Will Global Warming Destroy the World? Ask America’s Farmers.

 

This is a good news story.

With the fall harvest underway across the nation’s Midwest “breadbasket,” early U.S. Department of Agriculture reporting predicts record-setting corn and soybean crops for 2018.  The corn crop will be above average for a record sixth year in a row, while soybean production is projected at an all-time high of 4.4 billion bushels, up 4 percent from last year’s previous record.

U.S. corn, soybean, wheat, and even rice crops look to continue a trend of remarkable growth in both productivity and output.  This year, corn may yield arecord 178.4 bushels per acre nationwide.  If realized, this will be the highest yield on record for the United States.  Soybean yields will likely be up 2.5 bushels from 2017, which surprised grain-trading experts and exceeded even the highest private yield estimate.  Wheat yields (for all varieties) are forecast to increase 1.1 bushels from last year,  and the 2018-19 U.S. rice crop is projected at 210.9 million cwt, down less than 1 percent from an earlier forecast but 18 percent larger than a year earlier.  America’s farmers will once again help feed a hungry planet that presently has more than 7.6 billion inhabitants and may reach 8.6 billion by 2030.

Global agricultural trends reflect gains as well.  Since 2002, world production of four major crops – corn, wheat, rice, and soybeans – has grown by 846 million tons or 48%.  Yields have kept pace with the world’s annual population growth rate of 1%.  In fact, prices for staple grain crops reveal a downside to those abundances, such that plentiful supply depresses commodity prices on world markets.  “There is too much corn,” said one analyst, to match demand.  Corn- and soybean-growers now concern themselves with consumption of previous record-setting crops to promote future market price increases.

These blessed abundances occur in an environment where Americans are fed a steady diet of dire predictions of climate change with its presumption of human-caused global warming.  Scientists tell us that weather phenomena like the extremes of storms, drought, wind, heat, and rainfall will be more frequent and intense.  Add pestilence, pollution, fires, and the encroachment of human activity to other natural calamities, and one wonders just how the American farmer can survive to produce and even prosper.

Instead, the American farmer continually adapts to the climate – and weather – through changes in crop rotations, planting times, genetic selection, fertilizer choices, improved equipment, innovation, pest and water management, and shifts in areas of crop production, among other possible measures.  Farmers take advantage of an unmatched system of education, research, science, and technology in American universities and business that has evolved to aid and support American agriculture.  Farmers also make good use of a responsive agri-business banking and finance system.  On whole, American farmers are part of, and benefit from, a well honed agricultural infrastructure that fosters advances in production and efficiency.

By contrast, in just one global example, Africa, despite vast natural resources, including expanses of arable land, has the world’s highest incidence of undernourishment (estimated at near one in four persons).  It is assessed that more than 60% of the planet’s available and unexploited cropland is located in sub-Saharan Africa, yet agricultural production remains dismal, which further undermines Africa’s future and economic growth.  Africa must import food staples valued at some $25 billion annually, largely because continental food production, supply, and consumption systems do not function optimally.

Why?  Consider that no nation on that continent can provide its farmers the needed political and societal stability to support a similarly developed agricultural infrastructure.  The examples of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia and once Africa’s breadbasket) and Sudan are illustrative of the entire continent’s challenges.

Zimbabwe has Africa’s most fertile farmland, yet, as a recent exposé explained, “a onetime net exporter of maize, cotton, beef, tobacco, roses, and sugarcane,” Zimbabwe now “exports only its educated professionals,” who fled by the thousands from decades of corrupt autocratic rule.  In Sudan, only 16% of available land had been cultivated by 2009 – the majority of which now falls within South Sudan, a “new” country that must still import nearly all its food.

Imagine the possibilities if African farmers could bring to bear similar resourcefulness, science, technology, finance, know-how, entrepreneurship, and work ethic to what the American farmer possesses.  What if Africa’s arable and unexploited croplands were farmed to similar standards as those in the American Midwest and production raised to the optimal – and sustainable – levels they are capable of?

It is not climate change, weather phenomena, human encroachment, or other natural calamities that pose the greatest threats to future generations.  Humans adapt to their environment and can adjust the agricultural enterprise to feed the people.  The real global threat is poor, non-functioning governance, and more precisely, autocratic, dictatorial, corrupt regimes not acting for the common good of the governed.  Poor governance has worsened more people’s lives – made more people go hungry – than anything extreme weather, pests, or climate change will ever do.  That is the national security concern; that is the threat to global agriculture and food production.

When offering thanks for our blessings before coming holiday meals, remember and appreciate America’s farmers for their achievements we all too often take for granted.

 

 

Colonel Chris J. Krisinger, USAF (ret.), was raised in a Midwest farming community.   During his Air Force career, Colonel Krisinger served in policy advisory positions at the Pentagon and twice at the Department of State.  He was also a national defense fellow at Harvard University.  E-mail: cjkrisinger@gmail.com.

 

Source: Will Global Warming Destroy the World? Ask America’s Farmers.

Charles Stanley – Becoming Like Jesus

 

2 Peter 3:17-18

God has a plan for every believer, and salvation is just the first step. He wants His adopted children to develop a close family resemblance, and the Holy Spirit is in charge of transforming each one into the likeness of Jesus.

The moment we trust Christ as our personal Savior, we are born again and become newborn babies in a spiritual sense. One characteristic of a newborn is a craving for milk, and the same is true spiritually. New believers need continuous nourishment from God’s Word for growth in godliness, grace, and the knowledge of Christ.

As we read and meditate on Scripture, the Holy Spirit replaces our former thoughts and desires with a God-centered mindset and new longings for holiness. Instead of living to please ourselves, our desire will be to glorify God through obedience.

Like any growing child, we will stumble now and then by giving into temptation. However, our heavenly Father has given us the privilege of cleansing through confession of sins (1 John 1:9). He also exercises loving discipline by revealing attitudes, behaviors, and practices that are displeasing to Him. His chastisement is always meant to train us and produce in us the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).

At no point are we abandoned or rejected by our heavenly Father. He watches over every step we take, hears our prayers, comforts us, and encourages us to love and obey His Word. He promises that we’ll become complete in our likeness to Christ on the day we see Him in heaven (1 John 3:1-3).

Bible in One Year: Luke 20-22

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Getting a Grip on Gratitude

 

Read: Numbers 11:1–11 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 18–19; 2 Timothy 3

Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them? Numbers 11:22

The years of weariness caused by chronic pain and frustrations with my limited mobility had finally caught up with me. In my discontent, I became demanding and ungrateful. I began complaining about my husband’s caregiving skills. I griped about the way he cleaned the house. Even though he’s the best cook I know, I fussed about the lack of variety in our meals. When he finally shared that my grumbling hurt his feelings, I was resentful. He had no idea what I was going through. Eventually, God helped me see my wrongs, and I asked my husband and the Lord for forgiveness.

Longing for different circumstances can lead to complaining, and even a form of relationship damaging self-centeredness. The Israelites were familiar with this dilemma. It seems they were never satisfied and always griping about God’s provision (Exodus 17:1–3). Even though the Lord cared for His people in the wilderness by sending them “bread from heaven” (16:4), they began craving other food (Numbers 11:4). Instead of rejoicing over the daily miracles of God’s faithful and loving care, the Israelites wanted something more, something better, something different, or even something they used to have (vv. 4–6). They took out their frustrations on Moses (vv. 10–14).

Trusting God’s goodness and faithfulness can help us get a good grip on gratitude. Today we can thank Him for the countless ways He cares for us.

For more, read Cultivating a Heart of Contentment at discoveryseries.org/hp052.

Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God.

By Xochitl Dixon

INSIGHT

When we read about the anger of the Lord (Numbers 11:1, 10), it’s important to remember that His anger is not like our own. We’re inclined to lash out in fear, irritability, or a desire to get even. God’s anger is a consuming fire of love that burns in the conscience and results in consequences for those who turn their back on Him. What could give us more reason for gratitude than to know that “the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love”? (Psalm 145:8).

Mart DeHaan

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Questioning Gabriel

The Gospel of Luke begins with two monumental exchanges between the material and the spiritual. A messenger of the Lord appears first to an aging man in the midst of his priestly duties, and later to a young, peasant girl in the midst of anticipating the life ahead of her. In each visit, like a gust of wind that turns an umbrella inside out, the message delivered was the sort of news that moves the lives of all who go near it, let alone the worlds of those who heard it first. Both visits incite fear. Both invoke questions. But in the interchange of the eternal and the temporal, though the promises of God are similarly moving, we find two very different human responses.

Zechariah was chosen by lot amongst the other priests at the temple that day to offer the daily incense to the Lord. While the crowd stood praying outside, Zechariah entered the temple only to find an angel standing on the right side of the altar of incense. “And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him,” imparts Luke. “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.’”

Now Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth did not have any children. The angel’s words confronted a prayer long on his lips, a hope long deferred, a shame daily unforgotten. Zechariah’s response does not seem unreasonable to me. Fearful and uncertain, his wounded heart cried to know that God had been moving in those silent years of childlessness. “How can I be sure?” Zechariah asked. Another translation of the Greek renders, “How will I know this?” His hope for just a little more certainty seems fair enough in his state: “For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

There is a protective cynicism that runs in the hearts of those who live in the reality of unanswered prayers. I know because I have carried it too. Am I really to believe that God not only knows the greatest desires of my heart but is also able to answer them? Am I to trust the most weighted areas of my life, the most tender corners of my heart in hands that seem absent? There are times when the words of Jesus resonate much more like a commandment than a comfort: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”(2)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Questioning Gabriel

Joyce Meyer – God Hears and Answers

 

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. — Isaiah 30:19

Adapted from the resource Hearing from God Each Morning Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Our friendship not only benefits us, it also benefits those around us. When people come to us with needs or concerns, we may be able to offer some help, or we may not be able to meet their needs at all.

Even if we do not have what people really need, God does. When we are friends with God, we can say to people, “I don’t have what you need, but I know Someone who does. I’ll ask my friend! I will intercede before God for you.”

We know that God has the power to intervene in people’s circumstances, to help their children stop using drugs, to bring financial breakthroughs, to work medical miracles or to reconcile marriages.

The more intimately we know God, the more confident we are in His willingness and ability to help people. When they come to us, we can go to Him and know He will come through for them.

We can actually ask God to do us a favor and help someone we love even when we know that they don’t deserve it. We can pray with compassion out of a heart of love—and God hears and answers.

God loves you, and He loves the sound of your voice coming to Him in prayer and fellowship. Go to Him often not only for your needs, but also for the needs of others.

Prayer Starter: O, Lord, thank You for always hearing my cries for help. Today, I ask for Your supernatural help and intervention for the needs in my life. I also lift up the needs of my friends and family and pray for peace, provision, healing, wisdom and direction. Thank You for Your amazing love and for answering our cries for help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – A Prosperous Land

 

“If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

On April 29, 1980, 500,000 men and women gathered on the Washington Mall to fast and pray and claim this promise of God.

For years, I have had a growing conviction in my heart that, because the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading and prayer in our schools is unconstitutional, our nation has turned more and more away from God – immorality has become the “new morality”; homosexuality has become the “alternative life-style”; drug addiction and alcoholism are no longer treated as evil; even violent criminals are being declared “not guilty by reason of insanity.” The decaying of our society is evident on all sides.

One of the more alarming, documented facts is that the Soviet Union has been accelerating its production of armaments of war, including nuclear weapons. And through a massive move toward peace through disarmament and through neglect on the part of our leaders, we have allowed our military power to disintegrate to the point of vulnerability.

During the late 60’s and 70’s I genuinely believed that unless God supernaturally met with us and we repented as a nation and turned from our sin, the boast of Nikita S. Khrushchev, former head of the Soviet Union, “We will bury you!” could well come true. For this reason I agreed, along with Pat Robertson, founder and president of Christian Broadcasting Network, and John Gimenez, to cosponsor that great gathering on the Washington Mall.

As 500,000 people spent the day from early in the morning until late in the afternoon, praying, fasting and crying out to God, I sensed that God lifted my load. And, as I sat on the platform joining with my brothers and sisters from all over America, including millions who were joining us in prayer over radio and television, God lifted the burden that had been on my heart for at least fifteen years. he gave me the assurance that the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 would be fulfilled as a direct result of our gathering on that day.

Since that time, there has been no question in my mind but what God heard our prayers and laid the groundwork for a dramatic turnaround in our nation.

Bible Reading:Leviticus 23:3-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Claiming the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14, I will pray for God’s supernatural release of blessing and power upon this nation, that we might experience a continuous revival from each individual in the smallest community of America to our leaders in the halls of Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Why God Waits

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

It’s one thing to suffer for doing wrong. Something else entirely to suffer for doing right.  But it happens.  And it washes away the naïve assumption that if I do right, I will never suffer.  Just ask the faithful couple whose crib is empty and whose womb is barren.  Or the husband who took a chance and forgave his wife, only to be betrayed again.

Why does God wait?  I don’t know.  I only know his timing is always right and he will do what is best.  Luke 18:7 promises that “God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them.”  Though you hear nothing, he is speaking.  Though you see nothing, he is acting.  With God there are no accidents.  Every incident is intended to bring us closer to him!

Read more A Gentle Thunder

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – “The darkest hour in our city’s history”

Please read these names slowly: Bernice and Sylvan Simon, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, Rose Mallinger, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger.

Their lives were taken from them Saturday morning as they gathered to worship at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Some 2,500 people gathered yesterday at a memorial service for them, responding to what the mayor called “the darkest hour in our city’s history.” Robert Bowers, the man accused of killing them in a shooting rampage, is due in court today.

Three hate crimes in one week

This was the third hate crime in America last week.

Last Wednesday, Gregory Bush allegedly tried to enter a predominantly black church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, just outside of Louisville. The doors were locked, so he went to a nearby Kroger store, where he allegedly killed two people, both African-American.

The first victim was Maurice Stallard, age sixty-nine, who was with his twelve-year-old grandson buying a poster board for a school project. The second was Vickie Jones, age sixty-seven, who was killed in the parking lot as Bush left. Bush has a history of mental illness and made racist threats in the past.

On Friday, a fifty-six-year-old Florida man named Cesar Sayoc was arrested after federal authorities said he mailed a total of fourteen packages containing pipe bombs. He was known for condemning Democratic Party leaders on social media.

The next day, eleven people were killed and six others injured (including four police officers) when a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire inside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to a federal law enforcement official, the alleged gunman had frequently posted his hatred for Jews on social media.

Continue reading Denison Forum – “The darkest hour in our city’s history”