Jan 31 2012

ASK OF THE LORD RAIN in the time of the latter or spring rain; It is the Lord Who makes lightnings which usher in the rain and give men showers, and grass to everyone in the field; For the teraphim (household idols) have spoken vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and the diviners have seen a lie and the dreamers have told false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people go their way like sheep; they are afflicted and hurt because there is no shepherd; I will hiss for them [as the keeper does for his bees] and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase [again] as they have increased [before, in Egypt]; And though I sow them among the nations, yet they shall [earnestly] remember Me in far countries, and with their children they shall live and shall return [to God and the land He gave them].

Tag: Israel PropheticSage @ 8:15 pm

Zechariah 10:1-12 [show/hide]Zechariah 10 The Restoration for Judah and Israel [10:1]Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain, from the LORD who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field. [2]For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd. [3]"My anger is hot against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like his majestic steed in battle. [4]From him shall come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler--all of them together. [5]They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the LORD is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses. [6]"I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the LORD their God and I will answer them. [7]Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall be glad as with wine. Their children shall see it and be glad; their hearts shall rejoice in the LORD. [8]"I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before. [9]Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return. [10]I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them. [11]He shall pass through the sea of troubles and strike down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart. [12]I will make them strong in the LORD, and they shall walk in his name," declares the LORD.
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

1ASK OF the Lord rain in the time of the latter or spring rain. It is the Lord Who makes lightnings which usher in the rain and give men showers, and grass to everyone in the field.

2For the teraphim (household idols) have spoken vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and the diviners have seen a lie and the dreamers have told false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people go their way like sheep; they are afflicted and hurt because there is no shepherd.

3My anger is kindled against the shepherds [who are not true shepherds] and I will punish the goat leaders, for the Lord of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His beautiful and majestic horse in the battle.

4Out of him [Judah] shall come forth the [a]Cornerstone, out of him the tent peg, out of him the battle bow; every ruler shall proceed from him.

5And they shall be like mighty men treading down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle, and they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and the [oppressor's] riders on horses shall be confounded and put to shame.

6And I will strengthen the house of Judah and I will save the house of Joseph [Ephraim]. I will bring them back and cause them to dwell securely, for I have mercy, loving-kindness, and compassion for them. They shall be as though I had not cast them off, for I am the Lord their God, and I will hear them.

7Then Ephraim [the ten tribes] shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall rejoice as through wine; yes, their children shall see it and rejoice; their hearts shall feel great delight and glory triumphantly in the Lord!

8I will hiss for them [as the keeper does for his bees] and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase [again] as they have increased [before, in Egypt].

9And though I sow them among the nations, yet they shall [earnestly] remember Me in far countries, and with their children they shall live and shall return [to God and the land He gave them].

10I will bring them [all Israel] home again from the land of Egypt and gather them out of Assyria, and I will bring them into the land [on the east and on the west of the Jordan, into] Gilead and Lebanon, and room enough shall not be found for them.

11And [the Lord] will pass through the sea of distress and affliction [at the head of His people, as He did at the Red Sea]; and He will smite down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the [river] Nile shall be dried up and put to shame; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down and the scepter or rod [of the taskmasters of Egypt] shall pass away.

12And I will strengthen [Israel] in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down and glory in His name, says the Lord. - Amplified Bible


  1. Zechariah 10:4 [show/hide]Zechariah 10:4 [4]From him shall come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler--all of them together.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    This Messianic referent reminds one of the “Cornerstone” imagery of Ps. 118:22-23 [show/hide]Psalm 118:22-23 [22]The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. [23]This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; Isa. 28:16 [show/hide]Isaiah 28:16 [16]therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'Whoever believes will not be in haste.'
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; Matt. 21:42 [show/hide]Matthew 21:42 [42]Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; Acts 4:11 [show/hide]Acts 4:11 [11]This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; Eph. 2:19-22 [show/hide]Ephesians 2:19-22 [19]So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20]built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21]in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22]In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; I Pet. 2:6-8 [show/hide]1 Peter 2:6-8 [6]For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." [7]So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone," [8]and "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
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Jan 31 2012

Response to Ron Paul: Did U.S. Policy Make Today’s Islamist Iran Hate America?

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 7:45 pm

From Rubin Reports.Blogspot.Com

Response to Ron Paul: Did U.S. Policy Make Today’s Islamist Iran Hate America?

Posted: 31 Jan 2012 06:28 AM PST

A different version of the following article was published in The Daily Caller.

By Barry Rubin

Presidential candidate Ron Paul has said repeatedly that Iranians hate America because of its role in the 1953 coup overthrowing Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh. Like his frequent claims that the September 11 attack was a response to a supposed decade-long U.S. bombing of Iraq.

In fact, about the only intense bombing of Iraq done by the United States in the last twenty years was for two weeks at the start of the 2003 war and one time in retaliation against an assassination plot against former president George Bush. From time to time, U.S. planes also hit Iraqi radar defenses, not likely as a source for the September 11 attacks. The picture that Paul’s statement implies is some sort of constant attack targeting Iraqi civilians.

But people know far less about the 1953 case, though it has long been a source of complaint by left-wing critics of U.S. foreign policy. I was the first scholar to see the U.S. government records for the crisis hen writing my book, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran, in 1979. Here is a brief summary of the key points.

The nationalist government of Muhammad Mossadegh had nationalized the British oil company. While a well-intentioned democratic-minded modernizer, Mossadegh was also a personally erratic and incompetent prime minister. And the social base for parliamentary democracy in Iran was clearly not strong enough. In the face of a British embargo on Iran selling its oil–the British argued that it was “stolen property”–and many domestic problems, the country was spiraling into chaos. While the British were interested in getting the oil company back, the United States was worried about a Communist takeover.  A group of pro-Shah Iranians teamed up with the British to propose a “counter-coup” in which the Shah would break openly with Mossadegh and the monarch’s supporters would overthrow the prime minister.

First, the pressure for the coup came from the British. The Truman Administration, which left in office in January 1953, opposed American involvement. However, the situation worsened and the Eisenhower Administration changed U.S. policy on the issue.

Mossadegh was an extremely unstable person and leader.  He was clearly losing control of the country and the Communist Party, which backed him, was gaining power steadily. A close examination of the documents shows that whether it was correct or not U.S. fear of a Communist takeover was based on serious evidence. This was the midst of the Cold War and the USSR was Iran’s northern neighbor. The Soviets had occupied northern Iran from 1941 to 1946, to secure the country’s oil during World War Two, set up puppet regimes inside the country, and only withdrew under intensive U.S. pressure.

On balance, and after long consideration, I think the coup was a proper move for U.S. policy. One can say that it denied Iran a democratic regime but the way things were going, that was about to collapse into anarchy, a coup, or a Communist takeover anyway.

What is especially interesting in retrospect is that one of the main supporters of the move were the Iranian Muslim clerics, including Ayatollah Kashani, the man who would be a role model for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. I saw how he and his colleagues met with U.S. officials and urged a coup, since they also feared a Communist regime. It is ironic for Islamists to complain about a U.S. policy that they actively backed at the time.

Second, in legalistic terms the U.S. argument was that this was actually a “counter-coup” because the shah had the right to dismiss Mossadegh. The regime—as opposed to a particular prime minister—was not being overthrown by a coup but rather it was being saved from a coup by Mossadegh. This case is not rock-solid but has some standing. The situation was not like a Latin American military overthrowing a democratic government.

I have stated things here briefly and have not done justice to the complexity of the situation. A real argument can be mounted against U.S. policy at the time but in the end I don’t find it convincing and this is certainly not a case of an unjustified action aimed against someone because he was a liberal reformer or moderate nationalist.

But the most important point for today is the question of how this action reverberated over time: the Shah ruled for a quarter-century and basically did about as good a job as anyone was going to do there. He was a dictator, the regime had a high level of corruption, and the secret police used torture. Yet in many ways the succeeding regime has been even worse.

For U.S. policy, the two key questions were: did a better alternative exist and is a quarter-century success a failure because it comes to an end. I’d say a better alternative didn’t exist at the time and that if a policy works for 25 years that policy isn’t a failure.

As for the coming to power of a radical Islamist regime—as we are now seeing in countries like Egypt and Libya—that isn’t due to American backing for the previous ruler but to the nature of the societies involved.

All of this, however, only leads up to responding to Ron Paul’s claim. Liberal nationalist Iranians have blamed the United States for overthrowing Mossadegh, who after all was their leader. Yet these people have never been in power in Iran and only comprise a small portion of its population (though a larger portion of the exiled intelligentsia, the people who write book on the subject).

One of the very first acts of the Islamist regime—whose predecessors in the 1950s supported U.S. policy by the way—was to repress the followers of Mossadegh. Consequently, a country whose rulers supported a coup and then repressed the opponents of the coup can scarcely be said to hate America for supporting the coup.

There is one more point that doesn’t fit well with the currently hegemonic radical ideology expressed by the supporters of both Obama and Ron Paul but it must be included if one is ever going to understand Iran. Power is respected; weakness is not.  In 1978 and 1979 the Carter Administration basically refused to support the Shah in the belief that this diffidence would win Iranian’s love. In fact it led to disaster.

The Clinton Administration in effect tried to do the opposite of what American policy had been in 1953. You can see the results for yourself. Many Iranians, especially those unhappy with the Islamist regime, believe that the United States put Khomeini in power the way that it returned the Shah to power a quarter-century earlier. In short, American power is exaggerated by Iranians who are either going to jump on the U.S. bandwagon or blame the United States no matter what happens.

Why is Ron Paul so much like Barack Obama on foreign policy? Because both men tend to blame America first and neither have a firm grasp of the realpolitik principles that must usually guide international policy. They also both overstate the role of things like popularity in global affairs.

In Paul’s case this makes him an isolationist, arguing that if the United States doesn’t bother other countries they will leave America alone.

In Obama’s case, he believes that America is bad for the world, mistakes America’s enemies as the good guys, and rejects U.S. interests in the belief that it is better to please other countries believing it will make them leave America alone.   .

They also have something else in common: they ignore or misunderstand the internal realities of other countries. The Islamist regime in Iran doesn’t hate America because of its past policy toward Iran but because it stands in the way of Tehran’s program: Islamist revolutions everywhere; the destruction not only of Israel but of virtually all regimes in the region; and their replacement by Iran-style governments and societies.

The issue–as with the USSR and the fascist states–is not hatred of either U.S. policies or freedom but the fact that America is a geopolitical enemy, making it harder or impossible for their radical ideology to conquer the world or at least their part of it.

Barry Rubin’s latest book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press.

For further reading on this issue, see:

Barry Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran, hardcover: Oxford University Press; paperback: Viking/Penguin. Published in Persian in Tehran as The War for Power in Iran.

“Regime Change and Iran: A Case Study,” Washington Quarterly, 2003, and published as ”Lessons from Iran,” in Alexander T. J. Lennon and Camille Eiss,Reshaping Rogue States: Preemption, Regime Change, and U.S. Policy toward Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, (Boston, MIT Press, 2004), pp. 141-156.


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Jan 31 2012

PJ Media: News Index - 31st January 2012

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 7:40 pm

From PJ Media.Com


Hunkered Between Santorum and Paul Lies Peace Through Total War
By Walter Hudson

Is our choice in foreign policy really between pointless perpetual war and recklessly naive peace? There is a correct foundation upon which foreign policy should be built that is an entirely different perspective from both Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.

The Gingrich Rope-a-Dope: Speaker Attacks Romney as Moderate
By Alexis Garcia

Newt Gingrich makes his closing argument to Florida voters at a rally at the Tampa International Jet Center in Tampa, Fla. (Watch Alexis Garcia’s report from Tampa on PJTV.)


When Did the War Start? Or Did It?
By Michael Ledeen

Almost everything you read about the “increasing tension” between Iran and the United States revolves around the rhetorical question, “Will there be a war?” The war is already on — it’s been on for three decades. What do you think all those chants of “Death to America!” mean?

Why Apologies Matter
By Belladonna Rogers

Many see an apology as a sign of weakness, believing that only the weak apologize. But, as PJM advice columnist Belladonna Rogers explains, saying “I’m sorry” is a sign of strength that has a surprising power.


o Oscar and The Death of Movies (Andrew Klavan)

o John Carter’s Long Road from the Civil War to the Silver Screen (Chris Queen)

o Once Again Oliver Stone Hypes his New TV Documentary: Time to Tell CBS to Cancel It (Ron Radosh)

o Female Voters Are Too Emotional: And That Makes Me Very Angry!! (Stephanie Maier)

o Gray Lady Down: Has the London Daily Mail Overtaken the NY Times? (Ed Driscoll)

o New Emails Suggest Eric Holder Perjured Himself (Bob Owens)

o GOP-Governed and Right-To-Work States Saved the Economy’s Bacon in 2011 (Tom Blumer)

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Jan 31 2012

What about those who never hear about Jesus?

Tag: Infinite GodSage @ 7:36 pm

What about those who never hear about Jesus?

This week’s reading: Acts 4:12

There may be no satisfactory answer to this question. The Bible is clear about the exclusive claims of Christ (see Jn 14:6). Yet we also know God is merciful and absolutely just. It would seem to contradict what we know of his nature if he did not account for the disadvantages of those who, through no fault of their own, have never heard of Jesus.

From another perspective we have to say that even those who have heard the name of Jesus do not deserve to be saved. Salvation is always the result of God’s love for us, not our love for him. It is his grace—not our efforts—that saves us.

Still, God’s grace requires a human response. Christians have a responsibility to make Christ known in all the world so people have the opportunity to respond (see Mt 28:19–20). Ultimately, we can trust God to judge the world justly.

- Bible Gateway.Com

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Jan 31 2012

Jesus Overcomes Satan

Tag: Spiritual ReflectionsSage @ 7:32 pm

Jesus Overcomes Satan

Matthew 4:8-11 “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’” (v. 10).

Fame, power, and authority are so enticing that many people embrace wickedness in their drive to be known and followed. Men lie and cheat in order to climb the corporate ladder. Starlets try to outdo one another’s outrageous behavior in order to keep their names in the spotlight. Politicians lie and stab others in the back in their pursuit of the highest offices in the land. Matthew Henry is right to say that “the glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary and that by which men are most deceived. The pride of life is the most dangerous snare.”

In today’s passage, Satan presents Jesus with a prize - authority over all the kingdoms of this world ( Matt. 4:8-9). This rule is not sinful in itself since the Messiah is promised reign over the nations (Ps. 2:8). The problem is the means the Devil offers. Worship of a false god, the evil one himself, can bring the Son of David immediately to a position of authority in the world (Matt. 4:9 ). Satan is tempting Jesus to take a shortcut and bypass the cross to receive the name by which every tongue on heaven and earth will bow (Phil. 2:5-11). John Calvin says this temptation is that “Christ should seek, in another manner than from God, the inheritance that he has promised to his children.”

Adam failed this test. Instead of submitting to the Creator, he embraced godless autonomy. He ate the forbidden fruit so that he could be a law unto himself instead of looking to the Almighty to define right and wrong ( Gen. 3). God’s son Israel (Hos. 11:1) disobeyed as well by going after other gods (Ex. 32). However, Jesus will not make the same mistake. On a mountain He will declare that He has received authority, but it will not be on the mount of temptation. No, it will be on a mountain after He is faithful to His Father’s will ( Matt. 28:16-20). Jesus will not avoid the cross in His drive to regain the righteous dominion given to man (Gen. 1:26-27). He will not become an idolater (Matt. 4:10).

Thus, Jesus triumphs over Satan (v. 11 ). This is good news for us indeed. In staring down temptation, Jesus experienced suffering, and thus He is able to help us when we are tempted (Heb. 2:18).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Matthew Henry comments that “the best of saints may be tempted to the worst of sins.” Though Jesus never sinned, Satan left the worst temptation of all for last - blatant idolatry. If our Lord faced such a test, we too cannot be surprised if we are tempted to do the worst. But take heart, for Jesus can strengthen us to defeat the enemy. When tempted, run to Him in prayer and study His Word so that you can resist the Devil.

For further study:

Genesis 39:6b-12

The Bible in a year:

Exodus 39-Lev. 1

- Bible Gateway.Com

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Jan 31 2012

The God Question

Tag: Spiritual ReflectionsSage @ 7:27 pm

The God Question

There are only so many different views on the question of God. Do you know what you believe?

Atheism, or materialism, is the view that there really is no God. As a dogma or philosophy, atheism says that there is a physical universe and nothing else. Belief in God is a weak-minded explanation or naïve wishful thinking preventing people from standing on their own two feet.

Polytheism is the belief that there are many gods. The polytheist says, “in our tribe we worship this god, but you live on the other side of the river (or across the ocean, or in a different culture), and you worship a different god. We choose to accept a plurality of gods because we’re not about to believe in your god, and we don’t care a bit if you believe in our god.” There is no absolute God to whom you are fully accountable.

Pantheism holds that there is a divine nature in the universe, but it is indistinguishable from the physical universe itself. God is not separate; God is what is; God is an “it.” Pantheism deifies the earth and the self. It holds that if we have within us an urge to find the divine, it is because we are divine, and part of a spiritual unity that binds together all reality. Pantheism says that your search for God doesn’t need to stretch any further than what you can see. What it does not offer is a God who is better than us, higher than us, stronger than us.

Deism is the belief that there is a God who created the universe, but then stepped back from it all and has no controlling influence over or involvement in the world. There are no miracles-never have been. There is no word from heaven-never has been. Don’t expect any direct divine involvement in your life-never will be. The Bible is a human book with spiritual aspirations, but ignore the miracles (including the resurrection of Jesus) because we know better than that today.

Theism is the biblical view. A confidence that when you pray, there is a God who hears you. An anticipation about what new movement God is going to initiate in the world today. An attentiveness to the voice of God. A confidence in divine love. A belief that God acts with intelligent purpose. Theism is the belief that there is a God who is singular, transcendent, all-powerful, consistent, and wise. And he is personal.

Next time: how is God “personal”?

[Mel expands on all this, including explanations of how Christianity is different from Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world religions in his book I Want to Believe: Finding Your Way in an Age of Many Faiths. You can get this book free today when you order a copy of Patterns: Ways to Develop a God-Filled Life. Order HERE.]

- Bible Gateway.Com

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Jan 31 2012

Men of the Bible: Zadok

Tag: Men of the BibleSage @ 7:22 pm

Zadok [Zā'dŏk]—righteous, justified.

The Man Who Remained Loyal

1. The son of Ahitub and father of Ahimaaz, a priest in David’s time (2 Sam. 8:17; 15:24-36; 17:15; 18:19, 27; 19:11; 20:25). Other references may be found in 1 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Ezekiel.

This Zadok was appointed priest by Solomon in the place of Abiathar, because of his own loyalty (1 Kings 1:8), and the disloyalty of Abiathar (1 Kings 1:7).

Zadok was the founder of an important part of the priesthood and from Solomon’s time his descendants constituted the most prominent family among the order of priests.

As a young man, he was mighty of valor (1 Chron. 12:27, 28).

As a friend of David, Zadok remained true to him during Absalom’s rebellion ( 2 Sam. 15:24-29).

As a priest he remained faithful to David although his colleague deserted the king (1 Kings 1:7, 8). For his loyalty he retained his high and holy office till his death ( 1 Kings 2:26, 27).

2. The father of Jerusha, wife of Uzziah and mother of Jotham, king of Judah (2 Kings 15:33 ; 2 Chron. 27:1).

3. Son of Ahitub, grandson of Azariah, high priest in Solomon’s great Temple (1 Chron. 6:12; 9:11).

4. The son of Baana who shared in the repair of the wall of Jerusalem ( Neh. 3:4).

5. A priest, son of Immer (Neh. 3:29).

6. One of the chiefs of the people who sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:21).

7. A son of Meraioth, of priestly ancestry (Neh. 11:11).

8. The scribe or priest appointed by Nehemiah to take charge of the treasuries of the Lord’s house (Neh. 13:13). He may have been the same Zadok of Nehemiah 3:29.

- Bible Gateway.Com

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Jan 31 2012

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon - 31st January

Tag: Verse of the DaySage @ 7:19 pm

January 31


“The Lord our Righteousness.”
Jeremiah 23:6

It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace, to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further, and remember that we are “perfect in Christ Jesus.” It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that “Christ is made unto us righteousness,” we shall be of good cheer. What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord, Christ hath done it all. On the cross he said, “It is finished!” and if it be finished, then am I complete in him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” You will not find on this side heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus;” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought–”Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love him and serve him, seeing that I am saved by his merits?” “The love of Christ constraineth us,” “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto him which died for them.” If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.


“Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.”
2 Samuel 18:23

Running is not everything, there is much in the way which we select: a swift foot over hill and down dale will not keep pace with a slower traveller upon level ground. How is it with my spiritual journey, am I labouring up the hill of my own works and down into the ravines of my own humiliations and resolutions, or do I run by the plain way of “Believe and live”? How blessed is it to wait upon the Lord by faith! The soul runs without weariness, and walks without fainting, in the way of believing. Christ Jesus is the way of life, and he is a plain way, a pleasant way, a way suitable for the tottering feet and feeble knees of trembling sinners: am I found in this way, or am I hunting after another track such as priestcraft or metaphysics may promise me? I read of the way of holiness, that the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein: have I been delivered from proud reason and been brought as a little child to rest in Jesus’ love and blood? If so, by God’s grace I shall outrun the strongest runner who chooses any other path. This truth I may remember to my profit in my daily cares and needs. It will be my wisest course to go at once to my God, and not to wander in a roundabout manner to this friend and that. He knows my wants and can relieve them, to whom should I repair but to himself by the direct appeal of prayer, and the plain argument of the promise. “Straightforward makes the best runner.” I will not parlay with the servants, but hasten to their master.

In reading this passage, it strikes me that if men vie with each other in common matters, and one outruns the other, I ought to be in solemn earnestness so to run that I may obtain. Lord, help me to gird up the loins of my mind, and may I press forward towards the mark for the prize of my high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

- Bible Gateway.Com

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Jan 31 2012

(Dis)honorable slaughter in their native lands

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 7:14 pm

From American Thinker.Com

January 31, 2012

Ethel C. Fenig

While those of us in North America–and maybe even Europe–are finally beginning to acknowledge –and even condemn–the multi culti horror of (dis)honorable killings of Muslims who bring their cultural baggage/trash with them as they emigrate, the true extent of this murderous practice in their native lands is like a glacier–much of these ingrained attitudes and actions are unacknowledged and therefore unknown. But slowly some knowledge is emerging.

The BBC recently reported on a true mother in law/grandmother from hell–a woman who killed her daughter in law for producing a third granddaughter when

the mother gave birth to a third girl two months ago. The husband and mother-in-law strangled her for giving birth to a third daughter”.

Senior officials told the BBC that the mother-in-law, known as Wali Hazrata, tied the feet of the 22-year old woman, who was known as Stori, while Stori’s husband strangled her.

He is thought to be a fighter with an illegal armed militia which is is believed to have some political support.


The birth of a boy is usually a cause for celebration in Afghanistan but girls are generally seen as a burden.

Some women in Afghanistan are abused if they fail to give birth to boys. And this is just the latest in a series of high-profile crimes against women in the country.

Ps-s-st! For people everywhere, here is an introduction to basic biology which I learned (too) many years ago in my urban high school and is still valid, simply explained by Wikipedia: it is the male sperm containing both x and y chromosomes as opposed to the female’s two x chromosomes–which determines the gender of children. So the male loving Afghani mother in law and daughter in law should have killed the son for his responsibility for producing a third daughter.

Each person normally has one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell. Females have two X chromosomes, whereas males have one X and one Y chromosome. Both males and females retain one of their mother’s X chromosomes, and females retain their second X chromosome from their father. Since the father retains his X chromosome from his mother, a human female has one X chromosome from her paternal grandmother (father’s side), and one X chromosome from her mother.

Yeah, (dis)honorable killing of males–that will reduce the incidence of these female murders. Or make for a pleasanter society.

