A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In

September 22, 2014

Is Our Culture Lost?

     I'm pretty sure that Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan is going to be criticized for his comment that "we are swimming in a cesspool of politically correct crap." I don't know to what specific elements of our culture he was talking about, but I have a few I'd like to add to his list.
     First, let's start with Urban Outfitters, the multinational clothing corporation known for its "bohemian, hipster, ironically humorous, kitschy, retro, and vintage styles."  Their latest fashion design deserves no less a description than "cruel and callous."  What insensitive company overseer decided that featuring a bloody Kent State sweatshirt made fashion sense?  If this was supposed to be an item in the "vintage" or "retro" category, they missed it big-time.  And there is certainly nothing "ironically humorous" about this tasteless piece of trash.
     Was it some Generation Y-er who was trying to make a statement that he knew nothing about?  If he/she had lived (as I did) during this dark day in our history, they would not have tried to make a buck off such tragedy.  I can also only imagine that the trendy, young corporation may be trying to make a statement about gun violence.  If so, once again, they missed the mark.  As one Twitter post stated, "Nothing says 'hip" like murder."
     The Kent State tragedy, which occurred in 1970, has left a stain upon the memory of the Vietnam War protests.  Four students were killed by the Ohio National Guard, and there is nothing "chic" or "fashion-forward" about this offensive attire.  Although a spokesman for the company said the item has been pulled and will not be sold, the Urban Outfitters  website says that the $129 sweatshirt has sold out.  Shame on them!
Damien is showing his class how to make an
inverted pentagram. Connect the dots to make
one yourself.
     The next item up for mention in the cultural wasteland is The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities, now available in public schools in Orange Country, Florida.  That's right, the Satanic Temple (the same organization that held a sold-out "Black Mass" in Oklahoma City yesterday), is now handing out illustrated coloring books, designed to introduce Satanism to our children.  According to ArtNetNews, a Christian group received permission to disseminate Bibles and other religious materials in the schools, which quickly engendered a lawsuit by David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community.  Mr. Williamson "was seeking to distribute readings such as “Jesus Is Dead” and “Why I Am Not a Muslim,” and when the school board agreed to allow the atheist material, they inadvertently opened the door to Satanists as well.  Now, there's some of the Duck Commander's "politically correct crap."
     ArtNet goes on to report that "The Satanic Temple is also responsible for the goat-headed Baphomet statue currently being created for display at the Oklahoma Statehouse in response to the installation of one of the Ten Commandments.  While Oklahoma is squarely in the sights of the Devil, he's obviously branching out and turning his attention to Florida.
     And if you doubt the cunningness of the Enemy, just consider this statement by a Satanic Temple spokesperson:  "I am quite certain that all of the children in these Florida schools are already aware of the Christian religion and its Bible.  This might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism. We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer.”  I'd be pulling my kids out of public school so fast; no way would I let this evil near them!
      Finally, if you need more proof as to the potentially harmful culture of college campuses today, and the gullibility of our university students consider this fake petition drive .... Dan Joseph of the conservative Media Research Center took to the grounds of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, appealing to students to sign a fake petition supporting the Islamic State, and calling on President Barack Obama not to bomb the terrorist group... and on the anniversary of 9/11.
     Listen to Joseph's incredulous pitch: "We are supporting ISIS today. We are telling President Obama to support the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — do not bomb them...  They are just like us, only with slightly more beheadings."  Even more incredible is that students actually signed the petition!  According to a report on The Blaze, "at one point, a female student claims that American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded by Islamic State militants, was actually with the Mossad, an important Israeli intelligence agency. The same student tells Joseph not to get her “started” on what Christians used to do to nonbelievers.  'Every religion has its moment,' she said, seemingly downplaying radical Islam."
     If this doesn't concern you about the state of awareness of our next generation of leaders -- it should!  When one military veteran challenged Joseph about the petition, Joseph asked him, "Why do you think I've been able to get so many signatures."  The veteran answered, "Because they don't watch the news, and they are uneducated when they vote."  Yep, that's our culture!
     So what do we do about it?  And is it too late?  I know that every generation thinks the next one or two have lost some of the virtues and backbone that they possess.  But believing that the Bible gives us detailed instructions on how we are to live, and seeing that our culture has eliminated the Bible as a teaching tool from our schools and institutions -- and indeed, discards and rejects many of its principles -- I can't help but worry that we are on a rudderless ship.  But what's even more important, is that there will be a steep price to pay for the abandonment of these truths.  Pray that we can revive and regenerate a new desire to return to God, pleasing and glorifying Him in all we say and do.

Colossians 3:5-6    "So put to death the parts of your life that belong to the earth, such as sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). The wrath of God is coming upon disobedient people because of these things. "

September 21, 2014

Numbers 29:1

On the first day of the seventh month [on New Year’s Day of the civil year], you shall have a holy [summoned] assembly; you shall do no servile work. It is a day of blowing of trumpets for you [everyone blowing who wishes, proclaiming that the glad New Year has come and that the great Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles are now approaching] -- Amplified Bible

