VIDEO Fox News Anchor Opens Up About Life, Faith: ‘I Just Try to be Open to What the Lord May Have’

12-26-2019 by Jenna Browder

Shannon Bream to anchor new Fox News show at 11pm

WASHINGTON – She’s a bright and shining star on Fox News and in her first book, Finding the Bright Side, Shannon Bream opens up about her life, faith, and some of the ups and downs she’s experienced along the way.

Just like many of her guests on Fox News @ Night, Shannon is consistently in the middle of the action with what many would call a dream job.

“I love what I do,” she told CBN News. “It feels like a huge blessing and a gift.”

Shannon sat down with CBN’s Jenna Browder at the Museum of the Bible to talk about her book and how she got to where she is today.

She grew up in Florida going to church and Christian school, eventually choosing Liberty University for college. That’s where she met her husband, Sheldon Bream.

“We had friends who kept trying to put us together,” Shannon explained. “We were always dating other people and we had a friend in common who finally came to me one day and she said, ‘You’re here at this football game. He’s here at this football game. You’re going to meet right now.'”

Beauty Pageants and Law School

While at Liberty, Shannon took the crown as Miss Virginia. She went on to law school at Florida State University and more pageantry, winning the Miss Florida title.

It was around this time Sheldon proposed but not long after their engagement, Shannon writes about what she calls, “The Darkest Cloud,” when doctors diagnosed Sheldon with a brain tumor.

 A Shocking Diagnosis

“To be 24 – and we were engaged and planning our life together – and to get those words, to get that news, it’s totally out of left field and so unexpected,” said Shannon.

The church was a huge support, from diagnosis and surgery to Sheldon’s difficult recovery.

“We would get letters and notes or calls from people, from churches we’d never heard of, never visited, didn’t know anyone there but they said, ‘We heard about your story and we just wanted to let you know that we’re praying for you,'” Shannon tearfully recalled. “As a Christian, it was just so overwhelming to know that there were people who were just the body of Christ that we would never meet.”

Newly married and out of school, Shannon learned quickly law wasn’t for her and started interning at a local news station.

“I eventually decided a few months into that I loved it so much – the police scanners and the breaking news and just the unpredictability of live television – that I decided to kind of take the leap.”

The Road to Fox News

She eventually got hired at the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a short stint there, NBC in Washington, DC picked her up. It was at a speaking conference where she met Fox News’ Britt Hume who offered her a job when he learned about her legal background.

It didn’t take long for Shannon to begin moving up at Fox, filling in on the anchor desk and eventually getting her own show.

Another Medical Challenge

One major trial she’s had to deal with is her eyesight.

“Around my 40th birthday, I started to have extraordinary pain in my eyes and it was only happening overnight and I couldn’t figure out what the source was of this but it would literally shoot me out of bed in enormous pain, doubled over,” Shannon explained.

The excruciating pain went on for almost two years before a doctor was able to diagnose her, though he told her there would be no cure.

“I just sat there crying in my car and just saying to the Lord, ‘This is it. This is the end for me. There’s nothing else I can do,'” Shannon said. “And I explain in the book how I’m not someone whoever feels like I’ve audibly heard the voice of God but I felt in my spirit and I heard Him say to me in that moment, ‘I will be with you.’ Not, ‘I’m going to heal you. I’m going to take this away. You’re never going to have this pain again.’ Just, ‘I will be with you.’ And I felt like that promise sustained me and I knew it was true. I knew His presence would be with me despite the fact that there was no cure.”

With that same doctor, Shannon was able to manage the pain and eventually underwent surgery. Today she says her eyes aren’t perfect but they’re about “95 percent better.”

The Decision to Remain Childless

One reoccurring question Shannon says she gets, especially in Christian circles, is about her decision to not have kids. She says she knew early on she didn’t have what she calls “Mom Genes.”

“The Lord creates us all in different ways and gives us all different passions and different paths,” she said, adding that she has many young people in her life but feels her true calling is her career.

As for what’s next, she’s not sure but is keeping an open mind and heart.

“I try to say to myself, this is the season that the Lord has you here. Don’t hold too tightly to it because you don’t know what other adventures or things are coming down the line and I just try to be open to what the Lord may have next.”


Look what happened to the Christians of Bethlehem

Geller Report Staff –  December 25, 2019

The Christian population in the territories controlled by the racist Palestinian Authority are being cleansed. Naturally the world will again give the Palestinian Authority a pass for their grotesque racism and human rights violations.

Related – The Persecution of Christians in the Palestinian Authority

Lies Palestinians tell at Christmas

One fable is that they are trapped in Bethlehem behind walls and checkpoints. Yet the Christian population has fallen dramatically while the Muslim one has increased exponentially! It’s a checkpoint where Christians leave and Muslims enter.

By Israel National News, December 25, 2019:

When Israel relinquished control of Bethlehem to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo Accord agreement in 1995, 85% of those living in this then prosperous town were middle class Christians. Business and life were good when it was part of Israel.

By Christmas 2019, Christians are less than 10% of the population in an economically stricken town.

How did this come about?

In 1995, Elias Freij was that the last Christian mayor of Bethlehem. He appealed to Israeli Prime Minister, Yizchak Rabin, not to withdraw from the city as part of the Accords due to his fear for the future of Christians in Bethlehem. Rabin wanted an official and public statement from the mayor to that effect to take to the negotiations. Freij and the church authorities refused Rabin’s request, and the rest is a tragic page in Christian history.

The Palestinian leadership, as usual, blames the security wall for the current situation. They talk of Israel turning Bethlehem into a prison.”

The British artist, Banksy, has advanced his reputation in left-wing circles by promoting propaganda graffiti scrawled on walls throughout Bethlehem. He has even built a hotel in Bethlehem called the Walled-Off Hotel which is full of imagery damaging to Israel such as a nativity scene in front of a section of security wall with a shattered bullet hole which he calls “The Scar of Bethlehem.”

All this propaganda demonizes Israel and projects Palestinian Arabs as “oppressed victims”.

Nowhere in Banksy’s work is there a mention of Palestinian terror, promoted and rewarded by the Palestinian Authority, a prolonged terror campaign that has murdered over a thousand Israelis and made the security barrier a necessity. Nor does he mention the threatening behavior of Palestinian Muslims that has driven out most of the town’s frightened and persecuted Christians.

Today, Christmas 2019, Bethlehem is a once-Christian town, with important churches, holy relics and sanctuaries, but only a few Christians who live in fear not of Israel, but of Muslim Arabs.

The Christians I once knew had businesses such as tourist shops selling olive wood carvings and religious symbols to tourists. They are gone. Their homes and their shops are now occupied by their Muslim former neighbors.

The Palestinians will tell you it’s all Israel’s fault. They are, after all, the perennial victim. It’s become an industry for them. This image sells as well as Banksy’s souvenirs in Bethlehem.

But is this the truth? Not at all.

The Palestinians wanted separation from Israel and when Israel gave it to them, they used the vacated territories to relaunch their terror campaign against Israeli civilians, killing thousands.

In the name of peace, Bethlehem was the sixth town that Israel vacated and left under Palestinian rule following its withdrawal from Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus and Kalkilya.

Initially, there was a free flow of people. Palestinian Arabs worked in Israel. Israelis visited the Arab towns to buy and enjoy the services of the local Arabs. Everything was cheaper than in Israel while wages for Arab workers were higher in Israel and the interchange was buoyant and good for everyone.

Look what happened to the Christians of Bethlehem

Booker T. Washington


“The Bible should be read as a daily guide to right living & as a daily incentive to positive Christian service”-BTW

Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee Institute, delivered an address at Memorial Hall in Columbus, Ohio, May 24, 1900.

The description was recorded in The Booker T. Washington Papers, Vol. 5: 1899-1900, (University of Illinois Press, 1976, p. 543-544):

“Dr. Washington walked on the stage at Memorial Hall with a firm, confident tread, as one sure of his ground.

His shoulders are broad and six feet of stature gives strength and poise to command respect. His hair is close cut and gives him the aspect of a war dog with all its tenacious fighting spirit.

The eyes, however, gleam with kindliness and they temper the appearance of the latent fighting forces … His jaw has the firmness of one who has the courage to stand by his convictions …”

The description of Booker T. Washington continued:

“‘It’s easy to see how that man succeeds,’ whispered a delegate to the Bible students’ conference after looking at the speaker.

John R. Mott, general secretary of the student movement of North America, presided at the afternoon meeting at Memorial Hall …

Mr. Mott announced Dr. Washington’s subject as ‘The Place of the Bible in the Uplifting of the Negro Race.'”

The description ended:

“Dr. Washington began his address after a quartet sang.

He spoke of the 91 Y.M.C.A. Organizations for colored youths; of the 5000 colored men studying the Bible, and of the 640 Bible students at Tuskegee, and pointed these as living examples of the progress of the Negro.

He pleaded for two more secretaries to teach Bible in the South-land.”

(Booker T. Washington is featured in Miracles in American History-Volume TWO)

Booker T. Washington believed that to be great, one should read the Bible, (The Booker T. Washington Papers, Vol. 3: 1889-95, ed., Louis R. Harlan, Univ. of Illinois Press, 1974, p. 93):

“As a rule a person should get into the habit of reading his Bible.

You never read in history of any great man whose influence has been lasting, who has not been a reader of the Bible.

Take Abraham Lincoln and Gladstone. Their lives show that they have been readers of the Bible.

If you wish to properly direct your mind and necessarily your lives, begin by reading the book of all books.

Read your Bible every day, and you will find how healthily you will grow.”

In his address at Memorial Hall in Columbus, Ohio, May 24, 1900, Booker T. Washington stated:

“The men doing the vital things of life are those who read the Bible and are Christians and not ashamed to let the world know it.”

Washington wrote:

“Those who have accomplished the greatest results are those … who never grow excited or lose self-control, but are always calm, self-possessed, patient and polite.”

Booker T. Washington believed a religious life was key to freedom, usefulness and honor, as he wrote in Putting the Most into Life (NY: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1906, ch. “Making Religion a Vital Part of Living,” p. 23-25):

“Educated men and women, especially those who are in college, very often get the idea that religion is fit only for the common people. No young man or woman can make a greater error than this …

My observation has taught me that the people who stand for the most in the educational and commercial world and in the uplifting of the people are in some real way connected with the religious life of the people among whom they reside.

This being true we ought to make the most of our religious life …”

Washington continued:

“First the habit of regular attendance at some religious service should be cultivated. This is one of the outward helps toward inward grace …

As you value your spiritual life, see to it that you do not lose the spirit of reverence for the Most High …

Do not mistake denominationalism for reverence and religion. Religion is life, denominationalism is an aid to life.”

He added:

“Systematic reading and prayerful study of the Bible is the second outward help which I would commend to those whom I wish to see make the most of their spiritual life.

Many people regard the Bible as a wonderful piece of literature only …

Nowhere in all literature can be found a finer bit of oratory than St. Paul’s defense before King Agrippa. But praiseworthy as this kind of study is, I do not believe it is sufficient.

The Bible should be read as a daily guide to right living and as a daily incentive to positive Christian service …”

Booker T. Washington went on:

“To live the real religious life is in some measure to share the character of God.

The word ‘atonement,’ which occurs in the Bible again and again, means literally at-one-ment.

To be at one with God is to be like God.

Our real religious striving, then, should be to become one with God, sharing with Him in our poor human way His qualities and attributes.

To do this, we must get the inner life, the heart right, and we shall then become stronger where we have been weak, wise where we have been foolish …”

Washington concluded:

“We must learn to incorporate God’s laws into our thoughts and words and acts.

Frequent reference is made in the Bible to the freedom that comes from being a Christian.

A man is free just in proportion as he learns to live within God’s laws …

As we learn God’s laws and grow into His likeness we shall find our reward in this world in a life of usefulness and honor.

To do this is to have found the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of character and righteousness and peace.”

Booker T. Washington stated May 24, 1900:

“The Negro who does the shooting is uneducated and without Christian training …

Of all the graduates from Tuskegee Institute only one had been since sentenced to the penitentiary …

So the work today is to make religion the vital part of the Negro’s life.

But this is a stupendous task, as there is a nation of Negros …”

He added:

“Just remember that the Negro came out of Africa a few centuries ago … chains upon his ankles and wrists.

He came out of that … with a hammer and a saw in his hands and a Bible in his hands.

No man can read the Bible and be lazy. Christianity increases a man’s … capacity for labor. The Negro doesn’t run from the Bible, either.”

During Booker T. Washington’s lifetime, Tuskegee Institute grew to 2,000 students and a faculty of 200 teaching 38 trades.

In 1896, Booker T. Washington was awarded an honorary master’s degree from Harvard, the first New England university to confer an honorary degree upon a black man.

Harvard President Charles W. Eliot wrote May 28, 1896:.

“President Booker T. Washington,

My Dear Sir,

Harvard University desires to confer on you at the approaching Commencement an honorary degree; but it is our custom to confer degrees only on gentlemen who are present. Our Commencement occurs this year on June 24, and your presence would be desirable from about noon till about five o’clock in the afternoon. Would it be possible for you to be in Cambridge on that day?

Believe me, with great regard,

Very truly yours,

Charles W. Eliot.”

Dartmouth awarded Booker T. Washington an honorary doctorate in 1901.

In November of 1897, Booker T. Washington arrived at the White House and met President William McKinley. He wrote:

“In a few minutes word came from Mr. McKinley that he would see me. How any man can see so many people … and still keep himself calm, patient, and fresh for each visitor in the way that President McKinley does, I cannot understand.

When I saw the President he kindly thanked me for the work which we were doing at Tuskegee for the interests of the country.

I then told him, briefly, the object of my visit. I impressed upon him the fact that a visit from the Chief Executive of the Nation would not only encourage our students and teachers, but would help the entire race.”

Washington wrote further:

“I went to Washington again and saw him, with a view of getting him to extend his trip to Tuskegee.

On this second visit Mr. Charles W. Hare, a prominent white citizen of Tuskegee, kindly volunteered to accompany me, to reenforce my invitation with one from the white people of Tuskegee and the vicinity …

I saw the President … I perceived that his heart was greatly burdened by reason of these race disturbances.

Although there were many people waiting to see him, he detained me for some time, discussing the condition and prospects of the race.

He remarked several times that he was determined to show his interest and faith in the race, not merely in words, but by acts.”

Washington continued:

“While I was with the President, a white citizen of Atlanta, a Democrat and an ex-slaveholder, came into the room, and the President asked his opinion as to the wisdom of his going to Tuskegee. Without hesitation the Atlanta man replied that it was the proper thing for him to do …

The President promised that he would visit our school on the 16th of December …

When it became known that the President was going to visit our school, the white citizens of the town of Tuskegee — a mile distant from the school — were as much pleased as were our students and teachers.

The white people of the town, including both men and women, began arranging to decorate the town …

I think I never realized before this how much the white people of Tuskegee and vicinity thought of our institution … Dozens of these people came to me and said … if there was anything they could do to help, or to relieve me personally, I had but to intimate it and they would be only too glad to assist …

The thing that touched me almost as deeply as the visit of the President itself was the deep pride which all classes of citizens in Alabama seemed to take in our work.”

Washington continued:

“The morning of December 16th brought to the little city of Tuskegee such a crowd as it had never seen before.

With the President came Mrs. McKinley and all of the Cabinet officers but one; and most of them brought their wives or some members of their families …

There was also a host of newspaper correspondents. The Alabama Legislature was in session at Montgomery at this time. This body passed a resolution to adjourn for the purpose of visiting Tuskegee …

The citizens of Tuskegee had decorated the town from the station to the school in a generous manner. In order to economize in the matter of time, we arranged to have the whole school pass in review before the President.

Each student carried a stalk of sugar-cane with some open bolls of cotton fastened to the end of it. Following the students the work of all departments of the school passed in review, displayed on ‘floats’ drawn by horses, mules, and oxen …

In his address in our large, new chapel, which the students had recently completed, the President said:

“Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute is ideal in its conception, and has already a large and growing reputation in the country, and is not unknown abroad.

I congratulate all who are associated in this undertaking for the good work which it is doing in the education of its students to lead lives of honor and usefulness, thus exalting the race for which it was established …

To speak of Tuskegee without paying special tribute to Booker T. Washington’s genius and perseverance would be impossible.

The inception of this noble enterprise was his, and he deserves high credit for it. His was the enthusiasm and enterprise which made its steady progress possible and established in the institution its present high standard of accomplishment.

He has won a worthy reputation as one of the great leaders of his race, widely known and much respected at home and abroad as an accomplished educator, a great orator, and a true philanthropist.”

Secretary of the Navy John D. Long then spoke in honor of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee:

“I cannot make a speech to-day. My heart is too full-full of hope, admiration, and pride for my countrymen of both sections and both colors.

I am filled with gratitude and admiration for your work, and from this time forward I shall have absolute confidence in your progress and in the solution of the problem in which you are engaged. The problem, I say, has been solved …”

Long continued:

“A picture has been presented to-day which should be put upon canvas with the pictures of Washington and Lincoln, and transmitted to future time and generations – a picture which the press of the country should spread broadcast over the land, a most dramatic picture, and that picture is this:

‘The President of the United States standing on this platform; on one side the Governor of Alabama, on the other, completing the trinity, a representative of a race only a few years ago in bondage, the colored President of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.'”

Secretary of the Navy John D. Long concluded:

“God bless the President under whose majesty such a scene as that is presented to the American people.

God bless the state of Alabama, which is showing that it can deal with this problem for itself.

God bless the orator, philanthropist, and disciple of the Great Master — who, if he were on earth, would be doing the same work — Booker T. Washington.”

Secretary of the Navy John D. Long wrote to his wife, Agnes Pierce Long, during the Spanish-American War, October 9, 1898:

“The Tenth Regular Infantry … is composed, with the exception of the officers, entirely of colored men. It is one of the regiments which did the very best work in the Santiago campaign, and no soldiers fought better …

They marched with a easy light step; they had the faces of their race. It was a great day for them and for the colored people who cheered them on the way …

I could not help thinking of this race a few years ago in slavery and today freemen and citizens.

How barbarous seems the color discrimination, when in every walk of life they are making the same progress as the white man; when their Booker T. Washington is, perhaps, the finest orator in the country and these troops the best fighting soldiers of the war.”

Booker T. Washington spoke from New Hampshire to California, Minnesota to Florida.

In 1899, he and his wife traveled to Europe, where they met many dignitaries, including being honored by an invitation to Windsor Castle in England for tea with Queen Victoria.

Booker T. Washington wrote in his autobiography Up From Slavery (1901):

“Through the kindness of Lady Aberdeen, my wife and I were enabled … to see Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle, where, afterward, we were all the guests of her Majesty at tea.

In our party was Miss Susan B. Anthony, and I was deeply impressed with the fact that one did not often get an opportunity to see, during the same hour, two women so remarkable in different ways as Susan B. Anthony and Queen Victoria.”

Ten years before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was formed, Booker T. Washington founded the National Negro Business League in 1900, growing it to 600 chapters.

Harvard President Charles W. Eliot spoke at Tuskegee’s 25th anniversary in 1906, stating:

“By 1905, Tuskegee produced more self-made millionaires than Harvard, Yale and Princeton combined.”

Booker T. Washington stated:

“Anyone can seek a job, but it requires a person of rare ability to create a job …

What we should do in our schools is to turn out fewer job seekers and more job creators.”

Visitors came to Tuskegee from 16 countries, including Africa, India, China, Japan, Poland and Russia.

Booker T. Washington sent Tuskegee graduates to Liberia, West Africa.

He even sent his personal envoy, Emmitt Scott, to discourage France from annexing Liberia, helping to preserve Liberia’s independence.

Booker T. Washington was the first African American to have his image on a U.S. postage stamp, 1940.

In 1945, he was the first African American elected to the Hall of Fame, and in 1946, his image was placed on a U.S. Coin.

To the protests of some Democrats, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had Booker T. Washington as an honored guest for dinner at the White House, October 16, 1901.

The Southern Democrat newspaper The Memphis Scimitar printed:

“The most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United States was committed yesterday by the President, when he invited a n—– to dine with him at the White House.

It would not be worth more than a passing notice if Theodore Roosevelt had sat down to dinner in his own home with a Pullman car porter, but Roosevelt the individual and Roosevelt the President are not to be viewed in the same light.”

The next President, Republican William Howard Taft met with Booker T. Washington.

Widowed twice, his third wife outlived him.

He had one daughter, Portia, and two sons, Booker T. Washington Jr. and Ernest Davidson Washington.

When Booker T. Washington died on NOVEMBER 14, 1915, industrialist Andrew Carnegie stated:

“I mourn with you today as one who shares your sorrow. America has lost one of her best and greatest citizens. History is to tell of two Washingtons.

One the leader of his country and the other the leader of his race.”

After Booker T. Washington’s death, Republican Vice-President Calvin Coolidge traveled to Tuskegee in 1923.

He met with Robert Russa Moton, who succeeded Booker T. Washington as the principal of Tuskegee Institute.

After becoming President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge received Robert Russa Moton at a meeting in the White House in 1924.

Robert Russa Moton went on to be an advisor to five U.S. Presidents.

Booker T. Washington stated:

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

(Booker T. Washington is featured in Miracles in American History-Vol. TWO: Amazing Faith that Shaped the Nation)

Choosing To Forgive

by Discerning Dad

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which bind them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14 NIV

Most Christians will agree that forgiveness is the right thing to do, after all there are over 100 verses in the Bible that talk about forgives or forgiving others. And yet, forgiving other people can be extremely hard to do. It seems to come easily for children, I know that my children will quickly forgive each other and move on about their day. They never bring up infractions from a week, month, or year ago! Why does this get harder to do as people move into adulthood? As you become adults, the wrongs levied against you become more severe, we build up walls over time, and we can analyze a scenario to judge if someone is deserving of our forgiveness.

A recent Barna study (1) among practicing Christians said that:

76% offered unconditional forgiveness to someone else

55% received unconditional forgiveness

27% identify someone they don’t want to forgive

23% identify someone who they can’t forgive

22% struggle to receive forgiveness for something

We can learn a lot about forgiveness in the Bible. Let’s take a look at the story of Jacob and Esau.

Jacob had God’s favor but he was not a good brother to Esau in the least. He took advantage of Esau when he was weak and traded him some stew for a birthright (although Esau was not very smart to have agreed). Jacob also betrayed his brother by stealing the blessing from his father by dressing up like his brother, with his mother’s help nonetheless! This was a double betrayal for Esau from his brother and mother.

Jacob brought about division against him and his brother and he had to flee for fear of repercussion. The interesting thing is that the brothers meet up again, many years later in Genesis 37. Jacob is justifiably scared of this encounter. He does not know if Esau will attack him and steal everything. Jacob separates out his wives and children into groups so that if one group is attacked, the other can flee safely. Jacob also prepares a generous gift for Esau when he arrives.

Surprisingly to Jacob, Esau embraces his brother and even rejects the gifts that Jacob brings saying, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” (Gen. 37:9) The brothers are reunited despite the past. God blesses both of them as they grow in livestock and wealth that they eventually have to split up because the land cannot support both groups.

Esau made a decision to forgive his brother. Jacob did not ask for forgiveness before it was offered. Esau had every “right” to stay bitter and even steal from Jacob his possessions. Esau chose the high ground.

Esau was betrayed by his own flesh and blood, how often does family betray their own? This hurt can be harder than others to recover from. If a stranger hurts me, it may make me sad but I can move on. When family hurts you, it sometimes makes the relationship irreparable and can cause devastating psychological damage.

The same can be said for our church family. Too often I hear and have experienced fellow Christians who hurt and betray their own, either through difference of beliefs or petty arguments. This can result in unforgiveness and someone choosing to not go to church or not let another Christian brother or sister close to them again in case of a future hurt. If an effort to control your surroundings, you end up taking extreme measures that hurt you in different ways such as the lack of fellowship and community. We are meant for relationship with fellow believers and to meet together regularly (Heb. 10:25).

Forgiveness does not forget the past. It does allow you to keep the past from controlling your future.

Forgiveness does not excuse or condone previous actions and it does not mean you have to sign up to get hurt again.

Forgiveness should be given even when it is not asked for. The person you forgive does not even need to be present in cases of death or abuse. You can still forgive them before your Heavenly Father.

Forgiveness is more an act of release for YOU than the other person. We hold on to unforgiveness because it gives us power, but it also destroys us in the process and steals our joy. They say power corrupts, I would say that unforgiveness corrupts our spirit.

There’s an old saying that says, “Harboring unforgiveness or bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

But we only forgive those who deserve it right? After all there are some actions that are reprehensible, that cannot be forgiven even if I wanted to? I don’t want to judge but I also can’t forgive because of what this person did to me…

If anyone “deserved” to hold on to unforgiveness it would have been Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom. She tells of an amazing story of one of her captors after the war, coming to a camp where she was preaching about Jesus. She chose forgiveness there on the spot when he told her who he was and what he had done.

Corrie ten Boom then told of not being able to forget this incident. She had forgiven the person, but she kept rehashing the incident and so couldn’t sleep. Finally Corrie cried out to God for help in putting the problem to rest.

“His help came in the form of a kindly Lutheran pastor,” Corrie wrote, “to whom I confessed my failure after two sleepless weeks.” “Up in the church tower,” he said, nodding out the window, “is a bell which is rung by pulling on a rope. But you know what? After the sexton lets go of the rope, the bell keeps on swinging. First ding, then dong. Slower and slower until there’s a final dong and it stops. I believe the same thing is true of forgiveness.

When we forgive, we take our hand off the rope. But if we’ve been tugging at our grievances for a long time, we mustn’t be surprised if the old angry thoughts keep coming for a while. They’re just the ding-dongs of the old bell slowing down.” “And so it proved to be. There were a few more midnight reverberations, a couple of dings when the subject came up in my conversations, but the force — which was my willingness in the matter — had gone out of them. They came less and less often and at the last stopped altogether: we can trust God not only above our emotions, but also above our thoughts.”(2)

What unforgiveness in your life do you need to let go of today, like letting go of a helium balloon? Let unforgiveness float away from your life and allow the Holy Spirit to heal broken wounds like only He can.

Discerning Reflection: What areas of my life do I have unforgiveness? Do I forgive as quickly as Jesus commands? Who do I need to pray about forgiving today that God is placing upon my heart?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your immense gift of forgiveness that you gave us through your Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Help me to not hold on to unforgiveness which can lead to bitterness. Reveal to me today who you would like me to forgive, even if they are not asking for forgiveness.

Tim Ferrara
Discerning Dad

Choosing to Forgive

VIDEO Patriots player Benjamin Watson laces up for ‘My Cause, My Cleats’

Courtesy of Eric J. Adler and the New England Patriots

Courtesy of Eric J. Adler and the New England Patriots

By Julia Musto

New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson will use his custom-made “My Cause, My Cleats” cleats to bring attention to his One More Foundation.

The foundation, which he founded with his wife, is devoted to spreading the love and hope of Jesus Christ in local communities.

“My Cause, My Cleats” gives more than 900 football players a chance to showcase the causes important to them during Week 14 of the NFL season.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend” with hosts Lisa Boothe, Ed Henry, and Pete Hegseth, Watson said he created the One More Thing Foundation to spread he love and hope of Christ to one more soul.

“And, we do that by following the three charges that are given in Micah 6:8 when it talks about doing justice, loving-kindness, and walking humbly with our God,” he explained.

Watson said that, for the last decade, the foundation has given him the opportunity to meet people with “real needs” and “to know the one who can meet their needs forever and ever.”

“Whether it’s promoting and giving food to those who are hungry, doing events around the holidays, promoting education, standing against injustice — whether that be sex trafficking, abortion, or racial injustice … and also, just bringing kindness to people,” he continued.

“Because we live in a world and a country where sometimes people just aren’t kind and a kind word can go a long way. And, that kind word or kind deed can be multiplied by those who receive it,” said Watson.

“There are so many different ways, so many different avenues to effect change…” he told the “Friends: Weekend” hosts.

Rasputin “The Holy Devil,” Bolshevik Revolution, Socialist Russia & Solzhenitsyn


by Bill Federer

“…be…careful…from falsely using the struggle for peace & for social justice to lead you down a false road”

Rasputin, described as “The Holy Devil,” moved to St. Petersburg in 1906 and began to gain access to the royal family of Tsar Nicholas II.

Posing as a mystic, Rasputin was known for strange prophecies, claims of superstitious healing powers, and sexual excesses.

As the Tsar and his family came under Rasputin’s spell, the monarch’s credibility suffered, his authority was undermined, and public distrust spread.

At this time, Tsar Nicholas escalated his father’s policy of restricting Jews and implementing a full anti-Jewish “pogrom” of cruel persecution.

More then 2 million Jews fled, many to the United States.

It was a tragedy, which, in a way, spared them from future Russian tragedies.

World War I started in 1914.

Fighting raged from Europe to the Middle East.

The Tsar sent 3 million Russian soldiers west to fight Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Unprepared to face German heavy artillery, over 78,000 Russians were killed or wounded and over 90,000 captured at the Battle of Tannenberg, August 26-30, 1914.

Within a year, over 1.4 million Russian soldiers were killed and nearly a million captured.

Russian General Denikin described:

“The German heavy artillery swept away whole lines of trenches, and their defenders with them. We hardly replied. There was nothing with which we could reply.

Our regiments, although completely exhausted, were beating off one attack after another by bayonet …

Blood flowed unendingly, the ranks became thinner and thinner and thinner. The number of graves multiplied.”

Russia’s disillusionment with the Tsar grew.

This, together with severe cold weather and food shortages, allowed Vladimir Lenin’s community organizers to agitate and fan unrest, leading to the Bolshevik Revolution — Red October of 1917.

Lenin distributed propaganda, incited class warfare, provoked strikes, staged bank robberies, attacked police, and ordered assassinations.

Democrat President Woodrow Wilson naively told Congress, April 2, 1917:

“Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been happening within the last few weeks in Russia?”

Wilson displayed his lack of judgement by sending the U.S. Army 339th Infantry Regiment to intervene in North Russia.

Lenin forced the Tsar from power, seized control of the government, then proceeded to arrest, imprison, and execute tens of thousands of Russians in a Red Terror.

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed.

There were relatively few revolutionaries, but because they used terror as a coercive tactic, people panicked and unwittingly surrendered their freedoms to a totalitarian government.

(Get the book Change to Chains-the 6000 year Quest for Global Control)

Lenin wrote:

“It is necessary — secretly and urgently to prepare the terror.”

To his socialist revolutionaries in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Lenin ordered in a telegram: “to introduce mass terror.”

Lenin instructed on how to treat “kulak” farmers:

“Comrades! The kulak uprising in your five districts must be crushed without pity …

You must make example of these people. Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. Publish their names. Seize all their grain.

Single out the hostages per my instructions in yesterday’s telegram.

Do all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble, and tell themselves that we are killing the bloodthirsty kulaks and that we will continue to do so … Yours, Lenin. P.S. Find tougher people.”

The policy of “dekulakization” — the intentional killing off of millions of independent middle-class “kulak” farmers — removed the only ones who could challenge Lenin’s power.

It also had the unanticipated consequence of devastating food production, resulting in the horrendous national famine of 1921-22, where an estimated 5 million died.

Bolsheviks replaced the Christian religion with a materialistic atheism.

Church property was confiscated or destroyed.

Free speech and free press were prohibited. Private property was abolished.

Karl Marx had written in The Critique of the Gotha Programme, Part IV:

“Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation.”

Centralizing power, Vladimir Lenin considered socialism as a transition phase from capitalism to communism, stating:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

C.S. Lewis, in the final chapter of The Abolition of Man, 1943, warned of atheists concentrating power:

“I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently.”

In 1924, as Lenin lay dying, suffering from incessant headaches, Joseph Stalin usurped power.

Even though they were political opponents, Stalin circulated a fake photo doctored to make it look as if he and Lenin were good friends.

Stalin manipulated the public with propaganda, and ruled with an iron fist.

He was an absolute dictator of the Soviet Union.

Franklin Roosevelt described the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in his address to the American Youth Congress, February 10, 1940:

“The Soviet Union … is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.”

Stalin’s “Great Purge of 1936-38” executed an estimated 1.2 million Communist Party members, government officials, military leaders, and peasants who were accused of being disloyal.

Simply a rumor of holding politically incorrect views or associating with “enemies of the people,” could result in someone losing their job, being arrested and executed, or being one of the 4.5 million sentenced to “gulag” labor camps.

One of those arrested was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was born in Russia on DECEMBER 11, 1918.

Solzhenitsyn was detained for writing a letter criticizing Joseph Stalin.

He spent 11 years in “gulag” labor camps.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn began secretly compiling horror stories of life in the gulags.

For several years of his imprisonment, 1947-52, he was denied pen and paper, so he composed and memorized chapters as poems.

He put these accounts into his book The First Circle, 1968, and then The Gulag Archipelago.

An “archipelago” is a chain of islands in the ocean. Solzhenitsyn used this metaphor to describe a chain of FEMA-style citizen detention camps across Russia.

Horrendous camps were used during the:

  • Indian Removal Act;
  • Civil War;
  • Second Boer War;
  • Spain crushing Cuban Revolts;
  • Imperial Japan Bataan Death March;
  • Hitler’s National Socialist Workers Party;
  • Pol Pot’s Communist Khmer Rouge; and
  • Chinese and North Korean labor camps.

(Get the book Rise of the Tyrant-How Democracies and Republics Rise & Fall, Vol. 2 of Change to Chains)

Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which forcibly relocated an estimated 120,000 to Japanese internment camps.

Under FDR, the Federal government also drove thousands off their lands to establish the Great Smokey Mountain National Park in 1934, condemning and evicting entire communities, forcing them to abandon generational homes, farm buildings, mills, schools, and churches.

Accounts of these Federal evictions are in Wayne Caldwell’s Requiem by Fire (Random House, 2009) and memorialized in Carol Elizabeth Jones’s ballad, “Leaving Cataloochee.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s writings were smuggled out of the Soviet Union and translated.

They quickly became internationally popular, leading him to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, even though he was still in the U.S.S.R.

In his Nobel Prize acceptance letter, Solzhenitsyn wrote:

“During all the years until 1961, not only was I convinced I should never see a single line of mine in print in my lifetime, but, also, I scarcely dared allow any of my close acquaintances to read anything I had written because I feared this would become known.”

International pressure led to Solzhenitsyn being expelled from Russia on February 12, 1974.

Warning naive American students of the horrible realities of socialism, Alexander Solzhenitsyn stated in Washington, D.C., June 30, 1975:

“In pre-revolutionary Russia … there were attempts on the Tsar’s life …

During these years about 17 persons a year were executed …

The Cheka (Lenin’s Communist Secret Police) … in 1918 and 1919 … executed, without trial, more than a thousand persons a month! …

At the height of Stalin’s terror in 1937-38 … more than 40,000 persons were shot per month!

Here are the figures:

17 a year …

1,000 a month,

more than 40,000 a month!”

Solzhenitsyn wrote in The Gulag Archipelago (1973):

“A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”

He continued:

“Roosevelt, in Tehran, during one of his toasts, said …

‘I do not doubt that the three of us’ (meaning Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) ‘lead our peoples in accordance with their desires’ …

We were astonished. We thought, ‘when we reach Europe, we will meet the Americans, and we will tell them.'”

He added:

“I was among the troops that were marching towards the Elbe (River) …

A little bit more and I would have … shaken the hands of your American soldiers. But just before that … I was taken off to prison and my meeting did not take place …

After a delay of 30 years, my Elbe is here today. I am here to tell you … what … we wanted to tell you then.”

Stalin used a tactic called “psychological projection” or blame-shifting, where a politician publicly accuses his opponents of what he himself is privately guilty of.

Karl Marx stated: “Accuse others of what you do.”

Marx and Friedrich Engels explained further (Marx and Engels Collected Works, Vol. 10, p. 318):

“Conspirators by no means confine themselves to organizing … Their business consists in … spurring it in to artificial crises … They are the alchemists of the revolution.”

In Communism-A History (Random House, 2001) author Richard Pipes described how Stalin used a government fabricated crisis — which he blamed on his opponents — as an excuse for the government to seize more power:

“Stalin’s regime needed another crisis … as Fidel Castro, the leader of Communist Cuba, would explain …

‘The revolution needs the enemy … The revolution needs for its development its antithesis’ …

And if enemies were lacking, they had to be fabricated …”

Pipes continued:

“In 1934, a prominent Bolshevik, Sergei Kirov, the party boss of Lenningrad, was assassinated under mysterious conditions … evidence points to Stalin …

Kirov was gaining too much popularity in party ranks for Stalin’s comfort.

His assassination brought Stalin two advantages:

it rid him of a potential rival and provided a rationale for instigating a vast campaign against alleged anti-Soviet conspirators …”

Pipes concluded:

“Purges of the 1930’s were a terror campaign that in indiscriminate ferocity and number of victims had no parallel in world history …

Authorities … beat them until they confess to their crimes they have not committed.”

Solzhenitsyn warned Americans not to trust mainstream media, June 30, 1975:

“There is a … Russian proverb:

‘The yes-man is your enemy, but your friend will argue with you’ … I am the friend … I have come to tell you …

One of your leading newspapers, after the end of Vietnam, had a full headline: ‘The Blessed Silence.’

I would not wish that kind of ‘blessed silence’ on my worst enemy … I spent 11 years in the Archipelago (labor camps).”

As to trusting government, Solzhenitsyn was quoted in The Observer, December 29, 1974, as stating:

“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”

Solzhenitsyn explained how government-run healthcare provided a cover for Stalin’s political opponents to be “diagnosed” with psychiatric problems and given compulsory “treatment”:

“It is not detente (a lessening of tension) if we here … can spend our time agreeably while over there people are groaning and dying and in psychiatric hospitals.

Doctors are making their evening rounds … injecting people with drugs which destroy their brain …

There are tens of thousands of political prisoners in our country … under compulsory psychiatric treatment.”

This is similar to the Federal government’s 40 year long Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, where black men infected with syphilis were allowed to die, all the while being regularly examined by government health-care workers who simply documented the progression of the deadly disease.

Solzhenitsyn went on:

“You know the words from the Bible: ‘Build not on sand, but on rock’ …

Lenin’s teachings are that anyone is considered to be a fool who doesn’t take what’s lying in front of him. If you can take it, take it. If you can attack, attack.

But if there’s a wall, then go back …

Communist leaders respect only firmness and have contempt and laugh at persons who continually give in to them.”

This is similar to the Islamic concept of “hudna,” namely, when you are strong, attack; when you are weak, make treaties until you can get strong enough to attack.

British philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote in Leviathan (1651, pt. 1, ch. 13):

“Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues.”

Solzhenitsyn concluded his speech in Washington, D.C., June 30, 1975, with a warning about the “social justice” movement:

“I … call upon America to be more careful with its trust …

Prevent those … who are attempting to establish even finer … legal shades of equality — because of their distorted outlook … short-sightedness and … self-interest –

from falsely using the struggle for peace and for social justice to lead you down a false road …

They are trying to weaken you; they are trying to disarm your strong and magnificent country in the face of this fearful threat — one that has never been seen before in the history of the world …

I call upon you: ordinary working men of America … do not let yourselves become weak.”

He stated:

“If we don’t know our own history, we will simply have to endure all the same mistakes, sacrifices, and absurdities all over again.”

Solzhenitsyn wrote in The Gulag Archipelago (1973):

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Solzhenitsyn stressed the importance of the life-changing influence of the gospel in an interview with Joseph Pearce (St. Austin Review 2 no. 2, February, 2003):

“Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive.”

In 1983, Solzhenitsyn received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, stating:

“We can only reach with determination for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently pushed away.”

(Get William J. Federer’s book Rise of the Tyrant-How Democracies and Republics Rise & Fall, Vol. 2 of Change to Chains)

7 Ways To Defeat The Enemy!


December 19, 2019 hepsibahgarden

The devil is roaming around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Right from the time of Adam’s disobedience, the enemy has been walking to and fro, in the earth seeking to disrupt God’s work in the life of man. Nevertheless, God has been merciful; He has been and will continue to be faithful in what He has promised to us — HE IS ABLE TO KEEP ALL THAT HAS BEEN COMMITTED IN HIS HANDS, UNTIL THE END.

However, how can we defeat the devil from working against us?

1. Through the Name of Jesus – And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mark‬ ‭16:17‬

2. By submitting ourselves to God and then resisting the devil – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James‬ ‭4:7‬

3. By confessing the Blood of Jesus – And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬

4. Through the word of their testimony – If we love our life more than God, He will defeat us. But by being willing to suffer for the Lord, e can defeat him. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬

5. By putting on the whole armour of God – God has given us 7 armour which e we need to be wearing at all times. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians‬ ‭6:11‬

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians‬ ‭6:13-17‬

6. By being steadfast in faith, and not wavering – Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1 Peter‬ ‭5:9‬

7. Not giving place to the devil – Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians‬ ‭4:27‬

May God help us.

Be blessed 💕

Original here


Cuba’s struggle to end slavery & be free!


by Bill Federer

“Slavery in Cuba is … a terrible evil … It is greatly to be hoped that … Spain will voluntarily … emancipate…”

Slavery began in Caribbean in the 1500s, predominantly for working on sugar plantations.

Many slaves were native American in the 16th century, brought in from Ireland in the 17the century, or purchased in enormous numbers from Muslim slave markets in Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.

On Haiti, slaves revolted against French control in 1792, and in 1807, the U.S. and Britain outlawed the importation of slaves, but slavery continued in Cuba.

President James Buchanan wrote December 19, 1859:

“When a market for African slaves shall no longer be furnished in Cuba … Christianity and civilization may gradually penetrate the existing gloom.”

In 1868, a revolt was begun by a wealthy Cuban sugar farmer named Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, called Padre de la Patria (Father of the Country).

Céspedes freed his slaves and began Cuba’s first war for independence — the Ten Years War — against the oppressive government of Spain. He stated:

“Citizens: that sun you can now see raising above the Turquino Peak has come to illuminate the first day of Cuba’s freedom and independence.”

Freed slaves joined together with criollos — those of Spanish ancestry born in Cuba — to fight for freedom and to end slavery.

Similar to America’s Declaration of Independence, Céspedes was one of the signers of the “10th of October Manifesto,” 1868, a translation of which reads:

“When rebelling … against … Spanish tyranny we want to indicate to the world the reasons for our resolution.

Spain governs us with iron and blood;

-it imposes … taxes at will;

-it (takes from) us … all political, civil and religious freedom;

-it has put us under military watch in days of peace … (and they) catch, exile and execute without …. any proceedings or laws;

-it prohibits (us from) freely assembling, (unless) under the (presence) of military leaders; and

-it declares (as) rebels (those who want) remedy for so many evils …”

The Manifesto continued:

“Spain loads us with hungry employees who live from our patrimony and consume the product of ours work.

So that we do not know our rights, it maintains us in … ignorance; and so that we do not learn to exert it, it keeps us away from the administration of … public thing(s) …

It forces us to maintain an expensive … army, whose unique use is to repress and to humiliate us.

Its system of customs is so perverse that we (would have) already perished … (had it not been for) the fertility of our ground …

It prevents us (from) writing … and it (hinders) intellectual progress …

It has promised to improve our condition, and … it has deceived … us, and it (has) left us (only an) appeal to the arms to defend our properties, to protect our lives and to save our honor.

To the God of our consciousness we appeal, and to the good faith of the civilized nations …”

The 10th of October Manifesto concluded:

“We aspire to (have) popular sovereignty and … universal suffrage.

We want to enjoy the freedom for whose use God created the man.

We profess sincerely the dogma of … brotherhood … tolerance and justice, and consider all men, equal, and … not be excluded from its benefits; nor even the Spaniards, if they decide to live peacefully among us.

We want … (to) take part in the formation of the laws, and in the distribution and investment of the contributions.

We want to abolish … slavery and compensate whoever is harmed.

We want freedom of meeting, freedom of the press and freedom of … conscience, and

We request … respect (of) the inalienable rights of … man, (the) foundation of … independence and the greatness of (our) towns.

We want to remove from the yoke of Spain and to become a free and independent nation.

If Spain recognizes our rights, (it) will have in Cuba an affectionate daughter; if it persists in subjugating … us, we are resolute to die before (we will) be under his domination.”

President Ulysses S. Grant stated December 2, 1872:

“Slavery in Cuba is … a terrible evil … It is greatly to be hoped that … Spain will voluntarily adopt … emancipation … in sympathy with the other powers of the Christian and civilized world.”

President Grant said December 1, 1873:

“Several thousand persons illegally held as slaves in Cuba … The slaveholders of Havana … are vainly striving to stay the march of ideas which has terminated slavery in Christendom, Cuba only excepted.”

In 1878, the Spanish Government crushed the revolt, ending “The Ten Years War” in which over 200,000 died.

Another “Little War” took place in 1879.

Under international pressure, Spain ended slavery by Royal decree in 1886.

(Get the book The Treacherous World of the 16th Century and How the Pilgrims Escaped It: The Prequel to America’s Freedom)

In 1895, open rebellion against Spain broke out in Cuba.

Spain sent Governor Valeriano Weyler to smash freedom-loving Cubans.

Weyler rounded up nearly 300,000 Cubans and forced them into crowded concentration camps.

This policy may have been copied from the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress which passed the 1830 Indian Removal Act, authorizing Federal troops to force Cherokee Indians into FEMA-style camps before marching them to Oklahoma.

Concentration camps were expanded during America’s Civil War, where 215,000 Southerners were held — 26,000 dying in captivity; and 195,000 Northerners held — 30,000 dying in captivity, such as in the Andersonville Camp.

Britain, during the Second Boer War, 1899-1902, forced both White and Black South Africans into concentration camps.

This policy evolved into:

  • Imperial Japan’ concentration camps for Filipinos and others;
  • Hitler’s National Socialist Workers Party camps for Jews and others;
  • Pol Pot’s Communist Khmer Rouge torture camp & “killing fields”;
  • Chinese and North Korean labor camps; and
  • Stalin’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics “gulag” camps.

In Cuba, between 1896-1897, nearly a third of country’s population was in concentration camps.

With cesspools of raw sewage, 225,000 died of starvation, exposure, dysentery, and diseases, like yellow fever.

Pleas for help reached the United States to intervene.

In 1898, the U.S.S. Maine was in Havana’s Harbor and it blew up under suspicious circumstances on February 15, beginning the Spanish-American War.

On April 20, 1898, Congress wrote:

“The abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization …

Resolved … the people of the Island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be, free.”

On May 1, Commodore Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

On July 3, the United States, aided by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, captured Santiago, Cuba, and the war soon ended with Cuba’s independence from Spain.

On July 6, 1898, President William McKinley wrote:

“With the nation’s thanks let there be mingled … prayers that our gallant sons may be shielded from harm … on the battlefield and in the clash of fleets …

while they are striving to uphold their country’s honor .”

The Treaty officially ending the Spanish-American War was signed DECEMBER 10, 1898.

President McKinley wrote:

“At a time … of the … glorious achievements of the naval and military arms … at Santiago de Cuba,

it is fitting that we should pause and … reverently bow before the throne of divine grace and give devout praise to God, who holdeth the nations in the hollow of His Hands.”

Many wanted Cuba to be under the authority of the United States, similar to Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii or Panama.

Not wanting to be imperialistic, America instead recognized Cuba’s independence on May 20, 1902, though it maintained a naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

In 1902, Estrada Palma became Cuba’s first President.

Unfortunately, soon after, in 1905, a revolt occurred against Palma.

Liberals burned down government buildings.

After an attempted assassination, liberal leader José Miguel Gómez fled to New York City demanding U.S. intervention:

“The United States has a direct responsibility concerning what is going on in Cuba … and is under the duty of putting an end to this situation.”

In September of 1906, Cuban President Palma sent an urgent plea for help to President Theodore Roosevelt, who sent to Cuba the U.S. Secretary of War William Howard Taft.

When Estrada resigned, Roosevelt appointed Taft as Provisional Governor of Cuba.

Many Cubans petitioned to have their country become part of the United States.

Taft’s replacement, Charles Magoon, allowed seeds of racial division to grow, as the Havana Post wrote in 1909: “His work here … caused two blades of grass to grow where but one had grown before.”

In 1908, José Miguel Gómez was elected President.

At the same time, an Independent Party of Color was founded which increased division among Cubans along racial lines for decades to come, resulting in demonstrations, riots and rebellion.

Gómez crushed the race rebellion in 1912, with such force that it alienated most blacks from political involvement.

Corruption grew under Gómez, with his government using the news media to push his controlling agenda.

In 1924, a new candidate arose, Gerardo Machado, who was so popular that he was the Presidential candidate for all three of the major political parties. He was unopposed in his reelection to a second term.

Machado brought honesty, stability, and foreign investment, such as American hotels, restaurants and tourism.

Condition continued to improve until the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression.

Collapsing sugar prices led to protests which forced President Machado into exile.

In the 1920s, communists also began infiltrating student groups at the University of Havana, and formed the Cuban Communist Party.

In 1933, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada, son of the 1868 Padre de la Patria (Father of the Country), briefly became Cuba’s president for one month.

His hopes were dashed when he was forced out of office by Sergeant Fulgencio Batista and the Democrat Socialist Coalition.

Batista ruled Cuba 1940 to 1944, till Ramon Grau San Martin was elected, followed by Carlos Prío Socarrás in 1948.

In 1952, Batista and his new Progressive Action Party staged a coup and retook power, outlawing communists.

At the time, two-thirds of Cubans had the highest standard of living in Latin America, with tourism, baseball, and casinos.

The remaining third, though, suffered in rural poverty and unemployment, creating a seedbed for unrest.

In 1956, Fidel Castro started a rebellion.

Batista responded with more arrests, imprisonments, and executions.

Senator John F. Kennedy stated October 6, 1960:

“Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years … and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state – destroying every individual liberty.”

Castro was hailed as a rising leader, even being invited to speak at Harvard University.

In 1959, Castro forced Batista to flee.

Though he had promised freedom, once in power, Castro quickly set up a communist dictatorship, seizing thousands of acres of farmland from Cuban citizens and arrested anti-revolutionaries.

An observable pattern in history is, that whenever a tyrannical government is overthrown, unless citizens have been trained in Judeo-Christian principles of self-government, the country quickly succumbs to internal chaos, out of which another tyrannical dictator seizes power.

Castro imprisoned and enslaved dissidents, and made agreements with the Soviets.

One of Castro’s key men was Che Guevara, who stated:

“We executed many people by firing squad without knowing if they were fully guilty. At times, the revolution cannot be stop to conduct much investigation …

Hatred as an element of the struggle … transforming him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machine.

Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy …

I’d like to confess … I discovered that I really like killing.”

Thousands of citizens, including church leaders, were tortured and executed.

By some estimates, over 100,000 were ruthlessly killed.

Leftist writers awkwardly defend statements made by Che Guevara in his 1952 The Motorcycle Diaries:

“The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing.”

“The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”

In 1959, Guevara wrote:

“We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing.”

During Castro’s reign, over 1.5 million Cubans fled to the United States.

President Reagan stated:

“What’s happening in Cuba is not a failure of the Cuban people. It’s a failure of Fidel Castro and the Communists.”

The United States reopened its Embassy in Havana, Cuba, on July 20, 2015.

Castro died November 25, 2016.

Cuba continued to spread socialism to other Latin and South American nations.

FoxNews reported September 24, 2019:

“Socialist policies of Maduro and his close ties to leaders in Cuba along with the practice of detaining political prisoners and reports of extrajudicial killings by death squads linked to leaders in Caracas.

‘According to a recent report by the United Nation Human Rights Council, women in Venezuela stand in line for 10 hours every day waiting for food, over 15,000 people have been detained as political prisoners, modern day death squads are carrying out thousands of extrajudicial killings,’ Trump said.

He added: ‘The dictator Maduro is a Cuban puppet, protected by Cuban bodyguards, hiding from his own people, while Cubans plunder Venezuela’s oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt communist rule.'”

Before socialists took over, Venezuela was prosperous, as FoxNews added:

“Home to the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela was for decades an economic leader in the western hemisphere and, despite a massive gap between rich and poor, was a major destination for neighboring Colombians and other Latin Americans fleeing their less prosperous and more troubled homelands.”

(Get William J. Federer’s book American Minute-Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred)

What Should I Expect My First Time Through the Bible?

Interview with John Piper
Founder & Teacher,

Audio Transcript

If this is my first read through the Bible, what should I expect? So many great Bible reading questions arrive at the start of a new year, like this one from a listener named Mike. “Hello Pastor John! I have been blessed by your ministry for many years. In the year ahead I hope to read my Bible from cover to cover for the very first time, using the Discipleship Journal Bible reading plan you use. I feel a little excited and a lot intimidated and enormously unprepared for the year ahead. I’ve never done anything like this before. What’s your advice for me? And what obstacles must I expect to overcome to pull this off?”

Well, amen and praise God for what Mike is resolving to do. Just an hour and a half ago, I was reading my Discipleship Journal reading plan reading. So I’ve been on this system for 20 or 25 years. I love this system. I try other things, and I generally come back to it. Well good, Mike. You should be excited.

And yes, you should be intimidated. You are, in significant ways, unprepared — me too. That’s why we’re reading. Paul said it’s all inspired precisely to make us prepared, “that the man of God may be complete, equipped” — or we could say prepared — “for every good work,” including Bible reading (2 Timothy 3:16–17). You have to read to get prepared to read, right? It’s okay to be intimidated by reading the Bible.

Bible Reading Is Intimidating

So what should you expect? Let me give you three negatives to scare you off, and nine positives to suck you back in.

1. Expect opposition.

Satan hates the word of God and will disincline you, blind you, distract you, bore you. He will fight with all his might to keep this from happening.

So, pray and fight and ask God to make all four of those things that Satan tries to do to backfire, to blow up in his face as you become a stronger warrior against him. Ask God to keep your heart inclined, remove your blindness, grant you focus instead of distraction, and give you excitement instead of boredom.

But you can expect opposition.

2. Expect to be shocked.

The outrage of sin and its graphic descriptions and the horrors of God’s judgments and the failures of God’s people are appalling in the Bible. The Bible is stunningly graphic in its description, both of our outrageous sin and God’s breathtaking judgment on sin.

You will want to throw up if you have any kind of sympathetic engagement with the Bible at times when you see what God ordains against sin in this world.

So, expect your views of man and God to be blown up, in a good way — shocked.

3. Expect to be confused.

And you can expect that for three reasons:

1. God conceals many things that we’d like to know. Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words.” So there are things you’re going to want to know, and God says, “Nope, that’s my business, not yours.”

2. What he has revealed is often hard to understand. Peter said that flat-out in 2 Peter 3:16: “As [Paul] does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” There are some things in Paul’s letters that are hard to understand — things that we should not expect to find easy. So we’re going to be confused at times.

3. And the third reason you’re going to be confused is that Christ has given teachers to the church. Have you ever thought about that? In the New Testament, he didn’t just give a Bible and say, “Now, we don’t need any teachers, because we’ve got the Bible — we’ve got the Holy Spirit — so no human beings need to be teachers in the church.” He didn’t do that. He said in every church there should be elders. Those elders must be apt to teach, which means people need explanations for what they see in the Bible, and teachers are called to figure things out and help others. So unless you’re one of those teachers and unless you’re God, you’re going to run into confusing things in the Bible that you need help from other people.

So, the implication of those three is: Pray for illumination. Do whatever digging in study that helps you. Put things together that you can put together. And what you can’t figure out, put on the shelf for later attention, and keep on moving. If you get bogged down with what you can’t understand, you’ll never finish the reading for the day.

Nine Blessings to Expect from the Bible

Those are my negatives. Here are the nine positives. I’ll just tick them off really, really quickly. These are things you can expect.

1. Expect your faith to be deepened and strengthened.

Because Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Or almost the same, expect your hope in God to be made more unshakable, because Romans 15:4 says everything in the whole Bible is written for your hope.

2. Expect God to do serious, liberating work in your life.

Because Jesus said, “You will know the truth,” — when you read my Bible, you’ll know the truth — “and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

3. Expect new power in war with Satan.

Because that’s the way Jesus defeated him in the wilderness. He quoted Scripture to the devil, and the devil could not stand before it (Matthew 4:1–11). He won’t stand before you either. He’s a liar. He’s a deceiver. He can’t abide the truth. You’re filling your head up with the truth. You’re going to be a valiant warrior more than you dreamed against Satan.

4. Expect a deep, sanctifying work in your life.

Because John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

5. Expect to become a more loving person to those around you.

Because Paul in Philippians 1:9 prays that our “love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” And he said in 1 Timothy 1:5 that the goal of his instruction — that is, the goal of the Bible — is “love . . . from a pure heart” — so, unifying love for people growing in your heart as you immerse yourself in the whole sweep of Scripture.

6. Expect that even though you are now saved in a decisive way, you’re going to go on being saved by the Scriptures.

Most people don’t think about this. First Timothy 4:16: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” The Bible is the means of God by which he goes on saving us.

7. Expect joy — great joy, unshakable joy — that the world does not know.

Because Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). So, send the roots of your mind and your heart down into the whole Bible, and your joy will become indestructible.

8. Expect to meet God.

You will meet God, not just truths about God. Expect to meet God, because it says in 1 Samuel 3:21, “The Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” He revealed himself by the word — himself by the word. And he does that. Expect to meet him.

9. Expect to see the glory of Christ.

Second Corinthians 3:18: “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” Now, how do we know that happens in the Bible? Because if you follow the flow of Paul’s thought from 3:18 into 4:4 and 4:6, he refers to how we see the glory of Christ. Namely, we see it in the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. And the gospel is the written narrative of the stories or the events and their meaning of the death and resurrection of Christ.

So Mike, I will pray for you what Paul prayed in 2 Thessalonians 1:11. He said this: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.”

This is a great resolve before you. You’ve got a great intention on your heart. Be valiant, make a vow to the Lord to keep it, and you won’t regret it.

VIDEO Popular Chinese Christian Leader Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison



Popular Chinese Christian Leader Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison

A respected Chinese pastor and vocal critic of the communist Beijing rejime has been sentenced to nine years in prison.


In direct contradiction to claims of religious freedom for its citizens, Communist China has secretly tried, convicted, and sentenced a popular pastor and Christian leader in southwest China.

The Rev. Wang Yi (shown), pastor of the Early Rain Covenant Church, a congregation of more than 500 members in Chengdu, was taken into custody in December 2018, along with 100 church members, with Wang held in isolation. Since then the church’s main facility has been destroyed (although it has planted at least six other local congregations), many of its parishioners have faced intense persecution for their faith, and on December 26 Wang was suddenly and secretly tried, convicted, and sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations” — all as a direct result of his position as a recognized and respected Chinese Christian leader.

“This is a pure case of unjust religious persecution against a peaceful preacher of a Chinese reformed church,” said Dr. Bob Fu of ChinaAid, a U.S.-based watchdog organization that monitors the state of the church in China.

Fu added that the stiff sentence shows the determination of the regime of current Beijing dictator Xi Jinping “to be the enemy of universal values and religious freedom,” and shows that “the regime is very afraid of pastor Wang Yi’s national and international impact based on his reformed evangelic movement.”

Fu said the sentence is an attempt by China’s Communist Party to warn “the already-persecuted Christian community in China that unless you’re silent on the face of the evil regime, you are going to be put in jail.”

Over the years Wang has been a vocal critic of Xi and the Beijing government, and pointedly held an annual prayer service on June 4 in commemoration of the communist government’s 1989 massacre of peaceful protestors in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The sentencing of Wang, and the assault on the Early Rain church and its congregants, is part of a wider Beijing communist crackdown on illegal churches, which has included the demolition of many places of worship across China.

The Trump administration responded strongly to Wang’s sentence, with the State Department issuing a statement condemning the action as “yet another example of Beijing’s intensification of repression of Chinese Christians and members of other religious groups. We continue to call on Beijing to uphold its international commitments and promises made in its own constitution to promote religious freedom for all individuals, including members of ethnic and religious minorities and those who worship outside of official state-sanctioned institutions.”

In a personal Twitter post, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for Wang’s freedom, charging that the pastor was convicted on “trumped-up charges. Beijing must release him and end its intensifying repression of Christians and members of all other religious groups.”

In an undated personal message published by the Early Rain congregation, Pastor Wang expressed his hope that God would use him throughout the ordeal he is facing, “by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.”

Wang predicted that “those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.”

Wang concluded his short epistle with the admonition that “Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.”

Screengrab of Rev. Wang Yi from video:

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