Teach the Bible in public schools so that students can learn to better understand the world around them

By Chuck Stetson, Chuck Stetson | Fox News

Most of the recent discussions about teaching the Bible in school miss the key points.

First, teaching the Bible in public schools is important for students because, without knowledge of the Bible, students can’t fully understand the English language, English literature, history, art, music or culture. For example, there are over 1,200 documented references to the Bible in Shakespeare’s 36 plays. If you don’t know the Bible, you really can’t understand Shakespeare. You can’t get past the first sentence of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick – “Call me Ishmael” – if you don’t understand who Ishmael was in the Bible.

Of the allusions that a student needs to know for Advanced Placement in English Composition and Literature, approximately two-thirds are Biblical allusions, according to AP Literature and Composition. If you don’t know the Bible, you won’t do well on this part of the Advanced Placement test.

Further, Essentials in Education, which has the only First Amendment Safe textbook for teaching the Bible in public schools, did a national survey of high school English teachers. The results revealed that 96 percent of English teachers believe that young people were disadvantaged when studying English literature if they didn’t know the Bible. At the college level, 39 university English professors supplied an aggregate of 72 books they collectively teach in freshman year that require a knowledge of the Bible.

Second, students in the public schools are kept from religious teaching of the Bible by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1963 when Justice Tom Clark, who wrote the opinion, stated: “It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

We need to shift the conversation on teaching the Bible in public schools to what the students need to learn to better understand the world around them.

Further, there is the consensus document “The Bible & Public Schools, A First Amendment Guide,” which our Bible Literacy Project co-published with the First Amendment Center with endorsements from the National School Boards Association, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association as well as People for the American Way.

Third, in the most recent national survey that we conducted in May 2017, 80 percent of Americans wanted the Bible taught in public schools. However, we know from other surveys that only about 8 percent of public schools do so. Since Bible courses are almost all electives, where only about 25 percent of a class might take the course, the reach is 2 percent. Given that 80 percent of Americans want the Bible taught and only 2 percent are taught this is an eye -opening disconnect.

Fourth, given the lack of responsiveness of public schools to the documented needs of the students, legislation to encourage the teaching of the Bible academically in public schools has been enormously helpful in several regards. While schools, for the most part, ignore it, the legislation does provide protection for the school teachers who want to do what is right for students. It also encourages parents to ask the schools to do what is right for their students.

We have led that effort on a bipartisan basis from an academic point of view, starting with the state of Georgia passing legislation to encourage the teaching of the Bible academically in 2006, followed by South Carolina and Texas in 2007, Tennessee in 2008, Oklahoma in 2010, South Dakota and Arizona in 2012, Arkansas in 2013 and Kentucky in 2013.

We need to shift the conversation on teaching the Bible in public schools to what the students need to learn to better understand the world around them. Our textbook, “The Bible and Its Influence,” is currently being taught in 650 high schools in 45 states and has a ten percent market share in six states. It is the dominant textbook and, as noted above, the only First Amendment Safe one. We need all schools to focus on this. We are beginning to get a lot more momentum now and believe that we are not too far away from reaching a tipping point where instead of teachers and schools having to find a reason to teach the Bible academically, they will soon have to find a reason not to teach it. (Click to Source)

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Dr. Drew continues to sound alarm on L.A.’s sanitation breakdown: ‘Medieval…No city on Earth tolerates this’

May 31, 2019 | Frieda Powers 

Dr. Drew Pinsky continued to sound the alarm over the “complete breakdown” of public health in Los Angeles, warning of “medieval” diseases like bubonic plague that will soon overtake the California city.

The celebrity doctor and addiction medicine specialist spoke with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham about the escalating health crisis in the nation’s second-largest city, as reports came in of a Los Angeles police officer who had contracted typhoid fever.

“We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now,” Pinsky said on “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday.

“We have the three prongs of airborne disease, tuberculosis is exploding, (and) rodent-borne. We are one of the only cities in the country that doesn’t have a rodent control program, and sanitation has broken down,” he added, predicting a typhus outbreak in the city this summer.

Despite efforts last October by Los Angeles officials to clean up the trash which had led to several cases of flea-borne typhus, garbage has accumulated again. The trash heaps attract rats and other rodents which can carry the diseased fleas, potentially infecting humans who come in contact with them.

The growth of the homeless population and untended trash threaten Los Angeles as public health conditions worsen, with Pinsky adding that it is “likely” that the bubonic plague, the 14th-century pandemic that killed millions, already exists in the city.

“This is unbelievable. I can’t believe I live in a city where this is not Third World. This is medieval,” he told Ingraham. “Third World countries are insulted if they are accused of being like this. No city on Earth tolerates this. The entire population is at risk.”

He believes the situation will worsen and admitted he has “an image of myself on my knees in the gutter tending to people” if there is a Measles outbreak as well.

Pinsky noted that the Democrat-run state will not be able to deal with the issues which will be exasperated by the influx of thousands of illegal immigrants with no health records pouring across the border and into its cities.

“The government is somehow insisting that housing is the problem when in fact we have chronic mental illness, we have addiction, we have people who don’t want to leave the streets,” he said. “They literally won’t take the housing if we give it to them. And that’s the population that’s vulnerable, and is going to get so ill this summer. It scares me for their well-being.”

He slammed political leaders who have not addressed the crisis as they play games to score political points.

“I want to pierce their shield of qualified immunity so we can go after them for reckless negligence. This is disgusting!” he exclaimed, telling Ingraham she doesn’t even realize how “dire” the situation is.

Liberal politicians are “disgustingly negligent” about the situation, he said, echoing remarks he made last week on Fox News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show.”

“Literally, our politicians are like Nero. It’s worse than Nero,” the “Loveline” and “Celebrity Rehab” doctor added, referring to the Roman Emperor who was believed to have played the fiddle during the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD.

Pinsky warned that “there will be a major infectious disease epidemic this summer in Los Angeles.”

California’s newly elected Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed shock over the “jaw-dropping numbers” of homeless in the state, announcing plans to launch a task force using $1 billion of taxpayer funds in order to “find solutions.”

Donald Trump Jr. offered residents a better solution:

Los Angeles launched a half-million dollar pilot program last year to deal with its rampant homeless population,  paying homeowners to build shelters in their backyard which could then be occupied by the homeless.  A cleanup of one of California’s homeless camps last year along the Santa Ana River in Anaheim uncovered 404 tons of trash, over 13,000 hypodermic needles and more than 5,000 pounds of hazardous human waste. (Click to Source)

In spite of full gospel light shining forth, the majority will turn to Satan and be given over to lust. The Bible does not say that judgment on America awaits world evangelism.

     

A solid majority of Americans would now be comfortable with a president who is gay or lesbian, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

A full 61 percent of respondents reported being “enthusiastic” or “comfortable” with a gay or lesbian president. Meanwhile, Americans comfortable or enthusiastic about an evangelical Christian president received a more tepid 52 percent approval.

This study comes on the heels of a March survey, also conducted by Wall Street Journal/NBC News, in which a record 59 percent of American respondents said they were in favor of same-sex “marriage.”

What is happening to America, the largest Protestant nation in the world, that she is ready to welcome a homosexual president, but not an evangelical president? Is she racing for her punishment and judgment?

Thirty years ago, World Challenge, a David Wilkerson ministry, sent me his book “Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth.” The introduction was by Leonard Ravenhill. It is a fiery message, with a vision, about the destruction of America. When I read it for the first time, I was shocked, especially because the 1980s were the Reagan years. How could Wilkerson have had such vision when a conservative, pro-family Reagan was facing the Evil Empire? His prophecy should have been directed to the Soviet Union, not America! This revelation was indeed shocking. Yet, more shocking is what America has been doing in the last decades. I have come to learn that even American conservatism is now becoming a Babylon.

The Soviet Union no longer exists. What exists now is a U.S. government obsessed about sodomy-based “marriage” and behaving imperialistically to impose homosexual sin on the whole world. Was Wilkerson’s prophecy, after all, correct?

Some time after Wilkerson, John Mulinde, a preacher of Uganda, received a revelation about God’s judgment on America. His message is a fulfilment of Wilkerson’s prophecy, who told that God would send to America third-world prophets to warn about the coming judgment.

David Wilkerson became famous by the book and movie “The Cross and the Switchblade,” showing his life and ministry helping addicted young people, by focusing especially on delivering experiences by the Holy Spirit.

One of the distinctions of Babylon in Revelation 18 is its intensely commercial nature. By its commercial power and seduction, it is envied by the whole world. It is extremely capitalist — but without God. In communism, you see intense and destructive economic control without God. In Babylon, you see the opposed: intense and destructive commercial and economic freedom without God.

The best products and services (entertainment, medical, religious, military, etc.) in the world are available in Babylon.

