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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Victory In Iraq That The Media Wants To Ignore

Gary Bauer writes in his End of Day Report for September 3rd:

Earlier this week, the United States handed over control of Anbar Province to the Iraqi government. This is a major milestone in the progress of our efforts there and a great testament to the courage and dedication of our soldiers. As many of you no doubt recall, Anbar Province was “once the heartland of the Sunni insurgency,” where the former terrorist strongholds of Falluja and Ramadi are located. That region alone accounted for a quarter of U.S. casualties. Now, Al Qaeda has been largely defeated there, and according to press reports, we have reduced the number of U.S. troops in the region by 40% since February.

In fact, U.S. combat forces have been reduced in major cities in 13 of Iraq‘s 18 provinces, and there is news today that General David Petraeus is very optimistic about the improving conditions in Baghdad. He told the Financial Times that he is hopeful U.S. forces could leave Baghdad by July 2009. This is good news, and I am very thankful for the leadership of President Bush and the patriots in Congress who resisted calls from MoveOn.org and the radical Left to retreat.

The media may not care much, but I am very grateful that we are reading about America‘s successes and eventual victory over Al Qaeda in Iraq. We may never fully appreciate just how vital the surge was – especially in the eyes of the Muslim world, which was watching intently to see whether Osama bin Laden was right. He believed America was a “paper tiger” that would run after “a few blows.” Liberal politicians were declaring the war “lost” and demanding timetables for our retreat, while the liberal media cheered them on.

A different president might have given in to political pressure. And instead of our troops returning home with victory, we could be watching images of American helicopters taking off from the roof the U.S. Embassy under fire from Al Qaeda terrorists while Baghdad burned. Thanks to President Bush, General David Petraeus and the outstanding service of our troops, Osama bin Laden has been denied the victory he desperately hoped for, and America has been spared the national humiliation the Left so desperately wanted.

God Is Our Fortress

46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

(Psalm 46, ESV)

US Weekly Blasted Over Sara Palin Magazine Cover

FOX News anchor Megan Kelly takes on the editor of US Weekly Magazine for false innuendo and bias reporting on cover story:

What Do You Know About Self-Denial?

Walter J. Chantry was born in 1938 at Norristown, Pennsylvania, raised in the Presbyterian Church; graduated B.A. in History from Dickinson College, Carlisle in 1960, and a B.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1963, from which time he has been pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Carlisle. He is married with three children. On the subject of “self-denial” he writes:

Self-denial is a practice that lies at the very heart of true religion. Without its exercise there can be no conversion to Christ. Qualities most basic to a Christian frame of heart – notably humility and meekness – would dissolve without its active expression. Self-denial awaits the sons of God as they enter upon their private devotions. It stands at the threshold of witnessing and other service to our holy Lord. It is a most painful element in each struggle after holiness. Denial of self is the key to the solution of numerous practical questions which perplex the sober-minded believer today. A right understanding of this basic biblical demand would silence a host of errors regarding evangelism, sanctification, and practical living.

Yet too little is written and preached upon self-denial. Sometimes the most profound truths are ignored because they are obvious. Perhaps this particular biblical truth lies forgotten because of the perversions of the past. There have been such varied forms of fanatic asceticism in the history of the church, that some might shy away from the subject. A recent set of preachers offered self-denial as a step to a “second work of grace”. Perhaps there remain from the same source intricate and confusing dissections of human personality which becloud the simple term ‘self’.

One does not wish to be identified with these elements. All of this has contributed to silence on a vital theme in scripture.

[We] should resurrect the biblical teaching on self-denial from its unjust obscurity. It is not the property of Medieval Flagellants. We dare not yield it as the property of the “deeper life” movement. It was the Son of God who said:

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34) – From: The Shadow of The Cross

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