Friday, March 30, 2018

The Power Of The Cross

Mar 14, 2017

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

State-Enforced Paganism in America; Out of the ashes: Sutherland Springs church to be rebuilt...more

State-Enforced Paganism in America
  ...The antagonism of the left toward Christians has reached such red-hot heat that because of the influence of the transgender movement, the State recently intervened to take a child away from her parents. According to the Washington Times, a Hamilton County, Ohio, judge took the teen “away from her parents because they refused to allow the 17-year-old to undergo hormone treatments as part of a female-to-male transition. The parents objected to the transition procedures because of their religious beliefs and refused to call their daughter by her chosen, male name, court records show.”

How are Christians reacting? Unfortunately, not with enough outrage.

Christians generally see attacks on their brethren in terms of one-off skirmishes -- a parent or two here; a calligrapher there; a baker over there. By and large, Christians merely watch as individuals whose consciences won’t permit cooperation with radical paganism are sued and forced out of business; their jobs lost, their children taken away from them, their adoption and counseling services crushed because they are deemed as not “inclusive” enough or as promoting “hate;” their kids forced out of school because they won’t kiss the pagan’s ring by saying gender is a choice. Many Christians feel safe as long as they can attend church services that are not interrupted by SWAT teams breaking in to arrest congregants.

In sum, the broader outlines of the battle against Christians and Christian mores are often not clearly seen.'''

Out of the ashes: Sutherland Springs church to be rebuilt after shooting tragedy ...Attendance has more than doubled and baptisms have 'increased exponentially' since the shooting, he said, adding: 'God is going to use the blood of those 26 martyrs and those survivors to bring forth revival into the land.'

The planned worship centre features an exterior of stone and glass. Two towers on the corners of the building will emanate glowing light. Inside, the worship center will feature seating for 250 people. A memorial to the 26 people who lost their lives in the attack will be located in space between the worship centre and the education facility.

The church has already received many offers of help. An architectural firm, Myrick Gurosky and Associates (MG&A), has designed the building and together with its consultants has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in development and design work...

Whistleblower: Facebook Able to Listen to You at Home and Work ...“On a comment about using audio and processing audio, you can use it for, my understanding generally of how companies use it… not just Facebook, but generally other apps that pull audio, is for environmental context,” Wylie said. “So if, for example, you have a television playing versus if you’re in a busy place with a lot of people talking versus a work environment.” He clarified, “It’s not to say they’re listening to what you’re saying. It’s not natural language processing. That would be hard to scale. But to understand the environmental context of where you are to improve the contextual value of the ad itself” is possible.

Wylie continued: “There’s audio that could be useful just in terms of are you in an office environment, are you outside, are you watching TV?”...

 "Want To Freak Yourself Out?" Here Is All The Personal Data That Facebook/Google Collect ...Another shocking revelation made by Curran: Even after deleting data like search history and revoking permissions for Google and Facebook applications, Curran still found a comprehensive log of his documents and other files stored on Google drive, his search history, chat logs and other sensitive data about his movements that he had expressly deleted.

What's worse, everything shown is the data cache of one individual. Just imagine how much data these companies hold in total...

Planned Parenthood: We Need Disney Princess Who’s Had Abortion

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NYC sees largest increase in tuberculosis cases in 26 years; Spitting in God’s Face...more

A.S. Haley: Don't Get Drawn In
Your Curmudgeon, it is true, swore off getting involved in the current political miasma: there was nothing to be gained from trying to make one's voice heard in the welter of so much fake news and disinformation. I advised my readers to remain above the fray -- and that remains good advice.

However, there comes a time when the rule should be suspended, in the interest of keeping my regular readers confirmed in their course. And now, with President Trump's signing of the so-called "Omnibus Bill" -- a bloated monstrosity of legislative diarrhea if ever there was such a thing -- is the time to dive in and point out the facts which the mainstream media are withholding from the public.

The Omnibus Bill, pretty much everyone agrees, is a spending bacchanal -- there are few limits to what the Democrats want to spend money on, and supposedly likewise for the RINOs who are currently controlling the flow of legislation in Congress. Planned Parenthood?  It gets full funding, as always. The long-promised border wall? Only a stretch of fence is supposedly funded, and the President is supposedly barred from spending any of the fence money on his Wall.

Well, your Curmudgeon is here to tell you that what you read and see in the mainstream media on these points is all fake: it could not be farther from the Constitutional reality that our founders established in 1789.