In communism, there is extreme limitation or lack of products and services. In fact, communism offers the worst products and services. In contrast, in Babylon, there is the biggest abundance of the best products and services the world has ever seen. So it is evident that Babylon is not Marxist, communist or socialist. It is a commercial paradise on the Earth. It is the “New Jerusalem” of the carnal wishes and greed of the human heart. No wonder that when Babylon will be destroyed, the whole world will cry.

By its commercial ambitions, products and services, Babylon is described in the Bible as having prostituted herself with all nations on the earth. And God said about Babylon, “Your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.” (Revelation 18:23-24 NKJV) If America does not fit it, who does it? Are not the U.S. powerful businessmen, trade and currency ruling the world?
In addition, there is a fatal distinction in America that Wilkerson saw as “Babylon.”

In these last days, America has embraced a passionate and leading role in the promotion of the gay agenda — not to mention abortion — around the world, leading Billy Graham to say, “America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah.” And often he mentions, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” Is this a manifest destiny?

This kind of destiny is accompanied by a terrible fate. What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, which were involved in rampant homosexuality, is what will happen to cities and nations involved in the same sins:

“What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them is an example for us of the punishment of eternal fire. The people of these cities suffered the same fate that God’s people and the angels did, because they committed sexual sins and engaged in homosexual activities.” (Jude 1:7 GWV)

How would not such punishment reach the most powerful nation in the world that, even though flooded with the Gospel, is obsessed about extending the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah to whole world? If God did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah and their homosexual sins, how will he spare the largest Protestant nation in the world that wants to whole world involved in the same sins?

According to “The Pink Swastika” author Scott Lively, “Ancient Rabbinical tradition holds that homosexuality, more specifically homosexual marriage, was the ‘final insult’ to God which caused Him to bring that Great Flood.”

The role of America in homosexual sin has been much more than just to adhere to it. America has been its main propagandist. Even in her Protestant capacity, America has been the leading propagandist of gay theology, and its rotten fruits are evident in Brazil, where the most prominent gay Protestant theologian was inspired by U.S. gay theology.

America has spread homosexual ideology by every way (religious, legal, cultural, commercial, etc.) and she has used her imperial force to promote and impose it and its fake “marriage” around the world with brutish immorality. Is there a manifest destiny in sodomy for America?

Some Christians argue that because America, after Israel, has the largest Jewish population in the world, this is a sure sign that she has God’s approval and protection against destruction. Yet, when the first Babylon, which was located in modern Iraq, was destroyed, its Jewish population was the largest in the world after Israel. In fact, one of the political leaders in Babylon was the Jew Daniel, historically prominent for his prophetic book “Daniel” in the Old Testament. A large Jewish population and a Jewish prophet in the Babylonian government did not save the first Babylon from destruction.

Even though you may doubt that America will be destroyed for being Babylon, her role today as the leading propagandist, promoter and enforcer of sodomy seems an enough warrant that she looking after the same punishment and destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Global sodomy militancy would seem an enough reason for punishment and destruction. For a lot less Sodom was destroyed. If America will be not destroyed for being Babylon, she will be destroyed for being, as Billy Graham said, “just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Yet, if David Wilkerson is correct in his vision, America will be judged and destroyed as Babylon. Wilkerson said in Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth:
I believe modern Babylon is present-day America, including its corrupt society and its whorish church system. No other nation on earth fits the description in Revelation 18 but America, the world’s biggest fornicator with the merchants of all nations.

America is going to be destroyed by fire! Sudden destruction is coming and few will escape. Unexpectedly, and in one hour, a hydrogen holocaust will engulf America—and this nation will be no more. It is because America has sinned against the greatest light. Other nations are just as sinful, but none are as flooded with gospel light as ours. God is going to judge America for its violence, its crimes, its backslidings, its murdering of millions of babies, its flaunting of homosexuality and sadomasochism, its corruption, its drunkenness and drug abuse, its form of godliness without power, its lukewarmness toward Christ, its rampant divorce and adultery, its lewd pornography, its child molestations, its cheatings, its robbings, its dirty movies, and its occult practices. In one hour it will all be over.

Think of the “lady in the harbor”—the Statue of Liberty. Isaiah warned of sudden destruction upon a proud lady. “And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know” (Isaiah 47:7-11).

They were warned God would make useless their weapons of war, that all their armaments could not save them from God’s wrath (Jeremiah 21:4). God said to them, “I myself will fight against you!” (Jeremiah 21:5).

That is an outright warning to America. Our huge stockpiles of weapons are but so many sticks and stones—useless against what God has planned against us. What was said of ancient Babylon will be said of modern Babylon, “The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken” (Jeremiah 51:30). This is why there will be no retaliatory strikes from this nation or its allies; because of the suddenness and finality of it all, we will “forebare to fight,” and our missiles will remain in their hold. Our might will fail us in the hour of judgment. Our allies will “become as women” and surrender immediately.

What America could not do with all of its millions, all of its electronic gimmicks, all of its expensive media methods, the Holy Spirit will accomplish in a short time with a Gideon’s army of poor and simple evangelists from Third World countries; and the rest of the world will hear the gospel. A remnant of overcomers from all nations will be raised up in righteousness. In spite of full gospel light shining forth, the majority will turn to Satan and be given over to lust. The Bible does not say that judgment on America awaits world evangelism.

God does not need America to evangelize the world. We have failed in this mission. Our nation still spends more money each year for dog food than for missions. There will be one last great ingathering, and it is even now happening. The gospel will be published to all the world by a great army of witnesses indigenous to every nation on earth. It is the Lord’s last harvest. Even now the Spirit of God is raising up a thriving body of witnesses in China. South America and Africa will be covered with powerful witnesses from their own lands. Mexico and South America are open to the gospel and young evangelists are being raised up. They will not need missions boards, ordinations, large amounts of money, and fancy equipment. They will live on pennies, as the early disciples did; and in a short time they will cover the earth with the gospel. And they will point to God’s fiery judgment on this careless, rich, modern Babylon as a sign the end is near. (Click to Source)

Rev. Franklin Graham Calls for Day of Prayer for Trump

 

Breitbart reported that Graham posted his call to Facebook, asking for Americans to respond to his post:

President Trump’s enemies continue to try everything to destroy him, his family, and the presidency. In the history of our country, no president has been attacked as he has. I believe the only hope for him, and this nation, is God.

This is a critical time for America. We’re on the edge of a precipice. Time is short. We need to pray for God to intervene. We need to ask God to protect, strengthen, encourage, and guide the President.

We know that God hears and answers prayer. He can soften hearts and change minds. He is all-powerful, and He rules over the affairs of nations. The Bible instructs us to pray for those in authority, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:2–3).

Graham is asking all pastors to lead their congregations on June 2 in praying for the president, and that Sunday schools and other groups would also join in the special day of prayer. The Christian leader also asks that “individuals and families across the country would have a special focus on praying for the President that day.”

“Would you let me know in the comments below if you commit to pray with us?” Graham asked. “And will you share this on your social media platforms so that we can have as many people as possible praying?”

On May 2nd, President Trump and the FLOTUS honored the National day of Prayer in the White House Rose Garden. (Click to Source)

Watch the video:

200 ex-LGBT men, women rally to show freedom they’ve found in following Jesus

Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Ex-homosexual and ex-transgender men and women from around the country descended upon the Nation’s Capital this weekend for the Second Annual ‘Freedom March’ where they proclaimed the freedom they’ve found in abandoning homosexual and transgender practices.

“Look at this!  This is Amazing!  They say we don’t exist!” declared author and documentary producer M.J. Nixon, a March co-founder, as many gathered for a group picture.  About 200 participated this year—a threefold increase over last year.

 

Former transwoman Jeffrey McCall kicked off the rally on the grounds of the Washington Monument, explaining that nobody here was forced to change; “It was the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ that fell on all of us.”

One testimony after another from the racially diverse group of mostly millennials spoke about their personal conversion to Jesus and the freedom they have found from lives dominated by active homosexuality or gender dysphoria.

Our identity is not in our sexuality; it is in Jesus Christ

Angel Colon, who survived the Pulse Nightclub massacre Orlando, Florida where 49 died, told his harrowing conversion story which began that night three years ago.

“As I lay on the ground shot multiple times —couldn’t move— I said to the Lord, ‘I am not leaving this building dead tonight,’” recounted Colon.

“You promised me I have a purpose in life.  You promised my Mom that the baby inside of her womb was special and [You] had a purpose for his life,” he said. “I am not leaving here dead, Lord; I am leaving here alive and when I do, I am going to worship you for the rest of my life.”

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Colon has kept his promise to God, traveling the world preaching about the freedom he has found in Jesus Christ.

“That promise was not easy at all, but look at today,” said Colon.  “Look at all these overcomers here, celebrating that there is change in Jesus Christ.”

Colon explained that the true meaning of deliverance and freedom is being able to look at temptation in the eye and say, “I don’t want you, I want Jesus.”

“That’s how you know you are free,” he added.  “Our identity is not in our sexuality; it is in Jesus Christ.”

