We may fear many things in life, from disease to natural disaster to political turmoil. But too often, we forget that God Himself should cause us to tremble. Today, R.C. Sproul describes what happens when we encounter the One who is holy.
Source: Encountering God
Hunter Biden broke the very gun law that Joe Biden ‘shepherded through Congress,’ but will never be charged for it.
Do you feel that your prayer life has dried up and you’ve lost your joy in talking to the Lord? Have you lost your joy in going to church, singing, praying together, listening to the word of God and giving? If so, then more than likely you need a fresh encounter with God. Dr. Stanley explains how to renew your life with Christ.
It’s always useful to visit the museum in order to offset the recency bias that distorts perceptions of current realities.
In the great scheme of things, the picture below is admittedly not that ancient – from just 42 years ago. But it is nevertheless a museum piece because it pertains to a matter that has long since faded from the scene. Namely, the public debt and in this instance the day when your editor was compelled to warn the Gipper that the Federal debt was about to cross the dreaded one trillion dollar mark.
Back then, that prospect gave one and all the fiscal heebie-jeebies. Massive public debt was viewed as an immoral imposition on future generations and an economic scourge on the present. That’s because when properly financed in the bond pits it drove up interest rates, thereby crowding-out household and business borrowers and economic growth and rising prosperity on main street.
1/28/1981: President Meeting with David Stockman, Don Regan, Murray Weidenbaum, and Martin Anderson to discuss the economy in oval office
No more. Massive fiscal deficits year-after-year have become a way of life in the Imperial City, but even then CBO’s latest 10-year forecast is a shocker. It shows that even if there is no recession for the next ten years (fat chance!) and existing tax and spending policies (dashed red line) remain in place without enactment of a single new spending program or tax cut (even fatter chance!), the deficit will exceed $3 trillion per year by the end of the decade.
That would amount to a structural deficit equal to 8.4% of GDP and a ticket to fiscal perdition. In dollar terms, it would add $20.3 trillion to the public debt over the next decade, taking the total debt to $50 trillion by 2032.
That is to say, 50-years on from the photo above, the public debt will have risen fifty-fold.
Here’s the thing, however. Such horrendous projections do not phase these clowns one single bit – as was underscored in spades by Congress’ shameful boondoggling on the Ukraine aid bill. That $40 billion was rushed into law sight unseen and without the benefit of any committee hearings at all.
Worse still, the historic party of the antiwar left went abjectly AWOL. The vote among Dems was 48-0 in the Senate and 223-0 in the House. And those stunning counts include Bernie Sanders and the House “squad” all in the “yea” column.
That is to say, if Washington cannot muster even a single Dem “nay” vote on the funding of a mindless war that has no bearing whatsoever on America’s homeland security, then the prospects for restoration of even a semblance of fiscal discipline are somewhere between slim and none.
Indeed, what in the world is wrong with these blithering knuckleheads? Last week’s action brings already spent and promised Ukraine weapons and aid to $54 billion.
For crying out loud, Ukraine’s GDP last year was just $155 billion. At the current run rate, they have spent 120% of Ukraine’s GDP on its own destruction, and with no end in sight.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the pretentious little peacock who parades as the country’s president is now telling the world that the war will go on until the last Ukrainian soldier is dead and Washington’s endless bounty is finally used up.
After all, at a moment when Russia is making steady gains in Donbas, reportedly now poised to take all of Luhansk province, Zelensky instructed the grandees gathered at Davos that Ukrainian forces would fight to liberate all occupied territory:
Ukraine will fight until it reclaims all its territories,” he stressed. “It’s about our independence and our sovereignty.” This as there have been calls from a handful of European leaders to make some territorial concessions for the sake of ending the war based on a negotiated settlement.
Zelensky had said the day prior, on Tuesday, that negotiating recognition of Russia’s possession of Crimea is not on the table.
“Russia will also have to leave Crimea,” he had said during a daily briefing according to the Kyiv Independent.
Speaking of Kherson, Melitopol, Enerhodar, Mariupol, he said the Russians must exit these and “all other cities and communities where they are still pretending to be the owners.”
There is no other way to say it: Washington has empowered a madman, who is so smitten by his own strutting on the world stage that rationality itself has become the victim.
There is not a snowball’s chance in the hot place that Putin is about to give back Crimea, nor the Donbas and all the cities listed above by Zelensky. And when they stay in Russian possession it will not make a damn bit of difference to America’s national security anyway.
But, of course, that’s not what Ukraine is actually about. Those 271 Dem “yea” votes were merely an exercise in political virtue-signalling. They were a vote against Donald Trump’s avatar on the scene – the endlessly demonized Vladimir Putin.
That’s why the discourse about this calamity has lost all touch with reality. For instance, Zelensky is now saying that if Ukraine is not victorious, the Baltics will be next on Putin’s agenda and American servicemen will soon be shedding Article 5 blood in Latvia.
That’s absurd, yet nary of word of rebuke was to be heard from Washington. The town is in full on war heat with no compunction at all about the massive waste of American treasure or putting the American economy itself in harm’s way.
Thus, according to current reports the Biden Administration is looking for more ways to inflict damage on Russia’s economy by targeting buyers of Russian oil. As the New York Times reported last week, these proposed measures include so-called secondary sanctions that would block Russian oil buyers from doing business with companies based in the US and in other nations aligned with Washington.
Right. In order to win a pointless battle over some no count real estate along the Dnieper River, Washington is prepared to declare war on Chinese, Indian, Greek, Brazilian etc. companies.
Likewise, no matter that Russia wants to pay its international debts and US and European lenders are more than happy to receive the proceeds they are owed. But, no, these lenders are being expropriated by Washington’s writ – all to make sure that Putin gets the message.
