Day of Silence Has an Agenda

And so here comes the annual “Day of Silence” in public schools as one of the useful weapons in this war on children, which includes pronouns as a battlefield, schools secretly colluding with deeply disturbed children behind parents’ backs, and even teachers encouraging students to join private “gay” clubs on Instagram without parental knowledge.

This is what “social justice” looks like in some American schools. If you object, you are a “bully.” But like many of you, I am not buying it.

The“Day of Silence” in 2019 is on Friday, April 12 and it’s time, parents, to find out if and how it will be observed at your child’s school. If it is, you can count on a flood of propaganda selling “LGBT” identities to children in the pretense of preventing bullying. It’s an event created by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, GLSEN, which is a homosexual group, and the whole thing is a scam to promote homosexuality and gender confusion to impressionable children—the younger, the better.

Here’s how the bullying story goes. We are told that people who claim a homosexual or opposite sex identity—which no one needs to do, so always keep that in mind—that these folks are relentlessly bullied, are perennial victims, and are being “silenced” everywhere. 

Sure, some of these folks are bullied and that’s never acceptable. But exaggeration of the phony narrative continues. The DOS supporters will claim that all who object to these harmful behaviors are part of the bullying problem, which is quite a stretch relative to the actual facts.

Any person can object to high-risk “LGBTQ” behavior but also, never bully anyone. And of course, faithful Christians believe the Word of God, and so we know this behavior is wrong and unnecessary. We are not designed for this conduct. So the Day of Silence is an event that, by definition, discriminates against Christians. Who are the real bullies here?

The “Day of Silence” is now essentially a campaign all year long in many schools, which makes the Walkout necessary.

And here’s another grave concern– the Day of Silence does a real number on kids’ minds and hearts, and contributes to the “dumbing down” of American education.

Here’s how the DOS presents logical fallacies to students. The DOS and its “anti-bullying” platform weaves the following story:

1. Bullying is always wrong. ( Okay, this much is true).

2. Many if not most young people who identify as homosexual or “transgender” are bullied.

3. Therefore, to stop bullying, we must approve of homosexual or gender rebellious behavior.

You are scratching your head because you see the obvious problems in logic here. If a student with poor hygiene is bullied, does that mean, to show “support,” we stop teaching about the benefits of good grooming? Of brushing one’s teeth? Of regular bathing?

Here’s what the DOS and its allies don’t want kids (and parents) to think about—the huge obvious question they have left unanswered, deliberately so.

It’s this— Is homosexuality inborn? Can it ever change? Are some people born “in the wrong sex body”? And what about negative outcomes—are there any?

These essential questions are never addressed, leaving many students to assume that:

1. The adults in charge have done the research on this, and

2. We can trust them. They would not mislead us, and so

3. “LGBTQ” feelings and conduct must be inborn for some people.

It’s a huge con job with faulty implied assumptions, because no one is born to engage in homosexual/gender rebellious conduct. These are desires that develop long after birth, influenced by life circumstances, abuse, trauma, and personal attitudes.

Linda Harvey

Christ in Our Culture

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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Money can be a tool for good. But if we love wealth and begin to hoard riches, we have a problem. Jesus spoke about money more than He did any other topic, except for the kingdom of God. Why? How we handle our earthly treasures reveals the state of our heart. Do we love wealth and its trappings more than we love God? Let’s find out how to keep money in its place.

Jesus’ Teaching on Riches

Read Luke 12:13-34.

What incident prompts the Lord’s teaching on money?

Jesus said, “Not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

How does a person’s quality of life differ from the quantity of his or her possessions?

What was the source of the rich man’s abundance (v. 16)?

The farmer assumes that because he is rich, he will have many years to enjoy his wealth. He exemplifies the attitude, “Take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (v. 19). But the parable illustrates that we can run out of time before we run out of money.

Why does God call the rich man a fool (v. 20)?

What is the potential eternal cost of hoarding money or valuable possessions during your lifetime (James 5:1-3; 1 Cor. 3:15-16)?

The essential characteristic of a covetous man is that he lays up treasure for himself. His aim is to please himself and gratify his greed.

If Jesus were telling this story today, the rich man might have added an extra room, filled his basement, or rented a storage unit to house extra possessions. Can you relate to having so many things that you don’t have space for them all?

Do you ever hoard money or objects, perhaps to give you a sense of security or greater self-esteem? Explain.

Note: Hoarding money differs from saving for specific needs, such as a car, college tuition, or retirement. It usually involves refusing to give generously to the needs of others.

In Luke 12:22, Jesus speaks about worry. What is the connection between greed and worry?

Do you worry about having enough to provide for present or future needs? Why or why not?

What comparisons does Jesus make to illustrate the needlessness of worry (v. 29-30)?

Anxiety stops, not because we close our eyes to our needs, but because we fix our eyes on a loving God who is greater than our problems.

The rich man should have shared his wealth with others (Luke 12:33). Instead, he assumed that his surplus was for his own consumption.

Do you have “extra”? In other words, do you have money for non-essentials, such as a new cell phone, updated clothing, or a new electronic device when the ones you have are still adequate? Give a few examples.

The rich man reasons “to himself” when he realizes he has extra (v. 17) instead of turning to the Lord for direction. When you get a windfall, do you ask God how He wants you to use it? Explain why or why not.

In what specific way could you help meet the needs of others with the extra resources you have?

Man looks at the dollar amount given; God looks at the sacrifice involved. Read Mark 12:41-44. The poor widow gives the equivalent of only one cent, but her gift is more important in God’s sight than the large donations of the wealthy.

Is your giving sacrificial, like the widow’s? Or is it fairly painless, as was the case with the wealthy men of Jesus’ day?

Pursuing riches can also keep us from seeking heavenly treasure, or “true riches.”

Read 1 Timothy 6:9. What kinds of temptations do those who seek to be wealthy face?

What temptations have you experienced in your desire to have money or the lifestyle of the wealthy?

Greed can have many faces. Some people have a specific amount in mind (“I want to have a million dollars”); others are constantly seeking nicer cars, jewelry, clothing, homes, or other material possessions.

In what ways are you tempted to be greedy?

In one of his sermons, John Wesley said, “Having first gained all you can . . . and secondly saved all you can . . . then give all you can.” He practiced what he preached. At the end of his life, his salary was 120 British pounds a year but he lived on only 28 pounds. The rest he gave away.

Prayer: The heavenly Father is pleased to provide for your needs (Luke 12:32). Take your concerns to God in prayer, knowing that He delights in meeting your needs. Ask Him for an eternal perspective—money is just a tool for His purposes; true riches are found as we seek His kingdom first.

Life in the Body of Christ

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The Fullness

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  (Colossians 2:9, NKJV).

This is one of the most prodigious titles of Christ found in Scripture. Here He is fully invested with all the powers, prerogatives, attributes, and virtues of the Deity. Embodied in Christ is the sum total of all that God is. He satisfies the fullness of creative power, redeeming love, enduring life, and perfection. Every quality of deity–dignity, authority, excellence, and power–rest fully in Christ.

Paul’s affirmation that the complete being of God is revealed in Jesus is further emphasized by the adverb “bodily.” God’s fullness resides in the glorified body of Christ in which He ascended to His heavenly Father (see Philippians 3:21). In this affirmation, those who are redeemed are drawn into oneness with God through Christ. The redeemed are complete in Christ, who is the fullness of God (see Colossians 2:10).

The exciting truth is that Christ has filled our emptiness. We who have been saved have become one united body with Christ and therefore share in His fullness. The apostle John confirms this fact in the prologue to his Gospel: “Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Those who are redeemed by God’s grace, are complete in Christ; their emptiness is filled by His fullness.

Without Christ’s fullness, our lives are empty, incomplete, and utterly hopeless. But united with Him and incorporated in Him, we are bonded spiritually to Him. “In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead… The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character.”–Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 115.

My Prayer Today: Redeemer, because You are the fullness of the Godhead, I ask that You would fill my emptiness until I am complete in You. Amen.

Life in Christ

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Can You See Me Now?

Reading: Revelation 2:8-11

Reflection: The seven churches to which the letters in the book of Revelation are addressed were actual communities of Christ followers living in a time of great persecution. They were questioning where God was in all of their suffering, why Christ hadn’t returned, and when God would release them from their struggles.

In order to proclaim Christ’s sovereignty, and declare God’s presence and purpose, the apostle had to use language that would make sense to them, but not to their persecutors. And, so he chose the language of the Old Testament prophets. Revelation is filled with images, metaphors, and word plays that can be found in Ezekiel, Daniel, and the other prophets.

Today’s reading is the letter to the Church in Smyrna. This community was experiencing great suffering, and so they were called to faith, and to trust that, though they were being persecuted, their pain would end. The call was for them to stay faithful in the midst of their trial.

On Sunday, we will read of Jesus teaching that suffering can come on the innocent, and that faith is not a guarantee of a pain-free life. Yet, no matter what we may experience, life is found when we stay faithful and bear fruit – which means to bring life to others – as this church did. How can you stay faithful and kind even in times of struggle?

Practice for Today: When we greet other people in worship, we’re not just saying “Hello”. We’re taking the time to see and acknowledge them and open ourselves to their stories. This connects us and strengthens us and brings life to all of us. In times of struggle this simple act can be powerfully healing. Try it today.

Prayer for Today: As I welcome others into my heart, O God, help me to see you in them.

Communion with Christ

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Morning Prayer

…till the Spirit is poured on us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:15-17, NIV

Lord our God, we look to your Holy Spirit. Unite us with your Spirit, we pray. May we be children of your Spirit, ruled throughout our lives by your Spirit. There is so much else around us wanting to teach us and claiming to represent the truth, and we are full of fear unless help comes from your Spirit alone. Your Spirit comes to us as helper and comforter, who helps us find the way to go. Hear us, your children, whom you want to lead and whose Savior you want to be through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Indiana Court Rules Sale of Aborted Babies Is Now Illegal

The sale of aborted baby body parts is now illegal, according to a court ruling that approved an Indiana law.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a previous trial judge’s decision to block the law be removed, paving the way for the law to be put in place.

According to the law, a “person who intentionally acquires, receives, sells, or transfers fetal tissue commits unlawful transfer of fetal tissue, a level 5 felony.”

The dispute started when the University of Indiana sued for the right to use the aborted tissue for research.

According to Courthouse News, an Indiana professor “has been using fetal tissue in his research since 2011 as a control to understand differences between and healthy and unhealthy brains.”

University officials claimed in their suit that the law violated the First Amendment.

In the most recent ruling in the case, the judge said the state’s law was “not equivalent” to a prohibition on free speech.

He added that the ruling “does not eliminate the possibility of serious debate about when, if at all, it is ethical to perform medical experiments on aborted fetal tissue.”

The ruling in Indiana is the latest following the 2015 undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress, which showed Planned Parenthood executives discussing the process of acquiring and selling aborted baby parts.

Investigations by the House and the Senate led to tougher enforcement on abortion laws and a slew of lawsuits.

In the aftermath of the release of videos, Operation Rescue reported that dozens of Planned Parenthood executives left their top tier roles in the organization.

“Pretty much everyone who had anything to do with the trafficking of aborted babies is gone from Planned Parenthood, including their CEO Cecile Richards,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.

Amanda Casanova

Christ in Our Culture

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A Voice You Know

Many people wonder today if God still speaks to believers. This question is the subject of numerous books, articles, and lectures. If He does communicate directly to His followers, how does He do so? Can we know the message is really from Him?

The Lord speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. He is the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. God’s Spirit dwells within each Christian, just as Jesus promised in John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”.

The book of Acts records several occasions when the Holy Spirit spoke to Paul and Peter. It can’t be denied that those men had a special gift and call upon their lives. They were apostles—men handpicked by Christ to spread the gospel worldwide. But the same Holy Spirit who indwelt those men lives within every believer today. Just as they needed God’s direction at critical times in their lives, we also need divine guidance.

In his letters to the Christians in Rome and Galatia, the apostle Paul refers to believers as “led by the Spirit” (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18). It would be difficult to lead someone with whom you were not communicating. The same is true for the Holy Spirit. If we’re going to be led by Him, we can only assume He is more than willing—and able—to speak to us.

Like the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit is equally God, and He freely submits to the Father’s will. Jesus explained that “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13).

There are three important things this verse teaches us:

The Holy Spirit is trustworthy.

The third person of the Trinity is called the Spirit of truth. He leads believers into truth, and that makes Him reliable. Moreover, He is one with the Father and is sent by Him.

The Holy Spirit will guide us.

Jesus didn’t say that the Helper, or “Counselor,” would control us; rather, the Lord said that His Spirit would guide us. Granted, there may be times when we wish God would take charge of our lives and all the choices we make. But He doesn’t and never will. We possess the ability to willfully follow His leading. As a result, we are always responsible for our words and actions.

The Spirit helps believers discern between what is true and false, wise and foolish, right and wrong. Each day is full of decisions. Most of them concern issues not specifically addressed in the Scriptures—for example, Where should I attend school? What job should I take? Should we sell our house or move to another city? And these are just a few of life’s difficult questions. We often need help finding our way.

As you handle the details of everyday life, God uses His Spirit to lead you. Through Him, the Lord provides the discernment you need to make both big and small choices. As you develop a greater sensitivity to His promptings, you’ll worry much less about the decisions facing you.

The Holy Spirit is God’s “mouthpiece.”

God has chosen to communicate to His children through His Spirit. Because He abides within believers, the Holy Spirit has direct access to our hearts, minds, and spirits. When God chooses to speak directly to you, it will always be through this divine Counselor. Even reading the Bible should be an activity in which we invite Him to lead us.

Knowing the voice of God through His Spirit is something we learn over time. This recognition requires that we live day to day in submission to the Lord, setting aside time to quiet our minds and still our bodies. We must also go to Him regularly throughout the day, in the midst of our tasks and obligations, joys and worries. Eventually, we will come to know His voice so well that we’ll be able to hear Him even in the most difficult and busy circumstances.

Does God speak to believers? You better believe it. The real question is whether we’re we willing to listen to Him. Are you?

Life in the Body of Christ

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