from: Debbie McDaniel Crosswalk.com blogspot for Debbie McDaniel of Fresh Day Ahead
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem as Savior and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment. The hundreds of people shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
On the heels of Palm Sunday, as we begin this Holy Week, may we constantly be reminded of its significance and value for our lives today. That very important day in history, when Jesus began His journey towards the cross.
by Dr. Mark Anderson | I Spy Radio
In the wake of the Garland TX shootings, much has been made and continues to be made, about the “appropriateness” of Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” event. As recently as this morning, Martha MacCallum of Fox News interviewed Lars Larson and Jehmu Greene who all agreed Pamela Geller had the absolute right to do what she did but debated the “appropriateness” of her actions to hold the event. Within that heated debate, Martha posed the question “What is the appropriate response to ISIS?” Sadly, due to the combative nature of the interview, it went largely unanswered. So allow me.
When responding to terrorists, it is exceptionally appropriate to demonstrate you are not afraid of them. That their threats of violence—to say nothing of their acts of violence—have done nothing and will do nothing to make you cower in fear. That you will not abridge your own speech out of fear they may do something violent in return.
Showing weakness emboldens terrorists. Unfortunately, weakness now passes as official U.S. policy. Even before he became president, Obama launched his apologetic world tour. He has since backed up those apologies by official actions, conceding time and again in the face of radical Islamic threats. When push came to shove in the “Arab Spring” he sided with the radical elements in Egypt and Libya. He sides with the more radical Syrian rebels (many factions of which evolved into ISIS) over the more secular and moderate (though despicable) President Bashar al-Assad.
Reminiscent of Palestinians throwing rocks at well-armed Israeli soldiers, Obama has launched just enough missiles and drone strikes from afar, to give the appearance of doing “something” to the American people. But absent is a bold, authoritative, and crushing offensive strike that would send the message that needs to be sent.
In this sense, Pamela Geller’s event was entirely appropriate. She—a woman no less—stood in the face of violence, shook her fist, and proclaimed, “We will not be silent!” Would Martha MacCallum question the “appropriateness” of a woman standing up to an abusive husband with a similar determination of “I will not be silent!”?
It’s not just Martha MacCallum but many of the Fox News team. Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren, and others have scolded Geller over the “appropriateness” of her event—while conceding her right to hold it. The only two who seem to get it are Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity. In an on-air exchange, Megyn absolutely dismantled O’Reilly pontificating with a single question: “You know what else the jihadis don’t like? They hate Jews. Should we get rid of all Jews?”
It’s also highly appropriate to know the mindset of the people you’re fighting, to know your enemy. And judging from the self-righteous comments of those on Fox News and others like Jehmu Greene in this morning’s debate, I would guess none of them have actually read the Qur’an. I challenge them to do so; I invite you to do so. There is a highly respected English translation, fully searchable, electronic version of the Qu’ran available on the page for Show 5-04 (see the “Links Mentioned” section). Take a look. See for yourself about the treatment of Jews and Christians and the absolutely permissible act of killing them if they do not submit to the superiority of Islam. The difference between moderate and radical Islamic beliefs is that moderates view the killing of Jews and Christians as “permissible”; radical Islamists view it as a commandment.
If the Fox News crew actually knew the mindset of radical Islamists, they would know that the “appropriate” response against radicalized violence is strength. On I Spy Radio, I have interviewed multiple guests on radical Islam and ISIS, from Brigitte Gabriel (Act! for America) to Dr. Andrew Bostom to Joseph Klein to Dr. Bruce Thornton to, most recently, Raymond Ibrahim. In discussions with them both on and off the air, all of them underscore that the Middle Eastern mindset is one that respects strength. This has existed for centuries. The Muslim incursions into Europe did not stop because Christians the world over apologized. The incursions stopped because of strength, because of the Crusades, which proclaimed via actions that Christians had had enough and were also willing to die for their faith.
The Fox commentators have also used the infamous “Piss Christ” (an “artwork” of a crucifix in a jar of urine) as an example to counter Geller’s event in that they agreed the artist had a right to do it but that it too was “inappropriate.” They are correct that it was inappropriate. But it’s a false comparison because his rights as an artist were not being threatened. If Christians were dragging atheists or artists out into the streets and beheading then, yes, “Piss Christ” would have been an absolutely appropriate response. Instead, it was an artist with a cushy fat taxpayer grant thumbing his nose at Christians, whose tax dollars helped fund it. The only way you can compare “Piss Christ” to Geller’s event would be if there had been no radical Islamic killings of Westerners, no threats of violence, no implied or overt threats of forcing America to abide by Sharia law—and that Muslims had funded Geller’s event to insult them.
Another common refrain among the Fox News commentators is that Pamela Geller should not have “provoked” the radical Islamists. Our very existence “provokes” radical Islamists. To echo Megyn Kelly, the very existence of Jews and Christians “provoke” them (unless they were to admit the superiority and ultimate authority of Islam). Our way of life is an insult to them. They hate that our women flaunt themselves and walk around half naked—to say nothing of their demands of equal rights with men.
Our entire existence as a nation “provokes” them. They hate us for our freedoms and not just freedom of speech but all of them. The very fact that we’re free to worship who we want and how we want throws it in their face that we have not submitted, that we have not turned our society on its head to follow the dictates of Islam. And they hate that we have even enshrined all of this in the Constitution that guarantees us these rights and this ability to thumb our nose at radical Islam.
So many of our Founding Fathers proclaimed the price of Liberty was so high and so precious they were willing to die to defend it. Do you think Pamela Geller or those attending the “Draw Mohammed” contest—or the former Muslim who won it—weren’t all keenly aware that they were putting their own lives at risk for standing up for freedom? In decrying the “appropriateness” of Pamela Geller’s event, the Fox News crew admitted her right to free speech. Just as they have the right to criticize. And yet it makes one wonder whether they too would put their lives on the line to defend it?
Standing up with strength and resolve, and knowing that it is the correct response in the face of those who would do violence against you simply because you dared to stand up is appropriate. Because the price of freedom is that, at some point, you will be offended. Some are willing to pay the ultimate price for freedom. Others take the safety of the newsroom.
The I Spy Radio Show is not your typical conservative talk radio show. They are a one-hour show and not just news but actual analysis. Host, Mark Anderson, and top-level guests give a more in-depth insight in one hour than most shows do in three.
Don’t get yelled at. Get informed.
UPDATE: The GoFundMe account for the Kleins has been shut down by GoFundMe administrators claiming that the money is being raised for illegal purposes. The Kleins are working with the fundraising site to have the account reinstated as the money raised will be used by the family for legal and living expenses. These uses are well within the TOS of GoFundMe so the hope is that the account will be reinstated soon. In the meantime, if you would like to donate to the Klein family, Samaritan’s Purse has set up an alternate site.
Aaron and Melissa Klein ran a small bakery called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” for seven years in Gresham, Oregon, but had to shut down their store in 2013 after Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman filed a civil rights complaint against them. Administrative judge Alan McCullough ruled Friday that the funds will go to Cryer and Bowman for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”
Samaritan’s Purse is raising funds to help the Kleins pay their fine and meet other expenses. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children.
“Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”
If you want to help Aaron and Melissa and other Christians deal with blatant discrimination, make a donation to our “Persecuted Christians—USA” fund below.
The Kleins shared their story last year in Decision magazine. Click here to read.
from The Daily Signal
An Oregon administrative law judge recommended today that the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding should be fined $135,000.
“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the same-sex couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, administrative law judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in his proposed order.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa located in Gresham, Ore., say the fine is enough to potentially bankrupt their family of seven.
The dispute began in January 2013, when Aaron denied Rachel Cryer a wedding cake after learning there would be two brides in her wedding.
Read the full complaint here
SKS Note: A GoFundMe page has been set-up for the family.
Salem’s Union Gospel Mission has put together a FAQ on panhandlers and if you’ve ever considered giving money to a panhandler take a moment and give this a read:
We see them on our streets daily. They are usually holding a cardboard sign that says in a variety of ways, “please help me.”
Does your heart go out to them? Do you want to stop and do something? Most of us want to offer help; it gives us a good feeling when we can offer food or tuck a few dollars in their hand. But who are we really helping when we give to panhandlers?
