Daily Archives: May 19, 2021

You Might Want To Check On Your “Investments”, Because The Financial Markets Are Starting To Go Haywire — The Economic Collapse

Is the party almost over?  Volatility has returned to Wall Street in a major way, and certain investors are getting absolutely crushed.  On Wednesday, a trillion dollars in paper wealth had been wiped out during the trading session at one point, but those losses were later pared back as cryptocurrencies rallied.  On social media, there has been a lot of weeping and wailing due to the huge financial losses that some people have experienced this week.  But if you think that these losses are bad, just wait until you see what is coming later.

In the old days, investors would carefully select the companies that they were going to invest in.  The key was to identify companies that had something of great value to add to society and that were being run very well.  In those days, strict adherence to the fundamentals would often bring great rewards.  Just ask Warren Buffett.

But these days our financial markets are little more than giant casinos.  Companies that lose giant mountains of money year after year are supposedly worth billions of dollars, and “assets” that have no inherent value whatsoever are endlessly gobbled up by drug-fueled “investors” that are looking for a way to get rich quick.

This speculative environment has driven the price of Bitcoin to absolutely insane heights in recent months, but now it is starting to fall.  After hitting a record high of $64,829 in the middle of April, Bitcoin fell to almost $30,000 on Wednesday before bouncing back a bit…

Bitcoin plunged 30% to near $30,000 at one point on Wednesday, continuing a major sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets that began a week ago.

But don’t feel too bad for Bitcoin investors just yet.  Bitcoin is still up more than 30 percent so far this year, and overall it is up close to 300 percent over the past 12 months.

Other cryptocurrencies that have also soared in recent months took a huge bath on Wednesday

Other cryptocurrencies also plunged on Wednesday. Ether, the digital currency that powers the Ethereum blockchain, was down more than 22% at $2,620.97, according to Coin Metrics. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started as a joke and has been talked up by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, fell 25% to less than 36 cents. Both had substantially larger losses earlier in the session.

Dogecoin is the poster child for the wild speculation that I so often deride on my websites.  It was started as a joke, it is a useless waste of digital space, and it has no inherent value whatsoever.

But at this moment the market cap for Dogecoin is still over 40 billion dollars.

I really wish that I would have started up a cryptocurrency called “Chickencoin” when this craze was first getting started.  It would probably be worth 100 billion dollars by now.

Sadly, at this point the opportunity to get rick quick has passed, because the bubble is starting to burst.  On Tuesday, China set off a wave of panic when a major announcement about the use of cryptos in the country hit the news wires…

The China Internet Finance Association said it will not allow the country’s financial institutions to partake in any business related to cryptocurrency due to the volatile nature of the digital coins, according to a Chinese media report Tuesday that was spotted earlier by Coindesk. This decision isn’t new. China took a similar stance back in 2017, which also resulted in a massive Bitcoin selloff.

The newest crypto investors are the ones that are being hit the hardest.  Many of them got in near the top of the bubble and now they are paying a great price for it

New entrants to crypto are especially running for the exits, according to a note from Glassnode Insights. About 23% of crypto wallets are now at a loss, and 1.1 million of the addresses have spent all coins they held during this correction.

Needless to say, this is taking an enormous emotional toll on many people.  On Reddit, some users were even posting the telephone numbers for suicide hotlines

People on Reddit trading boards described losing their shirts and some people even posted telephone numbers for a suicide help line in case the losses led to hopeless feelings.

Some investors have gotten rich by investing in cryptos, but others are literally losing everything.  On Wednesday, those that had made huge leveraged bets that cryptos would keep rising got absolutely monkey-hammered

As of Wednesday afternoon in New York, about $9 billion of liquidations of leveraged bets had taken place in the previous 24 hours, according to data provider Bybt. The majority were of long positions in which traders bet on an increase in the price of bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Such liquidations take place when the market moves against a trader who isn’t able to exit from the trade or post enough additional funds to meet the exchange’s margin requirements.

For the moment, the losses on the stock market seem quite tame by comparison.  The Dow has declined for six of the last eight trading sessions, and it was down another 164 points on Wednesday…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 164.62 points, or 0.5%, Wednesday, paring an earlier drop of as much as 587 points, as investors broadly retreated from riskier assets. The index has fallen in six of the past eight sessions.

But there is a whole lot more chaos going on under the surface.  As Zero Hedge has pointed out, “in the past 7 sessions, stocks have suffered 3 of the largest bouts of concentrated selling pressure in history”.

Insiders and wealthy investors have been bailing out of stocks at a staggering pace recently, and many believe that this summer will be a very troubled time for stock investors.

But whether it happens sooner or later, it is inevitable that the stock market bubble will burst as well.

The Ponzi scheme that we call “our financial system” is destined to fail, and that should be obvious to everyone at this point.

Unfortunately, many self-deluded “investors” will stay in the game until it is far too late, and they will lose everything as a result.

You Might Want To Check On Your “Investments”, Because The Financial Markets Are Starting To Go Haywire — The Economic Collapse

Culture Is Important But It Is Not The Most Important Thing — The Heidelblog

Humans will have a culture. The only question is what sort of culture. Christians will exist in a broader culture. Because they are creatures of both nature (creation) and grace (re-creation) they have an interest both in nature (culture) and grace. Thus, Christians, at their best, have not fled from culture. The hermetic monastic movement was never tenable. Even they mostly became coenobitic. Truly, it is not good for man to be alone. We were created to be in communion with God and one another. Consider how disconcerting it has been during Covid for us all to be behind masks. The isolation of Covid has negatively affected communion. Language, art, communication, and communion are parts of culture and Christians ought to engage it rather than seeking to conquer or fleeing it.

Nevertheless, as important as culture is, and as dispiriting as post-Christian culture often is, culture is not the most important thing. Grace, most specifically, the gospel of free salvation by divine favor alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide) is even more important. The Apostle Paul did not pronounce anathema (ἀνάθεμα) upon those who get culture wrong but he did pronounce anathema upon anyone who corrupts the gospel (Gal 1:8, 9). The gospel, not culture, is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). At the return of Christ we look forward to the judgment and the vindication of believers (Rom 1:17). Are our cultural endeavors eternal? That’s a supposition, a speculation, but it is not a clear biblical doctrine is it? The gospel, the return of Christ, and the judgment: these are basic biblical truths and part of the ecumenical creeds and Reformed confessions.

It is possible that concern for the culture might cause one to marginalize or negotiate fidelity to the gospel. When that happens, as it happened to Peter (see Galatians 2), we may be thankful for a Paul who calls us to repent, who reminds us of the priorities.

©R. Scott Clark. All Rights Reserved.

Culture Is Important But It Is Not The Most Important Thing — The Heidelblog

Yes, It Is Exclusive and Offensive — CultureWatch

There is no such thing as a non-offensive and non-exclusive gospel:

The Christian gospel can be called many things, but it can NOT be called inclusive, soft and fuzzy. It is totally exclusive, hard-edged and clear. It makes sharp demands which warrant sharp responses. There is no mushy middle ground here.

That means Christians should be the same when presenting the gospel. We should make things clear, in black and white, and not equivocate. The demands of the gospel should be our demands. The ultimatum of the gospel should be our ultimatum. The urgency of the gospel should be our urgency. Jesus is our example here.

Simply reread the gospel accounts. Jesus certainly did not seek to please people and make them feel good. He was not about trying to be nice all the time. It almost seems that he went out of his way to offend people, to divide the crowds, and to force people to make tough decisions. Consider just some of the hard and no-nonsense words of Jesus:

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 8:19-22 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 13:57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

Matthew 15:14 Leave them; they [the Pharisees] are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 19:21-23 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”

Matthew 25:26-30 You wicked, lazy servant!… throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Mark 7:6-8 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

Mark 7:17-18 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked.

Mark 8:33 “He rebuked Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan!’”

Luke 3:7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Luke 9:41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?

Luke 11:23 “He who is not with me is against me.”

Luke 11:44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. 

Luke 16:13-15 He said we “cannot serve two masters”. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”

John 2:14-16 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”

John 7:40-43 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” Others said, “He is the Christ.” Still others asked, “How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.

John 8:24 “You will indeed die in your sins.”

John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil.”

John 9:39 “For judgment I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

John 12:24-26 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

And these are just some of the many passages that I could have offered here. Jesus was a polarising figure. He got people riled up. He made people angry. He offended people. He infuriated folks. His strong demands alienated many. His tough words and stern manner turned off so many would-be disciples. Indeed, he went out of his way to actually make it hard for people to be his followers. He laid out very strict and stringent conditions for becoming his disciples. No wonder so many folks did not follow him.

Sure, he could be tender and gentle and loving to those who were broken and needy and grieving. But he was no push over. He could be tough as nails, and he did not suffer fools gladly. Because of this, he was constantly getting into trouble and he was constantly offending people.

Now we, his followers, are not above the master. If we are to faithfully follow in his footsteps, then we too must expect to get a very mixed reaction. Some folks will respond well to our words, but others will be offended, hate on us, and even want to kill us – just as they did Jesus.

Let me finish with four different quotes that I just came upon. In the brand-new book, The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church (BroadStreet, 2021), Lucas Miles examines how so much of the world’s thinking and values has penetrated the Christian church, especially via leftist agendas.

As but one example, more and more churches are buying the false doctrine of universalism – the idea that everyone will be saved. By embracing the world’s faulty concepts of tolerance and inclusion, too many believers are now watering down and even denying the clear claims of Jesus – claim that are absolutely exclusivist in nature. Writes Miles:

In a society where inclusion is the main objective, Christianity stands in stark contrast. For Jesus, relationship with God was never the choose-your-own-adventure story that the Christian Left would like for it to be. Instead, Jesus outlined a deliberate and solitary path that leads to righteousness. This only confirms the fears of the Christian Left regarding the message of Christianity: participation in the body of Christ (and, consequently, the church) is by nature exclusive; that is it includes only those who have received the salvation that Jesus offers and have humbly submitted their lives to his lordship.

Of course he goes on to state the obvious, that there is a sense in which the gospel is quite inclusive, in that all people – be they male or female, or white or black, can avail themselves of the gospel proclamation. But still, it must be on the terms of Jesus, and not their own.

I also just recently came upon this great quote from American Baptist theologian Owen Strachan:

Stop twisting yourself in knots to make Christianity inoffensive. Christianity IS offensive. It comes from heaven and it rebukes our sinful world. Christ was not celebrated. He did not go out to white-glove banquets and listen to elegant dinner speeches. He preached the truth in love, he obeyed the Father, and then he was brutally crucified, hung naked as a public spectacle and a Roman warning to any dumb enough to follow him. I am so very tired of evangelicals who try to make the Christian faith palatable to the natural man. Should we be offensive and mean and obnoxiously weird as believers? No. Be a normal, well-functioning Christian human being. But please, for the love of all that is good in the world, stop presenting the Christian faith like a QVC commercial. The Christian faith is not of this world; it is divine. As such it is an offense to human pride and a stench to human self-reliance. People naturally hate it. Stop pretending otherwise. Be who you are. And let Christianity be Christian.

I have not determined the source of that quote, but it may well be from his forthcoming book, Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement is Hijacking the Gospel – and the Way to Stop It (Salem Books, 2021). As the title indicates, it covers similar ground to the volume by Miles. And when I get my copy of this book I will certainly be writing it up, perhaps with a proper book review as well.

My final two quotes include an old one and a newer one – but both I only just recently came upon. These words, attributed to St. Augustine, are certainly appropriate here, and nicely tie together everything that has been said: “If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”

And this remark by Leonard Ravenhill also serves as a great summary statement: “The only people who want to change the Gospel are those who are unchanged by it.” Quite so. We either run with what Christ said, or we run with what we want to run with. But it cannot be both. The truth claims of Christ are too exclusive, too black and white, and too demanding, to allow for any middle way here.

Yes, It Is Exclusive and Offensive — CultureWatch

May 19 – We live in the day when the stone is revealed — Reformed Perspective

Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery. – Daniel 2:47

Scripture readings: 1 Timothy 1:16Daniel 2:46-49

Think of the reaction of God’s people when they beheld the forces of Darius the Mede standing in the throne room that Nebuchadnezzar had occupied with such splendour and seeming invincibility!

Suddenly, as foretold in the vision, the great Babylonian Empire had fallen. The believers would have realized that this first stage in this vision had been completed.

Later, when the exiles beheld the sudden and stunning overpowering of the middle Persian Empire by the forces of Alexander the Great, they must have wondered, “Is the next stage in this vision now being fulfilled?” And then when the forces of Rome overtook the mighty Greeks, scattered their armies, and took all their lands, they must have realized, “We are now getting near to the day of the stone!”

While the reaction of King Nebuchadnezzar in verses 46-47 is significant, what matters more for the LORD is that His people grasp His messages to them! This means that we are to rejoice and delight because we live in the day of the stone which has been revealed from heaven! As Sinclair Ferguson said, “We need to remember that this great kingdom belongs to God. It is indestructible, victorious, eternal, and it is universal.”

“So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:6-7).

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord would give you peace in your circumstances as you await the day when you will enter the Promised Land of rest for all of God’s people. Pray for contentment when God’s plans for you seem hard to understand or experience.

Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church and he is the husband of Rosanna and father of Elliott. Prior to being ordained in the Associated Presbyterian Church, he was the pastor of Adoration United Reformed Church in Ontario. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

May 19 – We live in the day when the stone is revealed — Reformed Perspective

A Picture of Heaven’s Joy — Grace to You Blog

The story of the prodigal son is perhaps the best-known parable in the Bible. The themes of forgiveness and reconciliation tap into the longings of all who are broken over sin. Yet, so much more than that, Christ’s parable conveys critical and wonderful eternal truths that He intends for us to know and stake our futures on.

READ MORE

A Picture of Heaven’s Joy — Grace to You Blog

May 19 Evening Quotes of The Day

Children Learn Regardless: Instruct Them in Holiness
Proverbs 1:8–9; 3:1; 22:6; Ephesians 6:4

If you neglect to instruct [children] in the way of holiness, will the devil neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No; if you will not teach them to pray, he will to curse, swear, and lie. If ground be uncultivated, weeds will spring.

JOHN FLAVEL

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

In the Scripture We Learn Everything Necessary
Acts 17:11; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16

If anything be necessary to be learned, of the holy Scripture we may learn it. If falsehood shall be reproved, thereof we may gather wherewithal. If anything is to be corrected and amended, if there need any exhortation or consolation, of the Scripture we may well learn. In the Scriptures are the fat pastures of the soul; therein is no venomous meat, no unwholesome thing; they are the very dainty and pure feeding. He who is ignorant shall find there what he should learn. He who is a perverse sinner shall there find his damnation, to make him to tremble for fear. He who labours to serve God shall find there his glory, and the promissions of eternal life, exhorting him more diligently to labour.… Here all manner of persons—men, women, young, old, learned, unlearned, rich, poor, priests, laymen, lords, ladies, officers, tenants, and mean men, virgins, wives, widows, lawyers, merchants, artificers, husbandmen, and all manner of persons of what estate or condition soever they be—may in this book learn all things that they ought to believe, what they ought to do, and what they should not do, as well concerning Almighty God, as also concerning themselves and all other.

THOMAS CRANMER

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Our (Sinful & Screwed-up) Church Family — Key Life

Our (Sinful & Screwed-up) Church Family

Why do I care about the church?

The institution of the church has always held within it scoundrels, egomaniacs, dishonest leaders and people who didn’t give a rip about real needs. That was true in the first century and will be true until Jesus returns. People aren’t called to be in the church because they are together, good or obedient…but because they aren’t. The church is a place where needy people gather. As a friend of mine says about Noah, “He could hardly stand the smell on the inside if it weren’t for the horrible storm on the outside.”

We’re Family

As frustrated as I am with the institution of the church, it doesn’t even come close to the frustration I have with myself. I can tell you horrible stories about the church…but I can tell you some stories about me that, in the telling of them, would make me blush. I’m in the church not because it isn’t sinful…but because I am.

My biological family is messed up too. My father was a drunk, my mother was shaming and nobody knew who my grandfather was. In fact, I can hardly think of anybody (at least of the males) in my family who weren’t alcoholics.

Yet I learned unconditional love from my father, the Bible (and how to cuss) from my mother and, when life blew me away, my aunts (all married to alcoholics) took me in. When I was on the Jim and Tammy Show (right before the scandal), my elderly aunt wrote me a note in a very shaky hand (perhaps the last note she wrote before she died) and said, “Stephen, thank you for your stand for Jesus.” My messed-up biological family didn’t know how to pray…but they prayed for me. They didn’t know how to be good…but they wanted me to be good. They weren’t big on compassion…but their compassion and love for me was a wonderful and profound influence on my life.

They’re crazy, drunk, sinful and screwed-up…but they’re my family.

Same with the church.

If I weren’t committed to screwed-up people, bad organization, hostility, lack of communication and people who majored in minors, I would not be committed to the church. But just as I’m a part of my biological family, I’m a part of my spiritual one.

They’re crazy, drunk, sinful and screwed-up…but they’re my family.

God has only one family and its only physical manifestation in the world is the church. It’s my family. And it’s your family too. Sometimes they aren’t so proud of me and sometimes I’m not so proud of them…but it’s a family kind of thing.

(By the way, as for the stuff about the invisible and visible church, nobody sings in an invisible choir or teaches an invisible Sunday school class or serves in an invisible outreach to others. The only “church” we have is the one that manifests itself in a real world as a real institution.)

That family institution has built more hospitals and schools, fed more hungry people, reached out to more prisoners and cared for more broken people than any other organization in the history of the world. In fact, nobody even comes close. The history of my family is filled with bad stuff…but an incredible and awesome amount of good stuff too. The church birthed modern science, the arts of Western civilization, the emancipation of slaves, women’s rights, literacy, etc….and even AA. If it weren’t for the institutional church (even with our failure in that area) there would never have been AA because there never would have been a Sam Shoemaker who was the spiritual giant behind it.

A Matter of Truth

And then I’m for the church because it is a matter of truth. As an institution, the church—with significant failures and stumbles along the way—has passed down the truth of the Bible to each succeeding generation. If it weren’t for the institutional church, I never would have known Christ, never would have discovered grace and freedom, and never would have survived growing up in an alcoholic family. When I screwed-up, the institutional church told me that God still loved me. When I had a hunger for truth, the church pointed to the Bible and Jesus. When I wanted an anchor, I always found it reading the history of my church…the same one for which Christ died and the one he loves.

I have a pastor friend who is always complaining to Jesus about the church. Whenever he does that, Jesus always says, “Be careful, son, that’s my wife.”

That’s enough to give you some idea why I say with Augustine that the church “is a prostitute, but she’s my mother.”

The Side I’m On

There is one other reason I am a member of the institutional church, teach in a seminary that prepares people for ministry in the institutional church, and actively preach and teach in churches. It is because—in a world where conviction is at a premium and commitment lasts only as long as the morning dew—I want to be different and deeper.

In short, in a world where the watchword is the uncaring “whatever,” I want everybody to know whose side I’m on.

I hope and trust that the same can be said of you. Now we’ve both been reminded.

Our (Sinful & Screwed-up) Church Family — Key Life

Loving God with Our Minds — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The human mind is one of the most incredible aspects of creation. It is more powerful than the largest supercomputer and can solve great problems and make great discoveries. That makes the noetic effects of sin especially tragic.

The noetic effects of sin describe the impact of sin upon the nous—the mind—of fallen humanity. The faculty of thinking, with which we reason, has been seriously disturbed and corrupted by the fall. In our natural, unregenerate state, there is some-thing dramatically wrong with our minds. As a consequence of our suppressing the knowledge of God in our sin, we have been given over to a debased mind (Rom. 1:28).

It’s terrible to have a reprobate mind, a mind that now in its fallen condition doesn’t have a scintilla of desire to love God. But that is the kind of mind we chose for ourselves in Adam, so in our natural fallen condition, there is nothing more repugnant to our minds than the love of God. While we remain unregenerate, we have such an antipathy to loving God by nature that we choke at the very thought of Christ’s command to love God with our minds (Matt. 22:37).

Our minds have been corrupted by sin, but that does not mean our ability to think has been annihilated. The best pagan thinkers can still spot errors of logic without being born again. You don’t have to be regenerate in order to get a Ph.D. in mathematics. The fallen mind retains the ability to follow formal argumentation to a degree, but that ends when discussion about the character of God begins because that is where bias is so severe and hostility so great that many of the most brilliant people stumble. In fact, if a person begins their thinking by refusing to acknowledge what they know to be true—that there is a God—then the more brilliant they are, the further away from God their reasoning will lead them.

Any consideration of the human mind, therefore, must begin with the understanding that by nature the mind does not love God at all, and it will not love God at all unless and until God the Holy Spirit changes its disposition immediately and sovereignly to set the affections on Him. Regeneration is the necessary condition for loving God with our minds. Without it, there is no love of God. So, we must get rid of this idea that’s pervasive in the evangelical world that unbelieving people are seekers of God. The natural man does not seek after God. Unregenerate people who look like they are seeking after God, as Thomas Aquinas said, are seeking the benefits only God can give, not God Himself.