You see, under the Constitution and Article I, it is Congress' responsibility to pass a budget -- which blueprint, if Congress wants its budget to become a Law of the United States, binding on the President and other branches, has to be in the form of a Bill (see U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 7)...

Spitting in God’s Face
Of all of the passages describing what the religious leaders and their crowd did to Jesus before his crucifixion, it’s the verses above that get to me the most. The description that makes me shudder...

March For Our Lives Student Protesters Leave Their Trash for Someone Else to Clean Up Pictures say it all..

NYC sees largest increase in tuberculosis cases in 26 years
...TB disproportionately affects foreign-born New Yorkers — accounting for 86 percent of all cases in the city.

Many of the infected city residents came from China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India or Mexico...

Here’s how you access the super creepy data Facebook has on you Since 2010, Facebook allows you to download an archive file of all your interactions with the network. It’s a 5-click easy process that your grandmother can do (more details below).

Inside the .zip, lies an ‘index.html’ page that acts as a portal to your personal data. Visually, it looks like an ad-free stripped down version of Facebook that’s actually quite relaxing.

As I’m trying to reduce my exposure to social networks, I decided to take a look at this info. By extrapolating the data of a single individual (me), I might be able to better apprehend the capabilities of the beast. In the end, it all comes down to what is tracked and what can be deduced from that....

Image result for irritation emoji

 ...Writing to believers in Corinth, the apostle Paul described this dynamic in the language of warfare:
The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)
Indeed, to work for one another’s joy (2 Corinthians 1:24) is to wage war for each other’s thinking and feeling.

Here’s how I’ve learned to apply this text to the daily issue of my attitude, specifically to irritation, and its ugly siblings (aggravation, grumpiness, self-pity, resentment, and more). Notice three elements in this passage: strongholds to be named, opinions to be destroyed, and thoughts to be captured...

Monday, March 26, 2018

“The astonishing paradox of Christ's teaching ...

sunrise silhouette
“The astonishing paradox of Christ's teaching and of Christian experience is this: if we lose ourselves in following Christ, we actually find ourselves. True self-denial is self-discovery. To live for ourselves is insanity and suicide; to live for God and for man is wisdom and life indeed. We do not begin to find ourselves until we have become willing to lose ourselves in the service of Christ and of our fellows.” ―John Stott  image

Islam Poised to Pass Anglicans as Preferred Religion of Britain’s Young Adults....more

Islam Poised to Pass Anglicans as Preferred Religion of Britain’s Young Adults Islam has been gaining on Christianity for years in Great Britain and is now only one percentage point behind Anglicanism among the share of the population aged 16 to 29.

An astonishing new report out of St. Mary’s University in Twickenham has revealed that only seven percent of young adults in the UK self-identify as Anglicans, compared to six percent who say they are Muslims. If current trends continue, Islam will soon pass the Church of England, despite the latter’s privileged status as the official religion of the state.

It will be a while longer before adherents of Islam exceed Christians outright among the younger generation, but the UK is headed for that as well. At present only 21 percent of British young adults self-identify as Christians...

NYT editorial: Abortion is not torture-not having one is  Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in the New York Times on abortion:

The March 26 editorial in the New York Times will go down in history as its most radical defense of abortion. It’s hard to see how it can ever top this one. Here is what it said:

“Carrying to term a pregnancy against one’s will is punishment enough—in fact, it can amount to torture—according to the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

So not being able to abort one’s baby is torture, but the mangling of one’s baby is not...

Pills filled with powdered human baby flesh found by customs officials South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease.

The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.

Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing...

‘Blasphemous’ ice-cream chain coming to U.S.- Satanic symbols interspersed throughout the ads   Sundaes will never be the same, say Christian activists troubled by the invasion of the U.S. market by a Canadian ice-cream chain called “Sweet Jesus” that seems hell-bent on a marketing plan centered around soft-serve blasphemy.

The Toronto-based company founded by Andrew Richmond and Amin Todai in 2015 now has 19 locations in Canada, and one at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. It has plans to open in other U.S. locations, such as Mall of America.

One ad on the company’s website shows a Nativity Scene, but instead of Baby Jesus, there’s an ice-cream cone. Many of their ads are replete with cherished Christian and Catholic symbols that are used to mock faith, including a rosary beads, a crucifix with a corpus, and angels.

And there’ something just downright creepy about the Mad Magazine-style imagery of children in the company’s ads. Some of the children have bruises and appear to be abused. Some say the ads sexualize children and have accused the company of pandering to pedophiles...

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Palm Sunday 2018

We are on pilgrimage with the Lord to the heights. We are striving for pure hearts and clean hands, we are seeking truth, we are seeking the face of God. Let us show the Lord that we desire to be righteous, and let us ask him: Draw us upwards! Make us pure! Grant that the words which we sang in the processional psalm may also hold true for us; grant that we may be part of the generation which seeks God, "which seeks your face, O God of Jacob" (Ps 24:6). Amen. -Benedict XVI image

Some of the Dumbest Signs Seen at the March for Our Lives; Small churches...more

Here are Some of the Dumbest Signs Seen at the March for Our Lives
 One of the best things about lefty marches is that people bring all sorts of signs that reveal their hatred and/0r ignorance of the thing they’re protesting for. Thankfully, the “March for Our Lives” is no different.

The following are some of the dumbest signs, as well as some of the best reactions to them, by the Twitterverse...

The Incoherent 'March for Our Lives'
As I watched news clips from today's nationwide "March for our Lives," I asked myself a simple question that no one in the overwrought news media was asking:

What do they want?

"We want change" was chanted and a lot of dire warnings to the NRA, to politicians supported by them, and Second Amendment supporters (yeah, that damn Constitution) were issued. But something tangible that the nation could rally around to effect "change"? Not so much...

20 Truths from Small Church Essentials
Karl Vaters’ new book Small Church Essentials: Field-Tested Principles for Leading a Healthy Congregation of Under 250 has just released and it’s a great read for pastors and leaders of smaller churches. Karl has been a small church pastor for 30 years, is the author of The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (2013), and travels extensively to churches and conferences to speak about leading a small church well. Below is what I found especially helpful.

1.Church leaders often wring their hands over the “problem” of small churches, and how to turn them into big churches. Like most prejudices, however, our problems with small churches aren’t what they seem. Just because a church is small, doesn’t mean it’s broken (pg. 10)....

2.Just because we don’t have a kickin’ worship band does not mean we’ll settle for passionless worship (pg. 43).

Richard Dawkins: ‘Benign’ Christianity is about to be replaced by ‘something worse’–Islam Despite his years of denouncing religion, Richard Dawkins does not welcome a European future without Christianity.

On Wednesday, the atheist author and evolutionary biologist warned those inclined to “rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion” to keep in mind the danger of "something worse" taking its place.

That worse alternative, Dawkins suggests, is Islam, which he has previously called “the most evil religion in the world.”...

LGBT activists physically attack Dutch Christians protesting erotic ads

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Austin serial bombing suspect dead; Mississippi Passes 15-Week Abortion Ban...more

Austin serial bombing suspect killed in dramatic confrontation; ID'd as 24-year-old man ...The serial bomber who terrorized Austin, Texas for three harrowing weeks was identified Wednesday morning -- just hours after he blew himself to bits with his own device as cops closed in.

Mark Anthony Conditt, 24, was named as the bomber, an ATF source told Fox News. A picture of Conditt in 2013 from his mother's Facebook page was authenticated by The Austin-American Statesman.

Conditt was killed near the motel he was traced to by authorities using surveillance footage from a Federal Express drop-off store and cell phone triangulation technology, according to The Austin American-Statesman...

Mississippi Passes 15-Week Abortion Ban, Becomes Most Pro-life State Mississippi has become the state with the most restrictive ban on abortion after Gov. Phil Bryant signed a 15-week abortion ban bill into law on Monday, March 19.

As previously reported, House Bill 1510 had already passed in the state Senate in the beginning of March. It then went on to the House for approval, and lastly, to Bryant’s desk.

Bryant, a Republican, was expected to sign the bill into law. "I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child," Bryant said at the time. "House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal, and I encourage the House to pass it and look forward to signing it.”...

5 Signs of the Times
...Does God still perform miracles in our day? Absolutely. In fact, the great miracle that God continues to perform among us is the salvation of a lost sinner as God miraculously brings the person to life spiritually. However, we also know that God is capable of hearing our prayers and bringing healing and restoration of health to a hurting or sick person as well. While God is still in the miracle business, we must admit that the sensationalism and craving of signs and wonders that we see today is not in alignment with what we see happening in the apostolic days. Below are five red flags to look for in a minister or ministry that falls into the category that Jesus himself warned about during his earthly ministry...

University no longer banning conservative student from class Nearly a month after a student was barred from attending a religious studies class, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) has reversed course, suspending normal policies and procedures.

Lake Ingle, a student enrolled in “RLST 481 – Special Topic – Self, Sin, and Salvation,” a course taught by IUP Professor Alison Downie that he needs in order to graduate, objected to his instructor’s claims regarding the “reality of white male privilege,” on February 28.

"Based on a review of governing policies, last week the student was informed that he is allowed to attend class."

Ingle also rebutted claims made in a video shown in class that featured a transgender woman, stating that there are only two genders and arguing that the “gender wage gap” is a myth...

Scientists Narrow Down When China's Falling Space Station Will Burn Up in the Atmosphere ...Fortunately there’s almost no chance that any part of the station will reach the ground and even if some parts of the station don’t completely burn up in the atmosphere, most of the Earth is ocean. There’s an extremely small chance a single piece of the satellite will ever hit land, let alone you specifically...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

God keep me from saying anything that would be unloving...

God keep me from saying anything that would be unloving; God shut my mouth if I am not to speak in tender love. But what I am saying is a fact. How often there is found among Christians who are banded together in work, sharp criticism, sharp judgment, hasty opinion, unloving words, secret contempt of each other, secret condemnation of each other. Oh, just as a mother’s love covers her children and delights in them and has the tenderest compassion with their foibles or failures, so there ought to be in the heart of every believer a motherly love toward every brother and sister in Christ. Have you aimed at that? Have you sought it? Have you ever pleaded for it? ...Andrew Murray image

Justices skeptical of abortion speech law

Argument analysis: Justices skeptical of abortion speech law
Amy Howe
Tue, March 20th, 2018 4:03 pm

The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a highly anticipated case that combines two often controversial topics: the First Amendment and abortion. The question before the justices today was whether a California law that directs “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide their patients with specific kinds of information – including, for some, the availability of low-cost or free abortions – violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause. After roughly an hour of oral argument, the law appeared to be in some jeopardy, not only among the court’s more conservative justices but also perhaps at least with Justice Elena Kagan, one of the more liberal justices.

The law at issue is the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act, also known as the Reproductive FACT Act. The California legislature passed the law because it was worried that crisis pregnancy centers – nonprofit organizations, often affiliated with Christian groups, that are opposed to abortion – were posing as full-service reproductive health clinics and providing pregnant women with inaccurate or misleading information about their options. The act requires nonprofits that are licensed to provide medical services (such as pregnancy tests and ultrasound examinations) to post notices to inform their patients that free or low-cost abortions are available, while centers without such licenses – which try to support pregnant women by supplying them with diapers and formula, for example – must include disclaimers in their advertisements to make clear, in up to 13 languages, that their services do not include medical help....
By the time the oral argument ended this morning, California’s law seemed like it could be in real trouble. And although we normally think of the Roberts court as being closely divided on high-profile cases, today’s argument suggested that the ruling might not necessarily be a close one. The justices could ultimately decide to strike down part or all of the Reproductive FACT Act, while leaving open the possibility that a more generally applicable law might pass constitutional muster. We’ll know more by the end of June.

CA abortion law before Supreme Court today: Teen Suicide Is Soaring...more

Can gov’t force pro-lifers to promote abortion? Key case at U.S. Supreme Court today ...At the heart of this case is “the unconstitutional California law which is compelling the staff and volunteers of pro-life pregnancy centers to violate their consciences and promote tax-funded abortions,” said David Bereit, former CEO of 40 Days for Life.

Pro-life advocates say the case is significant for the rights to freedom of speech, conscience, and religion of all citizens.

“What they’re trying to do is silence the ability of people who advocate for the pro-life position to be able to freely speak their message, and that’s what we’re debating in the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Michael Farris, CEO, President, General Counsel and of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in a recent video statement. The State of California is “not trying to do anything other than to facilitate people choosing abortion, and forcing pro-lifers to be the facilitators.”...

Freedom of speech includes the right to remain silent ...California tailored the law to target only crisis centers: It exempts from the compelled speech requirements all women’s health services providers that dispense abortifacients. The crisis centers are incorporated as religious organizations and their mission is dictated by the content of their beliefs. The pro-choice government is targeting the centers to exercise one-sided influence on some women’s choices. The Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro, author of an amicus brief supporting the crisis centers, says it is telling that California has no comparable law requiring abortion providers to post advertisements for adoption agencies or other alternatives to abortion...

Teen suicide is soaring. What’s to blame? ...A study of pediatric hospitals released last May found admissions of patients ages 5 to 17 for suicidal thoughts and actions more than doubled from 2008 to 2015. The group at highest risk for suicide are white males between 14 and 21.

Experts and teens cite myriad reasons, including spotty mental health screening, poor access to mental health services and resistance among young men and people of color to admit they have a problem and seek care. Then there's the host of well-documented and hard to solve societal issues, including opioid-addicted parents, a polarized political environment and poverty that persists in many areas despite a near-record-low unemployment rate.

And while some adults can tune out the constant scroll of depressing social media posts, it is the rare teen who even tries.

Then there's the simple fact they are teens...

Southern California town stands up to state, votes to reject sanctuary law ...Los Alamitos Council members voted 4-1 to opt out of a state law that limits cooperation between local police and federal immigration agents.

The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year and became effective on Jan. 1, includes prohibiting state and local police agencies from informing federal authorities in cases when illegal immigrants facing deportation are released from detention.

Los Alamitos’ adopted ordinance claims the new state law “may be in direct conflict with federal laws and the Constitution.” The council, therefore, “finds that it is impossible to honor our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” if they do not opt out of it...

Ink Cartridges Are A Scam

Monday, March 19, 2018

Christian Film 'I Can Only Imagine' is Smashing Success at the Box Office; Was Social Media A Mistake?...more

Christian Film 'I Can Only Imagine' is Smashing Success at the Box Office The recently-released Christian film I Can Only Imagine shocked critics this past weekend at the box office by bringing in $17.1 million even though it was only shown at 1,629 locations.

The film is based on the true story of the life of Bart Millard, the frontman of Christian band MercyMe. The film tells the story of how Millard came to write the smash hit “I Can Only Imagine,” which topped both Christian and secular music charts.

The film had been expected to bring in between $2 million and $8 million, but completely surpassed these estimates. Interestingly, it also finished just ahead of A Wrinkle in Time, a film that had been stripped of its Christian themes, as previously reported...

Was Social Media A Mistake? Here's An Experiment To Find Out ...Was social media a mistake? Two recent events crystallized my answer to this question. First, conservative comedian Steven Crowder had his Twitter account suspended for a week because he posted a video on YouTube that was critical of “gender fluidity” and used a Bad Word. The video was also pulled from YouTube, which you might not think of as a social media platform, even though it definitely is.

Then Brandon Morse noticed Twitter was preventing him from tweeting a link to an article by a controversial conservative columnist. This follows stories of Google-owned YouTube “demonetizing” videos by conservatives, unplugging them from the ability to make money from ads, and Facebook and Google targeting conservative sites for hilariously inaccurate and tendentious “fact checks.” It’s becoming clear that the big social media companies are targeting ideas and thinkers on the Right, and not just the far-out provocateurs and trolls like Milo Yianopoulos, but everyone...

Stem cell transplant 'game changer' for MS patients
Doctors say a stem cell transplant could be a "game changer" for many patients with multiple sclerosis.

Results from an international trial show that it was able to stop the disease and improve symptoms.

It involves wiping out a patient's immune system using cancer drugs and then rebooting it with a stem cell transplant....

Why Is the Abortion Industry Run by Women?
 ...In any ordinary and natural society, a woman who had her baby murdered would actually be the one we would feel sorry for. Right? Even in the animal kingdom, we know this to be fundamentally true. If we were watching a nature documentary and a mother panda lost her baby in some violent attack, we would all understand that we had just witnessed a tragedy. We’d even feel sorry for a mother snail who had her baby snail eaten by a bird.

But meanwhile, in another corner of the animal kingdom . . . a man tears apart a woman’s child, inside her womb, and all the other women applaud. In any normal world — not even a virtuous world, just a normal world — how would the other women respond to that situation? Obviously, we would weep for her. Grieve for her. Demand justice for her.

Instead, the women of America band together, wear pink hats, and demand that they be allowed to pay the man to do it again to someone else. Further, they insist that everyone be required to chip in and pay for him to do it to millions of other women...

Forcing Pro-Life Pregnancy Care Centers to Advertise for Abortion is Unjust and Unconstitutional Pregnancy care centers are being targeted by the state of California for respecting the intrinsic worth and dignity of women and children, even when it is unprofitable to do so...

Canada: Faith groups among those defunded after refusing to sign attestation to respect abortion rights ...Groups across the country are facing a cash crisis after they were initially rejected for a Canada Summer Jobs grant for refusing to sign a controversial attestation to respect abortion rights.

Millions of dollars are at stake, and some organizations are preparing urgent fundraising campaigns. The federal grants are discretionary, but many groups have received the funding every year for a decade or more. In effect, they feel they’re being defunded for refusing to sign the attestation that says their “core mandate” must respect abortion rights, along with other rights around sexuality and gender...