     As the Holy Spirit continues to reveal the Jewish roots of my faith, I am overwhelmed with the significance of the Lord's Feasts.  In keeping with His recurring pattern of the number 7, God has instructed us to rest on 7 specific days related to His Annual Appointed Times. Scripture indicates that on these days, we are to have a “Holy Convocation/Assembly” and we “shall do no customary work. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations”.
     But sadly, the significance of these 7 Appointed Times, or Feasts, has been lost to the modern Church.  And they have so much prophetic meaning for us!  The Spring Feasts all had meaning to the Israelites as they wandered in the desert for 40 years, waiting to enter the Promised Land.  The Feast of Passover celebrated the Angel of Death "passing over" their blood-drenched doorposts from the sacrificial lamb which protected them during their escape from Egypt.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread represented the haste with which they had to leave, and the condition of the bread they would eat in the wilderness; and that God wanted the leaven (sin) to be out of their lives.  The Feast of Firstfruits celebrated the first fruits of the Harvest and God's provision for them.  And the Feast of Weeks was to be held 50 days later, in remembrance of the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
     But here is the wondrous and awesome news for us, the Church!  These same Feasts point to the First Coming of Christ:  He died on the Feast of Passover (as our sacrificial lamb, delivering us from the bondage of sin); was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (born without sin, He is our Bread of Life); He rose on the Feast of Firstfruits (as the first fruit of the Harvest of Souls); and 50 days later, He sent the Holy Spirit to write God's Laws on the hearts of new Believers.  
     So, here's my question of the day .... If the Spring Feasts represent our Lord's First Coming, wouldn't you think that the Fall Feasts will usher in His Second Coming?  The first of these feasts, the Feast of Trumpets, will begin this week -- from sundown, Thursday, the 25th, to sundown, Friday, the 26th.  The Fall Feasts continue through the Day of Atonement on October 5th, until the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles on October 17th.  (I will explain their special significance as we approach those dates).
     But I want you to understand the magnitude of this first holy day, the Feast of Trumpets.  As today's Scripture says, this Feast is to be celebrated with the sounding of the shofars (trumpets) in celebration of not only God's creation of the world, but of a new beginning at the first of the lunar year.  I have personally been to an event where multitudes of Christians were called together by the blowing of the ancient shofars, and I can tell you that it is stirring!  I can only imagine what it will be like when those mighty trumpets blow from heaven and we see the Lord coming on the clouds!
    To the ancient Israelites, this was a day set apart to gather together to praise God for His renewal --- but mindful that the Day of Atonement was coming, when they had to make sacrifices for their sins; (SO THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS WAS ALSO ABOUT REPENTANCE, BEING AWARE OF, AND CONFESSING, THE SINS THAT WOULD BE CLEANSED ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT), then it would be followed by REJOICING on the Feast of Tabernacles when they celebrated God communing with them.
     If you will ask the Holy Spirit, He will give you understanding for these present days; that these 3 Feast Days point to 1) the return of Christ (and our renewal at the Rapture - the Feast of Trumpets); 2) the day when we stand face-to-face with God, acknowledge our sins, and repent -- while Jesus stands up for us and marks our past-due-bill PAID - the Day of Atonement; and 3) the Feast of joy as we anticipate Yeshua’s return to “Tabernacle” among His people and rule and reign for a thousand years in the Millennial Kingdom.
     But as we approach the Feast of Trumpets this next week, try being mindful that as we begin to celebrate God’s appointed Times, we will have a deeper appreciation of, AND anticipation of, the return of God’s Only Begotten Son.  We are looking forward to His fulfillment of the Fall Feasts, and our own entry into "the Promised Land".  Take heart, it won't be much longer …. 


September 20, 2014

ISIS Ups The Ante & The U.S. Courts Iran

     There are at least two new disturbing reports about the escalating threat to the world from the Islamic Caliphate known as ISIS.  On Thursday, The Telegraph ran a story that Australian authorities thwarted a plot by the jihadist group to target random civilians on the streets of South Wales, Australia's largest state.
     According to the article, "Pre-dawn raids across Sydney and Brisbane led to the arrest of fifteen people and the reported seizure of a scimitar, a gun, machetes, balaclavas and military fatigues which authorities said were to be used in a plot to “shock, horrify and terrorize” the community."
     Apparently, ISIS planned on kidnapping strangers right off the street, and then performing what they called "demonstration killings"; beheading them and then posting the grisly murders on social media.  By committing these random acts of violence (such as the similar murder of soldier Lee Rigby in London last year), the terrorist group clearly hoped to strike terror in the hearts of citizens.
     Intelligence sources were quick to react to reports that Australian Islamic extremists were soon to return home, after fighting side by side with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and could possibly connect with domestic terrorist sympathizers in the homeland.  Obviously, the Caliphate is wasting no time in spreading their reign of terror outside the Middle East.
     There was also a report by Fox News that a bulletin from the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange warns "that Islamic State fighters have increased calls for "lone wolves" to attack U.S. soldiers in America ... a call for jihadists to find service members' addresses online and then 'show up and slaughter them'."  Furthermore, the agency warned, “These threats will most likely increase should the U.S. or its allies attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”
     What is particularly frightening is that the jihadists instruct their fighters via Twitter to use Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media sites to locate addresses and information on soldiers in order to locate their targets.  According to the bulletin, "Killing U.S. troops on American soil is an increasing focus of  jihadists", seemingly because it would be easier to accomplish their goal of global terror than luring Western fighters to come to the Middle East --- kind of a "just-stay-home-and-kill" policy, if you will.
     An interesting side note is the fact that these social media-savvy terrorists look to Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood jihadist, as a role model for how to carry out an attack ... hmmm, apparently they don't agree with the White House that Fort Hood was "workplace violence."  And, by the way, Hassan recently indicated from his jail cell that he wants to join the Islamic State.  So, now, can we label it a terrorist attack and get some federal relief for the victims?
     Along with Australian officials, the Central Florida intelligence center likened the possibility of such attacks to the jihadi murder of the British soldier, Lee Rigby.  If you have family members that are military personnel, I would take this threat seriously.  Everyone should be mindful of posting personal information on social media sites.  But, it is now evident that members of the U.S. Military have been singled out as targets.  Stay Alert!
     To add even more alarm to this world situation, I have been hearing various news reporters disclosing that while our military policy regarding ISIS does not currently involve plans for "U.S. boots on the ground", the Administration is considering talks with Iran to be our proxy "boots".  I guess they think that Iran's Shia Muslims will be glad to fight the world's battle against the ISIS Sunni Muslims.  But what do you think the price will be?  And don't you think they see a way to take advantage of our unwillingness to follow through on our mission?
     If you were Iran, wouldn't your bargaining chip be their nuclear program?  It's a win/win situation for Iran, but I'm afraid this game of playing "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" will only serve to harm us in the end.  There is never any good that comes from bargaining with the devil.
     So the march of evil continues on ... it is growing louder and bolder, and coming closer to our shores.  I don't know what the immediate future brings, but I do know that there is a limit to the wickedness that God will allow.  Until that time, I will rely on Him to increase my faith and help me to stand boldly and resolutely for His kingdom.  He is our Fortress and our Refuge!

