A Love Without End, Amen

June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband!

Happy Father’s Day to my great son-in-law!

Thinking of my own Dad who passed away 23 years ago. Your presence may no longer be here on this earth; however, you will always remain in my heart and mind with love and fond memories! One day, because of the promises of God in Scripture, I know that we will be joyfully reunited in eternity with Jesus!

Our eternal Father is Love, and His love is without end! Many dads reflect that kind of love towards their children on earth. George Strait’s song, “A Love Without End, Amen” is the perfect song to share today!

Here’s a tribute to those special dads in my life! May they continue to be blessed by God and experience the love and joy of family!

Happy Father’s Day to the dads on my reader list, and all dads who may come across this post today on Father’s Day.

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The action-movie style trailer Trump says he played for Kim Jong-un.

June 13, 2018

Published on Jun 12, 2018

Reporters were shown a video ahead of Donald Trump’s press conference in Singapore, which the US President said he had played for Kim Jong-un and his aides toward the end of their talks. It was made by Destiny Productions and was presented in Korean and English in the style of an action movie trailer.

Some good comments:

elmagodelmaryahoo17 hours ago

I think that “peace promo” vids like this, while obviously a bit corny (to us), ARE valuable for Kim Jong Un. After all, Kim has isolated himself from The World Stage AND from The Larger Real World in general now for DECADES, and thus predictably can actually Learn A Lot….. about how “normal people” live!!! As such, the POTUS indeed may be a bit “clever” in “dangling The Carrot” in front of Kim, who 1). obviously has a lot to gain from denuclearization, and 2). potentially / finally becoming an eventually “respected” World Leader. Good Job President Trump…..

mike1 day ago

“To show vision and leadership… or not?” I wonder if the big man wrote this himself

Dennis Vance11 hours ago

Copecetic The image of North Korea with the lights out is the set up: it is the North Korea we know today. The image of the lights coming on in North Korea is the pay off. The first image represents the despair of the past; the second image shows the hope for the future. I have never seen a more powerful nor persuasive image.

Jeremiah Samples23 hours ago

Look I’m one of the first people to criticize Trump but, this is brilliant and its working. We have a real chance to establish peace and bring meaningful development and positive change to North Korea. All of this will go a long way to making the whole Korean Peninsula stable and safe. I for one applaud Trump and I appreciate the dedication he has towards a peaceful solution.

Greg Jones12 hours ago

What an inspirational message to someone whose regime has kept his country isolated from the world for decades… Ronald Reagan was completely lambasted by the media for meeting with Gorbachev… Yet, one of the most beautiful moments in human history happened when he later spoke the words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”. Trump has a window of opportunity to help bring North Korea onto the world stage. I really hope his naysayers can put aside their hatred long enough to support him in this endeavor… if not for Trump, then for peace itself.

*******

Of course, there will be the constant drone-like comments of hatred by naysayers being spewed at President Trump. They always find a way to twist and trash something that is a positive (in fact, history-making!) occurrence into a negative development.

Let’s not forget Madonna saying that she had thoughts of “blowing up the White House” because Hillary lost the election. More recently, Robert DiNero went on a diatribe of F-word expletives aimed at Trump during another boring Hollyweird “awards” show. Trump gave him a new nickname – PUNCHY! Loved that! Very humorous in many ways.

I tried to go to sleep on the night of the Summit, but this history making event caused me to stay glued to the TV.

In addition to the Summit coverage, I also viewed the emotional interview of Dennis Rodman on CNN. I’ve never been a fan of Rodman (or NBA basketball), but a lot of what he said regarding his friendship with Kim Jong-un, his goal to bring basketball to North Korea (which would hopefully open up communications with the United States and North Korea), made me think differently about the man. Millions of Americans hated him (and spewed death threats at him) for making niceties with the North Korean dictator. However, it turns out that his method of diplomacy, as well as President Trump’s methods, are working out better than what past presidents have done.

I do think that the reports of a nuclear site in North Korea blowing up and imploding upon itself, killing 200 scientists and workers hastened Kim Jong-un’s decision to consider getting rid of the nukes and enter into a better relationship with the leader of South Korea (especially during the time of the Olympics there) and then re-consider his hostility towards America and the world in order to seek a different solution to get the hard sanctions off and get relief for his people.

Granted, there is still a lot of work to be done! However, the historic Summit is IMHO, a very positive, welcomed, and hopeful development for the future of the United States of America and the world.

*******

Also see:

Flashback: Donald Trump Says He’d ‘Negotiate Like Crazy’ With North Korea

Published on Aug 9, 2017

In a 1999 interview on Meet the Press, Donald Trump described how he would handle North Korea if he was elected president.

My Freedom Hymn

June 11, 2018

This is a really great and upbeat contemporary Christian song!  Play it!  You’ll love it too!

~ Christine

 

Unchecked Copy BoxJhn 8:36“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Austin French – Freedom Hymn Lyrics

From the album Freedom Hymn (Single)

I push, I pull
Go back and forth finding myself pounding on a locked door
I try to make it out alone without your help
But I know I’ll never win this war
I can never be, never be, free without you
I can never be, never be, me without you

This is the sound of chains breaking
This is the beat of a heart changing
This is a song of a soul forgiven
This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn

I breathe the air of freedom in knowing my life
Is better off in Your hands
The past is gone what’s done is done
Now I’m alive
I’m never gonna look back
I can never be, never be, free without you
I can never be, never be, me without you

Who the Son sets

FREE
Is free indeed

Who the Son sets

FREE
Is free indeed
Who the Son sets

FREE

Is free
I’m free

Publishing: Fair Trade Global Songs / AustinFrenchMusic / Foundational Songs (BMI) (admin. at essentialmsuicpublishing.com); Fairtrade Tunes / From The Void (SESAC) (admin. at essentialmsuicpublishing.com); Lost Slipper Music / Prize Pig Music (SESAC). All rights reserved.

Writer(s): Austin French, Kayliann Lowe, Douglas Lowe, Kyle Lee and Jacob Harrison

*******

Unchecked Copy BoxGal 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[fn] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Behind The Song: Austin French Shares The Heart Behind His Debut Single “Freedom Hymn”

This week’s featured song story comes to us from new artist Austin French. We’re excited to share with you the story behind his debut single “Freedom Hymn.”

God moved me and my family to Del Ray Beach, Florida. I didn’t know it, but that city is the recovery capital of the world, and that really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I learned really quickly that the recovery community is raw and real and you have to be ok with not being ok. But in that spot…that’s where people met Jesus. ‘Freedom Hymn’ is a song not just for the recovery community of Del Ray Beach. ‘Freedom Hymn’ is a song for the recovery community worldwide – the church. We’re all recovering from something and we all have a song to sing. John 8:36 says that ‘whoever the Son sets free is free indeed.’ That means we have a song to sing… we have a hymn to sing. We know what the sound of chains breaking in our life sounds like and we know the one who indeed sets us free. We have been set free by Jesus!” Austin French

Supreme Court sides with Colorado baker who refused to make wedding cake for same-sex couple

June 4, 2018

The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, in one of the most closely watched cases of the term. 

In a 7-2 decision, the justices set aside a Colorado court ruling against the baker — while stopping short of deciding the broader issue of whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people. The opinion was penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the swing justice in tight cases. 

The narrow ruling here focused on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips. 

“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion.  [Fox News website]

As with any Supreme Court decision, there will be people who are cheering this decision as well as those who will be jeering (or, just dismayed) at the decision.

Here is the important part regarding this decision:

Phillips has said he lost business and had to let employees go because of the controversy.

And he has maintained that it’s his choice: “It’s not about turning away these customers, it’s about doing a cake for an event — a religious sacred event — that conflicts with my conscience,” he said last year.

The court in December specifically examined whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the local baker to create commercial “expression” violated his constitutionally protected Christian beliefs about marriage.

When “gay” marriage legalization was decided by the Supreme Court years ago, many Christians were concerned that their religious beliefs would be negatively affected.  They were correct!  This is only one case out of dozens that have come up because of the clash between that decision and the deeply held religious beliefs of Christians.

As Jack Phillips reiterated in the article, it was about the event he was asked to use his business talent for, not the people involved!  This is an important distinction and it is my hope and prayer that this ruling will end the bashing and suing of Christian business owners that is going on here in America; and the rights of such business owners will finally be recognized.

I did a search to find the signs that have been placed outside the doors and windows of businesses in the past.  I’m old enough to remember seeing many of them displayed at restaurants and other places of business.

Some of the signs are actually humorous.  “Unless you’re Batman” LOL!

Now, take a look at the opinions in the following surveys.  Can you see the difference in the wording in the second survey (on the right side) vs. what Jack’s refusal at his Phillips Cake Shop was actually about?

 

Please read about Barronelle Stutzman’s case and view the video.

ADF Legal.org: Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington | Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll

Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, has served and employed people who identify as homosexual for her entire career. Despite this, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Attorney General claim that she is guilty of unlawful discrimination when she acted consistent with her faith and declined to use her creative skills to beautify the same-sex ceremony of a longtime customer, Robert Ingersoll, and another man, Curt Freed.

Did you catch that?  Mr. Ingersoll was a long-time customer of Ms. Stutzman!  This is another case of religious beliefs of a business owner vs. the demands of two homosexual men who want to marry and have a Christian unjustly punished because she will not use her talents for an event that goes against her deeply held religious beliefs!  Please take the time to go to the link and read/view the video regarding the entire story on this lawsuit.

