Daily Archives: October 15, 2019

October 15 An Immense Blessing

Scripture Reading: James 2:20–24

Key Verse: Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

The Bible gives us many examples of friendship. God called Abraham His friend (James 2:23). Aaron and Hur stood by Moses’ side and supported his hands to ensure victory in battle (Exodus 17:12). David and Jonathan are a well-known example of friendship (1 Samuel 18).

These friendships were more than casual relationships. In the midst of difficulty or hardship, they offered support and strength for each other. When we take time to establish a deep, mutual relationship, we have someone whom we can depend on and who will stand with us no matter what we might face.

We need to be careful as we choose our friends, because they impact our lives. They bring enjoyment, delight, and pleasure. Friends can help us learn how to get along with other people, how to give and take, and how to relate more intimately. They can drive us, motivate us, disillusion us, distress us, or even destroy us.

We all want to feel accepted and loved. If you build a friendship based on a need that you have, it will not last. When the need is satisfied, you will grow weary of the friendship, or you will become dissatisfied if the need is not being met.

Take the time to build true, genuine, devoted, and loyal friendships, and your life will be immensely blessed by the effort.

Lord, the friends I choose either help anchor my faith or create barriers between You and me. Help me to choose wisely those with whom I spend my time.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 302). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

New Video: Why was Luther’s Discovery of Justification by Faith Alone such a Breakthrough? — Credo Magazine

What is justification by faith alone? Why was Luther’s discovery of justification by faith alone such a breakthrough? Was this discovery by Luther a new one? What effect does justification by faith alone have on one’s present life and the one to come? In this Credo video, Andrew Atherstone tells us how Martin Luther discovered justification by faith alone.

via New Video: Why was Luther’s Discovery of Justification by Faith Alone such a Breakthrough? — Credo Magazine

October 15 Changing People Through Prayer

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:3–12

Key Verse: Colossians 1:3

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.

Paul had a tender longing for the churches he helped to establish because he was physically separated from them by time and sheer distance. Yet he could pray for them, lifting their needs and desires to the Lord for fulfillment. You can do the same thing for loved ones, and in the process of working on their behalf God also moves in your life.

Paul’s effective prayer for the Colossian believers was characterized by three life-transforming qualities.

First, it was continuous. He said, “We have not ceased to pray for you” (Col. 1:9 nasb). As often as they came to his mind and he was stirred by love, he asked God to fill them with wisdom and a knowledge of His will.

Second, his prayer was God centered. He must have known of many particular needs, perhaps for food or clothing or protection from government interference. But Paul did not list them in detail; instead, he focused on who the Lord is and what He can do, which includes a very individual concern.

Third, in the area of God’s ability, Paul was very specific. He asked God to help them walk in a manner worthy of Christ, to hold them in obedience, to give them discernment in decisions. Those spiritual benefits apply to any situation.

Heavenly Father, make me faithful in praying for others with whom You have entrusted me spiritually. Keep them walking worthy of You. Give them discernment in their decisions, and make them obedient in their response to Your commands.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 302). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 15 When God Doesn’t Make Sense

Scripture reading: Hebrews 11:1–3

Key verse: Psalm 25:20

Keep my soul, and deliver me;

Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.

If you have played the game blindman’s bluff, then you know how it feels to be led when you cannot see where you are going.

With a blindfold around your eyes, you are forced to rely completely on your guide. If he says turn right and take three steps, you turn right and take three steps. Eventually, if you listen attentively and follow all the commands as given, you arrive safely at the destination. But suppose you choose to ignore the leader. He says turn right, and you swing left instead. Very likely, you are headed for a crash; you cannot see anything, yet you walk as though you can see the path clearly.

Have you ever felt blind in your circumstances? Are you struggling to understand what is going on in your life? Just a few months ago or even yesterday, you thought you knew where you were going. Then the unforeseen occurred—an illness, an accident, a death, an unwanted job change, a relationship gone sour.

