Daily Archives: December 11, 2019

December 11 How to Live Your Life

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14–17

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The woman explained how she had witnessed her love for Christ to another friend over a period of several years: “I tried not to preach to my friend. Instead, I sought to ‘live out’ God’s love by loving this person unconditionally. I wondered if what I had said and lived made a difference. Then one day, my friend came to me and thanked me for loving her and telling her that Jesus loves her too.”

The unconditional love of God changes hearts and people, though we may not see the immediate results. Jesus was serious about sin, but His first concern always was the sinner. He wanted those who came to Him to understand one thing: God loves them.

If we live for ourselves, the fruit of our labor will be obvious: a need to be noticed first, receive credit for what we do, and a continual striving for a material reward. We could summarize the self-centered life with four words: convenience, comfort, covetousness, and compromise.

Servanthood, personal sacrifice, and a genuine love for others mark the Christ-centered life. Instead of asking what you can get out of this situation, job, or friendship, ask, “Lord, how can You use me to bring glory to You in this particular situation? Whom can You love through me?” Pray that you will live your life in such a way that men and women will see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Lord, I know that the Christ-centered life is the only effective life. Use me. Love through me. Let my life bring You glory today and in the days to come.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 362). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

December 11 Try, Try Again

Scripture Reading: Luke 10:1–24

Key Verse: Galatians 6:9

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

If Tom had given up the first time he failed, the world would not be the same. He labored in his workshop day after day, trying an endless stream of materials. With each option that did not work, he carefully cataloged the failure and moved on to the next substance with the sense he was that much closer to the answer. Finally the light turned on—quite literally. Thomas Alva Edison had found the secret to building a filament for the first incandescent light bulb.

In your walk with the Lord, failures and mistakes can cause you to have one of two reactions. Either you crumple under feelings of worthlessness, with the belief that things will never change, or you move forward and try again in confident faith.

That is what Jesus encouraged the seventy disciples to do when they met with discouragement and failure. If the people of a town or village welcomed them with open arms and listened to their teaching, Jesus told them to stay there for a while. However, if they met with resistance, they were to go into the streets and proclaim God’s message of judgment against the city before they left.

Jesus was not commanding them to be quitters. They were on a special mission, and negative response was not to be a deterrent to the disciples’ obedience.

O Lord, don’t let me crumple in the face of failure. Help me use my failures as stepping-stones to the future. Give me the strength to try again in confident faith.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 362). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

‘They know they’ve been caught’: Limbaugh nails Dems on Trump spying | WND

Democratic senators on Wednesday made sure the nation knows that “there was political bias, there was personal hatred bias” in the FBI’s abuse of the FISA system to investigate the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race.

How?

They’re “making it obvious here by harping on it.”

Talk-radio host was commenting on Wednesday’s hearing in the Senate featuring Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

His investigation found a massive list of failures on the part of the Obama administration regarding its investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016. He also said he found no evidence of political bias, but then without subpoena power he could only investigate what people voluntarily told him.

Rush Limbaugh explained the realities of the situation.

“So [Sen.] Lindsey Graham was great in his opening statement exposing all of this. Then it got to questioning of Horowitz. ‘I think, well, there’s no bias, no documentary evidence, poor Carter Page, well, we didn’t find, no, ruh, ruh.'”

“Dianne Feinstein asked one question 10 times. ‘You didn’t find any political bias in any aspect of the –’ ‘Well, we didn’t find any documentary testimonial evidence.’ And then Pat Leahy, Senator ‘Leaky’ Leahy, gets to his turn. It’s obvious that they’re trying to create a series of sound bites for the Drive-By Media that say there was no bias whatsoever in the beginning or the decision to begin the investigation into Trump-Russia collusion,” Limbaugh explained.

“They’re going overboard on it. They’re making it obvious that there was political and other kinds of bias. There was political bias, there was personal hatred bias, and they’re making it obvious here by harping on it. I mean, Feinstein must have asked Horowitz four or five different times the same question, and he delivers the same dry, dull, boring answer. ‘Yes, we found no evidence of any documentary or testimonial bias.’ And all that means is that nobody admitted to it,” he said.

There was political bias, he said, because it was “delivered to the FISA court in the form of the Clinton campaign’s hit job known as the Steele dossier. The FBI knew what the Steele dossier was. The FBI knew that it was bogus. The FBI knew that it was totally made up, and they used it repeatedly to get warrants and warrants renewed to spy on this poor guy, Carter Page.

“The FBI knew where it came from. The FBI knew it was garbage, as Lindsey Graham has specified and has made clear. And there’s no reason to knowingly use something that’s garbage unless you’ve got bias driving you. It is paramountly obvious that bias is what drove this. They know it, the Democrats know it, and the Drive-By Media know it. That’s why this constant harping on the fact that there was no bias.”

He said the story is collapsing.

“They know they’ve been caught, folks. They know they’ve been damned because outside of that, everything in this report is an indictment. And even Horowitz said today that there’s not a single person vindicated in this operation. He was asked this question about [fired FBI chief James] Comey specifically.”

Graham, in fact, said, “Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment of your report?”

To which Horowitz responded, “I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”

He pointed out the evidence shows when the FBI suspected Russians may have had something to do with hacking Hillary Clinton’s campaign, agents briefed her.

“They didn’t inform Trump, they didn’t tell Trump, they didn’t warn Trump. Instead, you know what they did? They sent an agent to conduct a 302. That means an investigation. When the FBI was briefing Trump, they sent an agent in to conduct an investigation that nobody knew was going on,” he said.

“There’s nothing but bias in this entire investigation, a bias that derives from personal, raw hatred for Donald Trump,” he said.

Horowitz admitted the FBI should have told to FISA court “the known political biases of an ex-British spy who salacious and unverified dossier was used to obtain a wiretap on a key Trump campaign aide.”

Source: ‘They know they’ve been caught’: Limbaugh nails Dems on Trump spying

Seven Reasons to Stand Against False Teaching — Unlocking the Bible

“Do your best,” the apostle Paul writes to protégé Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God has one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Paul is promoting a kind of eager, committed persistence for the truth that the flawless Word of God inspires in us who believe.

According to 2 Timothy 2:15-19, we can learn to stand in truth and against false teaching for at least seven reasons:

  1. God is to be pleased.
  2. False teaching leads to ungodliness.
  3. False teaching quickly spreads.
  4. The faith of some believers might be upset by false teaching.
  5. A firm foundation already exists.
  6. God differentiates between those who spread truth versus falsehood.
  7. False teaching is sin.

Paul unfolds his reasons about fervency for the truth on the basis of who God is and the kind of regard we are to have for Him and those around us.

Because God is Worthy

1.) God is to be pleased.

According to Paul’s teaching, one reason to be firm in the faith is for God to be pleased. Timothy was to view his work as a preacher/ leader as being directly for the Lord. In our contexts, we can consider our handling of God’s Word also as labor we present to Him in love.

We stand against false teaching because God is highly worthy to be pleased with our deeds.

2.) False teaching leads to ungodliness.