So after Wednesday, US investors will no longer be allowed to receive bond payments from Russia without breaching sanctions. And this whole misbegotten Ukraine escapade is supposedly about defending economic freedom!
Finally, when it comes to becoming untethered from reality, last week’s pitiful double-talk about the “evacuation” of upwards of 3,000 Azov Battalion soldiers in Mariupol surely takes the cake.
The fact is, they surrendered hook, line and sinker in the first of what will soon be multiple occurrences along the Donbas front. But that did not stop Zelensky from powdering the pig:
“…our soldiers were transported to occupied territory for future exchange.”
Right. We have now reached the point where Pravda of the Soviet era is looking like a plausible journalistic enterprise by comparison.
As one commentator chided,
We can, of course, laugh, and often with a good reason. But that chorus of “not a surrender but carrying out orders”, “not a surrender but an evacuation,” “not an surrender but an exchange” is that Pravda newspaper from the anecdote.
A citizen can focus on a topic for several days. Kiev hopes that by the end of the week everyone will happily forget Azov surrendered, if they are not reminded of it. And who is to remind them of it when Ukraine’s media have been purged and placed under government control?
It’s the same in the economy.
Incidentally, one of Marchenko’s (finance minister) complaints concerned military salaries. He called them a heavy burden (they’ve been greatly increased, and the budget did not reflect it). But what then of Ukraine’s minister of defense’s plans to increase the size of the army to one million?
The “we have almost won, any minute now” approach might seem naïve. But Kiev has perfected it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Azov or the economy. It all revolves around the effort to protect Zelensky’s ratings. The purpose of stubborn resistance is the same.
Historians will someday wonder how today’s insanities actually came to pass, but there is actually no mystery. Washington has become the world’s capital of perpetual war because it was able – for a time – to perpetually issue debt and then monetize it at the central bank.
At the end of the day, that’s the greatest central banking sin of all: It has turned the nation’s politicians – including so-called progressives – into Sunday afternoon warriors who are a menace to the nation, and, for that matter, to the entire planet.
The World Economic Forum and the globalist movement it helps lead have used the “climate crisis” and the COVID-19 pandemic as pretexts for measures to redistribute the wealth of nations.
But this week, as WEF convenes is annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, the Arctic sea ice expanse so far this month is at a 30-year high, according to data from intergovernmental European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, points out climate-change skeptic Tony Heller.
In our battle to protect the doctrine of justification by faith alone, the Law of God disappeared from the church, and then it disappeared from America as a country. Christendom was first killed by the church and then by the civil magistrate. We need to consider looking at these events as a result of corporate sin, and providentially a warning sign from God. Mental health experts cannot save us. Education cannot save us. Politicians cannot save us. Sadly, even the modern church today cannot save us. Revival and Reformation are the only things that can save us as a nation.
Like most other people, I’ve spent a lot of time the last few days watching TV about the murder of 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Everyone has an opinion. Generally, the solution among the political and media elite ranges from a call for more gun-control, more mental-health expenditures, better security at schools, improved training for the police, and better police equipment for dealing with these calamitous and horrendous events. I have not heard much about more education. I think the modern generation has given up on education as a cure for all the evils in the world, except maybe for fighting against what they call racism.
The only person I heard who seemed to be asking the right question was Greg Gutfeld, not particularly one of my favorite TV personalities. He asked the question as to why these massacres were a such a common occurrence today and were not so just fifty to seventy years ago. What has changed in America? Well, he was at least getting close to asking the right question. It was a good question. But, like most other commentators I’ve heard, he really does not have a clue as to the right answer.
Jesus was once asked about tragedy and massacres. In Luke 13: 1-5 he was asked about a tragedy in Galilee which occurred without any apparent reason. It just seemed senseless. There was nothing evil done by the victims that would call for such carnage. It appears that the people were just worshiping God, and suddenly their “blood was mixed with their sacrifices” (v. 10). A bloodbath, of all places, in the house of worship. He went on to speak about not only that tragedy but also about another dreadful event that killed 18 people at the tower of Siloam.
His answer today would seem rather abrupt and terse. He made sure first that they understood that such human disasters are not always correlated with some particular sin on the part of the victims. There was no sin on the part of these Galileans that was any greater than other Galileans.
But, what does he say? I tell you “unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” He speaks to them not only as individuals, but also as a corporate people. He goes on in the following verses (6-9) to give a parable about the barren fig tree, and how it will be cut down unless it starts to produce fruit. The caretaker of the tree asks for more time before the tree is cut down, and the owner appears to be compassionate and grants more time. However, the owner reminds the caretaker that the tree’s day of being cut down will indeed come unless it produces fruit. That tree was cut down in AD 70 with the complete destruction and devastation of Jerusalem.
The reason for such providential injections of heart-rendering calamities into society is very often a result of the awful religious condition of that society. In other words, our culture has rotted, and senseless tragedies can be viewed as a warning sign. Israel had rejected the Savior and they would face judgment unless they repented. Such events as the Galilean catastrophe and the Siloam disaster cannot be tied to the condition of the victims in particular, but to the condition of religion in the nation as a whole.
America was once a part of Christendom. Even though not everyone was Christian, the values of the Christian faith permeated not only the church, but also civil society as well. Her culture had a Christian base. Our eighteen-year-old boys used to go off to war to fight for their country, but now some of them take up arms and murder our own people, especially our own children who are the most vulnerable of all.
Jesus’ answer can only be understood in terms of religion. In a secular world, religious answers are not relevant, because religion is not relevant. But as Christians, we know that the religious condition of the people is the most relevant issue of all. We know why America has changed in the last 50-70 years. America has cast off the Christian Faith as a nation, and we are suffering the consequences of that rejection. Rampant divorce, broken homes, abortion, pornography, homosexuality, adultery, and mass-shootings are the result of a change in religion. Unless we repent and turn back to the Triune God as a nation, things will only get worse.
Who then is to blame? I blame the church. The church has ceased to be the salt of the earth. Liberalism captured the church in America in the early 20th century. Rapturism captured the church in America in the mid-20th century. Radical Two Kingdom Separation (R2K) has captured the church in America in the early 21st century. We have now been told that the two kingdoms refer only to the battle between God and Satan, and how dare we cross over the holy line of telling the civil magistrate that he is accountable to the God of the Bible. I believe that the Law was never meant to convert nations, but it can be a restraint on 18-year-old boys full of hate and anger.
In our battle to protect the doctrine of justification by faith alone, the Law of God disappeared from the church, and then it disappeared from America as a country. Christendom was first killed by the church and then by the civil magistrate. We need to consider looking at these events as a result of corporate sin, and providentially a warning sign from God. Mental health experts cannot save us. Education cannot save us. Politicians cannot save us. Sadly, even the modern church today cannot save us. Revival and Reformation are the only things that can save us as a nation. And even if we see Revival and Reformation, it will take decades to see the resultant fruit that may be the only hope to recover our nation. Get ready for a long hard ride!
Larry E. Ball is a retired minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is now a CPA. He lives in Kingsport, Tenn.
Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan discusses the border crisis and Title 42 on ‘Fox News Live.’ #FoxNews
Texas Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne talks about the Democratic Party and the Biden administration’s “calculated plan” to allow millions of illegal immigrants while they are in control of the federal government.
Are you ready for what is coming next? Are you ready to pay six dollars for a gallon of gasoline? Are you ready to pay much higher prices for everything at our major stores as the price of diesel goes haywire? Are you ready for widespread blackouts all over the U.S. this summer? Unfortunately, we are being warned that all of these things are coming. The worst energy crisis in U.S. history is poised to get even worse in the months ahead, and there is no “silver bullet” on the horizon which is going to magically solve our problems. The refineries that we need are not being built and the drilling that needs to be done is not really happening. Of course energy supplies are getting tighter and tighter all over the globe, and things will go to an entirely new level once the next major war starts.
Needless to say, things are bad enough already. On Sunday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States set a brand new all-time record high of $4.61 a gallon…
Gas prices in the US soared to record heights again Sunday, reaching an all-time high of $4.61 per gallon.
The number is more than 50 percent higher than the cost of a gallon a year ago. It comes as gas prices have continued to climb during Joe Biden’s presidency, and as millions of Americans are poised to travel by road for Memorial Day weekend.
A 50 percent increase in just one year.
Just think about that.
To my knowledge, we have never seen anything like this before.
If you can believe it, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 25 cents over the past six weeks.
That is crazy, but we are being warned to expect significantly higher prices “by the end of the summer”…
Experts say that number will likely surpass the $6 mark by the end of the summer – as pump costs in West Coast cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco already meeting that mark earlier this month.
I still remember when I could get 20 gallons of gas for 20 dollars.
Soon, 20 gallons of gas will cost all of us 120 dollars.
Who can afford that?
The price of diesel has been increasing at an even faster pace.
In fact, it has risen a staggering 75 percent since last Memorial Day…
Diesel prices are up as well – by a whopping 75 percent from Memorial Day last year – at around $5.50 a gallon, also an all-time record.
The rising cost of the fuel – commonly used by truckers for their rigs – has further hampered America’s embattled economy, driving up prices of good being transported cross-country by truckers, who are now electing for shorter routes due to the ‘unprecedented’ increase.
‘I can pretty much count on setting on fire $5-$700 a day…minimum,’ 22-wheel driver Eric Jammer told NPR Saturday of the rise in diesel costs seen over the past 12 months.
The trucks and trains that bring our goods to the stores run on diesel.
Diesel is only going to get more expensive from here, and America’s companies are going to pass those costs along to the consumers.
Yes, that will be quite painful.
Thanks to the soaring cost of fuel, airline fares are also shooting up dramatically…
Domestic airline fares for summer are averaging more than $400 for a round trip, 24 percent percent higher than this time in 2019, before the pandemic, and a full 45 percent higher than a year ago, according to travel-data firm Hopper.
One survey that was conducted just a few days ago found that approximately a third of all Americans say that their travel plans for Memorial Day were affected by high energy prices.
Joe Biden promised to do all that he could to drive down gasoline prices, and in order to try to keep that promise he foolishly took enormous amounts of fuel out of our strategic reserve.
Obviously that didn’t work, and now we are being told that Biden is running out of options…
President Joe Biden has vowed to do everything in his power to fight record-setting gasoline and diesel prices, but he’s up against a stark reality: There are few options for taming the surge.
While Biden has unleashed an unprecedented amount of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, other tools at the administration’s disposal would come at the expense of environmental protection and have little effect on fuel costs stoked by strained crude supplies and a global shortage of refining capacity. And the one sure-fire fix — for Americans to stop driving so much — is largely outside his control.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Joe Biden is not going to save us from this crisis.
In the short-term, nobody is going to save us from this crisis.
We need more refineries, we need more drilling, and ultimately we are going to need some major technological breakthroughs because the way that we are currently doing things is not even close to sustainable.
On top of everything else, our rapidly aging power grids were never designed to handle so much demand. According to CBS News, we could potentially be facing widespread outages during the summer of 2022…
In its annual summer assessment released this week, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation noted that the Upper Midwest is facing a capacity shortfall leading to a “high risk of energy emergencies.” The entire Western U.S. also could face a power outage emergency in the event of spikes in energy use.
“We’ve been doing this for close to 30 years. This is probably one of the grimmest pictures we’ve painted in a while,” John Moura, NERC’s director of reliability assessment and performance analysis, told CBS MoneyWatch.
What will you do if the power in your area goes out for an extended period of time?
We all know that California has been experiencing problems for years, but in 2022 we are being told that the middle of the nation is actually at greatest risk…
In a large swath of the grid stretching from Illinois to Minnesota, the summer’s power demands are projected to exceed the grid’s capacity. That’s because this area of the grid — known as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO — has lost about 2% of its generation capacity since last year as plants have retired; a key transmission line is also down for maintenance.
Perhaps you think that my headline is a little too dramatic.
Perhaps you do not yet believe that we are facing the worst energy crisis in U.S. history.
If that is the case, give it a few months.
By the end of the summer, I think that everyone will understand that we truly have entered a nightmare with no end in sight.
It was probably about the year 701 B. C. that the issue between Assyria and Egypt was actually fought out upon the plains of Palestine; and Jerusalem, a mere pawn in their fierce game of empire, came very near to destruction. Her ally Egypt proved, as Isaiah had foreseen, a “broken reed.” Her forces were defeated; and the Assyrian conqueror Sennacherib, having previously ravaged the smaller cities and the open country of Judah, now sent one detachment of his army to besiege Jerusalem.
The city was reduced to such sore straits that but for Isaiah’s impassioned encouragement King Hezekiah might have surrendered. God, cried Isaiah, had fore-ordained that Sennacherib should be driven from Jerusalem by a mightier power than the hand of man. Then came that mysterious tragedy by which the Assyrian hosts were blasted in a single night. Sennacherib fled back to Nineveh, where his own doom awaited him. His son Adrammelech slew him in the midst of a religious ceremony; and before men could stay the murderer he escaped into the wild mountains of Armenia.
by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne
Source: Grateful Praise
Let my heart be sound in thy statutes: that I be not ashamed. (Psalm 119:80)
We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.
See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart toward the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!
Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught and did what the Lord commanded will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day.
Let us pray the prayer of our text, and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us. If the Lord makes us sound, He will keep us safe.
136:1 In Jewish tradition this psalm is referred to as “The Great Hallel,” in contradistinction to “The Lesser Hallel” (Ps. 113–118). Cf. 113:1, note. It is also somewhat similar toPs. 135. The Lord’s mercy (hesed, Heb., denoting “covenant love and faithfulness”) is mentioned in all 26 refrains.
136:1 his steadfast love endures forever. God’s mercy is His devotion to His people, to whom He is freely bound by the pledge of His own grace in His covenant. See theological note “God Is Love: Divine Goodness and Faithfulness” on next page.
|136:1 The second half of Ps 136:1 is repeated verbatim throughout the psalm.|
Give thanks to Yahweh While thanksgiving and praise are closely related in the Psalms, thanksgiving is usually connected to something God has done, while praise is based on God’s excellence and character.
loyal love The Hebrew word used here, chesed—which refers to God’s covenantal love (see note on 25:10)—is rooted in His commitment to Israel that developed in a series of promises given to Israel’s great leaders.
endures forever The Hebrew expression used here, le’olam, conveys the unceasing nature of God’s commitment over the course of Israel’s history.
136:1 Cf. 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 2 Chron. 5:13; Jer. 33:11. For good and steadfast love, see note on Ps. 100:5.
1. “O give thanks unto the Lord.” The exhortation is intensely earnest: the Psalmist pleads with the Lord’s people with an “O,” three times repeated. Thanks are the least that we can offer, and these we ought freely to give. The inspired writer calls us to praise Jehovah for all his goodness to us, and all the greatness of his power in blessing his chosen. We thank our parents, let us praise our heavenly Father; we are grateful to our benefactors, let us give thanks unto the Giver of all good. “For he is good.” Essentially he is goodness itself, practically all that he does is good, relatively he is good to his creatures. Let us thank him that we have seen, proved, and tasted that he is good. He is good beyond all others; indeed, he alone is good in the highest sense; he is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this he deserves the constant gratitude of his people. “For his mercy endureth for ever.” We shall have this repeated in every verse of this song, but not once too often. It is the sweetest stanza that a man can sing. What joy that there is mercy, mercy with Jehovah, enduring mercy, mercy enduring for ever. We are ever needing it, trying it, praying for it, receiving it: therefore let us for ever sing of it.
“When all else is changing within and around,
In God and his mercy no change can be found.”
Ver. 1.—Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Identical with the first verse of Ps. 118, which is probably a very ancient formula, and one used at the erection both of the first (2 Chron. 5:13) and of the second temple (Ezra 3:11).
 Sproul, R. C., ed. (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 857). Ligonier Ministries.
‘The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” Exodus 14:14 (NLT)
Facing a battle?
Don’t try to—
Figure your way through,
Reason your way through,
Guess your way through,
Feel your way through,
Push your way through,
Manipulate your way through;
Fake your way through.
What should you do?
Trust your way through!
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. 2 Chronicles 20:12 AMP
Pray your way through!
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance. Ephesians 6:18 AMP
Believe your way through!
This is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 AMP
Walk your way through!
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3 NLT
Praise your way through!
So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Joshua 6:20 NKJV
By Roy Lessin
Used by Permission
• Understanding the Holy Spirit
“The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121: 5, 8 (NLT).
I was on my first airplane ride and I was scared! It all seemed so unnatural to be up in the air for hours at a time. What if the plane crashes?
I settled my uneasiness by repeating words from the Bible:
“where can I go from your Spirit? If I go to the heavens, you are there…if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:9,10).
God is not up in heaven watching me through a spy glass. He’s up close holding my hand!
I’ve needed that same comfort when my children travel to far-away places. Sometimes I don’t hear from them for a long time. What helps me to let go of worry and panic? I repeat over and over the words from Psalm 139 and 121.
“Father, you know where my daughter/son is right now. You never slumber nor sleep. Let them feel your presence now and let them know you are holding their hands. Thank you, LORD.”
No set of circumstances can ever isolate us from God’s loving presence. Therefore, we can leave our loved ones in God’s care
By Helen Lescheid
Used by Permission
• Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life
Not only against Assyria does Isaiah predict God’s vengeance. Edom or Idumea seems to have been specially antagonistic to Judah at this period; hence Edom is singled out in the general prophecy of doom, and her desolation is portrayed. “Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
“And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their hosts shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree.
“For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.”
The desolation shall be so complete that, “thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.”
Only to Judah, among all the nations, shall there come restoration, “the ransomed of the Lord.”
by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne
I recently received an email from a friend who’s come through a lot of suffering. “I feel that much has been taken from me in terms of confidence and self reliance and my struggle is how much do I strive to regain confidence or position and how much do I just let it all go. This is a struggle I was not prepared for and has taken me by surprise.”
It’s a question all Christian sufferers ask: How much do I ask for full restoration and how much do I accept the loss? Should I pray for the grace of full healing or pray for the grace of ongoing weakness? Or to put it in the language of 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, How should we respond to our thorns?
In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul was losing his ministry influence over the Corinthians because false teachers were boasting about how much better they were than Paul. “We are the greatest!” they boasted. Paul’s response is “I am the weakest” (2 Corinthians 11:16-31). Although he had plenty of accomplishments and experiences to boast about (12:1-6), he much preferred to boast about his weaknesses. He did this partly to stop people thinking more highly of him than they ought (12:6), but also because of how much more spiritual benefit there was for him and others if he boasted about his weakness rather than his strength.
What’s a bad boast?
1. THORNS PAIN US
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (7).
Thorns are varied
In Paul’s case, the thorn was “in the flesh.” It appears to have been some physical or bodily problem. From other asides in his writings, some have speculated that it was an eye problem (Gal. 4:13-15; 6:11), or a speech impediment (2 Cor. 10:10). However, we don’t know for sure the exact part of the body that was affected. We only know that it was some kind of physical suffering. But there are many other kinds of thorn that bring pain into our lives:
- Family breakdown through conflict or divorce
- Child abuse and the lifelong complex PTSD that results from it
- Mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar, OCD, schizophrenia
- Moral failure that is public or private
- Temptation to vile thoughts, words, and actions
- Injustice through fraud or force
- Poverty and unemployment
- Special needs in self or a family member
- Memories of and shame about painful past events
Thorns are the same
Although there were many varieties of thorns in the Middle East, they were all the same in that they all pierced the skin, causing great pain, bleeding, scabs, scars, etc. They were often extremely difficult to remove completely causing long-term infection and irritation.
They are also the same in that Satan loves them and uses them to harass us. Wherever he sees a thorn, he comes to hit us on that very spot, again and again, to maximize our distress. God uses the thorns but Satan abuses them. God uses these thorns for good, but the devil uses them for evil.
CHANGING OUR STORIES WITH GOD’S STORY
Sin brought thorns. God sent thorns into the world as a punishment for sin (Gen. 3:18), but also to keep us from sin. Without the thorns that curse work, we would make work even more of an idol than we do. Similarly the thorns God sends into our personal world also keep us from sin and close to God.
Satan aggravates thorns. However much good God has designed thorns for, the devil sees them as a great opportunity for evil. God hates to give us thorns, but the devil loves to shove them in deeper.
GOD HATES TO PAIN US
THE DEVIL LOVES TO PAIN US
How does God use thorns for our good?
2. THORNS PROTECT US
We’re humbled before God
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations (7).
Great blessings often come with great pain to keep us from great pride. The humblest person in the world is always in danger of pride. Pride is more dangerous than pain. Pain can keep us from pride.
We’re drawn to God
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me (8).
There’s no bitterness, self pity, anger or rebellion here. He sees God as the organizer and manager of all things and knows that he alone could extract this thorn. He therefore runs to God rather than from God or at God.
We depend on God
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (9).
God didn’t say “Yes.” But he also didn’t just say “No.” He said, “No, but, I’ve got something better for you than thorn removal. I’ve got a grace infusion for you. This is the high-point of the letter. Paul was brought to the throne of grace to the God of all grace and received a boatload of grace, a word which means the steadfast sovereign love of a superior. God could have said “Yes” in love. But he chose to say “No” with equal love.
We glorify God
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (9).
The weaker we are the more obvious is God’s strength in sustaining and delivering us. In this way, the thorn becomes a servant not a tyrant. Without thorns we wouldn’t become a rose. Thorns not only protect from danger but result in beauty. Paul speaks a lot about his weakness because it makes people see Christ’s strength more. Christ pitches his tent where he sees weakness.
We submit to God
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities (10).
Paul prayed three times. Not just once, but also not obsessively, demandingly, and impatiently. he came to a point where he had to say, “That’s my last prayer for this.” After that, he experienced a contentment, an acceptance, a surrender, because it was better for him and for Christ’s kingdom.
We get strength from God
For when I am weak, then I am strong (10).
Strong Paul never knew God’s strength; weak Paul did. We must experience weakness, to experience God’s power.
CHANGING OUR STORIES WITH GOD’S STORY
Christ pioneered this path. Jesus travelled this road constantly as the thorns multiplied and pressed deeper into his body, mind, and soul. No one suffered more thorns in more places for more time than Christ did. No one experienced more divine strength in more human weakness (2 Cor. 13:4).
Christ invites us to this path. The path to glory for God lies along a path of admitted weakness. People are won to the faith not when we project strength and confidence, but when we admit weakness and failure.
I will not boast of anything—
no gifts, no power, no wisdom,
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
his death and resurrection.
Stuart Townend, “How deep the Father’s Love for us”
THE WORST SUFFERING
IS THE BEST EVANGELISM
A NEW CHAPTER
- Gospel: Use your thorns to understand the Gospel better.
- Jesus: Use your thorns to know Jesus better. His thorn-filled path was crowned with thorns.
- Discipleship: Use your thorns to get to know others better (Christians and non-Christians)
- Monday: Tell someone about your weakness and watch for God to rest his glory on you.
- Culture: Resist our culture’s narrative about the pursuit of power, the avoidance of all pain, and the pointlessness of pain.
- Heaven: Use your thorns to help you to heaven, but remember they have no place in heaven (Isa 55:13; Ezek. 38:24). Hell, though is a place of eternal piercing.
Prayer: Almighty God show me my weakness so that I can find and boast in your strength.
1. What is your thorn? What other thorns do you see in people’s lives?
2. In what ways has Satan aggravated your thorns?
3. How often should we pray for the removal of thorns?
4. How have you benefitted from your thorns? How have they protected you?
5. What would you say to a boasting Christian? A thorn-pierced Christian?
6. How could you use your thorn to witness to the lost?
The Washington Post finally admits, Ukraine is losing badly.
While everyone’s focused on the latest mass shooting in the US, The Washington Post published what may be the first major acknowledgement from the mainstream western media that Ukraine’s war against Russia has not been nearly the cakewalk they’ve been leading the public to believe.
Tropical storm off Mexico marks start of 2022 hurricane season in Pacific
MEXICO CITY >> Agatha, the first tropical storm of the 2022 hurricane season in the Pacific, formed Saturday off Mexico’s southern coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Agatha continued to strengthen and is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday and head towards land.
Ten thousand join holiday prayers at Western Wall
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Jerusalem municipality, Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, and Authority for the Development of Jerusalem on Saturday evening held holiday prayers in honor of Jerusalem Day, marking 55 years since Israel retook in the Six Day War the areas of Jerusalem which were in Jordanian hands. A crowd of approximately 10,000 joined the prayers and songs at the Western Wall.
While elites live it up in Davos, America continues to suffer from their stupidity
Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s definition of the intelligentsia — those educated beyond their intelligence — illuminates the current gathering of global powerbrokers and intellectuals in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum. Discussing sophisticated and lofty issues like climate change and the transition to green energy, attendees nod and applaud at one another’s remarks, marveling at their own detached brilliance all while ignoring their own enormous carbon footprint spewed by their private jets and yachts. One can only wonder if they are reading the same headlines the rest of us are. “Much of the U.S. could see power blackouts this summer,” declares National Public Radio. “Blackouts possible this summer,” affirms CNN. And to be sure this isn’t just titillating headlines for clicks, the Biden administration’s Department of Energy has recently published a how-to guide preparing your home for a blackout.
Suicide drones launched from inside Iran said to have hit Parchin military site
A deadly explosion at Iran’s Parchin military complex on Wednesday was caused by quadcopter suicide drones, in an attack that fits a pattern of previous strikes that have been attributed to Israel, The New York Times reported Friday. The report cited three Iranian sources along with a US official, who confirmed drones hit the site, but declined to say who was behind the attack.
Police set to let far-right MK Ben Gvir visit Temple Mt. before Sunday’s Flag March
Police are expected to allow far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir to visit the Temple Mount on Sunday amid soaring tensions around the contentious Jerusalem Day Flag March, which is set to take a route through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter later that day.
Israeli Judge Overturns Controversial Ruling on Temple Mount Status Quo
The Jerusalem District Court late on Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling that reignited hostilities over the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, after appearing to permit non-Muslim worship at the site in violation of the status quo. Hostilities escalated after a ruling of the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court on Sunday overturned a police order barring three Jewish minors from the capital’s Old City for praying on the Temple Mount.
America has a Crime and Mental Health Problem, Not a White Supremacy Problem
Just take a close look at the official stats compiled by the FBI. Within hours of the Buffalo, New York, mass shooting on May 14 that claimed the lives of ten innocent black people, top Democratic officials were already citing the incident as proof that the number one social problem facing America is “white supremacy” and “white nationalism.” The truth is, when you examine crime statistics you quickly find that out that mass shootings in America are perpetrated by mentally ill people of all colors and creeds. Despite the claims of America’s corporate media and far-left Democrats, mass shootings are not disproportionately carried out by angry white men. In fact, just the opposite is the case.
Senate candidate says 50 state govs should deploy troops to southern border crisis
Kevin Smith, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, called for all 50 governors to mobilize National Guard or available law enforcement troops to help crack down on illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. over the southern border. In a letter to President Biden and the nation’s chief executives, Smith said the White House should designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations to give authorities more tools to seize their assets and stem drug trafficking into the U.S.
Missile Defense Agency eyes command center for Guam
The “hardest” challenge the Missile Defense Agency will face in protecting Guam from missile threats will be integrating multiple data streams into a single, coherent picture for commanders, the agency’s commander said Monday. To address that challenge, the agency hopes to build an integrated missile defense command and control center on the island, which would give military leaders better control over the variety of missile defense tools at their disposal,
“Bankruptcies Need To Happen”: Elon Musk Says Economy Is In For A Necessary “Rude Awakening”
Musk said on Twitter last week that he thinks it would be “beneficial” for the U.S. to go into recession because “some bankruptcies need to happen”, according to a new New York Post report. Discussing the economy on social media, Musk said it was due for a “rude awakening” and that working from home has “made Americans lazy”. It has been raining money on fools for too long.”
No Progress In Turkey’s Talks With Sweden, Finland On NATO As Delegations Return Home
Sources told Reuters that Turkey’s talks this week with Sweden and Finland over their NATO bids did not make much progress towards lifting Ankara’s objection to the two Nordic nations joining the military alliance.
Russia Conducts Hypersonic Missile Test Near Finland & Sweden
On Saturday Russia announced it conducted another successful test of the Zircon hypersonic missile, which reportedly flew over a distance of 1,000km (or 621 miles) after it was launched at a target in the White Sea. The missile was fired from the Russian navy’s Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate the waters of the Barents Sea. The identified area for the test, given the hypersonic was launched from the Barents, is very close to waters off Finland and Sweden.
Which Countries Trust Their Government (And Which Ones Don’t?)
In many countries around the world, vast portions of the population do not trust their own government. Lack of faith in government and politics is nothing new, but, as Visual Capitalist’s Nick Routley details below, in times of uncertainty, that lack of trust can coalesce into movements that challenge the authority of ruling parties and even threaten the stability of nations.
Our overlords say inflation and energy shortages are “worth it”
Kjerstin Braathen, CEO of Norway’s largest financial services group, … “There will be some pain in the process. The pace that we need will open up for missteps. It will open up for shortages of energy, it will create inflationary pressures. And maybe we need to start talking about that, that that pain is actually worth it.” Do you hear that, fellow peasants? A material decline in your standard of living—freezing, starvation, the inability to travel—is “worth it” to the wealthy elite who run the World Economic Forum.
Trump-Endorsed Adam Laxalt: Biden Took U.S. ‘In Dramatically Wrong Direction’ Within Weeks
Trump-endorsed Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt (R) is hoping to snag Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) seat in November, turn the Silver State red, and have one less Democrat to “rubber stamp” President Joe Biden’s radical agenda.
Forest Service says it started all of New Mexico’s largest wildfire
Two blazes that grew into New Mexico’s largest ever wildfire were both started by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the agency said on Friday, prompting the state’s governor to demand the federal government take full responsibility for the disaster. Forest Service investigators determined the Calf Canyon Fire was caused by a “burn pile” of branches that the agency thought was out but reignited on April 19, the Santa Fe National Forest said in a statement. The combined blaze has so far torched over 312,320 acres(126,319 hectares) of mountain forests and valleys, an area approaching the size of greater London, and destroyed hundreds of homes.
Saudi $2B investment in Jared Kushner’s fund signals openness to Israel
Israel is likely to be one of the primary beneficiaries of Saudi Arabia’s investment in a private equity firm established by Jared Kushner, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and senior adviser. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s decision to invest $2 billion from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) into Kushner’s Affinity Partners scheme will have direct economic benefits for Israel and is a probable indication of bin Salman’s readiness to initiate formal diplomatic relations, according to experts.
Israel bracing for violence, rocket fire on Jerusalem Day
Hamas called on Palestinians to protect our Islamic and Christian holy sites and to raise the Palestinian flag everywhere to “emphasize the Arab identity of the land and Jerusalem.”
Restaurant owner who defied Walz shutdown to run for Senate
A business owner who made national headlines when she refused to comply with Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders announced this week that she is running for the Minnesota Senate. Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Havens Garden in Lynd, Minn., filed to run as a Republican in Senate District 15 against incumbent Republican Gary Dahms.
Army Replenishing Stinger Missiles In $687M Deal As Raytheon’s Ukraine Cash Bonanza Continues
No one in Washington bats an eye as America’s own defense capabilities drain…
Tropical Storm “Agatha” forms, forecast to rapidly intensify into a hurricane and make landfall over southern Mexico
Tropical Storm “Agatha” formed on May 28, 2022, as the first named storm of the 2022 Pacific hurricane season. A steady to rapid intensification is forecast and Agatha is expected to become a hurricane on May 29 and make landfall over southern Mexico on May 30.
Police Chief Who Delayed Response to Shooting to Join Uvalde City Council
Peter Arredondo, the school district police chief whose orders reportedly delayed response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School which killed 21, will join the Uvalde City Council, NBC reported.
FROM LOCKDOWN TO LOCKOUT: The UN-Created ‘Build Back Better’ Is Now Being Used To Drive America Into A Crippling Recession As The Great Reset Rises
In 2020, the global elites took our economy away from us, forcing people to isolate and cower in media-driven fear behind masks and closed doors. In 2022, they have given us our economy back, albeit an economy that is seeing soaring prices for gas, food and housing, and driving the world’s richest nation into a recession not seen since…wait for it…Barack Obama and Joe Biden were in office. Here on Day 803 of 15 Days To Flatten the Curve, things are proceeding exactly as we told you they would, with more coming up.
Shocking Pfizer Study Data Reveals 82% of Jabbed Pregnant Women Had Miscarriages, So They Stopped Counting
When the data is so bad that it betrays the desired narrative, honest companies will adjust to the numbers. Dishonest companies like Pfizer will simply manipulate the numbers to match the goal.
REDUCE THE WORLD’S POPULATION WITH 50% BY 2023
CEO of Pfizer telling us the raw truth.
So now we know the agenda of our politicians, governments and authorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic was never what they claimed, but the vaccine pandemic is REAL
The Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) never caused a pandemic. But the so-called vaccines created to respond to COVID-19 did.
GOP Gov. Charlie Baker Vetoes Democrat Plan Giving Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Aliens
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has vetoed a plan by Democrats that would allow tens of thousands of illegal aliens in the state to obtain driver’s licenses.
Dear Andrew Neil… UK Gov. Report admits 18.9 million people have not had a single dose of a Covid-19 Vaccine & there are now 30.5 million ‘Vaccine Refuseniks’
In what is now an infamous headline, disgraced journalist Andrew Neil boldly claimed it was “time to punish Britain’s five million vaccine refuseniks” back in December 2021. The Daily Mail outrageously allowed him to publicly cry that the unvaccinated “put us all at risk of more restrictions. So why shouldn’t we curb their freedoms?”.
Brazil: Police Kill a Man in Back of Police Vehicle Using Makeshift Gas Chamber
In broad daylight, police in Brazil stuffed a man with learning difficulties into an improvised gas chamber, killing him immediately. His name was Genivaldo de Jesus Santos and the story is causing a storm of outrage in Brazil, tweeted MintPress writer Alan MacLeod.
Pro-life watchdog group’s investigation shutters Florida abortion facility
A national pro-life watchdog group’s investigation has led to the closure of a Florida abortion facility that failed to abide by standard emergency medical protocols, with reports surfacing of patients experiencing extensive bleeding and other severe complications.
New York State Offering Gender Neutral “X” Markers On Woke Driver’s License
On Friday, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul announced state residents would have the option to choose “X” as gender on their driver’s license, learner permit, or non-driver ID card statewide.
Nuland-Pyatt Tape Removed From YouTube After 8 Years
A popular version, with subtitles, suddenly was made unavailable on Wednesday. The tape provides the smoking gun of U.S. involvement in 2014 Kiev coup.
Law-Abiding West Virginian Woman With Concealed Firearm Stops A Mass Shooting
“Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night.”
Gunmen abduct 2 priests, 2 boys from Catholic church in Nigeria: ‘Pray for their safety and release’
Unidentified gunmen attacked a Catholic parish in northern Nigeria this week and abducted two priests and two unidentified boys as kidnappings and attacks on Christians carry on unabated in the African country.
Headlines – 5/29/2022
The Office for National Statistics has revealed that between January 2021 and March 2022 a total of 69,466 people died within 28 days of Covid-19 vaccination, and 109,408 people died within 60 days of vaccination in England.
In order to justify implementing Draconian restrictions in the name of Covid-19, the UK Government, with the help of the mainstream media, would publicise daily the number of Covid-19 deaths to have allegedly occurred that day. The metric used then, and still being used now, is any death occurring within 28 days of a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 is counted as a Covid-19 death.
This questionable method of counting Covid-19 deaths led to dozens of Freedom of Information requests being made to various Government institutions requesting to know the number of people who had died within 28 days of Covid-19 vaccination.
If the method’s good enough for counting Covid-19 deaths to justify ruining children’s education, decimating the economy, and destroying lives, then it’s good enough for counting Covid-19 vaccination deaths, right?
However, each and every single time, the response received was as follows –
“We do not hold this information”
But this was a lie, because one Government institution did hold this information, and they’ve finally published it over 17 months after the first time of asking.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK. It is responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels.
On the 16th May 2022, the ONS published its 6th dataset on deaths in England by vaccination status, which can be found here, and it finally contains the number of deaths within 28 days of vaccination.
Table 9 of the dataset contains figures on ‘Whole period counts of all registered deaths grouped by how many weeks after vaccination the deaths occurred; for deaths involving COVID-19 and deaths not involving COVID-19, deaths occurring between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2022, England’.
Here’s a snapshot of how the ONS presents the data –
As you can see, the ONS still don’t make it easy for us by revealing the overall number of deaths, but with some patience and simple maths we can easily find this out ourselves.
The following chart shows the overall number of deaths within 28 days of Covid-19 vaccination in England between 1st Jan 2021 and 31st March 2022 –
According to the Office for National Statistics between 1st Jan 21 and 31st March 22, a total of 7,953 people died with Covid-19 within 28 days of vaccination, and a total of 61,513 people died of any other cause within 28 days of vaccination. This means that in all, 69,466 people died within 28 days of Covid-19 vaccination between January 2021 and March 2022.
The following chart shows the deaths within 28 days of vaccination broken down by both age group and the number of weeks after vaccination –
And the following chart shows the deaths within 28 days of vaccination broken down by age group only –
A lot of people will probably argue that this is to be expected with so many people being vaccinated. But these same people won’t bother actually backing their argument up with any evidence. Because if it’s to be expected, how exactly do they explain this for example? –
The above chart shows the monthly age-standardised mortality rates by vaccination status for all-cause deaths, per 100,000 person-years among adults aged 18 to 39 in England. The data has been extracted from the previous ONS dataset on deaths by vaccination status between 1st Jan 21 and 31st Jan 22.
The green line is the mortality rate among the unvaccinated, which while fluctuating has remained pretty stable throughout. The other lines however represent different vaccination statuses, and they are extremely concerning because the mortality rates are miles higher.
The largest statistical difference occurred in November 2021. The mortality rate among the unvaccinated equated to 33.4 deaths per 100,000 person-years, whereas the mortality rate among the double vaccinated equated to 107. A difference of 220.4%.
The argument that 69,466 deaths within 28 days of vaccination are to be expected because so many people are vaccinated has all of a sudden collapsed, hasn’t it?
But that’s not the worst of it. The UK Health Security Agency counts Covid-19 deaths as those that have occurred within 60 days of a positive test for SARS-CoV-2, so it’s only fair we also work out how many people have died within 60 days of Covid-19 vaccination.
Here’s the table taken from the UKHSA Week 13 Vaccine Surveillance Report showing Covid-19 deaths within 60 days of a positive test –
Here’s a chart showing the overall totals by vaccination status of the above figures –
Yes, that does equate to 92% of all Covid-19 deaths in England during March 2022 being among the vaccinated population.
Here’s a chart showing the number of deaths within 60 days of Covid-19 vaccination in England between 1st Jan 2021 and 31st March 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics dataset –
According to the Office for National Statistics between 1st Jan 21 and 31st March 22, a total of 14,049 people died with Covid-19 within 60 days of vaccination, and a total of 168,825 people died of any other cause within 60 days of vaccination. This means that in all, 178,874 people died within 60 days of Covid-19 vaccination between January 2021 and March 2022 in England.