A Series of Interesting Coincidences?

April 8th, 2014 by Steve

I was reading the news tonight and happened across an article, at Fox News, that caught my attention; “Sun, Mars, Earth to align in rare cosmic event and more in April’s night sky”. According to the article, the Sun, Mars and Earth are going to align. On April 14, at 8:53 a.m. ET, Mars will be at it’s closest approach to Earth. That evening, there will be a total lunar eclipse as well.

Lets have some fun with this and let me draw some “far out” parallels to Biblical Prophesy. Do I know more than the Biblical Scholars? Of course not. I would never attempt to enter the arena with them, let alone debate them, but always one to consider events through the mindset of Biblical Prophesy, I thought it might be fun to see if any of the stellar events actually line up to Biblical Events in any way. Luke 21:11 tells us that there will be “signs in the sky” to signal important events from God. So lets take a look…

April 14, 2014 is the start of the Jewish Passover. It officially begins at sunset in Jerusalem, which this year is 19:07 (7:07 PM). Already we have these stellar events occurring on the first day of the Jewish Passover.

By the way, Jesus was crucified right before a Sabbath following, or in the midst of, a Jewish Passover. Lets continue…

The stellar event of Mars passing close to earth will occur at 08:53 (8:53 AM EDT). This is 15:53 (3:53 PM) in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that Jesus died about “the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45-50, Mark 15:34-37, Luke 23:44-46). The “ninth hour” is 15:00 (3:00 PM). So Jesus dies on the the cross, the “day” before the Sabbath at about 15:00 (3:00 PM), about the time Mars will be closest to Earth this year.

The Bible says that “about noontime the whole land became dark and stayed dark for three hours”. Let this years Lunar Eclipse remind you of this darkness; of Jesus filled with the sin of world and cut off from God, condemned to die.

The Bible doesn’t specifically mention Mars as a harbinger of events, but is lumped in the general category of “the heavens” or the sky. It most certainly is a very noticeable planet, so I believe it most certainly won’t be excluded when the time comes.

I hope these extremely loose parallels made you think of how Jesus sacrificed himself so that all of us could be with God someday. The lamb was a sacrifice typically used to atone for the sins of the people. They were sacrificed immediately before the Passover celebration. Jesus was the “ultimate sacrifice” to God, replacing the lambs forever. Please keep that in mind this Passover/Easter season. Let the events in the skies remind you that our Creator, God Almighty, created everything and that a Savior, Jesus, was sent to make things right between God and his creation.

“Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved”.

Fed Judge Tells Texas “Homosexual Marriage” No What Your People Want – Another Step Toward God’s Judgement

February 27th, 2014 by Steve

The government continues on its quest to shove so-called “homosexual marriage” down our throats, now going after states that overwhelmingly voted against it. This latest effort has federal judge Orlando Garcia ruling that this law in Texas is unconstitutional.
Let’s backtrack a moment.
Homosexuals have consistently equated their “struggle” with the civil rights movement of the ’60’s. There is, truthfully though, one huge difference; black people are born black, a scientific fact. In regards to homosexuals though, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that they are born that way. None whatsoever.
The Bible tells us that in end times, man will consistently thumb their collective noses at good, for all practical purposes, doing evil when good would be easier. I see this as just another step down the road toward and end wrought in Gods judgement on mankind.
Homosexual behavior is in direct contention with Christianity. The government has shown you who they are going to side with. Homosexual “marriage” over religious freedom. That’s their choice and decision.
So be it. God will not be mocked. Prepare for what is sure to come in the not too distant future; judgement and punishment from God.
Christians, hang on for the ride.

A federal judge declared a same-sex marriage ban in deeply conservative Texas unconstitutional on Wednesday, but will allow the nation’s second-most populous state to enforce the law pending an appeal that will likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Orlando Garcia issued the preliminary injunction after two gay couples challenged a state constitutional amendment and a longstanding law. His ruling is the latest in a tangled web of lawsuits across the country expected to end up in the Supreme Court next year.

“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” Garcia wrote. “These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.”

Garcia said the couples are likely to win their case and the ban should be lifted, but said he would not enforce his ruling pending one by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which already is hearing two other states’ cases. He also will give Texas time to appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Garcia, appointed by President Bill Clinton, is the first judge in the conservative 5th Circuit to reach such a decision. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who also is the leading Republican candidate to succeed Gov. Rick Perry, promised to appeal the decision to the New Orleans court.

“This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides,” Abbott said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage.”

The ruling is the latest in a series of victories for gay rights activists following similar decisions in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia. The U.S. Supreme Court put the Utah ruling on hold until the 10th Circuit can consider an appeal, and Garcia said he would respect that order as well.

Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes filed their federal civil rights lawsuit saying Texas’ ban unconstitutionally denied them the fundamental right to marry because of their sexual orientation. Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed a lawsuit saying Texas officials violated their rights by not recognizing their marriage conducted in a state where gay marriage is legal.

“Having been together almost 17 years, we look forward to the day when we can get married and when all gay Texans enjoy equal rights to marry as well,” Phariss and Holmes said in a statement.

Dimetman and De Leon said they hope to retake their vows in Texas.

Todd Staples, a candidate for lieutenant governor who drafted the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, denounced the court’s decision.

“I am disappointed that judicial activism is once again trying to trump the will of the people. This ruling is the poster child of the culture war occurring in America today,” he said.

Original Link.

U.S. Thumbs Its Nose at God – Again

February 10th, 2014 by Steve

Last week, the government continued its attack on traditional marriage and, yet again, thumbed its nose at God.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday evening that the Justice Department will now follow a landmark Supreme Court ruling on same-sex spouses, which means they will no longer be compelled to testify against each other in civil and criminal cases.

Holder’s speech was criticized by the conservative National Organization for Marriage.

“This is just the latest in a series of moves by the Obama administration, and in particular the Department of Justice, to undermine the authority and sovereignty of the states to make their own determinations regulating the institution of marriage,” said Brian Brown, the group’s president. “The changes being proposed here to a process as universally relevant as the criminal justice system serve as a potent reminder of why it is simply a lie to say that redefining marriage doesn’t affect everyone in society.”

Hang on the ride, Folks. It’s going to get bumpy.

Original Link.

Christians Killed Worldwide for Their Faith Nearly Doubled in 2013, Islam Root of Persecution

January 12th, 2014 by Steve

…a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.
-John 16:2-4

Rev. Faye Pama Musa knew immediately why suspected Boko Haram militants burst into his home last year as his wife prepared dinner in the family’s northeastern Nigeria home. His stance against Christian persecution in the divided African nation had long made him a target.

Musa, who served as the general overseer of the Rhema Assembly International Church and secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno, saw the intruders near the front door of his home in Maiduguri as his wife, Mercy, prepped food. One of the couple’s daughters, Zion, had spotted the armed men just seconds earlier jumping a fence.

“Today you are a dead man,” one of the gunmen reported said on May 14 as he dragged Musa to the porch. “Call your Jesus to help you, Mr. CAN man!”

Zion Musa then begged the attackers to spare her father, a request met with a misfired bullet that caused her to faint. She survived but her 52-year-old father – a man who worked closely with Open Doors, a nondenominational group tracking persecuted Christians worldwide – did not.

Musa, according to the group, was one of 2,123 Christians killed last year due to their faith, compared to 1,201 in 2012. More than half of those reported killings (1,213) occurred in Syria, followed by Nigeria (612) and Pakistan (88).

But North Korea — a country of more than 24 million, with an estimated 300,000 Christians — remained the most dangerous country worldwide for Christians for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Somalia, Syria and Iraq.

“Like others in that country, Christians have to survive under one of the most oppressive regimes in contemporary times,” according to a release on the report issued Wednesday. “They have to deal with corrupt officials, bad policies, natural disasters, diseases and hunger. On top of that, they must hide their decision to follow Christ. Being caught with a Bible is grounds for execution or a life-long political prison sentence. An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians live in concentration camps, prisons and prison-like circumstances under the regime of leader Kim Jong-Un.”

A sub-Saharan African country — Somalia — was ranked second on the organization’s list for the first time. Islamic extremism is the primary source of Christian persecution in the country of more than 10 million and while the capital of Mogadishu is under more moderate Muslim control recently, converts from Islam are threatened with execution, sometimes by the al-Shabaab militant rebels.

“In Somalia, a Christian cannot trust anyone,” one Christian reportedly told an Open Doors researcher. “One false confidence and you literally lose your head.”

Syria, meanwhile, which had not previously cracked the group’s list of top ten most oppressive places for Christians, ranked third last year. Like in Somalia, Islamic extremism powered the prosecution, according to Open Door officials, and many towns that previously had large populations of Christians have become ghost towns.

“The face of persecution in Syria has changed,” the group’s World Watch List reads, adding that nearly half of rebels in Syria have a jihadist background. “The influence of these groups that are linked to Al Qaeda and other extremist factions has risen considerably in the past year.”

Original Link.

Merry Christmas 2013

December 25th, 2013 by Steve

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:1-7 (New International Version)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
Matthew 2:1-12 (New International Version)

We know it’s been a difficult year for many and the new year seems full of questions and uncertainty. We hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas. Be safe and remember the reason for the season; the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
-Steve and Missi

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

November 28th, 2013 by Steve

First Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

Supreme Court To Take Up Issue of Prayer Before Government Meetings

November 3rd, 2013 by Steve

This week, the Supreme Court will take up deliberation of prayer before government meetings.
As our nation inexorably sides down the path toward the cesspool of anti-Christian, anti-God, I fully expect the court to rule against this, further thumbing our noses at God.
Pray, Christians, that the court continues to allow prayer before government meetings to continue.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will begin deciding the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, a New York lawsuit that could resonate at all levels of government, from local city councils to state legislatures and even Congress.

In Greece v. Galloway, a lower court ruled that opening a town council meeting with a prayer violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The court ruled that the prayers violated the separation of church and state, and the content of the prayers could give the impression that the government endorses Christianity.

Others disagree.

“The reason legislative prayer is constitutional is because it’s been done since the (nation’s) founding, including by the Congress that promulgated the First Amendment,” former Solicitor General Paul Clement told the Herald.

Lawmakers in Arizona take turns leading the prayer, according to azcentral.com, and bring in different religious leaders, including Jewish, Native American and Muslim leaders.

“It’s part of our history and decorum,” said Donna Kafer, who has served as Arizona’s volunteer legislative chaplain for 15 years and said she believes the daily prayer has a calming effect on lawmakers. “It sets the tone for what they’re there to do.”

Original Link.

Government Agencies: “Accept Homosexuality as Good and Normal or Be Subjected to ‘Re-Education'” and NPS: “Need a Permit to Baptize”

September 3rd, 2013 by Steve

As our country descends further and further down the slippery slope of government enforced “Homosexual Acceptance”, Fox News’ Todd Starnes has no problems finding examples of Christian persecution at the hands of embolden militant homosexual activists terrorist and governments agencies.

Mr. Starnes sites the latest example of an Oregon bakery, Sweet Cakes By Melissa, which has been terrorized out of business.

A family-owned Christian bakery, under investigation for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, has been forced to close its doors after a vicious boycott by militant homosexual activists.

Sweet Cakes By Melissa posted a message on its Facebook page alerting customers that their Gresham, Ore. retail store would be shut down after months of harassment from pro-gay marriage forces.

“Better is a poor man who walks in integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways,” read a posting from Proverbs on the bakery’s Facebook page.

“It’s a sad day for Christian business owners and it’s a sad day for the First Amendment,” owner Aaron Klein told me. “The LGBT attacks are the reason we are shutting down the shop. They have killed our business through mob tactics.”

Last January, Aaron and Melissa Klein made national headlines when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Klein tells me he has nothing against homosexuals — but because of their religious faith, the family simply cannot take part in gay wedding events.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I don’t want to help somebody celebrate a commitment to a lifetime of sin.”

The lesbian couple filed a discrimination with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and told their story to local newspapers and television statements.

Within days, militant homosexuals groups launched protests and boycotts. Klein told me he received messages threatening to kill his family. They hoped his children would die.

The LGBT protestors then turned on other wedding vendors around the community. They threatened to boycott any florists, wedding planners or other vendors that did business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

“That tipped the scales,” Klein said. “The LGBT activists inundated them with phone calls and threatened them. They would tell our vendors, ‘If you don’t stop doing business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa, we will shut you down.’”

To make matters worse, the Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries announced last month they had launched a formal discrimination investigation against the Christian family.

Commissioner Brad Avakian told The Oregonian that he was committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether the bakery discriminated against the lesbians.

“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”

In other words, Christians who live and work in Oregon must follow man’s law instead of God’s law. But in a show of benevolence, the state is willing to rehabilitate and reeducate Christian business owners like the Kleins.

Klein said the closing of their retail store was a small price to pay for standing up for their religious beliefs.

“As a man of faith, I am in good spirits,” he said. “I’m happy to be serving the Lord and standing up for what’s right.”

Read the rest of Mr. Starnes’ article here.

As if that wasn’t enough, recently the National Park Service began requiring permits for churches to hold baptismal services in public waters on park grounds.

Mr. Starnes states in his “American Dispatch”:

The National Park Service began enforcing a policy recently that required churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize in public waters. As part of the same permit process, the NPS also mandated that churches give the Park Service 48 hours advance notice of pending baptisms.

But as any Baptist or Pentecostal in good standing knows – that’s a problem.

“If the Holy Spirit is working on Sunday morning, you’re going to baptize Sunday afternoon,” Dennis Purcell told The Salem News. “You may not know ahead of time.”

Many Christians believe that the Bible commands new followers of Christ to be baptized immediately after their conversion. It’s a public expression and celebration of their new-found faith in Christ.

The National Park Service told local churches the permits were needed to “maintain park natural/cultural resources and quality visitor experiences, specific terms and conditions have been established.”

The feds also closed vehicle access to a sandbar along a popular creek in the Ozark Mountains, meaning churches could no longer drive their elderly members to the outdoor baptisms. And to make sure the Baptists behaved, they placed large boulders in the area to block car traffic.

The NPS did remove the policy after Rep. Jason Smith became involved. What is very disturbing is that such a directive could go out at all.

The congressman summed the situation up well:

“I am very troubled by any federal rule that requires churches to apply for a permit for the purpose of baptism, especially when these traditional activities have been done in the rivers and streams of this nation since its founding,” the congressman wrote.

He pointed out the National Park Service does not require a 48-hour notification from fisherman or swimmers – so why churches?

“One would hope that the answer is not ‘because the National Park Service wants to limit the number of baptisms performed on the river.”

Read the rest of Mr. Starnes “American Dispatch” here.

Christians, we are in trouble. The very people sworn to uphold our religious rights are now treating Christians as criminals. What we thought could never happen in the United States of America is happening under our very noses today. Our time to worship freely and according to God’s Word are rapidly drawing to a close.
Soon you will be forced to either give up the right to worship God, in order to stay compliant with man’s secular law, or be forced “underground” to worship God as “criminals”.

Choose wisely Christians.

“Liberals’ Quest to ‘Rehabilitate’ Christians” by Matt Barber

August 20th, 2013 by Steve

Conservative columnist, Matt Barber, calls out homosexuals on their ever increasing attacks against Christians.

The homofascist rainbow-shirts are at it again. They’ve unsheathed, once more, their anti-Christian long knives.

Back in April, I wrote the following in a column headlined “Religious freedom and ‘gay marriage’ cannot coexist”: “‘Gay pride’ necessitates anti-Christian hate. It must. ‘Gay marriage’ and other ‘sexual orientation’-based laws do violence to freedom and truth. They are the hammer with which the postmodern left intends to bludgeon bloody religious liberty and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.”

Liberals are anything if not predictable.

Chai Feldblum, President Obama’s EEOC commissioner – a lesbian activist who supports “plural marriage” – has called the clash between religious liberty and unfettered sexual license a “zero-sum game,” meaning that someone wins and someone loses.

Guess who loses in Feldblum’s book? She has “a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win” and candidly admits that liberals “want to revolutionize societal norms.” She believes that “gay sex is a moral good.”

She’s not alone.

Here’s the latest example of Feldblum’s words in action. The Oregonian reports: “A same-sex couple who requested a cake for their wedding in January but were refused service by a Gresham bakery have filed a complaint with the state, alleging Sweet Cakes by Melissa discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation.

“Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries’ civil rights division will investigate to determine if the business violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations. …

“Rachel N. Cryer, 30, said she had gone to the Gresham bakery on Jan. 17 for a scheduled appointment to order a wedding cake. She met with the owner, Aaron Klein.

“Klein asked for the date of the wedding and names of the bride and groom, Cryer said.

“‘I told him, “There are two brides and our names are Rachel and Laurel,”‘ according to her complaint.

“Klein responded that his business does not provide its services for same-sex weddings, she said.

“‘Respondent cited a religious belief for its refusal to make cakes for same-sex couples planning to marry,’ the complaint says. …”

“‘We are committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether there’s substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination,’ said Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. …”

Mr. Avakian then revealed what he views as a “fair and thorough investigation”: “Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he said.

Here’s the kicker. Read it closely:

“‘The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate,’ Avakian said. ‘For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.’”

George Orwell much?

Get the not-so-thinly-veiled threat? Christians have a right to own a “successful business” in Oregon, so long as they don’t, well, be Christian – so long as they shelve their faith and submit to our ever-”progressive” government’s anti-Christian demands. “The goal is never to shut down a business,” but either you abandon the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic and dutifully observe postmodern sexual relativism, or government will shut you down in a Sodom and Gomorrah minute.

Read the rest of his article here.

Supreme Court Upholds Gay “Marriage”; U.S. Thumbs Its Nose at God

June 26th, 2013 by Steve

Although not surprising to me, the United States is a much different place today than it was yesterday. Today, June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and chose not to rule on California’s Proposition 8, which lets stand a lower courts ruling striking it down.
The federal government can no longer support traditional marriage, between one man and one woman, but must now support whatever each state declares to be “marriage”.
California may resume gay “marriage” within weeks.

I titled this post “Supreme Court Upholds Gay “Marriage”; U.S. Thumbs Its Nose at God.” We, as a country, from the president down, are thumbing our nose at God.

What does God say about Homosexuality? Let’s take a quick look.

Leviticus 18:22 is where most people cite God’s strongest words concerning homosexuality.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” King James Version (KJV)

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” New International Version (NIV)

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” American Standard Version (ASV)

“You shall not lie with a male as [a]one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Footnote [a]: Lit those who lie

“Don’t have sex with a man as one does with a woman. That is abhorrent.” The Message (MSG)

“No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that.” Good News Translation (GNT)

Do you see a common theme here? I do, summed up quite nicely in the last translation; “Got hates that”. It’s bad in God’s eyes. He doesn’t like it and doesn’t want us to do it. Quite simple really.

So today we have, as a country, effectively thumbed our collective noses at God. We have told Him that we don’t care what he says, we are going to support, legalize, normalize and hold dear this thing that He calls bad.

People, there will be consequences for this. As a nation, we must expect God to react to our rebellion. And He will react, I’m sure.

There are some bright points for those of us in favor of marriage as God designed it. The court left the decision of who may get married and where they may do so in the hands of the states. So wherever like minded people choose to live, they may also decide who may get legally married.

The battle continues on both sides. I scarcely believe the homosexuals will be content with this “victory”. They will continue to chip away. It won’t be easy though. As Matt Barber said in his article “Supreme Court vs. Supreme Authority“:

“Know this: Marriage belongs unto God, not unto Caesar. That the Supreme Court might even think itself capable of redefining “the pre-eminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions” represents an intolerable commingling of state and church. It’s the Supreme Court encroaching upon the Supreme Authority.”

The battle is not over, not by a long shot. Beside, no matter what people vote to do or what courts rule, God will have the final say.

Many may not like His answer.

“IRS Demanded Info about Pro-Life Group’s Prayers” by Todd Starnes

May 18th, 2013 by Steve

The Internal Revenue Service allegedly told two pro-life to reveal the content of their prayers and prayer meetings, according to the Thomas More Society.

