Daily Archives: April 28, 2020

“This Would be a Terrible Crisis to Waste” – Hillary Clinton Admits Dems Are Using Coronavirus to Advance Radical Socialist Agenda (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Hillary Clinton joined Joe Biden on Tuesday for a virtual town hall.

The town hall started off with Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton awkwardly staring at the screen, saying nothing for 25 seconds straight.

At one point it looked like Biden dozed off for a bit as Hillary droned on about the Coronavirus.

Then Hillary admitted the Democrats are using the Coronavirus to advance their Socialist agenda.

“It needs to be part of a much larger system and eventually and quickly I hope gets us to universal healthcare so I can only say amen to everything you’re saying,” Hillary said. “This would be a terrible crisis to waste.”

WATCH:

via “This Would be a Terrible Crisis to Waste” – Hillary Clinton Admits Dems Are Using Coronavirus to Advance Radical Socialist Agenda (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Millions Of Of Pigs, Chickens And Cattle Are Being Euthanized While The Media Warns “Shortages” Are Coming — The Economic Collapse

More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during these coronavirus lockdowns so far, and this has created unprecedented demand at food banks all over the nation.  In many cities, vehicles start lining up at the food banks at the crack of dawn, and in some instances the lines have literally stretched for miles.  But at the same time, farmers all over America have been dumping millions of gallons of milk, disposing of millions of pounds of fresh vegetables, and putting farm animals to death at a rate that we have never seen before.  In fact, Reuters is reportingthat “millions of pigs, chickens and cattle will be euthanized” because they can’t be sold.  Unlike other parts of the globe, we actually have plenty of food right now, but we can’t get much of that food to the people because so many food processing facilities have been shut down due to fear of COVID-19.

What we are witnessing is nothing short of a tragedy.  Even though there are so many needy families all across America at this time, so many farmers are being forced to waste what they have produced because food distribution pipelines have been brought to a standstill.  The following is how Forbes is describing the current state of affairs.

Dairy farmers are trying to decide between dumping their milk and selling their dairy cows for beef. Contract chicken growers on the Eastern Shore have been asked to “depopulate” nearly 2 million chickens. Hog farmers in Iowa and Minnesota are starting to euthanize their pigs. For contract and cooperative farmers—producers in the food system who are obligated to a larger entity—the options are limited.

I have a feeling that we are going to end up deeply regretting letting so many resources go to waste during this time.

In Iowa piglets are being aborted by the thousands, in Minnesota tens of thousands of chickens are being gassed to death, and in Wisconsin farmers have been pouring countless gallons of good milk on to the ground.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is breathlessly warning us that “shortages” are coming.

With food processing plants closing all over the nation, our choices are going to become a lot more limited, and Tyson Foods is openly admitting that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain”

Tyson Foods is facing a new set of challenges. In small communities around the country where we employ over 100,000 hard-working men and women, we’re being forced to shutter our doors. This means one thing – the food supply chain is vulnerable. As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain. As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.

And Smithfield Foods has also released a very ominous statement

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield Foods, the largest global pork producer owned by the Chinese WH Group, said in a statement on Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

“It is impossible to keep protein on tables across America if our nation’s meat plants are not running. Across the animal protein industry, closures can have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions up and down the supply chain,” the statement said. “Beyond the implications to our food supply, our entire agricultural community is in jeopardy. Farmers have nowhere to send their animals and could be forced to euthanize livestock, effectively burying food in the ground. We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19.”

Ultimately, these big corporations are scared to death of being sued into oblivion by their workers if they stay open during this pandemic, and so that is why it is going to be necessary for the federal government to step in.

President Trump has the authority to order meat processing facilities to stay open, and apparently that is exactly what he plans to do

President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open as the nation confronts growing food-supply disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, a person familiar with the matter said.

Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to order the companies to stay open as critical infrastructure, and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to the person.

This should greatly help matters, and I wish that it had been done sooner.

But for the economy as a whole, the outlook continues to be very bleak.  Fear of the coronavirus is going to keep many Americans from resuming normal activities for a long time to come, and that is going to absolutely paralyze economic activity.  If you doubt this, check out the results of this new poll

Fewer than half of Americans plan to go to sports events, concerts, movies and amusement parks when they reopen to the public until there is a proven coronavirus vaccine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

That includes those who have attended such events in the past, an ominous sign for the sports and entertainment industries hoping to return to the spotlight after being shut down by the pandemic.

I was deeply alarmed when I read that.

There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and so those that are waiting for one may be waiting for a very, very long time.

Meanwhile, economic suffering is going to continue to escalate all over the nation.  In Arkansas, people were lining up at 5:30 AM on Tuesday at a food bank in the Little Rock area, and all of the food “was gone within an hour and a half”

The Arkansas Foodbank planned to hand out food for four hours on Tuesday, but the demand was so high that all the food was gone within an hour and a half, the charity said.

Cars lined up at the Outlets of Little Rock mall, which hosted the event, as early as 5:30 a.m., when the food bank’s workers arrived to unload the trucks, Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders said.

Everything that I have been warning about for so long is starting to happen, and this country is heading for incredibly challenging times.

Hopefully Trump’s executive order will be implemented smoothly and all of the meat processing plants will be forced to reopen.

But this is yet another example that shows how vulnerable our supply chains really are, and one has to wonder how we will fare when an even greater crisis comes along.

via Millions Of Of Pigs, Chickens And Cattle Are Being Euthanized While The Media Warns “Shortages” Are Coming — The Economic Collapse

Undergoing the Powerful Scalpel of God’s Truth — BLOG – Beautiful Christian Life

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

As Christians we commit ourselves to the truth of God’s word—we profess to worship and believe in the truth incarnate, Jesus Christ, and we devote ourselves to the study of God’s written truth, namely, his word.

We regularly seek the truth of God’s word each and every Lord’s Day as we go to church and draw near to Christ through the means of grace—word, sacrament, and prayer. We walk away from a worship service and give thanks to God when one of his faithful ministers heralds the truth and preaches the gospel of grace. But as dedicated as we are to knowing and living the truth, many of us fear it.

We can have trepidation over undergoing the scalpel of God’s truth.

Seeking the truth is like going to the dentist—we know we need to go, and it’s good for our dental health, but many do not want the dentist poking around in our mouth because we fear what he will find. We fear what the dentist’s shiny headlamp will reveal in the inner recesses of our mouths. As he pokes and prods the crevices of our teeth and shines his light into the darkness, will the dentist discover tooth decay, tender spots in our gums, or uncover the need for serious surgery when he exposes disease through the all-knowing gaze of an x-ray?

We fear such things because we want to avoid pain and discomfort—we want to avoid the dentist’s diagnosis if it means that we will need a root canal! If we knew in advance that the dentist would give us a clean bill of health, then I suspect that no one would fear the dentist. But the best brushing and flossing can’t perfectly guarantee such results.

God’s truth will always be to our benefit and spiritual health.

We must remember that God’s word brings his all-powerful word to bear into our lives. Even though we might have trepidation over undergoing the scalpel of God’s truth, his careful surgeon’s hand will never destroy the church or us.

God’s truth always edifies. Truth, however, will always corrode and destroy idolatry. Unlike the dentist, who might misdiagnose our condition and needlessly perform a procedure we don’t need, God’s truth will always be to our benefit and spiritual health. When we read the word or hear something objectionable in a sermon, we should pause, listen, weigh, and consider whether God has uncovered a weakness in our lives that requires treatment.

Never fear the truth or where it leads.

If we fear truth’s incision, it might be that God has targeted an infected part of our life that requires careful removal, and if we recoil or flee, the weakness will only grow stronger and thus leave us weaker. Never, therefore, fear the truth or where it leads. God uses his truth to conform us to the image of Christ, to burn away the dross of sin in our lives, so that God’s glory shines all the more brilliantly to his glory and praise.

Related Articles:


This article is adapted from “A Pastor’s Reflections: The Power of Truth” at wscal.edu.

