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CLARITY – 6-27-20 Falling Behind

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-27-20

Falling Behind

What’s Happening: “In a The National Interest article that appeared yesterday, the Thursday remarks of Senator Jim Inhofe (Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee) from the Senate floor were referenced saying the U.S. was falling behind China and Russia, especially in their pursuit of technological military superiority. The cure: an increase in our priority of scientific advancement…and a consequent increase in military spending. Russia and China have ramped up in the last ten years their pursuit of hypersonics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum computing…and this doesn’t even include China’s recent bellicose activities in the South China Sea or their killing of 20 Indian soldiers on their border (https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-worried-u-military-134900975.html).  Quoting from the article: ‘Inhofe provided a lot of detail about strategic, political, economic and military concerns regarding both Russia and China, citing massive increases in the military budgets of both countries.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So we can’t shout: ‘We’re Number One!’ Big deal; does it really matter if we’re Number Two or Three?”

Biblical Response:  “Yes, it matters. Your adversaries don’t attack if they think they aren’t going to win (Like 14:31-32). Why do you think the governments of our adversaries spend huge amounts on military parades? Two reasons: 1) To make their populace feel secure 2) To make their enemies think twice about attacking (I’m sue it doesn’t harm the military’s morale, either). We shouldn’t trust in military superiority (Ps. 20:7), but our enemies have respect for strength.”

“Christians?  We believe that while we should burnish our shields and sharpen our swords..and put more watchers on the wall (not too vague references to the modern equivalents of defensive and offensive capabilities…and increased electronic surveillance), our trust is in the Lord (the above scripture  reference in Psalms). Of course, we hope we never have to use them, but superior military capabilities may be one of the best deterrents to that possibility.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember that missionary agencies have sent many Gospel emissaries from our militarily strong shores (more than the rest of the world combined); and this truth: there will never be peace on earth till the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man (the reason we should continue to send); 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 – 6-15-20 No Small Thing

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-15-20

No Small Thing

What’s Happening: “Former U. S. marine and current global security head for a U.S. automaker, Paul Whelan, has just been convicted (earlier today) and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in a maximum security Russian prison on espionage charges. The U.S. State Department and Secreteay of State Mike Pompeo have denounced the trial and verdict…probably more political kidnapping than anything. Some think they are trying to gain some leverage with the Trump administration…perhaps to get sanction relief? The secret trial and the secret evidence may indicate everything was planted. His family is desperately trying to secure his release (https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-u-marine-paul-whelan-082938436.html). ‘”This is slimy, grubby, greasy Russian politics. Nothing more, nothing less,” Whelan said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Russia is a soverign nation…I guess all we can do is pray.”

Biblical Response:  “And we serve a sovereign God. Yes, they are independent, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use all legal diplomatic and political force to see justice won. It is no small thing he’s American. Moses pled with Pharaoh to let his people go repeatedly…eventually he did…when it cost him dearly (Ex. 5:1; 7:16; 8:1; 8:20; 9:1; 9:13;10:4).

“Neither is prayer a small thing (Dan. 9:3-4). Prayer can move the hands of God. It’s often amazing how the circumstances just seem to line up…God is often orchestrating events, people, and powers that we cannot understand (read how wicked Haman was made to lead Mordecai through the capitol in honor, then how Haman was hanged on the very gallows Haman built for Mordecai (Esther 5:14-7:10). Or just remember my saying to my grandkids:

You can refuse counsel; you can run from circumstance; even hide from consequence; but you cannot escape prayer!’”

“Christians?  We believe that Paul Whelan is not unknown to God. The number of hairs on his head might get easier to count with age (as it does in many of our cases), but the Lord even knows what that number is. He is more concerned with justice than we are. Trust me, justice will be done…better yet, trust Him!

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help Paul’s family (and we Christians) to trust in the God Who guarantees ultimate justice (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19); 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 – 6-6-20 The Not So Permanent ‘Perma’frost

CLARITY

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

The Not So Permanent ‘Perma’frost

What’s Happening: “A huge (the second largest environmental disaster in Russian history) diesel spill from a fuel reservoir within the Arctic circle occurred a few days ago, reported AFP yesterday. 21,000 tons of fuel spilled across land and into the Ambarnaya River, and was being contained by barriers deployed by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel. The heavy metals company originally said the spill was caused by an accident, but this article blamed it on global warming (Russia’s 60% coverage of its country by permafrost reportedly increases 2.5 times faster in mean temperature than much of the earth). The break in the reservoir is being blamed on the melting of permafrost in surrounding soils (https://www.yahoo.com/news/putin-tells-metals-giant-pay-full-cleanup-arctic-134643444.html). Quoting the AFP article by Maria Antonova: ‘To prevent a similar situation on especially hazardous structures on territories prone to melting of permafrost,’ the prosecutor general has ‘ordered a comprehensive review of such objects,’ it said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “RRiigghhtt…Global Warming…whatever!”

Biblical Response:  “Whenever you get conflicting reports, it’s best to default to the Word of God for truth. My bible says:

‘While the earth remains, seedtime and  harvest, and cold and heat, and  summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.’ (Gen. 8:22 NASU)”

“Do I believe in Global Warming? If you mean the increase in Earth’s mean temperature lately? Yes. The statistics seem clear…but this is not a unique variation….nor is it caused solely by mankind (I remember the media’s dire warnings of ‘the coming ice age’ when I was growing up). And it’s amusing to me how the term ‘global warming’ is traded for ‘climate change‘ when it gets too cold outside to sweat. Do I think it’s all political? Mostly. A proposed Carbon Credit system seems to favor undeveloped nations…it’s about power, really. Do you think mankind has an obligation to the environment? Absolutely! We were put here to ‘tend and keep’ (Gen. 2:15), among other things.”

“Christians? We believe in environmental responsibility (the Scripture immediately above), just not in responding to Chicken Little’s warning that ‘the sky is falling!’. Man may be responsible for some pollution…and he should be held responsible…partly…but the Sun’s fluctuations is probably a greater influence…and that’s beyond our purview.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to take our responsibility for the environment seriously…and sanely; 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 – 5-25-20 “Boldly (but Humbly) Going…”

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-25-20

“Boldly (but Humbly) Going…” 

What’s Happening: “Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken completed yesterday their ‘dress rehearsal’ for their historic flight Wednesday to the International Space Station (ISS). Historic because for the last nine years since the Space Shuttle program ended, all U.S. astronauts have been forced to hitch a ride on the Russian Soyuz rocket. I say ‘hitch’…I mean rent…the Russians have charged the U.S. dearly…and it has wounded American pride. American free enterprise to the rescue! This time the rent will be paid by NASA to an American company: SpaceX. Although the shot may not actually take place on Wednesday (there is a 40% chance of storms), the flight will go off…if not Wednesday, the flight may be rescheduled for Sunday (https://news.yahoo.com/nasa-spacex-launch-astronauts-complete-093649045.html). Quoting BBC Science Correspondent Jonathan Amos: ‘The weekend “Dry Dress” rehearsal saw the pair don their made-to-measure spacesuits, walk out to a Tesla, and then make a 6km drive down to Kennedy’s famous Launch Complex 39A.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I sure hope it doesn’t end in a puff of smoke like Columbia!”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, me too! Not to say that our previous disasters were a result of our attitude (the Scripture does say – Prov. 16:18 – ‘Pride goes before destruction…’), but I think a little humility might be wise. I see no conflict between science and biblical Christianity, as long as science is not trying to claim credit for what God has made. Some scientists think that we are discovering only the principles that God has known all along. Others (atheists/humanists) think that Man is the ‘measure of all things,’ and that there is nothing done that Man has not first conceived. Who prevails may well determine the future…of space and much more.”

“Christians? We believe that God is the Creator and leads us to go humbly ‘ where no man has gone before,‘ I’m all for the commercialization of space, Star Trek and Star Wars, and imagining things that are ‘out there’…as long as credit goes where credit is due…it is only prudent.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to seek with all humility the wonders You have created for us to discover; 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 – 4-10-20 Slick Deal…If Possible

CLARITY

Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-10-20

Slick Deal…If Possible

What’s Happening: “OPEC + (OPEC, Russia, the US, etc.) agreed Thursday to cut production, but might not if belligerent Mexico won’t. This might send price per barrel, at $32 already – half of 2019 levels – further down…maybe even below $20! Good news for consumers…for producers? Not so much. The world is running out of storage capacity in tanks on land and sea…and lower demand due to the worldwide coronavirus crisis doesn’t help (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/saudi-russia-seek-finalise-oil-122533578.html). ‘We had a big talk as to oil production and OPEC and making it so that our industry does well and the oil industry does better than it’s doing right now,’ Trump said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “There’s nothing wrong with cheap gas!”

Biblical Response:  “Yes…and no…it’s complicated. Some of the production is privately owned…and some of it is government owned; governments we don’t necessarily want to prosper (Iran, Russia, etc.). Then there’s the impact on our own economy (unprofitable companies pay no taxes). Then there’s the fact that unprofitable companies lay off workers – out-of-work employees file for unemployment – and they don’t pay taxes, either – etc. Like I said, complicated. This is what happens when you trust in horses or chariots (Ps. 20:7 – your natural resources or your ability to manufacture). Why trust in them? They can be seen. God cannot. The only problem is resources change (and so do prices, production, circumstances, etc.) God does not (Heb. 13:8).”

“Christians? We believe that trust in the Lord (Ps. 4:5; 31:6; 37:3; 40:3; 73:28; 115:10-11; 118:8-9; 125:8) should be the basis for value (our currency in America even states: “In God We Trust” – obviously a law passed when a Christian consensus was real and present).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to trust in You…unshakable, unchanging, immutable You; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books, or donate, or to subscribe, or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-26-20 When It Rains, It Pours

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-26-20

When It Rains, It Pours

What’s Happening: “As if struggling with a worldwide pandemic (the COVID-19 panic), a storm, and a 7.5 earthquake were not enough, residents of Russia’s Severo-Kurilsk community also  had a tsunami warning which came on the heels of the earthquake at 5:30pm Wednesday. Thankfully, the tsunami fear was short-lived. Warnings for British Columbia and Hawaii were contemplated but cancelled. Japan never issued a warning, though the earthquake was close (https://www.yahoo.com/news/magnitude-7-8-quake-strikes-031749739.html). ‘At 1757 local time (0657 GMT), the threat was removed,’ said the Sakhalin Tsunami Centre. ‘Since the tsunami was small, but was observed against the backdrop of the tide and a storm, we maintained the warning for several hours.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should I buy earthquake or tsunami insurance?”

Biblical Response:  “Unless you live on an island lowland in the South Pacific, probably not…which brings up the whole concept of trying to insure against disaster…so-called ‘acts of God’ (in the ‘Prosperity Gospel.’ there is no room for ‘bad news’ – of course, it’s really a matter of perspective…before the Red Sea was parted, it was a curse, an impasse that blocked the children of Israel’s escape from Pharaoh’s army – for the whole biblical story, read Exodus 14 -. Then God parted the Red Sea, and it was a blessing that made it possible for them to cross on dry land. Then as they saw Pharaoh’s army follow them, it was a curse again. Then, as the walls of water came crashing down on the army and drowning their pursuers it was a blessing again. How God endures such a wishy-washy obstinate people as us is as wonder! …Oh, wait a minute, the ground did open up and consume some of the nay-sayers – Num.16:1-32 – but that wasn’t a loving God was it?!)”

“Sometimes, in our pursuit of avoiding the economic repercussions of ‘disasters,’ to level out the playing field, so to speak, we become subject to the very poverty we were trying to avoid. Kind of a different perspective on being ‘insurance poor,’ huh?” 

“Christians? We believe in so-called ‘acts of God.’ While we agree that God favors His children, we also believe He uses our predicaments to discipline us 

‘… and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,  ‘MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;

FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,  AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.’ (Heb. 12:5-6 NASU)”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let us embrace Your discipline as proof of Your love…You’ve gotten our attention now; 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-14-20 Payback

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-14-20

Payback

What’s Happening: “Idlib, Syria has seen much turmoil…and that’s putting it mildly…its 3,000,000+ inhabitants have been selected for the ire of the Asaad family since a city mob pelted Hafez al-Asaad (Bashir’s father) with tomatoes and a shoe back in the 1970s. Lately, in addition to infrastructure abandonment that has caused many to flee to nearby Turkey, bombings from Syrian forces and Russian jets have refugees returning to bombed-out homes hoping to retrieve some belongings, but often finding only rubble. Whether it’s ongoing revenge or just the Syrian President’s way of handling dissent, the targeting of the city is substantial (https://sg.news.yahoo.com/idlib-syrias-forgotten-city-targeted-revenge-assad-033213996.html). ‘”When the army came, it poured out all the hatred it has against us… targeting civilians and their houses,’ said Khalil, a villager from Sarmin, just east of Idlib.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’d move, too!”

Biblical Response:  “I would certainly understand a desire to get away from such destruction…though I’m not sure Turkey is going to welcome them…but just think of leaving your home. It must be gut-wrenching. Here I sit in my climate controlled environment with plenty of food and not going to bed wondering if my sleep is going to be interrupted by a bomb…well it’s enough to make you cry…for grief concerning their plight, and for gratitude that you don’t similarly suffer (Rom. 12:15).”

“Bashir al-Asaad might think he’s getting revenge or quelling protests, but his payback is coming. Revenge is the sole realm of God (at least it’s supposed to be – Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19). I guess that’s why there’s hell (‘ Justice makes hell necessary; mercy makes heaven possible.’)”

“Christians? We believe that God’s payback makes man’s look puny by comparison (read the way he paid back Sodom and Gomorrah – Gen. 19:1-24). And if you think that’s harsh for unbelievers who refuse his instruction, how do you think He’s going to deal with us who’ve had the benefit of it, but refused to apply it? (1 Pet. 4;18).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to heed Your love so we don’t have to endure Your vengeance; 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 12-26-19 Unduplicatable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-26-19

Unduplicatable

What’s Happening: “With the announcement recently (and with the article by Mark Episkopos in The National Interest today) that China is buying a number of SU-57Es it appears that we may be heading for a new era in Sino-Russian relations….of course, the Chinese may just be interested in reverse engineering technology to improve its own 5th-generation fighter, the J-20. The upcoming Dubai Airshow may reveal the difference between the SU-57 and the SU-57E (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-china-could-soon-be-flying-russias-su-57-stealth-fighter-108456). Russian official, Viktor Kladov said, ‘China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years [China] will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 within China, or to buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. This could be another opportunity for the Su-57E.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The real question is how our top stealth fighter is compared to this SU-57E.”

Biblical Response:  “It might be…of course, it also might be that the Chinese got most of their technology from us in the first place. It’s a good thing that this is for air superiority…we (assuming we are still a Christian nation…which may be an assumption too far) already have spiritual superiority…and it is unduplicatable! (2 Cor. 10:4). Winning a temporal battle may be important, but having the victory assured in an eternal one is even more important.”

“Christians? We believe we are in a war already (though it is a spiritual one…with temporal and eternal consequences!). The ‘strongholds’ we ‘pull down’ (refer to the scripture above) are ideological (Communism) and spiritual (the devil’s evil plan).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to win on both fronts with superiority in both arenas; 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (One mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 11-26-19 Report Defended

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-26-19

Report Defended

What’s Happening: “Reuters reported from the Hague yesterday that the report issued by the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was accurate in saying there were chemical weapons used in an attack that killed 40 on April 7 in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus (which was currently held by rebels). Although the OPCW was not tasked to determine who dropped those weapons, Syria and Russia have claimed the weapons were planted by the rebels and the resulting missile attacks by the U.S., France and Great Britain were unwarranted (https://www.yahoo.com/news/chemical-weapons-body-defends-syria-144031598.html). OPCW chief Fernandon Arias said, ‘While some of these diverging views continue to circulate in certain public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusions’ of the report.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who cares whether the canisters filled with chemical weapons were placed by rebels or dropped by the Syrians and Russians by air, the innocents are still just as dead!”

Biblical Response:  “True, but who the perpetrators were does matter. Truth is often initially disputed, but it usually comes out in the end. As it says in Proverbs 12:19: ‘Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed’ (LB), … or as Shakespeare said, ‘The truth will out…’ (Merchant of Venice – 1596)… The Syrians and the Russians don’t like to play by the rules (does that really surprise anyone?). It’s hard for the ‘truth’ to ‘set free’ (John 8:32), if the liars are not punished. Of course, it could be argued that it’s not our job to punish, but someone had to be held accountable … by someone.”

 “Christians? We believe ultimate accountability is God’s job. Then again, who’s to say we weren’t acting for Him when we sent the missiles? (I wonder who God is going to hold accountable for the 60 million+ who have been aborted since 1973?)” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, please help us to be mindful of our warped thinking that wants justice for everybody else, but mercy for us; 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (one mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 10-26-19 Friendship?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-26-19

Friendship?

It’s Happening: “Filipino President Duterte, making his second trip to Moscow in less than a year, may be seeking a strategic relationship with Russia, in particular Vladimir Putin. He has bought Russian military hardware (specifically helicopters and kilo-class submarines), which has been a poke-in-the-eye to the U.S., ostensibly to protect its interests in the South China Sea, a bone of contention with China. To make a confusing alliance even more chaotic, let’s not forget the ideological relationship between the Russians and the Chinese…both ‘Communist’ countries  (https://nationalinterest.org/feature/new-realignment-between-russia-and-philippines-90901). The recently appointed by Moscow, Manilla Defense Attache was quoted as saying, ‘What we can assure you, if you are going to procure military equipment for us, we are going to give you brand new ones and not second hand’. This was a thinly-veiled poke at recent Philippine purchases from the U.S., which had purportedly used their allies as a dumping ground for old military hardware.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why should I care who the Filipinos have as friends?”

Biblical Response:  “Because friendship implies certain strategic alliances…and they might not have America’s best interests at heart. Putin has a history of offering friendship with an angle. Talk about ‘quid pro quo’, it’s hard to say ‘no’ when the supplier of your military hardware makes certain demands on you. I have no idea what those demands might be, but you don’t load the gun of the guy who’s got it in your back. (Sure, the Filipinos might have elected the wrong guy, but they stuck with him for now…the Dems probably feel the same way aboutTrump.) The moral of the story is that friendship has consequences…not all of them positive (James 4:4).”  

“Christians? We know that friendship with a poisonous snake requires that certain precautions be taken…and that it rarely turns out harmless. That’s why choosing the short-term over the long-term seldom works out well (Matt. 6:19-21).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to choose our friends carefully…that way, we don’t always have to watch our backs; 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:subdeo.com.’