Charisma News | Breaking News. Spiritual Perspective. http://www.charismanews.com/component/content/?view=featured Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:55:36 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Satanists Target Kindergarteners With Lies From the Pit of Hell http://www.charismanews.com/us/61712-satanists-target-kindergarteners-with-lies-from-the-pit-of-hell http://www.charismanews.com/us/61712-satanists-target-kindergarteners-with-lies-from-the-pit-of-hell

Parents are deeply concerned about an After School Satan Club that targets children as young as 5 scheduled to open at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, on Wednesday, December 14.

"No one wants this club; we don't want a group that identifies itself with Satan to have access to our children," said Jennifer Droubay, a mother whose child goes to the school.

Parents and concerned citizens will be gathering for a prayerful and peaceful protest against the Satan Club in front of Point Defiance Elementary School on Dec. 14, from noon to 1:00 p.m. 

More than 103,000 signatures have been collected online in opposition to the Satan Clubs for children. The petition can be seen here: www.returntoorder.org/petition/keep-satan-washington-schools

America's first After School Satan Club sponsored by the Satanic Temple was opened on Nov.16 at the Sacramento Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, despite numerous complaints, protests and rosary rallies organized by parents, teachers and local Catholics.

When the Satanic Temple announced its plans to open Satan Clubs in elementary schools across the country, many people were in shock and disbelief. But reality is now sinking in. And parents are pushing back. "It is just bringing a lot of anxiety to our school," parent Carolyn Carbajal told The News Tribune. "I don't see how it is beneficial to any of our students' families."

The advance of Satanism in America has suffered setbacks. A satanic Black Mass at Harvard University was canceled in May of 2014 due to public protest. Hundreds of college students, joined by tens of thousands of God-loving Americans, vigorously opposed it.

America Needs Fatima invites everyone who loves children and abhors Satan to join a peaceful prayer rally in front of Point Defiance Elementary School on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 12:00 noon. {eoa}

]]>
Robert Ritchie Featured U.S. News Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0500
The Longest-Serving Governor in American History Will Soon Resign http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61694-report-the-longest-serving-governor-in-american-history-will-soon-resign http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61694-report-the-longest-serving-governor-in-american-history-will-soon-resign

In 1985, an up-and-coming Chinese official brought a delegation to the U.S. to work on a grain trade deal.

In order to get a better sense of the product about which he would soon be negotiating and the people who produced it, he spent the better part of two weeks actually living with the people in a rural Iowa community. In the process, he developed a rapport, not only with the Hawkeye State, but also with its Republican governor, Terry Branstad.

In 2012, then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping returned to Iowa—at the behest of his longtime friend, Branstad—and visited with many of the same Iowans who had welcomed him into their homes nearly 30 years earlier. Now, Xi is his nation's president, and he's about to see a lot more of his good friend, who has been tapped as President-elect Donald Trump's ambassador to the communist country.

President-elect Donald Trump announced he had picked Branstad to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China during a transition fundraising breakfast held Wednesday morning in New York City. As a result, the Iowa governor's tenure will end at slightly more than 22 years.

That makes him America's longest-serving governor at a time when many states have term limits for their chief executives. Branstad surpassed former New York Gov. George Clinton (1777-1795, 1801-1804)—who also was our nation's fourth vice president—almost one year ago, breaking a record for gubernatorial longevity that had stood for more than 210 years.

He served as the state's 39th governor from 1983 to 1999 and has been serving as its 42nd governor since 2011.

Initially, Branstad had resisted an offer to serve as ambassador to China, saying he had no desire to work full time in Washington, D.C., let alone outside the country, but instead had been trying to get his son, Eric, a job in the Trump White House. He is, however, perhaps the most ideal candidate to be America's voice to the Chinese people, particularly because of his close relationship with Xi.

Since leading his first delegation to Hebei Province in 1984, the governor has led six trade missions to China meeting with numerous provincial governors, ministerial leaders and local officials. He is considered an "old friend"—a culturally significant title of high honor—by Xi and has a long-standing relationship with Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai.

"I have known President Xi Jinping for many years and consider him an old friend," he said. "I look forward to building on our long friendship to cultivate and strengthen the relationship between our two countries and to benefit our economy. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve as Governor of Iowa, and I look forward to serving in this extraordinary new role."

Branstad collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture for China, including meetings with Minister Han Changfu and has worked closely with Madam Li Xiaolin of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to further relationships between states in America and Chinese provinces. But on the other side of the equation, he's also a strong supporter of Trump's mission to negotiate trade deals that put America's interests first. He will work with President-elect Trump's economic team to negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages and reduce America's trade deficit.

As ambassador to China, he will also work with the president-elect's national security team to implement an America First foreign policy that will advance America's core national interests and promote regional stability.

"Governor Branstad's decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders make him the ideal choice to serve as America's Ambassador to China," Trump said. "He successfully developed close trade ties with China while serving as chief executive of the Hawkeye State. That experience will serve him well as he represents America's interests and further develops a mutually beneficial relationship with Chinese leadership."

After the announcement was made, Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Lu Kang stated:

"Branstad is an old friend of China, and [we] welcome him to play a bigger role in China-U.S. exchanges. The role of U.S. ambassador to China serves as an important bridge in communication between China and the United States, and no matter who is picked, China would like to work together with him to push forward healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations."

President-elect Donald Trump used China as a political whipping post during the presidential election campaign. By appointing Branstad as his ambassador, he's sending a signal that he truly wants to work on a mutually beneficial relationship—and by having the Iowa governor in Beijing, there is a better opportunity to push for greater democratic reforms.

Branstad issued the following statement to the Iowa press following the official announcement Wednesday afternoon:

I love Iowa and I love my country. For 22 years, I have been honored and privileged to serve the people of Iowa as their governor. My family and I will always be grateful to Iowans for trusting me to lead and putting their faith in me to serve.

America is at a crossroads, and the American people are looking for bold change to renew our position as the leader in the world. To once again hold America up as that "shining city upon a hill," as President Reagan so proudly proclaimed. By electing President-elect Trump on Nov. 8, this message was sent loud and clear by the voters.

During our 30-year friendship, President Xi Jinping and I have developed a respect and admiration for each other, our people and our cultures. The United States-Chinese bilateral relationship is at a critical point. Ensuring the countries with the two largest economies and two largest militaries in the world maintain a collaborative and cooperative relationship is needed more now than ever. The President-elect understands my unique relationship to China and has asked me to serve in a way I had not previously considered.

After long discussions with my family, I am honored and humbled to be nominated to serve as the U.S. ambassador to China. I also accept President-elect Trump's charge to prioritize collaborative policies that will "Make America Great Again." This is an extraordinary opportunity. I believe the respect and admiration built over a decades-old friendship between President Xi and me give me an opportunity to help the President-elect and serve Iowa, the United States and the world for the better. 

This new mission to continue serving my state and my country in a new role is essential to building a bright future for our children and grandchildren. With my wife, Chris, by my side, I look forward to the work ahead, but we will never have Iowa far from our hearts.

Following Xi's second trip to Iowa, in 2012, Branstad said of his friend:

"He's very personable. When we had the state dinner in Des Moines, about half or maybe even over half of his remarks were personal, off-script. I was impressed with that, and I think it was very sincere and very genuine."

Once his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Branstad would have to resign as governor, ending his record-breaking run. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has served alongside him for the past six years, will assume the duties of governor until his term ends in 2019, becoming the state's first woman governor.

Under the Iowa Constitution, there would be no replacement lieutenant governor. If anything should prevent Reynolds from fulfilling those duties before Branstad's term ends, she would be replaced by incoming Senate President Jack Whitver.

Branstad had always said he was grooming Reynolds to take over for him but had also left open the possibility of running for a seventh four-year term in 2018. Reynolds is now likely to run for election then. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0500
Singing Contractors' Touching Rendition of Christmas Fave Goes Viral http://www.charismanews.com/culture/61704-singing-contractors-touching-rendition-of-christmas-fave-goes-viral http://www.charismanews.com/culture/61704-singing-contractors-touching-rendition-of-christmas-fave-goes-viral

'Tis the season that many try their hand at singing their favorite Christmas tunes, but rarely does that lead to viral videos and a music album. 

But for Aaron Gray and Josh Arnett, known as the "Singing Contractors," their powerful vocal rendition of "Mary, Did You Know?" has led to just that. 

The pair of general contractors began singing requested songs about three years ago. They decided to keep it simple—sing songs on the job, record them on their phones and just have fun.

It's a formula that has paid off. The pair will soon release a self-titled album that will include songs like "Come Holy Spirit," "Living by Faith," "Power in the Blood" and "God Bless America."

Songs like "How Great Thou Art" and the most recent recording of "Mary, Did You Know?" have gone viral with over 19 million Facebook views.

"What an amazing and humbling journey this has been so far! Just think, nearly 14 million views for Jesus!" read a statement from the two on their website, thesingingcontractors.com.

"We are so overwhelmed and humbled by the response our music has received. We certainly never expected our 'work fun' to turn into an awesome platform for God to be glorified!"

The contractors have asked for prayer as they continue this journey. 

"We are so excited to see how God is using 'The Singing Contractors' to lift up His name and to encourage others," they wrote. "Please continue to pray for us daily as we are swinging our hammers and singing for Christ!" {eoa}

Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

]]>
Talia Wise/CBN News Featured Culture Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Reports: Trump Taps Another General to Join Cabinet http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61700-reports-trump-taps-another-general-to-join-cabinet http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61700-reports-trump-taps-another-general-to-join-cabinet

In 2014, after seeing the surge of illegal immigrants entering the country through our southern border, Marine Corps Gen. (ret.) John Kelly told Congress he was shocked at how easily smugglers were able to penetrate the border, saying it represented a grave threat to national security.

Now, according to a report from the New York Times, he will be able to do something about it.

The Times reports Kelly, who is currently out of the country traveling, is President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security. In that role, he will not only take over the nation's immigration and border control policy but will also take an active role in preventing radical Islamist attacks on U.S. soil.

He originally enlisted in 1970, serving for two years before joining the inactive reserve. After graduation from the University of Massachusetts, he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant.

Kelly retired earlier this year as a four-star general, making him the U.S. military's longest-serving general. He is the former Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, which focuses its attention on Central and South America.

His official Department of Defense biography states:

General Kelly was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970 and was discharged as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts in 1976, he was commissioned and returned to the 2nd Marine Division, where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, company executive officer, assistant operations officer and infantry company commander. Sea duty in Mayport, Florida, followed, at which time he served aboard aircraft carriers USS Forrestal and USS Independence. In 1980, then-Captain Kelly transferred to the U.S. Army's Infantry Officer Advanced Course in Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., serving there from 1981 through 1984, as an assignment monitor. Captain Kelly returned to the 2nd Marine Division in 1984 to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to the rank of major in 1987, he served as the battalion's operations officer.

In 1987, Major Kelly transferred to the Basic School, Quantico, Virginia, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the Director of the Infantry Officer Course. After three years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico. Completing duty under instruction and selected for lieutenant colonel, he was assigned as commanding officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. Holding this command position for two years, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994 to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C.. He graduated in 1995 and was selected to serve as the commandant's liaison officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to the rank of colonel.

In 1999, Colonel Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the special assistant to the supreme allied commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. He returned to the United States in 2001 and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the assistant chief of staff G-3 with the 2nd Marine Division. In 2002, selected to the rank of brigadier general, Colonel Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the assistant division commander. Much of Brigadier General Kelly's two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq. He then returned to Headquarters Marine Corps as the legislative assistant to the commandant from 2004 to 2007. Promoted to major general, he returned to Camp Pendleton as the commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). The command deployed to Iraq in early 2008 for a year-long mission, replacing II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) as Multinational Force-West in Al Anbar and western Ninewa provinces. Lt. Gen. Kelly commanded Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North from October 2009 to March 2011. General Kelly comes to United States Southern Command from his previous position as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from March 2011 to October 2012.

Kelly has one living son who is currently serving in the Marines. Another son, who was killed in action in Afghanistan, was also a Marine. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Does the Holy Spirit Care About the Legacy of a Leader? http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61701-does-the-holy-spirit-care-about-the-legacy-of-a-leader http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61701-does-the-holy-spirit-care-about-the-legacy-of-a-leader

Leadership writers seem dedicated to defining the crown of effective leadership as "leaving a legacy."

Some writers suggest 5, 7, or 10 levels of leadership progression. The top level of the progression seems to always point to legacy leadership.

The dangling carrot for a leader is to do something, build something, or say a lot of somethings that outlive a life. Maybe this explains why I like to see my quotes on Twitter enveloped in a meme. "Look, grandkids, I'm leaving a legacy forever carved into the Twitterverse."

I searched the Bible for the L-word and found nothing in most versions. In a few versions, including the Modern English Version, the word appears in this one verse:

"The wise will inherit glory, but shame will be the legacy of fools" (Prov. 3:35).

Perhaps the wise are tweet-poor.

I can approach an understanding of the word legacy through a synonym such as an inheritance or gift of money or property. Some suggest that philosophers left a legacy with their pattern of thinking out-loud. And those ancient philosophers had nary a tweet among them.

I try to visualize the genesis of a philosopher's career. Did he have a scribe attached at the hip listening for good words? 

"Did you catch that one, scribe?"

"Oh yes, sir, it was so good. That's two sayings already today. Let's go for the trifecta!"

How did a young wannabe philosopher become known to have a philosophy? Was he first a good leader? Did he develop systems to get things done? 

A good friend of mine suggested I consider the hall of faith to gain an understanding of legacy. Hebrews 11 is peppered with legacy imprints. The Hebrews letter is pastoral in nature and it seems to be written to encourage and edify.

In Chapter 11, the author selects a message arc around the importance of faith in our walk. After making an opening statement on faith, he references the lives of men and women who were models of faith. Apparently, their legacy was established in faith.

The writer suggests Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets had earned a legacy of faith. 

They all received a good report but did not receive the promise. Faith seems to be interwoven with legacy. Leaders with little faith probably do not leave a legacy.

So, as we lead, do we make decisions with reflections about how it will impact our legacy? We know that politicians wring their hands about the significance of their legacy. Do CEOs of Fortune 500 companies plan trips to an exotic location to plan their legacy?

I think the moment we begin thinking about our legacy, we lose touch with it. Thinking about my legacy is egomaniacal. Whatever I have said and done by the end of my life will speak for itself. As I have followed the Holy Spirit, I should have no concerns about what remains after my body does not.

A legacy leader has died to self. We live through Christ and take up our cross daily. I will give an account of my legacy on that great and glorious day. 

 


 

Today's Scripture

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). 

 


 

Platform Tip No. 137

Good intentions matter little in the building of a platform.

People with good intentions don't make much of a difference. It's the people who show up and take action that can really change their ZIP code. 

 


{eoa}

]]>
Dr. Steve Greene Featured Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:15:00 -0500
Prince of the Power of the Air Convinces Parents to Let Daughter Take Puberty Blockers http://www.charismanews.com/world/61703-prince-of-the-power-of-the-air-convinces-parents-to-let-daughter-take-puberty-blockers http://www.charismanews.com/world/61703-prince-of-the-power-of-the-air-convinces-parents-to-let-daughter-take-puberty-blockers

A 9-year-old girl became one of the youngest children in the U.K. to be given hormone blockers to "pause" puberty, it has been revealed.

After being allowed to dress as a boy since she was around 5, the now 10-year-old girl, who calls herself "Jason," started taking hormone blockers privately in April.

Research has shown that the vast majority of children who experience feelings of gender dysphoria grow out of it.

Cross-sex hormones

The child appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire program last week with her mother, who praised a CBBC documentary about a transsexual teenager.

The girl's father had previously called his daughter's feelings "a phase." But after she watched this program, he and her mother "explained" transsexualism to her and allowed her to "live as a boy."

Her mother, Leanne, said the girl would continue taking hormone blockers until she turns 13 or 14 and is able to make the decision of whether she wants to begin taking irreversible cross-sex hormones, which would cause her to develop male characteristics.

'Meant to be impartial'

The Christian Institute's Simon Calvert strongly criticized the BBC.

He said:

Apparently the father of this child dismissed allowing his daughter to "live as a boy" until his daughter watched a CBBC program on transsexualism.

This is proof that BBC children's programming is being used to get parents to go along with the transgender movement. The BBC is meant to be impartial on controversial issues but all pretense of impartiality has gone out of the window.

Telling people they can change their biological sex is just a fallacy. People who genuinely struggle with gender dysphoria need compassion and patient help to come to terms with reality. Instead, the BBC thinks we should try to change reality.

Viewer complaints

In the past five years, 120 children under the age of 15 have been given hormone treatment by the National Health Service (NHS).

During the Victoria Derbyshire program, viewers wrote in to complain, with one saying: "Pausing puberty? This is just kids wanting their own way. I was a tomboy growing up, and now I'm a girly girl."

Another wrote: "The child can't even vote, but we will do a sex change—this is wrong."

Gender dysphoria

Dr Helen Webberley, who was also interviewed on the program, runs a private gender-identity clinic that gives children under 16 cross-sex hormones—although this is below the recommended age given by the NHS.

When asked how she knew that offering and performing these treatments was right, she responded: "How does anyone know that anything is right?"

She added that in this case, the decision was informed by talking to the girl, her parents, teachers, family and friends. {eoa}

This article originally appeared on The Christian Institute.

]]>
The Christian Institute Featured World News Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0500
President-elect Trump: 'We Are the Bearers of the Torch of Freedom These Brave Americans Passed On to Us' http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61702-president-elect-trump-we-are-the-bearers-of-the-torch-of-freedom-these-brave-americans-passed-on-to-us http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61702-president-elect-trump-we-are-the-bearers-of-the-torch-of-freedom-these-brave-americans-passed-on-to-us

Seventy-five years to the exact moment that Japanese dive bombers appeared over the skies of the big island of Hawaii, President-elect Donald Trump issued the following statement to commemorate those who lost their lives and were injured during the attack on Pearl Harbor that pushed the United States into World War II:

We pause today to remember the 2,403 American heroes who selflessly gave their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, on a date that will forever live in infamy. We also honor the 1,178 Americans who were wounded and the countless others who instinctively did their duty, rushing to their posts in the midst of the chaos. Their shared sacrifice reminds us of the great costs paid by those who came before us to secure the liberties we enjoy and inspires us to rise to meet the new challenges that stand before us today.

America's enemies have changed over the past 75 years. But the fact remains, as President Reagan said when first proclaiming National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 'there can be no substitute for victory' in the pursuit of peace.

Today we are the bearers of the torch of freedom these brave Americans passed on to us. In honor of their faithfulness, and for the sake of generations to come, we will never allow that flame to be extinguished. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0500
Two Wicked Threads That Tie Satanists and Atheists Together http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61698-two-wicked-threads-that-tie-satanists-and-atheists-together http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61698-two-wicked-threads-that-tie-satanists-and-atheists-together

American Atheists and Satanists both say they are opposed to all religions, but they lie: It is Christianity that they really hate. The proof is evident every year at Christmas. 

American Atheists is rolling out its annual billboard displays, this year targeting cities such as Colorado Springs, Colorado and Lynchburg, Virginia. Both cities are home to prominent evangelical organizations: Focus on the Family and Liberty University, respectively. One of the billboards reads, "Atheist Christmas: The More, the Merrier;" the other says, "Make Christmas Great Again—Skip Church!"

Notice the billboards only mock Christmas, saying nothing about other religious holidays such as Hanukkah.

The Satanic Temple of Detroit is perhaps the most active branch of the Satanists, and once again this year, it is erecting "Snaketivity" on the Capitol lawn in Lansing. The display is being placed in a spot near the traditional nativity scene and features a cross, a red snake and a sign that reads, "The Greatest Gift is Knowledge."

Notice the display only misappropriates a Christian religious symbol, leaving other religious symbols—the menorah and crescent and star—unscathed.

What is the difference between American Atheists and the Satanists? Not much: Both hate Christianity, and both lie for a living. {eoa}

Bill Donahue is the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

]]>
Bill Donahue Featured Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500
The Shoe's on the Other Foot, and Democrats Don't Like It http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61691-the-shoe-s-on-the-other-foot-and-democrats-don-t-like-it http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61691-the-shoe-s-on-the-other-foot-and-democrats-don-t-like-it

Democrats in Congress are learning the hard way that the games they used to play when they were in charge weren't much fun for Republicans.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they're complaining. Particularly when it comes to being forced to vote on matters they find entirely unpalatable—such as approving the waiver for retired Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to be nominated as secretary of defense—as attachments to "must-pass legislation."

Tuesday, House Republicans introduced a "continuing resolution" (CR)—a short-term spending bill to keep the government operating in lieu of a budget—the included the waiver. In doing so, Democrats sat in a position they've often put Democrats: vote to allow Mattis' nomination to proceed, or vote to shut down the government at Christmastime.

Currently, due to a 1940s-era law, retired military members must have been out of uniform for seven years before they are able to assume a civilian leadership role in the government. The antiquated law beckons back to a time when military leaders served one purpose: winning wars.

Today's military leaders do much more than that.

The last military general to receive a waiver from Congress to serve in a civilian leadership capacity was Gen. George Marshall. He retired as Army Chief of Staff in 1945, and two years later, President Harry Truman tapped him to be his secretary of state. He also served as secretary of defense for a year, beginning in 1950.

The waiver attached to the CR would change the waiting period to three years, but only for Mattis. It still requires 60 votes to pass in the Senate, but by attaching it to the CR, Republicans have all but assured its passage, lest Democrats follow up their humiliating electoral losses in November with a government shutdown in December.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed her anger Tuesday afternoon with a statement on behalf of the House Democratic Caucus. It's as precious as you might imagine:

Civilian leadership of the military has been a cornerstone of our democracy since the founders, and for good reason. In the whole history of the Department of Defense, the only defense sSecretary ever given a waiver was then-Secretary of State, General George Marshall—who was provided an individual waiver in a stand-alone bill approved by the Congress.

The American people are entitled to regular order and thoughtful scrutiny of nominees and any potential waivers.

Brushing aside the law that enshrines civilian control of the military—without discussion, in a massive must-pass funding bill—would set a terrible precedent. It is troubling that Republicans are working so hard to shield President-elect Trump's choice for secretary of fefense from the scrutiny and debate of Congress and the American people.

President-elect Donald Trump got into the matter, somewhat, by pulling another of the Democrats' favorite plays: revealing a big-name Democrat endorsement for Mattis. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke about his former general in glowing terms in an interview with one of Democrats' favorite newspapers, The Washington Post.

"It's important that the Congress in the process of providing that waiver makes sure that Jim Mattis understands that he has to play a role not just on the military side, but also on the civilian side. I think he does," he said, adding later, "Sometimes his attitude rubbed some people in the White House the wrong way, because he was aggressive. It never made him hesitate to keep saying what he believed was necessary. You wanted Jim Mattis in the room, because he speaks truth to power." {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500
Media Speculation Building as Trump Holds More One-on-One Meetings http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61699-media-speculation-building-as-trump-holds-more-one-on-one-meetings http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61699-media-speculation-building-as-trump-holds-more-one-on-one-meetings

During Wednesday's morning press briefing, Presidential Transition Team communications staffers Jason Miller and Sean Spicer played a little bit of keep-away with the liberal mainstream media.