Note, however, that all of the mind’s antipathy toward God is not eliminated the minute we’re born again. After regeneration, for the first time in our lives, we are disposed to the things of God rather than against them. We are given a desire to have God in our thinking rather than despising the idea of having God in our thinking. But the residual effects and the power of our fallen human condition remain and are not eliminated entirely until we’re glorified in heaven. The whole pilgrimage of the Christian life in our sanctification, then, is one in which we are seeking to love God more and more with our minds.

Jonathan Edwards once said that seeking after God is the main business of the Christian. And how do we seek after God? By pursuing the renewal of our minds. We don’t get the love of God from a hip replacement, a knee replacement, or even a heart transplant. The only way we can be transformed is with a renewed mind (Rom. 12:1–2). A renewed mind results from diligently pursuing the knowledge of God. If we despise doctrine, if we despise knowledge, that probably indicates that we’re still in that fallen condition where we don’t want God in our thinking. True Christians want God to dominate their thinking and to fill their minds with ideas of Himself.

Isn’t it strange that our Lord says that we are called to love God with our minds? We don’t usually speak of love in terms of an intellectual activity. In fact, most of our understanding of love in our secular culture is described in passive categories. We speak not of jumping in love but falling in love, like it was an accident.

But real love is not an involuntary thing. It is something we do purposefully based on our knowledge of the person we love. Nothing can be in the heart that is not first in the mind. And if we want to have an experience of God directly where we bypass the mind, we’re on a fool’s errand. It can’t happen. We might increase emotion, entertainment, or excitement, but we’re not going to increase the love of God because we can’t love what we don’t know. A mindless Christianity is no Christianity at all.

If we want to love God more, we have to know Him more deeply. And the more we search the Scriptures, and the more we focus our minds’ attention on who God is and what He does, the more we understand just a tiny little bit more about Him and the more our souls break out in flame. We have a greater ardor to honor Him. The more we understand God with our minds, the more we love Him with our minds.

To love God with our minds is to hold Him in high esteem, to think about Him with reverence and with adoration. The more we love God with our minds, the more we’ll be driven to do that other thing that is alien to us in our fallen condition, namely, to worship Him. To pursue God with our minds simply for intellectual enjoyment and without the ultimate purpose of loving and worshiping Him is to miss what it means to love Him with our minds. True knowledge of God always bears fruit in greater love for God and a greater desire to praise Him. The more we know Him, the more glorious He will appear to us. And the more glorious He appears to us, the more inclined we will be to praise Him, to honor Him, to worship Him, and to obey Him.

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

Loving God with Our Minds — Ligonier Ministries Blog

May 19 Evening Verse of The Day

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4:11 aspire. The Greek word for this term often denoted the attempt to garner civic honor and recognition through outward displays of generosity by the wealthy. Paul’s use of the term turns it on its head: the Thessalonians should be zealous for the honor that comes not through self-assertion or an ostentatious show of personal greatness, but through humble, industrious, and unimpeachable behavior. This exhortation, pertinent to all Christians, had a particular urgency in Thessalonica where the Christians had already been falsely accused of sedition (Acts 17:6–9). By living lives that were respectable and unpretentious, the Christians were to allay any lingering suspicions.[1]

4:11 live a quiet life By discarding their idols (1:9), the Thessalonians abandoned many of their social, religious, and civic obligations. Since their response to the gospel already disrupted the city, Paul urges them not to make the matter worse.

work with your hands It is possible that some of the believers may have used Christ’s future return as an excuse to stop working. However, the most likely case is that some of the poor believers had stopped being responsible to support themselves. Paul urges them to earn their own living instead of taking advantage of other believers’ wealth.[2]

4:11 live quietly. Live peaceably with others (see 2 Thess. 3:11–12), instead of meddling in others’ affairs. work with your hands. Paul calls on Thessalonian believers to earn their own living rather than to depend on wealthier Christians, as Paul had instructed them when he was at Thessalonica.[3]

4:11 a quiet life. This refers to one who does not present social problems (see note on 1Ti 2:2) or generate conflict among those people in his life, but whose soul rests easy even in the midst of difficulty (cf. 1Pe 3:4). Paul later deals with those who did not “attend to their own business” at Thessalonica (cf. 2Th 3:6–15). work with your hands. Greek culture looked down on manual labor but Paul exalts it (see note on Eph 4:28).[4]

4:11 — … that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands .…

The Christian life is not a nonstop parade of miracles and astonishing answers to prayer and extraordinary visions and angelic visitations. Much of it is low-key, tame, and ordinary. Yet a godly life will always be celebrated in heaven.[5]

4:11. Everyday habits of living manifest love of the brethren as do more special demonstrations of affection. It is these habits that Paul suggested the Thessalonians ponder in the light of brotherly love. He suggested these goals as worthy objectives for their maturing love. His words may reflect less than ideal conditions in their church.

First, his readers should lead a restful life. The word translated quiet (hēsychazein) means quiet in the sense of restfulness (cf. Acts 22:2; 2 Thes. 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:2, 11), rather than quiet as opposed to talkativeness (sigaō; cf. Acts 21:40; 1 Cor. 14:34). The former means “undisturbed, settled, not noisy,” while the latter means “silent.” Paul was telling the Thessalonians to be less frantic, not less exuberant. A person who is constantly on the move is frequently a bother to other people as well as somewhat distracted from his own walk with God. The latter can lead to the former. But a Christian who strives to be at peace with himself and God will be a source of peace to his brethren. Such quietude constitutes a practical demonstration of love for others.

Second, Paul recommended minding one’s own business. The connection with love for the brethren is obvious (cf. Prov. 25:17).

Third, working with one’s own hands demonstrates love for the brethren because a self-supporting person is not a burden to others. Paul himself set the example by working with his hands when he was in Thessalonica (1 Thes. 2:9). Too restful a life can be a problem also, and Paul guarded against that with this instruction. This verse dignifies manual labor. The reference also suggests that many, perhaps most, in the church came out of the working class. The Greeks deplored manual labor and relegated it to slaves as much as possible. But the Jews held it in esteem; every Jewish boy was taught a trade regardless of his family’s wealth. Work itself is a blessing, and working with one’s hands should never be despised by Christians. A man who is willing to work with his hands demonstrates his love for his brethren by being willing to humble himself to provide for his own needs so that he does not depend on others but provides for himself.[6]

4:11. Paul’s concerns for the church surfaced in three areas: restlessness, meddlesomeness, and idleness.

First, Paul told these believers to be ambitious toward a quiet life. He used an electric word (ambition) and coupled it with a low-energy word (quiet). Paul wanted them to see that a tranquil, restful life does require effort. It is easy to get carried away in spiritual excitement and emotional issues, but we must purposefully aim toward balance and calm. This is what Christ calls us to practice.

Second, Paul turned to the problem of meddlesomeness. He admonished, mind your own business. Every person’s first priority is to handle his own affairs and responsibilities.

Third, he instructed them to work with your hands. This was not a divine command for everyone to do manual labor, though it certainly blesses such work. Paul’s intention was to keep these people responsible in their daily living. Work is a reflection of our Christian life and ethics; it must not be neglected. Christianity should never be separated from daily routine and obligations. It finds its most eloquent expression in the common traffic of commerce, farming, nursing, construction, and all other forms of work.[7]

4:11

NASB  “to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life”  
NKJV  “that you also aspire to lead a quiet life”  
NRSV  “to aspire to live quietly”  
TEV  “Make it your aim to live a quiet life”  
JB  “we do urge you, brothers, to go on making even greater progress and to make a point of living quietly”  

Verse 11 is a series of four PRESENT INFINITIVES used as IMPERATIVES, commandments for continuing action. This is probably exhorting patience and normalcy in anticipation of the Second Coming (cf. 2 Thess. 3:10–12). “Stay ready and stay faithful,” not “get ready,” is the NT message in this area.

© “work with your hands” Remember the historical occasion for the writing was that some in the church misunderstood Paul’s preaching on the Second Coming and had quit working anticipating Christ’s return (cf. 2 Thess. 2:1–4 and 3:6–15).

In Greek culture, manual labor was believed to be exclusively the work of a slave. But in Hebrew culture, everyone needed a vocation—a means of supporting themselves, even rabbis (cf. Acts 20:35; 1 Cor. 4:17).

© “just as we commanded you” This is a strong term for “order” (cf. 2 Thess. 3:4, 6, 10, 12).[8]

11. A few brief admonitions are added. Also with respect to the matters here mentioned the work of sanctification (see verse 3) must become evident:

a.    and to be ambitious about living calmly

b.   and to be engaged in your own affairs

c.    and to work with your hands, just as we charged you,

Fanatics, busybodies, and loafers, nearly every church has them! Often one and the same person is all three. Hence, the three admonitions do not concern three separate classes of people, but in a sense the entire congregation, for the seed of every sin is embedded in every heart.

The attempt to find in the second and the third admonition a reference to two distinct groups—businessmen and laborers—must be rejected. Certain commentators favor this idea, probably in order to add a touch of realism to the “businessmen” whom they have introduced in verse 6 (“in business”?). The admonitions concern the membership in general, though naturally they concern some far more than others. Also, the first admonition was particularly adapted to one person, the second to another, etc.

Although there is nothing here that proves a connection between conditions in the church and excitement about Christ’s expected return, such a connection is, nevertheless, probable. See on 2 Thess. 2:1, 2. Note also that here in 1 Thess. 4 the three admonitions are immediately followed by instruction with reference to the second coming.

Some people had become restless. Paul now urges that this restlessness be turned into the proper channel. With that admirable ability to express himself paradoxically which again and again becomes evident in his epistles, Paul admonishes the Thessalonians to become all stirred up about being quiet (living calmly)! Let the restless one be ambitious about attaining this goal. The original has here the verb φιλοτιμεῖσθαι. The primary meaning is to love honor, then to be ambitious, to aspire, to strive (perhaps to take pride in; see also Rom. 5:20; 2 Cor. 5:9).

Glorying in the doctrine of Christ’s Return is proper. Awaiting this blessed coming is natural for the genuine believer. But being so excited about it that one becomes arrogant, thinking that he—he alone!—has discovered “the light,” so that as a result one begins to meddle in the affairs of other people, particularly with the affairs of the leaders of the church, is all wrong. Hence, to the first admonition a second is added: “… to be engaged in your own affairs (τὰ ἴδια).” It seems that the busybodies did not take this admonition to heart. Their meddling grew worse instead of better (see on 2 Thess. 3:11).