J. V. Fesko is Professor of Systematic Theology and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi. He has written numerous books on the Christian faith, including Word, Water, and Spirit: A Reformed Perspective on BaptismJustification: Understanding the Classic Reformed DoctrineThe Theology of the Westminster Standards: Historical Context and Theological Insights and the newly released commentary, Romans (Lectio Continua).

via Undergoing the Powerful Scalpel of God’s Truth — BLOG – Beautiful Christian Life

Solus Christus

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. Colossians 1:13-18 (NASB) 

As we have seen, Sola Scriptura is essential to genuine Christianity. Sacred Scripture is supreme and authoritative over the Church…

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Overwhelmed by God — The Master’s Seminary Blog

Overwhelmed is a strong word that many of us can resonate with. Written into this word is imagery of capture—of being crushed. The word overwhelmed itself paints the picture of a boat being careened by a wave of water: completely submerged, buried, and smothered in drowning and disorientation.

But the sense of this word has expanded beyond waves and boats. Armies are said to have won an overwhelming victory when they overpower a weaker opponent. A man who loses his wife to cancer can rightly be said to be overwhelmed with grief. A small child surrounded by strangers in a crowded terminal can be overwhelmed with fear. Whatever the context, this word creates a sense of going under, of losing control, and of being subdued beneath something or someone stronger and bigger.

But does being overwhelmed have to be negative? Can you be overwhelmed by positive emotions, thoughts, or affections?

Anyone who has been on the water knows that a boat’s stability depends primarily upon where its bow is facing. In the same way, what you are overwhelmed by is primarily determined by what you are focused upon. It’s a matter of perspective. Of course, when you are focused on the troubles in front of and around you, feelings of despair can begin to overwhelm. But if you are able to set your mind on things above, the nature and character of God may begin to overwhelm you.

Set Your Eyes on Him, Not Your Trouble

David was a man of many troubles. As a shepherd, wild animals and the elements pursued him. A Philistine giant laughed in his face, eager to make David into an example. The paranoid and jealous Saul relentlessly sought his life. And his was the daunting task of leading Israel into battle against her restless enemies.

While the exact situation that led David to write Psalm 144 is a mystery, the psalm clearly speaks of trouble. In verses 7 and 11, David pleaded with God to rescue and deliver him. He described his surroundings as great waters and the hands of hostile nations surrounding him. In verse 8, he complained about the lies and deceptions his enemies employed against him. But despite the troubles surrounding David, he resolved not to be overwhelmed. He chose to look elsewhere—to gaze upward. And as a result, he was overwhelmed in a different way.

David begins this psalm amidst his troubles with a declaration of praise and worship to God: “Blessed be Yahweh!” In the midst of his trials, David bowed before God in humble recognition that God is the great I AM. He is the eternal, unchanging, self-sufficient God. He simply IS. He depends on nothing and no one. He has no lack and requires no help. He is the source of all other beings and existence. By Him, through Him, and to Him all things were created. He is Yahweh.

He Is Nearer and Greater

Then, with his eyes turned heavenward, David burst forth in what he knew to be true of God. David fills his praise with “My…my…myto express the personal nearness in which he knew God. Yahweh was a present help in David’s trouble (Ps. 46:1). While the great waters of danger encompassed him (v. 7), God surrounded him even closer. Though his enemies’ hands swarmed him like the mob, God held him even tighter. God had set upon him a steadfast, uncompromising lovingkindness—His covenantal, unconditional love. This was a love not even David deserved.


In the midst of his turmoil and inadequacy,
David experienced an overwhelming nearness to God

Tweet: In the midst of his turmoil and inadequacy, David experienced an overwhelming nearness to God


David also paints an overwhelming picture of God’s greatness. He describes God as an immovable security, a towering shelter. In the midst of trouble, David remembers that God is a place of hiding and safety from all the impending attacks. When David had hidden from Saul in rocky caves (1 Sam. 22:1), he knew his true Rock was Yahweh. God was his secret escape—like a fortress or stronghold nestled in the mountains. He was a harbor of protection amidst the wind and waves. As David’s closest companion in battle, God was his shield. It was God who taught David’s hands and fingers to wage his wars and fight his battles. Though David was king of Israel, Yahweh was his sovereign.

In summary, David saw God as his Deliverer—his Protector and Rescuer. Yahweh is a great God!

Be Surprisingly Overwhelmed

What depth of truth! What wonderful declarations of God! Note how David responds in verse 3–4: “O Yahweh, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” David wasn’t overwhelmed by the troubles around him. He wasn’t paralyzed by the great waters nor the mob of enemy hands pressing in around him. He was overwhelmed by the splendor and glory of God.

As David turned his eyes upward in the midst of his troubles, his enemies suddenly seemed less daunting when juxtaposed with the greatness of God. He was brought to a place of focusing on the grace and greatness of the One by whom he was known. David was humbled that he would even be considered by such Majesty.

Instead of the normal paralysis that results from troubles, being overwhelmed by God moved David. It moved him to dependent, confident, even bold prayer. He prayed to God as the only One who could rescue him (vv. 5–8, 11). He prayed with a new song in his soul, believing God would be God in his trouble (vv. 9–10). And he approached the throne of grace with boldness, pleading for blessings on Yahweh’s people (vv. 12–15).


Being overwhelmed by God brought David
to his knees—not in paralysis, but desperate boldness


He was moved to do the one thing that could acquire all that he needed: he prayed.

It is unlikely that anyone reading this has the task of ruling Israel. Nor is it probable that you are being threatened by a hostile army closing in around you. But the principles David demonstrates in this psalm remain applicable even today. When we face troubles, we can begin by turning our eyes to God. We can choose to praise Him amidst the storms of life. Then, the truth of His character can flood our thoughts and remind us that God is nearer and greater than any trouble we might face.

via Overwhelmed by God — The Master’s Seminary Blog

April 28th The D. L. Moody Year Book

He shall show you things to come.—John 16:13.

PEOPLE talk about news nowadays. The Bible is the only news-book in the world. The newspaper tells us what has taken place, but this Book tells us what will take place. And for people to be shutting it up, and saying we can be guided without it, is just as reasonable as to shut out the sun by closing up our windows because we have the electric light. There is as much reason to say that the sun is worn out as to say that we have got beyond the Bible.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 80). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Quarantine Stereotypes – This Video Is So Funny That It Will Have Many Of You Rolling On The Floor — The Most Important News

Have you noticed that being cooped up at home is causing some people to start behaving very strangely? In this video, Dude Perfect explores some of the most common quarantine stereotypes in a very humorous way. The post Quarantine Stereotypes – This Video Is So Funny That It Will Have Many Of You Rolling On…


via Quarantine Stereotypes – This Video Is So Funny That It Will Have Many Of You Rolling On The Floor — The Most Important News

Oh Dear, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie Touches the Third Rail – Reveals DC’s Biggest Secret… — The Last Refuge

With congress saying they will not be returning to worknext week, it appears Kentucky representative Thomas Massie has decided to use the opportunity to expose Washington DC’s biggest secret.  Something 99% of American voters do not understand:

Oh dear, he’s telling secrets.  You see, congress doesn’t actually write legislation.  The last item of legislation written by congress was sometime around the mid 1990’s.  Modern legislation is sub-contracted to K-Street.  Lobbyists write the laws; congress sells the laws; lobbyists then pay congress commissions for passing their laws.  That’s the modern legislative business in DC.

CTH often describes the background DC motives with the phrase: “There are Trillions at Stake.” The process of creating legislation is behind that phrase.  DC politics is not quite based on the ideas that frame most voter’s reference points.

With people taking notice of DC politics for the first time; and with people not as familiar with the purpose of DC politics; perhaps it is valuable to provide clarity.

Most people think when they vote for a federal politician -a House or Senate representative- they are voting for a person who will go to Washington DC and write or enact legislation. This is the old-fashioned “schoolhouse rock” perspective based on decades past. There is not a single person in congress writing legislation or laws.

