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CLARITY – 5-24-19 So Goes the Kingdom

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-24-19

So Goes the Kingdom

What’s Happening: “Long embattled Prime Minister (PM) of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party, Theresa May resigned yesterday. Some say not being able to negotiate a departure from the EU that was acceptable to Members of Parliament meant she was not conservative enough. In any case, her departure is effective June 7, just days after Trump’s pre-planned visit (https://www.yahoo.com/news/theresa-may-resigns-090653622.html).  ‘It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,’ May said.”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Big deal! What does that even mean: ‘deliver Brexit’?”

Biblical Response:  “At least you’re asking….and it is a BIG deal! Let me give an abbreviated history of Brexit so that the average American has a reasonable understanding. The Brits held a referendum (a nationwide vote of the citizenry) in June of 2016. They voted 51.9% to leave the EU and be able to make their own deals economically. They were scheduled to leave March 29 (of this year). Although Theresa May has tried on numerous occasions to negotiate a smooth transition (one that would lead to lasting ties to Brussels), Parliament could not agree, though they did extend the departure date to Oct. 31.  It is believed that the same ‘drain-the-swamp’ sentiment that elected Donald Trump, led to the result of the Brexit referendum. Apparently, the liberalness of much of Europe was just too much for Great Britain.

Does this mean that Brexit is dead? No, just delayed. Will the next PM do better? Not if he or she tries to get the UK out of the EU with strings attached. He or she will stay in office as long as Brexit prospers. As goes the king, so goes the kingdom. Or maybe, as goes the kingdom, so goes the king.

“Christians? We’ve seen kingdoms rise, and kingdoms fall. (And ‘kingdoms’ doesn’t mean what they used to.) Still, it is generally true that the fortunes of a country are tied to its leadership (Gal. 6:7; Prov. 16:12-15). That is why Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. He leads us (His sheep) where we’ll prosper (Ps. 23). And because He’s the King of Kings, of His kingdom there will be no end (Is. 9:7; Luke 1:33). Unlike Theresa May.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, only you know what will benefit Your people in the long run…bring that to pass and show us what part we are to play; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-23-19 Whatever Happened to Civility?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-23-19

Whatever Happened to Civility?

What’s Happening: “The jury is still out (no pun intended) on 27-year-old Christopher Cleary, a Utah man that maintains he’s still a virgin and has no girlfriend, He is being charged with a third degree felony (attempted threat of terrorism) for posting on Facebook that he was going to ‘kill as many girls as he could see’ because he was rejected…a dubious claim as two girls claimed to have a sexual relationship with him and he was living with a girl when was arrested (https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-threatened-kill-many-girls-141138663.html). ‘All I wanted to be was loved,” Cleary posted. ‘Yet no one cares about me, I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter ‘cause I’m ready to die.’”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds like a bad hombre that needs to be removed from society!”

Biblical Response:  “And he may be, though I don’t believe his consorts anymore than I do him. What I want to ask is, where are his parents? Apparently he was not taught how to handle rejection…or anger, for that matter. Life is full of hard knocks. Kids are supposed to learn how to handle that while they’re young…so that when they get older, they have learned discretion…to be angry, but sin not (Eph. 4;26). That’s what parenting is for. (You know, that old-fashioned impediment to a two-income higher standard of living.,,what we have are kids posting threats on social media, still living in their parents’ basements which were afforded by that increased standard of living!)”

“Christians? We’ll probably get accused of child abuse for visiting the ‘woodshed’ so often…maybe you’d like visiting the prison better? See the following ‘outmoded’ scriptures

“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” (Prov. 13:24 NLT)

“Withhold not correction from the child; (For) if thou beat him with the rod, he will not die.” (Prov. 23:13 ASV)

“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;

For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

(Heb. 12:5-6 NKJV)

ETC., ETC.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, make the parent impervious to the protests of the disciplined child, but attentive to Your merciful voice of direction: 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-22-19 Rumors of War

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-22-19

Rumors of War

What’s Happening: “A poll released yesterday revealed that most believe that war with Iran is imminent…the majority also believe that a first strike would be a mistake, but favor a military response if attacked, with 39% favoring an outright invasion (https://www.yahoo.com/news/half-american-adults-expect-war-iran-within-next-043709356.html). Quoting the author of the above-linked article, Chris Kahn: ‘Trump has said he would like to negotiate with the Islamic Republic’s leaders. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected talks on Tuesday and has said “economic war” is being waged against Iran.’”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Iran’s just upset that the U.S. has pulled out of the Nuclear Deal. They’re not getting as much Euro-attention.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…especially if that Euro-attention brought petro dollars with it. Still, those crazy Iranians are the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, and just wacky enough to think they might have something to gain by being in a war with us. This is not Armageddon, but American culture today knows nothing of world warfare. The Vietnam War was horrific (over 55, 000 Americans lost), and so was America’s longest war, Afghanistan (as of 5 August 2018, 3,458 coalition deaths). By comparison, WWII records 21-25 million soldiers and 50-55 million civilians! This culture might mature awfully quick if it experienced anything on that scale. Of course, China, Russia, and North Korea would have to get involved to produce those kinds of numbers. Like I said, that would be a quick, albeit drastic, route to maturity for a culture…but stranger things have happened…recently, as world history records time.”

“Christians? Pray (Phil. 4:6). Note that that scripture starts out by saying,”Don’t worry about anything…” Sure, we should take precautions like any responsible watchman (Ezek. 33:6), but God’s got an agenda that won’t be denied (perhaps I shouldn’t remind Him that we’ve aborted 60 million since Roe v. Wade).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father,help us to be wise and remember our frailty when You exact justice…and be merciful: 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-18-19 Who Gets In to Change?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-18-19

Who Gets In to Change?

What’s Happening: “In a Rose Garden roll-out, the Trump Administration proposed sweeping reforms to our legal immigration system Thursday. Trump’s proposal increases applicants’ merit-based consideration from the current level of 20% to over 65%, making up the difference by reducing family-based considerations and removing the lottery-diversity program entirely. Democrats and their advocacy groups decry many things, including not dealing with the 11 million ‘dreamers’ and the plan’s overall vagueness. Republicans remind them that it is just a starting place, has no legislative power, and mandates employers joining an e-verify system (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-proposes-overhauling-legal-immigration-224654862.html). ‘Much work remains ahead of us on several issues, including the creation of market-based temporary worker programs and responsibly addressing the unauthorized alien population in the U.S., but the Chamber looks forward to working with the White House and Congress to find bipartisan solutions to fix our nation’s broken immigration system,’ said Neil Bradley, Executive V.P. of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Doesn’t that value one person over another? Is that even right?”

Biblical Response:  “It does…and I can’t think of anywhere it’s more appropriate. We have college admission being determined by SAT and ACT scores (unless your a parent trying to get your kid in – that’s said with tongue firmly placed in cheek), people preparing resume′s touting their education and experience, even the electorate considering a candidate’s qualifications before voting. Determining merit is biblical…the fact that we all fall short (Rom. 3:23) of that merit is why Christ had to come (Rom. 6:23; Rom. 5:8).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in a merit-based entry system…only it’s admission to God’s eternal kingdom we seek, not some temporal country’s admission. Thankfully, we are leaning on Christ’s merits, not our own!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, it seems those we have chosen to be our leaders are squabbling again…help us all to find peace and do what You would have us do; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-17-19 Boring But Not Unprecedented

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-17-19

Boring But Not Unprecedented

What’s Happening: “Taking from 12 to 14 hours of monotonous (and sometimes boring) reading, the Democratically controlled House conducted a complete reading of the redacted Mueller Report from a hearing room yesterday. C-SPAN also broadcast the reading and a podcast of it was made available (https://www.yahoo.com/news/house-democrats-read-mueller-report-aloud-capitol-hearing-100607884.html). ‘There [are] a lot of average people who have not seen the Mueller report,’ said Representative Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. So this is an attempt to make sure that person who is curious, who doesn’t have the full time to dive through all this, to be able to listen to it and to understand what this is really all about.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who’s going to take that kind of time? It’s just a political stunt!”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. And people will only take that kind of time not to find something, but to confirm the suspicions they already have. The Democrats are looking to find something so they can impeach a President that embarrassed them on election night in 2016, and the Republicans are saying, ‘See, there’s nothing here.’ Meanwhile, the crisis at the border, possible war with Iran, the crisis in Venezuela, etc. goes by the wayside. Truly, the truth will set us free (John 8;32), but whose truth?

In Nehemiah (8:1-10), the Levites are reading from the law of Moses to the Children of Israel’s at their return from captivity in Babylon. They did not respond with yawns and eye-rolling. Rather, many broke out into weeping realizing what God had done for them and how far they had strayed. In fact, their leader had to redirect their repentant tears to rejoicing (Neh. 8:10), and told them it would be their strength.

“Christians? Perhaps, amidst all this partisanship, we should be rejoicing that there is such a country where a report like this could be read aloud. I sure can’t imagine this happening in Russia, China, or Iran!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to get so worked up over a mote in someone’s eye to witness the miracle of America in action; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-16-19 60,000,000 Muted Voices

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-16-19

60,000,000 Muted Voices

What’s Happening: “Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey, signed into law yesterday a bill previously passed by the Republican-led legislature,  one of the strictest anti-abortion laws on record since Roe v. Wade in 1973 (which cited a privacy clause in the 14th Amendment). Although the Alabama law now makes it a felony for anyone to provide a woman with an abortion, even in the case of rape or incest, it does not charge the woman who receives such a procedure. It is surely to be tested in the courts. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed in a similar Ohio issue (https://www.yahoo.com/news/alabama-senate-bans-nearly-abortions-including-rape-cases-022719213.html). In all, 16 states have taken up bills limiting abortion recently, with 4 of them beginning restrictions at the baby’s heartbeat.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s a mother to do? What about a woman’s right to choose? Really, if you live in Alabama, and you want an abortion, where can you go? ”

Biblical Response:  “Setting aside the child’s choice for a moment (60 Million babies have involuntarily had their voices silenced since Roe v. Wade), it’s a cinch, not in Alabama! Or to any of the 16 states mentioned above! And, until the Supreme Court rules (which it’s not likely to do until Missouri’s law gets tested – but that’s another, more technical, legal issue), there’s liable not to be any clarity on the matter .Roe v. Wade was not good law when it was decided, and the country has gotten a whole lot more polarized since then. There’s sure to be a political fight.”

“Christians? Oh, we’re not one to shy from a fight, It’s hard to be a student of the Word and be pro-abortion. There are many passages pro-life people will cite (Job. 31:18; Ps. 139:13 Jer. 1:5…to name  few), but it goes against the very nature of God (Ex. 20:13).

Finally, let’s deal with the issue of choice. Sure, I understand the inconvenience of an unwanted child…and no one wants to be raped (or be reminded of it)…or be accosted by a relative…but what about the child’s choice?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we need wisdom in dealing with this sensitive topic, but help us to see with Your eyes…to listen with Your ears…to hear voices that would cry to us from the womb; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY -5-15-19 Freedom Isn’t Free

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-15-19

Freedom Isn’t Free

What’s Happening: “The latest in Venezuela’s struggle for freedom (in January Juan Guaido, the National Assembly head, declared Maduro’s re-election bid to be a sham and his claim to the presidency illegitimate – last week, Guaido’s ‘coup’ attempt failed because the Russians and the Cubans stepped in to support Maduro) has the Security forces under Maduro blockading the members of the assembly from physically entering their building to meet. This intimidation follows the arrest of Guaido’s deputy, Edgar Zambrano (https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelan-lawmakers-accuse-security-services-intimidation-172132591.html).’SEBIN agents, using the excuse that there’s an explosive device within the facilities, took over the federal palace. We’re surrounded by intelligence agents,’ said lawmaker Manuela Bolivar.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I thought Maduro would have backed down by now…is there going to be a war?”

Biblical Response:  “Me, too. I guess Russia and Cuba have more influence over Maduro than anyone thought. As far as the question about war, I don’t know. What I do know is that freedom isn’t free. Sure, spiritual freedom was purchased by Christ on the Cross, But ‘setting the prisoners free’ (ps. 146:7) was personally costly. Physical freedom in this world is not free, either. Ask Nathan Hale (Revolutionary War martyr, who famously said, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’…just before he was hung by the British as a spy).  Was there bloodshed for America to obtain its freedom? Yes…lots. Will there be bloodshed in Venezuela? No doubt. Many have died already…freedom isn’t free?”

“Christians? The concept of physical freedom is opposed by the devil and his minions…the same forces that oppose spiritual freedom. The devil will ultimately lose both battles (Matt, 16:18), but there has already been much bloodshed, and there will be more, before we beat our ‘swords into ploughshares’ (Isaiah 2:4).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be wise, but ready to sacrifice for freedom…You were; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-14-19 Time is a Multiplier

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-14-19

Time is a Multiplier

What’s Happening: “The announcement of Chinese retaliatory tariffs (on about $200 Billion worth of products – some of them agricultural), came as no surprise…especially after Trump made good on his threat to increase a tariff on Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. Farmers will have to pay more for Chinese steel and aluminum implements from recent tariffs, and sell less because of these. So far, they seem willing to tighten the belt…but margins are getting slim (https://www.yahoo.com/news/gets-hurt-china-apos-tariffs-213814221.html). ‘“I thought it was going to be resolved last week,’ says American Soybean Association president Heisdorffer. ‘I don’t know what to think now. It continues to ratchet down the amount of cash we have to pay bills.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s like we’re playing chicken…but the American consumer’s going to be left holding the bag (paying more for Chinese goods), right?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably…especially if it goes on long. And it will…short term. Long term? Well, we’re trying to correct the decades of looking the other way, of letting the Chinese steal us blind…literally. We acted like we didn’t care when we wanted/enjoyed their new markets. Now, we want to put an end to their intellectual theft AND eliminate their bans on U.S, products and the Chinese are understandably surprised. We haven’t acted like we minded before. Why all the sudden change? There’s a new sheriff in town! The question is, if we are prepared to pay for the past’s largesse?”

“Christians? The multiplying principle of time is familiar to us. We trespassed plenty in our former lives, and all of this has been ‘cancelled out’ (Col. 2:14), spiritually, by a merciful God. This is not to say that there aren’t consequences and collateral damage (Gal. 6:7). While our eternity is secure, we have no such guarantee on our temporality. Some of our transgressions come with repercussions…which are then often multiplied by time. May God be merciful to us.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to endure our consequences … even as You endured the cross; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-13-19 The Girl Next Door Dies

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-13-19

The Girl Next Door Dies

What’s Happening: “There are many that won’t remember Doris Day, the original ‘girl next door.’ but the blonde bombshell singing actress who peaked in the 40s, 50s, and 60s has died at age 97. She loved to laugh and sing, and made people do the same, but spent her last many years with her Doris Day Animal Foundation. She hated to fly, the reason she turned down awards offered to her, but was the darling of Warner Bros. then, and her adoring public who always fawned over her (https://www.yahoo.com/news/doris-day-dies-nearly-2-130602906.html). ‘I love to laugh. It’s the only way to live. Enjoy each day — it’s not coming back again!’ Doris Day, born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, will be missed.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Say it isn’t so! …  Now who was she?”

Biblical Response:  “Exactly. Those who do remember her, have nothing recent that she’s done to memorialize her. She might have pointed to the good work of her Foundation (and I certainly am not the one to judge her eternal work — that’s way above my paygrade), or to something else, but we’re all going to stand before the Eternal Judge and give an account (Rom. 14:12: 1 Pet. 4:5). I don’t know how much making others laugh and sing credits us.”

“Christians? Although we are called to enjoy each day (Matt. 6:34), to bring others to ‘laugh and sing’ has value only God can assign. Also, we are all going to die — physical death is an eventuality for us all 1 Cor. 15:50). Still, the daily choices we make will either be a credit to our account…or a debit. Let us choose wisely (Josh. 24:15).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, in all of our day-to-day busy-ness help us to be engaged in something eternal, too; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-11-19 They Forgot About the Wind

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-11-19

They Forgot About the Wind

What’s Happening: “There are mixed messages. While Iran is trying to ignore the landing of B52s in Qatar and the carrier Abraham Lincoln’s passing through the Suez Canal yesterday (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-news-donald-trump-b-52-bombers-persian-gulf-revolutionary-guard-us-not-dare-attack/), there is an evangelical movement of the fastest growing church in the world with Muslims converting left and right…despite great persecution, even martyrdom  (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/worth-a-thousand-years-of-waiting?utm_campaign=Daily%20Email&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72492274&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9U-V9g3wNv8XwB-9lFmmUYYlD5EU9XI58BUtp7gW5ifSc9Yj_01SntTcF07tMLH3cbTcyvVKuuSSOegf1Ir4C8eQoBhA&_hsmi=72492274).  There may have been an Islamic Revolution declared in Iran when pro-western Shah Pahlavi departed in 1979 (Tehran just celebrated its 40th anniversary), but God had another idea.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So these two apparently unrelated events are related how?”

Biblical Response:  “Just that man has an agenda…but so does God. And, as the Scripture says: ‘Man proposes, but God disposes’ (Prov 19:21 LB). I’m not saying we shouldn’t as a country respond militarily to bellicose threats, I’m just saying there may be more afoot here than meets the eye. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time God used some unsuspecting country to effect His will.”

“Christians? Like my wife likes to quip: ‘You may run from circumstance or try to hide from consequence, but you can never escape prayer.’ The Lord has a way of accomplishing His will. Maybe it’s time to figure out what He’s doing and ask how we can get on board.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders to act wisely and help our new brothers and sisters to hang tough; 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.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent