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CLARITY – 9-22-20 2nd Verse, Same As First

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-22-20

2nd Verse, Same As First

What’s Happening: “For the second time (the first time was while living in exile in the U.S. but working for the OMN – Oromo Federalist Congress – an opposition political party in Ethiopia), media mogul Jawar Mohammed was charged with terrorism and fomenting violence, where popular singer Hachulu Hundessa was murdered and 150 were killed in June. Jawar feels he and 22 others had been the subject of a political cleansing of opposition to the ruling Prosperity Party. Jawar had been held since June, but made his first public appearance Saturday (https://www.yahoo.com/news/jawar-mohammed-top-ethiopia-opposition-131507210.html). Quoting from the BBC article that appeared yesterday: ‘I am proud to be charged with terrorism for the second time in my life,’ he told the court. The charges for the first time were dropped when reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess it doesn’t pay to oppose, huh?”

Biblical Response:  “Sounds to me like he’s counted the cost and is willing to pay the price. It seems a waste to suffer for something that doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, though it obviously mattered to him. (I’m not saying whether his cause is just or not…that’s for Someone Else to decide.) All I am saying is that we must all have the courage of our convictions. The scripture records an incident where Peter and John DID have the courage of their convictions (Acts 5:18-42). God obviously backed their play, too.”

“Christians? The Scriptures records many divine interventions, but note  the resolve of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: 

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not [emphasis mine], let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.’ (Dan 3:17-18 NASU)”

I could mention Esther’s ‘If I perish, I perish’ comment (Est. 4:16) or many others, but I think you get the point.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to look for Your intervention…but br willing to bear the consequences…regardless; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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 – 9-11-20 Still Pursuing Revenge

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-11-20

Still Pursuing Revenge

What’s Happening: “Some might see the recent ruling of Federal Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, as the U.S. government still pursuing revenge for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The families of the nearly 3,000 killed are certainly elated, an article by Yahoo News yesterday reported. In all, four planes were involved: the two that destroyed the twin world trade towers, the one that hit the Pentagon, and the one that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside, presumably headed for the U.S. Capitol building. The judge ruled that the Saudi government should compel several former government officials to testify as to their involvement. The historically favorable relationship between Riyadh and Washington is at stake (https://www.yahoo.com/news/judge-orders-testimony-from-saudi-officials-in-suit-over-involvement-in-911-attacks-013620481.html). Quoting from the article: ‘In her discussion of Bandar, Judge Netburn noted that lawyers for the Saudi government had persuasively argued that no documents show that he directly oversaw the work of al-Jarrah and al-Thumairy in the United States. But, she added, court documents obtained during the course of discovery — much of which remain under seal — ‘indicates that Prince Bandar likely has firsthand knowledge … [of] the role that al-Thumairy was assigned by the Kingdom and the diplomatic cover’ provided to him.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “That happened almost twenty years ago…and isn’t ISIS destroyed?”

Biblical Response:  “Wow! That’s errant AND insensitive! First, I’m sure it seems like just yesterday to the spouses and children left behind. Second, it was al-Qaeda, a different Islamic jihadist organization, that was responsible (I’m not saying the two aren’t connected). Besides, vengeance is the Lord’s (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19). Should we not retaliate? Wasn’t our killing of Osama bin Laden justified? If retaliation prevented the demented jihadists from striking the U.S. again…of course we should (who’s to say we were not the hand of the Lord in obtaining justice?…though ultimate justice may still await – and they were expecting 72 virgins?!). As far as the killing of the mastermind behind 9/11? Again, heavenly power may have been using earthly hands. Generally, we common folk should leave matters of justice to God (Who may in turn use earthly authorities to effect His will).”

“Christians? Of course, we believe that murder is wrong (Ex.20:13). Ultimately, it’s like the sign said in the dining commons I saw in the Bible college where I taught for 25 years:

There are two immutable truths in the universe:

  1. There is a God.
  2. You are not He.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to forgive…and let You sort out who deserves what; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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 – 8-6-20 Sometimes Accidents Happen

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-6-20

Sometimes Accidents Happen

What’s Happening: “The explosion in Beirut, Lebanon Tuesday, although compared with MOAB (the Mother of All Bombs) and small strategic nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal, was probably not a terrpor attack, but an accidental explosion of hundreds of tons of a fertilizer (ammonium nitrate) seized several years ago and illegally stored. Over 100 people were killed and over 5,000 were wounded in the blast which registered a shock wave of 3.3 on earthquake scales. Further investigation will no doubt yield more information, but the real cause is still a mystery (https://www.yahoo.com/news/deadly-explosion-devastated-beirut-appears-201525323.html). Quoting from an article that appeared yesterday in the Business Insider: ‘Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear and conventional weapons expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, estimated the yield to be ‘between 200 and 500 tons, looking at blast damage, the shockwave, seismic signals, and the size of the crater.’’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wasn’t that also the site of a deadly terror attack on a U.S. Marine barracks in 1983?”

Biblical Response:  “Yep, and it killed 220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and 3 Soldiers. What a tragedy! But the real tragedy is not the fact that America was caught unawares, or, even that the present explosion was so devastating (leaving over 300,000 homeless), though those were and are huge tragedies. No, the real tragedy is the cessation of opportunity to change your eternal destination that any death represents (Heb. 9:27). Jesus spoke about the apparent randomness and tragedy of accidents (like the fall of the Tower of Siloam) in Luke 13:4-5. Listen to His conclusion of the matter:

‘I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’ (Luke 13:5 NASU)”

“Whether this was a deliberate terror attack or just one of those tragic accidents, those killed are just as dead…were they ready? Are you?”

“Christians? We believe that God made us for eternal life. However, let me ply you with the Good News/bad news approach to the Gospel:

I’ve got Good News and bad news. First, the Good News: When you die, you’ll be given a brand new body. It can never be killed. It can never be destroyed, It experiences all the five senses to their maximum degree, It lives forever. Now the bad news: When you die, you’ll be given a brand new body. It can never be killed. It can never be destroyed. It experiences all the five senses to their maximum degree. It lives forever….. The Good News and the bad new sound identical, huh? I guess it depends on where you spend eternity.’

 Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us seize opportunity when it presents itself and pray and have compassionate care for those families that have experienced tragedy; 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 – 5-21-20 It’s a Little Late for That

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-21-20

It’s a Little Late for That

What’s Happening: “In a handwritten note, Zacarias Moussoui, sometimes referred to as the 20th hijacker in the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, has ‘renounced and repudiated terrorism and Bin Laden’ in an effort to get his treatment to be less harsh. This may not work as U. S. District Judge Leonie Brinkima (who has jurisdiction) thinks he should file his request where he resides in prison in Colorado. As recently as 2018 he referred to himself as ‘Slave of Allah.’ Some do not take his recent change of heart seriously…others do (https://news.yahoo.com/sept-11-convict-now-says-151836707.html). Quoting the Associated Press article that appeared yesterday: ‘He’s been there 14 years. It’s a long time to think about what you’ve done,’ said Katherine Donahue, an anthropology professor at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. ‘I don’t see him lying … there were so many ways he could have helped himself before by lying’ but he didn’t.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds like an act of convenience, not an act of sincerity.”

Biblical Response:  “I’m with you…sort of. I mean, you may be right about his heart…though you or I cannot judge anyone’s heart (we have trouble even judging our own heart,,,everything a man does looks right in his own heart). Which is probably why we should leave heart-judging to God (Jer. 20:12). But let’s assume, for a moment, that he is sincere…so? He was sentenced for the crime he did on a certain date in the past. Present repentance may change his eternal future, but you can’t change the past. The people who died in the 9/11 attacks are just as dead. His change of heart, even if true, shouldn’t change his punishment for crimes done.”

“Christians? We believe in (and promote) a change of heart (though Moussoui has renounced terrorism, not Allah). In fact, a change of heart is essential in being born again (John 3:3-7).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to welcome a true change of heart…in eternity…and exact punishment that is due in temporality; 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 – 4-22-20 Go Left at Madagascar

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-22-20

Go Left at Madagascar

What’s Happening: “You might not know where Mozambique is (East Africa, on the mainland Indian Ocean coast, just west of the island of Madagascar – south of Zimbabwe, east of Tanzania), but they recently (April 7) lost 52 young people who refused to join the ranks of Islamic jihadists. The terrorists are locally known as al-Shabbab, though they would say they are part of the Islamic State. They are attempting to establish a caliphate, but police say they are chasing them to exact justice. Yesterday’s AFP article chronicles a two-year old rampage (https://news.yahoo.com/fifty-two-villagers-killed-jihadists-northern-mozambique-183053657.html). Quoting the article: ‘For more than two years the jihadists mainly targeted isolated villages, killing more than 900 people, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Another reason I’m glad to live in America!”

Biblical Response:  “Me, too…but we have to be careful that being born here (an event over which we both had no control) doesn’t make us too arrogant to help…or at least pray (Rom. 12:15).”

“Fear apparently had no effect on those young people, at least they would rather die than be a part of the jihadist’s reign of terror. I, for one, applaud them. Until more people are willing to have the courage of their convictions, fear will continue to make folks do things they would rather not. Shouldn’t we fear? Yes, but not like you think (Matt. 10:28):

‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (KJV)”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in fear. Godly fear. In fact, godly fear might lead to faith (this is  exactly what Jesus was trying to say in Luke 13:4). This kind of fear leads to wisdom (Ps. 110:11; Prov. 4:7,10:11). The terrorists are looking forward to 72 virgins. Won’t they be surprised?!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we don’t need to be filled with foolish faith, we don’t need to be filled with foolish fear, either; 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 – 4-15-20 Sometimes the Cost is Heavy

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-15-20

Sometimes the Cost is Heavy

What’s Happening: “Late yesterday, eight were killed in Cairo (one policeman and seven suspected militants). Some were suspected of plotting against Egypt’s Coptic Christians (they are in the minority – only 10% – and have been the object of much terrorism over the years). The Islamic majority is generally tolerant of the Coptics, but the Takfiri Islamists accuse the Coptic Christians of being infidels and they say the Koran gives them license to persecute (https://news.yahoo.com/egyptian-security-exchanges-gunfire-terrorist-191406681.html). Quoting from the Reuters article: ‘The last major attack, claimed by Islamic State, was in November 2018 when gunmen targeted two buses near the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, 260 km (160 miles) south of Cairo killing seven people and wounding 18.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “With them celebrating Easter this Sunday, it’s probably not a good time to be a Coptic Christian.”

Biblical Response:  “That is a matter of context: If you’re a Coptic Christian only ethnically (an Egyptian CHRINO…there’s bound to be some Christians In  Name Only, just like we have here) you get shot at unprovokedly, and you might not want to claim Christ; if you are a Coptic Christian and have made Jesus Lord, then you get shot at justifiably (in the Takfiri mind); and if you get killed as a Coptic and you are standing at the Judgement (Heb. 9:27), you might like to claim Christ. There is a price to pay, being a Christian ((1 Pet. 4:12-13; John 15:18-19):

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.’ (NLT)

John 15:18-19

 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 

19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.’ (NLT)”

“Christians? Of course, we believe in persecution…it just comes with the territory….but there is special grace, too (see above scriptures). One added benefit; sincerity…there probably are few wishy-washy Coptic Christians…it’s just too costly if you’re not serious.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to pay the price first. It was even more costly for Him; 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 jail, He also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 1-10-20 The Importance of Assessment

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-10-20

The Importance of Assessment

What’s Happening: “Antiquated, but sufficiently propagandized for resolve…that is what I would conclude about Iran’s fighting forces after reading the linked article. How much resolve plays into modern warfare remains to be seen. Although Iran may boast of the capabilities of its elite Quds Forces (formerly led by Gen, Qassem Soleimani), its small size (only 5,000) may make it more feared than reality would suggest. Does Iran have an army, a navy, an air force? Yes…even a separate Aerospace Force (whatever that is), but much of their forces use equipment dating back to the 70’s. Are they a force to be reckoned with? Yes…feared? Not hardly (https://www.yahoo.com/news/what-are-irans-military-capabilities-235040111.html). Quoting from the article: ‘It is a grade-A 1970s military,’ Taleblu (Benham Ben Taleblu, an Iranian military expert) said. ‘This means, according to Iran Military Power, that the Islamic Republic is the only country in the world still flying U.S.-made F-14 Tomcats…’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Yeah, but they shout ‘death to America!’”

Biblical Response:  “There can be a whole army of people shouting ‘Bang, bang, you’re dead!’ Which may stop some in their tracks…till they meet up with soldiers shouting, ‘Clank, clank, I’m a tank’…poking their heads out of the turrets of REAL tanks! I think the term ‘paper tiger’ might be apropos.  Should we take seriously their forces? Yes…after all they have real bullets and real missiles. Should we tread lightly or fear them? Not such that we let them continue to terrorize people throughout the world. Remember, ‘fear hath torment’ (1 John 4:18), but they’re no real match for us…at least not so much that we should allow them to have undue political sway.”

“We should not trust in our military superiority, either (Ps. 20:7). Rather, we should trust in the rightness of our cause. Still, it only makes for abundant wisdom to assay an enemy before any conflict (Luke 14:11, 28).”

“Christians? We believe in trusting in the Name of Jehovah, not in conscripted armies, or special elite forces, or missiles, etc. (Ps. 20;7, again).”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to seek out conflict, but help us not to be unduly frightened by those who revel in threats; 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

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CLARITY – 1-7-20 Some Alliances Are Good

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-7-20

Some Alliances Are Good

What’s Happening: “NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), in a meeting to get the briefing about recent Iranian developments, agreed (mostly) with the U. S. actions taken in retaliation (this includes the airstrike and the drone strike that killed Gen. Soleimani), Monday. They did, however, caution Iran (https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-briefs-nato-over-iran-173642991.html). NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, ‘We are united in condemning Iran’s support of a variety of different terrorist groups, At the meeting today, allies called for restraint and de-escalation. A new conflict would be in no one’s interest. So Iran must refrain from further violence and provocations.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t NATO kind of irrelevant these days?”

Biblical Response:  “With the Cold War mostly over (the Soviet Union is defunct and the Russian nuclear threat is a mere shadow of what it once was), you might think so. However, Europe is now threatened by other dangers (the competing hegemonies of the Middle East, etc.), and NATO’s relevancy may have been renewed. Then there’s Europe’s lust for a secure supply of oil and natural gas, Brexit, the immigration crisis (the invasion of Islam), and other forces of chaos. Used to be that NATO’s main reason for existence was countering the Warsaw Pact (originally the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania). Now that everything’s changed geo-politically, a new enemy may be actually helpful to NATO. We’ll see. That alliance was good in its time. It may be once again. Just as there are some bad alliances…there are some that are good.”

“…You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins.” (Is. 30:1 NLT)

“Christians? We believe in good and bad alliances—some to be avoided and some to seek….like an alliance with God and not with the world (1 John 2:15-17). Of course, this is individual advice, but nations would do well to heed this also.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to realize the value of alliances and the expectations (nad power) that come with them…and seek only those that benefit; 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

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CLARITY – 1-6-20 Maybe It’s Time We Apologized

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-4-20

Maybe It’s Time We Apologized

What’s Happening: “Police in Metz, France (in the eastern part of the country) shot and wounded in the thigh yesterday a man who shouted ‘Allahu akbar’ (‘God is greatest’) while attacking them with a knife. Metz was the site of another knife attack two days ago in which one died and two were wounded (the attacker was shot dead). Paris, France has been the choice of many terrorist killings in recent years – 130 have died there in the deadliest attacks since World War II (https://www.yahoo.com/news/french-police-shoot-wound-knifeman-172509983.html). French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, ‘I praise the quick thinking of the @PoliceNat57 (Moselle police force), which intervened to apprehend the individual. A probe is underway to determine the precise motivation and circumstances behind the act,’ That should be a short investigation. It seems obvious that Islamic terrorism is the motivation.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “How come we don’t get these attacks in New York?”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe it’s that we have a stricter immigration policy…or maybe it’s the NYPD…or that we are farther from Mecca…or a combination of the three… I don’t know. Of course, my issue is a bit different. I have no argument with the statement that”: ‘God is greatest,’ But which God? Sure, the terrorist shouted: ‘Allahu akbar’, which means he thinks Allah is God. Muhammed Ali (the famous boxer who shouted: ‘I am the greatest’ – himself a Muslim) and I would beg to differ (of course, maybe he was just saying that he has the greatest boxer).”

“The Scripture says that we can tell a tree by its fruit (Matt. 12:33). Islamic terrorism has killed many in the name of Allah. Islamic jihadists would then be quick to point out the Crusades and say we’ve also killed many…and they are right. Wrongheaded zeal is at least partly to blame for the rampage that occurred a millennium ago. Besides, conversions at the point of a sword are, at best, less sincere. Maybe it’s time we Christians apologized.”

“Christians? We believe Jehovah is God (Joshua 22:34; Psalm 118:27; I Kings 8:60, 18:21) and Jesus is His Son (Mk. 1:1, John 20:31, etc. – there are literally dozens of references), and that belief in Him is what makes you a Christian (Acts 16:31). But we don’t believe that anyone should be coerced into belief. You should choose Jesus (and, by so doing, choose Jehovah), but your choice should be free (Josh. 24:15 and John 8:32 and John 14:6). There is salvation in no other Name (Acts 4:12)”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to get so wrapped up in our desire for demonstrating allegiance to You that we lose sight of Your overriding message of 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-3-20 The Size of the Bullseye is Measured in Responsibility

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-3-20

The Size of the Bullseye is Measured in Responsibility

What’s Happening: “Earlier today, Iran’s Quds force leader and top General Qassem Soleimani was killed as he arrived privately and disembarked his aircraft at Baghdad’s airport by a U.S. drone. Nine others were also killed, including the son-in-law of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who pledged harsh retaliation. Soleimani, it was reported, was responsible for planning numerous attacks by Iranian soldiers and terrorist organizations against U.S, soldiers (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-vows-harsh-response-us-064000730.html). Quoting the Associated Press article: ‘The United States urged American citizens to leave Iraq ‘immediately’ following the Friday airstrike…’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Won’t this just bring more instability to the region?”

Biblical Response:  “No doubt…but sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. Besides, there will never be ‘peace on earth’ (the message of Christmas…note the rest of that verse is: ‘..to men of good will…’ – Luke 2:14  Douay-Reims Version – there are a lot of jihadists who show no ‘good will’) until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man. To borrow and change the superheroes’ mantra: with great responsibility comes a bigger bullseye. Generals beware!”

“Christians? We favor peace, but know that apart from a transformed heart (and a transformed world), it won’t happen (Isaiah 2:3-4). Come quickly, Lord Jesus! (1 Cor. 16:22)” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us patience as we await Your consummation; 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