In modern politics not a single member of the House of Representatives or Senator writes a law, or puts pen to paper to write out a legislative construct. This simply doesn’t happen.

Over the past several decades a system of constructing legislation has taken over Washington DC that more resembles a business operation than a legislative body. Here’s how it works right now.

Outside groups, often called “special interest groups”, are entities that represent their interests in legislative constructs. These groups are often representing foreign governments, Wall Street multinational corporations, banks, financial groups or businesses; or smaller groups of people with a similar connection who come together and form a larger group under an umbrella of interest specific to their affiliation.

Sometimes the groups are social interest groups; activists, climate groups, environmental interests etc. The social interest groups are usually non-profit constructs who depend on the expenditures of government to sustain their cause or need.

The for-profit groups (mostly business) have a purpose in Washington DC to shape policy, legislation and laws favorable to their interests. They have fully staffed offices just like any business would – only their ‘business‘ is getting legislation for their unique interests.

These groups are filled with highly-paid lawyers who represent the interests of the entity and actually write laws and legislation briefs.

In the modern era this is actually the origination of the laws that we eventually see passed by congress. Within the walls of these buildings within Washington DC is where the ‘sausage’ is actually made.

Again, no elected official is usually part of this law origination process.

Almost all legislation created is not ‘high profile’, they are obscure changes to current laws, regulations or policies that no-one pays attention to. The passage of the general bills within legislation is not covered in media. Ninety-nine percent of legislative activity happens without anyone outside the system even paying any attention to it.

Once the corporation or representative organizational entity has written the law they want to see passed – they hand it off to the lobbyists.

The lobbyists are people who have deep contacts within the political bodies of the legislative branch, usually former House/Senate staff or former House/Senate politicians themselves.

The lobbyist takes the written brief, the legislative construct, and it’s their job to go to congress and sell it.

“Selling it” means finding politicians who will accept the brief, sponsor their bill and eventually get it to a vote and passage. The lobbyist does this by visiting the politician in their office, or, most currently familiar, by inviting the politician to an event they are hosting. The event is called a junket when it involves travel.

Often the lobbying “event” might be a weekend trip to a ski resort, or a “conference” that takes place at a resort. The actual sales pitch for the bill is usually not too long and the majority of the time is just like a mini vacation etc.

The size of the indulgence within the event, the amount of money the lobbyist is spending, is customarily related to the scale of benefit within the bill the sponsoring business entity is pushing. If the sponsoring business or interest group can gain a lot of financial benefit from the legislation they spend a lot on the indulgences.

Recap: Corporations (special interest group) write the legislation. Lobbyists take the law and go find politician(s) to support it. Politicians get support from their peers using tenure and status etc. Eventually, if things go according to norm, the legislation gets a vote.

Within every step of the process there are expense account lunches, dinners, trips, venue tickets and a host of other customary financial way-points to generate/leverage a successful outcome. The amount of money spent is proportional to the benefit derived from the outcome.

The important part to remember is that the origination of the entire process is EXTERNAL to congress.

Congress does not write laws or legislation, special interest groups do. Lobbyists are paid, some very well paid, to get politicians to go along with the need of the legislative group.

When you are voting for a Congressional Rep or a U.S. Senator you are not voting for a person who will write laws. Your rep only votes on legislation to approve or disapprove of constructs that are written by outside groups and sold to them through lobbyists who work for those outside groups.

While all of this is happening the same outside groups who write the laws are providing money for the campaigns of the politicians they need to pass them. This construct sets up the quid-pro-quo of influence, although much of it is fraught with plausible deniability.

This is the way legislation is created.

If your frame of reference is not established in this basic understanding you can often fall into the trap of viewing a politician, or political vote, through a false prism.

The modern origin of all legislative constructs is notwithin congress.

“we’ll have to pass the bill to, well, find out what is in the bill” etc. ~ Nancy Pelosi 2009

“We rely upon the stupidity of the American voter” ~ Johnathan Gruber 2011, 2012.

Once you understand this process you can understand how politicians get rich.

When a House or Senate member becomes educated on the intent of the legislation, they have attended the sales pitch; and when they find out the likelihood of support for that legislation; they can then position their own (or their families) financial interests to benefit from the consequence of passage. It is a process similar to insider trading on Wall Street, except the trading is based on knowing who will benefit from a legislative passage.

The legislative construct passes from K-Street into the halls of congress through congressional committees. The law originates from the committee to the full House or Senate. Committee seats which vote on these bills are therefore more valuable to the lobbyists. Chairs of these committees are exponentially more valuable.

Now, think about this reality against the backdrop of the 2016 Presidential Election. Legislation is passed based on ideology. In the aftermath of the 2016 election the system within DC was not structurally set-up to receive a Donald Trump presidency.

If Hillary Clinton had won the election, her Oval Office desk would be filled with legislation passed by congress which she would have been signing. Heck, she’d have writer’s cramp from all of the special interest legislation, driven by special interest groups that supported her campaign, that would be flowing to her desk.

Why?

Simply because the authors of the legislation, the originating special interest and lobbying groups, were spending millions to fund her campaign. Hillary Clinton would be signing K-Street constructed special interest legislation to repay all of those donors/investors.

Congress would be fast-tracking the passage because the same interest groups also fund the members of congress.

President Donald Trump winning the election threw a monkey wrench into the entire DC system…. In early 2017 the modern legislative machine was frozen in place.

The “America First” policies represented by candidate Donald Trump were not within the legislative constructs coming from the K-Street authors of the legislation. There were no MAGA lobbyists waiting on Trump ideology to advance legislation based on America First objectives.

As a result of an empty feeder system, in early 2017 congress had no bills to advance because all of the myriad of bills and briefs written were not in line with President Trump policy. There was simply no entity within DC writing legislation that was in-line with President Trump’s America-First’ economic and foreign policy agenda.

Exactly the opposite was true. All of the DC legislative briefs and constructs were/are antithetical to Trump policy. There were hundreds of file boxes filled with thousands of legislative constructs that became worthless when Donald Trump won the election.

Those legislative constructs (briefs) representing tens of millions of dollars worth of time and influence were just sitting there piled up in boxes under desks and in closets amid K-Street and the congressional offices. Legislation needed to be in-line with an entire new political perspective, and there was no-one, no special interest or lobbying group, currently occupying DC office space with any interest in synergy with Trump policy.

Think about the larger ramifications within that truism. That is also why there was/is so much opposition.

No legislation provided by outside interests means no work for lobbyists who sell it. No work means no money. No money means no expense accounts. No expenses means politicians paying for their own indulgences etc.

Politicians were not happy without their indulgences, but the issue was actually bigger. No K-Street expenditures also means no personal benefit; and no opportunity to advance financial benefit from the insider trading system.

Without the ability to position personal wealth for benefit, why would a politician stay in office? The income of many long-term politicians on both Republican and Democrat sides of the aisle was completely disrupted by President Trump winning the election. That is one of the key reason why so many politicians retired immediately thereafter.

When we understand the business of DC, we understand the difference between legislation with a traditional purpose and modern legislation with a financial and political agenda.

Lastly, this is why -when signing legislation- President Trump often says “they’ve been trying to get this through for a long time” etc. Most of the legislation passed by congress and signed by President Trump in his first term is older legislative proposals, with little indulgent value, that were shelved in years past.

Example: Criminal justice reform did not carry a financial benefit to the legislative bodies, and there was no financial interest funding the politicians to pass the bill. If you look at most of the bills President Trump has signed, with the exception of a few economic bills, they stem from congressional construction many years, even decades, ago.

via Oh Dear, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie Touches the Third Rail – Reveals DC’s Biggest Secret… — The Last Refuge

April—28 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Jesus himself drew near, and went with them; but their eyes were holden, that they should not know him.—Luke 24:15, 16.

