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Monday, July 17, 2017

On Eagle's Wings


Image result for those who wait for the lord will renew their strength


Dear friends:

Have you ever wondered if a mother eagle can catch its eaglet in time for its first few flights?
Can a mother eagle or father eagle beat the free falling gravity to let its eaglet land on its spreading wings? I've dug out a couple articles with eyewitness account for you below.

On Eagle’s Wings

Dr. Loye Miller (1918) published the following account, as given to him by one of his students:
Last summer while my father and I were extracting honey at the apiary about a mile southeast of Thacher School, Ojai, California, we noticed a golden eagle teaching its young one to fly. It was about ten o’clock. The mother started from the nest in the crags, and roughly handling the young one, she allowed him to drop, I should say, about ninety feet, then she would swoop down under him, wings spread, and he would alight on her back. She would soar to the top of the range with him and repeat the process. One time she waited perhaps fifteen minutes between flights. I should say the farthest she let him fall was 150 feet.
My father and I watched this, spellbound, for over an hour. I do not know whether the young one gained confidence by this method or not. A few days later father and I rode to the cliff and out on Overhanging Rock. The eagle’s nest was empty. (Miss F.E. Shuman)
Deuteronomy 32:11-12 says this:
As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings,

12 So the Lord alone led him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
In Exodus 19:4 God says this:
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.’
(For more, click this link http://zootorah.blogspot.com/2009/05/on-eagles-wings.html)

...Reports do indeed exist of eagles carrying their young on their backs. One ornithologist writes as follows:

"Many ornithologists have thought that the Bible picture of an eagle carrying her young was merely figurative, but in recent years certain reliable observers have actually seen a parent bird let its young rest for a moment on the feathered back - especially when there was no other roosting place in sight. When an eagle nests on the ledge of a sheer-walled canyon, many feet above the earth, with no jutting tree or protruding rock to break the fall, the quick movement of a mother bird to offer her own back to a frightened fledgling may be the only way to let it live to try its wings again." (V.C. Holmgren, Bird Walk Through The Bible [New York: Dover Publications 1988] p. 98)

One report of this behavior is as follows:

"Our guide was one of the small company who have seen the golden eagle teaching the young to fly. He could support the belief that the parent birds, after urging and sometimes shoving the youngster into the air, will swoop underneath and rest the struggler for a moment on their wings and back. ... Our guide, when questioned, said that every phrase of the verse [Deut. xxxii, I I] (which was new to him) was accurate, save the first; he had seen it all except the stirring up of the nest." (W.B. Thomas, Yeoman's England [1934], pp. 135-6)

Another report concerning the golden eagle comes from Arthur Cleveland Bent, one of America's greatest ornithologists, on the authority of Dr. L. Miller:

"The mother started from the nest in the crags and, roughly hand-ling the youngster, she allowed him to drop, I should say, about ninety feet; then she would swoop down under him, wings spread, and he would alight on her back. She would soar to the top of the range with him and repeat the process. Once perhaps she waited fifteen minutes between flights. I should say the farthest she let him fall was a hundred and fifty feet. My father and I watched him, spellbound, for over an hour." (A. C. Bent, Bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution CLXVII [1937], 302) (Note to the reader: I would be indebted to anyone who can obtain a copy of this article for me, or who knows of any other reliable reports of such behavior.)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fact or Fiction-- Bald Eagles' Rebirth at 40?


Bald eagles transform their lives at 40! - Fact or Fiction

The Rebirth of the Eagle - Snopes.com

Bald eagles transform their lives at 40! - Fact or Fiction

Myth or Fact: Bald eagles go through a process of transformation at 40. They take a life changing decision in which the bald eagle breaks off it's beak and rips off it's feathers. And then waits for them to grow back. This painful procedure takes a good 5 months but it extends an eagle's life from 30years to an amazing 70years! 




Fact or Fiction?

For almost half a decade this has been a topic of debates and discussion. People have argued for and against it without having concrete proofs. So here are a few proofs that we have collected and hopefully they will help you decide for yourself.


A Myth / Rumor? 

 Majority people and mostly the not-so-good observers consider this whole thing to be a simple rumor. According to them, it all began when a few motivational speakers came up with an idea to use this Bald eagle's popularity and supremacy and transform it into something more. They created power-point presentations and slides mainly for the objective on inspiring people in their lectures since people tend to get motivated more from nature. However not long after, these slides became viral over the Internet. People started liking and sharing these slides and it became a topic of widespread discussion. After all the idea of shedding old feathers and growing new ones looks amazing!