Paul progresses to instruct Timothy that any talk irreverent toward Scriptural truth will only produce more and more ungodliness. If believers present the Word of God as trivial, as means for personal gain or influence, or as mere material for displays of intelligence, wit, or debate skill, these self-serving attitudes can be readily replicated by others—far more readily than the devotion that comes from following God with one’s whole heart.

We stand against false—irreverent—teaching because we follow a God who deserves our fear and devotion so that our human words might reflect well upon the worth of divine ones.

Because People Stand to Be Deluded

3.) False teaching quickly spreads.

In 2 Timothy 2:17, Paul reiterates that irreverence can spread like a deadly condition. If we are dismissive about the importance of studying, discerning, and conveying the truth of God, others around us stand to be swayed.

Those who might have been receptive to the authority of the Scriptures can find their interest in a complete commitment to Christ and His Word diminished if a less demanding alternative is made to seem viable.

4.) The faith of some believers might be upset by false teaching.

False teaching can also bear an impression upon committed believers. 2 Timothy 2:18 teaches: “[Those who have swerved from the truth] are upsetting the faith of some.” People who have been born again may entertain doubts about orthodox truths because falsehood can often sound profound and persuasive, what was once clear becoming clouded.

We stand against false teaching so that the seeker is not deterred from having ears that hear and the believer is not deluded into believing he or she has an unstable foundation.

Because God Has Spoken

At least three more reasons for determined persistence in truth are conveyed in Timothy 2:19: “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’”

5.) A firm foundation already exists.

As Paul’s ultimate impetus for presenting oneself as a right handler of God’s Word, he indicates that God’s truth cannot be broken—that its authority stands regardless of the actions or attitudes of men. So, we stand against false teaching because God’s Word is exactly that.

6.) God differentiates between those who spread truth and falsehood.

By way of support, Paul outlines two primary inscriptions on God’s unbreakable foundation. First, God is able to differentiate between those who speak truth versus those who speak falsehood.

While people might be deluded by false teaching, God’s perception is piercing. He knows.

We stand against false teaching because we are not judged by others’ reception to God’s message. Should world, friends, or family reject us for truth—that God sees us and knows us can be our strength and comfort.

7.) False teaching is sin.

Paul then refers to an activity that ought to characterize believers—while not being sinless, we are to be those departing from our sins. We stand against false teaching because teaching God’s truth falsely is iniquity.

Two Ways I Stand Against False Teaching

As a church member

In my daily life, one way I stand against false teaching is through my ongoing commitment to the kind of home church I have selected.

I have confidence that those entering the place our church worships will receive words from the pulpit that arise from the Scriptures and that have been presented to and weighed before God prior to being delivered to the congregation.

And, I have confidence in the eagerness of my church to attend to the truth of all that is being taught throughout its leadership, from pastor and elder to small group leader.

As a parent

Another way I stand against false teaching is through mothering my four-year-old daughter. I engage with her in apologetic and polemical work as we discuss the world in which we live—its reception to Christ and its favorite messages to her age group.

As a family, we also seek to find new ways to discuss and describe the gospel message, teaching nuances and applications. This guards against misconceptions that further teaching can dispel and against the fallenness of human memory that can find itself withered where once stoutly built. All of this I do as a follower of Christ who is ever needful of Him and His cross.

So, as often as I sin against my daughter, I seek to make swift apology—to uphold what is right through failure to do it. After apologizing, I often reaffirm to her the truth of the perfection of God, who never does her wrong—and we rejoice in Him, and His truthfulness and graciousness, together.

Being firm in the faith can be considered a habitual occupation—a layer of good work for the Lord that rests atop the rest of the labor of our days. We can hear Paul’s instructions to Timothy like a refreshing call of reminder to be fervent about what is true, about the faith that has been delivered once for all to us, the saints (Jude 3).

via Seven Reasons to Stand Against False Teaching — Unlocking the Bible

The seven fatal flaws of moral relativism

WINTERY KNIGHT

I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

Moral relativism is the view that moral values and moral duties do not exist in reality, but only exist as opinions in people’s minds. When you ask a moral relativist where the belief that stealing is wrong comes from, he may tell you that it is his opinion, or that it is the opinion of most people in his society. But he cannot tell you that stealing is wrong independent of what people think, because morality (on moral relativism) is just personal preference.

So what’s wrong with it?

I found this list of the seven flaws of moral relativism at the Salvo magazine web site.

Here’s the summary:

  1. Moral relativists can’t accuse others of wrongdoing.
  2. Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil.
  3. Relativists can’t place blame or accept praise.
  4. Relativists can’t make charges of unfairness or injustice.
  5. Relativists can’t…

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FLASHBACK: Video Montage of Deep State Hacks Pushing Unverified Trash and Bar Room Banter Steele Dossier as Means to Spy on President Trump — The Gateway Pundit

Obama’s Deep State elites lied to Americans for years about the Steele dossier and spying on candidate and then President Trump.

And the liberal mainstream media pushed this piece of trash dossier as a legitimate investigative report.

On Monday in the IG report it was revealed, as we predicted, the Trump hooker golden shower story in the dossier was completely made up in a bar over beers.

The FBI ran with it.
They knew it was trash.

And yet the anti-Trump Deep State leaders used this report in their attempt to remove President Trump from office.

Flashback video via M3thods.

And Twitter investigator Techno Fog published a long list of liberal media elites who promoted the junk dossier as fact.

via FLASHBACK: Video Montage of Deep State Hacks Pushing Unverified Trash and Bar Room Banter Steele Dossier as Means to Spy on President Trump — The Gateway Pundit

How should Christians respond to the impeachment of Donald Trump? — Capstone Report

Christians must stand and fight for President Donald Trump. The Democrat’s impeachment is a threat to the Rule of Law. It harkens back to the dangerous partisanship of England’s Whigs versus Tories factionalism—partisanship so fierce that it alarmed the Founding Fathers and filled their writings with warnings against dangerous faction. Christians must be good citizens and being a good citizen in the United States requires the Christian citizen to be informed and involved. Here’s what the Christian citizen should know about the impeachment move against President Trump.

  1. Christians should star by learning the facts.

The good citizen is informed. It is a responsibility. Therefore, this is a key part of any Christian’s involvement in politics. A football player watches film before he plays a game. A good general studies the land. The good citizen will know what is happening before making a judgment (“To answer before listening– that is folly and shame,” Proverbs 18:13).

Impeachment is a political process outlined in the Constitution to remove officials from office. The process involves the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Constitution grants the lower house the exclusive power of impeachment in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5: “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

The Articles of Impeachment if approved in the House of Representatives moves to the Senate for trial. The process is outlined in Article 1, Section 3, and Clauses 6-7:

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

“Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

The Democrats advanced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Article 1 alleges Abuse of Power. Article 2 alleges Obstruction of Congress. You can read the entire Democratic document here.