2 Peter 2:9    "These things show that the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and how to keep the unrighteous for punishment on the Judgment Day."

September 19, 2014

Sethite Theory: "Certain Men Crept In Unawares" & The Church Buys It!

     There are days when the spiritual component of my life just screams for attention.  Enough of this world, already!  So, I just have to speak about matters that have much greater consequences than the latest headlines.  
     A few weeks back, I published a post titled "How Much Longer? (As It Was In The Days of Noah).  Needless to say, it caused quite a bit of controversy and generated a spirited conversation amongst the Body of Christ, and with the secular population.  But there is much more that needs to be said about this topic, and I believe it is quite relevant to our national discourse.
     As Steve Quayle has so often said, "Genesis 6 is the Rosetta Stone of the Bible."  In case you're not quite sure what that means, he is saying that Genesis 6:1-4, specifically, is the key to understanding a mystery that has been kept secret from the Church for centuries.  And I believe that it has profound implications to what is going on in our cultural and political arenas.  Let me explain:
     How many times have you been asked these questions:  How can you believe in a God who would order the Old Testament Israelites to indiscriminately kill all the men, women, children and animals in Canaan?  Why would your God send a Flood to kill all mankind, yet save Noah and his family?  How can you worship such an angry God?  Without understanding the true implications of Genesis 6:1-4, it is difficult to understand the nature and actions of God throughout the Old Testament, and the culmination of His Son's existence in the New Testament.
     So, let's get right to it!  Genesis 6:1-4 reads:  When the number of people started to increase throughout the fertile land, daughters were born to them.  The divine beings saw how beautiful these human women were, so they married the ones they chose.  The Lord said, “My breath [Spirit] will not remain in humans forever, because they are flesh. They will live one hundred twenty years.”  In those days, giants [Nephilim, in the Hebrew] lived on the earth and also afterward, when divine beings and human daughters had sexual relations and gave birth to children. These were the ancient heroes, famous men.  
     I have chosen the Common English version of this passage because it is the most straightforward and renders the most accurate understanding as experienced by ancient rabbinical sources, the early Church fathers, and those men who translated the Septuagint.  Other versions that read "sons of God" and "daughters of men" have served to confuse the issue.  To me, it is pretty obvious that the Scripture is referring to Fallen Angels who mated with earthly women and produced hybrid children, who were famously gigantic.  (And for those who will say that Jesus said angels do not marry, I agree.  But He also says they will be like the "angels in heaven."  This does not mean they can't take come to earth, assume human form and have sex.  What about Hebrews 13:2 that says people have entertained angels without even knowing it?)
     However, it is not my intention that we re-hash the arguments from that past post.  I believe it is now important to understand how the Church might have come to misunderstand this passage; who was involved; and how it has served Satan to divert the blame.
     To begin with, many in the Christian Church have been taught that Genesis 6 revolves around the "Sethite Theory."  I maintain that of all the deceptions Satan has slipped into the Church, this is his greatest, because it causes us to miss his plan throughout history, and will result in many being misled in the End Times.  This doctrinal deception single-handedly hides the one common thread that puts Genesis to Malachi in a proper context, and explains the direction in which this world is headed as we begin the countdown to Christ's Return.
     The common thread is that there is a Fallen Angel/Nephilim DNA connection throughout Scripture (see Genesis 3:15), in which God is trying to thwart the ongoing genetic manipulation by Satan and the Fallen Ones to keep Christ from being born. We see this theme in God's mandate to destroy the indigenous peoples in the Canaanite wars; it explains the harshness and specificity of the Law as it pertains to idolatry, intermarriage, and the sanctity of blood.
"Cain Slays Abel" by Rubens
      So, what is the "Sethite Theory"?  In a nutshell, it is the belief that Genesis 6:1-4 refers to what happens to mankind after Cain kills Abel.  The line of Seth was pure and faithful, while the line of Cain turned rebellious and ungodly.   The "Sethite Theory" states that verses 1-4 refer to a failure of Seth's line (the "sons of God") to remain unpolluted by Cain's wicked daughters (the "daughters of men").  This doctrinal theory proposes that Genesis 6 is based on an interpretation that "the sons of God" were "the line of Seth"; and not "divine beings" or "Fallen Angels".  Furthermore, it projects that the "daughters of men" were "the wicked daughters of Cain."  But that's a pretty big assumption to make, don't you agree?   And no one has ever been able to explain how, or why, the children of these marriages between Seth's and Cain's lines would become giants.  As Chuck Missler has expressed, "Since Jesus prophesied, 'As the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be,' it becomes essential to understand what these days [of Noah in Genesis 6:1-4] included."
     So, if the "Fallen Angel" view of this Scripture was favored at the beginning of the Church Age, how did the "Sethite" theory come into being?  This is where it is important to know the history of our faith and how it might have gotten off-track.
     In the Third, Fourth and Fifth centuries, as the Roman Empire began to turn from their pagan gods towards the Christianity of their conquered lands, they also began to modify and restyle some of the foundational tenets of the faith (that's the way Satan does it!), as they made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.  Men of great reputation and standing began to criticize and attack "the fallen angel" interpretation of Genesis 6.  As the Church of Rome began worshipping angels and adopting the principle of abstinence, an understanding of evil angels having sex with women just didn't fit the narrative.  In fact, because so many of the early Christians believed the Fallen Angel account, the Catholic Church declared it heresy to teach this view, under penalty of death.
     Paganism was hard to root out, and not all adopted the truth of Christianity.  According to Wikipedia, Julian became Emperor of Rome in 361 A.D., and was the last non-Christian Emperor.  He "attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices at the cost of Christianity, and his rejection of Christianity in favour of Neoplatonic paganism" [from the school of Greek philosopher Plato], earned him his nickname, "Julian the Apostate."  His worship of the Greek and Roman gods as "divine beings" came into stark contrast with the implications of "Fallen Angels" in Genesis 6.
     St. Augustine, in The City of God, while espousing the Sethite view, admitted that creatures of the woods had sexually assaulted women: "There is, too, a very general rumor, which many have verified by their own experience, or which trustworthy persons who have heard the experience of others corroborate, that sylvans and fauns, who are commonly called incubi, had often made wicked assaults upon women."   Could these creatures have been born of Fallen Angel DNA?  Thus did the Sethite Theory proliferate into the Middle Ages.
     Currently, the Mainstream Seminaries and The Church continue to perpetuate this deception, because they don't know the Truth!  And the opinion of secularists and atheists of an Old Testament psychopathic God continues to flourish and is unexplainable by modern Christians.  But one must read the Scripture as it is written.  "The Sons of God" is, in the Hebrew, B'nai HaElohim, "Sons of Elohim," which is a term consistently used in the Old Testament for angels, and it is never used of believers in the Old Testament.  If God wanted us to believe that the sons of Seth mated with the daughters of Cain, He would have told us so.
     You may be asking why this seemingly mundane topic is of such importance to me, and how Satan is using it to further his goals.  First of all, how many times have you heard an unbeliever contemplate embracing Christianity, but their stumbling block is always, "I can't serve a God who indiscriminately kills women and children"?  If they knew that God was, in reality, wiping out all the Fallen Angel DNA from those Canaanite tribes so that His Son could come through a pure line, it might clear up their false impression of "an angry God".  If they knew that the Fallen Angel "incursion" was Satan's plan to thwart God's warning that there would be "enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel."  Satan was trying to strike first and pollute the offspring.  "Bruise" in the Hebrew can mean "overwhelm" and "heel" can refer to the act of  "supplanting" or "restraining".  Clearly, there was to be a battle between the offspring of Satan and the offspring of the woman [representing Israel, and ultimately the Messiah].  When you have this piece of the puzzle, it explains why Jehovah warned the Israelites throughout the Old Testament against co-mingling with the peoples of the conquered land, and to keep the blood sacrifices sacred.
     Satan has been successful in inserting the false Sethite doctrine into the Church, and this one aspect and misinterpretation of Scripture is keeping untold numbers of unbelievers from embracing God.  It is incumbent upon those of us in the Body of Christ to have the proper knowledge base and understand the Fallen Angel theory and the Nephilim of Genesis 6.  If we are to serve the Kingdom of God here on earth, we must know this information so that we can answer those questions of doubt, and bring these unbelievers into the fold.
      We must do what the Mainstream Church will not do.  We must take the Fallen Angel doctrine to the masses who are so mesmerized with The Discovery Channel's Ancient Aliens, and show them the truth.  Ironically, this wildly popular TV show promotes 97% of the Fallen Angel theory, but comes to a wrong conclusion.  The 3% of their theory that tells viewers the Fallen Angels are our "creator gods" is a big percentage point, when Salvation is at stake.  Who do you think those Ancient Aliens/Fallen Angels owe their allegiance to?
     I simply do not know why the Church scholars and Seminaries, as a whole, can't read the Hebrew and discern the deception in the Sethite Theory.  A first-year Bible student, with a Strong's Concordance, can clear this up in 15 minutes of honest study.
     I believe that liberal theology has been embarrassed by the Fallen Angel view, and for that matter, any supernatural aspects of God, which make Him a Bigger God than they can imagine.  They can only continue to perpetuate the false Sethite doctrine... all to the delight of Satan,who is the father of lies.  People like Steve Quayle, Rob Skiba, L.A. Marzulli, and Doug Elwell have done exhaustive research on this subject, and are blowing the Watchman's horn from the wall in regards to this issue, and we all owe them a great deal of gratitude.
     But the time has come for us to crawl up on the wall ourselves and wake up our small inner circle of Believers.  If not the Truth, now ... then when?  The deception permeates every sci-fi movie and TV show, whether it be tempting the impressionable to welcome the Ancient Aliens, commune with Vampires, or rush to alter our DNA through advanced and "life-saving" alternatives.  If we do not understand the truth of Genesis 6:1-4, then the human race will once again become corrupted and seduced by the deception of the Angel of light.

Jude 4:  "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

September 18, 2014

More Troubling News On Ebola

     The news about Ebola is not good.  News sources are now reporting that the disease is doubling every three weeks, and the number of dead is rising exponentially.  In an article on Right Side News, the head of the Center for Disease Control says that the spread of Ebola is "spiraling out of control" and that it is "going to get worse in the very near future."  So much for "there's nothing to worry about", right?
     But what is even more alarming is the report in this same article that the World Health Organization says "that we could see the total number of Ebola cases reach 20,000 nine months from now.  But computer models created for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense are projecting that Ebola could soon be growing at a rate of 20,000 cases per month...".
    And in case those statistics are not depressing enough, a scientific model "created jointly by a researcher at the University of Tokyo and a researcher at Arizona State University has produced a "worst-case scenario" of 277,124 Ebola cases by the end of this year..."!
    Yet those are not even the worst numbers.  Right Side News provides these additional statistics:  "An 'econometric simulation model' created by Francis Smart at Michigan State University is predicting that a whopping 1.2 million people will die from Ebola in the next six months, based on the conclusions of Canadian researchers who proved the strain of Ebola in the current West African epidemic could go airborne."
     Need more proof that Ebola could affect the world?  Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, a prominent German virologist reported that "hope is all but lost for the inhabitants of Sierra Leone and Liberia.  The virus will only 'burn itself out' when it has infected the entire population and killed five million people." But what's to stop it from being transmitted to other countries?  There have already been cases of foreign aid workers who become infected while treating the sick, and then returning to their home countries.
    And the American people are just now digesting the news that 3,000 American military and medical personnel will be going to Africa to try to fight the spread of the disease.  Will they be adequately protected?  Given the rapid escalation of the virus, what are the chances that many of them will come home symptom-free, only to discover within a week or so, that they are infected?  And, in the meantime, how many others will become exposed through contact with them?  The six-page "checklist", distributed by the CDC to hospitals to identify possible Ebola victims, seems to indicate that domestic cases are expected.
     The experience in Africa has shown that once the disease begins spreading, it is hard to control it; and an epidemic (widespread occurrence in a community or area) quickly becomes a pandemic (spreading to a whole country or the world).  My fear is that we are not prepared for what that looks like.
     But an article in The Guardian gives a first-hand account from an aid worker in Liberia:  I wake up each morning – if I have managed to sleep – wondering if this is really happening, or if it is a horror movie. In decades of humanitarian work I have never witnessed such relentless suffering of fellow human beings or felt so completely paralysed and utterly overwhelmed at our inability to provide anything but the most basic, and sometimes less than adequate, care.... In one afternoon last week I watched five seemingly fit, healthy, young men die. I gave the first a bottle of oral rehydration solution and came back with another for the second. In the half a minute or so in which I had been away the first man died, his bottle of water spilled across the floor. The four others followed in quick succession... It is extremely sad to see the indifference of the international community with regards to this epidemic. It is great to see an added interest and investment in research for vaccines, but we urgently need experts who are physically present and more structures on the ground here in west Africa, where the situation continues to be catastrophic.
      In this seemingly civilized and advanced world, it is unconscionable that there was not a quicker reaction to this hideous disease.  You cannot tell me that the minute that Scientists and Virologists from the Western world heard the word "Ebola", they did not discern the dangers and the consequences from inaction.  Now the negligence and apathy of governments and medical experts threatens not only the continent of Africa, but potentially the entire world.  The threat of Ebola can no longer be minimized or ignored.  Please consider what you will do if, and when, this nightmare begins in America.  The time to pray and prepare is now!

Revelation 3:10    "Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth."

September 17, 2014

Announcing My New Book!

     When I began this blog nearly three years ago, I wasn't sure if anyone would find me, or be interested in my words.  All I knew was that I was receiving a strong prompting to reach out to others who might be feeling the deep and growing concern I had about my faith, my culture, my country, and the world.  Now, with over 1,000 posts logged, and nearly half a million views of this site, I have decided that maybe I had something worthwhile to say after all.  (Actually, it is the Lord who has something to say through me.  I guess you could say He decided He was able to use me).  So I am announcing the publication of my first book, titled Salvation and Survival: Defending My Faith, Freedom & Family.  
     In short, this book is 230 pages that reflect my personal opinion on the social, political and spiritual path America has taken in recent history.  It is a compilation of my essays, presented in chronological order to give you a picture of where we've been, and where we're going.
     You will see my thoughts and views on everything from the Economy, to the wars in the Middle East, to our culture and societal woes; to our Spiritual foreboding -- and everything in between.  Primarily, it is the perspective of an average American woman as we enter the second decade of the 21st Century.  In case you are wondering why anyone would care what I had to say ... It is my sincere hope that future generations might get an idea of what we were thinking; and the people, events and ideas that influenced this unsettling time.
     Since I am a lover of history, you will find discourses on the principles of the founding of this nation, as well as how we've changed; whether for the better or worse.  You will read of how world affairs are threatening the peace and laws of our country, and what I think our future looks like from this particular vantage point in time.  And you will hear my worries about preparing for an uncertain future and how to make sure that the truth of our children's heritage is protected.  In no way, do I expect people to agree with me on every subject; in fact, it is my hope that this book will encourage discussion between people of different ideologies, faiths, and social backgrounds.  After all, this is my opinion -- what is yours?
     If you have been a faithful reader of this blog, then this book will be a collection of the highlights of our common experience; a reminder of how far we've come.  If you are new to my ruminations, then I think you will find this book a refreshing departure from "talking points" prognostications; an "of-the-people" review of our times, so to speak.
     Needless to say, these essays of mine will not affect history, but they are a de facto record of history-in-the-making.  History may actually prove me wrong on any number of my opinions, but the passion for my faith, my freedom, and my family can never be called into question.
     So, I hope you will join me on this journey through our recent history and follow our path, as we tread these troubling times.  Share my thoughts of fear and anxiety, my shouts of triumph, and my ever-present hope in the mercy of God.  We're all in this together!

Romans 15:4   "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

September 16, 2014

Our "Rome Connection"

     How many times in the last decade or more have you heard the state of our nation compared to the  rise and fall of Rome?  Or compared to the demise of all ancient empires, for that matter?  I think it is the arrogant attitude of Americans to think we are invincible, and somehow immune from the defective character flaws and blunders that brought down the great Roman Empire.
     But I would like to show you some parallels that I discovered in an enlightening article by Bruce A. Ritter, on The Real Truth website.  The article was titled "Seven Signs Of A Falling Nation", and I think you will recognize the soundness of his premise.
     Ritter cited an interview with former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, in the Financial Times, in which Walker stated that the United States government “is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration, and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon…”
     In full disclosure, Walker served as United States Comptroller General from 1998 to 2008, and is Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative.  He has been a vocal critic of profligate spending at the federal level, and it has been his desire to "sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call."
     Walker wants Americans to know that there are "striking similarities" to our current condition as a nation and Empire, and those factors which succeeded in bringing down the mighty Roman Empire.  Although Rome was able to maintain its power for just over 500 years, we are declining at a rapid rate -- and in only half the time!  If we choose to recognize it, the warning signs are there ... the factors that we share with ancient Rome, and which point to a declining civilization are as follows:

     The Destruction of the Family Unit -- As happened in ancient Rome, our society has seen a decline in the stability of the family unit.  The role of Fathers in instructing, training and educating their sons is diminished, as mothers oftentimes assume both parental roles.  Romans taught their children the importance of obedience, deference to civic authority and respect for the laws of the land.  But then Roman society became enamored with the temptations of adultery and the fabric of a strong marriage broke down; the family unit was weakened and fragmented.  The result was unmanaged, spoiled kids who grew to hate the ways of their elders.  It is the same today, as our kids have a sense of entitlement, and show a lack of respect for authority and their parents' ways.
     The Failure of the Education System -- The Roman educational system sought to develop the whole person; to impress upon the young a strong moral sense, patriotism for country, a principled character, and social values that would benefit everyone.  But then they adopted a philosophy of "relativism" ... no moral absolutes; and right and wrong was "relevant" to each person's situation.  That has become the byword of our modern educational system.  Today, we see that God's character and commandments have been removed from our schools, which opened the door to a dismissal of civic duty or love of country.  In fact, personal achievement has been sacrificed to accommodate the lowest common denominator, and our children and our society suffer "for lack of knowledge".
     The Rejection of Religion -- One might think that we in modern America might have stood above the Romans, with their worship of pagan gods.  Besides the panorama of false gods and their lewd religious rituals, the Romans were known for Temple prostitution, drunkenness and other vices, such as deceiving, stealing, getting drunk and committing fornication, adultery, even rape!  Surely, we here in America haven't stooped that low, right?  But do we truly worship and show reverence for the God of the Bible?  If so, why do we see adultery, child molestation, acceptance of homosexuality, worship of false idols including money, power and self in the Church -- all forbidden by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?  Mr. Ritter's article correctly states, "The religions of Rome, which encouraged and empowered the people to live a life of excess, contributed to the empire’s death. The religions of the West, especially in the U.S., are no better."
     Blatant Narcissism -- Ritter's article referred to this warning sign as "Pleasure-Seeking", but I contend that narcissism -- the excessive interest in one's self -- is at the root of our national demise.  We've all heard of the Romans' delight in watching the Gladiators fight to the death, or Christians being eaten by lions; and they were famous for their sensual bathhouses and drunken orgies to honor Bacchus, the false god of wine and sensual pleasures.  But how are we any different with our insane obsession with "reality TV" and our worship of Hollywood stars and overpaid athletes?  Our media and advertisements sell materialism and covetousness; while our kids imitate the poor character traits and sexual promiscuity of godless entertainers.  It's hard to tell the difference between ancient Rome and the Present!
      Economy, the Government and the Military -- Ancient Rome soon found itself drowning in over-taxation and a massive consumer population that focused on services rather than production and growth—sound familiar?  And just like today, Roman government and bureaucracy became expensive to maintain, and as Ritter explains, "To compensate for inflation, Roman emperors in the second and third centuries produced more coins, but these were no longer made of silver and gold alloys, which had become scarce. Roman currency dwindled in value."  I couldn't have expressed our current economic situation any better!  Just like in Rome, a belief system of independence and self-determination was replaced with a sense of entitlement, as citizens drowned in debt.  That warped sense of fiscal responsibility has also transformed our military, as like Rome, we are stretched too thin and over-extended in foreign lands.  Ritter points out, " Roman soldiers, once known for their precision in battle and rigid obedience to authority, eventually became demoralized."  Can we say any less of our modern-day soldiers?
     A Sense of Indestructibility -- Like ancient Rome, we in America, tend to think the "party will never end."  We are blinded by our own failure to face the truth and see that we have made some mistakes, and these errors may just become the impetus for our destruction.  The failure to recognize the other six warning signs will be a significant factor in the demise of our short-lived Empire.
     While it saddens me to see the once bright future of this great nation dim and dwindle, I truly believe it is a sign that we can celebrate.  I believe it means that there is a kingdom and government on the horizon that will be all the things both we and Rome could not achieve ... it will be incorruptible; it will teach true family values and educational principles that will "train up a child in the way he should go"; we will see a religion that glorifies God instead of self; there will be no need for war, and we will enjoy an economy in which the righteous flourish and prosperity abounds... in short, the Kingdom of God will reside on earth and all thoughts of "worldly empires" will be forgotten.  So, while Rome lasted a little over 500 years, and this Empire is only 238 years old, this future "government" will last forever!  I can't wait to claim my citizenship!

2 Timothy 4:18    "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

September 15, 2014

This Is No Time To Disagree

     It appears that the politicians and officials, whose job it is to protect the American people from harm, cannot agree upon whether the most dangerous jihadist group in the world is a danger to our homeland.
     Francis X. Taylor, the undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, said the Department of Homeland Security is "unaware of any specific credible threat to the U.S. homeland” from the Islamic State (IS).  Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Jonson said,  “We know of no credible information that ISIL is planning to attack the homeland at present.”  Then you have Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel being very vague at the Naval War College on exactly what he meant by saying "ISIS is an imminent threat to every interest we have."  They can't even agree on what to call this threat ... is it IS, ISIL or ISIS?
     Secretary of State John Kerry says we are not "at war" with ISIS, referring to call it "a counterterrorism operation of a significant order."  Yet Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said, "This is not the Iraq War of 2002, but make no mistake, we know we are at war with ISIL."  To add to the confusion, in late August, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey said he does believe that ISIS is currently plotting or planning attacks against the U.S. or Europe.
    Now, the latest coming from a CNN report, says that the CIA believes that ISIS "can muster between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria", and they estimate that 2,000 of those fighters come from Western sympathizers.
     So, what exactly are we, the American people -- the homeland -- supposed to think?  Are we being  kept in a state of confusion or denial on purpose?  Does it keep us mindless, or indifferent, when it comes to protecting ourselves?  Will it make it that much easier for a terrorist attack to take place on our home soil, and perpetuate this endless military-industrial complex that has drained us for the last thirteen years?  All these are thoughts that I don't want to entertain, but it certainly makes me feel like the wolf is on our doorstep, and the three little pigs can't even agree on whether they heard a knock at the door.
     But, I'm here to tell you that we better start paying attention to the evidence that is before our eyes.  If you have not yet heard this story I'm about to tell you, I predict that it will soon be at the forefront of our national awareness.  In June of this year, 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin, of New Jersey, was killed in what appeared to be a random act of violence.   In fact, the Essex Country Prosecutor's Office initially characterized Brendan as "a target" of a random robbery attempt, in which he was shot 8 times by suspect Ali Muhammad Brown.  Just another unfortunate teen in the wrong place, at the wrong time, right?  Suspicions were hinted at ... could it have been a drug hit?  What might Brendan had been involved in that resulted in his death?
Brendan Tevlin
     Never mind that Brendan was, by all accounts, a remarkable kid who was a National Honor Society student, with no record of trouble; or that this was a black-on-white crime, which didn't receive the national attention that the Ferguson, Missouri shooting has garnered.  The real tragedy in this story is that the media and law enforcement both ignored, and attempted to misrepresent, the truth behind this murder.  And here it is:  Brown, who has since confessed to Brendan Tevlin's murder, along with three other murders in Washington state, says they were carried out as retribution for innocent lives lost in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Islamic world.   “All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” Brown told detectives, according to the documents.   So, you see, folks; the terrorists are already here!
     According to NJ.com, Prosecutors say Brown is a devout Muslim who had become angered by U.S. military intervention in the Islamic world, which he referred to as “evil.” He also referred to drug use as inherently evil.  “During the interview Brown also stated that, as part of his beliefs, if a ‘man sees evil then he must take action against that evil’,” according to court papers.
     But here's the question we must ask ourselves:  How many others like Brown are being recruited for jihad?  Websites such as Breitbart.com and newspapers like The Houston Chronicle have written that U.S. Intelligence reports indicate that over 100 Americans have enlisted as Islamic State fighters, and it is readily accepted that ISIS has successfully recruited 2,000 Westerners via its sophisticated online recruitment methods.  The Daily Mail, out of London, reported last week that at least three Minnesota women have traveled to Syria to assist ISIS fighters. Two American ISIS members have already been killed, both from Minnesota.  And now we have Brendan Tevlin gunned down by an ISIS-sympathizer, on the streets of West Orange, New Jersey -- simply for being an American.
     And what did the Authorities do?  Instead of telling the truth, they attempted to give the public a false sense of security, by intimating that Brendan, an innocent and good kid, was "targeted".  That lie not only besmirched Brendan's reputation, but also served to encourage the public to let down their guard ... this couldn't possibly affect us; there must have been a connection between the killer and the victim.
     But here's the truth that should have been shouted from every media outlet across the country ... We are all potential terrorist victims in our own country!  Whether it is those crossing our unsecured southern border who wish us harm; or those who are seduced and recruited by slick social media productions; or those who simply hate us for our governments' policies ... the Enemy is here in the Homeland!  Why isn't this story at the forefront of the national media?  Why isn't it being talked about?  It needs to be a part of our national dialogue --- not in an effort to spread panic and/or bigotry; but to help make us aware of this very real threat, and in the hopes that Brendan's death would count for something.  How many more Brendan's will it take before our leaders not only agree upon the threat, but tell us the truth about the enemy?  It's time that we quit trying to downplay the seriousness of this evil --- it is not "workplace violence", and it is not "random targeting". A jihad has been declared against this country and the enemy is determined to execute their "holy war".  We must be just as determined in our resolve to be open and honest about what that threat looks like.  May God not turn His back on us, in this, our hour of need.

Job 5:12    "He frustrates the plotting of the shrewd, So that their hands cannot attain success. "

September 14, 2014

Joshua 4:24

That all the peoples of the earth may know 
that the hand of the Lord is mighty 
and that you may reverence and fear the Lord your God forever.

     The Old Testament is rich in historical lessons that teach us today, and Joshua is one of my favorite go-to Books.  The Scripture today is the last verse in Chapter 4, and is the culmination of the great testimony of the Lord's mighty hand as the Israelites crossed over the River Jordan into the Promised Land.  
     You might imagine that after wandering in the desert for 40 years, and after the deaths of the first generation and their Spiritual and National leader, Moses, that this new generation of Israelites might have had a few qualms about trusting the Lord to deliver them into this "land of giants."  But the Lord had chosen wisely in designating Joshua as the man to accomplish His purpose for this time.
     In my Bible, the preceding chapter is titled "The Miraculous Crossing of the River Jordan", and reveals that the Jordan was flooding at this time of year.  The fact that the Lord did not have the Israelites cross into the Promised Land at a different time of the year, or at a different place was to provide proof of His Power, and to magnify it.  
     Just like at the Red Sea, God's mighty hand separated the waters for them to safely cross; showing them that "God has the same power to finish the salvation of his people that he had to begin it, for he is the Alpha and the Omega." [Quote from the commentary of Matthew Henry.]  In other words, just as God's power parted the Red Sea at the beginning of their journey, so would His power part the River Jordan at the completion of their journey into the Promised Land.  
     Chapters 3 and 4 of Joshua are a great testimony of not only the power of God to protect His people, but of the success of our journey when we rely on, and are obedient to, God's commands.  The priests did as God commanded them through Joshua, and the ark of the covenant went before the people, carried by the priests.  They did not come out of the Jordan River until Joshua commanded them, and Joshua did not command them until God directed him.  What a great example for us!  Too many times, we think the victory is ours, when in reality, it always belongs to the Lord!  And we are most successful in this life, when we listen to Him and follow His directives, instead of leading our lives as we desire.
     And God commanded a man from each tribe to pick up a stone, and build a memorial to Him so that all generations would not forget what He had done for them.  For God knew of the tendency of His people (and it certainly applies to us!) to forget the wondrous works He has done for us.  He directed this memorial 1) so they would not forget, and 2) as proof for future generations of what He did on this day.  
     I especially want to make mention of this fact:  the safe crossing of the River Jordan occurred just 5 days short of the 40 years since they came out of Egypt, and of the 40 years of wandering that God had pronounced as their punishment for disobedience and not entering the Promised Land the first time.  It is a reminder of our Savior's Word in Matthew 24:22:  "For the elect's sake, the days are shortened."  
     But there is another reason that they were granted access into the Promised Land 5 days short of their 40-year sentence:  it gave them time to prepare for the Feast of Passover, which had been celebrated as they began their odyssey from Egypt.  God ordered this to happen on this very day so that they could enter Canaan four days before the annual solemnity of the Passover, and on the very day when the preparation for it was to begin.  His Sovereignty is so evident here!  
     And this brings us back to the memorial of stones, and the reasons for it, as proclaimed in our Scripture today:  That all the peoples of the earth may know the mighty hand of God and revere Him in awe and wonder for all generations .... forever!  Even in these times of turmoil and uncertainty, we would do well to remember the times God has delivered us safely to the other side of our journey and disobedience.  As He has done in the past when we obey Him, so will He do forever.  We have confidence in His promises and His might.  What a comfort that should be!

September 13, 2014

Ted Tells It Like It Is!

     Let's see, there's a new non-profit in D.C., and their name is In Defense of Christians (IDC) and their website claims they are a " non-partisan organization whose mission is to heighten awareness among policymakers and the general public of the existence of ancient and often persecuted minority communities in the Middle East, particularly Christians. IDC will also conduct policy advocacy for vulnerable Christians and other religious minorities."  They go on to say, "Through greater awareness and advocacy, IDC hopes to influence the U.S. and foreign governments to adopt policies that will safeguard and empower minority religious communities in the Middle East, especially those vulnerable to violence, marginalization, and persecution." [My emphasis].
     Furthermore, the inception of this organization was inspired by a letter that Armin Wegner wrote to Adolf Hitler in 1933.  Wegner was a WWI German soldier, medic, and human rights activist who witnessed the Armenian genocide in Turkey, and later became an outspoken critic of Hitler's persecution against the Jews.
     Yet this organization who champions basic human rights and freedom of religion showed their true colors during a speech by Senator Ted Cruz.  Speaking to a group of (supposedly) Middle Eastern Christians who deplore the murderous rampage of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Senator Cruz was booed off the stage after stating, "Christians have no greater ally than Israel."
     Cruz began his speech by appealing to Christian values in the face of Evil:  "We are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings."  He continued by declaring that "Hate is hate; and Murder is Murder" ... no matter who instigates it.  Any group -- be it ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, or States such as Iran -- who advocates hate and murder of another group based on religious faith, are all manifestations of the same evil.
     Supposedly, the IDC conference was being held to discuss how to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East of religious minorities who suffer from violence, marginalization and persecution.  But at the mention of Israel, the crowd grew ugly.  Cruz tried to remind them that the same groups that hate Israel, hate America.  "Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason."
     It was obvious that the Palestinian Christians in the room were having none of it.  I understand that the current war between Palestine and Israel has seen many Christians in that area suffering.  And it is obvious to me that the world cannot separate Zionism and the State of Israel, from the Jewish people and their status with our Christian God.  Depending on which side of that conflict you side with, you either see Israel's presence in the Middle East as a fulfillment of prophecy in which she is defending herself from Hamas and those who would like to see her wiped off the face of the map; or you see her as an unwelcome and illegitimate power in the region, who has displaced millions of people.  It is an argument that will never be won to the satisfaction of everyone.
     In the end, Senator Cruz left the stage by declaring, "If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you!"  For those who will choose to see this circumstance through the lens of Zionism, you cannot understand where Cruz is coming from.  For those misguided Christians who believe in Replacement Theology; you, too, will only see this situation from worldly eyes.  But for those who believe in the Word of God, and that He will one day remove the blindness from the Jews; and who understand that we will join faiths as a united Body of Christ eager for our Savior's imminent return ... then you know exactly where Senator Cruz's heart was in that statement.
     We will continue to be misunderstood by those who hate for reasons that belie the Truth and Prophecy of the Bible.  But we must stand in solidarity and pray that God's hand in world affairs will soon be revealed.  In the meantime, I applaud Senator Cruz for putting his faith before politics, and speaking his truth.  He showed great courage in standing for God; that is a decidedly rare event in Washington D.C.

Ezekiel 39:27-28   "When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show Myself holy through them in the sight of many nations.  Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind."