The school shooting in Florida is a national tragedy. No one wants children to be harmed. Life is precious. Apparently, the shooter had extraordinary mental issues, anger issues, bully issues and something tripped his lever to do the most horrible act—the taking of some 17 lives, changing the lives of families, friends, teachers, professionals forever. It is difficult to understand how these terrible things can happen, and especially happen to those who love God. But we must understand, without excusing such acts, that living in a fallen world, and in a society as broad, diverse, and as large as America, these things will happen. There is a lot of blame and finger pointing right now. Surely there is a better way.
The politicians will shout “gun control.” Trouble is, guns are inanimate objects. Guns do nothing without a human using them. It is the human factor that turns things evil, that commits the atrocities. Over history, there is no end to the evil that humankind perpetrates upon itself. It is written in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” A man without God, without Christ, is a man without peace, a heart of stone. It’s not about taking guns away from society—those who want to use guns for evil will always find them—it is, however, about finding ways to bring Christ into the hearts of those in society. Politicians always tend to see what they can take away. What about giving?
Salvation is a lasting gift. It is eternal for those who love God. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 to “go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The actual Greek translation says “disciple all the nations.” It’s not about the “sinner’s prayer,” which isn’t in the Bible; it’s not about a big show of someone accepting the Lord; it’s how they are transformed through the Holy Spirit, the Word, and the mentoring of others. The definition of disciple is: “one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another; such as a Christianity.” This means to be a disciple, you need to have been discipled.
To disciple, one has to make contact, engage with someone, be a witness, an example. This is not done by sitting in church and thinking that you have checked that part of your life off for the week. It’s true mentoring and reaching out, touching hearts. This is what we are commanded to do by our Lord and Savior. We, the ambassadors of Christ, cannot be disengaged from society. When we are, the human factor, the desperately wicked, flourish. We are to overcome such evil with good. I’m not saying that school shootings would stop in this day and age if everyone was doing what the Lord commanded, but I do believe they would be less likely. Schools, in particular, have taken God out of the classroom, leaving the hope of salvation to chance, wickedness free reign. As Christ’s ambassadors on earth, we still must make a difference.
Prophecy mistranslated--Rosh and Grecia
There seems to be a lot of confusion in the Christian community about the role Russia and America play in the end times. Neither country is mentioned in the Bible, but many Christian Americans tend to examine prophecy from a Western-centric, non-Jewish worldview. In reality, prophecy’s timepiece is Israel and how it is impacted by the nations found in and emanating from the table of nations in Genesis 10. For example, Noah’s grandsons from Japheth—Gomer, Magog, Meshech, Tubal are specifically mentioned in the end time prophecy of Ezekiel 38 as part of a coalition led by Gog of Magog against Israel. These nations are located in what is now modern Turkey—not Russia as is widely taught.
The assertion of Russia in the Bible is a mistranslation of the word “Rosh.” The Ezekiel 38:2 King James translation says, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Whereas the New American Standard errs in its translation, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” The Complete Jewish Bible translation is: “Human being, turn your face toward Gog (of the land of Magog), chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval, and prophesy against him.” The mistranslation is such: “Rosh,” or “Ros” in Hebrew, translated correctly is always “Chief” or “Head,” never “Russia” (i.e., Rosh Hashana, meaning “Head” of the year).
Another misinterpretation of prophecy is found in the translation of “Grecia” in Daniel 8. In Daniel 8:19, Gabriel says, “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia.” Strong’s Concordance interprets the word “Grecia” in Hebrew as “Yavan, a son of Japheth (the third son of Noah), his descendants and their land.” The Genesis 10 table of nations indicates this area was not only Greece (as Bible interpretations imply), but also the Eastern Mediterranean, including parts of modern Turkey (Magog, Tubal, Meshech).
Gabriel’s interpretation of Daniel’s vision of “what shall be in the last end” and “for at the time appointed the end shall be” is clearly an end-time prophecy, which, therefore, was not completely fulfilled by Alexander the Great and his generals as is widely taught. These events are yet to occur for the little horn (antichrist) to rise to power. Neither America nor Russia are mentioned in the Bible. The context of symbols such as the eagle and the bear does not align with the events. The prophets knew the Table of Nations and the descendants of Noah’s sons. From them, we find the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the enemies of God’s people descending from Ishmael and Esau. I’m not saying that Russia and America do not play a role in the end times. Obviously, they do. They’re just not the players that some teach them to be.
Stepping closer to the end times
There is a lot of debate about the role America and Russia will play in the end times. Prophetically and biblically speaking, however, there is no mention of either country in the Bible. Many try to make the connections symbolically, which may have some credibility, however remote. Nonetheless, from what we know today these powers are having a profound impact on the acceleration of Bible prophecy toward the end times. Russia, for example, politically ran interference for Iran to develop its nuclear weapons and missile delivery system. Under the previous US Administration, the ex-“president” not only opened the door for Iran to advance nuclear weapons development; he gave them billions to of dollars to complete it.
The Free Beacon reports, “As Iranian dissidents continue to protest over the country's ailing economy, the ruling regime continues to invest millions of dollars it received as part of the landmark nuclear deal with the United States on its military technology, specifically ballistic missiles, which are subject to a ban under international statutes. However, Iran has not only continued this work but also invested heavily in it since receiving the cash windfalls from the nuclear deal. Conservative estimates from open sources indicate the Iranian regime has spent at least $16 billion in recent years on its military buildup and rogue operations in Syria, as well as other countries.” The result is Iran showcasing a nuclear-capable missile that can reach Israel.
The scale that was tipped against Israel during the eight years of the previous White House and a few years by the Bush Administration has been recalibrated by the Trump Administration. The decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US embassy there was a symbolic gesture that sent a hard message to the anti-Israel Islamic countries who have enjoyed a friendly America over the past decade. Indeed, cutting funds to the terrorist sponsoring Palestinian Authority was another pro-Israeli move by Trump. Trump’s support of Christian ideals, curbing globalism, and stopping open immigration from Islamic terrorist-sponsoring nations also sends a strong signal. The immediate past White House aligned America with the beast nations. The current White House has brought America into alignment with Israel.
In doing so, both of America’s most recent Administrations have/are advancing prophecy by accelerating positions of nations mentioned in the accounts of the Day of the Lord. It is important that America do the right thing in the eyes of God. Jesus says in Matthew 25 that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate the nations like a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats—the goats on the left and sheep on the right. Verse 34 says, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you form the foundation of the world.” While our personal salvation is most important, so also are the leaders we choose. It’s far better to be a sheep nation.
Tick Tock the prophetic clock
Israel and Iran are in the headlines as the situation in Syria heats up. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a stern warning to Iran as he sees violence in Syria tied directly to Iran. Israel sees Iran as entrenching itself into the Syrian military conflict. Iran is feeding weapons and supplies to the terrorist group Hezbollah, which Israel believes will use the weaponry against it. Israel has carried out airstrikes against these supply chains while trying to stay out of the Syrian conflict, which has involved most of the Middle East end time players. Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Israel all have end time significance and Netanyahu has upped the end time ante by saying Israel will harm those who try to harm Israel.
According to the prophet Isaiah, 17:1, “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Many point to this verse to speculate when and how Damascus will be destroyed. If we study the context of the prophecy, Chapter 10 begins with prophesying judgment on Assyria and Ephraim (one of the tribes of Israel) for attacking Israel. Damascus is named as one of the Assyrian’s vassals. Damascus also is included in end time judgment accounts of Egypt, Babylon, Moab, Assyria, Ethiopia, Tyre, Philistia and others. This demonstrates the near and the far of prophesy. Some of this was fulfilled historically; other parts of it are yet to be fulfilled.
The gathering together in Syria of many of the nations involved in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy about a colossal end time battle points to important prophetic implications found in the Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 8 prophecies where two current opposing powers, Iran (Persia) and Turkey (Magog), are facing one another. Currently, Iran has control over much of Iraq and Syria. Turkey is counterbalancing that control through ISIS and pressure from its allies, including the US and European Union. For Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 8 to be fulfilled, Turkey and Iran must come into alignment. We may be seeing this playing out as these nations and their proxies face one another in Syria.
Netanyahu’s warning of Iran and the stirring of all these end times forces gathered in Syria may well be moving the prophecy clock forward. We know that Syria in general and Damascus in particular are part of an end time alignment. Isaiah 17: 7, in describing the burden of Damascus, says, “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.” This is consistent with “Day of the Lord” prophecies throughout the ancient prophets and the Revelation speaking about all who experience this event will know that God is God, he is Lord of Lords. Yes, man will participate in these events, but the end result is the supernatural evidence and power of the one true God.
Shutdown by thieves in the darkness
It’s really a disgrace what is going on in Washington, DC. Congress shut the government down after midnight while they tried to get their act together on a budget. The five hour 29 minute shutdown from 12:01 to 5:30 am resulted in an agreement to keep things going for another six weeks and add who knows how much to the budget—we don't know without digging because the lame-stream media is more interested in covering the shutdown rather than the details of the budget. Buried in the 12th paragraph of a Reuters story, we find that these elected highwaymen added about $300 billion to the taxpayer burden. They are literally bleeding the American public dry in the cover of darkness while we sleep.
There are a handful of responsible people in Congress. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was the ringleader of this shutdown because he and a small group of Republicans, who supported last year’s tax reform, opposed the domestic spending increases in the budget bill. To get Democrats to support keeping the government open, the budget bill included increases in subsidized child care and helping dairy farmers in Vermont. The result is Republicans and Democrats pointing the finger at each other about being irresponsible with taxpayer money, the government stays open until they pass another budget bill, and you get to pay for every congressman’s pet project that bought his vote.
Some (like me) say this is corruption. Others say, “don't be so naïve, it’s politics.” Either way, this is just a small part of the problem. Couple this with the organized crime that took place with the immediate past “president” and the Clintons, the obstruction of the current administration by members of its own party, the horrible visceral that governs any disagreement, and we have a real mess on our hands. Republicans are really bad; Democrats are far worse; and the system keeps perpetuating itself with candidates who are groomed to think the same way, towing the party line. Things need to be shaken up. As a witness to our Lord and Savior, those who feel the Lord has put it on their heart, should engage in this arena.
Not everyone is called to politics. Those who are can serve in many ways. They can be candidates, committee members, fundraisers, donors, volunteers and advisors. The need for the light of Christ in this area of darkness is tremendous. Common sense, ethics, morals, responsibility and accountability—all found in God’s word—need to be re-established in our representative government. Currently, in both parties, there are those akin to what Christ describes in John 10:10, “The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need good shepherds who would lay down their lives for the citizens and the nation to be a witness about what is just and right.
Why we must stand
There is a story on LifeSiteNews.com about a Christian teacher in England who was fired from her job because she responded to a personal question by a student about homosexuality, saying that that her personal belief was that homosexuality was against God’s will, but that He loved every person, regardless of what they did, or who they were. She also told a lesbian that God loved her. She was fired for “gross misconduct.” Another teacher verbally attacked her for her beliefs, and she was also reported to the government’s Counter-Terror Unit as a radicalization threat for telling the lesbian that God loved her. This is an example of why Christians must be proactive as God’s Ambassadors in all aspects of society.
The story quotes Andrea Williams, barrister and CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, with a very important observation: “We are seeing a worrying trend of cases such as this. The fact that Svetlana was reported to Prevent for holding Christian views is a sign of our times. It shows how Prevent will be used to punish innocent and soft targets. A radical rethink is required.” As Americans, we often look at Europe and roll our eyes. But a lot of what happens in Europe eventually makes it’s way to the US in one form or another. We have witnessed over the past decade an acceleration of rules, laws, and societal pressure against free speech and religious freedom, especially from the homosexual political agenda.
When a “president” and a Presidential candidate, who really is an organized crime boss within a political party, both hold strong beliefs against Christian doctrine can infiltrate government to the point of influencing investigations, law enforcement, secret courts, the judicial system and more, our ability to freely exercise our religion is gravely threatened. If we, as Christians, who have been blessed with such freedom by the very hand of God, do nothing to stop this egregious attack on our freedom, we will lose it. God is sovereign in all things, but he has chosen a partnership of shared responsibility with his people. We are on earth to glorify him and he expects us to stand for what is right according to his word as guided by the Holy Spirit. This is why we must stand.
There are countless verses in the Bible about overcoming evil with good. Ephesians 6 is primarily about obedience and strength in the power of the Lord. As verse 11 says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Verses 18-20 say, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints: And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.” Ambassador of God, speak boldly, stand against the wiles of the devil.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has released an interim report on “The Clinton Email Scandal And The FBI’s Investigation Of It.” The report is part of the ongoing investigations into Clinton, the FBI, and the Russian connections to the US presidential election. The Interim Report raises questions about the immediate past “president’s” involvement in the FBI investigation of Clinton, despite his denials. It also lends insight into a vast network of government insiders who were using taxpayer money to work on behalf of Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump. These “smoking gun” revelations are informed through text messages by FBI agents and lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
The report details that on June 30, Strzok and Page discussed edits to then FBI Director James Comey’s statement exonerating Clinton of any wrongdoing on the classified emails that were found on an unsecured server. They said that a reference to the “president” was changed to “another senior government official” to protect him from failing to report knowledge of mishandling national defense documents. The phrase was later deleted altogether from Comey’s remarks. The report also documents, “On September 2, 2016, Page wrote about preparing talking points for Director Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.””
This is important because the “president” lied to the American people about his involvement in FBI investigations. Daily News reporter David Martosko quoted the “president” as saying, “I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. ... I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation.” These texts leave little doubt that the “president” was involved and wanted to be informed of the ongoing details from the investigation. This, and the recent memo release of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, indicate the possibility of a deep-rooted conspiracy to use the federal government to undermine a presidential campaign.
It appears that Clinton operatives, the past “president”, and Clinton herself were using the FBI to clear Clinton of any wrong doing, to falsify documents implicating President-elect Donald Trump of illegal activities with Russia, and to use a secret government court to spy on Trump based on their falsified report. These are all illegal activities if and when they are legally proven. Americans have no idea the extent of organized crime certain politicians and political parties have established to the detriment of our nation, or the evil they have done and are doing. As is written of the end times in 2 Timothy 3:12-13, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” As we overcome evil with good, let us remember to do all we can, and then stand.
I just returned last night from the Super Bowl where my focus was using the sport of football to teach leadership and character. Many have no idea the huge number of professional football players who are Christians and have an influence on this game. Yes, you hear about the disgruntled and the arrests, but rarely do you hear about the JJ Watts types of players who raise millions for charity and actually are the boots on the ground backing up the good work they are doing in their communities. Executive VP of NFL Football Operations Troy Vincent spotlights these men in a weekly Facebook and Twitter feed called Service Saturdays, if you are interested. But there is more to this. It’s about overcoming evil with good.
Romans 12:29 instructs: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Some translations say “conquer evil with good.” Many Christians question why we should be concerned about government or organizations like the NFL when it doesn’t appear to align with certain values. “Don’t you believe that God is in control,” is the question asked, or “Haven’t you ever read Romans 13?” Yes, and its probably one of the most wrongly translated chapters of the Bible from the context that if God is sovereign and in control of all things, Christians don’t have to concern themselves with the worldly aspect of governments or influential organizations. These kinds of Christian clichés wrongly leave the impression that our world is so ordered by God that we don't have to worry about living out our lives or fighting against evil when we see it.
This is not an “either/or” situation, but rather “both/and.” God is in control AND Christians must act. Let me use a football analogy. The head coach has control of the team. The coach provides for the players. He gives them the playbook instructing them how to play the game. He has strong suggestions about off-the-field character and will discipline those who don’t comply. On game day, his players must execute the plan to be successful. Players make mistakes, but Coach loves them and exhorts them to do better. A player may not match up well and could be harmed or harm the team. Coach intervenes. Coach does his best to protect his players from unnecessary risk and to see that they win. But players have to make choices and play the game. There are consequences to their decisions that impact them personally and the team.
God gives us the playbook through both his WORD and the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to live it out. Sometimes he intervenes to protect us or to teach us. He is sovereign and is in control. He also works through his people. How many times are we reminded to be salt and light, to overcome evil, to stand against the wiles of the devil, to make disciples, and so on? Without the light of Christ as carried by each of us, the world is a dark place. Without the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the world is a dying place. It is you, the vessel, who carries out God’s plan here on earth. Just as the coach is in charge and depends on his players, God is sovereign and depends on you. This is not a cliché, it is truth. That’s why we concern ourselves with government, organizations, people and the world around us in general.
All Pro Dads at Super Bowl LII
Jesus told us in Matthew 5:14-16, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The Daily Jot is dedicated to equipping and encouraging its readers to evangelize, to be that light shining before men. Our goal is to use current events and commentary from a Biblical world view to equip readers to speak about events as well as to share the gospel. There is a lot wrong with the world, but there are some who are certainly bright shining lamp stands.
Two of these men who are standing as such happen to be in the football space where they are dedicated to developing young men of character and reaching out to fathers. One is Troy Vincent, Sr. Troy was a first round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 1992 and played 15 years. He has been nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and currently serves as Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the NFL. He is a kind, loving man whose heart is sold out for Jesus Christ. Another is Tony Dungy. Coach Dungy won two Super Bowls as a player and one as a Head Coach. But he would want to be remembered as a man of God.
These men are intimately involved in All Pro Dads, an organization that promotes Godly fatherhood from the standpoint that “the true victory in life is not on a scoreboard, but is measured by the love and honor of their children.” Like every man, they have their imperfections, but you might hear them say, “Each day, I just strive to be better, to serve my Lord better.” It is a concept that is taught on the football field: take each play one at a time, use each play to get better. Each year at the Super Bowl, All Pro Dads holds a Family Football Clinic where dads and their sons or daughters hear a faith-based presentation from a current or former NFL player, and are taught football skills from former NFL players.
Coach Dungy tells us why faith is important to him: “My Christian faith is the most important thing to me because it impacts everything I do and every decision I make. Everything else, including football, is temporary. Even family relationships will one day come to an end, but faith impacts eternity. So my life has to be defined by that faith, rather than by my career or my relationships. In a life that will definitely have ups and downs the steadying influence for me is my belief that God has an ultimate plan.” Troy and Coach are two men of many in football who live by faith and share it not only by example, but by speaking boldly. This is why football is valuable to our youth and to dads who want to be better.
God’s word, race and politics
Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:22 says, “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” Joel 2:29 says, “And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” It is obvious that the Lord sees no distinction between men and women, also Jew or Gentile (meaning creed or color), or station in life when it comes to how he views those who believe. So why then is it so difficult for those in the human race to view people in that same way?
There are some who will read this and lecture about there being only one race--the human race. I get that and believe it to be true. Notwithstanding, we still have in this nation and, quite frankly, around the world, problems with dealing with those who look differently than we do. It makes it a little easier if we know we are dealing with believers, but there are still barriers a lot of the time. This is a very difficult and tender subject to approach. Society is divisive. Politicians, especially politicians, are divisive as they benefit from pitting people against one another. They fan the flames and fuel the fires rather than contributing to meaningful dialogue that brings people together.
In this era of politics in America, there are a lot of people who make strong statements that are not backed by the truth. As a result, there are many out there who unknowingly are manipulated into a way of thinking that is not in accordance with the word of God. There are many who want to control others and the way they do it is through propagating a victim mentality. The problem is that people fall for it, no matter the color of their skin or their station in life or their religious persuasion. But there is a greater mandate that those of us who call ourselves Christian must follow, especially as the times grow darker. It is a higher standard--one to which we must aspire.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again.” I often rephrase this in my mind to say: don’t judge from the content of my own heart. Our job is, as Jesus said in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” And we are to, as Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” When you are faced with what society calls racism or political division, use it as an opportunity to educate about the Word of God in a way that folks can understand and receive it (not by lecturing or by being judgmental or self righteous). The world needs light, we have it. Let’s shine it!
Of unity and division
President Donald Trump lit it up last night with his State of the Union address. So much so, that amid “USA” chants in the House chamber, a Democrat congressman got up and left. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) frowned at the call to work together and remained sitting during a rousing ovation. Black Democrats who were sitting together remained stone-faced when Trump said that unemployment was at its lowest rates in 45 years and that black unemployment was the lowest on record. The news media continued to criticize Trump with snide remarks about his wife’s dress. ABC went so far as to say the speech was divisive, gloomy and stoked racial tensions. The real cap on the night came from CBS.
A CBS poll following the speech showed that 75% of those who watched the speech approved of it, only 25% disapproved. Interesting, though, about this rating is the demographics of those who watched the speech. Some 42% said they were Republicans, 33% were Independents, and 25% were Democrats. This could indicate that no matter what a Republican says, no matter what the facts are about the good things that are being done, no matter if people have jobs who never had them before, no matter what—Democrats are going to disapprove of anything and everything a Republican does. This is not unity. This divisiveness coming from Democrats and the media is not even American.
The sides of this coin are drastic for our nation and its people. We need to learn how to work out our problems with respect and civility. Those who are openly hostile obviously have another agenda. That would be the case with the mainstream media and the leadership of the Democratic Party. Notwithstanding, those polled who said they were Democrats, appear to agree with their party’s leadership—at least 25% of them. This radical, visceral approach to politics is destructive. Jesus said in Mark 3:24, “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” We are a divided nation as evidenced by the disrespect and ignorance shown by those who refuse to agree on the good that has been accomplished.
President Trump said, “If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything. …All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag. Together, we are rediscovering the American way. In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.”… As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.” Who can disagree with this?--Those who neither share these values nor trust in God. That is the difference between unity and division.
Super “Blood” Moon Wednesday
Did you know that there is going to be what the news media calls a “Super Blue Blood Moon” appearing in the sky on Wednesday, January 31? Bloomberg reports that the phenomena is the result of blue moons—the second full moon in a one-month period that take place once every 2.7 years. Supermoons are full moons that occur at the closest possible point to Earth once every 14 months. And blood moons, also known as total lunar eclipses, take place about twice a year. But all three occurring at the same time hasn't happened since 1866. This is not to be confused with end times prophecies of the moon turning to blood coinciding with the return of the Messiah.
Joel 2:31 says, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes. ”Revelation 6:12 is speaking of the Day of the Lord, and says, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.” Isaiah 13:10, also speaking of that Day of the Lord’s coming, says “For the stars of heaven and its constellations shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not cause its light to shine.” Many prophets, including Ezekiel, Joel, and Amos, as well as Job and John speak of the same event when the Lord returns.
While extremely interesting, the reddish moons we have seen in recent time are not the way the moon is prophesied in the day of the Lord. First, there wasn’t a great earthquake. The sun did not turn as black as sackcloth, and the moon really didn’t turn as blood. Jesus said in Matthew 24:29-30,”Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.”
Most importantly, the Lord has not returned after past “blood” moons. He will...eventually. I dare say, however, that there will be no doubt in the heavens when the Lord returns. It will be an awesome moment. But before he returns, there are certain events that scripture says will happen. Paul writes in Thessalonians 2, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition...so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This is very clear: 1) don’t be deceived, 2) falling away, 3) antichrist (beast) revealed, 4) sits in the temple as God. Keep watching. Keep praying. Keep reading your Bible. Keep discerning. And do not be deceived.
Generations of criminality
While we are debating the criminality of politicians and how they are above the law, there is a segment of society who break the smallest of laws and the consequences are harsh and dire. It is the very issue to which a group of NFL players have been drawing attention over the last two seasons. Before you hit the unsubscribe button and call me a bunch of names, hear me out. I do not, nor will I ever, agree with Colin Kaepernick protesting during the National Anthem. His protest and his words about why he protested proved that he was uninformed of the truth, and was showing disrespect for our nation by promoting communists such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. But there is more to the story.
Philadelphia Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, and Torrey Smith also protested. They said from the very beginning that it wasn’t about the National Anthem or disrespecting the country. It was about criminal justice reform. It was about kids that were put in the system for misdemeanors and staying in the system because they couldn't get out. It was about adults who were arrested, and who may even be innocent, not being able to make bail, so they remain in jail for months or even over a year before their trial is conducted. It was about how these types of policies were impacting, even devastating, communities of color. It’s true. The facts, in Pennsylvania alone, are amazing.
For example, Philadelphia has one of the highest populated jail systems in the nation, and it is increasing. Some 15 percent are in jail awaiting trial for 120 or more days. Bail is set so high that those jailed for disorderly conduct, loitering and some types of theft up to $2,000, cannot meet it, according to research done by the city. Also, think about this: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health shows 5 percent of families account for more than 50 percent of all arrests. These are the specific issues that the players, and now the NFL and its owners, are taking up regarding criminal justice reform. They are also very similar to the Trump Administration platform on criminal justice reform. Strict law and order AND reform the system to hold fairness.
This is not about liberal vs conservative. This cycle ruins people’s lives, and it’s costly to taxpayers. NFL players and law enforcement are bringing kids together with hopes of kindling respect and trust. Education programs are being conducted for youth to understand the role of police. These are positive efforts being taken to break the generational curse of criminality. Jesus said in Matthew 25:36, “I was in prison, and you came to me.” Then he said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” This is a prickly issue. We need, however, to break the generations of criminality in this country. We may not like what it looks like, but at least it’s a start. Jenkins, Long and Smith have turned their short-lived protests into actually doing something about the problem.
Deep State in the news
There’s a lot of news to end the week. The Justice Department has used forensics to recover the missing texts from anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told FOX News, Strzok and Page exchanged an estimated 50,000 texts across four phones during their affair and efforts to undermine President Donald Trump. These texts just happen to cover the time from Trump’s inauguration through the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the establishment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Strzok and Page may have been part of a secret society against Trump lodged within the FBI.
Congressman John Ratliffe (R-TX) Monday said on Fox News, “We learned today about information that in the immediate aftermath of [Trump’s] election, that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI -- to include Page and Strzok -- that would be working against him.” FOX News also reported, “In another infamous message, Strzok appeared to make reference to an “insurance policy” against a Trump win. Strzok wrote, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40...”
According to Politico, Strzok and Page also were involved in discussing a possible Hillary Clinton Special Counsel—but it appears from a different vantage. They didn’t want an investigation to go forward because, as Page texted to Strzok, “One more thing: she might be our next president. The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear. You think she’s going remember or care that it was more DOJ than FBI?” Strzok replied, “Agreed.” The texts also indicate that Page was a leak to Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal. It is not known whether she was leaking classified information or trying to shape the narrative to protect Clinton, but we do know that she was strongly biased against Trump.
It is difficult to imagine that Strzok and Page were the only two people in the FBI who were plotting against Trump. These are the ones who got caught. When Trump claimed that there was a deep state within the government undermining America, the globalists, socialist and their media minions claimed he was crazy. But most everything Trump has said about the ex “president” spying on him to deep state conspiracies to no Russian collusion is proving out. The big collusion is between the globalist establishment cabal and the media trying to undermine the will of the people. It is like 2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” These people are like a deep-rooted malignant tumor. It’s going to take a lot of digging to remove them because the deep state is rooted in the news.
Prophetic implications of corruption investigations
The current investigations into political corruption have certainly heightened since the last presidential election. They seemed to flip from scrutinizing the corruption of the previous administration and the dealings associated with Bill and Hillary Clinton and their Foundation to investigating all things Donald Trump. The news media is trying Trump in the public square as if he were already guilty of wrong-doing. Corrupt people are accusing others of doing the very thing they have done, hoping their dirty deeds remain hidden. Notwithstanding, these current investigations—one by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the others by various committees in Congress—may have extraordinary prophetic implications.
Mueller and his team are investigating possible Russian involvement in influencing the last presidential election. That investigation, however, has expanded to investigating whether President Donald Trump had any illegal ties with Russia that could have tipped the outcome of the election and if Trump obstructed justice. Mueller seems to be single-focused on Trump rather than the very obvious Russian connections of failed candidate Hillary Clinton who enriched herself with an elaborate pay to play scheme of influence peddling, sales of uranium to Russia, and her husband receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars for a speaking engagement in Russia.
Enter Congressional investigations indicating that the ex “president” used a secret court established to flush out terrorist to spy on Americans, most notably Donald Trump, in a effort to undermine his campaign and subsequent presidency. Additionally, high ranking officials appointed by the ex “president” exonerated Hillary Clinton of wrong-doing over leaking classified information on unsecured email servers. The ex “president’s” FBI and Justice Department appears to have a secret society that held meetings to undermine a duly elected President after the election. These Congressional investigations seem to indicate a deep-rooted, highly sophisticated conspiracy to maintain control of the government.
Most look at this as a Democrat vs Republican conflict. Others view it as a globalist vs sovereignty issue, as globalists of both parties are fighting to maintain control—wanting open borders, US-financed climate control, global economy, one-world government, etc. Consider, however, this as a prophetic battle. Globalists also want to divide and weaken Israel. This ultimately encourages Israel’s end time enemies, as Ezekiel 38:12 says, “To take a spoil, and to take a prey.” In the last 30 years, globalist presidents have sought the division of the covenant land of Israel. This current president has recognized Jerusalem as its capital, is defunding Israel’s enemies, and has signaled he doesn't support dividing Israel. Imagine the anger of the principalities and powers of darkness against a mere human who dare undermine the devil.
Crisis at the doorstep
Each day new information surfaces that there was a conspiracy deep into the federal government to keep the globalist cabal in power by undermining the Trump Administration and actually effecting a coup. Now there is more information that there was a secret society at the FBI holding secret meetings in an apparent attempt to undermine and overthrow President Donald Trump. This is particularly important to note that the same actors involved were those who exonerated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton days before the election, and the current special counsel investigating Trump is a George W Bush-appointed, and ex “president”-kept, former head of the FBI, Robert Mueller.
On Tuesday’s FOX News Special Report with Bret Baier, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that Congressional investigators have an informant who confirmed the secret society exists at the FBI and that its members secretly met after the election to plot against Trump. Johnson said that Congress didn't have all the answers and investigators would continue to dig for information. He said, however, “Robert Mueller used to run the FBI. He is in no position to do an investigation over this kind of misconduct… When you see this kind of bias and corruption in the FBI you have to ask the question, are there similar individuals highly biased -- political operatives burrowed into the Department of Justice as well. Does Attorney General Sessions really have a department he can rely on and trust as well?”
Let’s take an inventory. Immediately following the election, Clinton refused to accept the results. The outgoing “president” encouraged mayhem, funded “resistance” organizations, and established former supporters and advisors over key government positions. Some who left the previous Administration, like Rosa Brooks, former Pentagon advisor, called for a military coup from her new position at the George Soros-funded New America Foundation. Now we find that high ranking lackeys of the ex “president” and the Clinton governmental organized crime syndicate, were plotting to undermine a duly elected President. Couple this with media complicity on impeachment and other fronts, and we have the makings of a coup.
While the media will not admit it, and pasty-faced Congressmen are too cautious to say it, we are watching this very sophisticated coup take place before our eyes. We have to suspend our disbelief to recognize it, but all the components are there. Attempt after attempt to disrupt this Presidency with accusations, investigations, stonewalling, and opposition at every juncture—led by Democrats, supported by globalist Republicans, and aided and abetted by a very hostile and Marxist “free press.” As Romans 13:12 says, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” As Christian Americans, we must pray for and very vocally support these brave men and women who are exposing the usurpers and revolutionaries. Truth and Justice are on the line.
A conspiracy to end the presidency
News stories in recent days have revealed a pattern: There appears to be a legitimate conspiracy to end the presidency of Donald Trump, even before it started. The Democrat-motivated “Special Counsel” to investigate whether Trump and the Russians conspired to defeat the scandal-tainted Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton could have been just part of the conspiracy by the previous administration and the Clinton campaign to defeat Trump. The collusion with Russia is actually evidenced by the Clintons and a pay-for-influence scheme over US uranium transfers to Russia. The use of the secret court FISA by the ex “president” to spy on Americans, especially Trump, is also part of the conspiracy.
Information in the past week indicates that the ex “president,” his Attorney General, Justice Department, the FBI, and the Clintons were all working schemes at the same time to derail Trump before he even got started. For example, smoking gun electronic messages, via email or text, “accidentally” between anti-Trump/pro Clinton FBI officials Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page have been. House Homeland Cybersecurity Chairman Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) tweeted that among thousands of FBI texts that he reviewed, “revealed manifest bias” against Trump and referenced a “secret society” of FBI officials that met the day after the election to plot against the newly-elected President.
Another aspect of the FBI’s and Department of Justice possible collusion comes in the act of exonerating candidate Hillary Clinton of wrong-doing regarding her exposure of classified information over unsecured private computers—some of which ended up on her assistant Huma Abedin’s sex-soliciting husband’s computer which aided in convicting him of soliciting a minor. Ratcliffe told FOX News that text messages indicate then FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were coordinating the decision to exonerate Clinton in May, well ahead of the July 5, 2016 news conference. Lynch met with Clinton’s former president husband Bill on the Phoenix airport tarmac for 20 minutes on June 26, just 10 days before Comey cleared Hillary Clinton.
Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Devin Nunes (R-CA) said in a statement concerning the 384 pages of new text messages between top FBI officials that “the contents of these text messages between top FBI officials are extremely troubling” as well as “the evident bias exhibited by those in charge of the investigation.” It appears that it could be the Democratic Party that colluded to illegally influence the elections, and they included the Russians in their scheme, who also may have willingly participated. These events, if proven true, could represent a Constitutional crisis of an attempted coup with the complicity participation of the news media, which supported the false narrative. Let us pray that the words of Christ in Luke 8:17 prevail over this grave situation, “For nothing is secret, that not be made manifest.”
Government god Shutdown
In October 2013, Democrats were blaming Republicans for the government. Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave a lesson on the essence of socialist health care. CNN’s Dana Bash, questioning why the Senate would not pass House bills for temporary funding of various programs during the government shutdown such as children’s cancer research, asked, “If you can help one child, why won’t you do it?” Reid’s response was an emphatic: “'Why, why, why would we want to do that? This time, there is no mention of the consequences of a government shutdown affecting the National Institute of Health and refusing cancer treatment to children. Today’s shutdown would do the same, but that disappears when it's a Democrat idea.
Republicans now insist that Democrats forced a shutdown of the government over illegal immigration. The general narrative is that the Democrats prefer illegal non-citizens over the national security of legal citizens. It's a classic standoff where this nonsense showcases the ineptitude and hypocrisy among elected officials. At the end of the day, they believe the leviathan called government must be well fed and operational because it is far more important than a mere child’s life, illegal immigrants or the security of the nation itself. This is the DNA of the vast majority of Democrats and of many Republicans because they are socialists and communists--not Constitutional Americans. Through their lens, government is god.
News reporters and their “go to” people on the street were all weepy that the government was shut down. What were they to do? Just the anticipation of Washington, DC as a virtual ghost town was enough to throw most into a state of shock. I went to the window this morning and looked out. The red outline of the mountains told me that the sun was coming up. The electric was still on. People were driving. Kids were getting ready to go to school. The only threat of communist takeover was if certain politicians came back to work. If millions of people are sitting at home as non-essential government personnel, isn’t government too big? Could small business do more for less? Maybe we should move in a different direction.
Exodus 20:3 says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” In 2013, Reid and the Democrats blamed Republicans for the possible deaths of children because closing government would result in a shutdown of the National Institute of Health. Now, these same moral crusaders don’t even recognize that possibility because the government shutdown is their idea. Irrespective of political party, most of the politicians in Washington worship government. Now, instead of Reid, it’s Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reading from the same script, different page. But the real story is that this is not about health care, immigration, or security. It’s about power. It’s about government as god, and who has power when god is shut down?
Deep state against Trump and YOU
There is a four-page memo making its rounds in Congress allegedly showing how the previous “president’s” administration, specifically the Department of Justice and the FBI, used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to spy on Americans and to try to bring down the Presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Members of the House Intelligence Committee are describing the contents of the document “alarming” and liken it to Soviet-era KGB tactics. The Committee voted to make the memo public. The Daily Jot began reporting on FISA in 2013 after the ACLU filed suit that the previous administration was using FISA to spy on American citizens, but the spy saga gets far worse.
In March 2017, President Trump accused the ex-“president” of wire-tapping his campaign, setting off a barrage of sanctimonious denials from Democrats and the ex “president.” The ex-“president’s” spokesman Kevin Lewis said, “A cardinal rule of the [sic] Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither the [sic] “president” nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.” Lewis lied. The White House had routinely ordered surveillance on US citizens, and used information to concoct a story to influence the elections.
The previous White House used the FISA court to back door “authority” to collect information folks like you and me. The UK Guardian reported in March 2017 that the broad scope of the court’s orders and nature of the procedures established in FISA documents it obtained appeared “to clash” with assurances from the ex-“president” and senior intelligence officials that the National Security Agency could not access your telephone and email information without warrants. Now it is revealed that the previous Administration weaved a web of deceit to undermine an opposing party’s presidential candidacy. The court established to fight terrorism likely was used in a failed attempt to hold control of the White House.
The FISA court audited this spying and in June issued a 99 page opinion written by judge Rosemary Collyer, who stated that Fourth Amendment rights of privacy were violated by the ex “president’s” administration as early as October 2011 and continued through 2016. This information collected on US citizens was shared with the FBI, CIA and National Counterterrorism Center in violation of regulations. Now we are finding that these abuses continued and interfered with the 2016 Presidential election. Proverbs 26:26 says, “[He] Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shown before the whole congregation.” This wickedness is beginning to be revealed. Unfortunately, Congress voted to renew FISA. Hopefully, the deep state will no longer abuse what was established to protect Americans.
2017 Myths vs Facts
If you listen to the mainstream news media and the socialist left, you could become very depressed. Everything is characterized from the lens of racism, homophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, bigotry, and scare tactics about how the economy is going to tank under President Donald Trump. These soldiers of “resistance” spend a great deal of time spinning narratives, using partial facts and slanting coverage of events in an attempt to brainwash the public into thinking that America is bad, white Americans are bad, and that anyone who supports the President or even parts of his agenda are terrible, even deplorable, people. There are a lot of myths being spun that don’t mesh with the facts.
The President, through the Republican Party website, has listed the Top 11 “fake news” stories of 2017. The New York Times, ABC News, Time, CNN, the Washington Post, and Newsweek made the list, some of them several times. Early on, the talking points of the fake news media were that the stock market and economy would never recover from the Trump election. The racist narrative was promoted by TIME by falsely reporting that Trump had removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office. The Washington Post took pictures of a sold out Trump rally before it started and reported that the arena was empty. There were several stories that had to be retracted about the Trump “Russian connection.”
While these stories were played and re-reported throughout the days and weeks to millions upon millions, they were all false. Notwithstanding, they served to whip up a frenzy among those who present themselves as educated and informed against the rest of the nation who they consider deplorables. The facts are a different, less reported story. Just today, unemployment numbers are reported the lowest since 2000 and perhaps since the 1970s. The economy has created some 2 million jobs and generated $8 trillion in wealth since the inauguration. African Americans and Hispanics are employed by the largest numbers since these statistics have been recorded.
There are many more positive accomplishments by the Trump Administration while over 90% of the media coverage has been negative or spinning yarns of untruths. What president has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? We also haven’t heard much about the Islamic State’s murderous activities—could it be because Trump’s military has killed them off? From Supreme Court and lower court nominees to regulation reduction to cutting funding for the terrorist operation called the Palestinian Authority, Trump has delivered. Yet the media and leftists remain an Isaiah 59:6-7 people, “…their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil…” Let’s seek the truth and believe it instead of believing those who seek to ruin others with their lies spun as truth.
What about DACA?
The Democrats are threatening to shut down the government if they don't get their way on allowing kids brought here illegally by their illegal immigrant parents to stay in America. President Donald Trump is trying to deal with securing the borders and this endless chain of illegal migration to our nation. There is a relatively small group of people who are affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that the previous “president” put into place. By some accounts there are roughly 700,000. Pew Research estimates that 70,000 were rejected from the program, and 40,000 obtained a green card. Notwithstanding, this group of people and what to do with them is causing yet another meltdown among leftists.
Immigration law firms and advocacy groups put actual eligibility numbers higher at around 1.8 million. Many argue that it is unfair to deport these mostly adult children of illegals since they have grown up here in America. Others argue that they are here illegally, many break the law, some take jobs that legal citizens need, and they are generally a tax burden because of their dependence on welfare and other social programs. The liberal CATO Institute puts DACA incarcerations at 12% less than the average US population. From 2013-2017, about 2,200 DACA recipients were revoked because of alien smuggling, assault, domestic violence, sex offenses, drug offenses, weapons, robberies and gang activity.
President Trump is trying to get funding for his border security wall and Democrats have made DACA recipients leverage for gaining Democratic votes. Of course, the Democrats and the mainstream media seem to think these children of illegals, who are now mostly adults, are the sacred citizens of the new American democracy where everyone should have a vote—illegal or not. These Democrats, socialists, communists, leftists are attempting to hold the entire nation’s border security ransom to a small group of people who are illegally in America. It’s all an extension of the plan to remake America into something it never was intended to be. These radicals label as racist anyone who would oppose DACA.
The Bible is clear about how to handle immigrants. Exodus 22:21 says, “You shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him.” This is repeated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In context, Exodus 12:49 says, “One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the foreigner who sojourns among you.” This is also repeated in Numbers and Leviticus. One law for all. In this context it is God’s law, but these people neither want to submit to the laws of the nation or to God’s laws, and most do not want to assimilate into the culture of our nation. If they are here illegally, they have broken the law as their first act. Hard as it is, lawmakers must address this, otherwise our country is in danger of becoming a lawless society.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is the one who started the firestorm of President Donald Trump disparaging poor nations that happened to be of African descent. It took just one leftist who often has exaggerated the truth for political gain to fan the flames of racism once again in America. The theme of the left has been to declare certain things—whether true or not, or even partially true—characterize them as racist, homophobic, misogynist, Islamophobic, or whatever phobia casts a doubt on a person’s character, and then paint those who support that person politically with the same broad brush. This is what has happened with the alleged remark by the President.
Timed perfectly for the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., Durbin hit a home run in further establishing an international narrative that America is racist because it has a racist president and, therefore, the people who support him or voted for him are also racist. Al Sharpton, for example, told TMZ, “You don’t have to spray paint the N-word over the Oval Office and sleep with a KKK hood to be racist. If you have racist policies, say racist things, operate in a racist manner you are a racist, period end of story.” Congressman John L. Lewis (D-GA) told ABC’s The View that he boycotted the Trump inauguration because, “The movement taught us to withdraw from evil. And I never felt that his election was legitimate.”
Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) told MSNBC, “his statements that he made clearly shows that he wants to make America not great, but wants to make America just white…” On The McLaughlin Group, leftist Bill Press said of those who voted for Trump, “So, you got 35 percent of the most extreme wacko racist—I don’t know—rednecks in the country.” Joel B Pollak, Senior Editor of Breitbart News, summarizes: “Durbin knew exactly what he was doing when he leaked, or distorted, the president’s remarks. He was confirming Trump’s image in the minds of his critics, mobilizing forces of fear and division — such that a black librarian could tell the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that Trump would “love to take us back all the way to slavery.”
This week is likely a pivotal moment in the Trump presidency. The leftists have nailed a narrative that slots Trump AND his supporters as racists—this is a deep hole to dig out of. Especially when the 24-7 news media repeats it with impunity. We cannot control what the left or the news media is doing. We cannot control Trump’s word usage, although someone needs to help him with this. We can control what we are doing and saying. It is a time to dismiss this vile and untrue rhetoric and build our case for living out Luke 6:31, “And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.” It is unfair to stereotype everyone as a racist who disagrees with liberal politics. They accuse others of the very thing they do.
Did he or didn't he?
The airwaves, cyberspace and print media have been ablaze with repetitions of stories about President Donald Trump calling certain nations a derogatory name and implying that he is racist. The President has denied both making the remark and that he is a racist. Notwithstanding, the cattle are out of the barn on this story and they are stampeding as each person who has an account of what happened in the immigration meeting with lawmakers starts another string of stories discussing the President’s “racism.” The firestorm emanated from known leftist liar Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) who claimed the President made the remarks. Since then, the media does what it does best—repeat, but not confirm.
The New York Times reports that Durbin, of course, stands behind his statement, but stated that Senator David Perdue (R-GA) said Durbin made a “gross misrepresentation” of what the President said. Perdue and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) at first said they didn’t “recall the President saying these remarks specifically” but Sunday disputed Durbin’s account outright. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was also at the meeting, said accounts of Trump’s language was “basically accurate.” Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) claims that people who were in the meeting told him that the President used inflammatory language. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, said she did not recall the President “saying that exact phrase.”
Here we have the President denying his words. Two Senators who support the President saying they did not “recall” hearing him make the remarks, then changing their story to refute Durbin’s “misrepresentation.” You have two Republican Senators who generally oppose the President—Graham and Flake—saying that Durbin’s account was basically accurate. And the Homeland Security Secretary, who is appointed by the President, not recalling the President saying that exact phrase. The only one emphatically denying the comments is the President. What he said and what was heard are in question. That question has grown into a full-blown episode where the narrative has been shaped to spell r-a-c-i-s-t.
In today’s environment, being accused of racism and anything of a sexual nature are extreme hot buttons where no burden of proof is needed for the presumption of guilt. The media and every special interest group who oppose the President fan the flames of this fiery perception. It makes all who support the President subject to being painted with the same brush. It limits the President’s ability to advance his agenda. This debate is far beyond what the President actually said. It’s now about labeling him and his followers. This is why the President should be encouraged to choose his words as advised by Proverbs 10:19, “He that refrains his lips is wise.”
Words mean things
President Donald Trump is once again facing a firestorm. This time, over his remarks about not wanting immigrants from what he called “S**Thole nations.” The media and his opponents wasted no time in translating his words into the word “racist.” Whether it was taken out of context or not, this President should know by now that every word he says comes under great scrutiny, and most of his words will be twisted and used against him. He should, therefore, curb his word usage and be more intentional about the messages he is sending. Otherwise, his effectiveness will erode. If politicians believe Trump to be racist, they will not want to be seen with him or work with him. The Bible has a lot to say about words.
Christ said in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” It’s called the Golden Rule. It starts out by treating others the way you would like to be treated. This is how we as Christians need to view the world. It should be a foundation of our life’s philosophy, something etched in our heart. Christ also said in Matthew 15:11, “Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” No matter how much we want change in this country from the previous ways, we also must not abandon our Christian principles in the process. Accountability is key.
Proverbs says a lot about the words we use. 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” 12:18, “There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” 13:3, “He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” 10:19, “He that refrains his lips is wise.” 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” 29:20, “See a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.” There are many who believe our President’s harshness is necessary and that some people may deserve it, but scripturally speaking, it cannot be justified.
James 3:5-8 says,” Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Curb your tongue, Mr. President. Words mean things and the meaner your words, the meaner you are portrayed, and the less you will be able to accomplish.
National identity and politics
Several issues are coming to the forefront of the national stage that are part and parcel to our national identity. Illegal immigration has been a contributing factor the dilution of the American culture. Another issue is the battle over government spying on its citizens. Republicans and Democrats alike have been whittling away on the rights of free speech, freedom of religion, privacy, property ownership, and free enterprise. What made America great in the past is that as a free people, we had the courage to stand against such tyranny not promote it. It came from within the heart and soul of being an American. This rugged individualism and independence characterized Americans. Where has it gone?
From observing events over the past 40 years, America’s national identity is drifting away. Our national identity was that of a nation of Christians. Even if not all the people were Christian, they recognized that Christian morals were an acceptable and preferred qualification for leadership. Couple this with the lack of border security resulting in millions upon millions of people unlawfully entering the country, the dilution of national identity is accelerated. Additionally, many Americans have either bought in to the leftist humanist mantra, or are too busy with their lives to care. While some changes in leadership are positive, the overall leadership vacuum politically and spiritually in this nation has left it a dry, amoral place of apathy.
The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:17-19, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:13-14, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Jesus said in Matthew 24:23, “Then if any man shall say unto you Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.” Our national identity and, more importantly, our personal salvation is diluted tremendously if we, as Peter put it, “scarcely be saved.” If America’s preachers are so intent on preaching/teaching a self indulgent, extra Biblical and emotional version of the Christ, then what Christ are we following--the real Son of God, crucified and risen, for our sins, or some humanist version of Christ that fits a social or political extra-biblical gospel? It is here, not on the national policy front, that we as a people have lost our identity. We all need to seek the Lord for continuous direction on how we can demonstrate our true identity.
Immigration reform and the Bible
Center stage in the news now is what they are calling “immigration reform.” After eight years of a “president” with an open border policy and encouraging illegal migration with dire consequences, the new administration is first attempting to enforce the law—something activist courts are resisting—and then trying to pass new laws to correct the policies of the former “president.” This has been met with considerable debate over a small group of people called “Dreamers” who were brought to the country as children by the illegal entry of their parents. The lax or mostly non-enforcement of border security by the previous “president” has caused great problems in America. What does the Bible say about immigration?
The Bible is very clear about how to handle immigrants. Exodus 22:21 says, “You shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him.” This is repeated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In context, Exodus 12:49 says, “One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the foreigner who sojourns among you.” This is also repeated in Numbers and Leviticus. One law for all. In this context it is God’s law, but these people neither want to submit to the laws of the nation or to God’s laws. If they are here illegally, they have broken the law as their first act. Hard as it is, policymakers must address this, otherwise our country is in danger of becoming a lawless society.
The Center for Immigration Studies analyzed data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. From 2010 to 2016, ICE released 124 aliens who have been charged with 135 new homicides--some have been released multiple times. In 2014, ICE released a total of 30,558 criminal aliens. These aliens had already been convicted of 92,347 crimes before they were released by ICE. As of July 25, 2015, a total of 1,607 aliens had been convicted of a crime after being freed by ICE. The total number of new crimes for which these aliens were convicted after ICE released them was 2,560, including: 298 dangerous drug offenses, 185 assaults, 40 weapons offenses, 28 sex offenses, 10 sex assaults, four kidnappings, two arsons, and one homicide. The numbers have escalated since the study.
There are many stories about murders, robberies and other terrible crimes, no less terrorism that are the result of illegal entry into our country. A nation must have secure borders otherwise it really is not a nation. Politicians have created a terrible situation for many families who thought they could come to the US for a better life and are now caught in a web because they did it illegally. Others came to take advantage of what America offers. Still others came to destroy the country. This is why a nation must have laws to protect its citizens. It is a clear example of what happens when God’s laws are not followed—consequences such as crime, terrorism and family devastation.
Good news for a change
In reading through the headlines this morning, there wasn’t any good news to report. A lot of stories about the celebrities wearing black because of their sexual assault claims; the NAACP wanting people to wave white towels at the college championship game because they see President Donald Trump as a racist; The recent ex-“president” spending taxpayer money on a lavish presidential library; Town to fine drivers $200 for taking GPS-guided shortcuts; US sets new cost record for major disasters; and it goes on and on. We live in a world where the media is tabloid style--rather than reporting the truth--it reports the sensational in this ever competitive 24-7 news cycle. So is there any good news out there?
How about if we make our own good news? I’m thinking that each of us has a good news story that we can share. One that I would like to share with you is what we have done in Ghana, West Africa this past year under the able leadership of Pastor William Agbeti. William and I have been working together since 1992 in various outreach projects. He’s an honest, selfless, tireless visionary who puts his thoughts to action in helping make the world a better place. Over the years, we have worked on projects to build houses, teach people how to build computers, give homes to severely handicapped children, bring sanitary kits to Ebola-infected areas, clean water, clothing and food to rural areas where the big churches refuse to go. To the people these project impact, that’s pretty good news.
William says that Daily Jot readers have impacted the poor, rural people of Ghana greatly. He reports, “The support and donations that came from and through you made it so! Each donation helped a great deal to impact a soul, touch a family, transform a community, put food on the table, ignite a heart and glorify God. Above all, His Kingdom expanded as many accepted Christ. Well over 1,200 children benefited from the benevolence of donors, not to mention needy parents who received the gift of love, hope and material things. Some children were saved from the throes of death, others received the gift of life (Water), while many were snatched away from the devastating effects of hunger.”
A little bit from each of us makes a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. We are not a big ministry. We don't have a staff. The Daily Jot is designed to inform and equip people of news from a Biblical perspective. It is a free news service. There are no salaries. No expensive offices. Those who donate to this ministry see their gifts multiplied in the examples given by Pastor Agbeti. We have a Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20 heart: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” We try to spread the Good News for a change in lives.
In America, we are afforded the luxury of debating politics, discussing the latest Hollywood gossip, or worrying about trite things. How many times have you seen commercials on television asking you to donate to help this animal or that? I’m a lover of God’s creation, but only in America are we worried about whether a dog has a sweater when the weather turns cold. I don't see many commercials about people in need of food, clothing, clean water, housing, etc. Or how about all those commercials about drugs to cure skin rashes, depression, or incontinence or whatever? Often the side effects are far more dangerous and worse than the problem. We are so fortunate. Let me give you another perspective.
On the first day of the new year, this is the news from our ministry partner in Ghana, William Agbeti: “An elder in a local church in the village of Busuafise, a rural area deep inside the bushes of Ga South, has just died. He was a little over 70. Earlier in the year, we visited with him, prayed over him and supported him with food items and a small cash amount. We were told he was suffering from hernia, but we noticed his hands were shaking all over. It could have been a much more serious medical condition, besides hernia. Touched by his plight, we offered the family some little money to seek proper medical care for him, rather than for them to resort to total reliance on herbal concoctions.
“The family accepted the offer and sent him to a local clinic a couple of times and relaxed after that, when the money run out. His condition grew worse, leading to his untimely death today. We were told tomorrow he would be buried, because the family can't afford to send him to hospital for autopsy and embalming. At the time of writing this piece, his mortal remains are still at his mud house in the village. His death has not been reported and would therefore never be recorded by the authorities in the national deaths register. The actual cause of his death would also never be known. The probabilities are that the Elder may be placed in an improvised casket, hurriedly dug shallow grave, and buried somewhere behind his house on his own compound.
“This Elder's death is quite representative of the circumstances surrounding the lives of many a villager in and around Busuafise. They suffer from numerous medical conditions, involving preventable, curable and manageable ailments, but one after the other they succumb to the cold icy hands of death. Tomorrow, representatives of our MINISTRIES will head to the Elder's funeral. These are the grim realities that many in rural Ghana are faced with.”
These are the places where the large churches in Ghana won’t go. Too rough, too difficult, too dangerous because of Muslim aggression, too many excuses. But this is where The Daily Jot and William Agbeti’s Redeem West Africa Ministries do go. We try. As Christ said in Matthew 25:40, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” That’s how we roll. When we think we have it really bad, there are always those who face grim realities that we cannot imagine.
FBI launching new investigation on Clintons
The Hill reports that the FBI is launching a new investigation into the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s “pay to play” scheme—specifically whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors expected government favors. Let us remember on August 25, 2016, The Daily Jot reported that Clinton’s presidential campaign did not deny that the Clinton Foundation took money from people in exchange for meetings at the State Department. Clinton’s campaign, however, attacked Associated Press, who broke the story that Clinton operated a pay to play scheme for favors and access to her at the State Department.
AP had documented a pattern and a notable system of corruption, confirming earlier reports by government investigative watchdog, Judicial Watch. On Monday, August 22, 2016 Judicial Watch released 725 of new State Department documents and 20 previously unreleased emails, in which the former Secretary of State’s top aide Huma Abedin “provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.” These and the AP investigation reveal an elaborate scheme to enrich the Clintons while she was Secretary of State.
Judicial Watch stated: “The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In September 2016, Breitbart reported that records verified Hillary Clinton’s foundation had taken between $74.5-87.8 million from Algeria, Brunei, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
The UK Daily Caller reported that “Qatar has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and Saudi Arabia has donated upwards of $25 million dollars to the Foundation.” Clinton’s previous emails indicated that money given to the Clinton Foundation was often paid in relationship to Clinton setting up meetings with high-ranking government officials, including herself. In Exodus 23:8 the Lord says, “And you shall take no bribe: for the bribe blinds the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.” Some translations say a bribe subverts the cause of the just. The on again off again FBI is once again investigating these shenanigans. It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out, but then again, it’s as much political as it is legal.
The heart of perversity
On Friday, December 29, 2017, the State Department released classified emails from Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin found by the FBI on her estranged husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop—the one that was used by Weiner to solicit sex from a 15 year old girl, ultimately sending him to prison. On January 3, The Hill reported that Congressional investigators secured written evidence that the FBI believed laws were broken when Clinton and her aides transmitted classified information through Clinton’s insecure private email server. Furthermore, a small group in the FBI’s Washington office controlled the investigation and broke with policy to exonerate Clinton. No small amount of chicanery.
For exposing this, we can thank Judicial Watch (JW), a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Otherwise this information may have never become public. JW’s Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits exposed the secret dealings of Hillary and Bill Clinton and their minions. On October 31, 2016, JW released 323 pages of new State Department documents obtained by court order “in which Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin sent classified information over Clinton’s clintonemail.com unsecure email system…three of the Clinton-Abedin email exchanges contained material “classified to protect national security.””
On November 1, 2016, The Daily Jot reported, “There are so many more shady dealings and unscrupulous people. Americans are getting a small glimpse of what appears to be a tangled web of organized crime led by the Clintons. Moreover, these dealings are the works of those who are the enemies of God. Millions of dollars received from sponsors of Islamic terrorism for access to the US government; government secrets illegally transferred on unsecured networks; people whose influence was bought by campaign funds and job promotions—All done in secret to the enrichment of Clinton and to the advancing of some nefarious agenda.” We are now seeing confirmation of these reports by Congressional investigators. What would have happened if Clinton had been elected president? Nothing? Impeachment?
Proverbs 6:12-19 says, “A naughty person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth. He winks with his eyes, he speaks with his feet, he teaches with his fingers; Perversity is in his heart, he devises mischief continually; he sows discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.” This perversity is at the heart of Washington, DC politics. These people—Clinton, Abedin, Weiner, Comey--all need to be indicted, charged and tried.
Trump accelerating prophecy
President Donald Trump has shaken the establishment Middle East foreign policy wonks to the core, first by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and now by threatening to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority. Trump tweeted “we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel…but with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” While other presidents have accelerated prophecy by aiding and abetting the antichrist position, Trump is doing it by supporting Israel.
Just to put it in perspective, in 2016 the Palestinian Authority claimed on the Voice of Palestine radio that it received no money from the US. The State Department, however, confirmed that $357 million was given in direct aid, and another $355 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. Altogether US taxpayers gave the Palestinian Authority $712 million. Europe and other nations also gave hundreds of millions. President George W. Bush legitimized the Palestinian Authority (formerly the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a terrorist group) by forcing elections in 2006, of which the US paid an additional $2.3 million. Members of the terrorist groups Hamas and Fatah were elected.
The Palestinian Authority’s sole purpose is the annihilation of Israel. It is always begging for money, yet they have billions from the US and Europe to fund missiles and bombs against the citizens of Israel. Sad truth is the slippery slope of US support for these terrorists began under President Carter’s 1979 Camp David Accords. President Reagan, however, stood firm on September 1, 1982 when he said, “The United States will not support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.” President Clinton, who promoted the Oslo accords with terrorist Yassir Arafat, was the first to hint at US approval of a Palestinian state. President George W. Bush was the first to mouth the words. And the immediate past “president” accelerated all things anti-Israel.
Trump, like Reagan, is breaking from the traditional globalist foreign policy of paying the terrorists with hopes of Middle East peace. The Palestinian Authority website once stated that its goal was to “drive the Zionist pigs into the sea.” Prior to elections, it was taken down and cleaned up. Trump, in his own way, is accelerating end time prophecy by ending appeasement of terrorists and strengthening the foundation of Israel. This agitates the Islamic world, the antichrist system, and quickens the enemies of God. Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.” It’s also important to keep in mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” In this case, the media and the globalists criticizing Trump are not only deceiving, but are themselves deceived.
Prophetic implications of Iran’s unrest
There appears to be an incredible grass roots movement in Iran where people have taken to the streets demanding an end to the radical Islamic government focused on international terrorism rather than jobs and the economy. In Ezekiel 38:3-8, the Lord says, “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army...Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them...against the mountains of Israel...” These areas mentioned in Ezekiel 38 coincide with modern Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and parts of Iraq, even Saudi Arabia. So what do the current protests in Iran mean from an end time prophetic lens?
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) gives this analysis of the Iranian situation: “Supreme Leader Khamenei declared that Iran must implement a "resistance economy," and blocked the option of Western cooperation in Iran's economic development. At the same time, the billions of Iranian dollars that were frozen by the West and unblocked following the nuclear deal by the United States, were channeled into Iran's involvement in the regional war zones in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Gaza and into the continued development of its military capabilities, for instance by constructing new underground cities to house ballistic missiles, by advancing its military industry, etc.”
MEMRI says that the protests are caused by anger over the regime using the billions of US dollars given by the previous US administration for military instead of economic purposes. This could cause the government to start a war to divert attention. “Even if this popular uprising is suppressed by the Iranian regime in the short term, given the absence of any solution to the Iranians' economic woes it is eventually bound to resurface. One option the regime may resort to in order to rekindle the people's solidarity with the regime despite the absence of any economic improvement is to spark crises or a war in one or more of the regional arenas in which Iran is involved–Israel, Bahrain or Yemen–by means of its proxies in these countries.”
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani claimed the Iranian unrest is led by Saudis living in Iran, and instigated by Israel. Persians are historically skeptical of Arabs. There is an ancient relationship between the modern Turkish and Iranian people, as recalled by Daniel 8’s account of the Medo-Persia alliance. Today these countries share cultural and ethnic commonalities. The second largest ethnicity in Iran, the Azerbaijanis, are a Turkic people. The second largest ethnicity in Turkey is the Kurds, an Iranic people. The unrest allow Turkey to diplomatically strengthen relations with Iran. For Ezekiel 38 to play out, Iran must submit to Turkey’s Gog to attack Israel in the end of days. If the unrest brings Turkey and Iran into alignment, they could emerge as a unified power, moving the prophecy clock forward.
Don’t take satan’s bait
Everyone is trying to make sense of all the violence across the country. These things are not new, but they seem to be getting worse. For example in a Christmas Eve Jot in 2008, I recounted the headlines of how a newlywed husband, eager to see what his wife had gotten him for Christmas, peeked inside the wrapping. The wife was so enraged that she stabbed her husband six times with a kitchen knife. A kitchen knife was also the weapon in New Jersey where a mother slashed her six year old son’s throat, then tried to commit suicide. In Detroit, a woman committed suicide after shooting her husband and family dog dead with the same gun. Today we have stories of terrorist events and murders--leading up to and through the holidays.
Fires, family fights, murders, suicides, terrorist events, drunk driving deaths, even natural deaths seem to be more prevalent during the holiday season. People are stressed. They are rushing about, busy with the getting of and doing things, that life itself seems to take a backstage. Then there is that one little thing—a child asking that silly question for the tenth time, or the husband coming home a tad bit late, or the wife not getting that little thing done—and “boom” everything blows up and lives are changed forever. My household growing up was a wonderful place to be. But the only arguments I remember my parents having were during the holidays. Some stupid thing would go wrong and not even a well-prepared Secretary of State could successfully intervene.
We lived at our farm that had been in the family for over 200 years. And things were old and sometimes didn’t work well. They didn’t work well especially during the holidays when large family and friend gatherings were about to occur. One year, the well went dry just hours before my mother was to serve a meal to about 25 family members. She ordered a water truck to come fill the well. My dad said that the water would just run out of the well and that she just had to patiently wait for the water level to restore itself. This led to World War III. Mom was packing her bags and leaving this old farm house forever. Well, my Dad’s patience with her saved the day, and a little help from a quick running spring gave us the water we needed. All was well.
But the point is that during holidays that celebrate the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, the spiritual enemy presses in and tries to steal the joy of the season. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Remember that satan wants to destroy anything that would honor Christ—your holidays, your home, your family, even you. But Christ is a life giver. He came that we might have life to its fullest measure. So when those thoughts creep in that do not reflect the life-giving joy of Christ, cast them down before they become actions. If you can’t seem to do that, call your pastor or a friend or 911. Don’t take satan’s bait.
My Fiery Christmas memory
As many of you know, I grew up on our family farm in Northeastern Ohio. It was part of a land grant in payment to my grandfather seven generations back for fighting in the Revolutionary War. At the time my grandfather sent two of his sons to claim the land, it was wilderness, the most western part of the new America, and most certainly Indian country. They had to carve out their inheritance while defending themselves and learning how to farm fertile, but rather low land. The house they built was a sturdy two room structure with a loft above, with two inch planks pegged together as walls and large beams, also pegged together, held the house up over the crude cellar. The house was added on to in 1840.
The entire farm was handed down from Wilson to Wilson from around 1800 till even today, when my son will take over the property. We all were raised on this farm since then. When my father went on to be with the Lord in 1989, my mother continued living at the farm until she was unable to do so and moved in to our Maryland home. During those times before, we would pack up the family and “go home” for Christmas. Sometimes, my mother didn’t make the best decisions at Christmas time, especially since it was my dad’s birthday, and the anniversary of his death was just a few days after my mother’s birthday, also in December. Mother, however, never wanted to admit that her decisions might not be the best.
We were finished opening presents and all the paper from the gifts was stuffed into a couple of trash bags. There was no garbage pick up at the farm. We burned everything in an old sawed-off 50 gallon drum out about 30 feet from the milk house. Now this drum was old and had charred and rusted down to about half its height. On this Christmas morning, the wind was blowing pretty hard and there was no snow on the ground. I protested that it was not a good idea to burn these wrappings, but mom insisted--she was a neat-kin to the max and didn’t want the trash in her house another second. So I reluctantly complied. I set the wrappings on fire and soon they blew all over the pasture, setting tiny fires as they landed.
These tiny fires grew into bigger fires and soon about half an acre of pasture was on fire with the wind shifting toward the barns. I was fighting the fire with a shovel and an old gunny sack while everyone else was in the house enjoying the morning, unaware of the fiasco outside. I finally prevailed over the fire. I came in the house with smoky clothes, smudges on my face, arms and hands, and my eyebrows were singed. My mother calmly sat across the kitchen table and without any hesitation said, “You shouldn’t have burned that trash with that wind blowing like it was.” Ephesians 6:2,3 says, “Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” You can, if you survive the fires <wink>.
Traditional America does exist
In recent weeks the anti-everything-America crowd began attacking Hallmark Christmas movies as being too white, too traditional, too heterosexual, and not enough gay, black and, yes, Islamic. As Slate.com put it, “…they all depict a fantasy world in which America has been Made Great Again.” Salon.com wrote, “This is a cultural representation issue and one made especially disheartening when you take into account the way these movies sell a nostalgia for a false, if durable, vision of an America that never existed.” Slate and Salon are leftist publications that criticize everything they perceive as traditional American values. But they are clearly wrong that the Hallmark-depicted America never existed. I grew up in it.
Wayland, Ohio is a small, rural burg even today. While Griff’s old post office/general store no longer exists, and the town hall and church built in the early 1800s were sold by the township trustees in the late 1970s, Wayland still recalls the strength and ideals of America and the American way of life. Wayland is connected to Paris, Palmyra, Deerfield, Charlestown, and Edinburgh—each about five miles from the other. The people that lived in these communities when I was growing up were diverse—Italian, Welsh, Hungarian, German, Black, White, Catholic, Protestant, very poor, middle class, upper middle class. They were farmers, factory workers, storekeepers, volunteer firemen, construction workers.
I remember one Christmas, the Umbaughs across the road from our church lost everything in a fire. They were not members of the church and they were largely first generation “foreigners” to the area. But everyone made sure they had food, clothing, housing, fuel and fellowship until they got back on their feet. Leonard Bell’s father died. They lived next to Paris school. Everyone chipped in and made sure their needs were met. If someone’s car stopped alongside the road, a neighbor would make sure they got what they needed to fix it and get back on the road. When it was harvest time, my Dad and our neighbors helped one another get the crops in. We took freshly baked cookies and pies to one another for no good reason except to be kind and neighborly.
There was a connection between all the families in the area. And you know something, these traditions continue today. They are instilled in each of us. My wife’s family lived only about 10 miles from mine. We knew each other from young ages. The American tradition depicted by Hallmark lives in them every day of the week, every month of the year, not just on Christmas. It reaches beyond differences in religious beliefs, politics, ethnic backgrounds, race, or all the “isms” the anti-America crowd likes to throw in our faces. We aren’t perfect, but we are kind and civil. We follow a simple rule as spoken by Christ in Luke 6:31, “ And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.” The America of Hallmark does exist in the hearts of those who love God, country and family.
There are a lot of terrible things going on right now in the world. But we are at the time of the year when we as Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We can choose to be impacted by the world around us in its dimly lit arena, or we can choose to let our light so shine. I choose the latter. I want to tell you a little about the Christmas’ that I had growing up on our family farm in Ohio. I was blessed to be born into a horse and cattle farm that has been in our family for some 200 years. And Christmas, especially Christmas Eve, was a wonderful time for our family. December 24 was my Dad’s birthday. And my Dad was well loved by his neighbors and friends, so we had a lot going on Christmas Eve.
I remember one special Christmas Eve. I must have been about four years old. The night was falling and the wind and snow were whipping across the barnyard, as we often were victims of the “lake effect” from Lake Erie in the southern most tip of the snow belt. The barn was cold when we turned on the lights and started climbing into the loft and throwing bales of hay down, putting the hay in the mangers, grain in the feed boxes and water in the buckets. Then the horses and cows were gathered in the barnyard, one by one we let them through the door and they automatically went to their stalls or stanchions. The barn warmed up and the animals contently eating was a comforting sound.
We had dinner and went to church. I remember my brother Chuck carried me out of church that night. He was 14 years older than me and we were so very close. He was asking me whether I thought Santa had made it to the farm yet. And I was worried that it was so early on Christmas Eve that he had not--for we celebrated our family Christmas on Christmas Eve with my Dad’s birthday. Then he looked up at the moon and said, “See there...its Santa’s sleigh and his reindeer. Don’t you see them?” He was so convincing that I looked and looked, but couldn’t find them. But Chuck insisted that he had seen Santa Clause. We got home and sure enough there were wonderful presents under the tree.
We had a great family time that year, opening presents and enjoying one another. And afterwards, neighbors and friends started dropping by to wish my Dad happy birthday. Their kids and me were playing with my new farm set, and there was a lot of laughter and fun. Chuck was killed by a drunk driver a few years later. Dad passed in 1989. But the spirit of those two wonderful men lives on here and especially in heaven, and I am reminded of them every Christmas Eve--in the best of times or worst of times, they were the best of men. We have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who is with us in all times. And no matter the condition of the world, we can draw comfort in His promise in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” God Bless you and yours during this season.
The world vs the burdensome stone
There is a tremendous end time prophecy in Zechariah 12:2-9 where the Lord says, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it…And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” While Jerusalem and Judah are currently not under siege, on Thursday the world may have witnessed how this prophecy can quickly play out.
The world has been in an uproar since President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there. In response, the United Nations Security Council voted to denounce the US action, but the US vetoed the vote. The UN then held a special session denouncing the US designation and “demanded” that all countries comply with the UN sentiment that Jerusalem “is a final status issue to be resolved through regulations in line with relevant UN resolutions.” The “demand” resolution passed 128 to 9 with 35 abstentions. The eight nations joining the US were: Togo, Guatemala, Nauru, Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Honduras.
Turkey’s “president” Tayyip Erdogan, called an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After the summit held last Wednesday some 50 Arab nations issued a declaration that Washington was withdrawing from its role “as sponsor of peace” in the Middle East. On Sunday , Erdogan announced that he intended to move Turkey’s Embassy to East Jerusalem and recognize the city the capital of Palestine. He said, “Allah willing, the day is close when officially, with Allah’s permission, we will open our embassy there.” The UN resolution, which referred to parts of Israel as Occupied Palestinian Territory, didn’t mention Erdogan’s declaration.
Even America’s strongest allies, and countries where your tax dollars fund billions worth of projects, voted with the UN and terrorist interests in snubbing Trump’s scripturally-based recognition of Jerusalem as the physical and spiritual capital of Israel. While the resolution has no teeth and cannot be enforced, it is easy to see how quickly Jerusalem can become a burdensome stone for all the nations on earth. One simple action of recognizing the historical capital of Israel has sent the Middle East ablaze with vitriolic rhetoric and violence. In wake of Chanukah, let us remember Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.” The world is surely against her.
A win for life and liberty
Both houses of Congress have passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and it will be signed into law by President Donald Trump. This is a tax reform effort that adjusts a little bit how we pay taxes. It appears that more work needs to be done regarding the tax structure, but it's a great start. It is historic because it ends the individual mandate on socialist healthcare. You will not longer be forced to pay for not having health insurance, and you will no longer be forced to pay for health insurance with government-inflated premiums. The wicked witch of socialist healthcare is dead without the individual mandate. If the tax legislation did nothing else, this is a major victory for life and freedom.
On October 1, 2013, I wrote: “In my opinion, the Affordable Care Act is against my Christian faith and belief. I am therefore a conscientious objector. The government is trying to say that people who buy abortion coverage are paying for it through private exchanges. But they are government-mandated private exchanges that would not exist without the government mandate. And tax money subsidizes these exchanges. Democrats support such tax funded abortions because they want the system to give equal access to abortions. In a joint statement, for example, communists Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct) and Louis Slaughter (D-NY) said, “This decision honors the spirit of the Affordable Care Act, which is significantly improving health care for women.”
“Since when is legally snuffing out a human life improving health care? It is immoral and against Christian doctrine. I hate cherry picking verses in the Bible to make a point, but here are some references: Jeremiah 2:34 where the Lord is finding Israel guilty and shameless in breaking His laws, “Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.” Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live.”
At that time, I said it was our Christian duty to not participate in socialized healthcare. My premise was that if we refused to participate, it would implode. Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the tax on those who refused to participate in socialist healthcare cost nearly $33 BILLION a year. In short, those who refused to participate in socialist healthcare imploded the system at a tremendous cost to the government. Only the government could lose money on a tax. Whether it was forcing Christians to fund abortions or just the principle that the government should not be so intrusive in our lives, those who boycotted socialist healthcare have done a great thing for America. Praise the Lord!
You are a hero in the life of an African girl
Many who read The Daily Jot each day probably don’t understand the depth by which this ministry impacts lives. Yes, we provide analysis of current events to reveal the prophetic and equip and encourage readers to evangelize. There is a whole lot more. Donors to The Daily Jot can rest assured that our ministry in West Africa is changing lives in rural areas, often under Muslim domination, with clean water, food and clothing. But even deeper than that, there are times when we are faced with life and death situations that must be acted upon decisively. Your contributions and encouragement assists us in making a difference. The following story is one such example as written by our ministry partner Pastor William Agbeti.
“Akornorba had dropped out of school following the untimely death of her father and sought employment to support her and her impoverished mother. This was just the beginning of her troubled journey. She had fallen into inhuman servitude as a private housemaid to a so-called “Christian” woman for meager wages, without any hope for a bright future. Unwilling to resign to the fate of a servant, she listened to friends who peddled stories of greener pastures in the Middle East. She then became very determined to make it to where the grass was greener. To this end, she saved what she could to pay a Muslim agent to unknowingly start a journey of no return. This is when God miraculously foiled this plan of satan.
“But for the love of God and the timely intervention of our ministry, young Akornorba (her real middle name, meaning delightful child) would have fallen prey to Islamic human trafficking, juvenile sex trade and gross human abuse. Rather than ending up servicing the sexual escapades of psychopaths and being sold from one deranged Muslim slave master to the other at secret slave markets in the Middle East, she was divinely directed to us where she gained support to start vocational training. Beforehand, thanks be to God and the supporters of our ministry, she was saved from an impending death and was planted in a school. Of a truth, one person or body corporate can make a huge difference in the life of an individual. This is you!
“Today, we were honored to present a gift of a locally manufactured gas oven to Akornorba at her hometown, to use for baking pastry products. This forms part of our program of empowering her to be totally independent even before school, and to assist her to start raising funds and support payment of her school fees. This was made possible through Daily Jot readers’ labor of love. You are heroes and heroines in the life of Akornorba. This is just one example of how your prayers and gifts to The Daily Jot change lives. Our hearts and love go to all donors who made this possible.” Maybe you were unaware, but now you know. As Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “Inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
PS from Bill: I know that ministries are all asking for end of the year donations. This is the kind of work we are doing in the name of the Lord. If you are so led to help, please consider us. The Daily Jot, 5257 Buckeystown Pike, #314, Frederick, Md. 21704 or securely online here. May the Lord bless you as your blessing blesses us!
End time churches and us
Yeshua Ha Mashiach, our beloved Jesus Christ, reviews the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. He speaks of those things he hates and those things he likes. For example, He says of the Church in Pergamos, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and has not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells...but I have a few things against thee, because thou has there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam...also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.” Of each of the seven churches he speaks, ending with Laodicea. To these, what is our part? And what do they say about today’s church?
He says of Ephesus that they should repent because they “left thy first love.” Jesus encourages the poor church in Smyrna to overcome and be “faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” To Thyatira, Jesus says he knows their works of charity, service and faith, but that they suffer, or tolerate, the spirit of Jezebel, “which calls herself a prophetess” and teaches seduction, fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. To Sardis, he says, “that thou has a name that thou lives, and art dead.” To Philadelphia, he writes, “I know thy works: behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.”
To Laodicea he said: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich; and white raiment, that thou may be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.”
I believe we all “fit” in one or more of these end time churches. In fact, our church leaders are leading in the manner that Christ describes in one or more of these ways. If we wonder why our children, our families, our communities, our states, and our nation are in the condition they are in, they are likely a reflection of one or more of these churches. If we are honest, we can identify in ourselves some of the very things Jesus sees in his churches--both good and bad. In the cases of each church, the Lord says there is reward for “He that overcometh.” He also tells most of them to repent. Let us honestly examine ourselves and determine what we have to overcome and how we are to repent. Then let’s do it!
Turkey’s Erdogan claims Jerusalem as Palestinian capital
Turkey’s “president” Tayyip Erdogan called for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in the wake of President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intentions to move the US Embassy to the holy city. After the summit held last Wednesday some 50 Arab nations issued a declaration that Washington was withdrawing from its role “as sponsor of peace” in the Middle East. On Sunday, Erdogan announced that he intended to move Turkey’s Embassy to East Jerusalem and recognize the city the capital of Palestine. He said, “Allah willing, the day is close when officially, with Allah’s permission, we will open our embassy there.”
Jerusalem was designated by Mohammad as Islam’s third holiest site behind Mecca and Medina. Jerusalem, however, had ben the spiritual center of God’s people thousands of years before Mohammad. Jewish tradition recalls that the dust of Moriah (the mountain range on which Jerusalem sits) was used to create Adam; it was on Mt Moriah that Adam is said to have first offered sacrifice to God. After the flood, Jewish tradition also tells us that Noah’s son Shem established a school to study Torah, calling it Shelem. Later, in Genesis 22:14a, “Abraham called the name of that place Yehovah Yireh.” This was the mountain Zion, referred to in Genesis 22:14b as “the mount of the Lord.” The two names were combined to form Jerusalem. This is also the site of the future Jewish temple and the city of the crucifixion of Christ.
Just as Islam usurps the story of Isaac by replacing him with Ishmael, Islam is usurping Jerusalem from the Jewish people. In fact, nearly every Jewish and Christian holy site in Israel is contested by Islam. In most instances, there is an attempt by Islam to erase any trace of Jewish or Christian history and replace it with some sort of Islamic tale of possession. Islam’s goal is one state, one religion, one law—Islam and Sharia Law. That is the only peace of Islam. Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.” The peace of Jerusalem is a decidedly different peace than the peace of Islam.
Erdogan’s interest in Jerusalem and the “Palestinian cause” are linked to prophecy. Noah’s grandsons from Japheth—Gomer, Magog, Meshech, Tubal are specifically mentioned in the end time prophecy of Ezekiel 38 as part of a coalition led by Gog of Magog against Israel. All these nations are located in what is now modern Turkey. As the path to the Ezekiel 38 prophecy unfolds, Turkey will become a leader of Arab nations, even so much that Iran will submit and join up to come against Israel in the end of days. It appears that President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been a catalyst to the movement of prophecy. Erdogan is playing his part as well.
Moral revival or political civil war
Add Dustin Hoffman to the list of the accused sexual harassers. President Donald Trump continues under fire from accusations. Russell Simmons has now been accused of two rapes. The list keeps growing. Most of the cases do not have criminal or legal complaints filed with them—they are women coming forward to tell their stories long after the fact. Hollywood is overrun with “Me Too’s” as woman after woman, and some men, come forward. Politics is also inundated with such stories. A Kentucky state representative committed suicide over allegations by a 17 year old. Several Congressmen have resigned. Does this latest round of moral consciousness signal a moral revival or is it a civil war?
From a political perspective, there really has been a steady stream of violators (can anyone say Bill Clinton?). The past is filled with them. The recent ones, showcased by the perversity of Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, seemed to be just the tip of the iceberg. In Weiner’s case, however, there were charges filed and he went to jail. Since the inauguration of Trump, we have seen accusations of sexual misconduct skyrocket. It’s beyond women wearing pink vagina hats in the National Mall and has reached the level that no man could have imagined. One thing for certain: Hollywood and politics have been getting away with the power sex game for decades and it’s high time it is cleaned up.
Sadly, most of this is one person’s word against another’s because no legal complaints were filed and many accusations are several years old. It’s one thing for the sex-charged movie and television industry to have these complaints—after all, how do any of them distinguish between what they are doing on screen and what happens in real life? One seems to be an extension of the other, and neither are following any moral code. But the politics is another story. Its sordid business has to do with power and money—usually taxpayer money—enabling what appears in many cases to be a tax-funded orgy atmosphere. And this gets in the way of running the government effectively, or at all.
Even worse, the campaign manager for newly-elected Democratic Senator Doug Jones from Alabama is getting accolades for winning an impossible campaign. Unfortunately, he has figured out a way to weaponize sexual misconduct accusations and totally ruin an opponent’s life. This strategy will be employed repeatedly in the upcoming election cycles. When all else fails, sex will win the day. So are we seeing a moral revival or a political civil war? This is a war, no doubt. Satan is using the consequences of behavior in the hands of dubious minions to kill, steal and destroy. Jesus said in John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light (Christ) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Let us pray that evil is exposed and those of the Light will be protected.
How can Christians support a man accused of sex crimes?
People are being accused daily of sexually harassing others. Some are being accused of rape, others of pedophilia. More often than not in this hate-filled atmosphere these accusations are about alleged events that took place years ago, there were no reports to authorities, no charges filed, no court dates, no trials. The statute of limitations ranges from none to 30 years, depending on the state, but many of these allegations are coming long after the statute of limitations is run out. In California, for example, the statute of limitations for rape is ten years. In New York there is none. People are wondering how Christians can support a politician who has been accused of sexual crimes when the Bible would instruct otherwise.
First, the people in this country have become so mean-spirited and nasty toward one another that there is a natural backlash against accusations—whether they are true or false—cast toward those who represent Christian values. We feel they are being persecuted. Second, we are a country of laws. If charges were not filed, even though there are years and years in which to file them, and suddenly allegations are made in public long after statutes of limitations are expired, no law has been broken. This brings us to another point—what is the motive of these accusations years after the alleged incident? Those that accuse, when they are accused, they say, “Why are you bringing this up, that was years ago?”
No one should endure sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape—never. Likewise, an innocent person should not be accused of such. So long as there are natural attractions between men and women, there will be sexual interaction. But people now are even cautious about greeting one another with a hug. Satan will try to use that to disrupt and destroy. This satanic effort is very effective in separating the natural in favor of the unnatural. We know that satan accuses the brethren as in Revelation 12:10, “…before our God day and night.” Those on earth do the same. But disciples of Jesus know the truth of Romans 5:8, “But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I am reminded of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery and she faced the terrible death by stoning when Christ intervened. He said in John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Ashamed, they left one by one. Then Jesus said to the woman, “go, and sin no more.” As Christians, we can look at repentance and a person’s body of work as a testimony to who they have become. As written in 1 Corinthians 6:11 of a list of sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God, “And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, by the Spirit of our God.” During this time of hate-filled incivility, let us call on the Lord to protect our minds, help us discern the truth, and speak it boldly, yet humbly, to others. It’s how we win this battle.
Doug Jones is the new Democratic Senator from Alabama. He beat Roy Moore by a small margin in Tuesday’s special election. The Democratic Party believes this is historical in that Jones is the first Democratic senator elected in the state in some 25 years, it is believed to be a rejection of President Donald Trump’s agenda, and an indicator of how democrats will make great gains in the upcoming midterm elections. If you are a Democrat, this is all good news. If you are a Republican, it’s bad news. If you are an American, the election was historic in a very bad way. The recruitment of reputable people to run for office will become far more difficult in this vile environment. Bad may well beget worse.
There have been many accusations against candidates for sexual impropriety over the centuries. Many remember the rumors flying about Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and so on. But nothing on the political landscape has matched the accusations of a sexual nature that have occurred in recent years. For some reason, the mere mention of sexual harassment, unproven, innuendo, or whatever has become the Achilles Heal to bring candidates down. Make the accusation, get the story, repurpose the story for mass media, and the firestorm begins that never ends.
Politics never has been a clean game. But the level to which it has now fallen is compounded and weaponized by 24/7 news media. Complicating matters even more is a news media that is predominately leftist. The news cycles are very competitive and try to “one-up” each other, causing a din of leftist rhetoric, rarely fact checked, emotionally driven and without concern for truth, facts, context or human decency. Any self-respecting person with a desire to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, governed by the Golden Rule, would have to think long and hard before entering the sordid ring of politics where he will be accused of things his mind probably couldn't even comprehend. This is the nation we are living in.
This causes a downward spiral of the quality of candidates and their character. Wait to see—President Trump will be accused repeatedly for sexual harassment. This will not go away. It will stymie the business of the nation, grind the good things government could do (tax relief, border security, regulation reduction, etc.) to a standstill. The angry, misinformed, disingenuous, evil ones who believe victory is theirs will be further emboldened thinking this vile way of conducting politics is working to their advantage. As Christian Americans, we must be ever vigilant to understand our purpose and not be deceived. As is written in James 1:22, “But you be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Stay true to the Lord. He has us in the palm of his hand, but we cannot be complacent, we must be doers.
Why good men do nothing
Edmund Burke is credited with the quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Certainly, we are told by the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:21, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” In this case, the Greek word used for “overcome” can be interchanged with “conquer.” We are not to be conquered by evil, but to conquer evil with good. So Burke’s quote is quite right in the sense that if good men do nothing in the face of evil, evil with triumph. This is one of the problems we have with our political system. Year after year we elect the same kinds of people and we expect them to do what they say. We are mostly disappointed because of a lack of quality and character.
People have often asked about why we have such questionable candidates running for office. The choices, they say, are subpar. The short answer is that we need to recruit better candidates. That recruitment process starts at the local level, meaning that we should be involved at the precinct or county committee level and exercise our opinions on candidate selection. But even at that foundational level of all politics, there is built into the system these days a tremendous flaw. Those who run for office may start out believing they can make a difference, but the longer they are in politics and the higher the office they seek, the less in touch they are with their original values. It really is a true formula.
Over my years in politics, I saw really good people with great ideals slowly erode into minions for the party machine or other outside influences that “redirected” their thoughts and stances on issues they once held dear as non-negotiable. Moreover, the very essence of politics in today’s environment would strongly discourage or even prevent a good person from running for office. Who in their right mind would subject their family, friends, business associates, or even themselves to a process that seeks as a price of entry the destruction of reputations built over a lifetime? Everything that was done by a candidate during his life is open to the twisting of half-truths or lies or worse by the opposition.
In many cases—and I know this is true because I am a veteran of political campaigns—a lie is spoken on purpose to get a willing reporter to write a story. Once the story is written, it has legs that can be run through the public, then used again in negative campaign ads, and can be recycled in debates, and so on. Often these lies are proven to be lies long after the election—long after the reputation is ruined, marriages are left on questionable ground, jobs are lost. This is what our political system has become. No good person would even enter the building politic knowing this risk. Hence, evil advances. It takes a special kind of person to put all at risk to overcome this evil. They are hard to find.
The destinies of nations
A Christian American farmer once addressed the legislature, saying, “This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings...
“...There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged!... Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace, but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!...Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
These are excerpts from the speech given on March 23, 1775 by Patrick Henry. Henry understood first hand the oppression of government over religious expression. The British government and the Episcopal Church were trying to stamp out the Baptists by persecuting them--even holding them under water until they nearly drowned. Upon news of one such beating, Henry rode his horse some 50 miles to attend the trial of two pastors who were accused of preaching the gospel. During the trial, Henry interrupted and asked the court if he heard it right that these men were on trial for “preaching the gospel of the Son of God?” Henry was instrumental in changing the laws against religious persecution.
Christians in America were not always so concerned about themselves and their self-improvement, or paranoid about supporting their country, or arguing over extra-biblical teachings, that they didn’t take seriously what was happening to them and their nation. Romans 12:21 points out to: “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” The fact remains as Henry said, “There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations.” We are seeing in the news how one person can make a difference, and how God uses whom he chooses to express his will on earth. Let us all be open to the will of the Lord as we live our lives each day, and as Peter and the Apostles said in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” We might be surprised how God will use us as he chooses in the destiny of nations and of men.
Testing the Religion of Peace
After the 911 attacks, President George W. Bush mounted a massive public relations campaign to assure Americans that Islam was a peaceful religion and that there are more ways to heaven than just one. Tolerance has been preached to the detriment of sound reason. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intention to move the US embassy there has riled the leaders of the “Religion of Peace” beyond pale. There have been calls for days of rage. There are riots. There are missiles being fired on Israeli citizens—all because of Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A listing of reactions from Islamists truly does reveal the heart of Islam—the not-so religion of peace.
Ismail Haniyah of the Hamas government in Gaza said, “Our position remains as it is, Palestine from the sea to the Jordan river. We will not agree to two states and not to the division of Jerusalem. I hereby call for terrorism and armed struggle.” Saab Erekat, Chief Negotiator for the Palestinian Authority (to which the US has given billions of tax dollars), said, “Now is the time to transform the struggle to one of one state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.” Hassan Rouhani, the so-called “moderate” President of Iran said, “We call on Muslim peoples to enter into a big uprising against the plot of transferring the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.” These reactions are consistent across the gambit of Islamic leaders. They are calling for violence to rid the entire area of the Jewish people. This is the peace of Islam.
Need more proof? Here are a few verses from the Koran. They are not taken out of context: Sura 9:5 “...slay the infidels wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.” Sura 8:12 says, “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes." Sura 4:55 says, “Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.” These are just three of many verses used to justify killing Christians and Jews.
The simple announcement of moving an embassy and recognizing a nation’s capital has caused renewed bloodlust within the so-called “Religion of Peace.” It is the excuse its leaders needed to justify more violence and death. Trump’s announcement just exposed this Middle East peace charade for what it is—the peace of Islam is complete submission to Islamic rule and ultimately the death of Jews and Christians. Their goal is one state, one religion, one law—Islam and Sharia Law. That is the only peace of Islam. Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.” The peace of Jerusalem is a decidedly different peace than the peace of Islam.
Historic and prophetic—US recognizes Jerusalem
President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declared his intentions of moving the US Embassy to the holy city. Trump said, “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering. I've judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.”
Trump’s decision resulted in an outcry of condemnation by the United Nations and European Union, who sided with the likes of terrorist organizations like Hamas. Sponsors of Islamic terrorists—Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Palestinian Authority-- straightaway decried the announcement as declaring war in the Middle East. Think about this…the US Congress in an overwhelming bipartisan vote gave the US President authority to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995. Every president since has kicked the can down the road thinking the move was a barrier to achieving peace in the region. Trump says it’s repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting different results. So far, the result is a massive and violent temper tantrum by radical Islamists who claim Jerusalem is historically their city.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Dozdag said, “Declaring Jerusalem a capital is disregarding history and the truths in the region.” This claim doesn't meet the straight face test. It is the very homeland of God’s people. History and truth confirm that Islam or Arabs had no claim to the region that God gave to Abraham. In Genesis 21:12, God said to Abraham, “in all that Sarah has said unto you, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall your seed be called.” Galatians 4:30 says, “Nevertheless what says the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Islam, not even a religion until over 600 years after Christ’s death on the cross, claims Ishmael is the heir of Jerusalem and that God does not have a son.
The history and the truths in the region undeniably confirm the Abrahamic covenant that God gave the land of Jerusalem to the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not the seed of Ishmael as claimed by Mohammad some 2,500 years later. This is not so much about the land—there is plenty of land in the Middle East-- as it is about usurpation. It is a family feud as old as Ishmael and Esau, ultimately over the line of Messiah. The Koran repeatedly says that God has no son, and that Christians and Jews are infidels that should be put to death. Iran and Turkey, two major players in the end times, agree. Trump’s move may well accelerate the knitting together of the prophetically foretold end time coalition that comes against Israel and is destroyed when Christ returns. We are truly watching history in the making.
US recognizing Jerusalem moves prophetic clock
By the time many of you read this Daily Jot, President Donald Trump will have announced his intentions to move the US Embassy in Israel to the nation’s true capitol—Jerusalem. This is one of those campaign promises made by many presidents, but President Trump aims to fulfill it. It is an announcement that may have great prophetic consequences. Already, the Arab world is lining up to voice its protest. The so-called “Palestinians” are calling for three days of rage—interesting—only three days when they have been terrorizing the Jewish State for decades. Turkey’s “president” Tayyip Erdogan is calling for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit. These all have prophetic implications.
Jerusalem, located on the Moriah mountain range, always has been the spiritual center of God’s people. Jewish tradition recalls that the dust of Moriah was used to create Adam; it was on Mt Moriah that Adam is said to have first offered sacrifice to God. After the flood, Jewish tradition also tells us that Noah’s son Shem established a school to study Torah, calling it Shelem. Later, in Genesis 22:14a, “Abraham called the name of that place Yehovah Yireh.” This was the mountain Zion, referred to in Genesis 22:14b as “the mount of the Lord.” The two names were combined to form Jerusalem. This is also the site of the future Jewish temple and the city of the crucifixion of Christ.
Since then, this area has been one of the most contested lands in the world. Islam claims that Ishmael, not Isaac, was bound and placed on the altar, and, therefore, Jerusalem is one of Islam’s holiest sites. Rome ruled over Jerusalem as the land bridge and trade route from Europe to the East to Africa. Catholics claimed the area during the Crusades, where Jews and Muslims were killed for the right of the site. Islam reclaimed Jerusalem and when Israel again became a nation, it reclaimed East Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967, thus establishing the current sharing of the city with hostile Arabs, mainly from Jordan, calling themselves “Palestinians.”
Turkey’s Erdogan, a champion of the Palestinian state, has warned Trump that the announcement would be a grave mistake. A spokesman for Erdogan said, “Jerusalem is our honor, Jerusalem is our common cause, Jerusalem is our red line.” Here’s where the prophetic clock ticks forward: Noah’s grandsons from Japheth—Gomer, Magog, Meshech, Tubal are specifically mentioned in the end time prophecy of Ezekiel 38 as part of a coalition led by Gog of Magog against Israel. All these nations are located in what is now modern Turkey. The announcement of the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol in any shape or form may cause this end time Ezekiel 38 alliance to begin to coalesce.
Sea change in immigration policy
There is a verse in the Jeremiah 51 that says, “Surely I will fill thee with men, as with locusts, and they shall lift up a battle cry against you.” This is about Babylon falling to invaders as judgment for how Babylon treated God’s people. Today, the United States faces a similar situation as did Babylon—invaders who will lift a battle cry against us. It is a self-inflicted condition because of past presidents allowing immigration and even colonization of our country by those who would violently overthrow it. All in the name of political correctness, even the false narrative that Islam is the religion of peace—basically the most violent religion known to mankind. That is all changing under the current President.
There are several actions that President Donald Trump has taken to curb the security of threats to America that the immediate past “president” actually encouraged and aggressively aided. First, Trump issued a temporary ban on immigration from countries known to be violent threats to America. The Democratic Party and its emissaries in the lower courts, of course, opposed this. On Monday, the Supreme Court put an end to this nonsense that questioned the President’s authority to protect the nation from malevolent people. The Court by a 7-2 margin (leftist justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor dissented) stayed the lower courts injunction against Trump’s “travel ban” pending the appeals process.
Trump also pulled out of a major United Nations New York Declarations of Refugees and Migrants, which called for encouraging refugees and migrants to relocate to other countries, and included language that the host nations should provide them homes, income and education. It was a global governance pact of international migration. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said, “…our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”
The Bible also says in Leviticus 24:22 and in several other places, “You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country.” We are not to treat sojourners poorly or unfairly. Ambassador Haley emphasized this Biblical principal in pulling out of the UN accord, “America is proud of our immigrant heritage and our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe. No country has done more than the United States, and our generosity will continue.” But there is a balance required in navigating the rough waters of treating strangers well, legal entry, and national security. It has been out of balance during the past decade. A sea change is occurring now. May we regain our balance.
Of Caesar and Tax Reform
Both the House and the Senate have passed tax reform bills. The Senate finally got its act together and did something, albeit by a slim 51-49 party-line vote with one Republican defecting. It would appear on the surface that these bills are good for America, but that depends on your political leanings. If you are socialist-minded, you may be well disappointed in this legislation. If you believe tax cuts stimulate the economy, create jobs, and allow people to make their own decisions about their hard-earned money, you may be mildly optimistic. It is not perfect legislation. There are people on both sides of the political spectrum who will be highly critical. Next step, reconciliation between the House and the Senate.
The House legislation reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to four—12% for $45,000 and under; 25% for $45-200,000; 35% for $200-500,00 and 39.6% for over $500,000 in income. Married people get a little better break by paying 12% for up to $90,000 in income. The standard deduction increases from $6,350 to $12,000 for singles and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married taxpayers. The personal exemption is eliminated. Mortgage interest is only deductible on $500,000 and existing loans are grandfathered under the old rules. Real estate taxes are allowable deductions up to $10,000. The estate tax exemption is essentially doubled, and eliminated entirely after 2023. The corporate tax rate is reduced from 35% to 20%.
The Senate bill keeps the tax brackets at seven, ranging from 10% to 38.5%. Married people making between $77,400-140,000 will pay 22%. The standard deduction is the same as in the House bill. The Senate bill also eliminates the personal exemption. The House and Senate bills both eliminate state and local income tax deductions and allow real estate deductions up to $10,000. The Senate bill allows a $2,000 per child tax credit where the House bill allows $1,600. It keeps the mortgage interest rate deduction as is. Estate taxes remain the same. The corporate tax rate is the same as the House bill. The big difference between the House and Senate bills is that the Senate repealed the individual mandate of socialist healthcare which forced people to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the tax on those who refused to participate in socialist healthcare cost nearly $33 BILLION a year. In short, those who refused to participate in socialist healthcare imploded the system at a tremendous cost to the government. I remember those who justified paying into forced government healthcare quoting Jesus in Mark 12:17, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” In America, there is no Caesar. No dictator. We have a say. Sometimes it takes endurance, but hats off to those who remained steadfast to their Christian principles and didn’t participate in this socialist mandate. We at least won a victory in the Senate. Maybe more.
If you are delusional, raise your hand
Just finished reading a story about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delaying tax reform because he can’t get enough votes. Same old story with him. Remember the last big vote was repeal of socialist healthcare and he couldn’t hold his own Republicans together to vote to end something they all promised to end. We have had over a decade of a do-nothing Congress. The previous “president” remedied the situation with executive orders. The current president is working around Congress through administrative actions and executive orders. Congress, which is supposed to be the check and balance on the President and the Supreme Court, is more of “send me a check to keep my balance.”
Republican or Democrat, Congress seems to be the weak link in every year’s government. Inaction has resulted in turning the presidency into a near-dictatorship, where the enforcement of laws is selective and the power of law has become vested in agencies, administrative law that enforces an agenda. During the previous administration, Congress was a non-factor in budgeting (against its Constitutional duty) as well as the check on a president that refused to enforce many laws that Congress passed. Today, Congress generally prefers globalism to the “put America first” agenda of the president, and has acted accordingly—which is essentially no action.
Some people want to fix this situation with term limits. In reality, every election for a representative or senator is a term limit. So those who want term limits are trying to fix another problem with a legal solution. That problem is delusion among citizens. The definition of delusion is the holding of beliefs that are contradictory to evidence or reality. Many people complain about “Congress,” but when election time rolls around, they continue to reelect their congressman. They believe it’s everybody else’s congressman that is the problem—not theirs. This is widely confirmed by polls. Citizens give Congress extremely poor marks, but their own congressman gets high marks. Meantime, the country declines.
The same sad commentary could be said of the church in America. There are many complaints about bad doctrine; seeker sensitive light-weight church; self indulgent, extra-biblical and emotional teaching; a lack of making disciples; and just plain nonsense that is driving our youth and others away from Christianity. Yet, when it comes down to it, people think their pastor is doing a great job. Or the pastor has set it up that no one dare question what he is doing. How many times have you heard, “Well, I don't think he is teaching the Bible as it should be taught, but he’s a really nice guy”? Good citizenship in country and in the kingdom of God requires responsibility, and responsibility requires action. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Delusion is self-inflicted deception. Recognize it and act on it.
Christians not getting the job done
As a prophetic people living in a prophetic time, we Christians should be focused on the commands of Jesus rather than self-indulgent, extra-biblical and emotional activities that are distractions from The Great Commission. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” In Mark 16:15, he said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Are we effective witnesses? Are we as a whole obeying and serving Jesus? According to a recent poll by the American Culture and Faith Institute, we have some work to do.
Executive Director and Founder George Barna developed a measure that evaluates if a person has confessed their personal sin, asked Jesus Christ to save them, and believes they will live eternally in Heaven only because of His grace toward them. Barna reports that the “proportion of adults who meet the born again criterion has been on a downward trajectory since 2010. For the 15 year period from 1991 through 2005, an average of 40% of the adult population qualified as born again. That average rose slightly, to 44%, during the five years from 2006 to 2010. Since that time, however, the mean has plummeted to just 36%, with 2017 producing the lowest proportion of born again adults since Barna began the tracking process in 1991.”
According to Barna’s research, the 2017 average indicates that just 31% of adults are born again. Barna says this trend is not likely to reverse itself, “An analysis of faith by age group indicates that America’s two older generations are more likely to be born again than are younger adults: 33% of those 65 or older and 37% of people 50 to 64 are born again. In comparison, 31% of those in their 30s and 40s are born again while only 23% of adults under 30 fit the criteria. As older Americans pass away, the population proportion of younger adults will increase, continuing to drive down the born again proportion in the years to come. Children and teenagers are exhibiting a lower likelihood of becoming born again, too, further limiting the possibility of the growth of this segment.”
Barna noted, “Fewer churches emphasize and equip people for evangelism these days, and the results are obvious and undeniable. The implications of ignoring gospel outreach – especially among children, who are the most receptive audience to the gospel – are enormous. All the ‘church growth’ strategies in the world cannot compensate for the absence of an authentic transmission of the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for humanity.” Herein is the problem in my opinion, the vast majority of churches are teaching doctrines of self improvement rather than service and obedience to God. Many have lost sight of the importance of being born again and the subsequent enthusiasm for serving the Lord and spreading the good news. We all need to prayerfully consider these trends.
Handling critics as Christian Americans
Just like we took control of the election last year, Christian Americans need to take control of the narrative surrounding a divided nation. We were able to look beyond the rhetoric and the false polls of the media, and the media’s negative and false reporting, and the Democratic Party’s class and social warfare of division to foster change from the leftist tyrannical policies of globalism. Now we need to find ways to change the narrative of hate and take control of bringing a divided nation to unity. We can do this. But we have to set our emotions aside, hold in check our tendency toward offense, and pray and act with a purpose in mind. The current situation represents a tremendous opportunity to shine the light of Christ.
We rejected the policies of division and tyranny at the ballot box. Those who were rejected have taken personal offense and labeled us haters. In doing so, they are showing hate. They are demonstrating, rioting, physically assaulting, and verbally abusing those with whom they disagree. It is so easy to respond with an eye for an eye. But brothers and sisters, this is the time when we need to speak into our nation, speak into our states, into our communities, into our neighborhoods and into our families. We need to talk about a time for peace and reconciliation. We need to be able to say and show that folks who did not vote for Hillary Clinton were voting for common sense change, not against any race or people group.
We need to dismiss the premise of hate and bigotry and build our case for unity, and in doing so, show the light of Christ. This is a time when we need to deescalate the rhetoric and angriness of people who spew hate by accusing others of hate by saying, “I know you are upset, but isn’t it time to put that aside and work for a better country? Isn’t it time to see that your fellow Americans are not what the news media and the political establishment labeled them, but just people like you and me that want something better for their country, for their futures, even for their children? We have a system of laws and elections and decent people follow laws and respect the will of the people. I know you are a decent person.”
Then we need to demonstrate that treating everyone one fairly under the law is a good thing. It’s time to come together and put aside the rhetoric and the hurt of the campaign, and reunite as a nation. Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He also told us we were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. May the Holy Spirit guide us in being so.
Being hypocritically accused
Sexual harassment is the new Russia. Everywhere you look, there are stories about sexual harassment. Congress and Hollywood both expect more women to come forward. And in most cases, just like the accusations about Russia, the accuser is the one who is doing the deed. Think about it. Hillary Clinton was the most vocal about the current president doing underhanded deals with Russia. So far, nothing has been revealed about President Trump’s dealings with Russia, but a lot has been revealed about Clinton’s pay for influence deals with Russia. Clinton and her ilk were also most vocal about women’s rights, yet they are now on the defensive about sexual assault--Hypocritical accusers, all.
Strangely enough, the liberals, the ones who speak the loudest against the misogyny and chauvinism of the conservative, are among the most egregious violators of women’s rights—the men being accused of sexual harassment by dozens upon dozens of women. And the female protectors of women’s rights, such as Nancy Pelosi has accused the women of of purposely victimizing Democratic male officeholders for their alleged sexual assaults and harassments. Hillary Clinton has done the same for decades—just ask the 18 or so women who were victims of her husband’s inappropriate sexual exploits, or the victims of Anthony Weiner, Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband.
Liberals often are the quickest to judge their political opposition for even the slightest accusation. In reality, however, it is often the accuser who is committing worse than the accused. It’s really called bearing false witness as well as judging others. Of course, many would give them a pass because they are not practicing Christians or Jews. Notwithstanding, we have seen Hillary Clinton toting a Bible when it is advantageous. Nancy Pelosi has often claimed to be following the Catholic doctrine—yet she promotes abortion and defends men in the Democratic Party accused of sexual harassment. In their eyes Republican candidate Roy Moore, now accused of something that allegedly happened 40 years ago, is guilty.
A lot is written in the Bible about false accusations and judging others hypocritically. Certainly, believers are held to a higher standard, but nonbelievers are not without accountability. In Romans 1, Paul writes about those who profess themselves wise, and change the glory of the “uncorruptible God” into an image made like to corruptible man. Paul lists the characteristics of these people—both male and female—and says they are without excuse. Verse 32 says, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 2:3 continues: “And think you this, O man, that judges them which do such things, and does the same, that you shall escape the judgment of God?” Surely these will have their reward.
Saudis interesting prophetic move
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman this past weekend convened the second meeting of defense ministers and other officials from the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition. The coalition was formed by Mohammed in 2015 and consists of 41 countries claiming to be a “pan-Islamic unified front” against violent extremism. The nations or political states include Afghanistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Somalia, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, Benin, Jordan, and several others. It does not include Iraq, Syria or Iran. Interesting that many of these countries are terrorist sponsoring nations, with Saudi Arabia one of the largest contributors to international terrorism.
The coalition’s website claims it “seeks to bring peace to affected regions and promote stability and prosperity to the Islamic world as well as the entire world.” It also claims in its ideology that it seeks to “Launch and sustain a journey to build a better tomorrow for generations to come, rooted in a consistent and global message that reaffirms the Islamic principles of tolerance and compassion, and counter the narrative of violent extremist ideology through presenting the true nature of Islam and supporting ideological, psychological, and social reforms.” The coalition will pool its money to share military information and encourage military counter terror capacity to “deter aggression and violence.”
From a contemporary historic perspective, it is noble that these nations want to establish peace in the Middle East region. It is questionable, however, given the longstanding history of terrorist support that these nations are sincere. For example, Saudi Arabia is the exporter of Wahhabism and the Salafi movement that teaches a most radical form of Islamic terrorism. Turkey has supported the Islamic State in its efforts to overthrow Syria. Somalia is known as a hotbed for terrorists as is Sudan, Yemen and Libya. One has to wonder if the Palestinian “state” will use its cut of the shared military money to fight the Israelis that they consider terrorists. We must also remember that the “peace of Islam” is all nations under submission to Sharia Law.
The prophetic implications of this coalition are interesting. Saudi Arabia is home to the most holy of Islamic holy sites, Mecca. The coalition brings together Turkey, Sudan, and Libya as recalled in the Ezekiel 38 end time coalition. In Ezekiel 38:3-8, the Lord says, “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army...Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them...against the mountains of Israel...” These areas mentioned in Ezekiel 38 coincide with modern Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and parts of Iraq, even Saudi Arabia. Iran and Iraq, specifically not part of the present-day Saudi coalition, come under submission to Turkey’s Gog to attack Israel in the end of days. We may be seeing a foundation laid for the prophetic future.
Hope Deferred Makes The Heart Sick
Many believe that Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. Our ministry partner in Ghana, however, has taken this US holiday to the poor and less fortunate by providing clean water, and feeding and clothing children in the rural areas of the nation. Several hundred were served because of your generosity to The Daily Jot. This is a story from our “thanksgiving” table in Ghana in the words of Pastor William Agbeti. It shows just how desperate people can become, how many needs there are to fill, and how the blessing of your donation, whatever the size, to The Daily Jot brings hope to those who often have little hope. It also shows how the Lord directs us to recognize additional needs.
Agbeti wrote: “We went out there with the sole purpose of giving free meals and used clothing to children at a local church, Springs of Life Ministry. It turned out this simple act of love brought to the fore latent challenges in the church and its community. As the FEEDING PROGRAM was announced in church and church members were asked to spread the news and invite needy children and their parents to church, some church members went out of the way to tell invited guests they would be supported with money. As a result, some parents came early and found out there wasn't going to be any free money. They felt very disappointed, angry and hopeless.
“We had to apologize to them and rebuke those who sent out the wrong information at a meeting after the program. Many parents wanted to know if our MINISTRIES would also consider supporting their wards with school expenses in the sum of $15 per month. Some parents also needed help with jobs. Proverbs 13:12 says: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life." We were so touched by the plight of the parents, but all the same thankful that the situation revealed some latent challenges in the community, quite unknown to the church. Also, the entire feeding program greatly challenged the local church, Springs of Life Ministry.
“This led to a revelation that many local churches had all along been doing church wrongly, unlike the days of Acts. Desirous of knowing what to do in the circumstances, the leadership of the church asked: “Brethren, what do we do?” We offered to teach the local church how to start a feeding program and solicit help for used clothing, meals and funding for school expenses for the poor in their midst. We know it's not easy because we have not had it easy, yet we will go ahead to encourage the church to launch out with faith to help its members and the community, and God will also definitely do His part. All these developments, that are hopefully leading to a much better way of doing church at the Springs of Life Ministry, is made possible by the faithful support of donors like you. THANK YOU.”
A Thanksgiving Heritage
Note: I want to share with you some of my heritage which has become part of the heritage of America. My grandfather 13 generations back was William Bradford, co-writer of the Mayflower Compact, inventor of the free market system, and governor of the Plymouth colony for over 30 years. I would like to share some insights of and from his writings in “Of Plymouth Plantation.”
In the days leading up to the first “Thanksgiving” of the Pilgrims, they had dispatched a group of ten men to “explore the bay and trade with the natives.” They were guided by the English speaking Squanto, who also served as an interpreter. When the men returned, they were very impressed with the land around the bay and wished they could have settled there instead of Cape Cod. William Bradford, wrote however, “But it seems that the Lord, Who assigns to all men the bounds of their habitations, had appointed it for another use. And thus they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings and incomings, for which let His holy name have the praise forever, to all posterity.”
This “Thanksgiving” to the Lord offered by Bradford in his history “Of Plymouth Plantation” indicates that Jesus was at the center of his thoughts about all things--even the land they were allocated by God to begin their colony. It also forebears testimony to the very positive Christian witness and relations the Pilgrims maintained with the Indians. This comment was followed immediately by Bradford’s account of the harvest in October 1621. Bradford writes, ”Each person had about a peck of meal a week, or now since harvest, Indian corn in that proportion; and afterwards many wrote at length about their plenty to their friends in England--not feigned but true reports.”
One of those true reports is found in “Mourt’s Relation” by Pilgrim Edward Winslow--the only account of the first “Thanksgiving.” Winslow writes: "our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors...at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others.”
Winslow concluded, “And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty." Thanks to the godly men and women who came before us, even in our decline we remain blessed more than any other nation on earth. Jeremiah 4:2 says that if God’s people return to Him, “And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they glory.” This is a promise to the nations. So today, as should be our practice each day, may you have a Psalm 103:2 day, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
What has changed since 1620?
My grandfather 13 generations back was William Bradford, co writer of the Mayflower Compact and eventual leader of the Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620. There were some 102 passengers and about 30 crewmen on that ship that braved horrible weather, disease, and other hardships to come to this new place that later would become the greatest Christian nation in the world. Bradford wrote, “So they committed themselves to the will of God, and resolved to proceed. In several of these storms the wind was so strong and the seas so high that they could not carry a knot of sail, but were forced to hull for many days.” The trip in of itself to find a place to worship without persecution was most difficult.
Once landed, it was no picnic either. Bradford says, “But soon a most lamentable blow fell upon them. In two or three month’s time half of their company died...scarcely 50 remained, and sometimes two or three persons died in a day. In the time of worst distress, there were but six or seven sound persons, who, to their great commendation be it spoken, spared no pains night or day, but with great toil and at the risk of their own health, fetched wood, made fires, prepared food for the sick, made their beds, washed their infected clothes, dressed and undressed them; in a word did all the homely and necessary services for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear mentioned.”
“...And what I have said of these few, I should say of many others who died in this general visitation, and others yet living, that while they had health or strength, they forsook none that had need of them. I doubt not that their recompense is with the Lord.” Their Virginia Company Charter, however, called for common ownership of land, property, food, drink, clothing, and provisions. Bradford saw that this socialist experiment was detrimental to the colony because it inspired laziness and a lack of productivity. Bradford then did away with this structure, giving ownership of land to each person and two days a week for “their own private employment.” This was the first capitalist system and the colony then prospered.
The headlines 397 years later are that over 40 million Americans (the total population of California and Connecticut combined) will eat their Thanksgiving dinner purchased by food stamps. Liberals say without the government, these people would starve. No, I don’t believe it. Without the government, the citizens across the land would be blessed as the Pilgrims were by reaching out to their neighbor and helping him from the goodness of their hearts. We have come full circle in nearly 400 years. We are now in a stage of socialism where the government is truly robbing its citizenry of blessing others, promoting laziness and lack of productivity.
But you know, just as Bradford knew in 1621, government won’t save you. Only the Lord will save you. He chooses to do it through his people. As written in 2 Corinthians 9:11-12, “Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.” How much spiritual starvation and dependency on the false god of government will it take before we begin to collectively change our hearts? Like Bradford, we who know the truth, must lead in truth.
Planning for Thanksgiving
Across the United States, Americans are preparing for the holiday of Thanksgiving, except that many do not know exactly why we celebrate this wonderful day, and many others believe it is a day of sorrow. Anything in American culture that would portray people in a reverent and humble position toward God Almighty is subject to criticism and Thanksgiving is not exempt. Every year, the godless seek to chip away at the history of this blessed holiday that reminds us as a nation of our roots in thanking God for His many benefits. For example, in 2007 the Seattle Public School system attacked Thanksgiving by instructing its staff to deconstruct Thanksgiving by using a bitter account by a native American advocacy group.
In a letter to Seattle Public School staff, Caprice D. Hollins, the Director of Equity, Race and Learning Support, along with two representatives of Native American Education, directed the staff to the Oyate Web page entitled “Deconstructing the Myths of the First Thanksgiving.” The letter says the website “offers suggestions on ways to be sensitive of diverse experiences and perspectives and still make the holiday meaningful for all students. Here you will discover ways to help you and your students think critically, and find resources where you can learn about Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective. Eleven myths are identified about Thanksgiving, take a look at #11 and begin your own deconstruction.”
This 2007 website and it’s 11 so-called “myths” hardly documented anything from the true historic account of the Plymouth Plantation, written by Mayflower passenger William Bradford, who is considered the nation’s first historian. The myths were a collection of bitter politically correct drivel. Myth number 11 recounted as fact: “For many Indian people, “Thanksgiving” is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, “Thanksgiving” is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.”
In “Of Plymouth Plantation,” Bradford writes of how the Indians stole tools from the settlers and after an English speaking Indian named Samoset came to their camp, they became friends, the tools were returned and “With him, after friendly entertainment and some gifts, they made a peace which has now continued for twenty-four years.” The peace agreement set forth how the Pilgrims and the Indians would help and protect each other by living in peace. The bitter politically correct crowd has it wrong. The first Thanksgiving, as it was then and is today, is a 1 Chronicles 16:34 day, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever.” And don’t let the lies of deceivers spoil it.
Having joy in troubled times
I have been receiving a lot of comments lately from Daily Jot readers. Many have been very encouraging. Others are appalled at the state of affairs in our nation and around the world. Still some are angry and do not want to admit the obvious that is before them. Sometimes it is a good idea to take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at the world from a different angle. When I started the Daily Jot back in January of 2002, I sensed the Lord wanted a brief testimony of daily events that could equip and encourage people to share the Good News. Most of the Daily Jot readers, especially those who have been reading a while, “get it.” But I want to encourage all readers to keep things in perspective.
The Bible is about Jesus Christ and what he did to bring salvation to a fallen world. There are many examples of how we are to live our lives and how we are to treat others. A good friend of mine says “You reap what you sow, more than what you sow, later than you sow.” He’s got a great point. It really is a law of God. So if you read the Jot and use it to share a Biblical perspective by discussing a current event, then you have planted a seed. Unlike seeds that you plant in a garden, you may never see the growth of that seed, but God’s word does not return void. I want to encourage you to share what is in the Daily Jot with others--either verbally, or via email, or any other way that you see fit.
The Daily Jot is NOT intended to bring you distress or sorrow or fear. As Christians, we are often mocked for saying that we are living in the end times. They say that every generation thinks that. But the fact of the matter is that every day brings us closer to the Biblical end times. Certainly, there are many prophetic indicators that tell us we are getting closer and closer to the return of Christ the Messiah. How wonderful is that? We know from scripture that things are going to get worse the closer we get. But we are encouraged in Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Part of what the Daily Jot is intended to do is to rally folks to do the right thing. Romans 12:21 says “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Our country long has been a beacon of Christian hope to the rest of the world. I know. I have traveled quite a bit and hear what people say. We have a legal say in how things are done in our country. But because we have diverted our attention away from God and from His precepts of good citizenship, our beacon is dimming. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3 that he has seen travail of the labors of men. “I know there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.” Don’t let these troubled times get you down. Find joy in Christ’s labors.
Moore about sexual harassment
It’s amazing how the news media has all of a sudden gotten “religion” about the sexual harassment and assault of women. The media’s filter seems disingenuous when considering how all this is being reported. There are scores, if not hundreds, of women coming forward with their stories about Hollywood—Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and several other men—had reputations of such acts, but rarely did anyone come forward for fear of losing their careers. There were politicians, too. What about Hillary Clinton’s friend Anthony Weiner? Or even more so, Clinton and her husband’s association with registered pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was known to have orgies with young girls on his plane.
Fox News reported in May 2016 that former President Bill Clinton took 26 trips with Epstein aboard his “Lolita Express” aircraft. Fox News reported that Epstein “spent 13 months in prison and home arrest for solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution. He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on “Orgy Island,” an estate on Epstein’s 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.” And this is a story that appeared during the last election cycle. It was documented with flight ledgers and court accounts. But the rest of the mainstream media downplayed it to protect his wife’s presidential candidacy.
For all the media play on Judge Roy Moore, who has not been charged or tried in any of the cases that are being reported against him, there was not the same standard applied to the Clintons. I remember when I was a political consultant, a Democrat consultant told several of us about the Clinton’s sexual exploits during a stay in Columbus, Ohio when Jimmy Carter was running for President. The media knew about it then, too, but did nothing. There is a public list of over 18 women claiming sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual affairs, and rape against Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton made women’s advocacy a cornerstone of her campaign, yet her and the mainstream media joined efforts to destroy these women through character assassination.
Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Roy Moore and many other conservatives are also victims of this double standard by the left-wingers in the media. If you are conservative, you are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to sex allegations. If you are a liberal, the women are liars and you might just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is how politics works in this day and age. It is why few good people want to run for any office. It takes only one story to destroy a lifetime of work. Character assassination is a deadly art practiced by wicked hearts. As is written in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Right is right. Wrong is wrong. We must be discerning in these days of deception.
Sexual assault and harassment epidemic
Literally hundreds of women are claiming sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and groping as commonplace in the culture of Hollywood. Likewise, the political culture has been saturated with stories of accusations by women of a similar nature. For example, California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier told NBC that $15 million of taxpayer money has been paid out over the past decade to settle sexual harassment lawsuits against Congressmen. Many are familiar with the claims against Republican Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore. While people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, just the claim of anything sexually improper takes on a particular stigma.
This appears epidemic in both entertainment and politics. People’s lives are ruined by it. If someone is falsely accused, their life forever carries that mark. For those who are assaulted, abused, harassed, or raped, they carry an often insurmountable burden with them the rest of their lives. This is an issue that is coming to light. The perverse way that it is seemingly imbedded in the culture of politics and entertainment should be a wake up call to each of us. You may not be aware how domestic violence or sexual assault impacts your community. It is often the hidden issue. The facts, however, demonstrate just how widespread it is.
In the US, every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten; one in every three women is abused during her lifetime; Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined; 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence every year; Nearly one in five teenage girls say a boy friend has threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup; Everyday more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends; Men are twice as likely to abuse their wives if they witnessed domestic violence as children. These are unbelievable, but they are real. So when we see accusations in Hollywood and among politicians, there may be more fire than smoke.
This scenario needs a lot of prayer. It is a very difficult and often taboo topic. But it is real to many people. It is a sad state of affairs for our nation and our people. Elected people should know how to behave themselves. Entertainers are not exempt from the law or doing the right thing. In all things, we should hold accountability where we can on this issue. If we hear of it and can stop it, we should speak up. Teach our children the right way. Be an example to others. Plead the cause of those who have no voice in the matter. Victims come in many forms with such things. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Prophetic days racing toward prophetic events
Several people have written to tell me about how they are dropping out from watching or reading the news. They call it a “news fast.” It seems as though the headlines are so full of hate-filled acts, confusion, war, natural disasters, suffering, and even plagues that some people just can’t take it anymore. It is information overload in a very dark way. I have to admit as someone who observes news and events, these days are among the worst I’ve seen in a journalistic career spanning 46 years. While the previous decade was marked with identifiable prophetic news, the past year has been outright chaos driven by hate and division—not only in the United States, but around the world.
Indeed, these times we live in seem to be an ever-increasing time of trouble. While we are not in the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Biblical tribulation), these are prophetic days in that they are racing toward prophetic events. These are times when events are coming into alignment so that prophetic events will come about. We see the hearts of men growing cold through terrible rhetoric. There are natural disasters taking place in the Middle East such as the earthquake in Iran. Israel is deploying defenses against increased terror attacks. Saudi Arabia is in upheaval. There is famine predicted in Yemen. Major leaders oppose one another on one front, and are allies on another. Relationships are disrupted and strained.
These events test faith. They pressure our senses. They can cause conflict within the mind. They may prompt withdrawal from society—such as “news fasts.” Taking a break from it probably isn’t a bad idea—some time to rethink, regroup, refresh. But it doesn’t make it go away. We are a prophetic people living in prophetic times. Our challenge is to make disciples in this dark and dying world that offers up so much clear and present danger. We cannot shrink from our Great Commission, otherwise the world gets darker. Resist the temptation to bury your talent. These are times when our talent should be invested and multiplied.
If you are feeling the pressure of events running out of control, remember what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Recall the word of God in Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in him.” The noise of the news, the events that shape the words in the mouths of the world, are of no effect to those who trust in the Lord. Stay focused on the Lord. He is your refuge.
Church security matters
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has done an expose’ on church security in the wake of the Sutherland Springs, TX, massacre of 26 Christians over a week ago. According to WSJ, many pastors are struggling with reconciling the need to arm themselves or members of their congregations with a long-standing cultural norm of houses of worship being off limits to such violence. It’s a new day and age, really. No longer does even the vilest of criminal respect the sanctuary of church. As WSJ reports, churches are among the softest of soft targets. It’s where everybody wants to believe they are safe from terror, from murderers, from the violence of the outside world. But that’s not the case in modern America.
Quite frankly, the shepherd needs to do what is best to protect the flock from bad doctrine, emotional self-indulgence, extra-biblical teachings, and yes, life-threatening intruders. Jesus said in John 10:11-15, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
Will your shepherd lay his life down for you? Will he do all he can to protect you? Since the immediate past “president” took office, deadly church violence has increased 281% over the previous decade. Former Focus on the Family employee Carl Chin keeps track of such violence. Chinn reports that from 1999 to 2008 there were 199 violent church deaths in the US, but from 2009 to present there have been 560. Chinn says that by the end of August, there had been more violent deaths in churches than all of last year. The newly energized leftist hate speech of progressive unbelievers has heightened church violence as those on the mental edge are prone to act on these condemnations.
These are important questions that should be considered. Your pastor should be deeply concerned and actively addressing both your spiritual and physical well-being. If not, he should be encouraged to do so. This takes into account both sound teaching and doing the very best to ensure your safety during your time on church property or in church events. Those who accept the responsibility of a flock, should be the ultimate good shepherds. They should seek the truth in all humility, abandoning doctrines of man and embracing the Holy Scriptures; protecting the flock; willing to lay down their lives for it, as the example of the Christ who spoke the truth and sacrificed his life that those who believe in him may have eternal life.
Honoring the keepers of liberty
Some time ago, I was re-watching the movie “Midway.” Six months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they were trying to set a trap for the US Navy and destroy it. The American commanders actually set a trap of their own and the highly outnumbered US forces won a decisive victory. I am always humbled by the selfless and heroic efforts made by the World War II generation. They sacrificed their lives for something they believed was bigger than them. They knew the value of family; the power of God; and that life and liberty was foundational to being an American, and it was worth fighting for. They were defined by their courage and character, their dedication to what was right and good.
For me, Veterans Day was always a solemn day, a day of great remembrance. The current environment, where people are disrespecting the flag which is a symbol of those who serve and have served our country in the military, law enforcement, and first responders, has made this year’s Veterans Day even more important to observe. So many of our young men and women are giving life and limb in endless war against the many enemies of freedom around the world, and even now in our homeland. What they endure, no one can ever measure. I recall my mom and dad’s friends Warren and Sue McCarthy, Gene and Betty Flynn, Bob and Doris Harris.
Warren and Gene served on D-Day. They survived it. And they were decorated war heroes. Not much of what they did was ever discussed. But you somehow knew that they were special. My dad, who was a farmer during World War II, was best friends with these men. He knew what went on, but would never say. They were among the finest men I knew growing up. My uncle Bob Harris served in the Philippines. There were times when he had flashbacks. My dad would get a call from my aunt and he would find Uncle Bob, talk him down and hold him until the terror passed. He, too, was a decorated hero. All these men knew the price of freedom and they understood their civic duty to their families, their God and their country.
I’m sure you have stories as well about the brave men and women who served in our nation’s armed forces. President Ronald Reagan remembered veterans in his speech May 26, 1986. He said, “If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does.” To me, there will never be peace on earth until the Lord returns. Jesus said, however, in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Many have sacrificed themselves that we may have peace and freedom. Let us honor their deeds this Veterans Day.
Let us remember Clexit
A year ago, Donald Trump scored a remarkable victory to become President. The media and the Democratic Party were stunned and in denial. Today, we have seen that draining the swamp is a difficult task. Republicans are being exposed in the swamp as they have done virtually nothing in a year from a legislative standpoint and are blocking the agenda that Trump was elected upon. One man could sure mess things up over an eight-year period. It’s much harder for one man to fix them, especially when the godless in both parties are resisting doing the right thing. Following is what was published by The Daily Jot a year ago. See if, a year later, this is still true today.
Several analysts characterized Donald Trump’s presidential victory as similar to the recent Brexit vote where Great Britain rejected globalism and left the European Union. Perhaps the Trump victory should be characterized as Clexit—the mass exit of the American people from the Clinton brand of morally bankrupt and corrupt politics. According to exit polls, some 80% of evangelical Christians turned out with a strong vote for now President-elect Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports that born-again Christians voted for Trump in numbers larger than they supported the Republican presidential candidates in the past three elections. This proves the power of Christian’s in this nation when they move in unity.
Clearly, American Christians sent a message to those who call evil good and good evil: that we are not going to take it anymore. The demeaning of Israel with the elevation of her enemies; the possibility of a Supreme Court bending our laws against life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the loss of our jobs and dignity to globalism; unsecured borders; massive crime; race-baiting; bribery; socialist health care; Islamic terrorism; the disrespecting of God in the public square; the destruction of marriage—are the sum of the parts that equaled the whole result of this election. Christians stepped up and voted for the imperfect candidate to save the country from one of the most evil agendas in our history.
Now that we have seen how God can work though us when we are obedient; how prayer and action is honored, may the hope of unity found in Ephesians 4:14-16 be our mantle going forward: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supply, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, make increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
You see, we have our work cut out for us. We have bought some time. There are only promises of a better, more righteous future for our nation. We must hold accountability—not the type of accountability of judgment and condemnation to our fellow citizens who disagree with us and are blinded by the god of this world, but the accountability of the standard of Christ in whom we believe and are disciples. From Supreme Court appointments to the treatment of Israel to freedom of religion, we must stand in the gap and make the hedge. We must be ever vigilant that our nation is fully advantaged by the mercy our Lord has bestowed upon us. Let us continue to pray, act, repent, and seek the Lord that he may forgive our sin and heal our land. Happy Clexit!
The national debate of achieving equality
From professional athletes to political parties to friends and family, there has arisen a great national debate over what constitutes equality, where we have been as a nation, where we are now, and where we hope to be in the future. The route toward solving racial division and promoting unity among mankind of all colors, ethnicities, and cultures is circuitous at best. There is plenty of disagreement on how to achieve this kind of peace. We can change laws and policies to guide such ideals, but the real roadblock is found in people’s hearts. People tend to judge others from the content of their own hearts. Government can go only so far, especially when it takes an ungodly form.
In the early 1600s the Jamestown and Plymouth settlers came to what became the United States to live and worship the one true God as they pleased. They considered the Judeo-Christian God as the one true God--and none other. This is apparent in their writings--both personal and public. There is only one true God--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They believed Jesus the Messiah’s declaration as a foundational tenet of true faith: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” Religion was defined as such. Freedom to worship without government mandates or interference was steeped in this belief; and, in reality, was the very premise of American government.
Despite what the leftists, the ungodly, the reformists, and even some so-called theologians would claim, the concept of government came from God. All men (mankind) are equal in the sight of God, God’s laws treat all the same, and all mankind has an opportunity for eternal life through Jesus Christ. God gave the law and all were treated the same under it. As Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The disciples of Christ who developed this nation, did so patterned after the good and perfect government of God. Because of man, it is not perfect; but it places equality under the law as a foundational tenet.
Through the 17th-19th Centuries, it was well understood the uniqueness and eternal truth of the one true God found in Judeo-Christian religion--this is before people in the 20th Century twisted the meanings of words and terms. Only Christ on earth in his blood rendered all men equal before God and the hope of Christianity does not despise to see all citizens equal before the law. While this equality issue will not be settled until the return of Christ, it is us, as Christians, who are responsible for keeping the earthly flame of eternity before men--to preserve the flame of liberty in Christ to the benefit of mankind. We should treat others as we would like to be treated irrespective of the social and economic characteristics of their birth. By this example in Christ is how we bring empathy, understanding and equality to a dark and dying world.
Failed bureaucracy and mass shootings
National Public Radio (NPR) has revealed that Texas church killer Devin Patrick Kelley was prohibited by law to legally possess a firearm, but his background check was incomplete when he bought the weapon he used to kill 26 people in Sutherland Springs, TX. Retired Col. Don Christensen, the Air Force’s chief prosecutor at the time Kelley was court-martialed, told NPR that Kelley “fractured his baby stepson’s skull.” Kelley was sentenced to 12 months for assaulting his wife and “intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm” on the child. But the Air Force did not enter the Kelley’s info into the National Criminal Information Center database. Thus, a mass-murderer slipped through the government bureaucracy.
There are two points here that deserve attention: 1) Kelley was convicted of a crime of domestic assault punishable for up to five years confinement; and 2) The majority of mass shootings are linked to perpetrators of domestic violence. Federal law prohibits firearm possession of anyone convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, and for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under a no-exception provision for military or law enforcement. The omission of this conviction in the federal database allowed Kelley to slip through the system and purchase the very gun that he used to massacre 26 men, women, and children.
Additionally, Kelley’s arrest, domestic violence conviction and bad conduct discharge should have raised red flags to authorities. An analysis of FBI data by Everytown for Gun Safety indicates that the majority of mass shootings are related to domestic violence. The organization reports that from 2009-2016 there have been 156 mass shootings in the US resulting in 848 fatalities and 339 wounded. Some 54% of those shootings were connected to domestic violence; over a third involved a shooter who was prohibited by law from possessing firearms, and 42% of the shooters exhibited warning signs before acting—threats, substance abuse, acts of violence, violations of protective orders, etc.
The leftists are screaming for disarming citizens to stop gun violence, but the very system they rely upon (criminal background checks and mental health detection) doesn’t work—people slip through the bureaucracy and/or find guns to use anyway. Bureaucracy cannot protect the innocent from those with no regard for law or life. Before he was betrayed in the garden, Jesus instructed his disciples in Luke 22:36: “and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Self-defense, preservation of life, and the protection of the innocent from the lawless are foundational to civil society. Good people who legally own and carry guns often save lives when bureaucracy and leftist utopian concepts fail.
Deadly Church shootings
Our hearts are saddened today and our prayers are with those brothers and sisters in the Lord at First Baptist Church in Southern Springs, TX where a gunman killed at least 26 people and wounded another 30. Details are still emerging, but the shooter, 26 year old Devin Patrick Kelley, was an atheist who thought Christians “were stupid.” Reports also say that he was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force because of assault and domestic violence. Kelley was shot by a man from another church, who grabbed his gun and rushed to assistance when his daughter called him about the attack. Kelley took a hostage and was pursued in a high-speed chase before he bled out and ran his vehicle off the road.
Former Focus on the Family employee Carl Chinn operates a website that tracks violent church deaths. Just since Saturday, October 28th, there have been four shootings at places of worship from Kentucky to California. On the 28th, two men were shot when they got out of their car in a Temple parking lot. In Alabama on Halloween, a man was charged with attempted murder after ramming his car into others and shooting at them. On Sunday, in addition to the Texas shooting, a woman was shot and another wounded in California in a parking lot after mass. President Donald Trump immediately offered his condolences Sunday. Democrat politicians just as quickly politicized the shootings by calling for gun control.
The problem in America, however, is not a gun problem. Those who were Sunday killed were Christians. Since the immediate past “president” took office in 2009, deadly church violence increased 281% over the previous decade, Chinn reports that from 1999 to 2008 there were 199 violent church deaths in the US, but from 2009 to present there have been 560. Chinn says that by the end of August, there had been more violent deaths in churches than all of last year. This recent shooting guarantees it. It is indicative of the hostile environment that has been created in America against Jews and Christians. Liberal politicians and the news media routinely have demonized Christians. Crazy and hateful people are acting out these condemnations.
Blaming guns for the deaths at houses of worship is certainly politicization, especially when you see who is getting killed and who is doing the killing. Nazis, leftists, atheists, and Islamists have been doing the killing. Christians generally are the ones getting killed. The atmosphere has been established where places of worship, and Jews and Christians in particular, have become targets of a dark and evil element in our society. Jesus said in Matthew 24:9 that “ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Sadly, in America this hate appears stronger than it ever has been. Jesus said in John 15:20, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” This is the condition of the world. Let us respond by standing against injustice and overcoming evil with good.
Communism on the horizon for US?
On March 30, 1961, Ronald Reagan addressed the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce saying, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” According to a recent poll by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, America’s freedom is threatened by the Millennial generation. The poll showed that 58% of Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist, communist or fascist country. This is the next generation of our leaders.
The poll of 2,300 people age 16 and older also indicated that nearly 70% of Millennials do not even know what communism is, and they can’t distinguish it from socialism or fascism. Only half of those polled could identify the definition of capitalism. Before we push the panic button on the next generation, the poll also indicated that 69% of all Americans either don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify it. This is a problem that is systemic in American culture, probably for many reasons. The root of the trouble is most likely that our public schools are not teaching accurate history. For example, there is a disconnect between Millennials demanding free speech be protected (71%), yet preferring to live in a country where free speech is not protected (socialist, communist, or fascist). This is the culmination of an old-time Soviet Strategy.
Former Soviet KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1970, conducted an interview in 1984 about Soviet infiltration methods and the plan to take over America. Bezmenov said that by 1970 the Soviet Union had already infiltrated the US through brainwashing left-leaning people in the news media, the entertainment industry, politics, business, education, and religion. He said that the Soviet Union used a brainwashing strategy called ideological subversion designed to change the perception of reality of every American so “no one is able to come to sensible conclusions” to defend themselves, their families, their community, and their country. Bezmenov said that the Soviets used brainwashed leftists to teach Marxism-Leninism ideology to several generations of American students.
Bezmenov said the process is nearly irreversible, but, “There must be a very strong national effort to educate people in the spirit of real patriotism, number one. Number two, to explain to them the real danger of socialist, communist, welfare state, big brother government...The moment at least part of the United States population is convinced that the danger is real, they have to force their government...to stop aiding communism.” Even today, leftists are confusing patriotism with nationalism, trying to say it is akin to fascism. These dictatorial governments require the abolishment of all religion. As Christians, we must fight this as an Ephesians 6:20 people, “...that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Christian Americans must see clearly and act decisively otherwise communism is on the horizon for our country.
The truth hurts, even kills
The Democratic politicians and news media are jumping on President Donald Trump over the terrorist attack by an Islamic immigrant in New York City that left eight dead and more than a dozen wounded. The narrative is that Trump attacked the political policy of how Sayfullo Saipov legally emigrated from Uzbekistan in 2010 through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Democrats and the media are angry Trump is pointing to policy instead of focusing on condolences and sympathy to the victims. In actuality, the very first official act of the President was to offer his thoughts and prayers to the victims. Once again the Democrat-leftist-oriented media sought to change the narrative from the truth to a lie.
President Trump issued a statement from the White House saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families. My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage. I will continue to follow developments closely.” Yet, the media and pro-open borders people are trying to change the narrative.
The Immigration Act of 1990 established the Diversity Visa program (pushed by current Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY) that uses a lottery for selecting immigrants to become permanent citizens. The program, overseen by the US State Department, accepts immigrants from around the world, including terrorist-sponsoring states. The 29 year old Saipov came from a predominantly Sunni Muslim that has thousands of supporters of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Trump is trying to protect Americans by blocking entry of people from these areas without first vetting them properly. He is being fought by the Democrats, the activist courts, and the media.
The immediate past “president” accelerated Islamic immigration into the US, allowing an unknown number of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers into the nation. Pew Research projects that by 2040 the Muslim population in the US will be larger than the Jewish population, and will be the second most predominant religion. Jeremiah 51:14 describes a similar situation that led to the destruction of Babylon: “Surely I will fill you with men, as with locusts; and they shall lift up a battle cry against you.” The truth is that policies of liberal US leaders have aided the infiltration of terrorists into the US. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim. The truth hurts and sometimes it kills.
Word of God or word of man?
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of YHVH, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” But what happens when man gets away from SCRIPTURE and starts putting his own concepts of what God means into his lexicon of beliefs? We then see the beginnings of bad doctrine in the least, growing into heresy, and, sadly, the replacement of what should be the first love of Jesus for the pride of the human mind. There is a forgetfulness of the right relationship between man and his Creator where the mind of man tries to govern the Word of God.
This is a problem. Everyday, scripture is taken out of context to support man’s concept. It’s called eisegesis. Often we just see bad teaching upon bad teaching--man’s precept upon man’s precept--manifest itself into faux facts that cause division, insecurity, hostility and accusations. What of the man who is so self-assured of his knowledge that he takes great pride in attacking another’s viewpoint without studying both sides? I think Jesus had a response to that sort of thing when he said in Matthew 7:4, “Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and behold a beam is in your own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; then shall thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
Many people try to advance their own pet doctrine accusing others of not knowing or understanding the scripture. But when one studies it with cross-references and context, it is confirmed that the accuser’s mind is trying to govern the Word of God. The accuser is usually the one who is actually doing his own accusations. Sometimes, it’s just prideful ignorance because the accuser just hasn’t considered the full context of what he is saying. Acts 17:11 speaks of the Bereans, saying, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” We would do well to be like the Bereans.
When we start putting our own concepts of God over God, we are in great danger. As the word of God explained in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Verse 11 continues: “So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Notice that God says that HIS word will go out; it shall accomplish what HE pleases; and it shall prosper the thing HE wishes. It’s not about us and our opinions or speculations. Study the Word! Renew your mind daily in Jesus. Speak the truth in humble boldness.
News, politics, entertainment--A prophetic cleansing of America
The Mueller Special Counsel handed down indictments of two former campaign staffers of President Donald Trump. None of the counts were about Russia, but rather about business dealings in Ukraine. The political world in our nation’s Capitol is very nervous. So much so that Tony Podesta, brother of former campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton and big-time Democratic lobbyist and donor, has stepped down from his company because of ties to the very same entities in Ukraine at the center of the indictments. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, dozens of women and some men are coming forward with sexual harassment or rape charges against entertainment industry moguls. The same is happening in the news industry.
In politics, news, and entertainment, there is a massive exposure of vile and distasteful events that appear to be systemic in those cultures. Money laundering, tax evasion, bribery, influence peddling are all being exposed in the political arena. We are seeing both Democrats and Republicans participating in the most scandalous and corrupt practices in recent history. When President Trump said he wanted to drain the swamp, no one knew the extent of vile corruption that would be exposed. We are seeing a little bit of it. Many people are angry about the Mueller investigations, but as bad as they are, and as politically motivated as they are, they are exposing unthinkable dishonesty to the American people.
Hollywood has similar problems. It long has been common knowledge about the casting couch—how upcoming stars sleep their way to the top. It’s cliché. And many of those stars don’t have any problem with depictions of sex and nudity in the movies they make. Yet, America is finding out how deep the sexual perversion and immorality is in the entertainment industry. We are even seeing the same sexual harassment charges bubbling up from the button down veneer of the news industry where several news organizations have had to fire people because of sexual harassment accusations. Fox, NBC, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC are all interrelated with various people coming forward with claims of sexual harassment.
The news media, politics and the entertainment business mainstays in American culture are interwoven in political agreement as well as corruption, scandal and immorality. Immoral Hollywood supports corrupt politicians and unethical and immoral news hounds revel in their relationships with these depraved people. Now they are being exposed. And they are nervous as to who will be uncovered next. This represents a prophetic cleansing of America. In Matthew 10:26, Jesus says, “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” Given enough time, evil self-destructs. But we, as Christians, must fill this darkness with the light of Christ.
The Mueller bait and switch
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He has handed down indictments of two of President Donald Trump’s former campaign officials—Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman, and Rick Gates, former Trump advisor and partner of Manafort. According to the indictment, these men laundered money, failed to register as foreign agents, evaded taxes, and misled the Department of Justice. Interesting though, that these 12 counts of indictments are only for dealings with the Ukranian pro-Russian political Party, the party of Regions, and the Ukraine government. The indictment indicates that Manafort and Gates are big time crooks, but Mueller is quite off topic.
These counts are related specifically to these two men’s dealings with Ukraine, not about Russia meddling in the 2016 elections. The indictment mentions “Russia” only in the following context: “In 2005, Manafort and another partner created Davis Manafort Partners, Inc. (DMP) to engage principally in political consulting. DMP had staff in the United States, Ukraine, and Russia…The Party of Regions was a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine…In 2010, its candidate for President, Yanukovych, was elected President of Ukraine. In 2014, Yanukovych fled Ukraine for Russia in the wake of popular protests of widespread governmental corruption.”
Mueller also announced that former Trump campaign aid George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about the timing and detail of his attempts to line up meetings between Russian government officials and the Trump campaign. According to AP, “The plea by George Papadopoulos marked the first criminal charges that cite interactions between Trump campaign associates and Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign...In court papers, he admitted to lying about the nature of his interactions with "foreign nationals" who he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials.” To date, there are no allegations of Trump and Russia coordinating efforts to influence the elections.
To me, this is very interesting considering there are mountains of evidence that the Democratic National Committee and the Clintons had intimate business dealings specifically with Russia and Russian agents. The Special Counsel, however, hands down indictments on crooked dealings from work with Ukraine that doesn’t appear directly related to Russia or to Trump. Jesus’ words in Luke 8:17 come to mind with all this: For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come to light.” Did Russia meddle in the US elections? As in elections past, Russia probably tried. With whom did Russia conspire with and were they successful? The plot thickens as the light hits the darkness.
Swamp is deeper and darker than one can imagine
Reports of late are indicating that the corruption in the Democratic Party in collusion with Russia is akin to organized crime where influence was bought and sold and the weight of the US government was exploited to justify spying on a presidential candidate and other American citizens. We saw that the power of the IRS was used to suppress conservative free speech and the good will operations of Christian charities. Planned Parenthood was favored with protective regulations and taxpayer funding. When candidate Donald Trump said the swamp needed to be drained, however, he likely had no idea how deep and dark it is; what a monumental and life endangering task it would be. But there is more.
Draining the swamp is bipartisan. Trump quickly found out that many of the Republicans on Capital Hill were part of the problem, not the solution. The Senate and House hierarchy set out to oppose, block and undermine the very agenda that the people of the United States elected Trump to accomplish. The rift within the establishment Republican stronghold against Trump continues to play itself out as Senators are so uncomfortable that they are opting to not run for reelection rather than face a would-be angry constituency. We have witnessed a globalist cabal fight Trump at every juncture to undermine his “America First” agenda—Even to the point of former President George W Bush admonishing Trump for putting America and Americans first. That swamp is deep and dark.
A year ago just days before the election the FBI reopened (then subsequently said “nothing to see here”) the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and a host of other issues. The Daily Jot reported “Her pay for play influence bribery scheme, acceptance of millions of dollars from terrorist sponsoring Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, and a host of other self-enriching scandals appear to expose Hillary Clinton as a governmental organized crime boss. Clinton’s careless and seemingly criminal administration of America’s most sensitive secrets, however, may be the final link that would make even the staunchest of Democrats finally believe that where there is smoke, there is hellfire.” Think about this list.
Add on top of it the recent reports that have been confirmed about Clinton, the ex-“president,” and so on. Then add another layer of elected Republican congressmen and senators who are obstructing Trump’s agenda rather than see their globalist gravy train come to an end. Indeed the swamp needs to be drained and President Trump faces an overwhelming task, for as Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies,” and as is written in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: Who can know it?” I’m not sure any of us know the depth and darkness at the heart of the DC swamp.
New Russia findings reveal widespread corruption
The Washington Post, as confirmed by Fox News, reports that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid Fusion GPS for opposition research against Donald Trump. After being leaked to the news media, this false story about Trump and prostitutes cavorting in Russia was used by the ex-“president” to justify spying on Trump during the presidential campaign. This, in conjunction with the reports of the Clinton Foundation, the ex-“president,” and Russian uranium interests participating in an influence peddling scheme that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars lining the pockets of the Clintons and their minions, is an indicator of a widespread web of corruption among Democrats.
The Democratic Party narrative, embraced by Clinton, the ex-“president”, the Chairman of the DNC and the mainstream news media, aimed to discredit President Trump and to provide justification for the ex-“president’s” administration to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow spying on Trump’s campaign. In November 2016, HeatStreet reported “that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘US persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.” These Democrats paid somebody to fabricate a story then they used that story to publicly discredit Trump and as a lever to spy on Trump’s campaign. After such scurrilous and possibly illegal acts, they still lost. This organized corruption makes Watergate look like child’s play.
But wait, there’s more. This, in conjunction with the “influence for hire” money trail on Russian uranium when Clinton was Secretary of State, suggests that the Russians were busy influencing powerful Democrats who were using their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of US national security. When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State she sent nuclear grade uranium to Russia scoring $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Moscow, Clinton’s campaign Chairman John Podesta did a $35 million energy deal with Russia, and the Clinton Foundation received $2.35 million in donations from Ian Telfer, head of Russia’s uranium company.
As recently as October 17, the FBI has released information indicating both the Clinton’s and the immediate past “president” were involved in what appears to be a bribery/kickback scheme with Russian officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It appears that the Clintons and the ex-“president” pushed the Russia-Trump narrative hard with the news media, and used federal government actors in their control to influence the news media and spy on Trump’s campaign. At the same time they were covering up their own dealings with the Russians. In John 3:20, Jesus said, “For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” The more light shining on the Clintons and the ex-“president,” the more corruption is exposed.
Of Snopes, Krauthammer and The Daily Jot
Interesting how the fake news cycles its way through the internet. I received an email from fact-checker Snopes yesterday saying, “There's an article going around that's being attributed to Charles Krauthammer (you can read it here), but a nearly verbatim copy of this text (minus the first and last paragraphs) appeared on your web site months prior to it being attributed to Krauthammer. Did you write this article for the Daily Jot on 13 February 2017?” I looked it up because Snopes, in my opinion, is not a trusted fact checker. In fact, I did publish a Daily Jot titled “The perilous times we live in.” It talked about how the ex-president was gearing up Organizing for Action to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda from the shadows.
Somewhere along the line, someone picked up parts of the Daily Jot, repurposed it without attribution, and sent it out under Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer’s byline. According to Snopes, the faux Krauthammer article appears in the Nesara News website archives for October 11 titled, “The Enemy Amongst Us!!” It has a screen shot of Krauthammer as a Fox News contributor on the O’Reilly show and is claiming the article appeared in the New York Post. At the bottom the site documents that “Olive Oyl” posted the article at 12:45 AM on Friday, October 13. The Nesara Republic Now Galactic News site claims to be “an Awareness Blog to consider the future of your world” having 3.5 million views per month.
The fabricated article excerpts from the original Daily Jot Paul Sperry’s claim written in the New York Post that the ex-"president" is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the incoming administration through a network of leftist nonprofits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate OFA has 32,525 volunteers nationwide. The ex-"president" and his wife will oversee the operation from their foundation office near the White House. It also errantly places quotation marks around Sperry’s comments. Sperry is a New York Post columnist, but Krauthammer is not.
Snopes says that the claim that the ex-“president” was forming a shadow government to undermine the Trump presidency “was based on little or no evidence.” As I said in February when I wrote this original column, “the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-3, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be...without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good." Indeed, perilous times are ahead for us and our nation.” I might add verse 13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” This is an example of how people can fabricate news, who writes it, and weaponize it for their own agenda.
The white elephant in the corner
We Christians are a peculiar bunch. In general, we share the same values and core beliefs. Specifically, however, there is a wide range of thought, political belief, morals, ethics, and a great deal of justification of all these things. So when we have a situation like we do right now in our nation, there is a lot of discussion about it. From race to foreign policy to the media to equality to the behavior of the President, Christians are trying to find their grounding. It’s like there is a white elephant in the room that people can see. Some want to ignore it. Others want to shew it out of the room. And some want to embrace it. This white elephant is the lack of civility and statesmanship by our President Donald Trump.
I have heard many arguments about his rancid tweets and brash nature. Some will say that he is a new Christian and that we need to give him a chance to understand what is required of him. Others say that we have had eight years of someone shoving down our throats the very worst of socialism and political correctness, that Trump is a welcome counter to the nonsense. Still others say that he needs to be so acerbic just to survive in this severe environment of propaganda and ill will. Then there are some Christians who say that he is the very worst kind of person and should be removed from office. Many say that Trump is a jerk, but he is our jerk, and they are comfortable with his beliefs and tolerate his actions.
As Christians, we need to be careful to not justify bad behavior just because someone mostly agrees with our way of thinking. While President Trump may be fulfilling many of his campaign promises and agenda items, his engagement with those who oppose him is often not very presidential. And yes, he should be able to fight back against these outrageous attacks of the media and the shrill and unreasonable communists who are trying to destroy our nation. He could, however, do so in a way that is commensurate with the gravitas of the office he holds. Calling people derogatory names and using undignified language undermines his credibility, causes deeper division, and demeans the standard of the Presidency.
The Bible often tells us how we should speak to and treat one another. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” I like what First Lady Melania Trump said this week about teaching our children the right values, “By our own example, we must teach children to be good stewards of the world they will inherit. We need to remember that they are always watching and listening. It is our responsibility to take the lead in teaching children the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity, and leadership.” In prayer, supplication and in our spoken words, we should encourage President Trump to follow the example of the scriptures and the words of wisdom spoken by his wife.
Just another hypocritical Monday
Headline after headline about sexual assault, rape, and perversion in Hollywood. More stories about how Harvey Weinstein used the fashion business as a pipeline to models that he sexually harassed or assaulted; or how about 38 women accusing Oscar nominated director James Toback of sexual harassment; or that Marilyn Manson guitarist “Twiggy Ramirez” being accused of domestic violence and rape? Nothing to see here, right? These are Democrats. They are the same people who were wearing their little pink vagina hats and protesting President Donald Trump at his inauguration. No speeches from Ashley Judd now. No declarations about wanting to blow up Grauman’s Chinese Theatre from Madonna.
The silent hypocrisy is deafening. Moreover, it took a week for Democratic Presidential loser Hillary Clinton, who is close friends with Weinstein, to “condemn” his actions. Not much in the line of passion for the issue of how women are treated in the workplace, is it? While President Trump’s actions were vulgar, he was not reported to be a serial rapist or systematic sexual assault perpetrator. Notwithstanding, the news media and the Hollywood elite—the very same folks who are holding their peace on Weinstein—skewered Trump and are still insisting he is a misogynist and is unfit to be president. If he is unfit to be president for the mistakes for which he apologized, what does this make Clinton and others for their tolerance of such systemic behavior in Hollywood?
Maybe Hillary Clinton is not-so-outraged because Weinstein, also one of her large donors, had the same M-O as her husband. Weinstein, it is reported, used his chauffeur to scout out and pick up girls for sex. Many of the patterns of Weinstein were the same as those of former President Bill Clinton, except Clinton’s chauffeurs were Arkansas State Police and US Secret Service. This is on the hush-hush for decades, even though Hillary Clinton not only knew about it, but also tolerated it. Yet, someone they perceive as a threat to their power like Trump, is taken to the public woodshed repeatedly for his lapse of judgment and character.
This is just the way the left operates. It’s all right for them to make millions, have sex parties, force people to do demeaning acts against their will, but they demonize their enemies for far less. How many times have you heard these folks decry those who make millions on the backs of the poor, yet what does a ticket at a movie theatre cost these days? They are like the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus described as hypocrites in Matthew 23:27-28, “…which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” But for Hollywood and the Democratic Party elite, it’s just another hypocritical Monday.
Your good citizenship matters
There is much discussed and written about how the United States is under judgment and how the nation needs to repent. The news media and politicians usually are angered greatly by these assertions. “Certainly, it is those right wing Christian lunatics at it again,” they might say. Everyone and anyone has license to ridicule those who believe that the moral decay of our nation found across political parties as well as entertainment, media, business, education and other fields could be reasons that our nation is facing sure financial crisis, a media crisis, a breakdown of the family, a marriage crisis, a murder crisis, especially of the unborn, and continuous threat from Islamic terrorists.
In all fairness, perhaps Christians too often attribute this condition to God when much of the problems of this nation have been brought on by ourselves--we, as citizens. There are just certain principles that apply. If you spend more than you take in, you are in debt; if you allow the breakdown of the family structure, your society will reflect it; if your choices go against good wisdom, there are consequences. Enough people doing the wrong things can bring down an entire society. There is also a collective nature to a society that God judges as a reflection of the people. Now is when people hit the unsubscribe button and run out of the room screaming, “I’m a good person. I didn’t support these rogues. Its not my fault.”
Nations endure difficulties because the people of the nation, and God’s people specifically, are not living righteously. The nation suffers because of the condition of the people, and the nation also suffers because of the condition of the leadership. One good example is found in Ezekiel 22:30, “And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Another is Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.” You see, both people and leaders share responsibility.
Set aside politics and the United States. Let’s look at the Kingdom of God. If followers of the Messiah do not impact their society, what will that society look like? Jesus told us in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” He later says that we are the light of the world, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” These are commands for action. It is those who know Jesus who are to impact the world. Good citizenship in the Kingdom of God translates to good citizenship in your nation. When it is not exercised in deed and in accountability, the nation declines or faces the consequences of its actions.
Countering the spirit of propaganda
Propaganda is defined as “chiefly derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.” In America, propaganda was always supposed be properly identified. For example, the news media’s freedom is expressly guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. This freedom is supposed to be used to expose government propaganda with truth and hold the government accountable. When the news media largely just takes what the government says as fact and supports the point of view of big government, it causes government and politicians to be far less accountable and far more powerful.
When I was in Journalism school, we did a lot of analyzing of news stories to be able to recognize bias. Back then, we used Pravda and Tass--the official “news” outlets of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. They were the most clever propagandists of the time. For example, one story was about an international race between a Russian and an American. The America won the race by quite a distance. The headline in the Communist papers went like this: “Russia second, American next to last in international race.” You see how truth can be distorted by propaganda. The government has its own point of view and its own propaganda. Unlike the Soviet Union, America’s media was and is free to report the truth.
When a society drifts away from God, it also has no bearing of truth. Some of the most godless people are in the highest places of both government and media. They believe truth is relative and that the ends justifies the means. Without God, there can be no truth. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” Without Jesus it is extremely difficult to even discern truth because he is the truth. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:3,4, ”But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not...” Jesus also said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”
Herein is a two-fold problem. Americans are being fed deception by the news media which by and large cannot know truth because it has no foundation in Christ. Therefore, good citizenship as Americans requires that we do not believe what we hear from the media and seek the truth on our own. Moreover, we are called by Christ to make disciples. Romans 10:13,14 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” We as Christians must do a better job in making disciples, otherwise the truth will never be known.
FBI Russia investigation points to Clinton
In March, the Daily Jot reported that when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State she completed a deal where nuclear grade uranium was sent to Russia scoring $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Moscow, Clinton’s campaign Chairman John Podesta did a $35 million energy deal with Russia, and the Clinton Foundation received $2.35 million in donations from Ian Telfer, head of Russia’s uranium company. Now the FBI is releasing information that indicates both the Clinton’s and the immediate past “president” were involved in what appears to be a bribery/kickback scheme with Russian officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
A lengthy story by John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill documents that federal agents “obtained an eyewitness account—backed by documents—indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the US designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.” That government body would be the Committee on Foreign Investment and Hillary Clinton brokered a deal where Russia gained control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply. Nonetheless, the news media, despite documented facts, continued to push the narrative that President Donald Trump was in league with the Russians to influence the US election.
One of The Hill’s sources says: “The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the [sic ex-“president’s”] administration made those decisions.” Attorney General Eric Holder also was part of the committee that brokered the uranium deal. The Russian chicanery was blamed on then candidate and now President, Donald Trump. A willing news media hardly reported on the uranium deal and all the money that went to the Clintons and their foundation, but pounded Americans with Russian election interference news.
If you look at who had pre-election deals with Russia, Hillary Clinton and the ex-“president” would be poster children. Hundreds of millions of dollars exchanged hands between Russia and the Clinton Foundation when Clinton was Secretary of State in the ex-“president’s” administration, and these deals were supported by the ex-“president.” The more they pushed Russian ties with Trump, the more deals they did with Russia themselves. This is an ongoing effort to conduct a bait and switch on the American people. As said in 2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” This is some of the worst deception of this generation.
Cell phones may cause more US deaths than guns
Bloomberg reports that distracted drivers are responsible for 57.6% of traffic fatalities, some 18,538 in 2015. Bloomberg is saying that while the share of Americans owning cell phones increased from 75% to 81% from 2014-16, federal statistics reporting the incidents of cell phones usage in fatalities caused by distracted drivers are far underreported. For example, only 448 traffic fatalities were traced back to cell phone usage, and Bloomberg cites examples of people whose loved ones were killed by drivers that admitted to using their cell phones, but are not among the statistics. Problem is that states are using differing statistics and standards to report accidents involving distracted drivers.
Bloomberg recalls the findings of Zendrive Inc., a San Francisco startup that analyzes smartphone data to help insurers of commercial fleets assess safety risks, “In a study of 3 million people, it found drivers using their mobile phone during 88 percent of trips. The true number is probably even higher because Zendrive didn’t capture instances when phones were mounted in a fixed position—so-called hands free technology, which is also considered dangerous… “It’s definitely frightening,” said Jonathan Matus, Zendrive’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Pretty much everybody is using their phone while driving.”” One interviewee said, “We know what’s going on, but we don't have a breathalyzer for a phone.”
Gunviolencearchive.org reports 13,502 deaths in 2015 from the use of guns, of which 1,370 occurred in self-defense. In 2016, the organization reports 15,080 gun-related deaths, of which 1,975 were in self-defense; so far this year, there have been 12,262 gun related deaths with 1,601 in self-defense. On the heat map of the US where gun-related deaths occurred, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Baltimore—areas of the most stringent gun control laws—indicate the most gun-related deaths. Incidentally, The Washington Post reports that law enforcement officers used lethal force 995 times in 2015, 733 were attacks in progress, 94 were unarmed, 497 deaths were white, and 431 were black (259) or Hispanic (172).
My cell phone has been sitting here beside me on my desk the whole time I’ve been writing this Daily Jot. My grandpa’s handgun has been resting in its holster on a shelf in my office. It hasn’t moved in years. Neither my cell phone, nor this antique gun has threatened, injured or killed any of our family or visitors to our home or anyone else while I’ve had them. Statistically, it’s possible that cell phones have been used in more deaths per year than guns. Yet, there is no move to ban cell phones. Galatians 6:5 says, “For every man shall bear his own burden.” Verse 7 continues, “for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Unlike inanimate objects, each person has responsibility for their own behavior, even those who want to ban the object that is used irresponsibly rather than hold accountability.
The government schools in China and America
In September, China introduced education reform to teach students at all levels of its public school system to be “guided firmly to support” Communist Party of China leadership and “socialist core values.” All textbooks will reflect this reform even more than they have over the past several decades. The New York Times reports that a teacher of fourth grade students in Yuqing County, China asked her students “Today’s life is rich, blessed, happy and joyous. Where does our happy life come from? Who gave it to us?” To which a 9-year-old boy replied to great applause: “It comes from the blood of the revolutionary martyrs! From the Red Army!’ Herein lies the peril of government-controlled schools.
America’s Founding Fathers understood the dangers of a public school system as influenced by a federal government. It is why they insisted that schools be locally funded and administrated. Socialist and communist forces, however, found another way to attack our children. The teaching methods in public schools are deeply rooted in the Hegelian Dialectic as brought into the schools by John Dewey, co-author of the Humanist Manifesto, a socialist and considered the “Father of Education” by the National Education Association. Dewy and Horace Mann before him developed and perfected the curriculum to teach the teachers based on the socialist methods of German/Prussian philosophers such as Hegel.
In his book, “Public Education Against America, The Hidden Agenda,” late Christian radio host Marlin Maddoux thoroughly documented how the public school system has been commandeered by the socialist left and is using a very sophisticated “Hegelian dialectic” seven-step method to reprogram your children. The first step is to get your child to choose his own set of values independent of his parents, the fifth step is to confess those values and the seventh step is to act on them as a way of life. All the while, the child is being moved specifically away from his Christian worldview into secular humanism. Mann opened the door to secularism in public schools and Dewy walked through it with socialist methods and teachings.
As evidenced by the mandate in China, progressives focus on public education because they know their success depends on shaping the minds of children, confusing them on their religion and morals, and dumbing them down to think that government has the answer to all things. This started in America by teaching the teachers these progressive methods and philosophies and populating them in local schools. The Department of Education’s ability to grant federal money based on adherence to federal agendas was a natural work-around to nationalization of public schools. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Let us not be deceived into thinking public schools are bastions of truth and virtue, teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. They are socially engineering the generations very similar to communist China.
End time implications of a N Korea EMP attack
A group of nuclear experts Thursday testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security that a North Korean nuclear electromagnetic pulse detonation on the United States could kill 90% of our population within a year of the attack. Drs. William Graham and Peter Pry of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack told congressmen that in 2004 Russia had “accidentally” given N Korea plans for a “Super-EMP” weapon. They said that on September 20 N Korea had detonated an H-Bomb it describes as capable of “super-powerful EMP” attack and released a technical report accurately describing what Russia and China call a “Super-EMP” weapon.
The experts said that N Korea’s nuclear capabilities were drastically underestimated: “After massive intelligence failures grossly underestimating North Korea’s long-range missile capabilities, number of nuclear weapons, warhead miniaturization, and proximity to an H-Bomb, the biggest N Korean threat to the U.S. remains unacknowledged—nuclear EMP attack. In short, the previous Administration grievously and negligently ignored the nuclear build up in N Korea aided and abetted by Russian and Chinese technicians and advisors. It was known that these countries were working together on missile and nuclear technology as early as 2001. In May 2011, the UN released a report that China was working with Iran and N Korea on nuclear weaponry, but the previous Administration did little or nothing to end the collaboration.
After decades of kicking the can down the road, America now faces a perilous nuclear threat that must be addressed by the current Administration. In June 2005, N Korea agreed to what is called the “six party talks” to discuss ways to voluntarily disarm their nuclear weapons program. It was an effort to diplomatically prevent North Korea arming terrorists against Israel and the United States. Earlier in 2005, there were two N Korean train shipments that exploded—one in N Korea and another in Syria. Both were reportedly carrying missiles, missile technology and weapons technology. Today, the threat is expanded to N Korea’s ability to attack America either by sea or by using nuclear-armed satellites, the experts said.
While N Korea, the US, Russia or China are not specifically mentioned in the Bible as players in the end times, these countries could impact prophecy. America stands in the breech for Israel. Russia, China and N Korea have a long history of arming Islamic regimes hostile to Israel. Without the US, Israel’s enemies could easily attack Israel. The end time prophecies outlined by Christ in Matthew 24, however, would still have to play out—wars and rumors of wars, antichrist, the abomination of desolation, great tribulation, deception, and as Christ said in Matthew 24:31 about his appearance: “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Meantime, let us pray for our nation, and the peace of Jerusalem.
So sordid that it’s hard to write about
The headlines over famous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his systematic approach toward bedding young starlets are expanding to other actors with actresses coming out with story after story of sexual harassment and even rape. While the headlines themselves are sordid, the stories are even more disgusting. It is a testimony to the way Hollywood works, the morals of the people involved, and the politics of not only movie making, but also of the nation. Weinstein, the Clintons, the immediate past “president,” and a host of others in the Democratic Party are fast friends with parties, fundraisers, and high dollar campaign contributions in common.
It is these very actors and actresses who participate and thrive in this repugnant lifestyle that are the first to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of the very things they are doing. Weinstein apparently used his power and stature as an Oscar-winning movie producer to curry sexual favors from actresses who wanted a fast track to stardom. Many of these women who are coming forward claim they refused his advances, others went along with him, still others say they were forced to do things they didn't want to do, but were afraid if they didn’t, their careers would be ended. This is the same behavior behind Bill Cosby, and quite frankly, Weinstein’s political buddy, Bill Clinton.
When you consider the connections, the campaign contributions and the intimate friendships between people like Weinstein and politicians, it is no wonder the same scandals repeatedly bubble to the surface of the public. Even CNN has recognized the issue. Tuesday, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the Obama and Clinton families are tarnished because they were “willfully blind” to Weinstein’s behavior. Toobin said, “You know, this was widely known, Harvey Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior with women…why were the Clintons and the Obamas so close to him during the campaigns, when they were important? I think this is a real blot on the records of both the Obama and the Clinton families, that they were so blind to this, willfully blind, for so long.” They were not bystanders. They were willful participants and benefactors.
They are close because they share the same beliefs, habits, morals and political ideals. Believing they are genius, they lack wisdom. In their deficit, they celebrate their darkness. Yet deep inside, they know they are wrong and begin exposing one another for their deeds. Proverbs 2:10-14 says, “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul: Discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you: To deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaks perverse things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil and delight in the perversity of the wicked.” Hollywood is a sordid state of affairs as are the politicians associated with it.
Supreme Court hands Trump travel ban victory
The Supreme Court Monday handed the Trump Administration a victory on its travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries (translated: terrorist-sponsoring) plus Argentina and North Korea. The cases against President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban were much publicized when the politically-charged, left-leaning 9th Circuit and 4th Circuit courts made a national spectacle out of the President’s ability to establish and enforce immigration policy. In short, the left’s assault on border security has been repelled by the Supreme Court. Notwithstanding, the news media, which is complicit in advocating open borders, refuses to give the decision the same news coverage as the assault.
Citing the expiration of a temporary order to restrain Trump from banning entry into the US of people from certain countries, the Supreme Court vacated the lower court’s judgment against Trump. The Supreme Court said in a one paragraph Summary Disposition, “…the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss as moot the challenge to Executive Order No. 13,780.” There is also a case pending in the Ninth Circuit, which will most likely meet a similar fate. While there are additional lawsuits against Trump’s travel ban, the Supreme Court has essentially ended the fight, recognizing the President’s authority to establish immigration policy.
Despite all the media uproar over Trump’s travel ban from certain countries that presented a high risk for terrorists, and all the money and time wasted by leftists that sought to undermine America’s border security, the law prevailed. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 specifically states in Section 212: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
The Supreme Court decision moved America back toward the legal principles of border security and treatment of immigrants. Recalling the harsh media reaction to Trump’s Executive Orders on banning travel from high-risk terrorist countries, one could have concluded that the President was breaking the law when he was really abiding in it. This is an example of the deception that can be caused by the media pounding its position into our minds day in and day out. Colossians 2:8 says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Seek the Word of God and you will stand on the foundation of truth.
Satan’s shell game
There is a lot of rage in this country. I hear it a lot in Christian circles. People are angry about a lot of things. Sometimes that anger turns to judgment against others. A whole lot of judgment going on. The NFL is getting a lot of judgment. The President is helping fuel that fire. But while he is attacking the NFL and its players, the DC swamp is not getting drained—no repeal of socialist healthcare; no tax reform; no illegal immigration reform. The list seems to grow. But a whole lot of people are angry, especially conservative Christians. We are goaded everyday. The godless left is on attack. I submit that this is a shell game by satan, using anger-generating events to deter us from our mission. We need to focus.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 says, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are outside? do not you judge them that are within? But God judges them that are outside.” In direct speak, it means that it’s not our business to judge those who do not know the gospel by our standards. That’s why we are exhorted, even commanded, to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey what the Lord has commanded us. We must find ways to make Christianity relevant. It has been tainted to be identified with political ideals, when in reality, the political ideals should be identified with Christianity, foundationally centered on God’s love and love for one another.
The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:17-19, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:13-14, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Jesus said in Matthew 24:23, “Then if any man shall say unto you Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.” Our national identity and, more importantly, our personal salvation is diluted tremendously if we, as Peter put it, “scarcely be saved.” If America’s preachers are so intent on preaching/teaching a self indulgent, extra Biblical and emotional version of the Christ, then what Christ are we following--the real Son of God, crucified and risen, for our sins, or some humanist version of Christ that fits a social or political extra-biblical gospel? It is here, not on the national policy front, that we as a people have lost our identity. Our identity is in Christ, and he has set before us a mission. Let’s not play the satan’s shell game.
The air of rebellion
Rebellion is in the air. If you concentrate, you can smell its foul stench. But it is everywhere. It threatens the status quo. It is a bender of your life. This rebellion pits everyone against everyone by issue, skin color, sport, politics, social stature, thought, gender, age, religion, even belief systems within religions. It is a divider of humankind. It cries out for change, demands conflict of the mind, provokes synthesis of thought, and forces new ways that are the antithesis of life’s standards for behavior and ideology. Every where you turn, everything you listen to, most of what you see all add up to the revolution in the air. It’s on the billboards, TV, radio, Internet, magazines, and more--Rebellion, societal rebellion.
The masked thugs that comprise Antifa are visible reminders of how people are trying to tear down American society, destroy the American ideal. They attack police officers. In the name of anti-fascism, they perpetrate fascism. A militant arm of Antifa is the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM). On its website RAM says it, “is a political movement dedicated to freeing people from bondage and building resistance in the United States. We situate our political movement in the context of the abolitionist struggle against slavery and continue in the tradition, from Nat Turner to the Black Liberation Movement…as revolutionary anarchists, the abolitionist struggle must be extended to the state and capitalism, the perpetrators of oppression....We will burn down the American plantation once and for all.”
In other words, these people are seeking to overthrow the American government, and establish a Marxist dictatorial state where both the state (or any rule of law) and capitalism (free market) are abolished. This would look like a futuristic Mad Max movie. This is an example of an extreme, but it is very real as these people seek to destroy the way of life here in this country. Look around, and you will see lesser examples, but they all seem connected to this one word—Rebellion. There is also rebellion taking place in the very dialogue within our society. There is great vitriol being espoused by those who find others disagreeing with their beliefs--Free speech so long as it agrees with their speech. Smell that rebellion in the air?
At the heart of rebellion is the rejection of the word of God and of godly authority. In 1 Samuel 15:23, Samuel showed Saul that his act of disobedience to the Lord was akin to rebellion, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.” Saul admitted that he had sinned because he transgressed the commandment of the Lord, feared the people, and obeyed their voice. A plumb line for rebellion is whether it is in alignment with the commandments of God. Antifa, RAM, and the like are godless organizations, promoting a godless society, polluting the air with the stench of rebellion. What seems like rebellion to a dark and dying world, would be overcoming evil with good, the fresh air of spring. Which air would you rather breathe?
Soft tyranny and today’s society
In today’s society, do you ever feel that you should not speak your mind because you will be labeled something you are not? Do you ever feel like you have an opinion and yet uneasy about expressing it? Do you think that as a Christian, it is better to not express your views on morality in public forums? Have you felt any kind of reservation about what you do and say could be listened to by the government, so you watch your words? Are there just certain issues that you don’t talk about much anymore because the response is so visceral and examples have been made of those who say something? Do you feel your free speech is OK so long as you keep it to yourself? It’s selective free speech. It’s soft tyranny.
Alexis de Tocqueville defines soft tyranny in his book Democracy in America, Volume II (1840): “It [the government] covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
If you are afraid to speak your mind because of the consequences of perhaps losing your job, your livelihood, or that it may invite some government investigation or ruination, you are experiencing soft tyranny. Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” A free people can only exist by adhering to the precepts of God. Bondage is bondage, whether it is sin or tyranny. We live in a society where a very vocal minority is bullying your Constitutional rights. Moreover, eternally these people face great peril. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness...”
We must speak boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. Even though many respond with hatred and accuse you based on the very intents of their own hearts, they will not know the truth unless someone tells them. We would not know sin had we not known the laws of God. Don’t be a victim of soft tyranny. Right is greater than might. As Ephesians 6:12-13 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Soft tyranny is evil. Stand against it.
The Flag, the “why” and the “what”
The Flag of the United States of America is flying at half-mast today as it has been since the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas. It signifies a nation in mourning over the senseless and brutal deaths of the innocent. We are a nation in mourning. Yet there are people who neither will allow mourning, nor respect it. Promoting their own self-indulgent causes must continue no matter the cause of decency. They have only their own honor, an example of what Judges 17:6 describes as “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” When I look at that flag at half-mast, and the lack of respect certain people have for it and the country, it reminds me of the sacrifices true patriots have made for freedom.
I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations lately about the flag. Many, in fact, most, say that people should be forced to stand for the playing of the National Anthem and the presentation of the flag. To me, true freedom is not about forcing someone to recognize it. It is about the individual embracing it in their hearts—where the American ideal resides. They should have enough good sense to stand even if it is just out of respect for those who gave their blood, sweat and tears that others might have the freedom to protest societal wrongs. Forcing someone to stand during the National Anthem and presentation of the flag may have better optics, but is it truly representative of liberty? Let me give another thought.
Some years ago, my wife and I along with some very brave parents started a Christian home school co-op. We taught all the grades and had about 15 students ranging from first grade to high school. Each morning, we started the school with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. When I would ask who would like to lead the Pledge, it was like pulling teeth. They didn't have any problem praying, but holding that flag and leading the Pledge was a different story. I talked it over with others who said just to mandate it and force them to do it. But that didn’t set well with me. So I started telling true stories about the flag, the heroic efforts of those who carried it into battle, and what it meant to people. The attitudes changed and soon all the students, younger and older, were asking if they could hold the flag and lead the Pledge.
My family has been in this land since the Mayflower. I know how hard it was for those who came before me to settle in a wilderness and carve out a farm, a community, a state, a country. I respect that and honor them for it. We never owned slaves. We were part of the abolitionist movement. We treated people fairly and tried to do what was right. Our heritage speaks to it, like so many Americans. I will stand for the flag and the National Anthem because I know what’s behind it. It’s important for our children to understand the “why” and the “what” that they may respect and cherish freedom AND know when it is appropriate to defend it, and when it is appropriate and responsible to stand against tyranny.
In the days after the horrendous massacre of 59 people and wounding/injuring of over 500, the visceral rhetoric continues. Almost immediately, even before condolences and prayers were offered for the families and friends of the victims in Las Vegas, the drone of leftists calling for gun control could be heard loud and clear across the airwaves. “Disarm the public and there will be no more killing,” they cry. We can look at Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, DC., Detroit, Los Angeles and numerous other places that have the most restrictive gun laws in the free world and they are among the highest in gun-related fatalities. Guns don’t kill people, people using them do. But there is even a bigger problem. Incitement.
Celebrities and politicians of the left have pounded the airwaves and social media with extreme and aggressive comments calling for gun control. They are sarcastic, mean-spirited and demeaning to anyone who disagrees with their beliefs. This is a continuation of the same kind of rhetoric they have spewed forth since the election of Donald Trump as President. Anyone who disagrees with them is some sort of label from racist to bigot to misogynist to idiot. This rhetoric is pounded into people 24 hours a day, seven days a week on talk shows, news programs, social media, websites, emails and most any other form of communication. It has people so distraught, angry and edgy that it is the only thing many can talk about.
Whether it is Congressional shooter James Hodgkinson or mass killer Stephen Paddock or the next person who snaps, we as a nation have to be asking ourselves, “How much visceral can a person take?” How much negativity aimed at one group of people—Christian, conservative Americans—can a person take before they snap? How many words from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Kathi Griffin, the ex-“president” Keith Ellison, Ashley Judd, Madonna, CNN, MSNBC, and others fill the container of hatred so much that it boils over in violence? What is the last full measure? Hodgkinson and Paddock knew, because they reached it. This incitement must end. These people must tone it down. This type of free speech has become akin to yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre.
George Washington, in his 1796 Farewell Speech, warned against divisions when he said, “The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles.” We should act as such. Jesus said in Mark 3:25, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” There are ways to disagree without being disagreeable. As Christians, we know how Christ taught civility and solving our differences without hate and vulgarity. For the sake of our way of life and our eternal hope, let us first be an example of Christ in our discussions, and also call on everyone to tone down the rhetoric in this atmosphere of hate.
The “why” and “how” of Las Vegas
I read a heart-wrenching story about a Martinsburg, WV woman who was killed during the Las Vegas massacre. She and her husband where shown kissing at the concert beforehand. They had saved up to attend. She died in his arms. There are families and friends of 59 others who were murdered and over 500 wounded or injured who will spend a lifetime trying to figure out the “why” such a thing happened. It is a horror, a senseless horror. Part of the “why” has to be that we live in an evil world and people who give in to evil are controlled by it. This guy, Stephen Paddock, obviously was influenced by satan to do such a brutal and horrendous act.
Paddock’s brother was quoted as saying that Stephen was not affiliated with any politics or religion. The brother could not even venture a guess why Stephen would plan and execute such an act. There are a lot of theories, even conspiracy theories, populating the internet about Stephen Paddock’s affiliations and a great deal of speculation as to why he would seek to kill so many innocent people. But there is one picture that is posted on pamelageller.com that speaks volumes to me if it is not photo-shopped. Pamela Geller traditionally has been a whistle-blower on Islam and is considered by many an excellent source of both facts and commentary, so I don’t have reason to believe that the picture is a fake.
The picture shows Stephen Paddock and his girlfriend Marilou Danley protesting at an anti-Trump rally in Reno. He is in a pink NASA shirt wearing the pink vagina hat that became the trademark of radical anti-Trump protesters during the inauguration. Geller was able to get a screenshot of Paddock from a video that was posted on youtube. Youtube, however, has removed the video, saying it violated their policy on spam, deceptive practices and scams. I was able to find the footage on several other websites, including a youtube posting that wasn’t removed. Notwithstanding, the photos and video appear legitimate after scouring several independent sources. Here is the point I am trying to make:
CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny pointed out after President Trump made his remarks of condolence that most of the victims were country music fans and were likely Trump supporters. CBS Executive VP and Counsel Hayley Geftman-Gold said, “I’m not even sympathetic bc country music fans are often Republican gun toters.” She was fired for her remarks. The hate rhetoric among the anti-Trump left has been so visceral and nonstop for so long that it is impacting the psyche of weak-minded people who live and die by it, and they are willing to act upon it. It is bad for the country and bad for individuals living here.
Remember in June the assassination attempt of Congressional Republicans by Illinois leftist James Hodgkinson, who wounded four and left Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) in critical condition? Hate-filled inflammatory rhetoric by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, the ex-“president,” Keith Ellison, Ashley Judd, Madonna, and so on, has people so stirred up that it was only a matter of time when a nut-case like Hodgkinson took matters into his own hands. I wrote at the time that Hodgkinson was not alone. Now Paddock. Who next? Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” The “why” is satan. The “how” are those who act out his ways.
Las Vegas Terror
An outdoor country western concert in Las Vegas turned deadly as a shooter rained down bullets on the crowd, leaving at least 50 dead and another 200 wounded or injured. Police found the suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, cornered him and shot him dead. While little is known about Paddock, 64, at this time, it is not expected that he is part of any militant organization and he is considered a “lone wolf” shooter. He is a resident of Nevada. Authorities are seeking insight into what motivated Paddock to his hateful and deadly act. Prayers go out to those in Vegas.
Surely all the leftists will be demanding guns be taken away from the citizenry—which is their pat response to any violence involving a gun. Maybe they should look at the cities with the highest gun murder rates, and who is running those cities, and that these cities also have the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The answer isn’t banning guns. The answer goes far deeper than that. The atmosphere of the country has become violent. Television, movies, video games seem to be obsessed with death and violence. The political climate is also aggressively visceral. The news, as well as its reporters and commentators, is clothed in violence, strife, social envy, racism, bigotry, name calling, and incivility.
And so we have this picture of America and no one knows the number of people who cannot handle the pressure. They are empty, angry people, and no one knows who they are until they snap. They snap in many ways--Could be radical Islam where they are weaponized by hate and false religion; could be militant hate organizations brainwashing people to think and do awful things; could be just someone who is unstable and thinks and acts on the unthinkable. This is where we are today as a nation where we should be circumspect about where we go, how we go and what we do in public. Vegas is a reminder of the dark and dying world and the threat it is to living life in freedom and safety.
What is our answer to these types of events that are increasingly occurring? First, prayer. Then action. Jesus told us in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As Christians, we cannot be looking inward and still be doing what the Lord expects of us. God’s love overcomes hate, fear, trepidation. We can make a difference in this world by reaching out to others. If it results in changing just one person’s life, it could save hundreds in many different ways—physically or spiritually. Share your salt and light with someone today.
The ancient paths
Given the already nasty nature of politics and the media and the mind-boggling issues facing the United States, the outcome of upcoming elections will have a pivotal impact on the future of our nation and our families. The general mindset of the elected official is globalist. There are a few, such as Alabama Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore, who will stand up for what is right, and when they do, the news media and their political opponents severely demonize them. It is arguable that we have become a nation where morality and financial responsibility have been replaced by moral relativism and politically correct fiscal models. We indeed face immense challenges as a people.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” He later says in verse 39. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.” Politicians and the leftist media are trying to consolidate their power by pitting class against class, conservative against liberal, have not’s against haves, women against men, children against parents. They are trying to divide rather than unite. If you do not understand, just look at any news coverage and listen to the politicians of both parties. Little is being said about how to unite together to fix problems. But there’s a lot of finger pointing.
Many think this nation is on the verge of a civil war. Trouble is, few really care, but everybody has an opinion. The ones who do care are marginalized as hate mongers or extremists or both. This kind of divisive speech only further drives wedges into disagreement. But the problem is far deeper than the ranting of political opponents. Informed citizens should be able to discern between truth and lie. The real problem is what Jesus said, “he that is not with me is against me.” The nation as a whole is not with Jesus. The nation tolerates sodomy, abortion, covetousness, idolatry, lies, and false teachings as “judging not lest we be judged,” using the Bible to justify tolerating abomination.
We need to get back to finding what God wants for us. The first part of Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask about the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls...” This is good advice. If we as a people could find it in ourselves to find the good way on the ancient path, we would be on the way to healing ourselves, our families, our communities, and our nation. Unfortunately, like in Jeremiah’s time, our nation is so divided, the resolve of the people is as in the second part of Jeremiah 6:16, “But they said, We will not walk in it.” Meanwhile, enemies of the state gather like vultures, and America remains divided and separated from Jesus.
The end of the world predictions
There have been a lot of predictions lately about the end of the world or the Rapture coming this weekend or in the next few weeks. Now what I’m about to say will upset some, but if it upsets you, please read your Bibles in context rather than reading what someone wrote about these topics or watching what they said about them. Go directly to the source and study it for yourself. You can do that. These predictions call into question whether Jesus Christ is true, whether the Bible is true, or if it is all a lie. Ever think about that? Many of those who are making predictions about the signs in heavens based on numerology or selecting a single verse out of the Bible are ignoring entire aspects of Christ and the prophets.
When these events that they predict don’t happen, it is because the predictors are wrong, not because God or Jesus delayed or tarried. What did Jesus say in the Olivet Discourse about the end times? First, he said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Then he went on to list chronologically what would happen in the end of days: Beginning of sorrows, betrayal, persecution, deception by false prophets, gospel preached to all the nations, the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel, great tribulation, more deception, sun and moon darkened after the tribulation of those days, Son of man comes in the clouds of heaven, the gathering of his elect, two in the field with one taken, we all should be ready.
The Apostle Paul paints a similar picture in 2 Thessalonians 2, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition...so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This is very clear: 1) don’t be deceived, 2) falling away, 3) antichrist (beast) revealed, 4) sits in the temple as God. Daniel 9, of which Christ speaks, is similar: 1) Antichrist appears, 2) covenant confirmed, 3) temple sacrifice ceases, 4) overspreading of abominations, 5) temple made desolate by antichrist.
The Apostle John gives a very detailed account of the same events in Revelation. Other prophets are also consistent—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel and more. I am not debating what you believe. I am pointing out what the Bible says in context. In terms of these predictors of the end of the world, and their often complex “biblical” narratives and teachings, wouldn’t make sense for you, yourself, to check them out and what they say according to the Holy Scriptures? You don’t need some guy with the gift of gab to tell you what he thinks the Bible means. He won’t stand in your place before the Lord. Only you. Don’t get mad at me, just read the Bible for yourself and ask the Lord to give you understanding.
America the divided
The ire of the American people is coming to a crescendo. The division in this country is perhaps worse than it was in the 1960s. Friends won’t talk to friends. Threats are made. Misunderstandings are heightened. It’s becoming everyday business to be a part of a visceral environment. The frustrations of everyone seem to be bubbling to the top. This is very serious. We are Americans. Most of us are Christian Americans. Yes, we have various gradients of what all that means, but the bottom line is that we are losing our ability to be civil to one another. We can blame it on a lot of things, excuse our feelings, but in reality, it is on each of us individually. We can control who we are, what we say, how we feel.
I have to ask the question: What circumstances would ever arise where a president of the United States can feel comfortable publically calling a segment of the American citizenry “Son of a b----es”? Think about that. We have an environment in this country where it appears OK to do that—and a lot of people support him in doing so. Quite frankly, and I may become very unpopular for this opinion, I just don’t think elected officials of any political stripe should refer to Americans as SOBs. But this is all part of the lack of civility in our nation at this point in time. It’s easy to say, “Well, these guys shouldn't be doing this…Or, those guys shouldn't be doing that,” but should we be so uncivil to one another?
Many who are reading this column would be the first to scowl if I called a group of people, SOBs. There would be a lot of “unsubscribes” in the wake of it. To the point, President Donald Trump should begin acting “presidential” instead of like a bully in a school yard. Yes, he has the majority on his side about issues like taking a knee during the National Anthem, but does he have to resort to such a base level? What does this say to our country, to the rest of the world? I supported this man for President despite his being rough around the edges, but after nine months on the job, he should become at least a little more polished in how he behaves, AND in what he says and how he says it. We need statesman-like leadership not more division.
For Trump’s presidency to be successful, he will have to unify a deeply divided, and quite frankly, angry, nation. Empathy, Statesmanship, and a sense of positive direction would go a long way in making America great again. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:18 says, “A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger quiets strife.” Our president would be well to heed these nuggets of wisdom because as in Matthew 12:25, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Let us pray that we can begin to stand in unity as a nation.
The National Anthem
There is a tremendous amount of controversy, derision and division surrounding protests taking place during the National Anthem. From time to time, there have been protests over the years during the National Anthem. None of them have been popular by the majority. Respect is always the overriding issue—the Veterans Administration estimates that some 650,000 of 42 million who served our country have died in battle since the Revolutionary War. They gave their lives that we as citizens can enjoy the benefits of freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The National Anthem represents our country, the bravery of the men and women who have fought for it, and God’s miraculous hand on America.
When people protest during the National Anthem, their message appears to be that something is drastically wrong with our country. They are using the National Anthem to draw attention to what they believe is wrong. To many, there can be nothing so wrong with our country that a time of solemn reverence for those who bravely defended our nation and the many blessings of God upon this country should be interrupted. Many believe there can be no logical connection between what is being protested and honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. The question often is asked, ‘Under what dire circumstances is it appropriate to interrupt such a solemn moment to protest?”
Others say that it doesn’t matter because of freedom of speech—that those who sacrificed their lives for our country did so to preserve the very essence of the First Amendment. Certainly, the avenue of protest should always be open. That’s one of the ways that we draw attention to wrongs committed in a free society. It’s what leads to the preservation of equal rights under the law. The current protests during the National Anthem have gone beyond protesting a “wrong” in our society by becoming a politically charged, party line battle, and the issue that started it is seemingly lost in the rhetoric. The effect has been to divide, arouse anger, name calling, and, as often is the case, alternative agendas.
Here are some observations: Logic, facts, and the venue need to make sense when deciding where, what and how to protest. For love of God and country, and out of respect for those who sacrificed that I may enjoy the benefits of our freedom, I want these protests to end. Also the very true story should be told as to how the protesters are working with law enforcement in their communities to actually solve the problems they are protesting. Leaders in times like these should be statesmen and try to solve issues rather than inflame them. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.” The argument over the National Anthem’s use as a protest venue will never end. Agree or disagree, we need to come together and heal as one nation under God.
The end of the world didn't come
In the past several weeks, predictions of the end of the world have been coming into my inbox. Several Christians were predicting the Rapture and others were talking about a planet colliding with the earth, ending it all. The specific date for some was Saturday, September 23. Since we are all still here, some are moving that date to September 29. Certainly, these predictions and many like them are a lot like what Jesus said in Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many.” The “many” are deceived because they are relying on man’s interpretation of isolated scriptures rather than making the effort to read and study the Bible in its context.
Fact is, if people read their scriptures in context, they would have a good idea of what to expect regarding the prophetic future. Unfortunately, there are many, many false teachers who take verses out of context to support their theories. Also unfortunate is that many are well-respected for these falsehoods. These same false teachers come up with excuse after excuse about why what they predicted didn’t happen. Many times they use a convoluted and completely out of context “Bible” study to explain why they missed the mark, and to predict the next event, which doesn't happen either. People will believe them and all will go on until the next time. And the cycle will start all over again.
It is always best to go to your Bible and read the context about these contemporary predictions. By context, I mean ALL the verses related to the event—not single verses that can be twisted to fit the imagination, but the chapters before them and after them, and what the Biblical prophets said in them. For example, In Matthew 24, Jesus, responding to his disciples’ direct question about his return and the end of the age, gives the most complete step-by-step chronology of the events that will occur in the end of times. His explanation is supported in Daniel, Revelation, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Ezekiel and others. Putting specific dates on the Rapture or on the end of the world makes a liar—of either the Holy Scriptures or those making the false predictions. The Holy Scriptures are not lies.
Ephesians 4:14 exhorts, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” We don't want to be that person who is just seeking the latest craze in Christianity. We want to be grounded in the Word of God and have understanding that we may edify others and provide truth in love. Let’s not fall for the extra-Biblical seducers. Let us seek the Lord with all of our heart having understanding of his Word and Holy Spirit discernment that we might not be led astray, and that we may provide proof of our testimony to others.
End of world broadcast in California
The Orange County Register in Southern California reports that during a routine emergency alert broadcast last night, a voice came on predicting the end of the world. The paper quoted an alarmed viewer saying the voice eerily said, “Realize this, extremely violent times will come.” Another viewer said, “I wasn’t alarmed in the sense of thinking something was wrong, ‘cause I assumed it was some sort of hack.” There you have it—the two types of people that will be impacted most by the true Biblical events of the return of the Messiah in the end of days and the Day of the Lord—those who are fearful and clueless and those who are just clueless thinking it's a prank. There is a third group—the informed.
There are a lot of people over the years who have claimed that the end of the world is upon us. Remember the Maya Apocalypse prediction in 2012? Religious nut jobs like Harold Camping who used numerology and his twisted interpretations of the scriptures predicted the world would end 12 times before he died. Now another “numerologist” named David Meade is predicting the world will end on Saturday. This has the entire internet abuzz and even many news outlets. They are mostly ridiculing Meade, albeit warily. Fact is this: No Christian can or will truthfully and accurately predict the date and time of sudden destruction of the world. This is against Christ, the prophets and Holy Scripture.
The disciples of Christ asked him specifically in Matthew 24:3, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?” Verse 24:4, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Jesus goes on in Matthew 24 to lay out the step by step chronology of what will happen leading up to and upon the Day of the Lord—or what the non-believing people say is the end of the world, the apocalypse. Point is, there is a lot that needs to happen according to Jesus and the prophets. And we are not there yet. In fact, Jesus told his disciples again in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the father has put in his own power.”
There are signs that we can use to discern. Jesus lays them out in Matthew 24. The prophetically unfulfilled Jewish holy days of Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles also lend some insight into God’s plan for judging the earth, redeeming his people, and dwelling with us as he establishes the new heavens and new earth. Any Christian predicting sudden destruction of earth without acknowledging the prophetic events that must take place is a deceiver. This person may not understand the scriptures in context or may just be trying to make a name. Whatever the motivation, the end result is deception—about which Christ warns. If you want to dialogue with folks on this, Matthew 24 is a good place to start.
Good news for a change
Sometimes it’s just difficult to write about news from a Biblical and prophetic perspective. There is so much going on that is bad. We are bombarded with it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s relentless. Some of it is legitimate. The hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters seem to be stronger and more frequent than in the past. We need to pray for those who are impacted by these events. Other news is probably hardly necessary—the kind of news that is just critical opinion, casting people and their reputations in a dark light, making up stories based on an agenda, twisting events to make something worse than it is—just to get more eyes on the story than the next guy. But there is some good news.
The good news is what we need to focus on in our daily lives. It is the news that breathes new life into us. It refreshes us and gives us hope to go forward. This type of good news can be a change agent. It can be inspiring. It’s the type of thing that we need to keep focused that this life is worth living, that others around us have the same struggles, concerns, challenges that we do, but because of good news we can not only handle the day to day battles, but also help others to overcome them, too. It’s only good news that keeps our minds healthy, our spirits strong, and a smile on our face as we contemplate the magnificent possibilities before us. This good news changes a bad day into a good one.
Many people start their day reading or listening to the news. Many people finish their day reading or listening to the news. What a way to start and end the day with negativity. The news that is reported on local and national stations is just down-right depressing. It hits you from all sides. There are many people who just turn it off and refuse to let it in because it bothers them so much. That’s hard to do because as good citizens, we need to be informed. So it’s not good to just shut everything out. By now, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I find this good news? What website, radio station, TV channel is it on? Is it true? There is so much bad news being reported, where can I find the good news?”
In fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, Jesus opened the book in the synagogue in Nazareth and said, ”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news (gospel) to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” When we look at ourselves or others, do we see broken-heartedness, bondage, blindness, and spiritually or physically bruised? Remember Isaiah 52:7 proclaiming how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings the good news of salvation. Open up your Bible each morning. Finish your day with your Bible. It is life changing. Truly, it’s good news for a change.
What you won’t hear on Trump’s UN speech
The news media is spending its time blasting President Donald Trump over his speech to the United Nations. The media is once again trying to influence the masses with a very narrow and biased narrative against Trump. It seems these days that it doesn’t matter what he does, there are those who will twist and fit his words into their own agendas. The talking heads on CNN, MSNBC and other mouthpieces for the loyal, if not misguided, opposition, said Trump’s speech lacked “coherence” and was “foolish.” These are the talking points of the leftists. But what did Trump really say? Can anyone know from watching the mainstream news? Of course, the answer is no. So if you want to know, here are some excerpts.
On America’s sovereignty: “As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first. All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But making a better life for our people also requires us to work together in close harmony and unity to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people. The United States will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of, or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else.”
On Islamic terrorism: “In Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamist extremism that inspires them. We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world. We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.”
On communism: “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their wellbeing, including their prosperity.”
On America being a force for good: “The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all. Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism.” There are many who wish to tear down and remake our nation and each individual living in it, into a vessel for totalitarianism. This comes in many forms—socialism, communism, anarchy, Islam, fascism. Let us remember, even in Trump’s last words calling on God to bless America, Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Totalitarian entities are the absence of Christ. Without Christ, there is no freedom.
New study shows myth of global warming
Former Senator and failed presidential candidate Al Gore has written books about the world coming to an end because of climate change. Democratic Party politicians have schemed ways to tax us all to change the weather. Celebrities and the immediate past “president” have ridiculed “deniers” of global warming. The science community has censored fellow scientists who have challenged the concept. Fact is, the scientists at England’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), the official source of climate change data, fabricated the data. Now British scientists have released a new study saying that because the modeling was wrong, global warming isn’t the threat it once was thought.
Largely ignored by Gore, politicians, celebrities and the news media, UK Telegraph Environmentalist reporter James Delingpole in 2008 blew the whistle on scientists after he obtained 1,079 emails and 72 documents from the CRU. He wrote in 2009 that scientists were practicing “Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organized resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.” Also in 2008, Nobel Prize winner for physics Ivar Giaever said, “I am a skeptic. . . Global warming has become a new religion.”
Now the UK Telegraph reports “Climate change poses less of an immediate threat to the planet than previously thought because scientists got their modeling wrong, a new study has found. New research by British scientists reveals the world is being polluted and warming up less quickly than 10 year old forecasts predicted, giving countries more time to get a grip on their carbon output.” The Telegraph says experts are now predicting that there is a 66% chance of keeping global temperatures within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels because temperatures are far cooler than thought in comparison to data from the mid-1800s. They also say the possible US pull-out of the UN climate accord will not make much difference. So, for now, the polar ice caps will not be melting and causing earth-destroying floods as once predicted.
Genesis 1:28 defines man’s role in the environment, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion . . . over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” And after the great flood of Noah’s time, God promised in Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Only God the Creator has power to destroy earth. Man is its steward. We should not be deceived by men who are using fear of the earth’s destruction to create a new religion, a new social order.
Knowing the word before speaking it
There are a lot of opinions out there about what the Bible says and what Christians should be doing or should not be doing. There are a lot more opinions out there about the end times, when there is a rapture, who the real Israel is, whether the United States or other countries have entered God's judgment and a lot more. Opinions on the Holy word of God are so diverse that it is no wonder that Christians can't agree on much. In fact, many are very opinionated on their opinions and are quick to judge others about what they believe. Just remember before getting all high and mighty on what you think you believe that Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
People have told me that they don't believe we should be witnessing to others about the gospel because we are not worthy to doing so. Others have said there is no use in making disciples because things are just getting worse. Others have said call into question someone’s salvation based on whether they believe in a certain doctrine. Before making such emphatic statements, folks should know what is true--not just what some preacher or teacher or prophet has told them is true. Find out for yourself. Know the word in its context. Acts 17:11 describes the Bereans, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
I am reminded of the young prophet in 1 Kings 13 who was told by the Lord to not to eat or drink water nor return the same way he came. But an older prophet told the younger prophet that an angel spoke to him by the word of the Lord that the
young prophet was to come to the old prophet's house and eat and drink with him. So he did. But then a word of the Lord came to the older prophet that because the younger prophet disobeyed what the Lord told him, that he would die. When the young prophet left, verse 24 tells us "a lion met him by the way and slew him." If one is going to claim they know the word of God and what the Lord is telling them, they better know for sure and not allow another to sway them.
The Lord says in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." Make sure that you know the word for yourself, study it, prove what others are saying. Don't accept every doctrine based on some teacher's word. Find out for yourself and then be doers of it.
The trend against Christ and liberty
Many point to the social issues in the United States and conclude that Americans are turning away from Jesus Christ. It is an obvious statement. Polls indicate that America is at the very least a type and shadow of 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” According to Pew Research, “While nationwide surveys in the 1970s and ’80s found that fewer than one-in-ten US adults said they had no religious affiliation, fully 23% now describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular.” There is no doubt, Christianity is losing ground. The problem, however, is even deeper and more complex.
Last week, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shared the results of its poll of over 100,000 Americans. It indicated that the religions of youth in America are becoming more non-Christian: “At least one-third of Muslims (42%), Hindus (36%), and Buddhists (35%) are under the age of 30. Roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans are also under 30.” According to an August Annenberg Public Policy Center poll, 37% of Americans could not name any rights guaranteed by the First Amendment; 85% did not know the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion; 86% didn’t know it guaranteed freedom of the press; and 52% didn’t know that freedom of speech was guaranteed.
On January 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr. of Florida read a list of 45 Communist goals into the Congressional Record. Number 17 read: “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism and current Communist propaganda…Put the party line in textbooks.” Numbers 27-29 were: “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch." Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.”
The infiltration of communist doctrine against our children and us has had a long-term impact on our nation. This, combined with the extra-biblical, self-indulgent and emotional teachings of much of the “Church” in America, and we have a perfect storm. Many people are unaware of the truth of Christ, and as a whole they are ignorant of the fundamental rights that protect the truth of Christ and their very liberty. Moreover, the fastest growing demographic of these aimless souls are among our youth, which in half a generation is our nation. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” In truth, without the Spirit of the Lord, our nation’s freedom will fall away. Let us be more diligent and intentional in letting our light shine before men.
Hillary meltdown an omen of the future?
A friend of mine and I were talking last night about future Democratic Party candidates for President. He was telling me about a Zogby Analytics poll of likely Democratic Party voters who ranked the candidates for which they would most likely vote in 2020. There were three that rose to the top: Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT), Former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat Progressive-MA). Our main question to one another that we really couldn’t answers was: How do these people get where they are? When Joe Biden emerges as the most sane among them, there is a tremendous problem within the Democratic Party. But Hillary Clinton is a tremendous indicator.
Unlike any losing presidential candidate in history, Clinton has come out of her post-campaign depression swinging. She is blaming Sanders, the ex-“president,” women, men, government agency leaders, Russia, racists, misogyny, bigotry, and any other terms she can for losing the election. It is kind of a meltdown in public. Clinton was on CNN the other night talking about relieving her stress from losing the election by using a yoga technique of alternating breathing from her nostrils. Worse yet, CNN’s Anderson Cooper actually tolerated and encouraged this nonsense. Some Democrat office holders and insiders, according to The Hill, just wish she would shut up and go away.
Clinton is unable to admit that she, herself, was a flawed candidate and ran a flawed campaign. Even according to her own campaign operatives, who remain in the shadows and do not want to be named by the press, Clinton wants to blame everyone except herself for her loss. The Clinton meltdown has sucked the air out of attempts by other Democratic Party leaders to unite their base, integrate the socialists/progressives into the party mainstream, and move on to the issues upon which they want to focus. Clinton appears bitter, mean-spirited, and unable to accept responsibility for a loss when she had the news media, the pollsters, and leftist organizations tilting the scales in her favor.
Imagine if she would have been president. Imagine if things didn't go her way or she was criticized even a fraction of what the current President has been. Would her delusional state cause her to react in such a way that would harm us all, never accepting responsibility for her own actions? These are legitimate questions not only for Clinton, but also for the three frontrunners who would assume the role of the next Democratic Party presidential nominee. All three—Sanders, Warren and Biden—have demonstrated similar characteristics as Clinton. As Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that do good.” And therein is the problem with all of these—While they say they know God, their actions prove otherwise. Remember them for the future.
Hurricane victims benefit
Last night there was a star-studded telethon to raise money for victims of the Harvey and Irma hurricanes. It was on all the major networks. I didn’t watch it because I knew that it would be a backdoor leftist lecture about global warming and the ills of the current White House. Guess what? I was right—according to press reports. It is a good thing that these “celebrities” want to use their platform to assist those in need. It’s too bad that America has to endure their uninformed lectures on politics in the process. Of course, I’m sure all the celebrities felt really good about themselves afterwards and about bashing people who don’t accept the fallacy of global warming. Isn’t this about helping people? No confusion here.
According to The Daily Caller, Stevie Wonder began the Hand in Hand telethon by saying, “Anyone who believes that there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent”--Interesting, coming from a blind man. There most certainly is a blindness going on with these people. They are blind to the need for America to come together as a people, a diverse people nonetheless. Even in a time when people’s lives have been devastated by a natural disaster, these celebrities cannot find it in their hearts to encourage people to unite, galvanize, and overcome. Instead, America is subjected to a political sermon based on emotions rather than facts. It was a big show using people’s misfortunes to advance an agenda. It is not, however, for us to judge.
As Americans, we do need to reach out to one another in times of need. As Christian Americans, even more so. Prayer, money, empathy, a helping hand, boots on the ground are all important witnesses to those who lost everything they had, who may never financially recover. I recall a time when our community church made sure that a family across from the church had food, clothing, and a place to stay after their house nearly burned to the ground. These people were not even “members” of the church, but they were members of our community. Likewise, they possessed a rugged individualism to rebuild and reestablish their lives as soon as possible so that there was no appearance of taking advantage. That’s how things should work.
We didn't lecture them about whether they should attend church. We didn’t tell them how to vote. We showed love, empathy and respect. We assisted them in a time of need. There were no conditions. It was acting out what Christ told us to do when he said in Mark 12:30-31, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” And as is written in 1 John 3:17, “But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his heart of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?” In this witness, the Holy Spirit can work the miracle of salvation. No show or judgmental comments needed.
Prophecy and the 16 year war
It’s been 16 years since the terrorist attack by Islam on New York and Washington, D.C. that left nearly 3,000 dead, caused another 1,000-plus rescue and recovery workers to die of diseases linked to the attacks, and, according to Newsweek, continues to affect another 400,000 people with diseases associated with the attacks. America has suffered a great toll to Islam. In response, the United States has prosecuted a 16 year war against a moving target of names such as Taliban, al Qaeda, Islamic State, and a host of other Islamic terrorist organizations that seek to attack American citizens, torture and kill Christians and Jews, and establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate similar to the Ottoman Empire.
In addition to the toll on American citizens of this war, which included domestic Islamic terrorist attacks of an approximate average of one per month during the previous “president’s” term in office, thousands of American men and women have been killed and maimed over the 16 years. The Pentagon reports 6,938 deaths of US military and Department of Defense civilians since 9/11. There have been 52,615 wounded in action during the period. This is an average of 434 killed and 3,288 wounded per year. There are no available estimates from the government about how many terrorists have died, but it’s likely over a million. US National debt over the 16 years went from $14.7 trillion to over $20 trillion today.
Islam values death over life. It has become the norm that we “invest” 500 lives and thousands of limbs a year to keep these terrorists away from us. Yet until recently US policy has been to allow Islamic colonization in America to go essentially unabated. The previous “president” used US military might to assist terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda to overthrow stable Middle East governments during Arab Spring, causing even more Islamic migration to Europe and the US. The hallmark of this young century, the new millennium, has been the advancement of the most anti-Christian, anti-Jew death cult known to modern mankind—the Islamic caliphate, whether in name or in deed.
There is no end in sight for this 16-year war. The parallels to Israel are amazing. Israel has been fighting the same war against the same Islamic predators since its re-establishment in 1948. Islam is part of the march of prophecy. In the end of days, all the nations that are specifically named in the Bible as coming against Israel are Islamic. In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked what is the sign of his return and of the end of the world? He first replied, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Despite all the men saying it, Islam is no religion of peace. We have 16 years of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives and limbs that bear such witness. Israel, too, is witness to this deception of peace when there is no peace.
Of hurricanes and prophetic events
The news media is quoting several liberals saying that the devastation experienced by the recent hurricanes is “nature’s” judgment on Florida and Texas for electing Donald Trump president. Other leftists were wishing Trump’s home in Florida would be destroyed by hurricane Irma. Still other liberals were saying that it’s now time to revisit global warming, as if taxing people to change the weather makes any sense at all—especially since the global warming data has been cooked by liberal scientists. And there are many Christians saying the hurricanes are the judgment of God for America turning away from Him. Truly, there are very interesting scientific and prophetic explanations of these hurricanes.
Liberals and conservatives are quick to politicize all of this. Others are fast to pin the devastation on God. There is a large spectrum between political and religious opinion. Scientifically, we are in hurricane season. Many shipwrecks along the East coast of America and in the Caribbean—thousands of them mover the centuries--were caused by harsh storms before we even started recording hurricane as events. Also, recent heavy solar flare and geomagnetic storm has caused weather events to be harsher and more frequent. No politics in that, just science. But then there is the prophetic. I’m not talking about judgment, but rather observations of the ancient Jewish sages.
The Jewish sages observed the signs in the heavens and wrote in Sukkah 29 of the Talmud that when the sun is eclipsed, it is a “bad omen for the nations,” meaning the gentiles primarily because they calculate their calendar based on the sun. The Talmud observes: “When the sun is eclipsed in the east, it is a bad omen for the residents of the lands of the east. When it is eclipsed in the west, it is a bad omen for the residents of the lands of the west.” It says that calamity follows. It also says eclipses can occur from disrespect of the death of a leader, rape, homosexuality or brothers’ blood being spilled. While much of this appears to be superstition to us, it is also based on observations of the signs of the skies handed down for generations.
Science and prophecy is a unique combination. Since the solar eclipse on August 21, America has experienced calamity. Scientifically, this can be explained. The prophetic, however, should not be discounted as the Lord created all things and set them in motion, instructing us on how to discern the times. So what is real? One thing that is real is people’s hearts. Those who wish bad things on others who disagree with their politics or religious interpretations, have their reward. Jesus said in Matthew 5:45 that God “makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” In this, Jesus said that we should show that we are children of our Father in heaven. We are not appointed to wrath, but we will see difficulties just living out our lives. Let’s not focus on the blame, but rather on the opportunity to do what’s right.
End time shaking on earth and in the heavens
An earthquake of 8.1 magnitude hit the southern coast of Mexico Thursday killing at least six people. The quake, causing a small tsunami and damage in Mexico City, was felt as far north as Austin, Texas. The Caribbean suffered 10 deaths as hurricane Irma swept through the area, making the island of Barbuda “virtually uninhabitable,” according to the prime minister there. Irma is thought to be one of the most powerful storms in history--this, on the heels of hurricane Harvey that left Houston in shambles. In addition, there are cosmic disturbances. The Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a geomagnetic storm warning through today. Are these events related to, or signs of, the end times?
The increase in such destructive disasters and cosmic activity, such as the recent solar flares and solar eclipse, has many wondering if these are not signs of the approaching end times. In what is called the Olivet Discourse, Jesus, in the most complete and understandable chronology of end time prophecy, responds to his disciples’ questions specifically about the sign of his coming, and the end of the world. Jesus answers first in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” In verses 7-8 he says, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
There are many prophetic verses in the Bible that speak directly to the activity in the sky. 2 Peter 3:10 says, “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise…” Jesus says in Matthew 25:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” Speaking of the sixth seal, followed by an earthquake, the sun becoming black and the moon as blood, Revelation 6:14 says, “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
Ezekiel 38:19 tells of a great earthquake in Israel that levels the mountains. Verse 22 speaks of how the Lord will handle Gog (thought by many to be the antichrist), “And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood, and I will rain upon him…great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” Point here is context in that these chapters and verses are all prophecies of the Day of the Lord. The cosmic and earthly disasters we are experiencing today may be a type and shadow of the end times, but they are not the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is Israel-centric (not America-centric) and it is when these earthly and cosmic events are activated in their fullness immediately prior to Christ’s return. According to Jesus in Matthew 24, there are yet many prophetic events to occur before the end.
White Christians now a minority in America
The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) conducted a survey of over 101,000 Americans from all 50 states and concluded that “Today, only 43% of Americans identify as white and Christian, and only 30% as white and Protestant. In 1976, roughly eight in ten (81%) Americans identified as white and identified with a Christian denomination, and a majority (55%) were white Protestants.” A review of the PRRI website may indicate that while the organization claims to be non-partisan and unbiased in its surveys, there is a more liberal than not lean to its topics and interpretations. Notwithstanding skin pigment or political bias, these findings are a signal that Christianity is losing ground in America.
PRRI also found that evangelical Protestants are on the decline, “White evangelical Protestants were once thought to be bucking a longer trend, but over the past decade their numbers have dropped substantially. Fewer than one in five (17%) Americans are white evangelical Protestant, but they accounted for nearly one-quarter (23%) in 2006. Over the same period, white Catholics dropped five percentage points from 16% to 11%, as have white mainline Protestants, from 18% to 13%.” Politically, only 29% of Democrats are white Christian compared with 50% a decade ago, and 40% are religiously unaffiliated. Some 73% of all Republicans belong to a white Christian religious group, according to PRRI.
Another finding of the PRRI survey was that the religions of youth in America are becoming more non-Christian: “Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists are all far younger than white Christian groups. At least one-third of Muslims (42%), Hindus (36%), and Buddhists (35%) are under the age of 30. Roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans are also under 30. In contrast, white Christian groups are aging. Slightly more than one in ten white Catholics (11%), white evangelical Protestants (11%), and white mainline Protestants (14%) are under 30. Approximately six in ten white evangelical Protestants (62%), white Catholics (62%), and white mainline Protestants (59%) are at least 50 years old.”
Other pollsters such as Barna and Pew Research corroborate the trends on these numbers. Quite frankly, the implications have nothing to do with white Christians. Christianity in America is in a decline. Christians are losing their children to a dark and dying world. We can even see that the Democratic Party attracts those who are walking away from Christianity. As is written in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” God is not looking at this falling away in terms of race. We are all one race—the human race. Our challenge is to do a better job at making disciples as commanded by Jesus Christ in the Great Commission.
Ending the dream
President Donald Trump put an end to the illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. What you likely will not hear in the news media, the protests and all the back and forth about this policy is that it was Constitutionally illegal. In his effort to remake America, the immediate past “president” created the policy in 2012 to allow the illegal immigration of children into the US and ran into legal issues by attempting to expand it in 2014. About 800,000 illegal aliens aged 15-36, the majority of them adults, are impacted by this unilaterally invoked policy that had no legal basis. Now, the leftists are going crazy that Trump might expel these “children” from the United States.
The White House statement said, “DACA was not statutorily authorized and was therefore an unconstitutional exercise of discretion by the executive branch…The Trump Administration is taking responsible action to wind down DACA in an orderly and minimally disruptive manner….DHS’s enforcement priorities remain in place. However, absent a law enforcement interest—which is largely the standard that has been in place since the inception of the program—the Department will generally not take actions to remove active DACA recipients.” The Trump Administration is allowing a six-month window for Congress to act with responsible legislation.
Trump was lambasted by the previous “president” in a statement saying he asked Congress to act, but…”That bill never came…my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country… This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our kids to be treated.” The previous “president” broke the law by allowing these kids AND their parents to stay in the country illegally. When Congress didn’t do what this “president” wanted, he chose to make his own law. Now there are consequences and to many they seem to be inhumane and unfair.
The previous “president” had a dream to remake America into a socialist nation. To achieve his dream, he was willing to break the law. The immigration laws of this nation are similar to those in the Bible. Leviticus 24:22 says, “You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country.” There is a path to legal citizenship and also to work here legally. If the first act of entering a country is to break the law, then no law is truly respected. The willful act of ignoring the law by the previous “president” has brought harm to those he was trying to protect, and to many Americans who were victims of the crime that was created as a result. Now another President gets the heat for ending the dream by enforcing the law.
The brewing storm of North Korea and Iran
North Korea is once again threatening the nuclear annihilation of America. In testing yet another nuclear bomb, however, it may be North Korea at grave risk—not just from a possible preemptive military action from the United States. Chinese scientists, who have monitored the North Korean bomb tests, say the tests have occurred in the same site which now risks implosion and releasing toxic radiation across the region. While the world debates what to do with this terrible situation, it is important that we realize the history behind the North Korean nuclear program that history does not repeat itself. President Bill Clinton originally gave North Korea nuclear technology.
President Bill Clinton’s long-held belief on nuclear weapons was that if everyone had them, nobody would use them and the world would be a safer place. On June 11, 1993, the US agreed to not use force or nuclear weapons against North Korea if it remained in the nonproliferation treaty. North Korea continued to develop its nuclear weapons program. On October 18, 1994, after 17 months of negotiations, Clinton signed a deal to give North Korea light water reactor nuclear technology if it stopped building nuclear weapons, saying, “Today all Americans should know that as a result of this achievement on Korea, our Nation will be safer and the future of our people more secure.”
In his commitment to communist North Korea, Clinton is quoted as saying, “This US-North Korean agreement will help to achieve a long-standing and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula." Heritage Foundation archives document in an October 20 letter to North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il, (father of current dictator Kim Jong Un) Clinton vastly expanded America's commitments under the formal agreement to finance fuel shipments and reactors, ease its long-standing trade embargo and move toward first-ever diplomatic relations with North Korea. North Korea went on to develop nuclear weapons and to assist Iran in its nuclear weapons program.
Instead of having a safer future, the world is far more dangerous because of Clinton’s reckless shenanigans. President Donald Trump is now faced with using military force and there is even a more far-reaching risk of radiation for the region. Thanks to Clinton, North Korea has lethal power, and future peace might only be secured with the price of many lives. Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.” Peace is a two-way street, especially when millions of lives are at stake. Sadly, Trump may be forced to end what Clinton foolishly began. Sadly, history already is incubating a repeat for what the immediate past “president” did in Iran—another storm brewing.
You are the heart of our nation
A nation lives through the hearts of its people. America is an ideal as much, if not more, than a nationality. The American ideal traditionally has been to live free and do no harm to others. In that ideal, we become Americans by assimilating to the values of our nation—freedom, equality, respect for others, rule of law. Founded in the principle that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us, we have the freedom to own land, to enterprise with our skills and dreams, to worship how we see fit, and, as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:13, to “enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.” This is America. If you hold to these principles, you are an American. It’s an ideal that lives in your heart.
Lately, especially in the last nine years, the American ideal has come under tremendous threat. There are people in gangs like Antifa, the news media, and even elected politicians who do not ascribe to the American ideal. In fact, they want to tear down everything that is American, and as the immediate past “president” put it, “remake America.” It is in their heart to oppose everything that is American—its history, its capitalism, its religious foundations, its family units, its natural affections for those who are countrymen. This spirit that lives in these people is a rebellious one. The heart of these is as described in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.”
There are those, however, who still embody the heart and spirit of America. They believe in freedom. They abide by the laws. They respect others. They stand for what is right according to a Godly standard. They are willing to speak up and take action when there is injustice. They hold dear to the creed that all men are created equal and have the God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They have a love for family. They are loyal. They are trustworthy. They are not afraid of a fight, but seek peace first. In short they are a King David type of people, to whom God may testify as conveyed in Acts 13:22, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.”
One way or another, if you are reading this, you are the heart of our nation. Whether you are a God-fearing American, one who understands that the American ideal and values also flow from the heart of God who created all things and called them good, or if you are a rebellious spirit having a wicked heart living in America, there is before you a choice of good or evil, of life or of death. The American ideal is goodness and life that shows lovingkindness and civility, but is not afraid to stand strong against unrighteousness. It’s all about the heart. Let us pray a Psalm 51:10 prayer for all our countrymen that the Lord create in them, in all of us, “a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within” us.
Your taxes increased 41% since 2013
Ever wonder why you have less money to spend? That it seems like every time you go to the grocery store, you get a whole lot less for a whole lot more? Part of the reason is inflation. The way the government accounts for inflation these days kind of fudges the numbers—food and gasoline don’t count in the same figures anymore. Convenient right? But on the other side of the equation, it may seem like you’re paying more for essentials because you don’t have as much available cash to spend. According to this week’s report by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, you are paying more in taxes than you are for food. In fact, since 2013, you have seen an average increase of 41.13% in taxes.
The report talks about spending in terms of “consumer units,” which means families. The average American family’s food expenditures increased by $601 from $6,602 in 2013 to $7,203 in 2016. Food expenditures were about 14% of the average American’s income. The BLS’s Average Annual Expenditures for American Consumer Units report indicates that the average American family paid $7,432 in taxes in 2013 compared with taxes of $10,489 in 2016, an increase of $3,057 or 41.13%. It is no wonder why most of us are feeling “pinched” because we are actually in a tax vice that is squeezing tighter each year. The government has become a leviathan that wields tremendous and absolute power over the people.
In March 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a tax to be levied on documents from legal papers to newspapers to playing cards, ranging from a penny to about a dollar depending on the number of pages. By November 1, 1765, the day the Stamp Act was to officially go into effect, PBS says: “there was not a single stamp commissioner left in the colonies to collect the tax.” They were tarred and feathered and ran out of town. This unfair taxation of a penny—a penny--gave impetus to the American Revolution. The Founders believed that the government was not to intrude into people’s lives beyond providing safety and security--the true meaning of providing for the general welfare--for the people.
There are certain Biblical principles being violated by such taxation. First and foremost, Exodus 20:3 says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Government is not God. In America, we have a choice in how we are governed. We can vote. Government should never be allowed to stand with the life or death power of a god—either over our ability to have food or in our health care decisions. Exodus 20:17 says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.” As well, Exodus 20:15 says, “Thou shalt not steal.” A 41% increase in taxes over four years seems a lot like coveting and stealing to me.
Southern Poverty Law Center sued over hate designation
The hate group that designates everybody that doesn't agree with their anti-American, leftist agenda as haters is finally being sued for defamation by a Christian ministry. D. James Kennedy Ministries is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center as well as Amazon and GuideStar for their false and illegal characterizations that “have a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion and on religious free speech for all people of faith.” The ministry says these groups “illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services” offered by the ministry which resulted in disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public.” Hats off to D. James Kennedy Ministries CEO Frank Wright for taking a stand.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has consistently made news and raised money from anti-American leftists for its hate designations. Remember it was named the provocateur behind the attempted mass murder in the 2012 shooting at the Washington, DC, office of the Family Research Council (FRC). Floyd Corkins II was stopped by the FRC building manager, who was shot in the process. Corkins confessed to the FBI that he intended to commit mass murder and was motivated by the so-called “Hate Map” on the SPLC website that listed FRC as a “hate group.” The D.C. shooter, who gunned down Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four others was a Facebook fan of the SPLC.
SPLC has equated numerous Christian ministries with the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis as hate groups because they are pro-life and also support the Biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman. Matt Staver’s Liberty Counsel is one of them. Staver says, “This malicious labeling has fueled increased threats against Liberty Counsel’s staff and me, and forced us to take additional security measures. As we have seen first hand, there are unstable people who have listened to this reckless rhetoric and used it to justify physical harm and even attempted murder because of these false, politically-motivated labels.”
The work of these ministries is proof enough that they are not hate groups. This is self-evident. The purposeful maligning of the reputation and the good work these ministries do is central to standing up to the SPLC. In listing Christian ministries as hate groups and asking for people who hate Christian ministries to report acts of hate against them is an act of hate in of itself. Even the FBI took the SPLC off of its listing as a reliable resource for monitoring hate groups. SPLC is a dangerous threat to the First Amendment. D. James Kennedy Ministries is proving to be an Ephesians 6:13 ministry: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Let us also stand in unity with this ministry.
Militarization of local law enforcement
This will likely be a very unpopular Daily Jot, but I feel very compelled to write about the militarization of local law enforcement. This began because Congress passed the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act which allowed the Defense Secretary to give local law enforcement excess military equipment at no cost. Under the George W. Bush Administration the “gifts” totaled approximately $9.5 million a year. Then under the immediate past “president’s” administration, the value of military transfers to local law enforcement agencies jumped to nearly $800 million in 2014, including mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, assault rifles and grenade launchers.
After police showed up in Ferguson, Mo in full military gear, the optics were so bad that the immediate past “president” issued an executive order prohibiting heavy equipment transfers and regulating some of the other assault-oriented ones. Now President Donald Trump issued another executive order rescinding the last one and opening the door to MRAPs once again being transferred to local law enforcement. Local police will now continue to be armed with tremendous firepower. While I wholly support our men and women in blue, I believed militarizing the police was wrong when the previous “president” did it, and it is wrong for Trump to do it. Please allow me to explain.
Local police are a civilian organization hired to serve and protect the people by enforcing the law. They were never intended to be militarized or extensions of the US military. The military culture by design and training must be willing and able to kill the enemy. This is a doctrine of escalation. It gets people killed. Wouldn’t it be better to train our police on a “De-escalation” policy? Officers trained in de-escalation techniques try whenever appropriate and possible to calm the situation, wait for back-up, and attempt to resolve a situation without gunfire when the subject does not have a gun. The idea is to save lives—both the officer’s and the subject’s. It is to be used when appropriate.
Law enforcement organizations have mixed opinions on this. Notwithstanding, those who have trained their officers in de-escalation have seen a substantial reduction in shootings. A close friend of mine who was head of the state police in a southern state told me that despite stiff opposition, he emphasized de-escalation during his long tenure—a technique he said saved many lives. He also said that he disagreed with the militarization of police forces because it encourages a culture of force rather than of service. Seattle Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin, whose father is a police officer, says that all 50 states should review their law enforcement policies to “eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management efforts.”
To me, this doesn't need to be an “either-or” situation, it’s “both-and.” Police need to protect themselves AND the lives of others. Taking a life should be a last resort, not something done just because it’s legal to do so. Likewise, citizens should be trained to submit to authority and not escalate a situation that could cost them their lives. Exodus 20:13 says, “Thou shalt not kill.” It means do not murder. The context of the Bible would indicate that we should all do as much as possible, as justly as possible, to preserve life, including our own. Transferring military culture to police culture is antithetical to the preservation of civilian life. Despite all the reasoning, the militarization of law enforcement is a dangerous long-term idea.
When politics takes precedent over life
Hurricane Harvey has passed through Houston, leaving devastation in its wake. Now the finger pointing begins. Already the news media is saying that President Donald Trump didn’t do enough. But there is also a little feud brewing between Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, and Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. It seems that Abbott wanted at least the low laying flood-prone areas of Houston to be evacuated and Turner didn’t want any of the city evacuated. The Wall Street Journal reports Turner urged people to stay in their homes as the hurricane blew into Houston, leaving five dead and more than 3,000 in need of rescue, with another 30 inches of rain forecast over the current 24 inches.
The Journal reported that Retired Army Lt. General Russell Honore, who led the Department of Defense response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita said, “I’m not trying to be critical of the mayor and history will prove whether they guessed right or they guessed wrong, but I do not believe we should leave people in a place we know is going to flood. It’s counterintuitive.” Turner said in a TV interview that there was “no question” in his mind that he made the right decision. Abbott said he had left several messages on Turner’s cell phone offering assistance, but hadn’t heard back. Keep in mind that cell phones always show the number of the person calling. Turner would know that it was the governor.
Harvey had hardly hit the coast before the news media began ganging up on Trump for not doing enough. Reuters gave some insight into the shark-fest with White House Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert’s response to a question. Referring to the President, he said, “His questions aren’t about the geopolitical issues or about large political consequences. His questions are: ‘Are you dong what it takes to help the people that are going to be affected by this storm?’” The story went on to recall that the “flawed response” to Katrina by Republican President George W. Bush in 2005 “tainted the remainder” of his presidency. Of course, it never mentioned the incompetence of the New Orleans Democratic mayor whose blundering had a rippling impact on rescue and aid efforts.
The media and the Democratic Party minions blame Republican governors and presidents for anything that goes wrong in natural disasters. In reality it is often Democratic mayors who make the wrong decisions which prevent Governors and Presidents from appearing to respond appropriately. The mayors, who make the call for state and federal assistance, usually get a pass. It all seems so political—in this case the Houston mayor won’t take calls from the Texas governor. The media is insinuating that President Trump is playing politics with the response. Meanwhile, lives are on the line. These political lapdogs in the media and Democratic mayors like Turner should be ashamed of themselves. But mark these words: The media will blame Abbott and Trump. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”
Know Christ Know Hope
One of the signs of the end times is what is called the great falling away, a great apostasy. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come the falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 1 Timothy 4:1 states: “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits, and doctrines of demons.” Each day, many folks write in to say that America is in such moral decline that it will never recover. Some equate this decline to the “falling away” mentioned in the Bible. There are a couple of thoughts that we all should ponder regarding this growing “no hope” for America doctrine.
The Bible is a Middle Eastern-centric book. The events described depict areas of the Middle East, the Mediterranean Sea, and Northern Africa as found in the Genesis 10 table of nations. This was the world at that time. It is speaking to the Jews and Gentiles of these areas first. The prophecies are specifically directed at these areas. The nations that come against Israel are traditional enemies of Israel. The Bible is not United States-centric. There was no official “United States” or “Russia” at the time of the Bible; they are not listed in the table of nations. The end times timepiece is Israel, not the United States or Christianity in the United States, although as members of the body of Christ, we are accountable and do have influence.
Having said that, however, all scripture is also for those of us in the United States—both Old Testament and New. Scripture was not just for the Jews in the time of the prophets or the disciples of the time of Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” We need to be mindful that what happens in Israel impacts us. We also should recognize that in a country where 80% of the people claim to be Christian, we certainly must not be holding accountability to our Lord. If we were, the nation would not be in the current condition of moral decline. It would appear that we are experiencing apostasy in the United States.
American society’s sex-charged, death promoting, politically correct culture could be a reflection of American Christianity’s emotional, self-indulgent, and extra-biblical condition. Our Christian culture has become too casual in our relationship with God. We are not in unity in our interpretation of the scriptures or in the practice of our faith. The constant negativity in our news can even cause some to lose hope and faith—to fall away. We should not lose hope for our nation and its people. We are the light of the world. As Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all tings through Christ which strengthens me.” If you know Christ, you know hope. Never give in to the negativity of the day or to those of the doom-doctrine. Our hope is in Christ. Let’s exercise our God-given gifts and turn the world upside down as did the apostles in the early days of the church.
Of truth and lies
The New York Times is whining about President Donald Trump’s remarks against the media during his rally in Phoenix, AZ this week. Trump said, “It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions. And yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and heritage…for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people and they’re bad people. And I really think they don’t like our country. I really believe that. And I don’t believe they’re going to change, and that’s why I do this.” Trump said this after giving at least 8 examples of how the media lied about him and called him racist.
Trump illustrated his point by reading his first statement on Charlottesville condemning “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.” And the media criticized him for not responding fast enough or specific enough, drawing the conclusion that he must be a racist. He continued that the media doesn’t want to talk about the anarchists, Antifa (which Arizona police say was responsible for the violence after Trump’s speech). Trump continues: “So now, I say we have to heal our wounds and the wounds of our country. I love the people of our country, the people, all of the people. It says I love all of the people of our country… And then they say, is he a racist? Is he a racist?”
Then Trump said he issued another statement that was more specific, saying “to anyone who acted criminally in this weekends racists violence. OK, then I go, we must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans, right? Then I said, racism is evil. Do they report that I said that racism is evil? Now they only choose, you know, like a half a sentence here or there and then they just go on this long rampage, or they put on these real lightweights all around a table that nobody ever heard of, and they all say what a bad guy I am… The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself, and the fake news.”
The media’s response to Trump’s public documentation of its irresponsible reporting is to claim Trump is deeply disturbing and mentally unfit for office, that he is inciting violence against the media, that he is tearing up the First Amendment, that he is lying about the media, a total eclipse of the facts, and more—of course this comes from mainly CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, The New York Times and the Washington Post. They are being called out for fomenting national division, and they don’t like it. So they accuse Trump of doing what they have done all along. This is similar to what Isaiah 59:14 describes, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” If ever truth and the First Amendment are threatened, the news media is at the center of it holding firmly to their propaganda.
The greater hate
Along about 1992, I was running for reelection as Chairman of the Republican Party in Frederick County, Va. My wife was very pregnant with our son, Christian. The KKK decided to take over the party. They started by sending messages that I didn’t know how many of them were secretly on the county committee. I went public, saying that the Republican Party was not a party of hate and that it would never be taken over by the KKK. These thugs posted KKK “guards” at the end of my driveway and harassed my pregnant wife every time she did anything outside or went to town. It was well publicized and a time in our lives where we saw the hateful hearts of racists. I ran a strong campaign and defeated them soundly.
To me, groups like the KKK, white supremacists, Nazis should not be protected by the First Amendment. I feel pretty much the same way about communists, Muslim Brotherhood, Black Panthers, Antifa and a few others. These groups are fueled by hate for someone or some thing, but in reality, they seek to overthrow the Republic and establish a dictatorial rule where those that don’t agree with them are executed—don’t believe me? Check your history and what their leaders have said. Unfortunately, the First Amendment protects the free speech and peaceable assembly of these groups. Normally, wherever they go, violence follows. And when you get two opposing hate groups together, violence is the rule.
In Charlottesville, Va., white supremacists applied for and received a legal permit to peaceably assemble. Antifa did not. Antifa, as it has done across the nation in many instances, pressed the violence against the white supremacists and one of their protestors was killed. Politicians and the media reasoned that Antifa was standing up against racism and bigotry, as should every American, and, therefore, held the moral ground. President Donald Trump said both sides were at fault, so the politicians and the media labeled him a racist. This begs the question then: Are white supremacists groups fair game, no longer protected by the First Amendment? If not, who determines the greater hate?
Antifa, a self-proclaimed body of communists and anarchists against fascism, works in collaboration with the former “president’s” Organization for America—a George Soros funded entity. On bluelivesmatter.com there are five pages documenting Antifa violence. A petition on whitehouse.gov now has over 260,000 signatures to declare Antifa a terrorist group. Yet the media and politicians refuse to denounce it, and hail it as standing against hate and bigotry. I agree that all Americans should stand against racism, bigotry and hatred. I have lived my life by it. Jesus told us about the two great commandments—Love God with all your heart, and “Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).” Though others are about a greater hate, let us be measured by the greater love.
We are all still here post-eclipse
After enduring the lead up to the eclipse of the sun in North America where many “Christians” once again used a natural occurring event to predict extra-Biblical, emotional and self-indulgent theories, and at the risk of offending some folks, I have to write today that we are still here. Your day is going on. No one was raptured. There were no “out of the norm” mega-disasters. The end of the world did not happen. Fact is, if people read their scriptures in context, they would have a good idea of what to expect regarding the prophetic future. Unfortunately, there are many, many false teachers who take verses out of context to support their theories. Also unfortunate is that many are well-respected for their falsehoods.
These same false teachers will come up with some excuse about why what they predicted didn’t happen. People will believe them and all will go on until the next time. And the cycle will start all over again. After yesterday’s Jot, I heard about this person or that who had said this or that, and that I should consider what they said. Now think about those kind of statements. I quoted scripture in its context about what would happen in the Day of the Lord regarding the sun, moon and sky--Scripture in its context, the myriad of verses in the Bible describing what the Lord gave about the same event. These were from real prophets documented in Holy Scriptures, not false teachers conjecturing about their theories.
Yes, celestial events are of God. Scriptures discuss the heavens, and ancient Jewish sages interpreted eclipses as omens providing insight to God’s will. Overall, eclipses are a time to pray, and to do God’s will, that you may have nothing to fear. Jeremiah 10:2 says, “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” This is far different than those ministries that conjure up fear and intrigue to hold influence over folks and to keep them contributing. What does the Bible say about itching ears? 2 Timothy 4:3 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Ephesians 4:14 exhorts, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” We don't want to be that person who is just seeking the latest craze in Christianity. We want to be grounded in the Word of God and have understanding that we may edify others and provide truth in love. As Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun, let’s not fall for the extra-Biblical seducers. Let us seek the Lord with all of our heart having understanding of his Word and Holy Spirit discernment that we might not be led astray, and that we may provide proof of our testimony to others.
Solar eclipse yes, apocalypse not
Much has been written and said about the “Great American Total Solar Eclipse” that is to occur today. Millions are taking time off to watch it. There are reporters and Christian commentators pontificating about the eclipse being the Apocalypse, the end of the world or a rapture, the second coming of Christ, and at the very least a sign in heaven. As the day progresses, Americans will see the eclipse. It is cyclical, predictable and on time as part of the wonderful creation of God. It will not, however, be the Apocalypse, the rapture, or the second coming of Christ. It does not fit the prophetic descriptions of the many passages in the Bible, which are all orderly and consistent about the end times.
In very practical terms, this solar eclipse, like them all, is cyclical and predictable. What did Jesus the Messiah say to his disciples about when the end would come? He began in Matthew 24:4, the most concise chronological expository of the end times by Christ himself, by saying, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” They asked again before his ascending to heaven in Acts 1 and he replied, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.” These verses are key to having understanding about the end times. First, we do not precisely know the times or the seasons of his return—we do have understanding of what will happen, but not exactly when. Second, a lot of deception will be occurring that may cause many to fall away, have doubt, or not believe at all.
In the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, Christ lays out what happens leading up to his return: Wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, false prophets, preaching of the gospel unto all the nations, and then the Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Daniel. He says in verse 21, “For then there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Then there are more false Christs, and deception. Christ says in verse 29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
He continues in verse 30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” These verses are exactly consistent with the prophecies of this event found in Isaiah 34:4, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 6:12-14, Revelation 8, Joel 2:31 and 3:15, Ezekiel 38 and 39, and many others about the heavens rolling back like a scroll, the sun darkened, the moon turning to blood, and destruction coming from the heavens. Jesus warns again in Matthew 24 that man will not know the day or the hour, but implores us to watch and be ready for his return. Yes, we are having a solar eclipse in America today, but it is not the end of the world centered in Israel as described in the Holy scriptures.
From the abundance of the heart
On Friday, August 11, liberals from across the country gathered at a Netroots Nation conference, which gave them a platform to criticize the President and his policies in front of the leftist media. Some of the rhetoric centered on the President’s handling of North Korean situation. Congressman Keith Ellison, (D-MN), who is the first Muslim congressman elected to office and he is the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee said that communist dictator Kim Jong Un is acting more responsible that is President Donald Trump. He says that Trump should be backing down rather than standing up for America. Then, when pressed on it later, Ellison tried to say that he didn’t mean what he said.
The Daily Beast reported, that Ellison said, “You have this guy making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there. Kim Jong-un, the world always thought he was not a responsible leader well he’s acting more responsible than this guy is. And what I’m telling you is once you start seeing missile launches, you’re going to see—the time for cranking up the anti-war machine is right now. So if you don’t want to get caught, deer-in-the-headlights, start calling for diplomacy in North Korea immediately.” Ellison later retracted his remarks to The Washington Post, saying, “That was one of those I wish I’d not said. It’s tailor-made for somebody to misuse.”
Ellison was referring to President Donald Trump’s remarks that the US would rain down fire and fury on North Korea if it attacked Guam. Ellison and the Democrats are fearful that Trump will actually cause a nuclear attack with his rhetoric rather than show resolve that there will consequences of such a hideous act. The governor of Guam, however, had a different view. Governor Eddie Calvo backed Trump’s warning in a Fox News interview last Wednesday night. He said, “As far as I’m concerned, as an American citizen, I want a president that says that if any nation such as North Korea attacks Guam, attacks Honolulu, attacks the West Coast, that they will be met with hell and fury.”
America had eight years of a “president” cowering in a corner and apologizing for everything the United States has done in its foreign policy. Then when a President stands up for America and says if North Korea acts on its threats, they will essentially be destroyed, all the weak-kneed, anti-American appeasement crowd starts fear-mongering. Ellison saying that a North Korean communist dictator is acting more responsibly than the American President shows just where Ellison and his political Party stand. As Jesus said in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Symbols. We all use them. I have some trophies on my office shelves. They are symbols of when I was coaching football and riding horses in competition. There are pictures on the wall. They are symbols of events in my life or the lives of family members. The elephants symbolize my days in politics. The copper eagle bust that my son gave me as a gift symbolizes the American Republic and freedom. The African artifacts symbolize my love for my ministry partner William Agbeti, Ghana and Christian service to its people. We have antiques that have been handed down through our family for hundreds of years, symbolic of our heritage. I’ve always thought it important to understand our history.
I’ve witnessed the violence over the statues in the South, which are to those who erected them, symbolic of the lives and commitment of the men and women who fought in the American Civil War representing the Confederacy. If you have ever spoken to a family whose relative fought for the South in the Civil War, there is a deep sense of honor to family, patriotism and service to country. There is also a deep sense of standing up for state’s rights, for defending the family land. Little is ever mentioned about slavery. A lot is mentioned about the War of Northern Aggression. They see the tearing down of statues honoring Confederate soldiers as an attack on their families and their heritage.
To my friends of color, however, the Confederate battle flag, the statues commemorating the Confederate heroes of the Civil War, and the romanticism associated with the “glory” of the South has a far different heart-set. They are repulsed by the constant reminder, not of the historic past, but of the present. They see these as symbolic of the times, justification of being treated differently, of being disenfranchised, of an era of oppression that hits too close to home. They have legitimate concerns about the future of their children under what seems to be an increasingly hostile environment. If they are concerned about the safety of their children walking down the street, perceived or real, it is very real, irrespective of the cause, or, hear me now, the politics.
My friends of color are not part of Antifa or other subversive groups. They are hard working, loving, kind, God-fearing, Christian men and women. They are every bit American as I am. They would agree that some symbols, irrespective of their symbolic nature, should be preserved as a reminder not to repeat a certain aspect of history. They would also say that some symbols deeply wound their spirits. I hold that no man should own another. It is not Christian. Galatians 3:27-28 says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Symbols have meaning. Some symbolize the history from which we should all learn. Others glorify institutions, or the struggle to keep such institutions, of oppression. And there are those who wish to tear down a nation and their symbol is tearing down a statue. The sin of slavery has and continues to haunt our nation. Violence is not the answer. Being manipulated by subversive organizations that want to overthrow the government is not the answer. Compassion, empathy, understanding, all are a starting place to healing. Let us be ever mindful of our heritage and inheritance in Christ as we deal with these sensitive issues. How we behave, what we say and how we treat others is a reflection of Christ.
Moral equivalency of fascism and communism
The news media is having a melt down over President Donald Trump saying that there were at least two sides to blame in the Charlottesville, Va., riots over the past weekend. The media and the left jumped to the conclusion that the President is a racist because he isn’t putting the full blame on the white supremacists. The media and the left is choosing to ignore that the riot didn't become a riot until Antifa communists and anarchists confronted the white supremacists. They see no moral equivalency between racism and anybody standing against the racists. In the minds of the left, it doesn't matter who confronted the white supremacists, and whoever says there were two sides to the violence, is a bigot and a racist.
To these reporters and liberals there can be no defense of the KKK, Neo-Nazis, etc., because they are race hate groups. It doesn’t matter to the left if these groups were hypothetically sitting peacefully in a park and were provoked and attacked by the Democratic Party, it is the racist groups’ fault because they are racist and racism cannot be defended. That’s how they are looking at it. Certainly, there are likely racists and bigots among the so-called anti-fascist group Antifa, but they are self-proclaimed communists and anarchists not known for their racism. Hence, the President saying “both sides” are at fault is true, but to the left it means he’s a racist because he is defending the white supremacists.
Trump’s words were just the opening that the left needed to label him a racist once and for all and stain his presidency. They took to the airwaves to cement the image into every American’s mindset. According to MRC, the big three networks spent 77.6 percent of their primetime news coverage expressing outrage over Trump “defending” white supremacists. CBS News spent its entire evening news on Trump’s remarks. The networks missed stories about North Korea backing down on its nuclear threat, and how the previous “president” was warned about Russian interference in the election, but did nothing about it. NBC and ABC refused to carry Trump’s strong condemnation of the murderer in the riot.
The truth is that club-yielding members of Antifa played a significant role in the violence of the Charlottesville riots. Trump, however, is now labeled a racist by the left because in their eyes there is no moral equivalency between racists and people standing up against them. Isaiah 59:13-14 may aptly describe the entirety of this situation, “In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Racism, communism, fascism is all of the devil and have no moral equivalency.
From the abundance of the heart
On Friday, August 11, liberals from across the country gathered at a Netroots Nation conference, which gave them a platform to criticize the President and his policies in front of the leftist media. Some of the rhetoric centered on the President’s handling of North Korean situation. Congressman Keith Ellison, (D-MN), who is the first Muslim congressman elected to office and he is the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee said that communist dictator Kim Jong Un is acting more responsible that is President Donald Trump. He says that Trump should be backing down rather than standing up for America. Then, when pressed on it later, Ellison tried to say that he didn’t mean what he said.
The Daily Beast reported, that Ellison said, “You have this guy making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there. Kim Jong-un, the world always thought he was not a responsible leader well he’s acting more responsible than this guy is. And what I’m telling you is once you start seeing missile launches, you’re going to see—the time for cranking up the anti-war machine is right now. So if you don’t want to get caught, deer-in-the-headlights, start calling for diplomacy in North Korea immediately.” Ellison later retracted his remarks to The Washington Post, saying, “That was one of those I wish I’d not said. It’s tailor-made for somebody to misuse.”
Ellison was referring to President Donald Trump’s remarks that the US would rain down fire and fury on North Korea if it attacked Guam. Ellison and the Democrats are fearful that Trump will actually cause a nuclear attack with his rhetoric rather than show resolve that there will consequences of such a hideous act. The governor of Guam, however, had a different view. Governor Eddie Calvo backed Trump’s warning in a Fox News interview last Wednesday night. He said, “As far as I’m concerned, as an American citizen, I want a president that says that if any nation such as North Korea attacks Guam, attacks Honolulu, attacks the West Coast, that they will be met with hell and fury.”
America had eight years of a “president” cowering in a corner and apologizing for everything the United States has done in its foreign policy. Then when a President stands up for America and says if North Korea acts on its threats, they will essentially be destroyed, all the weak-kneed, anti-American appeasement crowd starts fear-mongering. Ellison saying that a North Korean communist dictator is acting more responsibly than the American President shows just where Ellison and his political Party stand. As Jesus said in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Charlottesville: Using lives for political gain
There is no good that can come from “white nationalists,” who are Nazis, and extremist anti-fascists who call themselves “Antifa” meeting in the street of any city for any “protest.” It is a recipe for disaster. In short it’s two hate groups who hate each other, certain types of people, AND the American Constitutional Republic. This was evident in in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend. Of course, the haters are all saying that there is no place for hate, and the leftist media and leftist politicians are taking sides. Herein lies the trouble with free speech. There comes a responsibility with all types of freedom. These people choose hate over responsibility, politics over civility. They all should be held accountable.
The story begins with a movement to remove all the statues and public mention of those who led and fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War. Skin heads, white nationalists, Nazis, racists all gather together under the Confederate flag to protest such removal. They are a bunch of angry people. Antifa stands for “anti-fascist action” and, by its own definition, is an organization of anarchists and communists fighting to end fascism. In reality, they are the militant arm of the radical leftists who seek to undermine the US government and foment a socialist takeover of America. Add in Black Lives Matter, which has similar political goals and we have a gradient of hateful and wrong-minded groups converging.
There really is no “Yeah, but” in this situation. All sides are hate mongers and they would just as soon end the American form of government than suffer its benefits. The trouble with free speech is that it comes with the responsibility to be non-violent and do no harm to others. When you have these groups who wish to harm one another, responsible free speech falls in the streets. That’s why we have law enforcement to protect the citizens and to protect the protesters from one another. Politicians often curb law enforcement to meet their political goals. By the time Virginia’s governor, leftist Terry McAuliffe, called a state of emergency, a riot had ensued leaving one dead and numerous injured.
Common sense should dictate that when these types of people converge at the same point, there will be violence. Politicians need to quit playing games and protect the public safety by preventing violence rather than allowing it, and then placing blame as they play their twisted political games. Antifa, Black Lives Matter and McAuliffe all want to undermine the President. They and their media lapdogs blame the “white supremacists” for the whole thing, but they are all to blame. We all have the right to free speech and to peaceably assemble. Politicians and their pawns should be made to respect those rights for the safety of all citizens. Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Let us firmly promote peace and civility in our society. Be a voice of reason. It is the better way.