My soul! here is a most interesting subject proposed to thine evening meditation, in this account of an interview between Jesus and two of his disciples, in the interval between his resurrection and ascension. Sit down, and under the divine teaching, ponder it well. Were the eyes of those disciples so holden, that they should not know him, from some supernatural effect wrought on their powers of vision, or was it induced from any alteration wrought upon the person of their Lord? Probably there might be a concurrence of both these causes. The effect accomplished by this interview seems indeed to show it; but it is profitable, highly profitable, to exercise our meditation upon it, though the point cannot be determined. I think it more than probable, that death had given an aspect to Jesus, which in itself must have induced a change. That face which once, in the days of his flesh, brake forth as the sun when shining in his strength, at the mount of transfiguration, might now have appeared with paleness, from the sweat, and dust, and blood spread over the countenance. But, however this might have been, so it was, their eyes were holden, that they should not know him. Precious Lord Jesus! cause me to learn from hence, that all the gracious manifestations which thou art pleased to make of thyself to thy people, are of thyself, and depend upon thy sovereign will and pleasure; and cause me to learn, also, how very gracious thou art, to condescend, at any time, by the sweet influences of thy Spirit, to reveal thyself to thy people, and to manifest thyself to them, otherwise than thou dost to the world. And hence, Lord, I beseech thee, very frequently to draw nigh, and go with me, as thou didst with them; and though mine eyes be holden, so as that I do not discern thee, yet, like them, thy gracious discourse will make mine heart burn within me, while thou art talking with me by the way, and while thou art opening to me thy scriptures. And, especially, do by me as thou didst by them, when at thy table, or in thine house of worship; give me an open communication of thy glory “in breaking of bread, and in prayer.”—My soul! do not dismiss this interesting account of the appearance of Jesus before thou hast taken another view of thy Redeemer. It was a solemn moment in which it took place. The Son of God had finished redemption-work; but he was not as yet ascended to his Father. Behold him for a moment, and contemplate his person in that interval! Jesus, in his human nature, though “his visage was marred more than any man’s, and his form more than the sons of men,” is yet said to have been “fairer than the children of men, because grace was poured into his lips, and Jehovah had blessed him for ever.” And as he was altogether free from sin, so was he “the altogether lovely.” And as he was now raised from the dead, though not yet exalted to the right hand of power, yet surely that human nature of Jesus, in union with the Godhead, and worshipped by angels, must have possessed a glory unspeakably blessed and divine. The way to judge of the appearance of thy Jesus, at this time, is from the conduct of the angels toward him. From their ministration to him in the garden and at the sepulchre, and especially their attendance on him at his return to glory, it is easy to gather in what light they gazed on Christ. Such an assemblage of glory as the human nature of the Lord Jesus possessed, and derived from its personal union with the Godhead, called forth at once the love, and adoration, and delight of all the angels of heaven. They saw holiness in the person of Jesus, in all its perfection; and every grace, in wisdom, truth, and knowledge, in their highest properties. Hence their views of Christ may very safely be made the standard of ours. Hail, then, thou blessed Emmanuel! Let this interval between thy resurrection and ascension be ever sacred to my soul! And while I behold thee as lovely, fair, and glorious, in every eye, both of angels and thy redeemed, be thou increasingly lovely and precious in mine also. And let it be my delight to talk of thee by the way, and when lying down or rising up. And, oh! do thou always draw near to me, thou blessed Lord! though my dim-sighted apprehension of thee doth so often prevent me from enjoying thy presence. Yet a little while, and thou wilt call me home, to behold thy glory unveiled with a cloud, or any intervening object, where I shall behold thee as thou art, and dwell with thee for ever. Amen.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 128–129). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Scientific Evidence for the Creation Event — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

In his book Faith vs. Fact, atheist Jerry Coyne remarks, “religion and science are engaged in a kind of war: a war for understanding, a war about whether we should have good reasons for what we accept as true.”1 For whatever reason, the mantra that science and faith are opposed to one another keeps making the rounds, despite evidence to the contrary.

In fact, it must be pointed out that Christianity has always had a positive view of science. After all, it was Christians like Newton, Faraday, and Galileo who initiated the modern science movement. For these Christians, science never made their faith irrational. Rather, science presupposed a creator who gave order to the universe. Imagine a world where gravity or the second law of thermodynamics were constantly in flux. Scientific inquiry would be impossible.

The notion that science and faith are at war is simply a myth. And to make my point, allow me to demonstrate how modern science points to the creation event described in Genesis 1:1…

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Scientific Evidence for the Creation Event

via Scientific Evidence for the Creation Event — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

April 28, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

Jesus Reassures John

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.” (11:4–6)

Jesus did not answer with a simple yes or no, because He knew that would not have satisfied John. He rather told John’s disciples to present their teacher the evidence. Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Because many of John’s disciples had already been with Jesus and heard Him teach and seen Him perform miracles, part of the report to John would be a reminder of what they had reported earlier. In addition to having heard accounts from his disciples, John doubtlessly had heard from other sources as well, because people from all over Palestine—from Syria, “from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan”—had followed Jesus from early in His ministry, largely on account of His miraculous works (Matt. 4:23–25). After Jesus cleansed a man in Capernaum of an unclean spirit, “immediately the news about Him went out everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee” (Mark 1:28); after He raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead, “this news went out into all that land” (Matt. 9:26; cf. Luke 4:14, 37); and after He healed the Galilean man of leprosy, “the news about Him was spreading even farther” (Luke 5:15).

John was a great man of God and beloved by Jesus. As His faithful forerunner languished in prison facing imminent death, the Lord Jesus determined to give him a more direct and personal report of evidence. Luke tells us that when John’s disciples asked Jesus if He was “the Expected One,” that “at that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He granted sight to many who were blind” (7:20–21). Right on the spot and before their eyes, Jesus put on a display of miracles expressly for the personal benefit of John’s disciples and even more for the benefit of John himself. How it must have thrilled John’s heart not only to receive fresh confirming evidence of Jesus’ messiahship but to know that the Lord had performed that plethora of miracles specifically to reassure him in his time of loneliness and perplexity.

Although Jesus did nothing to relieve John’s physical confinement and suffering, He did send back to him special confirmation that He was indeed performing messianic works: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them—just as Isaiah had prophesied (Isa. 35:5; 61:1). Jesus said, in effect, “This, John, is but a preview, a taste, a picture of the coming kingdom. You can see by what I am doing now that I care, that I heal, and that I have power over all things.”

John’s circumstances did not improve; in fact, he was soon beheaded at the cruel request of Herodias. But it is safe to assume that Jesus’ response was more than enough to encourage John and renew his faith and confidence.

Jesus’ closing beatitude was primarily for the sake of John: And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me. It was a gentle warning, a tender rebuke. “Don’t doubt,” He said to John, “if you want to have the blessing of My joy and peace.” The warning did not take away from Jesus’ esteem for John, as his testimony immediately afterward shows (vv. 7–11).

Stumbling is from skandalizō, which originally referred to the trapping or snaring of an animal. It was used metaphorically to signify an entrapment or stumbling block and carried the derived meaning of causing offense. Jesus’ divine messiahship and the gospel of deliverance from sin through faith in Him are great stumbling blocks to sinful, unbelieving man, and Jesus did not want John to be affected by the world’s skepticism and unbelief.

Matthew does not tell of the end to John’s doubt until later. After John was beheaded by Herod, “his disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus” (Matt. 14:12). They went to Jesus because He was the most important Person in John’s life and apparently had become the most important Person in their lives as well. When he died, John did not have all his questions answered, and he must have still wondered when Jesus would establish His kingdom, judge the wicked, and usher in the long-awaited kingdom of righteousness. John must have regretted not being able to witness those marvelous events about which he had so earnestly preached. But he no longer had doubts about who Jesus was or about His goodness and justice or His sovereignty and wisdom. He was content to leave in the Lord’s hands the many things he did not yet understand—and that is the secret of being blessed and of not stumbling.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful,” Paul assures us; “For He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). Even when we doubt Him, God is faithful to us. Doubt does not cause a believer to lose his relationship to the Lord, because God cannot deny His own promises to keep those whom He had saved. And because of His faithfulness, we can go to Him even when we doubt Him. In fact, only by going to Him as John did can our doubts be relieved.

John the Baptist would have loudly affirmed the apostle John’s declaration, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2–3).[1]


4–6 Jesus’ answer briefly summarized his own miracles and preaching, but in the language of Isaiah 35:5–6; 61:1 (with possible allusions to 26:19; 29:18–19). At one level the answer was straightforward: Isaiah 61:1 is an explicit messianic passage, and Isaiah 35:5–6, though it has no messianic figure, describes the return of God’s people to Zion with accompanying blessings (e.g., restoration of sight). Jesus definitely claimed that these messianic visions were being fulfilled in the miracles he was performing and that his preaching the Good News to the poor (see comments at 5:3) was as explicit a fulfillment of the messianic promises of Isaiah 61:1–2 as Luke 4:17–21. The powers of darkness were being undermined; the kingdom was advancing (cf. v. 12).

But there is a second, more subtle level to Jesus’ response. All four of the Isaiah passages refer to judgment in their immediate context: e.g., “your God will come … with vengeance; with divine retribution” (35:4); “the day of vengeance of our God” (61:2). Thus Jesus was allusively responding to the Baptist’s question: the blessings promised for the end time have broken out and prove it is here, even though the judgments are delayed (cf. Jeremias, Jesus’ Promise, 46; Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 60). Matthew 11:6, which may include an allusion to Isaiah 8:13–14 (in which case Jesus is set in the place of Yahweh; see comments at vv. 9–11), is then a gentle warning, applicable both to John and his disciples: Blessed (see comments at 5:3) is the “man who does not fall away” (for this verb, see comments at 5:29) on account of Jesus, i.e., who does not find in him and his ministry an obstacle to belief and therefore reject him. The miracles themselves were not irrefutable proof of who Jesus was (cf. Mk 8:11–12 and par.); faith was still required to read the evidence against the background of Scripture and to hear in Jesus’ claim the ring of truth. But the beatitude in this form assumes the questioner has begun well and now must avoid stumbling. It is therefore an implicit challenge to reexamine one’s presuppositions about what the Messiah should be and do in the light of Jesus and his fulfillment of Scripture and to bring one’s understanding and faith into line with him.[2]


6 This little beatitude, rather like John 20:29, commends those who can accept the reality of God’s working without demanding undue proof. But, unlike the beatitudes of 5:3–10 and John 20:29, it is expressed in the singular, and in this context it must have reference to John’s question: the evidence should have been enough for him. There may, however, be a special focus on the last item in the list of “deeds of the Messiah,” if John’s doubts about Jesus may have been prompted by the questionable company into which Jesus’ mission to bring good news to the poor had led him. John’s implied “stumbling” (see on 5:29–30 for this prominent theme in Matthew) need not be taken in the catastrophic sense which this verb will have in 13:21; 18:6–9 (cf. 5:29–30); 24:10; it is also used in a less drastic way for instance in 13:57; 15:12; 17:27; 26:31–33. But in all these cases it represents a degree of unbelief, even if not terminal. The verb does not in itself justify the conclusion that John is outside the scope of salvation, but it suggests that the attitude which led to his question is not conducive to spiritual insight. When he is declared in v. 11 to be outside the kingdom of heaven, the primary reference is to his place in the scheme of salvation-history, but it may be that we are meant also to reflect on the scepticism concerning Jesus as the Messiah which his question implied. In this he was perhaps a prototype of the many who would find it hard to accept Jesus’ concept of Messiahship as it became more evident (not least Peter in his response to Jesus’ revelation in 16:21–23).[3]


Jesus’ Reply (11:4–6)

‘Go and tell John the things you hear and see. The blind receive their sight [anablepousin] and the lame walk [peripatousin]; lepers are cleansed [katharizontai] and the deaf hear [akouousin]; and the dead are raised [egeirontai], and the poor are being evangelized [euangelizontai]’ (Matt. 11:4b–5). All six Greek verbs in 11:5, here noted, appear in the present tense; and all are customary or habitual presents. Some miracles may occur more often than others (e.g., there may be more blind people cured than dead people raised), and Jesus probably evangelizes the poor more regularly than he does any one kind of healing; but all six matters are essential and recurrent features of his Messianic mission. Five are expressly mentioned in preceding chapters. Two blind men (typhloi) receive their sight in 9:27–31. The term chōlos, ‘lame,’ first occurs in 11:5; but the ‘paralytic’ (paralytikos) of 9:2–8 is lame, and Jesus enables him to walk. (Note how the blind and the lame are also joined in the eschatological promises of Isaiah 35:5–6 and Jeremiah 31:8.) A lepros is cleansed in 8:2–4; and a dead person (nekros) is raised in 9:23–25. Among the ‘poor’ (ptōchoi) who receive good news are the ‘blessed’ of 5:3–10 (which contains the only prior occurrence of ptōchoi [11:3]), and the sick and afflicted whom Jesus heals; the verb of 11:5, euangelizomai, occurs nowhere else in Matthew, but note the use of the cognate noun euangelion in 4:23 and 9:35.

While there is no clear precedent for the remaining member of Matthew 11:5—‘the deaf [kōphoi] hear’—this language recalls the cure of the mute (kōphos) demoniac in 9:32–34. Furthermore, the placement of this summary indicates that it includes the mission of the twelve: cf. 10:7–8, where Jesus tells them (in the very terms of 11:5) to raise the dead and cleanse the lepers.

Matthew 11:4b speaks of ‘the things you hear [akouete] and see [blepete].’ These verbs are progressive or descriptive presents, related to what John’s messengers are currently witnessing. The parallel in Luke 7:21 is instructive: ‘In that hour he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits, and he gave sight to many who were blind.’ John’s disciples not only hear a summary of Jesus’ earlier ministry: they personally hear his gospel of the kingdom and see his mighty works. As Luke relates, exorcisms were among these; and while such works are not expressly included in the summary of Matthew 11:5, they are well attested in the earlier chapters.

‘And blessed [makarios] is the person who does not fall into sin [mē skandalisthē] on account of me,’ concludes Jesus (11:6). This makarios, joined directly to the evangelizing of the poor (ptōchoi; 11:5b) strengthens the tie with 5:3–12, where the plural makarioi occurs nine times (these being the only prior instances of the term in Matthew). That is, the Beatitudes describe the kind of persons who do not take offense at Jesus, and who do not fall into sin on his account. Those who recognize him to be sent from God, and who pledge their loyalty to him at whatever cost, will be blessed (makarioi): great will be their reward in heaven (10:40–42; 5:11–12). But those who do find him offensive, and who therefore reject him, are in danger of committing the worst sin of all, and of falling under the severest judgment—as later texts in these two chapters will confirm (see 11:20–24; 12:22–32, 38–45). This issue confronts not only those Israelites whom God has addressed through John and Jesus, but now also John himself.

Jesus provides John’s messengers the very sort of evidence—both visible and verbal—that prompted John’s question in the first place (11:5 and 2). Jesus says nothing about the Day of Judgment, although he earlier affirmed its certainty (see 7:33; 10:15). That Day is not eliminated but postponed, so that the gospel of the kingdom may be universally proclaimed (24:14) and people from Israel and the other nations rescued from ‘the wrath to come.’ Moreover, as Jesus is about to show (11:20–24), the very actions described in 11:5 have themselves precipitated a process of judgment (see also John 3:16–21)—and woe to those who reject or actively oppose these marvelous and unprecedented manifestations of God’s saving grace and power.

In other words, the refining and purifying of Israel which John foretold (Matt. 3:11) is already underway, and the truth of Israelites’ spiritual condition (3:12) is already coming to light (see comments on p. 256). Indeed, judgments about true and false children of Abraham were already being made during John’s own ministry (3:7–10).

