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CLARITY – 6-5-20 Quandary of Authority

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-5-20

Quandary of Authority

What’s Happening: “The latest incident, that of an NYPD SUV police car ploughing into a crowd of protesters, hasn’t helped the NYPD reputation…or for hundreds of other policing forces across America. Then, as if to add insult to injury, Mayor Bill de Blasio said referring to the incident, ‘I do believe the NYPD acted appropriately.’ Being elected in 2013 largely on his progressive promise to stop the controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy, social media then lit up. The article in The Guardian, yesterday, was not too complimentary and gave a long list of incidents of what author Ed Pilkington termed police brutality. In training, however, the police are taught to defend themselves with ‘helmet and baton’ and ‘do not hesitate to utilize that equipment in securing your personal safety.’ The dilemma for a cop in America is to represent authority and the rule of law…gently. However, as any cop will tell you, it is often not a gentle business (https://news.yahoo.com/york-police-seconds-restore-reputation-090002496.html). Quoting from the article: ‘Wong (attorney for the Cop Accountability Project [CAP] within the Legal Aid Society) believes such endemic deployment of excessive force has spilled over into the NYPD’s handling of the George Floyd protests. She was present at a peaceful protest in Brooklyn that suddenly turned volatile not because of the behavior of protesters, but by a sudden change of tack on the part of the police.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “As long as they don’t put a knee on my neck or employ a choke hold…!”

Biblical Response:  “Both George Floyd’s and Eric Garner’s early demise at cop’s hands were truly tragic. And justice will be had…here or there (Heb. 9:27). Still, it doesn’t lessen the authority’s quandary of using enough force to be emphatic and keep folks safe, but not so much as to be abusive (2 Tim, 2:24-25)…all on a salary that some would consider laughable. (It reminds me of my wife’s chosen profession: that of a teacher…little salary, great reward; obviously, she doesn’t do it for the money.)

“Christians? Our calling is equally impossible. We have to represent an Authority that is just…and merciful. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit. He makes the impossible possible. Now there’s a thought. What if we were to make being born again a prerequisite for police applications? Hmmm… Just a thought.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to find that delicate balance that demonstrates the dual nature of Your love; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 6-4-20 Injuring the Future

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-4-20

Injuring the Future

What’s Happening: “Apparently, America is not the only place where school children are targeted. Thirty-nine were injured in a knife attack by a security guard in China earlier today. Not often do these attacks occur (the last to occur in China was in  October of 2018). Still, it’s an attack on the future as all kids will one day be future adults…if they live long enough. The vulnerability has caused many schools in China (and in the U.S.) to hire security guards…which makes this attack particularly heinous…as it was carried out by a ‘trusted’ security guard. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/least-39-injured-knife-attack-053127388.html). Quoting the Associated Press article: ‘Almost 20 children were killed in school attacks in 2010, prompting a response from top government officials and leading many schools to add gates and security guards.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s 39 amongst so many millions?”

Biblical Response:  “It may not be too many percentage-wise, but it only takes one to come up with a cure for cancer or the next pandemic. Children are to be considered a sacred trust. Read what the Bible has to say on the topic:

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.” (Ps. 127:3-4 NASU)

The image given is this is how we can affect the future…we shoot our children there. We, the parents, are the warriors spoken of, and the Lord participates (Eph. 6:4). We are to set godly examples (and that may include doing a better job of vetting security guards!).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in affecting our futures, as the above Scripture indicates. And, thanks to the Holy Spirit, our kids don’t have to rely on our own examples…though we are held accountable for them. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for our kids to each have their own relationship with God…that way, they are not a copy of a copy, etc., till they give off an image that is too faded for others to recognize the Original.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to look at children as the stewardship they are; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 6-3-20 B & E in the 21st Century

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-3-20

B & E in the 21st Century

What’s Happening: “Hackers, termed ‘Anonymous,’ with the iconic Guy Fawkes mask from the Alan Moore graphic novel V for Vendetta, with the tagline ‘we are legion,’ may have been responsible for overloading the Minneapolis Police Department’s website…in any case, it was offline. Anonymous then published what it claimed were public email addresses and passwords, though they appeared to be an old list of expired or useless data. These ‘hacktivists’ have been laying low in recent years, but the George Floyd situation seems to have brought them out (https://news.yahoo.com/george-floyd-anonymous-hackers-emerge-130448682.html).  Quoting from the BBC article by David Malloy and Joe Tidy: ‘The first major Anonymous operation to make headlines was against the Church of Scientology in 2008, in which it used DDoS attacks to knock some of the organisation’s websites offline, along with prank calls and empty fax messages designed to disrupt their communications.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Hmm…think of it, my computer has been running a bit slow lately…”

Biblical Response:  “Couldn’t be the overload from a bandwidth that was not designed for excessive data by the government trying to ‘stimulate’ the economy? I don’t know whether this is the work of Anonymous or just ‘fear having torment’ (1 John 4:18). Still, it’s just a sign of B & E in the 21ct Century, It may be more sophisticated, but is still stealing…and shouldn’t be glorified…any more than the looting. It all falls under the maxim of ‘Thou shall not steal’ (Ex, 20:15).”

