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Showing posts from January, 2018

Preacher Begins Prelude to American Revolution

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Puritan Minister, Cotton Mather - Christian Heritage Fellowship Posted at Christian Heritage Fellowship: Nearly one hundred years prior to the American Revolution, the causes for the break between Great Britain and America were already at work. While most Americans are unaware of the pivotal role American pastors exercised in the break with Britain, even fewer are aware that pastors were exercising similar roles of influence in American colonial life well before the Revolution. In fact, from the first settlement at Jamestown, Christian pastors exercised remarkable cultural influence upon America. This was true in all of the American English settlements and the Thirteen Colonies to which those settlements gave birth. One example of the prominence of pastors in the cultural and political life of the Colonies is found in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in early 1684. Not only does this anecdote illustrate the important role accorded to pastors in early America, but it also helps to ex

Why It Is Reasonable Not To Send Your Children To Public School

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: The world has changed quite a bit since I entered Dundee Elementary in 1965–66. No-fault divorce did not yet exist. Two-parent families were the norm. Abortion had not yet been legalized. The late-modern drug culture had not yet exploded. WWII had been over for more than 20 years and the baby boom had just ended. The suburbs were burgeoning. Top 40 radio was in its heyday and Roger W. Morgan was playing the hits on the Mighty 1290 KOIL. The hippie movement was still a sub-culture. The Vietnam War was intensifying but mostly we got just a moment or two of it on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. The civil rights movement was on the news as Dr King and others led peaceful demonstrations calling Americans to honor the promises enshrined in the constitution. Too often, however, those marches were met by fire hoses and police dogs. The Watts Riots, which were a reaction to decades of unjust treatment of minorities by the LAPD, co

Calif. lawmakers call for more homeschool oversight

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By Leigh Jones/WORLD News Service - Posted at Baptist Press: RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. (BP) -- Homeschooling opponents in California seized on the horrific case of child abuse discovered Jan. 14 in Riverside County to call for more oversight of parents who teach their children at home. But homeschooling advocates say policymakers need to consider one key fact obscured by emotional reactions to the Tupin case: None of the organizations that track child abuse list homeschooling as a risk factor. Police discovered what media outlets have dubbed a "house of horrors" when one of David and Louise Turpin's 13 children escaped through a window in their stucco-sided, suburban home, which looked completely normal from the outside. But inside, investigators found signs of extreme abuse amid filthy conditions, with piles of human waste next to furniture where the parents had shackled the children. News reports quickly focused on a mitigating factor child safety advocates claim ena

Woman Sexually Abused by Sports Doctor Larry Nassar Presents Gospel in Victim Impact Statement

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Rachael Denhollander By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network: “You spoke of praying for forgiveness, but Larry, if you have read the Bible you carry, then you know that forgiveness does not come by doing good things, as if good deeds can wipe out the incredible evil you have committed,” Denhollander outlined. “It comes from repentance, which requires facing and acknowledging the truth about what you have done, in all its utter depravity and horror. Without mitigation. Without excuse. Without pretending you can cover it with good things.” LANSING, Mich. — A former gymnast who had been sexually abused by sports doctor Larry Nassar when she was 15 presented the gospel on Wednesday in delivering her victim impact statement in court. Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to speak out in 2016 after USA Gymnastics was accused of failing to properly handle sexual assault accusations lodged by young gymnasts, and she was also one of the last to have a say this week as Na

A time of reckoning

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By Persis - Posted at Tried With Fire: It is only right and good to honor the strength and courage of Rachael Denhollander and her fellow survivors who disclosed all they suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar . He was sentenced to 175 years in prison, which sends a clear message of the heinous nature of his crimes. However, his is not the only reckoning. If you listen to the victim impact statements, there were repeated calls for Michigan State University and the US Gymnastics Association to be held accountable for their inaction and creating a climate where an abuser could have easy access to his victims. There have been calls for the resignation of the president of Michigan State University with resultant wagon circling. But as of last night, Lou Anna Simon resigned. I truly hope the church-at-large is taking notes because we don't have a spotless reputation when it comes to dealing with child abuse or abuse of any sort nor when it comes to standing with the victims. It

Sexual Identity: The Way We Were and Who We Are: Our Identity Crisis is Re-railed into Christ

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By Grant Van Leuven - Posted at the Place for Truth: In her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert , [1] Dr. Rosaria Butterfield compares her Christian conversion experience to "an alien abduction or a train wreck." As she shares about her very public Christian "coming out" while a tenured university English professor specializing in "Queer Theory" (which she explains is a postmodern form of gay and lesbian studies) who also lived an open lesbian lifestyle while a leader in LGBT advocacy, it seems not so unnatural that her own reaction and that of her peers and students to her new profession would initially be heard as a foreign language or approached like the scene of an accident. For, as with all of us sinners, if our salvation proves genuine and lasting it will ultimately be an abrupt and violent altering of our personal and collective identities by being derailed from self and cults and coupled into Christ and His Church. Let us r

The Briefing: New government office to protect religious freedom

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By Meredith Flynn - Posted at iB2 News: HHS division created to guard right of conscience A new division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is earning praise from religious liberty advocates. The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division will “more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights,” the Trump administration announced Jan. 18. “I am thankful that HHS recognizes how imperiled conscience rights have been in recent years in this arena and is actively working and leading to turn the tide in the other direction,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “Health care professionals should be freed up to care for the bodies and minds of their patients, not tied up by having their own consciences bound.” Continue reading here.

My Next Guests (MLK and Obama) Need No Introduction

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By Jake MacAuley - Posted at The American View : Published January 16, 2018 This week, while many Americans commemorate equal rights champion Martin Luther King Jr., I took the time to read my old copy of Letter From a Birmingham Jail . I have always been so impressed by his writing prowess, and like my hero, the Apostle Paul, he did this from a primitive jail cell in Alabama. He emphasizes the Declaration of Independence and demands for more Christlike action from the professing Christian Church with statements such as: “There was a time when the church was very powerful…In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.  “By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now… Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average

THE BATTLE OF MAXTON FIELD

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By Angela Wittman An image of the clash now held by the State Archives - Source: NCDCR On January 18, 1958, the Ku Klux Klan rallied in a field outside of Maxton in Robeson County to “put the Indians in their place, to end race mixing.” ( Excerpt from Lumbees Rally, Klansmen Scurry, in Robeson County - This Day In NC History ) Dear Friends, I've been researching my father's family history and while trying to verify our Native American ancestry, I came across this article and video of folk singer Malvina Reynolds telling the story of the North Carolina Lumbee Tribe and their encounter with the KKK in January of 1958: Lumbees Rally, Klansmen Scurry, in Robeson County On January 18, 1958, the Ku Klux Klan rallied in a field outside of Maxton in Robeson County to “put the Indians in their place, to end race mixing.” A generator powered the public address system and the single light bulb that illuminated the speaker’s immediate area. With only the dim light, t

California Couple Who Held 13 Malnourished Children Chained Appear in Court to Face Torture Charges

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network: “As a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, that will haunt you,” he [Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin] stated. “Sometimes in this business, we’re faced with looking at human depravity—and that’s what we’re looking at here.” PERRIS, Calif. — The California couple accused of holding their 13 children captive in their home, allowing them to have one meal a day and chaining some to their beds as punishment, appeared in court on Thursday to face multiple charges that carry a penalty of up to 94 years behind bars. Attorneys for David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, entered not guilty pleas for 12 counts of torture, six counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment. David Turpin is also charged with one count of committing a lewd act on a child by force. Some charges only reflected 12 children since the youngest, age 2, appeared in the

Three Observations About Betsy DeVos’ Speech at AEI

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By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Truth In American Education: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the American Enterprise Institute conference yesterday and reading through her prepared remarks , discussing education reforms by President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, here are three observations. 1. Common Core is far from dead. "Where the Bush administration emphasized NCLB’s stick, the Obama administration focused on carrots. They recognized that states would not be able to legitimately meet the NCLB’s strict standards. Secretary Duncan testified that 82 percent of the nation’s schools would likely fail to meet the law’s requirements — thus subjecting them to crippling sanctions.  The Obama administration dangled billions of dollars through the “Race to the Top” competition, and the grant-making process not so subtly encouraged states to adopt the Common Core State Standards. With a price tag of nearly four and a half billion dollars, it was bi

Dreamers, Justice, and Jesus

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By Dana Hall McCain - Posted at the Dothan Eagle: Right now approximately 800,000 people wait with bated breath to see if they will be able to remain and legally work in the United States—the only home many of them have ever known. They are participants in the Obama-era program known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), created by executive order to address the legal limbo that children of undocumented immigrants live in. People like Lisbeth Ortiz, 32, who joined her parents in the United States after the death of the grandmother who’d been caring for her back in Mexico while her parents looked for work here. At age 13, she arrived in the Trussville area speaking no English, but learned fast and worked hard enough to graduate from high school with a 3.8 GPA. College wasn’t an option then because of her legal status. But after she was approved for DACA, she was able to pursue meaningful work as a translator in the Hispanic ministry of the Church at Brook Hills, and later

China bombs megachurch in drive to silence Christianity

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As the Chinese government bombed the mega Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi, China Jan. 9, a passerby caught captured the explosion on a cellphone, BBC reported. The church was home to 50,000 worshippers. Screen capture from BBC (Baptist Press) By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press: SHANXI, China (BP) -- The bombing demolition of a megachurch in China is indicative of a rush to silence Christianity under new laws that will heighten religious persecution, according to human rights group ChinaAid. The Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, Shanxi, was home to some 50,000 worshippers before the Chinese government bombed and demolished the church Jan. 9, according to news reports. Religious persecution is at its harshest in communist China in perhaps 50 years, ChinaAid President Bob Fu told BBC News Jan. 11. The bombing shows "the increasingly deteriorating situation of religious freedom and rule of law in China" under President Xi Jinping, "which many sugges

Sexual Identity: Saboteurs at the Door

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By John Hartley - Posted at Place for Truth: The 17th century minister and Scotsman, Alexander Nisbet said, “the most dangerous heretics have many followers; every error they introduce turns out to be a friend to some lust in the heart of man.” Case in point: Several years ago, a friend of mine discovered his pastor had committed adultery with a woman in their church. In this fiercely independent church, which had no ecclesial oversight except the three men who ran things, the pastor did not step down. Instead, he developed a very elaborate doctrine of discretion and gossip enforced by his devoted henchmen. If anyone wished to talk about his adultery, they were shut down with chapter and verse from the Bible about gossip. The pastor convinced most in the church it was a sin to speak of the issue. He convinced my friend. Voilà! A new teaching is found that befriends a man’s lust to power and paycheck, not to mention his lust for illicit relations. Continue reading here.

9 Things You Should Know About the ‘Mississippi Burning’ Murders

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Source: Wikipedia By Joe Carter - Posted at The Gospel Coalition: On Thursday, Edgar Ray Killen died in prison at the age of 92 . Killen, a former pastor and Ku Klux Klan leader, was the only person to face state murder charges in the killings of three civil-rights workers in 1964. Here are nine things you should know about the case known as the “Mississippi Burning” murders. 1. The Mississippi Burning murders (also known as the Freedom Summer murders) involved three civil-rights activists—James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner—who were abducted and murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, in June 1964. Michael Schwerner and James Chaney worked for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in nearby Meridian, Mississippi, and, Andrew Goodman was a college student who volunteered to work on voter registration, education, and civil rights as part of the Mississippi Summer Project . 2. On Memorial Day 1964, Schwerner and Chaney spoke to the congregation at Mount Zion in ru

Andy Savage’s Standing Ovation Was Heard Round the World. Because It Was Wrong.

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By Ed Stetzer - Posted at Christianity Today: It's not an incident. It's abuse If you are getting weary of more sexual assault allegations coming out every day, you are not alone. The #MeToo campaign is shining a spotlight on widespread misogynistic behavior, ranging from unprofessional to full-scale assault. As overwhelming as this feels, it pales in comparison to the lives of victims. Indeed, this movement is upending many of our institutions. TIME magazine announced “The Silence Breakers” as their 2017 Person of the Year. Oprah Winfrey drew widespread praise for her speech at the Golden Globes earlier this week, proclaiming, “The time is up” for sexual harassers. All of this is good news. These stories are finally coming out of the dark. Continue reading here.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About the Updated Instagram

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By Kelly Newcom - Posted at Brave Parenting: Battling For Souls There are a few gigantic corporations brutally fighting it out in order to win the souls of our children (and money in their pockets.) By ‘souls’ we mean their entire livelihood and by ‘money’ we mean many millions. Aside from Google, who is a clear pack leader with their efforts to take over the classroom, three social media giants: Facebook, Instagram (now owned by Facebook), and Snapchat are shamelessly copying popular features from one another to captivate the attention of our children. Last year, Snapchat pulled ahead of their two competitors capturing 79 percent of our teenagers time and lives. It was the first year Facebook didn’t take the crown. Everyone took notice and action. If disappearing pictures work so well for Snapchat, why not add them to Instagram? If stories work so well for Snapchat, why not add them to Instagram and Facebook? With the addition of the features, social media gurus are now promoting

Church ovation as pastor accused of sexually assaulting teen apologizes for his ‘sin’

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Posted at the Kansas City Star: Memphis megachurch pastor Andy Savage received a standing ovation in church on Sunday after apologizing for assaulting a woman when she was a high school student. Highpoint Church YouTube screengrab (Source: Kansas City Star) Members of a Memphis megachurch stood and applauded their pastor on Sunday when he admitted to and apologized for engaging in a “sexual incident” with a high school student 20 years ago. Jules Woodson, who accused Highpoint Church Pastor Andy Savage of sexually assaulting her when she was 17, told The New York Times she watched the moment, streamed live on the church’s YouTube page , in disbelief. “It’s disgusting,” she said. Continue reading here. 

Paula White Urges Followers to Give ‘First Fruits’ Offering of a Day, Week or Month’s Wages

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network: APOPKA, Fla. — Prosperity preacher Paula White, who also serves as the chair of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, is urging her followers to give a “first fruits” financial offering with the start of 2018, stating that there are “consequences” for those who don’t do so out of “ignorance or direct disobedience.” “As you remember the Lord your God, according to Deuteronomy 8:18, through your first fruits offering, He gives you the power to acquire wealth to establish His covenant,” she wrote in a post on her website, accompanied by a YouTube video. “Each January, I put God first and honor Him with the first of our substance by sowing a first fruits offering of one month’s pay. That is a big sacrifice, but it is a seed for the harvest I am believing for in the coming year,” White outlined. She urged others to do so as well, noting that some of her partners “sow a month’s pay, a week’s pay, [or] a day’s pay,”—wha

Sexual Identity: Doing What Comes Naturally

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By Jeffrey C. Waddington - Posted at The Place for Truth: The surging waves of the sexual revolution continue to crash on the shores of our culture and threaten to wash the Christian church, supporting institutions, and believing individuals and their families out to sea. This is not really new. While scholars often point to the 50s and especially the 60s as the groundswell of the sexual revolution in the West, human rebellion against God’s revealed sexual ethic goes back to the garden when our first parents rebelled against God. I am not suggesting, like St. Augustine, that the first sin was sexual. But we need to recognize that sexual sin in all its various permutations, like all sin, goes back to the primal sin recorded in Genesis 3 and our inheritance of a sinful nature. The fall has wreaked havoc on every aspect (nook and cranny, if you will) of our humanity. Of course, there are limits to the effects of the fall due to God’s common grace. Adam did not become not-Adam afte

VIDEO: Love Is Love – Coming Out of Lesbianism – Emily’s Story

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Posted at Americans for Truth About Homosexuality: “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” – Jesus Christ (Luke 15:7, ESV) We rejoice with Emily over God’s mercy, grace and goodness, and His unbounded love for sinners. Full information about the Anchored North ministry can be found following the video (after the jump). — Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH; Twitter: @PeterLaBarbera Information from YouTube video : Anchored North Published on Dec 27, 2017 Powerful Coming Out Story – Love Is Love Emily spent 7 years living out her same-sex attractions while being outspoken about God’s acceptance of her lifestyle. After her engagement with her female partner ended, she was invited to a Bible study. This weekly examination of the holiness of God challenged her day after day until her life completely changed. It is a powerful testimony that calls the homosexual community not to het

Aiming for Godly Growth in 2018

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By Angela Wittman Dear Friends, There is much busyness in the life of today's women, but if you are a Christian, you will have a desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. Here are some recently written articles by other authors I think you'll find valuable. I pray you'll make time to read and reflect upon the godly advice and wisdom shared in each one. The first article is  On Being a Christian Woman in the Year of Our Lord, 2018   written by Abigail Dodds and posted at her blog Hope and Stay . Abigail writes about the hunger of Christian women for sound teaching in today's churches, which is right and good, but also warns of some pitfalls and how to avoid them. Here are some valuable excerpts from her article: Here’s my summary: Biblically-conservative Christian women are eager to have visible, biblically-conservative leadership by women in their churches and eager to learn from gifted, female Bible teachers whether locally or nationally. S

Jesus & Moral Relevance

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By Steve Griffin - Posted at Just Thinking (and writing): Several weeks ago I lamented the hypocritical response of the “Christian Right” to the sexual mistreatment of women and children.1 It’s a new year but nothing’s changed. Consider this spot-on (and from my perspective heartbreaking) commentary. Conservatives need to be clear and honest in this circumstance. The strong, moral commitment to the dignity of women and children recently asserting itself in our common life has mainly come from feminism, not the “family values” movement. In this case, religious conservatives have largely been bystanders or obstacles. This indicates a group of people for whom the dignity of girls and women has become secondary to other political goals. We are a nation with vast resources of moral renewal. It is a shame and a scandal that so many religious conservatives have made themselves irrelevant to that task.2 I assure you, dear reader, such was not always the case. Early Christians

Sexual Identity: An Ontological Problem

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Image source: http://www.italianrenaissance.org By Jeffrey A. Stivason - Posted at A Place for Truth: Over the last several years, some in the church have argued that a person may be oriented toward homosexuality but not act on the inclination or tendency. That may or may not be the case. However, the burden of this article is not that. In this article, I will demonstrate that to claim that homosexual orientation is benign or neutral is an ontologically impossible position. Let’s flesh this statement out a bit more with the following scenario, “Say there’s a single man who has been teaching music in the local Christian school for 20 years or so. He is an excellent teacher and has a good rapport with the kids. He has been active in church, was a deacon, is now an elder. He has an unassailable reputation in church, school, and community. Then one day someone asks him if he is homosexual, and he says yes.” [1] Notice the formulation of this question. The man is asked “if h

Evangelist Sues Georgia Gov't After Being Banned From Preaching on Public Sidewalk

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Scottish Covenanter John Livingstone street preached. By Samuel Smith - Posted at The Christian Post: "Love strongly desires to return to the public sidewalks adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park and share his religious views while large events are taking place in the park, but he does not want to risk criminal arrest," one of Love's lawyers, Terry Lloyd, wrote in the lawsuit, according to AP. A Christian street preacher has filed a federal lawsuit against government authorities in the state of Georgia after he says he was banned from preaching outside outside of a park while a music festival was being held. Eric Love is asking a federal judge to rule whether or not the Georgia World Congress Center Authority has the legal ability to ban him from preaching the Gospel while events are going on, the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit stems from Love being banned from preaching in May outside of Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park during the Shake Beats mus

How Quitting Facebook Helped Relieve My Depression And Made Me A Better Friend

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By Vanessa Rasanen - Posted at The Federalist: At first, quitting Facebook was insanely difficult. I had been on Facebook since its inception, and developed social habits centered on the platform. Social media can help foster friendships and keep us connected to loved ones. When people insisted it couldn’t replace face-to-face, in-person conversation, I scoffed, responding with anecdotes of how many of my friends needed it to keep in touch when the military moved them from place to place. When folks warned that social media was likely exacerbating my depression, I shook my head, pointing to my support just a click away. When my husband suggested I spent too much time on my accounts and should consider deactivating, I insisted I needed the outlet for an escape from the stress of work and home, of life in general. But no more. I’m over it. I’m done. My husband had indeed been encouraging me to consider ditching social media — Facebook specifically — for years, especially after my

How Great (and Gentle) is our God!

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By David Murray - Posted at HeadHeartHand: Enter 2018 beholding the awesome greatness and awesome gentleness of our God. Then feel the strength and courage returning to your weary and fearful soul. As we enter 2018, news headlines warn us about North Korean nuclear missiles, terrorists using drones to launch chemical and biological attacks, artificial intelligence taking over the human race, another housing bubble bursting and the stock-market crashing, and on and on it goes. The dangers are great and our defenses are weak. So let’s turn from media headlines to biblical headlines in order to correct our worldview and enter 2018 in a more peaceful and trusting spirit. The prophet Isaiah knew that tough times lay ahead for God’s people. He spent 39 chapters warning them about it. But, in chapter 40 of his prophecy, he turned from earth to heaven and called God’s people to “Behold your God!” (v. 9). And what a reassuring sight that is. Continue reading here.