Reflection on Luke 21:25-36



Scripture

“Keep a constant watch over your soul, and pray for the courage andgrace to prevail over these things that are destined to occur, andthat you will stand before the presence of the Son of Man with aclear conscience.”

Observation

When the Son of Man returns, there will be perplexing signs in the heavens, raging of the seas, and earthquakes. Then the Day ill come when Jesus returns in clouds and with power and miracles.

The trees show the changing of the seasons and, similarly, when we see these prophetic signs cme to pass, we will know that the earth is yielding to God’s kingdom.

The Day will come suddenly, and we are to make sure we keep our hearts and souls pure.

Application

The doctrine of Christ’s return is not about looking for the signs of the end times so much as making sure that we are ready.

Jesus here tells us to “keep a constant” watch over our souls.” In other words, I must constantly be aware of the state of my soul. That means watching out for sinful attitudes, treating people in a way that confirms Jesus’s love for them, being in touch with God through prayer, Scriptures and corporate worship.

Jesus wants us to have the grace and courage to overcome the adversities and temptations in our lives. This is not about the Great Tribulation and the Antichrist, but our daily life in the world. Am I allowing bitterness or vengeance or secret sins to take hold?

The aim of this is simple. Jesus wants us to be able to stand before Him with a clear conscience. How can we enter spiritual worship if our sins condemn us, much less enter the divine throne room?

All of us sin, even after we start to walk with the Lord. We must confess our sins to Him and receive His forgiveness so stand guiltless in His glory.

Prayer

Thank you Father that through the Blood of Christ I am free from sin. Help me to stay clean in you. Amen.

“Drag Queens” and Grooming

As a community we are sleep-walking into the most dangerous, demented, suicidal period in our history.

There is a culture war under way for the souls of our children, and most adults, even christians are utterly clueless.

From lifesitenews.com

Drag queen admits he’s ‘grooming’ children at story hour events

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana, November 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Drag queens are deliberately “grooming” the next generation to accept LGBT ideology when they read to children in public libraries at drag queen “story hour” events, a U.S. drag queen admitted. 

Dylan Pontiff, a drag queen who helped organize one of these story hour events for children as young as three at the Lafayette Public Library in early October, is shown in a video making that shocking admission to the Lafayette City-Parish Council in Louisiana during a Sept. 17 meeting.

“This is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation,” said Pontiff, who when dressed in drag goes by the name Santana Pilar Andrews. 

Pontiff said that as a drag queen he has performed in shows for adults that he compared to an R-rated film. He argued that he should be able to have access to children because, as an adult, he knows how to “filter” himself and make his content PG-rated. 

“I can go in and entertain adults in a club and also entertain a group of students and young children. I’m able to do that because I’m an adult and able to filter myself,” he said.

Citizens of that community in Louisiana shook their heads in bewilderment behind Pontiff as he made these comment. 

“Unfortunately, the Drag Queen Story Hour program is turning public libraries into platforms to advance the transgender revolution, places where pro-homosexual activists are given access to children as young as three,” said John Ritchie, director of TFP Student Action, in an interview. 

“Instead of protecting the precious innocence of our children with wholesome stories, libraries are misusing our tax-dollars to harm their innocence,” he said. “To attempt to dismantle and destroy the distinction between male and female is not only biologically ridiculous, but also a direct attack against God’s plan for us and for the family.  Everyone who loves the family should wake up, pray and push back.”

The public meeting by the Lafayette City-Parish Council in September was to consider a motion to denounce the drag queen story hour proposed for the local library on October 6 as not being age-appropriate.

The motion, derided as “hateful” and “discriminatory” by its opponents, would not have been binding on the public library. But it never got that far. The majority of the Lafayette City-Parish Council declined to vote on it, effectively scuttling the motion.  

Leslie Alexander, a member of the community, said that the library should not have approved the drag queen story hour event without consulting the public.

“This is not about tolerance or anti-bullying,” she told the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. “It is a direct and intentional effort to create gender confusion and doubt among very young children at the very time they need solid guidance and understanding. The intent is to plant a seed to make children more likely to question their sexuality or gender at a later age.”

According to Ritchie, the seeds of this indoctrination of young children in public libraries was sown when marriage was legally re-defined.

“When homosexual ‘marriage’ was legalized back in 2015, the naive told us not to worry because the decision would never affect us,” said Ritchie. “Marriage is just a word, they said. But for those who understand history, the redefinition of true marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court contained a string of ugly consequences.” 

“What was unthinkable yesterday is tolerated today: Transgender drag performers are allowed to explicitly target children in public buildings,” he said. 

A number of LGBT activists have highlighted in recent years that the movement’s goal is to “indoctrinate” children into accepting the normalcy of the LGBT agenda.

“I am here to tell you: All that time I said I wasn’t indoctrinating anyone with my beliefs about gay and lesbian and bi and trans and queer people? That was a lie,” wrote Canadian gay activist Sason Bear Bergman, a woman who identifies as a transgender man, in a March 2015 piece titled “I Have Come to Indoctrinate Your Children Into My LGBTQ Agenda (And I’m Not a Bit Sorry).” Bergman holds nothing back, stating she wants to make children “like us” even if that “goes against the way you have interpreted the teachings of your religion.”

In 2011 U.S. gay activist Daniel Villarreal penned a column for Queerty.com stating that the time had come for the homosexual lobby to admit to “indoctrinating” schoolchildren to accept homosexuality.

“Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”

“We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it. Recruiting children? You bet we are,” he added.

Homosexual activist Michael Swift wrote in 1987 in the Gay Community News that school children would become explicit targets for homosexual indoctrination. “We shall seduce them in your schools…They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us,” he wrote at the time. 

RELATED STORIES: 

After pro-family campaign, library drops drag queen storytime for kids

American Library Association doubles down on drag queens reading to kids

The latest LGBT lunacy: ‘Transgender’ puppet to teach kids about ‘gender issues’

So What Was The Perfect Pre-Industrial Global Temperature?

According to the Climate Change Alarmism crowd the earth was once perfect in every way, then we started to use fossil fuels. We don’t have enough actual temperature measurements from back then so to find out what it was like in 1850 you can use the climate models to “hindcast” the temperatures. Yes, those same models that failed to forecast the 20 year pause.

And here we are spending trillions of dollars to fight a problem we can’t actually measure or define.

From “Watts Up With That”

What Was Earth’s Preindustrial Global Mean Surface Temperature, In Absolute Terms Not Anomalies, Supposed to Be?

And What Have the Average Temperatures of Earth’s Surfaces Been Recently in Absolute Terms, Not Anomalies?

The answers may surprise you.

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED. The update is near the end of the post.

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) have cranked up their alarmist propaganda, with the IPCC now pushing the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 deg C above preindustrial global surface temperatures.

That, of course, initiates the title question, What Was Earth’s Preindustrial Global Mean Surface Temperature, In Absolute Terms Not Anomalies, Supposed to Be?

Four years ago, in the post On the Elusive Absolute Global Mean Surface Temperature – A Model-Data Comparison (WattsUpWithThat cross post is here), we illustrated and discussed the wide (3-deg C) span in the climate model simulations of global surface temperatures on an absolute, not anomaly, basis. Figure 1 below is Figure 5 from that post. In that post, we started the graphs in the year 1880 because the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) and NOAA NCDC (now NOAA NCEI) data started that year.

Figure 1

However, the spreadsheets I prepared for that post had the climate model hindcast outputs as far back as their common start year of 1861. (I say common start year of 1861 because the outputs of some models stored in the CMIP5 archive start in 1850 while others begin in 1861.) So I couldn’t use the climate model outputs stored on that spreadsheet for this post.

Note: The IPCC’s new definition of preindustrial, as stated in their Changes to the Underlying Scientific-Technical Assessment to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers:

The reference period 1850-1900 is used to approximate pre-industrial global mean surface temperature (GMST).

It’s odd that the IPCC selected those years when not all the climate models used in their 5th assessment report (those stored in the CMIP5 archive) for simulations of past and future climates extend back to 1850. Some only extended back to 1861. Then again, no one expects the IPCC to be logical because they’re a political, not scientific, entity.

Luckily, the ensemble members that meet the criteria of this post do extend back to 1850. So we’ll use the ensemble member outputs for the full IPCC-defined preindustrial period of 1850 to 1900 for this post.

ACCORDING TO THE CMIP5-ARCHIVED CLIMATE MODELS THERE’S A WIDE RANGE OF SIMULATED PREINDUSTRIAL GLOBAL MEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURES

The source of the outputs of the climate model simulations of global mean surface temperature used in this post is the KNMI Climate Explorer. Specifically, as a pre-qualifier, I used the outputs of the simulations of Surface Air Temperatures (TAS) from 90S-90N from the 81 individual ensemble members. From those, I identified the ensemble member with the warmest global mean surface temperature for the preindustrial period and the ensemble member with the coolest global mean surface temperature for the same period. For those who wish to confirm my results, the coolest (lowest average absolute GMST for the period of 1850-1900) is identified as IPSL-CM5A-LR EM-3 at the KNMI Climate Explorer, and the warmest (highest average absolute GMST for the period of 1850-1900) is identified there as GISS-E2-H p3. The average global mean surface temperatures for the other 79 ensemble members during preindustrial times rest between the averages of the two ensemble members.