“Christians? We believe that theTen Commandments (Ex 20; Lev. 19) are just that…NOT suggestions. That our laws are based on these edicts, is no coincidence.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have the right attitude about our laws, considering them a ‘haven’ not a ‘hell;’  in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 6-2-20 So That’s Why We Have An Immigration Problem

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-2-20

So That’s Why We Have An Immigration Problem

What’s Happening: “Remember the tragic case of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman just released by Pakistan’s Supreme Court…after spending 10 years in jail for blaspheming the name of Mohammed?! Well, there’s now an even more ridiculous case. Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel, a Christian couple in Pakistan, were convicted in 2014 and have been incarcerated since then and their case is finally coming up for appeal. What makes it ridiculous (aside from being politically/religiously absurd) is they were convicted for sending a blasphemous text when they were not literate enough to have sent it! No matter, judges are so fearful of religious reprisal they fear to release them. No wonder we have an immigration problem! People the world over would love to live where true religious freedom is enshrined (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52889974). Quoting the BBC article: ‘Shagufta’s brother Joseph, who requested his surname not be published, told the BBC the couple were innocent, and he doubted they were literate enough even to have written the abusive messages. Shagufta worked as a caretaker in a Christian school, whilst her husband Shafqat is partially paralysed.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Islam should be outlawed everywhere!”

Biblical Response:  “Your sentiment, though probably shared by many, is one of the reasons our Founders wanted to protect religious freedom…and guaranteed it in the very first Amendment.

A religion that can’t stand the scrutiny of everyday life (God intervenes or He doesn’t) won’t be practised long. This ‘survival of the fittest’ sort of ‘supernatural selection’ has served Christianity well these past two thousand years. The only problem is, it causes a huge magnetic draw to America and other countries where this freedom is protected. Maybe other countries will get a hint eventually and foster their own liberating laws…maybe not…maybe that’s why there’s the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).” 

“Christians? We don’t believe that Allah is just the Muslim name of Jehovah (jihad, sanctioned by the Muslim’s Q’ran [Koran], has ‘justified’ in many extemists’ minds all kinds of reprehensible activities). Does that give us license to denigrate someone else’s religion? Not hardly! It’s unnecessary. We just know that Jehovah God offers heaven for anyone making Jesus Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). Christianity will work…and stand on its own superiority. That doesn’t mean we are to stand back and just let nature take its course. There are real people who will greatly benefit from knowing the truth (John 8:32; John 14:6).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have the courage to give the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Pet. 3:15); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 6-1-20 Restraint Will Win

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-1-20

Restraint Will Win

What’s Happening: “Another night of violence swept across many of the nation’s major cities last night, though peaceful protests out-numbered looting and fires. In Minneapolis, the site a week ago of the tragic death of black George Floyd, under arrest and handcuffed, there were mostly peaceful protests, though there were significant exceptions. There were over 4,400 arrests nationwide, according to an Associated Press tally, and many cities were under an 8:00pm curfew order. Across the street from the White House a Park Service building appeared to be on fire, but D.C. firemen quickly extinguished the flames. Some governors have called out the National Guard in their states…other governors have threatened that… (https://www.yahoo.com/news/minneapolis-other-major-cities-face-234559456.html). Quoting the NBC News article earlier today: ‘Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Sunday that two police officers had been fired in connection with their involvement in the arrests of college students who were recorded on video being pulled from their car. Three officers were put on desk duty pending an investigation, Bottoms and Police Chief Erika Shields said at a news conference.  ‘I am genuinely sorry,’ Shields said. ‘This is not what we are about.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “My guess is that the rioters are not social distancing…”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…and the masks they wear are more to protect identity than thwart infection. It seems that the rioters are more concerned with looting, fires and vandalism than they are real social change or anger over racism by authorities….and the coronavirus takes even lesser concern. The designation of Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization by the President may stymie the financial input of those who want to foment division in the country…but only temporarily.”

“The answer right now may be restraint as ‘a soft answer turns away wrath’ (Prov. 15:1). People are angry at racism and justifiably so. But REAL change will only come as folks are allowed to express themselves PEACEFULLY…the looting, fires and vandalism are only expressions of immaturity…or crude attempts by power brokers at co-opting ‘better angels.’ Authority should not react to anger, but dispassionately enforce against those who have not learned to respect private property or the rule of law.”

“Christians? What a great opportunity to peacefully demonstrate FOR love, peace, love, patience, love, kindness, love, self-control, love, etc. The Floyd family should be showered with comfort. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t seek justice, or that the police in Minneapolis shouldn’t express embarrassment, abject humility, and more rigorous internal enforcement, but patience and restraint should be the order of the day for all.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us seek change…slowly…and permanently…and may the God of peace reign in America once again; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 5-30-20 Impatient for Justice

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-30-20

Impatient for Justice

What’s Happening: “White Officer Derek Chavin was charged Friday with 3rd Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Manslaughter in the death of black George Floyd, already under arrest and handcuffed for passing a counrfeit $20 bill. Protesters In Minneappolis and nine other cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Louisville, Phoenix, Memphis and Columbus), although happy about the arrest, seemed generally negative that it took so long. Looting and arson have been common in Minneapolis, including over 150 establishments and the 3rd precinct police headquarters, which the protesters vandalized (https://news.yahoo.com/officer-held-over-us-death-172413019.html). Quoting the BBC article that appeared yesterday: ‘Nearly two minutes before he removed his knee the other officers checked Mr Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and were unable to find one. He was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center in an ambulance and pronounced dead around an hour later.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s obvious to me he was racially motivated to kill.”

Biblical Response:  “You’re likely right…but a similar rush to judgement isn’t going to help! Similar? How so? Not only was officer Chavin guilty of a ‘rush to judgement’ (apparently along with the three officers who stood by and watched), but so are the looting-burning-vandalizing protesters (or should I label them rioters?). And the Minneapolis Police have not been slow in their charging of Officer Chavin. Remember, reason takes time, emotion just wants to react (Prov. 12:19).

Is their racial prejudice in America? Sadly, yes. However, we didn’t get here overnight. Likely, the solution will require patience. Eventual justice and long-term change is not possible without a heart change (John 3:3-7). Like I’ve said before: There will never be peace on earth, until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man.” 

“Christians? We believe in universal submission (Isaiah 11:9-10). However, the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) wasn’t given for drill. There will probably have to be a lot of time, effort, and patience between here and there.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us seek justice…patiently: in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 5-29-20 ‘Foreign’ Culture War

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-29-20

‘Foreign’ Culture War

What’s Happening: “Tragedies happen even in Iran. What else would you call the ‘honor killing’ of a 14-year old girl by her father for eloping with a forbidden ‘older man’ (he was 29; the legal age for women to marry in Iran is 13)? There are some in Iran’s media who decry such barbaric customs…they are trying to be more acceptable to the West…they fly in the face of President Rouhani and conservative factions who now control the government. The father apparently decapitated the girl in her sleep; there are some anti-violence bills pending in their legislature (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-outraged-honour-killing-14-103620523.html).  Quoting from an article yesterday in the The Telegraph: ‘On Twitter, Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, said a bill on the protection of young people was in the ‘final phase’ of validation by Iran’s Guardian Council.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So why should I care about a tragedy in Iran?”

Biblical Response:  “Because it’s not just a tragedy in Iran…it’s a  tragedy anywhere. Normally, we should let ‘foreign’ cultures establish their own norms…and there is a culture war going on in Iran today..and if  they want to sow what is regarded by the West as reprehensible, their reaping will eventually teach them the wrongness of this practice (though they still haven’t learned after multiple millennia – Gal. 6:7). 

“I say normally. You’ve probably noticed I’ve always put ‘foreign’ in quotes. That’s because all cultures are ‘foreign’ to Christians. We’re not of this world (John 18:36). Living by the Word of God can make us seem weird to others, non-normal. And we’re often the objects of persecution. What do I say to that? It comes with the territory (1 Pet. 4;12-14). Living in a predominantly Christian country has gained us a culture that considers ‘honor killing’ barbarism…though I don’t know how we can be repulsed by that and embrace the equally barbaric practice of abortion…but I digress.”

“Christians? We believe in a culture that is antithetical to much of what a ‘good’ Muslim believes (for that matter, much of what CHRINOs believe – Christians In Name Only). The only way our culture war (or Iran’s or anyone’s) is won, is for we Christians to get the Good News out. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) has repercussions.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to seek the world’s salvation and the Christian culture that comes with a global Christian consensus; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 5-28-20 A Black and White Issue

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-28-20

A Black and White Issue

What’s Happening: “Protests broke out in Minneapolis again (this is the second night) over the killing of George Floyd by alleged police brutality. A bystander-shot video of the officers involved (Derek Chavin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng), with a clear image of Officer Chavin kneeling on the neck of handcuffed Floyd…who was begging the officer to let him breathe was all over the internet. Floyd was pronounced dead at the hospital later. Police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets in response to adjacent lootings and arson at Target, Family Dollar and Auto Zone stores (https://news.yahoo.com/conflict-erupts-minneapolis-l-protests-023046760.html). ‘I cannot risk the safety of innocent people and so that is what I’ve been sworn to uphold and that is what I am dedicated to do, said Mayor Jacob Frey. ‘We can have both things. We can have peaceful demonstrations, but I also have to ensure the safety of everyone in the city’””

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Were the police or the protesters using masks and practicing social distancing?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not. I know that was likely spoken in jest, but racial discrimination and police using excessive force are no joking matters. When will we be free of all this? This may sound a little trite…okay, very trite…but there will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man! Are the protesters to blame? Yes, if they resorted to violence…the very violence they are supposed to be protesting! But who can blame them?”

“Are the police to blame? Yes, Another incident that demonstrates the inability of training to remove a prejudicial heart of darkness. There will be no end of this because an emotional man cannot control his reaction to injustice. Only God can do that (Gal. 5:22). It is unreasonable to think a heart…any heart…can change on its own.”

“Christians? We believe only a changed heart can offer hope (Rom. 2:29; John 14:27). Meanwhile, dark hearts will do dark things…both police and protesters. It is time for Christians everywhere to pray…and offer an alternative.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to pursue peace on earth…as it is in heaven; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 5-27-20 There is No Escape

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-27-20

There is No Escape

What’s Happening: “Malka Leifer, a former Australian teacher, and accused of sexually abusing her students in 2014, is finally ruled ‘fit for trial and extradition’ by an Israeli court. She had gone to Israel fleeing prosecution and was mounting a defense of mental incompetence…which has now been denied. Why Israeli President Reuven Rivlin got involved is not clear…other than he spoke to Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison about it Wednesday, after the ruling (Australia is beyond the date line and experiences Wednesday before us). Why it took so long (six years) is unclear, too…though his state visit in February may have been relevant (https://news.yahoo.com/israeli-president-calls-australian-pm-092936152.html). Quoting from the Associated Press article: ‘Rivlin noted that the matter was central to his state visit to Australia in February and that he had promised Morrison and Australia’s pro-Israel Jewish community he would monitor the case closely.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “She looks like a pedophile in her picture.””

Biblical Response:  “Yes, but nobody should be condemned on their looks. I mean, Jesus Himself, must have looked guilty, being crucified between two thieves (Matt. 27:38). Thankfully, guilt by association is not a prosecutable offense. Real evidence is needed to convict. And there is no escape from ultimate justice. If Miss Leifer had gotten away from justice in Man’s court, there is a court where ultimate justice will be meted out (Heb. 9:27).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in ultimate justice. Thankfully, the wrath we deserved was expended on a Savior Who was undeserving and our just punishment was laid on Him (Heb. 9:28). I don’t know whether she’s guilty or innocent, but she will receive justice…here and there.”

“Like I’ve said before: Justice makes hell necessary; mercy makes heaven possible.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to seek Your justice …on earth, as it is in heaven; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 5-26-20 The Beginning of the End

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-26-20

The Beginning of the End

What’s Happening: “Protests that began in 2019 (really beginning much earlier) finally boiled over into police involvement Sunday in the streets of Hong Kong with mass arrests, the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets. Communists in Beijing pledge installation of mainland laws happening to bring order, but protesters chant ‘Hong Kong independence.’ Hong Kong, long a business hub, rejects the artificially imposed order…and may have sealed their fate. Meanwhile, the U.S. contemplates sanctions in support of the protesters, who only want autonomy. Reaction of the U.S. over China’s role in the coronavirus,  their ongoing theft of technology, and the U.S.-imposed tariffs cloud the already complicated issue (https://www.businessinsider.com/beijing-new-national-security-laws-hong-kong-protests-2020-5Quoting the Reuters article in Business Insider: ‘Protesters chanted ‘Revolution of our time. ‘Liberate Hong Kong,’ ‘Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong,’ and ‘Hong Kong independence, the only way out.’’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe they’ll be more successful than the protesters in Tiananmen Square.”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not. Communists in China won’t allow another democracy on their doorstep (arguably, India, South Korea and Japan are democracies, and already too close). Together with worldwide coronavirus condemnation, tensions in the South China Sea…not to mention the brouhaha over Taiwan…I don’t think the Chi-Coms will put up with it….and I can’t see anyone willing to spend blood and treasure over a tiny island in the Pacific. All this means the beginning of the end…of course some can’t see it (Matt. 16:3). I hope I’m wrong. There were many who threw tea into Boston Harbour (a couple of centuries ago) who weren’t given a chance of success, either…and look how that turned out. Of course, they had God on their side.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe that God plus one is a majority…in fact, He doesn’t even need the one! His sovereign will shall be done, and He  determines the boundaries of nations (Acts 17:26).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to look upon the efforts of those who want to throw off the chains of oppression, optomistically; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.