Daily Archives: January 17, 2022

He Freely Gives — VCY America

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Romans 8:32

If this is not a promise in form, it is in fact. Indeed, it is more than one promise, it is a conglomerate of promises. It is a mass of rubies, and emeralds, and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. It is a question which can never be answered so as to cause us any anxiety of heart. What can the Lord deny us after giving us Jesus? If we need all things in heaven and earth, He will grant them to us: for if there had been a limit anywhere, He would have kept back His own Son.

What do I want today? I have only to ask for it. I may seek earnestly, but not as if I had to use pressure and extort an unwilling gift from the Lord’s hand; for He will give freely. Of His own He gave us His own Son. Certainly no one would have proposed such a gift to Him. No one would have ventured to ask for it. It would have been too presumptuous. He freely gave His Only-begotten, and, O my soul, canst thou not trust thy heavenly Father to give thee anything, to give thee everything? Thy poor prayer would have no force with Omnipotence if force were needed; but His love, like a spring, rises of itself and overflows for the supply of all thy needs.

He Freely Gives — VCY America

The Bible Is Incompatible Truth — Grace to You Blog

The exclusive claims of Scripture are at loggerheads with our pluralistic and relativistic culture. Today we live in a world dominated by inclusive prattle and “coexist” bumper stickers. Religions and philosophies only have value and merit inasmuch as they do not step on one anothers’ toes. The marketplace of ideas has been replaced with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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The Bible Is Incompatible Truth — Grace to You Blog

The Bible and its Story: Jotham in Exile

‎After Gideon’s death there came a time of confusion. One evil, or at least mistaken, thing he had done. Out of the spoils of the Midianites he had made a splendid great golden image and set it up in his home city of Ophrah, as a memorial. In time the ignorant Israelites came to worship this image as though it, rather than the Almighty, had been Gideon’s god. So when Gideon was dead they wholly forgot his teachings; they worshipped idols, and would have made kings of his sons who dwelt at Ophrah. There were seventy of these sons, one of whom, Abimelech, was shrewder and stronger and more wicked than his brethren. Abimelech plotted to have the kingship for himself alone. So he came with assassins from his mother’s city of Shechem and slew all his brothers, except the youngest, Jotham, who escaped. Then the Shechemites made Abimelech king, Israel’s first king.

‎Jotham, fleeing from before them, stopped on Mount Gerizim which overlooks Shechem, and cried out to the men beneath him a bitter parable. He compared Abimelech to the bramble which was made king over all the trees, but could give them no aid nor protection, and in the end burned them with fire; and they also burned the bramble. So should it be with Abimelech and the Shechemites. Then Jotham fled into the wilderness, where he lived and died in exile.

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

Are Churches Open to Apologetics? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Are churches familiar with Christian apologetics? Are they open to defending the claims of Christianity with their congregations? How can we encourage the Church to embrace Christian Case Making? J. Warner joins a conference panel from his time serving with Stand to Reason to answer these questions.

To see more training videos with J. Warner and Jimmy Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.

For more information about the nature of Biblical faith and a strategy for communicating the truth of Christianity, please read Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. This book teaches readers four reasonable, evidential characteristics of Christianity and provides a strategy for sharing Christianity with others. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Forensic Faith DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

Are Churches Open to Apologetics? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

January 17 – Responding to the world — Reformed Perspective

“…the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them (God’s Words) into the fire… until the entire scroll was consumed… – Jeremiah 36:23 

Scripture reading: Jeremiah 36:1-32

God’s people are known as the people of the book. The Bible is God’s love letter to us proclaiming the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible opens up for us Kingdom Life.

Our Scripture meditation today speaks of one who closed his heart to God’s Word. Jehoiakim symbolically testified to his rejection of God’s Word by burning the scroll, literally burning God’s message to him.

Today much of Western society has rejected God’s Word. They give it no attention. Many scorn God’s Holy Word. What about you? Do you hold to the trustworthiness of Scripture from cover to cover? Are there parts of Scripture that we cut out with our “pen-knives”?

May God in His grace give us this ongoing conviction:

He who has once got fairly into the Scriptures can never leave them. The book holds you as a magnet holds a needle, or as a flower holds a bee. If you want great thoughts, read your Bible. If you want something simple, read your Bible. The book talks to us in our own mother tongue. Why should I have to ask another what my Father says?” – C. H. Spurgeon

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the LORD to find us humble before Him and His Word of Promise.

Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.

January 17 – Responding to the world — Reformed Perspective

January 17 Evening Verse of The Day

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12:13 Some argue that these words, “fear God and keep his commands,” are inconsistent with the rest of the book and that they must have been added by a later editor who wanted to make Ecclesiastes appear more “orthodox.” This view requires the interpreter to see the bulk of the book as the work of a cynical skeptic. In reality, Ecclesiastes is not “cynical” at all. It calls on us to face the significance of mortality: We will die, and all our accomplishments will die with us. Because life is short and we are weak, we should enjoy the time we have. But we should also abandon excessive and prideful efforts to control life; it is in the hands of God, not our own, and ultimately our mortality drives us to him as “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (v. 7).[1]

12:13 In this verse is the author’s own statement of the overall theme of the entire book. Amid all the difficulties and inequities of life, as well as in the midst of all life’s blessings and prosperity, one duty remains primary and unchanging: man’s honor and obedience to the Creator God. This alone will merit and secure happiness and fruitfulness on earth and throughout eternity.[2]

12:13 end of the matter. Loyal submission to the rule of God is the central and summary admonition of wisdom literature (5:7; Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; 9:10).[3]

12:13 the final conclusion The book reaches its conclusion. The definiteness of this advice contrasts with the unending, wearisome, and ultimately futile search for wisdom of the previous verse.

Fear God and obey his commandments In light of humanity’s limitation and God’s supremacy as seen throughout the book, the only proper attitude in life is one of trust and obedience to God. See note on Eccles 3:14.

the whole duty of man Fearing God and keeping His commandments are the duties of all people.[4]

12:13 — Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.

From Genesis to Revelation, God instructs and urges His people to obey His commands and to fear His great Name. Yet we are to do so with joy in our souls and love in our hearts (1 Cor. 16:22).[5]

12:13 To fear God is one of the major themes of this book and of wisdom literature in the OT. To fear God is to respond to Him in awe, reverence, and wonder, to serve Him in purity of action, and to shun evil and any worship of anything else in His universe. keep His commandments: The commandments of the Law are in view here. Jesus summed them up as to “love the Lord your God” and “your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:34–40). man’s all: We are whole or complete only when we fear God and obey His commandments. What profit is there in living? If we follow what this book has said, we will have a relationship with God and find life in Him.[6]

12:13 His final conclusion may give the impression that he has at last risen above the sun. He says, “Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man, man’s all.” But we must keep in mind that the fear of God here is not the same as saving faith. It is the slavish terror of a creature before His Creator. And the commandments do not necessarily mean the law of God as revealed in the OT. Rather they might mean any commands which God has instinctively written on the hearts of mankind.

In other words, we need not assign a high degree of spiritual insight to Solomon’s words. They may be nothing more than what a wise person would conclude from natural intuition and from practical experience.

This is man’s all—not just the whole duty but the basic elements that make for a full and happy life.[7]

12:13. The book concludes (here is the conclusion of the matter) with an explicit recommendation to fear God and keep His commandments. These words were not added by someone other than Solomon, as is often claimed, but are the culmination of many other implicit references in Ecclesiastes to fear God and serve Him acceptably (cf. comments on 2:24–26; 7:15–18; 11:9–10; 12:1). Here Solomon said such reverence and service are everyone’s duty (nasb‘s “this applies to every person” is preferred to niv‘s this is the whole duty of man).[8]

Ver. 13. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments.The purpose of life:

I. Life has a purpose. The architect intends the building he designs and erects to answer a specific end; so is it with the engineer, the ship-builder, the mechanic, the artist, the creator and fashioner of any work. Surely God must have had some end in view in making the universe, and in making us what we are, and in placing us in the midst of such wondrous realities.

II. What is the purpose of life?

1. It is our business to see that we get into right relationship with God. By nature and by practice we are in a state of alienation from Him; there is a breach of our own making—between Him and us. Our prime concern should be to get that breach healed. This is possible.

2. Our reconciliation to God effected, we should constantly love Him and obey Him, and seek His glory. For this He has given us life, physical strength, mental endowments, our spiritual nature. He has placed us here that we may do His will. This should be our continual aim. To engage in this employ should be considered rather a privilege than an obligation. In all pursuits and circumstances we should seek to live for God. Indeed, we can only fulfil this purpose by attending to details. It is only by being faithful in the least that we can be faithful in much. In mosaic, it is the filling up with small pieces that often gives completeness and beauty to the design. The neglect of little things sometimes leads to serious results. Let life’s details be “with God.” If we take heed to this, all our work will be done well.

3. The purpose of life embraces love and service to all mankind. In the sins and sorrows of men; in their struggle with poverty—aye, and with riches; in their temptations, and need of succour and sympathy; in all these see your field of toil. Up to your work. Perform it with glad heart and diligent hands; and never grow weary—at all events, never grow idle—till you can say, as your Master said—“It is finished.” When Dr. Donne was dying, he said, “I count all that part of my life lost which I spent not in communion with God, or in doing good.” (W. Walters.)

The moral of it all:

There are times when every one of us is either constrained by sorrow, or invited by the hope of profit, to take stock of his recollections. We have all desired eagerly, we have all toiled; not one of us but has had his aspirations and his disappointments. Life has turned out, and will, we suppose, turn out differently from what we either hoped or found when we sallied forth upon its ways untried. The book is sympathetic with all who have lost their illusions; with all who watch the bright dreams die out one by one like the fairy lamps of some summer’s festival. How often have we exclaimed with the Preacher, as the hollowness of each pretence of this most pretentious world has been exposed by our own trial: “This also is vanity!” But there is another side to the subject. Some things are real. Never does the author of this book speak of religion as if it were an illusion, or of God as if He were other than true. The spiritual part by which we are related to God and know God is our genuine self. It is because the soul wants truth that it discards so impatiently the counterfeits of truth that press upon its notice. If there were not a vital spark of worth in the soul it would never criticize so severely the mass of worthlessness which surrounds it. That, then, is our subject—the vanity of the world and the worth of religion, and each of these seen, and seen only, in contrast and foil to the other.