Trying to work out the situation by yourself, selecting the path that seems best in your own eyes, can lead you away from close fellowship with your Savior and obscure the blessings that He gives you when you rest in His guidance. Trust the Lord to show the way.

When the unforeseen occurs, help me trust You, Lord. Don’t let the trials of life obscure the pathway of Your will.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 302). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Corrupt Dems Change Impeachment Rules AGAIN – Closed-Door Interviews Now Considered ‘Depositions’ to Limit One Attorney Asking Questions Per Round — The Gateway Pundit

The crooked Democrats just changed the rules again in their sham impeachment inquiry.

The Dems have now shifted the closed-door interviews to depositions in order to limit the questioning to one attorney per round.

Also, if the Democrat-controlled committees issues subpoenas, it changes things from a transcribed interview to a deposition.

The Democrats are doing this to avoid releasing transcripts of the depositions/interviews conducted in secret.

Adam Schiff and other crooked Democrats can also selectively leak to the media without having to answer to transcripts as proof of their deception.

Fox News Congress reporter Chad Pergram on Tuesday revealed the shady changes by the House Democrats.

PERGRAM: Closed door interviews for impeachment probe are now considered depositions. More restrictions surrounding the material, like an interview. Depositions limit 1 attorney to asking questions per round. If cmtes issue subpoenas, it moved from a transcribed interview to a deposition

Update: Chad Pergram released more information on impeachment inquiry depositions:

The Dems are trying to prevent the transcripts of the depositions/interviews from being released.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) admitted on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the reason for holding secret testimonies behind closed doors is to keep President Trump and his lawyers in the dark.

And so Schiff can selectively leak to the media…

Now the Democrats are moving to change transcribed interviews to depositions so we have no way of knowing what was really said behind closed doors.

via Corrupt Dems Change Impeachment Rules AGAIN – Closed-Door Interviews Now Considered ‘Depositions’ to Limit One Attorney Asking Questions Per Round — The Gateway Pundit

Leading Evangelicals Endorse Prosperity Preacher Paula White’s New Book — Julie Roys

Paula White, the thrice married, prosperity preacher worth millions, who chairs Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board, was once considered a pariah by most all leading evangelical leaders.

Russell Moore, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in 2017 that White is “a charlatan . . . recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe.” And Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary accused White of teaching that everyone can be a “little god,” and claiming that God came not to bring forgiveness of sins, but to “give us the power to claim prosperity.”

Yet this same Paula White is now receiving endorsements from prominent Southern Baptist megachurch pastors—Jack Graham and Robert Jeffress—as well as Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, and Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University.

All four are endorsing White’s new book, Something Greater: Finding Triumph Over Tragedy. Jack Graham calls his “good friend” Paula White’s book “powerful” and adds, “I highly recommend it!”

Jeffress says the book is “wonderful” and urges people to read Something Greater and “give to anyone looking for hope!”

Franklin Graham encourages people to “check out” White’s book, noting that she’s lived an “interesting life.” That may be an understatement. White has been investigated by the Senate for her lavish lifestyle. And in addition to her three marriages, televangelist Benny Hinn admitted an “inappropriate relationship” with White in 2011.

Falwell says White’s book will be “an encouragement to so many” and urged people to pre-order it at a discount.

via Leading Evangelicals Endorse Prosperity Preacher Paula White’s New Book — Julie Roys

Kardashian Culture, Kanye West, and Celebrity “Christians” — David Fiorazo

I really want to believe it. “I’m not here for your entertainment; we’re here to spread the gospel,” said Kanye West at a recent event. So, Kanye is born again? And Kim Kardashian West was baptized? Was it for show, and why should we care? Because these two alone influence hundreds of millions of people.

Throughout history, fame and fortune have left countless souls empty and miserable, so it shouldn’t surprise us when celebrities search for true meaning in life. Many just want some form of spirituality and don’t really know what they’re looking for, but remember this: no one is beyond the reach of the one true God.

Pray for them, but let’s not be too quick to put celebrities up on a pedestal. There are too many examples of famous people claiming Christianity but living or saying things that contradict what the Bible teaches.