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Jan 31 2012

Israel to Iran: It’s Crunch Time

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 6:54 pm

From American Thinker.Com

January 31, 2012

By James Lewis

It is indeed a cold day in Hell when the New York Times blunders into telling the truth about Iran.  Well, it just happened. This is serious business, because it means that the NYT is now expecting something real to happen soon.

President Obama has been tip-toeing away from the Iranian nuclear end-run for three years, until the window of opportunity to preempt catastrophe has almost slammed shut. The Saudis may be buying their own nukes.  Iran is threatening to block almost half of Europe’s oil by shutting the Strait of Hormuz, and it can do so — but only at a terrible price.  But once the mullahs have nukes, nobody will dare to stop them.

Europe, the Arabs, Israel, and yes, the United States are all therefore facing the end of the road. If we fail to act now we will become Tehran’s running lackeys very soon. Obama’s three years of dithering has made this moment unavoidable.

Just as the NYT-Wapo axis only reports real poll results near election time, the fact that they are now reporting the reality of the Iranian threat means they expect something big to happen soon.

As in — an Israeli attack on Natanz, and on Tehran’s missile bases like the Imam Ali missile base — Imam Ali being Tehran’s Armageddon messiah.  Or an Israeli nuclear warning explosion under the Negev desert, to see if the mullahs might sober up before it’s too late.  Or a major EMP attack on Tehran’s oil refinery and electricity grid.  Or a huge denial-of-service cyberattack on Tehran’s military and government infrastructure.  Or all of the above.

Here are excerpts from the most truthful analysis the NYT-WaPo Axis has ever published.  It’s called, “Will Israel Attack Iran?” and written by Ronen Bergman, a very skilled analyst for Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.  Bergman quotes two people, PM Bibi Netanyahu, and his Labour Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak. They are from different parties, but both served as paratroops in combat.  Both have made good and bad decisions.  And both consider themselves responsible  “in a very direct and concrete way for the existence of the State of Israel — indeed, for the future of the Jewish people.”

… Barak laid out three … questions

1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can (Israel) withstand the inevitable counterattack?

2. Does Israel have … support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?

3. Have all other possibilities … been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort?”

And then the punch line:

For the first time … some of Israel’s most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes.

The “most powerful leaders” are obviously Netanyahu and Barak.  Between them they represent a majority of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesseth.

Barack Obama has been playing chicken with Israel on a second Holocaust.  That is grossly irresponsible, but it’s no particular surprise for the worst foreign policy president in American history.  Obama has been just as destructive to the Arabs by supporting the anarchy, warfare, and economic destruction of the perversely misnamed “Arab Spring.”  And by failing to keep the faith with our allies all over the world, Obama has weakened confidence in the United States from Asia to the Eastern Europe. But in national security, as in finance, confidence means everything.

Obama has essentially lost the Middle East, where nobody now trusts us.  The Saudis are furious at Obama for failing to protect them against Iranian nukes, which are much closer to their shores than they are to Israel.

Jimmy Carter betrayed Iran to the Dark Age of Ayatollah Khomeini. Barack Obama has now betrayed the Arab world to the Dark Age of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Those two Democrat presidents are directly responsible for criminal neglect and collusion with genocidal evil.

That is entirely consistent with the radical left in Europe, which colludes with genocidal regimes at the United Nations every day of the week.  The Sudan was elected to the Human Rights Commission of the General Assembly with the active collaboration of Europe.  As Michael Ledeen points out, the hard left collaborates with Islamic fascists all over the world.

That is all we need to know.

Israel declared its independence in 1948 as a last refuge for the Jewish people. It has fought time and again since that year for its very existence.  The IDF does not perform miracles, but with its back to the wall it will break the Iranian path to nukes, come what may.

The United States is the only power in the world that can intervene safely in Iran, the way it did in Gulf War I and II and in Iraq.  The Arabs, the Europeans, and even Israel are still hoping that we will step in with our overwhelming military power.

But Barack Obama has been using the Iranian threat to extort border concessions from Israel for the last three years, as he has publicly proclaimed.  In re-election mode Obama is still playing to the phony pacifists of his left wing.  Above all, Obama  wants to vote “present” rather than act.  After all, he might be held responsible for his actions if the American people ever find out.

What would you do in Israel’s place?


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