1. We may name three things on which the moralist writes the legend of vanity—human labour, human knowledge, human pleasure.

(1) One of his thoughts about labour is that it seems a fruitless fretting against the fixed forces of nature. “The earth abideth for ever.” Suns arise and set; the wind shifts from quarter to quarter; the rivers flow to the sea, and the brooks flow to the rivers. There are times when we are oppressed with this thought, and it becomes unbearable. As one of our English noblemen, who had a mansion overlooking the beautiful valley of the Thames, said: “I cannot understand why people delight in the view of the river; there it is—flow, flow, flow, always the same!” How speedily the effect of man’s toil vanishes from the face of Nature! There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of well-ordered gardens or cultivated field; yet how quickly does Nature, as if in defiance of man’s effort at improvement, come rushing back with her weeds and wildness!

(2) Again, the contrast of human knowledge and wisdom with the sameness of human nature leads to the same reflection of disappointment. Increase of knowledge means increase of sorrow. The study of history brings to light a long series of passionate struggles after truth and good, which have incessantly to be begun anew.

(3) The Preacher turned with sickness of heart from the toil of knowledge, and betook himself to refined pleasures. The thought of death, levelling all distinctions, intruded itself upon him. The wise man is equalled in the earth at last with the fool. Life became odious to him because the work wrought under the sun was grievous to him; for all was vanity and vexation of spirit.

2. And now we come to “the conclusion of the whole matter.” If this legend, “Vanity and vexation of spirit,” is to be written upon the objects of human desire and delight, if the world sounds hollow wherever we touch it, where is reality to be found? The simple answer of the Preacher is, it is to be found in religion: “Fear God, and keep His commandments.” God is real as the soul is real. He is, as Augustine describes Him, the Life of our life, the core of our hearts. God is that pure and perfect Being for alliance and communion with whom we long. And it is the light we have from Him and in Him which makes the world look so dark, the perception of His rightness which throws into painful contrast the crookedness of men’s ways, and of His beauty which makes their wickedness so deformed. And our happiness must lie, for each one of us, in loyalty to Him, in the keeping of His laws, whether they be known to us through the study of Nature or of sacred Scriptures, or by attentive study of our own hearts and the oracular spirit of holiness, whose influence is felt therein. It is in weariness of the world that we fall back upon the sweetness and truthfulness of pure religion for our refreshment and solace; it is when we have given up the conceit of being wiser than our forefathers, and the hope of setting crooked things straight, that we see distinctly the cultivation of our souls to be our main concern, and the only way to better the world is by reverently attending to our duty in wholeness and simplicity of heart. It is an ill thing for us if, when we have found out the hollowness of this bubble-like world, the trickiness and imposture of human nature, we say: “We will live like the rest, we will not take things seriously, we will pass on our way with a smile and a jest, trusting nothing, hoping nothing.” It is only the presence of God that is of substantial and eternal good, that can console us for the vanity of earthly things, as the Preacher found so long ago. (E. Johnson, M.A.)

Making the most of life:—

What is meant by “making the most of life”? The answer may be given in four distinct yet related propositions.

I. The wise reckoning of life in its end, aims, limitations, and possibilities. Life is a serious and tremendous reality; life is short at best; life is freighted with infinite possibilities of good and evil; life is a responsible trust of infinite solemnity and importance. To enter upon such a life and spend its precious years, and part with its priceless opportunities, without due consideration, with no serious thought of the future—the end, the obligations and the final issues of life—is to act the part of a fool and a wanton sinner.

II. The right choice of means for the securing of life’s great end. Life is a rational, fearful trust, which God has put into our hands, and He will hold us strictly responsible for the use and outcome of it. On the right choice of means and their wise and faithful application will depend mainly the tone, the character, the fruit, and the final outcome of life itself.

III. A jealous husbanding of all the resources at our command, in order to accomplish life’s end and mission.

IV. The utmost outlay of will and energy and effort to get the best possible results out of this brief period of probationary existence. The present is the seedtime of an eternal existence. Brief as this life is it affords the only chance of heaven. Our days are “numbered” from the start—enough, but not one too many, for the work given us to do. We must up and haste. (J. M. Sherwood, D.D.)

The fear of God:—

The fear of God which he holds up before us, as the whole work and duty and happiness of man, is such a fear as blends with love, and issues in all holy obedience, in the keeping of God’s commandments, heartily, impartially, universally.

I. The principle of religion. This is the fear of God, not such a dread as wicked men have, and which makes them tremble—like the devils in their prison beneath, but a holy and reverential sense of His majesty—a belief in His presence, power, and goodness—the adoration of His love and wisdom—the reliance upon His providence and the dread of His displeasure. By consequence, the fear of God includes our belief in Him, as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word. The fear of God which I now commend to you is a mixed feeling—love, faith, confidence must blend with it. This is the inward principle of religion—without it there can be no acceptable worship. There are two extremes from which it is alike distant. The one extreme is that dread, which engenders superstition and human devices for its palliation and removal.

II. This fear is seen in its results—it necessarily leads to practice; it is in connection with duty and obedience. When we see the movements of a clock, or any complex machine, we know that there is a power at work within. If the hands of a watch move, we know that there is a cause; the result follows of course. It is so with the outward acts of religion when they are right; they spring from the inward principle. The great virtue of this inward principle is, that it actuates man in his conduct universally; it gives a right aim and tendency both to his desires and affections—both to his words and works. To govern the tongue, to restrain the appetites of the body, to correct the temper, to keep down the swellings of pride, the suggestions of malice and revenge, to curb all dishonesty in desire and action, to secure temperance, soberness, and chastity; “to keep the hands from picking and stealing, and the tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering;” to establish truth and integrity in the deep places of the heart; these are all results flowing from an inward principle of the fear of God.

III. This is the whole of man; his whole duty, his highest achievement, his noblest work. (H. J. Hastings, M.A.)

What is the whole duty of man:—

The Book of Ecclesiastes resembles that of Job—its aim is not disclosed till it ends. It might be called the Book of Awakening and Renunciation. If we look at life from a mere earthly point of view it is not worth living. All is vanity; what’s the use? As the book closes it reveals the true philosophy of life.

I. The fear of God. This includes a variety of feelings.

1. Reverence. This may be viewed as threefold, according to Goethe’s profound view of education—reverence for what is above us, reverence for our equals, and reverence for what is below us.

2. The fear of offending God by doing what is sinful.

3. This fear, which springs from reverence, has in it no torment, and is closely allied to hope.

II. The obedience of God. To keep His commandments includes the whole duty of man; or this is every man’s duty. The tree of duty supports many branches.

1. Our duty to God.

2. Our duty to ourselves.

3. Our duty to others.

III. Some reasons.

1. Our whole life shall be judged.

2. Every secret thing in the whole of life shall be revealed in the judgment, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (L. O. Thompson.)

The summary of manhood:—

There is no need to caution men against the fear of God. The tendency to-day is not to fear too much, but too little.

I. Fear God. Godly fear is salutary.

1. It fosters reverence.

2. It guards virtue.

3. It restrains from sin.

4. It impels to obedience; to the—

II. Keeping of God’s commandments; of the commandment.

1. To repent.

2. To believe in the Lord Jesus. These are preliminary—to keeping—

3. The great commandment; and—

4. That “like unto it,” and the command—

5. To walk in “all the statutes of the Lord.”

III. “This is the whole duty of man;” rather, “this is the whole”—that is, this is everything—“so far as man’s life is concerned.” This is everything as it relates—

1. To faith.

2. To experience.

3. To conduct.

4. To service. Thus you get the complete man. (R. C. Cowell.)

The whole duty of man:—

This suggests as a theme for meditation the fact that the religion revealed by God includes the entire sphere of possible human activity; that there is nothing good that a man can think, do, or say, or feel, which cannot in its highest forms be shown to be rooted in, and a fruit of, the religion which God has revealed. “Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.”

I. The first point to determine is the meaning of the word fear. It is not slavish fear; it is not the feeling that a man might have who was writhing on the earth at the approach of a despot, and expecting to be ground into dust by the stamp of his iron heel. The scriptural meaning of fear is what we suggest by the word revere. “Revere God, and keep His commandments.” This is the “fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom.” Revering God as our Creator, as the Sovereign of the universe, as the one Lawgiver, is the union of the intellect which approves, and the heart which loves, and the will which consents. They are all in the single word revere. When reverence for God exists in a human soul, the natural attitude of that soul is the attitude which led St. Paul, while yet his name was Saul, to cry out: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?”

II. When a child of God, revering Him, asks this question, he finds that the commandments of God include his devotions. The explanation of prayer, of the holy Sabbath, and of the Word of God is to be found in the fact that they create, maintain, and increase reverence.

III. Observe, also, that God’s commands take the form of righteousness, and these commands are simplified, and then details are presented under them. The first and great commandment is that “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, and strength.” The only definition of the love of God which can satisfy the mind or the heart is “to have an intense desire to please Him.” It will apply equally to spirits in the body and out of the body. And the second is like unto it: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This does not mean more than thyself, as some fanatics have supposed, but as thyself; not in the sense of caring for thy neighbour as for thyself, or of caring for his house, his children, his life; but in this sense: that thou wilt do good to thy neighbour as thou hast opportunity, and that thou wilt not do evil to him even for thine own transient advantage. (J. M. Buckley, D.D.)[9]

13. The Preacher’s message is summarized in two points which concern the greatness of God and the Word of God. The Hebrew emphasizes the words God and commands. The fear of God is the realization of his unchanging power and justice (3:14). It delivers from wickedness and self-righteousness (7:18) and leads to a hatred of sin (5:6f.; 8:12f.). If it is the ‘beginning of wisdom’ (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10) it also is the end, the conclusion; no progress in the believer’s life leaves it behind. Nor is the testimony of the New Testament any different (cf. 2 Cor. 7:1).

The reader is urged to keep his commandments. The order of the two points (fear … keep) is significant. Conduct derives from worship. A knowledge of God leads to obedience; not vice versa. This is the only place in Ecclesiastes where the commands of God are mentioned. The body of the book has simply placed two alternative views of life over against each other and the life of faith has been commended. Now in the epilogue, almost as an aside, it is pointed out that such a life will have implications. It must not be restricted to the Mosaic law. It refers to all that is known to be God’s will. The last phrase reads literally: ‘For this is the whole of the man.’ Elsewhere in Ecclesiastes, however, the ‘whole of the man’ is a Hebrew idiom for ‘every man’ (cf. 3:13; 5:19). The sense, therefore, is ‘This applies to everyone’.[10]

Ver. 13.—The teaching of the whole book is now gathered up in two weighty sentences. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. The Revised Version gives, This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard. The Septuagint has, Τέλος λόγου, τὸπᾶν ἄκουε, “The end of the matter, the sum, hear thou;” Vulgate, Finem loquendi pariter omnes audiamus. Another rendering is suggested, “The conclusion of the matter is this, that [God] taketh knowledge of all things;” literally, “everything is heard.” Perhaps the passage is best translated, The end of the matter, when all is heard, is this. The first word of this verse, soph, “end,” is printed in the Hebrew text in large characters, in order to draw attention to the importance of what is coming. And its significance is rightly estimated. These two verses guard against very possible misconception, and give the author’s real and mature conclusion. When this is received, all that need be said has been uttered. Fear God (ha-Elohim), and keep his commandments. This injunction is the practical result of the whole discussion. Amid the difficulties of the moral government of the world, amid the complications of society, varying and opposing interests and claims, one duty remained plain and unchanging—the duty of piety and obedience. For this is the whole duty of man. The Hebrew is literally, “This is every man,” which is explained to mean, “This is every man’s duty.” Septuagint, Ὅτι τοῦτο πᾶς ὁ ἄνθρωπος: Vulgate, Hoc est enim omnis homo. For this man was made and placed in the world; this is his real object, the chief good which he has to seek, and which alone will secure contentment and happiness. The obligation is put in the most general terms as applicable to the whole human family; for God is not the God of the Jews only, but of Gentiles also (Rom. 3:29).[11]

12:13 Fear God and keep his commandments. Qoheleth has not previously connected fear of God with obedience to God’s commandments, but that connection is regularly found throughout the Old Testament. Keeping God’s commandments is an essential response to understanding who God is and who we are.[12]

13 The last two verses comprise the ultimate conclusion to the book of Ecclesiastes. They are composed of a declaration and a motive clause.

The Hebrew of the declaration is brief, even abrupt, and thus emphatic (sôp dābār). I have tried to capture this by translating the sentence without a verb (The end of the matter). Some translations try to incorporate what I have taken as two sentences into one sentence, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter” (NKJV), but this obscures the emphatic nature of the verse.89

The abruptness of the first sentence perhaps reflects the impatience of the frame narrator. The effect may be: “Enough of Qohelet, let’s get on with what is really important.”

In any case, we are left in no doubt as to what is of greatest significance for the frame narrator. His statement is brief and to the point, utilizing key words in order to invoke major concepts and also the three different parts of the canon.

First, the frame narrator’s son must Fear God. It is true that Qohelet has stated the same words (3:14; 5:6 [English 5:7]; 7:18; 8:12), but with doubtful conviction (see the commentary at those places). Here there is no doubt that the intention of the speaker/writer is to lead his listener/reader to a right relationship with God, one in which he is properly subservient to the deity. To fear God in this sense means to respect, honor, and worship the Lord. The motto “fear God” also invokes the book of Proverbs (1:7 in particular), a book which has received implicit criticism throughout Qohelet’s writings.

Second, the frame narrator exhorts his son to keep his [God’s] commandments. Qohelet never so admonished his students, and the juxtaposition of the command to fear God and to keep his commandments is one of the major contextual items that signals that the frame narrator advocates orthodox worship, that is, worship in keeping with the normative teachings of the rest of the OT. With his call to obey God’s commandments, we see the frame narrator’s interest not only that his son establish a right relationship with God, but that he maintain it in the proper way. Also, this language evokes the legal material of the OT canon, which is made up of numerous commandments (miṣwôt).

The verse ends with the first of two motive clauses: for this is the whole duty of humanity. Literally, the Hebrew (kî zeh kol-hāʾādām) reads “for this is the whole of humanity,” which may be an idiom in Hebrew, but it does not communicate well in English. The difficulty was felt early in the history of exegesis since even the Talmud (Berakot 6a) raises the question of its interpretation. Rabbi Eleazar answers the question and asserts that the phrase meant that the commands to fear and obey God were the most important things in life. Robert Gordis believes that it is a “pregnant” saying that implies one’s “whole duty.” The general meaning of the statement is fairly clear: fearing God and obeying his commands is the most important thing a man or a woman can do.[13]

13 Abruptly, the narrator brings the whole to a conclusion. Enough said! Here’s what’s important: “Fear God and keep his commandments.” Those who think that in some way the narrator is here summarizing Qohelet’s thought can do so only by glossing over what Qohelet has actually said. Qohelet has never told his readers to keep the commandments; if anything, he has done the opposite (see 7:16; 11:9). While he has encouraged the fear of God (3:14; 5:7; 8:12), the exposition above has shown that his fear is in fact only “terror” before the One who is stronger, and that whatever his piety may be, it is unmixed with anything like heartfelt devotion.

The narrator says that this fear of God and keeping of his commandments is kol-hāʾādām, “all of the man.” This is the entirety of humanity’s existence. Here is an “everything,” an “all,” that is not a hebel. Throughout the entire book, Qohelet has searched for something under the sun that is not meaningless, something that is not absurd. The narrator says that Qohelet never found it because he never looked in the right place. It cannot be found by empirical investigation, by observation of nature, or by studying the accumulated “wisdom of the ages and the sages.” It is found in God and in his revealed Torah.

It was the king’s responsibility to teach the people the law of God, or at least to make sure that it was taught (Dt 17:18–20; 31:9–13; cf. 2 Ki 23:1–3; 2 Ch 34:29–32). Solomon and Hezekiah both did this in measure (see 1 Ki 8:54–61; 2 Ch 29:3–11; 30:6–12). But for the narrator, the Davidic dynasty failed in this mission on account of its excessive excursion into, and use of, the larger body of wisdom material in the ancient Near East. The formula for the people to be truly wise had already been given in Deuteronomy 4:5–6:

See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” (italics added)

Qohelet, the composite character representative of the Davidic dynasty, only partially succeeded in this task and unfortunately mixed godly Torah with worldly wisdom. Perhaps the narrator would not have formulated it in this way, but the book cries out for another Qohelet, another King-Sage to come whose teaching will conform to revelation, who will speak only what he hears from God (Jn 8:28), who is greater than Solomon (Mt 12:42)—indeed, one who is the very personification of wisdom (1 Co 1:24, 30).[14]


[1] Garrett, D. A. (2017). Ecclesiastes. In T. Cabal (Ed.), CSB Apologetics Study Bible (p. 800). Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J., eds. (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ec 12:13). Thomas Nelson.

[3] Sproul, R. C., ed. (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 934). Ligonier Ministries.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ec 12:13). Lexham Press.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ec 12:13). Nelson Bibles.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 792). T. Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (A. Farstad, Ed.; p. 915). Thomas Nelson.

[8] Glenn, D. R. (1985). Ecclesiastes. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1006). Victor Books.

[9] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). Ecclesiastes & The Song of Solomon (Vol. 1, pp. 314–317). Fleming H. Revell Company.

[10] Eaton, M. A. (1983). Ecclesiastes: An introduction and commentary (Vol. 18, pp. 176–177). InterVarsity Press.

[11] Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. (1909). Ecclesiastes (p. 306). Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[12] Curtis, E. M. (2013). Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.; p. 108). Baker Books.

[13] Longman, T. (1998). The Book of Ecclesiastes (pp. 281–282). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[14] Shepherd, J. E. (2008). Ecclesiastes. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, pp. 363–364). Zondervan.

To Boldly Go — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

What is my purpose (“for such a time as this”) in the place God has positioned me?


For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as thisEsther 4:14

My father knew danger in a way that I never have. When the threat of loss of freedom came in 1939, he signed up for the army. He saw it as his purpose in life to sacrifice his own life, if necessary, for the freedom of others.

Today when I see ominous, fearsome events taking place, freedom to live and believe in Jesus carries new significance. The story of Queen Esther speaks hope amidst the desperate circumstances we find ourselves in at this point of history.

After she learns of the genocide deceptively planned for her people, her uncle implores her to boldly go to the king and beg him to save their lives.

Esther knew the penalty of going before the king uninvited — death. Yet she still made a bold commitment to act. Though un-summoned by the king, she summoned all the Jews in the city to join her in prayer and fasting. “When this is done, I will go to the king,” she said, “even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

If I die, I die.

Her purposefulness compels me to ask myself, “Is there anything so important to me that I would die for it? And the corollary question also comes to heart: “What am I living for?” By risking her life, the boldness of this one woman prevented a massacre. Esther’s prayer, fasting, and courage are still honored every year in Israel by a joyful national holiday.

What is my purpose (“for such a time as this”) in the place God has positioned me? What is yours?

Lord Jesus, thank You for making a bold commitment to me by becoming like a slave to change my history, now and eternally. Thank You for Your willingness to die, then rise again, for me. Now, at this present moment, help me to act intentionally. Help me to participate in bringing life and freedom to others in Your name. Amen.