It is extremely sad that this gentle woman is being BULLIED by that state’s attorney general and the ACLU into compliance through an unnecessary lawsuit by individuals who want to FORCE a person to comply with their desires.  It is an example of forced coercion.  Rather than respecting her religious beliefs on this one issue (the two men involved were given kind advice to go to another great florist) they, and the Washington State attorney general as well as the ACLU, would rather destroy this woman’s livelihood in order to get their way!

Excerpt from ADF website:

“You have to make a stand somewhere in your life on what you believe and what you don’t believe,” Barronelle told CBN in an interview. “It was just a time I had to take a stand.”

After hearing about Barronelle’s decision in the news, the Washington State attorney general decided to take matters into his own hands, and sued her. The ACLU followed close behind. Both lawsuits attack not only her business, but Barronelle personally.

Alliance Defending Freedom asked the court to dismiss the attorney general’s lawsuit since he was not personally involved in the incident, and filed a countersuit against him. They also asked the court to protect Barronelle from personal attacks from the ACLU and the state, and restrict the lawsuits to her business, Arlene’s Flowers.

The court ruled against Barronelle and ordered her to pay penalties and attorneys’ fees.

ADF petitioned the Washington Supreme Court to take up Barronelle’s case, and, in March 2016, the court agreed. Oral arguments were heard on November 15, 2016 at Bellevue College.

In February 2017, the Washington Supreme Court concluded that the government can force her—and, by extension, other Washingtonians—to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree.

In July 2017, ADF petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Barronelle’s case. We are awaiting the Court’s decision.

Create Freely

Alliance Defending Freedom is here to protect the right of creative professionals to use their God-given talents in ways that are consistent with their beliefs.

Hat tips to all links.

 

Jesus On The Problem of Evil – Stand To Reason

June 1, 2018

This morning, I read a very hard-hitting essay over at Truth 2 Freedom’s blog regarding the problem of evil in this world.

[Note: Scroll down past the long introduction to read the post]

This problem can often be used by those who don’t believe in Jesus as an excuse, or even the ultimate reason to be an atheist or agnostic in their individual personal beliefs regarding Jesus and God the Father.

Several months ago, a young man (who is not a Christian) attended church with our family.  The pastor had pointed out this portion of Scripture during the sermon:

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 17:9“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?*

After the service, our guest complained that such a thing can’t be true of everyone, and he objected to the pastor using that Scripture to make his point.

Well, I sympathized with our guest over the harshness of that verse. No one wants to think of their own “heart as deceitful” or “desperately wicked.” To cool the fire of his objection, I shared the next verse with him:

Jer 17:10
I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.**

The LORD searches our hearts!  So, it DOES MATTER what we hold in our hearts, what we think in our minds, and what we do during our lifetime on this earth!

From Truth 2 Freedom’s blog:

In Luke 13:1–5, we have Jesus’ clearest teaching on the problem of evil:[1]

Jesus’ answer to the problem of evil is that all fallen, unregenerate sinners born in Adam are worthy of death. Whether we die by murder, accident, or disease isn’t anything more than we deserve. It is only by God’s grace that anyone is saved, and it is only by God’s mercy that anyone is kept alive.

What implications does this have for Christian apologetics? At least three:

First, it means that Christian apologists need to take the consequences of sin and the reality of human depravity seriously when addressing the problem of evil.

Second, when addressing the problem of evil, Christian apologists need to present a theodicy that minimally includes the biblical teaching of original sin and human depravity. Why God allows evil won’t make sense unless we have the problem of sin clearly before us.

The subject of sin is vital knowledge…. If you have not learned about sin, you cannot understand yourself, or your fellow-men, or the world you live in, or the Christian faith. And you will not be able to make head or tail of the Bible. For the Bible is an exposition of God’s answer to the problem of human sin and unless you have that problem clearly before you, you will keep missing the point of what it says.

The same is true for the problem of evil. The subject of sin is essential because in raising the problem of evil, the skeptic must put forth an anthropodicy (justification of man) by arguing that man is “basically good” and God is unjust for allowing the suffering and evil He does. In response, the theist must show these assumptions to be false and, in their place, put forth a theodicy (justification of God) that includes evidencing the depths of human depravity and arguing that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing the evil that He does. Until we clearly articulate and defend the gravity of sin as well as the universal corruption and guilt of humankind, many of our answers to the problem of evil will largely remain unpersuasive.[4]

Third, the present moral and natural evils we see are appropriate segues into our need to practice and preach repentance in light of the final eschatological judgment. Those who experience such evils are not any more deserving. Rather, these disasters serve as warnings to all of us that final disaster awaits everyone who remains hardhearted and unrepentant. Clay Jones concludes,

So when disaster strikes, let us not wring our hands over the mysterious ways of God but encourage everyone to reflect on their sinful and doomed state in hopes that some will escape the Final Disaster that awaits the ultimately unrepentant.

Hat tips to all links.

*******

* Portion of a Commentary by David Guzik

3. (Jer 17:9-10) The folly of trusting one’s own heart.

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

a. The heart is deceitful above all things: To this point the Prophet Jeremiah has given some reason to be cautious about the inclinations and direction of the heart. He noted how the evil heart of the people of Judah had led them astray.
· Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart (Jeremiah 11:8) · They prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart (Jeremiah 14:14) · Each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me (Jeremiah 16:12)
b. The heart is deceitful above all things: Our hearts often deceive us, presenting heart-fulfillment as the key to happiness. What we desire is often not what we need. The advice “be true to your heart” fails when the heart is deceitful above all things.

i. “In the OT usage the heart signifies the total inner being and includes reason. From the heart come action and will.” (Feinberg)

ii. “The pravity and perversity of the man’s heart, full of harlotry and creature confidence, deceiving and being deceived, is here plainly and plentifully described; and oh that it were duly and deeply considered.” (Trapp)

c. And desperately wicked: The heart is not only deceitful, but also wicked – and desperately so. Many have been led to rebellion, disobedience, and great sorrow by following their heart, without challenging their heart and judging it by the measure of God’s truth. “Follow your heart” is poor advice when the heart is desperately wicked.

i. The sense of the Hebrew for desperately wicked seems to have sickness more than depravity in mind. “Unregenerate human nature is in a desperate condition without divine grace, described by the term gravely ill in verse 9 (RSV desperately corrupt, NEB desperately sick).” (Harrison)

d. Who can know it? The heart’s deceit and wickedness are advanced enough that even the individual may not know or understand their own heart, and outsiders have even more difficulty in discerning the heart of others.

** Portion of a Commentary by David Guzik:

e. I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind: Though knowing the heart of one’s self or others is difficult and sometimes impossible, God searches, tests, and knows the heart and mind. It is wise to trust what God says about us more than what we think or feel about ourselves.

i. I test the mind: “A second word is here set in parallel to heart, literally, ‘kidneys’, hidden depths. These, Yahweh assays or ‘tests’…the two terms ‘heart’ and ‘kidneys’ cover the range of hidden elements in man’s character and personality. Nothing is hidden from Yahweh.” (Thomspon)

ii. “The Lord is called by his apostles, Acts 1:24, kardiognwsthv, the Knower of the heart. To him alone can this epithet be applied; and it is from him alone that we can derive that instruction by which we can in any measure know ourselves.” (Clarke)

f. Even to give to every man according to his ways: Because God perfectly knows the heart and mind of man His judgment is true. God knows to what extent the heart either justifies or condemns the doings of a man or woman.

In his commentary, Mr. Guzik includes:

1. 4. (Jer 17:11) The folly of trusting in riches.

2. 5. (Jer 17:12-13) The folly of failing to trust in the God of all glory.

3. 1. (Jer 17:14-17) A prayer for deliverance and defense.

Ultimately, we all need to pray a prayer for deliverance and defense!

David Guzik writes:

a. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: In contrast to the foolish people of Judah who trusted in man, in their own heart, or in riches, Jeremiah looked to Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel. Jeremiah was confident that healing or salvation from the Lord would be true healing, true rescue.

i. It’s hard to say if the healing Jeremiah cried out for was literal or spiritual in nature, and in the bigger picture it doesn’t really matter. Either need is real, and God’s ability to heal both our physical and spiritual need is true and proven.

b. You are my praise: Even in his need of healing and salvation, Jeremiah could praise God, even making God Himself his praise. Though in pride others demanded an immediate revelation of God and His power, Jeremiah was willing to wait and trust in the Lord.

c. As for me: In a series of brief statements, Jeremiah defended and justified his ministry before God. He did this to contrast himself with those who demanded God bring immediate revelation and resolution.

· I have not hurried away from being a shepherd that follows You: Jeremiah was confident in his pursuit of God’s call on his life.

· Nor have I desired the woeful day: Jeremiah spoke much of the judgment to come, but he did not desire it. It was a painful message for him to deliver.

· You know what came out of my lips: Jeremiah could appeal to God as the One who heard and judged his message, seeing that it really was faithful to the voice and the heart of God.

· You are my hope in the day of doom: Jeremiah proclaimed his trust and hope in God alone, not in the folly of most of the people of Judah.

Report: FBI Agents Terrified To Speak Out About Bureau Troubles

May 31, 2018

Excerpt from The Western Journal:

FBI Agents remain silent, instead of stepping up to testify against their superiors in the Bureau, for fear that they may face retaliation and financial and career damage, The Daily Caller reported.

According to a special agent who reached out to TheDC, as well as two FBI agents still in contact with a former White House official, Congress and the Department of Justice almost always fail to provide a backbone for the current whistleblower law.

