Billy Graham’s Last Message?

Image: Rev. Billy Graham Prepares 'Perhaps … My Last Message'

Rev. Billy Graham Prepares ‘Perhaps … My Last Message’

Sunday, 06 Oct 2013 09:46 PM

By David A. Patten

In an exclusive interview, the Rev. Billy Graham tells Newsmax that President Obama’s “hope and change” mantra is nothing more than a cliché and warns that the nation faces increasing threats to civil and religious liberties from its government.

Graham, who is preparing for possibly his last crusade, this time via video, said America is drenched in a “sea of immorality” and suggested that the second coming of Christ is “near.”

Graham, who turns 95 in November, and just published his book, “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation,” was asked whether he believes the government may be so large and powerful, in light of the pervasive collection and monitoring of digital communications, that it becomes an inherent threat to basic human liberties.

 

“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles,” Graham wrote in response. “‘Hope and change’ has become a cliché in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed,” he stated, an obvious reference to President Obama’s campaign motto.

“Our country is turning away from what has made it so great,” he continued, “but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought; he knows our hearts need transformation.”

Graham continues to share his message of God’s love, a message he has imparted faithfully for decades, despite faltering health in recent years.

He was hospitalized for pneumonia in 2011 and again last year due to a lung infection. He held his first crusade in September 1947, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He would go on to present over 400 crusades in 185 countries. But in the United States, he has probably received the most media attention for his role as a spiritual adviser to many presidents.

To say Graham’s ministry has had a far-flung impact would be an understatement. His staff has estimated that Graham led some 3.2 million people to faith in Christ.

When he made Gallup’s top 10 list of Most Admired Men in January, it marked the 56th time he made the list since 1955 — more than anyone else.

But perhaps his greatest legacy will be the members of his own family who carry on the spiritual tradition he established in 1950 when he founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

They include son Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the BGEA, and also the global Samaritan’s Purse charitable ministry.

Many believing Christians believe in a coming Armageddon, a final battle between good and evil prophesied in the book of Revelation.

Graham tells Newsmax it is not wise to “speculate” about the dates of such a battle, but he adds that the Bible says that there “will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord.”

“I believe all of these signs are evident today,” Graham wrote, adding that “the return of Christ is near.

“Regardless of what society says, we cannot go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming,” he says.

Graham’s ministry work continues at a tireless pace, one that many would consider miraculous. This month, Graham is launching a video series that will be part of a national Gospel-presentation program called “My Hope America.”

Graham shared with Newsmax that “My Hope America” may be his last Gospel outreach.

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“It could perhaps be my last message,” he wrote, “which is this: Christ is our hope for today and our promise for tomorrow. And it is fulfilled in the great work he did for mankind on the cross when he paid the penalty for our sin.”

Full Interview Follows:

Newsmax: Since your first crusade in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1947, traditional moral standards in America have changed radically, with attacks on traditional marriage and abortion and divorce. In an increasingly secular world, can even non-believers find ‘hope’ – to borrow a word from your book title?

Rev. Billy Graham: Absolutely non-believers can find hope, because all people have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). But the Bible also tells us that God our Savior desires all people to be saved and to come into the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV). Real hope is found only in the God of hope. To demonstrate this to mankind, He sent His only Son to earth to bring redemption to people’s souls. God stands by ready to grant salvation to all who believe in Him. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only [Son], that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16 NKJV). Do not miss the importance of this wonderful phrase ‘in Him.’ When we step into an airplane, fasten our seatbelts and the wheels leave the runway, we have placed our physical being and our complete faith not only in the aircraft, but in the pilot and crew. When we receive salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ, we are committing our entire being—our physical, emotional, and spiritual life — to Him because we put our faith in Him — in everything He has said, done, and promised.

What is the biggest spiritual danger America currently faces?

There was a headline recently about more Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs; mixing a little Christianity with the religions of the world. It is called a ‘trendy faith.’ Society does not object to this kind of faith. We have dismissed God, resulting in skewed thinking and consciences that are desensitized to right and wrong, basing moral decisions solely on what ‘fits in’ with our individual preferences. I watch the news daily and my heart is burdened. When I hear despair in people’s voices, when I see the turmoil on their faces, it tells me that hopelessness abounds. This is my reason for writing the book, to proclaim that there is a way out and it is through Jesus Christ who came to save us from self-destruction. People go on a search for anything but God. Many people do not want to face the truth of the Gospel. They water it down to a myth, causing young and old to doubt the authority of the Bible. We as a nation have turned our back on God who blessed our country because its fundamental principles were grounded in the Word of God. People want designer religion, but I pray that they instead will submit to their Creator who longs to become their God and Savior. He has designed eternal life in Heaven for all those who receive His salvation.

One chapter in your book is titled “He Is Coming Back.” Do you think the biblical requirements of the End Times have largely been fulfilled, and are we on the verge of an “Armageddon” event that may presage the return of Jesus?

While we are told not to speculate about dates, God keeps His promises and this is why we can be sure that the return of Christ is near. Scripture tells us that there will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord. I believe all of these signs are evident today. What a time to take the news of the day in one hand and the Bible in the other and watch the unfolding of the great drama of the ages come together. I would not want to live in any other time. The Bible speaks powerfully of trouble ahead with storm warnings that carry a booming jolt of truth. Regardless of what society says, we cannot go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming. We are at a crossroads, and there are profound moral issues at stake. It is time to return to biblical truth. The warning is clear; prepare to meet thy God—followed by the voice of the gentle Shepherd—the Lord Jesus—saying, ‘Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28 NKJV). A new world is coming. It is time for the people of the world to turn to God.

You’ve visited many presidents, and prayed with them in many different circumstances. Which U.S. president would you hold up as the best example for other Christians to emulate, in terms of their personal standards, moral conduct, and heart for God? 

I have tried to be a pastor to each of the 12 U. S. presidents I have had the privilege of knowing personally, but I would never single one of them out. They are just ordinary people, most of whom are seeking to talk to somebody who won’t quote them; whom they can trust and have prayer with. They are searching for something to hold on to, something that can give them an anchor in the midst of this turbulent world or the latest political crisis they find themselves in. It is a lonely place to be in that level of leadership, and I have always encouraged people to pray for them, asking that they seek God’s wisdom and do His will.

Your ministry, and the faith that your children and grandchildren continue to champion today, have touched millions and millions of lives in a powerful way all across the globe. If you had one last message to share with them, one final word you would love for them to engrave on their hearts and never forget, what would you say?

This is exactly why I have written the book [The Reason for My Hope: Salvation] and why our ministry is launching ‘My Hope America’ television program this November. It could perhaps be my last message which is this — Christ is our hope for today and our promise for tomorrow — and it is fulfilled in the great work He did for mankind on the cross when He paid the penalty for our sin. He offers salvation to those who will ‘come’ to Him, believe in what He has done and what He has said, and obediently follow Him. I’ve never known anyone to come to Christ and ever regret it.

We’ve recently learned the federal government is tracking every letter mailed, every phone call made, every email sent. Is there a point at which a government can become so large and powerful that it inherently threatens basic human freedoms, such as the freedom of religion?

Americans have always fought for freedom. This is why America was founded — to worship the one true God openly with no fear of tyranny. Our early fathers led our nation according to Biblical principles. Hope and change has become a cliché in our nation and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed. Our country is turning away from what has made it so great, but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly is to know that God knows our every thought; He knows our hearts need transformation. The human heart can be changed only by the power of God. Hope is certain only through His Son Jesus Christ — not in the change agents of the world, and when the end of the world as we know it takes place at Christ’s return, no government can prevent it and no individual can escape it. Those who hope for it will welcome it; those who refuse to embrace its reality will never change its certainty.

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At U.N., Brazil’s Rousseff blasts U.S. spying as breach of law

At U.N., Brazil’s Rousseff blasts U.S. spying as breach of law

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013. REUTERS-Shannon Stapleton

By Daniel Trotta

Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:14pm EDT

(Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used her position as the opening speaker at the U.N. General Assembly to accuse the United States of violating human rights and international law through espionage that included spying on her email.

Rousseff had expressed her displeasure last week by calling off a high-profile state visit to the United States scheduled for October over reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had been spying on Brazil.

In unusually strong language, Rousseff launched a blistering attack on U.S. surveillance, calling it an affront to Brazilian sovereignty and “totally unacceptable.”

“Tampering in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations,” Rousseff told the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

She also proposed an international framework for governing the internet and said Brazil would adopt legislation and technology to protect it from illegal interception of communications.

“Information and telecommunication technologies cannot be the new battlefield between states. Time is ripe to create the conditions to prevent cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war, through espionage, sabotage, and attacks against systems and infrastructure of other countries,” Rousseff said.

U.S. President Barack Obama was en route to the United Nations while Rousseff spoke. Speaking immediately after Rousseff, he avoided direct reference to her criticism.

“We have begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so as to properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies, with the privacy concerns that all people share,” said Obama, who concentrated mostly on the crisis in Syria and the prospects for a diplomatic opening with Iran.

Rousseff rejected the U.S. government reasoning that the NSA surveillance was aimed at detecting suspected terrorist activity and she accused the agency of engaging in industrial espionage.

Rousseff said she had asked Washington for explanations, an apology and promises the surveillance would never be repeated.

Postponing the state visit was a rare and diplomatically severe snub by Brazil. While foreign leaders frequently visit the White House, state visits are reserved for special occasions and include an elaborate state dinner. No new date has been set.

Rousseff’s state visit was conceived to highlight cooperation between the two biggest economies in the Americas and Brazil’s emergence over the past decade as a regional power.

Ties between the United States and Brazil had been improving steadily since Rousseff took office in 2011. The cancellation could harm cooperation on trade, regional affairs and other issues at a time of growing influence from China, which has surpassed the United States as Brazil’s leading trade partner.

The trip had been seen as a platform for deals on oil exploration and biofuels technology, and Brazil’s potential purchase of fighter jets from Chicago-based Boeing Co.

A report by Brazil Globo’s news program Fantastico on National Security Agency spying was based on documents that journalist Glenn Greenwald obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, was one of the journalists to first report Snowden’s leaks of classified information on previously secret U.S. telephone and internet surveillance efforts.

The report also said the United States intercepted communications of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto before he assumed office.

“Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately,” Rousseff said in her U.N. speech.

“Corporate information, often of high economic and even strategic value, was at the center of espionage activity. Also, Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the permanent mission to the United Nations and the office of the president of the republic itself, had their communications intercepted.”

NSA disguised itself as Google to spy, say reports

NSA disguised itself as Google to spy, say reports

If a recently leaked document is any indication, the US National Security Agency — or its UK counterpart — appears to have put on a Google suit to gather intelligence.

Edward Moyer

September 12, 2013 2:19 PM PDT

The flag of the NSA.

Here’s one of the latest tidbits on the NSA surveillance scandal (which seems to be generating nearly as many blog items as there are phone numbers in the spy agency’s data banks).

Earlier this week, Techdirt picked up on a passing mention in a Brazilian news story and a Slate article to point out that the US National Security Agency had apparently impersonated Google on at least one occasion to gather data on people. (Mother Jones subsequently pointed outTechdirt’s point-out.)

Brazilian site Fantastico obtained and published a document leaked by Edward Snowden, which diagrams how a “man in the middle attack” involving Google was apparently carried out.

A technique commonly used by hackers, a MITM attack involves using a fake security certificate to pose as a legitimate Web service, bypass browser security settings, and then intercept data that an unsuspecting person is sending to that service. Hackers could, for example, pose as a banking Web site and steal passwords.

The article by Brazil’s Fantastico mentions a hitherto unknown GCHQ spy program called “Flying Pig.” This prompted a Twitter quip from Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Kurt Opsahl: “PRISM, Flying Pig. Someone in the surveillance state has a thing for Pink Floyd album covers.”(Credit: Pig: Musiclipse.com; prism: Harvest, Capitol.)

The technique is particularly sly because the hackers then use the password to log in to the real banking site and then serve as a “man in the middle,” receiving requests from the banking customer, passing them on to the bank site, and then returning requested info to the customer — all the while collecting data for themselves, with neither the customer nor the bank realizing what’s happening. Such attacks can be used against e-mail providers too.

It’s not clear if the supposed attack in the Fantastico document was handled by the NSA or by its UK counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The article by the Brazilian news agency says, “In this case, data is rerouted to the NSA central, and then relayed to its destination, without either end noticing.”

“There have been rumors of the NSA and others using those kinds of MITM attacks,” Mike Masnick writes on Techdirt, “but to have it confirmed that they’re doing them against the likes of Google… is a big deal — and something I would imagine does not make [Google] particularly happy.”

Google provided a short statement to Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson in response to his questions on the matter: “As for recent reports that the US government has found ways to circumvent our security systems, we have no evidence of any such thing ever occurring. We provide our user data to governments only in accordance with the law.” (The company is also trying to win the right toprovide more transparency regarding government requests for data on Google users.)

CNET got a “no comment” from the NSA in response to our request for more information.

As TechDirt suggests, an MITM attack on the part of the NSA or GCHQ would hardly be a complete shock. The New York Times reported last week that the NSA has sidestepped common Net encryption methods in a number of ways, including hacking into the servers of private companies to steal encryption keys, collaborating with tech companies to build in back doors, and covertly introducing weaknesses into encryption standards.

It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to obtain a fake security certificate to foil the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocol that’s designed to verify the authenticity of Web sites and ensure secure Net communications.

Indeed, such attacks have been aimed at Google before, including in 2011, when a hacker broke into the systems of DigiNotar — a Dutch company that issued Web security certificates — and created more than 500 SSL certificates used to authenticate Web sites.

In any case, the purported NSA/GCHG impersonation of Google inspired a rather clever graphic by Mother Jones, one that might even impress the rather clever Doodlers at Google:

James Woods on Obama: He’s the ‘gift from hell’

James Woods on Obama: He’s the ‘gift from hell’

By Cheryl K. Chumley

The Washington Times

Thursday, September 12, 2013

  • James Woods copy

It’s a safe bet there’s no love lost between Hollywood actor James Woods and President Obama — the former has taken to Twitter several times over the last few months to trash the policies and politics of the latter.

The latest came this week, in response to a report from British press that revealed the National Security Agency commonly provides Israel with intelligence data — without first stripping out private and personal information on American citizens. The Guardian in London reported the item, the latest in its coverage of document leaks from Edward Snowden.

Mr. Woods unleashed his views of the matter — and of Mr. Obama’s role in allowing the practice to occur — on Twitter.

He wrote: “Report: Data on Americans shared with Israel … Obama: the gift from hell that keeps on giving.”

This is hardly the first unfavorable rating Mr. Woods has posted on his Twitter account about Mr. Obama. In July, the actor ranted over Mr. Obama’s insertion of his personal opinion into the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin trial, characterizing it as fueling racial tensions and wondering why the president would speak his mind about the death of the 17-year-old Trayvon but not worry so much about American’s soldiers and wounded warriors.

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Rand Paul’s message to Evangelicals: There’s a war on Christianity

Rand PaulRand Paul’s Message To Evangelicals: “There is a war on Christianity.”

Senator Rand Paul, who is seriously considering running for President of the United States, told a conservative Christian audience today that, “There is a war on Christianity” being waged by “liberal elites’ and “worldwide as well.

Read his remarks below, delivered at today’s Faith and Freedom Coalition luncheon in DC. The organization’s big “Road to Majority” event starts today and runs through Saturday. Jeb Bush, sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and many others are speaking in the next couple days.

Rand Paul has been actively courting the conservative Christian community for months. He took a trip to Israel which was organized by influential evangelical organizer David Lane and has been speaking to Christian audiences in key GOP Primary states. He will speak to hundreds of Iowa pastors next month in Des Moines. The Brody File also knows of plenty of private events he has done within the Christian community.

Rand Paul has quite a bit going for him if he makes a run. His libertarian views give him distinct crossover appeal but, in addition as a committed pro-life believer in Jesus Christ he can court evangelicals in a a way that doesn’t look like pandering. Plus, he’s super smart which not only gives the Tea Party more credibility as a movement but allows Paul to get a serious look from the shark-infested waters filled with mainstream media members. He should NOT be underestimated.

Senator Rand Paul’s Remarks below:

“Last year in Pakistan, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for being a girl and for wanting to go to school.

If you haven’t seen the YouTube videow of Malala being interviewed on national television, speaking out for the education of girls, watch and you will be amazed at her poise and grace.

Malala never met the great Urdu poet Parveen Shakir, who grew up in Pakistan when women could become highly educated and even Prime Minister.
This line from one of Shakir’s poems reminds me of Malala:

“They insist upon evaluating the firefly in daylight. The children of our age, have grown clever.”

Why would anyone want to kill this innocent young girl? Because Malala, in her young life, insisted on exposing the firefly to daylight.

Her “crime,” as seen by the Taliban, is to believe in enlightenment, to believe that out of the darkness a flicker of tolerance can glow and grow to overcome ignorance.

Americans are seen by Pakistanis as infidels and invaders. We will not in a thousand years bring enlightenment to Pakistan, only Pakistan can do that.

When Pakistan begins to police Pakistan better, when girls who long for nothing but freedom and education are embraced — rather than gunned down by murderous thugs — then will progress finally be made.

My heart breaks for Malala and her family. It breaks for all those who suffer under violent oppression in the name of religion. It breaks for those who cannot grow up to be poets and teachers, but mostly it breaks for those who cannot speak without being gunned down by extremists.

I can only hope that the violence done to her will motivate those who believe in both Islam and peace and tolerance to stand unanimously and proclaim this violence does not represent them. That the Taliban does not represent them. That gunning down children in cold blood does not please their God.

The violence and intolerance against girls is also directed toward Christians. It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.

It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death for blasphemy against Islam, countries that put to death Muslims who convert to Christianity, and countries who imprison anyone who marries outside their religion.

There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.

And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.

You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs.

In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.

According to her co-workers, she insulted the Prophet. In our country, we refer to such quibbling as gossip. In Pakistan, if you are a Christian, it can land you on death row.

Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Downs syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.

After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.

Dr. Shakil Afridi is not a Christian but his imprisonment by Pakistan is nonetheless an injustice. He was tortured and held without charge for nearly a year.

He was shackled with his hands behind his back for months and he was finally imprisoned, likely for the rest of his life for the crime of helping America get Bin Laden.

How do your leaders respond? 90 % of them voted against my bill that would have put restrictions on this aid.

My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.

Overwhelmingly, I was voted down. Is it any wonder that Congress has a 10% approval rating? In Egypt, in Pakistan, they burn our flag—I say not one penny more to countries that burn the American flag!

Even when we’ve tried through good intentions to make the world a better place our actions have often backfired.

During the Iraq War, over a quarter-million Iraqi Christians fled Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator but his government was secular and therefore relatively safe for Christians. Christians, however, feared the Shiite government that we helped put in place after Saddam, and they fled in droves.

Where did these Christians go? They headed mostly for Syria, joining the over one million Syrians who have lived as Christians since the time of Christ.

Now, the senate is attempting to arm the rebel forces in syria, many of whom are al quaeda or affiliates.   they do so out of a miguided attempt to stop the violence in syria.

Instead their actions will bring more violence and more persecution of Christians, who have long been protected in Syria.

Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.

Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.

While they burn the American flag and the mobs chant Death to America, more of your money is sent to these haters of Christianity.

Even if all the atrocities to Christians were not occurring in these countries, we simply don’t have the money to engage in this foolishness. We must borrow the money from China to send it to Pakistan.

While American soldiers spent a decade fighting to liberate Iraq and while American taxpayers have sent roughly $470 million each year in aid, Christians in Iraq are the subjects of what Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors, describes as “religicide.”

Before the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Mosul, a city in Iraq, was home to some 75,000 Christians, but now the number has dropped to around 25,000.

Christian homes are set on fire, bombs are being placed in their cars and Christian families are receiving letters threatening them to leave Iraq or be kidnapped or killed.

American soldiers have also risked their lives for the sake of these countries liberation. Our young men and women have fought for a noble cause but the law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving one.

These countries are not our true allies and no amount of money will make them so. They are not allies of Israel and I fear one day our money and military arms that we have paid for will be used against Israel.

This fight has made me unpopular in Washington but I am willing to risk unpopularity with politicians to do what I am convinced is right.

The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.

Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word “Amen” as the cleric said these words of hatred.

How does your government respond?

The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt.

This is an outrage! It is amazing that so many in Washington fail to see who the real enemies are. We should immediately stop sending F-16’s and tanks to Egypt!

It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.

When Pope John Paul II spoke about a “culture of death,” he talked about “a war of the powerful against the weak.”

As Christians, we know we must always stand with the most defenseless. I believe that no civilization can long endure that does not respect life from those not yet born to life’s last breath.

I am the sponsor of a life are conception act in the senate, and I will stand up for unborn children as long as I am privileged to be in office.

These days Christians are often unified in our defense of the not yet born but I exhort you to remember the 19-year-olds who are sent into battle.

War is not a game or a sport and any politician who speaks of pre-emptive war with gleeful bravado should not be leading any nation.

As we sit here, our brave troops risk their lives, serving our country with faithfulness and honor. They endure harsh conditions, loneliness and great danger. I pray for their safe return each day and I pray for an end to the war.

I can recall no utterance of Jesus in favor of war or any acts of aggression. In fact, his message to his disciples was one of non-resistance. I do not believe that means that we don’t defend ourselves.

I believe individuals and countries can and should defend themselves. But I simply can’t imagine Jesus at the head of any army of soldiers and I think as Christians we need to be wary of the doctrine of pre-emptive war.

We must and should stand with our fellow Christians in the Middle East and around the world—but that does not necessarily mean war and it certainly does not mean arming sides in every conflict.

Jesus, himself, reminds us of this in the Sermon on the Mount, when he proclaims, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Today, we have a culture that accepts the wanton disposal of millions of innocent children, and sends aid to countries that persecute Christians. . . . . I, for one, will not rest until this injustice ends.

As Christians, we understand that the right to life, and freedom of religion, pre-exist all government. These rights are not granted to man by other men, these rights are granted to us by our Creator.

God, help us in these troubling times to make wise decisions, to make moral decisions, and to listen to the voice of God that lives and breathes and resides in us all. Amen.”

Is Obama the worst president ever?

WORSTIs Obama the worst president ever?

BY HUGH HEWITT | AUGUST 25, 2013 AT 5:15 PM

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”— President Obama, Aug. 11, 2009

So said President Obama again and again through 2009 and 2010 as he sold Obamacare to the country. He promised. He put his personal integrity on the line. His word.

If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

How many UPS employees voted for the president in 2008 and again in 2012? Because on Friday, UPS announced it was dumping 15,000 spouses of UPS employees from their UPS health plans despite the president’s many, many promises to the contrary.

 

The UPS spouse-dump followed by a few days the news from New Jersey that Obamacare’s rollout there will end the low-cost, high-deductible plan that more than 106,00 Jersey folks liked and which presumably many of them would have preferred to keep.

Oh, and the cost of individual plans are set to rise on average 41 percent in Ohio, and another major insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross, has pulled out of the California market for small businesses.

Let a thousand stink bombs go kaboom. Obamacare is the train wreck that just keeps arriving on an ever-more prolonged schedule.

Most Mainstream Media refuse to catalogue the consequences of the epic bill that went unread when it was passed without a single Republican vote in 2009. Most journalists just avert their eyes.

But now that that the bodies of hundreds of gassed Syrian children are piling up in Damascus and scores of Christian churches are burned-out shells in Egypt, it is getting harder and harder to find anything to write about the president that doesn’t underscore his incompetence.

Obama’s tenure is a vast desert of anti-achievement, a landscape of waste and ruin on every front at home and abroad, save on the ability to mobilize voters who don’t know or don’t care about the state of the country or the world.

The president rolled to re-election on the strength of technologies that enabled his minions to tap and turn out folks who simply are clueless that that nice fellow in the White House hasn’t the foggiest idea of how to run the country.

Perhaps by the time you read this, the president will have ordered a few cruise missiles to fall on Damascus, and the anti-Sisi rhetoric will have been toned down in recognition that the general running Egypt is likely to be there far longer than the president is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But the prospect of 39 more months of the anti-president at the helm is daunting. No plans for anything except bus tours and college campus speeches, no idea how to invigorate a sputtering economy or trim a bloated budget.

Just miles and miles to go before we can can all sleep without the prospect of seeing him the next day, yet again, making another meaningless speech or filibustering another softball question from a kept White House press.

Many will argue that Stanley Baldwin was the worst of the modern British Prime Ministers, though a few remonstrate half-heartedly for Edward Heath, but Heath did not leave his country vulnerable to war and direct attack that killed hundreds of thousands.

Since 1979 and the acquiescence of the transfer of Iran to religious zealots with world-enders and Hidden Imam-summoners among them, I didn’t think it was possible for an American president to be ranked below Jimmy Carter on the competence list.

But now we have Obama, with double the years that Carter had to more than double the wreckage of the Carter era. Obama is working on his place in history every day, and every day he is making that ranking more secure.

HUGH HEWITT, Washington Examiner columnist, is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio show host who blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.

NSA employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping program.

NSA employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping program.

Staff working at America’s National Security Agency – the eavesdropping unit that was revealed to have spied on millions of people – have used the technology to spy on their lovers.

NSA employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping programme

It was disclosed that the NSA had broken privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions over a one-year period.  Photo: REX FEATURES

11:18AM BST 24 Aug 2013

The employees even had a code name for the practice – “Love-int” – meaning the gathering of intelligence on their partners.

Dianne Feinstein, a senator who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, said the NSA told her committee about a set of “isolated cases” that have occurred about once a year for the last 10 years. The spying was not within the US, and was carried out when one of the lovers was abroad.

One employee was disciplined for using the NSA’s resources to track a former spouse, the Associated Press said.

Last week it was disclosed that the NSA had broken privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions over a one-year period.

John DeLong, NSA chief compliance officer, said that those errors were mainly unintentional, but that there have been “a couple” of wilful violations in the past decade.

Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches.

Warantless

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Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches

By Timothy B. Lee, Updated: August 19, 2013

If the police arrest you, do they need a warrant to rifle through your cellphone? Courts have been split on the question. Last week the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to resolve the issue and rule that the Fourth Amendment allows warrantless cellphone searches.

In 2007, the police arrested a Massachusetts man who appeared to be selling crack cocaine from his car. The cops seized his cellphone and noticed that it was receiving calls from “My House.” They opened the phone to determine the number for “My House.” That led them to the man’s home, where the police found drugs, cash and guns.

The defendant was convicted, but on appeal he argued that accessing the information on his cellphone without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Earlier this year, the First Circuit Court of Appeals accepted the man’s argument, ruling that the police should have gotten a warrant before accessing any information on the man’s phone.

The Obama Administration disagrees. In a petition filed earlier this month asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, the government argues that the First Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the rulings of several other appeals courts, as well as with earlier Supreme Court cases. Those earlier cases have given the police broad discretion to search possessions on the person of an arrested suspect, including notebooks, calendars and pagers. The government contends that a cellphone is no different than any other object a suspect might be carrying.

But as the storage capacity of cellphones rises, that position could become harder to defend. Our smart phones increasingly contain everything about our digital lives: our e-mails, text messages, photographs, browser histories and more. It would be troubling if the police had the power to get all that information with no warrant merely by arresting a suspect.

On the other hand, the Massachusetts case involves a primitive flip-phone, which could make this a bad test case. The specific phone involved in this 2007 incident likely didn’t have the wealth of information we store on more modern cellphones. It’s arguably more analogous to the address books and pagers the courts have already said the police can search. So, as Orin Kerr points out, if the Supreme Court ruled on the case, it would be making a decision based on “facts that are atypical now and are getting more outdated every passing month.”

Do not remain silent! A dire warning to Silent Pastors from the distant past.

Do not remain silent: A dire warning to American Pastors from the distant past.

By Mario Murillo

 

Mordecai said to Esther, “for if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

Businessman with Tape over Mouth

It is with a broken heart and deep reverence that I beg you my fellow ministers, do not remain silent about Obama and the Democratic Party.  I know that for me to remain silent will put blood on my hands and perhaps judgment in my future.  You may ask me how do you dare make such a claim?  That is when I will ask you, what more must Obama do before you admit that he is a grave threat to everything that we hold dear as men of God?

I beg you!  Quit hiding behind myth of separation of church and state!  You have the right, yea the duty to speak out now before it is too late.

Listen to Matt Barber vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, “In recent years there’s been an epidemic of cultural inaction exhibited by far too many ministers of the gospel. It’s fear-based. “Oh, I don’t talk about political issues,” they say. “You know, ‘separation of Church and State’ and all that.”

Baloney.

If this is you — and only you and our Lord knows for sure — you’ve been deceived by the enemies of God. You’ve chosen the easy way out — the path of least resistance. This is something Christ, whom all Christians are called to emulate, never did — not once.

So, respectfully, man-up, Padre! Be the “salt and light of the world,” as Christ so admonished.

Did you get that? Despite hundreds of thousands of threatening letters sent by hard-left groups like the ACLU and Barry Lynn’s Americans United, not a single church has lost tax exemption for socio-political activity — zip, zero, nada. Not even for endorsing candidates from the pulpit.”

Obama and the Democratic Party’s agenda cannot win without the Christian vote and I believe that  if Pastors remain silent, we are headed for another defeat in 2014!

Are they afraid of losing tithers?  I am trying to wrap my brain around the idea of  a man of God who would rather lose a nation than a tither.

dietrich-bonhoffer

Perhaps you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?  Maybe God gave you that pulpit for such a time as this?  What if you are here to speak up at the precise time that socialism is about to swallow of American exceptionalism?  We have to rise up in the name of God and stop  this plan for the dismantling of everything good and right about America.

Are you still hiding behind the excuse that we are to be “loving and not speak out ”?  What if Esther had hidden behind that excuse?  Does love keep silent?

Maybe you believe that we need a big government ruling our lives. Just remember, when they start to control healthcare they will come and control your church.   They will do it in the name of good.

Here’s what C.S. Lewis said about the nanny state:  “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

 

Maybe you believe that the grievance insdustry fomented by Jesse  Jackson, Al Sharpton and the NAACP  is a part of the civil rights movement.  It is not, listen to Dr. King’s own words:

“There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and outside agitators. But the Christians pressed on in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide.”

protesting evil

You can cave into pressure, remain silent and let this moment bring irreversible damage.  However, do not fool yourself.  I say this with tears of love and I am quaking with conviction.  I believe we are fairly warned!  The next time you pray for growth, miracles, blessing or finances, consider the broken heart of God who will remember your silence, and that silence, I believe, will be screaming at God a lot louder than your prayers.

Obama Presidency A Lengthening Legacy Of Lawlessness.

LAWLESSNESS

Obama Presidency A Lengthening Legacy Of Lawlessness.

 Posted 08/16/2013 06:43 PM ET

Leadership: President Obama’s approval numbers are now hitting record lows, yet his critics are often written off as simple-minded “Obama haters.” It doesn’t wash. The problem is a pattern of presidential lawlessness.

Last time we checked, the Constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the law.” That’s no editorial opinion, but Article 2, Section 3, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “(The President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Our founders conceived and established in that document three co-equal branches of government to preserve our individual liberty and restrain the unlimited power of government. But this president and his administration have routinely ignored the divisions of power between the presidency, the Congress and its legislation, and the Supreme Court and its rulings.

Constitutionally, the president has the authority to check the legislative branch by recommending legislation to be passed by Congress or through the presidential veto. But he cannot legislate through executive fiat and he can’t pick and choose which parts of the law he will comply with or decline. Nor can he defy judicial rulings from the highest court in the land.

But that’s what he’s done. In just the latest example, President Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has directed federal prosecutors to conceal the amount of drugs seized during an arrest to circumvent mandatory minimum sentences set by Congress in 1986.

Whether one agrees with that law or not, its legal authority lies within the constitutional powers of Congress, not the executive branch. And that’s the issue. It’s part of a growing litany of presidential lawlessness:

• Aug. 14, 2013: The Obama administration delayed the provision in ObamaCare to cap out-of-pocket health care costs, picking and choosing parts of the law to enforce, which is to exceed its authority.

• July 17, 2013: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals joined the federal appeals courts in D.C. and Philadelphia in ruling President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board recess appointments — who by law must be approved by Congress — were unconstitutional. Thus far, the president has ignored the ruling.

• July 1, 2013: The Obama administration unilaterally decided to delay the employer mandate provision of ObamaCare for a year, which is to provide information to the feds about the extent of an applicant’s insurance. Never mind that the law states the mandate must go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 — they are now relying on the “honor system” from applicants to determine if they are qualified for subsidies.

• March 27, 2012: EPA issued final rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions on electric utilities that require power plants to use nonexisting carbon capture-and-control technology to meet new emission standards, in defiance of the Congress’ rejection of cap-and-trade legislation.

• April 23, 2012: The administration postponed Medicare Advantage cuts by calling them a “demonstration project” and used funds not approved by Congress to delay effects of those cuts before the election.

• March 1, 2011: Attorney General Holder lied to Congress, saying “decisions made in the New Black Panther Party case were made by career attorneys in the department.” Associate A.G. Thomas Perrelli, an Obama political appointee, overruled a unanimous recommendation for prosecution by DOJ attorneys.

V Feb. 3, 2010: Judge Martin Feldman held the Obama administration in contempt for re-imposing an offshore drilling moratorium that was struck down by the courts.

This is just a small sampling of the lawlessness of this administration. From the Zimmerman trial, the EPA phony-address emails, the handing of farmers’ personal information to green activists, down to the illegal campaigning by Cabinet members, the list continues.

This lawlessness is the leading cause of distrust in government. As polls show, it’s also the leading cause of President Obama’s lost luster as America’s leader.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/081613-667885-obama-presidency-leaves-a-lawless-legacy.htm#ixzz2cIOqR9E8
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