Below is one of the slides that became viral showing the transformation of eagles. 
( the original slide(s )won't show in this post, so I dug out a video based on those original slides. Click the link on the very top of this post, if you want to watch the original slides.)



People further started to dismiss the idea of this transformation being real when University of Minnesota's Raptor Center stated


"We have received quite a few e-mails regarding the "Eagle Rebirth" story recently. The story is quite far from what an eagle's life truly consists of, but we would be happy to share with you the natural history of the Bald Eagle. Eagles would not typically "lose" their beak or talons, unless it was the result of a traumatic injury. The talons and beak are two of the three best defining features of what makes these birds "raptors". Without the sharp talons for catching prey and the strong, sharp beak for tearing food, the raptor would certainly die of starvation. An eagle hatches with both a beak and talons and these will continue to grow throughout the bird's life. The beak and talons are composed of hard
keratin and are somewhat similar to human fingernails. The talons of the eagle are not flexible as the story claims. New layers of keratin growth build onto the old layers ensuring a strong structure for the raptor. The raptor keeps the beak in good condition naturally in the wild by eating tough prey and rubbing the beak clean on stones or other hard surfaces (feaking) after eating.



Eagles and other raptors generally do not pluck out their feathers. All birds, including raptors, do go through a process of losing feathers and this is called a molt. A bird's feathers do suffer regular wear and tear so, ultimately, the quality of the feather will decrease and it will need to be replaced. The feathers are not lost all at the same time. If this were true, the bird would be unprotected from natural elements and more importantly it would not be able to fly. Eagles and all other raptors need to fly in order to hunt and survive so the loss of flight would most likely mean starvation for the bird. Each feather comes from a feather follicle much like hair does on a mammal. When the feather is first emerging and developing it has a blood supply coming from the body going up into the shaft of the feather. If this feather is broken or pulled out it is not only very painful for the bird, but could result in blood loss and damage to the feather follicle. Severe damage to the feather follicle could result in the permanent loss of the follicle. If a feather is lost before a molt it could take up to a year to be replaced. Raptors and all other birds molt in a symmetrical pattern. If a primary feather is molted on the left wing, the same feather is molted simultaneously on the right wing. This can ensure balance in flight for the bird while it hunts during this molting period.


The average life span of an eagle is approximately 30 years. The eagle, like many other living organisms, does not have the luxury of making the decision to extend their life cycle far beyond what is normal for its species. In captivity, an eagle may live beyond what the average life expectancy is, because it receives both regular and nutritious meals, has access to veterinary care and can be sheltered from the harsh elements by housing provided by the facility caring for the bird. Even then, the life span is in no way extended as far as this myth is suggesting.



There is speculation as to the origin of this myth, but we can assure you that none of it is true."


Further detailed analysis of this slides reveals a few weak points and possibly mistakes.According to the story, to be "reborn" at forty, the eagle must retreat to its nest on a mountain top, first knock off and then regrow its beak, then pluck out and regrow its talons and, finally, pluck out and regrow its feathers, a process that takes 150 days. Thus renewed, the eagle can take its "flight of rebirth" and go on to live another thirty year.


Firstly Bald eagles typically live between twenty and thirty years in the wild. The lifespan of other species of eagles may vary, although none are known to reach seventy years in the wild.

Secondly scientists have studied eagles of various species for generations and much has been published about them, no credible sources back up the "eagle rebirth" story in any way. There are, however, plenty of reliable sources that dismiss the story as a foolish hoax.

In some slides, the eagle shown in the photographs is a Bald Eagle, but in others a different species, the Golden Eagle, is shown. The story also sprouts the scientifically meaningless claim that "the eagle has the longest life-span of its species". The author perhaps meant to say that eagles live longer than all other kinds of birds, but this is also incorrect. Parrots and other species of birds are known to live longer than eagles.


And the most oblivious flaw is as clear as it gets.How can an eagle survive 5 months without hunting for food and water?



Is that all ?

No. Obviously the world can't believe something which is purely a lie. There are a few points which make us ponder over the possibility of all of this being true. Although few but they are pretty impactful and hence can't be simply ignored.


First the authors who claim to have spread this news say that an eagle requires very minimal amount of food during those 5 months of transformation since all it does is to sit on the very exact spot all day long. Hence even food as small as few mice can make eagle survive such a long amount of time.

Possible? Yes, given the fact that the eagle's actions are restricted its all possible scientifically.


Secondly the last 40 years have been good for the Bald Eagle. Back in 1967 it was one of the first North American birds to be put on the 'Endangered Species' list. Its classification has been relaxed to threatened, and to its present status of protected. Along with this its life expectancy has grown and in some cases eagles have grown to be over 70years although rare. Can these eagles have taken the flight of rebirth?