We are not told how John responded to Jesus’ response. But all later evidence in Matthew, beginning with 11:7–19, strongly suggests that John was confirmed in his earlier beliefs and that he answered his own question affirmatively.[4]


11:6 stumble. Given the unexpected nature of Jesus’ messianic activity—he heals rather than overthrows—Jesus pronounces a blessing on “anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” The term “stumble” translates skandalizō, a word used at key points by Matthew to indicate a negative response to Jesus and his ministry. Jesus’ hometown takes offense (skandalizō) at him because they consider him a known quantity (13:57), and the Pharisees are offended by his teaching (15:12).[5]


4–6. Jesus answered and said to them, Go and report to John the things which you hear and see: (the) blind are gaining their sight and (the) cripples are walking, (the) lepers are being cleansed and (the) deaf are hearing, (the) dead are being raised up and (the) poor are having good news preached to them. In which sense was this answer reassuring? Is it not true that John already knew all this (verse 2), and that the very fact that he knew it had contributed substantially to his doubt? True indeed, but the wording was new.… Or was it? It was “new” in the sense that friends who had been reporting Christ’s activities to John had not used this type of formulation. On the other hand, the message as phrased by Jesus had a familiar ring. It must have reminded John of certain prophetic predictions, namely, Isa. 35:5, 6 and 61:1: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the cripple [or: lame] man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing for joy.… The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me, because Jehovah has anointed me to preach good news to the poor [or: meek].” It is as if Jesus were tenderly saying to John, “Do you remember these prophecies? This, too, was predicted concerning Messiah. And all this is being fulfilled today, namely, in me.” Jesus was going to use Isa. 61 also on another occasion, and again as a prediction fulfilled in himself (Luke 4:16–21).

In connection with these prophetic words and their fulfilment in Jesus two additional facts should be noted: a. Isaiah had referred both to miracles and preaching; Christ’s message to John also contains a reference to both; and b. the fulfilment in Christ was even better than the prediction, for in the latter not a word had even been whispered with reference to raising the dead. The predictions had to do with healing, cleansing, and preaching good tidings. The fulfilment included all these and more, namely, raising the dead. It is interesting to notice that in Luke’s Gospel the story of bringing back to life the son of the widow of Nain (7:11–17) immediately precedes the report of John’s doubt and of the manner in which Jesus dealt with it (7:18–23).

The message addressed to John the Baptist ends with the words: And blessed is he who is not repelled by me, that is, who does not allow anything I do or say to ensnare him, to lure him into sin. See on 5:29, 30. Though the view according to which by means of this admonition John was being rebuked may well be correct, yet if so it was a tender rebuke, one that did not in any respect eclipse the Master’s love for his momentarily confused disciple. In fact, rightly considered, the admonition contains a blessing, “Blessed is he.…” The Lord treats John as tenderly as he did the man born blind, the woman caught in adultery, Peter, Thomas, etc. In view of the manner in which Jesus immediately proceeds to praise John publicly and to rebuke those who were finding fault both with this herald and with the One to whom he bore witness (verses 7–19), and also in view of such passages as Mal. 3:1, 4:5, 6; Luke 1:15–17, 76, 80; Phil. 1:6, it must be considered certain that the message of Jesus had the desired effect on John. But it is the wisdom and tenderness of Jesus that stand out, and this both in the message of reassurance addressed to John and in the words spoken about John and directed to the crowd that was present.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 245–247). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 304–305). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (p. 425). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[4] Chamblin, J. K. (2010). Matthew: A Mentor Commentary (pp. 604–607). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[5] Brown, J. K. (2015). Matthew. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 120). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 484–485). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Esther: Trusting God’s Plan Week 4—For Such a Time as This — Lies Young Women Believe

 

We’re at the halfway point in our study of Esther: Trusting God’s Plan. Open your Bible to Esther 4 and join us—even if you don’t have a copy of the Bible study, this post still applies to you! —Samantha, LYWB.com blog content manager

The Jewish people were sitting ducks. Haman was bent on destruction. The law restricted Queen Esther from approaching the king without being summoned, and King Xerxes had a hot-headed temper.

This is the situation in which Esther found herself.

Mordecai pleaded with Esther to courageously act on behalf of God’s people. That is to say: Mordecai asked Esther to risk immediate death.

In the midst of difficult circumstances, it’s hard to see what God has planned, but Mordecai and Esther’s response to a life-threatening edict paints a picture of what it looks like to cling to God’s promises in the midst of a crisis.

First, they grieved.

When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

When Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. (Est. 4:1–4)

They expressed godly lament in response to the sin and evil they were facing. This reminds us that it’s not wrong to grieve your pain.

Then they declared faith in God’s promises. Consider what Mordecai said to Esther in verse 14:

If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Mordecai didn’t tell Esther that she was their only hope, but rather, he declared his faith in God’s covenant with Abraham. God will not allow His people to be wiped out. God could have used someone or something else to rescue His people. But maybe this was why Esther has been chosen as the queen at this time in history. Maybe it was her time to do something.

Rooted in God’s promises, they acted in faith and wisdom.

Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. (Est. 4:15–17)

Esther asked her people to join her in a three-day fast. This was a declaration of their humble dependence on God. She trusted His providence so much to bravely say, “If I perish, I perish.” She had come to the point of total abandon and surrender to God’s purposes.

Wisdom in the Waiting

When Esther entered the king’s inner court and he extended his scepter toward her, she wisely did something that’s incredibly difficult to do in the middle of a crisis: she waited.

On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” (Est. 5:1–4)

Esther stood steadfast in a risky place. She didn’t present her case immediately in an effort to end the ordeal as soon as possible. She rested in God’s providence.

In this waiting period, she allowed God to arrange more details.

Movement is occurring on two levels. On the divine level, God is restraining Esther from speaking what’s on her mind, because He is still working behind the scenes. On a human level, Esther seems to realize it’s not yet the right time. Her restraint, patience, and wisdom is truly amazing. (Esther: Trusting God’s Plan, 61)

We’re so quick to duck away from pain. We want the escape hatch to relief. But that’s not what Esther did. She entered a scary place, and she stayed there for a little while. She bravely trusted that God would continue to give her favor in the king’s eyes—and He did! (I am so curious to know what inspired the king to hold out his scepter to her, but we can leave that mystery up to God’s providence.)

Esther allowed God to create the circumstances that would halt Haman’s plan, rather than attempting to change the tide on her own.

Her steadfastness in God’s promises, her bravery, and her wisdom blows me away, and I would love to develop character with those same qualities.

For Such a Time as This

No matter the circumstances we’re facing, Esther and Mordecai’s unflinching faith reminds us that it is possible to face hard things in dependence on God and His timing.

If you’re tempted to despair today, if you’re wondering if God has any purpose for you at all, if you’re ready to give up and walk away, hear this: it’s not by chance that you are where you are today at this time and place.

You + this position + this time = God’s providence

You are not a mistake. Your life is not a hiccup. Yes, sin breaks things and makes us hurt and messes us up. But God sees every detail that’s going on in your life, and He has a purpose for you today.

Just like Esther, God has placed us in our homes, our jobs, our culture, and in this time of history on purpose for a purpose. May your eyes be opened to His purpose for you, in “such a time as this,” so that you may help to further His kingdom. (Esther: Trusting God’s Plan, 50)

Let’s Dive Deeper

Grab your journal and think about what God has given you and entrusted to you to fulfill your purpose for His glory:

  • Abilities
  • Experiences
  • Influence
  • Relationships
  • Resources

Then watch this week’s Women of the Bible video with Erin Davis, Dr. Venessa Ellen, and Betsy Gómez:

Keep studying! This week, dive into Week 5, and we’ll be back to discuss what comes next in the story next Wednesday!

via Esther: Trusting God’s Plan Week 4—For Such a Time as This — Lies Young Women BelieveLies Young Women Believe

April 28 Streams in the Desert

And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer … who delivered them, even Othniel … Caleb’s younger brother. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him.” (Judges 3:9, 10)

GOD is preparing His heroes; and when opportunity comes, He can fit them into their place in a moment, and the world will wonder where they came from.

Let the Holy Ghost prepare you, dear friend, by the discipline of life; and when the last finishing touch has been given to the marble, it will be easy for God to put it on the pedestal, and fit it into its niche.