So regardless of what you think of his support of President Trump, Kanye West seems to be sincere in his newfound faith in Jesus Christ. Only time will tell.

I’m David Fiorazo and this is Christ and Culture.

Some Christian news outlets publish stories on big name athletes or celebrities who simply mention God or talk about being blessed. This doesn’t mean they believe in Jesus. We need to take a little time and look into the beliefs, theology, and lifestyle of any public figure claiming to be Christian.

I can’t even mention some of the past disgusting song lyrics by Kanye West, many are profane and offensive. But apparently, that was then. His new project is called, “Jesus is King,” and he now says he only wants to do gospel music.

In a video of him preaching to a captive audience at one of his album listening events, he refers to himself as a recent convert. West admitted some past mistakes saying he formerly “worshiped the idea of labels, brand names; I worshiped cars, I worshiped the city I grew up in.”

West then mentioned repentance and the gospel to a captive audience, explaining that,

“The first thing Jesus said was ‘Repent.’” And added, “Imagine someone sending their only son — to die for you!”

He also talked about the fact people cannot work their way to heaven or earn salvation and quoted Ephesians 2:8-9:

“For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith; it is not a result of your own efforts, it’s a gift of God.”

So what are we to think? Just watch with cautious optimism. Observe his life to see if he produces good fruit. And be gracious, because we all have a past, we’ve all sinned and made mistakes along the way.

As for his wife, Kim Kardashian West, it might take a while.

Consider the media megastar and selfie queen, who became wildly rich and famous. It wasn’t from studying and receiving a degree, working hard, paying her dues, helping others; it wasn’t for some great achievement or contribution to society − but because people knew her last name thanks in part to her father, Robert Kardashian being friends with O.J. Simpson.

Kim also grew up with mega-wealthy friend, Paris Hilton, who actually hired Kardashian to assist her during a so-called reality TV show The Simple Life. But the event that sadly catapulted her to stardom, enabling her to eventually become a narcissistic role model for America’s daughters was the settlement of a $5 million lawsuit for her 2007 sex tape.

To her credit, she used the money to propel her family into stardom by producing Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and tragically, young girls have emulated her ever since. Why? Because Americans are obsessed with sex and fame. Today, she has 149 million followers on Instagram alone.

Writing in The Washington Times about why we should care, Jessica Chasmar penned an article, “Kardashian culture is killing America,” and stated:

“The Kardashian saga illustrates our nation’s moral, spiritual, and cultural decay like few other media stories do. America of 50 years ago would regard Ms. Kardashian with a mixture of disdain and pity, embarrassed by the very idea of a young lady’s most private moments being broadcast for all the world to see.”

The Kardashian family’s lust for attention and self-worship, sex and money has further polluted the soul of a nation that has forgotten its roots – and forgotten how to blush. With so much of today’s entertainment openly promoting sin, it’s no surprise American culture has gone into the gutter. But as Christians, we don’t have to consume it.

For the record, Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, and Caitlyn Jenner were named among Time Magazine’s thirty most influential people on the Internet a few years ago.

Thanks to them, mind-numbing reality TV shows have succeeded at taking advantage of a dumbed down and bored generation of people with misplaced priorities. It’s astounding these shows are on television – because people watch.

So the fact Kim is pictured wearing crosses and was baptized in an Armenian church proves little about her faith. Madonna and Lady Gaga have worn crosses as well.

Kardashian West hasn’t publicly discussed much about what she believes. Though we should be skeptical of her morality and values for obvious reasons, it appears Kanye West is on the right track.

This will be an interesting saga to keep an eye on. For example, after years of proudly showing off his curvy, uninhibited wife, he now questions some of the dresses she wears in public. Her reaction was predictable.

“I don’t need any more negative energy for you to now say that you’re not into me wearing a tight dress,” and “just because you’re on a journey, and … transformation doesn’t mean that I’m in the same spot with you.”