By Sue Braid
Used by Permission


Further Reading

 A Study on God’s Plan for Me?

• Redefining Success| by Dr. Ed Becker Co-founder of Econotech Ltd

•  Salvation Explained

To Boldly Go — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Yes I Will — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Seeking God’s will acknowledges he has more knowledge than we do and that his plan for us is best.


“The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away” Isaiah 50:5

As I sat still in my room after work, I reflected on the parts of the day where I just knew my words, thoughts, and actions fell short of the mark when it came to doing God’s will. I listened to gossip around the water cooler, grumbled about co-workers who arrived late to a meeting, and honked and sneered at drivers as I headed home.

Even though I prayed to let everything be according to his will that very morning, I still allowed pride and impatience to get in the way, wanting no one’s will done but mine.

As Christians, we often hear about the importance of seeking God’s will. But we know that saying yes to him can be one of the hardest things to do, especially when our hearts want something else.

In Isaiah 50, the prophet spoke of the coming of the one who would be fully obedient with an ear open to listen to God. Obedience to his will is important to obtaining the blessings our Savior wishes to pour out to us. For the faithful, this means following his commandments in his strength, by faith, bearing the trials, and persevering through the roadblocks life places in our lane, all according to the perfect will of God who forever “works for the good” (Romans 8:28).

Our acts of obedience glorify Christ, and obedience is also a corridor to draw near to him, helping us deepen our trust in our Savior, allowing him to shape us into his likeness.

Let us seek to surrender ourselves more to our Redeemer, knowing we are loved and valued by him, opening our closed hearts, dampening our opinionated thoughts, and harnessing our stubborn egos. Then we can see how harmony with his will is central to living out our Christian faith as we journey with Christ.

Lord, help me choose to put your will first, knowing it is the best way to live out an abundant life of faith—and grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.

Seeking God’s will acknowledges he has more knowledge than we do and that his plan for us is best. Do we demonstrate our trust in the Lord’s plan in the daily choices we make?

By Doug Lim
Used by Permission


Further Reading

•  Hearing God’s Voice – a Study by Charles Stanley

•  A Bible Study on Waiting on God

•  Salvation Explained

Yes I Will — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

The Bible and its Story: Gideon Punishes the Gadites

At length Gideon and his three hundred caught up with the Midianites, again surprising them when they deemed themselves safe beyond pursuit. The enemy were utterly scattered; their king was captured, and slain by Gideon’s own hand. Then the victor returned in triumph. But his work was not yet finished. He had vowed vengeance against the two chief cities of the Gadites, Succoth and Penuel, for refusing him assistance. The elders of Succoth he seized and whipped with brambles. Penuel he attacked with force, slew the men who opposed him, and destroyed the great watch tower, the special strength and pride of the city.

‎After that no man in Israel ventured to oppose Gideon. He “judged” the land for forty years. The people would have made him and his descendants kings over them, but Gideon had not forgotten to Whom his success was due, and he answered his flatterers sternly “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.”

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

A Timely Reminder: James 2:24 Does Not Teach Justification Before God By Works — The Heidelblog

“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”— James 2:24

It’s not uncommon to hear some people appeal to James 2:24 in order to argue that God saves people by faith plus works. In particular, some argue against the doctrine of justification by faith alone by appealing to this verse. They tend to pit Paul, who writes that we are justified by faith and not works, against James, who apparently writes that we are justified by faith plus works. This raises the question, who is right? What are we to believe? Are Paul and James actually at odds with each other? No, they are not.

What Are Paul and James Saying about Justification?

Simply put, although they are using the same verb, justification (in Greek it is also the same verb, dikaioō), they are using it differently. Paul is using it in its legal declarative sense, but James is using it in an evidential sense. They are complementing each other, not opposing each other.

Questions concerning Paul and James begin with Paul writing in Romans 3–5 about justification as a declarative act of God grounded in the work of Christ and received by faith. James, on the other hand, is writing about sanctification—the gracious work of God that necessarily follows from justification.

James’ primary concern is that a person who has been justified will have good works that demonstrate their faith. True saving faith—the instrument of justification (e.g., Rom. 5:1Eph. 2:8)—necessarily leads to sanctification, and sanctification is evidence of saving faith versus merely a faith that believes in mere knowledge (see James 2:19).

Justification and Sanctification—Two Benefits of Salvation in Christ

In order to help understand how Paul and James complement one another, there are two important terms to define: justification and sanctification. The Westminster Shorter Catechism provides good and concise definitions of each one. Read more»

Daniel Rowlands “Works In The Book of James—Fruits and Evidences of a True and Lively Faith” | January 11, 2022

RESOURCES

A Timely Reminder: James 2:24 Does Not Teach Justification Before God By Works — The Heidelblog

17 Jan 2022 News Briefing

An animal organ in man: a solution to the shortage of donors or a utopia?
according to Professor Ebels, this is absolutely no reason to stop transplanting animal organs. exactly the contrary. “The fact that such trials are being conducted now has to do with the huge shortage of human donor organs. And that’s why it’s happening.”

North Korea conducts a new missile test from a train
“The unit showed good maneuverability, and the accuracy of the hits was highly appreciated,” the agency said. Yonhap. North Korea is said to be improving and expanding wheeled missile facilities on train tracks.

Putin’s spokesman: The results of diplomatic talks with the United States and Europe are “disturbing”
“We’ve come to some sort of agreement, but in general we can say that we’re on two completely different paths, and it’s not good, it’s worrying,” The Russians are demanding security guarantees that will be necessary to calm the situation. These include the withdrawal of NATO forces from Eastern Europe and the promise that Ukraine will never be part of the military alliance. NATO refuses to make such a commitment.

Plane belonging to Libyan warlord lands in Israel
Haftar’s plane P4-RMA landed after a diplomatic stop in Cyprus and was grounded in Israel for only two hours before making its way back to the island country. It is unclear if Haftar was on the plane himself. Haftar is head of the Libyan National Army, which is known for having fought a civil war against its government from 2014 to 2020.

8th Edition of World Government Summit
Since its inception in 2013, the summit has championed the mission of shaping future governments and creating a better future for humanity. The past 7 editions of the Summit have successfully established a new model to collaborate on an international playing field to inspire and enable the next generation of governments.   29 – 30 MARCH 2022. 8 Main Themes. Policies that drive progress and government development. Designing the
future of health care systems. ….

Denial Of Natural Immunity In CMS Vaccine Mandate “Unprecedented In Modern History”
Denying natural immunity in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) vaccine mandates is “unprecedented in modern history,” a prominent public health expert said. Dr. Scott Atlas, a former White House COVID-19 Task Force adviser during the Trump administration, made the remarks after the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decide to uphold the CMS vaccine mandates in a Thursday ruling.

Europe’s Spendthrifts Are Stuck In Irreversible Debt-Traps
A Euro Catastrophe Could Collapse It This article looks at the situation in the euro system in the context of rising interest rates. Central to the problem is role of the ECB, which through monetary inflation embarked on a policy of transferring wealth from fiscally responsible member states to the spendthrift PIGS and France. The consequences of these policies are that the spendthrifts are now ensnared in irreversible debt traps.

Leaked Fauci Financials Expose How Millionaire Doctor Profited From Pandemic
The records, published by Republican Roger Marshall, himself a doctor and also the junior US senator from Kansas, showed that the Faucis’ have a combined net worth of more than $10MM. As a reminder, Dr. Fauci lied to Congress yet again by insisting that his financials were public, when they very much weren’t (before being leaked by the Senator from Kansas, that is).

Governors Using Federal Coronavirus Funds to Fight ‘Climate Change’
States across the country have budget surpluses, including federal coronavirus stimulus payments, and many governors are using the money for projects to fight so-called climate change.

5.4-magnitude tremor occurred in especially active area, expert says
The 5.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled Greece early Sunday afternoon comes from one of the largest, most active geological faults in Greece, an expert tells Kathimerini. Vassilis Karakostas, Professor of Seismology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, told Kathimerini that the Northern Aegean trench is a continuation of the very active Anatolian trench, which lies over Turkey.

Impact assessment, aid efforts underway as world responds to Tonga tsunami
Pacific nations and aid agencies began coordinating relief efforts in Tonga on Monday after a tsunami triggered by a massive volcanic eruption rocked the tiny island nation, causing significant damage. An underwater volcano off Tonga erupted on Saturday, triggering a tsunami on the shores of Tonga and cutting off phone and internet lines for the entire island. Red Cross said it was mobilising its regional network to respond to what it called the worst volcanic eruptions the Pacific has experienced in decades.

Yes, the Colleyville synagogue attack was ‘specifically’ targeting Jews –
“We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community. But we are continuing to work to find [the] motive,” he said. The idea that any attack on a synagogue is “not specifically related to the Jewish community” is absurd enough. But the specifics of this crime also show a deep current of antisemitism running through the “one issue” on which the hostage taker was “singularly focused.”

Report: Putin to host Iranian president in Moscow next week
Vladimir Putin will host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for talks in Moscow next week as Russia tries to help salvage a nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran, state television channel Rossiya-1 reported on Sunday. US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal in 2018. Iran later breached many of the deal’s nuclear restrictions and kept pushing beyond them.

Torah hid from Nazis returns to synagogue in Germany that survived Kristallnacht
The synagogue in Gorlitz was the only Jewish temple in Saxony not destroyed during Kristallnacht because its fire was quickly put out, wrote the Chronicle. The synagogue, which was built between 1909 and 1911, was neglected and began to deteriorate during the GDR rule, but was eventually restored and reopened in July 2021 as a cultural center.

After Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis, Israeli Rabbis unite in warning to US Jews: Return to Israel Now
In Israel, several leading rabbis monitoring the event united in an emergency message to American Jews – ‘Come home to Israel.’ Authorities have not revealed the identity of the gunman but he initially demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui who he referred to as his sister. She is a Pakistani who is currently serving an 86-year sentence at a facility in Texas.

Live updates winter storm hitting Southeast and Northeast
A deadly crash occurred along Interstate 95 in Nash County, North Carolina, Sunday morning, and officials in states throughout much of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic are warning people to stay home and off the roads.

Iowa snow totals: Des Moines Airport reports 14 inches of snow
Grab your shovels!  A “Saskatchewan screamer” dumped record-setting snow across central Iowa and travel headaches that lasted into Saturday.

Evangelicals Are Only Group to Say Marriage and Children Should Be a Priority: Poll 
A majority of Americans in a new survey reject the idea that society is better off if marriage and procreation are prioritized. However, white evangelicals – who often hold more traditional views on the issue – think just the opposite.

Activist Convicted for Calling London High Rise Fire a ‘Jewish Sacrice’
A Palestinian-born volunteer at the Grenfell Tower apartment building fire has been convicted of stirring up racial hatred after accusing Jewish people of instigating the blaze.

Supreme Court to hear case of coach fired for praying on field 
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Christian high school football coach who was fired from his job for praying on the field after games.

Salt Lake City Tribune Editorial Board Demands Utah Governor Use the National Guard to Keep Unvaccinated People in Their Homes
This is totally normal. The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board called on the Utah governor to use the might and power of the National Guard to prevent unvaccinated people from going anywhere.

NUTS TO YOU: Heretic John MacArthur Reveals He Knows Nothing About The Bible, Says Jesus Christ Did Not Pay For The Sins Of The Whole World
On one hand, this is funny stuff, listening to false teacher and the biblically illiterate John MacArthur trying in vain to do an “open forum” question and answer session. People attending that event got as much “bible” as they would have had they stayed home and played Pokémon or spent time talking with their cat Teddy. On the other hand, it is heartbreaking to see a man in the ministry for 40 years, and unable to answer even the most basic of Bible questions.

Brandon Smith: 40-Year-High Inflation Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
I don’t think I can overstate the danger that the U.S. economy is in right now as we enter 2022. While most people are caught up in the ongoing drama of Covid-19, a real threat looms over the nation in the form of a stagflationary tidal wave. The mainstream media is attempting to place the blame on “supply chain disruptions,” but this is a misrepresentation of the issue.

USA Today Goes Pro-pedo. Deletes Tweets, Changes Headline After Twitter Explosion
USA Today might have one or more pedophiles working in its newsroom. The national newspaper published, then deleted, several pro-pedo tweets yesterday about a story that justifies sexual attraction to children. It’s the latest pedo scandal to engulf a major news organization.

The ‘This Generation Shall Not Pass’ From Matthew 24 Is Not A Reference To Witnessing Israel’s Regathering But To Seeing The Time Of Jacob’s Trouble 
In Matthew 24, we see a curious reference to the ‘fig tree in leaf’ which end times commentators have historically said refers to the nation of Israel, and on that point I agree. Two verses later it talks about ‘this generation shall not pass’, and the commentators have said that that means the people who see Israel’s regathering will also see Jesus return, and this where I disagree with the commentators. A closer look at the meaning of the fig tree will yield you the ‘fruit’ you’re looking for, pun intended.

8 Big government Lies About Covid-19 
How is it that all these governments tell the same 8 lies over and over? They Lie for power and control, and if you follow them, you are going to your own destruction.

In order to fight “climate change,” fanatics now want people to wipe their rear ends with “reusable” toilet paper
Are you prepared to start washing your toilet paper after using it so you can continually reuse it in order to “save the planet?” This is what the climate change cult is now pushing on the world as the solution to “global warming.”

Women’s Periods May Be Late After Covid Vaccination Finds New Study 
A new study has revealed that women’s periods may be late after COVID vaccination. Some women said that their periods were delayed. Others reported unpleasant bleeding or greater bleeding than normal. Some postmenopausal ladies who didn’t have a single period in years claimed to have had their period back.

3rd Vaccine Shot Mandated for Tens of Thousands of Australian WorkersAustralian state governments are tinkering with how “fully vaccinated” individuals are defined, with booster shot mandates now inching across four states.

Democrat cities grant paid employee leave for abortions | The Post Millennial
…according to the National Review, progressive cities like Portland, Oregon, and Boston, Massachusetts, have enacted policies that allow city workers to take paid time off after an abortion.

Mandatory Vaccines Are Unconstitutional
Mandatory Vaccines Are Unconstitutional but since when do most politicians follow the US Constitution? Governments misuse their power to poison and kill people, including children; merely acting as a tool of pharmaceutical companies in order to advance their agenda to profit at any cost – it’s all about MONEY AND CONTROL.

Former Obama Official Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
“Seth Andrew, a former White House advisor, admitted today to devising a scheme to steal from the very same schools he helped create,” said Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to the documents. “Andrew now faces time in federal prison for abusing his position and robbing those he promised to help.”

Source: https://www.raptureready.com/2022/01/17/17-jan-2022/

Headlines – 1/17/2022

Benjamin Netanyahu ‘negotiating plea deal’ in corruption case that could push him out of politics

Employees allege Rivlin was abusive and a bully as president

Tens of thousands of Lebanese left without internet amid fuel crisis

Explosive boom shakes western Iran, officials blame lightning 10 hours later

Turkey, Armenia to hold talks in Russia on normalizing ties

Kazakhstan puts unrest death toll at 225

Romney: Putin can’t be allowed to rebuild the Soviet Union

U.S. Should Support Insurgency in Ukraine if Russia Invades: Mitt Romney

Ukraine says it has evidence Russia behind massive cyberattack

Russia demands US, NATO response next week on Ukraine

Sweden boosts patrols on Gotland amid Russia tensions

Canadian foreign minister to visit Ukraine, vows to deter Russian aggression

200 Hindu radicals attack Christians at house church in India

Philippines to acquire missile system from India for $375 million

Swedish police hunt for drone seen flying over Forsmark nuclear plant

Treason: Former Danish Defence Minister Charged with Leaking State Secrets

Trump at Arizona rally: U.S. becoming ‘large-scale version of Venezuela’ under Biden

Trump Vows ‘Our Own Investigations’ of Events of Jan. 6

Google, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft Weave a Fiber-Optic Web of Power

North Korea hackers stole $400m of cryptocurrency in 2021, report says

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Karyes, Greece

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near San Pedro Huamelula, Mexico

5.0 magnitude earthquaka hits near Pelabuhanratu, Indonesia

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Tonga erupts to 60,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 13,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Clean-up efforts underway following tsunami surge triggered by Tonga eruption

Four tornadoes tear through Florida neighborhoods, flip vehicles Sunday

‘Significant icing’ and treacherous travel conditions slam the Southeast as thousands lose power in the bitter cold

Airlines Cancel Over 2,700 Flights as Winter Storm Hits East Coast

Typhoons, wildfires, missiles: Teen flies solo round world

Biden calls synagogue hostage incident an ‘act of terror’ as FBI identifies attacker

UK government confirms Texas synagogue attacker was a British citizen

Michigan AG Dana Nessel Suggests “White Supremacy” to Blame for Texas Synagogue Islamist Attack

‘Corrupt’ FBI should be ‘eliminated’ for statement on Texas synagogue hostage taker: Critics

National School Board Association ‘At Risk Of Total Collapse’ Following Letter Comparing Parents To ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Israeli model claims Jeffrey Epstein brought her to meet Clinton

Thousands of churches raise alarm about scope of new Canadian ‘conversion therapy’ ban

GOP senator seeks kibosh on purported Biden plan to let anatomical men into women’s prisons

New Jersey Governor signs law allowing abortion up to birth

13-year-old student dies after fentanyl overdose at Connecticut school

China Moves Crime Money to Fuel Fentanyl Crisis in the West, Investigative Reporter Says

Project Veritas founder on Fauci’s alleged Wuhan research funding: ‘A lot of questions’ are unanswered

In Defense of Conspiracy Theories: Fauci, Collins, and COVID-19

Doctor loses license, must have psych evaluation for COVID falsehoods, board says

States Investigating Surge In Mortality Rate Among 18-49-Year-Olds, Majority Unrelated To COVID-19

COVID Deaths and Cases Are Rising Again at US Nursing Homes

Autopsy Reveals Death of 26-Year-Old Man Who Developed Myocarditis was Due to Pfizer Vaccine

New Normal: Former Malaysian Professional Football Player Dies of Heart Attack 5 Days After Receiving COVID-19 Booster Shot

To Sway the Unvaccinated, New Tactics Are Tried at Funeral Homes and on Radio Shows

France OK’s law banning unvaccinated from restaurants, sports arenas as COVID cases surge

Europe’s loud, rule-breaking unvaccinated minority are falling out of society

COVID-19: Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated

America’s Military Should be Used to Oppress The Unvaxed, Says Leading Utah Newspaper

Djokovic Deported From Australia After Losing Vax Mandate Appeal

Australian Regime Deports World’s #1 Player Novak Djokovic from Country, Bans Him from Entry for 3 Years – Saying His Presence Could Stir Up Anti-Vaccine Sentiments

Serbia Calls Australia’s Decision to Deport Djokovic ‘Scandalous’

CDC Drops Mandatory COVID-19 Protocols for Cruise Lines, Shifts to Voluntary Program

Virginia: Youngkin sworn in as governor, scraps mandates on masks in schools, COVID vaccinations for state workers

New York Democrat Caught Ignoring Mask Mandate, Vows to ‘Do Better’

Protesters demonstrate against vaccine mandate in nation’s capital: ‘This is loving your neighbor’

Ex-head of UK Vaccine Taskforce Calls for End to Mass Vaccination

China’s zero-Covid policy could deal another blow to global supply chains, Moody’s says

U.S. grocery shortages deepen as pandemic dries supplies

At many churches, pandemic hits collection plates, budgets

Church Leaders Are Still Waiting for Volunteers to Come Back

How the U.S. fell behind in lithium, the ‘white gold’ of electric vehicles

Source: http://trackingbibleprophecy.org/birthpangs.php

Mid-Day Snapshot · Jan. 17, 2022

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

THE FOUNDATION

“We lay it down as a fundamental, that laws, to be just, must give a reciprocation of right; that, without this, they are mere arbitrary rules of conduct, founded in force, and not in conscience.” —Thomas Jefferson (1782)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

Glenn Youngkin Goes to Work

Virginia’s new governor and his team wasted no time in undoing the ruinous policies of his Democrat predecessor.

