Update for Thursday, December 14th, 2017
Facts & Trends: Where Is the Future of Christianity?
In 1910, more Christians lived in Europe than in the rest of the world. The United Kingdom alone had almost as many as the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region combined.  By 2020, no European nation will be among the 10 nations with the highest population of Christians.  Significant changes in the global makeup of Christianity are evident using data from Pew Research along with data and projections from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity.At the turn of the 20th century, two-thirds of Christians (66 percent) lived in Europe. More than a quarter (27 percent) lived in the Americas in 1910. MORE
G. Shane Morris: The Nine Worst Kinds Of Hilariously Trendy Church Names
The Christian satire site Babylon Bee recently skewered the growing trend of trendy church names. Forget words like “Faith,” “Bible,” “Church,” or—heaven forbid—the name of your denomination, they advised. Don’t go with a name that gives visitors information about your church, said imaginary consultants. Go with a name you can market. I had a good laugh, but it got me thinking. What if I compiled my own list of the most cringe-worthy actual church names? So I conducted an informal social media survey, and was overwhelmed by the responses. For your convenience, I’ve pared down the list  and broken these church names (all of which I’ve checked, and all of which are real) into nine handy categories. MORE
How the Left Became So Intolerant
.....Sadly, the kind of liberalism we used to know is fast disappearing from America. While the intolerance of the far right is well known, its manifestations on the far left are less known and often not fully acknowledged. All too often, people who call themselves progressive liberals are at the forefront of movements to shut down debates on college campuses and to restrict freedom of speech. They are eager to cut corners, bend the Constitution, make up laws through questionable court rulings, and generally abuse the rules and the Constitution in order to get their way. They establish “zero tolerance” regimes in schools where young boys are suspended for nibbling breakfast pastries into the shape of a gun. They are supposedly great haters of bigotry but sometimes speak of Christians in the most bigoted manner imaginable, as if Christians were no better than fascists. MORE
Christian Post: 'Peace in the Womb' Pro-Life Activists Sings Christmas Carols Outside Abortion Clinics Nationwide
A major pro-life organization is overseeing a nationwide campaign this month to have Christmas caroling performed outside  abortion clinics. MORE
2017 in Review A Year of Tragedies
....As we move forward from this year of sorrows, let’s turn our thoughts to the One that we can trust in. This life is truly one of tragedy, but we serve a God of restoration. He—who alone holds the power of taming the weather and transforming the human heart—will one day banish tragedy forever and wipe every tear from our eyes. MORE
Christian Post: RC Sproul Hospitalized Over Breathing Difficulties; Remains 'Critically Ill,' on Ventilator
Noted Reformed theologian and founder of Ligonier Ministries R.C. Sproul has been hospitalized due to breathing problems and as of Tuesday remains in critical condition. MORE
Randy Alcorn: Answering Claims That the Bible Contains Errors, and Why It Matters That It Doesn’t
When people say they believe the Bible contains errors, it’s a good practice to ask them to name those errors so you can open a Bible and look at them together....Often, they’ve taken as truth the word of other people that the Bible contains errors, without investigating for themselves. MORE
Jerusalem Post:VP Pence To Visit Western Wall On Sunday
Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Western Wall on Sunday soon after arriving in the country for a two day visit, sources familiar with details of his trip confirmed on Wednesday.  MORE
Earth’s Mysterious Hum Recorded Underwater for First Time
Earth is “humming.” You can’t hear it, but it’s ongoing. And now scientists have measured that persistent hum from the ocean floor, for the first time. Most of the movements in the ground under our feet aren’t dramatic enough for people to feel them. Since the 1990s, researchers have known that Earth is constantly vibrating with microseismic activity, known as “free oscillation,” MORE
Switzerland Is Well-Prepared For Civilizational Collapse
More than any other country, Switzerland’s ethos is centered around preparing for civilizational collapse. The Swiss have been tunneling the Alps for hundreds of years creating innumerable secret hideaways for people and stores. MORE
Pew: Fewer Christians Wish for a ‘Merry Christmas’ This Year 
....Those who say it doesn’t matter what companies or organizations call the holiday season rose to 52 percent in 2017, up from 45 percent in 2005. At the same time, those who prefer “Merry Christmas” dropped to 32 percent in 2017, down from 43 percent in 2005. MORE
WORLD Mag: A Great Sexual Reckoning
A flood of harassment cases reminds us that sex is sacred and transgression is costly. Yet even in a fallen world, faithful men and women can treat one another with honor.... MORE
Tom Trinko: Leftists Are Establishing a Religion
In the case of Jack Philips, the baker who doesn’t want to be forced to support a gay “wedding,” leftists have revealed their freedom-hating fascist fanaticism and their desire to establish their faith as a government-mandated religion.  Religion interacts with politics by defining moral and behavioral codes. MORE
Jonathan Howe: What Churches Are Singing This Christmas
Christmastime is likely both the easiest and most difficult time of the year for your music minister.  MORE
Aaron Blumer: Why Masterpiece Cakeshop Deserves to Win
.....Soon, the Supreme Court will rule in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (if it hasn’t already by the time this post appears). When it does, it’s likely that one set of freedoms will be protected or expanded, and another set will be limited.  MORE
George Stiekes: God Made Visible
The Spirit of God reveals a four-fold description of our God that every believer ought to understand and cherish if he is to truly know God and experience an intimate relationship with Him. Furthermore, it is important for us to understand that the Christ of Christmas is also known by these same... MORE
Drop in Evangelical Turnout May Have Cost Roy Moore Alabama's Senate Race, Exit Polls Show
While much attention has been paid to the impact that African-Americans and women had in handing Democrat Doug Jones a victory over controversial Republican Roy Moore in Alabama's United States senate special election Tuesday, a drop in turnout among white evangelicals may have also helped Jones.   MORE
Jim Denison: Four Factors in the Alabama Senate Election
In a "major upset," Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in yesterday's Senate election in Alabama. This was the 50th Senate special election in my lifetime. None has been remotely as controversial as this campaign....It seems to me that four factors influenced the outcome. I predict that these same factors will continue to be relevant to American elections for the foreseeable future.   MORE
The US, Israel & Saudi Arabia Are Reportedly Pushing A Peace Plan That Would Create A Palestinian State
Many had assumed that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would make a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis less likely, but it actually appears to be accelerating things.  For a long time Trump has referred to a comprehensive peace treaty in the Middle East as “the ultimate deal”, and he seems absolutely determined to get something done.  The key was going to be getting the Saudis on his side, and this appears to have happened.   MORE
Sean Gooding: Jerusalem, the Capital of the World
....So, the stage is gradually being set for the return of Jesus to rule the whole earth from Jerusalem. The Muslims may squawk, and they will, loudly. There may be bombs and rallies and suicide bombers, but the stage is set. Let us not forget that the Antichrist will also seek Jerusalem from where to rule the earth. Satan knows enough of the Bible to know that Jerusalem is God’s earthly city capital.   MORE
Cloud: Vigilance and Separation in the Internet Age
.....Even if you are saved and love the Lord and are studying the Bible and seeking His will, there are still powerful enemies within and without, and victory requires keen vigilance and strict separation. David, the “sweet Psalmist of Israel,” was a passionate seeker of God, but we know what happened to him when he ceased being vigilant. The things of the world can chock the Word in the believer...MORE
Prophecy News Watch: The War On Cash
Cash is so ubiquitous that many take its presence and use for granted. It is in our wallets, available at ATMs and freely used to buy groceries or leave a tip. But year by year, this has slowly been changing as credit cards and electronic payments replace cash entirely. In India, this move is being hailed as a necessary measure to fight black market sales and government corruption. In China, where most payments are now made through smartphone apps, the elimination of cash boosts efficiency and fights counterfeiting while increasing government control. Denmark is also making moves to stop printing cash and to discontinue its use entirely, but these three countries are far from isolated examples of the move towards credit cards and digital currencies. Perhaps you already pay for most of your expenses with your credit card, debit card or PayPal account, a fact that is even more likely if you're a millennial.   MORE
David Mills: Americans Romanticizing Communism Don’t Know Communism
.....The elite American university is a peculiar environment and students elsewhere don’t seem to be so foolish. But still, too many people do not know what communism was and what it did. They don’t know what it will do in places like Venezuela. The ignorance is worse among the young, who did not live through the Cold War, but not that much worse.  MORE
Update for Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Christian Post: Evangelical Leaders Pray With Trump In Oval Office, Present Him 'Friends of Zion' Award
Top conservative evangelical leaders prayed with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office again on Monday afternoon and also presented him with a "Friends of Zion" award after his decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Evangelical leaders who have been involved in advising the Trump administration participated in an end-of-the-year briefing that included comments from Vice President Mike Pence, White House advisor Jared Kushner and Trump's daughter, Ivanka, a participant in the meeting told The Christian Post. Evangelical figures such as Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, James Dobson of Family Talk Radio, televangelist Paula White, Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, African-American pastor Harry Jackson and former Southern Baptist Convention president Jack Graham joined other evangelical leaders for what has been described as... MORE
UK Politicians Want To Ban Franklin Graham, Accused of 'Hate'
A number of United Kingdom Members of Parliament, along with many individuals in civil British society have requested the UK home secretary to bar Franklin Graham from entering the country. Graham is a conservative evangelical Christian known for his vociferous opposition towards gays and Muslims. Critics are afraid his Islamophobic statements will lead to increased prejudice. It may also damage relations between faiths.MORE
Jerusalem Post: Right-Wing Groups Call for International Recognition of Temple Mount 
Less than a week after the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, leader of the Zionist movement World Betar is calling for international recognition of the Temple Mount, Nablus and Hebron. “After the Trump declaration, the time has come to recognize the heart, the Temple Mount,” said Neria Meir, head of the Betar World leadership.MORE
Anthony Esolen: Why We Shouldn’t Change the Lord’s Prayer
...No, I believe that the Greek means what it means, and what it means is accurately rendered as “lead us not into temptation,” exactly the same in Matthew as it is in Luke.MORE
Kansas City Star: Bucking a Trend, These Churches Figured Out How to Bring Millennials Back to Worship
....A Pew Research Center study concluded that America was becoming less religious due in part to millennials distancing themselves from organized religion. Only 27 percent of Americans born between 1981 and 1996, the study found, regularly attend weekly services. As a result, some churches and synagogues have created special programs that cater to younger members.  MORE
Sharper Iron: The Curious Case of the Christian Baker – A Summary of Oral Arguments
This article is a short summary of the oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which was argued before the Supreme Court on December 5, 2017. In the article, I provide a few bits of commentary. But, this is primarily a summary.1 Hopefully, it can spur each of us on to consider the issue of soul liberty in the public square in these troubled times.MORE
NRB Internet Freedom Watch Shines Light on Censorship
 National Religious Broadcasters is drawing attention to online censorship of Christian and conservative speech by tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google & Apple by launching a new initiative -- Internet Freedom Watch. MORE
Josh Teis: Six Degrees of Separation
It seems like the requirements for ecclesiastical separation have grown in just the past 20 years since I was taught these principles.... For me, this type of bondage, this is too much.MORE
Joy Reid Compared Christian Beliefs To 'Something Out of a Novel'
“That sounds like something out of a novel. Is it true that there are people who really believe that having Israel unified under, I mean having Jerusalem unified under total Israeli control will bring on the end times?” Joy Reid asked.MORE
Jon Bloom: We Do Not Know What God Is Doing
Have you ever stopped to ponder just how strange everything about the birth of Jesus was? Whatever people had imagined the coming of the Messiah would look like, no one imagined it to look like it did....No one really understood all that was going as God the Son entered the world.  No one really saw the big picture — no one except God. MORE
Jack Wellman: What Are Some Myths About Pastors?
There are a lot of myths out there about a pastor and his family, so what are some of the myths some people believe?MORE
CBN News: Is Trump's Jerusalem Declaration an Opportunity to Build Third Temple?
President Trump's announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is being seen as a huge step toward establishing the Third Temple....Reaction to Trump's declaration has been controversial with dire warnings from around the globe that it would spark mass violence and widespread instability across the Middle East. But a number of Jewish activists who hope to rebuild the Holy Temple are encouraged by the President's action. "What he did last night was an enormous step in bringing the Temple," Asaf Fried, official spokesman for the United Temple Movement, an association of organizations working towards making the Third Temple a reality, said last week.   MORE
ERLC: God Is Not Silent What the Bible Teaches About Sexual Assault
The Bible neither covers up nor ignores sexual assault. In fact, biblical law shows how the Lord takes up the cause of the victim and the vulnerable. Deuteronomy 22:25-27 safeguarded the survivor of sexual assault from being unjustly blamed or ignored. In ancient Israel, this law established a pattern, an ethical framework by which God’s people could discern specific situations that it didn’t specifically address. And, like all of God’s laws, it reveals his character. MORE
Tim Challies: Five Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Bestsellers
If you were to scan the lists of the best selling Christian books of all time you’d see some truly amazing books there. You’d see some books that have helped us better understand who God is and books that have instructed us. and how we as Christians can live lives of obedience to Him, and like you, I’m genuinely thankful for these books. Sadly though, you’d also see some truly flat-out awful books. Today I’ve narrowed down that list to the five most ridiculous books to ever become Christian bestsellers.  MORE
Fay Voshell: What Has Jerusalem to Do With America?
....The division of the world into the spiritual and secular has also basically been absorbed by many conservative Christian denominations, who also see the structure of America as divided into two stories of faith and the "world," particularly the world of politics, national and global.  Never shall the two mix. Thus, for both the left and for some on the right, Jerusalem the Holy City as she presently exists is too often an irrelevant abstraction.  For the left, Jerusalem gets in the way of a new world order.  For the right, Jerusalem is important only as the eternal Holy City called Heaven.  The real, concrete Jerusalem is merely a city like any other city.MORE
David Cloud: The Shack's 'Cool God'
The Shack, authored by William Paul Young, is a novel that explores the issue of why God allows pain and evil. It is a fictional account of a man who is bitter against God for allowing his youngest daughter to be murdered and who returns to the scene of the murder, an old shack in the woods, to have a life-changing encounter with God. The “God” that he encounters, though, is not the God of the Bible. Published in 2007, The Shack was Number One on the New York Times bestseller list for 50 weeks. By 2012, it had sold 18 million copies internationally. It is being translated into 30 languages. The movie was released in March 2017, and the power of film has doubtless impelled the novel’s heretical message to an even larger audience.MORE
Update from Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
Trump Administration Defends Historic Jerusalem Decision as Islamic World Backlash Continues
Demonstrations continued throughout the Islamic world against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But reaction has not been as severe as some had feared, and the Trump administration is standing firm on its historic position.  In Lebanon, an angry crowd protested outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut. In Pakistan, a large demonstration called for Trump's decision to be reversed. And in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel "a terror state" and more....However, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley strongly defended the president's decision. MORE
Christianity Today: Evangelicals and Domestic Violence Are Christian Men More Abusive?
As a sociologist who studies family and marriage trends, I predict that in the coming years, we’ll see a growing wave of mainstream media and academic stories contending that religion, especially evangelical Christianity, hurts women, children, and families. These stories will be framed around one key question: Is faith a force for ill in family life—from marriage in general to domestic violence in particular? In recent years, the question has focused especially on spousal abuse against women. For example, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation recently published a report titled, “Submit to your husbands: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God.”    MORE
The Stream: Mastering Smartphones For the Master
There’s a funny cartoon showing bride and groom figures atop a beautiful wedding cake. The groom is in a sharp-looking black tux, the bride in a lovely white gown. They are texting. The image rings true. We’re a nation of thumbs and screens, instant responses and impulsive comments.  Christians are no less addicted. Worship services seem more punctuated by ringtones than amens. We are as in love with our devices as the unbelievers at the Starbucks table next to us. That’s a real problem. We cannot be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10) when pulled jerkily by an electronic leash. MORE
New York City Police Capture Bomb Suspect After Subway Explosion Near Times Square
New York City police say a man named Akayed Ullah strapped a pipe bomb to his body and set off the crude device in the subway near Times Square on Monday, injuring the suspect and three other people at the height of the morning rush hour. Ullah and three others were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries in what the mayor and NYPD labeled an attempted terror attack. MORE
Radical Hindus Shut Down Prayer Meeting, Attack Pastors
A mob of Hindu extremists violently attacked two pastors and stopped them from hosting a gospel meeting in Chhattisgarh state, India. The pastors, Vijay Jogi and Santosh Rao, were just minutes away from starting their three-day gospel meeting when Hindu nationalists surrounded the building. Some 1,000 people had reportedly gathered to hear the gospel.  MORE
The MIddle East ‘Peace Process’ Meme: What Peace Process?
.....And now he has fulfilled his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the country of Israel. So, while other experts debate the meme, let us share a secret: There is no Middle East “peace process” and there has not been a “Middle East peace process” for decades. It is a sham. MORE
AI Is So Complex Its Creators Can’t Trust Why It Makes Decisions
....But there’s a core problem with this technology....The programmers that built it don’t know why AI makes one decision over another. “In order for machine learning models to be accepted by society, we’re going to need to know why they’re making the decisions they’re making.”    MORE
After Fall of ISIS, Iraq's Second-Largest City Picks Up the Pieces
....For three years, this metropolis of three million people, Iraq's second-largest city, lived under the harsh rule of the Islamic State. When the militant group was finally ousted in July, it signaled the beginning of the end of its self-declared caliphate, which once occupied a third of the country and much of Syria. American-backed Iraqi forces swept across the country, officially declaring the job finished this weekend.   MORE
DNA Testing Companies Admit Adding Fake African Ancestry To White Profiles In Order To “Screw With Racists”
Who were your ancestors? What is your ethnic background composed of? Sites like Ancestry.com  have always been some go to sources in answering all of your toughest questions. But how accurate are they?  MORE
Think Before You Speak: Tips for Dialoguing With Non-Christians
....The following tips function more as things to consider and lessons to learn than a “how-to-guide for winning your friend’s heart and soul.” Anyone, from a pastor, to a parent, to a kid in the youth ministry, can benefit from thinking deeply about how they share Jesus’s love, the Bible’s commands, and God’s heart for humankind. Thinking critically about the way you share your thoughts, convictions, and opinions is not manipulative—quite the opposite.  MORE
Amy Simpson: One of the Best Things Churches Can Do for People With Mental Illness
Allowing people with mental illness to serve also engages the gifts of people in your church, people who have something to contribute — something given to them by God.    MORE
'I Forgive You, and Pray You Repent and Accept Jesus,' Mom Says to Ex-Cop Who Killed Her Son
The mother of Walter Scott, the unnarmed black man who was shot dead by a police officer in 2015 after a traffic stop, has told her son's killer, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for second-degree murder, that she forgives him and prays that he accepts Jesus Christ.     MORE
Desiring God: Is Football Too Violent for Christians? 
