“I Spent Fifteen Minutes Writing Stand By Your Man And A Lifetime Defending It” -Tammy Wynette
“But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it….”
~ Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, on passing the unconstitutional Obamacare/The so called “Affordable” Care Act.
Here is Moscow’s response to President Obama’s attempts to box in President Elect Trump, and our relationship with Russia:
Moscow (Vladimir Putin) calls Obama’s team a “bunch of geopolitical losers” engaged in a last-ditch effort to inflict the maximum possible damage to U.S.-Russia ties to make it more difficult for Trump to mend the rift.
In a clear effort to avoid risking a rapprochement with Trump, Putin showed remarkable restraint when the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats over accusations of meddling in the U.S. election campaign. Instead of a usual tit-for-tat response, Putin invited U.S. diplomats’ children to a New Year’s party at the Kremlin.
Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were in frequent contact in recent weeks, including on Dec. 29, the day Obama hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking, according to a senior U.S. official.
Moscow similarly refrained from retaliation when the White House last week added five Russians, including the chief of Russia’s top state investigative agency, to the U.S. sanctions list.
This is the first entry of a series with the theme of suffering. Today’s posting features three different devotionals on this topic, that I have read in the last couple of days! That indicates how relevant this subject is. The Bible is an oxymoron to the world, never making sense to the lost because “His ways are not our ways.” The Bible tells us (the Apostle Paul) that “…when I am weak, then I am strong.” The Bible tells us that “the Lord uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” The Bible also contains the theme throughout, that God blesses and works through suffering – Jesus’ death on the cross being the greatest example. I have found that this fascinating subject is readily received by born again Christians, yet eschewed by nominal Christians and worldlings. The fact is, they have absolutely no comprehension of this topic. Speaking for myself, my greatest growth has come under the crucible of testing, trials and tribulations. In order to make us into His image, the Lord must break us from our sinful fallen nature and fleshly desires. This is a lifelong process that never ends. Suffering is the hallmark of the mature saint – there are no shortcuts to heaven.
Blessings, Pastor Steve
January 11, 2017 Our Daily Bread Devotional
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
My wife makes an amazing pot roast dinner. She takes raw meat, along with raw sliced white and sweet potatoes, celery, mushrooms, carrots, and onions and throws them into the slow cooker. Six or seven hours later the aroma fills the house, and the first taste is a delight. It is always to my advantage to wait until the ingredients in the slow cooker work together to achieve something they could not achieve individually.
When Paul used the phrase “work together” in the context of suffering, he used the word from which we get our word synergy. He wrote, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). He wanted the Romans to know that God, who didn’t cause their suffering, would cause all their circumstances to cooperate with His divine plan—for their ultimate good. The good to which Paul referred was not the temporal blessings of health, wealth, admiration, or success, but being “conformed to the image of [God’s] Son” (v. 29).
May we wait patiently and confidently because our heavenly Father is taking all the suffering, all the distress, all the evil, and causing them to work together for His glory and our spiritual good. He wants to make us like Jesus.
Read 2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 1:6, and 1 Peter 5:10. What encouragement did you find for tough times?
The growth we gain from waiting on God is often greater than the answer or result we desire.
INSIGHT:“All things” (Rom. 8:28) is a phrase that treats the seemingly good and bad events of life as a whole. The idea is that there is a dynamic interaction between the good and bad to bring a desired outcome, though this positive outcome may not yet be visible. If we consider a young man nailed to a cross dying in agony, we might wonder if anything good could be found there. But if we understand that this is Jesus Christ atoning for the sins of those who love Him, we can see how even this terrible event worked together for good. God works for “the good” of those who are true believers in Jesus Christ. They demonstrate the authenticity of their faith because they respond back with love to the One who first loved them (1 John 4:19).
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 New King James Version (NKJV)
Glory Only in the Lord
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”[a]
We have all noted how Very Important Persons (VIPs) usually do not glue with spiritual truths. If you speak with people who are full of themselves, there remains little room to put anything else in their reservoir of knowledge. This includes most famous celebrities, Hollywood socialites, politicians and dignitaries. Paul was a rare exception. He was a trained rabbi and teacher who learned at the feet of Gamaliel, he was from the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, a student from the universities in Tarsus, and a Roman citizen. The Lord stripped Paul of all of his pride in order to use him.
Also consider the mathematical and scientific genius Albert Einstein and the following quotation:
In a 1929 Saturday Evening Post interview, Albert Einstein said, “As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene…. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”
~ Very wise words from a very wise man.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has encouraged, allowed, and enhanced massive immigration of Muslims into Europe. She is responsible for the over one million recent Islamic immigrants, mostly from Syria. There is a You Tube on this blog site that went viral in Europe, highlighting the massive immigration of Syrians into Europe. Merkel is President Barack Obama’s bookend in reference to her desire to allow huge blocks of Muslims into western nations. She and Obama are political soul mates. She KNEW that 2% of these immigrants would be radical Islamic extremists, yet allowed them! Crunch the numbers. 2% of one million is 20,000 terrorists. Angela Merkel has blood on her hands. Whether you like Donald Trump or not, he is the only leader I have heard who could care less about political correctness. He just said that “Radical Islamic terrorists must be exterminated.” It sounds like the Orkin man going after cockroaches. I personally believe that terrorists are demon possessed. Their dogma is certainly a doctrine of demons.
*** In an unrelated series of political current events to the topic of this particular article, it has just been learned that the outcome of the December 19 Electoral College vote has once again backfired on the Democrats. Instead of gaining Electoral Votes in order to oust President Elect Donald Trump, Trump has gained four more votes who went from the Democrats to the Republican. To refresh your memory, the same thing happened in the vote recounts… Trump received more votes after the recounts. When we were children, we used to call these situations cheater’s proof. ***
Because of Him, Pastor Steve
BERLIN (AP) — Germany must assume a truck plowing through a crowded Christmas market in Berlin was a “terrorist attack,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday, while authorities expressed uncertainty over whether they had arrested the correct suspect.
Twelve people were killed and nearly 50 others injured when the truck drove into the popular Christmas market filled with tourists and locals outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church near Berlin’s Zoo station late Monday.
Police detained an asylum-seeker from Pakistan shortly afterward, but he denied involvement, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. The man had entered Germany on Dec. 31 last year and arrived in Berlin in February.
Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt said Tuesday it wasn’t clear whether the man detained was really the driver.
“We haven’t been able to confirm it yet,” he told reporters.
Berlin police urged people to remain “particularly vigilant” and to report “suspicious movement” to a special hotline.
In a statement widely broadcast on German television, Merkel described herself as “shocked, shaken and deeply saddened.”
“There is still a lot that we don’t know about this act with sufficient certainty,” she said. “But we must, as things stand, assume it was a terrorist attack.”
Merkel, who has been criticized for allowing in large numbers of migrants, addressed head-on the possibility that an asylum-seeker was responsible.
“I know that it would be particularly hard for us all to bear if it were confirmed that a person committed this act who asked for protection and asylum in Germany,” Merkel said. “This would be particularly sickening for the many, many Germans who work to help refugees every day and for the many people who really need our help and are making an effort to integrate in our country.”
Authorities arrested a man about 2 kilometers (1½ miles) from the crash site on suspicion of having been at the wheel of the truck. Footage showed the suspect, his head covered in a white sheet, being pushed into a police car shortly after the attack. Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper reported that the man was known to police for minor crimes.
A spokesman for Berlin’s office for refugee affairs said police conducted a large-scale search overnight at a large shelter for asylum-seekers at the city’s now-defunct Tempelhof airport. Four men in their late 20s were questioned but nobody was arrested, Sascha Langenbach told The Associated Press.
Among the dead was a man in the truck, who succumbed as paramedics treated him, Berlin police spokesman Winfried Wenzel said. Police said later that the man was a Polish national, but didn’t give further details of who he was or what happened to him.
The Polish owner of the truck said he feared it may have been hijacked. Ariel Zurawski said he last spoke with the driver, his cousin, around noon, and the driver told him he was in Berlin and scheduled to unload Tuesday morning. “They must have done something to my driver,” he told TVN24.
Germany has not so far experienced any mass-casualty attacks by Islamic extremists, but has been increasingly wary since two attacks by asylum-seekers in the summer that were claimed by the Islamic State group. Five people were wounded in an ax rampage on a train near Wuerzburg and 15 in a bombing outside a bar in Ansbach, both in the southern state of Bavaria. Both attackers were killed.
Those attacks, and two others unrelated to Islamic extremism in the same weeklong period, contributed to tensions in Germany over the arrival last year of 890,000 migrants.
De Maiziere said that as far as officials know, the Islamic State group has not claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack in Berlin.
Far-right groups and a nationalist party seized on it, blaming Merkel for what had happened.
“Under the cloak of helping people Merkel has completely surrendered our domestic security,” Frauke Petry, the co-chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany party, wrote.
Manfred Weber, a member of Merkel’s conservative bloc and leader of the European Parliament’s biggest political grouping, cautioned against sweeping verdicts but said it was important to ensure that extremists didn’t enter the country.
The German government said Merkel spoke Tuesday with President Barack Obama, who expressed his condolences. In Washington, White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said the United States was ready to help in the investigation and response.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said Islamic extremists must be “eradicated from the face of the earth” and pledged to carry out that mission with all “freedom-loving partners.”
The attack came less than a month after the U.S. State Department warned that extremist groups including Islamic State and al-Qaida were focusing “on the upcoming holiday season and associated events” in Europe.
The Islamic State group and al-Qaida have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack crowds. On July 14, a truck plowed into Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France.
Merkel said Monday’s attack would not cause Germany to live in fear.
“Even if it’s difficult at this hour we will find the strength to live life the way we want to live it in Germany. Free, together and openly,” she said.
Associated Press writers David Rising and Geir Moulson in Berlin and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.
What to Read Next
The Pajama Boy / “Lead From Behind” President Obama Tells Vladimir Putin to “Cut It Out,” In Reference To The Alleged Russian Hacking Into The 2016 American Elections. I have not heard this phrase since the bygone sitcom from a generation ago – Leave It To Beaver. The phrase “Cut It Out,” was a favorite phrase that Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow) often used when speaking with his brother Beaver, or his buddies Eddie Haskell or Lumpy Rutherford. January twentieth 2017 cannot come too quickly. …And Americans are concerned about Donald Trump’s foreign policy?
Humorous politicians break up the competition, polarization, and monotony of their profession. I can still see Gerald Ford as he slips on the steps while exiting an airplane. Or how about Dick Cheney’s gaffs with a gun? Would you go hunting with him?
Then there is Joe Biden. When he parts his lips, one never knows what may come forth. He reminds me of the Apostle Peter, who had hoof and mouth disease. Joe Biden’s latest quotation is this: President Elect Donald Trump has not even moved into the White House yet, and Joe Biden states that he will run for president in 2020. Here is Vice President Joe Biden’s actual quotation: “Yeah, I am. I’m going to run in 2020. What the hell, man.” He will be 78 years old in four years if he even lives that long. He later “clarified” to reporters: “I am not committing not to run.” Right Joe.
Like him or not, Joe Biden is truly a piece of work. I respect him because he refused to kiss the Pope’s ring when protocol called for it.
An Attitude Of Gratitude
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered; Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered; Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure; Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure; Thanks for love beyond compare.
The Preacher Who Never Failed To Give Thanks
John Gray, a circuit-riding preacher, never failed to thank God for something, no matter how bad the times or how severe the trial.
One day when Gray had had to battle through wind and sleet to his preaching appointment at a distant village chapel, the small congregation waiting for him wondered what he could be thankful for in such weather.
When it came time for prayer, John prayed, “This is a wretched day, dear Lord, no doubt about it; but we thank Thee, Lord, that every day isn’t as bad as this one!”
When Matthew Henry Was Robbed
A man once stole Matthew Henry’s wallet. In reflecting on the incident, Henry said, “1.) I am thankful that he never robbed me before. 2), I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life. 3) Although he took all I had, it was not much. And 4), I am glad that it was I who was robbed, not I who did the robbing.” Matthew Henry knew how to make lemonade out of a lemon — how to be grateful despite a bad experience. That is how mature people react in tough times. They learn to be grateful even for small blessings. They realize that ingratitude toward God is the first step toward backsliding from God. We see this in Romans 1. The Apostle Paul described the path people take in departing from God. The first step is an attitude of ingratitude. Paul says, “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.” Ingratitude leads to many bad choices. Even for believers, when we take God’s’ blessings for granted and neglect to give him thanks, we slowly have little time for God, little time for worship, and little time to help others. We become self-centered. Before we know it, we have wandered far away from God, and we wonder what happened to that glowing relationship we once enjoyed with God. That is why we must worship and give thanks to God. Gratitude toward God leads to peace, joy, and satisfaction.
Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer, but richer for having made it. -A.W. Tozer
Habakkuk 3:17-19 King James Version (KJV)
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Psalm 105:1-5 King James Version (KJV)
105 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth…
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 King James Version (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
…and one more for the road
You don’t need a bank full of cash to be thankful; Be thankful you have what you do. Don’t envy your neighbors the fruits of their labors; Your fortune rests solely with you. Here’s cause for thanksgiving: The fact that you’re living
Where freedom of enterprise reigns, Where all can aspire to what they desire, Each welcome to what he attains. If you have what’s needed, you can’t be impeded By limits on courage and skill. No blessing is greater, so thank your Creator And ask His guidance and will.