Douglas Andrews

Glenn Youngkin isn’t wasting any time. Nor is Jason Miyares. Nor is Winsome Sears.

Youngkin, who in November whipped former Virginia Governor and Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe in a state that Joe Biden had carried a year earlier by 10 points, got to work quickly after being sworn in as the commonwealth’s 74th governor Saturday.

According to a news release from the governor’s office: “Youngkin signed nine Executive Orders and two Executive Directives at the Virginia State Capitol, acting on several of his Day One promises to Virginians. The actions include an executive order ending the use of inherently divisive concepts — including Critical Race Theory — in public education, an executive order affirming the rights of parents to make decisions on masks in schools, and an executive order terminating the Virginia Parole Board and requesting the Attorney General begin a full investigation of the Board’s actions.”

Youngkin and his administration will be closely watched, not only to ensure that he keeps the promises that propelled him into office but also to assess the political winds between now and November’s midterm elections. The Virginia governor’s race was the nation’s first real referendum on the Biden administration, and a Republican sweep in Richmond was its consequence. If Republicans can run anywhere near 10 points ahead of their performance in 2020, the Democrats will be looking at a historic bloodbath. If Democrats can cut that gap in half, they’ll merely be looking at a shellacking.

“It’s Day One,” said Youngkin, “and we are going to work just like we promised … restoring excellence in education, making our communities safer, opening Virginia for business and reinvigorating job growth, and making government work for the people, and not the other way around.”

Among other things, Youngkin’s nine executive orders are intended to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts such as Critical Race Theory; empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and let them decide whether their children will wear a mask in school; declare Virginia open for business; combat human trafficking; and withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

In addition, Youngkin announced two executive directives that will cut job regulations by 25% and rescind the coronavirus vaccine mandate for state employees.

These are bold initiatives — not unlike something Florida’s Ron DeSantis might put forth. And Youngkin’s ouster of CRT in Virginia’s public schools sends a strong message to Big Education. Youngkin’s lieutenant governor, Winsome Sears, the first black woman to hold that position, seemed to second that message just two days ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “I think I am a visible success story that says to people, ‘You can do it. You will do it. No matter your gender, no matter your color, even no matter where you were born,’” she said. “Too many of our political leaders [try to] divide us [and] say, ‘You’re a victim, you’re always going to be a victim, and the other people are the oppressors and so you need us.’”

Sears, a Jamaican immigrant and a former U.S. Marine, is proof positive to the contrary.

And so is Miyares, the state’s first Hispanic attorney general, who promptly laid off 30 members of the AG’s office and announced the aforementioned investigations of the Virginia Parole Board and the Loudoun County public schools.

“One of the reasons Virginians get so fed up with government is the lack of transparency,” said Miyares, “and that’s a big issue here. The Virginia Parole Board broke the law when they let out murders, rapists, and cop killers early on their sentences without notifying the victims. Loudoun Country Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl.”

There’s much to do for the Old Dominion’s new executive trio, but they’re off and running. “It’s a new day in Virginia,” said Youngkin, “but the work is only beginning.”

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The Real ‘Extremists’ Biden Ignores

Demos are constantly covering for Islamists, most notably Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN).

Mark Alexander

On Saturday, a British Islamist terrorist, Malik Faisal Akram, entered the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, and took four hostages. Akram demanded the release of convicted al-Qa’ida-connected terrorist Aafia Siddiqui. Akram’s assault prompted UK authorities to arrest two young Islamists associated with Akram.

Hours after the siege began, an FBI team raided the building and shot Akram dead.

Prior to killing Akram, Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno absurdly claimed that Akram’s motivation was “not specifically related to the Jewish community.” After Akram was killed, the FBI issued this statement: “This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”

Why the disparity?

First, because the Demos are constantly covering for Islamists, especially their most prominent congressional Jew hater, Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN).

But clearly, before Akram was identified, the Biden administration’s handful of deep-staters still in the FBI command pipeline were holding out hope that the assailant could be a poster boy for Joe Biden’s fabricated claim that our nation is inundated with “right-wing extremists.” That was Biden’s post-J6 Capitol protest narrative in support of Nancy Pelosi’s political insurrection inquisition.

Recall that last week after the Demos’ J6 anniversary celebrations, Biden announced the formation of a “new” DoJ “domestic terrorism unit” that will be the tip of his fake “Trump extremists” spear, despite the fact that investigating domestic terrorism has been the FBI’s job since the 1960s.

For the record, among the hate-hustler strategies Democrats perfected under Bill Clinton’s regime was using the blood of innocents as political fodder to foment racial and ethnic division and promote their political agenda. This is immediately apparent every time there is an assault motivated by race or religion — excluding, of course, Islamist attacks.

In a nation of 330 million people, there will be some number of assaults that fit that narrative every year.

While those assaults deserve national condemnation, the number of victims involved amount to a split fraction of the annual number of murder victims — notably, the grossly disproportionate number of interracial murders by black assailants.

Highly regarded crime researcher Heather Mac Donald has documented the interracial crime disparity between white and black people. According to FBI statistics regarding interracial crime, Black people committed 90% of interracial felonies despite representing just 13% of our population. She also determined that in cases where the victim’s race was known, in 88% of murdered Black people, the suspect is also Black.

Ironically and arguably, it’s Democrat Party policies that are responsible for real systemic racism today, as opposed to the so-called “systemic racism” lies leftists are endlessly peddling. The recent surge in violence is the direct result of Democrat urban policies and their political charade to “defund the police.”

That notwithstanding, I would argue that ALL murders are “hate crimes,” not just those the Democrats and their Leftmedia platforms elevate to national outrage.

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Bidenflation Hitting Americans Hard

Due to Joe Biden’s disastrous policies, Americans find themselves paying more for less.

Thomas Gallatin

Joe Biden’s policy-induced inflation, which we have termed “Bidenflation,” is hitting American families hard. Even worse, there appears to be no end in sight. This dawning realization has some economists warning of a return to the late 1970s economic condition dubbed “stagflation,” where wages stagnate while inflation jumps.

Recent polling finds that a growing majority of Americans, over 60%, are “very concerned” about the rising rate of inflation, and a spirit of pessimism now dominates their economic outlook. Some 40.4% of voters say they are “worse off” financially today than they were a year ago, which is more than double the percentage who say they are better off.

While perception may be everything in politics, it doesn’t always match reality. In this case, however, the public sentiment is backed up by the data, and that data is not good.

Long gone are the boon years of Trump’s roaring economy, replaced by an economy teetering on stagnation. While there are 11 million jobs available, there are still four million fewer workers in the workforce today than in January of 2020, prior to the COVID pandemic. Why this is the case appears to be mostly due to the overhanded response to the pandemic extended and exacerbated by Biden’s vaccine mandate.

One survey finds that 7 in 10 unvaccinated workers have opted to leave their jobs rather than submit to vaccine mandates and testing. It’s hard to fill jobs when onerous and Liberty-infringing conditions are mandated, especially when the COVID vaccines and masking have proven to do nothing to prevent the spread of the novel virus. Maybe the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate on 100-plus-employee businesses will help to stop the phenomenon of unvaccinated workers leaving their jobs.

Back to the problem of Bidenflation, even as wages have increased over the last year, the spiking inflation has wiped out wage growth so much so that Americans’ hourly earnings have effectively shrunk by 2.4%. Consumer prices have risen by the largest annual margin (5.5%) since 1991, and core producer prices have risen 8.3%. American households are cutting their spending to cope. For example, some 80% of Americans say they have “cut ties with [their] favorite brands” as a cost-saving measure. This was borne out in the recent data from spending this past Christmas season, when retail sales decreased 1.9% in December.

Major businesses have beginning raising prices. Home-goods retailer IKEA raised its prices an average of 9%; fast-food chain Little Caesars raised the price of its Hot-N-Ready pizza for the first time in 25 years; and the Dollar Tree store, famous for selling goods priced at just $1, announced it will be raising the price on many of its items to $1.25.

To put it simply, in Biden’s economy, Americans are finding they are having to pay more for less, which, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, is a “move in a good direction” as she downplayed any concern over the direction of the economy. If the administration continues to maintain that head-in-the-sand attitude, it’ll be in for a rude awaking come the midterms.

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America at Risk

Weakness invites war. That’s a lesson we have painfully failed to learn time and again.

Gary Bauer

Sensing weakness in Washington, America’s enemies are on the move.

  • Russia walked away from negotiations on Ukraine, and warned Biden that if Russia is not allowed a free hand in Ukraine, Russia will deploy its military assets to our backyard, i.e. Cuba and Venezuela. War seems increasingly likely.
  • Communist China is moving aggressively into Latin America. And just over the horizon lies our wide-open border.
  • Iranian militias fired rockets at the American embassy in Baghdad Thursday night. The ayatollah also posted a video depicting the assassination of Donald Trump.
  • Kim Jong Un fired missiles all last week, including two more Friday. Once again, western intelligence appeared surprised by the progress North Korea is making.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence were accused of pursuing policies that would get America into a war. No one in the media says that about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but it’s actually true of Biden and Harris. Weakness invites war. That’s a lesson we have painfully failed to learn time and again.

When Trump warned Kim about his missile tests, they stopped. When Trump took office, the first thing he did was crush ISIS in the Middle East. He took out Iran’s terror mastermind, Gen. Soleimani.

Vladimir Putin had to watch helplessly as Trump made America energy independent, driving down the value of Russia’s biggest asset — energy. And Trump aggressively confronted communist China, forcing Beijing to sign a new trade agreement.

Trump started the Space Force, and was roundly mocked for it. But we recently learned that Russia and communist China are regularly attacking our satellites, and that the next war is likely to begin in space.

Communist China continues its aggression all over the Pacific, while the Biden Administration refuses to demand answers about how a deadly virus escaped from the Wuhan lab.

And here’s the final insult: After lying about having a plan to crush COVID, the Biden Administration finally admitted that cloth masks don’t work. So, they passed out better masks in Congress, but the masks were made in communist China. What irony!

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Why Does Cardona Still Have a Job?

The infamous NSBA letter may have been solicited by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Emmy Griffin

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has become infamous by virtue of its despicable letter to the White House that labeled ordinary concerned parents as “domestic terrorists.” The response from the Department of Justice (DOJ) was swift. Attorney General Merrick Garland gave credence to this nonsense by taking action. He used this letter as justification to start a new division of the DOJ to specifically investigate concerned parents, i.e., “domestic terrorists.”

Parents deeply resented being called “domestic terrorists” when all they were attempting to do was voice their concerns with the direction that their children’s education was going. There were, and still are, valid issues that responsible and loving parents would take umbrage with their child being taught such as transgender bathrooms in schoolsCritical Race Theory ideology and racial essentialism, mask-wearing rules, remote learning, and pornographic literature being accessible to students or used as a part of the curriculum. As a result, the gubernatorial race in Virginia was won by the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin, who ran on confronting these issues.

However, there is a big plot twist in the NSBA saga, namely that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona may have solicited the original letter. This was uncovered by a group called Parents Defending Education. Through the Freedom of Information Act, it found a series of suspicious emails that suggest Cardona asked the NSBA to write the letter. To add credence to the sketchy nature of this supposed backroom deal, NSBA President Viola Garcia was appointed to a swanky position on the National Assessment Governing Board.

Some are calling for Secretary Cardona to resign. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) voiced just that. She called this whole series of events a “war on parents.” She added: “It should outrage every family across this nation. I hear it from my district they’re outraged. Parents have a right to speak up at school boards. They have a right and a say in their kids’ education. They have a right to access curriculum, and the fix was in on this, Harris. This was the Biden administration through the senior level cabinet official soliciting the letter that they used as a justification to target parents.”

This hasn’t stopped the madness. The DOJ still has a new domestic terror unit whose job it is to investigate the sort of allegations laid out in the NSBA letter. As our Douglas Andrews notes: “Why did Joe Biden’s Department of Justice decide to form a new domestic terrorism unit? We all know the answer. If you’re a neo-Nazi or a Donald Trump supporter or a concerned parent or a COVID realist, the Democrats might just want to keep a closer eye on you — you know, just in case you get a bit carried away in your exercise of the First Amendment.”

If this allegation against Cardona is proven to be true, parents will voice their outrage. And one thing that has been proven again and again lately is that if you go to war with concerned parents, you are going to lose.

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The GOP Had Better Wake Up

The 2020 election wasn’t fair, and Beltway Republicans shouldn’t be afraid to say so.

Douglas Andrews

If you’re a Republican in Washington and you want to be liked, get a dog. Because kowtowing to the Democrats’ narrative that the 2020 presidential election was free, fair, and utterly uncontroversial isn’t going to earn you any lasting friendships. It will, however, make you a useful idiot of the Left.

Take South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, for example. As The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway notes, Rounds was being interviewed recently by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who asked him about “all those Republicans … who believe the election was stolen.”

Rounds hemmed and hawed a bit, then ultimately settled on the following idiocy: “The election was fair, as fair as we have seen.”

Huh? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t help matters either when he told CNN: “I think Senator Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election. And I agree with him.”

Such statements are not only unhelpful, they’re also untrue. They’re unhelpful because they make the Democrats’ case that their bulk-mail balloting scheme should become the new normal, and that Republicans needn’t pursue additional voting integrity safeguards between now and the November midterms. And they’re untrue because no sentient being can explain how, in an election that’s “as fair as we have seen,” Donald Trump could earn 12 million more votes than any Republican candidate in history and handily carry an astounding 18 of 19 “bellwether” counties across the nation, and yet still get seven million fewer votes than gaffe-prone, basement-bound, cognitively challenged Joe Biden — a guy whose candidacy was so awful, so utterly uninspiring, that he finished a dismal fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary before getting his clock cleaned by 26 points in Nevada by Bernie Sanders. But somehow, Biden went from being a dead man walking to hauling in 81 million votes in the general election. For comparison, that’s more population-adjusted votes than Barack Obama got in 2008.

No way. No. Way.

As Hemingway writes:

The 2020 election was riddled with problems. Voters know this. Republican voters know this very well. … The rigging of the election included changes to hundreds of laws and processes in the months prior to election day, flooding the system with tens of millions of mail-in ballots even as scrutiny of those ballots was decreased. [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million to finance the private takeover of government election offices — primarily focused on the blue areas of swing states — to enable Democrats to run their Get Out The Vote operations from government offices. The funding was significant enough to affect the outcome of races, independent analysts have concluded. And that’s to say nothing of Big Tech’s election meddling in the form of censorship and algorithmic persuasion nor of corporate media’s move into straight-up propaganda.

We covered Zuckerberg’s dirty work a few months back, but what he did bears repeating because he’ll do it again if Republicans don’t wake the hell up. Zuckerberg provided the essential financial backing to what Time magazine called “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage, and control the flow of information.” This cabal took a stunning $419 million Zuck Bucks and used it to get out the vote in critical Democrat areas of key battleground states. How? As researcher William Doyle reports, “It had to do with financing the infiltration of election offices at the city and county level by left-wing activists, and using those offices as a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements, as well as to launch intensive outreach campaigns in areas heavy with Democratic voters.”

Remember: Joe Biden didn’t beat Donald Trump by seven million votes. He beat him by 43,000 votes spread across just three key states: Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Zuckerberg, with his $419 million, could’ve spent nearly $10,000 to get out each one of those 43,000 votes.

Does that sound like an election that was “as fair as we have seen”? Hardly.

How might Rounds, McConnell, and their fellow Beltway Republicans explain the credible and highly specific allegations of a massive, systematized, and wholly illegal ballot harvesting operation now being investigated in Georgia? There, according to a complaint filed by voter-integrity watchdog True the Vote, 242 people engaged in a total of 5,662 ballot drops, an average of 23 runs per participant, and more than 40% of them occurred between midnight and 5 a.m. In many instances, people were captured on video “stuffing large numbers of ballots into the boxes, some with so many ballots in hand that some of the envelopes dropped to the ground.” Additionally, “Some people were allegedly observed taking pictures of themselves at the boxes after delivering ballots, an action the group said may have been required to receive payments.”

If Beltway Republicans are going to get serious about election security, they need to begin speaking forcefully about a system that’s clearly broken. They need to start talking about, as Hemingway put it, “fighting the federal takeover of elections, fighting the private takeover of government election offices, fighting the unconstitutional changes of voting laws, and fighting the second-class treatment of Republican voters by the media and Big Tech.”

And they need to stop saying “the election was fair.” It wasn’t. And Republicans shouldn’t be afraid to say so.

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On the Web

  • Willie Richardson: A Content-of-Character Conversation — Let’s change the conversation about the content of character. Listen first, then speak and win over a brother or sister.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day — “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Thomas Gallatin & Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • COVID child tax credit ending: The COVID stimulus program that allotted upwards of $300 per child per month to families making up to $150,000 annually ended last month. Now the stimulus checks that 30 million American households had been receiving will end. Making permanent the pandemic-initiated expanded child tax credit was one of the government entitlement programs included in Joe Biden’s $3 trillion Build Back Better social spending bill that failed to pass Congress. The Tax Foundation estimated that the program would have cost $1.6 trillion in taxpayer dollars over a decade. This stimulus program may be another explanation as to why so many people have not returned to the workforce.
  • Senator “Moron” releases Dr. Fauci’s financial records: Republican Senator Roger Marshall (KS), whom Dr. Anthony Fauci was caught on a hot mic calling a “moron” after his questions regarding the public accessibility of the doctor’s financial records, appears to have gotten the last laugh. Over the weekend, Marshall published Fauci’s unredacted financial records along with his plan to introduce legislation titled the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act. “At the end of the day, Dr. Fauci must be held accountable to all Americans who have been suing and requesting for this information but don’t have the power of a Senate office to ask for it,” Marshall stated.
  • SCOTUS to hear case of HS coach fired for praying: The Supreme Court will take up a First Amendment case that promises to hold important implications for individual religious liberty rights. The case involves the firing of a public high school football coach, Joseph Kennedy, of Bremerton, Washington, who was suspended and eventually fired over his practice of praying on-field after games. No student athletes were ever directed or compelled to join their coach, but many freely did. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Kennedy, claiming his actions were in violation of the Establishment Clause. Justices Samuel Alito observed, “The Ninth Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future.”
  • Democrat and Republican voters split over fining the unvaccinated: Should individuals who refuse to get the COVID vaccine face harsh government actions such as fines and confinement? A recent Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national survey finds that a majority of Democrats (55%) support fining unvaccinated individuals, whereas a minority of Republicans (19%) and independents (25%) do. The majority of voters (58%) opposes such compulsory and punitive measures. Digging more deeply into the survey data, it becomes increasingly clear that Democrat voters favor authoritarian government over individual liberty and limited government.
  • Wisconsin ballot drop boxes were illegal: A Wisconsin circuit court judge has ruled that the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s unilateral decision to green-light ballot drop boxes during the 2020 election was illegal. Judge Michael Bohren ruled that “there is no statutory authority” for the WEC to make such changes to the state’s election laws. Bohren noted that the WEC’s decision to allow for an unlimited number of drop boxes was a “major policy decision that alter(s) how our absentee ballot process operates,” and that such a major policy change could only be made by the state legislature via the passage of legislation. The Wisconsin Institute of Law & Liberty, which raised the lawsuit, praised Bohren’s ruling, stating: “The guidance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission on absentee ballot drop boxes was unlawful. There are just two legal methods to cast an absentee ballot in Wisconsin: through the mail or in-person at a clerk’s office. And voters must return their own ballots. We are pleased the court made this clear, providing Wisconsin voters with certainty for forthcoming elections.” It’s too bad this decisions comes 15 months after this illegality occurred.

Government & Politics

  • House GOPers demand answers from Twitter CEO about censorship, suspension of mRNA vaccine researcher (Washington Times)
  • Former DHS acting IG under Obama pleads guilty to attempting to defraud U.S. government (Daily Wire)
  • We’re shocked — shocked! Nancy Pelosi’s son has suspicious ties to five companies that were investigated by feds (The Federalist)

Economy

  • Union Pacific official blames far-left policies for massive train thefts, considers leaving Los Angeles (Daily Wire)
  • U-Haul literally ran out of trucks leaving California (National Review)
  • Insurance companies struggle to implement Biden’s COVID test mandate (Free Beacon)

Security

  • U.S. claims Russia planning “false flag” operation in Ukraine to provoke invasion (Daily Wire)
  • Waukesha Christmas parade suspect Darrell Brooks heading to trial as court commissioner finds probable cause (Fox News)

From the “Non Compos Mentis” Files

  • Boston Public Schools are keeping their windows open because of COVID and now students and teachers have to bundle up because of how cold it is inside (Not the Bee)
  • Penn State is assigning students to write about why the Taliban is not a terrorist organization (Not the Bee)

Odds & Ends

  • Intentional killings of police officers spiked 59% in 2021, most since 1995 (The Blaze) | And Biden still thinks the police need to be reformed (Fox News)
  • Alec Baldwin’s phone turned over one month after shooting (Hot Air)
  • Eighty-two percent say media fearmongering COVID-19 (Washington Examiner)
  • Explosive underwater volcano eruption in Tonga spotted from space in satellite images (Space.com)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: The Democrats’ long-term strategy to pack the Supreme Court (National Review)
  • Humor: Biden personally confirms each government-provided mask passes the sniff test (Babylon Bee)
  • Related humor: To save time, Biden to ship 500 million free masks directly to landfill (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

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” —Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Re: The Left

“The president of the United States called half the country a bunch of racist bigots. … He doesn’t believe that. This was a senile comment of a man who read whatever was loaded into his teleprompter. … If Joe Biden really believes that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are bigots, why hasn’t he called for them to be kicked out of his party? If they’re as racist as Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis, why does Joe Biden want them in his party?” —Senator Ben Sasse

“According to President Joe Biden, Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is now on the side of George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis. … Such is the absurdity of the position Biden and Democrat leaders have put themselves in. By staking their midterm election prospects on the passage of a ‘voting rights’ bill no one asked for and that has no chance of passing the Senate, they have been reduced to hurling juvenile insults and spinning abject lies to make their case for reshaping America’s elections.” —John Daniel Davidson

“The medical mandate for the nurses and the doctors — what they’re trying to do is absolutely insane. … In other states they have fired nurses for not having vaxxed, even though most of them have natural immunity. So they fire them, but now they’re short-handed. So what are they doing? They are bringing back on the job vaccinated nurses who are currently COVID-positive. So if you’re unvaccinated, naturally immune, and uninfected, they fire you. But if you’re COVID-positive and vaxxed … they are going back on the job. And it just shows you, that … mandate is absolutely insane.” —Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Intraparty Squabbles

“Hero: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Traitor: a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc. John Lewis is a hero, you [Kyrsten Sinema] are a traitor to his legacy, your constituents and our democracy.” —Congressman Jamaal Bowman

“I am working closely with the president of the [United Federation of Teachers]. … This is not Chicago, this is New York, where we are communicating with each other because we’re both emotionally intelligent and we can resolve this.” —New York City Mayor Eric Adams

The BIG Lie

“I come from the state of Georgia, which is ground zero these days for voter suppression.” —Senator Raphael Warnock

And Last…

“Today’s Democrat Party wants you to show a vax card in order to eat at a restaurant. But they don’t want you to show an ID Card in order to vote.” —House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

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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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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

Cartoons and Memes · Jan. 17, 2022

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

Trying to Make a Deal

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Worth at Least $500K

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New Desk Name Plate

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Mistakes Were Made

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Argument

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Know the Difference

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Let Me Know

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Fau Chi

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Fauci Fashion

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Fauci Identifies the Solution

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Make Them Stick

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2022 Disaster Bingo

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It Keeps Rising

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Bricked

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It’s Like This

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Headline

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Refuse

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Did You Hear?

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“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

Triple-vaxxed top US general gets Covid-19 | RT World News

Triple-vaxxed top US general gets Covid-19

The Joint Chiefs chairman is double-vaccinated and boosted, the Pentagon said

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has tested positive for Covid-19 and is working remotely, the Pentagon has announced. One other member of the Joint Chiefs is positive, but the military did not say who.

Milley tested positive on Sunday and is “experiencing very minor symptoms and can perform all of his duties from the remote location,” Joint Staff spokesman Colonel Dave Butler said in a statement on Monday.

The general “received the Covid-19 vaccines including the booster,” Butler added. All other Joint Chiefs tested negative except for one, but he would not say who it was.

Milley’s last public event was last week’s funeral of retired general, Raymond Odierno, at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was in contact with President Joe Biden.

“He tested negative several days prior to and every day following contact with the president until yesterday,” Butler said.

Read more

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stands with Lithuania's Minister of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021
Pentagon chief tests positive for Covid-19

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had tested positive for Covid-19 on January 2 and also worked from home for several days, returning to the Pentagon last week.

Austin insisted at the time that being fully vaccinated and boosted “rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been,” and that he would not back away from the vaccine mandate for the US military. “The vaccines work and will remain a military medical requirement for our workforce,”

Source: Triple-vaxxed top US general gets Covid-19

Politician Baffles Nation By Doing Exactly What He Said He Was Going To — The Babylon Bee

RICHMOND, VA—Glenn Youngkin shocked the country this week after taking office and immediately doing exactly what he told everyone he was going to do when he took office. 

“Today, I’m taking office, and I’m going to immediately fulfill the promises I ran for office on,” said Youngkin to an astonished crowd. 

Thousands of people then gasped in horror as Younkin ended mask mandates and prohibited the forced Communist race-war indoctrination known as CRT in public schools.

“He… he CAN’T DO THAT!” shrieked progressive parents. “Our children have a God-given right to state-enforced Communist indoctrination while wearing 3 masks! Youngkin is a literal Nazi!” 

The progressive parents then built a massive gulag for their kids and forced them to wear 3 masks to get back at Glenn Youngkin. 

Watchdog groups warn that if Youngkin is successful in implementing his 3rd campaign promise—cutting burdensome regulations—the state could descend into death, misery, and fascism. 

Strangely, the election of Youngkin still hasn’t been enough to drive progressives to want to move to D.C.

Politician Baffles Nation By Doing Exactly What He Said He Was Going To — The Babylon Bee

No jab, no problem: Iconic U.S. company with 56,000 workers drops vaccine mandate | WND

The Great Wall of vaccine mandates that President Joe Biden hoped to build between unvaccinated Americans and their jobs has begun to crumble.

General Electric, which had been putting in place a vaccine mandate policy to conform to the Biden administration’s rule requiring one, has announced that it is dropping the plan, according to Just the News, which said the plan would have impacted 56,000 workers.

Last week, the Supreme Court threw out the emergency rule that the Biden administration had tried to enact through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that would have required every employer with 100 or more employees to ensure employees were vaccinated against the coronavirus and tested regularly.

Multiple employers have reversed policies they put in place in anticipation the rule would take effect, according to NBC.

David Barron, a Houston-based employment attorney, said health care employers who can do so in light of a court ruling that upheld the vaccine mandate for some health care workers need to undo their mandates to retain workers or bring back those who had left when mandates were imposed.

“Most employers do not have the luxury of losing 5 percent or 10 percent or whatever percent of their workforce doesn’t want to get vaccinated,” Barron said.  “In this environment, it’s very tough, especially in jobs like health care or other industries where it’s a very tight labor market.”

Amtrak has also announced the reversal of its mandate, noting that without losing the employees it was planning to lose, service reductions that had been announced for February will no longer take place.

Barron said large employers will face a difficult time when they operate in places with different rules.

“What we might end up with is a patchwork — red state, blue state — where some states, some cities have mandates, and then others don’t — which is going to be a nightmare for large, multistate companies,” he explained.

Still, many have claimed the ruling was a major victory for American workers and employers, according to CBS.

Chris Spear, the president of the American Trucking Associations, said the OSHA rule “would interfere with individuals’ private health care decisions.”

Karen Harned, of the National Federation of Independent Business, said at a time when small businesses are struggling, “the last thing they need is a mandate that would cause more business challenges.”

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah called the mandate’s demise a “big win” for Americans, according to the Deseret News.

“The Supreme Court looked at this and said, ‘Look, Congress hasn’t authorized this,’” he said.

“They tried to make law through an executive branch agency. Federal bureaucrats don’t have the power to make law. They did here. The Supreme Court shut that down.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Source: No jab, no problem: Iconic U.S. company with 56,000 workers drops vaccine mandate

Joe Concha: COVID-19 has become a ‘political football’

The Fox News contributor joined ‘Fox & Friends First’ to discuss the politicization of the pandemic after an L.A. Times columnist doubled down on mocking deaths of the unvaccinated. #FoxNews

Source: Joe Concha: COVID-19 has become a ‘political football’

RNC plans boycott of ‘biased’ presidential debates after negotiations end | Wake Up America

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel talked about the RNC’s threat to boycott debates run by the Commission on Presidential Debates, on Monday’s “Wake Up America.”

Source: RNC plans boycott of ‘biased’ presidential debates after negotiations end | Wake Up America