While this legislation is meant to protect those who come forward from any retaliation or negative consequences, it instead “seems the agency’s retaliation will likely not be investigated as the process is, as one agent put it to TheDC over email, ‘slow by design and at the end of the process they will never be held accountable,’” according to TheDC.

The same agent further elaborated to TheDC: “Even with the enactment of the new law, what is the deterrent for retaliation against Whistleblowers? The FBI executives will just stall, ignore, and run out the clock until the victim runs out of money for legal fees or else retires.”

One agent’s wife, who had battled cancer and undergone two surgeries, was forced to go to work so they could maintain their finances after the agent came forward in 2013, according to email correspondence between TheDC and the agent. Even further, he experienced significant humiliation and illness.

Read the rest HERE

Can’t say I blame the rank and file people in the FBI from speaking out against the corruption going on within it’s leadership. Really sad what is going on these days.

Hat Tip: Western Journal

Memorial Day, 2018

May 28, 2018

Two days ago, a commentary written by Robert O’Neil, the SEAL who shot Bin Laden was entitled, “Don’t Wish Me a Happy Memorial Day.”

Excerpt:

Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.

Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.

This holiday is a time to think of young lives cut short, of wives and husbands turned into widows and widowers, of children growing up without a father or mother, of parents burying their children.

Memorial Day is a time to think of might have beens that never were. Of brave Americans who put their country before themselves. Without these heroes, America would not be America.

I see his point.

I have received several emails from companies that want to sell more of their products because of this holiday.  They have included:

  1. “Happy Memorial Day” – the Big Brown Bag sale from Bloomingdales
  2. “Memorial Day is coming in HOT” (including a percentage off goods.) from Lord and Taylor.  [Note:  To their credit, they did include “Charity Days” meant to be a force for good in supporting our service members.]
  3. “Plans for Memorial Day?” from Shoemall [At least that was more generic.]
  4. “Memorial Day calls for Cense sangria!” – Weight Watchers [Then they added:  “What better way to celebrate?”
  5. “Memorial Day steals are ending! – Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I must give credit where credit is due.  Received an email from “Living Fuel” which read:

Dear Living Fuel Family,

We at Living Fuel take this opportunity to pause from our normal activities in honor of Memorial Day.  It’s a day to commemorate the heroic men and women of our military who made the ultimate sacrifice, or as Abraham Lincoln put it, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”

We are grateful for all active and retired military personnel and their families and join with you and the rest of the country in honoring the fallen service members who so valiantly gave of themselves on behalf of others.  We do not take for granted the freedoms we enjoy because of their selfless courage.

I hope that visitors will click on the link above and read Robert O’Neill’s commentary.

My stats here recently have included a lot of interest in the Memorial Day post written back in 2016.  You can read it via this link:

What Is Memorial Day All About?

Very interesting and informative comments at that link. It’s like a mini history lesson (which those young people interviewed on video by Jesse Watters could REALLY use!)

 

Stopping Robert Mueller To Protect Us All – The Hill

May 21, 2018

I have been following the President Trump “witch hunt” via several blogs, including:

The Last Refuge (a.k.a. The Conservative Treehouse).

Kingsjester’s Blog

Truth 2 Freedom’s Blog posts and political links.

 

The Hill has a great post up today entitled “Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all” that summarizes what has been done by “The Deep State” members in our government for over 1 1/2 years to try to(oftentimes, illegally)  get President Trump out of office.  The article has been shared over 18,777 times!

Excerpt:

(THE HILL) — The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter” — but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a year-long investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret, no-aides-allowed meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

Further down in the article we read:

Flush with 16 prosecutors, including a former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, and an undisclosed budget, the Mueller investigation has been a scorched-earth effort to investigate the entirety of the Trump campaign, Trump business dealings, the entire administration and now, if it was not Russia, maybe it’s some other country.

The president’s earlier legal team was naïve in believing that, when Mueller found nothing, he would just end it.  Instead, the less investigators found, the more determined and expansive they became.  This president and his team now are on a better road to put appropriate limits on all this.

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate.  Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again. 

Excerpt:

Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party.  It’s about all presidents and all parties.  It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence.  It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds.  It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences.

Amazingly, the author of that article is Mark Penn, who served as pollster and adviser to President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, including during his impeachment.

There is much, much more that can be said and written about this “witch hunt” against President Trump, his administration, and his family!

The personal attacks against Trump were bad enough, but the attacks against his family were the worst!  Why would anyone want to subject themselves to such awful treatment?  President Trump can take it, as he has done so well ever since he announced his candidacy.  But the terrible treatment done against his beautiful wife Melania, his youngest son Barron, his older children and their spouses is enough to make anyone in America think twice about ever running for public office.  It’s a damn shame!

The comment section at The Hill is interesting and mixed.  Will likely take some time for me to go through them all.  So far, I like what “Cola GCock wrote:

“History will show the Obama administration as the most corrupt in US history.

They were in good shape up until Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.  Then, the house of cards started to fall.”

So true!

And, what Chipsie wrote:

 

Every American owes the entire Trump family enduring thanks and appreciation.  This attack on our country’s freedom to choose our leaders was so ruthless, well financed and all encompassing with a compliant mainstream media to boot that it seems indeed a miracle that somehow President Donald J. Trump sustained his campaign.  Like him or not, the man did not have to suffer the slings and arrows of those who at the very least have been entrusted with defending our governance and citizenry within the DOJ, FBI, and CIA.  That he had and still retains the fortitude to do so is absolutely incredible and truly representative of American exceptionalism at its finest.

And this one by On Joe Gotta Go:

Finally.  Someone on the left with principles, who recognizes the incredibly stupid and dangerous precedent set by the 0bama Admin’s corrupt use of our Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to delegitimize a political opponent’s campaign and administration.

 

Hat tip:  The Hill

Also see:

Sharyl Attkisson.com: “Collusion against Trump” timeline

How Were People Saved Before Christ?

May 16, 2018

That is a good question.  Through Bible study, I have learned that people who believed in God the Father in the Old Testament also knew that one day the Messiah would appear and save them.  So, was it the faith that they had about the coming Messiah that saved them?  The people written about in the Old Testament, as well as the writers who were carried along by the Spirit of God, had the choice to believe in God or reject His existence.  When Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments, the people then knew what the Law says and they were encouraged to follow it.  Some were more successful than others, but the truth is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Did following the Law save them?  Was it looking forward in faith to the coming of the Messiah that saved them?

Via Truth 2 Freedom’s blog, I found a great essay written by J. Warner Wallace at Cold Case Christianity.com.

Excerpt:

Unfortunately, the Old Testament saints were just as incapable of following the Ten Commandments as we are today. God provided them with the Law and recognized they would constantly break it. For this reason, He also provided them with an elaborate sacrificial system (to remind them of their shortcomings and the penalty for their continuing sin) and the promise of a Savior. Like us, the Old Testament saints were not saved by their adherence to the Law. They were saved by the grace of God through their faith in the Savior, even though this Savior was only a promise at the time.

They Knew About Grace
These early believers listened closely to the words of God as they were revealed by the prophets and the Scripture. As a result, they understood the nature of grace. David, for example, wrote about God’s forgiveness and grace (Psalm 32:1-5) and Paul later told us that David understood that “God reckons righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6-8). All the Old Testament heroes of faith recognized their good works could not save them (read Hebrews 11:13). Even Isaiah knew his “goodness” wasn’t “good enough” (Isaiah 64:6) and that animal sacrifices weren’t going to ultimately please a Holy and perfect God (Psalm 40:6).

They Knew a Messiah was Coming
With the limited knowledge of God given to them at the time, the Old Testament saints understood God would have to do something dramatic to save them. They placed their faith in the coming Savior who was described from the earliest of times. God told Adam and Eve one of their descendants would eventually defeat Satan (Genesis 3:15), and Abraham understood God would provide a sacrifice for sin, just as God provided the substitutionary sacrifice to replace Isaac (Genesis 22:8, Romans 4:3 John 8:56). Job had a similar expectation and hope for a Redeemer (Job 19:25-26), and Moses also expected and believed in the coming Messiah and the reward of Salvation (Hebrews 11:26, John 5:46). Many other Old Testament prophets and wise men spoke about the coming Savior. Enoch, for example, even talked about the second coming of the Messiah (Jude 14)! Old Testament prophets clearly described where the Messiah would be born (Micah 5:2), how He would be betrayed (Zechariah 11:12), how He would die (Isaiah 53:5), and how He would be resurrected (Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 26:19).

Old Testament saints understood their imperfect works would not unite them to a perfect God. They looked forward to the work of a flawless Messiah who would be “pierced through for our transgressions”, “crushed for our iniquities” and chastened “for our well-being” so that “by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Those who understood and accepted the truth about grace and the coming Messiah were saved on the basis of their faith. The Savior has now appeared and His name is Jesus. We have today what the Old Testament saints only anticipated. Jesus is, as He always was, the Messiah and the only way to the Father.

Hat tips to both links.

A Christian Mom’s Story of Estrangement

May 12, 2018

People like to think of themselves as “good persons.” It’s human nature to think that way.  No one likes to think of themselves as sinners in need of the Savior.