“It wasn’t a ‘gay to straight’ thing; It was a ‘lost to saved’ thing.”

A second Pulse Nightclub survivor, Luis Ruiz, said that like many of the people participating in the March the reason why he was there is ultimately because he had a “mother and a father that never compromised the Gospel.”

“They prayed and prayed and believed not in my situation, but in my destiny, my identity found in Christ Jesus.”

“It wasn’t a ‘gay to straight’ thing,” said Ruiz, “It was a ‘lost to saved’ thing.”

“We were all born into sin, baby,” continued Ruiz.  “Even though I might be tempted every day, I choose Jesus.”

“He’s the only man in my life,” he added.  “I chose ‘Him’ over ‘him.’”

“I thank God for this Freedom March.  I thank God for what he is doing in our nation’s capital.  As a combat veteran of fifteen years in the United States Army, today I go to war with you guys,” said Ruiz pointing to the crowd.

“This is a new day, baby,” he exclaimed.

After the rally, the group marched around the Washington Monument, across the Constitution Avenue to the Ellipse, and back, chanting, “The Lion of the God of Judah is roaring, he’s roaring, to set the captives free.”  (Click to Source)

Iraqi Christian survives being burned alive by ISIS 3 times: ‘[Jesus] spoke to me’

By Caleb Parke | Fox News

An Iraqi Christian who said Jesus appeared to him twice in his dreams recounts being imprisoned by ISIS, tortured and burned three times by the terrorist group.

The man, a Yazidi, recounts his harrowing story in a documentary by Sean Feucht and Bethel Music.

“The Yazidis… were really targeted by ISIS for genocide…they were raped, they were beaten, they were executed,” Feucht told Fox News. “ISIS didn’t even want to imprison them, they just wanted to kill them, wipe them off the map.”

Feucht interviewed the man, who was not named, through his non-profit, Light A Candle Project, which goes into all parts of the world but primarily Iraq, where the Islamic State was at the height of its brutality, to help people who’ve experienced some of the world’s worst suffering.

Sean Feucht, the founder of The Light A Candle Project, told an Iraqi Christian who was tortured by ISIS that Jesus appeared to him in his dreams because he loves him. His story was their first supernatural encounter documented in an upcoming documentary with Bethel Music called "Heart and Hands: Iraq."

Sean Feucht, the founder of The Light A Candle Project, told an Iraqi Christian who was tortured by ISIS that Jesus appeared to him in his dreams because he loves him. His story was their first supernatural encounter documented in an upcoming documentary with Bethel Music called “Heart and Hands: Iraq.” (Bethel Music)

 

The Yazidi man says he was burned alive three times by ISIS after they found out he was a follower of Christ. He said his body “didn’t burn” a single time when he was imprisoned and tortured by the radical Islamic terrorists for two months.

“He spoke to me,” the persecuted Christian shared, referencing Jesus in his dreams.

Feucht told him: “Jesus appeared twice to you in a dream because He loves you.”

The man said he was stoned and ISIS members drenched him in 20 gallons of gasoline. But even though he was burned alive, he said he inexplicably survived unharmed. He credited Jesus for surviving.

“And they burned me, but I didn’t burn,” he said.

 

 

The Iraqi Christian’s story is one account from the upcoming documentary film “Hearts and Hands: Iraq” that is expected to be released later this year. A preview was shown at the “Heaven Come” conference in Los Angeles.

Feucht said it shows what persecuted Christians go through overseas.

His group recently raised over $100,000 to distribute food, blankets, mattresses, and other materials, as well as offering trauma therapy counseling and kids programs, teaching music, and praying with persecuted Christians in the region where Christianity once flourished but is now near extinction, according to faith leaders.

“I feel like we’re really called to the most persecuted, closed, dark, marginalized places,” he said. Over the past 15 years, the Bethel Music worship leader has gone into North Korea, India, Afghanistan…”some of the topmost closed countries and places where it’s illegal to be a Christian,” he said. But they said they’ve seen and heard stories of incredible miracles.

Bethel Music worship leaders Bethany Wohrle and Sean Feucht play music with refugees as part of the "Light A Candle Project."

Bethel Music worship leaders Bethany Wohrle and Sean Feucht play music with refugees as part of the “Light A Candle Project.” (Rachel Soh)

 

Feucht said he is encouraged by the growth of the church in Iraq, China, and India, places where it is most persecuted.

“Our team’s in Iraq right now, and the U.S. State Department just sent out this notification that said ‘All US personnel leave Iraq’ and all the NGOs left but our guys are still there. We were there through ISIS. We’ve been there through the worst of the worst,” Feucht said. “Everyone thought we were crazy. Right as everyone was leaving, we came in, and because of it, we have a thriving, flourishing project there.”

For Feucht, mission work is in his family’s DNA, as the son of medical missionaries who took him on trips to unreached people and remote places, he has seen what most Americans Christians, who make up just 5 percent of the global Christian population, don’t get to see.

“We want to re-define missions for a generation to where we’re actually the first ones to respond,” Feucht concluded. “That’s the essence of the gospel to go into places where no one else is willing to go.” (Click to Source)

A FERVOR FOR CHRIST

Nicky Cruz
June 1, 2019

 

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Oh, that each of us could have the fervor for living for Christ that filled Paul. Singlehandedly — at the direction of the Holy Spirit — he spread Christianity across the Roman Empire. He did not care if he lived or died, he just wanted to advance the kingdom of God.

Christians today have developed a false faith — a faith without commitment. We are busy running around to Bible conferences and retreats, searching out the most eloquent expositors of the Bible, and racing to weekly Bible studies to fill our heads with more outlines and formulas. Meanwhile, millions of hurting people all over the world are dying without hope. We are called to reach out to them.

What is commitment all about? It simply means to devote ourselves unconditionally to the Lord and his work. We stick with the job before us, despite circumstances. It means teaching a Sunday school class every Sunday — no matter what — and allowing the kids in that class to become the most important youngsters in the world to us. It means interceding for them and taking time during the week to find out what is bothering them.

Commitment does not take into account convenience, or the changing whims of emotion. True commitment remains an enduring thing, that which can be counted on. Sadly, most Christians do not even know how to be fully committed to the Lord. They are too caught up in their own lifestyle. And too many want to be entertained in church — not committed.

We run the risk of becoming like the church at Laodicea mentioned in the book of Revelation — lukewarm, do-nothing Christians. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So, then, because you are lukewarm … I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). Ask the Lord to renew the spirit of commitment within you so that you will be that dedicated servant he wants you to be. (Click to Source)

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.  

Prescription for violence: The corresponding rise of antidepressants, SSRIs & mass shootings

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by: News Editors

(Natural News) According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a mass murder occurs when at least four people are murdered, not including the shooter, over a relatively short period of time during a single incident. Over the last 30 years, the United States has seen a significant increase in mass shootings, which are becoming more frequent and more deadly.

(Article republished from Ammo.com)

Seemingly every time a mass shooting occurs, whether it’s at a synagogue in Pittsburgh or a nightclub in Orlando, the anti-gun media and politicians have a knee-jerk response – they blame the tragedy solely on the tool used, namely firearms, and focus all of their proposed “solutions” on more laws, ignoring that the murderer already broke numerous laws when they committed their atrocity.

Facts matter when addressing such an emotionally charged topic, and more gun controllegislation has shown that law-abiding Americans who own guns are not the problem. Consider the following: The more gun control laws that are passed, the more mass murders have occurred.

Whether or not this is correlation or causation is debatable. What is not debatable is that this sick phenomenon of mass murderers targeting “gun-free zones,” where they know civilian carry isn’t available to law-abiding Americans, is happening. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 97.8 percent of public shootings occur in “gun-free zones” – and “gun-free zones” are the epitome of the core philosophical tenant of gun control, that laws are all the defense one needs against violence.

Therefore, when the media and politicians focus their ire on guns, specifically what types of guns are used, such as AR-styles, carbines, semi-automatics, and “high capacity” handguns, in the wake of such tragedies the American public are being intentionally drawn into an emotionally charged debate about legal gun ownership (irrespective of whether the murderer’s gun was legally or illegally obtained). This debate leads them away from the elephant in the room and one of the real issues behind mass shootings – mental health and prescription drugs.

Ignoring what’s going on in the heads of these psychopaths not only allows mass shootings to continue, it leads to misguided gun control laws that violate the Second Amendment and negate the rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens. As Jeff Snyder put it in The Washington Times:

“But to ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow.”

Violence, especially random violence, is a complex manifestation of various thoughts, feelings, and external factors. When a multivariate analysis of these factors is conducted, it becomes apparent that it’s not just mental health issues that are leading to such an increase. There may be an underlying substance which plays a role in a high percentage of these violent acts – the use of prescription antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

At first glance, it makes sense that those involved in mass shootings may be taking antidepressants, as they’re clearly suffering from some sort of mental health issue. But the issue with SSRIs runs much deeper than just a random mental health break. These drugs are a prescription for violent crimes, and that’s a story the anti-gun media and politicians don’t want to talk about.

History of Antidepressant Use in the U.S.

To understand the rise in antidepressant use, one must first understand depression. Everyone, no matter how great their life, has periods of sadness, times when they feel down or low. This is especially true when faced with hardships or going through things like a divorce, the loss of a job, or the death of a parent.

This is not clinical depression. Clinical depression is a serious mental disorder that impacts how a person functions on a daily basis. Depression makes it hard to get out of bed. It makes it hard to go to work. It makes it hard to take a shower or answer the phone. It stops a person from functioning on the basic levels.

Understanding Depression

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly referred to as the DSM-5, to be considered clinically depressed, a patient must experience five of the following symptoms most of the day, every day, for at least two weeks. What’s more, these symptoms must be so severe, they interfere with normal functioning:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling “empty”
  • Feeling guilty
  • Irritable
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Slow talking and moving
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Abnormal sleep patterns, whether sleeping too much or not enough
  • Abnormal weight changes, either eating too much or having no appetite
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression is a serious, and sometimes life-threatening, illness. But in the modern world, it’s highly over-diagnosed. A study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics looked at 5,639 patients in the U.S. who were diagnosed with depression by their clinician and compared their symptoms to the DSM criteria for clinical depression. Of these patients, only 38.4 percent met the criteria, even though the majority of the 5,639 patients were prescribed depression medication.

Today, with the way antidepressants are prescribed, nearly one in four Americans will meet the criteria to be diagnosed with depression within their lifetime, and will be prescribed medications that interfere with how their brain functions.

The Rise of Antidepressants

In the 1950s, the first generation of antidepressants hit the market. The introductory class of antidepressants to gain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval were monoamine oxidase inhibitors, known as MAOIs. Although highly effective, MAOIs can cause extremely high blood pressure when paired with certain foods or medications, and therefore require diet restrictions. Because of these restrictions, they’re rarely used today to treat depression except in cases where other treatments fail.

By the late 1950s, a new class of antidepressants became available – tricyclic antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants are also highly effective for treating depression, but are prone to side effects. Even so, this class of antidepressants remained the go-to depression treatment for years. Other drugs were tested for depression treatment, but they hadn’t proved more effective than tricyclic and MAOI antidepressants, especially for severe depression.

Fast forward to the 1980s. America’s tranquilizer dependence was becoming problematic. Quaaludes were heavily over-prescribed for anxiety, resulting in overdose deaths, as well as an increase in deaths from vehicle accidents. The Feds stepped in and in 1984, classified Quaaludes as a Schedule 1 drug, making them illegal to sell, buy, and use.

Valium, a benzodiazepine prescribed for anxiety, was also extremely popular, and was the most prescribed medication in the U.S. from 1969 through 1982. In 1978, the year the medication peaked, more than 2.3 billion pills were sold in the U.S. But Valium was highly addictive and it was believed that a serotonergic medication was a better option to fill the void that was left when Quaaludes were outlawed.

In 1987, Prozac, the first SSRI, was released for depression. Along with it came the idea that depression could be the underlying cause of anxiety. The idea took off, as did the sales of Prozac, and within a few years, it overtook the antidepressant market. Soon, other SSRIs followed.

Along with these SSRIs came direct-to-consumer advertising, which became legal in 1985. By the mid-1990s, the FDA regulations became looser and direct-to-consumer ads exploded into the market. Prozac and other medications showed Americans through glossy advertisements that unhappiness, stress, and anxiety could be treated with a pill.

Instead of doctors recommending a specific medication, patients started coming in, requesting a medication they saw in a magazine or on television.

SSRI sales skyrocketed.

By 2010, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 were prescribed an antidepressant, making it the third most prescribed medication, topped only by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen. When looked at over time, there has been a 400-percent increase in antidepressant use from 1988 through 2008.

SSRIs 101: What You Should Know

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of drugs commonly referred to as SSRIs, are the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States. These second-generation antidepressants are marketed to doctors and patients as safe and effective, with relatively minimal side effects. SSRIs are designated to treat mild to moderate depression, as well as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

How do SSRIs work?

SSRIs work to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain. A neurotransmitter that helps neurons communicate, serotonin is associated with many different body functions, but is best known for its influence on mood. Sometimes called “the happy chemical,” serotonin plays a role in a person’s happiness and general feelings of wellbeing.

Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, although the relationship is not clear. Research has not determined if the low neurotransmitter level causes depression or if depression causes the level of serotonin to drop. It should also be noted that a large amount of serotonin, up to 90 percent, is produced in the gut and may be influenced by what a person eats and drinks.

SSRI medication does exactly what its name says. When two neurons communicate, one releases neurotransmitters, which causes the other neuron to react in a certain way. Because this is constantly going on, these chemicals are always present in the brain. To keep the brain’s chemical balance correct, neurons regulate the amount of neurotransmitters released by a process called reuptake, which involves the reabsorption of the chemical by a neuron.

For instance, if there’s a high level of serotonin, the neuron knows to release less through reuptake, keeping the level balanced. If levels of the neurotransmitter are low, reuptake tells the neurons to release more.

SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, causing neurons to release more of the neurotransmitter, therefore increasing the amount of the chemical found in the brain.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a variety of SSRIs, including:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil and Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Vilazodone (Viibryd)

When it comes to effectiveness, SSRIs don’t appear to have an influence on those with moderate to severe depression, with virtually no improvementseen when comparing SSRI use to placebos. Instead of a popular drug with a high efficiency, modern SSRIs have become popular based on an effective marketing campaign and little more. (Click to Source)

Read more at: Ammo.com or PsychDrugWatch.com.

 

Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

 

New beginning for Lake County Drug Court graduates

These young men need the Gospel of Jesus to be free from Addiction

Lake County Judicial Court Drug Court Judge James Manley shares a laugh with Drug Court graduates and CSKT members, Bradley Cannon, 22, and Dale Joseph of Elmo. Graduates completed the yearlong day-to-day program. “It was hard in the beginning,” said Joseph. He added that the past four months got easier. “I’m so happy now. I didn’t really think I’d do this.” Joseph was proud to announce he received his driver’s license a week before graduation. His plan is to complete his HiSet test and work for the Tribes. Cannon said he kept his mind set on “not giving up” and praises the support he got from the program team and his family. “The counselors really cared,” said Cannon. The next step for him is to get a job wild land firefighting. (Click to Source)

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

 

White South African farm activist is stabbed and beaten to death at her home in horrifying hammer attack

  • Annette Kennealy, 51, was beaten and stabbed to death on her farm in Limpopo  
  • A male suspect, 40, has been arrested and will appear before court 
  • Kennealy was publicly outspoken about attacks on white Afrikaner farmers
  • Comes as South African government pushes ahead with plans to expropriate land without compensation to correct the ‘historic imbalance’ of apartheid 

A South African activist who spoke out against attacks on white farmers has been found stabbed and beaten to death on her own farm.

Annette Kennealy, 51, was killed on a smallholding in Limpopo province on either Monday night or Tuesday morning where she had been staying with an employee, police said.

The alarm was raised by Ms Kennealy’s mother, Kim Labuschagne, after she tried and failed to get in touch with her daughter on Tuesday.

A male relative then went to the farm where Ms Kennealy’s body was found face-down in a pool of blood.

Kennealy was a publicly outspoken supporter of the white Afrikaner community and  former councillor with South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance party

Kennealy was a publicly outspoken supporter of the white Afrikaner community and  former councillor with South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party

POWER IN PRAYER

Jim Cymbala – May 25, 2019

 

Although the world has made giant strides in comprehending subjects like atomic energy and nuclear fusion, most of us still live with only the slightest understanding of the most ancient, dynamic source of power there is — the power that comes from prayer. In fact, we have not yet begun to experience the infinite power and possibility that becomes available when we call on the name of the Lord.

The book of Judges records a dark period in Israel’s history. Though God had given the land of Canaan to them exactly as he promised, the Israelites repeatedly turned their back on his instructions, failing to fully possess the land as he had ordered. Instead of driving out the Canaanites, the Israelites intermarried with them and before long they were worshiping Canaan’s false idols, a practice God had solemnly warned against.

“After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan … Because he had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help” (Judges 4:1-3).

For twenty years this oppression continued unabated, which meant that none of Israel’s young people had ever tasted freedom. Exploitation and hardship was a way of life for everyone — until one special day something changed. In utter desperation, Israel called on the name of the Lord and their prayer began a breakthrough that changed everything.

God sent a prophetic word to a judge in Israel named Deborah. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Deborah delivered a message to a man named Barak that the Lord was going to deliver the enemy into his hands: “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” (4:14). Twenty miserable years of servitude to the Canaanites would be ended if Barak would be obedient —and he was! “At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword” (4:15).

We need a lot more Baraks today who will break through in prayer and then obey God’s leading so that cruel captivities can be overturned. (Click to Source)

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

 

Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

 

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