There is a day coming when, like Othniel, we, too, shall judge the nations, and rule and reign with Christ on the millennial earth. But ere that glorious day can be we must let God prepare us, as He did Othniel at Kirjath-sepher, amid the trials of our present life, and the little victories, the significance of which, perhaps, we little dream. At least, let us be sure of this, and if the Holy Ghost has an Othniel ready, the Lord of Heaven and earth has a throne prepared for him.

A. B. Simpson.

“Human strength and human greatness

Spring not from life’s sunny side,

Heroes must be more than driftwood

Floating on a waveless tide.”

“Every highway of human life dips in the dale now and then. Every man must go through the tunnel of tribulation before he can travel on the elevated road of triumph.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 131–132). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

How We Know The Story Of Jesus Is Historical — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

When the historian wishes to learn about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ he or she needs to evaluate the primary sources (the four gospels, Pauline epistles, and the rest of the New Testament) using what is known as the criterion of authenticity.

This is a method that has matured greatly within what is known as the Third Quest for the historical Jesus. Here historians have developed a critical-historical method that all scholars from different backgrounds and ideologies can share in and use to objectively test the claims and events concerning the historical Jesus.

Importantly, this is not a method or criteria invented by the faithful or the church, it is one developed by scholars operating within the secular disciplines of history…

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April 28 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

April 28.—Morning. [Or August 23.]
“The Lord preserveth the simple.”

SAUL’S fierce enmity was a sore trial to David, but the Lord found him a solace even in the king’s family, for both his eldest son Jonathan and his daughter Michal loved David.

1 Samuel 18:3, 4

Then Jonathan and David made a coven ant, because he loved him as his own soul.

Yet Jonathan knew that David was to be king, and that he himself would never wear the crown. His was disinterested affection, most beautiful to witness. Such ought to be our love for Jesus; we should be knit to him in bonds of purest love.

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (Thus should we delight to strip ourselves for Jesus. Let him have all, for he deserves all.)

Chapter 19:1; 4–18

And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

He was now worse than ever, or he would not have spoken to others to aid him in a dastardly murder. When God leaves a man, the devil comes to him.

4, 5 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? (Thus Jonathan proved himself a real friend. We ought always to be ready to speak up for those who are falsely condemned.)

And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain. (Little however did his oath bind him. He was never in a good frame of mind long together. Envy cannot be quiet.)

And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.

¶ And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.

And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night:

Not a single shaft can hit,

Till the God of love thinks fit.”

We are safe anywhere while the Lord has work for us to do. Be it ours to live with the harp in our hand, praising God and blessing our fellow-men, and we shall be preserved from the javelins of our foes.

11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

12 ¶ So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster. (We cannot admire Michal’s deceit, nor yet her having idols in her house. She was Saul’s daughter, and came of a bad stock. The Lord, however, overruled her love for David, so that the persecuted one escaped. God will preserve his own.)

17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?

18 ¶ So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

April 28.—Evening. [Or August 24.]
“God is my defence.”

Psalm 59

THIS Psalm is entitled “A golden Psalm of David, when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.”

Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

They were all round the house armed with the royal warrant and with a sufficient force to seize him, yet he had faith enough to pray and not to give up in despair. God has ways of escape for his birds of paradise, even when the fowler’s nets are most cunningly spread.

Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. (When a habitation is beset by thieves, the good man of the house rings the alarm bell, and in these verses we hear it sounding aloud, “deliver me,” “defend me,” “deliver me,” “save me.” David could not fall by Saul’s hand while he prayed in this fashion.)

For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord.

They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.

Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. (Be merciful to them as men, but not as transgressors, for mercy to such criminals would be cruelty to the inoffensive.)

They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? (None are so utterly brutal and abandoned as those who think that God has deserted the world, and no longer takes notice of the words and actions of men.)

But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. (Is my persecutor strong? Then, my God, for this very reason I will turn myself to thee, and leave my matters in thy hand. It is our wisdom to see in the greatness of our difficulties a reason for casting ourselves upon the Lord.)

10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.

11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. (Enemies help to keep God’s servants awake, therefore let them live, but let them have no power to do such evil as they desire.)

12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. (Swearers are generally liars.)

13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. (David speaks as a prophet, and not as a man of vindictive spirit seeking revenge; this was very far from being his character, for when his enemies were in his power he often spared them, taking no vengeance upon them but the sacred one of heaping coals of fire upon their heads by his kindness. These passages may be read as predictions rather than as wishes.)

16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy. (David felt sure of escaping, for he believed that God regarded prayer; and therefore he began to sing unto his deliverer. This was no easy task. How should we have acted under the circumstances? Furious murderers were in the street around the house, thirsting for the good man’s blood, and yet his faith enabled him to sing praises to God. O for the like confidence!)

Thou’rt my rock and my defence;

Thou a tower unto Thy saints;

Thee I make my confidence,

Thee I’ll trust, though nature faints.

Glad thy mercies will I sing,

All thy power and love confess;

Thou hast been, O heavenly King,

My safe refuge in distress![1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 247–248). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

‘I’m with her’: Biden fuels VP rumors as Hillary Clinton prepares endorsement at women’s event | RT USA News

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be the special guest of the current Democrat contender Joe Biden at the online women’s town hall, raising the spectre of a VP nomination and a 2016 rematch.

After Biden’s campaign announced a women’s town hall event on Tuesday afternoon, with a “special guest,” Clinton tweeted a picture from the Oval Office of herself in the company of Biden and then-President Barack Obama, calling it a “little hint” as who the guest might be and that “she’s excited.”

Biden, 77, has emerged as the presumptive nominee after his only remaining rival Bernie Sanders gave him a full-throated endorsement earlier this month. The obvious explanation is that Clinton intends to endorse Biden as well.

However, given his age and widespread concerns about his declining cognitive faculties, everyone has been on the lookout for hints of his pick for running mate, which Biden pledged would be a woman. Could it be Clinton herself?

Biden fueled that speculation by responding “I’m with her,” one of Clinton’s campaign slogans from 2016. Some outspoken Democrat activists seem energized by the idea.

Others, however, have been… less so.

The notion has generated a lot of enthusiasm among Republicans relishing a rematch of 2016, when Clinton was given 90-plus-percent chances of winning only to get wiped out by Donald Trump.

Responding to Clinton’s quip about being excited, the Trump War Room tweeted back, “So are we.” 

Republican activists were quick to point out Clinton has been the “queen of sexual assault enablers,” posting her photos Hollywood movie mogul – and now convicted rapist – Harvey Weinstein, disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, and her own husband, former President Bill Clinton, whose legacy includes lying about an affair with a White House intern.

Biden’s endorsements by high-profile female Democrats – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw in with him on Sunday – come after a former staffer accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Senate building back in 1993. Though Tara Reade offered much more corroborating evidence than Democrats considered credible when they went after Trump or Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the mainstream media have mostly refused to even cover the story, and attacked Reade in the rare instances of addressing it.

Also on rt.com

Blast from the past: Recording of a call to Larry King bolsters Tara Reade’s claim Joe Biden sexually assaulted her

The town hall’s timing is already awkward, between Reade’s accusations and Biden’s TV interview in which he complained about travel bans obstructing global “economic intercourse.” Clinton’s presence, even if virtual due to the coronavirus lockdowns, adds further controversy to Biden’s campaign.

Source: ‘I’m with her’: Biden fuels VP rumors as Hillary Clinton prepares endorsement at women’s event

President Trump Meets With Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Highlighting Effective COVID-19 Response… — The Last Refuge

Earlier today President Trump and members of the COVID-19 task force met with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the White House.  DeSantis spoke about the actions Florida has taken to help and support the state’s nursing home population.

The approach to protect the vulnerable population by Florida Governor DeSantis contrasts against the approaches taken in New York and New Jersey which were not so effective. Additionally, DeSantis highlights the use of the national guard to assist in testing and mitigation. [Video Below – Transcript to Follow]

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NOTE: The rude journalist in the oval office is Hunter Walker from Yahoo News who constantly brags to his peers about his resistance efforts.

via President Trump Meets With Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Highlighting Effective COVID-19 Response… — The Last Refuge

8 Women Have Accused Joe Biden Of Sexual Misconduct, Inappropriate Touching | The Daily Wire

James chats with Joe Biden Melanie C from his garage on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN, scheduled to air Tuesday, April 21, 2020 (12:37-1:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Photo by CBS via Getty Images

Former Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been accused of sexual misconduct and inappropriate touching by at least eight women, most recently by Alexandra Tara Reade, a former aide in Biden’s Senate office in the early 1990s, who claims Biden sexually assaulted her — a claim now substantiated by several contemporaneous accounts.

Reade publicly claimed last month that Biden sexually assaulted her back in 1993 when she worked as an aide in his Senate office. Reade also says that she was fired when she considered going to authorities to report the then-senator’s behavior.

“I handed [Biden] the [gym bag]. He greeted me. He remembered my name. And then we were alone,” Reade outlined her allegation against Biden on a progressive podcast that aired last week. “It was the strangest thing. There was no like exchange really. He just had me up against the wall. I was wearing like a skirt, a business skirt. I wasn’t wearing stockings. It was kind of a hot day that day, and I was wearing heels…I remember I was wearing a blouse, and he just had me up against the wall. And the wall was cold. It happened all at once…his hands were on me and underneath my clothes. Yeah, and he went down my skirt but then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers, and he was kissing me at the same time, and he was saying something to me. He said several things. I can’t remember everything he said.”

“It seemed surreal,” she added. “I felt sick because when he pulled back he looked annoyed, and he said something else to me that I don’t want to say. And then he said, I must have looked shocked. He grabbed me by the shoulders… and he said, ‘You’re OK, you’re fine.’ And then he walked away.”

Reade has since alleged corroboration to her accusation, citing a woman she says is her mother calling into “Larry King Live” and vaguely detailing an issue her daughter was having with a then-senator. Two others have come forward to corroborate elements of Reade’s allegations, too, according to a report from Business Insider.

“Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, a Biden supporter, tells Insider that Reade told her about the alleged assault in detail in 1995 or 1996: ‘This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,’” the report outlined, adding: “A former colleague of Reade’s also told Insider that Reade talked in the mid-1990s of being sexually harassed by her former boss in Washington, DC.”

Aside from Reade, there are at least seven other women who’ve accused Biden of sexual misconduct or inappropriate touching, as outlined by The Cut.

Lucy Flores

Last year, former Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores alleged that Biden “smelled her hair and gave her ‘a big slow kiss’ on the back of her head at an event for her 2014 campaign. In that moment, she wrote, she felt ’embarrassed’ and ‘shocked,’” The Cut reported.

“I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me,” said Flores.

Amy Lappos

A former congressional aide for U.S. representative Jim Himes in 2009, Amy Lappos, has alleged “Biden touched and rubbed his nose against hers during a political fund-raiser,” The Cut said.

“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” claimed Lappos. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”

“He was the vice president,” she said of choosing to forgo filing a complaint. “I was a nobody.”

D.J. Hill

“D.J. Hill was one of two women to come forward with allegations in the New York Times, which referred to Biden’s conduct as ‘tactile politics’ in a report published on April 2,” The Cut reported. “At a 2012 at a fundraising event in Minneapolis, Hill alleges that Biden rested his hand on her shoulder, and then started to move it down her back, which left her feeling ‘very uncomfortable.’”

“Only he knows his intent,” said Hill, adding, “If something makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to feel able to say it.”

Caitlyn Caruso

Caitlyn Caruso told the New York Times Biden hugged her “just a little bit too long” and laid his hand on her thigh after she shared a story of alleged sexual assault.

“It doesn’t even really cross your mind that such a person would dare perpetuate harm like that,” Caruso said. “These are supposed to be people you can trust.”

Ally Coll

“On April 3, Ally Coll told the Washington Post that at a 2008 reception, Biden squeezed her shoulders, complimented her smile, and held her ‘for a beat too long,’” The Cut detailed. “A young Democratic staffer at the time, Coll said her initial reaction was to shrug it off. But she told the Post she now feels the alleged incident was inappropriate, adding, ‘There’s been a lack of understanding about the way that power can turn something that might seem innocuous into something that can make somebody feel uncomfortable.’”

Sofie Karasek

Sexual assault survivor Sofie Karasek says Biden violated her personal space in 2016 when he held her hands and touched his forehead to hers at the Oscars, a moment captured by photographers and praised in the media.

“He emphasized that he wants to connect with people and, of course, that’s important,” Karasek told The Washington Post of Biden’s video discussing his tendency to violate women’s space. “But again, all of our interactions and friendships are a two-way street … Too often it doesn’t matter how the woman feels about it or they just assume that they’re fine with it.”

Vail Kohnert-Yount

“Vail Kohnert-Yount alleged that when she was a White House intern in the spring of 2013, Biden ‘put his hand on the back of [her] head and pressed his forehead to [her] forehead’ when he introduced himself, and that he called her a ‘pretty girl,’” The Cut reported. “She was ‘so shocked,’ she said, ‘that it was hard to focus on what he was saying.’ Though she told the Post that she doesn’t believe Biden’s conduct constituted sexual misconduct, she described it as ‘the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.’”

Related: Mainstream Media Gave Kavanaugh’s Accuser Substantial Coverage, Ignore Biden’s Accuser

H/t The Cut

Source: 8 Women Have Accused Joe Biden Of Sexual Misconduct, Inappropriate Touching

Democrats Rebel, Won’t Return To Work May 4th, Say Its ‘Too Dangerous’ To Reopen Congress | The Daily Wire

House Democrats say they won’t return to Washington, D.C., the first week of May, even though House leadership has set May 4th as Congress’ official date of reopening, and has declared the work of the federal government “essential” for the purposes of breaking coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Politico reports that key Democrats “railed” against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), when she reminded them that the House was due to gavel back into session May 4th, calling the date “too dangerous,” especially for the many elderly members of the House Democratic caucus.

“Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said returning next week would be ‘dangerous,’ according to multiple Democrats on the call,” Politico said Tuesday. “Other members also spoke up including Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA.), Susan Wild (D-PA) and Veronica Escobar (D-TX), with some asking how they were expected to take care of their families — many without childcare at home — and return to Washington for an extended stay.”

Republicans, on the other hand, have been pushing for the House to come back into session on the timeline set months ago, before coronavirus became a threat, suggesting that Members of Congress are, perhaps, the most “essential workers” in the United States, and stressing that, if many Americans can withstand working through the coronavirus pandemic, federal lawmakers can, too.

Pelosi, House Democratic minority leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) now all seem to agree: Congress will return to session on May 4th, regardless of objection.

Hoyer and McConnell both say that safeguards are in place for Congress’ more vunlerable Members, especially those who are elderly or infirm.

“We’re going to take whatever safeguards the Capitol physician recommends that we engage in and we believe we can do that safely,” McConnell told Politico. “Look, it doesn’t make sense for the Senate to sit on the sidelines while a lot of other people are going to work everyday and trying to get us through this.”

Hoyer says that legislators will vote in shifts so that they can maintain “social distancing,” and Congress will stagger votes so that the chambers aren’t packed with people.

McConnell and several other key Republicans never left Washington, D.C., and have been working out deals with key Democrats to extend coronavirus-related relief programs. Until last week, though, Pelosi and Hoyer seemed uninterested in returning to work as soon as possible.

Now, the House and Senate are likely gearing up to battle over a fourth coronavirus relief package. Pelosi, who is the lead author of the $1 trillion “CARES Act 2,” as she’s called it in interviews, believes the package must be passed within days of Congress returning to work. McConnell, however, says he is “calling time” on expensive bailouts, in case the spending further imperils the already struggling American economy.

Source: Democrats Rebel, Won’t Return To Work May 4th, Say Its ‘Too Dangerous’ To Reopen Congress