President-elect Donald Trump, who was announced as TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2016 earlier in the day, held a transition fundraising breakfast with more than 800 in attendance and visited with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He was also slated to meet with a series of potential Cabinet appointees, which drew the majority of the media's attention during the brief Q&A session.

Among those meeting with the president-elect Wednesday were North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Andy Putzer, CEO of CKE Restaurants—which include Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants—is also being eyed for a potential role in the Trump White House.

Miller, in mentioning McCrory, praised the governor's efforts in education, regulatory reform and energy modernization, including his lifting a ban on fracking in his state. The governor conceded defeat in November's election earlier this week.

Although Trump has named a probable secretary of education, he has not yet named labor and energy secretaries.

In discussing Pruitt's visit, Miller praised his record as a prosecutor and his efforts in taking on the Obama Administration's Environmental Protection Agency. He's been rumored to be a finalist for EPA administrator in the Trump White House.

While not technically a Cabinet position, it is considered a Cabinet-level position.

Both McCrory and Pruitt have openly professed their Christian faith and evangelical leanings and have demonstrated how their faiths inform their decisions as public servants. If selected for the Trump Cabinet, they would build on a growing evangelical Christian influence in the White House.

So far, five nominees to the official Cabinet are evangelicals.

Puzder is described as "devoutly Catholic." He's being considered for a nomination as secretary of labor.

Members of the media tried to pry what information they could from Miller and Spicer regarding these meetings and what they could mean for future Cabinet appointments. But, the president-elect's communications team simply reminded them that Trump has met with more than 80 people, some of whom are candidates, and some who are merely providing input to assist in his decision-making processes.

Miller also noted the president-elect will return to the road Thursday and Friday with events planned for Ohio, Iowa, Louisiana and Michigan. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500
Amid Fake News Controversy, Pro-Life Sites May Be Banned http://www.charismanews.com/world/61697-amid-fake-news-controversy-pro-life-sites-may-be-banned http://www.charismanews.com/world/61697-amid-fake-news-controversy-pro-life-sites-may-be-banned

Pro-life websites in France could soon be banned after a bill was passed in the National Assembly.

The "Digital Interference Bill," approved after just one day of debate last week, carries a maximum prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to €30,000 for people who run sites which "exert psychological or moral pressure to discourage recourse to abortion."

The move has been heavily criticized by pro-life groups and political figures in the country.

"Pro-abortion propaganda"

Dr Joseph Meaney, director of international coordination for Human Life International, slammed the bill.

"We are in the realm of unrestricted pro-abortion propaganda, and the most stringent censorship of free speech if it contradicts the view that abortion is a wonderful solution to crisis pregnancies," he said.

Dr Meaney added that even if the bill should become law, it will be challenged in the courts.

Violation

The leader of the Republicans party group in the Senate, Bruno Retailleau, also criticized the bill as "totally against freedom of expression."

Abortion is allowed on demand in France up to 12 weeks after conception and is funded by the state.

During the debate on the bill, a member of the National Assembly said that it violated "the original intention" of the 1975 abortion law, which encouraged seeking alternatives.

Senate approval

The bill would make it illegal for websites to "deliberately mislead, intimidate and/or exert psychological or moral pressure to discourage recourse to abortion."

It will now proceed to the Senate for a second reading later today.

The Senate cannot block laws, but it can delay them until amendments are inserted. {eoa}

This article originally appeared on The Christian Institute.

]]>
The Christian Institute Featured World News Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500
Dr. Irvin Baxter Sets Out to Disprove a Vital End-Times Error in the Church http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61696-dr-irvin-baxter-sets-out-to-disprove-a-vital-end-times-error-in-the-church http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61696-dr-irvin-baxter-sets-out-to-disprove-a-vital-end-times-error-in-the-church

Many Christians believe there will be a seven-year tribulation in the end times. But Dr. Irvin Baxter has a response: Where in the Bible does it say that?

On a visit to The Jim Bakker Show, Dr. Baxter explains why it's so important for Christians to take their theological questions straight to the Bible—rather than just parroting spiritual pundits. Believers need to know what is coming so they can be prepared.

"There's not one Scripture that teaches there's a seven-year tribulation," Dr. Baxter says. "But there are six specific Scriptures that say it's a three-and-a-half-year tribulation."

Will you be caught by surprise when the last days come? Watch this video and find out.

]]>
Taylor Berglund Featured Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:30:00 -0500
Germany Condemns New Israeli Law That Undermines Two-State Solution http://www.charismanews.com/world/61693-germany-condemns-new-israeli-law-that-undermines-two-state-solution http://www.charismanews.com/world/61693-germany-condemns-new-israeli-law-that-undermines-two-state-solution

Germany urged Israel in unusually strong language on Wednesday to scrap legislation that would legalize Israeli settlement homes built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, saying this would break international law.

Germany tends to be more reserved than other European nations in its criticism of Israel due to the legacy of the Nazi Holocaust, but it has objected in the past few years to Israeli settlement expansion on land Palestinians want for a state.

Israel's Parliament gave initial approval on Monday to a revised bill on the settlement homes, a move that has drawn international condemnation and follows the victory in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election of Donald Trump, one of whose aides has hinted at a more tolerant U.S. stance on settlements.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman told a regular government news conference: "We're extremely concerned about this development and have noted with consternation statements made by Israeli government officials during this debate.

"Such a bill violates international law," he said, adding that Israel would undermine its commitment to finding a "two-state solution" - a Palestinian state in territory Israel captured in a 1967 war - if the bill were passed.

Asked whether Germany and the European Union should punish Israel with economic or diplomatic sanctions, the spokesman said: "We don't think that sanctions would be the right path in this case to make headway in the Middle East peace process."

The last round of U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in April 2014, with settlements among the key issues. Most countries consider Israeli settlements on occupied land to be illegal. Israel disputes this.

Israel's Knesset voted 60-49 in favor of the amended bill on Monday. It must pass three more votes at unspecified future dates before becoming law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a gamble this week by voting for the measure, risking international censure and possibly legal action in order to appease far-right members of his coalition who have been emboldened by Trump's election.

Israeli critics and Palestinians have said the settlements legislation is tantamount to a land grab that would further distance prospects for a two-state solution ending the generations-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

]]>
Michael Nienaber/Reuters Featured World News Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500
This Is How Ben Carson Could Be Successful at HUD http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61689-this-is-how-ben-carson-could-be-successful-at-hud http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61689-this-is-how-ben-carson-could-be-successful-at-hud

Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant physician, has good conservative instincts and by showing courage and Christian humility during the Republican primaries, he endeared himself to millions of conservatives. 

But Dr. Carson's initial reaction to the idea that he should join the Trump administration was "I don't have any experience running a big bureaucracy," and he was right—the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD is one of the largest and in many ways most corrupt bureaucracies in Washington.

And it will take an entirely different skill-set from the one Ben Carson used as a world renown brain surgeon to make him a success as secretary of Housing and Urban Development and for him to avoid "being captured by the building" as Washingtonians term what happens when a secretary with no knowledge or connections in the bureaucracy goes native and adopts the ways of the bureaucracy rather than reforming it.

Here are three people we suggest for key positions upon whom Dr. Carson could rely to help him understand how the Department of Housing and Urban Development has gone off the rails and the dangers to constitutional government of Obama's policies, such as his wildly overreaching Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) initiative.

First, we suggest Wendell Cox, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute.

Mr. Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris since 2002. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. He has an MBA from Pepperdine University and a B.A. in Government from California State University, Los Angeles.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985), and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002).

Cox is also the author of a number of books, including the War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life.

In War on the Dream, Cox makes the case that people around the world associate the "universal dream of home ownership" with an unprecedented improvement in quality of life. But there is a war on this dream, the result of policies that seek to control urban sprawl or suburbanization. The proponents and governments that implement such anti-suburban policies do so with little debate and virtually without any serious analysis of the consequences.

Anti-suburban policies outlaw development on large swaths of land, creating scarcity and increasing housing prices. This means less home ownership in the future and less wealth creation. Anti-suburban policies hopelessly seek to force people to use mass transit instead of cars while failing to build roadway capacity to accommodate rising demand. The result is more intense traffic congestion, air pollution and less productive urban areas.

He has deep expertise on housing issues and is especially good at peeling back layers of regulation and fighting the left's so-called "smart growth" policies.

Next, we suggest John Anthony, the founder of Sustainable Freedom Lab.

Mr. Anthony is the former director of sales and marketing for Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc. In 1989, he founded Corporate Measures, LLC, a management development firm. In 2012, Mr. Anthony turned his attention to community issues including the balance between federal agency regulations and local autonomy.

In January 2016, Mr. Anthony was a guest at the prestigious Rutgers University School of Management Fellowship Honoring Dr. Louis Kelso. In March 2016, he was the keynote speaker on property rights at the Palmetto Panel at Clemson University.

Mr. Anthony understands in a way Dr. Carson may not that the federal agency bureaucracy, not Congress, is now the primary lawmaking body in Washington DC. In 2015, while Congress passed 115 laws, over 400 agencies churned out 3,378 regulations, all with the full force of a congressional law.

Mr. Anthony understands the danger to constitutional government this system of "sub rosa lawmaking" represents. Our founders never intended to create a nation swimming in laws. They knew more laws encourage citizens to lose their self-reliance and become increasingly dependent on government for fairness, support and decision-making. That is why Congress alone has law-making authority, and why the people control Congress.

Mr. Anthony's article for CHQ, "A Trump Strategy to Neuter HUD's Attacks on Local Rule," provides a solid blueprint for reining-in HUD's anti-constitutional attacks on local government and state jurisdiction over land use.

Among his recommended strategies are:

  • Review the Cost-Benefit Analysis for HUD's AFFH. Though law requires it, agencies are notorious for ignoring or submitting shoddy cost benefit analyses. Review the actual financial effects of AFFH on communities. If appropriate, bring legal action to halt the program.
  • Form a HUD Action Review Committee. Require HUD departments to submit proposed compliance reviews or legal actions against grant recipients to HARC for approval. HARC reports to the HUD Secretary.
  • Encourage whistle-blowers to expose dubious sub rosa activities. Begin a process of removing guidance documents, threats and practices that are antagonistic to local rule and property rights. Replace these activities with pro-local autonomy practices and policies.
  • Congress can pass new legislation to counter the effects of AFFH. Courts tend to disfavor legislation designed to block existing agency regulations. Therefore, it will be necessary to have strong Constitutional voices on the Supreme Court to uphold the new laws that protect local rule and property rights.
  • Redirect the Justice Department to focus on the primacy of property rights and local rule. DOJ actions should first consider the Constitutional rights of states and of the people above federal agency initiatives.
  • Use the appropriations process to limit regulatory activity. So far, Republicans have found it difficult say no to agency appropriations. With a member of their own party in the presidency, this is now a viable solution.
  • Work with Congress to amend the Congressional Review Act. Congress has 60 days of legislative sessions following issue of a rule in which to issue a joint resolution of disapproval and rescind an agency rule. The CRA generally fails because Congress lacks the votes to override the president's likely veto. Since the CRA passed in 1994, agencies have issued 84,310 regulatory rules, not counting hundreds of thousands of guidance documents. The CRA process rescinded one. The president can work with Congress to amend the CRA to make it easier to rescind regulations.
  • Amend the Administrative Procedures Act. Change the act to require Congressional approval for major regulations.
  • Pass legislation requiring Congressional oversight of guidance documents. Agencies issue 20 times as many guidance documents as they do rules, though they can have a powerful and terrifying effect on citizens, businesses and jurisdictions. It is time for Congress to review or limit them. And finally, investigate attempts of agencies to use guidance documents to sidestep the Administrative Procedures Act or any regulatory oversight.

The final person on our list of people upon whom Dr. Carson could rely to actually reform and repeal Obama's anti-constitutional agenda at HUD is our old friend Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, and one of the nation's leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.

Mr. DeWeese has been a fierce opponent of HUD's overreach and perhaps more than anyone has been able to capture the emotional impact Americans feel when they are deprived of their property rights by AFFH and other HUD overreaches.

DeWeese's series for CHQ, "The First American Right To Be Killed By Barack Obama's Tyranny" is a point-by-point analysis of Obama's attack on the constitutional principles of property rights and federalism.

As a result of current Smart Growth policies, says Mr. DeWeese, federal subsidized low-income housing is taking the place of single-family homes, thus eliminating the ability of low-income Americans to buy their own property and achieve their own wealth—what was once called the American Dream.

For some 20 years, Tom DeWeese has warned that our American form of representative government will be replaced by non-elected regional councils and dictated to by a central government. That free enterprise will be replaced with fascist-style public private partnerships as international corporations use their influence with government to stomp out mom-and-pop stores; government agents will join in group hugs with non-governmental organizations and corporate presidents as they carve up the goods of our once-free society.

Now that Dr. Carson has accepted Donald Trump's offer to join his administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development we hope he understands that running HUD isn't brain surgery, but it will still require a team of skilled surgeons like Wendell Cox, John Anthony and Tom DeWeese, who know the issues and are prepared to excise the cancerous anti-constitutional policies Barack Obama has put in place. {eoa}

This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.com. Used with permission.

]]>
ConservativeHQ Featured Opinions Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500
War on the Homeless: Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal to Feed and Shelter Those in Need http://www.charismanews.com/us/61692-war-on-the-homeless-cities-all-over-america-are-passing-laws-making-it-illegal-to-feed-and-shelter-those-in-need http://www.charismanews.com/us/61692-war-on-the-homeless-cities-all-over-america-are-passing-laws-making-it-illegal-to-feed-and-shelter-those-in-need

If you want to be a Good Samaritan to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first. All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article, you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding. In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand-new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the Los Angeles City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else.

For nearly 2000 years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now, many communities are trying to stop this from happening. Earlier today, I was stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night.

"I showed up Wednesday morning to find a citation on the door that said we're going to be fined $12,000 and have a court date because we have unhoused homeless people sleeping outside the church at night," said Reverend Katie Grover with the Patapsco United Methodist Church.

Grover added that the men and women who sleep outside their doors do so because they have nowhere else to go and because they feel safe there.

"We feel here as a church that it's Scriptural mandate that it's an imperative to care for the least, the last, the lost, the poor, the hungry," she said.

The authorities in Dundalk say the church is running a "non-permitted rooming and boarding house," and the severity of this fine is likely to put the church in significant financial difficulty if it is forced to pay it. You can watch a local news report discussing this story on YouTube here.

Of course, Dundalk is far from alone. All across the U.S., laws have been passed that specifically target the homeless. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the following are some of the most typical ways that the homeless are targeted: 

  • Carrying out sweeps (confiscating personal property including tents, bedding, papers, clothing, medications, etc.) in city areas where homeless people live.
  • Making panhandling illegal.
  • Making it illegal for groups to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.
  • Enforcing a "quality of life" ordinance relating to public activity and hygiene.

There are some people who have been feeding the hungry for decades who now find their work has been suddenly made illegal. For instance, down in Houston, a Good Samaritan named Jay Hamberger is outraged that the help that he has been providing to the homeless for 27 years has now made him an outlaw.

Jay Hamberger has been bringing food to Houston's homeless for 27 years. He feels the city is infringing on his right to help others by requiring him to have prior permission to distribute food on public and private property.

"I've done it with impunity for 27 years now, and I'm the most law-abiding outlaw, because what I'm doing is illegal," Hamberger said. "My understanding is that there's no legal way to make this right with the city."

This is just another example of how our society is being strangled to death by control freaks.

If I see someone who is desperately hungry and I want to give that person food, then I am going to do it no matter what the law says.

Unfortunately, as the homelessness crisis continues to escalate, these types of laws are only going to increase. Even in supposedly "tolerant" areas of the country, we are seeing draconian measures being implemented. For example, check out the new ordinance that was just passed in Los Angeles:

LA legislators passed an ordinance that would ban people from sleeping in cars and recreational vehicles (RVs) near homes, parks and schools. Advocates see the ordinance as the latest move to criminalize homeless people.

The Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of the ordinance on Wednesday. Banning people from sleeping near homes, schools and parks in their vehicles, would, if signed into law, only make it legal to sleep overnight in cars and RVs in industrial or commercial districts from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

As millions of Americans have fallen out of the middle class in recent years, we have seen an explosion in the number of people living in cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. This is something I addressed in my recent article entitled "Living in a Van Down by The River—Time to Face the True State of the Middle Class In America." During this time of year, many who live in their vehicles head for warmer climates, and cities like LA are responding to the influx of homeless people by trying to force them to go somewhere else.

And this war on the homeless has actually been ramping up for quite a while. Just check out these numbers from The Washington Post:

Cities have enacted a wave of crackdowns and new laws against panhandling, camping and other activities associated with homelessness. They say such efforts help preserve the renewed vitality, curbing crime, health problems and behaviors that bother residents and disrupt business.

Between 2011 and 2014, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that bans on sleeping in cars shot up 119 percent, citywide camping prohibitions jumped 60 percent, anti-loitering laws increased 35 percent and anti-begging laws increased 25 percent in a survey of 187 cities.

Homeless people do not have a permanent address, and there is always a temptation to try to force them to go somewhere else so they become someone else's problem.

But the truth is we have a massive national crisis on our hands. The number of homeless children in this country has increased by 60 percent since the end of the last recession, and the number of homeless people sleeping in shelters has risen to record levels in major cities on both the east and west coasts.

And considering the fact that about two-thirds of the country is currently living paycheck to paycheck, how bad will things get once the next major recession strikes?

Poverty is growing all over the nation, and at the same time, hearts all over America are growing very cold.

I truly fear for what this country is going to look like just a few years from now. {eoa}

]]>
Michael Snyder Featured U.S. News Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:30:00 -0500
Proof That the Elite Really Do Want a Global Society With No Possessions, No Privacy and No Freedom http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61690-proof-that-the-elite-really-do-want-a-global-society-with-no-possessions-no-privacy-and-no-freedom http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61690-proof-that-the-elite-really-do-want-a-global-society-with-no-possessions-no-privacy-and-no-freedom

If you listen closely, the global elite are telling us exactly what they intend to do. If they get their way, our world is going to look vastly different than it does now in the not-too-distant future.

These elitists share a dream of an environmentally-friendly dystopian socialist paradise in which individual freedom is severely restricted for the good of the collective. Where you live, what you do for a living, what you are allowed to eat and how many children you are permitted to have would all be determined by an all-powerful central government that nobody would question or challenge. This may sound very bizarre, but the global elite really do dream of these things.

A perfect example of what I am talking about is an article that recently appeared on the official website of the World Economic Forum entitled "Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy,and life has never been better". It was authored by a member of Parliament in Denmark named Ida Auken, and as you can see she is quite convinced that we can achieve this type of society by the year 2030:

Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city—or should I say, "our city." I don't own anything. I don't own a car. I don't own a house. I don't own any appliances or any clothes.

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one, all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.

In Auken's world, nobody even pays any rent, and if you need anything at all, you can have it delivered to your door within minutes.

So how is that possible?

Well, she believes, computers, robots and machines will eventually be doing almost all of the work humans currently do.

Shopping? I can't really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work we do can be done at any time. I don't really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

But of course there is a cost to living in such a society, and Auken openly acknowledges this. She admits that in her idealized version of the future, she will "have no real privacy ..."

Once in a while, I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. No where I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.

What Auken is envisioning is some sort of benign green dictatorship. In order to have a "perfect world" made up of imperfect humans, someone is going to have to be watching, tracking, monitoring and controlling all of those imperfect humans 100 percent of the time. And since virtually every decision we make affects the environment in some fashion, every one of those decisions will have to be subject to government regulation.

When I read Auken's article, I was instantly reminded of a short video that was produced by the Forum for the Future that envisioned what life would be like in the year 2040. If you are not familiar with them, the Forum for the Future is one of the major non-governmental organizations the global elite use to promote their agenda around the world. These NGOs have become increasingly powerful in recent years, and the biggest often work in conjunction with the United Nations to promote "change" in developing nations.

In the video mentioned above, the Forum of the Future presents a chilling version of the future that includes "calorie cards," a "global food council," global water rationing and an immensely powerful central government that manages even the smallest details of our lives. You can watch the video on YouTube for yourself right here...

Would you like to live in that type of a world?

If we are not careful, this type of tyranny could become a reality, because this is precisely where the global elite intend on taking us.

About five years ago, I warned this was coming:

Imagine going to sleep one night and waking up many years later in a totally different world. In this futuristic world, literally everything you do is tightly monitored and controlled by control-freak bureaucrats in the name of "sustainable development" and with the goal of promoting "the green agenda". An international ruling body has centralized global control over all human activity. What you eat, what you drink, where you live, how warm or cold your home can be and how much fuel you can use is determined by them. Anyone who dissents or tries to rebel against the system is sent off for "re-education." The human population is 90 percent lower than it is today in this futuristic society, and all remaining humans have been herded into tightly constricted cities which are run much like prisons.

Today, we are closer to the global elite's vision of the future than ever before. Even in some of the most conservative areas of the United States, the green agenda is being pushed forward under the guise of "sustainable development," and the global elite will never stop until they have everything that they want.

We are constantly being told we need to make sacrifices "for the good of the planet," but the truth is that their agenda would open the door for global tyranny on a scale most people do not even think is possible.

Instead of a socialist paradise, what we will really be getting is a dystopian nightmare, but most will not realize the truth until it is far too late. {eoa}

]]>
Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500
Congressional Republicans Demand Details of Secret Refugee Agreement http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61688-congressional-republicans-demand-details-of-secret-refugee-agreement http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61688-congressional-republicans-demand-details-of-secret-refugee-agreement

Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called on the Obama administration to declassify its plan to admit potentially more than 2,400 refugees who Australia has refused to admit.

In their letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry, Goodlatte and Grassley call for the declassification of the agreement so the American people can review it. The secretaries were instructed to respond by no later than Dec. 13.

These migrants are nationals of countries like Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, Iran and Sudan, as well as others," the chairmen wrote. "As you know, your agencies have deemed the agreement classified. This is despite the fact that classification of an agreement regarding individuals to be considered for admission by the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is unprecedented.

We appreciate your making staff available to provide us with the document in a classified setting and to brief us regarding the circumstances surrounding the agreement. It is now absolutely apparent to us that there was no reason for the agreement to be classified from the outset, and that it should not continue to be classified. To that end, we request that you declassify the document outlining the agreement so that the American people can read it.

The American people have a right to be fully aware of the actions of their government regarding foreign nationals who may be admitted to the United States. American taxpayers not only foot the bill for the majority of the refugee resettlement in the United States, but they bear any consequences regarding the security implications of those admitted to the U.S."

Last month, Goodlatte and Grassley expressed concern that the Obama administration's secret negotiations with Australia left Americans in the dark about the full scope of its resettlement plans and requested a briefing to review the classified agreement. The migrants are currently detained in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. 

Click here to read the entire letter. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500
Apples or Bananas? New Barna Poll Discredits 'Evangelicals Voted For Trump' Narrative http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61687-apples-or-bananas-new-barna-poll-discredits-evangelicals-voted-for-trump-narrative http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61687-apples-or-bananas-new-barna-poll-discredits-evangelicals-voted-for-trump-narrative

Ever since the exit polls were released following President-elect Donald Trump's victory last month, many faith leaders have said evangelicals went to the polls in record numbers to ensure his win.

Now, the results of a poll conducted by the Barna Group is throwing a bucket of cold water on that narrative.

The poll's findings indicate that it wasn't evangelical voters who pushed Trump to victory. Rather "notional Christians"—people who consider themselves to be Christian but they have not made "a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today" or believe that when they die they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior—are given much of the credit.

The poll also found:

  • Evangelical turnout was strong, but not at record levels.
  • Evangelical support for Trump was the lowest for a Republican candidate since former Sen. Bob Dole lost to President Bill Clinton in 1996.
  • The election turned to Trump's favor in the final two months.
  • Pro-life advocates supported Trump by a 2-to-1 margin.
  • Tea party conservatives supported Trump by a 7-to-1 margin.
  • Christians, in general, made the difference for Trump.

The report stated:

According to researcher George Barna, who is serving as a special analyst for the company's 2016 election polling, the voting results show an unusual faith-related division. "Voters who considered themselves to be Christian were more likely to vote for Trump than Clinton. Those who were not associated with the Christian faith were overwhelmingly behind Clinton. Each of the three Christian segments—evangelicals, non-evangelical born-agains, and notional Christians—went with Trump. Both of the non-Christian segments—those associated with other faiths as well as the skeptics—were in Clinton's camp. Just as the candidates displayed vastly different political orientations, the voters who lined up behind each of them reflected many of those same differences."

The role of faith in this election was inescapable, the founder and former owner of the research company explains. "Think about all of the significant faith-driven events in the campaign. Eight evangelicals ran for the GOP nomination. There were high-profile meetings featuring the major candidates with large groups of faith leaders. Big data targeting efforts focused upon voters' faith inclination were employed. Key issues in the race, such as the Supreme Court nominations, abortion and religious liberty, were intimately related to peoples' religious perspectives and passions. Numerous churches and religious coalitions held prayer rallies and fasting vigils. Like it or not, the importance of peoples' faith was front and center in this election.

"The mainstream media got a lot of things wrong in this election regarding their assessment of the role of faith," Barna continued. "One of those misdiagnoses was their assertion that the election featured a record-breaking turnout among evangelicals. While their turnout was strong, it was not record-breaking. In fact, evangelicals' concern over the character of both candidates kept many of them from choosing a candidate until very late in the process, and a higher-than-usual proportion of them voted for the more liberal candidate."

Barna concludes by identifying a telling factor in the election. "There has been no discussion about the fact that the skeptic vote really kept Hillary Clinton in the race. The 33-point margin she retained with that one-fifth slice of the voting population was her primary faith base. The size of the skeptic population continues to grow, while the born-again community continues to shrink. That is a trend that will be a major challenge for conservative and Republican candidates in the future." {eoa}

Click here to read the entire report.

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 09:00:00 -0500
Dr. Robert Jeffress Said What? http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61686-dr-robert-jeffress-said-what http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61686-dr-robert-jeffress-said-what

Recently, Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, and one of the most ardent evangelical defenders of President-elect Donald Trump during the election campaign, said something that is making just about everyone's jaw drop.

During an interview with the local Good Morning Dallas television program, the megachurch pastor told the interviewer, "[O]ur beliefs are not based on the shifting sands of culture, but on the eternal and changeable truth of God's Word." Then, he immediately said same-sex "marriage" is the "law of the land."

"This is not going to be re-litigated by the Supreme Court," he said. "That is the law of the land, and I wish it were different, but it's not different, and actually I had to argue against some hard-right Catholics and evangelicals who wanted Mr. Trump to make that a campaign issue. I said, 'Guys, forget it. It's over. We need to go on to other things like protecting the unborn.'"

Actually, Trump repeatedly made the claim that his Supreme Court picks would take up and defend biblical marriage. It's also a key component of the Republican Party's platform.

Jeffress doesn't hold any official title with the Trump administration and is playing no role in the Presidential Transition Team, so his comments don't carry tremendous weight. But, for evangelicals who were skeptical, or even opposed to the president-elect's campaign, they signal a potentially disastrous betrayal even before Inauguration Day.

They also signal perhaps some misunderstanding on the part of Jeffress as to how American self-governance works. Either way, some prayers for the president-elect, for those around him, and for Jeffress are definitely in order. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500
'A Day That Will Live in Infamy' http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61685-a-day-that-will-live-in-infamy http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61685-a-day-that-will-live-in-infamy

Note: The following is an excerpt from historian Craig Shirley's best-selling book December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World. Shirley chronicled the events of the infamous day when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and plunged the United States into World War II. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the attack.

Sunday in America was a day for relaxing, whether you followed the fourth commandment or not. It was a day for church, for fam­ily meals, for reading the newspapers, listening to the radio, going for long walks, for afternoon naps, for working in the yard and visiting with neighbors.

Sunday, Dec. 7, was different. Ten days earlier, on Nov. 27, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. George C. Marshall authored a two-page memo stamped for their commander-in-chief "Secret."

It read: "Subject: Far Eastern Situation." "If the current negotiations end without agreement," they wrote, "Japan may attack: the Burma Road, Thailand, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies, the Philippines, the Russian Maritime Provinces." Significantly, no mention was made by Stark or Marshall of any other American military installation in the Pacific region, including Hawaii.

An extraordinary Sunday meeting was requested by the Japanese Embassy in Washington with Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The meeting was set for 1 p.m. (EST). It would be 7:30 a.m. in Honolulu.

Tokyo had already reassigned some of its Washington envoys back to Japan. Just one day before, Hull had told reporters he anticipated no fur­ther meetings with his Japanese counterparts.

On Saturday evening, Dec. 6, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a message directly to Emperor Hirohito, "an unprecedented action—as disturbing reports reached the State Department that two large and heavily escorted convoys were seen yester­day morning steaming into the Gulf of Siam, which washes the shores of Thailand."

The contents of the president's message to the emperor were not revealed at the time. Later it became known—it was utterly respectful and solicitous of the emperor. Words such as "friendship" and "virtue" and "wis­dom" littered the missive, but also words like "fear" and "concern."

Although coverage might have otherwise been slight, every radio and newspaper in America covered in detail Roosevelt's olive branch to Japan the morning of Dec. 8, though not all reported on the "two large and heavily escorted Japanese convoys ... steaming toward the Gulf of Siam (Thailand) this morning."

Another large convoy featuring six aircraft carriers heading southeast from Japan and briefly reported on six days earlier had not been seen or heard from since. Adm. Husband Kimmel had received a notice on Dec. 2 that this Japanese task force, moving at flank speed (around 24 knots), had been lost to American trackers.

On the other side of the world, Great Britain declared war against Finland, which had become an "ally" of the Third Reich. In concert with the British declaration of war, FDR put Finnish ships in American ports in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore under "protective custody."

Navy Secretary Frank Knox released a report he'd prepared for FDR that stated America's fleet was "superior to any" in the world and that it had recently been "placed on a war footing with full personnel manning the ships of three fleets," including the Pacific fleet in Hawaii.

"I am proud to report that the American people may feel fully confident in their Navy." It is, he said, "without superior. On any comparable basis, the United States Navy is second to none." Knox concluded, "In the Pacific, the strategic importance ... with development of the islands guarding the approach to the Navy's defense in the Hawaiian area with the resultant safety of the Pacific Coast, are obvious."

At 3:42 a.m., the Condor, on patrol outside the entrance to Pearl Harbor, spotted an unidentified and unauthorized midget submarine. Later that morn­ing, at 6:45 a.m., the Ward fired on and hit yet another mysterious midget submersible.

The young captain with the perfectly nautical name of William Outerbridge ordered his No. 3 deck gun to fire on the unknown submarine. A report was made to naval authorities at Pearl Harbor, but no action was taken.

Scout planes from the Enterprise, some 200 miles out and heading back to Pearl Harbor after making her delivery, spotted Japanese bombers and escort planes over the Pacific at 6:15 a.m., heading southeast. Radio confusion between a scout plane and the "Big E" prevented it from taking any action.

At Opana Point Radar Station, set on the highest point on the island of Oahu, two young army privates, Joseph L. Lockard and George Elliot, noticed what looked to be a huge grouping of planes headed for the island.

A call was placed around 7 a.m. to Lt. Kermit Tyler. Tyler, thinking the two were seeing a squadron of American B-17s due in that morning, told them to forget about it. They turned off the radar and went to breakfast.

A private pilot was up for a quiet and leisurely flight over Honolulu early that morning. Ray Buduick, a lawyer, expected to have the airspace all to himself and his 17-year-old son, Martin. Shortly after takeoff, he realized his expectations were wrong. All of a sudden, the skies over the island were filled with hundreds of airplanes.

A female flight instructor, Cornelia Fort, was also aloft, giving a lesson, when she was overwhelmed with hundreds of planes bearing a red flaming ball. A squadron of Japanese fighter planes, faster than the bombers, arrived at Oahu at 7:30 and orbited the island for 25 minutes while they waited for the slower planes to catch up.

On a beach in Santa Monica, a group of sun worshippers was out early play­ing volleyball when one of them heard something over the radio and tried to catch the attention of the others. But they were disinterested at the moment in anything other than the outcome of their morning match.

The first wave of 183 planes continued unmolested and basically undetected. They'd been transported in secret since Nov. 26 at 0900, having departed their home waters of Tankan Bay.

The six carriers could deploy hundreds of war planes. They were under the orders of the fleet commander, Isoroku Yamamoto, and the com­mand of Chuichi Nagumo.

The massive fleet halted in mid-ocean to refuel on Dec. 3. The standing order was radio silence and, if not recalled by Tokyo, to attack.

Realizing they had suc­ceeded in their audacious sneak attack on the American fleet, the code indi­cating their achievement was transmitted: "Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!" "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

Initial reports out of Hawaii were light. The first bulletin went out over the local airwaves, garbled, not from a military source or official government spokesman, but from a broadcast personality, Webley Edwards, who hosted the popular radio show "Hawaii Calls" on CBS, which was heard all over the mainland.

"Attention. This is no exercise. The Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor. All Army, Navy and Marine personnel are to report to duty."

Shortly thereafter, a government-ordered blackout was secured on Hawaii, but long-distance phone calls, telegrams or messages from ham radio operators continued. The phone lines eventually became jammed as the Navy was frantically using them.

But this didn't stop anybody from hearing about the attack all across the mainland. It went out over the airwaves, repeatedly, with regular program­ming interrupted, on every radio station in America. News spread by word of mouth, from neighbor to neighbor, parents to kids.

In the living rooms of America, people huddled around Philco or General Electric radios, listening to war news that for the first time directly involved the American people. On the sidewalks, people huddled around car radios, listening to the flash bulletins.

At the meaningless football game at Griffith Stadium in Washington between the Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles, 27,000 attendees—including many military personnel and journalists—"were the last to know anything about the world-stirring events."

Throughout the game, there was no announcement whatsoever through the loudspeakers, although radio broadcasters in the booths continually were breaking into their accounts of the game with war bulletins. In the interval after the first half, it became evident to the football fans that something extraordinary was in progress.

As the rumor of war spread, the seats emptied. One enterprising wife sent her husband, who was attending the game, a telegram. "Deliver to Section P, Top Row, Seat 27, opposite 25-yard line, East side, Griffith Stadium: War with Japan Get to office."

The Redskins ownership later said using the PA to announce the war news was against its management's policy.

In all, some 353 Japanese fighters and bombers descended on Oahu. Civilian locations were also bombed and strafed. One of the first to die in the attack may have been a 10-year-old Portuguese girl. {eoa}

Craig Shirley is the author of two critically praised best-sellers about Ronald Reagan, Rendezvous with Destiny and Reagan's Revolution, as well as the New York Times best-selling book, December 1941. 

This article was originally published at DailySignal.com. Used with permission.

]]>
Craig Shirley Featured Opinions Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500
119 Sheep Descended From Genesis 30 Return to Promised Land http://www.charismanews.com/world/61684-119-sheep-descended-from-genesis-30-return-to-promised-land http://www.charismanews.com/world/61684-119-sheep-descended-from-genesis-30-return-to-promised-land

One hundred nineteen sheep reportedly descended from Jacob's flock have returned to their biblical homeland.

"The first sheep arrived on the Jewish calendar the day that Noah came out of the ark, the 28th of Heshvan," shepherd Jenna Lewinsky said

This is the first time the sheep have been in Israel since biblical times.

The name stems from Genesis 30:31b-33: "And Jacob said, "You may not give me anything, but if you will do this one thing for me, I will continue to feed and keep your flock. I will pass through all your flock today, removing from it all the speckled and spotted sheep, and every brown sheep from among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. These shall be my wages. So my integrity will answer for me in time to come. When you come to examine my wages, every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep that are with me will be considered stolen." 

The return of the sheep has been hailed as a prophetic precursor for the third temple. {eoa}

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured World News Wed, 07 Dec 2016 09:00:00 -0500
Irvin Baxter: America's Role in the Great Tribulation http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61680-irvin-baxter-america-s-role-in-the-great-tribulation http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61680-irvin-baxter-america-s-role-in-the-great-tribulation

As the world rapidly spins toward the end of days, end-times expert Irvin Baxter says the election of Donald Trump plays a key role in prophecy, and perhaps is a catalyst for the tribulation. 

"I do believe the election of Donald Trump is directly related to the prophecies of the Bible," Baxter tells the Jim Bakker Show.  

"I do believe God wants us to understand what's going on right now because if we know what's going on, we can align ourselves with it, or else ... ." 

Watch the video to see what comes next. 

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500
A Prophetic Word to Watchmen in 2017: Rise of Hawk-Eye Watchmen http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61677-a-prophetic-word-to-watchmen-in-2017-rise-of-hawk-eye-watchmen http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61677-a-prophetic-word-to-watchmen-in-2017-rise-of-hawk-eye-watchmen

On Sunday morning, I saw five hawks in a 30-minute span, which I have never in 39 years experienced.

This occurred the day after receiving new glasses with sharper vision and after getting this word confirmed from a friend of mine, Kevin Seagle, who saw five hawks in a short space as well and posted on his personal Facebook page about how unusual it was.  I knew the Lord was revealing something significant, and now I know this word is for the true watchmen in this hour.

Hawks are known for having extremely keen sight, eight times sharper than the eyesight of humans. Moreover, they can also see colors unlike most animals, which live in a black-and-white world. Watchmen are known to have an eye to see and hear strategies of the kingdom of light and kingdom of darkness. They will see and hear things others will not. Things that seem dull and insignificant to many will stand out with clarity to the true watchmen.

As we are about to enter the new year, many churches are about to partake of 21 days of corporate prayer and fasting, which will be a time of consecration to sharpen focus in order to hear the Father's voice with clarity. Prayer mingled with fasting will fine-tune many to see and hear things they never saw and heard in past seasons. I believe watchmen are being called to a season of prayer and fasting for 2017.

Watchmen are being positioned to be the eyes and ears on the front lines, and they will align themselves with the 5-fold ministry to accomplish Father's purpose in their regions. They will see and hear the assignments of darkness as they are being planned but will also have an eye and ear to the kingdom of heaven to bring blueprints and strategies needed to bring the victory. {eoa}

This article originally appeared on End Time Headlines.

]]>
Ricky Scaparo/End Time Headlines Featured Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500
Sticker Shock: How Much You've Paid for Obama Vacations Will Blow Your Mind http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61682-sticker-shock-how-much-you-ve-paid-for-obama-vacations-will-blow-your-mind http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61682-sticker-shock-how-much-you-ve-paid-for-obama-vacations-will-blow-your-mind

President Barack Obama is likely to go down in history as the president who was always in campaign mode, and when he wasn't campaigning, he was on vacation.

Unfortunately, taxpayers footed the bill for almost all of it.

The government watchdog organization Judicial Watch released a new report this week that states the Secret Service has finally tallied its expenses for the first family's 2015 vacation to Hawaii at $1.2 million. That brings the total cost of that one vacation to $4.8 million, or roughly equivalent to 90 times the average American household income last year.

Judicial Watch issued the following statement about the latest information:

This was the Obamas' eighth Hawaiian family vacation. The trip has become an annual event for the Obamas. To date, Obama's and his family's travel expenses total at least $85,029,819.

The records obtained by Judicial Watch for Obama's Secret Service travel to Hawaii reveal the following expenses totaling $1,234,316.67:

    • Hotel and lodging costs totaled $1,000,458.63
    • The Secret Service spent $165,893.88 on car rentals.
    • Air and rail expenses totaled $67,964.16.

Although the vacation officially lasted from Dec. 18, 2015, to Jan. 3, 2016, the Secret Service rented several Kailua homes for 19 nights, starting from Dec. 16. The total for the rentals, located near the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay was $245,993.12.

According to bills obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act, the Secret Service also paid for rooms at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club. The Secret Service also reserved rooms at the Moana Surfrider resort on Waikiki Beach, and the Ala Moana Hotel, which cost a total of $40,249.48 and $671,895.99, respectively.

The Secret Service rented cars from Avis, Alamo, and Hertz—103 cars for the two-week vacation—totaling $165,893.88 in taxpayer money.

Reportedly, the Obamas stayed at the Hale Reena Estate, which "rents for anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 a night, depending on the season."

According to other news sources, the Obamas dined out frequently (and were guarded) at Hawaii's finest restaurants:

    • On Sunday, Dec. 20, the Obamas had dinner at Morimoto, a celebrity chef-owned Asian-fusion restaurant,
    • On Christmas Eve, they dined at MW Restaurant in Honolulu,
    • On Dec. 27, the first family took their dinner at "one of Hawaii's finest restaurants," Hoku's at the Kahala Hotel and Resort,
    • The next day, the Obamas dined at Alan Wong's with friends,
    • And on New Year's Day, the Obamas dined at Halekulani, billed as one of the "top restaurants on Oahu."

The president played seven rounds of golf, and went hiking and snorkeling.

Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for these documents in January. The records were released in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed on May 6. The lawsuit was filed after the Secret Service ignored a series of separate FOIA requests for costs associated with the president's travel.

"The Secret Service and the Air Force are being abused by unnecessary travel," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "Unnecessary presidential travel for fundraising and luxury vacations on the taxpayers' dime would be a good target for reform for the incoming Trump administration."

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Wed, 07 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500
The Bible That Dropped From Heaven http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/61662-the-bible-that-dropped-from-heaven http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/61662-the-bible-that-dropped-from-heaven

When people of faith find themselves in desperate situations, they look to God for a sign, a miracle or some word of comfort.

Sometimes miracles come in the form of a timely word of encouragement. Sometimes a certain verse of the Bible seems to leap off the page like communication dropping into our lives directly from heaven. God promises that His Word does not descend from heaven without accomplishing its purpose:

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Is. 55:10-11).

Once, during Israel's War of Independence, a Bible literally did drop from heaven containing a message of hope and encouragement for Jewish soldiers in a desperate situation.

In May of 1948, the British government gave control of the Galilean city of Safed (Tzfat) over to the Arabs. The city's small Jewish minority immediately came under siege. The Arabs began a relentless attack against the Jewish quarter. They promised to slaughter all the Jews in the city, and the Grand Mufti planned to make Safed his capital city.

Palmach commander Yigal Allon proposed a bold plan to rescue the city through a military operation the Haganah referred to as Operation Yiftach (named after the heroic biblical judge Jephthah and his exploits in Judg. 11). As his special forces launched Operation Yiftach against Arab strongholds in Safed, Allon received an urgent message from the nearby settlement of Ramot Naftali. Arab forces were attacking the small moshav and threatened to overrun the community's defenders. The Arab army had brought in a heavy piece of artillery, and they were using it to shell the settlement. The defenders said they could not hold out long. They needed assistance immediately.

Allon faced a difficult dilemma. He feared that, if he divided his forces to send help to the defenders at Ramot Naftali, he would not have sufficient numbers to mount the attack against the Arab forces holding Safed. A rescue mission to Ramot Naftali could derail the entire operation and jeopardize the besieged Jewish Quarter in Safed. Allon had a difficult decision to make: save the Jews of Safed or save the people of Ramot Naftali.

He told the people of Ramot Naftali to hold out as long as they could with whatever they had. He hoped that by pressing the attack against Safed, he might draw the Arabs away from them.

The men of Ramot Naftali were trained fighters, but they did not see how they could possibly hold their position, especially when the Arab army was employing such heavy artillery. They asked for permission to abandon the moshav, but Allon insisted that they stand their ground and fight on as long as they could. He knew that they might not survive, but he warned them that, if they abandoned their post, he would treat them as deserters.

Some of the settlers defending Ramot Naftali had previously served under Orde Charles Wingate, a famous British war hero, Bible-believing Zionist and leader of early Jewish forces in Israel. Wingate had been a devout Gentile Christian. He'd had a reputation for consulting his Bible for battle strategy. He had considered himself a modern-day Gideon and had been convinced that God was fulfilling Bible prophecy by bringing the Jewish people back to the land.

Before World War II, Wingate had helped the Jewish community in Palestine by training Jewish fighters to strike back against Arab insurgents and saboteurs. He had helped organize and train Jews into the first Jewish army since the Second Temple era. Those forces had evolved into the Haganah and the modern IDF. Even Yigal Allon himself had received his training under Wingate. Unfortunately, Wingate died in a plane crash in 1944. He was not there to assist the Jewish people when the War of Independence broke out.

Some of the men whom Wingate had trained in Palestine had helped establish the small outpost of Ramot Naftali. In May of 1948, those men faced almost certain death as they prepared to defend their position against overwhelming odds. Yigal Allon wanted to send them help, but he knew that doing so would jeopardize Operation Yiftach and the battle for Safed. He did consent, however, to send a few small planes to conduct air drops consisting of supplies, ammunition and weapons.

Orde Wingate's widow, Lorna, heard about the desperate situation her late husband's men faced at Ramot Naftali. She also heard that, except for a planned air drop, the men had been more or less abandoned. She decided to do what she could to help by participating in the air drop and joined the pilot of a Piper Cub plane dropping supplies. As they circled the settlement, she dropped a special parcel to the men who once served under her husband. The parcel contained her late husband's Bible.

The men of Ramot Naftali retrieved the parcel, opened it up and recognized the Bible. It was the same Bible they had seen their late commander so often consult before leading them into battle. They remembered how he had often read aloud to them from that very Bible and how he had formulated his battle strategies from the stories within it. The soldiers also found a personal letter of encouragement, faith and hope from Mrs. Wingate tucked inside the Bible. They took courage, and they held their ground against the attacking forces.

Meanwhile, the Palmach began their assault against the Arab forces of Safed. The first assault failed to take the city; the Arab forces were too well entrenched. Allon wondered if he had sacrificed the men of Ramot Naftali needlessly. As he scouted the area to plan another assault, he noticed the sound of Arab artillery shelling Safed had changed. Unlike the whistle of mortars that the Palmach forces had been hearing in Safed's Jewish Quarter up until then, this new sound was clearly made by the same artillery piece that had been hammering Ramot Naftali the day before.

Allon realized his plan had worked. By keeping his forces united and concentrated on the battle for Safed, he had drawn the Arabs away from Ramot Naftali and turned their attention to Safed. The men of Ramot Naftali were saved. Moreover, in the next assault, Allon's forces liberated Safed and saved the besieged Jews of the Jewish Quarter.

Wingate's men held on to their position at Ramot Naftali for the remainder of the War of Independence, and they held on to the Bible that had dropped to them from heaven. The story of the miraculous Bible from heaven did not involve anything supernatural, but to those who received that Bible, it seemed like a divine intervention.

Wingate's Bible is now on display in the Beith Shturman Museum at Kibbutz Ein Harod, a tangible reminder of the power of God's Word and the certainty of his promises regarding Israel. {eoa}

Daniel Thomas Lancaster is a writer, teacher, and the Director of Education at the Messianic ministry of First Fruits of Zion (ffoz.org), an international ministry with offices in Israel, Canada, and USA, bringing Messianic Jewish teaching to Christians and Jews. He is the author of several books about the Jewish roots of Christianity, the Jewishness of the New Testament, and he is the author of the Torah Club Bible study program (torahclub.org). He also serves as the teaching pastor at Beth Immanuel (bethimmanuel.org), a Messianic Jewish synagogue in Hudson, Wisconsin. Daniel can be reached at outreach@ffoz.org

]]>
Daniel Lancaster Featured Standing With Israel Opinion Wed, 07 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500
How Atheist Grinches Are Trying to Steal Christmas http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61683-how-atheist-grinches-are-trying-to-steal-christmas http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61683-how-atheist-grinches-are-trying-to-steal-christmas

Almost a December tradition, the American Atheists group is posting two different "Atheist Christmas" billboards in Virginia this month, encouraging Americans to essentially leave "Christ" out of Christmas.

According to WSET ABC-13, covering Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke, the first billboard shows a text message exchange where a young woman says she's not going to church this Christmas because she doesn't "believe in that stuff anymore" and her parents will "get over it." The second blatantly uses President-elect Donald Trump's campaign slogan by stating, "Make Christmas Great Again—Skip Church!"

This Christmas, says religion and culture expert and author Dr. Alex McFarland, atheists are on the wrong side of history—again.

"Even some of the most noted non-believers assert that Jesus' death is irrefutable," McFarland said. "Yet, each December, atheists use the Christmas season to leverage any opportunity to spread their irrelevant message. For someone as insignificant as atheists say Jesus was, they sure capitalize on the Christmas season to market their non-beliefs. If He wasn't born in a manger and if His life was a fable, why not put these billboards up around the country in June? Because they know that millions celebrate—and revere—Jesus' birth and know that He alone is the reason for the season."

The billboards will be up all month in Virginia, and others are planned for Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina, where McFarland also serves as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University.

"It is important for people to know religion has nothing to do with being a good person, and that being open and honest about what you believe—and don't believe—is the best gift you can give this holiday season," said American Atheists President David Silverman, whom McFarland will debate in February in Canada.

McFarland added that even the attempt to generalize the Christmas season with a "Happy Holidays" greeting falls flat, as that phrase is actually based on "Holy Days."

"So even in their quest to generalize and water down Christmas and avoid the 'C-word,'" McFarland said, "atheists miss the mark yet again." {eoa}

]]>
Beth Harrison/Hamilton Strategies Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 17:00:00 -0500
White House Press Secretary: WWII Vets Need to Get Over Pearl Harbor http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61679-white-house-press-secretary-wwii-vets-need-to-get-over-pearl-harbor http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61679-white-house-press-secretary-wwii-vets-need-to-get-over-pearl-harbor

During Monday's daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest effectively told World War II veterans who may be angry that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor without offering an apology they should get over it.

Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese sneak-attack bombing of the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, which claimed the lives of 2,403 Americans and injured 1,178 others. Pressed about why the meeting, which will take place later this month, is happening, Earnest said:

Well, listen, obviously the decision by Prime Minister Abe to travel to Pearl Harbor is a decision that he made, and he issued a statement today indicating that is he hopeful that his visit will be an indication of how adversaries have an opportunity to reconcile their differences and pursue a peaceful future together as allies. That's certainly what happened between the United States and Japan. And there are presidents in both parties that have sought to advance those shared goals, and certainly Japanese prime ministers in a variety of parties that have sought to advance those shared goals.  I know that Prime Minister Abe also indicated his desire to travel to Pearl Harbor as a show of respect for those who died on that day. 

So, look, President Obama visited Hiroshima earlier this year.  It was a powerful image seeing the American president and the Japanese prime minister standing side by side in that city.  And I would expect that seeing the Japanese prime minister and the American president standing side by side in Pearl Harbor, at the memorial of the USS Arizona, just a couple of weeks after the 75th anniversary of that attack, I think will be similarly powerful. And I think it is just one more occasion for us to remember the substantial sacrifice and the remarkable patriotism of the greatest generation of Americans.

President Obama's grandfather played an important role in World War II in terms of signing up to fight for his country and remembering that greatest generation of Americans, his grandfather is obviously at the forefront of his mind.  But millions of Americans, I think, certainly can spend some time this week remembering the remarkable contribution and the remarkable sacrifice that millions of Americans made to ensure that the United States emerge victorious from World War II.

Pressed further about the arrangements surrounding Abe's upcoming visit, Earnest said:

Well, listen, there had always been a number of conversations between the U.S. president and the prime minister of Japan about the symbolic value of an American presidential visit to Hiroshima.  And I know there had been discussions previously about the Japanese prime minister visiting Pearl Harbor, as well.  I think if the two were directly linked, they probably would have been announced simultaneously, but they were not.  But, look, there have always been discussions about these important symbolic gestures, and there's no downplaying the significance of the Japanese prime minister's decision to visit Pearl Harbor just three weeks after the 75th anniversary of the attacks there.

Finally, he became engaged in a back-and-forth with The New York Times' Gardiner Harris about how American military veterans, particularly those who served in World War II, would see the visit. It went down something like this:

Harris: Josh, when the Prime Minister from Japan comes to the Pearl Harbor Memorial—one of the reasons this hasn't happened for so long is the Japanese don't feel that they have anything to apologize for generally.  They feel that the attack grew out of the oil embargo and all this.  So how are veterans' groups going to react with Abe showing up and just sort of bowing but no apology?  Is there not going to be an apology?  And how do you think that's going to play in the United States?  Because from the United States' point of view, of course, the Pearl Harbor attack was completely unjustified and a total surprise, and an act of total violence and war that was, from our perspective—there is no justification for it whatsoever.

So, I mean, this was obviously a problem when the President went to Hiroshima—there were people in Japan who believed the United States shouldn't have dropped the atomic weapon; we don't feel that way.  So how is this going to play out?

Earnest: Well, listen, I don't want to prejudge at this point what Prime Minister Abe may choose to say when he visits Pearl Harbor.  I think that most Americans would warmly receive the sentiment that he expressed in his statement earlier today.  He indicated that he will visit Pearl Harbor, together with President Obama, to "mourn the souls of the victims."  He continued saying, "I would like to express my resolve toward the future that the tragedy of wars should never be repeated again.  At the same time, I'm hoping to make it an opportunity to send out a message about the value of reconciliation between Japan and the United States."

So again, I think the kind of sentiment that's being expressed by the prime minister of Japan is one that would be warmly received by most Americans.  But, obviously, the benefits of a visit like this is it displays the kind of opportunity that lies for America's future, that lies ahead.

Not long ago, within the lifetime of many Americans, the United States and Japan were at war.  And hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of our citizens were killed in that war.  And 70 years later, the United States and Japan actually have formed an alliance that has benefited both our countries and our national security and our economy.  And I think this visit further underscores the benefits of pursuing peace and reconciliation.

Harris: But you don't think people are going to sort of see the guy coming from a country that caused the deaths to occur saying simply, "Well, we'll mourn the deaths, but I'm not going to say that I even feel bad about causing the deaths?"

Earnest: Listen, I can't speak for every single American and how they will respond to or react to this particular situation.  If I were a World War II veteran who was drafted by the United States military to go and fight for our country overseas in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack, I might feel quite embittered.  And I think it would be a perfectly natural and understandable human reaction to not be particularly satisfied with the words of the Japanese Prime Minister.

But I think the thing that we know about the greatest generation of Americans is they're anything—well, let me say it this way.  This greatest generation of Americans, I think we take a risk if we underestimate their patriotism and their capacity to set aside their own personal interests and prioritize the ambition and opportunity of the American people. 

And so, yes, there may be some who feel personally embittered.  But I'm confident that many will set aside their own personal bitterness, not because they're personally satisfied by the words of the prime minister, but because they recognize how important this moment is for the United States.  And that's certainly why they qualify to be described as the greatest generation.

And there you have it. The "voice" of the president of the United States telling surviving World War II veterans who might feel bitter about the Japanese prime minister visiting Pearl Harbor without so much as an apology to "set it aside" for their country. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0500
Pastors Implore Tullian Tchividjian to 'Repent of His Wickedness' After Remarriage http://www.charismanews.com/culture/61678-pastors-implore-tullian-tchividjian-to-repent-of-his-wickedness-after-remarriage http://www.charismanews.com/culture/61678-pastors-implore-tullian-tchividjian-to-repent-of-his-wickedness-after-remarriage

Shortly after Tullian Tchividjian announced his remarriage, a group of pastors implored the former minister to "repent of his wickedness." 

"Inasmuch as Tullian Tchividjian has habitually and impenitently used his public platform, his family's good name and the name of Christ for his own selfish ends, we believe that he has disqualified himself from any form of public vocational ministry," reads the letter from a handful of fellow clergy, including Tchividjian's former senior pastor, Kevin Labby. 

"For the sake of his eternal soul, we implore Tullian Tchividjian to repent of his wickedness and demonstrate his repentance by submitting himself to the leadership of his church of membership, pursuing forgiveness, healing and reconciliation with those whom he has sinned against," the letter continues.

Tchvidjian announced his new bride, Stacie Tchividjian, in November, more than a year after he resigned from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 2015.

Though he was defrocked after the incident, Willow Creek Church in Orlando, pastored by Labby, soon brought him onto its staff. However, Tchividjian was soon fired for "previously undisclosed" failures. 

"As I have previously said both publicly and privately, I am guilty of, and I continue to grieve, some decisions I've made, some things I've said and people I've hurt throughout my entire life, but specifically in 2014 and 2015. I wish I could go back in time and do those things differently," Tchividjian writes in a Facebook post.  

"I can't. Where I have been able to make amends for hurt that I have caused, I have attempted to do so. In most cases, amends have been made, and in some cases they haven't. All I can do (and have been doing) is to learn from the past and live in the present. I am very grateful for the small group of wise and godly people who are (and have been) walking through this meticulously with me. I am fully accountable to them and there is nothing that they do not know. I am now, and have been, focused on my relationship with God, my new wife Stacie, my three kids and one daughter-in-law and my grandson." {eoa}

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured Culture Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0500
Liberal Media Puts Its Pretentiousness on Full Display http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61676-liberal-media-puts-its-pretentiousness-on-full-display http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61676-liberal-media-puts-its-pretentiousness-on-full-display

During Tuesday morning's briefing with the press, Jason Miller and Sean Spicer of the Presidential Transition Team fielded several questions that demonstrated the level of pretentiousness the liberal mainstream media will carry into the new administration.

The very first question, from Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs, was almost literally, "Is President-elect Trump seriously going to tell Boeing to cancel the contracts for the new Air Force One aircraft, and where did he even come up with his $4 billion number?" She was referencing a tweet President-elect Donald Trump made earlier in the morning in which he said:

Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!

Miller addressed the question by noting the $4 billion current price tag is based on the purchase price and outfitting of the two new 747 aircraft, as well as "research and development" costs that have been rolled into the contract. He said that equates to a "big number" and Trump is looking everywhere he can to keep government costs down.

Details of any changes, if there are any, will come after the president-elect is inaugurated.

In a follow-up question, Miller was asked if Trump had consulted with the Pentagon or with Boeing before he made the tweet. Yes, they actually asked if the president-elect sought permission to discuss a government contract.

Miller again responded that $4 billion is a big price tag for two aircraft, and that the president-elect wanted to make sure there was "absolute accountability" for government contracts. He reiterated any details of changes would have to come after the inauguration.

Another reporter noted that in 2013, Trump had tweeted about purchasing shares in Boeing and demanded to know what interest he might still have with the government contractor. Miller said those stocks were sold in June.

Spicer and Miller were also grilled about Trump's timeline for nominating a secretary of state, implying that—despite being on the fastest pace of filling a Cabinet since 1968—the president-elect was dallying. Miller noted Trump was making sure he "got this important pick right" by finding someone who could best articulate and represent the administration's foreign policy and who would be good at "making deals."

As to media questions about the number of potential candidates and the people who have been seen coming and going from Trump Tower in recent days, he said some of those who have met with Trump are candidates and others are people from whom the president-elect is seeking input. No timeline is set for an announcement.

Additionally, Spicer updated the press with the following information:

  • Tuesday night, at an event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump will formally introduce U.S. Marine Corps Gen. (ret.) James "Mad Dog" Mattis as his choice to lead the Department of Defense.
  • A new poll out today indicates 60 percent of Americans—including 54 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats—have a more favorable view of Trump following the announced deal to keep 1,000 Carrier air conditioning jobs in the U.S.
  • Among those meeting with Trump Tuesday are ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham.
  • Trump will attend the Army/Navy football game on Saturday in Baltimore, spending one half on the Army side and one half on the Navy side, as is tradition for a commander-in- chief. {eoa}
]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Openly Gay Bureaucrat Investigating One of the Nation's Most Prominent Christian Organizations http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/american-dispatch/61675-openly-gay-bureaucrat-investigating-one-of-the-nation-s-most-prominent-christian-organizations http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/american-dispatch/61675-openly-gay-bureaucrat-investigating-one-of-the-nation-s-most-prominent-christian-organizations

Donald Trump may be the next president of the United States, but the war on religious liberty rages on. 

The other day I received word that Connecticut's openly gay comptroller is targeting American Family Association, one of the nation's most prominent and respected Christian ministries.

If Comptroller Kevin Lembo has his way, AFA could be kicked out of the Connecticut State Employee Campaign for Charitable Giving (CSEC)—even though they are qualified as a charity under the rules.

Lembo sent AFA a letter accusing the organization of possibly being in "violation of the regulations governing the Connecticut State Employee Campaign for Charitable Giving that broadly prohibit discrimination."

He specifically mentioned AFA's petition to boycott Target over its transgender bathroom policies and ministry statements regarding traditional marriage.

"These actions and statements are extremely troubling to me—not only as an openly gay father and spouse—but as administrator of CSEC," he wrote. "The AFA's statements and mission not only appear to discriminate against the LGBTQ communities. Click here to read the comptroller's full screed.

If Lembo follows through on his threats, it would mean state employees would not be able to contribute to AFA through the program, AFA president Tim Wildmon says.

"This is a state government official coming directly after your AFA, and the letter is nothing more than an attack on AFA for standing strong for biblical principles," Wildmon said. "Moreover, it is an unconstitutional attack on the First Amendment rights of all religious organizations. The government is not allowed to dictate to religious charities what they can believe in order to participate in the public square."

AFA general counsel Abraham Hamilton III minced no words in his interpretation of the state comptroller's investigation.

"What's being foisted upon the American Family Association is the latest iteration of 'If you don't adhere to the nouveaux orthodoxy of the day—which is the sexual deviancy agenda—then you must be castigated and expelled from public life,'" he tells OneNewsNow.

First Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser accused Limbo of abusing the power of his office.

"It is surprising that a government would still be so bold as to engage in clearly unconstitutional religious viewpoint discrimination," Sasser told me. "He is abusing his office by inappropriately using it to advance his own personal agenda, and it is really disturbing."

And to be perfectly blunt, these types of attacks by far-left bureaucrats are why Donald Trump won the presidency.

"This issue ... really brings into focus why a lot of people supported Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton," Hamilton told OneNewsNow. "People feared the federal government—more specifically the IRS or the Department of Justice—being used as means of cultural and societal intimidation."

So an openly gay government official is investigating a Christian ministry over its religious beliefs? I'm certain Mr. Limbo would enjoy receiving a telephone call from you—or perhaps an email. Click here to let him know what we think about anti-Christian bigotry. {eoa}

]]>
Todd Starnes Featured American Dispatch Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Judicial Watch: Free the Tapes, While We're at It, What Did President Obama Know? http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61674-judicial-watch-free-the-tapes-while-we-re-at-it-what-did-president-obama-know http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61674-judicial-watch-free-the-tapes-while-we-re-at-it-what-did-president-obama-know

The government watchdog group Judicial Watch launched two new initiatives Monday evening.

In a motion filed in an existing lawsuit, the group requested that all of the videotaped depositions conducted as part of an inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server be made public. Then, they filed a new Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking email communications between President Barack Obama and key staffers regarding convicted felon former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

In the motion to release the recorded depositions, Judicial Watch argues:

[T]he Court has stated, "The public has a right to know details related to the creation, purpose and use of the clintonemail.com system."

Because the public has a right to know, the audiovisual recordings of the depositions in this case must be unsealed. The sole reason for sealing the recordings in the first place was to avoid their misuse during the 2016 campaign season. Now that the election is over, that reason no longer exists.

Prior to her deposition, Mills moved for a court seal on the audiovisual recordings of her deposition. Subsequently, the court granted Ms. Mills' motion and also sealed the audiovisual recordings of all depositions until further notice.

A coalition of 19 media outlets has written to the judge in the case in support of the release of the videos. The motion is opposed by attorneys representing:

  • The State Department
  • Former State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin
  • Former State Department Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat John Bentel
  • Former State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl D. Mills
  • Former State Department IT staffer Bryan Pagliano

"The public and the media have a right to see these deposition videos of top officials from the Clinton State Department," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "The courts and the continued work of Judicial Watch is clearly the only hope of bringing sunlight into the Clinton email issue and completing the public record."

Judicial Watch's FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeks access to FBI "302" reports of interviews of President Obama, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel taken as part of its criminal investigation of Blagojevich. The investigation was looking into the then-governor's efforts to "sell" Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder after the 2008 election.

Blagojevich was convicted of 18 separate offenses and, in December 2011, was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison. Several of the convictions were overturned by an appeals court, but in August of this year, he was re-sentenced to the original 168 months.

Judicial Watch had made a FOIA demand for the 302s in June of 2011. The existence of the records was confirmed in 2012, but denied on the grounds that they were exempt from disclosure because Blagojevich's criminal case was still ongoing.

Judicial Watch filed suit to try to obtain the 302s in May 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Blagojevich's convictions. It closed that initial lawsuit while Blagojevich was being resentenced, but now that he has been re-sentenced, it has refiled the suit, which states:

[U]nder the circumstances it cannot be said that release of the requested records could reasonably be expected to interfere with whatever is left of Blagojevich's criminal prosecution. The public should not be forced to wait any longer to review the FBI 302s of President Obama, former White House Chief of Staff and now City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, or Senior Adviser to the President Valerie Jarrett while Blagojevich pursues his second, plainly futile appeal.

"The FBI interviewed Barack Obama eight years ago about the selling of his Senate seat," Fitton said. "The American people should finally get to see these FBI interview reports. The public has a right to know precisely how Obama and his senior White House advisers Emanuel and Jarrett responded to Blagojevich's corrupt attempts sell Obama's Senate seat."

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500
3 Men Imprisoned for Christ in Iran Miraculously Set Free http://www.charismanews.com/world/61673-3-men-imprisoned-for-christ-in-iran-miraculously-set-free http://www.charismanews.com/world/61673-3-men-imprisoned-for-christ-in-iran-miraculously-set-free

Three Christians who spent months in one of the worst prisons in the world are now free. 

Earlier this year, Iranian authorities arrested Bahram Nasibov, Eldar Gurbanov and Yusif Farhadov for allegedly conducting missionary activity. 

In their first television interview hours after being released, the men told CBN News they knew the mission into Iran was risky.

"We were expecting God to do something new for us on this trip, but we had no idea of the events that would transpire hours after we arrived," said 37-year-old Nasibov.

On June 24, 2016, the three men from Azerbaijan, a country along Iran's northwestern border, set out to meet with Iranian Christians.

The men left the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku and headed to the town of Astara, on the Iranian-Azerbaijani border. An hour or so later they were inside Iran. From the border area, they picked up a local taxi and drove about 300 miles south to the Iranian capital city of Tehran.

Facing Hard Time in Iran's Notorious Evin Prison

Farhadov was in an apartment leading a Bible study when a sudden knock on the door caught them by surprise.

"We opened the door and 20 to 25 men suddenly rushed into the apartment," Farhadov told CBN News.

Gurbanov, 48, said he immediately knew they were in trouble.

"When they burst into the apartment, I knew right away that they were police officers, or government agents, because I've had similar experiences in Azerbaijan when authorities would raid our Christian meetings," said Gurbanov.

After questioning, the government charged them with trying to convert Iranians to Christianity and sent the men to Evin Prison, Iran's most notorious jail.

"The judge told us that we could spend 10 years in prison," said Nasibov.

The next two months meant days of solitary confinement.

"I've been arrested many times for sharing Christ's love but never put in solitary confinement," said Gurbanov. "This was a new experience and I would never wish it upon anyone."

A tiny, cold room. No windows. No bed. Just a sink.

"Of course I had thoughts that I could spend the rest of my life in prison, but I never regretted going to Iran."

That's because in 2003, Nasibov says God posed a question to him from the book of Isaiah.

"He asked 'Whom shall I send to the nations?' And I said, 'Here am I, send me,'" replied Nasibov. "Since then I've tried not to miss an opportunity to go and preach the gospel in other countries."

Interrogated and Harassed, but God Gives Hope

"Right before we left, twice I had a dream that we would be arrested, so naturally I was apprehensive about the trip," said Farhadov. "But as I sat in my prison cell, God reminded me of that dream but also gave me a promise from Psalm 2 that He will make the nations our inheritance. That gave me hope and strength to endure."

They were routinely interrogated and harassed, but Gurbanov said he never lost hope.

"The circumstances in the prison were very difficult so to stop it from affecting me emotionally and physically, I started praying, even singing aloud and the guards didn't even stop me!"

Nor did they stop Farhadov from singing that well-known song, How Great is our God, in his native Azeri language.

"I was singing this song so loud, and I was not ashamed, because I wanted to proclaim aloud the truth of the song."

While in jail, the men said they met a secret Iranian Christian convert who came to faith with the help of Saeed Abedini, the American pastor released this past January after spending more than three years in Evin Prison.

"We prayed with him, shared communion together and we helped him receive the Holy Spirit," said Farhadov. "Actually, it was really neat because I used to watch stories about Saeed on Christian World News and to know that we played a small part in Saeed's story is a real blessing."

24/7 Prayer for Men's Release

Days after their arrest in June, Alexander Neretin, a Russian pastor, started to campaign for the men's release.

"We appealed to different humanitarian organizations, human rights organizations, Christian organizations and even non-Christian organizations," said Neretin.

Churches across Azerbaijan and in neighboring countries also joined in to try help set the men free.

"Actually, for nearly two months, we prayed 24-hours a day for our brothers in Iran. Everybody was so eager to pray."

Then in what Neretin says was nothing short of a miracle, Iranian authorities decided to allow the men to return to Azerbaijan on bail. 

Neretin flew to Iran carrying $85,000 in bail money. Days later, Nasibov, Gurbanov and Farhadov, flew back home free men. CBN News met them hours after their return.

"We are so thankful to those who prayed for us and helped to raise the bail money," Gurbanov told CBN News. "This could have happened to anyone; we are not special, but people reached out to us and that means a lot."

Their case is still pending. 

While the three will probably never be allowed to travel to Iran again, they said the ordeal has done little to dampen their passion to share Christ's love with others.

This is only the beginning for me," exclaimed a confident Nasibov. "There are people in the world who are waiting for me to come tell them about Jesus. I am ready and I am not afraid."

Farhadov said the experience was anything but easy. "Still I'm thankful to God for the privilege I had to be a part of His work and in a small way to suffer for the name of Christ." {eoa}

Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

]]>
George Thomas/CBN News Featured World News Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0500
With The Liberal Media in Denial, These Are 5 Reasons Americans Voted for Change http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61672-with-the-liberal-media-in-denial-these-are-5-reasons-americans-voted-for-change http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61672-with-the-liberal-media-in-denial-these-are-5-reasons-americans-voted-for-change

Even as President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and the Presidential Transition Team continued to build and administration to "Make America Great Again," the liberal mainstream media, the political establishment class and the Left in general remain in denial.

With the inauguration now just 45 days away, Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network, hopes to explain what happened back on Nov. 8 that they seemingly remain ill-equipped to understand. In an op-ed for LifeZette, he wrote there were several elements that contributed to the tearing down of the "Blue Wall," the rejection of the philosophy of globalism and the obliteration of the elite Establishment.

"There were certainly a few motivating factors that allowed folks in the quiet of the voting booth to so consistently choose as they did," he wrote. They were:

  1. Natural law hasn't changed.
    Most people of faith have an external set of principles for making judgments when it comes to matters of truth and morality.
     
  2. The God-given rights and dignity of humans has not changed.
    We have collectively hit our tipping point in tolerance of those who we see as wanting to tear down the nation our grandparents and parents fought and died for so that we may live free.
     
  3. Basic man hasn't changed.
    The basic nature of man has not changed over the thousands of years of recorded history. And we understand the importance of recognizing the unchanging rights and the God-given freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.
     
  4. America's strength comes from law and order.
    The Nazis, the Red Russians, Chinese, Koreans and others launched their creation of godless, humanistic, brutal and freedom-less societies by trashing the social order, taking over medical care and then seizing large parts of national economies.
     
  5. We were lied to, we were threatened and we were bullied.
    Since the end of World War II, there have been political "leaders" who looked at citizens as animals produced by evolution and placed on the earth to be used, abused and destroyed by them in a quest for power, when God placed them on this earth to make it into a better place for all of God's creation.

"America is our nation," he wrote. "It was blessed by God and created by our collective work, sweat and blood. It's not owned by the elites or the globalists or the people who flood across our borders to plunder, pillage and loot. Because of God's abundant blessings on our nation, our people have always been generous to the whole world, even sometimes to our own detriment.

"Yes, all our people are flawed. A depraved nature and sin does that. But God's plan of redemption is what can transform lives through repentance, forgiveness and salvation.

"We saw at the top of one ticket a person who admitted failures but also pledged to uphold the founders' wishes. We saw on the other ticket a selfish, pathological liar who wanted power more than anything and to obey her own direction rather than submitting to what God and the founders said we should do.

"And we chose what we thought would be the party to lead us back to the foundations and into the future. It was a leap of faith and a step toward principles that have always brought out the best in Americans—humility, repentance, truth, compassion, hard work and personal faith. And we voted." {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500
Thousands of Mexicans Forced Out of Homes for Faith in Christ http://www.charismanews.com/world/61671-thousands-of-mexicans-forced-out-of-homes-for-faith-in-christ http://www.charismanews.com/world/61671-thousands-of-mexicans-forced-out-of-homes-for-faith-in-christ

Mexico has a "policy of denial" about the thousands of evangelical Christians forced out of their homes because of their beliefs, according to a Mexican human-rights activist.

Pedro Faro Navarro, director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, accused the government of "making up the figures" of people forcibly displaced because they have left the "traditionalist" church, which blends aspects of indigenous paganism and popular Catholicism.

He said the scale of the problem is hard to gauge. "Unfortunately, there are no records that we can use to officially count the number of cases because the Mexican state has never recognized the problem of forced internal displacement," he said.

According to the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, a non-governmental organization, more than 287,000 cases of forced internal displacement took place in the last five years. But the U.N.-accredited National Human Rights Commission puts the figure at around 35,000.

Faro disputes both figures. "There are some who speak of more than a million people," he said. "For the time being, what we know for [sure] is that the lowest number is always the official one." Many families have to leave their homes, and nobody comes to count them, he added.

In 2015, World Watch Monitor reported that 12 evangelical Christian families were allowed to return home five years after they were forced out by village elders. But many other families remain isolated, without access to schools or medical facilities.

Thirty people from the Tuxpan de Bolaños community in western Mexico were forced out of their homes in January 2016 because, they say, they were attracting other villagers to evangelical Christianity, posing a threat to their ancestral traditions.

They were forced out in the middle of the night and were given temporary shelter in warehouses in the town of Bolaños, 30 miles away and a three-hour drive through the mountains.

Eleven months in, the families remain in Bolaños, having been moved three times. They live under threat of moving again because their landlord is about to sell the warehouses. The families live, sleep, cook and eat in two rooms.

Víctor de la Cruz González, a primary schoolteacher, was working away from home when his wife, Rosa, and two children, aged 3 and 9, were displaced. He continues to work in the village, but his family is not welcome back. Rosa said: "My husband comes to see us when he has money ... I went back [to Tuxpan de Bolaños] once, and people threw stones at the house we were sleeping in. They left holes in the roof and door."

The pressures faced by evangelical Christians are most common in indigenous communities because of the perception that they are disrupting cultural life. The two parties cannot seem to find a solution, Faro said.

"They have searched for a dialogue for many years, but core beliefs end up dominating the matter. It's very difficult because each case must be examined within its cultural complexity," he said.

"Sometimes there are reports that seem to be related to religious differences, but when you analyze them, you discover that this is only one of the factors, that they also involve political interests or power struggles. Each case is different and has to be well-analyzed."

Faro added that he expects the displacement problem to escalate because the state does not take action against the perpetrators. "The states in the north are most problematic, but no part of the country is free of this crisis," he said.

There is no national law regarding forced internal displacement because the state doesn't want to acknowledge there is a problem, Faro said.

"Accepting that it exists means having to confront it," he added, but he said the Mexican government would not intervene because it was trying to encourage foreign investment in territories "where there are indigenous villages that are practically for sale."

This lack of intervention at a national level "encouraged local governments to try and solve their own cases with the social programs already in place", he said. "[The states of] Chiapas, and later Guerrero, created their own legislation, but it is not being regulated, which renders it non-operational; they are laws that don't function in practice. A project for a federal law is currently being discussed; it is an initiative by several senators and representatives, but it is not making any impact in government."

Because he says he feels the Mexican government ignores the problem, Faro has reported the situation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an institution that promotes human rights across the Americas.

Faro said he believes the local government in Chiapas, where the Fray Bartolomé center is situated, is especially compromised in its duty to maintain law and order because of complicity by some individuals in local crime networks. 

"Chiapas has suffered for many years due to an armed internal conflict between its drug cartels, but there are also criminal organizations that do as they like, with open collaboration with, and protection from, the authorities. Civil servants in the government don't do anything against these groups because they are accomplices. The situation exists in varying degrees in [the other states of] Coahuila, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Veracruz and Jalisco. However, I can guarantee that there are no states without any problems."

Evangelical families' isolation is compounded by the traditional Day of the Dead, and Halloween—the modern-day variant imported from the U.S. Both are widely celebrated in schools, but evangelical Christian families have said their children were forced to take part in the celebrations against their will.

In June, more than 100 Protestants were asked by the local authority to leave their village for not taking part in local festivals.

In 2009, one Protestant family was told they could not bury their child in a local graveyard because they had left the "traditionalist" church. They were subjected to the illegal confiscation of their properties, physical violence and denial of health services. The village authorities then forbade commercial transactions with them. With little political will to intervene, and traditionalists and evangelicals at a stalemate, Faro sees no sign of imminent improvement. Without renewed efforts at dialogue between the two parties, he said evangelicals' marginalization will only worsen.

{eoa}

This article originally appeared on World Watch Monitor.

]]>
World Watch Monitor Featured World News Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500
Why 2017 May Be the Greatest Year of Prophetic Fulfillment in History http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61670-why-2017-may-be-the-greatest-year-of-prophetic-fulfillment-in-history http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61670-why-2017-may-be-the-greatest-year-of-prophetic-fulfillment-in-history

The coming year could bring a significant amount of judgment as detailed in Revelation 13, end-times expert Irvin Baxter tells Jim Bakker.  

"There are two major prophetic fulfillments, and either of them could happen in the next 12 months," Baxter says. "One ... is the war that's going to kill one-third of mankind." 

Watch the video to see more. 

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500
Rick Joyner, Dr. Michael Brown Offer Prophetic Insight Into Coming Revival http://www.charismanews.com/culture/61669-rick-joyner-dr-michael-brown-offer-prophetic-insight-into-coming-revival http://www.charismanews.com/culture/61669-rick-joyner-dr-michael-brown-offer-prophetic-insight-into-coming-revival

Twenty years ago, Dr. Michael Brown followed the Spirit in the Brownesville revival. Now, the same Spirit of expectation hovers around a coming revival in Rick Joyner's Charlotte.  

"Bob Jones prophetically saw that revival," Joyner says of Brownesville.  

Jones then prophesied some of the buildings used for Brown's Fire School of Ministry would send ships all over the world. 

Click here to watch the video to see what this means. 

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured Culture Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:30:00 -0500
How the Spirit Inspired 25 National Intercessors to Launch a Prayer Movement http://www.charismanews.com/us/61668-how-the-spirit-inspired-25-national-intercessors-to-launch-a-prayer-movement http://www.charismanews.com/us/61668-how-the-spirit-inspired-25-national-intercessors-to-launch-a-prayer-movement

Mary Colbert is setting up a nationwide network of intercessors to cover the world's leaders in prayer. The new program, called Nation Builders, has 25 different leaders across the United States, and Colbert says it's still growing.

The program started during the 2016 election. Colbert says years ago, she heard from a patient who had received a prophetic word: Donald Trump would become president.

"I personally immediately knew and believed it was a word from God," Colbert said. "I really thought, in reading the details of it, this is so God. Because God is detailed, not general. And so I immediately became very excited about it, shared the word with almost every major minister in the country. I made copies and mailed it out to them, so that everybody would know that this was probably going to be the direction our Lord was going to take."

But as the election progressed, Colbert received a second word from the Lord: "Mary, I'm going to do what I said I would, but if you think this is going to happen without prayer, you need to think again."

This word spurred Colbert to find a way to unite the body of Christ in prayer. With the help of her son, she set up a prayer conference call. Every morning, at 9:00 a.m. EST, Christian leaders would lead people in 15 minutes of deliberate prayer for the nation, for the election and for wisdom for those in authority. Colbert says one conference call included 100,000 people. She said most morning, the calls were so full of participants that people who called on time—at 9:00—couldn't even get in because the call was already packed.

"When God breathes on something and it's Him, all you have to do is be obedient and do what He tells you to do, and He breathes on it and it takes off," Colbert said. "There is no other way to explain it, how it took off. It took off in such a massive way that by the time we were coming to the end of the prayer, and of course our victory was ours, the next day I got inundated from people all over the country, thousands of calls and emails: 'Please don't stop it,' 'I've become used to this prayer every day.'"

This left Colbert in a difficult situation. She felt God had only instructed her to set up this prayer call for the time frame of the election.

"I can't go beyond what God has told me to do," Colbert said. "Even if people are pushing you, you can't go past what God has told you to do. Because then you're in the flesh, and you're in sin. Now the people are pressing in. So I went back and said, 'Father, what do you want me to do? All these thousands of people want to continue prayer.' And all of a sudden, it was like, 'Delegate it!'"

She invited leaders who were serious about continuing the call to set up a conference call in their own community. The leaders, dubbed Nation Builders, could set their own time for the prayer. Colbert says some Nation Builders have weekly calls, while others operate daily. And every leader is thoroughly vetted by the ministry before being given the Nation Builders platform. Twenty-five Nation Builders have already established regular prayer conference calls, and Colbert says more are being added.

Though the election is over, the prayer calls continue to focus on interceding for those in positions of authority. Colbert says that can be anyone from police officers and first responders to top-ranking politicians.

To find a Nation Builders call near you, check out the full listing below. For regular updates on new Nation Builders groups, visit www.marycolbert.us and sign up for her newsletter.

Full Prayer Hosts listing, organized by time zone:

DJ Daly - Eastern Standard Time
Hosting: Fridays
Time: 9:00-9:15am EST
Phone Number: 641-715-0700
Code: 230273

Pat McClure - Eastern Standard Time
Michigan
Hosting: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
Time: 8:00-8:15am EST
Phone Number: 641-715-0632
Code: 988133

Susie Mills - Eastern Standard Time
Ohio
Hosting: Thursdays
Time: 6:30-6:45pm EST
Phone Number: 712-832-8330
Code: 4943728

Abigail Greene - Eastern Standard Time
Michigan
Hosting: Saturdays
Time: 10:00-10:30am EST
Phone Number: 712-832-8310
Code: 991354 

Melissa Porreca - Eastern Standard Time
Ohio
Hosting: Wednesdays
Time: 9:00-9:15am EST
Phone Number: 712-451-0235
Code: 519106 

Gerri Vita - Eastern Standard Time
New York
Hosting: Tuesday & Sunday
Time: 8:30-9:15am EST
Phone Number: 712-451-0200
Code: 578103 

Denise Edwards - Eastern Standard Time
Michigan
Hosting: Monday-Friday
Time: 9:00-9:15am EST
Phone Number: 605-475-4120
Code: 5034950 

Lori Scott - Eastern Standard Time
ME, NH, VT, MA, RI & CT
Hosting: Monday-Friday
Time: 8:00-8:15am EST
Phone Number: 712-770-8023
Code: 907880 

Pastor Calton & Elvira Craig - Central Standard Time
Texas
Hosting: Monday - Friday
Time: 7:45-8:00am CST
Phone Number: 712-770-4010
Code: 373267 

Amy Ruth Tekiah - Central Standard Time
Alabama
Hosting: Fridays
Time: 8:00-8:15am CST
Phone Number: 712-770-4010
Code: 790864

Judith Angel- Central Standard Time
Texas
Hosting: Monday - Friday
Time: 8:00-8:15am CST
Phone Number: 712-451-0242
Code: 422307 

Jeff Lamprecht - Central Standard Time
North Dakota + South Dakota
Hosting: Daily
Time: 7:45-8:00am CST
Phone Number: 641-715-0634
Code: 192899

Lois Christy - Central Standard Time
Arkansas
Hosting: Tuesday & Thursday
Time: 8:00-8:15am CST
Phone Number: 641-715-0632
Code: 988661

Beverly Gadbois - Mountain Standard Time
Colorado
Hosting: Fridays
Time: 10:00-10:15am MST
Phone Number: 641-715-3273
Code: 446532 

Paul & Elizabeth Kosydar - Pacific Standard Time
Prayer Starts December 2nd, 2016
Hosting: Fridays
Time: 6:00-6:15am PST
Phone Number: 515-604-9300
Code: 389789 

Carrie McFarland - Pacific Standard Time
California
Hosting: Monday & Thursday
Time: 6:00-6:15am PST
Phone Number: 515-739-1285
Code: 954858
 
Debbie McCallister - Pacific Standard Time
West Coast
Hosting: Monday & Thursday
Time: 9:00-9:15am PST
Phone Number: 605-475-4121
Code: 8552747 

{eoa}

]]>
Taylor Berglund Featured U.S. News Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500
Prophecy: Donald Trump's Election Was a Globe-Rattling Earthquake http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61667-prophecy-donald-trump-s-election-was-a-globe-rattling-earthquake http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61667-prophecy-donald-trump-s-election-was-a-globe-rattling-earthquake

Johnny Enlow, author of The Seven Mountain Prophecy, The Seven Mountain Mantle and Rainbow God, has written about a new word from the Lord that was published at The Elijah List on Tuesday morning.

In it, he writes:

With the election of Donald J. Trump, the United States and the world itself has just experienced a globe-rattling earthquake, which will release tsunami waves of reformation changes for some time. No matter who wins elections, God remains King at all times and this time, because He is King, He chose and voted in the man of His choice.

In the matrix of the spirit realm, as He placed Trump into power, He also released unprecedented wave after wave of the hosts of heaven. These heavenly hosts have heavily damaged three major principalities over government, media and the economy—and will continue to do so. The principalities were conspiring and doing everything in their power to sabotage this political result. They are not afraid of Trump's righteousness, but rather they're afraid of the size of the heavenly army they see moving in synchronicity with him.

In this day, it's important for all of us to understand that this is not about politics. It's not about Left or Right. It's not about our favorite political issue or our debates over the character or lack of it in "our candidate." This is about recognizing that God has intervened in the affairs of man and learning to agree with Him.

Enlow also wrote about a series of dreams he had that ended with "Trump 183," which led him to both Is. 18:3 and Jer. 18:3. Regarding those dreams, he wrote:

God has raised a Trump to His mouth and it is a Trump sound that all are hearing. As we connect Is.18:3 to Jer. 18:3, He is also letting us know that He has Potter rights to come reform something that has lost its original intention and design, and He has the right to shape as it seems best to Him.

He also wrote about the Protestant Reformation and Bob Jones' vision of revival in America. And, at the end, he offered his thoughts on Trump's commission as well as the church's role in the reformation that is to come in America.

Enlow concluded:

Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a wild and exciting ride. Everything is about to change. There will be moves and counter-moves and then moves to counter that. The key is to choose ahead of time to enjoy the ride. We tend to be so observant of the enemy that we panic and overreact when we see what He is doing. If we continue that trend, we will have "emergency" calls for fasting and praying at almost a continual basis. Rather than getting on that express, just stay in unceasing, hopeful prayer.

"Prayer" is not supposed to be just the fearful processing of troubling news. Prayer is to be faith, hope and love-inspired conversation with God. We should pray more to agree with God than to disagree with the devil. We want to remain third-heaven conscious and less second-heaven conscious. What the enemy is concocting is often irrelevant. For every "Mordecai's gallows" the enemy is surreptitiously orchestrating, there will be an accompanying "Haman's noose" being prepared for the enemy himself.

We must operate from a foundation of the expectation of good from God. If we have a choice between being cynical or gullible, go with gullible. That was the mark of Gulliver. It is time for outrageous Kingdom optimism. Everything will be working towards Kingdom advancement as never before in history. A protracted era of renaissance in the knowledge of God and His Kingdom is upon us, and if you keep that uppermost in your own narrative, you will find your personal destiny accelerated.

Click here to read the entire article. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500
Wal-Mart Settles Lawsuit Over Same-Sex Benefits http://www.charismanews.com/us/61666-wal-mart-settles-lawsuit http://www.charismanews.com/us/61666-wal-mart-settles-lawsuit

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on Friday said it would pay $7.5 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit claiming it discriminated against gay employees nationwide by denying health benefits to their spouses.

Wal-Mart and lawyers for Jacqueline Cote, the worker who filed the 2015 lawsuit in federal court in Boston, said in a court filing that the money may be split among more than 1,000 people who were denied spousal benefits between 2011 and 2014, when Wal-Mart changed its policy.

The settlement must be approved by a federal judge.

Sally Welborn, a senior vice president at Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, said in a statement that diversity and inclusion were among the company's core values.

"We will continue to not distinguish between same and opposite sex spouses when it comes to the benefits we offer under our health insurance plan," she said.

Wal-Mart, the largest private U.S. employer, began offering health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses in 2014, a year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied benefits to married gay couples.

Cote, who has worked at Wal-Mart stores in Maine and Massachusetts since 1999, said in the lawsuit that her wife, Diana Smithson, developed cancer in 2012 and Wal-Mart's denial of insurance coverage led to more than $150,000 in medical debt. Smithson died in March.

Cote in a statement on Friday said she was pleased with the settlement.

"It's a relief to bring this chapter of my life to a close," she said.

Federal employment discrimination laws do not explicitly provide protections for gay workers. But LGBT groups and the Obama administration have aggressively pushed the argument that bias against gay people is a form of sex discrimination, and three federal appeals courts are currently considering that claim.

The case is Jacqueline Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, No. 15-cv-12945. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

]]>
Daniel Wiessner/Reuters Featured U.S. News Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:15:00 -0500
California Warehouse Fire Death Toll Rises to 36 http://www.charismanews.com/us/61665-california-warehouse-fire-death-toll-rises-to-36 http://www.charismanews.com/us/61665-california-warehouse-fire-death-toll-rises-to-36

The death toll rose to 36 on Monday from a blaze that engulfed a converted warehouse during a dance party in Oakland, California, the greatest loss of life from a U.S. fire in over a decade, as searchers sifted charred ruins being treated as a crime scene.

Authorities said they were certain to find more bodies in the gutted building and were still trying to account for about 50 people reported missing by loved ones, while ruling out any drastic climb in the tally of deaths.

"If you have a best friend out there, please hug your best friend," Franchesca Dickerson, a 21-year old hairdresser, told a candlelight vigil, as she held a collage of images of a friend who died in the blaze.

"I'd give 50,000 years to hug mine," added Dickerson, who was to have joined her childhood friend, 19-year old Michalea Gregory, at the party, but changed plans because of work.

The cause of the fire, which erupted late on Friday in a sprawling two-story building leased to an artists' collective, has yet to be determined.

Officials have said arson was not immediately suspected. But charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to murder could feature in a potential criminal case, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley told a news conference.

Possible safety violations were expected to be one aspect of the investigation, with city officials having said the site was already under investigation for reports of illegal construction.

Investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives identified an "area of interest" on the ground floor that was still out of reach, said Sergeant Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

He described the spot as being at the rear of the warehouse, where makeshift studios and cubicles were clustered.

O'Malley said fire investigators and a task force from her office were working with recovery teams inside the wreckage to preserve any potential criminal evidence as they seek signs of victims and clues to the origin of the blaze.

Debris was being removed "bucket by bucket," said Deputy Fire Chief Darren White, but a large construction crane at the scene required nearby electricity lines to be shut down for several hours, as a precaution.

Fire Hazards

The nature of the fire has raised questions about possible building code violations. City officials have said the warehouse, known as the Ghost Ship, was already under scrutiny, with an inspector having visited on Nov. 17.

Municipal authorities also cited reports of people living in the structure, although it was barred to residential use. Some of those who entered the warehouse called it a potential fire trap.

The first floor, housing an artist cooperative, the Satya Yuga Collective, was a warren of partitioned studio spaces and rooms crammed with furniture, musical instruments and rugs, according to survivors, city officials and photographs posted on social media before the fire.

Two recreational vehicles believed to have been used as living quarters and work space were found parked on the ground floor inside, Kelly said.

The dance party was held on the second floor, which partially collapsed when the roof gave way. Survivors said flames spread quickly and billowing thick, black smoke blinded and choked those struggling to flee.

The 10,000-square-foot (929-sq-m) building lacked sprinklers or smoke detectors, and wooden pallets partially formed a makeshift stairway between first and second floors, officials said. It had just two exterior doorways.

Young Victims

The recovery of three more bodies took the confirmed death count to 36, making the blaze the deadliest in the United States since 100 people perished in a 2003 nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

"We absolutely believe that the number of fire fatalities will increase," Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton told reporters. But Sheriff Gregory Ahern later said he was "not anticipating any more huge numbers" of victims.

By Monday afternoon, 33 of the dead had been identified and authorities were notifying families, said Ahern, adding that three victims were from Finland, South Korea and Guatemala.

Most victims had been in their 20s and 30s, but some were younger, officials said. The site was known as a "safeplace" haven for young members of the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Kelly said.

With many bodies burned beyond recognition, families were asked to preserve items that might contain DNA to help identification. Kelly said some people died of smoke inhalation.

Officials were unsure of the numbers present when the fire erupted. One survivor has estimated them at 60 to 70.

The warehouse was one of many converted lofts on the east end of San Francisco Bay in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, a mostly Latino district where rents are typically lower than elsewhere. {eoa}

© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

]]>
Curtis Skinner and Peter Henderson/Reuters Featured U.S. News Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:45:00 -0500
It's Not Over: Rogue Republican Elector Announces He Will Not Vote for Trump and Urges Others to Join Him http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61664-it-s-not-over-rogue-republican-elector-announces-he-will-not-vote-for-trump-and-urges-others-to-join-him http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61664-it-s-not-over-rogue-republican-elector-announces-he-will-not-vote-for-trump-and-urges-others-to-join-him

Donald Trump has already lost one of his electoral votes, and there are indications that a number of additional electors may be prepared to abandon him.

Prior to the election, I warned my readers we would not officially know who the next president would be until Dec. 19. On that Monday, the 538 members of the Electoral College will gather in their state capitals in all 50 states to formally elect the next president. Throughout U.S. history, electors have voted according to the will of the people more than 99 percent of the time, but in 2016, there is a concerted effort to persuade Republican electors not to vote for Trump. 

If 37 Republican electors can be convinced to vote for someone other than Trump, that would keep Trump under the 270-vote threshold needed to win, and it would throw the election into the House of Representatives. Most people had considered this to be a long shot, but on Monday, a Republican elector named Christopher Suprun publicly announced in The New York Times that he will not cast his vote for Donald Trump. On the other side, there are at least 8 Democratic electors that have already publicly pledged to switch their votes from Hillary Clinton to a compromise Republican alternative to Trump.

So we already know there will be quite a few "faithless electors" on Dec. 19. The question will be whether or not they are able to rally enough electors to their cause to deny Donald Trump the presidency.

What Christopher Suprun has chosen to do is really unprecedented in the history of modern American politics. Not only has he publicly announced that he is not voting for Trump, he is also attempting to convince other Republican electors to join him. He explained his reasoning for this move in his editorial for the New York Times:

Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation. That attack and this year's election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day.

George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks. His leadership showed that America was a great nation. That was also the last time I remember the nation united. I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us.

Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of Saturday Night Live for bias. He tweets day and night but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.

Of course this movement started long before Suprun made his surprise announcement. A group of eight Democratic "Hamilton electors" has been lobbying for Republican electors to reject Trump and join them in agreeing on a compromise Republican alternative for quite some time. And according to Politico, those associated with this group have been in active contact with the Clinton campaign.

Advocates of the long-shot bid to turn the Electoral College against Donald Trump have been in contact with close allies of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, but the Clinton camp—and Clinton herself—have declined to weigh in on the merits of the plan.

Clinton's team and the Democratic National Committee have steadfastly refused to endorse the efforts spearheaded by a group of electors in Colorado and Washington state. But, as with the ongoing recounts initiated by Green Party nominee Jill Stein, the Clinton team has not categorically rejected them, leaving the collection of mainly Democratic electors to push forward with no explicit public support from the failed Democratic nominee or any other prominent party leaders.

Of course the Clinton team is desperate to do something to salvage this election. Clinton's lead in the popular vote has now grown to more than 2.5 million, and it might end up around 3 million by the time all the votes have been counted.

There are Clinton advocates who are arguing that the American people clearly chose Hillary Clinton to be the next president and that therefore the Electoral College should choose to reject Trump on Dec. 19. But for Christopher Suprun, the popular vote doesn't really matter. To him, it is all about "the good of the country." Here is more from his editorial in The New York Times.

The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.

Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.

It is very interesting that he brought up Ohio Governor John Kasich, because Politico is reporting that Kasich is precisely the compromise candidate the "Hamilton electors" are pushing.

Kasich is increasingly seen as the most acceptable Republican alternative to electors on both sides of the aisle, according to multiple electors familiar with the conversations. They note that Kasich defeated Trump in Ohio's primary, that the governor boasts a high approval rating in his state and that Kasich was reportedly under consideration to be Trump's vice president before he selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

"Many Electors are saying that Gov. John Kasich would be best for our country. A consensus is beginning to form that Gov. Kasich would be best positioned to unite America," Micheal Baca said in a statement to Politico on Sunday. Other electors involved in the effort confirmed this line of thinking.

Of course if it is only Christopher Suprun that switches his vote that isn't going to make enough of a difference.

The "Hamilton electors" need a total of 37 Republican electors to switch their votes to deny Trump the presidency, and according to one report, they already have 15.

In a sensational new development, TV host David Pakman says he was told by a high-level source that 15 electors in states Trump won will refuse to vote for Donald Trump.

Pakman went on to say that the electors are also lobbying other members of the electoral college not to vote for Trump.

The goal is to prevent Trump from getting the 270 electoral votes he requires to become president.

If Trump loses 37 electoral votes, it will put him under the 270 benchmark and throw America into a constitutional crisis.

Of course the only "faithless" Republican elector who has come forward publicly is Christopher Suprun. So if there actually are 14 others, we do not know their identities at this point.

But without a doubt, this election is not over yet. The votes that will decide the next president of the United States will not be cast until Dec. 19, and the next president will not be inaugurated until Jan. 20.

So we are still in "the danger zone," and Trump supporters cannot rest easy until he is officially in the White House. {eoa}

]]>
Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:30:00 -0500
When Jonathan Cahn Gave Fidel Castro a Prophetic Sign http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/61663-the-day-i-gave-fidel-castro-a-prophetic-sign http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/61663-the-day-i-gave-fidel-castro-a-prophetic-sign

This is a guest post from Rabbi Jonathan Cahn:

As the ashes of Fidel Castro are now laid to rest in Santiago, Cuba, I am at liberty to tell the story that's waited years to be told.

In 1999, for the first time since he took power in 1959, Fidel Castro agreed to open up the island of Cuba for the Gospel, under much control and surveillance, and for only one month. By this he would show the world that there was 'freedom' in Cuba—an evangelical celebration that would span the island from the east, where Castro's revolution began, to Revolutionary Square, Havana, where he began his rule. 

Word was sent to me to open the celebration in the city of Goa with the sounding of the shofar. I agreed. 

The Magi Prophecy

One week before leaving, a man from Cuba appeared at our service. He was a pastor who had been imprisoned on the island for his faith. He began speaking to us prophetically, telling us that we would go to Cuba as the magi, bearing gifts, and we would enter the palace of the king.

We were told we would go to Cuba as the magi, bearing gifts, and enter the palace of the king. I prayed as to what word I should bring to the people of Cuba. What came to me was the message of Jubilee. The Jubilee concerns those who have lost their land, their family's possession, their freedom. That was Cuba. So I came to Cuba proclaiming the God's Jubilee, His power to set free those in bondage and to bring restoration.

But I came also with something for Fidel Castro. I purposed that if God would open the door, I would give to the island's communist leader a Bible, a letter, and a shofar, the Trumpet of Jubilee, the vessel used in biblical times to proclaim freedom throughout the land. 

When we landed in Cuba we had to pass through an inspection with Cuban police going over everything in our luggage. The one thing that held us up was the Jubilee shofar. They didn't know what it was and found it suspicious. I decided to approach them, take the shofar, and show them how it worked. I sounded it. They looked stunned, and then let us go. 

In the following weeks, I spoke in churches and gatherings throughout the island to give hope and encouragement to the believers of Cuba. In place after place, Cubans came up to me and those with me to tell us that they saw visions of us coming specifically as the magi.

It was then that I realized the full significance of the word given to us before we left. As the magi had come to an unlikely place to witness the newborn life of God, so had we now come to Cuba to witness God's newborn presence there, a revival was about to break forth. Our gift to them was to strengthen and encourage them in the Lord.

At the same time, as in the account of the magi, there was opposition to that new life. There was a throne and an aging king on the throne who was fearful that the presence of Jesus in his land would be a threat to his regime. To the people of God, the magi's visitation was a sign of hope and blessing. But to the king it was a sign of alarm, something to be closely watched, and ultimately a portent of the end of his reign.

The Jubilee

At the island's eastern end, near the port city of Barracoa, I opened up the evangelical celebration, the first fully public evangelical gathering in the public squares of Cuba since the beginning of the revolution (before such things were effectively banned. I opened it by the sounding of the shofar. The communist officials watching all around me inquired why I was blowing the "Jewish horn." Someone else was watching—Fidel Castro. The events were being televised throughout the island. It was reported back to us that Castro was inquiring, "Who is this man with the beard causing such a ruckus?" and "What is this Jewish man doing in the churches?"

In many ways we were retracing the footsteps of Castro's revolution—but with a very different message and of a very different revolution. I was proclaiming the Gospel and the power of God for Jubilee, for freedom and restoration. As I spoke of these things, my translator, a man named Felix, hesitate at times to repeat them, knowing that in virtually every place, there were secret police and informers planted in the gathering. And just as potentially dangerous, all over the island, on church buildings, houses, walls, and taxi cabs there were posters plastered proclaiming the words 'El Jubileo Vienne!" "the Jubilee is Coming" or "Freedom and Release is Coming,' above a photograph of me sounding the shofar.

The Boy Named "Faith"

On the way to Havana, I picked up a book about Fidel Castro and religion. Most people don't' realize that his name, 'Fidel,' means 'faith.' But as a young boy, Fidel had begun to lose faith. He told the story of how each year, at Christmas time, he would write a letter—to the magi. And every year, he would get a cardboard trumpet. When he realized the magi didn't exist, he began to lose his faith. So it all started with a boy named 'Faith,' who first began to lose his faith over the magi. From this would ultimately come atheism, a revolution, prison camps, firing squads, and years of suffering for an entire nation—even the banning of the celebration of Christmas. And now here we were, coming to Havana, as magi who happened to be led to bring the gift of a trumpet—of Jubilee.

'And Every Man Shall Return'

 The last stop before Havana was the province of Camiguey. For my translator, Felix, it was the last night of ministry. The next day he had to return to America. I had no idea when I first asked him to join me that he had been born in Cuba, and that his family lost everything in the revolution, their possessions and their ancestral land. They fled to America where he grew up. There he came to the Lord. His dream and prayer was that one day he would return to Cuba and to his family's land and his lost inheritance, and there build a church in which he would preach the Gospel. It was ironic that as I was preaching the Jubilee to Cuba, the restoration of every man to his ancestral land, the one translating that message had himself lost his ancestral land in the Cuban revolution.

That night, they took us to the place where we would minister, a farm in the middle of nowhere, so much in the middle of nowhere that they had to transport the people to us by cattle car. Before ministering, I looked for Felix. He was wandering around the farm in a daze. I asked him what happened. He had just discovered that the land to which we had been brought to minister—was his ancestral land. It was his family's farm, the inheritance he had lost in the revolution, the place he had prayed he would one day return to. 

So here on his last night, God had brought him home. It was what I had been preaching all along throughout the land, and what he had been translating—the Jubilee, the restoration—"And every man shall return to his property." And so his journey ended with the fulfillment of that Scripture, and that prayer. And as for the church he had dreamed of building there, it had already been built, and was waiting for him to enter it. That night he preached inside the church of his inheritance. He didn't realize it until that moment—he had been a sign to Cuba, all along, with every footstep, of restoration. 

The Castle and the Star

 We arrived in the capital city of Havana. Every day there, I would gaze out my hotel room to see a centuries-old Spanish castle by the sea. I was strongly led that we had to go to the castle and see what was inside. So we did. We walked through its ancient chambers. As we turned a corner, we suddenly beheld a massive painting that stunned us. The painting depicted the magi. 

It turned out that the castle we were in was as national symbol of Cuba and was called "The Castle of the Three Kings." And in the painting, standing next to the magi was a boy holding in his hand an object that looked like a shofar—the very thing I was now bringing to Havana.

The magi followed a star. That was the one thing missing. We joked, wondering if we would somehow see a star in Havana.

We decided to go to Revolutionary Square, to pray on the site on which the evangelical gathering would take place the following day. We entered the Jose Marti Memorial, the towering monument that marks the square. The government official inside began to reveal that the tower had been built so that from the sky it would form a star. It was the star—as the star of the magi, it would mark the end and destination of our journey. It actually marked two destinations: the square in which monument of Revolutionary Square, the day before the gathering

God's people would gather together the following day, and the Presidential Palace from which Fidel Castro ruled the island. And as in the nativity account, the star would be linked to the presence of Jesus on one hand—and an aging king and a dying kingdom on the other. And it was then that we realized that we had seen that star every night as we looked out the window of our hotel room in Havana, ablaze with light in the darkness, marking the final destination of our journey.

The following day we stood in the midst of the multitudes gathered for the first evangelical celebration in Revolutionary Square. Fidel Castro also stood there witnessing the gathering that filled the plaza that had once been filled with Cubans welcoming his revolution to Havana. Now it was filled for a different purpose. It was there that arrangements began that would lead me to present the gifts to Cuba's ruler. 

The Prophetic Sign and Countdown

I received an invitation to enter the Presidential Palace. I was greeted there by one of Castro's assistants, who told me that the "Comandante" was very much aware of me and was watching my journey through Cuba. I was brought inside and presented the gifts, the Bible, a note with a message I had written him, and the shofar, the Trumpet of Jubilee Castro sent word thanking me for the gifts. He also wanted to know how I could be Jewish and believe in Jesus. The Central Communist Committee also sent word inquiring into the shofar. 

Giving the Trumpet of Jubilee to Fidel Castro was a biblical reminder of the power of God for freedom, and a prophetic sign that that power was greater than the bondages of man. The Cuban revolution had caused millions of Cubans to lose their land, their homes, their ancestral possessions, their inheritances, and their freedom—the very thing the Jubilee undoes. It had all begun as the Batista government collapsed and Castro and his guerillas swept into the city of Havana at the start of 1959. 

But the trumpet was also linked to a mathematical timing to the ending of bondage. The Jubilee ordains a countdown: "You shall count off seven sevens of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sevens of years amounts to a period of 49 years. Then you shall sound the trumpet...."

What happens if one takes the biblical countdown of Jubilee and applies it to Castro's reign, starting with the year 1959, the moment when Cuba lost its freedom. Count "seven sevens of years, seven times seven years—so that the seven sevens of years amounts to a period of 49 years." Where does it take you? It takes you to the year 2008. Did anything significant happen in 2008? 2008 was the year that ended the rule of Fidel Castro. His entire reign, from 1959 to 2008, comprised the seven sevens of years, the 49 years of the countdown ordained by God of Jubilee—the release.

What about days? Castro's reign began specifically on New Year's Day, January 1, 1959. "Seven times seven" years from that day brings us to January 1, 2008, the end of the 49th year and the beginning of the 50th. If one then counts a Jubilee of days, "seven times seven" days into that year of release, it all culminates on February 19, 2008. Was there anything significant about that day? February 19, 2008 was the exact day that after nearly a half century, the rule of Fidel Castro came to its end. On February 19, the day of release, he released his reins of power. So from its beginning on New Year's Day, January 1, 1959 to its end on February 19, 2008, Castro's reign would comprise exactly "seven times seven" years and exactly "seven times seven" days—a Jubilee of years and a Jubilee of days.

When I asked the Lord for what word I was to give to Cuba, when I proclaimed the Jubilee throughout the island, when I gave to Castro the Trumpet of Jubilee, and when the posters were plastered throughout the communist nation proclaiming "El Jubileo Viene!" "The Jubilee is Coming!" it all contained a mystery and a precise prophetic countdown to the end. Castro's reign would be timed to that countdown to end on the eve of the 50th day of the 50th year, and not a day longer - the mathematics of Jubilee. And as the countdown ordained by God leads to a release after 49 years, so at the end of that countdown, after 49 years, there would come a release, the most enduring iron grip of any ruler over any nation in the modern world came to its end.

The Other King

I have wondered since then, when Fidel Castro looked at the Jubilee Trumpet I gave him, did he ever realize its significance. I pray before he left this life he turned back to the One from the boy named "Faith" once turned away, and found forgiveness for his sins.

In the Biblical account, the aging king Herod dies, but the new born life of Bethlehem, the life of Messiah, goes on—to overcome kingdoms and change the world. As I watched the thousands of Cubans paying their last respects to their aged leader, as they lined up to enter the Jose Marti Memorial, I wondered if they realized that they were heading to a star. Fidel Castro's funeral took place under that same star which, as the star of Bethlehem marked for the magi, marked for us both the ending of a dying kingdom, and the birth of God's presence, the light of hope, a light shining in the darkness.

Castro has passed away, as did King Herod, and as do all the kings and rulers of this world, and as do all those who, as Castro once did, tried to stamp out the Gospel. But the revival that began under Castro's rule has not been stamped out. For kings and kingdoms, rulers and tyrants, all pass away, but the name of Messiah remains.  

Castro has died—but Jesus lives. And as the dictator's ashes were laid to rest in the city of Santiago, the presence of Jesus was and is as alive throughout the island as much as it ever was. It is even at this moment transforming the lives of Cubans in a way that Castro's revolution, with all its guns and powers of state, never could. The Jubilee that began in our visit to the island has not stopped, but continues.

The King lives ... and the Revolution goes on. {eoa}

The Lord told me He is releasing the angels of abundant harvest. Charisma House has partnered with me to release strategic teaching on this revelation, endorsed by James Goll and others. Visit angelsprophecy.com for more information.

]]>
Jonathan Cahn Featured Watchman on the Wall Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500
Why Can't We Focus More on All of the Good News in the World? http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61661-why-can-t-we-focus-more-on-all-of-the-good-news-in-the-world http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61661-why-can-t-we-focus-more-on-all-of-the-good-news-in-the-world

Why does "the news" have to be 99 percent bad? It is certainly true that our world is facing great challenges, and those challenges are only going to become more intense during the years ahead, but why can't we celebrate the good things that are happening as well?

For decades, one of the mantras in news organizations all over the country has been "If it bleeds, it leads," but life is not all about death and destruction. Yes, if we only focus on the positive, our life will be out of balance, but the same thing is true if we only focus on the negative. For those of us who are news junkies, it is way too easy to slip into the mindset that everything in the world is bad. Without a doubt, things are dark and getting darker, but there are also a whole lot of people out there who are doing their best to be lights in their communities.

The average American has the television on approximately five hours a day, and much of that time is spent watching "the news." Unfortunately, there are just six gigantic media corporations that control more than 90 percent of the news and entertainment we consume through our televisions, and if we allow them to pour hour after hour of programming into our minds each day, it is inevitable that they will greatly shape the way we view the world.

I don't know about you, but I don't really want ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox shaping how my family and I are going to think and feel about things.

So I am very thankful for the alternative media, but just like the mainstream media it too can have an obsessive focus on the negative.

Yes, there are definitely times to focus on the great challenges that our society is dealing with, but there should also be time to celebrate the great triumphs.

For example, today I want to tell you about Christie Jameson. After Christie and her husband, Alva, got married, they started raising two children of their own, but they quickly realized they wanted an even bigger family.

So over the years, they started adopting children nobody else wanted. At first it was just a few, but the family just kept on growing.

Over the course of several decades, Christie and Alva adopted a total of 35 children, and what makes that even more extraordinary is that 26 of those children had special needs.

Alva died in 2009, but Christie has continued to care for these precious children with all of her heart. Here is more on this incredible story from People Magazine:

She and Alva felt they had room in their home and their hearts for several more children, so they began to adopt. One child led to two, then five, then 10, then 20. Over three decades, the Jamesons adopted 35 children in all—26 of them with special needs.

"We didn't go looking for our family—most of them came to us once the word got out that we would take the kids nobody else wanted," says Jameson, now a single mom (Alva died of cancer in 2009) caring for 11 disabled children at home, including six with serious heart defects.

It is amazing individuals such as this whom our society should be celebrating.

But instead we exalt people like the Clintons, the Kardashians and our overly spoiled sports stars.

To raise even a single child takes an incredible investment of time, energy and love, but to raise 35 of them takes a person with an exceedingly special heart. And in the case of Christie Jameson that is especially true, because over the years, 12 of the special-needs children ended up passing away.

Over the years, Christie Jameson has adopted children who have Down syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol syndrome. Some of her children were physically or sexually abused and some are blind or deaf, while others have weak immune systems and are not expected to live full lives.

"Of the 35 we took in, we've lost 12," she says. "Every time, it's heart-wrenching, but if I had to do it all over again, I would. They deserved every happiness they could get in the short time that they were here. They brought a lot of joy into my life."

Someone like that should be one of the most famous people in the entire country, but instead hardly anyone has even known she has existed until now.

But of course you don't have to be anonymous in order to do good things. Just look at what is happening down in eastern Tennessee. The horrible fires that recently destroyed much of Gatlinburg were so intense they actually caused cars to melt in the overwhelming heat. It has been reported that at least 13 people were killed by the fires and at least 1,400 homes and buildings were damaged. In response to this great tragedy, Dolly Parton has decided to give all of the families that lost their homes $1,000 a month to help them rebuild their lives.

On top of Dolly Parton's pledge to donate $1,000 a month to families who lost their homes in a destructive wildfire near the Great Smoky Mountains last week, the country singer is now hosting a telethon.

The event is set for Dec. 13 in Nashville, Dollywood spokesman Pete Owns confirmed to Mashable.

The additional fundraiser comes less than a week after Parton announced in a video that her Dollywood Foundation had set up the My People Fund, which will provide $1,000 each month for up to six months to families who lost their homes in the wildfires.

It is one thing to offer words of comfort to those who are hurting, but it is another thing entirely to step up and take care of their physical needs. So we should all applaud Dolly Parton for being a leader and taking care of her neighbors during this horrible time.

In our society today, many people love with words, but not nearly enough people love with action. The following is what James 2:14-17 says in the Modern English Version:

What does it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and lacking daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," and yet you give them nothing that the body needs, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

Let us be people of great faith, but let us also endeavor to be people of great works.

When it is all said and done, people may remember what we have said, but they will definitely remember what we have done.

In a world rapidly filling with darkness, light is needed more than ever, and so let us all do whatever we can to shine a light to those around us. {eoa}

]]>
Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500
Has VP-elect Pence Been the Key to Trump's Cabinet Picks? http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61660-has-vp-elect-pence-been-the-key-to-trump-s-cabinet-picks http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61660-has-vp-elect-pence-been-the-key-to-trump-s-cabinet-picks

It seems clear from his recent public appearances that Donald Trump is taking well to the idea of becoming the next president, remaining positive during last week's first "thank-you tour" stop in Cincinnati and largely keeping out of media trouble except for a few miscellaneous tweets that have gotten the squawkers screaming.

If this is the best the Democrats and the media have to throw at Trump, the lead-up to his inauguration should be a breeze.

Not even the announcement of James "Mad Dog" Mattis as the upcoming secretary of defense generated a whole lot of comment—other than praise, that is.

One man who deserves much of the credit for the smooth and efficient transition effort is Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who, according to people in the know, has taken on an oversize role in helping Trump manage relations with Republican congressional leaders and in narrowing down the candidates for key Cabinet posts.

Eliana Johnson and Andrew Restuccia of Politico report,

During the campaign, Pence's role had been murky—even to him and his aides, who were often confused by the dueling power centers around Trump and the chaotic nature of his universe. On the campaign trail, the two men sometimes seemed out of sync. When Trump announced his running mate in July, he looked apprehensive. Their subsequent clashes on military intervention in Syria and their assessments of Vladimir Putin became a running joke on late-night television.

All that changed after Nov. 8, however, when Trump put Pence in charge of the presidential transition as his focus shifted to assembling a government. And Pence's importance as a link between the White House and GOP lawmakers is likely to grow as Trump turns to pushing through an ambitious legislative agenda.

The Hill reporters paint a semi-flattering picture of Pence's ability to generate goodwill on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate. Where the president-elect doesn't have a whole lot of close friends in Congress, Pence has plenty.

Needless to say, Pence will preside over the Senate and would provide the crucial tie-breaking vote in case a few wayward establishment Republicans lose their nerve on Trump appointments or the more controversial aspects of his agenda.

It's often said that a presidential party nominee's most important decision is the choice of his running mate. Mike Pence has turned out to be a winner on so many fronts that even the liberal media is praising him.

It also should not be discounted how important Pence's strong performance in the vice presidential debate (in early October) was to Trump's ultimate victory. Pence stood up when things were arguably at their worst—a "save" that could eventually be seen as historically game-changing.

Conservatives take comfort in knowing Trump trusts Mike Pence to shoulder much of the load in the transition process, and it appears as though he'll be a major player in helping Trump pass his agenda items. Together, they're a great team. {eoa}

This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.com. Used with permission.

]]>
Jeffrey A. Rendall Featured Opinions Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:00:00 -0500
Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Isn't Malarkey http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61659-federal-court-the-fourth-amendment-isn-t-bull http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61659-federal-court-the-fourth-amendment-isn-t-bull

The Fourth Amendment is still alive and well, thanks in part to a recent ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a Nov. 8 opinion, the court overruled a lower court decision and held that an Iraq war veteran, 1st Sgt. Matthew Corrigan, may pursue his claim for monetary damages against the District of Columbia and certain individual police officers after those officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights by ransacking his house—twice.

Corrigan is a U.S. Army reservist who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after having trained soldiers in Fallujah from 2005-2006. Following his tour in Iraq, Corrigan returned home to his apartment in a quiet corner of Washington, D.C.

Search and Seizure

In February 2010, Corrigan intended to place a call from his home to a counseling hotline for veterans, but inadvertently called the National Suicide Hotline instead.

When Corrigan informed the hotline volunteer that he was a veteran diagnosed with PTSD, the volunteer asked if he owned a gun. Unsurprisingly, the seasoned war veteran confirmed that he owned several.

The volunteer responded by asking Corrigan to "put [the guns] (which were not out in the first place) down." Corrigan explained that his guns were safely stored, but the volunteer was undeterred.

The volunteer next asked Corrigan if he intended to hurt himself or anyone else. Corrigan responded, "No." After it became apparent he was not receiving the type of counseling he sought when he made the call, Corrigan hung up and proceeded to go to sleep.

Meanwhile, the hotline volunteer notified the Metropolitan D.C. Police Department, and officers were then dispatched to Corrigan's residence for "attempted suicide" at 11:13 p.m.

By 4 a.m., the police had set up a barricade on the block, shut off the gas to his house, evacuated his neighbors, surrounded his home with armed officers and demanded that he come out. Corrigan complied but was sure to lock his door on the way out so his dog could not get out and nobody could invade his home.

Corrigan attempted to convince the officers during questioning that he was not attempting suicide, but the officers ignored him and told him they wanted to search his house. Corrigan refused to give consent to a search.

The following quote from the D.C. Circuit's opinion sets the tone for the unconstitutional escapades that followed:

The officer who had asked for his key told him: "I don't have time to play this constitutional [expletive]. We're going to break down your door. You're going to have to pay for a new door." Corrigan responded, "It looks like I'm paying for a new door, then. I'm not giving you consent to go into my place."

The police soon broke into Corrigan's home and performed a search. The police found no one inside and no dangerous or illegal items in plain view—only Matrix, Corrigan's dog that had been rescued from dogfighting. There was no evidence of any threat to human life.

That night, Corrigan checked himself into a veterans hospital for PTSD symptoms brought about from what had occurred.

Five hours later, the police broke into Corrigan's home a second time. This time, they ransacked the place by opening and dumping the contents of every bag, drawer, box and shelf onto the floor before finally satisfying themselves that no hazardous materials remained on the scene.

Fourth Amendment

The police did not seek to obtain a warrant either time before breaking in without permission. The Fourth Amendment protects "against unreasonable searches and seizures" and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court in Payton v. New York (1980) to make any warrantless search inside a home presumptively unreasonable.

However, the Supreme Court also reaffirmed in Kentucky v. King (2011) that the presumptive warrant requirement can be overcome when exigent or emergency circumstances "make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that [a] warrantless search is objectively reasonable."

A threat of immediate harm to self or others would certainly qualify as an exigency requiring immediate police intervention, but that was not what happened here.

Corrigan did not take the intrusion into his civil liberties lightly and, in February 2012, filed suit against the District of Columbia and individual police officers who broke into his home.

Corrigan sued under federal civil rights law (42 U.S.C. § 1983) allowing individuals to recover damages from police when officers violate a "clearly established" constitutional right at the time of the incident.

A right is considered clearly established if a reasonable officer would have understood at the time that his actions violated someone's constitutional rights.

As the Supreme Court reasoned in Welsh v. Wisconsin (1984), "physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed."

In Corrigan's case, the trial judge had dismissed the case, holding that a reasonable officer could have concluded that the home break-ins were justified due to exigent circumstances posed by the mistaken suicide threat.

However, in an opinion by Judge Judith Rogers, writing for the 2-to-1 majority, the D.C. Circuit reversed the lower court and held that even if the initial search was reasonable to verify whether Corrigan or anyone else was in danger, the second break-in was conclusively unconstitutional.

The police officers on scene would, of course, have been heroes if the initial search resulted in an endangered child being rescued or some other dire threat was averted.

But once it became apparent that there was no danger to anyone or anything inside Corrigan's home, the D.C. Circuit reasoned that there was no objectively reasonable basis to break-in a second time without a warrant, let alone destroy Corrigan's home.

This decision clears the way for Corrigan to seek redress for the intrusive actions that occurred six long years ago. It also sends a clear reminder to police: the Fourth Amendment is no malarkey. {eoa}

David Rosenthal is a visiting legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

This article was originally published at DailySignal.com. Used with permission.

]]>
David Rosenthal/Heritage Foundation Featured Opinions Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500
HSLDA Sues New York City Over Abuse of Homeschooling Families http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61658-hslda-sues-new-york-city-over-abuse-of-homeschooling-families http://www.charismanews.com/politics/press-releases/61658-hslda-sues-new-york-city-over-abuse-of-homeschooling-families

Tonya Acevedo, like many parents, decided to pull her child out of New York City's public school system in order to begin homeschooling.

She followed every requirement to the letter. But about a month after beginning homeschooling, she was confronted by a social worker who came to her door at 7 p.m. one evening because her child was reported as truant from school.

It's becoming a far more frequent problem as more and more families in New York City pull their children out of the failing public school system. The Home School Legal Defense Association's contact attorney for New York, T.J. Schmidt, said he spends much of his time sorting out paperwork issues between homeschooling families and school districts. He said it's hard to understand why, in a city as diverse as New York City, the system in place has not been updated.

That's why HSLDA announced Monday it has filed a lawsuit against the City of New York for what it calls "systematic mistreatment" of homeschooling families. The organization stated in a press release that the city's homeschool infrastructure is "archaic and creates unnecessary burdens for homeschooling families, school officials and social workers."

Through the lawsuit, it seeks to have these issues corrected by requiring bureaucrats to follow the state's homeschool regulations, as well as money damages.

"Family after family has found itself in legal limbo because the central office simply cannot or will not follow the timelines in the regulation," HSLDA Director of Litigation James Mason said. "More than one homeschooling family told me they had been turned over to [Child Protective Services] because of the office's delayed handling of the homeschooling paperwork."

HSLDA, in the press release, stated that New York City's administrative functions relating to homeschooling for all school districts are located in one office that is understaffed and underfunded. It said the city often requires homeschooling parents to pick up and file paperwork in person, which results in delays and, sometimes, lost paperwork.

"Even though Tanya notified both the central office and the school before she began homeschooling, the school could not flip the switch in the attendance database to turn off her son's 'absences,'" Mason said. "And the central office, always woefully behind, had not gotten around to it yet." {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Press Releases Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500
Dr. Alveda King: The Greater Good; A Dream Unfolds http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61657-dr-alveda-king-the-greater-good-a-dream-unfolds http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/61657-dr-alveda-king-the-greater-good-a-dream-unfolds

Dr. Ben Carson has accepted what turns out to be another unconventional Cabinet position offer from President-elect Donald Trump: that of HUD Secretary.

Dr. Carson wants to "make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are in need." He has said: "We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation's housing needs are met."

In light of all of this, I'm still watching, thinking and praying. At age 65, I've been dreaming of retirement. In the midst of that dream, I'm now considering that the President-elect and many of his silver-haired appointees must have been dreaming of resting, too, at some point. Many of them have lived on this earth at least six or seven decades. Yet they threw their hats in the ring with bigger dreams for a better world, a better quality of life for everyone (born and unborn).

Moses and Aaron were 80 and 83 when God sent them before Pharaoh. The apostle Paul was also no spring chicken at the height of his ministry.

If there's anything to be learned in these history-making moments, it's that age is relative in the spiritual scheme of things. God uses the young and old for His divine plans.

My dad, Rev. AD King, and my uncle, Rev. MLK, were both 39 when they were martyred in the 20th-century Civil Rights Movement. Lord Jesus was around 33 at the time of His sacrificial crucifixion and resurrection. Yet as has already been pointed out, God also uses the aged in His "Big Picture."

There's an old song, "We'll Understand It Better By and By."

Honestly, many of us don't know what's around the corner (although God's genuine prophets have some divine insight, and even the soothsayers are trying to understand).

One thing is for sure; we need to keep praying.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). {eoa}

]]>
Dr. Alveda King Featured Opinions Caucus Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500
The Shocking Truth About How Barack Obama Was Able to Prop Up the US Economy http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61656-the-shocking-truth-about-how-barack-obama-was-able-to-prop-up-the-us-economy http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61656-the-shocking-truth-about-how-barack-obama-was-able-to-prop-up-the-us-economy

Barack Obama is one of the biggest "Keynesians" of all time, but unfortunately most Americans don't even understand what that means.

In this article, I am going to share with you the primary reason why Barack Obama has been able to prop up the U.S. economy over the past eight years. If Barack Obama had not taken the extreme measures he did, we would be in the midst of a historic economic depression right now. But by propping things up in the short-term, he has absolutely demolished our long-term economic future. Like most politicians, Obama has been willing to sacrifice the future for short-term political gain.

If you take any basic college course in economics, you are going to learn about John Maynard Keynes. Without a doubt, Keynes was one of the most famous economists of the 20th century, and one of the things he believed was that governments should go into debt and spend more money when an economic downturn strikes. By injecting additional funds into the economy during a time of crisis, he believed the severity of recessions and depressions could be reduced. This approach ultimately become known as "Keynesian economics," and in the post-World War II era, virtually the entire world embraced it at least to some degree. Here is more on Keynes from Investopedia:

An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed by the British economist John Maynard Keynes during the 1930s in an attempt to understand the Great Depression. Keynes advocated increased government expenditures and lower taxes to stimulate demand and pull the global economy out of the Depression. Subsequently, the term "Keynesian economics" was used to refer to the concept that optimal economic performance could be achieved—and economic slumps prevented—by influencing aggregate demand through activist stabilization and economic intervention policies by the government. Keynesian economics is considered to be a "demand-side" theory that focuses on changes in the economy over the short run.

Keynesian economists correctly point out that there is a "multiplier effect" to government spending. In other words, when the government spends money, it ends up in the hands of ordinary people. In turn, those people spend that money on various goods and services that they need, thus boosting overall economic activity. And the more the money circulates, the more the economy is stimulated. So one dollar of additional government spending does not just add one dollar to GDP. Rather, the impact on GDP is often significantly greater than that.

Of course, the bad news is that whenever the government borrows money, it is stealing consumption from the future. So we are literally destroying the future our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have in order to make the present look a little bit brighter.

When Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. was in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The Bush administration had already begun to ramp up spending, but Barack Obama took government stimulus to ridiculous new levels. The national debt has risen by an average of more than 1.1 trillion dollars a year while Obama has been in charge, and this fiscal year we are on pace to add more than 2 trillion dollars to the debt.

At this moment, the U.S. national debt is a whopping $19,901,545,151,126.51, and it will cross the 20-trillion-dollar mark by the time Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20.

But when Barack Obama was inaugurated, the national debt was only 10.6 trillion dollars. That means that we have added about 9.3 trillion dollars to the debt since that time.

So we have borrowed and spent 9.3 trillion dollars under Obama that we did not have. But because of the "multiplier effect," that 9.3 trillion dollars actually had a far greater impact on the U.S. economy.

Let's be conservative and just double that number. So that would give us an 18.6-trillion-dollar overall impact on U.S. economic activity. Spread over eight years, that comes to an average GDP impact of 2.325 trillion dollars a year.

But over the last eight years, U.S. GDP has only been averaging about 16 trillion dollars a year. So if you took away 2.3 trillion dollars a year, that would be about one-eighth of our entire economy.

In other words, without all of this debt that Barack Obama and Congress have been getting us into, we would be in the worst economic depression in U.S. history right now.

And I haven't even factored in state and local government debt, corporate debt or household debt. The truth is that I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that we are enjoying a debt-fueled standard of living that we simply do not deserve.

But even with all of this debt, the U.S. economy has still not been performing well. In fact, Barack Obama is going to be the only president in U.S. history not to have a single year when the U.S. GDP grew by at least three percent.

Despite what many in the mainstream media are telling you, the reality of the matter is that Donald Trump is going to inherit a deeply troubled economy . If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled "11 Very Depressing Economic Realities That Donald Trump Will Inherit From Barack Obama".

Donald Trump is talking about cutting taxes and reducing regulations, and all of those things are good, but ultimately, those measures won't matter that much.

What will matter is what Donald Trump decides to do about our exploding debt.

If Donald Trump wants the U.S. economy to continue to remain at least somewhat stable in the short-term, he will have to keep piling up debt like Obama has. Because if Trump and the Republicans decide they want to get our debt under control, that will plunge us into a horrifying economic depression almost immediately.

But if Donald Trump continues to steal money from future generations of Americans at the same pace as Barack Obama, he will be destroying the future of America. It will be a crime on a scale that is almost beyond words, and if they get a chance to do it, future generations of Americans will look back and curse him for what he has done to us.

So when it comes to the economy, Donald Trump is really in a no-win situation.

The only way he can match Obama's performance is to do what Obama did, but by doing so, he would literally be killing the future.

As a nation, we have been consuming far more wealth than we produce for a very long time, and the only way we have been able to do this is because we have been able to go into so much debt.

But a day of reckoning is fast approaching, and I am not sure if Donald Trump even realizes he will soon be faced with some incredibly heartbreaking choices. {eoa}

]]>
Michael Snyder Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:00:00 -0500
Can Christians Who Divorce Ever Marry Again? http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61655-can-christians-who-divorce-ever-marry-again http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61655-can-christians-who-divorce-ever-marry-again

Those who find themselves in this situation must spend extended time in the Word and obedience to it, as well as extended times of prayer, fasting and seeking godly counsel. All destructive relationships and toxic counsel must be severed as you seek direction.

Many great Bible teachers are divided on this issue. Some believe remarriage is never allowed unless one of the spouses dies, but others suggest it is permissible when adultery and abandonment occur. Much of the controversy centers on Matt. 5:32 where Jesus says, "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."

Remarriage is not the issue here; manipulation and abandonment are. I appreciate the words of J. Nolland on this point: "The normal understanding of Matt. 5:32b runs the danger of leaving the woman involved a double victim: she has been divorced by a husband who may well have rejected her at his own whim and is now to be barred from any new relationship because she bears the stigma of the 'divorcee'."

Matt. 5:32 carries a twofold warning: 1. Do not divorce without cause. 2.Do not pursue a relationship with someone who has abandoned their spouse. Unfortunately, many add, "If you've experienced divorce, you cannot remarry—period." Not only does the text not say this, but this statement actually condemns someone for the actions of another, forbidding remarriage because of the actions of the previous spouse.

One thing is certain, if the Scriptures on marriage and divorce were fully taught and acknowledged, it would create more serious consideration before marriage and would be a great deterrent to divorce. Lack of regard for the Scriptures has taken us to the other extreme—no-fault divorce.

I believe God hates divorce; reconciliation is pleasing to Him. There are instances, in my opinion, when one is released from marriage through adultery and/or abandonment; however, reconciliation should still be sought. First and foremost, God's will is that we walk in integrity, follow His principles, use wisdom, be patient and seek Him during the journey. For some, reconciliation may result; for others, it may not.

When reconciliation does not occur, the enemy often resurrects past failures to hinder peace and joy. We become very fearful; we do not want to experience the pain of divorce again.

If you are separated or recently divorced and are lacking peace and joy, I encourage you to rethink your current situation. Confusion, anxiety, fear and some forms of depression are sometimes indicators that we are outside of God's will. (Please note the word "sometimes.") One of the biggest obstacles when considering restoration or seeking direction is becoming involved with someone soon after you divorce or separate. This can severely hinder your chance for reconciliation as well as your ability to follow God's lead. Avoid this at all costs.

God has given us the freedom to choose, and, in marriage, the choices of one will affect the life of the other. If your spouse has left, and you've waited and have done all that you can do biblically, I believe God will consider your heart more than your circumstances. King David was not able to build the temple because of his past—he was a man of war, but God said, "Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well because of what was in your heart" (2 Chron. 6:8). Contextually, this verse is not dealing with marriage, but the overlapping principle applies: Because David's heart was right, God continued to direct him.

Many often thank the Lord for using divorce to bring them back to Him. I don't believe God causes divorce, but He does use it to bring the prodigal son home. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin; rejecting Christ is.

Clearly understand that I'm not advocating divorce, nor am I saying if you are currently separated that divorce become an option because better opportunities await you. God hates divorce, and anyone who has been there knows why.

I must reiterate: I believe first and foremost in reconciliation and restoration, but these are not always options. That's why a personal relationship with Jesus and obedience to God's Word are profoundly important. Through that relationship, you will be able to make the right decision. It won't be easy, because lives have been damaged, dreams destroyed and promises broken, but God continually redeems us through His forgiveness as we forgive others. God desires that we know His will and follow His lead, especially during the detours of life.

Many divorced Christians carry years of regret into future relationships. If God is doing a new thing, it's critical that past brokenness not prevent future plans. But if God is ministering restoration in your spirit, wait for it; contend for it; pray fervently for it. I also encourage you to remove everything that may hinder restoration (e.g., wrong relationships, strongholds, addictions, anger, unforgiveness and bitterness), and seek Him wholeheartedly and unconditionally. He will direct you. This I know.

Watch my sermon, "Lord, Remove My Guilt and Shame." Search for it at www.wcfav.org. {eoa}

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, California, just north of Los Angeles. He recently released his seventh book, Desperate for More of God at shaneidleman.com. Shane's sermons, articles, books and radio program can all be found at wcfav.org. Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch.

]]>
Shane Idleman Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500
Benham Brothers Make Bold Call for Pushback Against Radical Gay Agenda http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61649-benham-brothers-make-bold-call-for-pushback-against-radical-gay-agenda http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61649-benham-brothers-make-bold-call-for-pushback-against-radical-gay-agenda

Last week, we went to bat on "The Kelly File" for HGTV's "Fixer Upper" stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines, after Buzzfeed did a hit piece on them for attending a church that believes in biblical marriage.

We got fired by HGTV for voicing our beliefs about marriage and sexuality. The Gaines family received pressure for simply attending a Bible-believing church.

The ceiling in this radical sexual revolution has become the floor. And it's not going to stop until people stand up, get in the game and push back.

So today, we're pushing back for little guys—the bakers, florists, photographers and all the others who've been bullied into submission by the thought mafia.

This radical agenda will stop at nothing, and families from Oregon to Iowa and Washington are being persecuted as a result.

So we want you to meet a few of these families right now by watching a two-minute clip where we introduced some of them at the Values Voter Summit in D.C. Watch from minutes 10:30-12:30. It will bless you to see the faces of the real heroes in this fight for freedom in our country. 

You see, the Gaines family has a TV show. We had one. Yet none of these families have anything like that to tell their stories.

But you can be a voice. You can get in the game. You can be a strong support of liberty and freedom with your friends and spheres of influence.

It's easy to get on the bandwagon of support for a hugely successful couple on HGTV. But the rubber meets the road when you do it for someone nobody knows or really even cares about.

HGTV is going to stick with the Gaines family, and Chip and Jo are going to be just fine. But there's still a thought mafia in our country that needs to be pushed back. What they spew is not journalism. It's discrimination.

We're tired of watching our country get pushed around by liberal media elites who tell us what we can and can't believe—and even where we can and can't go to church.

Enough is enough.

So stand up. Be a voice. Push back. And don't be afraid to defend the little guy.

It's what Americans do best. {eoa}

]]>
Jason and David Benham Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500
The Most Shocking Prophecy About America's Next 8 Years http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61648-the-most-shocking-prophecy-about-america-s-next-8-years http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61648-the-most-shocking-prophecy-about-america-s-next-8-years

You may think you're over Donald Trump prophecies, but "You have not heard a word like this," says Revelation in the News host Zach Drew.

"The common reaction is, 'I have hair standing up on my arms right now,'" Drew says of the recently unveiled word.  

Watch the video to see what it is. 

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500
Why Would the Jewish Messiah Have to Come Twice? http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/61645-why-would-the-jewish-messiah-have-to-come-twice http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/61645-why-would-the-jewish-messiah-have-to-come-twice

Some followers of Yeshua are deflecting, if not avoiding, the "painful" truth of believing in the Second Coming.

"Why would it be necessary for Messiah to come twice?" the doubtful ask. "Didn't He do it right the first time? And if he is the Jewish Messiah, as you claim, where in the Jewish Scriptures does it say anything about two comings of the Messiah?"

Two Pictures of Messiah

The issue of two comings of the Messiah is neither non-Jewish nor particularly unusual to Jewish thought. For two millennia, the rabbinical community has been discussing, pondering and conjecturing the possible ways to resolve paradoxical and seemingly contradictory references to the Messiah in the Jewish Scriptures. On one hand, the Scriptures present a picture of the Messiah reigning:

 "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed ... He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord ridicules them ... [saying] 'I have installed My king on Zion, My holy hill" (Ps. 2:2, 4, 6).

"'The days are coming,' says the Lord, 'that I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely'" (Jer. 23:5a).

 In these portions of Scripture and in many others (Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Ps. 45:6,7; 110:1-7; Is. 2:1-4; 11:10; Zech. 14:3,4, 16 and more), Messiah is pictured as ruling and reigning over the enemies of God. This is a time of peace and joy; Israel is the chief of nations again, and the Lord and the Davidic throne are gloriously established in Jerusalem.

 But alongside this exalted scene we also see the picture of Messiah rejected:

"... Messiah shall be cut off and shall have nothing" (Dan. 9:26a).

 "Surely, He took up our pain and bore our suffering yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted ... Yet who of his generation protested?" (Is. 53:4, 8b NIV). 

 "But I am a worm, and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads ... you lay me in the dust of death ...they pierce my hands and my feet..." (Ps. 22:6a, 15c, 16b NIV).

 In these portions and many others (Isaiah 49:7; 50:6; Ps. 69:4-22; Zech. 11:12 and more), Messiah is seen as rejected and suffering in innocence for the sins of others, even as Israel is in spiritual blindness and judgment. Two different works of Messiah are presented:

  • He will suffer and die for sins.
  • He will reign and rule in peace.

 These two contrasting Scriptural pictures of the Messiah have brought about various theories of how the Messiah would be both reigning, yet rejected; a celebrated victor while also a sacrificial victim.

 Many ideas about Messiah are quite prevalent in rabbinical literature. There are the ideas of a resurrected Messiah, a leper Messiah, two Messiahs ("Messiah Son of Joseph," who will innocently suffer as Joseph suffered innocently and "Messiah Son of David," who will reign as David reigned), a beggar Messiah and more. Traditional Jewish scholarship has worked to understand these two very different pictures of the Jewish Messiah.

Two Comings of Messiah Revealed

The Prophet Hosea speaks to the subject as well, as he presents God speaking to wayward Israel:

"I will again return to My place until they acknowledge their offense and seek My face. In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me" (Hos. 5:15).

 We see God offended at Israel's sins and "return [ing] back to [His] place [heaven] until they acknowledge their offense." The implication is that when they "acknowledge their offense," He will return to them. This is clearly stated in Israel's response to the Lord's leaving:

 "Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth" (Hos. 6:3 NIV).

 Though He had left, they had confidence He would also certainly reappear. There was hope in the Lord's statement that their admission of guilt would bring about His return. In light of all this discussion it should surprise no one that the Messiah Himself would come and clarify these apparently contradictory pictures of His work. Similar to the portion in Hosea, Yeshua says to Israel:

 "You shall not see me again until you say 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord'" (Matt. 23:39b).

Following Yeshua's death, burial, resurrection and ascension (going back to His place), Peter proclaims to the Jewish crowds in Jerusalem:

"Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the One who previously was preached to you, Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke through all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).

The New Covenant revelation regarding the two works of Messiah is not new. It is a clarification and fulfillment of what the Jewish Scriptures prophesied: that Messiah would come to die for our sins, be raised from the dead, go back to His place and return when our people acknowledge their guilt and call out to Him. As Joseph was at first rejected by his brothers, then later accepted; and also as Moses was first rejected by Israel, then later was accepted, so also Messiah would be rejected and later accepted.

The return of the Messiah is mentioned many times in the New Covenant (Matt. 24-25; I Thess. 1:10, 4:13-5:9; Rev. 22 and more). This is because the Jewish Scriptures will be fulfilled in every detail. Just as Messiah had to suffer and die for sins, so He will also return to reign and bring peace.

The Jewish Scriptures predict that one day our people will "look to Me, whom they have pierced through. And they will mourn over him as one mourns for an only child" (Zech. 12:10) at His Second Coming. So look to Him now, trust in the atonement He made by His death for your sins and receive the new life that He gives to all who come to Him. {eoa}

Dr. Sam Nadler is a Jewish believer in Jesus who has been in Messianic ministry for more than 40 years. Sam is the president of Word of Messiah Ministries, which is bringing the Gospel to the Jew first but not to the Jew only and planting Messianic Congregations in Jewish communities worldwide. To encourage and equip the body of Messiah in our shared calling, Sam is invited to speak in churches across the country and has written multiple books on Jewish evangelism, discipleship and the Feasts of Israel. For more information and resources, to subscribe to Sam's new podcast or to invite Sam to speak at your church, visit: www.wordofmessiah.org.

]]>
Sam Nadler Featured Standing With Israel Opinion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500
'Expendable' Christians 'Victims of Organ Harvesting' in China http://www.charismanews.com/world/61654-expendable-christians-victims-of-organ-harvesting-in-china http://www.charismanews.com/world/61654-expendable-christians-victims-of-organ-harvesting-in-china

Christians meeting in house churches in China are among thousands of Chinese people "considered expendable" by the Chinese government and being used in the "harvesting" of organs, according to China-watcher Ethan Gutmann.

Gutmann, who has written two books about China and published several reports, said as many as 100,000 organ transplants may be taking place annually in the country, despite the Chinese government's claims that it administers only 10,000.

And the source for the "majority" of these, Gutmann said, are Falun Gong adherents, but also other "expendable" citizens such as Tibetans, Uighurs and Christians.

Gutmann, speaking at the U.K. Parliament on Nov. 30 as part of an event titled "China's Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights under Xi Jinping," added that so-called "organ tourists" from several Western nations were among the recipients of the organs, although several countries have banned their patients from undergoing transplants in China.

Gutmann gave the example of one unnamed man from the U.K., whom he said had been sent by the British health service to receive an organ in a hospital in Xi'an, China.

British MP Fiona Bruce, chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, then told the audience: "Organ tourism from this country should not happen."

However, a spokesperson for the charity Open Doors, who did not wish to be identified, said: "From our experiences over the past decades, we never heard Christians were targeted for organ harvesting. But as Christians account for more than 5 percent of China's population, I am not surprised if some Christians faced such tragic experiences by chance."

In October, Reuters reported that the director of the China Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee had said "100 percent" of organ donors were voluntary and that the government had "zero tolerance" regarding organ harvesting.

China's darkest moment?

Benedict Rogers, the vice chair of the Commission, speaking at the Nov. 30 event, said that in the 24 years he has been watching the country, he has "never seen a period in which human rights have deteriorated so rapidly in such a short space of time as they have in the last three years."

He said China has "always had a very bad human rights record," but there were hopes its economic development and international ties might lead to improvements.

The reality, he said, is that China is "severely regressing" under President Xi Jinping and is now in its "darkest moment."

A day before the event, long-term Christian political prisoner Peng Ming died in custody while serving a life sentence for "terrorist activities." Meanwhile, Jian Tianyong is one of several lawyers currently missing in China. The Christian human-rights defender hasn't been seen since Nov. 21.

Rogers referred to the "tightening of restrictions, even further, on religious practice," a reference to the government's recently announced amendments to its rules regulating religious affairs.

He concluded that "under Xi Jinping, the barbarians are in charge ... It falls to us to stand up for the Chinese people."

Rogers then read aloud a statement from Angela Gui, the U.K.-based daughter of a Hong Kong publisher being detained in China, who said she felt "lucky" to live in a country in which she could speak out against injustice, and said, "We need to speak up for those people who can't."

Yaxue Cao, founder and editor of U.S.-based ChinaChange.org, speaking via video link, told the audience freedom of expression has been further squeezed since Xi came to power, while there has been an increase of propaganda suggesting "foreign governments are trying to instigate a Cultural Revolution in China." {eoa}

This article originally appeared on World Watch Monitor.

]]>
World Watch Monitor Featured World News Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:30:00 -0500
Russia Religion Law: Stopping Terrorists or Persecuting Christians? http://www.charismanews.com/world/61653-russia-religion-law-stopping-terrorists-or-persecuting-christians http://www.charismanews.com/world/61653-russia-religion-law-stopping-terrorists-or-persecuting-christians

Last summer, President Vladimir Putin extended a controversial 1997 law restricting religious activities in Russia.

Christians in the West were more alarmed and concerned about the law than were Russia's Christians. They feared the law would prevent evangelism and slow the rapid growth of Christianity in the country.

But now, six months later, one prominent Russian pastor says the Russian church can live with the law.

I recently interviewed Pastor Sergey Lavrenov of Light of the Word Church in Tyumen (Western Siberia).

He told me the intent of the law is to prevent unrestrained access to the country by Islamic terrorists. He admits the law has placed restrictions on the activities of foreign missionaries, but when invited by a church, pastors and missionaries are not prohibited from preaching in Russian churches.

Also, Lavrenov claims Russian citizens remain free to share their faith with others. He says Russian legislators may consider several amendments to the law.

Pray the gospel message will advance regardless of actions taken by the Russian government. 

{eoa}

Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

]]>
Gary Lane/CBN News Featured World News Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0500
ISIS Declares Inauguration Day Will Be 'Bloody Friday' http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61652-isis-declares-inauguration-day-will-be-bloody-friday http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/61652-isis-declares-inauguration-day-will-be-bloody-friday

While campaigning earlier this year, President-elect Donald Trump said he would, immediately after taking office, call on his generals to put together a plan to destroy ISIS "within 30 days" of his inauguration.

The radical Islamist group offered its own threat over the weekend, declaring Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, will be "Bloody Friday" in the U.S. The Express newspaper in the U.K. is now reporting that U.S. special forces are on alert and the intelligence community is investigating the claims:

And the Islamic terror organization is reported to have recruited a number of new English-speaking operatives in recent months in a major bid to communicate messages ahead of the event.

U.S. special forces will be on high alert when Mr. Trump takes over as 45th president of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington.

But security analysts have been following communications between members of the group who are planning large-scale attacks on that day, it has been claimed.

According to reports, ISIS has expanded production of special editions of official videos with English subtitles in recent weeks and with a view to reinforcing targets on U.S. soil.

And their ISIS-linked Amaq Agency Telegram channels have resumed posting on social networks after they went temporarily offline following a terror attack in the U.S. last Monday.

The Express doesn't provide any information about its sources. The U.S. is currently involved in the fight to take back the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS fighters. The organization had claimed the city as the capital of the Islamist state. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Issues Caucus Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Christians Look to Revive ISIS-Ravaged Town: 'They Can't Defeat God' http://www.charismanews.com/world/61651-christians-look-to-revive-isis-ravaged-town-they-can-t-defeat-god http://www.charismanews.com/world/61651-christians-look-to-revive-isis-ravaged-town-they-can-t-defeat-god

On August 6, 2014, nearly 60,000 people fled the Christian town of Qaraqosh just hours before ISIS overran the area. A few weeks ago, the Kurdish military liberated the city, uncovering a trail of destruction and devastation left behind by the occupiers.

CBN News joined Sister Diana, a Dominican nun, and her team who showed us what ISIS did to their city. We visited her home church, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, first.

"This is considered the largest church for us in the Middle East," Sister Diana said. "We do all our worship in here. I would say my parents got married here. We had our first Communion here, and we used to worship every single day during feast days, Christmas (and) Easter."
 
From the floor to the ceiling to the altar, ISIS left its mark.

"What we were told is that they gathered so many of these benches, they put it inside in the middle and burned them. So the church was burning for days," she explained.

ISIS, she said, was intent on destroying everything that represented Christianity.
 
"They have took [sic] the host and threw it on the ground, so they are against every Christian symbol. Everything actually, wherever they saw a cross, they took it down," she said.
 
"If you see here, you have the altar. There were crosses in there," she said. "Wherever you see the damage, they tried to do as much as they could in their power to say, you know, you Christians stop living here. This is not your land. It makes me speechless."
 
In the rubble, she found charred pages from a New Testament.

"The letter to John first, chapter 4th and 5th, because He's the One to come and save us with water and blood," she said. "It says do not follow evil, but follow everyone who does goodness because he's from God. Whoever [has] done evil does not see God."

Terrorists Train in Church Courtyard
 
When ISIS occupied Qaraqosh, they used the church courtyard as a training ground, littering it with bullets. They used the far end of the courtyard for target practice.

The insurgents took thousands of books from the convent and burned them in the courtyard, leaving behind a pile of ashes.

"This is what we honor and it has turned into ashes; those are our books," Sister Diana said.  

ISIS used the church courtyard to train killers.
 
"You see, they were training for target practice, especially this area," she continued. "Imagine how many people they trained to kill."  

'We Lost Everything'
 
CBN News witnessed more devastation on the street, some of it caused by coalition airstrikes targeting ISIS operatives.

"What you see here, those were houses," she continued. "As a matter of fact, one, two, three, four, five houses, and that has been destroyed and that has been destroyed. Those houses belong to families, families that worked so hard."

We met with one family who lost their home and money, but most devastating was the loss of their 3-year-old daughter, whom the terrorists snatched from her mother's lap.
 
"We lost everything. Her daughter has been put down. Everything we own, we lost it," a survivor explained. "These streets used to be so busy, active. These are all markets and you see it's empty."

ISIS scribbled graffiti all over Qaraqosh. One place says ISIS will crush or squish all the unbelievers (non-Muslims) and another place says the Islamic state will expand, with Allah's permission.
 
On another wall, the graffiti reads, "We destroyed your crosses; we beheaded you, you infidels."

Throughout the city, ISIS destroyed or burned Christian houses of worship. They especially damaged crosses. And they pillaged Christian graves.
 
ISIS not only destroyed the homes of the living, they also desecrated the final resting place of the dead. In one cemetery, they destroyed memorial plaques and opened graves to steal valuables from the corpses.

Sister Diana says without faith in God, the devastation would be overwhelming.
 
"They destroy everything dear to us, but we tell them, they could not destroy our will, our faith, our strength," she said. "They could destroy material things, but what lived is the eternal things."

Townspeople Need Assurance
 
Sister Diana prays the townspeople will return but says they need assurance.

"No. 1 is security. If I don't feel secure, you know, I won't be able to stay here. If a father, a mother doesn't feel secure, they won't send their children to school," she said.

Kurdish soldier Mafook Sata told CBN News, "After we liberate Qaraqosh, we hold the ground. The purpose of the Nineveh Protection Unit is to hold the ground."
 
The town now sits under the control of a Christian-based militia, but Sata says they need more help.

"People, they need to come back, but they need to feel safe," Sata explained. "They need force on the ground. They need, you know, international protection that would be true, like a guarantee that it will never happen again."

"It's really scary to think that if something really big doesn't happen, that ISIS could be successful in trying to destroy this community," said Kelsey Beal, with the Humanitarian Nineveh Relief Organization. "It isn't without hope, but people need to help."  
 
"People, if they want to rebuild and return to their homes, they're going to need help. They are broke already. They are homeless already. They are living in a place not their homeland. This is their homeland," he said.

No Matter What, We'll Be Faithful
 
Sister Diana fears the discouragement may convince many Christian families to leave the area. But, she says, the Christians of northern Iraq are its salt and light.

"That's what the gospel says, and that's what we try to be – to carry the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are going to be faithful to Him. No matter what they do, they can't defeat God, and the glory of this church and this town is coming back. Sooner or later, God has promises for a better life, and you know what, we're going to look for that promise."
 
In the meantime, Sister Diana asks for prayers that their faith will remain strong as residents of Qaraqosh trickle back to see their homes, their church and to worship. 

{eoa}

Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

]]>
Chris Mitchell/CBN News Featured World News Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0500
Daniel Kolenda Leaving Prophetic Legacy in Africa http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61650-reinhard-bonnke-s-cfan-leaving-prophetic-legacy-in-africa http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61650-reinhard-bonnke-s-cfan-leaving-prophetic-legacy-in-africa

"For 42 years, Christ for all Nations has been conducting massive evangelistic events in Africa and around the world. To date, more than 75 million decision cards have been registered from new converts in Africa, and millions more have heard the gospel—many for the first time. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest moves of God in church history although it is mostly unknown in the West. But through the Holy Ground project, we decided to capture it for the world to see and experience—both as a powerful worship album and a high- definition video DVD. It is amazing how the anointing and palpable electricity in the air translated onto this recording. It really gives you a front-row seat on the world's greatest harvest field." —Daniel Kolenda

Did the name Holy Ground for the album come before or after the event?

The name for this album was only decided afterward. We didn't know beforehand what to expect.

The only site in Ashaman, Ghana, large enough to hold the massive crowds that would show up for our evangelistic meetings was the city dump. Plumes of smoke ascended from acres of burning garbage where hungry goats foraged for food. A large gully with open sewage flowed down one side of the field, cutting off access to the adjacent neighborhood where the majority of the locals lived. Of course, the land was both unusable and inaccessible in its unmodified condition.

Worse still, it was located in a very dangerous part of town, infamous for crime and extreme poverty. It was also a Muslim area considered off-limits for a Christian event. But it was the only option, so our team went to work. Bulldozers cleared the land. We brought sand and gravel to level the field. Several permanent structures on the site and had to be demolished, including a house. The family who lived there volunteered to allow their home to be destroyed in order to make room for the event.

We built a bridge across the gully. Each obstacle was overcome, and finally, the event took place. What had been a worthless piece of land soon became the location of one of the most beautiful sights ever filmed. Hundreds of thousands of precious people gathered to worship Jesus; the gospel was preached; we registered 381,610 decision cards from new converts (who are now being discipled by local churches) and a region was impacted by the power of God. What happened on that field was, in a sense, what the gospel is actually all about. Jesus loves to create beauty from ashes and make all things new. We even built a new house for the family who allowed theirs to be demolished. The beautiful metaphor was obvious to everyone. Interestingly, one of the songs we recorded is called "Holy Ground." It was the perfect summary of a historic event—a garbage dump turned into holy ground.

To have an event of this magnitude, there must have been an incredible amount of both prayer and preparation. How many people helped make this event a reality? How long did it take?

Thousands of people, mostly volunteers, worked tirelessly to make this historic event a possibility. Just to give an idea of the scale of manpower this even required, consider this: 381,610 people registered decision cards and were ushered into the follow-up system during that week. That means in the counseling department alone, thousands of volunteers were needed to serve all those new converts. But the fact that they are being discipled means the work is ongoing. 

How did the community react when they found out the event would be held at the city dump?

Initially, the event was supposed to be a concerted effort between two twin cities, Tema and Ashaman. But when the Christians in Tema heard the site for the campaign would be in the worst part of a Muslim city of Ashaman, most decided it was too dangerous. As a result,f there was relatively little participation from the Christian community, but I believe we were exactly where God wanted us.

What happened after the event? Do the local churches follow up? What happened with the land?

Today, hundreds of local churches are working to disciple the new converts that came in through the event. The field is most likely being used as a market, and its reputation has completely changed. Proceeds from the Holy Ground project ensure future evangelistic outreaches in Africa. 

Tell us more about CfaN and upcoming evangelistic events for 2017.

We will start 2017 by returning to Ghana and we will be in another Muslim city—Tamale. From there we will go to Congo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Nigeria—and those are just our African events. We will also hold massive events in many other parts of the world. {eoa}

]]>
Daniel Kolenda Featured Opinion Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Gov. Pat McCrory Concedes Defeat in North Carolina http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61647-gov-pat-mccrory-concedes-defeat-in-north-carolina http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61647-gov-pat-mccrory-concedes-defeat-in-north-carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday morning he was conceding the gubernatorial election to Attorney General Roy Cooper after recounts were showing the Democrat's lead growing over the Republican incumbent.

"Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we should now do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper," he said in a video statement. "The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition."

McCrory was arguably the most endangered Republican governor facing reelection last month. Despite touting a "Carolina Comeback," GOP efforts to protect privacy rights with HB2, a "bathroom bill" aimed at making transgendered people use facilities that match their biological sex resulted in a business boycott and the loss of nearly $400 million.

As attorney general, Cooper refused to defend the law and made it an effective wedge issue in the election. And, as a result, the same message that swung North Carolina into President-elect Donald Trump's direction ultimately took McCrory down.

But despite those lingering questions about potential voter fraud, the governor struck a conciliatory tone in his video message.

"I ask all of us to please pray for our new governor, Roy Cooper, our new president, Donald Trump and their families," he said. "I encourage everyone now more than ever to respect all of our public servants and the offices they are elected to hold."

It is unlikely the GOP-controlled legislature is going to give Cooper much of what he wants, particularly with a narrow margin of victory. It's unclear, however, how the election may impact the future of HB2. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500
A Word of Caution to Those Who Declare Trump's Win a Victory for the 'Prosperity Gospel' http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61646-a-word-of-caution-to-those-who-declare-trump-s-win-a-victory-for-the-prosperity-gospel http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61646-a-word-of-caution-to-those-who-declare-trump-s-win-a-victory-for-the-prosperity-gospel

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, a number of media outlets have attempted to paint President-elect Donald Trump's victory as a win for the "prosperity gospel."

Their basis is Trump's long-time friendship with Paula White, an Orlando-based evangelist who has been frequently accused of being a "prosperity preacher." She has rejected the title, going so far as to tell Politico earlier this year "God is not a sugar daddy."

In that same report, White was described as an "outsider" in both evangelical and political circles who had little to no influence in either. Of course, that was written in July, shortly before Trump officially became the Republican Party's presidential nominee.

What a difference an election can make.

But in rebuttal media reports, several prominent evangelicals have refuted the notion that the prosperity gospel had anything to do with Trump's victory. In fact, as Dr. Wave Nunnally, a professor of Biblical Studies at Evangel University, has pointed out, the president-elect himself isn't a believer in the philosophy.

"He's very prosperous, but he didn't get that way by memorizing Scripture, by having the right confession, by being a member of a church that promotes the prosperity gospel or by giving to churches like that," he said. "They can claim what they want to claim, but they would be undercutting their own position."

The argument that Trump's victory was a win for the prosperity gospel also attempts to categorize an early church influence in the president-elect's life, Norman Vincent Peale's concepts on positive thinking, as a "close relative" theologically. That these reports—from the liberal mainstream media—have no biblical basis should probably come as no surprise.

As usual, another effort to tarnish the reputation of President-elect Trump, and those around him, falls apart the moment it is confronted with facts. {eoa}

]]>
Bob Eschliman Featured Elections Caucus Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500
The Potential 'Peace' Agreement That Fits Perfectly Into End-Times Prophecy http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61644-the-potential-peace-agreement-that-fits-perfectly-into-end-times-prophecy http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/61644-the-potential-peace-agreement-that-fits-perfectly-into-end-times-prophecy

A United Nations "peace" agreement could fit precisely into end-times prophecy.

Thankfully, President Barack Obama used his veto and protected God's chosen people. But the United Nations could still move ahead in their decision. 

Watch the video to see more. {eoa}

]]>
Jessilyn Justice Featured Opinion Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500