We may sometimes hate what America has become, but many of us were once just as lost, far from God, and without hope. We shouldn’t expect unbelievers to act as if they know God and are saved. Many celebrities think they have it all in life and don’t need anything because they are their own gods, but you and I know better.

There’s only one way to salvation. Pray they come to a knowledge of the truth before it’s too late. God bless you and keep speaking the truth about things that matter.

Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

via Kardashian Culture, Kanye West, and Celebrity “Christians” — David Fiorazo

Jim Jordan Reacts to Hunter Biden Interview and Ongoing Schiff Impeachment Maneuvers… — The Last Refuge

Ohio Representative Jim Jordan reacts to Hunter Biden’s interview, and then outlines how Speaker Pelosi and Adam Schiff have structured the ‘impeachment inquiry’ to hide testimony that supports the administration and leak testimony to frame a narrative.

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via Jim Jordan Reacts to Hunter Biden Interview and Ongoing Schiff Impeachment Maneuvers… — The Last Refuge

Trump is on his way to an easy win in 2020, according to Moody’s accurate election model | CNBC

Yuri Gripas | Reuters

President Donald Trump looks likely to cruise to re-election next year under three different economic models Moody’s Analytics employed to gauge the 2020 race.

Barring anything unusual happening, the president’s Electoral College victory could easily surpass his 2016 win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, which came by a 304-227 count.

Moody’s based its projections on how consumers feel about their own financial situation, the gains the stock market has achieved during Trump’s tenure, and the prospects for unemployment, which has fallen to a 50-year low. Should those variables hold up, the president looks set to get another four-year term.

The modeling has been highly accurate going back to the 1980 election, missing only once.

“If the economy a year from now is the same as it is today, or roughly so, then the power of incumbency is strong and Trump’s election odds are very good, particularly if Democrats aren’t enthusiastic and don’t get out to vote,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics and co-author of the paper along with Dan White, the firm’s director of government counseling and public finance research, and Bernard Yaros, assistant director and economist. “It’s about turnout.”

Three models show Trump getting at least 289 electoral votes, assuming average turnout. His chances decrease with maximum turnout on the Democratic side and increase with minimum turnout expected.

Of the three models, he does best under the “pocketbook” measure of how people feel about their finances. In that scenario, assuming average nonincumbent turnout, he gets 351 electoral votes to the generic Democrat’s 187. “Record turnout is vital to a Democratic victory,” the report states.

In the stock market model, Trump gets a 289-249 edge, while the unemployment model shows a 332-206 advantage. Across all three models, Trump wins 324-214.

“Our ‘pocket¬book’ model is the most economically driven of the three. If voters were to vote primarily on the basis of their pocketbooks, the president would steamroll the competition,” the report states. “This shows the importance that prevailing economic sentiment at the household level could hold in the next election.”

Stock market levels also are key, and the two are intertwined. Zandi said that even a garden-variety 12% market correction around election time could sway the race, as could an unexpected downturn in the economy.

The results might come as a surprise given Trump’s consistently low favorability ratings — 40% in the latest Gallup poll — and as most head-to-head matchups against Democrats show the president losing.

However, the report said that Trump’s relatively stable ratings help provide a good benchmark for how he will do once election time comes.

Zandi said the race could come down a few key counties in Pennsylvania, which Trump flipped in 2016 after the state had voted Democrat in the previous five presidential elections.

Specifically, he said Luzerne County, in the northeast part of the state, “is the single-most important county, no kidding, in the entire election.” The longtime Democratic stronghold favored Trump, 51.8% to 46.8% in the election.

Trump doesn’t even have to win the county, but merely needs a strong turnout, Zandi said.

The Moody’s models have been backtested to 1980 and were correct each time — except in 2016, when it indicated Clinton would win a narrow victory. The authors attributed “unexpected turnout patterns” in Trump’s favor caused the error and they adjusted for that in the latest projections. They also said the will be updating the projections as conditions develop and change.

Source: Trump is on his way to an easy win in 2020, according to Moody’s accurate election model