The tendency of such people to leave their workshop or other form of manual labor evoked the third admonition: “… to work with your own hands, just as we charged you.” See on 2:9. Manual labor was even more common in those days than it is now. There were slaves, hired laborers, independent artisans (cf. Acts 19:24) each having his own workshop, farmers or helpers on farms. Of course, a harbor-city like Thessalonica also had its ship-owners and its leaders in commercial enterprises. And there were the men who owned or worked in bazaars. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that some of the men in control of business, whether big or small, belonged to the church. In many cases, no doubt, manual labor was combined with business on a small scale. But in the present passage, at any rate, the emphasis is not on doing business but on working with the hands. The bulk of the membership must have consisted of manual laborers, skilled or unskilled. See also p. 11. Paul knew what this meant. Perhaps he himself, just before writing this letter, had been working on a tent! The intent then of the present admonition is that the members of the recently established congregation, instead of seeking to be supported by the church and of interfering with the leaders if they did not get their way, should continue at their daily occupation, earning their own living. The gospel of salvation is intensely practical. It dignifies labor. All these things had been made perfectly plain to the Thessalonians when the missionaries first visited them. Definite orders had been given. Hence, fanatics, busybodies, and loafers could not offer any reasonable excuse for their misconduct.[9]

11. ‘We urge you … to make it your ambition to have no ambition!’ (Phillips) brings out something of Paul’s vigorous paradox, though the exact meaning of his words is not completely clear. His verb (philotimeomai) in the classics meant ‘to be ambitious’, but later ‘to strive eagerly’, ‘to seek restlessly’, pointing to a wholehearted and energetic pursuit of the object (cf. Rom. 15:20; 2 Cor. 5:9, its only other New Testament occurrences). It may well have this meaning here. It is a colourful command, whether Paul meant ‘make it your ambition to be unambitious’ or ‘seek restlessly to be still’.

Now come two other infinitives: to mind your own business and to work with your hands. Why this stress on the virtues of the quiet life and of steadily working at one’s occupation? Some of the Thessalonian Christians seem to have been living in idleness, depending on the charity of their fellows. They may have reasoned that the parousia was very near; if so, would it not be good to spend all one’s time preparing people for it? Whether that was the reason or not, it is clear that some were not working for their living and Paul seems to have them in mind when giving these strong injunctions to avoid the spectacular and to work hard.

It is noteworthy that in writing to people in a Greek city he says work with your hands, for Greeks despised manual labour; they saw it as an occupation fit for slaves. But the Christians (like the Jews) did not hesitate to insist on the dignity of manual work (cf. Eph. 4:28). Some conclude that most of the Thessalonian Christians were of the artisan class, and this may well have been so. There are few indications throughout the two epistles that any of them were wealthy; everything points to their coming from the lower strata of society. This is not a new command; Paul had told them this before. His verb told (=‘commanded’) is often used of the orders of military officers. There is a ring of authority about it.[10]

11. Maintain Peace. I have already stated that this clause must be separated from what goes before, for this is a new sentence. Now, to be at peace, means in this passage—to act peacefully and without disturbance, as we also say in French—sans bruit, (without noise.) In short, he exhorts them to be peaceable and tranquil. This is the purport of what he adds immediately afterwards—to do your own business: for we commonly see, that those who intrude themselves with forwardness into the affairs of others, make great disturbance, and give trouble to themselves and others. This, therefore, is the best means of a tranquil life, when every one, intent upon the duties of his own calling, discharges those duties which are enjoined upon him by the Lord, and devotes himself to these things: while the husbandman employs himself in rural labours, the workman carries on his occupation, and in this way every one keeps within his own limits. So soon as men turn aside from this, everything is thrown into confusion and disorder. He does not mean, however, that every one shall mind his own business in such a way as that each one should live apart, having no care for others, but has merely in view to correct an idle levity, which makes men noisy bustlers in public, who ought to lead a quiet life in their own houses.

Labour with your hands. He recommends manual labour on two accounts—that they may have a sufficiency for maintaining life, and that they may conduct themselves honourably even before unbelievers. For nothing is more unseemly than a man that is idle and good for nothing, who profits neither himself nor others, and seems born only to eat and drink. Farther, this labour or system of working extends far, for what he says as to hands is by way of synecdoche; but there can be no doubt that he includes every useful employment of human life.[11]

11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life” is a striking paradox. The verb rendered “make it your ambition” is a compound with the basic meaning “to love honor,” hence “to be ambitious.” It may well be that this is the significance of the verb in this verse, when Paul’s remark would be something like “be ambitious to be unambitious.” But the verb develops another meaning “to fix one’s aim on,” “to strive earnestly for.” If this is the meaning here (as it is in Rom. 15:20; 2 Cor. 5:9, the only other New Testament passages where the verb is found), then the paradox will be “seek strenuously to be still.” Whichever way we take it, Paul is urging his converts to lead a quiet life. The verb rendered “to lead a quiet life” is used of silence after speech (Luke 14:4), cessation of argument (Acts 21:14), and rest from labor (Luke 23:56). It denotes tranquility of life, which of course does not mean inactivity (Ward sees quietness as opposed to “being busy-bodies”). It is possible to be very active in the Lord’s service and still be at peace. It is clear that some of the converts were far from living the simple life, and Paul is very anxious to recall them to calmness and simplicity. If the Lord were coming soon, then the best way for him to find them would be doing their ordinary work, but this they had not learned.

Paul joins to the general injunction to be quiet the specific one to “mind your own business” (Moffatt). The expression is found only here in the New Testament, though it is not uncommon in nonbiblical Greek. It perhaps points to a tendency to interfere in the running of the church on the part of those who were not church officers. It does not seem extravagant to suggest that, meeting trouble in their endeavor to be kept by the earnings of their brothers, some members had attempted to have the church officially support their demands. Or it may be that Paul is condemning taking undue interest in the concerns of one’s neighbors. It is not impossible that these are the people accused of being busybodies in the second letter (3:11), though there again there is uncertainty about the precise meaning. At any rate, it is clear that Paul wants each to put his attention where it belongs.

Closely joined to this is the command to work with their hands. This unashamed advocacy of manual labor in a letter to a community in a Greek city must be remarked. The typical Greek attitude was that slaves did this sort of work, but that freemen would not stoop to it. It was degrading. Here, as in so many other ways, the Christians refused to take their standards from the community in the midst of which they lived. Rather, they held that all things they did should be done as service to Christ (Col. 3:17), and they specifically held that manual labor was good (Eph. 4:28). Doubtless they remembered that Jesus himself had been a carpenter (Mark 6:3). How could the followers of the Carpenter do other than welcome manual work?

This reference probably points us to the status of the Thessalonians. While, of course, manual work may be skilled as well as unskilled, we are probably right in thinking that the majority of the believers came from the lower social classes and were poor rather than rich. Once again Paul insists that he is not bringing some new teaching. He is simply repeating what he had said when he was among them. It is remarkable that he had been able to provide so well for the future needs of his band of converts. The pity of it is that they had not learned as well as he had taught.[12]

11 That restlessness may be a problem for the Thessalonians is implied by Paul’s exhortation, “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” Another exhortation, “mind your own business,” implies that a meddlesome spirit that often goes with restlessness is troubling the church. Busybodies are active in wrong ways (2 Th 3:11) and need a reprimand. But the exhortation goes beyond telling them to stay out of other people’s affairs; it also implies the necessity of keeping one’s own affairs in order.

Still another exhortation, “work with your hands,” pinpoints idleness as a problem among the Thessalonians. In a Greek culture that degraded manual labor, Christianity joined with Judaism in viewing it as an honorable pursuit. Most Thessalonian believers earned a living with their hands. Paul tells them to continue supporting themselves and thus avoid the pitfalls of inactivity (cf. Ellicott, 59; Frame, 162).[13]

Lead a Quiet Life

and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life (4:11a)

Though there is a great urgency in the imminent coming of the Lord, which prompts earnestness about proclaiming the gospel while there is yet time, the apostle Paul did not command the Thessalonians to live lives of noisy, frenetic evangelistic agitation. Instead, and as a result of their excelling still more in brotherly love, they were to make it their ambition to lead a quiet life.

In that phrase Paul used the two verb forms in almost a contradictory fashion. Make it your ambition (from philotimeomai) means to be zealous and strive eagerly, even to consider it an honor (as in Rom. 15:20; 2 Cor. 5:9), whereas lead a quiet life (from hēsuchazō) means to be silent (as in Luke 14:4; Acts 21:14), not speaking out inappropriately (see 1 Tim. 2:11–12), remaining at rest and tranquil (as in Luke 23:56). In anticipation of the Lord’s return, believers are to lead peaceful lives, free of conflict and hostility toward others, which is a witness to the transforming power of the gospel.

The goal of Paul’s directive, as it was when he instructed Timothy and the church at Ephesus to pray for those in authority, was that believers “may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2; cf. Isa. 30:15; 32:17; 2 Thess. 3:12).

Mind Your Own Business

and attend to your own business (4:11b)

The admonition to attend to your own business was a common one in secular Greek writings but used only here in the New Testament. It is not clear, however, whether Paul was speaking to a particular group within the Thessalonian church or addressing a specific issue. The apostle may have used the expression as a general exhortation for the Thessalonians to concentrate on their own lives, take care of their own jobs, and not meddle in the affairs of others.

Paul issued them a follow-up exhortation in 2 Thessalonians 3:11–12: “For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.” Those who did not attend to their own business were “acting like busybodies” (periergazomai, “wasting their labor”), running around meddling in everyone’s problems.

Paul’s antidote for such unwise, undisciplined behavior was that the Thessalonians work diligently and faithfully at their jobs (cf. Prov. 27:23–27; Gal. 6:5; Eph. 4:28; 6:5–7; Col. 3:22–24; 1 Tim. 6:1–2), stay out of other people’s business, and lead quiet, unobtrusive lives that serve fellow believers and glorify the Lord before unbelievers.

Work with Your Hands

and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need. (4:11c–12)

The Greeks believed free men should never stoop to do manual labor. Work done with the hands was degrading to them; therefore, they made their slaves do all of it. However, with most of the early Christians coming from the working classes, the church dignified manual labor as an honorable endeavor. Therefore, Paul commanded the Thessalonians to persevere at their jobs.

Apparently many of the working class and slave laborers from among the Thessalonian converts had taken the attitude that, since they had become free in Christ, perhaps they were no longer subject to their masters and the obligations of their jobs. The new believers’ preoccupation with Jesus’ return may have intensified that attitude. Instead of supporting themselves through honest labor, some of the Thessalonians were likely depending on others’ resources to sustain themselves for what they thought would be a brief interlude. Hence Paul exhorted them here to work with their own hands and warned them in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”

The purpose underlying Paul’s exhortation on work and motivating all his other injunctions—to love, to live quietly, and to mind their own business—was evangelistic, so that the Thessalonians would behave properly toward outsiders. For him, the key to evangelism was the integrity Christians manifest to a sinful, confused, and agitated world (cf. Job 2:3; Ps. 26:1; Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:15–16; 1 Peter 2:12). When believers display diligent work attitudes and habits and live in a loving and tranquil manner that respects others’ privacy and does not intrude or gossip, it constitutes a powerful testimony to unbelievers and makes the gospel credible.

Furthermore, the Thessalonians’ proper behavior (acceptable daily conduct) would ensure that they would not be in any need. If they obeyed Paul’s exhortations, they would not always have to depend on more industrious Christians to supply their livelihood.

Such practical, straightforward living, as embodied in the apostle Paul’s exhortations to the Thessalonians, is the foundation of all evangelism. Believers who sacrificially love other people, exhibit tranquil lives, conscientiously focus on keeping their own lives in order, and faithfully carry out their daily responsibilities in the workplace (thus avoiding any welfare dependence)—all the while proclaiming the gospel in light of the return of Christ—are the most effective witnesses to their unsaved neighbors and loved ones.[14]


[1] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1741). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Th 4:11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2309). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Th 4:11). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (1 Th 4:11). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[6] Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Thessalonians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 702–703). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 56). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul’s First Letters: Galatians and I & II Thessalonians (Vol. Volume 11, p. 107). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[9] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of I-II Thessalonians (Vol. 3, pp. 104–106). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[10] Morris, L. (1984). 1 and 2 Thessalonians: An introduction and commentary (Vol. 13, pp. 85–86). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[11] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (p. 278). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[12] Morris, L. (1991). The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians (pp. 131–133). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[13] Thomas, R. L. (2006). 1 Thessalonians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 413). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[14] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2002). 1 & 2 Thessalonians (pp. 119–121). Chicago: Moody Press.

Reap in Joy — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” Psalm 126:5-6 (KJV)

How long has it been since you have shed tears of compassion over those who do not know our Savior as you pray for their salvation?

Is God using you to introduce others to Christ?

Is your church a center of spiritual harvest? If not, it is likely that you and other members of your church are shedding few tears over the lost.

It is a promise of God that when we go forth with a burdened heart sharing the precious seed of the Word of God, proclaiming that most joyful news ever announced, we can be absolutely assured – beyond a shadow of doubt – that we shall reap the harvests and, in the process, experience the supernatural joy that comes to those who are obedient to God.

It is a divine formula. But where does that burden and compassion for the souls of men originate? In the heart of God. And it is only as men are controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God that there can be that compassion. It is not something that we can work up, not something that we can create in the energy of the flesh, but it is a result of walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, with minds and hearts saturated with the Word of God.

The Old Testament references to sowing are often accompanied by sorrow and anxiety, evidenced by the tears to which the psalmist refers. As a result, the time of reaping is one of inexpressible joy.

Bible ReadingProverbs 11:27-31

Today I will ask the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within me to give me a greater burden of the souls of those around me, so that I may indeed weep genuine tears of compassion as I go forth sowing precious seed. I know that I shall reap abundantly and, in the process, experience the joy which comes to those who obey God by weeping, sowing and reaping.

By Dr. Bill Bright
Used by Permission


FURTHER READING

•  We are Christ’s Ambassadors
•  Caring Enough to Tell Others about Christ

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Reap in Joy — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Granddaddy – Sharing Jesus — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

My granddaddy was a bi-vocational pastor. He pastored small churches around Stanley and Union County while also running a little shop behind his house. He would fix tires, golf carts, and tractors. I spent many of my teen and early adult years working in the office of the shop. The smells, sounds, and images are still vibrant in my mind and heart. My granddaddy worked in two worlds, the church and the shop, but to him they were not mutually exclusive. I could never quantify the number of conversations I heard where he was sharing the gospel with someone or a member of the community would walk in for advice or counsel. Regardless of whether the person was a stranger or a neighbor, one specific question my granddaddy always asked was, “Are you right with God?”. This was not a matter of church attendance, baptism record, or sword drill stars, it was simply are you in a right relationship with the Lord.

My granddaddy, like the prophet Joel, understood the truth of eternity and that tomorrow is never promised. Joel, the minor prophet, had a theme in his message to humanity – the day of the Lord! Joel knew the truth that there was a day the Lord would come to this earth as the sacrificing servant and return again as the conquering king.

Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near”
Joel 1:14b-15a, (ESV).

As much as I remember so much about the life I saw my granddaddy live for the Kingdom of God, there is one thing I don’t remember. I don’t remember how each person who was asked that question responded. I am sure many responded affirmingly of their love for the Lord and joy in relationship with Him. Likewise, I would suppose others responded with reluctance or even refusal.

Today I want to remember the commission to encourage everyone I meet to experience a right relationship with the Lord should never be thwarted by their response. Why? Because there are many who need Jesus and the day of the Lord is near!

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision”  Joel 3:14.

By Mika Edwards
Used by Permission


FURTHER READING

•  Come Alongside – what it looks like to come alongside of people while Jesus draws them closer.
•  For Sale – a God given opportunity during the ‘showing’ of the home we were selling

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Granddaddy – Sharing Jesus — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

May 19 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

Seeing Afflictions in the Right Light
James 1:2

The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, but when we see them in a wrong light: when we see them in the hand of God, Who dispenses them; when we know that it is our loving Father, Who abases and distresses us, our sufferings lose all their bitterness, and our mourning becomes all joy.

BROTHER LAWRENCE

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Love for God Brings Contentment
Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 13:5

If we loved God perfectly, and had altogether renounced carnal desires, we could dispense with many superfluous things that we now look upon as really necessary. Let us then try to love God with all our heart, so as to be led for love of Him to content ourselves with necessaries and to set aside the superfluous. Then, provided that which is of real necessity is not denied us, we should not look for what is over and above.

HUGH OF ST. VICTOR

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

19 May 2021 News Briefing

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More than 120 military leaders sign letter warning about Joe Biden’s ‘tyranny’
More than one hundred retired generals and admirals have signed an open letter speaking out against the “deep peril” they believe the Biden administration represents to the United States and its constitutional system. The group calls themselves Flag Officers 4 America, “retired military leaders who pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Quinn: This Was A Test… And We Failed
What has occurred in the last year has befuddled me, as the level of treachery, deception, disinformation, and false narratives has reached excessive elevations, indicating a sense of urgency and desperation by those wielding power over society. It has been depressing and frustrating to witness the level of obedient compliance by the majority of frightened sheep in this country, with complete subservience to authoritarian dictates of their overlords.

America’s Armpit Is Now Also Socialist Hell: New Jersey Residents To Pay The Most Taxes Over Their Lifetime
When it comes to living in the US, New Jersey isn’t seen as the worst state of the bunch… but it’s close: according to a recent YouGov poll, the Garden State ranks 3rd from the bottom, only above Alabama and Mississippi (DC is not yet a state, but the Biden admin is doing everything in its power to change that).
To be sure, while much of this catastrophic reputation may be without merit, the state’s governor is doing everything in his power to make it more than justified.

Catholics and Protestants Share Communion at German Ecumenical Convention
FRANKFURT, Germany — Protestant and Catholic worshippers in Germany defied Church teaching on Sunday by taking part in each other’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper at an Ecumenical Convention in Frankfurt. In four services in the city, Catholics were invited to take part in an Evangelical Supper with Protestants and similarly invited to celebrate the Catholic Eucharist, with the decision to receive Holy Communion at Mass or bread at a Protestant service left to an individual’s conscience. “Anyone who contradicts Catholic teaching and its binding interpretation by the Roman teaching office is no longer Catholic,” the cardinal told the German press agency DPA.

Gaza rockets, IDF strikes continue amid international push for ceasefire
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the heads of local authorities in the South that Operation Guardian of the Walls will end within several days and promised that, “fire on the Gaza border communities after the operation will elicit very fierce responses.”

Lebanon fires missiles at Israel opening war against Jerusalem on two fronts
Color Red sirens went off in northern Israel late Monday at around 11 PM as six Grad-type rockets were fired from Lebanon. The rockets fell short, landing inside Lebanon. The IDF responded by shelling the area from which the rockets were launched.

Turkey calls on International forces to conquer Jerusalem: ‘Zechariah’s Gog-Magog prophecy’
After a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara late Monday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a media conference in which he called on the UN, UN Security Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and other international organizations to take action focusing on wrestling Jerusalem away from Israel.

Pope Francis Speaks to Turkish President Erdogan About Palestinians, Meets Iran’s Foreign Minister
Pope Francis spoke Monday with Iran’s foreign minister and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan amid the ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the violence in the Israel-Gaza conflict. The pope received Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s head diplomat since 2013, for a private audience on May 17 in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. Zarif said that he and the pope “exchanged views” on Palestine, interfaith dialogue, and U.S. sanctions in a post on Twitter.

Biden pressures Israel to submit to Hamas ‘ceasefire’ terms
“A ceasefire right now would unquestionably benefit Hamas,” Rubin said. “At this point, Israel is just beginning to win, just beginning to achieve some of their objectives. If Hamas can still fire rockets when the fighting stops, then they have won.” “Biden wants a ceasefire because he looks awful. This entire situation, all of the violence, is entirely a result of his policies and actions.

2 killed as rockets pound southern Israel
Terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip launched dozens of rockets at southern Israel Tuesday afternoon, ending a six-hour lull in the fighting which began last Monday. 2 dead, 9 injured after rocket fire on southern Israel resumes. IDF eliminates terror cell armed with anti-tank missiles.

PBS Journalist Implies That Ending Mask Mandates Is Racist
…asks White House if CDC should reverse guidelines.

5 Doctors speak out about coronavirus vaccines attacking women’s reproductive health as a form of population control
…Now, five American doctors have come forward to discuss why many women are experiencing these problems after getting vaccinated, and why coronavirus vaccines are not really vaccines, but rather bioweapons designed to control the population.

California – Oregon border faces ‘catastrophic’ water crisis, irrigation water to farmers shut off
The water crisis along the California – Oregon border has reached catastrophic levels, on course to becoming the worst in generations amid historic drought in the area. Federal regulators have shut off irrigation water to farmers, severely impacting the agricultural sector.

Severe storms lash Texas and Louisiana, flood emergency declared
Severe storms lashed parts of Texas and Louisiana over the past days, prompting the National Weather Service (NWS) to declare a flash flood emergency. Widespread flooding was reported throughout Lake Charles, which saw its third wettest day on record on Monday, May 17, 2021

Exclusive: Bombshell Photos Reveal Years of Meetings Between Bloomberg Executives and Chinese Propagandists in Beijing
Michael Bloomberg and his top associates at his namesake news conglomerate, Bloomberg LP, have regularly met in Beijing with top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials and propagandists, according to the Chinese government.

Report: Georgia mother of two dead after receiving COVID vaccine
A Georgia mother of two is being regarded as a Covid-19 immunization casualty after she appears to have died soon after receiving the vaccine.

MEDICAL ETHICS FAIL: Covid vaccines worsen disease upon exposure, and trial participants are not being warned by doctors or researchers
Patients who participated in Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “vaccine” clinical trials were not told that the injections could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating viruses, a new study has found.

INFLATION: Prices of groceries, gas rise as Biden’s money printing machine goes into overdrive
Consumers better start budgeting more for their groceries as prices of essential commodities, including grains, fresh produce and meat, continue to surge. This is according to the latest inflation data in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a set of consumer price indices calculated by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“Woke” ad for U.S. Army focuses on LGBTQ issues, lesbian mothers, while Russia focuses on recruiting manly men 
We’ve said it before: The ‘woke’ Marxist left in America has their sight set on destroying the last truly patriotic (and truly nonpartisan) institution in our country: The U.S. military.

Delta Air Lines FORCING new employees to get vaccinated against coronavirus
Delta Air Lines has required all of its new employees to get the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, making it one of the first and largest companies in the United States to mandate vaccinations.

CCP cover-up: Wuhan lab scrubs all evidence of Fauci treason from its servers 
Now that the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) house of cards is crumbling, communist China is frantically trying to scrub all evidence linking Anthony Fauci to the illicit gain of function research that ultimately led to the plandemic.

Researchers find 1,000 different proteins in AstraZeneca’s covid vaccine linked to deadly blood clots 
A German scientist has discovered why the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “vaccines” made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) are causing some recipients to develop deadly blood clots.

Fauci appears to be a Chinese asset, continues to fund bioweapons research for the communist Chinese military 
Dr. Anthony Fauci not only approved coronavirus gain-of-function research grants to EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but he also funds current bioweapon research programs for the Chinese military.

BOMBSHELL: Connecticut govt. secretly tells health care workers covid vaccines are DEADLY, but withholds the same information from the public
Today we bring you a shocking true story about covid-19 vaccines, the government of Connecticut, and an open admission that vaccines contain dangerous, even deadly substances (spike proteins) that are documented and known to cause vascular damage to human beings.

Coverup Of Maricopa County Election Fraud Extends Beyond The County Board Of Supervisors To The County Recorder And The Sheriff And There Is No End In Sight
The Maricopa County election audit is the first real “official” review of a fraudulent election connected to the 2020 election theft in the United States. This audit has the potential to wake up ignorant Americans who still trust a corrupted election system that has rigged key election races around the country for a long, long time.

Pope Francis Meets With Muslim Leaders Who Are Asking For Him To Side With Hamas And The Palestinians To Bring Sanctions Against Israel
The Roman Catholic Church has been against Christians since the days of the apostles whom they put to death in countless and myriad gruesome ways, and they have been the sworn enemy of the Jews and Israel long before the regathering that took place on May 14th, 1948. So it is no surprise that Pope Francis has been in deep and secret talks with both Turkey and Iran about getting Israel off the back of Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

NO MASKS NEEDED for the Vaccinated
No masks needed for the vaccinated against a virus that was nothing more than the common flu. The CDC says people who received the jab of compliance (those who are still alive) are allowed to take off their masks. Businesses and government are “allowing” you to take off your masks via the honor system. They are trusting you will not lie about taking the death jab “vaccine” to avoid wearing a mask in public places.

Connecting the Dots On the Plot to Oppose the Globalist Takeover By Returning Trump to Power (Part 2)
..With more explanation, have you connected the dots yet? It is quite clear that several countries are aligning to oppose what the globalists are doing which is to disable the world through the release of Chinese bioweapons followed by WW III. The aftermath of WW III would produce a New World Order under the tyrannical control of a few. Will you support an American counter coup against an illegitimate Biden administration who stole an election to gain control of the American government? Do you root for the French military to unseat Macron?

source: 19 May 2021 – Rapture Ready

Wednesday 5-19-21

Anthony Wade – The Totality of Christ – A Teaching From Matthew’s Gospel

Russell Moore Leaves the ERLC, Jumps Ship to Even More Progressive ‘Christianity Today’

DC Talk’s Kevin Max Is Now ‘Exvangelical,’ Says He’s Been ‘Progressing’ for ‘Decades’

Joel Osteen Compares God to a “Spare Tire” as He Lectures Poor People on Contentment

This church program is accused of abusing teens with extreme ‘boot camps,’ ‘fight nights’ and shame

Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit Against Lubbock to Block New Law Banning Abortions 

Third jailed Canadian pastor to walk free after spending three days in prison

Conquered: Muslims Recapture Historic Christian Crusades Battleground in Portugal

Source: Daily News and Commentary (apostasywatch.com)

Black Lives Matter ‘stands in solidarity’ with Palestinians, vows to fight for ‘Palestinian liberation’Posted: 19 May 2021 07:44 AM PDT(ETH) – The leading Black Lives Matter organization declared “solidarity with Palestinians” Monday, a week after Hamas terrorists in Gaza began firing a relentless barrage of rockets into Israel, indiscriminately shelling civilian targets as well as dropping some missiles short and blowing up buildings within its territory.“Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians,” the group tweeted. “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation.Continue reading Black Lives Matter ‘stands in solidarity’ with Palestinians, vows to fight for ‘Palestinian liberation’ at End Time Headlines.
Steven Crowder Sues YouTube for Silencing ConservativesPosted: 19 May 2021 07:23 AM PDT(OPINION) ETH – Conservative commentator Steven Crowder is taking YouTube to court over its content practices and policies which he says are used to silence conservative voices. The Daily Wire reports Crowder announced his lawsuit against the social media platform on Monday during his show “Louder on Crowder.”“As of last Thursday, May 14, my lawyer Bill Richmond and I have filed a notice of a lawsuit against YouTube and are seeking an injunction to prevent them, to stop them from currently deplatforming us,” Crowder said.Continue reading Steven Crowder Sues YouTube for Silencing Conservatives at End Time Headlines.
Christian musician announces he’s an ‘exvangelical’ who is ‘progressing,’ ‘deconstructing’Posted: 19 May 2021 07:07 AM PDT(OPINION) ETH – DC Talk’s Kevin Max has admitted that he is an “exvangelical,” according to the Christian Post, and is working toward “progressing” and “deconstructing.” On Saturday, Max, a Grammy-winning vocalist, “came out” on Twitter, writing, “Hello, my name is Kevin Max & I’m an #exvangelical.”In responses to his initial tweet, Max said that he still believes in “the Universal Christ.” “For all those people using my post as plug & play for your own hot take or personal discourse, I offer the lyrics to an upcoming song off of my new band @AstronautsSad album ‘Adult Fears’ titled ‘It’s okay,’” he wrote.Continue reading Christian musician announces he’s an ‘exvangelical’ who is ‘progressing,’ ‘deconstructing’ at End Time Headlines.
China accuses US of ‘deliberately disrupting’ peace after American warship sails through Taiwan StraitPosted: 19 May 2021 06:58 AM PDT(ETH) – China has accused Washington of goading Taiwanese secessionists into action after a US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait, in what the Pentagon deemed a “routine” freedom of navigation transit.The USS ‘Curtis Wilbur’, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, traversed the strait on Tuesday, passing through a crucial waterway that separates mainland China from Taiwan, which Beijing sees as part of its own territory. The US Navy described the passage as a routine mission aimed at showing “the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” vowing to continue “to fly, sail, and operate anywhere” it can, short of violating international law.Continue reading China accuses US of ‘deliberately disrupting’ peace after American warship sails through Taiwan Strait at End Time Headlines.
Could Gog and Magog as well as the War of Psalm 83 unfold soon?Posted: 19 May 2021 06:22 AM PDT(OPINION) ETH – Two major players in the future Prophetic war of Gog and Magog have made headlines this morning in regards to the ongoing Mideast conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.The first headlines was a senior Russian official that has come out warning Israel’s ambassador on Wednesday that actions that led to a further increase in civilian casualties in Gaza were unacceptable, according to Russia’s foreign ministry. Israel responded by stating that it was not setting a timeframe for an end to hostilities with Gaza as its military continued to strike the Palestinian enclave with airstrikes and Hamas militants unleashed new cross-border rocket attacks.Continue reading Could Gog and Magog as well as the War of Psalm 83 unfold soon? at End Time Headlines.
Megadrought Nightmare: No Water For Crops, Horrific Wildfires, Colossal Dust Storms And Draconian Water RestrictionsPosted: 18 May 2021 06:37 PM PDT(OPINION) ETH – The megadrought that has almost the entire western half of the country in a death grip is starting to become extremely painful. In some areas, irrigation water is being totally cut off for farmers, and that is going to result in a totally lost year for many of them.Without water, you simply cannot grow crops, and irrigation water is the difference between success and failure for multitudes of western farmers.Continue reading Megadrought Nightmare: No Water For Crops, Horrific Wildfires, Colossal Dust Storms And Draconian Water Restrictions at End Time Headlines.
FALLING AWAY: Largest Christian denomination in Sweden announces they have gone “TRANS”Posted: 18 May 2021 06:21 PM PDT(ETH) – The largest Christian denomination in Sweden has announced in an open letter that it is “trans.” Summit News reports the Church of Sweden, which is Europe’s largest Lutheran denomination, posted the letter titled “Personal Letter to You Who are Trans” on the Västerås diocese’s official website.It is signed by a huge list of priests, deacons, church staff, and more.  “We write to you from a church that is also trans.Continue reading FALLING AWAY: Largest Christian denomination in Sweden announces they have gone “TRANS” at End Time Headlines.
Hamas ‘suicide submarine’ destroyed by Israeli airstrikePosted: 18 May 2021 06:12 PM PDT(ETH) – A Hamas “suicide submarine” was reportedly destroyed in Gaza by a lethal Israeli airstrike, as Benjamin Netanyahu defies calls for a ceasefire. The Israel Defence Forces announced it had stopped an attack by a remote-controlled ‘drone’ submarine intended to disable its Navy ships.Hamas militants were killed while sitting in their car operating the underwater vessel, and their submarine was destroyed in the two-pronged attack, reported Haaretz.Continue reading Hamas ‘suicide submarine’ destroyed by Israeli airstrike at End Time Headlines.
Amazon’s Ring is now the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever witnessedPosted: 18 May 2021 01:02 PM PDT(OPINION) ETH – In a 2020 letter to management, Max Eliaser, an Amazon software engineer, said Ring is “simply not compatible with a free society”. We should take his claim seriously. Ring video doorbells, Amazon’s signature home security product, pose a serious threat to a free and democratic society.Not only is Ring’s surveillance network spreading rapidly, it is extending the reach of law enforcement into private property and expanding the surveillance of everyday life.Continue reading Amazon’s Ring is now the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever witnessed at End Time Headlines.
Israel shoots down drone approaching from the border of Jordan, Riots break out near Temple Mount in JerusalemPosted: 18 May 2021 11:18 AM PDT(ETH) – As things continue to escalate in Israel a new report is indicating that Israel has reportedly shot down a drone on Tuesday that was approaching Israel’s northern border from Jordan.According to details of the report from CBN News,  The drone was heading towards the Israeli community of Beit She’an when it was shot down according to the Israel Defense Forces. The report states that it was not immediately clear where the drone originated from, even though it approached the Israeli border from Jordan.Continue reading Israel shoots down drone approaching from the border of Jordan, Riots break out near Temple Mount in Jerusalem at End Time Headlines.
Pentagon to monitor Military personnel social media to watch for “Extremist Content”Posted: 18 May 2021 10:59 AM PDT(ETH) – As part of the Biden administration’s crackdown on domestic extremism, the Pentagon plans to launch a pilot program for screening social media content for extremist material, according to internal Defense Department documents reviewed by The Intercept, as well as a source with direct knowledge of the program.An extremism steering committee led by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to the secretary of defense, is currently designing the social media screening pilot program, which will “continuously” monitor military personnel for “concerning behaviors,” according to a Pentagon briefing in late March.Continue reading Pentagon to monitor Military personnel social media to watch for “Extremist Content” at End Time Headlines.
Former President Barack Obama says UFO sightings appear to be realPosted: 18 May 2021 10:52 AM PDT(OPINION) ETH – Former President Barack Obama has laughed off rumors that the US government has a secret stash of aliens and their spacecraft — while conceding that there really are UFO sightings that the government can’t explain.“When it comes to aliens, there are some things I just can’t tell you on air,” the 44th commander-in-chief teased James Corden in a video chat on “The Late Late Show” aired early Tuesday.Continue reading Former President Barack Obama says UFO sightings appear to be real at End Time Headlines.

Mid-Day Snapshot · May 19, 2021

THE FOUNDATION

“There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.” —George Washington (1796)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Biden Green-Lights Putin’s Pipeline

The State Department waived sanctions against the company constructing the Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Thomas Gallatin

Who was it that Democrats and the Leftmedia repeatedly insisted was “colluding” with Vladimir Putin? Well, it appears that despite his tough-guy rhetoric, the man in the White House most guilty of acting as a Putin stooge is Joe Biden. On Tuesday, Biden’s State Department acknowledged that it’s waiving sanctions against the company building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline — sanctions Donald Trump approved.

Makings matters worse is the fact that just two months ago, Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement affirming Biden’s commitment to enforcing the sanctions, noting, “Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal — for Germany, for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European allies.”

Blinken even explained why it was a bad deal: “This pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security.” Moreover, he added, “The Biden Administration is committed to complying with that legislation. The Department reiterates its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks U.S. sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline.”

What changed to now make waiving the sanctions good policy? Nothing. Instead, Biden’s talking tough and then backing down when it comes time to stand up. Germany wants the pipeline, so Biden folded. As Axios reports, “The Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany over this pipeline.” Evidently, standing by Ukraine in its increasingly tenuous situation with Russia is all mere talk too.

Besides this ill-advised bowing to a geopolitical rival, whatever happened to Biden’s commitment to combat global climate change? That was, after all, the lame justification given for his Day One executive order killing the Keystone XL pipeline, costing thousands of American jobs. Evidently, Biden’s insistence of needing to fight the global climate “crisis” stops at the U.S. border. Or maybe it’s just mere talk as well.

To round things up, Biden is acting to weaken America’s energy independence and infrastructure development, as well as put much of Europe under Putin’s sway, all while we’re still reeling from last week’s Russian cyberattack on our energy infrastructure via the Colonial Pipeline. So, tell us again, who’s the real Putin stooge?

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The Abolition of ICE

Thanks to Joe Biden, our Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency now exists in name only.

Douglas Andrews

Leftists have upped their euphemism game of late, and they needed to. Because their ideas, when viewed in plain sight and explained in plain language, are becoming more repulsive by the day.

Take last summer’s riots, for example, and the calls of the Democrats’ hard-left flank to “defund” or “abolish” the police. Try as they might, their leadership couldn’t unsay those awful utterances, but they did manage to educate Sandy Cortez and her ilk on how to keep from turning off four-fifths of the American people whenever they open their mouths: Instead of “defund” or “abolish,” try saying something softer, subtler, smoother. Try saying “reimagine” instead.

Cortez appears to have learned her lesson, at least partially, because this is what she tweeted on February 23: “It’s only 2 mos into this admin & our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform in that time. That’s why bold reimagination is so impt. DHS shouldn’t exist, agencies should be reorganized, ICE gotta go, ban for-profit detention, create climate refugee status & more.”

“Reimagination,” she said. But also: “ICE gotta go.”

And away ICE went. Not literally, of course, but functionally. Our nation’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has become a toothless shadow of its former self.

“Did you miss the story about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) being abolished?” asked Gary Bauer. “Joe Biden and his open borders gang are smart enough to avoid saying it out loud, as the socialist Squad does. [They] effectively abolished ICE, but they’ll never tell you they did it. Last month, deportations hit a record low, even as illegal border crossings are surging to record highs. Under new Biden Administration regulations, ICE has effectively been handcuffed.”

Let that sink in. Deportations are at a record low, yet border crossings are at an all-time high. The math speaks for itself.

Crisis? What crisisThere’s no crisis here, says the crisis-free Biden administration.

“The more we learn about the true dimensions of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border,” writes the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, “the worse it is. Now, a new report says that in the last few months U.S. authorities have encountered illegal border crossers not just from Mexico, or the Northern Triangle countries, but from 160 nations around the globe. People are coming to Mexico from the most distant spots on the planet in order to cross illegally into the United States, confident that President Joe Biden will let them stay. And Biden is doing just that.”

They’re coming from the “Northern Triangle” countries, of course — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — but they’re also coming from Ecuador, and Venezuela, and the Middle East, and India, and elsewhere in Asia.

As York reports, they’re flying to Mexico City, and from there they take a two-day bus ride to the border. “Aid workers report seeing migrants from everywhere — ‘Arabic, Haitian Creole, Hindi and Portuguese speakers,’ among many others.”

And why are they coming? “Because,” as York writes, “they have heard — correctly — that this moment presents a huge opportunity to enter the United States illegally without fear of being sent home. ‘While most of the migrants do not necessarily understand the intricacies of U.S. border policy, many said in interviews that they perceived a limited-time offer to enter the United States,’” said one reporter. “Friends and family members already in the country, along with smugglers eager to cash in, have assured them that they will not be turned away — and this is proving to be true.”

The end result is needless to say, but Bauer says it anyway: “Most Americans are not happy with Biden’s handling of the border. They blame him for the current crisis, and prefer Trump’s border security policies over Biden’s open borders agenda.”

But AOC got her wish. ICE has essentially been abol… uh, “reimagined.”

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Companies Are Panic Buying, Too

With future inventories questionable, businesses are shelving the “just in time” economy.

Michael Swartz

Back about, oh, 18 months ago when our economy was humming along, American businesses lived by a credo of “just in time.” This meant suppliers and retailers chose to provide products as ordered and as needed, keeping inventories thin to save on warehouse space and, for some products, tax liability. Once the pandemic hit, though, a massive toilet paper shortage became just the first of many problems — the “just in time” principle meant backstocks were lean and they ran out quickly. Meanwhile, even essential facilities had issues keeping their workforce thanks to COVID and its associated restrictions.

Now, however, while we’re a year past the scariest part of the COVID shortages, we still have massive problems in the supply chain that can’t seem to be unkinked. While the backlog of container ships still waiting to be unloaded off the California coast provides a good indicator of the issue, the East Coast gasoline shortage earlier this month was a case in point that arguably hit closer to home. The mentality of people who were hoarding a flammable and corrosive product in plastic containers was questionable but understandable. After all, we’ve endured a year of shell shocks with shortages and vastly increased prices for a significant portion of our staple commodities such as lumber, appliances, foodstuffs, and even computer chips. Moreover, even if you don’t live in an area directly affected by the Colonial Pipeline incident, you’re still seeing its effects at the pump.

With the more skittish among us reacting with panic to the latest shock of a temporary pipeline breach, it’s easier to imagine that companies are stocking up in the same way, even if it costs more. Bloomberg News spoke with Dennis Wolkin, the CEO of a small foam mattress company, and noted, “Though polyurethane foam is 50% more expensive than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, Wolkin would buy twice the amount he needs and look for warehouse space rather than reject orders from new customers. ‘Every company like us is going to overbuy,’ he said.”

That fear of being caught short, combined with a potential long-term shift from brick-and-mortar retailing, has made warehouse space an “in” thing — particularly in urban areas and non-traditional locations, such as shuttered former department stores. For that purpose, cost is not an issue.

But the Bloomberg story also uncovers another angle, stating, “The U.S. Federal Reserve is facing new questions about when it will hike rates to stave off inflation — and the perceived political risk already threatens to upset President Joe Biden’s spending plans.”

Uncle Sam can only pay people not to work (and artificially drive up wages) for so long before the excess money supply swamps the lack of value created and stokes the same type of stagflation we last saw in the Jimmy Carter years. We can’t keep interest rates near zero forever, and someone has to pay for Wolkin’s warehouse space for his foam, not to mention the increased cost to his company from the supplier.

In a normal economy, shortages would work themselves out as entrepreneurs would step in to address the market, increasing supplies and eventually allowing prices to level off. In the post-China virus America, however, government meddling and coddling of favored industries and constituents (such as with generous unemployment benefits and, soon, a child tax credit giveaway) will likely prolong the pain until the people can address the shortage of common sense by electing leaders who believe more in equal opportunity and letting the private sector deal with problems than in perpetuating the equality of misery we have now.

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SCOTUS Takes Up Long-Awaited Abortion Case

This case could significantly impact Roe v. Wade.

Thomas Gallatin

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case regarding life in the womb, and the ruling promises to have signifiant ramifications for abortion and perhaps even the deadly legacy of two of the worst rulings the Court has ever handed down, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Court’s current 6-3 conservative majority has pro-life proponents guardedly optimistic for a favorable decision, expected sometime in the spring of 2022.

The case in question is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which raises the question of the constitutionality of states implementing laws that ban abortions after a preborn baby reaches a certain stage of gestational development. This is the basis for the “heartbeat bills” that have been recently passed in several states.

In 2018, Mississippi passed a ban on abortions after 15 weeks except “in a medical emergency or in case of a severe fetal abnormality.” For context, the 15-week mark comes within the second trimester of a baby’s gestational development, well after a heartbeat is detectable at about six weeks but well before viability, which is generally about 23 or 24 weeks. As such, the Dobbs case represents a more modest abortion ban when compared to that of similar heartbeat bills, though it clearly challenges the wide-ranging precedents of Roe and Casey.

Before the law went into effect, a Mississippi judge issued an injunction that was subsequently upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit later ruled against the state, asserting, “No state interest is constitutionally adequate to ban abortions before viability.” While Fifth Circuit Judge James Ho correctly observed that “nothing in the text or original understanding of the Constitution establishes a right to an abortion,” he went along with the ruling by citing the precedent the Supreme Court established in its 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, which established viability rather than pain avoidance for determining the demarkation line for banning abortion.

However, with advances in modern medicine and scientific knowledge, the viability line has been shown to be both increasingly less applicable and even arbitrary. As such, this case presents a potentially significant decision that could have a profound impact on the landmark Roe v. Wade abomination. In other words, if the conservative Court overturns Dobbs, that would in turn put the crosshairs on Roe itself. Overturning Roe, of course, would not ban abortions; rather it would send the issue back to the states as the federalism issue it always has been.

Meanwhile, what does the “very Catholic” President Joe Biden think about this case and protecting life as his church teaches? “The president is committed to codifying Roe,” said Press Secretary Jen Psaki on his behalf, “unrelated … to the outcome of this case.” That’s very Democrat, but it’s anti-Catholic and anti-life.

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Military Officer’s Warning About CRT and Marxism

“Critical Race Theory and Marxism are antithetical to American values.”

Douglas Andrews

We figured it was only a matter of time, but an active-duty officer has finally taken one for the team.

That team, of course, is the U.S. military, and the figurative bullet taken by Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lohmeier might ultimately cost him his career. But the consolation seems well worth it: He’s struck a blow against the overlapping threats of Critical Race Theory and Marxism in our military, and his self-published book on the topic, Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military, is now an Amazon bestseller.

As the Washington Examiner’s Carly Ortiz-Lytle reports, “A commander in the United States Space Force was apparently relieved from his post after appearing on a podcast to promote his book, which asserts a neo-Marxist agenda is transforming military culture and policy. ‘Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting … relieved Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier of command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, May 14, due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead,’ the Space Force said … ‘This decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier in a recent podcast. Lt. Gen. Whiting has initiated a Command Directed Investigation (CDI) on whether these comments constituted prohibited partisan political activity.’”

The podcast in question was that of L. Todd Wood of Creative Destruction Media, who hosted Lohmeier for 30 minutes on May 7. It was a fascinating interview. And then all hell broke loose.

If we had to bet, we’d say the outcome of Whiting’s investigation is a fait accompli. Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 prohibits active-duty personnel from engaging in “partisan political activities,” and the last thing Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Lieutenant General Whiting, or anyone else along Lohmeier’s chain of command wants to do is to embolden the active-duty officer corps. It’s one thing when retired generals and admirals speak out against the socialist and Marxist threats facing our nation, but it’s a far more dangerous thing when those in active leadership roles take the same initiative.

Before being relieved of his command, Lohmeier, an Air Force Academy graduate, flight instructor, and F-15 fighter pilot, was responsible for a U.S. Space Force unit tasked with detecting ballistic missile launches. “I don’t believe I was being partisan,” he said on Monday. “The reason I say that is because Critical Race Theory and Marxism are antithetical to American values. Critical Race Theory fuels narratives that attack America’s founding documents. … I don’t criticize any leader, or any person in the DoD, or any elected officials, but I try to tee up ideas that I think are toxic.”

He teed them up all right, and he appears to have done so at Secretary Austin’s unwitting invitation. On February 5, Austin ordered a military-wide, one-day stand-down to address the issue of extremism. Two weeks later, in a five-minute video directed to our nation’s more than two million active-duty and reserve military personnel, here’s the substance of what Austin said:

We need your help. I’m talking, of course, about extremism and extremist ideology — views and conduct that run counter to everything that we believe in, and which can actually tear at the fabric of who we are as an institution. … We’ve got to be better than that. And not just for ourselves … but also for the country and the very idea of what the United States represents to the world. … I want you to revisit the oath that you took when you joined the military. … Read those words again. Consider what they really mean. And think about the promise that you made to yourselves, and to your teammates, and to your fellow citizens. I also want you to share with your leadership your own personal experiences with encountering extremists and extremist ideology in the military … and I want your leadership to listen to those stories. And I want them to listen to any ideas that you might have to help us stamp out of the ranks the dangerous conduct that this ideology inspires. … So we can’t afford actions and behavior that are at odds with our values, and that undermine good order and discipline, that harm or harass or otherwise violate the oath that we share, and the bonds of trust upon which we all rely.

To Secretary Austin we would ask: What is Critical Race Theory if not an “extremist ideology” that pits one race against another and thereby undermines “good order and discipline”? And what about Marxism, whose murderous tenets “run counter to everything that we believe in”?

As for the Oath of Enlistment, it begins, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Here we would ask: What is Lohmeier doing if not supporting and defending the Constitution against its very antithesis, Marxism?

Our military is adrift, set so by the ardent leftists in the White House and the Pentagon. Our Armed Forces are drifting dangerously away from their core mission of deterring war and ensuring our nation’s security. And while Marxist legions haven’t infiltrated our military, their ideas certainly have.

Based on Secretary Austin’s order, Lt. Col. Lohmeier was right to speak out — indeed, he was required to speak out. We can be grateful that he did, and we can hope that other patriotic officers and enlisted personnel will be emboldened to do the same.

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On the Web

EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Virtue-signaling Hate Crimes Act passes Congress, heads to Biden (NPR)

Government & Politics

  • Senate GOP will “push the pause button” on House riot commission (Washington Examiner)
  • New York attorney general says Trump Org probe is now criminal (AP)
  • Citizenship rules eased for kids born abroad via IVF or surrogacy (Roll Call)
  • President Decency jokes about running over reporter with vehicle during Ford test drive (Fox News)

National Security

  • Dozens of House Dems cite “racial reckoning” to oppose targeting gang members for deportation (Fox News)
  • More than 61,000 migrants released into the U.S. under Biden (Washington Examiner)
  • Border officials seized more fentanyl in the first four months of 2021 than during the same period in 2020 (Daily Caller)

Around the Nation

  • Several states report zero COVID deaths for the first time in months (Axios)
  • Texas governor bans mask mandates for public schools, local governments (Axios)
  • Officers won’t be charged in fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. (The Hill)

Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate

  • Black Lives Matter “stands in solidarity” with Palestinians, vows to fight for “Palestinian liberation” (Fox News)
  • Twitter doesn’t follow the science, suspends Spanish politician for tweeting “a man cannot get pregnant” (PJ Media)
  • Virginia Little League coaches must attend “antiracist” training (Free Beacon)
  • Ultra-woke “Saturday Night Live” hits ultra-low rating (Daily Wire)

Annals of Integrity

  • Tennessee to mandate bathroom signs about transgender use (AP)
  • “A danger for our country”: France bans woke gender-neutral language in schools (Daily Wire)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: Tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber hitting U.S. homebuyers hard (Heritage Foundation)
  • Policy: How monetary expansion creates income and wealth inequality (Mises Institute)
  • Satire: Luke Skywalker condemned for blowing up Associated Press office located on Death Star (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.” —Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Observations: “As the Biden Administration is pushing its open borders policies and dramatically increasing the number of refugees it is bringing into the country, it is worth asking how these new arrivals are being vetted, and whether they are even being vetted at all. Donald Trump suspended immigration from nations that were known hot beds of terrorism and anti-Semitism. He was blasted as a bigot for doing so. But why should we be importing more anti-Semitism into America? No one has been able to explain that to me, and it’s a legitimate question that our policymakers should be required to answer.” —Gary Bauer

For the record: “The reason there is a war right now between Israel and Hamas is that Israel exists. It has nothing to do with anything Israel has actually done. Hamas and its backers in Iran do not have disputes with Israel. They have a dispute with Israel’s existence. There is, therefore, nothing Israel can do that would satisfy its enemies except agree to destroy itself as the one Jewish state in the world. For most (not all) Muslims and for most (not all) Muslim states and for the left, there is room in the world for 22 Arab countries and for more than 50 Muslim countries, but there is no room for one Jewish state, even one the size of New Jersey and smaller than El Salvador. Hamas and its supporters in Iran regularly announce they seek Israel’s destruction. There is no parallel to this in the world. No groups or nations seek the obliteration of any other nation in the world. This is in keeping with the history of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is not just another ethnic or racial bigotry. I wish it were. Anti-Semitism, unlike every other form of racism or ethnic bigotry, is exterminationist. Jew-haters don’t merely hate Jews; they want Jews dead. That is one of the many reasons that every honest person understands that anti-Zionism is merely the latest expression of anti-Semitism. The anti-Zionist claim is that Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is illegitimate.”—Dennis Prager

Food for thought: “I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like of people who think January 6th was the worst attack on democracy ever and that Israel gets way too worked up about rockets being launched at them constantly.” —Frank J. Fleming

Grand delusions: “Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don’t think [the Trump administration] did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

Political theater: “Before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals. But being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low. And that’s the reason why in indoor settings now I feel comfortable about not wearing the mask.” —Dr. Anthony Fauci

Care to elaborate? “Ultimately, those who are not vaccinated will end up paying the price.” —Joe Biden

The BIG Lie: “We’ve gone from stagnation to an economy that is growing faster than it has in nearly 40 years.” —Joe Biden

Non sequitur: “The 99% in America paid 7.2% of their total wealth in taxes last year, while the top 0.1% paid only 3.2%. The wealthy and well-connected need to start paying their fair share.” —Senator Elizabeth Warren (“Very weak argument, Senator. Facts: The top 1% pay about 40% of total federal revenue. The bottom 50% of earners pay about 3% of total federal revenue. ” —Congressman Dan Crenshaw)

Race bait: “[The pro-life movement is] not about science or consensus. It’s about dividing lines, legislating to the far-right white-fright vote, flooding the zone with 536 bills that abridge a woman’s right to control her own body, in 46 states. It’s just like voting rights in one way.” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo

And last… “Weird to think there are a bunch of people celebrating because the government has given them permission to do what the rest of us never stopped doing for the last year and a half. They legitimately believe the CDC gives them their rights.” —Candace Owens

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TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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Gov. Greg Abbott signs ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill banning most abortions in Texas

Fetal heartbeat may be detected at 6 weeks after a woman’s period, before some realize they’re pregnant. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the ban Wednesday.

Source: Gov. Greg Abbott signs ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill banning most abortions in Texas