Politics and U.S. Current Events
Posted 2/27/15 at 8:10 AM | Karen Kramer
Measured by some of the curt replies I received, I could tell last week’s post riled some folks. Why should I finger President Obama for posting selfies, when everyone else does too? Who really cares?
Another reader complained:
"He can't enjoy himself during his term? You must be a Christian that believes entertainment is wrong. Do you resent him sleeping at night too? Why are you so priggish?"
Okay. Point taken. I am priggish. President Obama was merely reaching out to those who appreciate a good selfie.
Someone else said to stop playing the blame game. Another reader suggested, I should really be pointing the finger at myself and asking how am I helping this sorry world?
So, please accept my apologies—and I extend apologies to President Obama. Since it’s hard for this unelected, small town American to change policies on immigration, ISIS, or our fledgling economy, I’m focusing on what I can do: FULL POST
Posted 2/26/15 at 9:42 PM | Donna Lee Schillinger
“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” Barak Obama
No sooner did the president utter these words at the National Prayer Breakfast than he began to take heat for the flawed comparison. Interestingly, much of the criticism has focused on the flaws in the analogy between the Crusades and ISIS’s jihad, while much less has been said about the comparison to the Inquisition.
Let’s put aside for the moment that Obama picked a really weird opportunity to spring this one on the public. And if we can, let’s distance ourselves from the personal passion about our Christian identity. Was the president way off base? Before you decide, I invite you to read (or re-read) Foxes Book of Martyrs.
It so happened that I picked that gem to listen to on audio on a recent trip to Texas. (Yes, I could use your prayers.) So on Friday morning, completely ignorant of the president’s controversial remarks of Thursday morning, I began Foxes Book of Martyrs. Guess how many chapters it took for the idea to independently occur to me that the Inquisition had a number of things in common with the “holy war” happening now? Just one, the first chapter on the Inquisition. FULL POST
Posted 2/24/15 at 9:33 PM | Bethany Christian Services
In honor of Black History month, guest blogger Dr. Steven Timmermans, executive director of Christian Reformed Church of North America, shares how our nation’s roots in racial reconciliation helped to plant the seed for a family tree he and his wife never imagined.
Dr. John M. Perkins has been a contribution of relocation and racial reconciliation. Raised by his grandmother and extended family of sharecroppers, Perkins’ early life was marked by racism. He was 17 when he lost his brother to a fatal shooting by a police officer. He moved to California where he started a family. Ten years after his brother’s death, Perkins accepted his son’s invitation to attend church, and there he found new life in Christ. In his early thirties, he moved to Mississippi and founded the Voice of Calvary Bible Institute.
When my wife and I traveled to Mississippi for a conference more than 35 years ago, we never expected the life-changing challenge we received from Dr. Perkins. His words changed our lives forever. Perkins shared that Scripture calls the races to be reconciled, just as God reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and that God has given us a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). He said that he considers his life to be a holistic ministry—an effort to free us all from the bondage of racism and repair the damage racism had done. FULL POST
Posted 2/22/15 at 11:41 PM | Candice Lanier
The Mall Of America in Bloomington, Minnesota has issued a statement indicating it has increased mall security in response to a video which terrorist group Al Shabaab claims to have released. The video calls for attacks on malls, including The Mall of America, one of the largest malls in the United States.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reacted to the video by warning that, "groups like ISIL [ISIS], al-Shabaab, AQAP (al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula) are now publicly calling for attacks either through the internet, through videos, through publications, which means that we need to respond militarily but we also have to have a whole government approach through law enforcement, homeland security and frankly countering violent extremism efforts here in the homeland in communities." Johnson also said that, "we’re in a new phase now and I’m afraid that this most recent video release reflects that." FULL POST
Posted 2/20/15 at 8:02 AM | Karen Kramer
It’s the 21st Century but we’re witnessing a reemergence of medieval warfare—the beheadings, brutality, and slavery—as it spreads, some military experts speculate that it’ll end in a global war.
We depend on our nation’s brightest minds to know how to deal with the threats against us. We can argue about our foreign policy maneuvers, but unfortunately the choices that remain are hard ones.
As our nation deals with the horrific executions of some of our own citizens, I’m wondering if it was wise for our president to release a bunch of selfies promoting his health care law? The timing couldn’t have been more inappropriate.
Just as we were evacuating our US Embassy in Yemen (a nation Obama once praised as an example of our foreign policy success), the White House released the selfies. FULL POST
Posted 2/18/15 at 8:13 PM | Larry Fell
On 15 February 2015 we were again assailed by images released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/Daesh) which assassinated a reported 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. This spreads this cancer on humanity into Libya, with no reason to believe it will not spread even further and perhaps with a speed that will shock the world (or most of the 7,000,000,000 inhabitants anyways). The signs are there if we are willing to see them.
Pick An "I" Word: Immigration Or Infiltration FULL POST
Posted 2/18/15 at 6:08 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis and Michael Ashcraft
The latest foreign fighters to flock into the war zone in Iraq and Syria are Christians who want to do more than their western governments allow.
U.S. vet Jordan Matson engages in firefights regularly with ISIS soldiers alongside pro-Western Syrian Kurds, according to an interview with Fox News.
“I decided that if our government wasn’t going to do anything about it, I would,” says Matson, who’s fought ISIS since September 2014. “We’re getting shot at on pretty much a daily basis. It’s more of a World War II or Vietnam style fight. We don’t have the technology that the United States military has to push our enemies away.”
A strong Christian who has the words “Christ is Lord” inscribed in his vest, Matson says he decided to enlist when he saw the news reports about Christians being executed mercilessly while family members were sold into slavery and given to human trafficking. FULL POST
Posted 2/18/15 at 2:20 PM | Michael Bresciani
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Ps 116: 15 KJV)
Contrary to Catholic teaching, saints are not just those canonized by the Pope. The appearance of untold millions of redeemed souls in the last days dispels that error completely. They are all called saints and they don’t need the Pope’s approval for that honored appellation. (Rev 5: 11)
Far more important is the fact that their deaths, especially those that are martyred, are ‘precious’ to God. The truth is that the severity of the judgments found in Revelation is due largely because in the last days, the slaughter of his people will begin again and will lead to God’s final intervention into the history of man. It is a worldwide judgment that will make atomic warfare; EMP’s and bio-war seem tame by comparison.
While I know that one day the message of warning and that of thousands of the faithful who share this message will be vindicated, even that, counts for little in our own assessment of things. What does count - are the precious lives and families of those who are disregarded and treated as refuse in a world that is sliding into reprobation at the speed of death. FULL POST
Posted 2/17/15 at 9:40 PM | Bethany Christian Services
If you had to choose, would you use your last $40 on groceries this week or to take your sick child to the doctor? Would you spend it at the gas station so you could get to work or at the pharmacy so your child could get well?
The high cost of healthcare has forced many parents to make these difficult choices. Acacia Bamberg Salatti is the Director of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She recently joined me as an Every Child podcast guest to share about provisions in the Affordable Care Act that provide medical and preventive care for many of the families and children Bethany serves—single parents, vulnerable children with significant medical needs, and teens aging out of foster care. Listen here. FULL POST
Posted 2/17/15 at 12:10 AM | Candice Lanier
Let's get some definitions out of the way right off the bat, because a lot of people confuse the Dark Web with the Deep Web. We're basically dealing with three distinct concepts.
The Surface Web is anything that can be indexed by a typical search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Conversely, the Deep Web is anything that a search engine can’t find. For example, when you conduct a search on a website using a search box, you will extract results from the Deep Web. Government databases and libraries are home to massive amounts of Deep Web data.
And, the Darknet (also known as the Dark Web) is just a small portion of the Deep Web. It has been intentionally concealed and is inaccessible through standard web browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. You can't get there from here.--at least not directly. FULL POST