The outputs of the simulations of global mean surface temperature from those two (the warmest and coolest absolute temperatures) ensemble members for the preindustrial period of 1850-1900 are illustrated in Figure 2, along with their respective period-average global mean surface temperatures for the IPCC-defined preindustrial period of 1850 to 1900 (dashed lines).

Figure 2

As noted at the bottom of the illustration, The Scientists Behind the CMIP5-Archived Models (Used By the IPCC for AR5) Obviously Believe Earth’s Preindustrial Average Surface Temperature Should Be Somewhere Between 12.0 Deg C and 15.0 Deg C. The modelers at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and at the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL) would NOT have archived those models if they hadn’t believed they were of value.

Read the rest of the article here

Reflection on Jeremiah 33:14-18

branch-stump

Scripture
“In those days and at that time, I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line.”

Observation
The Lord promises to restore to His people all that has been taken from them. At the right time there will be a Branch from the line of David- a righteous branch who will do what is right.

The Lord will also ensure that there will always be a descendant of David on the throne of Israel and a priest to continually offer sacrifices.

Application
The righteous Branch would come from David’s line at the right time- the kairos time, the appointed time.

The Branch, of course, is Jesus, whose birth we celebrate in a few weeks time.

God had promised that there would always be someone from David’s line on the throne in Israel. Jesus is that person. He reigns not just over Israel but the whole world.

King Jesus, the righteous Branch rules in righteousness. All earthly kings carry the stain of sin, but Jesus is not only sinless, He has defeated sin.

The righteous Branch from David’s line is bringing justice and holiness to the world even today.

Prayer
Lord you are that righteous Branch from the line of David. You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Hallelujah! Amen.

Tim Blair: The Chaser Boys Complain About “Safe” Institutions.

Tim Blair writes about the “Cutting Edge” Chaser Boys:

 
Those crazy Chaser kids 11 years ago, doing then what they want to do again
Those crazy Chaser kids 11 years ago, doing then what they want to do again

CHASERS CHASED AWAY BY THEIR TAX-FUNDING FRIENDS

The Chaser boys*, Australia’s official state comedy troupe since 1999, have been denied funding for yet another election year slab of mortgage-covering satirical sedatives.

And the boys aren’t happy about it:

“First time since 2001 that the ABC has declined to fund it. Perhaps Sky News provides enough satire nowadays?” the group’s tweet read.

It’s bad enough that we’ll be missing another Chaser series, but must they rub it in with this scorching reminder of their effortless comic mastery?

For [member and founder Charles] Firth, the ABC’s decision – “They just said they didn’t have the money,” he says was the ABC’s reason behind the rejection ­– is further proof the public broadcaster is conceding to government influence.

“The ABC is an institution in crisis, and it’s a very deliberate thing that’s happened,” he says.

“This decision, along with lots of other decisions” – the recent axings of controversial comedy shows The Checkout and Tonightly, for example – “should leave everyone in no doubt that the Liberals have done their work on the ABC and it’s not the institution it once was.”

When you’re celebrating the virtue of “institutions”, it’s probably time to hand in your edgy outsider badge. But there’s a problem with Firth’s version of events. According to the ABC, the Chaser middle-aged adults forgot to actually propose their new show:

A spokesperson for ABC has denied that the group made a pitch to the broadcaster to make a new election special and says that the group had already begun negotiating with commercial rivals.

Oh, well. Let’s hear more from Firth about institutional greatness:

“The moment you start being safe is the moment you start losing audiences, and you enter a downward spiral where you become irrelevant.

“It hasn’t happened yet, but that’s the problem – they’re in a death spiral where they’re getting safer and safer and they’re going to lose more and more of their audience.

“There are very few decisions in the ABC at the moment where you go, ‘Wow that’s interesting, that’s innovative, that’s really going to push the boundaries,’ which is exactly what you need from a public broadcaster.”

Yet he also wants the ABC to run the same material by the same crew who’ve been doing the same thing during every election for the past 17 years.

Signing the Chaser cis males for 2019 would have been, as Firth puts it, “safe”.

*Youngest original member: 41

The North Sentinel Islands Retain Their Deadly Reputation

North Sentinel Island lies between Thailand and India. It has the reputation of being the most isolated territory on the planet by reason of the inhabitants killing anyone who lands on the island.

From Christianity Today:

85361

US Missionary Killed by ‘World’s Most Isolated’ Tribe.

A 27-year-old American missionary was killed on a remote island off the coast of India, where he attempted to share the gospel with the most isolated tribe in the world.

All Nations, a Christian missions agency based in the US, confirmed that John Allen Chau travelled to North Sentinel Island after years of study and training to evangelise its small indigenous population, who remain almost entirely untouched by modern civilisation.

According to news reports based on Chau’s journal entries, the Oral Roberts University graduate shouted, “My name is John, and I love you and Jesus loves you,” to Sentinelese tribesmen armed with bows and arrows. He fled to a fishing boat when they shot at him during his initial visit, with one arrow piercing his Bible.

The young missionary did not survive a follow-up trip on November 17.

“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people,” the native of Washington state wrote the day before in a letter to his parents obtained by the Daily Mail. “Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed.”

Indian police have not retrieved the young missionary’s body and, since contact with the indigenous tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is prohibited, cannot prosecute his murderers.

The Sentinelese were known to refuse outside contact and attack anyone who stepped on their island.

Some have declared Chau a martyr and compared him to Jim Elliot, who was famously killed at age 28 while attempting to evangelise an isolated indigenous group in Ecuador.

“John was a gracious and sensitive ambassador of Jesus Christ who wanted others to know of God’s great love for them,” said Mary Ho, international executive leader of All Nations, which says it trains and supports 150 missionaries in 31 countries, including India.

“As we grieve for our friend, and pray for all those who mourn his death, we also know that he would want us to pray for those who may have been responsible for his death.”

This was Chau’s third visit to the Andaman and Nicobar island chain. Its police chief called his recent trip “misplaced adventure,” but his family and friends insist that he knowingly violated protocol to enter the dangerous territory for the sake of sharing the gospel.

According to All Nations, Chau joined their organisation last year, after serving on mission in Iraq, Kurdistan, and South Africa. The agency described him as “a seasoned traveller who was well-versed in cross-cultural issues.”

His family posted a tribute on Instagram, saying they forgive those responsible for killing Chau and requesting that charges be dropped against the fishermen accused of endangering his life by helping transport him to North Sentinel Island.

The Joshua Project, a ministry dedicated to tracking unreached ethnic groups, reports that little is known about the Sentinelese due to their isolation and hostility, but asks supporters to “Pray that the Indian Government will allow Christians to earn the trust of the Sentinelese people, and that they will be permitted to live among them.”

Reflection on John 18:33-37


Scripture

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Observation

Jesus is before Pilate on trial for His life.

Pilate summons Jesus and says, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replies asking, “Is this your own idea?”

Pilate then asks, “What is it that you have done?” Jesus answers that His kingdom is not of this world, it is from another place.

Jesus goes on to say that He is in fact a king who has come into the world to testify to truth. Pilate cynically asks, “What is truth?”

Application

Jesus’ kingdom, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, is not of this world. All human kingdoms, no matter how benevolent, carry the taint of sin. Every king who was ever born was a sinner and therefore not perfect.

The values of Jesus’ kingdom are different to the values of human kingdoms.

The kingdom of Jesus does not expand by violent invasion. Rather it is like salt or yeast which seems to be insignificant but actually transforms what it is mixed with.

The kingdom advances by the salvation of individuals. Hearts and minds are changed from the kingdom of this world to allegiance to the king of heaven.

Unlike Islam, which advances by conquest and domination, the kingdom of Jesus advances quietly and by freedom.

As Jesus says, if His kingdom were of this world, His servants would physically fight for Him. This has been tried in the past with disastrous results.

God’s kingdom is the kingdom of agape, sacrificial love. That is our weapon.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you laid down your life for me. Help me to lay down my life for the sake of you and your kingdom. Help me to give myself away in loving my neighbours for your sake. Amen.

Reflection on Revelation 1:1-8

Scripture
“I am the Alpha and the Omega- the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come- the Almighty One.”

Observation
John describes his letter as a revelation from God of events soon to come. God blesses the person who reads the prophecy and those who obey it.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the ruler of the kings of the world. He is coming, and everyone will see Him.

God is the first and the last, the one who is, who always was and is yet to come.

Application
God is the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He is outside of time, and there was not a time when He did not exist.

When we look at the powerful forces at work in the world whether military, political or corporate- we can be overwhelmed by them. Who can stand against them?

God is stronger than all these things. He is bigger than any created thing. He was there before them and will be there long after they have turned to dust. He is the first and the last, the Almighty God.

When it comes to our personal sufferings, our problems, relationships that are difficult, sins that we struggle with- God knows the end from the beginning. He is already at the place where these things are worked through.

God sees our heart, not just the situations we live through.

God is unchanging. He is always the same. Mountains may fall but God will not. Countries and cultures, families and neighbourhoods change, but God does not.

He is the rock. He is the one we can depend on always.

Prayer
Thank you Lord for the certainty that you will always be here. You will always be who you are now. There is no shadow of turning in you. Amen.