  1. What does the evidence say? It shows this is a Witch Hunt.

Conservative writer Ben Shapiro explained in an excellent Twitter thread that the two charges are a complete joke. Shapiro said,

“The charges Democrats are leveling here are, on their face, laughably inadequate to support impeachment… The second charge, obstruction, is even more absurd. There is literally NO legal grounds for obstruction, since every subpoena legally issued has been challenged in the courts, and Democrats have refused to wait for the outcome, charging ahead anyway… Even WaPo notes that Congress has never charged “obstruction of Congress” in the absence of “obstruction of justice,” because there’s another name for that: checks and balances. Only after the judiciary weighs in does obstruction of Congress become obstruction of justice.”

(You really need to read the entire Shapiro thread. It is an excellent summary of the nonsense of this impeachment of Donald Trump.)

Further undermining the impeachment is the evidence that Ukraine never felt pressure. This is a fact that Ukraine repeatedly said, but Democrats ignore. Ukraine never felt pressured, and this eviscerates the idea of an Abuse of Power on the part of President Donald Trump.

According to Time,

“Based on the testimony from Sondland and other witnesses, the final report from the House Intelligence Committee concluded last week that Sondland made this offer of a quid pro quo clear to Yermak that day in Warsaw. “Following this meeting, Ambassador Sondland pulled aside President Zelensky’s advisor, Mr. Yermak, to explain that the hold on security assistance was conditioned on the public announcement of the Burisma/Biden and the 2016 election interference investigations,” the report states.

“Yermak disputes this. ‘Gordon and I were never alone together,’ he said when TIME asked about the Warsaw meeting. ‘We bumped into each other in the hallway next to the escalator, as I was walking out.’ He recalls that several members of the American and Ukrainian delegations were also nearby, as well as bodyguards and hotel staff, though he was not sure whether any of them heard his brief conversation with Sondland. ‘And I remember – everything is fine with my memory – we talked about how well the meeting went. That’s all we talked about,’ Yermak says.”

In summary, both charges are bogus. Neither are supported by the evidence.

  1. This impeachment is partisan just like the Russia investigation was a partisan abuse of power.

Democrats were sore losers in the 2016 Election. They thought their Coalition of the Ascendant would carry Hillary Clinton into power and usher in an age of social democracy in the United States. They couldn’t imagine Trump would win. And when he won, they unleashed the insurance policy.

Attorney General William Barr told NBC News, “Our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press, and I think that there were gross abuses of FISA and inexplicable behavior in the FBI.”

And get ready, the some Democrats are already talking about another impeachment when this one fails in the Senate.

The Daily Caller reported that “California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass said she would push to impeach President Donald Trump again if he wins the presidential election in 2020.”

  1. Christians must fight for President Trump

Christians must fight this. Good citizens must fight for the Constitution and fair elections. This impeachment undermines the rule of law and is a craven attempt to overturn the Election of 2016 and interfere in the 2020 Presidential Election.

As Ben Shapiro noted, “We’re now set up for a 2020 election in which both sides will claim that a result they don’t like is fundamentally illegitimate: Dems will claim Trump cheated and GOP will claim Dems abused power to drive down Trump via impeachment.”

Yes. These are dire consequences for the Republic. It threatens the legitimacy of every election. And we can thank Democrats for it.

When Russia didn’t bring down Trump, they tried something else. Now, impeachment is an attempt to influence the 2020 Election.

Democrats crossed the Rubicon and dragged the rest of us with them. We either fight this or allow the rule of law and our system of free elections to collapse.

The Christian responsibility to be good citizens compels action. Our action must be to demand an end to impeachment, a Senate vote in favor of the president and strong opposition to the party of impeachment in presidential and congressional races of the 2020 Election.

The public plays an important role in the United States. Citizens participate directly in the political process. Elections matter. But they matter only in proportion to the citizens who know what’s going on and participate in the process. Christians must play their role and send a message in 2020.

via How should Christians respond to the impeachment of Donald Trump? — Capstone Report

‘You Can Accept Jesus Christ’: 1,700 Cambodians Come to Faith During Evangelical Festival — Faithwire

Just under two thousand people made a new commitment to Jesus Christ during a Gospel event hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Cambodia.

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, addressed thousands in attendance at the “Love Phnom Penh Festival” in the nation’s capital.

“Tonight you can be forgiven, but you’ve got to be willing to come to Jesus,” Graham declared. “You have a choice tonight. You can accept Jesus Christ or you can reject Him.”

Franklin spoke on Sunday night’s final session, with more than 13,000 people coming to listen. “Did you know that you have a soul?” Graham asked the sea of people. “One day you will die, but your soul continues to live… Your soul will live in the presence of God, or it will be separated from God. The decision you make tonight will decide where your soul will spend eternity.”

That night, more than 800 people marched forward to receive Christ for the first time.

“I feel very happy and joyful,” one lady, Chhimreth, declared after making the decision to follow Jesus.

Cambodia has made astonishing progress regards to its attitude towards religious freedom. Remember, this is a country steeped in religious persecution. Between 1975-1979, at least 1.5 million people were murdered by the “Khmer Rouge” — a violent communist mob led by Cambodian dictator, Pol Pot. Thousands upon thousands of religious minorities were dragged out into the “killing fields,” butchered with pickaxes and buried in mass graves.

In fact, the translator helping portray the gospel to those in attendance at the BGEA festival was a man named Barnabas Mam; one of just 200 Christians who survived the genocide.

“The church here has suffered so much as a result of the Khmer Rouge,” Graham said in a video taken at the event. “Almost a third of the population here was murdered. Today, the church has risen up out of the ashes. See what’s happened here… God is working in this country!”

Now, with 1,700 Cambodian people committing their lives to Jesus over the weekend, Franklin hopes that this will be the beginning of a new era for evangelistic work in this deeply scarred nation.

“We pray this [Festival] will open the door for more of the Lord’s work in the future,” he concluded.

Cambodia is predominantly Buddhist, with around 95% of the population adhering to the religion. The practicing of other faiths, however, is permitted. “The law provides for freedom of belief and religious worship, provided such freedom neither interferes with others’ beliefs and religions nor violates public order and security,” reads a 2018 report from the State Department.

The report adds that the law “does not allow non-Buddhist denominations to proselytize publicly.”

Well, given that BGEA was permitted to hold such an enormous evangelical event in the nation’s capital, clearly things are changing in this country! Pray that God would continue to move among the Cambodian people!

via ‘You Can Accept Jesus Christ’: 1,700 Cambodians Come to Faith During Evangelical Festival — Faithwire

December 11, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump berated FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday after a U.S. government investigation found no evidence of political bias when the FBI began investigating contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia in 2016.

President Trump will address the impeachment charges announced on Tuesday during the Senate trial phase of the proceedings, the White House said, continuing to choose not to argue the merits of the charges ahead of an expected vote by the Democratic-led House.

North Korean state-backed hackers appear to be cooperating with Eastern European cybercriminals, a report said on Wednesday, a finding that suggests digital gangsters and state-backed spies are finding common ground online.

Danish police have conducted several operations throughout the country on Wednesday related to suspected preparations of a terrorist attack with a militant Islamist motive, the police said.

The U.S. Army plans to fund construction of rare earths processing facilities, part of an urgent push by Washington to secure domestic supply of the minerals used to make military weapons and electronics.

