Charles Stanley – God Is Our Protector

Psalm 121:1-3

In Psalm 121, David describes the safety that he found in the Lord. Over the next two days, let’s look closely at several verses to better understand our security.

  • “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2). When this was written, robbers dwelled in the mountains, waiting for innocent travelers to become their unsuspecting victims. Needless to say, journeying through these hilly roads must have caused anxiety. David’s work as a shepherd took him into dangerous areas, where not only thieves but also wild animals posed a threat.

Our lives can be like mountainous territory. Do you look into the future and wonder what dangers lurk? The Lord is our helper; He is the only one able to protect us. Friends and relatives can offer limited assistance, but God knows everything and has all the power necessary to rescue us.

  • “He will not allow your foot to slip” (Ps. 121:3). God has provided everything we need in order to avoid sin. The Holy Spirit directs and empowers us; the Word lights our path so we do not slip. Yet at times, we choose to sin. Almighty God could stop us from disobeying, but He doesn’t interfere with our free will. Instead, He upholds us, enabling us to walk in His way.

These opening verses of the psalm focus on the Lord’s ability to protect us in treacherous times. Whether trouble originates with others, external circumstances, or our own sin, we can find ourselves in danger and afraid. Thankfully, we have a loving God who leads us to safety.

Bible in a Year: Psalms 95-102

 

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Our Daily Bread — Our Way of Life

Read: Ephesians 2:1–10 | Bible in a Year: Job 14–16; Acts 9:22–43

We are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. Ephesians 2:10 nrsv

I was struck by a phrase I heard quoted from a contemporary Bible translation. When I Googled the phrase “our way of life” to locate the passage, many of the results focused on things people felt were threatening their expected way of living. Prominent among the perceived threats were climate change, terrorism, and government policies.

What really is our way of life as followers of Jesus? I wondered. Is it what makes us comfortable, secure, and happy, or is it something more?

God has called us to pursue a life that reaches out to others and honors Him.

Paul reminded the Christians in Ephesus of the remarkable way God had transformed their lives. “God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:4-5 nrsv). The result is that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (v. 10 nrsv).

Doing good works, helping others, giving, loving, and serving in Jesus’s name—these are to be our way of life. They are not optional activities for believers, but the very reason God has given us life in Christ.

In a changing world, God has called and empowered us to pursue a life that reaches out to others and honors Him.

Father, thank You for the incredible riches of Your love and mercy. You rescued us from our dead way of living and made us alive with Christ.

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

INSIGHT:

Paul makes an instructive distinction in Ephesians 2:1. He tells his readers that they were dead in their transgressions and sins. By using the past tense he establishes a new normal for those who follow Christ. They are no longer spiritually dead, but are alive in Christ. Paul makes a subtle distinction between transgression, the disobedience of known and established standards, and sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness. He points out that when followers of Christ fall short of God’s perfect and holy standard, whether they know it or not, they are living lives that are no longer natural to the new life given to them. The resurrection of Christ has brought our dead hearts to life.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Words, Language, and Humanity

Some anniversaries slip past us without recognition, and yet one such forgotten recipient continues to smile regardless. The first emoticon, perhaps better known in the realm of online discourse as the smiley face, has been smiling for more than 30 years. Its creator, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott Fahlman, suggested the symbol in 1982 in an online discussion about the limits of online humor. “I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-),” he wrote. “Read it sideways.”(1)

The rest is history. Fahlman’s smileys spread from his classroom to other classrooms, from universities to the corporate world, and eventually around the world. The emoticon aided what online communicators were all too aware was ailing. In the world of instantaneous communication, miscommunicating is sometimes more probable than communicating. Humor, sarcasm, and general human warmth can easily be sacrificed in this subculture of speed and technology. Words merely given in brief can be misperceived as terse or loaded. Comments meant to be taken lightly can be missed altogether. Many would argue that the invention of the emoticon has helped, though it certainly has not eradicated every obstacle.

Nonetheless, the quick embrace and subsequent explosion of emoticons suggests at least a subtle awareness that in the breakdown of language something human is in fact lost. High school and college professors readily lament the frequency with which “chat” language is creeping further into academic writing. Their greatest concern is that many students don’t even realize there is a difference. While it can be argued that email encourages a certain sloppiness in communicating, text messaging has forged the creation of an entirely new language—a language created with regard first for the technology as opposed to the speakers or the conversation itself.

In a publication on the topic of language, Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio made the observation that words and language both shape and affect our humanity. He then added, “The corollary of this claim is the observation that cultural institutions and habits that corrupt or weaken our use of language are profoundly dehumanizing.”(2) When words are ransacked of meaning and replaced with concepts less distinct, we ourselves become something less distinct. Though technology is far from the only culprit, wherever the offense is committed, consequences are costly. In fact, it is said that one of the first steps to slavery is a loss of language.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Words, Language, and Humanity

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Integrity Draws Men to God

“Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language who were living in all the land: ‘May your peace abound! I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; for He is the living God and enduring forever, and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, and His dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions’” (Daniel 6:25-27).

It doesn’t take a lot of people to make an impact for Christ; it merely takes the right kind.

Today’s passage proclaims the sovereignty and majesty of the living God and calls on everyone throughout the nation to fear and tremble before Him. Those verses could have been written by King David or one of the other psalmists, but they were written by a pagan king to a pagan nation. His remarkable tribute to God’s glory was the fruit of Daniel’s influence on his life.

God doesn’t really need a lot of people to accomplish His work; He needs the right kind of people. And Daniel shows us the impact one person can have when he or she is sold out to God. That’s how it is throughout Scripture. For example, Noah was God’s man during the Flood, Joseph was God’s man in Egypt, Moses was God’s man in the Exodus, and Esther was God’s woman in the days of King Ahasuerus. So it continues right down to the present. When God puts His people in the right place, His message gets through.

As a Christian, you are God’s person in your family, school, or place of employment. He has placed you there as His ambassador to influence others for Christ. That’s a wonderful privilege and an awesome responsibility.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank the Lord for His marvelous grace in your life and for the opportunities He gives you each day to share His love with others.

For Further Study

The key to Daniel’s fruitfulness, and to yours as well, is given in Psalm 1. Memorize that psalm, and recite it often as a reminder of God’s promises to those who live with biblical integrity.

 

http://www.gty.org

Wisdom Hunters – Resolve, Do Not Run Away 

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

When I was an older teenager, I abruptly left home—in anger. I barged out, which I later regretted—leaving relational wreckage and deeply hurting my single parent mom. My unresolved anger led me to make an irrational, selfish decision that could have been resolved with patience and forgiveness: Patience toward my mother—who did her best with what she had, and forgiveness of my own sins of pride, fear and greed. I learned a hard lesson as a hard hearted teen—my unresolved issues with people were a reflection of my unresolved issues with God.

Jesus uses vivid language to make this soberingly clear—no amount of money (a gift), offered as worship for God’s work, can appease unresolved sin with another brother or sister in Christ. The Lord first wants a person’s heart, knowing their money will follow. Jesus knows He has someone’s heart when they are willing to bare their heart with another believer. Confession and repentance to one another is evidence of a healthy community of Christ followers. Humility initiates by asking for and extending forgiveness, while trusting God’s grace for reconciliation. Run toward not away from, unresolved conflict, as faith not fear brings healing to open wounds.

“So, my son—save yourself! Here’s what you need to do: go to that person who became your master with a handshake, humble yourself, and plead your case” (Proverbs 6:3, The Voice).

Who may have a grudge against you that you need to go to and ask forgiveness? Even if in your mind you are only 20% at fault, you still take the first step to say, “I’m sorry, I apologize, will you forgive me?” Be specific about your offense, “Please forgive me for the harsh tone of my words.” Your apology does not mean you have to agree with everything they said or did, but it does mean you want to make things right and heal the relationship. Reconciliation takes time, so be patient, stay in the process, until real healing of the heart takes place. Trust God’s love to heal.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Resolve, Do Not Run Away 

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – As Bad as the Grave

Jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.

