…

…If we feel there’s corruption like I feel there was in the 2016 campaign, there was tremendous corruption against me. If we feel there is corruption we have the right to go to a foreign country. And just so you know, just so you know, I was investigated, I WAS INVESTIGATED! Me! In my campaign, I ran, I won. You won’t say that will you? I was investigated and they think that it could have been by UK. They think it could have been by Australia. They think it could have been by Italy. So when you get down to it, I was investigated. By the Obama administration! By the Obama administration I was investigated. So as far as I’m concerned, we want to look at and we want to investigate anything having to do with corruption.

via Brilliant! President Trump Reminds Reporters He was Investigated by Obama in 2016 Campaign! – And His Admin Is Investigating Obama Spying Today! (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

CrossTalk on Deep State: CIA COUP? | RT (uploads) on YouTube

Senator Chuck Schumer famously said shortly after Trump was elected, “You take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” In light of the failed Russiagate hoax and now this nonsense with Ukraine this characterization appears to be spot on.