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States until further notice after a Saudi Air Force lieutenant shot and killed three people last week at a base in Florida.

AP Top Stories

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Wednesday targeting what he sees as anti-Semitism on college campuses by threatening to withhold federal money from educational institutions that fail to combat discrimination, three administration officials said Tuesday. The order will effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion.

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who became the voice of conscience for a generation facing the climate change emergency, was announced Wednesday as Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year.

The United States changed its mind and is now refusing to sign a letter that would have authorized the U.N. Security Council to hold a meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea, diplomats said Monday.

Delivering on a campaign promise to teachers who helped elect him, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear used his first day in office Tuesday to overhaul the state school board.

Spanish arms control groups staged a protest Tuesday against the presence of a Saudi cargo ship they suspect is carrying weapons for use in Yemen.

China’s ambassador to Denmark threatened to scupper a trade deal with the Faroe Islands if Huawei was not given a 5G contract in the region, according to Danish newspaper Berlingske.

St. John Properties, a Baltimore-based commercial real estate property management and development company, provided a $10 million bonus for its 198 employees to split at its annual holiday party on Dec. 7. “The [bonus] distribution was based solely on years of service. Individual employee bonuses ranged from $100 to $270,000. On average, each employee received about $50,000.

Police waged an hours-long gunfight with two men armed with high-powered rifles on Tuesday in and around a New Jersey cemetery and kosher market, leaving six people dead, including one officer and both suspects, authorities said.

A Confederate heritage group is suing a Georgia city over the removal of rebel flags and flagpoles from a historic cemetery where more than 500 Confederate soldiers are buried.

Seventeen people, most of them teenage boys, have been arrested in Spain for sharing images of “extremely violent” child pornography on Whatsapp, police said Tuesday following a two-year investigation spanning three continents.

Boeing removed a feature that protects its 787 planes during lightning strikes even after Federal Aviation Administration experts objected, The Seattle Times reported. The FAA approved the change after Boeing appealed its rejection, which had said Boeing could not sufficiently prove that the fuel tank would not ignite.

India’s Parliament approved a controversial bill that prevents illegal Muslim migrants from neighboring countries from receiving citizenship after hours of heated debate among lawmakers and protests in some parts of the country.

Doctors on the South Pacific islands of Samoa are trying to contain a massive, deadly outbreak of the measles. The virus has infected more than 4,800 people and at least 70 have died, many of them young children. The Samoan government says 91% of those eligible have now been vaccinated. To prevent measles from spreading, 93 to 95 percent of a population must be immune.

New Zealand ordered 120 square meters of skin to treat volcano victims who are being treated for severe burns, which in some cases are life-threatening.

The Air Force’s B-2 Stealth bomber has test-dropped an upgraded, multi-function B61-12 nuclear bomb which improves accuracy, integrates various attack options into a single bomb and changes the strategic landscape with regard to nuclear weapons mission possibilities.

BBC

New Zealand’s White Island volcano is showing increased seismic activity, putting recovery efforts on hold. Authorities had hoped they would be able to retrieve the bodies of those left behind on the island, all of whom are presumed dead, on Wednesday.

WND

An Education Department investigation revealed universities failed to report more than a billion dollars in foreign funding, which officials believe is only a sliver of the unreported overseas donations flowing onto campuses.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Dec. 11, 2019

The Foundation

“How much more do they deserve our reverence and praise, whose lives are devoted to the formation of institutions, which, when they and their children are mingled in the common dust, may continue to cherish the principles and the practice of liberty in perpetual freshness and vigour.” —Joseph Story (1833)

Barr Hammers FBI Clinton Cadre’s ‘Gross Abuses’

The attorney general still questions “the agenda” of FBI agents investigating Trump.


Wrong Wray — It’s NOT the Whole FBI

The vast majority of the 12,484 special agents and 2,950 intelligence analysts in the FBI steadfastly abide by their oaths.


Pelosi Announces Impeachment, Then Trump’s Trade Win

Fearing impeachment backfire, Pelosi signs off on Trump’s USMCA trade deal.


No, the Nativity Is Not About Immigration

Leftist church displays nativity scene with Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus all in cages.


Houston Police Chief Goes on Anti-2A Tirade

The chief blames GOP senators and the NRA for the murder of his fellow officer by a known criminal.


The Air Force Made Its Bombers More Vulnerable

The retirement of the AGM-86C missile is a step in the wrong direction for capability.


Animal Lovers or Human Haters?

The total lack of forgiveness for former NFL quarterback Michael Vick is astounding.


Video: The IG Report Bombshell!

The IG Report has vindicated Trump. Of course, Democrats are trying to spin it their way.


Video: Biden Lost on the Campaign Trail

Poor Joe Biden appears to not know where he is while on the campaign trail.


Today’s Opinion

Walter E. Williams
Morality of Free Markets
Betsy McCaughey
Dems Frame Trump
Byron York
It’s Official – The Dossier Was Malarkey
Star Parker
The Pivotal Black Vote
John Stossel
The Forgotten Debt

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.


Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Border funding, Exxon victorious, speedy Senate impeachment trial, and more.


Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Doug Collins, David Limbaugh, Matt Lewis, AOC, 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 – 12/11/2019

Guatemalan President: World must recognize Jerusalem

Jason Greenblatt: I still hope peace plan will be released

Report: Six dead in New Jersey kosher supermarket following shootout

New Jersey kosher supermarket shooters ‘targeted the location,’ mayor says

Jersey City kosher market shooting rattles tight-knit Orthodox community

Trump to sign order targeting campus anti-Semitism

Israeli student in Paris says he was beaten unconscious for speaking Hebrew

Europe No Longer Hides Its Hostility to Israel

Barring 11th hour breakthrough, Knesset set to dissolve at midnight

Israeli Lawmakers Submit Bill for 3rd Election in Less Than Year

PA seeks Israel’s permission to hold Palestinian elections in East Jerusalem

‘Israel will not relinquish share of gas reservoir’

Why Would Israel Reportedly Have Missiles That Reach Beyond Iran

Israeli minister Katz: ‘If necessary, Israel will take military action to keep Iran from acquiring nukes’

Satellite photos show Iran building tunnels in Syria to store missiles

Analysis: Turkey’s Erdogan endangering world peace

Soleimani’s multi-national army is destabilizing the Mideast

U.S. grounds Saudi pilots, halts military training after base shooting

After Pensacola shooting, Navy looking at making it harder for foreign trainees to buy guns

Blast outside main U.S. base in Afghanistan wounds five

11 Christians pulled off bus, executed in Kenya for failing to recite Islamic Shahada

Police Defuse Two Homemade Bombs Being Stored at a Hong Kong High School

North Korea’s Kim tests Trump’s patience with rockets, taunts

Russia and Ukraine make small steps toward peace, but no big leap

Cold War redux? U.S. to hold largest Europe exercises in 25 years

Federal judge blocks Trump plan to spend millions in military funds on border wall construction

Trump warned Russia not to interfere in U.S. elections: White House

Trump meets with Russian foreign minister amid impeachment chaos

Barr thinks FBI may have acted in ‘bad faith’ in probing Trump campaign’s links to Russia