Song of Solomon 8:6

Recommended Reading

1 Corinthians 13

It seems nothing could be crueler than the grave, but according to Song of Solomon there’s one thing as bad—jealousy. That’s what caused Lucifer to rebel against God. It’s what caused Cain to kill Abel, and Jacob’s sons to sell their brother Joseph into slavery. It’s why King Saul devoted his life to killing David. According to Mark 15:10, the Jewish leaders handed Jesus over to Pilate because of envy and jealousy.

That means it’s no small thing to feel pangs of jealousy toward another.

If someone receives a higher grade, makes a larger salary, wins a race, achieves a victory, or experiences more prosperity in some way, are you jealous? Yes, we’re all tempted to feel jealous, because the tree of envy grows from the soil of pride. But love is God’s supernatural attitude that allows us to rejoice in the success of others. The Bible says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

If you feel jealous toward another, that’s natural. Ask God for His supernatural attitude of love. It can make all the difference.

The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him.… He has received the spirit of Jesus, who pleased not Himself, and who sought not His own honor.

Andrew Murray

Read-Thru-the-Bible

Psalms 141 – 150

 

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/

Joyce Meyer – Power from Heaven

But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. —Acts 1:8

It is possible to fill a glass with water without filling it to full capacity. Likewise, when you are born again you have the Holy Spirit in you, but you may not yet be totally filled with the Spirit. Many Christians are very busy doing things for God but don’t have enough power in their lives to be what God wants us to be.

Going through the motions and following religious formulas is a waste of time. You must have the revelation that Jesus is alive within you and allow Him to change you and make you a new creature in Christ. Don’t tuck God away for emergencies and Sunday mornings. Allow Him to work freely in every area of your life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Girlfriends in God – When Your Rooster Crows

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

Friend to Friend

I sat on my back porch, wrapped in my fuzzy worn robe—the one that’s 20 years old that I just can’t seem to get rid of. The birch trees waved “good morning,” and the newly planted gerbera daisies stretched their faces to the sun…just a bit higher than the day before. Then I heard him. The rooster.

ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I’m not sure where he lives, but it’s within earshot.

ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I thought of Peter. I thought of me. I thought of you.

You know the story. At the dinner table, on the night before Jesus went to the cross, He said to Peter:

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:31).

A few hours later, Peter did just that. Denied that he even knew Jesus. Three times. And then the rooster crowed. ER-er-ER-er ERRRR.

“And he went outside and wept bitterly” (22:62). He cried and cried and cried.

(I’ve messed up big time and cried and cried and cried before. Have you?)

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – When Your Rooster Crows

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Inspiration of God

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV).

Recently, it was my privilege to be chairman of a national congress on the Bible, which was held in San Diego, California. Thousands of Christian leaders came from across the nation and from other countries. More than fifty leading scholars addressed the various plenary and seminar sessions.

We were there to affirm our confidence that the Word of God is holy, inspired and without error. God’s Word is unlike any other book ever written. It is full of power and transforms the lives of all who read and obey its commandments. Many scholars read it without understanding, while others with little or no formal education comprehend its truths and are transformed in the process because they walk with God in humility and in the fullness and control of the Holy Spirit.

The story is told of a famous actor who attended a party one evening. A minister, who was also present, asked him if he would be kind enough to recite the 23rd Psalm. The actor, a famous and eloquent star of stage and screen, agreed on one condition – that the minister, a man in his eighties who had served God faithfully and humbly for half a century, would also recite the psalm.

The minister agreed, and the actor began. The words came like beautiful music, and everyone was enthralled at his beautiful presentation of the 23rd Psalm. A standing ovation greeted him at the finish.

Then the minister stood. He was not polished or eloquent. But as he began to recite the 23rd Psalm, a holy hush fell over his listeners and tears began to fill their eyes. When he finished, there was no applause – only silence. The actor stood to his feet. “I have reached your eyes and your ears and your emotions,” he said. “But this man of God has reached the very depths of your being.”

Bible Reading: II Peter 1:19-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to become familiar with God’s Word, and obedient to its precepts, that my life will reflect its teachings. I will encourage others to join me in this great adventure of getting to know God and His holy, inspired Word.

 

http://www.cru.org

Ray Stedman – Knowing God’s Will

Read: Colossians 1:9-14

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. Col 1:9b

The one thing Paul asks for is that the Colossians might come to understand God’s will. This is the important thing to Paul. He knows that if they begin to understand the will of God, everything good that he desires for them will follow. Thus, the chief aim of a believer’s life ought to be to know God’s will.

Here is where many young Christians go astray. They think the will of God is an itinerary they must discover: where God wants them to go, and what God wants them to do. Most of their prayers are addressed with those thoughts in mind. What should I do today? Where should I go? Whom should I marry? But knowing God’s will is about much more than simply knowing what to do, it begins with knowing who we are. Have you ever asked someone who upset you, Who do you think you are, anyway? We instinctively know that offensive behavior is a result of who we think we are. That is why such challenges are given.

God, too, knows that. The glory of the good news is that he has made us into something different than what we once were. Therefore the primary course in the curriculum of the Spirit is to learn what God has made you to be. You no longer belong to yourself, so you are no longer to live for yourself. Your will, your pleasure, your comfort are no longer to be primary in your life, but what God calls you to be and what he has made you to be. The more you understand who you now are, and what God has done to make you that, the more your behavior will automatically change and you will do the things that please him.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Knowing God’s Will

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Reduce Speed

Read: Psalm 62

Truly my soul finds rest in God. (v. 1 NIV)

Her name was Sharon Lampert. She wore a sequined red mask, flowing white cape over a black body-stocking and white go-go boots. She called herself an anti-stress superhero, pushing her sales on the busy streets of Manhattan. Sharon sold a “one and only anti-stress kit,” which consisted of a mix of toys, including a little white teddy bear, “a friend who will unconditionally love you.” At $19.95 it was a steal!

Our stress-filled life style is hazardous to our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Why do we rush about when the best gifts of life come not from endless activity with its stress and strain but from the generous hand of God? See the road sign for Christians: REDUCE SPEED. The Lord is not in a hurry. No need to rush to travel with Jesus. Psalm 62 calls us to speed less and trust God more.

Think of the things we value most. The love of God, the love of a marriage partner, your family gathered around the dinner table, the companionship of a friend, a good night’s sleep, a sun-filled day. Now ask yourself a question. Do any of these come from my work or business or are they gifts from the hand of God?

Isaiah reminds us, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will . . . soar . . . like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (40:30-31 NIV).

Prayer:

I rest in you, Lord.

Author: Chic Broersma

 

https://woh.org/

Greg Laurie – God Has the Final Word

Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes. —Psalm 115:3

History tells us that on the morning of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon stood gazing on the field of battle and described to his commanding officer the strategy for that day’s campaign. Then he declared that at the end of the day, England would be at the feet of France, and the Duke of Wellington, who was leading the British forces, would be the prisoner of Napoleon.

After a pause, Napoleon’s commanding officer boldly said, “We must not forget that man proposes, but God disposes.”

With arrogant pride, Napoleon shot back, “I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes.”

Commenting on that statement, Victor Hugo said, “After that moment, Waterloo was lost, for God sent rain and hail so that the troops could not be maneuvered as he had planned, and on the night of the battle it was Napoleon who was prisoner of Wellington, and France was at the feet of England.”

Anything that any man or woman accomplishes in life has been given to him or her as a gift from God. No matter what someone may have discovered or invented, no matter how much wealth someone has amassed or how successful they may have been, their lives were given to them by God. Their intellectual capacities were given to them by God. The beat of their heart was given to them by God.

It is good to remember that everything we have is from the Lord. As Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us, “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

Fear God. Reverence God. Remember, He has the final word on every subject, no matter what. God will have the last word.

 

https://www.harvest.org/

Kids 4 Truth International – God Wants You Certain

“And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” (1 John 3:19-20)

When someone asks you whether you know for sure that you are a child of God, how do you respond? I remember as a child trying to answer that question. I would always say, “Yes! I know I’m saved!” After answering, however, I would always ask myself whether or not I really knew for certain.

You see, when I was very young, I prayed with my mother to accept Christ as my Savior. But, I didn’t, and still don’t, remember it! I don’t remember what I prayed, or where I was. I loved going to church, and told my grade school friends about Jesus, but I didn’t remember when I got saved. I was so worried that I would pray, “Lord, if I’m not saved, please save me now.” I prayed this prayer every night! I had no confidence in my salvation, but was too embarrassed to ask my parents or teachers for help.

A few years later, I began reading through the book of 1 John. As I read, I began to see many verses that told me how I could know for sure that I was saved. For example, 1 John 4:15 says that if I confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God, God lives in me, and I live in Him! For each of these verses, I would write a paragraph about how I knew from that verse that I was saved. Even though I don’t remember what I prayed when I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I know that right now I am trusting in His payment on the Cross for my sins! I also know that God cannot fail, and that He has promised that if I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then I am (not might be) saved and have eternal life.

Are you struggling with whether or not you are truly saved? Maybe you don’t remember what you said when you prayed for the first time; maybe you don’t know if you said the right words; maybe you don’t even remember praying! Are you worried that you didn’t “do it right” or that God didn’t hear you? 1 John 1:9 says that God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins” when you confess them to him! When you told God that you were a sinner and asked Him to forgive you, He did! In 1 John 5:11, 13-14, God tells us that we can know – not just guess or hope – that we are truly saved and have eternal life. God knows you better than you know yourself. Even though you may not “feel” saved, God knows whether or not you have truly trusted in Jesus Christ to be your Savior.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God Wants You Certain

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Train in the Right Direction

Today’s Scripture: Hebrews 5:14

“The mature . . . have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

Paul exhorted Timothy, “Train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). Though godliness is a broader concept than holiness, holiness is a major part of it, so training ourselves to be godly certainly includes training in holiness.

This training requires exercise. In fact, the King James Version translates this phrase, “exercise thyself . . . unto godliness.” How do we exercise ourselves in the spiritual realm? Through the choices we make. When we make wrong choices, we train ourselves in the wrong direction—like the false teachers Peter described, who had “hearts trained in greed” (2 Peter 2:14).

God wants us to train ourselves in the right direction through making right choices. Frankly, this is where the going gets tough. We’ll agree with Scripture’s teaching about some particular sin and even make a commitment of sorts to put it out of our lives. Then the temptation to indulge that sin comes once again, and we’re unwilling to make the tough choice. We would like to be rid of that sin, and even pray to God to take it away, but are we willing to say no to it?

Every day we’re training ourselves in one direction or the other: toward lying or truthfulness; selfishness or unselfishness; anger or forgiveness; impurity or purity; irritability or patience; covetousness or generosity; pride or humility; materialism or simplicity.

Only through making the right choice to obey God’s Word will we break the habits of sin and develop habits of holiness. This is where we desperately need the Holy Spirit’s power to enable us to make the right choices. So cry out to God every day for his help; cry out each time you are confronted with the choice to sin or to obey.

 

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Relationship Versus Fellowship

Today’s Scripture: Mark 1-3

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. – 1 Corinthians 1:9

It is essential for every Christian to understand the difference between relationship and fellowship. Relationship is fixed and cannot be broken. Once we come to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we are His sons and daughters, and nothing can change that.

I remember talking to a businessman who was bowled over by this truth. He couldn’t fathom the depth of the grace of God. He was convinced there was something he had to do, some work that would buy him a ticket to heaven. I told him it was too late, Jesus Christ had died on the cross to pay the penalty for his sins, and nothing more was needed.

Fellowship, on the other hand, is fluid and must be constantly renewed. We do it by confessing our sins and asking His forgiveness. Once restored, we must maintain our fellowship with God. In Mark 1:35, we read these words about our Lord Jesus Christ: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” The previous verses tell us that the evening before, the whole town had gathered at Jesus’ door after sundown, and He had healed many. No doubt He had been up late. But long before sunrise, He left His bed and went to prayer.

Have you come to God through faith in Jesus Christ? If so, nothing can change your relationship with Him. But are you spending time with Him each day in prayer and reading the Word? Relationship and fellowship–one depends on God’s action, the other depends on our own.

Prayer

Lord, it is beyond my understanding that You have made me Your child–forever. Please give me the faithfulness to come to You every day in fellowship. Amen.

To Ponder

Relationship has to do with our standing in Christ while fellowship concerns our walk with God.

 

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BreakPoint –  Why Pro-Lifers Should Not be Discouraged Despite Abortion Ruling

Yesterday, we talked about the Supreme Court’s supremely disappointing ruling against a common-sense Texas law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and abortion mills to meet the same safety standards as other medical facilities.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled the law unduly burdened a woman’s right to an abortion. It’s just another indication that, at the end of the day, our culture is committed to sexual autonomy above anything and everything else—even the health and safety of women.

Then yesterday, we learned the Supremes had left a Washington state couple, and their right not to violate their consciences as pharmacists, out to dry. Now pharmacists in Washington state must offer abortifacients, or go out of business.

For pro-lifers, these rulings can feel like a gut-punch. But let’s be clear, these decisions are by no means the end of the pro-life movement.

Enormous strides for life have been made over the past few years. The needle is pointing in our direction—which is why the pro-abortion crowd is so wildly celebrating these decisions.

Look at the lay of the land. Half of all Americans now believe abortion should be legal only under extreme circumstances—and the pro-life movement is getting younger, not older. Pregnancy care centers outnumber abortion clinics three to one. Ultrasound and in-utero photography show us beyond a shadow of a doubt the humanity of the preborn—even on TV shows like the Big Bang Theory!

Don’t forget the legislative advances: 286 abortion restrictions have been passed at the state level just since 2010 –all but two remain untouched by this SCOTUS decision. As Sarah Kliff gloomily reported at Vox, “the Pro-life movement is winning.”

And consider this: The Daily Show’s celebratory tweet yesterday about the decision was met with harsh criticism—even by pro-choicers!

A year ago, the Obergefell decision making so-called same-sex “marriage” the law of the land, felt like a gut punch too.  And on July 4 last year, I woke up to an email from a friend in New Zealand. He wrote this:

“Dear John, I’m celebrating American rebellion by saying extra prayers for your country, after I have prayed . . . for my own. I know from our experience here, where the gay marriage debate was lost… how discouraging the whole thing can look.

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Why Pro-Lifers Should Not be Discouraged Despite Abortion Ruling

Denison Forum – ISTANBUL BOMBING: DON’T LET TERRORISM BE THE ‘NEW NORMAL’

I was in a staff meeting yesterday afternoon when news broke of another terrorist attack in Istanbul. As of this morning, forty-one are dead and 239 are injured. The Turkish prime minister has announced that ISIS is likely responsible for this atrocity.

If this seems like another chapter in the same horrific story, you’re right.

Yesterday’s airport bombing is the eighth terrorist attack in Turkey this year. Radical Islamists have struck tourist areas in Istanbul and the capitol city of Ankara as well as cities in southeastern Turkey. I have been everywhere terrorists have struck and have flown into and out of Istanbul’s airport numerous times. Any of the dead could have been me.

Sixteen other terrorist attacks this year have been linked to ISIS. Yesterday’s tragedy came after an ISIS spokesman called for renewed atrocities during the last ten days of Ramadan. As with numerous other attacks, Muslims were on the front lines of the assault, proving that radical Muslims will kill other Muslims as readily as they target anyone else.

Let’s remember why this is happening. ISIS and other radical Islamists are convinced that the West has been attacking Islam since the Crusades. The Qur’an requires Muslims to defend Islam. Therefore, they believe that attacking Western targets is a defense of Islam. Civilians are on the front lines since they support their governments with their taxes and military service. To radicalized Muslims, every killing yesterday advanced Islam.

As a result, no place is safe. The more ISIS loses territory in Iraq and Syria, the more it will sponsor and incite terrorism abroad. Yesterday’s atrocity is by no means the last we should expect as this “war on terror” continues.

It’s easy to become numb to the carnage. We were initially shocked by reports of ISIS beheadings, but now they are common news stories. Bombings that slaughter innocent people used to outrage the world, but now they numb us with their frequency.

Therein lies my point.

Continue reading Denison Forum – ISTANBUL BOMBING: DON’T LET TERRORISM BE THE ‘NEW NORMAL’