A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In

August 1, 2014

How Much Longer? (As It Was In the Days of Noah)

     OK, this post should put me squarely in the "crazy camp", but I just have to be honest ... There are days I wake up and wonder, "How much longer can this world survive?"  And, what will our lives be like when everything is torn asunder?  You see, for the last several years, PLW and I have been blessed with the time and the spiritual desire to dissect the Bible and discern its message for us in these times.  The world is groaning and the time is near ...
     It's not just the political world with its scandals and corruption; nor the endless wars that seem to reach into every corner of the globe ... they are not simply "rumors of wars" anymore.  People are killed and tortured, having their heads cut off; and much of it in the name of religious ideology.  Planes full of innocent people are bombed out of the sky, and women and children are used as human shields in an attempt to drive a whole nation of people "into the sea".
     But I'm also aware that the lust for oil is at the heart of many of these conflicts.  If you dig deep enough under the propaganda, you will usually find a trail that links you directly to a massive oil reserve.  This includes all the pseudo-scientific data on global warming (or is it cooling these days?); there is always someone, or a group of "someones", who have become millionaires by peddling their brand of "caring for the globe".  In the meantime, nations send thousands of their young men to die -- not really for patriotic and sovereign reasons, but as a strategic move on the chess board of oil consumption.
     It's not just mankind that is in turmoil.  The very earth is threatened.  We have huge sinkholes appearing all over the globe; the latest in the spotlight is at a place in Siberia called "the end of the world".   Then there are the scientists at NASA who are warning about powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun that could potentially destroy earth.  And even "Mother Nature" seems to be a little confused; weather events happen out of season, and the violence of storms seems to be mounting.  There is a growing concern over the New Madrid fault line in our nation's heartland, as well as the heating up of the earth's core at Yellowstone National Park.  And let's not forget that the "Ring of Fire" is showing signs of activity.  This an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, and could potentially affect the Pacific rim of several continents.
     Where am I going with all this doom and gloom?  Let me start by saying that this wasn't the original design for mankind OR the planet.  Everything God created was originally good.  You don't have to be a Believer to comprehend this fact, because those with even the simplest understanding of the Scriptures know that things were perfect here on planet Earth until Satan infiltrated the Garden and set into motion a war for all ages.  I just don't think that Christians fully understand how that war has been waged.
     Let me attempt to explain my thoughts ... When Satan tempted Eve to disobey God, the judgment was swift and prophetic by the Creator of the Universe:  "I will put enmity (hostility, friction, hate) between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring."   That statement has been misunderstood by centuries of Christians and Church leaders.
     Satan has known God's plan from the beginning: to dwell among His creation in personal relationship.  And it has been the Devil's desire to disrupt that relationship at all costs.  He knew God would eventually have to send His Son to redeem us from the ways that he, Satan, would introduce.  If he could disrupt the genealogy and eventual birth of God's perfect Offspring with his own corrupt line, then the world and its inhabitants would worship him, Satan.  That's where Genesis 6:1-4 comes in.  The fallen angels, who followed Satan, came to earth and corrupted the daughters of men, introducing the unholy DNA into the human line.  They are the "giants" (or in the Hebrew, Nephilim) we see in verse 4.  But God protected a line of men from his destruction of mankind (Noah and his descendants), and through their line, He sent His perfect Son to reclaim us.  But Satan has not forsaken his plan, and that's why Jesus says in Matthew 24:37, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."
     Just as God proclaimed back in Genesis, there has been an all-out war throughout time between God's children and Satan's children.  It is now at the boiling point, and it affects all of God's creation; from mankind, to the ecological and geophysical systems, to the stars in the heavens.  Satan's plan to deceive mankind and infect them with a corrupted gene pool has been known by every civilization throughout history.  Genesis records the Giants in the land of Canaan, while Babylonian, Greek and Roman mythology refer to the "Titans" and the "Olympians", who were "children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth)."
     Early petroglyphs show ancient societies bowing down to "star people" or "star men", and the mythologies of our American Indians celebrate long-ago stories of visitations by hybrid entities.  Today, we hear stories of "alien abductions" and unbelievable stories by women of having their eggs removed and harvested.  These kinds of scenarios have become popular in our entertainment culture; think of the movies E.T. and Close Encounters of A Third Kind, and the new TV show, Extant, starring Halle Berry as a woman astronaut who comes back from space impregnated by an alien.
     Do you think all of this -- from the Genesis 6 story, to Greek and Roman hybrid gods, to centuries-old drawings on cave walls, to sci-fi entertainment -- is just the product of over-active imaginations?  Do you think they are just myths and legends that have managed to maintain a common theme for thousands of years?  Or could Jesus have been giving us a hint of what was to come, when He said "As in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man"?
     It is my humble opinion that secular humanity and lukewarm Christians who reject the theory of the impregnation of human women by fallen angels, are willingly buying into the Satanic deception that is presented on the History Channel's Ancient Aliens.  On this hugely popular show, they actually present the hypothesis that aliens will show up one day, claiming to be our creators. And they will have only our best interests at heart; they will rescue us from the wars and destructions of earthly humans.  All we have to do is become one with them ... Isn't that the same thing that Genesis 6:1-4 tells us?  There was a huge deception of the human race then, and there's another one coming soon, using the same lie that Satan has perpetuated from the beginning.  And God told us as much ... that there would be enmity between man's offspring and Satan's!
     You see, there truly is hostility between those of us who are born again into the Spirit of life that is Jesus Christ, and those who fall for Satan's Deception.  The Second Coming of Jesus is Satan's final downfall and defeat.  He is going to do everything he can in the short time he has remaining to convince humanity that we want to become one with him... up to and including taking his Mark.
     I know I have laid out a long and complex theory, but I am so worried that there will be Christians who will be tempted to believe Satan's temptations.  After all, Adam and Eve knew God intimately; they walked in the Garden with Him --- and they still fell for the lies!  Please don't dismiss this theory because you have not heard it in the sanctuary of your mainstream Church.  Satan has managed to control the revelation of Scripture, and the soft-sell Gospel of Prosperity and Grace comes nowhere near warning us of what time it is on the Prophetic clock.  Do your own research!  I do not expect you to take my word for it.  Read the books of Daniel, Revelation, Jude and the Book of Enoch, which is referenced in the Book of Jude, and which was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  There's a reason this book has been revealed for this time!
     Finally, I would point you to all the excitement and research in the area of transhumanism.  At the center of this new technology are experiments with genetic manipulation.  Isn't that just another name for what happened in Genesis 6?  The game plan hasn't changed... it's as old as the Creation.  I just want you to be ready to stand against the lies of the Enemy.

1 John 3:8    "The person who practices sin belongs to the devil, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. God’s Son appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil."

July 31, 2014

Could There Be A Robot Apocalypse In Our Future?

     Have you ever given more than a cursory glance at some of the "news" articles featured on Yahoo.com?  Most of them are not of the "serious" variety, and usually capture some cultural item that Yahoo hopes will attract you to their site.  But one headline caught my attention ... Scientists Are Afraid To Talk About The Robot Apocalypse, And That's A Problem ... so I decided to check it out.
     First of all, I found it curious that this article was from the Finance Section of Yahoo, but that didn't deter me from seeing what all the fuss was about.  The author of the article, Dylan Love, obviously has a fascination with sci-fi and the whole robot phenomenon.  He is honest in his reasons for writing the article:  "I thought it'd be a cool story to interview academics and robotics professionals about the popular notion of a robot takeover."  He then goes on to reveal that the first four professionals he contacted didn't want to talk to him.  A fifth expert disclosed that most robotics engineers are fearful that talking about their advancement could hurt their credibility and careers.
     And that's where Dylan Love and I come to a somewhat skeptical agreement ... if these roboticists truly believe in their inventions, then they should be eager to indulge the public's curiosity about them.  After all, our popular culture is rife with the man vs. machine dynamic.  You would think they would want their life's calling represented accurately.
     But here's the real heart of Mr. Love's fascination with this topic:  according to the few roboticists who would speak to him "on the record, there are real risks involved going forward, and the time to have a serious discussion about the development and regulation of robots is now."  It seems that this robot evolution could actually become a "robot revolution".  Here are some of the theories by the so-called "experts":
     He spoke to Author and physicist Louis Del Monte, who told Dylan "that the robot uprising "won't be the 'Terminator' scenario, not a war. In the early part of the post-singularity world — after robots become smarter than humans — one scenario is that the machines will seek to turn humans into cyborgs. This is nearly happening now, replacing faulty limbs with artificial parts. We'll see the machines as a useful tool."  I have certainly seen that in my many trips to Fisher House at Fort Sam Houston.  So many of our soldiers are able to live normal lives due to the advent of artificial limbs.  That's been a good thing.
     Mr. Love goes on to write, "But according to Del Monte, the real danger occurs when self-aware machines realize they share the planet with humans. They 'might view us the same way we view harmful insects' because humans are a species that 'is unstable, creates wars, has weapons to wipe out the world twice over, and makes computer viruses.' "  Furthermore, Love reports that Frank Tobe, editor and publisher of the business-focused Robot Report (there is actually such a publication), agrees with Google futurist Ray Kurzweil that "we're close to developing machines that can outperform the human mind, perhaps by 2045. He says we shouldn't take this lightly."
     It seems that Mr. Tobe has some real concerns that the integration of man and robot could lead to some serious conflicts.  Are we going to endow the robots with self-evolving powers, or limit them to man's control?  And what of governments who see the potential to boost their military defense systems?  In that case, being under man's control would not be such a good thing!
     Then Mr. Love talked to Ray Calo, who is an assistant professor of law at the University of Washington "with an eye on robot ethics and policy."  While Professor Calo doesn't really think there will ever by a robot uprising, he still warns that "we should watch for warnings leading up to a potential Singularity moment. If we see robots become more multipurpose and contextually aware, then they may be on their way to strong AI (Artificial Intelligence). That will be a tip that they're advancing to the point of danger for humans."  Hmm, seems like a good possibility for an uprising to me!
     Then there was Jorge Heraud, CEO of  agricultural robotics company Blue River Technology.  Mr. Heraud actually had the audacity to say that one day robots would surpass human intelligence, but he wasn't really concerned about a "Terminator-like" occurrence.  "It will be more subtle.  Think C-3PO. We don't have anything to worry [about] for a long while."  Wait!  Do we have anything to worry about, or not?
     I found it interesting that Northwestern Law professor John O. McGinnis felt the "greatest problem is that such artificial intelligence may be indifferent to human welfare."  He expressed the thought that this indifference, while it might cause some harm to humans by solving problems that could be potentially injurious, the robots "could be programmed to weigh human values in their decision making."  But here was his alarming conclusion:  "The key will be to assure such programming."  Doesn't sound very convincing to me!
     So, while I was fascinated by the theories and speculations of these roboticists, I find little comfort in their evaluations.  It seems that it all comes down to the ethics, principles and morals of those designing these artificial intelligent systems.  And there certainly seems to be a shortage of those values in today's world.  While I heard skepticism about an actual "robot revolution", I heard much more conjecture about probable risks.  We must tread warily!