It might be helpful to ask ourselves some questions the next time we are approached for help:
- Will this move them out of the “danger zone”? Does it move them ahead out of the situation they are in?
- Will this solve any drug or alcohol abuse problems they might be facing?
- Will this train them for jobs, provide needed counseling or offer other life skills?
- Will this help them face and overcome the obstacles that have defeated them in the past? Or will this just continue to enable a lifestyle that is destroying them?
The reality is that giving to panhandlers is more about how it makes us feel than it is about bringing lasting change and restoration to struggling lives. Panhandling is unhealthy for the panhandler, and it is unhealthy for the community.
We encourage you to restore hope and restore lives by saying no to panhandlers and yes to supporting life-changing programs that are available free or for a small charge by the nonprofit charitable organizations within our community.
Here are some Meal Tickets—cut them out—keep them in your wallet or purse and the next time a panhandler approaches you, be ready to give them a meal ticket good for a meal and other services at UGM. If they really want to escape from their situation, it will be the kindest act you can do.
Disclaimer for the meal tickets: Meal tickets are meant for information only. Anyone who comes to us in need of meal will be served. Our guests do not need to have tickets in order to receive a meal.
Practical what to do: A way that we would encourage you to respond to a request for food or change would be “Sorry, not today sir (or mam). What’s your name? Well (their name), I know that the Union Gospel Mission serves 3 meals a day, 7 days a week and this card has the times that the meals are being served and the address of the Mission. God bless you!”
from The Gospel Coalition
America is in the midst of a seismic cultural shift in matters of faith, family, and freedom.
More than 35 states now issue same-sex marriage licenses. An increasing number of scholars and judges insist that the First Amendment only protects the freedom to believe—not the freedom to live out those beliefs. At least one state now compels employers to provide insurance coverage for elective abortions. Many cities nationwide ban religious employers from hiring and firing based on their religious convictions. Gender fluidity is gaining legal and political legitimacy.
Churches cannot afford to ignore the fallout of the sexual revolution. Churches that desire to maintain a faithful gospel witness increasingly feel the effects of these cultural changes.
Pastors are being asked to perform same-sex ceremonies and admit same-sex couples to marriage enrichment retreats. Churches face litigation for holding their employees—including pastors or music directors—to a biblical sexual ethic. Church administrators receive requests to use church sanctuaries for same-sex ceremonies. Pastors who teach the sanctity of human life and the creation institution of marriage are frequently labeled “political” and threatened with the loss of their church’s tax-exempt status.
These new political, cultural, and legal realities directly affect the church’s freedom to live out its faith. While most church decisions about internal governance or doctrine currently enjoy constitutional protection, churches cannot assume that these protections will stand indefinitely. Maintaining a gospel-centered witness in today’s culture requires not only standing firm on the truths of Scripture, but also taking affirmative steps to protect the church’s freedom to continue peacefully teach and live out its faith.
Here are five ways churches can protect their freedom to maintain fidelity to the faith.
From Oregon Catalyst
Over 1,500 people attended yesterday’s Freedom Rally for conservative values at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The rally, put on by the Oregon Liberty Alliance, was to support family values, life, public safety, fiscal responsibility and religious liberty.
Colonel Oliver North speaking at the Oregon Convention Center Freedom Rally (h/t Leo Stratton)
The governor of Wisconsin was on a trade mission to the United Kingdom. So, naturally, a reporter asked him whether he believed that Moses had ridden atop a Tyrannosaurus Rex to receive the Ten Commandments.
I mean, that’s the point of asking “do you believe in evolution?,” right? Because, surely, the questioner isn’t interested in Scott Walker’s feelings on the successive generational changes in biological populations. And surely, no one really cares what Scott Walker thinks about genetic drift.
“For me, I’m going to punt on that one as well,” Walker responded. “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another. So, I’m going to leave that up to you.” In the real world that answer would suffice. In the political world, it prompts thousands of twitter accounts to erupt in contrived scorn.
Big government is incapable of doing what it’s supposed to do. Bill Whittle has a couple of suggestions for fixing what the government can’t. Watch!