An IRS office in California ordered Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas to explain the content of prayers “as if they were engaging in highly offensive or criminal behavior,” the Thomas More Society charged.

Agents also ordered Coalition for Life of Iowa to provide detailed information about the group’s prayer meetings.

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) demanded that outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller answer questions about the incidents during Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing. “Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.’”

Shock wanted to know if that was an appropriate question for the IRS to ask.

“It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either,” Miller replied.

The agents also told one of the pro-life groups that they could not picket or protest abortion clinics.

“The IRS was concerned about advocacy,” said Sally Wagenmaker, special counsel to the Thomas More Society. “The (agent) said picketing and protesting is not allowed.”

She said the IRS’s role “should only be to determine whether organizations fit the section 501(c)(3) test for ‘charitable, religious, or educational’ qualification, not to inquire about the content of prayers, protests, and petitions.”

It’s high time that the IRS be called to account for its workers’ potential to trample on our constitutional rights, through such ostensibly innocuous means,” Wagenmaker said – hinting that this may only be the tip of the iceberg of IRS abuses.

An IRS spokesman said they would look into the cases.

Wagenmaker was representing Coalition for Life of Iowa and Christian Voices For Life of Fort Bend County, Texas. Both groups were seeking tax exempt status. Their requests were eventually granted but only after they sought legal help from the Thomas More Society.

In 2009 the Coalition for Life received correspondence from the IRS raising questions about their prayer activity – specifically outside Planned Parenthood clinics.

“You then asked … to have all Coalition Board members sign a statement that the coalition will not ‘picket’ or ‘protest’ outside of Planned Parenthood or similar organizations and will not ‘organize’ others to do so,” Wagenmaker wrote in a letter to an IRS representative known only as “Ms. Richards.”

Wagenmaker said the IRS’s demand was clearly a violation of the pro-life group’s constitutional rights.

“It really concerned me there would seem to be this protection of Planned Parenthood,” Wagenmaker told Fox News. “They had revenues of $55 million and the Coalition is just a group of volunteers.”

The attorney wrote in her letter to the IRS that their demands “come perilously close to violating the First Amendment constitutional rights of the Coalition’s supporters.”

“The IRS’s delay and questioning of the Coalition’s tax-exempt, legitimate activities constitutes unnecessary and prejudicial interference with the Coalition’s legal right to a tax-exempt determination,” she wrote.

Wagenmaker said the IRS’s dogged pursuit of the Coalition was “intimidating” and “heavy-handed.”

In the case of Christian Voices, the IRS implied that the group had to include pro-abortion balance to their programming.

They were directed to explain whether the group’s educational programs educate both sides of the issues.

“Your question implies some sort of legal duty to provide a balanced presentation of educational information,” the attorney wrote.

She said it was incredible to think that the government wanted to require a pro-life group to give equal access to pro-choice groups.

“You can’t push an organization around like that,” she said. “You can’t impose your own out-dated, improper, unconstitutional views.”

Shortly after Wagenmaker began pushing back – the groups got their exemptions approved.

“They just needed someone to stand up for their rights and push back,” she said.

Original Link.

“Pray Boy No, Gay Boy Yes” by Todd Strandberg

May 9th, 2013 by Steve

It is absolutely stunning how quickly the moral foundation of our nation has been eroding away. Sometimes I have to wonder if the prophet Isaiah was being prophetic about our timeframe when he wrote, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

A week ago, two people in the sports world made news. One was a football player who was rejected because of his strong Christian confession and the other was a gay basketball player who was praised for simply declaring his sexual preference.

The football star was Tim Tebow, who has gotten under the skin of the liberal media and other atheist groups, making himself the “poster boy” for Christianity. Tebow accomplished this task by praying on the field after a win, putting Bible verses on his eye black during games, and starring in an anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl.

I knew when Tebow moved from Colorado to the New York Jets it would end in disaster. The left-coast press did everything they could to attack him. I remember a bunch of Salem witches casting spells on Tim Tebow to ensure he would lose the big game.

The New York Jets couldn’t have hated Tim Tebow more. They dumped him on the first Monday after the NFL draft, knowing that other teams’ rosters would be filled. The chance Tebow will find another job in the league is bleak. Their action would make sense if Tebow had an arrest record or showed up late for meetings or cost the Jets the playoffs with a bad interception. The Jets barely using him in a waste of a season─he appeared in just 77 offensive plays.

What makes the hatred of Tebow all the more hard to understand is how good he has been for the business side of football. The public has had an overwhelmingly positive view of a God-fearing quarterback. In one poll, Tebow was voted the favorite active pro-athlete. He has generated huge ratings. When he played for the Broncos, one game had the highest-rated NFL wildcard game since 1988. Tebow’s famous eighty-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime resulted in a record 9,420 tweets per second. According to Twitter, it was the most frenzied response for any sporting event.

Tim Tebow is being passed around like a bad penny, because the open confession of his Christian faith makes the establishment uncomfortable. They don’t care if he could carry them all the way to the Super Bowl. They reject him because the light in him stings their darkened souls.

The same day Tebow was being sunned, Jason Collins became the first-ever openly gay man in a major American team sport. In a first-person article posted on the Sports Illustrated website, Collins said, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.” Collins was predictably showered with praise:

The head of the NBA said he was proud of Collins.

Former president Bill Clinton congratulated him.

President Obama called to congratulate him.

First lady Michelle Obama tweeted her support for Collins. “So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back!”

There were a few people who chose to rain on Collins’ coming out parade. Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large for Breitbart.com got flack for saying: “So Jason Collins is a hero because he’s gay? Our standard for heroism has dropped quite a bit since Normandy.”

ESPN’s Chris Broussard had pro-gay groups asking for his head when he said homosexuality constitutes “open rebellion to God.” During a Monday episode of “Outside the Lines” he said:

Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle, or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals … if you’re openly living that kind of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that’s a sin and if you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, [but] adultery, fornication, premarital sex, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian.

There is no doubt in my mind that we have reached the point where sin produces a type illogical insanity. Anyone who thinks someone who has sex with his same gender is preferred over someone who prays on the field needs to be fitted with one of those white jackets that buckles in the back.

If you are someone who realizes how wicked the world is getting, there is still hope for you. Society may be doomed to suffer God’s wrath, but you can escape by seeking the grace that can only come from the blood of Jesus.

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18-19).

Original Link.

New Video Shows Egyptian Police Allowing Deadly Attack on Coptic Cathedral

April 28th, 2013 by Steve

Christians in Muslim countries continue to come under attack from so-called “radical” Muslims, this time while police look on and in some cases help.
Pray for our Christian bothers and sisters overseas.

Newly-emerged video appears to show Egyptian police standing idly by – and even helping attackers during a deadly assault earlier this month on a Coptic cathedral where Christians were mourning five men killed in an earlier clash with Muslims.

The video shot April 7 and first obtained by MidEast Christian News, shows a men shooting guns, wielding machetes and hurling stones and possibly Molotov cocktails as mourners carry caskets out of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District of Cairo as uniformed police watch, unmoving. At one point, a police officer appears to help a gunman take aim at a courtyard full of mourners who had spilled out of the church. The attack left two Copts dead and another 84 people injured, including 11 police officers.

When it was over, the only arrests made were of four Copts. Christians, who were already outraged over a three-day attack that began April 4 attack in Khosous which saw the four men killed and homes, a nursery and a church burned, said the events show how elusive justice is for Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the nation’s population.

“Two Copts were killed during the attack on the Cathedral; four more died in Khosous, yet not one of their attackers has been arrested,” said Andrew Johnston, advocacy director for Christian Solidarity Worldwide. “These arrests come at a time when the Coptic community in Egypt is still coming to terms with an unprecedented attack on the headquarters of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the violence in Khosous. Such discrepancies in the discharge of justice contribute to impunity, and can only foster more sectarianism.”

Tensions between Egypt’s Christians and the majority Sunni Muslims have grown dramatically since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011 and replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohammed Morsi.

“There is a general feeling among citizens about the absence of law and the prestige of the state,” said a report released Wednesday by the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. “Such a feeling could push the citizens to the violence and sectarianism without fearing from any deterrence, ” reads a passage from the report.

“The recent incident proved the shrinking of the role of the state to control the actions of the individuals especially those people who think that they talk on the behalf of God,” the report continued. “There is a need for implementing the law strictly to treat such incidents.”

Original Link.

Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Claims 14 Lives, Death Toll Likely to Rise

April 20th, 2013 by Steve

Continue to pray for the people affected by this situation.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Friday afternoon that 14 people have died after a fertilizer plant explosion Wednesday night in West.

Sen. John Cornyn said in a Friday afternoon press conference that 60 people remain unaccounted for, but that number was later disputed by a local official who said the number is likely much lower, MyFoxDFW.com reported.

Four firefighters died in the blast and at least 200 injured.

A fire began Wednesday evening at the West Fertilizer plant. Fifty minutes later, an explosion was reported in a frantic radio call from the scene. Authorities said there is no indication that the blast was anything but an accident.

The search and rescue operation has largely wound down, with only a handful of buildings left to check.

Original Link.

Second Marathon Suspect in Custody After Tense Standoff

April 20th, 2013 by Steve

Continue to pray about this situation. May justice be served and may the Lord bring comfort to all the people involved in any capacity.
Out thoughts and prayers are with the victim and our gratitude is with the law enforcement officials.

A day-long dragnet for the second of two brothers believed to be behind Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing ended Friday night, with police capturing the suspect covered in blood and hiding in a boat in the backyard of a man who called 911 after becoming suspicious of activity on his property.

“We got him,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted moments later, as neighbors gathered to form a gauntlet of cheers while a phalanx of police cars departed the scene.

Police moved in on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Friday evening after a tip led them to the home on Franklin Street, where he apparently had been hiding in the back yard. Neighbors said they heard more than 30 shots one likened to “a roll of firecrackers shooting off.” Police swarmed the scene, and several explosions, possibly police concussion grenades, were heard after a robot moved in on the boat. Less than two hours later, at about 9 p.m., the suspect, believed to have been injured in a wild shootout that spanned Thursday night to Friday morning, was being taken to Beth Israel Hospital.

No police were injured when shots were fired by the boat.

“We are so grateful to bring justice and to bring closure to this case,” Massachsetts State Police Col. Tim Alben said moments later, at a staging area set up down the block from the crime scene. “We have a suspect in custody.”

Sources told Fox News the shed and the boat had been searched earlier, but a local man noticed a door to it had been opened, saw blood on the tarp and called police.

“It was a call from a resident of Watertown,” Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said. “We got that call, and we got the guy.”

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Tsarnaev was in serious condition and was found “covered with blood.” He did not come out from inside the boat willingly, despite the efforts of negotiators, Davis said.

“We assume that those injuries came from the gunfire the night before,” Davis said. He also said Tsarnaev did not have any explosives with him when he was taken into custody.

The hiding place was found just moments after police said their hunt for Tsarnaev, one of two radical Muslim brothers suspected in Monday’s attack, had gone cold and urged people to “go about your business.”

Original Link.

Boston Marathon Bombers Identified

April 19th, 2013 by Steve

From Fox News:

Police surround house in Watertown, Mass., in hunt for remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect who was identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, pictured, and believed to be brother of the other bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev 26, who was killed late Thursday in a shootout with police.

The story continues:

Multiple explosions echoed from inside a house as police in Boston massed inside a perimeter set up to contain the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

The situation was fluid, and the latest development came in the city’s Watertown section after a chaotic night of mayhem that included the murder of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and a shootout with police, authorities said early Friday.

Police believe the two suspects from Monday’s terror attack are brothers, possibly from Chechnya, according to sources who spoke to Fox News. The man on the loose was identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass. They are believed to have been here for ‘several years,’ sources said.

Original Link.

There’s a very real chance that we have, once again, been the victims of Islamic terrorist. We’ll have to wait for more details to become available before we know for sure.

Continue to pray for the victims of this horrible situation and for the people of Boston.

Pray for the Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings

April 16th, 2013 by Steve

Please join us in praying for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
This is a horrific situation. Three people have died, including one 8 year old child, and 179 people are injured, some very seriously.
The person/people responsible need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Original Link.

“The Jesus Haters” by Terry James

April 8th, 2013 by Steve
“We must all be tolerant of other religions!” So goes the mantra constantly hammering us from the progressive, cultural watchdogs. Even beyond that, we must, according to the loving, liberal, politically correct give special “hands-off” status to a religion that harbors at its core hatred for all who don’t accept its tenets and condones murder of whom they term infidels.

Although case after case can be made that Islam as a whole is–by its silence if not by its actions–approving of the militants among its ranks who murder and terrorize all who don’t bow the knee to Allah, we in America are supposed to smile and accept that it is a religion of love, as the guardians of political correctness demand. Sharia law, which gives women less of a place within society than animals, and which approves of family honor killings for stepping one foot outside the bounds of the Muslim prescription for living, is given preference, it seems, over the U.S. Constitution and local laws in America in places such as Dearborn, Michigan. This sharia malignancy is metastasizing and little is being done to slow its spread.

All religious thought must be respected and tolerated, the political correctness police demand. All, except the tenets of one particular religion. True Christianity is fair game, and the politically correct crowd of Christianity-haters doesn’t just look the other way when true Christianity is attacked; it joins in the fun. These people attack at every opportunity and are never condemned for their hate diatribes; rather, they are joined by the priesthood of the entertainment world at the center of their ranks.

Eyebrows are no doubt raised at the use of my term “true Christianity.” I make no apologies for the use of the term.There are a number of counterfeit forms of Christianity, and more are coming into existence each day as strange winds of doctrine blow across our nation and the world. There is but one true Christianity. It is found throughout the pages of God’s Word, the Bible. If I could choose only one Scripture to encapsulate true Christianity, it would be these words spoken by Jesus to His disciple: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

And therein lays the anti-Christian diatribe. That is why all other religions are acceptable–are tolerated–except true Christianity.

But, wait! Islam claims Allah, Mohammed’s creation, is the only way, and will even slaughter those who don’t believe or accept that religion’s god. Yet the diatribe never goes against Islam–rather always against true Christianity’s claim the Jesus is the only way to Heaven–to salvation. The hatred for Christianity runs the gamut of artistic blasphemy, such as, we remember, the crucifix submerged in urine, and, later, the actress, who upon winning an award held it up and shouted for Jesus to “**** this!” The increasing hostility becomes more blatant by the hour, with cultural crucifixion of Christ on the rise, as this excerpt of a recently reported story attests:

Last month, it was reported at various online outlets that Ryan Rotela, a junior at FAU, was suspended for refusing to participate in a class assignment from a textbook for an Intercultural Communications class titled Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition. The assignment called for students to write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, put the paper on the ground, and stomp on it. Rotela told local media that he went to school officials to protest the assignment. (http://www.christianpost.com/news/fla-university-puts-stomp-on-jesus-professor-on-administrative-leave-93009/#bGGbBz5MwzVTh5fi.99)

The teacher who gave the assignment has been put on leave, the school announced–but not for the blasphemous assignment. He was put on leave out of fear for his safety. The school administration obviously has true Christianity mixed up with mainstream Islam, which puts bounty on the heads of those who blaspheme the prophet Mohammed. Jesus told that culture and society would react this way to His name:

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” (John 15:18-25)

Yet, God loves even the Jesus-haters of this world, and is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (read 2 Peter 3:9). We who are Christ’s are commanded to love sinners, as does our Lord. Let us in these closing days of the dispensation of grace lift the name of Jesus at every opportunity so that men, women, and children will be given gospel light by which to come to saving knowledge of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16).

–Terry

Original Link.

“Your Role In Evangelism” by Todd Strandberg

April 8th, 2013 by Steve

Back in my Air Force days, one of my duties as a supervisor was to give out mid-point assessments of the airmen under my authority. If someone was doing poorly in his job, my grading on the worksheet would let him know that he needed to show improvement to avoid receiving a negative grade for his annual evaluation.

Sometimes I wish God would give out mid-point assessments. It would save a lot of Christians from realizing that their final reward is not what they imagined for themselves. Even though I’ve been slaving away at Rapture Ready for 25 years, I would like to know what God’s personal view of my work is. I just don’t trust my sin-stained mind to judge the quality of my own work.

Unfortunately, the Lord has determined that the judgment seat of Christ will be the first time we get an unbiased view of our earthly deeds. Romans 14:10-12 warns, “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Second Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Being an active Christian in evangelism is not just an option. It is part of what defines us as believers. You are either going down into the well to retrieve lost souls or you are holding the rope.

I once researched the great revivals of the 1700s and 1800s to see why the ones of today don’t measure up. It didn’t take me long to notice a huge difference. Back then, everyone was involved in spreading the gospel message. Once you got saved, you were given marching orders to reach out to your friends and family.

The church has become so inefficient at reaching out to people that we waste huge amounts on money on evangelism. Some of the largest organizations in this nation spend over a million dollars for each decision of Christ. The Billy Graham Evangelical Association recently admitted that whenever it holds a crusade in the US, 88 percent of the people in attendance are already believers.

The body of Christ is dying out in America and other Western nations because Christians refuse to get their hands dirty. Whenever Terry and I speak at a church, I have made a habit of asking people about contributing content to Rapture Ready. Recently, we spoke at a very wealthy church. When I asked members in a class about their involvement in evangelism, my sales pitch was met with laughter. The arrangement that they had agreed to for their Sunday schedule was an entertaining Bible class, a feel-good message in the main service, and then it was off to the golf course.

I’m sure most of you folks know that last month, we lost two dear friends in prophecy: Jack Kinsella and Ron Graham. Both of these men have submitted numerous articles to the site. What you probably don’t know is the level of commitment both of these men had right up to the end of their lives. Jack had liver cancer that put him in the hospital. He spent the last three weeks of his life sending out his daily updates literally from his death bed. Ron suffered from pancreatic cancer, but it was complications from the medicine he was taking that did him in. Ron managed to work around blurry vision and various other side effects right up to the day he died.

One of the reasons I make a regular habit of reminding people of their need to be active in evangelism is because I don’t want people to be able to says, “Todd never told me.” What keeps RR at the top of the Internet rankings is one simple fact: In the end, the kingdom of God is the only thing that matters.

The day is coming when we will all be asked what we did with our lives. If you can’t answer the question now, you won’t be able to answer it then. What helps me stay focused is living each day with a last-days perspective. Since everything in this world is headed for destruction, nothing should be able to distract us from endeavors that would please our Lord.

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).

–Todd

Original Link.

Follow My Word

April 8th, 2013 by Steve

I am lost. The darkness surrounds me. I feel the thorns and brambles tearing into my skin; pulling at my clothes as I flail about. The evil one whispers into my ears, “worthless, forgotten, forsaken, abandoned, nothing”.
“Lord!!”, I cry in despair,”I am lost!! I don’t know where you are!!”
A soft voice issues from the darkness, “I am right where you left me.”
“Lord”, I cry again, “I don’t remember the way!!”
The soft voice speaks again, “Follow my Word.”
The voice continues…
“Be not afraid for I bring you tidings of great joy to all men…”
“With God all things are possible.”
“Come and follow me.”
“For I am the way, the truth and the life.”
“No man comes to the Father but through me”.
The voice grows strong and a light begins to penetrate the darkness, He who covers me in darkness cannot stand the light, he cannot exist in its presence, he must flee from it…
“I come not to condemn the world but to save it.”
“Whoever believes in me will not perish but have everlasting life.”
The voice is strong, commanding. The light is too bright to look in to…
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; I was once dead but now I am alive Forever.”
“I tell you the truth, tonight you will be with me in paradise.”
The voice calls out in a shout of victory, “It is finished!!”
The evil one, the bringer of darkness and death is defeated; he flees. The darkness flees with him. The light shines on all things.
The brambles that tore at me in the darkness are revealed; they are transformed and are now gentle and fragrant lilies and lavender; flowers of unspeakable beauty.
The light grows in brilliance and I move toward it. I can not bear to look at it, so I cover my face. In my exhaustion, I stumble…
The Lord catches me. He pulls me into a loving embrace.
“My Child”, He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you. Walk with me forever.”
Lord, Master, Savior, Friend; Jesus!!


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