Sky Links, 11-17-18

Prophetic Word: United States of America, I am Breaking The Delays!
Dutch Sheets is reading this word by Lana Vawser

How He Became a Qanon Expert

My Journey into the Q Movement -Praying Medic

TDS: Trump Derangement Syndrome 
("distortion" underlined, see next post)
Like past versions (Bush Derangement Syndrome, for example), the TDS is notable for its intense subjective distress. Persons suffering from a TDS experience high levels of agitation and fear about their own safety and about future prospects for a good life. The sufferer may also fear more broadly for the survival of whole nations and even for life on our planet. In fact, it is not unusual for a patient with a Trump Derangement Syndrome to predict apocalyptic events in the near future. These expected disasters are attributed to the predicted actions of Donald Trump in his role as president of the United States. In that role he is seen as an especially destructive individual bent on wreaking havoc on a highly vulnerable world.

In addition to fear and related symptoms, anger and rage are prominent in this syndrome. In the present case, Trump is hatefully portrayed as a diabolically villainous perpetrator of evil deeds. Calls for his death or torture or for harm to his family are not unusual and may even be displayed with pride.
What is most striking in these syndromes, however, is not the quality and degree of emotional upset. What is most striking is the extent to which individuals suffering from the syndrome distort their perceptions of real world events, especially events in economic, social and political realms. Most prominent among those distortions is the intensely negative bias in perceptions of America in general, and of Donald Trump in particular. According to TDS sufferers, neither Trump nor America can do anything good economically, socially or politically, and neither has redeeming features.
The mindset in this syndrome sees Trump as a hateful man bent on destroying lives. But there is no evidence to support this view. Trump is more than 70 years old and has no record of criminal behavior or history of destructiveness in other ways. He is certainly self-centered, egotistical and grandiose, and he is often boorish, insulting and contemptuous. He gets defensive easily and retaliates when offended in ways that are adolescent at best. He can be careless with facts and he lies too often. He has been unfaithful to his wife. There is ample evidence for all of these allegations on casual observation. But many of these traits have been prominent in other political figures. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, for instance, have engaged in far more serious wrongdoing, but have not evoked a fraction of the agitation that characterizes the TDS.
In fact, Trump is not all bad. He has several good traits that are by now well known to persons who are not prejudiced against him. Stories of Trump’s personal generosity, kindness and willingness to put forth great effort for good causes are common knowledge. His record as president for only 20 months is surprisingly impressive. Under his leadership, America is enjoying resurgent economic growth, more jobs, lower taxes, fewer regulations, increased work-force participation, reduced numbers of food-stamp recipients and greater productivity. Most Americans approve of Trump’s determination to protect our country’s borders. Most Americans are more optimistic since he took office. Trump has attacked with great vigor a corrupt, illegal and massively exploitative Deep State that has become entrenched in the bowels of Washington for decades.
By any reasonable standards, these are constructive achievements, not damaging attacks on America or Americans.

In the personal relationship realm, Trump seems to be on good terms with his several children. Most of us take this fact as an indicator of good character, not a sign of malevolence. By common sense measures, good long-term relationships with one’s children argue against allegations of malignant intent. For most of us, a record of such relationships is an important reflection on decency. The open support of Trump’s children for him, and their lack of apparent resentment toward him, suggest that he has been a caring and accessible father.
On these observations, it seems that Donald Trump is an obviously mixed bag. He is a very flawed man, but also a very talented, productive, creative man. He is many things. But he is not a criminal or a devil if we look at the facts.
But persons with Trump Derangement Syndrome don’t see a mixed human being with good and bad traits. They see instead an intensely evil man with diabolical goals. These views of Donald Trump distort the reality of who and what he is; they distort his motives and his goals for himself, for America and the world. The facts just cited about Trump, and many others that could be cited, argue that the Donald Trump perceived by those suffering a derangement syndrome with his name on it does not exist. The real Donald Trump is the mixed bag of virtues and vices just described. And, as I will argue further, what we in fact have in Donald Trump is a benign narcissist whose efforts to enhance himself as president of the United States are having a surprisingly positive effect on our country. A little reflection on this topic suggests that in his intense identification with the fortunes of America, Trump is determined to make himself great again by making America great again. By enhancing the power, wealth, prestige and influence of America, Donald Trump is determined to enhance his own grandiose self. He may well achieve that goal. If he does, he would not be the first narcissist to benefit others as he benefits himself.
Trump’s views of himself and America, stated routinely in superlatives, are of course directly opposite to the views held by persons suffering from a Trump Derangement Syndrome. Beyond their ideas about Trump himself, however, those afflicted with a TDS typically have ideas about America as a nation. It will surely surprise no one that such individuals see America in ways similar to their view of Trump. From parallel perspectives, many individuals who disparage Trump the man disparage America the country.
In fact, it is apparent that most individuals and groups on the radical political left see America as an incarnation of evil that is at least as wicked as its current president. In their eyes, our country is harsh, mean-spirited, imperialistic, racist, sexist, homophobic, indifferent to the welfare of children and determined to deprive women of their right to have an abortion. These critics believe America is also hateful toward certain ethnic groups, especially Mideast Muslims, some of whom it refuses to admit as political refugees.
The radical left sees only bad motives in the policies implicit in these allegations. It denies any benign or reasonable goals in America’s foreign, domestic or immigration policies. In their minds, there are no justifiable reasons for Trump’s policies, such as protection against terrorism or avoiding intolerable strain on American welfare, education, crime prevention and healthcare systems. In the eyes of those who hate both Donald Trump and the country he now leads, America is a bad place, especially because it once permitted slavery. The fact that it ended slavery and has fought against it heroically and at enormous cost doesn’t matter to the haters...
... The man or woman who identifies with the radical left in America or who suffers from a Trump Derangement Syndrome suffers because his distortions of the relational world construct a false picture of human relating. In particular, he or she distorts the great virtues of America and even the modest virtues of Donald Trump. Individuals so afflicted deny the psychosocial benevolence of America and the vast numbers of generous, decent and charitable people that constitute its core population....
...To the radical liberal who is blind to an entire realm of interpersonal experience, and who distorts the realities of spontaneous cooperation in every community where freedom prevails, America and Trump are devils that must be stopped from destroying the world. The radical liberal and the Trump-deranged individual see only the projections onto others of their own inner badness, greed, predation, exclusion, prejudice, bigotry, envy, jealousy and exploitative impulses. They don’t see, beyond Trump’s personality faults, his goodwill for America, his generosity toward veterans and other Americans, his grandiose but effective identification with the greatness of America. The dysfunctional families which radical liberals and Trump-deranged sufferers come from are the source of their projections of badness onto our country. What they see in present-day America are transference versions of their own early traumas.
The deeply pained, hateful, needy, greedy ‘me,’ the deprived, neglected, abused ‘me,’ the narcissistic, uncaring, callously indifferent parent I grew up with – all of these negative personas, and more, are projected onto the American people, onto Donald Trump as a particular individual, and onto America, the historical nation. Nothing fair, balanced or objective comes out of these distortions. The mixed realities of our people, our current president and our nation’s record of exceptional humanity are lost in the misconceptions of the radical liberal mind and the Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The dire consequences of these misconceptions cannot be overstated. Among them is the constant harangue of injustice that contaminates the postmodern American mood. A steady litany of grievances defines the identity politics of the contemporary left in America. But the most serious consequence of the left’s endless complaints is the campaign to “transform” America through government power, to denounce and eventually eliminate the foundational principles on which the first society of ordered liberty in all of human history was created. Persons who, for whatever reason, are afflicted with hatred for America believe her marriage, family, child rearing, ethics, education and religious institutions, as well as her principles of limited government, rule of law, capitalism and free markets must all be changed. Those changes, they believe in their hearts, will cure old wounds of deprivation, neglect and abuse from childhood that torment the radical liberal mind.
In their distorted thought patterns, all of these institutions must be attacked, punished and eliminated because they are evil. In their place, Utopia will appear: the transformations of America through big government coercion imagined by the left will end inequalities of wealth and status. Increased government power will end private property and redistribute it equally to all in need. Socializing what is now privately owned will make all citizens equal owners of the world’s most productive assets and give everyone the material security they need. The new and just society thus created will wipe out poverty and end the pangs of envy. Equality of outcomes of all kinds will end class conflict, restore a universal brotherly love in all of us, and allow everyone the freedom to be what he wishes, as Karl Marx promised. The new collectivist regime will protect the environment, end capitalist exploitation of the masses, and eliminate all injustices involving race, ethnicity, gender and social status.
These and other utopian fantasies drive the wounded minds of modern liberalism. They are the “progressive” solution to what those on the left see as existential problems to be solved by changing America’s organizing institutions. With a ruling class of superior intellects, a new and better society with the authority to make new rules will create a societal paradise.
But none of this is rational. None of it accommodates human nature. None of it respects the human condition.


What are Cognitive Distortions?

  1. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure. 
  2. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. 
  3. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water. 
  4. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences. 
  5. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. a. Mind reading. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don't bother to check it out. b. The Fortune Teller Error. You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact. 
  6. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow's imperfections). This is also called the "binocular trick." 
  7. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true." 
  8. Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn'ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. "Musts" and "oughts" are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment. 
  9. Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, "He's a damn louse." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. 
  10. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible. 
Cognitive Distortions Adapted from the excellent book by: Burns, David D., MD. 1989:
The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

TDS and the Media
It is no secret that the overwhelming majority of news media in America is biased toward the Left. That is to be expected given the ridiculous percentage of media employees and their bosses who are lifelong Democrats.
Through the years, media studies have shown this bias reflected in the stories the MSM covers and highlights. There is a consistent bias against Republican administrations. Showing bias is not ‘abnormal’ for the leftist media.
However, since the election of Donald Trump, this particular trait has been expanded beyond the borders of normalcy. Overall, according to a Harvard University study, the media reported negatively on the Trump administration 80 percent of the time.
Compare this with the coverage of other Republican administrations. George W. Bush received a lot of negative coverage to be sure. However, his coverage was just 60 percent negative.
It is apparent that the mainstream media is engaging in abnormal behavior when it comes to this president in particular. In fact, the picture is worse than presented in the aforementioned Harvard study. If the FOX news figures featuring 52 percent negative coverage of Trump are thrown out, the remaining media is far closer to 90 percent negative coverage....
... The news media is supposed to exist to inform the public in as non-biased a manner as possible. However, especially when it comes to President Trump, the mainstream media exhibits the disturbing disordered priorities of a deranged mind.One of the earliest forays into TDS comes from CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Shortly after the 2016 election, Cuomo stated the following:

Cuomo vowed to oppose Trump’s policies, and stated he feels it is the job of the media as a whole to treat the next president of the United States with hostility. Per Cuomo, “The media cannot yield. This administration is going to demand constant fact-checking and opposition.

It is not normal journalistic policy to actively oppose any administration. Facts must be checked and reported as part of standard journalistic ethics. However, active opposition to a duly-elected president is a very disturbing and dangerous posture to assume here.

The deranged posture of the Left is also shown in the characterizations and hostile epithets hurled at President Trump particularly in the media. He has been routinely called a ‘Nazi,’ and a ‘fascist’ by leftist commentators. That is almost expected in recent times, as President George W. Bush was also labeled the same way.

This president has been insulted in the vilest of ways by leading figures in both government and media. Moreover, his nastiest critics contradict themselves with their own name-calling and fear-mongering....

...TDS began on election night 2016 when everyone in the media believed Hillary Clinton would win. Those suffering from TDS have continued to believe that Hillary should have won ever since. That is what keeps TDS alive.

What keeps TDS active is the deluded dedication of the mainstream media and its political allies to taking down Trump. It is deluded because both the Democratic party and leftist media have been losing vital support since they have taken the route of always negatively criticizing Trump and anyone else associated with him.

Essentially, the leftist media-political complex is committing a form of slow suicide with such behavior. Or, they would be if they weren’t also backed by deep pockets who wish to bend reality to a different will.
Is Trump Derangement Syndrome Real? -D.T.Osborn

Media Bias Proof?  The Harvard Study:
A deep and well researched study from Harvard University finds the media coverage of President Trump is jaw-droppingly negative.

[…] Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was negative even by the standards of today’s hyper-critical press. Studies of earlier presidents found nothing comparable to the level of unfavorable coverage afforded Trump. (link)
Click Graphic to Review Entire Study

Harvard Media Study Finds Trump Derangement Syndrome is Very Real… -Sundance

Questions about the caravan: an investigative report

The secret life of pastors

14 surprising facts you may not know about pastors:
  1. We fight the balance between pleasing people and pleasing God every day. 
  2. We often hear more negative than positive feedback. 
  3. We say “no” because we love our sheep. Pastors have families and lives too. We have to say “no” sometimes in order to be a good dad, a present husband, a good friend or for self-care. 
  4. Our families feel the weight of our calling more than they will ever tell you. 
  5. Eating well, exercising well, and sleeping well is hard work for us. Pastors are often selfless to a fault. We will more quickly go serve someone than to work out, sleep or prioritize self-care. 
  6. Many of us are “Professional Extraverts.” Pastors have to do a lot of deep thinking and study. We are used to being alone and actually love it (most of us). 
  7. We know we could get paid better doing something else, but we don’t want to. 
  8. Spiritual warfare is a way of life. 
  9. We are always fighting our own sin too. 
  10. It takes us about 7 days to “unplug” for a meaningful and true vacation. It is REALLY hard for pastors to unplug. 
  11. It is hard for us to have friends. People assume we have lots of friends. Most of us don’t. 
  12. We work more than one day a week. People joke with me (almost weekly?) that I “only work one day a week, what is the big deal?” I know they are joking, but it is obviously not true. 
  13. Our greatest joy is when our sheep “Get it.” 
  14. We are rewarded by being invited into a full spectrum of life’s big moments. Think about it, what other roles get to be an intimate part of births, deaths, baptisms, marriages, salvations, sacred holidays, struggles and victories? 
Full post here, by Pastor Josh Weidmann

He says he's sorry, and that his book was wrong: 
Dating is ok again

I Survived "I Kissed Dating Goodbye", The Movie

Renewal in today's church

Saw this shared by Mike Frost on FB:

Renewal is visiting the Church:
1. Bringing down the Preacher as center of gravity
2. Re-centering the Priesthood of Jesus-followers
3. Awakening the 5-fold (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher)
4. Creating Disciples not Consumers
5. Rooting deeply in neighborhood
Dan White Jr.‏ @danwhitejr on Twitter
Some of the comments (on Mike's facebook):
Ben: What does #1 mean?

Michael: Not having everything revolve around the sermon. Not having preachers as the only kind of leaders(see point 3).
Ben: What does a service look like?
Michael: The fact that you asked about the Sunday service shows the problem Dan White is addressing. In so many churches their whole life revolves around the hour-long service on Sunday. That elevates the role of the teacher over the other fivefold leadership gifting; it makes people consumers not disciples (point 4); it attracts attendees from across other neighbourhoods far and wide (see point 5). Churching together should involve a common life in a common place, led by a plurality of gifted leaders teaching and shaping us as disciples of Christ
Ben: Let me rephrase. I am in agreement with the points but what does a service look like in any building or home. Should I say the order of a meeting. How does the five fold play into a service or meeting... specifically....
Michael: There are lots of ways it could look. But I think a more challenging question would be what does the 7-days-a-week process of discipleship look like and how do the fivefold giftings contribute to it?
Ben: thanks for clarifying!

Alan: 3 is missing the point of what that passage is doing and doesn’t help us wrestle with the nature of leadership in our contexts.

John: I’d probably contextualise point 5 for Australia.
Michael: Embedding?
Josh: Incarnating?

Kim:  inhabiting (I like Embedding and incarnating more, I just wanted to join the conversation.

John:  Anything but rooting

Andrew: There is a fine line between rooting and embedding.


The Exodus from Institutional Forms of Church -Richard Jacobson

Have you switched to DuckDuckGo as your search engine yet?

Reasons to switch:
#1 — Google tracks you. We don’t.
You share your most intimate secrets with your search engine without even thinking: medical, financial and personal issues, along with all the day to day things that make you, well, you. All of that personal information should be private, but on Google it’s not. On Google, your searches are tracked, mined, and packaged up into a data profile for advertisers to follow you around the Internet through those intrusive and annoying ever-present banner ads, using Google’s massive ad networks, embedded across millions of sites and apps.
In fact, it’s a myth that you need to track people to make money in web search. When you search ‘car’ we can show you a car ad without knowing anything about you. That’s how we make money and it doesn't involve tracking because it is based on the keyword and not the person. Google could do this too; they just choose not to— all that tracking is to power their ad networks so that ads can follow you around the Internet using your search history and other information they have on you.

#2 — Block Google trackers lurking everywhere.

#3 — Get unbiased results, outside the Filter Bubble.

#4 — We listen.

#5 — We don’t try to trap you in our “ecosystem.”

#6 — We have !bangs.

#7 — We strive for a world where you have control over your personal information.

#8 — Our search results aren’t loaded up with ads.

#9 — Search without fear.
#10 — Google is simply too big, and too powerful.
Why should I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google? -Gabriel Weinberg

Knowledge and education versus wisdom -Dennis Pager

Prager University