Thirdly people all over the world have seen eagles banging their beaks on hard rocks, which is exactly how the process of transformation starts. Scientist argue that the eagles bang their beaks to sharpen them but still a faint possibility of a start of transformation.


Bottom line:

Be it a hoax or a fact, but we as humans have a lot of things to learn from this flight. We need to be in a process of constant change and adaptation in order to succeed in life.





Thursday, June 29, 2017

Does God Need Our Praise and Worship?

Dear SS ( sincere seeker):

Image result for worship GodTrinity God is Love, so God the Father is exalting God the Son and God the Son is glorifying God the Father and exalting God the Holy Spirit because Jesus said anyone blasphemes Holy Spirit has committed an unforgivable sins though people could blaspheme Jesus Himself and still be forgiven. That means in a sense, Jesus has tried to exalt Holy Spirit above Himself, right?

(Matthew 12:31, “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” If a person truly listens to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and asks for pardon and forgiveness that person is not guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 

(John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is Mine. This is why I told you that He takes from what is Mine and will declare it to you.)

The Holy Spirit is honoring and glorifying God the Father and God the Son to move human hearts to accept God the Father's plan through God the Son' sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. And now we are in God's grace period and Trinity God has exalted Holy Spirit so the Book of Acts is the Acts of the Holy Spirit who is continuing Jesus' redemption and salvation works on our world today.

You see, even when God exalts Himself, the Trinity God is actually exalting one another in the Godhead, so it is still full of love and not out of ego-centered selfishness.

In John 17, Jesus praying for Himself may seem odd in first glance, but please think deeper.

Father,
the hour has come.
Glorify Your Sonso that the Son may glorify You, ( this glory Jesus is talking about is His "cross" and His purpose is still to glorify God the Father)
for You gave Him authority
over all flesh;[a]
so He may give eternal life
to all You have given Him.
This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.
I have glorified You on the earth
by completing the work You gave Me to do.
Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence
with that glory I had with You
before the world existed.)

Do you see the beautiful picture of Trinity God here? That is why you don't need to worry about God the Father exalted Jesus' name above all the names and not demanding full attention to Himself but want us to glorify God the Son by all means.

Here below is another link I dug out for you to ponder.

Why does God command us to worship Him?
Is it because He needs constant affirmation? Is He divinely insecure, so He requires us to praise Him day and night? To tell Him He’s good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like Him?
In Psalm 50, God corrected His people who thought He somehow needed the sacrifices He commanded:
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats? (8-13)
God didn’t need their sacrifices. He doesn’t need our worship either. God has no needs. He is infinitely perfect and complete. For all eternity the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have enjoyed perfect love and fellowship. God never gets hungry, lonely or unhappy. He is the fountain of all joy and gladness, satisfaction and fulfillment.
So what did God tell Israel to do to please Him?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (14-15)
God says here is how to please Him--" offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, then perform your promises to thank Me when I deliver you from trouble, then call on Me the next time you’re in trouble. I’ll rescue you again and you will glorify Me again by thanking Me."
Our worship glorifies God. But He doesn’t need it. So why does God tell us to do these things? For our benefit!

All of God’s commands are for our delight in His glory.

He doesn’t need our obedience or our money. He is completely self-sufficient. When we thank and praise Him it blesses us! It increases our joy and delight in Him.
God has designed us to enjoy beauty and excellence and to express that enjoyment. We enjoy the glory of nature, amazing athletic feats, delicious food, great movies, and a thousand other blessings, and we increase our enjoyment when we express it. When we see a sunset or the Grand Canyon we can’t help but say, “Wow that is so beautiful.” When we watch an athlete make a fantastic play we have to cheer. And when we express our admiration of a Van Gogh or Hanz Zimmer soundtrack or say how delicious a steak is, it adds nothing to the painting or soundtrack or steak but increases our enjoyment of it.

Our worship and thanks add nothing to God but increase our enjoyment of Him.

Isn’t God good? He wants nothing but our ever-increasing joy and delight in glory. So He gives us worship, not because He needs it, but that we might have more and more pleasure in Him.
See also 
The fact is, God doesn’t need our praise and worship; we need it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Cross vs. the Sword

Related image





Image result for Muslim swordThe Essential Difference Between Christianity and Islam  

The essential difference between Christianity and Islam is the difference between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was a spiritual leader who laid down His life to save the world. Muhammad was a spiritual leader, who became a political leader, then a violent military leader. Jesus accomplished His mission by dying on the cross. Muhammad accomplished his mission (at least in large part) by ruling by the sword.

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

There are, of course, great similarities between the world's two largest religions. Both point to a holy book, allegedly inspired by God, for faith and practice. Both call for high moral standards and serious personal commitment. Both share common traditions, since Muhammad learned from Jews as well as Christians. And both have a vision to spread their faith around the world.
But this is where the two faiths diverge. One follows the example of a crucified and risen Savior. The other follows the example of a prophet and military leader.
And so, the biblical verses of violence (as in, "Kill the Canaanites") were limited to a specific place and time, and no such commands are found on Jesus' lips. ( Click the link below for related post in this blog)
 The Quranic verses of violence (as in, "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them") do not have such obvious limitations. And so, while many Quranic interpreters and Islamic jurists claim that those verses cannot be applied indiscriminately today, others differ, proudly citing them in their jihadi manuals.
Again, the difference is that of the cross vs. the sword. That's why Jesus and His followers never established the death penalty for leaving the faith. Muhammad established it once he assumed military dominance. And the death penalty for apostasy from Islam remains in force in a number Islamic countries today.






Just compare the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels with those of Muhammad in the Hadith. Jesus never calls for violent acts against enemies of the faith; Muhammad often does. That's why there's no gospel (or apostolic) equivalent to the lengthy collection of Muhammad's military raids.
Accordingly, the most tolerant expressions of Islam are found when: 1) Muslims are the minority in a country, as in America; or 2) the Muslim-dominated country is quite secular, as in Indonesia. In contrast, in strictly observant Muslim countries, there is limited tolerance for non-Muslims.
If you don't believe me, try setting up a public Christian mission to Muslims in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iran. Tell me how many minutes it lasts.
I do commend those Muslims who call for a more tolerant expression of their faith, and they abhor the terrorism carried out in the name of their religion. But if they are honest, they will have to admit that violent Islam has a long and rich history.
To quote the noted Catholic scholar of Islam Samir Kahlil Samir, "I speak about the violence expressed in the Qur'ān and practiced in Muhammad's life in order to address the idea, widespread in the West, that the violence we see today is a deformation of Islam. We must honestly admit that there are two readings of the Qur'ān and the sunna (Islamic traditions connected to Muhammad): one that opts for the verses that encourage tolerance toward other believers, and one that prefers the verses that encourage conflict. Both readings are legitimate."
Thus, acts of violence carried out to advance the Christian faith are the extreme exception to the rule. Acts of violence carried out to advance the Islamic faith are all too common.
When it comes to freedom of religion, a country like America, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, has allowed this essential liberty from the start. And in a country like England, which also has a rich Christian history (despite its current backslidden state), Muslims can practice their religions freely, even proselytizing non-Muslims. In contrast, if Muslims became the majority religion in England, non-Muslims would become second-class citizens, with limited freedoms (like Christians in Pakistan), unless they converted to Islam.
It is true that both faiths seek to spread their message by disseminating information. And both faiths point to the sublime message of their founders. But the message of Jesus leads to liberation while the message of Muhammad leads to subjugation.
Again, I know there are moderate Muslims who seek to reform their faith, and many of them are honorable people. And I know that some of them believe they are being true to the real spirit of their faith.
But there's a reason that, generally speaking, true Christians are persecuted by true Muslims rather than true Muslims persecuted by true Christians. It is the difference between the cross and the sword.

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Breaking the Stronghold of Food. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Through It ALL" and Other Songs





Through It All "
I've had many tears and sorrows
I've had questions for tomorrow
There've been times I didn't know right from wrong
But in every situation
God gave blessed consolation
That my trials only come to make me strong

I've been a lot of places
And I've seen so many faces
But there've been times I've felt so all alone
But in that lonely hour
In that precious, lonely hour
Jesus let me know I was His own

Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to depend upon His Word

So I thank God for the mountains
And I thank Him for the valleys
I thank Him for the storms He's brought me through
Cause if I never had a problem
I wouldn't know that He could solve them
I wouldn't know what faith in His Word could do

Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to depend upon His Word
Yes, I've learned to depend upon His Word
I've learned to depend upon His Word

Carroll Roberson "Sheltered in the arms of GOD"

I feel the touch of hands so kind and tender.
They're leading me in the paths that I must trod.
I'll have no fear for Jesus walks beside me
For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Who is the liar--Comey or Trump?

Who is the liar--Comey or Trump?

( An extended question--who are the liars? The priests & Roman guards or Jesus' disciples, those simple fishermen? )


Image result for comey vs. trump

After ex-FBI director Comey testified under the oath on Thurs. June 8th, Trump denied most of his testimonies next day except " Trump was not under investigation then" confirmed by Comey's testimony. In a word, Trump and his chief lawyer tried to emphasize the only part to vindicate Trump himself and ignored all the rest implying Trump's intention to twist Comey's arm to stop the Russian probe.

Who is the liar--Comey or Trump? I think it is very easy to get the answer, if we check both persons' track records. Even if we only examine recent White House team's explanations of the reasons of Comey's sudden fire,Trump's own twitter and media interview offered contrary reasons and let his own team all fell under the bus (Trump's defenders all became liars if Trump was telling his true reason of firing Comey; that was out of concerns of Russian probe.)

Trump's flip flop sayings all his life also show us he is a habitual liar. On the other hand, Comey's politically independent mint records reveal to us his trustworthy memos about his one on one dinner with Trump and Trump's phone calls to persuade(kind of ordering him) to drop the Russian probe. 

So it is not hard to tell who is lying. Agree? However, if you are a strong supporter of Trump, there is no way for anyone to convince you Trump is a habitual liar because you are bounded by your political position and /or passions and can't see the underneath truth. Even the news about Special Counsel Mueller's widen investigations may not sway your opinions or firm position. For details, click this CNN link below)


...As the Post story notes:
"The interviews (with Rogers, Coats and Ledgett) suggest that Mueller sees the question of attempted obstruction of justice as more than just a 'he said, he said' dispute between the President and the fired FBI director, an official said."

That's critical given that Comey's sworn testimony regarding the pressure put on him by Trump to leave off an investigation into deposed national security adviser Michael Flynn runs directly counter to Trump's assertions about their conversations. Trump -- while not under oath, it's worth noting -- has insisted flatly that he had never urged Comey to slow or stop the Flynn investigation...)
Likewise, I'd like you to re-examine the rumor most Jews believe even today that Jesus' body was stolen by His disciples. The guards of Jesus' tomb were the very first eyewitnesses of Jesus' resurrection ; a few of them went to report this amazing event to the high priests, then they were bribed to tell a biggest lie in history, namely,  His disciples came in the night and stole the body while they were sleeping.” Just examine this rumor and it's irrational logic in it, we can find it's simply a lie. 

Why? Those Roman guards who would lose their lives if they sleep on duty according to the Roman laws, how could they all go to sleep while they were on duty?  Even if we assume they told the truth that all of them slept on the spot, then how could they know who came to steal the body? How could they identify the body-thieves in the darkness of night or early dawn as Jesus' disciples?" Remember, when they tried to arrest Jesus in the darkness of night, they needed Judas, one of Jesus' disciples, to identify who Jesus is. ( there were no photo IDs in that ancient Roman period of time.) So if they were all truly asleep, there was no way for them to tell who came to steal the body. Their statement is contradictory by itself. They got to be awake if there is any possibilities for them to identify the body-stolen thieves.( The high priests also need to bribe the Roman governor, so that he won't execute those sleeping guards.) Furthermore, when Jesus was arrested, even the bravest Peter denied Jesus 3 times, how could he and the other frighten disciples came to steal Jesus' body to fool themselves and fool others?

However, this statement does testify that Jesus' tomb is empty, otherwise, the high priests didn't need to come up with the excuse that Jesus' body was stolen.


I hope by examining this, it may help you to come to the conclusion that Jesus' resurrection is real if His tomb is empty, although if you are bounded by your worldviews and materialism assumptions that resurrection is simply impossible or any miracle is simply impossible despite all the testimonies of eyewitnesses who were willing to be killed for their testimony about Jesus' resurrection.( 500 eyewitnesses at one time, click the link below for more details)





We may then ask" Who are the liars? The high priests and their bribed guards or Jesus' disciples and those 500 plus eyewitnesses?" You be the judge!

(Matt 28: 11-15 Meanwhile, the guards had scattered, but a few of them went into the city and told the high priests everything that had happened. They called a meeting of the religious leaders and came up with a plan: They took a large sum of money and gave it to the soldiers, bribing them to say, “His disciples came in the night and stole the body while we were sleeping.” They assured them, “If the governor hears about your sleeping on duty, we will make sure you don’t get blamed.” The soldiers took the bribe and did as they were told. That story, cooked up in the Jewish High Council, is still going around. (from the Message)

( if you are interested in tracing the debated timelines, here below are a few New York Times links for you)

In a Private Dinner, Trump demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred
(May 11)( this article was leaked by Comey's associates and not directly from his memo)

May 12 5:26 AM
Trump's twitter post

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Comey's friend Columbia Professor of Law leaked Comey's memo to the reporter on May 16 

Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation - The ...

May 16, 2017 - Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation. By MICHAEL S. ...