Commentary: Trump was legally obligated to ask Ukraine about Biden

Giuliani indicates he’ll report on Ukraine trip this week

A day of history accentuates America’s divide and the distortions of truth in the Trump era

Democrats’ impeachment charges say Trump ‘betrayed’ US

Growing divide between Trump and McConnell over impeachment trial

McConnell bashed by Dems for delaying USMCA vote until after impeachment trial

Trump calls articles of impeachment ‘weak’ and only reason Dems agreed to USMCA

Trump lashes out at ‘crooked bastard’ Schiff: Intel chair refuses to admit Ukrainian president said he felt ‘no pressure’

Analysis: Trump faces narrow but consequential charges

On Impeachment Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi Toasts the Media as “Guardians of Democracy” at Holiday Party

Tucker Carlson: Democrats claim ‘no one is above the law,’ but act like they are

Masked moviegoers interrupt showing of ‘No Safe Spaces’ documentary, police called

In a Blow to Political Correctness, Trump Praises Salvation Army

Former San Francisco mayoral candidate: Years of liberal policies have caused homelessness ‘tragedy’

British PM seeks Brexit breakthrough as polls tighten

World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court

China’s pork price jumps 110 per cent, sending consumer inflation rocketing to eight-year high

Fed Pumps $70.2 Billion in Short-Term Liquidity Into Markets

We still don’t know what caused the Wall Street cash crunch earlier this year

A 5,000-Year-Old Plan to Erase Debts Is Now a Hot Topic in America

‘Social credit score’: China set to roll out ‘Orwellian’ mass surveillance tool

New owner of consumer DNA database GEDmatch vows to fight police search warrants

Mysterious lights hovering over Mesa skies Sunday night puzzle residents

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Izu Islands, Japan region

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Palaikastron, Greece

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Izu Islands, Japan region

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Port-Vila, Vanuatu

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 31,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 16,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Eruption warning for Russian city as volcano Avachinsky sitting on the Pacific ring of fire wakes up

High chance of another eruption at New Zealand’s White Island, further hampering rescue efforts

9 dead, 1,400 left homeless as Tropical Cyclone “Belna” makes landfall in Madagascar

Major floods hit the city of Pretoria, South Africa

Estimated 900 flu-related deaths as CDC rings alarm on surprise virus

Trans woman puts Chinese law to the test in landmark case

Vatican investments linked to global money laundering investigations


Apostasy Watch

Marsha West – A whole lotta ‘Christian’ bestsellers are unfit for Christian consumption

Does the Bible Predict There Will be a Future Rebuilt Temple?

Morris Cerullo opens his $190 million Bible-themed resort

Has the New Apostolic Reformation ‘hijacked’ the White House?

Catholic Church Blasphemously Displays a Flooded Nativity Scene for “Climate Change”

Atlanta church pays off $10K worth of layaway Christmas gifts for families at Walmart

Special Significance Or Cool Coincidence? Final Full Moon Of Decade Peaks On 12/12 At 12:12

Has the Biblical Moses Been Identified in Secular Egyptian Records?


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

December 11 An Invitation to Life

Scripture reading: Psalm 103:1–8

Key verse: Revelation 9:20

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Some people have great difficulty reconciling the truth that a God who shows great mercy is the same God who allows incomprehensible destruction. To make sense of these events, we must understand the character and nature of God. He is absolutely loving. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as payment for the sins that doom every one of us to death. Jesus is the embodiment of love and mercy.

When we reject God’s love, He respects our choice and allows us to experience the consequences that come as a result of going against the sovereign God of the universe. However, until He comes again as reigning King and sovereign Judge, Jesus is committed to offering His salvation to a lost and dying world. He knocks at the door of every heart.

The judgments of the Tribulation period are in keeping with this purpose. It seems hard to imagine that any human being could remain unmoved by these tragedies, but notice the response that comes from those who do escape death during this dark hour: “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands” (Rev. 9:20).

No one wants to face such terrors, and that is why responding to Jesus’ invitation of eternal life is a matter for the present. Reward and blessing await those who accept Him as their Savior.

Thank You for the invitation to eternal life, Lord. I accept, knowing I can face the future with joyful anticipation.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 362). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

December 11, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

orthodoxy 1

26  Watch (palēs; see n. 15) probably advances “look” in v. 25 even as the track (maʿgal; see 1:15) makes explicit the assumption that eyes looked at the straight path (i.e., the course and conduct laid out by the father (see 1:15). The son must take care that every step conforms with that way; one false step could prove fatal. Your foot (raglekā) calls attention to every step taken in the road of life. In this lecture, which demands unswerving adherence to the father’s teachings, And let … be steadfast (yikkōnû; see 3:19) means that the son must be firm in his commitment to them. The psalmist wishes: “Oh, that my ways were steadfast (yikkōnû derākāy) in obeying (lišmōr) your decrees” (119:5; cf. Pss. 51:10[12]; 57:7[8]; 108:1; 112:7). All your ways (wekol-derākeykā; see 1:15; 2:8; cf. “her tracks” in 5:6) is an incomplete metaphor for the many facets of the son’s behavior. The translation, “take only ways that are firm” (NIV), violates the Hebrew idiom.[1]


Ver. 26. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.Pondering the path:

Mystery surrounds me. I find myself a resident of the illimitable realm of the unknown. The commonest objects touching me on every side start unanswerable questions. But amidst these enveloping mysteries, like a rock in the central ocean, emerges this certainty—“I am.” That means, I know I am. I am dowered with self-consciousness. There is a chasm wide and awful between myself and everything which is not myself; the “me” is other than the “not-me”; I am a separate, solitary soul. Amid all the mystery surrounding me, there emerges this other certainty—“I ought.” That means, I have the power of referring what I am to the judgment of the moral sense. There is, and must be, an irreversible distinction between what I ought and what I ought not. There is both a standard and an ability of discrimination. There is a law of right and wrong of which the moral sense takes cognisance. Amid the mystery there arises another certainty—“I can.” That means, I dwell in the sphere of moral freedom; the helm of my being is in the hand of an unenslaved volition; I possess a self-determining and sovereign will. I am not a thrall, a thing; I am a power. There emerges this other certainty—“I will.” That means, I exercise my power in this direction or in that. I will to do the thing I ought not, or the thing I ought. Man is a moral being, capable of choice, and actually choosing. You should ponder the path of your feet—

  1. Because your feet are pressing toward an end by which your whole previous path in life is to find final test. Thomas Carlyle says, “It is the conclusion that crowns the work; much more the irreversible conclusion wherein all is concluded; thus is there no life so mean but a death will make it memorable.” As you are going now what will that final test of the end declare?
  2. Because this moment you are choosing your path. You should ask yourself whether it be the right one.

III. Because the longer you walk in the wrong path the harder it will be to get out of it into the right. The awful law of habit; the binding power of bad companionships, &c. (Homiletic Magazine.)

Spiritual anatomy: the feet:

  1. Their natural course.
  2. Found in the way of evil.
  3. Which has diverse paths.
  4. These paths fatal in their termination.
  5. Transition of the feet to the way of righteousness.
  6. Consideration.
  7. Arrestment.
  8. Abandonment of evil way.
  9. Prayer.
  10. Decision.

III. The feet consecrated to Divine service.

  1. They stand on a rock.
  2. Enjoy liberty.
  3. Established by the Lord.
  4. Guided in the way to life eternal. (J. Burns, D.D.)

Life a path:

  1. Unique, difficult, momentous.
  2. This path, this journey, will be travelled but once—there is never a retracing of our steps.
  3. A false guide, a false step, may prove eternally fatal.
  4. The path is intricate, and nothing short of the utmost care, and constant watchfulness, and thorough discipline of heart and life can carry one safely through it. (Homiletic Monthly.)

Feet and eyes joined:

The wise man joins the feet unto the eyes, intimating that our actions should be weighed, as well as our thoughts, words, and looks.

  1. We must beforehand order all well that we go about.
  2. Lest we show our folly to all men by our indiscreet actions.
  3. Lest we run ourselves into danger.
  4. Because our actions are dangerous as well as our thoughts, looks, and words; and these were all to be ordered. Bring all your actions to the touchstone before you do them. Weigh them in a just balance.
  5. The meanest members of the body must be well-ordered. The foot is lowest, yet must not be left at liberty to go where it will.
  6. Because the meanest members are of necessary use.
  7. Because they, being disordered, bring much hurt.

III. Endeavour to act surely in what you do. Show your wisdom by your sure and just acting according to God’s Word, and it will stand. (Francis Taylor, B.D.)

Self-examination explained and recommended:

It is our wisdom to look into our own hearts, to inquire seriously and impartially into the state of religion in our minds; that we may form a true judgment of our real character in the sight of God, and may be better able to regulate our future conduct.

  1. Explain the precept of the text: “Ponder the path of thy feet.” This includes—
  2. A serious inquiry into our past conduct, i.e., of the general tenor of our conduct; whether it has been agreeable to our character as men and as Christians, agreeable to the dictates of right reason, and the precepts of the gospel.
  3. A diligent examination of the motives of our conduct, and the principal ends we have pursued in life; whether they are those which religion points out, or those which are recommended by the example of the world around us. Let us particularly attend to the state of our mind. Our chief motive is to be the “glory of God.” This motive is of all others the most extensive, and where it has its due place in the mind, will prove the most effectual means of regulating the conduct.
  4. Considering attentively what our ruling passion is, and what influence it has had in determining our conduct. Every man has something peculiar in the make or constitution of his mind, which inclines him more strongly to some pursuits than to others, and which consequently lays him more open to temptation from that quarter than from any other.
  5. A diligent inquiry into the present temper and state of our minds; the settled purpose and resolution of the mind, the prevailing bent of the will and affections. In what light does sin appear to us? What are our sentiments of the law of God? How do we stand affected towards the great objects of faith?
  6. The examination recommended in the text must be accompanied with a sincere resolution and a correspondent endeavour by Divine assistance to reform the errors of our past life, and to make continual advances in virtue and goodness.
  7. The advantages that will attend the practice of it. Steadiness and uniformity of conduct is the result of habitual consideration and reflection.
  8. This will be a probable means of securing us from all fatal errors and miscarriages, or of restoring us to the path of duty, if we have wandered from it.
  9. The habit of reflection will confirm and strengthen the mind, and enable us to make continual advances in holiness.

III. Some directions that may assist us in the performance of what has been recommended.

  1. Set yourself as in the presence of God.
  2. Implore the Divine direction and assistance.
  3. Be upon your guard against the deceitfulness of your own hearts, while you are conversing with them.
  4. Fear not to know the worst of your case.
  5. Pursue the inquiry till you have brought it to some conclusion, and faithfully observe and comply with the admonitions which conscience may give you.
  6. Frequently renew the exercise of self-examination according to the directions laid down. Improvement—
  7. See the great end we should propose to ourselves by this self-inquiry.
  8. The great importance of self-examination to the Christian life. (R. Clark.)

Salutary counsel:

  1. Ponder that portion of our path which we have already trodden.
  2. Has it been the way of evil?
  3. Have we visited Calvary?
  4. Has it been a path of usefulness?
  5. Ponder the portion of the path which we are now treading.
  6. Is it lawful ground?
  7. Are we following the footprints of Jesus? These are found, and found only, in heavenly paths.
  8. Is there a light shining upon the road? “The way of the wicked is as darkness,” because it is their own evil, dismal, unhappy, and dangerous way; but the path of the justified is that of increasing holiness and joy.

III. Ponder that portion of our path which we have yet to tread.

  1. It is beset with snares and dangers.
  2. It passes through the valley and shadow of death. There is now no other way to immortality.
  3. It leads either to heaven or to hell. (The Congregational Pulpit.)

Christian casuistry:

  1. We ought to ponder our steps in regard to the principle from which they proceed. An action good in itself may become criminal if it proceed from a bad principle. The little attention we pay to this maxim is one principal cause of the false judgments we make of ourselves. Would you always take right steps? Never take one without first examining the motive which engages you to take it.
  2. We ought to ponder our steps in regard to the circumstances which accompany them. An action, good or innocent in itself, may become criminal in certain circumstances. This maxim is a clue to many cases of conscience in which we choose to blind ourselves. We obstinately consider our actions in a certain abstracted light, and do not attend to circumstances which change the nature of the action.

III. We ought to examine the manners that accompany our ways. Actions, good in themselves, become criminal when they are not performed with proper dispositions.

  1. An action, good in itself, may become criminal by being extended beyond its proper limits. “Be not righteous overmuch, neither make thyself overwise.”
  2. In regard to the mysteries of religion.
  3. In regard to charity.
  4. In regard to closet devotion; in regard to distrusting yourselves and fearing the judgments of God.
  5. An action, good when it is performed by a man arrived at a certain degree of holiness, becomes criminal when it is done by him who hath only an inferior degree. If we wish our ways to be established, let us weigh them with the different judgments which we ourselves form concerning them. Set the judgment which we shall one day form of them against that which we now form. In order to obey the precept of the wise man, we should collect our thoughts every morning, and never begin a day without a cool examination of the whole business of it. (James Saurin.)[2]

4:26 — Ponder the path of your feet .…

Sometimes we fall into sin, not because we plan to, but because we aren’t looking where we are going. God calls us to stay spiritually alert at all times, and that includes taking regular inventory of our life’s direction.[3]


4:26 May the path of your foot be balanced The Hebrew word used here indicates clearing a way (Isa 26:7). Here, the father encourages his son to intentionally remain on the path of wisdom and righteousness (Prov 4:11).[4]


[1] Waltke, B. K. (2004). The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15 (pp. 300–301). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). Proverbs (pp. 147–149). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[3] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Pr 4:26). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Pr 4:26). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

December 11 Measuring Your Spiritual Growth

scripture reading: 2 Peter 1:1–9
key verses: Psalm 139:23–24

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

All growth requires measurement of some means—profit or stature—but defining spiritual growth is not as standardized. However, there are some questions that you can ask yourself, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal both your progress and your need. Here are a few considerations:

  • Do I want to spend more or less time in God’s Word?
  • Is my prayer life more meaningful and honest, or less?
  • Do I exhibit the same Christlikeness in the privacy of my home as I do in public settings?
  • Is regular church attendance a consistent part of my life?
  • Do I pray for others, not just myself?
  • Does the person of Jesus Christ continue to be my first love; is my obedience motivated by a desire to please Him above all else?
  • Do I persevere or give up when spiritual droughts hit?
  • Am I concerned about the spiritual plight of my unsaved coworkers or friends?
  • Do I seek the Holy Spirit’s help on a daily basis or lean solely on my personal strengths and talents?

Where you fall short, ask for God’s help. Where you respond positively, thank Jesus for His grace, and continue to obey.

Dear Lord, I praise You for the ways I’ve grown in grace and knowledge. Help me to grow in those areas where I have fallen short.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

11 december (1859) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The Minister’s farewell

“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:26–27

suggested further reading: Titus 2:7–15

I have seen the young believer, just saved from sin, happy in his early Christian career, and walking humbly with his God. But evil has crept in, disguised in the mantle of truth. The finger of partial blindness was laid upon his eyes, and only one doctrine could be seen. Sovereignty was seen, but not responsibility. The minister once beloved was hated; he who had been honest to preach God’s word, was accounted as the offscouring of all things. And what became the effect? The very reverse of good and gracious. Bigotry replaced love; bitterness lived where once there had been a loveliness of character. I could point you to innumerable instances where harping upon any one particular doctrine, has driven men to excess of bigotry and bitterness. And when a man has once come there, he is ready enough for sin of any kind to which the devil may please to tempt him. There is a necessity that the whole gospel should be preached, or else the spirits, even of Christians, will become marred and maimed. I have known men diligent for Christ, labouring to win souls with both hands; and suddenly they have espoused one particular doctrine and not the whole truth and they have subsided into lethargy. On the other hand where men have only taken the practical side of truth, and left out the doctrinal, too many professors have run over into legality; have talked as if they were to be saved by works, and have almost forgotten that grace by which they were called. They are like the Galatians, they have been bewitched by what they have heard. The believer in Christ, if he is to be kept pure, simple, holy, charitable, Christ-like, is only to be kept so by a preaching of the whole truth as it is in Jesus.

for meditation: Doctrine should lead to practice; practice should spring from doctrine (Romans 12:1; Ephesians 4:1). Do you seek to hear and apply the whole counsel of God in your life (James 1:22)?

note: This was Spurgeon’s farewell sermon at the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall.

sermon no. 289[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 352). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

11 DECEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Becoming a Curse to Bless Us

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Galatians 3:13

suggested further reading: Philippians 2:5–11

Two facts must be carefully held together; that God has said whoever hangs upon a tree is cursed, and that it was his will for his own Son to suffer thus. It may seem harsh and strange at first sight that the Lord of Glory, who has all sovereign authority and before whom all the angels of heaven tremble and prostrate themselves, should be subject to such a curse.

But we must remember that Paul said gospel teaching is foolishness to the human race, who regard themselves as wise (1 Cor. 1:18, 23). Indeed, in this way God humbles us for our folly. For there is enough wise and good instruction (if we care to heed it) in the heaven and earth around us, yet we are blind and shut our eyes to God’s wisdom displayed in nature. This is why he has opened up a new way to draw us to himself through something that we deem foolish! So we must not judge by our human reasoning what we read here concerning the curse to which the Son of God was subject.

Instead, we should delight in such mystery and give glory to God that he loved our souls so much that he redeemed them at such inestimable cost to himself. Indeed, may we all glorify God, for our Lord Jesus Christ refused to consider it robbery (as Paul expresses it) to reveal himself thus in his infinite glory (Phil. 2:6). He willingly emptied himself, not only taking upon himself a human nature and becoming a man, but also submitting to a most shameful death in the sight of both God and man.

How precious we must have been to him for experiencing such extreme suffering for our redemption! If we could taste something of what this implies, we would forever magnify his unspeakable grace which surpasses all human understanding.

for meditation: The great cost of redemption should never cease to bring us to our knees. That Christ was willing to bear the sins of the world and to die such a shameful and accursed death for sinners like us is shocking and glorious and humbling. We did not deserve such sacrifice, yet God did it out of sheer love and grace. What a glorious truth to meditate on throughout today![1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 364). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Virginia Roberts posts chilling Twitter message claiming ‘I’m not suicidal’ | Daily Mail Online

Virginia Roberts has posted a chilling message on Twitter announcing ‘I am not suicidal’ after giving a high-profile interview accusing powerful figures including of sexually abusing her.

The 36-year-old, who claims she was a sex trafficking victim of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, wrote: ‘If something happens to me – in the sake of my family do not let this go away and help me to protect them. Too many evil people want to see me quieted.’

It comes after Epstein died in custody in the US while awaiting trial. An official autopsy concluded he hanged himself, despite persistent conspiracies and claims by high-profile pathologist Michael Baden that the evidence ‘points to homicide’.

Virginia Roberts - who now uses the surname Giuffre - has posted a chilling message on Twitter saying that she is 'in no way, shape or form suicidal'
Virginia Roberts – who now uses the surname Giuffre – has posted a chilling message on Twitter saying that she is ‘in no way, shape or form suicidal’ 
It comes after the 36-year-old gave a high-profile interview to the BBC, recounting abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of powerful figures including Prince Andrew
It comes after the 36-year-old gave a high-profile interview to the BBC, recounting abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of powerful figures including Prince Andrew 

Prince Andrew accuser recounts how she felt after sexual encounter

Ms Roberts – who now goes by the name Virginia Giuffre – recently appeared on the BBC where she gave an emotional interview about the abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of Epstein and Prince Andrew.

She claims the prince abused her three times – once at Epstein’s New York apartment, once on a yacht in the Caribbean, and once at the London home of Ghislane Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged madam.

Speaking about her first alleged encounter with Andrew in London, she said she was taken to Tramp nightclub where she recalls dancing with the ‘sweating’ prince.

After leaving the nightclub, Giuffre said: ‘In the car Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey.

‘And that made me sick. I didn’t expect it from royalty.

‘I didn’t expect it from someone that people look up to and admire – the royal family.’

Giving her account of what happened at Ghislane’s house, she added: ‘There was a bath and it started there and it led into the bedroom.

‘It didn’t last very long, the whole entire procedure. It was disgusting.

‘He wasn’t mean or anything. But he got up and said thanks and walked out.

It also comes after Jeffrey Epstein died while in custody in the US. An official autopsy ruled his death a suicide, despite others pointing to evidence of homicide
It also comes after Jeffrey Epstein died while in custody in the US. An official autopsy ruled his death a suicide, despite others pointing to evidence of homicide 
Andrew was pictured alongside Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. He claims to have no memory of the photo being taken and suggested it is fake
Andrew was pictured alongside Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell’s house in London in March 2001. He claims to have no memory of the photo being taken and suggested it is fake 

Virginia Roberts ‘implores’ British public to ‘stand beside her’

‘And I sat there in bed just felt horrified and ashamed and felt dirty.’

She went on: ‘I had just been abused by a member of the royal family.’

She spoke out after Prince Andrew gave his own BBC interview where he vehemently denied the claims against him.

In the interview, he claimed to have no memory of a photo apparently showing the pair at Ghislane’s house ever being taken, and suggested it had been faked.

He also suggested that her memory of him ‘sweating’ was inaccurate because his experiences in the Falklands meant he suffered from a rare condition which left him unable to sweat. 

In response to Giuffre’s BBC interview, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said the Duke ‘unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein’ and ‘deeply sympathises with those affected who want some form of closure’.

Ms Giuffre claims she was working at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club when she was recruited Ghislane Maxwell (right) to be Epstein's masseuse, before he began sexually abusing her and then trafficked her to various locations to be abused by other men
Ms Giuffre claims she was working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club when she was recruited Ghislane Maxwell (right) to be Epstein’s masseuse, before he began sexually abusing her and then trafficked her to various locations to be abused by other men 

They said ‘it is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation’.

The palace has also stated that any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors by the duke was ‘categorically untrue’.

He was widely criticised for failing to show remorse for his association with the disgraced financier or empathy with Epstein’s victims during his television appearance.

He has resigned from a large number of patronages and seen organisations he was once involved with sever ties.

Miss Roberts claimed in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17, below the state’s age of consent.

However, that allegation was struck out by a judge in 2015 for being ‘immaterial and impertinent’.
— Read on www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7779829/Virginia-Roberts-posts-chilling-Twitter-message-claiming-Im-not-suicidal.html

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 16, Two Kingdoms — The End Time

Further Reading

Two spiritual kingdoms: A Chart

Does Satan have his own kingdom?

Grace Gems: Deliverance from the power of darkness

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life

via Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 16, Two Kingdoms — The End Time

Top 10 Best Christmas Songs of All Time — Michelle Lesley

Christmas songs. Everybody’s got a favorite or two, or ten! I’ve given you my list of the ten worst (and volume 2!). Now, in no particular order (mostly), and according to nothing other than my own preferences, here are my nominations for the ten best Christmas songs ever.

(Note: I do not necessarily endorse all of the songwriters or performers listed below, the churches/organizations they represent, any other songs they may have written or performed, or their theology. If you decide to follow any of these people or groups, check out their theology first to make sure it’s biblical.)

 

1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing– Ok, so this one is in a particular order. It’s my favorite because of the awesome gospel theology wrapped in ribbons of beautiful wording. Just a few of my favorite phrases:

God and sinners reconciled
Veiled in flesh the godhead see, hail th’ incarnate deity
Mild, He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth

2. It’s About the Cross– This is my favorite “non-carol” Christmas song. The beginning of the story is wonderful and great, but it’s the ending that can save you and that’s why we celebrate. The incarnation of Christ has always been about the cross and the resurrection. I highly recommend the artists, Go Fish.

3. Handel’s Messiah– Yes, I know it’s way more than one song, but, having performed it several times, I can honestly say I love the whole thing. Much of it is Scripture (verbatim) set to some of the best music ever written for a choir. Phenomenal.

4. Glorious Impossible– One of the more recent Christmas songs out there, it’s chock full of allusions to Scripture and the gospel. I think the Gaither Vocal Band does a really nice job on it.

5. Angels We Have Heard on High– It adequately handles the Christmas narrative, but I have to admit, I love this song for the chorus. It has a beautiful, intricately-woven, nearly ethereal sounding harmonic structure, and a simple, yet profound message: “Glory to God in the highest.”

6. Jesus, What a Wonderful Child– Sometimes a great song is packed with good theology, and sometimes a great song expresses one simple idea. Jesus, What a Wonderful Child is one of the latter. If you’ve read the title, you’ve got the main idea. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun!

7. Sweet Little Jesus Boy– I love how this song captures the idea that when Jesus came the first time, “we didn’t know who You were.” And nobody does it like Mahalia Jackson.

8. Christmas Offering– This song draws the parallel between the offerings of the wise men and our offering of worship, the gift our King most desires.

9. Christ is Born– I know, I know, it’s twangy and most people don’t like Southern Gospel music. That’s OK, I do. And you’ve gotta love a Christmas song that starts out with the Fall of Man.

10. Rejoice With Exceeding Great Joy– This is another one that made the list because of the music. The lyrics are a simple retelling of the journey of the magi, but the music just takes you right out to the desert and plops you down on a camel’s back.

via Top 10 Best Christmas Songs of All Time — Michelle Lesley

December 11 – Abraham (1): Looking forward from Ur — Reformed Perspective

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed.– Galatians 3:8

Scripture reading: Genesis 12:1-7; Galatians 3:8

The judgment and renewal brought about by the flood wiped wickedness from the face of the earth, but it did not remove wickedness from the human heart (Genesis 8:21). The seed of drunkenness soon sprouted as the world’s first vintner (Noah), became the first drunk (Genesis 9:21). The weed of rebellion grew as people refused to scatter across the face of the earth, instead gathering together to build a gigantic tower so as to make a great name for themselves. The tower must not have been that big, though, because God had to come down just to see it (Genesis 11:5). He put a stop-work order on the project by confusing peoples’ languages. This caused them to scatter, as He had commanded them to do.

Then things got worse. Instead of building big towers, people built false gods (Joshua 24:2-3,15). It seemed everyone was on Satan’s side. Where would the serpent-crushing Seed of the woman come from? Was anyone on God’s side? Maybe not.

But God called Abraham to cross the fault-line and come to His side (Genesis 12:1). Abraham obeyed. God also promised that Abraham’s descendants would be numerous enough to form a nation (Genesis 12:2), that they would live in the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:7) and that Jesus would be born from among his descendants while living in the promised land of Canaan. Through Jesus all people from all nations are blessed with the gift of salvation.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God that long before Jesus came, He preached the Good News about His coming to Abraham. Praise God for the width, length, height and depth of His love which extends to all people from all nations.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God DevotionalRev. Brian Zegers has been serving the Lord by working with Word of Life Ministry as home missionary to the Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario since 2015.

via December 11 – Abraham (1): Looking forward from Ur — Reformed Perspective

Wednesday Briefing December 11, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 House Democratic Leaders Release Two Articles of Impeachment: What Happens Next?

PART II

 One Report, Two Interpretations: What the New Report on the FBI Means Depends on Where and How You Read the Story

PART III

 Why Was the FBI Established in the First Place? The Expanding Nature of Both Crime and the FBI Throughout American History

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DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

PART II

NEW YORK TIMES

 Report on F.B.I. Russia Inquiry Finds Serious Errors but Debunks Anti-Trump Plot, by Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman, and Katie Benner

WALL STREET JOURNAL

 A Trail of FBI Abuse, by The Editorial Board

WALL STREET JOURNAL

 The ‘Vindication’ of James Comey, by William McGurn