Proverbs 14:12    "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."

July 30, 2014

Ebola: The World On Alert

     The word alone is enough to strike fear in the hearts of every person on earth ... Ebola.  It used to be the farfetched, but frightening, epidemic that novels and movies employed to scare the bejesus out of us.  It was the most excruciating death that writers and film-makers could imagine, and their depictions were always graphic and horrifying.
    Now, the disease has become reality.  We've known for some time that the disease was real and active; but it was a continent away in Africa.  We tried to pretend "out of sight, out of mind."  But the death toll is climbing, and more and more news sources are reporting on it.  When The Washington Post runs a headline that says, "This Is The Worst Ebola Outbreak In History.  Here's Why You Should Be Worried," well .... it tends to make you take notice.
     Although the 670 deaths (so far) in West Africa from Ebola is quite alarming, I believe there was hope that it could be contained.  Now, that hope is taking a serious hit.  There were several incidents this past weekend that has the world on edge.  Nigeria became the latest country to report a death from the virus.  Then a woman in the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone also died, and a distinguished doctor in Liberia, Samuel Brisbane, died after fighting the disease for several weeks.  But he wasn't the only one in Liberia to come under the curse of this deadly illness.
     A U.S. doctor and a health worker, both associated with Samaritan's Purse, a charitable organization, have both been reported as contracting the disease and are under medical care in Liberia.  Plus a Liberian Finance Ministry employee, with a family here in the U.S., began suffering the effects of Ebola while en route from Liberia to a conference in Nigeria.  Although he was quarantined after arriving on his flight to Liberia, he later died.  Just how many people could have been infected is unknown.
     These events over the last few days point to the very real possibility that there could be a world-wide epidemic.  And there is real cause for concern.  Here are just a couple of facts from the Wikipedia description of Ebola:  There is no specific treatment for the virus.  Common efforts to help people include giving the person either oral rehydration therapy or intravenous fluids.  The disease has a high death rate: often between 50% and 90%.  Efforts are ongoing to develop a vaccine; however, none exists as of 2014.  That's all I need to know, to discern that this is a very real threat.
     Although airline flights are being suspended and border crossings are being monitored, no one knows if the virus has already been spread to unwitting carriers.  The wife of the Liberian government employee reported that her husband was planning a return trip to the U.S. in August to celebrate his daughters’ birthdays.  World Net Daily reported that Patrick Sawyer's wife, Decontee, told her local newspaper,  “Patrick was coming here.  What if he still wasn’t displaying symptoms yet and came?”  In a TV interview with her local news station KSTP in Minneapolis, MN, she related, “It’s a global problem, because Patrick could’ve easily come home with Ebola. Easy. Easy. It’s close, it’s at our front door. It knocked down my front door.”
     And her fear is warranted.  In that same WND article, the CDC tell us,  “Early symptoms of the disease include … sudden fever, chills and muscle aches.  Around the fifth day after onset of symptoms, a skin rash can occur. Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain and diarrhea may follow. Symptoms become increasingly severe and may include jaundice, severe weight loss, mental confusion, shock and multi-organ failure.”  Apparently, the incubation period for the disease can be between two and 21 days before symptoms appear, and doctors with the CDC want us to believe that the disease is not contagious unless symptoms are present.  Are you willing to trust them?  Can they guarantee us that a victim is not contagious until the symptoms occur?  And those early symptoms sound an awful lot like a lot of other benign illnesses.
     But here is what has me on red alert:  In the WND article, Dr. Stephan Monroe, the deputy director of CDC National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Diseases, told reporters yesterday that even if a case did show up in the U.S., he expects it would be contained by the basic practices of Western medicine.  “We’re confident the standard care of U.S. [hospitals] would prevent much of the transmission should a case show up here."  Need I remind you that antibiotic resistance and mutation rates have contributed to an alarming number of Staph and MRSA-related deaths in hospital settings?  I know, because my mother died of a staph infection after knee-replacement surgery.  I agree with Dr. Monroe that our U.S. hospitals and procedures stand a better chance of eliminating the spread of Ebola once patients are admitted to the hospital.  But no one can predict how quickly and stealthily this lethal virus could spread, before patients start showing up at Emergency Rooms.  What if it creeps into our country undetected?
     Can you think of a better way to wreak havoc upon this nation that to introduce an Ebola-infected illegal alien across our southern border?  With buses of people being shipped all over the country, it doesn't take a genius to see how rapidly this virus could become a fatal epidemic.  The CDC is cautioning against fear and misinformation.  They are correct in that Ebola cannot yet be classified as an epidemic.  But its reach is getting longer and I believe that we could become vulnerable to an outbreak, whether accidental or intentional.  I pray that this deadly virus, with no cure, does not reach our shores, and it is not the personification of the Fourth Rider of the Apocolypse...

Revelation 6:8    "... Behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him."

July 29, 2014

Aren't You Glad Your Money Is Supporting This?

     Did you know that nearly half of the abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood's budget is derived from taxpayers?  Or did you know that at least a portion of the additional $75 million per year Obamacare appropriates for “sex counseling” through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) will also go to Planned Parenthood(PP)?  That's what Breitbart.com reports in an extremely disturbing article, titled "Planned Parenthood:  Girls Experiment With Getting 'Spanked', 'Whipped", or 'Hit' ".
    I have long tried to ring the bell against the foundational principles of Planned Parenthood and its heroes, such as Margaret Sanger.  But the latest revelations are beyond horrific!  The ramifications for our society spell certain doom.  The Breitbart article references a group called Live Action, which is a pro-life group that is exposing Planned Parenthood's dangerous "counseling" practices to young teen women.  Live Action sent in an undercover investigator, posing as a 15-year-old girl asking for information on sexual practices.  I urge you to watch the video, but caution you that it will make your stomach turn.  This particular video shows PP staffers in Oregon advising this young girl "that it’s very common to experiment with different things," including "being tied up" and "whipped" and doing "the baby thing, where they will put on diapers."
     Other videos show PP staffers in Indianapolis "giving advice to an undercover investigator on how to engage in bondage/discipline and sadomasochistic sex (BDSM), in addition to accessing sex shops and pornographic websites."  Breitbart also provides info on the Denver PP office "offering suggestions, in graphic detail, of a spectrum of sadistic sexual behaviors, including 'whipping,' 'tying up,' and 'asphyxiation'. "  And my taxpayer dollars are supporting this filth!?!
      Oh, but I'm not finished yet!  Planned Parenthood's involvement with PREP proclaims that the program is “the first federal funding stream for programs that teach about abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).”  You might think that sounds positive, but read on .... “These programs censor vital information from young people, who have the right to complete, accurate information that will allow them to make informed decisions about their sexual health.”   And I'm assuming that PP and PREP think that young girls need to be informed about sado-masochism, right?
     Is anyone else outraged that Planned Parenthood receives over $500 million annually of taxpayer funds to distribute this kind of toxic and aberrant sexual ideology?  There is absolutely no socially redeeming benefits for disseminating this vile instruction!
     I whole-heartedly agree with Lila Rose, President of Live Action:  "Whether you're liberal or conservative, or even pro-life or pro-abortion, tax-funded 'counseling' sessions directing kids to porn sites and sex shops, and teaching them how to beat and choke each other, are completely unacceptable."  Has Satan completely pervaded our government, our society and our moral sensibilities?  Please, God, protect this generation of young people who are being deceived.  This spiritual battle is Yours to win; we have failed miserably.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5    "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;"

July 28, 2014

Are You In Your Land of Goshen?

