CBN News: What Did Ben Carson Pray For In Jerusalem?
As the presidential race for 2016 gets closer, likely candidates start visiting key locations. In addition to Iowa and other states, there is also an important international stop.  This week, Dr. Ben Carson took the opportunity to visit America's closest ally in the Middle East. This was the retired neurosurgeon's first visit to the Holy Land. "It's really a fact-finding mission. And you hear so many things and read so many things but until you can actually experience it yourself and see for yourself, you really don't have the proper perspective," Carson said. To get that first-hand perspective, Carson paid a house call to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem...    MORE
Eric Davis: Sorrow, Depression, and the Holidays
Depression and discouragement are not respecters of the holidays. For many reasons, the normal sorrow of life can reach a highpoint this time of year for some. It may be a reminder that we are without a loved one. It may be financial stress, or loss, in a time where the pressure is to purchase. It might be emotional pressure of getting together with broken family. We just may not have a clue why we are discouraged, which can be discouraging itself. We can, even unintentionally, place big demands on this time of year to deliver and fulfill us in impossible ways, apart from God. And Christmas time or not, many of us experience the normal, heavy weight of discouragement and depression as a regular thing; dejection, confusion, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness, anger, darkness, despair.     MORE
Tim Challies: Please Don't Give Them Porn for Christmas
This Christmas a lot of children will receive porn from under the tree. It not what they wanted, and not what their parents intended for them to have. But they will get it anyway...We give our teen his first laptop, warn him about the responsibility that is now his, and send him on his way. We make a mental note to follow up in a couple of weeks, but are sure that he will do just fine....The statistics don’t lie.     MORE
Katie Fridsma: Five Ways For Your Church Staff To Take Advantage Of The Holidays
The Christmas season can be quite a busy one for church teams. You’re decorating the sanctuary, preparing to have extra visitors, wrapping up giving campaigns, and planning Christmas Eve services.  But amongst all of the chaos of this season, don’t miss the chance to minister to one another. This month provides many opportunities to find joy and peace together, and it can be a time of immense team building and renewal on a church-wide level. Here are 5 ways for your staff to take advantage of the Christmas season...     MORE
WND: Death Penalty for Smuggling Bibles?
Unconfirmed reports of a new decree imposing the death penalty on anyone caught smuggling Bibles into Saudi Arabia has many Christian ministries and support groups on edge. Practicing any religion other than Islam has long been illegal in the desert kingdom, and that includes rules against foreigners bringing in any type of religious material that does not conform to the royal family’s strict Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam. Foreign nationals living in Saudi Arabia are often detained for purely religious reasons, sometimes resulting in deportation.    MORE
Nathan Busenitz: Christmas and Controversy
Mention “Christmas” and “controversy” together in the same sentence, and most evangelicals will assume you’re talking about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or the secularization of the winter holiday season. But, from a historical perspective, a much more significant controversy surrounded Christmas for the first five centuries of church history; and its effects still linger in some circles today. It centered on the very essence of Jesus’ birth – the doctrine of His incarnation. There is, of course, an element of mystery in the incarnation. After all, how can one person be both fully God and fully man at the same time? Yet, that is precisely the miraculous truth that the Scriptures affirm regarding the Person of Jesus Christ.   MORE
Christian Century: End Times for End Times
....Most evangelicals no longer draw elaborate maps seeking to identify Gog and Magog, or look for evidence of the rebirth of the Roman Empire, or wonder when animal sacrifices will commence again in Jerusalem. Evangelicals, and evangelicalism, have become respectable. Charles Colson made this clear immediately after 9/11. Rejecting prophetic prognostication, he counseled readers of Christianity Today: “I try to avoid end-times prophecy that makes Christians appear irrelevant to the world.” Polls, however, tell a different story. A 2010 Pew Research Center study revealed that 41 percent of all Americans (well over 100 million people) and 58 percent of white evangelicals believe that Jesus is “definitely” or “probably” going to return by 2050. Evangelicals no longer have to obsess over an imminent rapture....    MORE
 Joseph Klein: A UN Timetable for Israel’s Destruction
The Obama administration is shamelessly outsourcing the United States’ historic leadership in facilitating negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel of a workable, secure two-state solution to the United Nations and European governments. In putting its trust in these two centers of anti-Israel sentiment, the Obama administration refuses to say categorically that it would veto a UN Security Council resolution setting some sort of deadline for the creation of a Palestinian state & Israeli withdrawal to the pre-June 1967 lines.
Benjamin Wachs: How Christmas Lost Its Soul
....The notion that Christmas has to be appealing to kids is already a serious problem for a religion whose central story is about a savior who was unjustly persecuted and killed by a corrupt regime. Even the story of Christmas contains some pretty dark stuff: Joseph and Mary were forced to leave their home by a tyrannical dictator. They were poor. They had to travel while Mary was pregnant, and pregnancy was often lethal. Her life was in danger, and they had no place to stay. They knew no one in Bethlehem. They had no friends. There was no room for a pregnant woman at the inn, and so she was forced to lie among the animals, in the filth of a manger. Christmas loses all of its gravitas when we make this sound like a good time.  MORE
Geoffrey P. Johnston: Will Christmas Come to Iraq?
The holiday season is in full swing, with many Canadians enjoying the carefree pleasures of Christmas office parties and concerts. Others are looking forward to attending Christmas Eve church services, or getting together with family and friends over a turkey dinner. But halfway around the world, Christmas will be anything but carefree for Iraq's persecuted Christian communities.
Washington Times: Atheists Unveil Anti-Christmas TV Specials
AtheistTV’s slate of “holiday-inspired specials”  include a speech by Council for Secular Humanism Executive Director Tom Flynn and an episode of the atheist viewpoint titled, ‘Is Christmas a Religious Holiday?”
Wall St. Journal Movie Review: An ‘Exodus’ Not Found in the Bible
Like “Noah,” this movie had a director who couldn’t bring himself to believe in the story he was telling.
Raymond Ibrahim: How Western Media Enable Islamic Terrorism
The same lies and distortions shielding Islam “over there” have come “over here.”
More Than 100 Women, Children Kidnapped in Nigeria
Boko Haram has struck again in Nigeria, killing 35 people and kidnapping 185 women, children, and militia fighters in a northeast village, according to government officials.
Wal-Mart Uses Corporate Dollars to Promote Gay Agenda
China Arrests U.S. Christian Aid Worker Near North Korea Border
Is Bobby Jindal's Mass Prayer Rally at LSU a Clue To His Presidential Plans?
"What we really need in these United States is a spiritual revival. ... It is time to turn back to God," said Jindal in a video invitation to The Response. "It's time to light the spark that starts spiritual revival...."
Robert Barron: Stephen Hawking's God-Haunted Movie
The great British physicist Stephen Hawking has emerged in recent years as a poster boy for atheism, and his heroic struggles against the ravages of Lou Gehrig's disease have made him something of a secular saint. The new bio-pic A Theory of Everything does indeed engage in a fair amount of Hawking-hagiography, but it is also, curiously, a God-haunted movie.
Evangelical Leaders Ponder America's Race Problem:
Is the Multiethnic Church the Solution?
Evangelical pastors and leaders agreed during a panel discussion livestreamed on Tuesday from the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis about the need for the church in America to be more centered on the Gospel and not be swayed by the media when it comes to racially charged issues currently confronting the nation. Meanwhile the leader of a multi-ethnic church plant movement watching the conference said that it's long past time for only dialogue about race within the local church...
Deanna Kotrla: How To Build Your Volunteer Base This Christmas
For every church staff member serving during your Christmas services and activities, there are also dozens of volunteers working on both the front lines and behind-the-scenes. Here are 3 tips to make this year one of the most memorable ones ever for your volunteers and to keep them coming back to serve in your church community in the New Year.    MORE
Joe Carter: How to Ruin a Moses Movie
....Exodus: Gods and Kings had the potential to be one of the greatest films of all time; instead it’s one of the worst movies of the year. Director Ridley Scott aspired to produce the next Ten Commandments (1956) and instead gave us a revisionist version of the story that is almost as lame as the justifiably forgotten Wholly Moses! (1980). In the future, this movie should be taught in film schools to show all the ways a movie based on a Bible story can go wrong. Here are a few of the lessons Scott's film can teach future generations of filmmakers about how to ruin a movie about Moses.   MORE
Dave Dunham: Romantic Love Is Not Enough
....There are loads of clichés about love. “Love is all we need." "I married my best friend.” Songs invite couples into an “us against the world” mentality. But these clichés are misleading and will ultimately damage relationships. Romantic love serves a wonderful purpose, but it cannot do more than it was designed to do. It cannot replace the important role of other friendships.   MORE
Jerry Newcombe: A New Low in the War on Christmas
The depths of anti-Christian depravity found among some of the intelligentsia in our post-Christian culture has reached a new low. As if that were possible. Just in time for Christmas, a season of joy and giving spawned by the birth of Christ, one can now buy a gold necklace fashioned by a fancy designer, celebrating male genitalia, in the form of a cross. 
Kimberly Thornbury: Christian Colleges vs. Hookup Culture
The good intentions behind conservative campus rules.
Fay Voshell: Supporting Repression and Torture in Cuba
Americans must wake up to the fact our president has a preference for authoritarian regimes and will not work to support democratic movements in Cuba any more than he has anywhere else in the world. 
Adelle Banks: Black Churches Are No Longer Ground Zero for Civil Rights Activism
On the day some churches dubbed “Black Lives Matter” Sunday, many people in the pews found themselves playing catch-up with the people who had already been on the streets.
Jon Gleason: Why the Name 'Jesus' Matters So Much — God With Us
The name “Jesus” came from the Hebrew name Joshua and means, “Jehovah saves.”  Jehovah is the name of God.  He often used this name when affirming to Israel His promises as the God who keeps His covenants, the God who is faithful to His people.  He often says, in the Old Testament, in speaking of His covenants, “I am the LORD” — Jehovah.   MORE
George Stiekes: Liking God’s Will
....Do we really believe God’s way is perfect? Why is it we respond in the affirmative and then fall apart when God tests us? Why is it we so often think life must go our way? As Christians, do we really have an eternal perspective or do we find ourselves living more for the moment? We say we want His will and then complain when He fails to do what we want Him to do!     MORE
Nick Batzig: The Sorrow and Joy of Imputation
One of the questions that has not often been asked or answered in all the discussion about imputation over the past several decades is that which concerns the impact that imputation has on an individual. Throughout the centuries, Reformed theologians have been clear that imputation is merely a legal act, by which God counts our sins against Christ and credits His righteousness to us.   MORE
Brandenburg: Is Perfect Inspiration of Scripture Unattainable?
....God promised perfect preservation, and there was at least a three or four hundred year period in which most to all Christians believed in perfect preservation.  That is what you read in doctrinal statements.  This is pre-enlightenment....But along came more and more textual variants, more hand copies found, and along came a new epistemology.  How do we know what we know?  Before, it was faith.  Theology was the queen of the sciences.  Not anymore.  Now we know in different ways....   MORE
David Murray: R C Sproul And The Call To The Ministry
When examining whether certain men are called to the ministry, the greatest focus today is usually upon gifts. Does the man have communication skills? Is he good with people? Does he demonstrate leadership ability and administrative competence?  MORE
T.J. Addington: The Kind of Leader I Aspire To Be
 There are no perfect leaders. The question is what kind of leader we aspire to be and what we are willing to do about it. I aspire to be a particular kind of leader that is counter cultural because that is what Jesus was. He sets the agenda for leaders who represent Him. I aspire to be a leader who is...   MORE
Sinclair Ferguson: Four Benefits of Our Adoption
To contemplate all the privileges of communion with Christ would be, Owen says, “work for a man’s whole life.” Yet these are all summed up in what he regards as “the head, the spring, and fountain whence they all arise and flow.” This—the highest privilege of all—is adoption into the family of God with all the rights and privileges of knowing Him as our heavenly Father.     MORE
Tony Reinke: Pride, Despair, and Sovereign Grace
Grab a corner of the curtain over the powers at work in this world, pull it back, and look inside, and you will discover two of the strongest forces on earth: pride and despair. One generates what seems to be tremendous dedication and focus; the other robs life of all motivation and concentration.      MORE
Edmondson: Five Areas I Have Micromanaged in Church Revitalization
At least once a week a pastor contacts me about church revitalization. I always tell them I’m still learning, but we have seen God do some pretty amazing things...The primary question I receive is where I spend my time. What am I doing to lead the church to grow again? One of the things I’ve learned is that there are some things I have to micromanage.   MORE
Judi McLeod: America Under Dictatorship
Just as Fidel Castro became Cuba’s dictator when he and his guerrillas triumphantly entered Havana on January 7, 1959, President Barack Obama became America’s dictator on Dec. 17, 2014. Swaggering into Havana dressed in army fatigues with his signature cigar, Castro claimed the island as his own.  Like a thief making off with a nation in the middle of the night, Obama waiting until Congress was out of town, opened America to a Communist totalitarian state. Obama’s dictatorship is one that patently ignores countless thousands of Cuban prisoners, some of them who have been in some of the worst jails in....  MORE
ISIS Slaughters 150 Females In Iraq For Refusing to Marry, Have Sex with Them
Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights claims the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) murdered 150 women simply because they refused to marry or perform sexual acts with the terrorists. “At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage,” said the Ministry. “Many families were also forced to migrate from the province’s northern town of Al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats.” The militants buried the victims in mass graves in the city. The families who left lost many children after they were stranded in the desert.  MORE
Michael Krauszer: Five Unique Ways For Churches To Celebrate Christmas
With Christmas approaching very fast, churches often have to make a decision as to how and if they should celebrate it, at least as an entire church body...Whatever the case may be, every church has to come up with a plan and stick to it. If they don’t congregants are left confused and wondering why Christmas seemed to be neglected altogether. If your church is looking for a good way to celebrate Christmas, you have come to the right place. Here are five unique ways for churches to celebrate Christmas.     MORE
Jani Ortlund: Celebrating Christmas Traditions
"What are some of your family Christmas traditions?" our young friend recently asked us over dinner—not an uncommon question this time of year. Christmas, more than any other holiday, seems to draw up deep longings. We revere the ancient story, eternal in its significance and surrounded by mystery. We yearn for the season to be filled with meaning, a meaning we can embrace and pass on to others. So we look for special ways to celebrate Christmas, to make it our own.    MORE
Pakistani Taliban Issues More Threats Following Child Massacre
As Pakistan reels from one of the most harrowing acts of terrorism ever within its borders, a school massacre that left 141 dead, including 132 children, the Taliban culprits have threatened even more violent unless their jihadist “demands are met.” The Sydney Morning  MORE
Mike Gonzalez: President Obama Didn’t Tell The Whole Story About Cuba
....Obama: “Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago. Neither the American nor Cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.” Reality: The policy is not rooted in the Bay of Pigs, or the Missile Crisis, for that matter. It is rooted in the beatings and imprisonment that Cuban dissidents receive today, and the affront to our values that human rights being trampled 90 miles away represents. The Castros are still in power not because of the embargo, but because they practice state terror.   MORE
Peshawar School Attack Is Just the Beginning, Warn Militants
As Pakistan begins to bury the dead after militants rampaged through an army-run school in Peshawar, killing more than 130 children, images of the assailants have emerged, delivered with a warning that the slaughter was “just the trailer” of attacks to come from the Pakistani Taliban. Mohammad Khorasani, a spokesman for the group, said the attack was “a gift for those who thought they have crushed us in their so-called military operation in North Waziristan”.   MORE
Steve Huntley: Christianity Under Siege
During this season of joyous religious celebrations and especially the holiday cheer enjoyed with family and friends during Christmas time, we should not forget that in too many corners of the world Christianity is under siege with Christians abused, brutalized and murdered.
Simon Caldwell: Christian Refugees in Iraq Face Up to a Bleak Christmas
David Thamir was having a great time as he played go-karts with other boys. He shrieked, ran and jumped with his companions as they charged around in the vehicles they had made for themselves. It was the sort of joyful and innocent fun which comes naturally to children. But in this instance, it was also a fleeting moment of respite from the agony of existence. Maybe those watching the children at play gave thanks to God that these little ones had not fully grasped the enormity of the tragedy that had encompassed their lives.
Joel B. Pollak: Top 10 Lies in Obama’s Cuba Speech
President Barack Obama unveiled a new U.S. policy toward Cuba on Wednesday as part of a deal that brought American Alan Gross home in exchange for three convicted Cuban spies. As he has done so often in the past, Obama tried to channel the perspective of America’s enemies and critics, as if his job were to act as a neutral mediator instead of defending U.S. interests and values. In the course of his address, Obama told American ten major lies, both of omission and commission.
Christianity Today: The Dangers of Door-to-Door Evangelism
...At the time, I did not possess any theories about the most effective or most biblical method of evangelism. I gravitated toward friendship evangelism because it better suited my personality and because, well, it “felt” right. Like many other Americans, I’ve always hated the “hard sell” and have quickly (if politely) closed the door or hung up the phone whenever a solicitor has tried to sell me something. If I was going to share the message of grace with my fellow students, I did not want it to sound like a sales pitch. I wanted it to rise up organically from our friendship, or at least from a sense of shared interests and passions. Jonathan Dodson...argues that our current social-cultural moment has made the door-to-door model not only less effective, but potentially counter-productive.  MORE
Christianity Today: The World's 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014
...Out of the 10 countries with the most YouVersion usage, Philippians 4:8 was the most popular verse in the United States, Brazil, and Nigeria in 2014, while Jeremiah 29:11 was the most popular verse in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jeremiah 33:2-3 was the most popular verse in South Korea. Isaiah 41:10 was the most popular verse in Mexico and Colombia.
Russell Moore on Racism & Southern Baptists: God Is Giving Us a Second Chance
God is graciously giving the Southern Baptist Convention a second chance to get it right on racism issues, Russell Moore offered while noting the growth in non-white Southern Baptists.
Catholic Marquette Univ. Suspends Professor Over Anti-Gay Marriage Controversy
Marquette University seems to be sending a message to students and faculty who support Catholic doctrine regarding marriage: if you oppose gay marriage keep your mouth shut.
Baptist Press: Family TV Is Not So 'Family-Friendly,' Group Finds
Contemporary television series showcasing family life will likely include sex, profanity and violence that make the entertainment unsuitable for family viewing, the Parents Television Council has found.
Christian Advocates Approve of First Non-Christian
Ambassador of Religious Freedom
Church of Scotland Ministers to Sign Covenant Against Gay Ordination
Muslim Women Sue in US Courts for Right to Wear Islamic Garb on the Job
 Ben Shapiro: Pope Francis’ Disturbing Cuban Manipulation
'War on Christmas' Hitting the Hoosier State
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is filing a lawsuit over a nativity scene in the town of Brookeville, about an hour south of Indianapolis. 
Ark Theme Park Builders Fight for Tax Incentives
Study: Men Who Use Porn Are Less Likely to Get Married,
May Be Contributing to Decline in Marriage in the US
Men who use pornography are less likely to get married, according to a study published last month that shows the easy accessibility of porn on the Internet has become a substitute for seeking a marriage partner among men ages 18 to 35. Authored by Michael Malcolm of the University of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and George Naufal of Timberlake Consultants, the paper, which was published by The Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, found that "Substitutes for marital sexual gratification may impact the decision to marry."
Ed Stetzer: The Church & Mental IllnessPastors' Struggles & Churches' Support
....What we see is families of people struggling with mental illness saying good things about their churches, and they probably are engaging in a churches that have a disproportionate level of interest and love for people who struggle. Even so, their perception of the churches’ engagement with mental health issues is far less than that of the pastors. Plainly, the pastors think they are doing more to serve the mentally ill than the families of the mentally ill do.
Jonathan Aigner: Tis the Season for Christmas Music, Or—Why I Hate Christmas
I don’t really hate Christmas. But I do hate what our culture has done with the church’s season of joy. And how many supposedly Christmas people seem content to follow along like little red and green sheep with their decorations and their music and their outfits, completely oblivious to the fact that the sole reason for Christmas creep is so it can be further exploited by retailers as they peddle all the crap we don’t need, don’t have room for, and will possibly be all the poorer in soul for owning.     MORE
Kevin DeYoung: Who Was St. Nicholas?
The unsatisfying is that nobody knows for sure.  To quote one Nicholas scholar “We can grant a bishop of that name who had a great impact on his homeland.  We can also accept December 6 as the day of his death and burial.  These are all the facts we can hold to.  Further we cannot go.” According to the best estimates, Nicholas, was born around 280 AD in Patara, in Asia Minor.  He later became bishop of Myra in modern day Turkey. Nicholas, it seems, died about 343 on or near December 6.   MORE
Mollie Hemingway: The Response To North Korea’s Attack 
On Hollywood Is Disastrous And Cowardly
....Is it customary to be silent when an impoverished, extremely evil foreign power quickly and deftly brings a major U.S. industry to its knees? Is anyone concerned about the chilling of freedom of expression? I know many politicians were busy watching another Communist country’s big win versus the U.S. yesterday, but Cuba doesn’t exactly have nuclear weapons. Some time should be spent focusing on what the North Koreans have just done to us. This isn’t tabloid hackery, it’s digital war waged by a terrorist regime.     MORE
For Cuban Exiles, Obama Push Another Highwire Act in the Circus of Communism
I am so happy my grandparents did not live to see President Obama’s announcement yesterday that the United States would legitimize the Castro dictatorship. It would have killed them. Unlike most of my peers, my family has no heroic stories of WWII veterans or Civil War love letters. Our story here starts in 1973, when my grandparents and my father arrived in Union City, New Jersey, after more than a decade’s work trying to get out of the coastal city of Cárdenas, Cuba.
Amy Julia Becker: The Problem with Christmas Cards
As much as I love the images that surround me during the Christmas season, I am nevertheless struck by how often our cards convey the opposite of the Christmas story.
Daniel Greenfield: Obama’s Bailout for Communist Dictators
Why Americans will suffer for Obama’s dirty deal with Castro.
Ann Coulter: America’s Rape Hoax Epidemic
Why we must refuse to let the UVA rape hoax story be sent down the memory hole. 
Jon Gleason: The Meaning of 'Only-Begotten'
What does that title, “only begotten Son,” mean?  And is it a reference to the birth of Jesus? “Only Begotten” Does not Refer to Christ’s Human Birth.  Because “begotten” usually refers to human birth, sometimes people get confused about what it means when Jesus is called God’s only begotten Son.  One reason for the confusion is because they misunderstand a verse in Hebrews.  MORE
George Stiekes: The Will of God—In the Word of God
There are always those who somehow think that everything that takes place in their lives must be according to God’s will. As a result they actually miss God’s will in many areas. Have you ever felt like maybe you have missed God’s will somewhere along the way? To this day, I have considered that I may have missed God’s will with regard to some areas of my life along the way...When you find yourself on the wrong road, that is when it is time to get your bearings, turn around and get back into the will of God.     MORE
Brandenburg: Hannah W. Smith and The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life
Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith, author of The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life and other devotional books, was in her day, and remains at this time, a very influential—indeed, probably the most influential—Higher Life writer on sanctification.  Her views undergird and powerfully influence and mold the entire subsequent history of the Higher Life theology.  She published The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life in 1875...    MORE
Chuck Lawless: Eight Ways to Bridge Generation Gaps in Churches
...In many churches, the generation gaps – between young and old members or between longer-term and newer members – are still wide. I’ve learned, though, that the generations often resist one another without knowing one another. It’s easy to blame others when you don’t know their names or their stories. Here are some practical ways to close those gaps by guiding the generations to get to know each other. MORE
David Cloud: Contemplative Spirituality—Dancing with Demons
The Bible repeatedly warns about the danger of spiritual delusion and exhorts believers to be very careful...The Bible warns that demons transform themselves into angels of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15). It warns of false christs and false spirits (Mat. 24:4-5; 2 Cor. 11:3-4). When emergents see “Jesus” in their contemplations, how can they be certain that it is the Jesus of the Bible and not a false christ or a demonic delusion? The only way to be certain is by making the Bible the central authority and testing...    MORE
Eric Geiger: The Faith of a Servant or a Son?
Many people relate to God as a slave and not as a child. They seek to appease Him with their good deeds, to earn His favor with their good works, and to justify themselves before Him with their own righteousness. For years John Wesley approached God this way before trusting Christ and Him only for his salvation.  MORE
David Mathis: Take a Break from the Chaos
....We are humans, not machines. We were made for rhythms of silence and noise, community and solitude. It is unhealthy to always have people around, as well as to rarely want them. God made us for cycles and seasons, for routines and cadences. From the dawn of time, we have needed our respites. Even the God-man himself was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1), “went out to a desolate place” (Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42), and “went up on the mountain by himself to pray...alone” (Matthew 14:23).    MORE
UN: More Reports Of Children Crucified, Beheaded & Stoned To Death By ISIS
....As well as executing children, Islamic State militants have also forced children in areas under its control to view public executions, including beheadings and crucifixions, as well as public punishments such as amputations. The group regularly publishes images of its public executions, in which children are clearly visible in the crowds of onlookers. A UN report from August said that IS had publicly crucified children under the age of 18 for various "crimes" including violating Islamic State criminal code. CNN spoke to a 13-year-old boy who said he had attended an Islamic State training camp in northern Syria, where he witnessed crucifixions and saw a woman stoned to death for adultery.  MORE
Ch of England Just Overturned Centuries of Tradition By Appointing Female Bishop 
The Church of England appointed its first female bishop on Wednesday, overturning centuries of tradition in a Church that has been deeply divided over the issue. It named Reverend Libby Lane, a 48-year-old married mother of two, as the new Bishop of Stockport in northern England.   MORE
Rubio: Obama Attempts to 'Appease Rogue Regimes At All Costs'
Sen. Marco Rubio is expressing concern and frustration with the Obama administration’s plans to restore relations with Cuba. “Today’s announcement initiating a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward Cuba is just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by President Obama to appease rogue regimes at all costs,” Rubio said in a statement Wednesday morning. The Florida lawmaker, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1950s, said he was pleased that American Alan Gross have been freed from captivity in Cuba. But Rubio sounded a negative tone about what the U.S. gave up in order to secure his release, namely three of the spies who were part of the “Cuban Five”.   MORE
Jeff Bigelow: 10 Tips For An Effective Christmas Eve Service
The Christmas season is a great time of year to have an impact for Christ in your local community! In 1995, I planted a church, and at the first Christmas Eve service, we had about 75 people and one decorated  tree. Over the years, I watched as the Christmas Eve services grew to over 5,000 people in attendance. Some of our most intense and creative planning went into the services for Christmas Eve.     MORE
New York Times: Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations
The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, President Obama announced on Wednesday. In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican, Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 miles off the American coast.   MORE
'Green' Christmas Carols Replace Christ with Climate Change
What the New Yorker is calling "Climate Change Carols" are a series of Christmas songs whose lyrics have been rewritten to focus on environ- mental issues, gutting the carols of any relationship to the season of Christ’s birth. Not only that, but the hope and joy characteristic of Christmas has also given way to gloom and doom. Granted, this dechristianization of carols began years ago with the gradual substitution of ditties about reindeer, snowmen, and sleigh bells for songs about Jesus, Mary, shepherds and angels, but this latest assault on Christmas takes the process a step further. The only reference to Jesus in the new carols, in fact, comes as an exclamation, or what used to be known as “taking the Lord’s name in vain”…  MORE
Taliban Justifies School Massacre, Vows More Ahead
The nation of Pakistan is mourning Wednesday after Taliban gunmen killed 132 children and 10 adults at a military-run school. The funerals have already begun for those who were killed Tuesday when seven Taliban gunmen, with explosives strapped to their bodies, stormed the army public school in the city of Peshawar. The school massacre marks the deadliest slaughter of innocents ever seen in Pakistan and has horrified a country where extremist attacks have become normal.   MORE
ISIS Attacks American Base In Iraq In First Ever Clash With U.S. Troops
American troops in Iraq had their first actual battle with ISIS troops, after the Islamist militants tried to overrun a base, an encounter that left the ISIS troops decimated and in retreat. The attack took place near the Ein al-Asad base, which includes close to 100 U.S. military advisers. The U.S. troops, armed with "light and medium weapons," and were able to inflict casualties against the ISIS fighters, forcing them to retreat...
Robert Knight: The ACLU Plays Scrooge to Orphans
The God of the Bible proclaims in the Ten Commandments that “you shall have no other gods before Me.” In our time, a secular faith has arisen that is just as jealous. Replacing fealty to God with fealty to government, it imposes an atheist faith on all public institutions, enforced mainly by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys and liberal courts. Just the threat of invoking liberal lawyers’ wrath is enough to send people packing. A case in point: When a local charity teamed up with a middle school in San Marcos, California to raise money to feed orphans in Africa, they didn’t expect to take any heat.
Arnold Ahlert: The Taliban School Slaughter
The mind-numbing savagery of radical Islam plumbed new depths in Pakistan yesterday. Taliban terrorists shouting “Allahu akbar” attacked the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, slaughtering 142 people, including 132 children between the ages of six and 16. Another 10 staff members, including the principal, were also murdered. “They didn’t take any hostages initially and started firing in the hall,” said Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa, a military spokesman. The details of the slaughter are horrific. “We were in the education hall when militants barged in, shooting,” said Zeeshan, a student, speaking at a hospital. “Our instructor asked us to duck and lay down and then I saw militants walking past rows of students shooting them in the head.” MORE
Thomas Kidd: Happy 300th Birthday George Whitefield!
The day is finally here – the 300th birthday of George Whitefield, the greatest evangelist of the eighteenth century, and the best known person in colonial America prior to the Revolution.
Christians In India Attacked By Hindu Mob for Singing About Christmas
‘Tis the season, but singing about Christ in the Advent Season got a pastor and 15 carolers beaten up in India this weekend.
Slate: Are Christian Podcasts Replacing Church?
Billy Graham Producers Tell the Rest of Louis Zamperini's Story
Communist-in-Chief, Obama Will Open Embassy In Cuba
Now that Obama lost the midterm elections, he’s beginning to go Full Leftist and really showing his true face.
USA Today: Obama Issues 'Executive Orders By Another Name'
Florida City Leaders Walk Out on Atheist 'Prayer'
A group of Florida city leaders walked out of a meeting in opposition to a controversial prayer, Tuesday.
Church of England Appoints Its First Woman Bishop
Mandatory Verses Has City Driving for Jesus
AINA: Iraq's Quiet Christian Genocide
They went to church to hunt Christians, again. The blood had splashed everywhere, even on the ceiling of the Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad. The terrorists had arrived dressed as security guards. Then they locked the doors and unloaded their weapons. They were yelling "God is Great" as they slaughtered men, women and children. They killed 58 and injured 100 more that morning. And who was responsible? The "The Islamic State," and they did it under the orders of their newly appointed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Greenfield: Obama’s Worst Lie About His Dirty Castro Deal Is In His First Sentence
“Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba...” 
Victor Davis Hansen: Are Drone Strikes More Defensible than Torture?
How is assassinating a suspected terrorist -- and anyone unfortunate enough to be in his general vicinity -- with a drone missile morally or legally different from waterboarding a confessed terrorist at Guantanamo Bay?
Robert Spencer: Did Muhammad Approve of Torture?
An Ahmadi Muslim whitewashes the Prophet.
Phil Boatwright: A Schizophrenic Moses?
Defiance, battles, and slow-motion splattering of blood are also plenteous in the film opening Friday (Dec. 12). What there is little of is the true nature of the biblical story and the man Bale calls schizophrenic.
Arnold Cusmariu: Holy Moses, Batman!
Batman as Moses? Barton Fink as the Pharaoh? Yahweh as a petulant child? Ridley Scott jumps the shark.
Bruce Thornton: Sloppy Thinking About ‘Torture’
Does the Senate report make America no longer the “city on the hill”?
Snyder: We Just Witnessed The Worst Week For Global Financial Markets In 3 Years
Is this the start of the next major financial crisis?  The nightmarish collapse of the price of oil is creating panic in financial markets all over the planet. 
Bruce Deitrick Price: Education as a Cause of Mental Health Issues
The apparently dyslexia epidemic in America is a myth, and also one of the most bizarre and destructive events in our history.
Cameron Doolittle: Five Things I’ve Learned from Kids with Autism 
I help host a group of special needs children with autism at an overnight respite center. When I’ve asked people what they learn from people with autism, even some very compassionate caregivers say things like, “Well, they’ve taught me to be patient” or “that I can turn to God for strength to handle them.” Those are good and real lessons, but they don’t answer the question. What do people with autism themselves teach us? Here are five things children with autism have shown me about the Christian life.     MORE
David Cloud: Getting High on Worship Music
A 2012 study by the University of Washington concluded that megachurches “provide the same biological ‘high’ and euphoria as that produced by sporting events and concerts.”  The study attributes the worship “high” to the “upbeat modern music, cameras that scan the audience and project smiling, dancing, singing, or crying worshippers on large screens, and a charismatic leader whose sermons touch individuals on an emotional level.”     MORE
Edmondson: How to Identify Constructive Criticism
....In reality, I’ve learned that phrase — constructive criticism — is sometimes just a nice way to say, “I have a personal complaint about a personal issue, but it will make me sound less self-serving and more justified if I label it (maybe just in my mind) as constructive criticism.”   MORE
T.J. Addington: When Convictions Become Theology
I have convictions based on my reading of God's word but my convictions are not theology - only what is explicitly taught in the Scriptures can be theology. But too often, our convictions become theology for us and we then believe other should abide by our theology. Convictions are those issues where the Holy Spirit speaks to us about our lives as to how we apply Scripture in our context.    MORE
Brandenburg: Historiography, Bible Doctrine, and the Text of Scripture
...I believe there is a biblical approach to history found in Isaiah 40-48 in which God interconnects the past with the present and the future.  The sovereignty and eternality of God relate the present with the past and the future.  Since man is made in the image of God and knows God, He should relate everything to God and to God's revelation.  God expects mankind to see His hand in history.  This is an argument made for the second coming in 2 Peter 1 and 3.  The Word of God records direct divine intervention in history and should be trusted.  We have an authority for our philosophy of history, for our method of deciding history.    MORE
David Murray: Happy Laws
For many people, the existence of the Ten Commandments is proof that God opposes human happiness. “If God really wanted me to be happy, He wouldn’t put all these laws in my way.” Thus, every day, billions of people try to throw off God’s law, cast it behind their backs, and run away from it as fast as possible. What they don’t realize is that instead of escaping hardship, they are escaping happiness. MORE
Drew Read: How to Address Dangerous Behaviors in Good Kids
....We assume that if we discipline our children and take them to church, they will turn out the way we had always hoped. At the very least, they will be well-behaved. But it seems that is not always the case. Between culture, technology and a natural propensity toward rebellion, our well-intentioned formulas sometimes result in less-than-perfect outcomes. So, what’s the solution? What do we do when our best efforts...    MORE
...Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isa. 9:6). This prediction—most clear in application, most glorious in content, most consolatory in design, most gracious in purpose—points us to the time when God’s Son assumed our nature, entering the world in circumstances of deepest humiliation.  With every detail of the Christmas story we are familiar: Herod of Judah, the last of Judah’s kings; Israel, breathing her hope of Messiah’s advent; Bethlehem, small and white upon its mountain slopes where Heaven put out its brightest star; Cyrenius, publishing the order of the emperor; the star, seen in faraway Persia by wise men of the East who were accustomed to study the heavens and who mounted their camels and journeyed westward over the desert to Jerusalem; the angels; the shepherds; the Babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger; the gifts from the wise men of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What is the meaning, we ask, of Christmas to the world?   MORE
I am preaching tonight on what I believe to be the most important subject in the Bible. Of course, anything that has to do with Jesus Christ  is of vast importance. My text is found in the First Epistle of Peter 1:19— "The precious blood of Christ." ...The word of the text is the word of an artist. It is the word of a man who feels power in his soul. When the Apostle Peter caught a vision of Jesus Christ, his soul was on fire, and he used this word: The precious blood of Christ! All too little is said in these days about the blood of Christ. Some of us seem to avoid the subject as much as possible. The other evening I spoke about the personality and influence of Satan. If there is one truth more than another that Satan would oppose, it is the truth of this text. If there is one subject that he would like to turn our minds away from, it is the blood of Jesus Christ.  MORE
....But if on this same day, 1851 years ago, instead of being in the great city of Rome, we had been in the little village of Bethlehem in Judaea, we might have seen a sight stranger still; a sight which we could not have fancied had anything to do with that merry- making of the slaves at Rome, and yet which had everything to do with it. We should have seen, in a mean stable, among the oxen and the asses, a poor maiden, with her newborn baby laid in the manger, for want of any better cradle, and by her husband, a poor carpenter, whom all men thought to be the father of her child...There, in the stable, amid the straw, through the cold winter days and nights, in want of many a comfort which the poorest woman, and the poorest woman's child would need, they stayed there, that young maiden and her newborn babe.  That young maiden was the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that baby was the Son of God.    MORE

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....There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men's hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.-He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. MORE
....As Ahab goes walking through the rows of vines, he begins to plan how he will have that vineyard arranged by his royal gardener, how flowers will be here and vegetables yonder and herbs there. As he converses with himself, suddenly a shadow falls across his path. Quick as a flash Ahab whirls on his heels, and there, before him, stands Elijah, prophet of the living God. ..."And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" and Elijah, without a tremor in his voice, his eyes burning their way into Ahab's guilty soul, answered: "I have found thee: because thou has sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord." Then, with every word a thunderbolt, and every sentence a withering denunciation, Elijah continued...     MORE
...If the issues of life are determined by fate or chance, there are no foundations. In the one case we become the effortless children of apathy upon whom no responsibility devolves, our only consolation being the Oriental proverb, “Kismet.” In the other case we become the devotees of ephemeral pleasure with no higher watchword than, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Hence my theme today: The Providence of God is the Christian’s foundation. Under these - Fate, Chance and Divine Providence may be grouped all the theories and philosophies of life. There is no room for another classification.   MORE
...ministers in all ages have found it necessary, frequently to remind their people of the terrors of the Lord, as so many powerful dissuasives from sin. But whence is it that men are so disingenuous? The reason seems to be this: The promise of eternal happiness is so agreeable to the inclinations and wishes of mankind, that all who call themselves Christians, universally and willingly subscribe to the belief of it: but then there is something so shocking in the consideration of eternal torments, and seemingly such an infinite disproportion between an endless duration of pain, and short life spent in pleasure, that men can scarcely be brought to confess it as an article of their faith, that an eternity of misery awaits the wicked in a future state.  MORE
...there is no reasonable ground for thinking that at death the influences of a whole lifetime will cease to operate upon character, and that, whatever those influences may have been, the soul will be purified by the shock of death. Why, I ask, should death have any such result? .. And it is impossible to see why the soul should put on a new character simply because it lays aside for awhile the instrument which it has employed during a term of years, any more than why a painter's right hand should forget its cunning because he has sold his easel, or why a murderer in fact should cease to be a murderer at heart because he has lost his dagger and cannot afford to replace it. True, at death, the ear, the eye, the hands, perish. But when they are destroyed in this life by an accident, does character change with them? The indulgence of the purely animal appetite may depend on the healthy condition of the organ; but the mental condition which permits, if it does not dictate, the indulgence is unaffected.  MORE
...The central fact in these pictures is not that of the troubled souls. The central fact is that of Christ, and of what He said to these people. To the man sick of the palsy He said, "Be of good cheer, child." To the woman broken, bruised, weary, emaciated, and forlorn, He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter." To the disciples in the midst of the storm, terrified by the approach of the phantom, and to the disciples yet more afraid of the future without Him, He said, "Be ye of good cheer." To the man in the prison, hindered in high and holy service, He said, "Be of  good cheer." In each case He challenged fear, and uttered a call to courage, and gave His reason for doing so.  These incidents illustrate and illuminate the whole realm of discipleship, and I bring them to you this morning in order, as I may be helped by the Spirit of God, to fasten your attention upon that challenge of Jesus. I bring them to you as a greeting, not as my word to you, for that would be very worthless, but as the Master's word to you. "Be of good cheer."  MORE
“Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."  —John 14:8-9
The longing of the universal heart of man was voiced by Philip, when he broke in, rather abruptly, on our Lord's discourse with the challenge that He should answer all questions, dissipate all doubt, by showing them the Father. Is there a God? how can I be sure that He is? what does He feel toward us?--these are questions which men persistently ask, and wait for the reply. And the Master gave the only satisfactory answer ever uttered, when He said in effect, "The knowledge of God must be conveyed, not in words or books, in symbols or types, but in a life. To know Me, to believe in Me, to come into contact with Me, is to know the deepest heart of God. 'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"  MORE
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