However, as that link shows and demonstrates to us, the term “good” in the context of comparing our “goodness” to Holy God, shows how desperately we all need the Savior, Jesus Christ, to forgive us of our sins and make us right with God. It is the entire reason why Jesus came to this earth, suffered, bled and died for our sins. The “good” term in the crucifixion day called Good Friday, indicates that the result of Christ’s sacrificial death and ultimate resurrection, shows us how we can be forgiven (when we confess our sins through genuine repentance), saved from an eternity away from God (hell), and reconciled back unto God.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I was back in contact with the mom who I wrote about in Choices: The Undermining Daughter-in-law Dilemma.

She shared with me that she was desperate to see her estranged son, so she showed up at his church on March 4, 2018. This is her story:

When she arrived, she did not see their car in the parking lot. She went inside a bit early. On the way to the restroom, the pastor’s wife Janet said hello to her. Even though this mom had only attended the church a few times (was a distance away), it was so nice that Janet recognized her as Carey’s mom. She asked if he was here, and Janet said that they didn’t attend the Bible study at 10 am, but because they are part of the worship team, they should be here at 11.

It’s a small congregation (less than 2 years old) that meets in an auditorium and she sat down in the 4th row in the center seat. They walked in a little late @11:05 or 11:10. She thought that Aurora saw her right away because she had looked her way but her daughter-in-law immediately looked down at the floor. Aurora proceeded to greet and hug a few people, then headed to the front stage.  She sings in the chorus.

Carey greeted some people, including a couple who had their infant in a carrier. Carey looked at the baby and was smiling. He appeared to touch the baby’s hand or something. Then he greeted one or two more people as he walked towards the back of the rows of chairs. His mom watched him while he did that, and then turned around hoping to get his attention. The worship music had begun and everyone was standing. As he came around and up the center walkway between the chairs, she said, “Hi Carey.” He looked at her with a “not so pleased face” and grunted, “Hi.” She asked, “don’t I get a hug?” He reluctantly walked toward her passing one lady and an empty chair beside her and gave her, as she described, “the coldest kind of hug that she had ever gotten in her life.” She told him, “I have missed you.” He didn’t say anything in reply. He didn’t even look her in the eyes. He mechanically turned back to walk up the center aisle and eventually got to his seat on the right side where the mom and his dad had previously sat as a family when they were on good terms (and invited to the church by them in the past).

During the service, she saw the back of her son’s head and slightly the left side of his face. At one point, he abruptly got up, appeared agitated, walked to the back of the church and was gone from his seat for most of the first worship song. She thinks that he was supposed to give the announcements up at the front of the church, but the pastor ended up doing that portion as well as the sermon.

She was blocked from seeing Aurora onstage by a tall man standing and sitting in front of her. When she could see her, and when Aurora was able to see her too, her daughter-in-law tried really hard to avoid eye contact. At one point when the worship music was coming to an end, Aurora looked at her mother-in-law and was smiling. She smiled back and waved at Aurora, but her daughter-in-law didn’t return the wave. It was more of a smug smile. Knowing later what they would end up doing before the end of the service, it was obviously a fake smile.

When Aurora joined Carey at his seat, they often whispered to each other. She would demonstrate signs of affection, placing her arm around him etc.

The mom texted some of what was happening to her husband (he was ill that day), but told him the whole story on the phone after the service.

Near the end of the service, the pastor customarily asks the congregation to bow our heads in prayer as he offers the invitation to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, and prays over the congregation before dismissal from the service. The mom bowed her head and closed her eyes. Ten seconds later, she looked up and Carey and Aurora had left the room and likely headed to their car and drove off to avoid talking with her after the service! For one thing, that was a very rude thing (especially towards their pastor!) to do during prayer time! It also showed how immature and cowardly they are! It was something that one might expect from teenagers; not a 26 year old woman and 33 year old man. They had been whispering to each other just prior to the prayer and probably planned their escape.

It was then that the mom realized that she should have asked Carey when he hugged her, “can we please talk after the service?” Perhaps her request would have been ignored anyway.

The mom continued:

My son was clearly perturbed that I was there. My first comment on the phone with my husband was, “I guess I just added another 6 months of estrangement to our past 4 months of being ignored!” I had apparently crossed another boundary with them. Perhaps our “sentence” would now be permanent estrangement.

A while later, I also spoke on the phone with my daughter and son-in-law. They thought it was so strange that they are like this towards both me and my husband, because we didn’t do anything so terribly wrong. A simple communication issue should be discussed and resolved; not ending in this awful treatment of us. Everyone who knows us (relatives, our friends, and their friends, co-workers etc.) have been very supportive of us. No one can believe that our son would ever do this to us! We still can’t believe it! But Carey has been convinced by his wife and probably his in-laws that we should be shunned and that continuing in any sort of relationship with us would be detrimental to their happiness. So be it. We have grieved so deeply and enough over this situation and now need to move on from it.

At least I got some closure on one thing – I accomplished getting to see him in person, which none of us had previously been able to do since October.

They both obviously do not want anything to do with us at this time in their lives. I have no idea if that will ever change, but maybe some day our son will come to his senses and regret what he has done to us. Then again, maybe not.

Only God knows the future regarding this subject. I will continue to pray for my own healing; pray especially for my husband’s healing of deep pain, grief, anger and sadness. Carey is his best friend and this has been so difficult for him. It has been so difficult and sad for me, too.

The loving son we once had is gone.

I have never seen the bitterness and contempt that he has shown towards us these last six months! He has never acted this way during his entire life!

I also continue to pray for healing of our daughter’s pain and for comfort from her sadness for her parents. She, as well as we, can’t even believe that her brother, our son, would ever do this! But he has done this awful thing to us all, and apparently has no feelings of remorse about it.

What is even sadder is that they have chosen to dismiss any and all relatives and friends who have chosen to be sympathetic towards the parents.  One cousin stated that Aurora had “unfriended” her on Facebook.  Even Carey’s best man at the wedding has been shunned!  The dad found out that two of Carey’s long-term employees quit, three months after this had happened.  One of them kindly texted the dad and wrote, “it just wasn’t the same the last 3 months.”

Even in the midst of pain and anguish, Jesus answered the mom’s urgent prayer.  She asked to get the chance to see her son one more time and also prayed that this deep grief she had been suffering in for four months (at the time) would be lifted from her.  She had lost 10 pounds.  Deep grief takes its toll on the heart, body and soul of a heretofore loving mom who always had a great relationship with her son!

Well, here’s what happened for her during her one hour drive home from the church service where she was shunned by them.

The mom wrote:

Something happened to me after that experience with my son and daughter-in-law.  I realized at that point that there was nothing I could write, text, call about or say in person that would bring us to reconciliation.  Instead of being deeply grieved, the deep pain was miraculously lifted right off of me!  THAT was God at work fulfilling my request through answered prayer!  There is no other explanation for it!

She recognized something that day.  Hate is not the only emotion that is the opposite of love.  Indifference is also the opposite of love.

The word has an altogether different meaning in Deuteronomy 21:15; Matthew 6:24; Luke 14:26; Romans 9:13, where it denotes only a less degree of love.

At the time, the mom of Carey didn’t have a name for what had happened to her during that drive home from the church. However, she found a blog that described another type of abandonment/estrangement story,  and discovered the word for what had happened.

Restoration.

Excerpt:

Now what do we do with these hurts, these pains that have haunted us most of our lives? Healing is a process, a journey, and the first step is to be willing to surrender to God and invite Him into that place of our hurt. He won’t force Himself in. It isn’t easy to expose that wound again, however without going back to the place we were first hurt, we can’t begin to heal. I believe that is why so many people stay stuck is because it hurts too much to go back there.

Jesus came not to just save us, but to liberate, heal and restore. He is our healer. In Stasi Elderedge’s book Captivating, she rephrases Isaiah 61:1-3 *so beautifully:

Isaiah 61:1-3God has sent me on a mission. I have some great news for you. God has sent me to restore and release something and that something is you. I am here to give you back your heart and set you free. I am furious at the Enemy who did this to you, and I will fight against him. Let me comfort you. For dear one I will bestow beauty upon you where you have known only devastation. Joy, in the places of your deep sorrow and will robe your heart in thankful praise in exchange for your resignation and despair.” 

Another step in the journey of healing is to release. We can’t suppress our feelings. Many people carry anger, resentment and shame. We need to allow ourselves to cry and let the tears of healing flow. We need to get alone with God – vent and let it all out! It’s like opening that wound and letting it bleed. Don’t be afraid to bleed all over Him!

[She realized that even if reconciliation does not occur with her son, God granted her needed restoration!]

Continuing with the excerpt:

Restoration and healing does not have to equal reconciliation. God restored me in different ways by showing me my worth and value whether a man approved or not. God did! He told me, “You will be healed in the place you were hurt.” I was hurt in my heart with the absence of a father, but God restored that with His presence. Remember, forgiveness and Restoration does not mean reconciliation

John 14:18 – “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you”

Satan and his demons constantly confront Jesus for domination of our souls. Evil wants us to be prisoners of our past. Receiving our healing comes from forgiving and venting and crying out to God.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  Let us remember and pray for healing for moms who have lost a child or who have been sadly estranged from a son or daughter.

The mom who has shared her difficult journey with me wanted to be a help for others who may have suffered estrangement from a son or daughter, too.

Excerpt from blog post:

  1. Reach out to help others through their process
    A. Matthew 5:16 –In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.B. Exodus 17:12 –When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.C. Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

  2. We hope this helped you and we pray that God restores and heals every area in your life so that you are able to walk free and abundantly!

*
Isa 61:1
¶“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Isa 61:2
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

Isa 61:3
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”


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The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. 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