     I spent this past weekend at a mind-blowing Prophecy Conference, with enough Scriptural references to keep me busy for a year.  So it is time for me to have another gut-check of my Biblical world view.  PLW and I have stepped out of the Church's system, and it is always refreshing to be among Christians who revere the Bible enough to spend massive amounts of time studying and reflecting upon His Word.  We all believe that through the ancient texts of the Holy Scriptures, God has something to tell us about these times in which we are living.  And we have a hunger to dig deep and to receive personal discernment; we no longer rely on the interpretation of a man, and we reject the Nicolaitan model of unrestrained indulgence and indifference to God's commandments that is such a prevalent message from today's pulpits.
     That being said, each of the speakers this weekend cautioned everyone, (as I do) to not believe a word said ... to do our own research.  So the purpose of this post is not to bore you with a theological treatise, but to give you a little kernel of hope in the midst of these disturbing days through a concept that was briefly mentioned during a Q & A session at the end of the conference.  
     There was a lot of discussion about how God will protect His own during the coming Tribulation.  Even if you believe that the Church will be raptured out of here before the wars, plagues, famines, geological/astronomical calamities, and the Anti-Christ's persecutions ... you should at least entertain the possibility that you will endure some suffering.  Jesus told us we would "suffer for His name's sake".  We can see that happening in Iraq, Sudan, and in the streets of Europe, as Christians and Jews are being oppressed and persecuted.
     But one of the conference speakers suggested that, first, God has not given us a spirit of fear; but secondly -- and this is a concept that is a great comfort to me --  "wherever God has placed you in this  time is your Goshen".  That thought intrigued me.  Why hadn't I seen it before?  If you will recall, after Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, he eventually rose to become second-in-command, behind the Pharaoh, and was in charge of all Egypt.
      When his brothers and father came to Egypt to escape the famine in Canaan, they discovered that their brother (who was a great example of a Prepper in the Bible) had great power and they feared retribution for their betrayal of him.  But what did Joseph do for them?  He gave them the very best of the land to dwell in; the land of Goshen.  In Hebrew, Goshen means "drawing near".  If you will read Genesis 45:7-11, you will find that God had a plan:  for Joseph to bring his family out of the famine.  We see that Joseph desires to have his family near him; to protect them from the famine that will threaten others; and to provide for their needs. 
     I am able to perceive that PLW and I are in our own Land of Goshen, and I hope that you can contemplate that for yourselves, too.  I have said this before: that I know without a doubt that God maneuvered us to this exact spot, both physically and spiritually, in 2008.  For the past six years, He has protected us from the deteriorating economy and provided for our needs -- even when everything in this world points to the unlikelihood of our survival.  Just as in the Bible when God sent the ten plagues against Egypt --- they hit every part of the country, but the land of Goshen.  
     I believe that we have avoided the disastrous consequences of the physical and spiritual poverty of our country because we have drawn more near to God, here in this spot that He placed us, than at any other time in our lives.  When we draw near to Him, He draws nearer to us.  I know in my soul that He is present with us.  And while the threats of Satan in this world -- transhumanism, 21st century plagues, the annihilation of Israel, and the collapse of our own country -- are ever-constant, I have faith that I am in the exact place God wants me to be in order to receive His protection and provision.
     If you have not been called to move or change locations, then accept that you are in your personal land of Goshen.  There's no need to flee in fear or doubt.  Stay where you are; knowing that you are firmly rooted in your faith and the knowledge that God is drawing you near.  The storms will rage all around you, but your experiences will be different than the world's.  We are engaged in a spiritual battle, and when the forces of darkness see that you have drawn nearer to God, they will flee for greener pastures.  
     I believe in the power and authority of our God to proclaim as many Land of Goshens as He desires.  So take a look around ... maybe what you have taken for granted these last few years is really a safe haven from the wiles of the devil.  Say a blessing over your home and your small plot of land.  Dedicate them and your family to drawing nearer to God so that you might escape the devastations coming our way.  Be thankful for your refuge and your shelter, and rest in your Goshen.

Genesis 45:10-11    "You will live in the land of Goshen, and you will be close to me—you and your children and your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and all you have.  And there I will sustain and provide for you, so that you and your household and all that are yours may not come to poverty and want..."

July 27, 2014

Genesis 15:18

On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates

     I am directing this post to all Christians who read this blog.  If you are not a believer in Jehovah God, then I don't expect you to view His Word as holy and trustworthy.  But if you proclaim yourself as a follower of Jesus Christ and His Father, the God of Israel, then I would like to ask you to be very sure of what His Word says.
     I am becoming increasingly alarmed at the Evangelical movement in the American Church and their growing anti-Israel stance.  More and more "Bible colleges" and popular Evangelical preachers are boldly denouncing modern Israel's claim to the Holy Land.  However, they are not doing so based on Biblical interpretation, but along political lines.  These preachers and professors are undermining Biblical primacy and encouraging young believers to rebel against what they perceive as the excessive biblical literalism and political conservatism of their parents. 
     The millennial generation comes to this ideological conflict with a desire to stand with the oppressed and downtrodden, (whether they are actively seeking to imitate Christ or following popular social ideals).  Either way, they want to decide for themselves which party is being oppressed in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  But if you call yourself a Christian, you cannot rightly do that without seeking out what God has to say on the matter.  He should be your first go-to Source!
     What God says here in Genesis, Chapter 15, He also repeats in Joshua 1:4:  “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.”  Whenever God repeats Himself, we would do well to pay extra attention.  
     It is very clear that God gave to Israel the land which included everything from the Nile River in Egypt to Lebanon (south to north) and everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (west to east).  Yes, Scripture refers to long-ago names of these lands, but it is the same land, nonetheless!  So what does that look like today?  If Israel were to claim what God commanded they are to possess, it would be all of the land modern Israel currently possesses, plus all of the land of the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq.  Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised!
     There will be those Christians who will assert that this is Old Testament Scripture and has no bearing on today.  But I would caution them to read their Bible ... God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow ... and so is His Word!  So, all of Scripture should be held in the same light as His Truth.  To that point, Deuteronomy 4:40 says to the nation of Israel, “Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
     If you are a true student of the Bible, then you know that Israel's numerous rebellions against the commands of their/our God resulted in temporary loss and restrictions from the Land.  But the promise remains!  That being said, I am not so rigid that I believe that every political decision by the modern leaders of Israel must be applauded; just as the decisions of ancient leaders were not always the will of God.  It is His plan for a spiritual restoration of the Nation of Israel as they live in the physical lands He has promised them.  
     As Christians, we must pray for God's will and purpose for this besieged nation of Israel.  Politics and social agendas must not play into our discernment of this matter.  No one should desire violence or war against either party in the ongoing conflict.  But make no mistake, God will determine this outcome, and He has stated over and over in His Word -- both Old and New Testament -- that He will curse those who curse Israel, and bless those who bless His nation.  Don't take my word for it ... take His!

July 26, 2014

TV Is Out Of Control

     Has anyone else noted the rapidly changing landscape of American TV shows?  I just want you to know that I'm not a huge TV-watcher, so the situation has to be critical for me to even want to comment on it.  In fact, PLW and I work such long hours at our business that we usually have just a few shows during the week that we DVR and watch at night to wind down and calm our brains.
     While several of the new shows this summer season looked promising and imaginative, I have been astonished at the subject matter and in-your-face sexuality, violence and evil.  I love quirky and imaginative science fiction series.  And I have been mildly surprised at the insinuations that "other worldly" entities are among us.  (You might be surprised to know how my Biblical worldview supports that consideration -- but that's another topic for another day).  I like good, smart and knowledgeable writing on this subject matter.  But the glorification of Satanic-like creatures and demonic practices is not something that I think is entertaining.
    And why does this evil have to be coupled with pornography?  It's not even of the "soft" variety!  The second episode of a new crime thriller managed to couple satanic rituals with one of the most crude sex scenes I've ever seen.  It would have been easily rated R at any movie theater, yet here it was on during prime time.  What happened to the suggestion of sex and passion?  I don't need to see complete nudity, multiple partners, and deviant sexual behavior combined with full-on temptations from the Devil.   Needless to say, that show was deleted from our recording schedule.
     Then there was what I imagined would be a thought-provoking show about an American returning to visit his Middle Eastern roots and all the issues that would arise from the West vs. East mindset.  But that show seemed to pride itself on showing the brutality of the fictional Middle Eastern oligarchy, as well as a gratuitous and overt sex scene every chance it got.  And of course, they had to throw in a homosexual relationship between an American teenage boy and his Middle Eastern counterpart.  I'm still trying to figure out the purpose of that plot line, since it is sure to anger a large portion of Middle Eastern Americans.  That show was also deleted from the recording schedule after just two episodes.
     But it is not just the new shows that we have sworn off of.  Shows that we have watched for several years because we enjoyed the characters and the unconventional stories have, suddenly, in their fourth or fifth season determined that they needed to up the quota of violence and/or take the sexual content to a new and aberrant level.  And please don't take this the wrong way ... PLW and I are no prudes!  We probably are more accepting of different shows and subject matter that many of our faithful friends would find "questionable".  But we have noticed that we are no longer willing to tolerate images and plots that our spirits find offensive.  We don't want or need that kind of imprinting on our souls.
     I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the increasing number of commercials that feature half robot/half human characters.  It doesn't take much intelligence (of the human variety) to perceive the message:  here it comes, the computerization of the human race.  We're all set to become less than we were designed to be, and definitely not in the image of God.
     Is it just another manner in which God is removing us from this decaying culture?  And is the current crop of entertainment becoming part of the spiritual war that is assaulting our country?  If you have even an ounce of discernment, you should feel uneasy at the allusions being presented on your TV screen ... aliens/fallen angels/demons; vampires and monsters that are straight from hell ... all thrown together with a good dose of naked bodies, greed and sadistic brutality.  Is this what you want you kids to see?
     There is one show that we have grown fond of ... The Last Ship.  The storyline is plausible, and the characters are virtuous and patriotic.  In fact, this is one show that is not afraid to invoke the name and authority of God.  How refreshing to see strong men and women openly praying to God as they deal with a new crisis each week.  I don't know where these writers came from, but may their numbers multiply!

Ephesians 2:2      "You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience."

July 25, 2014

There Is Still Some Compassion In The World

     Sometimes we have to look for the small examples of humanity towards our fellow man.  Lord knows the search is difficult by the standards of today's headlines.  But I have found two small gems that I hope will provide a glimmer of hope in these lamentable days.
     The first is a report by Breitbart.com that approximately 200 Muslims joined in solidarity with their Christian countrymen in Baghdad during a demonstration to protest the persecution of Christians by ISIS, the jihadist militant army.  They gathered in front of a Catholic church to support those Christians who had been driven out of the city of Mosul, and for all those still residing in violent areas of the country.
Muslims & Christians hold signs that say, "We are all Christians"
     Muslim citizens stood side-by-side with Christians, both groups carrying signs that read, "I am Iraqi, I am Christian."  According to Breitbart, "Some [Muslims] even marked themselves with the Arabic letter "N" for "Nazarene," or Christian. The letter has been used by ISIS in Mosul to tag homes in which Christians lived; homes later looted and used as ISIS property. The situation has been described as among the worst in the history of Christianity."  And perhaps the most discouraging aspect of this entire story is the statement, "It is currently believed that Mosul is completely devoid of Christians for the first time in the history of the religion."
     But this story gives us hope that mankind still has a semblance of grace in our character.  The New York Times reports that Christians and Muslims also attended church services together in Baghdad.  Muslim supporters encouraged Christians:  "You are the true original people here, and we are sorry for what has been done to you in the name of Islam."   Oh, how I wish that sentiment would carry throughout their land!
     Perhaps the best bit of news that I can pass along is this:  "The resistance to ISIS across Iraq by civilians in areas like Baghdad has become increasingly vocal. Even in Mosul, ISIS-painted letter "N"s have been "vandalized" to now read, "We are all Christians," in opposition to the group."  That is encouraging, indeed!  When the people can recognize that violence and evil against one group, represents violence and evil against all mankind, then the best of who we are comes to the forefront. 
     The second story comes to us from the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.  Staff Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli, an American-Israeli soldier from South Texas, was killed in fighting near the Gaza.  Apparently, he was a true son of both countries.  The paper reported, "He was the son of Israeli parents who had moved to Texas years ago and over the past few years had been dividing their time between the United States and Israel. His two sisters live permanently in Israel, as does his large extended family. He had attended Ostrovski High School in the central city of Ra’anana since he was 16, and he had numerous friends."  
     Sgt. Carmeli could have taken an exemption from serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, but stepped up to serve his ancestor's homeland.   Haaretz also mentioned that he was "a passionate supporter of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team and attended games whenever he could."  So, the nation of Israel, concerned that there would be few people to attend his funeral, gathered together and urged each other to honor this soldier.  Social media sites carried messages like this:  "Come and pay final respects to a hero who died so that we can live. It’s the least we can do for him and for our people."  The soccer team, members of the Israeli Scout movement, bikers, thousands of fellow soldiers, and individuals who were simply moved by this young man, all came to pay their respects.  
     It is estimated that over 20,000 people came to the funeral.  “Maybe because we didn’t know him, he represents everything – he is everyone’s son, everyone’s brother. Being here is a way to express the fear that we all feel that it could be any one of our loved ones who could die, in the army or in a missile attack."  Regardless of the reasons that people attended, this is a heartwarming story of loyalty, respect, and honor.  In a time of war, death is never celebrated.  But in this instance, one young man's love for the Land of Israel brought thousands together to celebrate the life he sacrificed. What a legacy!
     So I am still optimistic about the human race; even amid the negative and depressing news that bombards us each day.  Whenever and wherever we can share the love that God commands and intends for us to give, then it is a good day.  These stories show us that we don't have to be enemies or hate each other because we are different; and a single person can connect us to the Spirit of God that is in each of us.  I am hopeful and confident for the first time in a long while.  

1 Corinthians 16:14    "Let all that you do be done in love."

July 24, 2014

Senate Vote May Determine Your Parental Rights

     It's always a good idea to check up on what's going on behind the curtain.  Our nation is focused on our border crisis, while the world is focused on Russia and Ukraine, plus Israel and Hamas.  So what better time for our government to try to sneak through an adoption of a United Nations treaty?
     Specifically, it is called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).  I wrote a post on this same treaty back in December of 2012.  We have managed to avoid its adoption until now, but it looks like supporters in the UN and Congress are back, pushing harder than ever.  In fact, World Net Daily reports that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted this week to approve the treaty, 12-6.  Now it will go before the full Senate for a vote.
     The reasons this is a bad treaty are the same ones that made it unacceptable in 2012:  the treaty states that the term "disability" is an evolving concept (meaning they can make it whatever they want to control the populace);  the UN suggests that there are attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder the disabled from full and equal participation in society (which means they will just have to make those "barriers" go away, won't they?); and this is the most alarming position to me ... Children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents.
     Now, if the recent case of Justina Pelletier doesn't come to mind, then let me jog your memory.  WND.com sums up her experience best ... She was "taken into state custody after her own physician’s diagnosis of a health problem was overruled, [and] her parents were told they would no longer be able to determine her treatment and future."  Does this sound like she might possibly have been a test case to see how the American public would receive such mandates?  If so, the public outcry had to be discouraging to the UN.  So maybe that's why there is this sudden and furtive attempt to get the treaty passed while our attention is focused elsewhere?
     Remember that it was almost two years before her parents were able to fight through numerous court hearings to get her released back into their custody, and resuming the medical treatment that her own doctors prescribed.  Seems to me, that more and more parents would be facing the same struggle against the System in caring for their disabled children.  Who, in their right mind, would surrender their parental rights to a global entity?
     Apparently 146 countries have already signed this treaty.  There is no need for the U.S. to take part because our Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is perhaps the strongest piece of legislation in the world that guards the civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities.  It is our domestic and sovereign law that works better for our citizens than anything the global community could dictate.
    Here's an additional factor to consider: the UNCRPD requires each nation that adopts the treaty to provide educational benefits to the disabled.  The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) fears that the treaty would override states' rights in establishing their education policies, and possibly endanger homeschoolers.  As a spokesman for HSLDA told WND, "Remember Justina Pelletier? That’s what happens when the ‘best interests’ of the child are used" as an argument for changes to our sovereign laws.
     But just as I pointed out nearly two years ago, it all comes down to this ...  as stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, treaties may not be consummated with other than sovereign nations.  The 1945 ratification of the UN Charter as a treaty is effectively un-Constitutional, because the last time I looked, the UN is not a sovereign nation!
     But the recent Pelletier case shows us that they do not intend to give up.  The Pelletier family came very close to losing their individual and parental rights.  If the Senate decides to take up this treaty during a lame duck session and manages to ratify it in the coming weeks or months, everyone with disabled family members may suffer the same battles.  Let your Senators know that we are not easily fooled!

Job 12:23    "He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away."


July 23, 2014

Politicians Shouldn't Quote The Bible

     I  just love it when entrenched and power-hungry politicians try to use the Bible to support their agenda.  It doesn't matter that they never see the need to apply its principles and foundations at any other time; only when they can manipulate a concept or two to try to shame the susceptible public.
     Such is the case when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tried to influence public opinion about the humanitarian crisis at our southern border.  First of all, these politicians are very skillful at neglecting to mention the other crisis -- national security -- as they attempt to play upon the emotions of caring and concerned Americans.
     Breitbart.com also points out that national leaders like Pelosi fail to mention the strain on our nation's financial resources.  Instead Pelosi announces on an MSNBC morning TV show that she "believes the U.S. government should look at the children like "baby Jesus," who she added "was a refugee from violence."  Why has no one bothered to correct her analogy?  Oh, I forgot ... she was on MSNBC and no one else in Washington probably knows the truth, either.
    The truth behind her half-truth is this:  Yes, Jesus's parents, Joseph and Mary, were forced to flee Bethlehem to avoid King Herod's murderous rampage.  BUT, although they followed the instructions of the angel of the Lord and fled to a safer country (Egypt), they were told to remain there until they received further instruction.  When the violence had abated and the threat to the child was over, the angel told them to return back to their native land.  Jesus did not stay and become a citizen of Egypt.  Nor did his father seek a green card to stay in Egypt and reap worker benefits.
     I know this is a cynical approach to Pelosi's comments, but I am tired of the misrepresentation by  these corrupt politicians and what they hope to accomplish.  I resent her subtle references to the $3,700,000,000,000 proposal the President has asked for the border crisis.  She claims that, in Washington, she sees "an embrace of the idea that this is a humanitarian crisis by people who are not politicizing the issue. What we need to do is have the supplemental that gives us the resources to meet the humanitarian needs, to do the border control, but also to have the judicial piece so that these children have representation and judges to hear their cases. those who have a right to stay, whether it's refugee status or asylum."
     TRANSLATION:  We, in Washington -- especially those of us on the Left -- are smarter and more compassionate than the hateful, bigoted people (and their elected representatives on the Right) who oppose these poor, innocent "Border children", as they are now being called.  Furthermore, we need that money to 1) help these unfortunate children and "to do the border control" -- whatever the heck that's supposed to mean!  Why don't you elaborate, Nancy?  Do you mean calling out the National Guard? Hiring more border agents? Checking IDs and stopping the criminal and terrorist elements from invading our country?  Or is that just an inane slogan for something you have no intention of addressing?  Finally, she claims they need the money for "the judicial piece"; these children to be legally represented in our courts of law, don't you know?   Notice that she never offers the other solution ... return them to their native countries!
     Or could she really be referring to what TheBlaze.com has reported:  the Senate-passed immigration bill would create millions of new green card opportunities for non-U.S. citizens — about 30 million over the next decade.  As Senator Jeff Sessions noted, the Senate bill could allow almost every Central American family to enter the U.S. legally. How is this nation going to be able to afford that kind of immigration surge?
     But that's not the only sneaky thing this proposed bill seems to be about.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has accused Congress of adding to the crisis by not immediately passing this emergency spending bill, saying if Congress doesn't act to supplement border activities, they are going to run out of money by the end of August.  But the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that "only $25 million would be spent during the rest of FY 2014, which ends in September. Most of the rest of it would be spent in 2015, and spending would continue through 2020.  In addition, all of the spending in 2014 would take place in the Department of Health and Human Services. Obama’s plan would give the Department of Homeland Security $1.1 billion, but none of that money would be used until FY 2015."
     So why the rush for this money, if it does not appear that the bulk of it goes towards immediately solving the border crisis issues?  And is any of this money to be used for the expenses of sending any of these children back home?  Or is that not really even part of the consideration?  That has to be part of the conversation... we simply cannot continue the border calamity as it exists.
     But I would respectfully ask all politicians to stop insulting my intelligence and my faith.  As a private citizen, I have contributed tithing money to Christian organizations that I know are seeing to the humanitarian needs of these children as best they can.  And as a taxpayer, I will be contributing money as my state spends millions to alleviate the security issues that we face.  But please do not use the holy and precious name of my Lord and Savior in your vacuous arguments.  You not only offend me, but you show a remarkable lack of knowledge and judgment.

Romans 1:22    "Claiming to be wise, they became fools,"