.....Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a degenerative neurological disease, and it has changed the way football violence is being perceived...
CTE reportedly causes all sorts of problems in the lives of retired players, including memory loss, confusion, depression, mood changes, a rise in anxiety and aggressiveness, and early-onset dementia....So what role do we the spectators play in the long-term price of football violence? It leaves me with a question I cannot ignore:....Assuming CTE is real and assuming concussions remain a common part of the game today, and assuming a Christian is aware of all this.is a Christian who buys a game ticket or team merchandise for an NFL or NCAA football team complicit in funding a system that will likely lead to CTE consequences later in a player’s life? Yes or no? MORE
World Net Daily: Ancient Pagan ‘Gods’ Reappearing Around U.S., World
The same group that recreated the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the Temple of Baal is now honoring another pagan deity. The United Arab Emirates, the Italian mission to the United Nations and the Institute for Digital Archeology have re-created a statue of the goddess Athena which once stood in Palmyra, according to....   MORE
R.C. Sproul: What Does the X in Xmas Mean?
X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.     MORE
Pew Research: Wide Partisan Gaps in U.S. Over How Far the Country Has Come on Gender Equality
....A new Pew Research Center survey finds that Democrats are largely dissatisfied with the nation’s progress on this issue – 69% say the country hasn’t gone far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights with men. Among Republicans, more than half (54%) say things are about right, while only 26% say the country has more work to do.      MORE
Christian Headlines: Do You Know the History Behind These 10 Christmas Traditions?
For many people, the thought of Christmas conjures up the image of numerous festive traditions: baking cookies, exchanging gifts, decorating an evergreen, and drinking eggnog or cocoa. However, many of these traditions have had a surprising journey on their way to becoming a part of the modern American Christmas.      MORE
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Monday, December 11th, 2017
..;..Trump's Jerusalem Declaration Sparks Talk of Third Temple   -World Net Daily
While Muslims jeer, Israelis cheer President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, prompting Jewish religious activists to suggest building the Third Temple is closer to reality than ever before.  “What he did … was an enormous step in bringing the Temple,” said Asaf Fried, official spokesman for the United Temple Movement, an association of organizations working towards making the Third Temple a reality.  He added, “This necessarily had to come from a non-Jew in order to bring them into the process, so they will be able to take their part in the Temple.” Fried sees Trump’s role similar to the one played by Cyrus, the Persian king who ended the Babylonian exile and helped build the Second Jewish Temple. “There have been amazing advances towards bringing the Temple this year. It was clear that Trump was part of that process, guided by Hashem (God),” Fried declared. He is hardly alone in his jubilation about the possibilities of rebuilding.....
..;..More Americans Turning To Witchcraft; Participation In Traditional Religions Declines   -CBS New York
 At a time when participation in traditional religions is declining among Americans, the practice of witchcraft is said to be on the rise.  CBS2’s Ali Bauman went inside the secret world of modern-day witches to explore why so many say they’re falling under its spell.  “I am the high priestess,” Lisa Stewart said.  “To be a witch is incredibly relevant in today’s society,” Anton Stewart explained. Nestled in the heart of the Hudson Valley is the Church of the Eternal Circle, the only legally recognized Wiccan Church in the state of New York. “We follow the tradition of the craft of the wise — witchcraft — and we are witches,” Stewart said.  For the first time, members invited CBS2 to attend their services.
.;..Mideast Tensions Simmer in Wake of U.S. Shift in Israel Policy   -Wall St. Journal
Pockets of anger surfaced Sunday in the Middle East and Asia over the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but predictions of widespread upheaval failed to materialize as riots petered out in the Palestinian territories. In a sign of festering regional dissent, protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on Sunday, with Lebanese security forces firing tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators. Protesters carried Palestinian flags and set fire to tires near the embassy but the unrest had largely calmed by late afternoon.
..;..A Better Jerusalem -Nick Batzig
On October 27, 1994, President Bill Clinton, while addressing the Knesset (i.e. the legislative assembly in Israel) cited one of his former pastors when he said, "If you abandon Israel, God will never forgive you...it is God's will that Israel, the biblical home of the people of Israel, continue forever and ever." This widely held sentiment has had a substantial impact on American politics and foreign policy over the past 70 years. Two days ago, President Trump made the controversial decision to declare Jerusalem to be the capitol of the state of Israel. This has reopened numerous questions about the place of the state of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem, in the consummate purposes and plan of God....
.;..Pope Wants To Correct the Lord's Prayer   -Reuters
Pope Francis has said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Our Father”, the best known prayer in Christianity. “That is not a good translation,” the pope said in a television interview on Wednesday night.
..;.Phony Virtue is Ruining Western Society  -American Conservative
.....The West’s moral outlook is now animated by the widespread belief that virtue is measured by one’s professed sympathy for causes such as combatting homelessness, extending civil rights for various protected groups, and decrying poverty in far-off places. The more publicly ostentatious one is in attaching oneself to these causes, the more virtue one is assigned by our elite culture. 
.;..Google is ‘Summoning the Demon,’ Preparing the Way Towards ‘Artificial God’ -Christian Journal
Google is heading towards a future dictated by artificial intelligence and has gone so far as to produce engineers dedicated to creating an “artificial god.” In addition, engineers at Google, Facebook, and the whole of Silicon Valley have failed to realize the potential consequences of their actions.
..;.SCOTUS Should Recognize Religious Beliefs Don’t Equal Bigotry-Red State
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this past week in a case that may well decide the fate of the First Amendment in America. A case that began in 2012 has finally snaked its way to the Supreme Court, and the stakes could not be higher. Colorado Baker Jack Phillips was sued and harassed by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, citing his Christian faith. Phillips did not disparage the same sex couple that came to his store, Masterpiece Cakeshop, he just referred the couple to another bakery because of his Christian conviction that marriage is the relationship between one man and one woman.
.;..Support Grows for Air Force Colonel Suspended Over Religious Beliefs on Marriage -Tony Perkins
On Wednesday, the Family Research Council's Lt. General Jerry Boykin and Travis Weber gave Wilson 77,024 reasons to reconsider the action taken against Col. Leland Bohannon.
..;.21-Year-Old Christian Shot Dead While Clutching His Bible and Sharing God With His Murderer
Tragedy struck in Cleveland, Ohio, last weekend when a local Salvation Army worker was shot dead while clutching his Bible — a horrific crime that reportedly unfolded while he was sharing the gospel with the assailant. Jared Plesec, 21, was found shot in the head on Saturday morning in the lobby of his apartment complex, with police alleging that a 27-year-old man named William Jones is responsible, WKYC-TV reported.
.;..Answering Objections about Genetically Modified Organisms    -Tracy C. Miller
Opponents of genetically modified (GM) crops raise a number of questions and objections to growing them and including them in the food supply. Although they cite scientific research to support their claims, a careful review of the literature suggests there is very little evidence to support any of the claims about harmful health effects of GM food.
..;.Jerusalem: Why Trump Succeeded Where Others Failed  -Arthur Schaper
After months of stalling and waiting, President Trump finally officially recognized Jerusalem as the Eternal Capital of Israel. He further directed his cabinet and the State Department to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  The transition will take time, but it's underway.
.;..Bringing Others To the Truth   -Jerry Sivnksty
.....We are living in an age in which the waters have been muddied concerning right and wrong....Many people have reached the point of exasperation and ask as Pilate did in John 18:38, “What is truth?” I’m grateful that there is an answer to those who are frustrated and are truly searching for the truth.
..;.A Basic Definition of the Trinity  -Thomas Overmiller
Any description of the Trinity must include two basic elements. First, it must affirm that there is one eternal God. Second, it must affirm that this God has always existed as three persons. That is why theologians use trinity to describe this “three-in-oneness” of God. He is one God (uni- means “one”) and three persons (tri- means “three”). Hence, he is triune. One example of a basic statement of the Trinity describes God as “three distinct persons in one divine essence.” A similar statement affirms that “God exists as three persons, yet he is one God.”
.;..Four Considerations for Baby Boomer Pastors    -Thom Rainer
...We are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Until the Millennials came along, we were the largest generation in American history. Our influence is still great.  But most of us are surprised our older years arrived so quickly.Now we think 30-somethings are kids. Many of us have difficulty dealing with this phase of our life and ministry. Older age was for “those people.” It never was supposed to be about us. And now we are here. Our ages range from 54 to 72. We are in our fourth quarter. How do we end well, especially if we are in vocational ministry? Allow me to make four suggestions.
..;.Pay Yourself Second!  -Broke Pastor
....When it comes to the arena of general, personal finance, the slogan “Pay Yourself First” is a helpful guide for thinking about what to do with your money. As a believer, I would just move it one step over to second place as I believe, wholeheartedly, that the first “payment” we make out of our income should be to the Lord.
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Weekend, December 9th-10th, 2017
..;..Franklin Graham: No President in My Lifetime Has Defended the Christian Faith Like Trump    -CNS News
In reference to remarks made by President Donald Trump at the lighting of the national Christmas tree, Rev. Franklin Graham said no president in his lifetime had taken such a "strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith" than President Trump and that he needs our prayers.  In a Dec. 1 post on Facebook, the day the tree was lit, Rev. Graham said, "Never in my lifetime have we had a president willing to take a strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith like President Donald J. Trump has." "Whether you are Protestant, evangelical, Orthodox, Catholic -- all Christians need to get behind him with our prayers," said Graham. At the lighting event on Dec. 1, President Trump, in part said, “For Christians this is a holy season, the celebration of ..."
..;..The Strategic Timing Of Trumps Move To Recognize Jerusalem   -Dovid Efune
US President Donald Trump has faced a virtual torrent of criticism since recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday. He should pay the critics no heed. The move is not only morally the right thing to do, it's also a political masterstroke. Let me explain. 
.;..Are Earthlings Alone? Half of Humans Believe In Alien Life    -Yahoo News
Nearly half of humans believe in alien life and want to make contact, a survey in 24 countries has found, in what researchers said helps to explain the lasting popularity of the "Star Wars" franchise 40 years after the first movie was screened. On the eve of the release of "The Last Jedi", researchers published findings that 47 percent of more than 26,000 respondents believe "in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations in the universe". An even greater 61 percent said "yes" when asked if they believe in "some form of life on other planets". Roughly a quarter said they do not believe intelligent life exists beyond Earth, researchers at Glocalities said. Among those who believe we are not alone in the universe, 60 percent said we should try to seek contact with alien civilizations, it found. It was not the first survey to collect views on extraterrestrial beings -- questionnaires in Germany and....
..;..Palestinians Hold Violent 'Day of Rage' Protests Across West Bank, Gaza Over Trump's Jerusalem Proclamation   -Times of Israel
An estimated 5,000 Palestinian protesters held demonstrations and clashed with Israeli security forces at some 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday after midday prayers, in a show of anger over US President Donald Trump’s declared recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Israeli army said it was braced for more protests on Saturday, and it stepped up the deployment of troops at West Bank settlements to try to thwart any attempted terror attacks. It said the 5,000 demonstrators on Friday marked a lower number than anticipated, but expected protests to continue for several more days, Hadashot news reported on Friday night. Palestinian officials said two demonstrators were killed.....
.;..Americans Say Government is America’s Biggest Problem, Gallup Poll Finds    -Intellectual Takeout
For generations, Gallup has been asking Americans what they see as the nation’s primary problems. Answers change from year to year, but in its most recent poll Gallup received a startling answer. The biggest problem wasn't health care or race relations, though Americans have concerns with these issues. It wasn't the economy, which scored very well in the poll.  “It’s the government,” said Gallup senior editor Jeff Jones.
..;.Less Than Half of US Evangelicals 'Strongly Agree' With Core Evangelical Beliefs: LifeWay    -Christian Post
A new survey has found that less than half of Americans who identify as evangelicals actually "strongly agree" with the core evangelical beliefs, while almost one-third of Americans who hold evangelical beliefs don't identify as "evangelical."
.;..Putin Vows to Rebuild Christian Syria, Restoring Churches and Bringing Refugees Home -Newsweek
Russia will help rebuild Christian churches in Syria and establish peace in historically Christian regions of the war-torn country, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed on Monday during a meeting with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.
..;.The Biblical Significance of Jerusalem to Jews and Christians   -Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
As all eyes are focused on Jerusalem once again because of President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
.;..Universities Strive for ‘Christmas’-Free Campuses    -Infowars
As another Christmas quickly approaches, colleges across the country are issuing their annual guidelines on how to make the season as inclusive as possible.  At the University of California, Irvine, for instance, individual departments are encouraged to “focus on celebrating a special occasion, instead of a specific holiday,” suggesting that they have a “year-end celebration” or celebrate “seasonal themes such as fall, winter, or spring.”
..;.Avoiding the Christmas Spending Trap   -Chuck Bentley
The commercialization of Christmas feels like a big financial trap! My husband and I want to show love to our kids and family but the pressure to spend and borrow just to put a bunch of packages under the tree seems ridiculous.
.;..European Court to Decide if Islamic Sharia Law Can Override a Nation's Civil Law   -CBN News
Can Islamic religious sharia law override a country's domestic law in Europe? That's a question the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights is weighing. The Court heard a case this week that involves applying sharia law to a disagreement between citizens of Greece who are Muslims.
..;.Algeria Closing Protestant Church In Crackdown    -BosNewsLife
Several Protestant Christians in northwestern Algeria were without a place to worship Sunday, December 3, after authorities closed their church as part of a crackdown on evangelism, BosNewsLife learned. Security forces sealed off the building of the Protestant Church of Algeria congregation (EPA) in the northwestern town of Aïn Turk, some 15 kilometers (9 miles) outside Oran city, Christians said.
.;..Turkey Confiscating Christian Property, Prohibiting Christians From Worshiping   -aina.org
The government of Turkey is now confiscating Christian property and prohibiting Christians worshipping in their churches, which have also been confiscated. This is happening in certain areas of Turkey, but soon it will be widespread. 
..;.FBI Investigates Planned Parenthood Over Aborted Baby Body Parts Scandal   -Christian Post
The FBI is opening an investigation into the nation's largest abortion provider and its harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts to companies and universities interested in purchasing the organs for research.
.;..Pakistan Christians Flee Homes After Blasphemy Accusations    -BosNewsLife
Five Christian families have been forced to leave their village in Pakistan's Punjab province after a Christian teenager was accused of “blasphemy” against Islam on social media, Christians told BosNewsLife.  Sonu Arshad, an 18-year-old from the village of Sukheki, was accused on a Facebook website page designed to resemble a news channel, Christians said. The page displayed a picture of Arshad and urged local Muslims to “burn his church and give him the death penalty.”  On November 10, after news of the “blasphemy” accusation spread, an angry Muslim mob reportedly gathered....
..;.Geologists See 2018 As Year Of Monster Quakes    -Prophecy News Watch
Geophysicists who studied seismic activity over the past 117 years report 2018 could be shaping up as a year of monster earthquakes – especially around the equator.  Why?  The signal that causes the alarm from a historical pattern, they say, is the slowing of the Earth's rotation.
.;..Tidalgate: Climate Alarmists Caught Faking Sea Level Rise   -Breitbart
Alarmist scientists have been caught red-handed tampering with raw data in order to exaggerate sea level rise.  The raw (unadjusted) data from three Indian Ocean gauges – Aden, Karachi and Mumbai – showed that local sea level trends in the last 140 years had been very gently rising, neutral or negative (ie sea levels had fallen). But after the evidence had been adjusted by tidal records gatekeepers at the global databank Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) it suddenly showed a sharp and dramatic rise. The whistle was blown by two Australian scientists....
..;..No Matter Who Takes the Cake, What Christians Should Do Next Is Clear    -Christianity Today
.....The fact is, after the Court rules, we are still going to have to find a way to live together, and many in our culture are going to have to find a path to address those who dissent from the current view of, for example, same-sex marriage. In other words, we are going to have to make accommodation for the dissenters— and Jack Phillips is one of the dissenters. The complexities of these cases are a flashing signal to Christians that we need to......
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Friday, December 8th, 2017
..;..Most Western Europeans No Longer Believe in Heaven and Hell, Survey Finds-Christian Post
A global survey on the perception of people around the world has found that in a number of Western countries, relatively small portions of the population believe in Heaven and Hell, though more believe in God. "Some countries significantly overestimate belief in Heaven: Japan guessed that 42 percent of people believe in Heaven when the actual figure is just 19 percent. In South Africa, the pattern is the opposite; their average guess is that 67 percent believe in Heaven, but actual survey results show belief in Heaven is 84 percent," reported Ipsos' "Perils of Perception" survey, which was published on Wednesday.  "Guesses on how many people believe in Hell follow a similar pattern of big errors in both directions. 
..;.Five Things to Know About Trump's Move to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital -Christian Post
.....The decision has sparked various reactions from major world leaders, with many concerned that it will hinder peace efforts in the Middle East, though a number of U.S. evangelicals have hailed Trump for keeping his campaign promise. Here are five important things to know about the controversy behind the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the challenges ahead for moving the U.S. embassy.
.;..Hamas Calls for Palestinian Uprising Against Israel   -Reuters
The powerful Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called on Thursday for a new uprising against Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
..;.Arabs, Europe, U.N. Reject Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital -Yahoo News
Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator. The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.
.;..Religion in the Crosshairs? Conservative Leaders Sound Alarm on Latest Attack  -CBN News
National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President Jerry Johnson issued a sobering warning Thursday regarding what he and other conservative leaders view as the latest attack on religious speech. "Free speech is under assault in America – especially for those who espouse Christian and conservative viewpoints," Johnson told those gathered at a Washington event aimed at fighting internet censorshi
..;..A Month After Church Massacre, Faith and Healing In Sutherland Springs  -My San Antonio
.....Four weeks after the church massacre, time stretches and snaps for people in this town of 600 south of San Antonio, shifting from fast to slow to fast again. One moment, it’s as if their loved ones were just there with them. The next, there’s a gaping hole, a monumental loss.  “The days run together. It’s like being on an island where you lose track of days,” Pomeroy said Thursday at his church office.  It was the first night the church reopened its community meal and Bible study session, which was held every Thursday until the massacre. Faith in God permeates life in Sutherland Springs, a belief that has helped families cope with the tragedy as they envision their loved ones in a better place. And they cope by staying busy, visiting the wounded still recovering at the hospital and staying close to relatives to soothe the pain.
.;..Are You Addicted? Survey Finds 40 Percent Of Smartphone Use Is Compulsive  -Study Finds
Do you find yourself reaching for your smartphone and turning it on for no apparent reason? A new survey found that British consumers admit to doing this thousands of times per year — accounting for about 40 percent of the times they unlocked their phones. 
..;.Salvation Army Worker Shot Dead With Bible in Hand, Preaching the Gospel to His Killer in Ohio
A 21-year-old Salvation Army worker in Cleveland, Ohio, was shot dead in the head Saturday morning with his Bible in hand, while preaching the Gospel. Those who knew Jared Plesec say that he was devoted to his faith, and lived to teach others about God.
.;..Christians Donate Less to Their Religion Each Year Than Muslims and Jews, Study Finds
A new online survey has found that Jews and Muslims in the United States, on average, claim to spend twice as much money each year participating in and donating to their respective religions than Christians but are more likely to distance themselves from their religions because of it.
..;.Teach Your Children the Virtue of Waiting    -Scott James
In busy households, managing expectations for parents and children can be both a trial and a joy. But the season of Advent—the weeks encompassing the four Sundays leading up to Christmas—represents a wonderful opportunity to teach our children, and ourselves, about waiting, a vital but neglected virtue of the Christian life.
.;..On Being a Lifelong Learner    -Nicholas T. Batzig
Over the years, I have heard many professing Christians say that they don’t read very much. This has to be one of the most discouraging things that a pastor can hear a Christian admit....Why wouldn’t we want to know as much as possible about the living and true God–both from His word and from those he has appointed to teach us the riches of His word? Why wouldn’t we want to be a careful as we can in handling truth.
..;.Learning to Follow Wherever God Leads     -Sarah Walton 
At some point in life, many of us find ourselves on a path that we would have never chosen. Once on that path, we are always faced with a choice. We can frantically search for a way out, or embrace the path God has chosen for us. 
.;..What About Christians Who Live Like The World?     -Jack Wellman
Does the idea that some are “carnal Christians” mean that they are saved, especially if they live like the world?
Carnal Christians I have a friend who many years ago said he was saved while listening to a sermon on the radio, but what troubled me was that there was no difference in the way that he lived. When I came over to visit him and invite him to church, he wasn’t interested at all. In fact, he was....
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Thursday, December 7th, 2017
..;..With Historic Announcement, President Trump Will Declare End to Jerusalem’s 70-Year Exile
 After a Biblically significant 70-year gap since an American president first recognized the state of Israel, White House sources announced on Wednesday that President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the US State Department will begin making plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv. “On December 6, 2017, President Trump will recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” White House officials announced to the media. “While President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, its Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s residence, and as such, it is the capital of Israel,” one of the officials said.
..;..Eight Reactions to Trump Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital From Biblical Prophecy to 'Day of Rage'  -Christian Post
U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Wednesday that America is to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has sparked both "day of rage" outcry and praise around the world.  Some have hailed the president for keeping his promise, while others have warned it will obstruct peace efforts in the Middle East. Trump's administration has said the move is not intended to come on the side of Israel when it comes to territory dispute with Palestine, with the White House stating that it simply reflects the "fundamental truth" of Jerusalem's status.
.;..The US Formally Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of IsraelWhy It Matters -The Stream
....While it has been the practice of some to insist on international determination over this topic, it is Israel’s right to decide the location of her capital as was spiritually declared by King David and then legally documented in 1950 when the Israeli Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law declaring Jerusalem the eternal, undivided capital of the State of Israel.  Declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital does not itself mark a change in American law. 
..;.Will God Bless Trump for Moving Our Embassy to Jerusalem?  -Michael Brown
Ben Shapiro listed 7 reasons why Trump’s decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem is right. He called it “an act of not only political bravery but moral courage.” But is it an act that God Himself will bless? Is there spiritual significance to this decision as well?
.;..Researchers Believe They Have Discovered the Star of Bethlehem   -Christian Headlines
 The Star of Bethlehem has intrigued scientists and theologians for centuries. Now, researchers believe they have identified what the star was and where in the sky it can be seen today. According to an article by Ron Allen, the founder of the International Star Bible Society and published by ....
..;.NEVER FORGET......On Christmas Day 2016 Barack Obama Signed Over Judaism and Christendom’s Holiest Sites to Muslims   -Gateway Pundit
…On Christmas Day 2016, in a final despicable act against Christians and Jews, Barack Obama effectively signed over Christendom’s and Judaism’s holiest sites to radical Muslim groups. And…. The Christian and Jew-hating Obama administration HELPED WRITE the UN draft!
.;..Israeli Jets Reported to Strike Syrian Military Site Near Damascus  -Times of Israel
 Israel’s military struck a Syrian military installation on the outskirts of Damascus late Monday night, according to initial reports. According to the reports out of Syria, the strike targeted the Jamarya military facility and research center, northwest of the Syrian capital.
..;..Pearl Harbor and Why We Stand   -Rebecca Hagelin
.....Although I’ve been deeply moved by this anthem throughout my life, it is particularly poignant here at Pearl Harbor, especially as we approach Dec. 7, the anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy.” The words and music seem to carry with them the spirits of those who gave their lives for our freedom in this very place 76 years ago. I imagine the terror of that awful Sunday in this peaceful neighborhood. Homes like the one I visited were occupied by dads, moms, and children, most still in the safety of their beds. While airmen and seamen slept in, relaxed or attended to early morning tasks just after sunrise on what promised to be a beautiful Hawaiian day, the world suddenly changed forever. Many must have listened intently as they were stirred from their sleep by the roar of bombers overhead, a sound that was different from....
.;..In Masterpiece, the Supreme Court Grapples With a Problem of Its Own Making -Travis Weber
At Tuesday’s oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission—which will decide whether baker Jack Phillips can be forced by the state to design and create a cake celebrating a same sex wedding—it became apparent quite early on that the Court was grappling not merely with Jack’s case, but with a number of potential conflicts between religious freedom and same-sex marriage on its hands.
..;.President Trump's Jerusalem Embassy Move Is Part of a Much Bigger Plan  -Thomas Lifson
.....President Trump has three more years in this term in which to start to deliver.  The whole world will be watching.  My guess is that he already has some plans on building a landmark embassy in Jerusalem – under budget and ahead of schedule.  That is his distinctive competence, after all.
.;..A Wedding Cake and the Blessings of Liberty   -Star Parker
.....It was clear that this was not a matter of Phillips refusing to do business with these men because they are gay. He offered to make them any cake they wanted, just not one designed for a same-sex wedding. Phillips claims his right of free expression under the Constitution's First Amendment.
..;.What Supporters, Opponents of Christian Baker Had to Say Outside of Supreme Court   -Christian Post
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker from Colorado who was sued because he declined to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Supporters on both sides of the issue showed up in full force and full of opinions.
.;..Why Kids Benefit from Family Traditions   -Intellectual Takeout
Helping my kids prepare for Christmas always makes me nostalgic for the holiday traditions of my own childhood. It also makes me realize just how important family traditions are to a child’s sense of happiness, continuity, and belonging. I’ve been thinking about family traditions  this year....
..;.Bah Humbug! Belk Bans Salvation Army Bell Ringers    -Todd Starnes
Belk has given Salvation Army bell-ringers and their iconic red kettles the heave-ho — just in time for the Christmas season. The national department store chain will no longer allow Salvation Army volunteers to man kettles outside their stores — a move that is expected to result in a $1 million drop in donations. The Salvation Army said they were told the department store ban had something to do with a change in Belk’s “social consciousness.”
.;..Same-Sex Custody Battles Test the Definition of Parenthood    -Christian Headlines
.....LGBT advocates argue the redefinition of marriage necessitates a redefinition of parenthood. But critics say these cases are further dissolving the link between biology and parenthood and pushing against what social science has continually shown: Children do best when raised by their biological mother and father who are committed to one another in marriage.
..;.Latest Millennial Dream Job? Farming-Intellectual Takeout
.....For the first time in a long time, a growing number of young Americans are ditching cities and desk jobs to sow seeds and pull weeds. In fact, it’s only the second time in the last century that the number of farmers ages thirty-five and under has increased.  That’s good—and surprising—news.
.;..27 Babies Born Alive and Left to Die at Australian Abortion Clinic  -Christian Headlines
 Twenty-seven babies were born alive at an Australian abortion clinic and left to die after failed abortions. Nick Goiran, an Australian Member of Parliament, has begun a petition with the aim of authorizing a commission to investigate the babies’ deaths, according to LifeNews.com. After receiving 7,000 signatures on the petition, Goiran presented it to Parliament.
..;..Viruses Sleeping In Mummies Could Ancient Corpses Lead to Modern Epidemics?-
Mummies fascinate historians, archaeologists, and anyone with antiquarian leanings. Mummies allow scientists to learn more about the diets, clothing, appearance, genetics, and general lifestyle of ancient populations than would be otherwise possible. The process of mummification, however, may preserve more than just the flesh and clothing of ancient pharaohs and desert nomads. Forensic scientists have discovered that ancient viruses and possibly other potential pathogens can remain dormant within the bodies of mummies. This leads to the question of whether investigation of mummies could accidentally bring back long dead diseases like smallpox. Studies of pathology in mummies show that this is a plausible scenario.....
.;..Millennial Evangelicals Feel No Special Loyalty To Israel   -Christianity Today
American evangelicals love Israel—if they’re older. But many younger evangelicals simply don’t care, according to a new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. Three-quarters (77%) of evangelicals 65 and older say they support the existence, security and prosperity of Israel. That drops to 58 percent among younger evangelicals, those 18 to 34. Four in 10 younger evangelicals (41%) have no strong views about Israel.
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
..;.'You Need a Savior. It's Jesus Christ': The Amazing Moment the Colorado Baker Suddenly Started Serving God    -CBN News
The case of Jack Phillips came before the U.S. Supreme Court today as he fights for his right to live and work according to his Christian faith.  He's the Colorado baker who was sued for refusing to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  While he's now willing to losing everything for his faith, he says that hasn't always been the case.  Phillips and his wife were raised in Christian homes but had never accepted the faith of their parents.  According to Alliance Defending Freedom, the group defending Phillips before the Supreme Court, his decision for Christ came years later, like a thunderbolt.  Phillips says he was driving home from work one night when he heard God speak. "I just felt like God came into my car and convicted me of my sins. It just took a few seconds. 'You're a sinner. You need a Savior. It's Jesus Christ.' I said, 'You're right. Let me clean up my life.' He said, 'You can't.' I said, 'You're right. I'm Yours.' So I gave my life to Christ....
..;..President Trump Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinians Threaten 'Rage' -CBN News
President Trump has told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he's planning to move America's Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Now the Palestinians are threatening "rage," and Israel is bracing for the worst.
.;..US officials Warn Trump Not To Call Jerusalem Israel’s Capital  -Jerusalem Post
The possibility that US President Donald Trump may recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has stirred opposition from US and foreign officials who fear it could unleash violence. Such a decision, which US officials have said has not been finalized, would violate decades of US policy not to take a stance on the fate of Jerusalem on the grounds that this was an issue Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate and decide.
..;.New Survey: Evangelicals Remain Trump's Strongest Supporters; Divides on National Anthem, Confederate Monuments and Media Bias Fall on Party Lines -CBN News
The voters President Trump continues to impress and attitudes about controversial issues like sexual misconduct, Confederate monuments and media bias are all covered under a new survey out today by the Public Religion Research Institute. Evangelicals continue to be among President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters. According to the survey, 72% of white evangelicals approve of the president’s job performance. Mainline Protestant denominations and white Catholics are divided with 49% of both groups approving of Trump’s performance during his first year in office.
.;..Meet the Lawyer Who'll Argue at Supreme Court for Christian Baker's Right to Free Speech   -Daily Signal
As far back as grade school, Kristen Waggoner’s father taught her to seek God’s purpose for her life.  This paternal counsel, after much prayer, resulted in her knowing her calling at age 13.  But growing up in a small mill town in Washington, she could not have guessed that, little more than 30 years later, she would be a lawyer arguing a widely known case in the nation’s capital before the nation’s highest court.
..;..Supreme Court Swing Vote Kennedy Likely Supports Christian Baker in Gay Wedding Case, Says Attorney 
United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed to accept the arguments of Colorado baker Jack Phillips in a case involving religious freedom and gay wedding cakes, according to an attorney involved in the case.  The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, setting the stage for a major legal struggle on the question of religious liberty and LGBT rights. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm known to...
.;..Speech, Religion, LGBT Rights Collide at Supreme Court    -USA Today
The Supreme Court appeared divided down the middle Tuesday over a Colorado baker's refusal to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the latest test in the continuing legal battle between gay rights and religious expression. In one of the most animated oral arguments the high court has held, justices on both sides peppered four lawyers with questions to illustrate how their decision might affect other merchants, such as chefs and florists, and other minority groups, such as Catholics and African Americans.
..;.Is Jesus Opposed to Tax Cuts?    -Christian Post
After the GOP-led United States Senate passed a tax overhaul plan last weekend, conservative and liberal Christians debated whether there is a biblical command to maintain high tax rates on the wealthy so the government can afford programs to help the poor.
.;..First Semi-Synthetic Bacteria With Artificial DNA has Created an Entirely Novel Protein    -New Atlas
For several years, the research team has worked on creating a stable, living organism with new, unnatural DNA base pairs. The synthetic bases, dubbed “X” and “Y”, were added into the DNA of a strain of E. coli bacteria. Earlier in 2017, the team revealed that after several unsuccessful attempts, it had finally stabilized the semi-synthetic bacteria, and got it to grow and divide naturally, passing on the synthetic “X” and “Y” bases to new generations. And now the creation of a completely new and unnatural protein has been effectively demonstrated with the semi-synthetic organism expressing a variant of green fluorescent protein.
..;.Red Cross in Belgium to Remove Its Iconic Crucifixes to Not Offend Non-Christians -Christian Post
The Belgian branches of the Red Cross humanitarian organization have been told by the Provincial Committee of the Red Cross in Liège to remove the group's iconic red crosses from building walls amid concerns that the Christian symbol will offend non-Christians.
.;..Canada’s First Christian Law School Pleads Case to Supreme Court   -Christianity Today
Recently the Canadian Supreme Court began hearing a high-profile religious freedom case that will determine the fate of an evangelical law school in suburban Vancouver. Trinity Western University’s plans to launch a law program—a first for a Christian institution in Canada—were stalled for four years, as the school faced legal challenges over its campus covenant, which bars sexual activity outside of traditional marriage. Law societies in three Canadian provinces argued that the school policy discriminated against LGBT students, and refused to accredit future Trinity Western graduates....
..;.The Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case Isn’t about Same-Sex Marriage   -Jeff Jacoby
Masterpiece Cakeshop is not about gay marriage. It’s about compelled speech. The Supreme Court settled the marriage issue in its landmark Obergefell decision in 2015. Gay and lesbian couples are free to marry anywhere in the United States, and government at every level now protects their right to do so. But can government require artists, designers, or other creative professionals to celebrate same-sex marriage through their work?
.;..The Great Baby Bust of 2017Fertility Is Falling Faster than You Realize    -medium.com
I regularly harp on fertility questions, raising concerns over low population growth in many fora. But I find many people have this sanguine confidence that it will all work itself out. I disagree strongly with this view, and I want to use the most up-to-date fertility data available to explain precisely why.
..;.Born Again Christians Continue Declining, Only Minority Believe They Must Share the Gospel: Survey
The percentage of born again Christians in America continues declining, a major religious survey has found. And only a minority of the faithful believe they have a strong personal responsibility to share the Gospel.
.;..Five Reasons the Homogeneous Church Is Declining and Dying   -Thom Rainer
When you are in your worship services next Sunday, look at the people around you.  Do they all look like you? Do they all come from the same economic backgrounds? Are they are about the same age?  If so, you are in a homogeneous church...“We attract people who are like us.” That principle was a point of contention and debate for decades. Is it descriptive (a reality observed), or is it prescriptive (a strategy pursued)?  I contend that the healthy church in America will be neither. Indeed, I contend that the homogenous church is declining and dying.  Why? Here are five key reasons.
..;.Unity in a Baptist Church?   -Charles R. Phelps
Some have said, “Baptist churches multiply by division!” Such an observation must not be taken lightly, for it was our Savior’s prayer that His disciples be models of divine unity reflecting the very tri-unity of the Godhead (John 17:22). The absence of unity in the church requires prayerful, Scriptural attention, for disunity is dishonoring to God.
.;..Still Learning How to Preach After 50 Years Preaching!    -Peter Adam
In December 1967 I preached my first sermon at St Thomas’ South Richmond, soon to be demolished, to a congregation of 4 people. What a privilege! It was on the cross of Christ, but I forget what Bible text I used to launch my sermon! ....In God’s mercy and kindness I began preaching with a firm commitment to the Bible, to Evangelical Christianity, Reformed theology, to Puritan piety, and to expository preaching.  In preaching, as in believing and growing in Christ, life-long learning is the key. I have kept on learning to preach over the last 50 years by: 
..;.What the Bible Teaches About Sexuality  -David Powlison
In order to renew anything, we must have a vision for what it is intended to be, for what’s gone wrong, and for how to bring about transformation. The following will establish that threefold vision for sexuality: The Bible is frank about sexual joy within the circle of faithfulness. Fidelity first orients you as a child of God in relationship to your Father. You come under his care and oversight. Fidelity then orients you as a steward of your own body. 
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
..;..Reports Say Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem As the Capital Of Israel Soon -Michael Snyder
Is President Trump about to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?   If so, this would be one of the most historic events to happen in the Middle East in a very long time.  Needless to say, the government of Israel would be absolutely thrilled by such a move, while the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors would not be pleased at all.  In fact, some Palestinians have suggested that if the Trump administration actually moves the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem that it could spark widespread violence or even war. But Donald Trump promised that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during the campaign, and it looks like he intends to keep his word…Pence will be visiting Israel next month, and he is scheduled to deliver an address to the Knesset.  If the Trump administration is going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is believed that it may happen at that time. 
.;..Pence Praises 'the Role of Faith in the Life of This Nation' and Why Trump Embraces Oval Office Prayers   -CBN News
President Trump will be the first to recognize that having Mike Pence as vice president is as reassuring as it gets. He's a calm force and a man who knows how Washington works. But evangelicals are just as happy to have Pence in the number two slot. After all, he's one of them and has been instrumental in making sure they have a seat at the table and a major voice inside the White House.
.;..Religious Liberty Case Hits Supreme Court: Why This Man's Fight Has Huge Implications for Christians and Jews    -CBN News
A case with huge repercussions for Christian business owners is hitting the U.S. Supreme Court this week. On Tuesday, the justices will hear from Colorado baker Jack Phillips. Five years ago, two gay men entered his Denver bakery to ask him to make them a wedding cake. Phillips politely declined the project since be believes that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman.
.;..Children, Entire Evangelical Families Being Arrested in Eritrea Simply for Praying -Christian Post
Entire evangelical Christian families, including children, are reportedly being arrested in new persecution tactics being used by Eritrean officials, human rights activists have said.
..;.UN Passes Six New Anti-Israel Resolutions  -Breaking Israel News
The United Nations General Assembly passed six new Arab-sponsored resolutions condemning Israel on Thursday, including a resolution erasing all Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and another condemning Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights.  By contrast, in this year’s session there will be a total of six condemnatory resolutions for the rest of the world combined — with one each on Syria, North Korea, Iran, Crimea, Myanmar, and....
.;..Jordan, Egypt Warn US Against Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital  -YNet News
The foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt, the only Arab states to sign a peace treaty with Israel, warned against the reported decision by the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi tweeted that he had spoken to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the dangerous consequences of such a move.
..;..New Dead Sea Scroll Translation Could Unlock Bible Mysteries From 2000 Years Ago    -CBN News
One American archaeologist is trying to crack the Dead Sea Scroll code.  Alison Schofield, a professor of religious and Judaic studies from the University of Denver, is working on a new translation of the ancient scroll. She hopes to get a rare look at Judaism and Christianity from the time of Jesus.  “I was always a fan of Indiana Jones, and I was always interested in the Middle East,” Schofield told the University of Denver in an interview. “I’ve been interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls for as long as I can remember.” The scrolls were originally discovered in 1947 in the mountain caves of Qumran. However, as technology improves, Schofield and her colleagues are continuously excavating new pieces of the scroll to unveil new information. “This was really an adventure for me. It was very surreal in the sense that the setting itself was very dramatic. 
.;..What You Need to Know About the US Embassy Move in Israel  -CBN News
It's an important week in the Middle East — the future of Jerusalem is in the balance and you should know what's at stake. Today marks six months since the last time President Trump signed a waiver delaying the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every six months the US president is required by law to make a decision about the embassy. Moving the embassy has been a centerpiece for candidate Trump and also for President Trump. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview that the Trump Administration is actively looking into moving the embassy. 
..;.What to Know About Scarlet Fever, the Antique Disease That’s on the Upswing -
...This disease has never gone away, but now it’s on the upswing in Asia and the United Kingdom. Cases of scarlet fever tripled in England in 2014 and are now at a 50-year high, according to research published in Lancet Infectious Diseases. This surge follows a severe spike in scarlet fever cases in South Korea, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. Theresa Lamagni, author of the study, told STAT that her team quantified the trend but has no idea of the cause.
.;..Kidnapped Optician Shot Dead After Singing ‘Amazing Grace’   -Christian News Network
The British optician kidnapped and killed last month in Nigeria died in a hail of bullets after singing the hymn “Amazing Grace” to lift the spirits of his fellow hostages, two of them said. Ian Squire, 57, was killed instantly by shots fired by one of four gang members who abducted him and three other aid workers from their clinic in the country’s lawless southern Delta region on Oct. 13, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reports.
..;.Seven Suggestions To Have the Best Christmas Ever-Ron Edmondson
It’s Christmas time again. Seems to come every year about this time. The most wonderful time of the year....But, if you’re like many of us, Christmas will be over before you took time to enjoy it. You might even get past Christmas, realize how fast it passed, and so you set some new year’s resolutions to slow down and – maybe – enjoy Christmas more next year. What if you could do that this year? Why not? Sounds like a good goal to me. Enjoy the celebration of Christmas. The birth of our Savior. Relish the time with family. Savor every moment. Here are 7 suggestions to make this the best Christmas ever:
.;..Number of Kids in Foster Care in America Rises for Fourth Consecutive Year  -FaithWire
A new U.S. government report has found that the tragic rise of children in foster care has continued for a fourth consecutive year — and the likely reason for the uptick is heartbreaking.   The Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, found that the number of kids in foster care in fiscal year 2016 was 437,500, up from 427,400 the previous year. Meanwhile, adoptions from foster care increased from 54,000 to 57,000 during the same timeframe.
..;.Survey Shows How Many Democrats Believe Your Gender Can Be Different Than Biological Sex  -Tony Perkins
In a survey that will probably leave you speechless about the radical bent of President Barack Obama's party, Pew asked Americans what they really think about gender identity. If the results don't surprise you, check your pulse.
.;..Has Belief in God Harmed the Advancement of Science?   -Craig A. Parton
.....First, let us deal with the argument that believers in God (and specifically Christian believers) have historically reflected hostility toward science and have done all they can to thwart the progress of science. Actually, the opposite is true. Christian believers have a long and distinguished history of involvement in the scientific enterprise, which has been based on the belief that the universe reflected a rational and intelligent Creator and that....
..;.Maine Schools Trash Parental Rights for Transgender Policy  -One News Now
The Portland School District in Maine is enforcing a new comprehensive transgender policy for students that school officials say creates a safe haven for the LGBT community on campus – rules that pro-family advocates contend undermines parental rights.
.;..Pro-Lifers Say They Are Fighting 'Modern Eugenics'   -One News Now
Pro-lifers pursuing a legal fight in federal court have gotten help from a religious liberty law firm. Alliance Defending Freedom along with lawyers from the Bioethics Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief in November with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
..;..Can Man Be Moral Without Jesus?   -Dan Delzell
Man was created in the image of God. And so by nature, man is a moral being. Unfortunately for man, sin is also part of his existence, and sinful desires lead man to disobey God's commands. At the same time, billions of people who don't know Jesus live according to their favorite moral code.
.;..13 Things a Pastor Should Never Say to a Congregation-Joe McKeever
In addition to the obvious no-no’s, such as profanity, heresy, racism, sexism, and the like, no pastor should ever be heard to utter any of the following from the pulpit.
..;.Help for the Beat-Up Pastor  -Erik Raymond
I’ve seen it far too many times. Upon exchanging general pleasantries, there is a look and a sigh that says it all. This pastor is beaten up. He is hurting...My heart goes out to these brothers. I know they know ministry is hard and they really don’t want sympathy. They just want to know it’s going to be all right and that it’s worth it. I want to remind them that it is. Maybe this describes you today. If so, let me give you hope based on two views. 
.;..What Happens When Christianity Doesnt Work    -Michael Horton
So often, when people come to Christ, they are promised "victory in Jesus." Smiling, happy people tell about how they once were unhappy, and now they are filled with buoyant exultation. Broken marriages are fixed, wayward children are returned to the straight and narrow, and depression is banished to the old life, but what happens when Christianity doesn’t work?
..;.Why It’s Wrong To Be Preoccupied With Angels    -Jack Wellman
What’s behind the recent surge in the interest of angels? Why do some seem to have a preoccupation about them? God created angels with a purpose, just like He did with us, and even the creation...So angels have a purpose, and mostly that purpose is that they are messengers of God. They are not to be revered, idolized, or be the center of our attention. That place is reserved only for Jesus Christ.  The Hebrew word for angels is “mal’ak,” which means....
HEADLINES AND ARTICLES —  Monday, December 4th, 2017
..;..America Is Apostate and the Preachers Are To Blame   -David Cloud
America is apostate. America is not dead. America is not finished. America is still “the greatest nation on God’s green earth,” as one prominent talk radio host says. America still has more true Christians than any other nation. America is still a friend of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their seed. America is still a land of liberty, though her priceless freedoms are being lost bit by bit, day by day. America still has great strength, and petty dictators would do well not to arouse her anger. America has turned from the true and living God in a most terrible way. She mocks the fear of God. She despises God’s holy laws. She glories in everything that is abominable before God. She retains a “form of godliness” even while denying the power thereof, that power being a born again converted life and an infallible Bible and an omnipotent God. As a whole, America is grossly ignorant of the Bible, but if she knew it, she would not like it. The root problem is the preachers. got to this place because of the pulpits.
.;..Alabama White Evangelicals Overwhelmingly Support Moore Despite Sexual Assault Allegations
Less than two weeks before the special election for Alabama's Senate seat, a poll has found that a great majority of self-identified white evangelicals continue to support the Republican candidate, Roy Moore, despite numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him, leading to a neck-and-neck race with his Democratic rival, Doug Jones.
..;.White House Notifies US Embassies Around the World of Plan to Recognize Jerusalem as Capital of Israel
The Trump administration has notified U.S. embassies around the world that it plans to formally recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, according to a report published Thursday. The plan includes the future relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
.;..DC Transit Bans Catholic Church’s Christmas Ads   -Townhall
Catholics across the nation’s capital are livid after the public transit system rejected the Archdiocese of Washington’s Christmas advertisements because they were deemed “religious.”  The advertisement depicted silhouettes of three shepherds walking at night with tall canes and sheep beneath a shining North Star. Emblazoned across the ad is the phrase: “FIND THE PERFECT GIFT.”
..;.Trust in Clergy Hits All-Time Low, Says Poll-Christian Post
The proportion of people who say they trust priests to tell the truth has reached an all-time low in Britain, while the number of those trusting politicians and police has risen, according to an Ipsos MORI survey.
.;..Why the Masterpiece Cake Case Matters to All Americans   -Michael Brown
Should a gay baker be required by law to design a cake with the message, “God hates fags”? Should an African American t-shirt maker be required by law to design a t-shirt saying, “Long live the KKK?” Should a Muslim caterer be required by law to provide pork for a secular event? Should a Jewish photographer be required to shoot a wedding on the Sabbath? The answer to all these questions is: Of course not. Why, then, should a Christian baker be required by law to design a cake celebrating the “wedding” of two women (or men)?
..;.The Christian Baker’s Unanswered Legal Argument: Why the Strongest Objections Fail  -Public Discourse
The Supreme Court is about to decide whether a baker has a First Amendment right not to be compelled to design and create cakes celebrating same-sex weddings. The baker’s best legal argument is simple, and it survives the best objections filed by the ACLU and Progressive scholars.
.;..Six Guidelines for Social Media Integrity-Aaron Earls
While virtually all church leaders strive to be honest in the daily lives, some struggle with extending their personal integrity online. Whether it is because of ignorance or something more insidious, some Christians display a lack of integrity on social medial. But the same rules apply on social media as they do in real life. Plagiarism, sharing false information, misleading others are still wrong when you do them on Facebook instead of face-to-face.
..;.10 Mistakes Churches Make at Christmastime  -Jonathan Howe
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Some would even say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. While it still has its wonderment, Christmastime has a tendency to be stressful as well—especially in the church. Unfortunately stress can lead churches to plan poorly and make unnecessary mistakes. Here are ten such mistakes to avoid in your church this Christmas:
.;..The Gospel Doesn't Change What God Expects  -Kent Brandenburg
.....The gospel does not change what God expects.  God still expects morality.  He still expects righteousness.  It is not the change in expectations, but a change in capability.  It wasn't Paul living it, but Christ in Him.  The expectations stayed and the means by which he lived those expectations changed.  He could do it now by the grace of God.
..;.How Reading Cultivates Empathy in Leaders  -Eric Geiger
The most effective way to cultivate empathy, not surprisingly, is by interacting with people. Through the ups and downs of life, as we laugh and cry with our friends and family, we begin to empathize with our brothers and sisters. But there’s another surprising way to cultivate empathy—through reading.
.;..10 Things I’d Do Differently as a Pastor During the Christmas Season -Chuck Lawless
It’s December 1, and the Christmas season is upon us. As I look back on my years as a senior pastor, I think of things I would do differently during this season today if I were again a senior leader in a church. Here are some of those things:
..;..Acts 2:38 and Baptismal Regeneration   -Wally Morris
The question of whether baptism is necessary for salvation is a question with which many Christians struggle. The connection between baptism and Christian testimony is ingrained in the culture of many people. For example, if you ask someone if they are a Christian or if they think they will be in heaven one day, their response will often mention a time when they were baptized.
.;..Is the Believer’s Death Precious to God?    -Greg Stiekes
.....Why would the death of God’s people be “precious” to him? Does God rejoice when they die? If so, perhaps it is because God is glad for their sakes. For his people do not actually die, but they enter into his presence, and this meeting is indeed “precious.” On the other hand, however, if God welcomes the deaths of his people (McCann, 1996), doesn’t this deprecate in some way the joyful fellowship and fulness of life that the Bible says they should....
..;.The Congregation and the Pulpit   -Phil Newton
How can a congregation help their pastors to preach God’s Word more effectively? We sometimes have the idea that the seminary—as helpful as it may be—is the end-all for getting preachers ready to preach. Yet it takes more than a seminary to make a preacher. It takes a faithful, partnering congregation to enable a pastor to preach well.
.;..Glorification-Evangelical Magazine
.....The Bible looks to a final chapter in the story of redemption called glorification. It is the moment when Christ returns, the dead are raised, and all the redeemed are instantaneously transformed into the glorious likeness of Christ. Paul describes the scene, ‘the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed’ (1 Corinthians 15:52).  If you’re a Christian, your death won’t be the end of your story.
..;.God’s Will In Seven Words    -Jon Rourke
In his mercy and kindness, the God of the universe revealed his will to us. It’s not discovered through an arduous quest of pagan practices bordering on divination, as described in Bruce Waltke’s excellent book. Instead we open the Bible, and there it is. These simple principles apply to everyone, in them we find our joy and purpose. The next time you or someone you care about is wrestling with the will of God, try helping them out with these seven words.
..;..10 Easy Ways to Create a Safer Church This Sunday-Brotherhood Mutual Ins Co
A marital disagreement turns violent prior to a pastoral counseling session. A distraught intruder walks into the church office, making demands. A man carrying a semi-automatic weapon enters the sanctuary during a Sunday morning service.  Do you still think it can't happen to your church?  What if it does? Are you ready?  What's stopping your church from developing a safety and security mindset? Matt Parmerlee, risk strategy specialist for Brotherhood Mutual, says that denial or fear often prevents churches from creating a safety and security program. "I hear, 'we know everyone in the community' or 'our church is in a good part of town.' I tell churches, to consider the possibility of not if, but when." Starting a safety and security program at your church doesn't have to be complicated or costly—it's important to do what you can. "Many churches don't know where to start, or think that a huge budget is necessary to develop a team," Parmelee says. 
.;..Trump To Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital In Coming Days   -YNet News
Two days after Mike Pence says Trump ‘actively considering when and how’ to fulfil his campaign pledge of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reports surface that the US president is considering announcing his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an interim step.
..;.Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance In the Brain  -PR Newswire
Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable electronic devices for news, information, games, and even the occasional phone call.Along with a growing concern that young people, in particular, may be spending too much time staring into their phones instead of interacting....
.;..New Evidence Dates Christ's Tomb to Roman Era, Matching Historical Records -Fox News
Scientific tests have offered fascinating new insight into the tomb in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre venerated as the resting place of Jesus Christ. National Geographic reports that construction materials used on the tomb have been dated to the Roman era. The results of tests provided to the publication confirm that the remains of a limestone cave enshrined in the famous church are the remnants of a tomb found by the Romans 1,700 years ago. Experts analyzed mortar from the original limestone surface of the tomb and a marble slab that covers it, which they dated to.....
..;.Apocalyptic Super Volcano Eruption Could Be Much Closer Than Previously Thought -Christian Journal
A lot of geology news has circled around the possibility of a supervolcano eruption that could wipe out humanity.  And a new analysis is not very comforting, as scientists discover that the apocalyptic scenario may be much closer than they previously thought. The largest super-eruptions are capable of covering entire continents in volcanic ash and changing weather patterns around the world for decades. And a new study suggests the next eruption of this magnitude could be sooner than was previously assumed.
.;..Merkel Is the Administrator of the West’s Downfall    -Israel National News
Unlike her Christian Democratic predecessors, Chancellor Merkel has no crosses hanging on the walls of her office. She is the daughter of a Protestant pastor from the period when there was an East Germany. She never talks about “values” in public. She is the perfect mirror of a skeptical and post-Christian continent where faith has been totally privatised. Merkel has no children. Neither do most of Europe’s current leaders. To mention some, the prime ministers of Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, UK and the French President Emammuel Macron have no chlldren either. “If the Germans don’t have children, does it matter who inherits their country?”,
..;..Pope Francis Demotes Jesus Christ to Third, and Claims Mary as the Source of Our Hope
Pope Francis, the Jesuit, now claims that mother mary is the source of our hope, and not Jesus Christ. The absolute blasphemy sustained in this statement should make every catholic repent and turn to the truth; The Bible, rather than the doctrine of lies, the catholic church.
.;..Expanding DNA’s Alphabet Lets Cells Produce Novel Proteins    -Associated Press
Scientists are expanding the genetic code of life, using man-made DNA to create a semi-synthetic strain of bacteria — and new research shows those altered microbes actually worked to produce proteins unlike those found in nature. It’s a step toward designer drug development…A team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, expanded the genetic alphabet, creating two artificial DNA “letters” called X and Y.
..;.The Return of Virtue    -Cal Thomas
Rarely has the idiom "virtue is its own reward" looked better than it does in light of the sex scandals sweeping the nation. The so-called "prudishness," of a previous generation and the respect most men were once taught to have for women -- and which Hugh Hefner and his disciples of "free love" mocked -- are looking better with each passing day. Conservatives have been told they can't impose their morality on others, so how is its opposite working out for individuals and the culture?
.;..False Beliefs Lead to Sexual Sin    -Melinda Penner
.....Why is sexual sin often justified by Christians today? Because Christians are more influenced by our culture than by the Bible—they have false beliefs shaped by society’s values rather than the Bible’s. The first false belief is that our feelings are God and we must follow our feelings to truly be ourselves. Butterfield succinctly rebuts this: “Your feelings aren’t your God. Your God is your God.”
..;.Christian Teacher Suspended for ‘Misgendering’ Female Students   -Christian Journal
A teacher has been suspended and may lose his job because he accidentally called a girl a “girl.” “This case is one of a flood of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line.
.;..University Demands That People Be Warned About Seeing a Cross    -World Net Daily
World War II servicemen barely out of high school were buried under crosses as were troops who served in Korea and Vietnam.  But now, one American university says that just seeing crosses can cause “emotional trauma.” That’s the subject of a new lawsuit by the Alliance Defending Freedom over a demand from Miami University of Ohio that pro-life students post warnings about their display of small crosses in the ground.
..;.Stop Acting Like Technology Holds You Hostage   -Trevin Wax
I’ve noticed something curious happen whenever a conversation turns to technology and culture change. People start to sound like brainwashed robots. From the way we talk, one would think that “the future” is inevitable, that technological innovation is unquestionable, and that we no longer have the power to make choices. Behold the examples: