-And the LORD answered me, and said,
             Write the vision,and make it plain upon tables,
                    that he may run that readeth it. 
                   - (Hab 2:2)

News And Commentary are UP for Insiders - Click Here!!



Watson's
                Web Lighthouse
_________

That He May Run That Readeth it

This is a book I wrote many years ago and was the genesis of this site. It is still available from my publisher Infinity Publishing.








在 這樣的世代裏

那 鴻書﹕神懲 罰報應的概述

你 所獲的禮品伴隨的代價太高

神為什麼要 求信 心

pdf 七個教會

scrollProphetic Page



_____



An Open Letter To Black Lives Matter:
How to avoid being ensnared in the ongoing Federal operation 'Ni&&er Catcher' and 'Black Snare', run out of the US intelligence community and certain sections of Law Enforcement. These operations do exist, though naturally not with those pejorative titles. They are not legal, nor are they officially recognized but key people in high positions run these operations that specifically target Black Americans and certain White Americans who seek justice, truth and use their rights to bring these things back to our once great nation. The impetus comes from the US Intelligence community - LE does the footwork. This is what they did to so many civil rights leaders back in the 60's and 70's. They have honed their skills for the technology of the 21st century.

pdfIran Nukes And Regional Staility


The Harvest


An Open Letter To Senator Mikulski And The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence

_____


Ezekiel and the Spirit of Stubbornness/The Sardis Syndrome

Christ, Family and Persecution

When The Bottom Falls Out Of Your Boat

NSA Spying:
The Future, Black Madness and the Prophetic imperative.

How God Measures Us
He does it very differently that the world does.

Trends In Africa
A quick look at some troubling trends in Africa

Brothel Politics, The Church and First Things
Recent trends in the nation, including Obamacare are indicative of something much deeper that is wrong with America

While I Was Away...
A word about my month long hiatus

Shutdown Note:
A look at how the criminally insane 'pay' their bills.


Times And Seasons (09-13)
 Faith and patriotism in the last days... and what kind of fruit is  Christ going to find on your tree?

7 Churches Of  Revelation
Light for seeing, ears for hearing. Most commentaries on these chapters miss this most important point.


The Devil, Catholics And Internet Protestants
Catholic bashing is a foundational stone of so much of todays internet Christians faith. Is this really a pastime God approves of, especially when the Catholics are doing their best to reform?

Unwise Faith
- It is most unwise to place your faith in the wrong things.
 
Obadiah: Divine Geopolitics
- Is the Lord concerned about geopolitics?

The Assyrian
- Damascus and the Assyrian in Bible Prophecy

End Time Personal Notes
- Just some notes to true believers as to things to watch for on a personal level and consider in these times.


 - What I See...

A quick look (15 pages) at some trends I see and don't see. Trends in the economy, trends in 'people control' and spiritual matters


 - Collision Course

Each and every passing day,

we who know Christ can see our nation is on a collision course with God. On a number of fronts the nation has just decided to set its face against the God who blessed us and move its spiritual foundations towards the spiritual foes of both God and man.


      - Prison Labor Industry

      Slave labor cleverly

      disguised.


 -

 - 3 Short Commentaries

   

Entitled Not Afraid, Tough Decisions and Job's Sufferings. God will take care of his people. Just make sure brothers when its our time to pass over our own spiritual 'river Jordan', that we make our deaths count for something, that being Christ. If we are to die as Christians for the gospel and the word of our testimony (Rev 19:10, 12:17, 12:11), let us rejoice because we have a long and honorable heritage of those who went before us.

 -  Lamentations Are Coming 

   

I think we as Christians need to keep in mind and prepare our souls for what is really coming. Mr. Leal has done a good job of laying out that a time of great sorrow will sweep America.

 -  The Curse 

   

When a nation decides to put the stamp of approval on those things God hates, it invites a curse. And be certain of this, without some real soul searching repentance, a curse is what is going to hit us. America has enjoyed prosperity like no other nation on earth. Military power like no other nation on earth. Good will and diplomatic strength like no other nation on earth. Why? We as a nation respected ...

 -  I Have A Dream Vs. I Have A Drone 

   

I think it should be noted that while some people will say they find something 'highly offensive' when they do not really mean it, I want to make clear that I really do mean it, it is personally highly offensive to compare Dr. King and President Obama. If a person wants to worship Obama and idolize him, that is their business, not mine. But before anyone attempts to cast dispersions on Dr. King by ...

 -  Mali: Africa Must Take The Lead 

   

This crisis in Mali... first off, this is not just 'another war'. This is a very serious and potent threat to African continental security.


 -  The Holiday Season 

   

Christmas has been a matter of some controversy for a number of reasons. First off, one of the few things we can be certain of about Christmas is that Christ was not born on December 25th, or anywhere near it. When was Christ Born? We do not know, though some scholars have said that it was more likely an event that occurred in the Fall, though the evidence for this is rather scant. What we do know ...

 -  There Is A Generation... 

   

What does it mean to live in our times, having been touched by God's spirit and understanding what God requires of us? It means that we are going to have a hard time fitting in with the current generation. This is the way it should be, since we are of a very different heritage. The scriptures talk about times like ours and what kinds of people will inhabit the earth just before Christ returns. We ...

  The Way Back 

   

For many of my readers, the way back to God is the road you are on. Many of you have fallen away and for whatever reason, personal tragedy, hard times or just a dissatisfaction with worldly 'satanic' living that did not make you nearly as happy as you thought it would. I find it interesting that so many people here in America have just about everything and yet are totally miserable. I am struck by ...

 - What's Expected Of Son's And Heir's 

   

What should we as Christians should be doing in these times? As these days grow darker and increasingly rejects Christ and genuine Christianity, we who wish to get into the kingdom must know what God wants us to do. What does God expect of us, we who are determined no matter what comes, to get into God's kingdom and avoid his holy wrath, which I bear witness, is coming to this world and will usher ...

 - In The Kingdom Of The Blind 

   

Today, it is extremely important that we know what is happening in our world, particularly from a prophetic standpoint. Why? The return of Christ is our blessed hope. God spoke clearly and insistently that we are to be watching and ready for our Lords return. Yet as I speak to Christians, I just don't see any level of spiritual discernment in their lives or minds Mind you there are always some exceptions ...

 - We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Broadcast To Bring You... 

   

But when it comes to the times and seasons and understanding them, Christians I know as well are floundering. They are often confused and unsure about what to believe. They listen to their pastors, read the news, but more and more are seriously questioning both. This is a good thing at least as a first step, but often leads to confusion, depression and can lead to apostasy. Why? Because such Christians ...

 - Culling The World's Population 

   

Yes, there is a plan afoot to reduce the human population. Most of the plan is hidden in plain sight.

 -  Political, Economic And Spiritual Review (Summer 2012) 

   

Fifty-three pages that looks at several issues facing our world today. From the economic crisis to food and eugenics to Syria as well a look at what a Mitt Romney Presidency may look like.

 -  Judge Not! 

   

...Lest ye be judged.

 - The Blessings Of Obedience 

   

Has the devil fooled you into thinking you can be saved and not obey the Lord?

  From Another World 

   

Christians, real ones that is, must conduct themselves as though they are from another world. A real Christian, is not of this world but of the Kingdom of God and his Christ.

 


-  From The North 

   

A prophetic look at the Arctic. The Arctic you ask? Yes the Actic and how it may relate to Babylon's fall.


Other Resources
(most are in PDF format)


Select Congressional Committee Investigating Illegal Practices In The Abortion Industry

Congressional Report On STOPPING TERROR FINANCE:
SECURING THE U.S. FINANCIAL SECTOR

LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP AND FRIGATE
Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions


Defense Business Board Outlines Savings Of $125 Bln Annually


Iran: Ministry Of Intelligence And Internal Security - LOC

Global Trends 2030 - NIE

High Unemployment And GDP - CRS

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

DOJ Lethal Force Justification Against US Citizens

Global Trends 2030
- NIC

US Vulnerabilities To Money Laundering, Drugs And Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History
- US Senate

Intelligence Committee Report On Huawei

Major Arms Transfers - CRS

The Crisis In Mali - CRS

The Crisis In Syria - CRS

 Posse Comitatus - CRS

Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities

Official Japanese Diet Report On Fukushima

State Department Report On Religious Persecution

State Department Report On Religious Persecution (Constitutional Review for OIC) - 2012

US-China Policy Issues - CRS

US Naval Modifications For China's Rise - CRS

UAE: US Policy Issues - CRS

Senate Report On Counterfeit Parts In DOD Supply Chain


2012 Annual Report To Congress On Chinese Military - DOD

Water Security - CIA/NIC

Syria's Phase Of Radicalization - ICG

Oil Imports And Exports - CRS

Pivot To The Pacific - CRS

Challenges To EU's Energy Security - CRS

Official US Military Report On Nazi Germany's IG Farben- DOD

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Isreal's Possible strike On Iran - CRS

Iran Policy Concerns - CRS

Food Aid To NK - CRS

Aid To Pakistan

(Senate Hearing)

DOD Missing Trillions

(official audit)

GAO's Audit of the FED Report

(audit)

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Human Rights In China - CRS

US-China Trade Issues - CRS

US-China Miliary Contacts - CRS

US- Taiwan Arms Sales - CRS

China's Currency: Analysis Of Issues - CRS

The Debt Limit ∓mp; Gov't Operations - CRS

China's Acquisition of US Technology - Congress

Secret Law And the Threat To Democracy - Senate Judiciary Comm.

OSS/CIA Images Of Auschwitz During the War

Nuclear Terror In The US - FEMA


More Resources



Links I Like
From all over the Christian spectrum!
***

Last Days Of The Age
___
The Endtime Pilgrim
___
The First Trumpet
___
The Last Trumpet
___

Spirit Daily

(Catholic... great news links)

Orthodox Today
(A look at today from an Orthodox Perspective)
___
The Assyrian News Agency
(A look at events in Iraq)
___
The Barnabas Fund
___
China Aid
(A look at events inside China, from a Christian Perspective)
___
Gay Christian Movement Watch
(A hard-hitting blog talking about the growing sin of Homosexuality inside the Church)
___
Independent Catholic News
___
Jihad Watch
(Not Christian, but gets into important trends in the Islamic world)
___
Compass Direct
(Persecution news)

Babylon Today


Mark's Audio Page



_______

Last Updated
  18 July 2018

-
This Site has become a PRIVATE Site

99% of all future commentary are now private.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
(Luk 9:26)



“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression.
In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged.
And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air
– however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
 ― Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas


I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
(Psa 16:8)

***

Mark can be reached here.



18 July

State-Sanctioned Church in Shandong Province Demolished

Catholic Church Torn Down by More Than 70 People

07/18/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on July 17, more than 70 police officers and workers forcibly demolished Liangwang Catholic Church in China’s Shandong province. Liangwang Catholic Church is a state-sanctioned church and had been registered since 2006.

Three church caretakers, Gao Rongli, Zhang Siling and Li Xiangmei, who were inside the church, had their cellphones confiscated and destroyed, before they were driven out of the building. The church was then razed in 15 minutes by bulldozers and pickaxes.... Story continues here.

NATO Summit


(Note: When the well-financed and  manufactured furor over Trumps Putin meet is done with and the National Retard Broadcasting System (aka cable news and much of our Federal political leadership) ceases with their political spin and half truths, we will talk a bit about it and some issues that are not being talked about. I will try and deal with some facts and perspective that might confuse the dull and ignorant and those brainwashed by the NRBS.

I will do my best and attempt top calm readers and get them to cogitate, rather use my digital pen to inflame and agitate and hate our President, which today appears to be the primary goal of the NRBS. Their rants are more in keeping with what foreign powers (like Russia, China, Iran) would want to see happen in the US, a relentless merciless and often fact-free attack upon our President and our democratic system of government.

Such an attempt is known as destabilization.

In the meantime, I wrote this in the middle of the NATO summit and it may help throw some light on why the NRBS has gone into overdrive.

Image Public Domain.
Don't kid yourself. It was JFK's peace overtures of Peace to Russia that created a political environment in the US that some sought to use to justify and use as an impetus to his assassination. Yes, the deep state existed back in JFK's time and yes, they were the ones who killed him.

The current President is in trouble for the same reason JFK got his brains blown out. Not because he is a Russian stooge as his detractors loudly proclaim (it was not Trump who put thousands of highly classified emails on an unsecured server - illegally - that found their way to a foreign power,  but his opponent). No, but because he is undercutting the justification for the the world's largest cash cow. The Trillions the US spends on Defense War. His peace efforts are totally in keeping with his campaign promises and threatens the profits of the 'deep state'.

Peace or a relaxation of tensions with Russia goes against powerful forces in our government who make their money from creating fake threats and exaggerating real ones to justify massive defense budgets.


                                                       ___


This so far has been an animated meeting and one that has many interesting undertones. Trump blasted Europe for its dependence on Russian energy and Merkel shot back. There are a lot of issues on the agenda. In this exchange it is clear that the President is making his pitch that Europe should  buy its Natural gas from the US, rather than Russia. It is no secret that Big oil and Donald Trump are on the same page. This is 'the deep politic' of these statements. This is something that the US really would love to see and make Europe dependent on the US, rather than Russia. But as stated here before, they will never go for that.

America is sanction happy and once they get that kind of leverage over Europe, they won't be able to do a thing without US approval or major sanctions will ensue and leave Europe in the dark... literally.  Russia has shown itself to be a rock solid energy partner and they don't hyperventilate and threaten sanctions just because the Chancellor doesn't dance to the tune called by others.  This is one of the fundamental disconnects and why our policies over the years are starting to reap a bitter fruit. We will lose Western Europe in the long run. Northern Europe will probably stay firmly in the US orbit until the US gets 'sanction fever' on them over something that makes little to no sense, once someone with deep pockets (foreign or domestic) 'buys' a new foreign policy directive out of DC.

But NATO itself? I think it is obsolete and it is time for new security structures. They key here to grasp that is not allowed to be spread about in the MSM or academia (much) is this. NATO was really defunct when the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union fell. Since then, NATO and the whole US Military Industrial Complex (MID) was in a panic for a mission and justification for the  billions of defense dollars spent. The evil empire that justified it was gone, why spend hundreds of billions fighting a dead Soviet state? This was and has been a key issue in US military circles but also in NATO because NATO's key military mission was to defend Europe against Soviet Communism. Since then they have  been desperately in search of a mission and a reason to keep a military foothold in Europe.

So what was their solution? It was simple and it was indeed implemented. It was to restart the cold war. Once that was done, NATO would indeed have a mission, just like before. This was one key reason for the US sponsored coup in Ukraine and the US propaganda campaign targeting Russia, with a daily drumbeat of constantly negative and hostile stories about the Russians. The result? A new Military buildup, new military exercises and a new Budgetary justification for billions of more dollars to be pumped into the Pentagon. Again, I try and school each of you -  if you want to understand a problem always look to the money, the economic interests, they will drive the debate.

NATO is obsolete but leaders are trying to reanimate the corpse for reasons that have little to do with European Security. Things were going quite well until the US decided it wanted out of the ABM treaty and proposed new missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. Things have gone downhill from there, but that was the desired result. To destroy relations between the US and Moscow so that many would  get rich in the ensuing new cold war.
NATO is planning its largest military build-up in eastern Europe since the Cold War
So naturally with Trump in the White House, the military is getting the money it wants. Trump has spoken much about warming relations with Moscow, but has been and will be fought by elements with a vested economic interest in keeping tensions high.

My view is that NATO should have been more forward thinking than backwards thinking. Backwards thinking being a deliberate move back to the past in restarting a war that it had already won, the cold war.

No, what NATO leaders should have done was something different. They should have gone and done some reading on the trends in our world and where new threats are likely to arise and prepare its forces for that. Our world is changing and re-fighting the cold 'war of 1952' to justify budgets is myopic and just plain dumb.

The 21st century is fraught with many new threats that are identified clearly in much National Security literature, open and secret. Yet they don't seem keen on making a force ready for those threats, but seek new and better weapons to use on the Russians in a war that no one would survive if it were ever fought. Even now our leaders talk about a limited Nuclear war as though they seek to win one. The idea of a first strike by the US on Russia is not far fetched. Not any more. More here out of the UK.

My view is that NATO should have and still should concentrate more on the new threats that face the Nation State. Before it was just armies and tanks, fighter planes and warships. Today the threats are different, but no less potent. One thing NATO has done in a positive light is to step up cyberops. This is important. But today the idea of Financial and Economic warfare are also real. Another threat that should be addressed by NATO is the simple to understand problem of population. Demographics and the serious problems that this is going to present to the world as we move towards mid century. We are already seeing masses of human waves migrating to parts of the world where there is economic opportunity as well as for other reasons. What happens in the future when something like this happens.

Jan7th 2029, New Jimba Africa (Future News Service) Today, the new government now located in the newly renamed capital of New Jimba has seized critical mining facilities belonging to several key Western and Chinese mining concerns. These firms mine critical and key rare earth metals as well as other lucrative minerals. The military forces have been heavily armed by the New Alliance of Nations who have backed the rebel leader Mobo M'kumbe who has promised prosperity to his people after what he described ad decades of western colonial exploitation.

Mobo has been able to gain the support of the Military and has managed to acquire new anti-aircraft systems from New Alliance nations that are capable of detecting stealth aircraft. So far, no western nation has dared encroach upon their airspace. Meanwhile the mass exodus from the African nation has slowed to a trickle as more Jimbans see a brighter future economically for its nation.  (Future News Service) - News that has not happened yet, but could...

In 2029 how would the west respond to this? How should they? What about a massive refugee crisis that requires protection against terrorist and criminal gangs that threaten mass slaughter if demands are not met? This is the kind of world we are heading into, like it or not. Is the developed world prepared or will they continue a pointless game of one ups-manship with Russia to see who has the biggest missiles, the fastest planes and the stupidest generals.

This is where NATO should have put is emphasis then they could work with, rather than against the Russians when such an eventuality transpires.

Moreover proactive solutions could be conceptualized to keep these economic issues from developing into the crisis that are likely to occur if the current state of lethargy and short sighted solutions continue to rule the day with policy makers.

I am a strong proponent of peace because I am a servant of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and I am not ashamed of it. I believe in a strong defense, but defense means just that... DEFENSE not warmaking and threat creation and dropping the most expensive bombs we can find on those least likely to resist to fill the coffers of the war industry.

I ask all Christians who belong to Christ to do as your Bible bids you and pray for our President and our leaders...

... of both parties. 


Mandela Foundation Asked To Block Obama's Visit

CAGE Africa is strongly opposed to the visit hosted by the Mandela Foundation. Al Jazeera carries the story above. You can read the open letter here.

They feel that Obama's legacy as CINC of the world's largest military and his record of military adventures in Africa and the droning of Africans is not in keeping with anything Nelson Mandela stood for.

The AJ article linked above is pretty good.

Many folks never understood why I was never a big fan of the former President. I got a rash of negativity from a great many folks because I did not support Obama just because he was Black and hailed from the Democratic party. I must be clear, for many  Black Americans, their support amounted to little more than that. He had the right skin color and came from the right party and said the right words and they flocked to his banner.

I am not being overly critical of Obama. That is one tough job and those who think it isn't are frankly, without a clue. The President does not rule America. He manages its Federal agencies and to some degree, sets our foreign policy. I say to some degree because he has a lot of power in and influence over that policy but he does not dictate it. Our foreign, military and National security polices are set by a host of individuals and agencies, some you have heard of, others you may not have. For too many Leftist Americans, Black ones in particular, they saw the skin color and saw that he came out of the right political box  (DNC) and as a result, they refused to keep a close eye on what he was actually doing. Whenever some one pointed things out, they went into partisan reactionary mode and as one Black commentator laid it out years ago, 'they ran in front of the bus for him'. But they did not see what he and his policies and the lack thereof was really doing to Black America and to Africa.

I don't like blasting the former President because he had some serious hurdles and problems as President particularly because he was Black. Many top people in Government showed him incredible disrespect.  But he knew how to work the populace and was most adept and delivering a very little to nothing and telling his constituents that what he delivered was a gold mine and having them praise him for it. That was his gift and he was exceptionally good it.

I think Black Americans need to be much more objective in their analysis of the former President as well as this one and be far less wrapped up in phony notions of 'Blackness' when they take a cold, hard look at either. 'Black' does not mean a collective reflex manufactured on left wing Cable News show owned by rich old White men, at least it shouldn't. We need to look at things like granting immunity to the banks who committed crimes when they stole homes across America - it was devastating on Black America. I could go on and on but I won't. The President did not deliver. No, I am not saying he totally ignored Black America, he didn't. I am saying that when push came to shove, the needs and problems of Blacks and lower income Americans were of little real importance to his overall political machinations which always had raising money near the very top of his agenda. If you are gay and have deep pockets, the DNC will indeed deliver on their promises. If you are Black and have empty ones, you may be better off with the 'accidental' benevolence of the RNC than the empty promises of the DNC,

Simply put, those on the political left, particularly minorities need to step back and ask themselves what the Democrats have done for them and what they will do for them while their leaders shout all manner of hateful rhetoric at the sitting President, who has done more for Black America by accident, that the Democrats promised to do on the campaign trail.

I know many readers don't like it when I talk about these issues so forcefully. But I think they are important. One look at what is happening in many-a-Black community and has been for some time forbids me from speaking about it with too much gentleness. 

I want to see these problems like this in the US and those outlines by CAGE Africa fixed and I don't care which party or what color skin the person has who has a workable solution to them. I am not interested in petty party politics and racial divisions or parroting the ignorance that permeates our political and social discourse... Black or White. . I am interested in solving problems. When it comes to fixing problems that effect so many people of all races, I am apolitical and totally color blind. I am a member of the 'Let's Fix It' political party.

For this, I get lambasted and even attacked by many, even within our own Government.

FYI -  Obama did speak at the meeting and as usual delivered a rousing speech that was 180 degrees at odds with what he actually did (not said) as President. Google up his speech and you will find it.
16 July

Serve The Lord!!


(Note: This was written a week ago.)

There is so much news today and God willing we will look at some things this afternoon. But this A.M. God wants me to offer this exhortation to all of you.

None of this is new to any of you here. Rather it is by way of exhortation in these times when so many brethren are falling by the wayside and strange, crazy and demonic doctrines permeate much of the western Church. I exhort you all to stay the course of salvation in Jesus Christ. To not turn aside to the left hand nor to the right, but to stand in the midst of the spiritual battle, even while those brethren on your left and and right have fallen to the onslaught of the enemy. We must remain steadfast.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,
choose you this day whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served
that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:
 but as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.
(Jos 24:15)


This was one of Joshua's Prophecies. Yes, this was indeed a prophetic pronouncement (see Josh 24:2 - "Thus Saith the Lord...") Joshua was giving a strong prophetic word of  both remembrance of the things the Lord had done so that they should remain true to the Lord and serve him.

Joshua had won many a battle for the people. He was a true man of God and a warrior for God. But he as also a prophet and one whom the Lord specifically chose to accomplish a set and divine purpose. But the long and short of it was Joshua was telling them to stay true to the Lord.

How is it that God can do so much for us and we forget his power and protection and then begin to serve other gods? No, we don't have Molech and Baal today. But today we have other Gods. Materialism, Wicca, Money and even outright devil worship. Satan knows how to seduce us away from the Gospel and he is good at it. We forget the things that God has done and begin to serve other gods and anger the Lord.


Here in the west, secular-materialism are the main seduction we face and many believers fall prey to it. But other gods are here as well. There is the worship of ones race. We have White nationalists claiming to be Christian and Black folks who put their skin color over and above the word of God. It was pretty obvious to a man or woman of discernment particularly under Obama's Presidency. Right, wrong, sin and God's views on sexuality and child sacrifice (abortion) took a backseat to undue adoration of the President's skin-melanin content ratio.  Even Obama's unwillingness to help the millions of Christians who were and are under severe persecution did not matter to so many American Black Christians. Obama was Black and everything else took a backseat to that. They were willing to see millions of babies slaughtered, homosexuality run rampant and Christians burned out of their homes and even slaughtered while the President for years never lifted up his voice in their defense.  These things did not matter. What mattered was that the President was Black.

Today the issue is White Nationalism and those who have swarmed around Trump who ascribe to this hateful and demonic ideology.


I shudder to think what God has in store for those who worship at the alter of the 'race gods', be they Black or White when they forsake the clear commandments of scripture to offer 'sacrifice' to these demonic deceptions. The sacrifice being the cessation of being holy and our obedience to God's commandments to appease the 'race gods'.

Deceptions take on many forms today and seducers are all over America and fill her pulpits. There is the homosexual seduction, the riches seduction, the selective obedience to scripture seduction to name just a few. These are the ones that are taking many down apostasy road. It's like a signpost that leads us to one place when the sign said another. A driver who has no sense of direction can be sidetracked to a place where thieves and robbers wait to do mischief.

We must not go after those false signposts (false prophets) and go down apostasy road. We must be full of discernment and keep a close eye on those who run our Churches and our denominations. Many of them have been hoodwinked by Masons or those who 'capture' powerful Christian ministers for what I will call 'The House Of Judas' -  that being the US or other intelligence agencies who have their operatives who do dirty work for these dark and secretive agencies.

Stubborn Persistence

The only way we can maintain our walk with Jesus in our times and more importantly in the days that are coming upon us is to develop a mindset of stubborn persistence. A complete and total abandonment to our number one purpose, that being to serve Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth. To get into the Kingdom and to walk with Jesus in White (Rev 3:4) and not soil our garments with the things of this world.  This is the mindset that will mean victory in these times; to maintain our walk with God, to not deny his name and to not love our lives to death.

The world and the devil will use many a trick, as many as they can to get us to move off the path of Jesus Christ. Some of the deceptions and other works of darkness will be highly effective against a great many. We must stand therefore and stand with Christ. Stand and fight the good fight of faith. The Apostle Paul runs it down to us just how to fight and whom are enemy is.


Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might. Put on the
whole armour of God, that ye may be able
to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
 but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of
the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the
fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation
 and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
 Praying always with all prayer and supplication
in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me,
that I may open my mouth boldly, to make
known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an
 ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly,
as I ought to speak.
(Eph 6:10-20)


We must fight this good fight and when we do so, we can stand in the evil day and that day will one day surely come.

So my exhortation to all of you is a simple one. Don't give up, don't turn back, and don't fall away. Set your face firmly and resolutely towards Jesus Christ and obey his voice. Keep your foot on the path to life and do not turn to the left hand nor the right but go straight forward with faith and determination.

Help your brother if he begins to falter, lift him up and strengthen him when his heart begins to faint, but never go down the path of error, lukewarmness or spiritual slumber with them. Assist your brother but do not jeopardize your own soul in so doing.

This also bears comment. People are influenced by crowds and what others are doing. We all naturally resist being left on the 'outside' in human social structures. This is natural. But we Christians are often going to be on the outside of not just the world's social cliques, but also of those of mainstream Christianity. We are going to more and more appear to be 'freaks' in a world that will be awash in drugs, hate, devil worship, murder and all manor of vice and foolishness which will be considered the new normal. We are to be something special and rise above the behavior of the crowd and become something highly prized by God. To do that we have to be something completely different from the fallen and sinful world around us.

I exhort you all in the name of Jesus Christ to stand firm in Christ in these times, do not follow after the crowd, but rather after Jesus.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should
shew forth the praises of him who hath called
you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

(1Pe 2:9)

The word for peculiar does not mean strange in the sense we use today, but rather it means highly treasured. We are something very special. Kind of like a diamond in the rough, or a brick of gold in the manure heap. God looks at us in a very different way than the world does. We may be despised by the world, but not by God. A world that worships the gods of gold and silver, American Express and Bitcoin will not understand us. Yet we are deeply beloved by God. We who have forsaken these gods of modern Egypt and have decided, as Joshua did to serve the Lord will indeed enter into the promised land.

How did Joshua do it? He had many a battle on his hands. It was war. Now as Paul said, we battle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers. This is our battlefield and it is one fraught with many dangers. But in order for us to get into the kingdom, we like Joshua must also fight many a battle. No one is rolling into the kingdom with any kinds of rewards without some kind of fruit and battle scars. We are in enemy territory and the enemy will seek us out to destroy us utterly. But God even through his son Jesus Christ sends us his spirit and his holy angels to protect us. So we need not fear. The world? These things are not within the bounds of their comprehension, save as is gracious and God gives them light.


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:
because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world,
and the world heareth them. We are of God:
he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not
of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth,
 and the spirit of error.
(1Jn 4:4-6)



As long as we continue to walk in the light of Jesus Christ, we shall have victory over the devil for as the verse says, greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.

Brothers, let us all keep on with our walk and place our face firmly toward life eternal and forsake the temptations and enticements of this world.


Brother Mark


12 July

Migrant Watch

DHS: Migrants Are Leaving Their Children with Trump’s Agencies
An interesting report from those who deal in the issue daily, as opposed to those who don't. This is something you do need to read and get a better understanding of the economic and other dynamics of the issue and not just let the MSM provoke you to weep-a-thousand-tears over something most folks don't fully understand... except that anything Trump does has to be opposed. 

How can we get past the political baloney and media hyperventilation we see in our press on this issue? Listen to those who have to deal with the issue every single day, like those in the link above, or those in the link below.

Mexico: Dangerous For Central American Migrants
We hear so much about our problems here in the US, but Mexico's problems are worse. MSF gives us a good look at the problem. Those doctors are on the ground and help those in need, so these are the kinds of folks who can give you the story first hand and without political filters.

Read this and get a look at how hard the journey from Central America to the US is. The New Mexican President has a job on his hands and even now is preparing a clampdown on Mexico's southern border.

Trump Returns To Catch And Release

Northern California Jail Ends Immigration Contract
Authorities succumb to protests over Trump's policies. 

Local Residents Claim New Laws Will Worsen Immigrant Problem
Proposed bill would make illegal entry a first degree felony. 

Immigrant Engineer Shares Her View On A 'Broken System'
There are many sad stories out there. This one deals with the H1B system. I would only add this - that as we look at the immigration system and the problems we are having - those who are using various methods to fix it and those who are doing their best to exacerbate those problems always I say again,  look at where the money is, who is making money as well as Labor issues - like the issues with H1B system where large corporations hire foreigners. Why they do it? Sometimes it is because of pay and benefit issues, some because there is a shortage of the kinds of people companies want to hire for some jobs (like when only Blacks are available and they would rather hire an Indian or Asian for less pay than a Black at full pay). More here.

Just keep this in mind when dealing with this issue. Many people in America with very deep pockets and access to power have a strong economic incentive to let a flood of migrants into America. From farming, to Tech to Groundskeeping, money will shape the debate, not facts, common good or even common sense. If we can get a handle on that fact when we read news reports and particularly those so called 'myth dispelling' and 'debunking sites' we will be far less likely to fall for the narrative de-jure written by a propagandist who cries about how evil Trump's policies are only so that he can use some 15 year old immigrant as a sex worker without all that immigration and legal red tape.
 
A New Immigration Crisis: This Time It May Come From Haiti
A government attempt to raise fuel prices has sparked protests, some violent. The above link from Daily Beast lays it out. Below see the State Dept. Travel advisory.

Do not travel to Haiti due to civil unrest and crime.

There is currently widespread civil unrest and violent demonstrations in Haiti. Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. On July 9, 2018, the U.S. government authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and their families. Right now, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. The Department will review this guidance as soon as the current security situation is resolved.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents or emergencies.

Even under normal circumstances, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in some areas of Haiti. U.S. Embassy personnel must receive permission from the Embassy security officer to travel to some areas of Port-au-Prince. Embassy employees are discouraged, and in some instances prohibited, from walking in city neighborhoods, including Pétion Ville. After dark, Embassy personnel are prohibited from visiting establishments without secure, on-site parking. Travel outside of Port-au-Prince is prohibited after dark. Embassy employees are under a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The use of public banks and ATMs by Embassy employees is prohibited at all times. Embassy personnel are prohibited from using any kind of public transportation throughout the country. - US State Dept.


11 July

Love

Love. I don't see it as much as an emotion as it I do a verb. A word that describes action. Doing something. Love is not a feeling to me. It's what you do. A person may feel pity and love all day long for a homeless person, but what have they done for them? A person may say they love their friend in need, but what have they done for them? A man may say he loves his brother but what has he done to demonstrate it?

Let us remember that we will all be judged by our works, not our feelings (Rev 20:12-13). It's what you do that counts. When Christ asked Peter if he loved him, he wanted a concrete demonstration of that love (John 21:15ff). He wanted him to feed his sheep. We may be saved by grace, but we will be judged by our works.

Do you love? God one day is going to ask you that question. Perhaps not in those exact words, but in what our actions have proved. Do you love kids? Many suffer. Do you love persecuted Christians? Many suffer. Can you show love to those who have no way of repaying you?

Let's let love be what we do, not what we say or feel.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down
his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need,
 and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how
dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children,
let us not love in word, neither in tongue;
but in deed and in truth.

(1Jn 3:16-18)

We have all heard it said that talk is cheap. In no other issue is this more true than with the issue of love.

Ethiopia-Eritrea Say War Is Over

Very Positive steps being taken including opening up of embassies.  Reuters reports in the above link. What will this mean for Christians? The ICC says this:

ICC is concerned, however, that these benefits will not reach the long persecuted Christians of Eritrea. For years, Eritrea has been known to religious freedom advocates as the “North Korea of Africa.” This title is well deserved. Due to their strong central and socialistic government, Eritrea represses all religious freedom in the country. In 2002, they enacted laws that allowed for only four legal religions: Roman Catholic, Eritrean Orthodox, Lutheran, and Sunni Islam. However, these four religions come with significant stipulations.

To join any of these religions, one must make four pledges: 1) Their loyalty is to the government, not the Church, family, or God, 2) They will never be “born again,” 3) They will not carry a Bible outside of their home or Church, and 4) They will turn in any evangelists or missionaries that they encounter. These pledges have forced many Christians to worship in underground churches or flee the country.

Furthermore, the government still holds many Christians in captivity. The rightful patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Abune Antonios, has been under house arrest since 2007 when the government arrested him for defying governmental control over the church. Thousands of others are still being held in some of the worst conditions in the world. Their prisons are often metal shipping containers placed in the middle of the desert. They pack as many as eight people into these tiny containers, which have no electricity or plumbing. The metal walls of the cells increase the temperature fluctuations of the desert from extremely hot to freezing cold. These religious freedom issues have yet to be addressed and leave serious concerns. - Persecution.org

10 July

Yizhuang Campus of Beijing’s Largest House Church Forcibly Barricaded

07/10/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on July 5, Yizhuang campus of Zion Church, the largest house church in Beijing, has been blockaded by a group of “thugs” employed by the local authorities. The group prevented church members from entering the third floor where the campus is located and hurled insults and threats at the Christians, calling their faith a cult. 

In a prayer request to fellow Christians shared via WeChat (a popular Chinese messaging app) on July 8, Yizhuang campus worshippers detailed the ongoing oppression from the government against their church.

Six individuals guarded the entrance to the church and prevented church members from attempting to unlock the government-imposed padlocks. They also prevented... continues here.
9 July


Ruth Part XV


And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out
of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our
brother Elimelech's:
(Rth 4:3)


We left off last time and Boaz had quickly convened a court hearing for the case of Naomi's rights under the Law. There was a parcel of land that was in her name and she was willing to sell it. How she came by this land is that it was part of the family inheritance and now that her husband was dead, she was now in control of it, as the verse clearly implies. Because she was poor and needed money, she was forced to sell it. Here Boaz proposes that another relative buys the land in order to keep it in the family according to custom. Remember in an earlier section (Part XIII), there was a specific order that had to be followed regarding the redemption of the land. The system was originally intended so that the land apportioned to various tribes and families remained with them. This is one reason for the  Jubilee year as we find on the book of the Law (Lev 25:8-17). Thus, the law of the Kinsman-Redeemer came into being as 50 years is a long time to wait to get your land back. But we must keep in mind that this person who redeemed the land had to keep it in trust for the entire clan. This is not like today, where inheritors are often trying to screw over family members to fill their own personal fortunes. These were different times with a different set of principles where family and tribe were of great importance.


And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the
 inhabitants, and before the elders of my people.
If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it,
then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee;
 and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
(Rth 4:4)


This verse is simply Boaz making the parcel of land available to the Goel (Kinsman Redeemer). He may have done this thing publicly so that no one could come back later and say he did not offer it to them. Such underhandedness may not have been common in those days, but in our times you need to get an affidavit, preferably signed in blood to prove such things when a lot of money or land is involved! What is going on here in using our terminology today is vaguely similar to the first right of refusal. Boaz basically is saying. It is your right to buy the land, if you want to do so, then do so. If not then I follow after you in the line to redeem it. But this passage also reveals something in Boaz's character. Here is how Matthew Henry sums it up.
This he gives the kinsman legal notice of (Rth_4:4), that he might have the refusal of it. Whoever had it must pay for it, and Boaz might have said, “My money is as good as my kinsman's; if I have a mind to it, why may not I buy it privately, since I had the first proffer of it, and say nothing to my kinsman?” No, Boaz, though fond enough of the purchase, would not do so mean a thing as to take a bargain over another man's head that was nearer a-kin to it; and we are taught by his example to be not only just and honest, but fair and honourable, in all our dealings, and to do nothing which we are unwilling should see the light, but be above-board. - Matthew Henry
Now this is how any genuine Christian will behave. He will not be underhanded, deceitful or take advantage of people but always conduct things above board and with a sense of honor. I make it a point to always deal with folks like that. Not just because I am in ministry but because it is just part of my make up. I hate dishonesty and deceit and won't deal with folks who show a pattern of it. I shun them and will never do business with them. My failings often come from the fact that I expect others to have at least some semblance of honor and am too often bitterly disappointed.

Boaz was a cut above the kinds of people we find today and probably in his day as well.

The kinsman initially says that he will redeem the land. Then Boaz adds the special 'addendum' to the purchase.

Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi,
 thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead,
 to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
(Rth 4:5)

Well, here we see how the situation was turned to Boaz' favor. What Boaz basically was saying was that because Ruth's husband was the eldest, the estate could not be settled upon anyone without the permission of Naomi who was the mother of the deceased and her conditionality was that if it was sold, the wife of the deceased husband must marry Ruth according no so much to the law, but by custom (to be explained later)  Here is how Adam Clarke puts it.

Thou must buy it also of Ruth - More properly, Thou wilt also acquire Ruth. Thou canst not get the land without taking the wife of the deceased and then the children which thou mayest have shall be reputed the children of Mahlon, thy deceased kinsman. - Clarke
The translation of the passage many have challenged and they believe it should be rendered instead of thou must buy it also of Ruth, it should read 'Ruth also thou must buy'. You can read extended Comments on this here.

And the near kinsman said, I am not able to redeem for myself,
that I not mar my own inheritance. You redeem for yourself
my right of redemption, for I am not able to redeem.

(Rth 4:6)


This is a strange statement, or at least on the surface. He just suddenly changed his mind for reasons that on the surface to people of our times, does not make sense. But the in reality it isn't so strange. What he is saying is that if he takes Ruth for a wife and they have a son, then the Goel would basically be disinherited or have his inheritance diluted. Some commentators think he was married, others are not so sure. I don't know and the passage here does not tell us. He may have been single or been married or even been a widower. We don't even know the kinsman's name.  But the K&D commentary gives us I think the best explanation for his reticence when this additional conditionality was put forth.
“I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance.” The redemption would cost money, since the yearly produce of the field would have to be paid for up to the year of jubilee. Now, if he acquired the field by redemption as his own permanent property, he would have increased by so much his own possessions in land. But if he should marry Ruth, the field so redeemed would belong to the son whom he would beget through her, and he would therefore have parted with the money that he had paid for the redemption merely for the son of Ruth, so that he would have withdrawn a certain amount of capital from his own possession, and to that extent have detracted from its worth. “Redeem thou for thyself my redemption,” i.e., the field which I have the first right to redeem. K&D
Thus, the way was made clear for Boaz.

We will continue on with our look at the book of Ruth next week, the good Lord willing!!!

6 July


Christian Converts Attacked In Greek Refugee Camp
07/05/18 International Christian Concern (Washington, DC) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on June 27, 2018, a group of Iraqi Muslims living in the Koutsochero Refugee Camp in Greece attacked a group of Iranian Christians who were holding a Bible study. These Christians are all converts and are active in sharing their faith.

According to 222 Ministries, seven Iranians had “crossed from Turkey to Greece in the area of Thessaloniki and ended up in a refugee camp about 150 km south in Larissa. While they were there, they met as a small group together in one of the Conex containers they were housed in, gathering a few others.”

“Somehow, they came to the attention of the other camp residents… a mob formed on Sunday night as they were holding a Bible Study meeting. The mob attacked them, threatening them with knives and beating the men, resulting in hospitalization for two of them. The two women and two young children were also threatened with knives. Petrol was poured into their Conex. They were called ‘kaffirs’ and told to leave the camp.  One of the men had a previous heart condition and the attack caused him to pass out.  An ambulance was called but the mob tried to prevent its entry into the camp. The Greek police present did nothing, being massively outnumbered by the mob of 30-40 people,” continued the account from 222 Ministries.

Pastor Apostolos Theodorakos of the Free Evangelical Church in Larissa says, “Before I even woke up for my work, (a lady) called me and told me she was in the University Hospital because she and her husband were assaulted by a group of Muslims. I ran into the hospital and I found this beloved soul with her child, terrified, with jabs.” He continues, “a group of 30-40 people had come… accusing them of being Christians and going to church. In fact, one took a liquid inside the container and someone tried to (ignite a) fire.”

All of the victims of the attack have since fled to a safe house. A police complaint has been filed and a lawsuit opened against the attackers.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Whenever a Muslim converts to Christianity, he does so at great risk. Muslim background believers are often shunned by their families and violently targeted by their peers, who regard them as apostates. Often they must flee their homes and begin life from scratch. It is no coincidence that these believers in Koutsochero were singled out by a mob and attacked. While we are thankful that no one was seriously injured, it is alarming that this mob was allowed to continue their violence without police intervention. Those who perpetrated this violence must be held accountable according to due process of law.”

For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941, Washington, D.C. 20006
www.persecution.org | E-mail: icc@persecution.org
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We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC)
and include our web address, www.persecution.org.



God is Love Graffiti Spreads In Iran

Let us pray for Iran. Many Muslims are hungry spiritually. This, in a nation that is repressive and struggling with significant economic issues.


Averting War In Northern Somalia

   Base map Courtesy and Copyright Openstreemap.

(ICG) A longstanding military standoff between Somaliland and Puntland over the disputed Sool (yellow) and Sanaag  (blue) regions is in grave danger of escalating. Both sides are reportedly massing large numbers of troops close to Tukaraq, a strategically located town that has become a front line in the battle for control. The tempo of artillery and mortar shelling around the town appears to have increased since 22 June 2018. Leaders on both sides have stepped up inflammatory rhetoric. Efforts to mediate have petered out.

Both Somaliland and Puntland have enjoyed relative peace and stability for nearly three decades as war plagued the rest of the country. Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991 though no country formally recognises it as such. Puntland is a semi-autonomous federal state of Somalia, with its capital in Garowe. A confrontation between them would have disastrous consequences for much of northern Somalia but also risks contributing to instability across the country. It also could play into the hands of the Al-Shabaab insurgency or even the Islamic State (ISIS) branch in Puntland. -  Crisis Group (copyright policy)


3 July

Prophetic TidBit

Before we get to the news today... and there is a lot going on, I want to pass on something that I think will be of interest to all prophecy students and those who await our Lord's return. It is my hope that this short piece will edify all of you.

As we live in these most interesting times, it behooves us to remember who the prince of this world is and who has and will have considerable power in the future and how that power will be exercised in the last days. The witness of scripture helps us to understand these things.

In Revelation chapter 12 we see a vision. It is of two entities one is a Godly woman and the other is not. One gives birth to the Messiah and the other is that of a dragon with ten horns and seven heads. I urge you to understand that this vision was in heaven, not on earth.


And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;
a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,
and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being
with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and
behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns,
and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the
third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:
 and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready
to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations
with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God,
and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness,
 where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there
a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
(Rev 12:1-6)


I am not going to do a verse by verse today but rather am going to look at this passage along with some in chapter 13 to make an important point. The woman clearly is a type of Israel/Apostles/Church. But we are not going to concentrate on that today. Rather we are going to look at the second wonder, that being the great red dragon. Notice what he has on. He has seven heads and ten horns. This is a hideous image but it is significant. The Dragon also known as satan has ten horns and seven heads. He had these when he was in heaven.

Now I tend to look upon this as the image of the key satanic stronghold. Not just one of many lesser demonic strongholds, but of our 'arch enemy'. God here, I think was giving John this vision to help his (and our) finite and human mind understand the spiritual strength and power of satan in the heavens.

Then something happens.

There was a war in heaven and when the smoke clears, Satan is cast down to earth. Not only Satan, but those angels who rebelled with him come down here as well. Yet, there appears to be two 'casting downs' from the passage. One is in Rev 12:4 and the other is in 12:7. In 12:4 the dragon uses his tail to throw one third of the stars to the ground, whereas in 12:7, it was a war the dragon fights with Michael that casts all of them, including the dragon to earth.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
 against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil,
and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth,
and his angels were cast out with him.  And I heard a loud voice saying
 in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of
our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,
 which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him
 by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.

(Rev 12:7-11)

This passage has some interesting parallels with Daniel 8:10. The key here I think is that this revelation is meant to show us

1 - the power of Satan in the heavens.
2 - the coming of Satan down here to earth - directly, not figuratively
3 - the cause of Satan's fall to earth
4 - to help us understand the spiritual nature of our warfare
5 - to show us how to overcome Satan when he arrives.
We are going to skip over the rest of chapter12 and move over to chapter 13 and notice something of great interest.

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a
 beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and
 ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon
his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which
 I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the
 feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion:
and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat,
and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it
were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was
 healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power
unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying,
Who is like unto the beast? who is able to
make war with him?

(Rev 13:1-4)

Notice what happens after and only after Satan is cast down to earth. A beast rises out of the sea and its description is a near exact replica of the very devil/dragon who was cast out of heaven via war. It has seven heads and ten horns. But note the subtle difference or rather addition. It has the names of blasphemy on its heads. It draws its power from the dragon and this is where this beast gets its authority.

The key here is that there is a spiritual entity in heaven that opposes God (The Dragon/Satan) who is cast down to earth and upon his descent, builds up a governmental system her on earth that is

Blasphemous
Powerful
Causes the world to both wonder and worship it
The point I want to make here is that this beast only arrives after there is a war in heaven and the devil is cast down to earth and a great persecution begins (Rev 12:13ff). This system only lasts 42 months so we have not seen it yet, but events in our world do seem to indicate that 'satanic preparations' are being made for its institution.

Let me be plain and clear  - when the devil gets this power it will a very difficult time for all who serve the Lord. Why? Because the devil's whole M.O. is to steal, kill and destroy, coupled with a considerable amount of deceit. His target will be those who serve God. In case you were wondering, that would be me and you (!).

This post is less one of deep spiritual insight than one of exhortation. Let us all keep our eyes on events in these end times (watching) and remember how it is we shall overcome the wiles of the devil in these and in particular those coming days.


And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony; and they
 loved not their lives unto the death.
 - Rev 12:11

If you know Christ (and more importantly have been born into the Kingdom of God and are known of him) you are in this battle weather you know it or not. One of the first things that any competent warrior or general does before he engages in battle is to know his enemy.

Let us all be wise in these times and know ours.

Do you serve the Lord? I mean really serve him. I am not talking about fake Christianity which is destroying the western Church and the make-up-your-own-Jesus who affirms rather than rebukes your sins and crimes. But serve him in spirit and in truth, according to the word of God in our Bibles? Then this promise is for you and every one who does - young and old, rich and poor, black or white.


No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment
thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
 and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
(Isa 54:17)

Note: I have been doing a 'Know Your Enemy' series for insiders that deals with the strong meat of spiritual warfare and is reserved for mature believers. Moreover, too often the enemy and those controlled by that great red dragon have stolen much material here (I will call them 'deep state' demons)  and twisted up my work to give aid to those who are pure evil and then tried to associate me with such wickedness in their quest to destroy me and this ministry.

This is indeed one key reason most of my material, the best stuff remains and will ever remain for a select few.


A New Weapon Of Modern Warfare


Note: This was written a couple of weeks ago and given a couple of minor edits this AM... - MSW


I watch with dismay as the Democrats get themselves all worked up into a lather over Trump separating kids from their parents at the border.... as though he thought the idea up all by himself. He didn't. Obama did the same things, but it was kept quiet. And yes, I do think the President was correct when he said that much of this outrage at this curious point in time is a distraction. One designed to keep the hearings on how the Deep State's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email servers was rigged from the get-go off... that those hearings off the Cable News major news beat.

But what most people don't know because no one will contextualize it for them is something I know this site has talked about a few times in the past. It behooves us to do a very brief rehash of this.

New Times, New Weapons

Today, nation states and powerful men are using new kinds of weapons against countries and their political and economic enemies. They have many tools and they are things not one person in 100 would never recognize as being weapons deliberately directed at us. They are very good and using those weapons and with those weapons they are good at creating sharp divisions within the target nation to destabilize and otherwise undermine it or to use against political forces within that nation they have a dislike for. Yes, this really is a new form of warfare. In fact our security officials  began to see an emerging pattern for this way back in the late 1990's.





    QDR-1997 (DOD)

Yes, that was written 21 years ago. What has  been happening in our world is part of that wholly foreseen chain of events. The Drug Trade, geopolitical enemies and traitors in the midst of these nations who assist the nations enemies to facilitate these blatantly criminal acts - this is one of our bigger problems. Foreign nations who are able to interfere in our elections and steal our secrets. They can also use human migration as a weapon, creating media events of masses of people wanting to crash the border just so they can get a film crew on the scene to watch border agents shoot and use force to stop them. This has happened in Israel, it happened here in the US recently. I don't need to tell you of the serious crisis this has created in Europe today. With regards to the European crisis, we even had a head of state brag in public about using refugee's as a weapon against Germany. This brothers is not a new phenomenon as that 2011 NYT piece lays out a few incidents of the past. They can create or exacerbate a crisis a humanitarian crisis in one nation in order to compel migration to another. Do these things sound morally repugnant to you? They should, but one of your biggest enemies to understanding our world is to impute your morality the the actions of others who have little to no morality other than to get power or make a profit.

But today the problem has taken on a whole new dimension because clearly today, powerful forces, elitists and others have other reasons for wanting to

Extract political and or economic concessions from nations with the threat of mass migration

Destabilize nations that do not go along with the political and economic programs.


Import a workforce that will work for little pay and even fewer benefits

Solve the western world's significant demographic problems

Further illicit enterprises for which many elitists have a significant financial interest (like drug dealing, human trafficking and laundering the proceeds thereof).

Reshaping the cultural and political landscape to make it more amendable to their interests.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but rather instructive. It is mean to stimulate one to thinking outside of the box that far too many people are stuck in when they become addicted to partisan propaganda and half truths that permeate cable news reporting. It's why I utterly refuse to let my mind nor my views get flushed down the toilet of partisan Cable News narratives. Too many people have let what gets left in that toilet become what they use for a brain. They need to get out of that intellectual toilet and listen to saner, wiser and more studied voices; both academic, institutional as well as those who are not tied in with such venerated bodies who can give a fresh and intelligent look at key issues. I mean, who ever heard of something like this kind of partisan hatred! Something very, very troubling is happening to the minds of Americans.


So many people... they get so whipped up into partisan anger that they just don't know how to think straight anymore. If it does not feed into or energize that partisan hate and that manufactured anger, they are not willing to even listen. Voices of common sense get shouted down by a retard with a digital megaphone. I am not going down that road and refuse to pretend a respect for such voices that I do not, nor have any intention of respecting.

Listen... Intelligent and well read people can and often do differ in opinion. The problem is the lack of intelligent and well informed people in the political debate today. Too many people only respond to 'the toilet' and that is why the debate today resembles one. The people have been brainwashed... with toilet water... and they don't even know it.


You must forgive my mild diatribe, but this nation will not survive without a much higher degree of intelligence and civility.

What follows here is free of partisanship it is neither pro nor anti-Trump. Pro nor anti-Obama. It does not praise nor vilify the GOP or the DNC except perhaps to do a little to both equally. The immigration debate here today is manufactured. Trump is not doing anything significantly different than Obama. But that little tidbit of information is not going to feed into the partisan hate, so it is left out of the debate. Why? So that partisan anger and hate can be duly fed by that retard with a digital megaphone.

Mass migration is an issue that cannot be ignored. Back in 2010, a book and later a paper was done by a Post Graduate Student at Monterrey. It's a fascinating read and one that was both insightful and prescient. It deals with the issue and blows away the complacent and conventional thinking of the past. It's called Weapons of Mass Migration, Forced Displacements as an Instrument of Coercion.

Another great piece on this can be found here at the US army site.

Simply put it makes it clear that this is a problem and one that for too long was ignored. But keep this in mind. This is an unconventional weapon. A weapon that people do not generally recognize as being a weapon. This is all part of a new kind of warfare that our world has been engaged in for some time. It's a subject I have talked about before on many occasions.

This weaponized aspect of this problem is being deliberately downplayed by powerful forces in our media whose manufactured false narratives that are often designed to assist the illegal flows. We see that here in the US with all the Trump bashing. Obama did the exact same things and Trump gets blamed for it. Yet the migration, by and large continues and the more Trump fights this weapon, the louder the howls of protest are from Cable Media.

Target America


Mind you we need to step back for just a moment and not let ourselves get carried away because people are abusing those in genuine need. Many of the refugees are indeed fleeing places where there are serious problems. Gangs, high murder rates, illegal expropriation of ones goods and even families (kidnapping). People flee those things to come to America and have a better life. I for one am not going to demonize those in genuine need.  I think that there is a lot that America can do, if she really wants to. I know this nation can. I have always been a very strong proponent of America being a benevolent and positive force in the world.

First and foremost we have a legal immigration system. Yes this fact may be a shock to many people and this little fact gets lost in the debate of the competing megaphones in our news beat. But we have one and it's pretty good. There is a process in place whereby people can legally emigrate here to America. Why is this not being used? It's simple and I hope you pick up on this.

The legal immigration system establishes criteria and quotas. It gives the elected body of Americans control (a key word in this debate) over who we let in, how many and what we expect of such people when they enter the country. The proponents of illegal immigration don't want that. That is the last thing they want. Why? Because many of those who are coming in are criminals, gang members, drug 'mules' and those who will be used in illegal labor. As a consequence of this, the whole idea of managed and legal immigration is anathema to their side of the debate. They want a mass herd of people to swarm in and within that swarm they can hide their people who are known to have set up everything from drug networks, human trafficking and sex trafficking networks to even armed terror cells. The swarms must continue for this form of warfare to be effective. Moreover those swarms help them to accomplish some of the goals mentioned above. For the mass migration weapon to be effective, the aspect of national control must be neutralized. This is one key reason the legal immigration system is left out the debate. We as a nation could easily raise the quota for people fleeing here and put them through the immigration system and let those who want to settle here permanently or temporarily be granted access but through an organized system of immigration. This makes us both humane and keeps a lid on the criminal element from entering in.

Target Europe.


But the problems in Europe pale in comparison to the problems we have here in the US. They have a chancellor who has literally destabilized Europe with an open door policy that has given rise to powerful forces now who not only want to end this policy but are actively seeking exit from Europe. We have seen riots and mass rapes (yes, lots of them, despite the false stories and careful deflection of the issue). We have had so many murders that in some cities the cops have to choose which ones to investigate. I know, I have a cop reader here who lives in the EU and he is extremely frustrated over the whole affair. He's got to respond to these calls. 

The press? They lie about the severity because the owners who run these papers or their advertisers have their own agenda. So since on one has listened and taken any real action, the result has been a political upheaval in many parts of Europe. In Spain we saw the Catalonia debacle, in Italy we have a new Populist government that promises a halt to these policies, in Germany a new force has come onto the scene, the AfD (Alternative für Deutchland). We all know about the Brexit. More will surely follow if Merkel is allowed to continue her policies. In France, Le Pen's right wing party did not go badly at all.

Why is this happening in Europe? It's hard to get a handle on the reasons at least all of them. One of them is something that you have not heard about. Merkel has an extreme guilt complex about the crimes of WWII. I will not get into the reasons why she has it, but she does. She honestly feels she is doing right with this policy of open doors. Again, there are aspects to the Chancellor I will not post but I will tell you that much because it is a very important aspect of this human wave.

But other reasons exist as well. As mentioned a few days ago, one is simple demographics. The EU elite have pushed and allowed this because they see this as a way to boost economic growth. They also see it as a way to push leftist and socialist policies and reduce the much hated (by EU Utopists) trends in nationalism. As more migrants flow into these nations, the natural animosity between the right and uncontrolled immigrants will drive the migrants to left leaning parties in elections. Trump was not wrong when he said that Democrats see future voters in the wave of migrants. The same dynamic works elsewhere and Europe has a growing number of right wing and far right parties whose ranks have been swollen as result of Merkel's policies. The political nitro and glycerin have been put into the bottle. It just needs to be shaken for a political explosion to occur.

Additionally, there is the need for Europe to not appear to cold hearted. This is because Africa, where many of these migrants are coming from, is seen by many in the elite as a very important factor in the world economy as we move towards mid-century This is a time where a growing global population exists with increasingly constrained global resources. Europe must keep itself on good terms with African leaders if she wants into major trade deals and investment opportunities in the future.

Then there are the visionaries. There are good visionaries and bad ones. Hitler was a visionary and so was MLK. One was evil and the other was good. Our global elite have their visionaries among them. MLK's are not prevalent among such  people. Many of these elitists are, to put it bluntly, control freaks. They must control as much as possible. They go to great lengths to control everything from money systems, to political debate; the price of auto's to who you are allowed to link to on the internet. Hitler was a control freak and while it is an overstatement to say that Europe's elite are like Hitler, they are more like him than a man like MLK, regardless of the face they wear for their public. Their vision was and is to gain as much power for themselves as necessary to bring in their vision. Their vision is for a united Europe and later united world under one dominion where nation-states have little real power...naturally under the leadership of that global elite. This was always what they were looking for and they got it, or at least they thought so in Europe.

The European experiment is in crisis now, a serious one and it has been seriously exacerbated by Merkel's insistence on an open door policy of migrants. This is making a great many Europeans want to head for the exits of the European experiment. On some levels you cannot blame them and this comes to the other major issue that is destroying Europe. That factor is this - the fact that the people were not consulted on mass migration. This deliberate oversight showed a great many Europeans that they did not matter. Their opinion and desires carried no weight or value with Europe's elite. It's a crisis of democracy. The men who live in Brussels and Berlin's ivory towers were going to do what they wanted without any real respect or regard  for the will of the people. The result? Millions of Europeans are seeking to get out of the EU and are electing leaders who plan on changing the EU to be more responsive their wishes or getting their nations out of the EU all together. Keep this in mind - this is exactly a primary goal of destabilization. It would be like California breaking off of the US thus weakening the US economically and geopolitcally, America, I should not have to remind you, being the foe of more than a  few geopolitical players. Have we seen any moves to get California out of the US? I will let you figure that one out for yourself.

Well, I wanted to weigh in on this debate and interject the more important issues in this debate. All the partisan non-sense being bantered about the web... is just that, well-financed political non-sense. Neither party is really serious about dealing with immigration in a positive and humane way that keeps the nation secure and allows those who really need to flee their respective nations and others who want to move here in the nation in a controlled and responsible fashion. They are interested in using the issue to whip up the Opiod and anti-depressant afflicted masses into a mind-befuddled  frenzy so they go out and vote for one part or the other in the mid-terms. They all intentionally forget these larger for more pressing issues when the Cable News channel camera flashes the red sign that says, 'on the air'.

For my Christian brethren, I have this to say. God has always demanded his people show kindness to the stranger. While we can get into a theological debate about if masses of migrants fall into that category I would ask you all to consider this. Many of us know that America is heading in the wrong direction. Many folks I have talked to have quietly looked around to find a place to go if they are forced to leave the US because of chaos, a collapse or a new dictatorial form of government comes into view.  I ask you, how would you like to be treated in your new country once you made the move?

It behooves us to remember to treat others as we would wish to be treated... in all things.

Egypt: Reconciling Churches To Non-Existence

Middle East Forum looks at events on Egypt that are, for the most part, not being reported to us. What they describe in the above link is clearly a template that Muslim mobs are using to harass Christians. It's a diabolically ingenious pattern that clearly shows the Police are in on it, as they are in some places in India

29 Jun

300 Christians Slaughtered In Fulani Rampage

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen with machetes and firearms slaughtered more than 200 people in 10 predominantly Christian communities near Jos, Nigeria on Saturday, Sunday and last week in what a cattlemen’s spokesman admitted was likely retaliation for stealing cows.

Police in Jos said only 86 people had been killed in the predominantly Christian areas, but area residents and morgue sources informed Morning Star News of many more corpses. Dogo Nvou of Nghar, Gashish District in the Barkin Ladi area, said Fulanis killed more than 70 people in his village alone.

“My uncle, his wife and many relations [were] killed,” he said in a text message. “Over 70 people in my village have been killed. It is only the Lord that can comfort us all.”

The weekend (June 23-24) attacks took place in the predominantly Christian villages of Xland, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nghar, Kura Falls, Kakuruk, Rakok, Kok, and Razat, sources said. The villages are in the two districts of Gashish and Ropp in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA). - Morning Star News

Brothers, as hard as it may seem we need to pray not just for the victims and the bereaved, but also for the persecutors. Some of them may very well one day come to the Lord...

... if we pray for them.

Ruth Part XIV



Naomi asked her what had happened, and Ruth told her everything.
She also said, "Boaz gave me this grain, because he didn't want me to come
back without something for you."
(Rth 3:16-17)

After the previous encounter on the threshing room floor and being given some grain by Boaz, Ruth returned to her mother and told he what had transpired. Naturally Naomi was most interested as it was she who made the suggestion that Ruth go and told her what to do when she got there. Ruth made it plain that Boaz was generous and some of the grain was for Naomi. This was done clearly out of respect for her position as a kind of  'stand in' head of the family and probably because he realized there was a real need.

So far so good, Naomi must have figured. They met, she parted with a gift and Boaz clearly understood his obligation to her under the Mosaic law. The issue right now appears to be the nearer relative and if he was interested in taking Ruth to wife or in redeeming her.

Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how
the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest,
until he have finished the thing this day.
(Rth 3:18)


Naomi's words here are a strong encouragement to Ruth. Those words let her know that Boaz was going to take care of this matter and would not rest until he it was completed. Until then, she should be patient.



She basically is telling her to wait until this matter is settled. We would probably say 'chill out', we don't know how this is going to shake out. Whereas she said 'we don't know how the matter will fall'. Same sense. Wait and see was the attitude that Naomi exhorted for her daughter in law.

This is the attitude we should take in many of our affairs. There is a time to do and act and a time to wait and see. Ruth did her part on the action front, now she had to wait to see how the matter turned out. Waiting sometimes can be hard and at times the Lord uses it to test our faith. He did it with Abraham did he not? Look how long he had to wait on God to answer. But he waited and God respected and honored his faith.

Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and,
behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto
whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here.
And he turned aside, and sat down.
(Rth 4:1)


Chapter four begins by dealing with how Boaz moved to keep his word. First he holds court. The fact that he could go to the village gate and call men together shows he was a person of some influence in the city. Matthew Henry seems to think me may have been the town father (like our mayor). He was certainly one of the town elders.

Boaz did not waste any time to get this matter settled. Mr. Henry asks some pointed questions that I think he answers most wisely. He wanted to know why Boaz was moving so fast with this match. Here is what Matthew Henry has to say.

But why was Boaz so hasty, why so fond of the match? Ruth was not rich, but lived upon alms; not honourable, but a poor stranger. She was never said to be beautiful; if ever she had been so, we may suppose that weeping, and travelling, and gleaning, had withered her lilies and roses. But that which made Boaz in love with her, and solicitous to expedite the affair, was that all her neighbors agreed she was a virtuous woman. This set her price with him far above rubies (Pro 31:10); and therefore he thinks, if by marrying her he might do her a real kindness, he should also do himself a very great kindness. He will therefore bring it to a conclusion immediately. It was not court-day, but he got ten men of the elders of the city to meet him in the town-hall over the gate, where public business used to be transacted, Rth 4:2. - Matthew Henry

What Boaz was doing by holding this court was invoking the right of kinsman redeemer or the right of 'Goel'. You can read more about it here and here.

When you find that person who is virtuous you have found a gold mine, no doubt about it. Boaz had found such a person and by the looks at his haste to settle the matter, he was not going to let her slip away!! While the passage does not specifically state it, it looks like the two fell in love.

The reason this was being held at the city gate is because this is where most judicial matters were usually settled in those days. Boaz chose the proper place for the matter.

Some commentators mark the haste in Boaz as perhaps not being particularly positive. Yet others are not so condescending. The Biblical Illustrator says this.

I. This is how business should be attended to.
1. Speedily.
2. Expeditiously.
3. Righteously.

II. this is how difficult affairs should be settled, delicate claims adjusted, fair rights allowed and satisfied.
1. Openly and publicly.
2. By the advice of wise men.
3. Calmly and deliberately.
4. With care and exactitude.

III. this is the way the affairs of the destitute and needy especially should be attended to. (W. Baxendale.)
And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said,
Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
(Rth 4:2)

Boaz found ten men who could hear the case. Why the number ten is not clear, but it was probably the number custom demanded for a decision to have legal effect. Today, the assembly of 10 Jewish adults is called a Minyan. This piece by the Jewish Encyclopedia may be of help. These kinds of court proceedings, according to the Cambridge Bible, could hear both criminal cases and those regarding family law.

The key difference here is that no lawyers were present, no weeks to prepare the case, no long arguments before judge of a Jury. None of that! Things moved quickly, expeditiously and inexpensively (no lawyers fees!).



28 Jun


Fulani Militants Destroy Nigeria’s Jiri Village

Daily Attacks in the Region Result in Severe Humanitarian Crisis

06/28/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Fulani militants attacked Jiri village, a small farming community of approximately 350 people, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. During the attack, they destroyed the farms and homes of local farmers. Additionally, reports indicate that the militants broke into several churches and destroyed pews, instruments, and other church property.


Base Map Courtesy and Copyright OpenStreemap.

Monday Chiku, a local community leader, was one of those who witnessed the attack. He reported to ICC, “I was at home at about 1:20 p.m. They came suddenly, shooting from a distance then moved close to our homes… We fled into the bush. They went on to set the houses on fire, killed our domestic animals, goats, chickens, pigs, and took some away. They destroyed our farming implements. We fled and left an old man, about 85 years old.  They took him away and we do not know whether he is dead or alive. They looted churches, damaged and burnt some items. We have three churches in the village – Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Catholic, and Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN).”

Fulani militants have attacked this region many times prior to this incident. The attackers were able to flee after destroying the village as they have every time before. This is because the Nigerian government and military have proven themselves incapable of protecting even those who are attacked time and time again. Chiku continued, “When soldiers came to confront the militia, they couldn’t contain them and retreated because of the herdsmen’s superior fire power.”

Dauda Ishaya, another eyewitness, said, “The next day we went to rescue the old man we left in the village, but we were chased away by the attackers. We are now IDPs in Miango, wherever any of us found shelter. The number of family houses burnt are about 47. The churches in Jiri are Catholic, ECWA, and COCIN. They broke into the churches and damaged items, some they gathered and set fire on them… The attackers approached from the direction of Badurun, a village in Chawai chiefdom. There are Fulanis that live around there.”

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, stated, “It is sad to see yet another attack on a Christian farming village. It is long past time that the Nigerian government steps up to protect all of its citizens equally. They must stop favoring those who are committing these atrocities and hold them accountable for their despicable actions.”

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
About ICC
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E-mail: press@persecution.org 
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SCOTUS Quietly Overturns Japanese Internment Ruling.

With this ruling on the so called 'Muslim Ban', SCOTUS outlines why they felt the President had a perfect right to do it and we talked a bit about that yesterday's posting. The above link is from the SF Chronicle.

But one thing that was not widely spread about news organizations was that SCOTUS overturned one of the most odious rulings ever to come out of American jurisprudence, since the Dred Scott ruling. That was the Korematsu Vs. The United States ruling which allowed US citizens to be interned in camps based upon their national origin and race.

Image Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)
To the right you can see an assembly line at a race track in California for Japanese Americans. This was indeed a dark chapter in American history. I think what is sadder is that many of the nation's populace and newsprint were largely supportive of the move. It was a rather tragic affair. I can remember watching the movie 'Come See The Paradise' many years ago on this subject. It was quite good. It was a love story that took place amid this historical backdrop.

Below you can see the locations of those camps right here in America (map public domain).




Section of SCOUTS Ruling On The Travel Ban
While many liberals will decry the ruling of the court over Trump's ban, this is the bright spot within the ruling. It basically overturns the old ruling that allowed the internment to happen as it was based on race and national origin and denied the rights to those who were already citizens. Many Japanese Americans were just as, if not a little more loyal to the nation than many White Americans were.

This ruling is important on a number of fronts. It stops the government from ever doing such a thing again, solely on the basis of race (and by extension, religion). Given what has happened to our rights since 9-11, this is a very good thing. But still -  on the basis of National Security, a President still has considerable leeway. The Courts don't like to interfere with this most important responsibility of a President.

I think a couple of other things bear mentioning. Often when there are rulings that deal with National Security, the Supreme Court often has access to classified documents and assessments that are not available to the public. These may include ongoing court cases and programs now ongoing that are secret. They may include threat assessments with ongoing issues that are not public. I am not saying that this happened in this case, only that it if were, it would not be unusual. SCOTUS, particularly the Chief Justice when things fall within his purview is very well informed.

This is why we should not allow ourselves to be manipulated by partisan banter and narratives that are designed to inflame rather than inform us.

We should never let ourselves be the victims of demagogues of any political variety.

I never thought a Muslim ban was constitutional or a Buddhist ban or a Catholic Ban. It goes against everything this country has stood and fought for. No rather, I look at the nations who are not being subjected to higher security measures and why one would want to do that.
Chad
Iran
North Korea
Somalia
Syria
Venezuela
Yemen
Iran has indeed been using terror for years (with other nations) as an instrument of state policy. It is hostile to the US. Chad? You can read a little about that here. Somalia? Well, Al Shabab is very active there. Syria and Yemen? Need I explain? Venezeula? Well there is a lot of mess going on down there, but how much a threat people there pose to the US is an open question. I suspect that it was put on there mostly to make sure that at least one non-Muslim majority nation was placed on the list.

So while those on the left, desperate to find a wedge and 'hate-focus' issue to continue their diatribes against the President, the reality is that there is a threat as some of these nations have weak internal controls and thus people who would potentially travel or resettle here need to be put under 'extreme vetting' as the President put it. But this should not as the President's campaign rhetoric clearly implied, be based solely on religion.

My view is that the ban is good and should continue, but that those, particularly those whose life are in serious jeopardy in the places where they live should be looked at with an eye on two key factors - security and mercy.

We should not forget one in order to accommodate the other and this is the balance that is lost in the hyper-partisan 'debate' (if you can call it that) today. 

Neo Nazi's Slowly Gain Support In Sweden

An interesting read and trend in Sweden, which has been behind the curve on their moves to more right wing and extremist parties. I told readers here all this was coming many years ago, long before any of this mass migration stuff started happening. Many did not believe me and laughed.
Light blue Parities in Parliament
Dark Blue - In government
Black - Appoint prime minister
(Image source: Wikipedia/Tobias101)


Well it is now happening and it is rather disconcerting. I am quite concerned about what is happening in Europe and why. Merkel is one of the key reasons. I read today that almost half of Germans want her to resign.

The rise of these far right parties as well as other populist parties like those in Italy only shows us that elitists can only push things so far in their direction. In the long run, if the people cannot be sold on their policies, their will be a backlash and it is not always a pleasant one.

It is my hope that the backlash that is coming can be mitigated with common-sense policies that benefit Europeans rather than policies that cater to racism, hate and political vengeance.


27 Jun

Algeria: Another Church Reopens

(ME Concern) Algerian Christians rejoice in the re-opening of a church in El Ayaida (35km east of Oran) which had been closed in January 2018. However, there is still need for prayer in the face of continued government pressure, with several churches remaining closed.

The church was reopened on Wednesday 20 June. As with two other recently reopened churches in this governorate, the order allowing the re-opening does not confer official registration under the 2006 ordinance governing non-Muslim worship (which requires churches to obtain permission to operate). All three churches are members of the Protestant Church of Algeria (l'Église Protestante d'Algérie).

In May, two churches in the governorates of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia were closed and have yet to be permitted to reopen.

Algerian Christians appreciate your prayer support. They request continued prayer that:

a. Christians in Algeria will know the Lord's peace, wisdom and guidance in the face of ongoing pressures
b. church leaders will have discernment in all dealings with the authorities
c. recently closed churches would soon be permitted to reopen, and that no further action will be taken against those churches still under investigation
d. the authorities will stop their campaign to close churches and limit Christians' freedom to worship
e. those responsible for the closure orders would know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus

-------------------------------

URL for this prayer request: http://meconcern.org/2018/06/27/algeria-another-church-re-opens/

***
 May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations,
and quoted from freely in reports citing "Middle East Concern"
as the source of the information.

Nigeria's Christian Population Is Drastically Declining

The attacks are taking an enormous toll. The above link is from Persectution.org. Below is a related piece by Morning Star News.

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen have killed at least 54 Christians this year in the northeastern state of Adamawa, Nigeria, according to area sources.

In a state where predominantly Christian Bachama tribesmen have formed militias in response to violence by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and heavily-armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen, Christians were slaughtered in the Numan, Demsa, Lamurde and Girei areas, the sources  said.

At least 15 Christians were killed in the Numan area on May 2 when Fulani herdsmen attacked Bang, Nyanga, Bonki and Nzomosu villages, area resident Harold Wilson told Morning Star News by text message.

“About 400 armed Fulani herdsmen carried out the attacks,” he reported.

Arnold Jibla, chairman of the Numan Local Government Area (LGA), confirmed the attack in a phone interview with Morning Star News.

In the Demsa LGA, herdsmen attacked Gwamba village on Feb. 27, killing 20 Christians and wounding 23 others, said resident Omayan Tambaya Dilli.

“The attack occurred about 8 a.m. and lasted three hours,” Dilli said. “The Fulani herdsmen drove into Gwamba in four trucks and many motorbikes to carry out the attack.”

In apparent retaliation for attacks by ethnic Bachama militia on Fulani families, among the 20 Christians killed by the armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen was the Rev. Haruna Enoch, area residents said. The killings reportedly came in retaliation for an unspecified attack on Fulani families by young men from the predominantly Christian Bachama tribe who have formed militias in response to violence by Boko Haram and heavily-armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen... continues at Morning Star News

26 Jun

Trump Plans To Up Ante In US-China Trade Spat

These new plans will forbid certain Chinese companies from owning important US tech companies. The above link is from ArsTechica.

China's J20 Stealth Figher
Credit: Alert5/Wikipedia

Well, the President's response may be spun in a partisan fashion by many, but the simple fact is, China has stolen a massive amount of US tech. Ever seen their Stealth Jet fighter (left)? That was build primarily on stolen US tech. More here. Many of the stories on this are out in cyberspace in government reports and news stories, others are classified. But there are some reports worth checking out.

I post this because I know the President is going to get a rash of mess from his political enemies who will try and spell out Trump's moves as that of a crazy President who is out of control on Trade.

On this issue, The President clearly knows the threat  - cyberthefts and other criminal behavior by China and others have caused the US.

Testimony of Larry Wortzel On Cyber Espionage

How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World

The Theft Of American Intellectual Property: A Reassessment Of The Challenge

Chinese intelligence Services And Espionage Threats To The US

Operation Shady Rat

These things are particularly important as we move towards a 5G world, one where much more of America and her infrastructure will be run on these high speed wireless networks.

Here is a link to some hearings on this from last March.

I don't want to belabor these issues. But I will leave you with these thoughts for which I sadly do not have the answer to.

With the advent of 5G and the emerging consensus that Chinese manufactures may not be allowed to sell devices in the US that are 5G capable what is that going to mean... practically?

This is what the Huwei and ZTE row was all about. A report on Huwei has long been on Watson's Web. It can be found here. It behooves us to wonder who will be making these devices and if US firms will have the ability to acquire the needed parts and key minerals to make those parts for a massive expansion and replacement of our wireless networks. Will there be adequate supply of critical minerals and parts? China has a strong presence in the rare earth metals globally.

Rare Earth Elements And Their Uses

Why The US Buys All Its Rare Earths From China

China's Monopoly On Rare Earths Elements Tightens

Mind you the news is not all bad on this front as this story shows us.


25 Jun


Africa Watch

Kenya 'Poison Sugar' Scandal Yields Arrests

Congo: Corrupt Officials Designation By US State Dept.
The officials have not been named.

How bad are things in the Congo? Lets see what the State dept. has to say about it.
The most significant human rights issues included torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by security services; disappearances; harsh detention conditions; arbitrary arrests and the holding of political prisoners; lack of due judicial process; infringement of citizens’ privacy rights; abuses in internal conflict including killings of civilians, sexual violence, and restriction of relief supplies; restrictions on freedoms of assembly and association; abuses related to the harsh treatment of undocumented immigrants; restrictions on the ability of citizens to change their government peacefully; restrictions on the activities of opposition political groups; corruption on the part of officials and lack of transparency; violence against women, including rape; domestic violence, child abuse and early marriage with little government action to enforce accountability against perpetrators; and trafficking in persons. - US State Dept
While we have no idea who was on the list or why,  but given the strategic importance of the Congo with two highly critical minerals, stories like this may or may not have much to do with these new sanctions. This may indeed be about corruption or may merely be about having to pay Africans more for the stuff taken out of the ground. Also keep in mind that the other mineral of great importance missing from the Bloomberg piece is Coltan found in the Congo. One can get a feel for some of the issues in this piece that deals with the Dodd-Frank law on Conflict Minerals.

How important is this mineral?
Tantalum from coltan is used to manufacture batteries for electric cars, and in tantalum capacitors it is used in electronic products. Coltan mining has helped to finance serious conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example the Ituri conflict and the Second Congo War.- Wikipedia
Another place Coltan is extracted? A place where conflict has torn the place apart, Rwanda.
In 2016 Rwanda accounted for 50% of global tantalum production. In 2016, Rwanda announced that AB Minerals Corporation would open a coltan separation plant in Rwanda by mid-2017, the first to operate on the African continent. Uganda and Rwanda both exported coltan in the early 2000s after they invaded the DRC, but the coltan came from mines in the DRC, according to the final report of the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo. - Wikipedia
Got a cellphone? Read this...
Those of you interested in this issue will find this piece insightful.

I don't want to say putting these people on this list had anything to do with conflict minerals because I simply do not know. But Trump has strong aversion to the conflict mineral law that would inhibit trade and the abuses that go with trade on this issue. So frankly what Trump views as 'corruption' here is a mystery.

But knowing who he sanctioned would probably tell us what we want to know.

I am not going to accuse the President of acting in bad faith. I don't know why he made the list secret. There may be a very good reason for the secrecy. Still, given the events in the Congo and the value of some of the minerals there, I would be remiss if I did not mention it.


Congo: Bemba To Return
A returning opposition leader who had is war crimes convictions quashed last month.

The crimes for which he was convicted (and overturned on appeal) were war crimes and sexual violence. The ICC ordered his release last week.

Is the someone backing this leader to one day take control of the Congo and was this the reason for the charges  being reversed?

Who knows.
In Sudan, the UN has been blocked from access to certain areas in Darfur, according to new sources. The situation may indeed be off the headlines, but in the South a crisis remains. The news is not all bad, rival leaders are now meeting in a deal brokered by Ethiopia. In the North, now that sanctions are lifted, the Chinese and Arab nations are moving in to take advantage of it. In other good news, the EU has announced a 68m Euro humanitarian aid package for Sudan, both North and South.

Congo Ebola Outtbreak 'Largely Contained, Says WHO

Christian Youths Face Death For Killings In Nigerian State
Some Muslims are outraged and want them executed, but forget about the long trend of violence against Christians and the deaths that have engendered this violent and yes totally uncalled for and un-Christian reaction by these youths.

Another Nigerian state Governor has called on Buhari to deal with his security organizations and blames them for the deteriorating situation in the country.


Brothers and sisters, we must never resort to the acts these people are accused of. The Lord has made it plain, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord (Rom 12:19)
Lake Chad Basin: Complex Emergency




This crisis is mostly about the war against the Jihadists, Boko Haram and the mass displacements it has caused. Also keep in mind that the lake has lost most of its water and as it has shrunk, so has the livelihood of millions.

The above graphics can be found here and here, both from USAID.


US Has Conducted 550 Drone Strikes In Libya Since 2011


Drought, Desertification and Somalia
The World Bank looks at these issues in this interesting piece and how some of the world's programs have helped real people via a short real life story
Uganda Sends Food To Flood Afflicted Parts Of Somalia

Tanzania Sites Go Dark As Gov't Brings In 'Blogger Tax'
I hate to say it, but I think this is going to be the wave of the future. The Power elite, wherever they exist, are going to find creative ways of shutting down all unofficial news and information sharing sites. This is what we are seeing in Europe with the link tax, in the US with the end of Net Neutrality and trust me, they will find new and better ways, not of out and out criminalizing bloggers, but of frustrating them with taxes, red tape and various forms of other perfectly legal harassment to keep them from having any impact on the societies in which they and we all live. Why are so many alternative sites  losing traffic, both left and right wing? This is why I do think the link tax will go forward in Europe and eventually, sites will be blocked at the ISP level right here in the USA (the end of net neutrality no longer criminalizes such actions). The powers that be will find a way... look at what just happened in California, if you did not know. Powerful forces have made a decision, to change the internet to make it serve their interests, rather than those of ordinary citizens. This does not mean that they will succeed. It does mean that we all need to be vigilant and remember that rights we don't defend won't be with us very long.

One of those forces is China. China has been trying to wrest control of the overall internet from the west. This piece from the Atlantic lays it out. Pay attention to that piece where it says 'compliance with surveillance standards' , cyberspace is a powerful new battlefield and powerful forces seek to gain control of it. They are serious, determined and will stop at nothing. Nothing. So keep that in mind as the months and years pass and more and more of your favorite sites go by the wayside (and they will) as increased regulations, taxes, hassle and just the lack of revenue just drives them off the internet. It won't be an accident. It will be the 'successful' result of a long range plan put into place by people who have long hated the internet and its freedom and the power it gives to ordinary people.

22 Jun

Ruth Part XIII



We left off last time Ruth had snuck in and slept next to Boaz as was apparently an ancient custom of those days as request for protection. Boaz then discovered this woman at his feet and decided to do as the custom required (vs11).

And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman:
howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
(Rth 3:12)

Boaz clearly understood what Ruth as asking, marriage. But Boaz who was willing to do this  points out that there was another even closer relative who should be given the first opportunity to fulfill the obligation. So he clearly understood the law and custom. Who this person is not clear but he was probably the brother of her husband's father or Boaz uncle (See Gill).

Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning,
that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well;
 let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do
the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part
of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth:
lie down until the morning.
(Rth 3:13)

While Boaz told Ruth he would do as she and custom required, his promise to her was conditional and if this other kinsman would not do his part, then he would fulfill the obligation. He seals his promise with an oath. While such oaths are forbidden to Christians, they were common in those days and not specifically forbidden.

Boaz did this probably both to sooth her mind so that she knew two things. One she would not be left abandoned and two, he was not trying to wriggle out of his obligation - if the other did not fulfill the obligation, he would. Then he tells her to lie down until morning. The following day's hard work was probably not lost on Boaz. Here is one old time Christian's take on this.
“Boaz, instead of touching her as a wanton,
blesseth her as a father,
encourageth her as a friend,
promiseth her as a kinsman,
rewards her as a patron,
and sends her away laden with hopes and gifts,
no less chaste,
more happy, than she came.
O admirable temperance,
worthy the progenitor of him
in whose lips and heart there was no guile!”
- Bishop Hall (as quoted from Mathew Henry)

This really sums up the situation - character. How many Americans today really have this kind of character? I look around at those around me, family and former friends and I don't see Boaz, I see something much more base -  selfish, godless and yes with some even treacherous. Brothers and sisters, Bless God if you have a mate family member or a friend who really loves and honors God and has this kind of character. Such men and women are like finding a diamond inside a pile of dung.

This may sound harsh, but the scriptures warn us all of what kind of people will be more and more prevalent as the day approaches.



This know also, that in the last days
perilous times shall come. For men shall
be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,
 proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,
unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers,
 false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of
those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded,
lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the
power thereof:
from such turn away.

(2Ti 3:1-5)



What is Paul describing? I would call it 'the scumbag generation'. What is the apostolic command? FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.

So if we don't see many men like Boaz about, we know why. The hour is very late.


And she lay at his feet until the morning:
and she rose up before one could know another.
And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
(Rth 3:14)

So Ruth slept until before dawn, when it was dark and no one could see anything. Clearly this was intentional as Boaz comments make it plain that he was concerned about anyone finding out they had slept under the same roof. Nothing happened, but if others saw Ruth making her way out of the threshing tent at dawn knowing Boaz was there, tongues would wag and an accusation could be leveled at both, ruining their reputation.

We don't know who Boaz was addressing in the last sentence of the verse. It does not seem likely that it was Ruth, she had already departed. But the next verse (15) seems to indicate that she had not or the writer was relaying part of their conversation that had taken place before she left.  The passage makes two possibilities. One, it was something they agreed upon before hand and the writer interjects this here. Or two, it was a prayer uttered by Boaz that the meet remain secret lest the gossips and false accusers get hold of it. The passage does not prevent both from being the case. The word used for 'He said' has a wide connotation and  could even mean consider.

So while the word generally means to say, it could also mean to think or to consider.
Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee,
and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures
of barley, and laid it on her:
and she went into the city.
(Rth 3:15)

Here Ruth receives even more kindness from Boaz and he gives her some more barley, six measures to take back to the city. The Cambridge Bible reckons this to be about half and Ephah of the grain, believing the 'measure' to be about an omer.  Though Barnes thinks it was more, about two Ephah's. But this does not seem possible, it would have been too much for one woman to carry in just a piece of cloth.

The Cambridge Bible seems to think this was a kind of pre-engagement present meant for Ruth's mother in law, Naomi.
The gift is intended for Naomi, who would have to consent to the marriage, as standing in the relation of parent to Ruth. Mr S. A. Cook points out a parallel in a Babylonian tablet (KB. iv. P. 187, xi. lines 1–6), where the widowed mother is approached by the intending bridegroom; [The Laws of Moses and the Code of H̬ammurabi, p. 75 n.] - The Cambridge Bible
But again, we see something about Boaz. He was generous. He gave. He had to know of Ruth and Naomi's circumstances and consequently gave them what they needed.

Now what she carried it in was not the kind of vail we see in many parts of the world today, a thin garment worn over the face. No, this was kind of loose cloak that was worn on the outside of the ordinary clothing of the day.

 “As the cloaks worn by the ancients were so full, that one part was thrown upon the shoulder, and another gathered up under the arm, Ruth, by holding a certain part, could receive into her bosom the corn which Boaz gave her” (Schröder, De vestit. mul. p. 264) - K&D

God willing, we will continue on with Ruth and see how Naomi reacts to all of this good news.

20 Jun

God is Good!!

In our world we need to keep ourselves encouraged. We need to stand with God and always remember his goodness. During my private devotional this weekend I read this passage out of Isaiah.

 For thou hast been a strength to the poor,
a strength to the needy in his distress,
a refuge from the storm,
a shadow from the heat,
when the blast of the terrible ones
 is as a storm against the wall. 

Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers,
as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud:
 the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
 And in this mountain shall the LORD
of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things,
 a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow,
of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy
in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people,
and the vail that is spread over all nations. 
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will
wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of
his people shall he take away from off all the earth:
for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us:
 this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad
and rejoice in his salvation.
(Isaiah 25:4-9 [KJVA])

Here the prophet extols the Lord and his goodness to his people. God is indeed good. I often think that we Christians get a little too glum and down, particularly when we forget that at the end of the book, we win!!

God is going to change everything when he sends his Messiah the second time to appear in glory to bring judgment and then peace to the earth. He will not be a terror to the redeemed nor to those whom he has loved. God is going to look out for us brothers, we have his word on it.

Yet there are times when we must endure hardship but God will move against our enemies at the proper time. In verse five above, we see that God will bring down the terrible nations. The word for terrible (H6184) means powerful, oppressor or tyrannical. It means someone with great power and in this case, one who uses it in an evil fashion.The enemies of God's people will be brought low. God's people shall feast, a feast of the most choice morsels of food and wine, the very best!

The passage in verse seven probably refers to the blindness of the knowledge of God that now permeates our world. The veil will be removed and the knowledge of God will be revealed. Death will be a thing of the past God will conquer it fully and completely for those who are granted eternal life. This promise does not include those who must face eternal (the second) death (Rev 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8). Sorrow will be a thing of the past. God will fill our hearts and lives with joy and work. Work? Yes, we will still be in his service but the toil of work; the sweat, the trouble that goes with it will be gone. Work will be something we truly enjoy doing for the Adamic Cuse will be gone (Gen 3:19). So yes, service to God will be a pure joy and work will be something we look forward to. It will be a very different age.

Those who rebuke and persecute God's people? He is going to take them away. Those who wait upon the Lord will see this great day of Salvation when everything changes and for the very much better!!

These are all things that have been revealed to us in the New Testament as well. Paul and John as well, in Revelation tells of of these things in greater detail.

Brothers, we will be saved and God knows what he is doing. He does not want to lose any souls and thus we must wait for others to come to Christ. Many people here alive today will one day be saved and I think God is going to do many a miracle in the Islamic world and many Muslims will one day come to Christ. So let's pray that they too can enter into the joy of our Lord!!

Brothers, I write this today only to give you all encouragement. These are hard times for some of us and we must know what God has in store for those who love him and wait upon him.

For those of you who are a bit discouraged or downcast...

 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see
the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD. 
(Psalms 27:13-14 [KJVA])

Blessings to you all in Christ.

19 Jun

Psalm 132 (Part II)


Until I find out a place for the LORD,
an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
(Psa 132:5)

We left off last time and saw that the Psalmist, probably Solomon was not going to give rest to his eyes until he had done something to move  forward the building of the Temple of the Lord. This passage just finishes the thought. No rest until this most important work is accomplished. The Lord would have his temple; his dwelling place built. We probably here should remark that this new habitation is almost certainly at least in part, referring to the Ark of the Covenant.

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah:
we found it in the fields of the wood.
(Psa 132:6)

Here we see a rather abrupt transition in the theme. The meaning of this passage is not 100% clear. Scholars are not in agreement as to its meaning. The placename here is near Bethel and it is where Rachel died (BDB Dictionary). It is also mentioned in the book we just finished, Ruth (4:11). It is actually another name for Bethlehem. Why this city is mentioned here to me is not clear, but I think that Adam Clark's view on this may be as close as we can come.
Lo, we have heard of it at Ephratah - This may be considered as a continuation of David’s vow, as if he had said: As I had determined to build a temple for the ark, and heard that it was at Ephratah, I went and found it in the fields of Jaar, יער; - not the wood, but Kirjath Jaar or Jearim, where the ark was then lodged; - and having found it, he entered the tabernacle, Psa_132:7; and then, adoring that God whose presence was in it, he invited him to arise and come to the place which he had prepared for him. - Clarke
Again there are some problems here textually. Mostly because the Ark was never known to be there.  This probably means the 'we' refers to David and those with him. The fields of wood are best understood as a forest, which is how some translators render it. This seems to make the most sense and it is also key that we remember that these were songs that were sung and some poetic license is often used. The Cambridge Bible makes this comment that is worthy of note.
But what is meant by we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it in the fields of the forest? (1) Elsewhere Ephrathah is a name for Bethlehem (Gen_35:16; Gen_35:19; Gen_48:7; Rth_4:11: cp. Mic_5:2; 1Sa_17:12). But the Ark never had any connexion with Bethlehem. To refer we to David, and to explain, ‘I heard of it while I was still in my home in Bethlehem,’ is forced, and leaves the transition from the sing. in Psa_132:3-5 to the plural unexplained. (2) It has been thought that Ephrathah may mean Ephraim, as Ephrathite means Ephraimite (1Sa_1:1), and that the reference is to the sojourn of the Ark at Shiloh. ‘We heard that the Ark was in Shiloh in the days of old, but when we sought it, it was no longer there, but in an obscure refuge in the fields of the forest.’ - Cambridge Bible

I did not want to digress here, but I also did not want to brush over this minor controversy either. These days many folks like to skip over things like this. I don't. Sometimes some real gems can be found if we dig a bit and get to the deeper meanings of passages.

we will enter into His tabernacles;
we will worship at His footstool.
(Psa 132:7)

This passage shows us the purpose of all the work. To enter into God's house of worship and give honor and thanks to God. Here we see what many commentators see as a prophetic similitude of Christ. I don't think that this view is over-spiritualizing the meaning of the passage. Gill gives us this Messianic extrapolation.
We will go into his tabernacles,.... The tabernacles of him that was heard of at Ephratah; born in Bethlehem, and found in the ministry of the word among the Gentiles: enter into his churches, raised and formed there, which are the tabernacles or dwelling places of Christ; where he has his residence, takes his walks, and dwells; and which are very lovely, amiable, and pleasant, and so desirable by believers to go into; because of the presence of God in them, the provisions there made for them, the company there enjoyed; the work there done, prayer, praise, preaching, and hearing the word, and administration of all ordinances. Some render it as a mutual exhortation, "let us go into his tabernacles" (w); see Isa_2:2; - Gill
Arise, O Jehovah, into Your rest;
You, and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let Your saints shout for joy.

(Psa 132:8-9)
As we all know, the Ark used to travel about and went from place to place. Here, the idea seems to be to convey that the Ark now will have a permanent place to rest. These words, by the way were used by Solomon at the dedication of the Temple.
Now, My God, I beseech You, let Your eyes be open and
Your ears attentive to the prayer of this place; and now,
O Jehovah God, rise to Your rest; You, and the ark of
Your strength; O Jehovah God, Your priests are clothed
with salvation, and Your saints rejoice in goodness.
O Jehovah God,
do not turn away the face of Your anointed; remember the good deeds
of Your servant David.

(2Ch 6:40-42)

In many ways the resting place of the ark into a temple was a sign of the end of the wanderings of Israel and of the Ark. Now each had a permanent place to rest. We should remember that during the times of the Judges, just before the monarchy was established, Israel sinned often and the Lord delivered them into the hands of their foes.

This was a day to be joyful to the Lord and give thanks to him for what he had done for them. But as in the days of the Judges, we all know that even the great king Solomon, who uttered the long prayer in 2 Chronicles chapter 6, forsook the Lord and went after strange women and gods and angered the Lord.

The privilege of worshiping in a true house of the Lord is something we should never take for granted. We should consider how hard it is for many believers around the world to serve God and honor him. How many Churches these days are being stolen by authorities and handed over to others? How many have seen their houses of worship burned down by hate filled mobs? Moreover, even in this country finding a true house of God is no easy task. It can be very hard, what -  given the kinds of strange teachings that now appear in many Churches.

If you have found a good solid, Biblically based Church and assembly of believers, give thanks to God, you have found something of true and very great value.

Yemen Sitrep

As many of you know, the Saudi's are about to take the major port that brings in food aid to the people of Yemen. Other than this fact and a few tactical changes on the ground, the situation has not much changed, but if the Saudi's take the port and start to inhibit aid, it could spell a disaster. The UN has its most recent sitrep here. A US Think Tank sit rep can be found here.

On important point that needs to be made here. The prevailing narrative is that the Houthi's are being controlled and directed by Iran. That simply is not true. Yes, Iran some influence in Yemen, but it is very minimal. But neoconservative think tanks have taken this half truth and constructed an alternate reality to help them sell another war (and defense dollars) and to aid the Saudi's in their quest for regional dominance. Yemen is part of their plan to increase their influence. They tried that in Syria and failed. They may have some limited success in Yemen, but it is not likely to last long. The war is helping to bankrupt a nation already in fiscal trouble.

Again, note this was written back in January.

***

Map Source: Wikipedia       

I realize many of you don't appreciate me spending so much time on these international issues, The want me just to stick with the Bible. But these issues are very important. Perhaps not to America's drunken Superbowl fanatics, but to they do matter to those who live in and near these countries and to other Americans who have not lost their souls to lust, drugs, drink and other vices that their lives revolve around.

I saw a picture last week (I cannot remember where) of a bunch of Yemeni kids sitting around a can full of trash and eating it. I could not help but be moved, noting that all the kids consuming garbage were Black. I think this is one aspect of this war that is lost on people. The light skinned (and very rich) Arabs are killing off the dark skinned ones in an economic war that has decidedly, racial, religious and tribal undertones. Mind you I don't want to say this war is about race, because for the most part it isn't. Yet and still it is those Yemeni's of African decent as well as immigrants who are bearing the brunt of the evil of this war.

The situation for people in this part of the world is bleak, so bleak that people leave their own country to come to Yemen. Why? In search of a better life. In Yemen?! Read the link and see why.

But the bloodshed and craziness continues. The Saudi Led Coalition, which is conducting military operations with American intelligence and logistical support, has killed a lot of people. Recently they are responsible for the deaths of 68 children. Additionally, US Drone attacks killed seven, leading to protests. Trump has increased the attacks since coming to power. In Yemen, if the drones and Saudi's don't kill you, starvation or cholera will.


How bad is the medical situation? For those lucky enough to have a functioning Hospital (the Saudi's attacked many of them), here is what you will find.

But I don't want to paint the picture any darker than it already is. At least some vessels carrying food and other commercial products have been allowed to dock and unload in the nation. The blockade has indeed been partially lifted.

According to the World Food Program 45 ships have been allowed to dock and have discharged their cargo, including two humanitarian vessels and 25 commercial food vessels.

Those looking for the latest data can find an excellent map here. Mind you, some of the events cannot be wholly verified so note the disclaimer at the top of the event feed.

Another map that shows the basic control of  terrain can be found below.

Images below source: Wikipedia




Why is this war happening? There are many reasons, but it boils down to this. The Saudi's, Americans and certain gulf sheikdoms don't want the Houthi's to gain the upper hand in Yemen. They see them as  being backed by Iran (which is a matter of some considerable debate) and a threat to their political and energy interests.

Those wanting some excellent background, even if it is written from only one side (Saudi-US-Gulf States) of the story can read this piece. It appears to be more fair-minded than most of the junk coming out of US news agencies and think tanks these days. I was frankly surprised to see and read such candor as to what could really solve problems there and from this site

Hopefully the author and editor can keep themselves healthy after having written a piece so insightful and honest and detrimental to those with a vested financial interest in keep this war going.


What is going on now and why Yemen is once again in the news is that fragile alliances that were once convenient are now fracturing. The pro-secessionist Southern Transitional Council surrounded the Presidential palace (which is where the officially recognized government is) and forced the PM to flee. For those of you wanting a little history, Yemen not so long ago was divided into two countries, North and South.

So this move has in essence broken the alliance between the Pro-Hadi Government and the Southern 'rebels' (whatever that word means these days). These two forces in the past had this very uneasy alliance that countered the Houthi's in the North. That alliance appears to be dead.
Related: Southern Transitional Council ‘takes control’ of Aden
So for the Saudi's and the Gulf states, this is not such good news and this turn of events, according to many, means that a rift is now forming in the Gulf alliance. These events are not looked upon with glee in US circles. This piece by Critical Threats (a US think tank with ties to the Koch brothers) lays out what they see as the 'threat'. I point out when reading pieces from think tanks like this, they often like to muddle the issue by using broad terms to describe complex movements, like labeling all who are attacked by the Saudi's as ISIS or Al Qaeda or refusing to acknowledge the allies own considerable support to some of these very same groups.

My point is not to throw dirt on the analysis brought forward by these entities, but to say that some of it is lacking in objectivity and often comes to us with 'an agenda'.

So what is next?

Brothers, that is anyone's guess. I do not see the Saudi Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman - MbS) , who is also the Saudi Defense minister or Donald Trump as having the strategic foresight, intellectual or even political flexibility to change tactics. Each seems irrationally wedded to the failed policies of bomb, drone, kill and maim as ways to achieve their strategic goals in Yemen, So far these policies have failed and failed miserably.

They will continue to fail. Clearly there is enough revulsion in the South for what the US and Saudi Recognized government was doing and allowing to happen to get that government removed. Sure... such a statement is an oversimplification and that US think tanks will try and spin things to their interests. But my view is a little more down to earth. You can only bomb, drone and kill people for so long and they will turn on you. No one has any kind of real plan to bring positive change to Yemen, just a plan to deliver more explosions, pillars of smoke and corpses in their quest for power. Now the South wants independence. Will they get it? I think yes and no. They will probably declare independence one day, but such a government will never be recognized by the US, nor the Saudi's nor the Gulf States. The result will be the Islamic Republic of Chaos, formerly known as the Nation State of Yemen.

Regrettably, the present disaster that MbS, America's and the Gulf states policies have engendered was wholly predictable; as predicable as expecting a splash after one throws a boulder into a body of water. But no one would listen to reason. The Saudi's had an armory of arms they wanted to test out on people who had no political clout and would garner little international sympathy. So out came the fighter planes, Apache Helicopters, drones and Cluster bombs. MbS has bloodied his military and gave it some valuable and much needed battle experience, which I have long suspected was one of the underlying goals of this operation. This is not to say that his fears, or rather paranoia over an Iranian takeover of Yemen was not the driving force behind this disastrous military operation, it was. But when such operations happen there almost always many more than one singular reason these things happen and many of the deeper reasons will never be stated publicly.

The situation in Yemen will only improve when there is a significant change in tactics by the so called allies. But fear, the lust for military conquest coupled with geopolitical myopia will prevent that from happening until there is new leadership in the west and in the Gulf and that may take a long, long time
14 Jun

Psalm 132

We will continue out look at the songs of degree's today with the longest one. Most of these Psalms are very short and as you know were sung by Pilgrims. Their brevity was also conducive to a short period of Godly meditation. This one is different in that it is much longer. Consequently, we will break it up over a few separate sections.

Psalm 132 starts out with David's desire to build a Temple and moves on from there.

Let us remember that this is a Poem, albeit of Hebrew variety. Poetically, it is has four stanzas each with ten lines (not versus). Keep in mind that Jewish Poetry did not rhyme. Its beauty comes from both meter and thematic contrasts or parallelisms.


A Song of Ascents.
O Jehovah, remember David with all his afflictions;
 how he swore to Jehovah; he vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
(Psa 132:1-2)

Here the Psalmist talks of David and all of his afflictions. They were many. Before David was King he went through many a trial and tribulation. David could easily have given up his hope, rationalized away Samuel's anointing him King and went back to Dad's house and returned to tending sheep. He did not. He kept on going. But sometime during David's life, perhaps during these times of affliction David made a vow. The vow was that David would build the Lord a Temple. This oath is not recorded for us in scripture. But the reasons for him not building it are. They are recorded for us in a couple of places, (1King 5:3, 8:19). This was not so much a fault of David as most of his wars were fought for the Lord. Rather, God here wanted to be known as a God of peace, not war and David's significant military reputation would only mar that.

We should also remember that at this time the Ark of the Covenant was not in a temple and had no permanent resting place and went about from place to place. It was even stolen by Israel's enemies before. With a temple, it would have a permanent place to rest.

The Psalmist may have been relying on oral tradition to tell us of this vow or perhaps more likely, there were other records in which it was recorded that have not survived.  Such books that have not survived are the ones like Book of the Acts of Solomon (1King 11:41) the Book of Nathan The Prophet (1Chron 29:29), the book of Gad the seer (1Chron 29:29), The Prophecy of Ahijah, the Vision of Iddo (2Chron 9:29). These are books that we don't know anything about other than they appear to have been widely known at the time of Samuel, David and Solomon and are referred to as reference material for acts that were not recorded in those books that we do have. This is probably where the Psalmist got his information from, though he may indeed have received from inspiration of the Holy Spirit. My own guess is that this may have been found in the book of Nathan the Prophet as it was he who was sent to David and told him not to build the Temple but that his son would (2Sam 7:4), but that is just my own theory.

Today, we are strongly dissuaded from issuing oaths. Christ warned us of it and told us to let our yes mean yes and our no mean no (Mat 5:37). But back in those days, an oath was sacred. It was even more so than the few times officials take oaths or office or military officers take their oaths. Many do not take it seriously. It is more ceremonial that a real declaration of loyalty or honor. It was not so back then. There was nothing more sacred uttered than an oath.

If I will go into the tent of my house, if I go up on the couch of my bed,
if I give sleep to my eyes, slumber to my eyelids,
(Psa 132:3-4)

First things first. Here Solomon, whom many see as the author is not going to bed at night or fall asleep until he takes care of this solemn business as his father David and sworn this thing to the Lord. This is the mark of a dedicated person, one who knows what things to put first and take care of the Lord's business.
Some of those who care most for Christ’s cause and spend on it unceasing energy are the most occupied of business men. Where there is a will there is a way; let only the passion for doing good be present and the time and the means will not be wanting. David was not allowed to carry out his pious intention; but, at great trouble and expense, he collected the materials of which Solomon subsequently made use. Thus one soweth and another reapeth. The good cause descends from generation to generation; and the godly are linked to one another by the sacred task which fills the ages. Biblical Illustrator
What we put first in our lives, what we spend our time and effort on. This is the mark of a Godly man, not just his words, which may or may not be true, but what is he doing - his works, this is how we as Christians will be Judged (Rev 22:12).


We will continue with this interesting Psalm as God permits!
12 Jun

Ruth Part XII


And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother
 in law bade her.
(Rth 3:5-6)

As we left off last time, we saw that Naomi and Ruth were working out a plan to get Ruth and Boaz close to one another. We discussed the then probable custom of the time would obligate Boaz to put Ruth and by extension Naomi under Boaz's protection. The idea of marriage between Ruth and Boaz while not specifically mentioned could not have been far from the mind of either woman. The above versus show is that Ruth would take Naomi's advice and lay down beside Boaz in the advised manner. Ruth being a foreigner was probably not aware of many of the customs of Judah. Let us remember that all this happened in pre-Davidic/monarchical times. The long and short of it is that she was going to do as she was bid.

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry,
he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight,
 that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
(Rth 3:7-8)


So Naomi's plan was working well (!). Boaz had a couple of glasses of wine, was 'merry' after having eaten and drank and went to sleep on the floor near a heap of corn.

So let's not be prudish. People in biblical times knew how to enjoy themselves and here is one such occasion. But Boaz was shocked when during his slumber a woman had snuck in and laid down at his feet which she had uncovered.

Again, it is interesting to note that the master of the house was doing this, sleeping in what was probably an open tent. Here is how Adam Clarke puts this interesting theme.
Went to lie down - As the threshing-floors of the Eastern nations are in general in the open air, it is very likely that the owner or some confidential person continued in the fields till the grain was secured, having a tent in the place where the corn was threshed and winnowed. Boaz seems to have acted thus. - Clarke
This was probably the custom to make sure that a trusted person was always present to make sure that none of that which was harvested 'disappeared'. Others think the reason he slept there was because it was late and he was tired and there was as good a place as any to sleep and he had to come back in the morning anyway (Gill).


And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid,
and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid:
spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid;
for thou art a near kinsman.
(Rth 3:8-9)

The scene here is pretty clear, he wakes up to find a woman at his feet and was understandably surprised. Upon asking who she was she answered and tells him. Now this whole spreading the skirt thing becomes a little clearer, this is not an offer of sex, but a custom for kinsfolk in certain circumstances. Again, Gill gives us the correct sense.

spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid; which seems to account for the reason of her uncovering his feet, or turning up the skirt of his garment that was upon them; not through wantonness and immodesty, but to direct him, when opportunity offered, to spread it over her as a token of his taking her in marriage, and of her being under his care and protection, and of her subjection to him; so the Targum,"let thy name be called upon me to take me for a wife,''Whether the custom now used with the Jews at marriage, for a man to cast the skirt of his "talith", or outward garment, over the head of his spouse, and cover it, was in use so early, is questionable; and yet something like it seems to have been done, as this phrase intimates, and to which there is an allusion in Eze_16:8.

Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
(Eze 16:8)

So this appears to be part of a custom in Israel even in later days. Naomi seems to have been keenly aware of it and this is why she advised her Daughter in Law to do so. The fact that they were kin of also of importance as we discussed before.

And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter:
for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than
at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men,
whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to
thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know
 that thou art a virtuous woman.
(Rth 3:10-11)


This is a very telling passage. Boaz had been kind of watching her and knew her reputation. She was not a woman who was making passes at all the young men, rich or poor. She was known as a virtuous woman and had earned Boaz' respect. He tells her not to be afraid and that he will do as she requests. This would not be a shameful relationship because Ruth had gained an excellent reputation.

Sometimes we tend to pass over passages like this, but finding a virtuous women, then and more so now, is a very hard thing. People these days particularly (both men and women) lack virtue of any measure, sexual, moral, financial or even social. The moral degeneracy of this generation is in my view quite sickening. The sad part is with all the sexual perversions, the venereal diseases, adultery, divorce, broken homes... and the other kinds of irresponsibility, hardly anyone marks this kind of bad behavior as being all that unusual. Boaz had found something that was priced far, far beyond rubies. What is that? A virtuous woman.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price
is far above rubies. The heart of her husband
doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have
no need of spoil. She will do him good and not
evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool,
and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth
her food from afar. She riseth also while it is
yet night, and giveth meat to her household,
and a portion to her maidens. She considereth
a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands
she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins
with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:
her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth
her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the
distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
 She is not afraid of the snow for her household:
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her
clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known
 in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of
the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it;
and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she
shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her
mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the
law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of
 her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband
 also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have
done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman
that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her
of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
(Pro 31:10-31)


Yes, Boaz had found a treasure in this woman of Moab and God marked her genuine seeking of the Lord, her constancy to Naomi and her willingness to brave hardships. She was not just virtuous, but she was also a woman of faith having braved much with Naomi just to be where she was.

Men (and women), I say this -  always look to the character of the person you want to marry for character will last much longer than a shapely figure or a pretty face. If I can rephrase it, the 'ugly' (cruelty to the less fortunate, selfishness, foolish financial decisions) that lies beneath will no longer be hidden under that superficial beauty as the years pass!

We will continue our look at Ruth next week, God willing!


10 Jun

America: Death By Suicide


Source: CDC
This is all part of a spiritual crisis that besets this country. The nihilism and pleasure seeking, the selfishness and partying. This is ultimately where much of it leads. I read today where a famous chef took his own life. A few days ago, a fashion designer. Both  reportedly killed themselves, though today in our political environment, we must be careful - not all suicides are self-inflicted... if you know what I mean.

Still the problem all over the nation is a real one and only shows you that with all things we have in this country, compared to other nations, our way of life just does not bring happiness, not when we find so many people with money seeking counseling and taking drugs for depression.

God is the beginning of wisdom and the path to true fulfillment. But as America ejects God from our culture or makes up his or her own gods to justify their own respective evils and pleasures we find ourselves in crisis.

Men today don't want God's wisdom and this had led to a plethora of problems, socially and spiritually for the nation.

What happens to a nation and a people who reject God and his wisdom? What does such an aversion demonstrate and ultimately show? That we are a culture that loves violence and death. Look at our movies and the astronomical sums of money we spend on making war on others.

What is the solution? God, the real one, not the made-up god one you find on so many Churches. But the God who made all things and whose words, guidance and admonitions can be found in your Bibles. Find him, and we as a nation will find life rather than death.


For whoso findeth me findeth life,
and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
But he that sinneth against
me wrongeth his own soul:
all they that hate me

love death.
(Pro 8:35-36)
8 Jun

Prayer Requests

Blessings to all of you here in the name of Jesus Christ! May he bless and keep all of you in these times and may your health be good, your minds whole and free of cares, your finances good and your work fulfilling. Again blessings to all of you!!

Today, I just want to do prayer requests look at a few news stories I think are of great importance and ask that you all pray about them, sincerely.

The first is North Korea. We know there is a summit coming and that it could be a pivotal moment in the history in the Korean peninsula in particular and for East Asia in general.

While Trump's emphasis is on Nuclear weapons and getting NK to shed them permanently, the other key issue that really strikes a cord with me, is NK's human rights problems.

NK has a sprawling concentration camp system. More here. A good pdf study of the issue can be found here. Another good one can be found here. A more recent report can be found here.  Camps appear to come in two different varieties. Political Crimes Camps and Re-education Camps

The internment camps for people accused of political offences or denounced as politically unreliable are run by the State Security Department. Political prisoners were historically subject to the family responsibility principle, where immediate family members of a convicted political criminal were also regarded as political criminals and interned. However, since 1994 there has been a near-abandonment of this family responsibility principle....

...The reeducation camps for criminals are run by the Ministry of People's Security. There is a fluent passage between common crimes and political crimes, as people who get on the bad side of influential partisans are often denounced on false accusations. They are then forced into false confessions with brutal torture in detention centers (Lee Soon-ok for example had to kneel down whilst being showered with water at icy temperatures with other prisoners, of whom six did not survive) and are then condemned in a brief show trial to a long-term prison sentence.

In North Korea, political crimes are greatly varied, from border crossing to any disturbance of the political order, and they are rigorously punished. Due to the dire prison conditions with hunger and torture, a large percentage of prisoners do not survive their sentence terms.

The reeducation camps are large prison building complexes surrounded by high walls. The situation of prisoners is quite similar to that in the political prison camps. They have to perform slave labour in prison factories and in case they do not meet the work quotas, they are tortured and (at least in Kaechon camp) confined for many days in special prison cells, which are too small for them to stand up or lie full-length in.[15] - Wikipedia
Keep in mind that this is state sponsored slavery as this paper points out.

This is the worst place in the world to be a political prisoner or a Christian.

I ask all of you to take some time out and pray for this summit that the President and Kim can find a path forward to both get rid of Kim's nukes and end North Korea's horrible camp system and the whole idea of political crimes. I think that if we really take the time to seek the Lord on this, we will see some results. Things may not go as far as we would like at first, but some rock solid moves in the right direction is what we can hope to achieve in the short term. Let's pray for this summit, for the President and for Mr. Kim who has to worry about hardliners in his own nation.

Another issue that I think needs prayer is the corruption in many parts of the country. I posted a story the other day about Louisiana. Many states, state governments, attorney offices, legislatures, police departments reek of corruption, where the innocent man is herded into jails and prisons for crimes they never committed. But the system finds ways of extracting money from the poorest of the poor, while legislators line their pockets with crooked contracts. The good news is that the FBI, with all its glaring faults, has indeed been busy looking into this issue.

It's a deep problem in many parts of the country. I ask that all of you keep in mind that God hates injustice and that he truly dislikes those who mistreat the poor, who are often the easiest target of corrupt officials. Please pray that the nation can rid itself of corruption in its legislatures and in its law enforcement.

Another issue I think needs prayer is Yemen. It's not being talked about much but there is still a lot of human suffering, hunger and disease in a war torn nation with a cacophony of fighting factions who have brought considerable misery to this one of the poorest nations on earth.

Another issue? The growing potential for conflict between Iran and Israel and what such a war could mean for the region. I ask that you all sincerely pray about this issue and seek God's face about the origins and roots of the conflict. I ask all of you in prayer not to overly demonize Iran. God loves Persians too, very much and wants to see them saved. So pray that war mongers on both sides, the Israeli's who are seeking more warfare and tensions, the religious right in America who are using the issue to put forwards false religious narratives; the Pasdaran (the Iranian security service), who has a lock grip on the nation, the Basij militia who is present throughout the region - all of these factions have contributed to greater and lesser degrees to the growing tensions. Pray that some kind of peace or non-aggression arrangement can be worked out. The Russians have been working on this very hard of late. Let's pray that something workable and verifiable can come of this. Let's let Christians be a force for peace and not let false prophets and 'liars for dollars' manipulate us into seeking war in order to 'fulfill prophecy'. God does not need our help in doing so, and when we try we just get in his way.

Let's all pray for Persecuted Christians all over the world. Let's focus on those in Nigeria and the activities in the Middle Belt where Christians are really going through hell with many killings, lootings and burnings. Let's also pray for Christians in China who are facing an increasing intolerant Communist government being radically altered by Xi. But other places where our prayers can be directed are India, Iran, Nepal, Kenya and Somalia as well as the creeping social intolerance being seen right here in the west towards we who follow the risen (rather than the plastic/fake) Christ.


Finally, I ask that you all continue to pray for this humble ministry. I read a little post yesterday where PCR that kind of sums up some of the problems that we bloggers face. His problems are a little more significant, but still it is an insightful tale and I hope that you check it out (No, I often don't agree with PCR, but respect his right to believe as he chooses). Bloggers - real ones are an underappreciated lot. The bloggers that hit key issues-  the ones who (weather you agree with them or not) work hard and often it is a pretty thankless job. Lots of folks say they support you but support the garbage that comes on Cable even more. They would rather drop 20 bucks a month on a porn site than give to a legitimate news organization, which today is the role many bloggers fill in this day of 'fake news', Cable News foolishness and 'mockingbird' journalism.


In any event, may God keep all of you who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in these most difficult and challenging times!

Pray brothers... Pray!



The LORD hath heard my supplication;
the LORD will receive my prayer.
 (Psa 6:9)

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil,
A Psalm of David. Give ear to my prayer,
O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
  (Psa 55:1)

Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.
I cried unto the LORD with my voice;
with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
(Psa 142:1)

These all continued with one accord in prayer
and supplication, with the women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
(Act 1:14)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication
 for all saints;
(Eph 6:18)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving
 let your requests be made known unto God.
 (Php 4:6)

6 Jun
American Sex Slave Scandal
DOJ Moves To Seize NXIVM ‘Library’, Allison Mack’s NY Home
Branding Was Mack's Decision, Says Report - Global News

There are all manner of stories out there that some were on call for sex and that doctors were engaged in raping members. You have to take some of these stories with a grain of salt, but the good news is that someone is finally looking into it. Obama would not do it. Why not? Where do you think many of these  current and upcoming sex/human trafficking charges will lead? I know and so does Obama and I strongly suspect, so does this new President.

Yes, people connected with those crime families will use their agents in the media to claim that its all 'conspiracy theory' and that these things don't happen. That Politicians don't do drug deals or take money from them or run interference for sex trafficking rings for large amounts of campaign cash or other 'favors'.

Well, understand this. This is one reason why the DC Establishment was so full of hate against Trump. He can't be controlled by the crooks who have been running this nation into the ground. Sanctuary cities? Who do you think is using them? Human traffickers and drug dealers. C'mon folks, this is not hard to figure. Do Democrats want to hear that? Nope and the cartels who run those networks know how to whip up the gullible masses into a furor over this issue to defend their crime networks. Useful idiots can indeed be most useful.

Look... I am not anti-immigrant, I love immigrants. But I don't like crooks and I don't like crooks who hide behind immigrants to further their criminal enterprises.

Call it what you want, a criminal network, fifth column use your own fancy phrase, the reality is this - whatever his motivations, Donald Trump is not having any more of this and this has got many in the political elite very worried. That National Security policy change he made very late last year targets many very important/protected felony crime rackets - what you did not hear about it? It's right there on the White House Website clear as day so the the MSM can make sure they ignore it while they continue their rants against the President. 

When something like that is labeled a key National Security threat, all the machinery of state is turned to make sure that threat is neutralized. So look for more of these things to come out in the months and years ahead.

Sex trafficking and child trafficking being protected by huge politically connected crime machines.... Yes, it is a long term and very deep problem. I know, I have talked to Federal investigators who have had investigated these things and were threatened when they did, their kids there threatened as well. The names of these criminal brokers... some of them are household names. They are a very, very sick lot.

Know this as well, those 'deep state' debunking sites will lie and say 'debunked' when they carry these stories but they are part of your problem. Those who run those sites are either doing so in a cubicle at a Deep State federal agency (under the guise of fighting 'fake news') or if not, they get told what to debunk and what not to or they may find themselves laying in a ditch with a new hole in their head to help 'clear their minds' of such 'conspiracy theories'.

Know this as well, our Federal agencies have a real problem with the truth.

Go and do some searches and stay far, far away from the deep state's debunking sites which will almost always be the first results you find at 'deep state' controlled search engines. Those debunking sites are for the most part, disinformation sites. Notice how some of those debunking sites always gets top rating/listing when searching for deep state crimes and its always 'debunked' by them? Take a hint.

Dig for yourself, use names of officials that are not so easy for the deep state to censor or downgrade. Use alternative search engines, stay away from those that have been revealed to have been cooperating with spying on us. They are not there to help you, but to control you. They view you as a enemy to be controlled, not a friend or fellow citizen to assist.

So keep your eyes on this and similar stories to come out in the future. I think many more investigations may be happening right now that will one day hit the headlines when they are ready for charges.
Veterans Claim To Have Found Sex Dungeon For Children In Arizona
Police are now on the scene. What kind of world are we living in? What kind of wickedness lurks in the hearts of these Americans? I wish I could say that these things are aberrations. But I just don't think so, not when we see so many other bizarre sex crimes taking place all over the nation and world from all walks of life.
 
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth, and that every imagination
 of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;
both man, and beast, and the creeping thing,
 and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that
I have made them. But Noah found grace
in the eyes of the LORD.
(Genesis 6:5-8 [KJVA])

 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be
also in the days of the Son of man.  They did eat,
they drank, they married wives, they were given
in marriage, until the day that Noe entered
into the ark, and the flood came,
and destroyed them all.
(Luke 17:26-27 [KJVA])

God sends his people in to warn the human race of its wickedness and the people almost never listen.

 And then one day, the Lord will say something just like this, "Enough!' I am sick of looking at your wickedness. If evil is what you want, then evil is what you shall have!"

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,
prepared for the devil and his angels:
 (Matthew 25:41 [KJVA])
When the Lord's servants speak be they an old man, a young prophet, a holy spirit anointed pastor or a lay person who knows his God -  all of the sons of Adam would be wise to pay attention. Why?

Because, more than your life is at stake.

For those of you who don't like me to post stories like this and think this is all 'conspiracy theory', let me ask you this.

Would you want Christians to speak out about this if this were your child being trafficked, molested and even killed by these networks? Don't you think God cares and cares deeply for these children? Or will your cheap politicized religious narratives not allow you to show concern for the children and the defenseless?

Chew on that one a while brothers and sisters.


Weinstein Indicted On Sex Crime Charges

Christians Imprisoned in Evin Tortured for Their Faith

06/01/18 International Christian Concern (Washington D.C.) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that effective May 30, 2018 the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Evin Prison because of its reputation of grievous human rights violations.
According to the Treasury Department’s statement, “Prisoners held at Evin Prison are subject to brutal tactics inflicted by prison authorities, including sexual assaults, physical assaults, and electric shock…  senior regime officials regularly downplay the torture and abuse that occurs in Evin Prison, the abuse of prisoners, including political prisoners, continues once sham inspections into the prison conditions end.”
While the exact number of Christians imprisoned in Iran is unknown, ICC has documented at least 10 converts serving their sentences in Evin Prison. In these cases, the average prison sentence length is nine years. At least three Christians are currently released from Evin on bail, a sum which is often an insurmountable financial burden for the families.
“Christians held in Evin are subjected to physical and verbal abuse by not only the authorities but also by some other Muslim inmates. They are denied access to Bibles, phone calls and family visits. Evin Prison is run by the intelligence who behave in complete impunity. It is one of the worst places of detention in Iran, especially for those who converted from Islam,” said Mena of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Matias Perttula, ICC’s Advocacy Director, said, “It is essential that the United States continue to take a strong leadership role in pressuring governments like that of Iran to safeguard all essential human rights for their citizens, including religious freedom. Iran must be called to account for the wanton brutality taking place in Evin Prison as well as its wider restrictions on religious freedom.”
Dr. Mike Ansari of Heart4Iran, an Iranian Christian partnership platform, told ICC“Most of the arrested individuals are coerced to divulge information about their house-church activities and those of their friends, under threat of criminal prosecution or arrest of family members… Therefore, the case of every arrested Iranian believer is of utmost importance and should be monitored.”
A former prisoner in Evin shared with World Watch Monitor, “If a prisoner’s case got attention, they stopped torturing or raping them because they knew the world was watching. We heard of many cases of prisoners who had no voice outside, and many things happened to them.”
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Iran’s Islamic regime views Christianity as a threat to national security. It is no coincidence, then, that so many Christians are imprisoned in the country’s harshest jail. The punitive posture of the regime has led to the conversion of many Iranians, which has only intensified the targeting of Christians for harassment and persecution. The physical and mental torture experienced by Christians in Evin Prison will affect them long after their sentences are over. Their plight cannot be ignored.”
For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org  


You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org.


India: Wife Hides Pastor Husband From Hindu Extremists

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – In an attack on a church service in northern India that left a 55-year-old man unconscious, the wife of a pastor hid her husband after Hindu extremists said they would kill him, sources said.

Women and children were not spared in the attack by 25 masked extremists armed with wooden sticks last month on the Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Baburia Khera, Uttar Pradesh state, after which police treated church members as criminals.

“They were looking for the pastor, saying, ‘We will kill him today,’” pastor Kamlesh Kumar’s wife, identified only as Shashikala, told Morning Star News... - Continues at Morning Star News

4 Jun

Love

Today, I want to make a little brief comment to all of you.

Love. I don't see it as much as an emotion as it I do a verb. A word that describes action. Doing something. Love is not a feeling to me. It's what you do. A person may feel pity and love all day long for a homeless person, but what have they done for them? A person may say they love their friend in need, but what have they done for them? A man may say he loves his brother but what has he done to demonstrate it?

Let us remember that we will all be judged by our works, not our feelings. It's what you do that counts. When Christ asked Peter if he loved him, he wanted a concrete demonstration of that love (John 21:15ff). He wanted him to feed his sheep.

Do you love? God, one day is going to ask you that question. Perhaps not in those exact words, but in what our actions have proved. Do you love kids? Many suffer. Do you love persecuted Christians? Many suffer. Can you show love to those who have no way of repaying you?

Let's let love be what we do, not what we say or feel.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down
his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need,
 and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how
dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children,
let us not love in word, neither in tongue;
but in deed and in truth.

(1Jn 3:16-18)



1 Jun

Ruth Part XI

We left off last time and Naomi was explaining to her Mother in law just what had transpired on her first day of gleaning and described to her the 'system' she had worked out so that she would not come to mischief.
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter,
shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
(Rth 3:1)


Notice the deep affection and kindness she wanted to show Ruth. Let us keep in mind that these were both very poor, basically homeless widows who were one step above begging for their meals. Let us also remember that Ruth as a foreigner and was almost certainly looked down upon by many in Israel. Naomi seeks Ruth's well being and her good fortune. This is such a test of real friendship. A true friend truly wishes you well, your happiness and prosperity. As I look back on old former friends, I recall the times when 'friends' were not nearly so solicitous of my well being or denigrated me personally behind my back and started to try and put me down in front of others.


    A friend cannot be known in prosperity:
    and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.
    (Sirach 12:8 [KJVA])


I have had family members do this to me, though they don't know that I know the things they did to me and said of me behind my back. This is how you can tell if your friend is real or is merely a fair weather acquaintance, or worse, a smiling Judas who will kiss you just before he sells you out. Does he really care about you and your well being? In the case of Naomi, she did very much.

 
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother
(Proverbs 18:24 [KJVA])



Yes there is and Ruth and found one in Naomi and vice versa. This passage, some expositors seem to think is the first suggestion that Naomi now seeks a husband for Ruth and Boaz may the the one (Clarke, Gill).



And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast?
Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
(Rth 3:2)
The Winnower By Millet
(Public Domain In US
More copyright info here)

Well, here the female plotting begins! Yes, women do tend to so this alot, but here it was indeed for ultimately a Godly purpose. God was in this. Naomi starts to plan to make sure that Ruth has a better future than gleaning with the poor and suggests that Boaz would be winnowing. This would provide a good way for the two to meet and talk with one another.

Winnowing is merely the ancient way of separating the wheat from the chaff. It is an ancient method that is still used in some cultures today. Because the wind is used it was often done in the higher part of the field. At first it may seem strange to have the Lord of the manor or the owner of the land do such menial work. But according to ancient records, this is not so. In Roman times, the great men of their times oversaw this winnowing. Pliny (p) reports, that Sextus Pomponius, father of the praetor and prince of the hither Spain, presided over the winnowing of his reapers; so Gideon, another judge Israel, was found threshing wheat, Jdg_6:11. [Gill]


Naomi knowing the customs of the day understood that this was a good time for them to meet. She them begins to tell her daughter in law what she needed to do.

Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee,
and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man,
until he shall have done eating and drinking.
(Rth 3:3)

So here she basically tells her to get dressed up and head on down to where Boaz was working, eating and drinking. The Jewish Targum suggests that she put off her widows weeds and cease her period of morning for her ex husband. The thought here is obviously to make herself carefully known to be 'available' to Boaz. However, she was not to make herself known to Boaz until the work was done as the meal was set down. Here, most commentators are plain that the whole purpose of this prearranged meet was an eye towards marriage. Some have gone so far as to suggest that Ruth would press a marriage with Boaz by virtue of the law, which allows even demands such an arrangement (Deut 25:25), though Ruth's foreign birth could easily be an impediment.

And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark
the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet,
and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
(Rth 3:4)

This is the first bit of questionable advice that Naomi gave her daughter in law, or so it seems. Most expositors do not think this advice was wise and others make it plain that were Boaz not a man of integrity, Ruth might have wound up an unwed mother. But I am not so hard on Naomi. We do not know for certain the customs of those days, at least not fully. The Biblical illustrator says that in the east what was suggested by Naomi was not unheard of. The comments are quite enlightening and I think better explains what is going on.

It is a fact that, both in those times and up to this hour in the East, servants have been accustomed to lay themselves in this manner at the feet of their master. One modern traveller mentions that his Arab servants were quite in the practice of doing so with him; and, in cold evenings, of claiming the privilege, which had descended from immemorial usage, of drawing over themselves the skirts of the long mat or cloak in which his person was enveloped.

Moreover, it is an interesting fact bearing on the present subject, that a very prominent part of the marriage ceremony among the Orientals was for the bridegroom to throw the skirt of his robe over his bride. The act of Ruth here described was, therefore, a significant action, in which she claimed the protection of Boaz and the honorable acknowledgment of her as his wife. - Biblical Illustrator

The same commentary also remarks on the extraordinary character of Boaz. He was not interested in a 'one night stand' on the winnowing floor and it is certainly not being suggested in the passage that Ruth was offering it. But in our times, when such a scene is described, it is hard not to judge those of Ruth's time by the morality or rather, immorality of ours.

Boaz would then explain what was to be done next after Ruth did as she was bid by Naomi.

We will continue our study in Ruth next week, God willing!

31 May


Italy's Banks Under Scrutiny During Political Squabble

Banks are looking at the potential for risk. Bloomberg carries the story

US Will Continue To Confront China On High Seas

US Defense Sec. makes this bold pronouncement as the tension heats up on the China sea. The US is conducing freedom of navigation in parts of the sea that China has unilaterally laid claim to. The link above is from the South China Morning Post.

Israel Brings In Gaza Naval Blockade

This piece is from a Palestinian perspective.

Why would Israel Blockade them? Mostly to halt arms shipments from Iran. The Real news covers it in the link above.

Iran and Israel Are Racing Toward Confrontation in Syria

(USIP) Iran’s primary objective is to increase influence in the Levant. In Syria, it wants to deepen its military and economic presence. Exploiting Syria’s chaotic civil war, it has sought to establish a strategic land corridor connecting Tehran to the Mediterranean. In Lebanon, it seeks to protect Hezbollah, a Shia ally and local proxy. And to deter and counter Israel, it wants to establish a forward presence on the ground.

Iran is also interested in shaping post-war Syria. By bolstering the Assad regime, it prevented—for now—the emergence of an unfriendly government dominated by Sunnis in Damascus. It has also contributed to the Syrian regime’s “demographic re-engineering,” which has prevented the return of Sunnis to their homes through population swaps that relocate Shia to formerly Sunni-dominant areas. It is now positioning itself to play a leading role in reconstruction, especially on telecommunications, hydrocarbons, power and other infrastructure.

Why is Israel striking Hezbollah and Iran in Syria and not Lebanon?

In an odd reversal from the past, Syria has become the favored battleground for Israel to confront Hezbollah and, by extension, Iran. For decades before the Syrian civil war, Lebanon had been the proxy battlefield for regional powers—including Israel, the Gulf states and Iran—to challenge each other. At the time, the border between Israel and Syria was the quietest; the status quo was anchored by arsenals that ensured mutual deterrence. The chaos unleashed by Syria’s civil war changed that dynamic. - USIP

Russia Watch

Putin To Abide To Two Consecutive Term Limits
Soccer Stars Discuss Potential For Racist abuse In Russia
Such things happen, but not just in Russia. Italy has the same problem.

So does Germany.
Russia Accused Of MH17 Crash, Just In Time For FIFA World Cup
Someone is working overtime to undermine Russia's reputation and is using Western Media and governmental bodies to carry out their smear campaign. I will be the first to say that Russia has got a lot of issues. It does. But as the west points its finger at  Russia, what about the other three fingers that are pointing right back at themselves?

I have yet to hear about a Russian cop shooting unarmed Black men down on cold blood.

Too often, American and western outrage is nothing more than the outrage of hypocrites. The story linked above is out of Iran, who knows first hand just how western smear campaigns work.
Gasoline Prices Rise After Elections
The rise is significant but the government explains that while prices are high, the government needs to fill its coffers and will let market forces have their way.

But the people are not happy. This story, unusually critical, is from Pravda.
Russia Shores Up Defenses In Kaliningrad, Crimea, West Protests
Given NATO's constant barrage of propaganda and its hate and fear campaign, along with numerous military exercises and military posturing along Russia's border loudly proclaimed to be aimed at Russia, these are only prudent moves and what Russia does best - defense.

To those who call Russia's actions 'neo-imperilalist' need to step back and ask how the West's actions are helping those tendencies along with the constant barrage of unfriendly and even hostile acts against Russia.

Only fool would not take prudent measures to defend itself.

Russia can be described as many things, but foolish is not one of them.

Israel's Defense Chief Flies To Russia, Deal Speculated
Deal in relation to Syria and Hezbollah.
Jail For Man Who Helped Russians Hack Yahoo
He made a lot of money hacking others and bought a many of the finest cars.
Russian FM To Visit NK Tomorrow
In anticipation of Kim-Trump meet. Newsweek has more.
Chaos In The Oil Patch

Russia Just Won Big In EU Gas War
This is part of the backstory to much of the tension and problems we see in Europe, Russia and the US. It's about who will be Europe's energy supplier. This deal between the EU and Russia is a win for Russia and is a major setback for the US to get an 'in' into EU gas markets.

But the real deal is what no one wants to say. The Europeans do not want to be dependent on the Americans for energy. They see how often we drop sanctions on nations who don't do exactly what America says, when she says it and do it with a smile - Europe has no intention of 'bending over and taking it' from the Americans.
More here.
The EU has no intentions of being tied to such an unreasonable and overbearing energy supplier. The Russians on the other hand, though all the tension, trouble, fake US narratives and global hate campaign directed at Russia has steadily supplied the EU with energy at a reasonable price. Now I ask you... who would you want to do business with if you were in Brussels?

The problem? The real problem. America is incapable of changing her behavior. These are the only thing she knows and lacks the capacity to self-analyze and change.

Russia Probe To Effect November Elections, But How Much?
We will have to see. I think the democrats may have a little more to fear that the GOP as many people see this as not being a real investigation and want it ended soon.

Russia Approves Law Countering US Sanctions
These countermeasures could hurt some US corporations.

Sanctions Busting? Chinese Ship Spotted Trading With NK

Very interesting from a site called the Big Think.

Chinese Officials Interrupt Seminary and Arrest Pastors

The story is from Christian News

Reboot Your Router Please...

Krebs on Security tells us why we all need to. 


Dear Readers

I am not one of these touchy feely, soft spoken wimpy pastors. writers, bloggers or religious snake-oil salesmen.  I am a straight talking man. I don't like to spend a lot of time trying to assuage people's feelings or 21st century sensibilities based on simple minded notions of political correctness.

Many folks just don't like that and get offended when hard truths, directly spoken gets tossed in your face. They are outraged when someone does not speak in holy homilies and high sounding religiously acceptable 'christian jargon', but are not outraged when Christians are being burned out of their homes, hacked to death by terrorists and turned into refugees. Children are being sold off into slavery and young women are kidnapped to marry someone they despise.

There is too much death, destruction; too much hate and evil, too many saints and innocent people being killed and butchered, beaten and impoverish to use flowery language to describe the things going on in our world. Are your feelings too easily hurt or your moral outrage button hit because someone did not use the right religious phrase to describe an abomination, a wrong or an evil? I have two words for you. Grow up.


Men and women who live in nice, safe and warm houses with flowery lawns and new cars in the garage mostly.... they don't understand just how hard it is for so many believers. They never really read the New Testament as well as parts of the Old and some of the things the translators 'softened' because they were pretty rough verbally.... right there in your Bible you claim to believe in. 

So if you want to listen to a person who uses only the most holy sounding words and soft flowery language as they flutter their eyelids while they preach a sermon, there are many places you can get that.

I must warn you that Watson's Web is NOT one of those places and never will be.

I am not trying to win your praise to show how holy I am just to make you feel good or take your money. Those kinds of crooks are dime a dozen and are all over the net and on Cable TV.

So take this in this the spirit it is given. I use rough metaphors to describe rough things in our world. I won't describe a turd by calling it 'a common human byproduct'; or a rape by calling it 'love making in an unconventional form'.

It would  be wholly dishonest. 'Politically correct' and 'religiously correct',  yes -  but totally dishonest. Too many religious charlatans are out there and are more than willing to kiss your spiritual backside to get into your wallet and say holy things they think you will approve of but don't deal in the realities of these most difficult times for Christians, the poor and the defenseless.

Telling it like it is is part of what I do and those who don't want to hear it 'like it is' usually have a hard time facing unpleasant realities. They would prefer a comfortable delusion than a hard truth. If you are looking for such delusions, watch cable news.

I don't think I have many readers here like that.

In any event...

Blessings to all of you who love Jesus Christ and who name the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and in Truth!!


30 May

How A Legislator Who Defied 'Big Energy' Got Ousted

The down and dirty on how they did it and why. The Center For Public Integrity has the story.

Where Are You Going To Spend Your Tax Cuts?

... most likely at the pump. The story is from the Fiscal Times.

The Carmel Alert: News From Israel

Most of you are very interested in what is going on in Israel. This newsletter gives a Messianic Jewish perspective on recent events.

Billy Graham's Will Asks Family To Defend Gospel At All Costs

I can only say that from all I have seen, he really did fight the good fight of faith right up to and even after he passed over the River Jordan. The Christian Examiner carries the story above.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

RT looks at the event from a decidedly pro-Russian perspective. Even the US Ambassador is attending.

China/Asia Watch

Brothers lets keep our eyes on what is going on in the land of the rising sun, where the Kings of the East shall rise.

Some readers don't appreciate why I spend time on these issues but know this. Understanding the basic trends in this part of the world is part of our end time task...

...watching.
Commerce Sec To Go To China - KSL

Prospects For US-China Trade Deal Ease Tensions - Seeking Alpha

China's Water Stress On The Rise - CPI Analysis
We take water for granted. China cannot. This paper looks at why water is such an issue in China and what she has done about it.
China Urges US-NK To Show Good Will - DW
We should all keep in mind that this level of foreign policy engagement for China is relatively new and she is feeling her way. She is now an 'almost equal' to the US on the world stage and realizes that this comes with a considerable amount of responsibility.

China Tries To Erase Taiwan's Identity - NYT

Congress Shows Concern Over Taiwan As Burkino Faso Breaks Ties With Island - Focus Taiwan
China is being blamed for the diplomatic severance.
China's Military is Set To Become World Class Force - CPI Analysis

China Raises Retail Fuel Prices - China.org

Ag Industry Feels Woes In US-China Trade Spat - VOA
This trade row is very hard on this part of the US economy.
Internet Freedom In China, Issues For Congress - CRS
By the end of 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) had the world’s largest number of internet users, estimated at over 750 million people. At the same time, the country has one of the most sophisticated and aggressive internet censorship and control regimes in the world. PRC officials have argued that internet controls are necessary for social stability, and intended to protect and strengthen Chinese culture. However, in its 2017 Annual Report, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières, RSF) called China the “world’s biggest prison for journalists” and warned that the country “continues to improve its arsenal of measures for persecuting journalists and bloggers.” China ranks 176th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, surpassed only by Turkmenistan, Eritrea, and North Korea in the lack of press freedom. At the end of 2017, RSF asserted that China was holding 52 journalists and bloggers in prison.

The PRC government employs a variety of methods to control online content and expression, including website blocking and keyword filtering; regulating and monitoring internet service providers; censoring social media; and arresting “cyber dissidents” and bloggers who broach sensitive social or political issues. The government also monitors the popular mobile app WeChat. WeChat began as a secure messaging app, similar to WhatsApp, but it is now used for much more than just messaging and calling, such as mobile payments, and all the data shared through the app is also shared with the Chinese government. While WeChat users have recently begun to question how their WeChat data is being shared with the Chinese government, there is little indication that any new protections will be offered in the future. - CRS
China Threatens To Send Stealth Fighters To Invade Taiwan Airspace
These fighters reportedly can overfly Taiwan at will. It is not clear if the Taiwanese have anything to detect, let alone deter them.

Right now the fighters they have are
F-16's - 115
F-5's   - 23
F-CK-1  102
Mirage - 46
All quite antiquated.

No, war is not in the offing, but rattling their saber's is what the Chinese like to do from time to time. They are in deadly earnest to unite the two China's under Beijing's leadership.
Taiwan's Submarine Mess Deepens - Asia Times
They have a problem with aging subs and a neighbor who does not want them to buy any more. More here on the upgrades.
Saudi's, China Confer On Oil Markets - Arab News

NK Is Committed To It's Nuclear Program - DOD
North Korea’s primary strategic goal is perpetual Kim family rule via the simultaneous development of its economy and nuclear weapons program – a two-pronged policy known as byungjin. Pyongyang portrays nuclear weapons as its most effective way to deter the threat from the United States. However, regime propaganda began emphasizing “final victory” over the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK) in 2017, suggesting Kim Jong Un has larger ambitions, including use of nuclear weapons to deter interference if it attempts to reunify the Korean Peninsula. Internally, the regime seeks to maintain control over a populace that is decreasingly reliant on it, and Kim Jong Un has embraced coercive measures such as purges and public executions to quell dissent. Regionally, the North has been willing to accept a decline in relations, including with its main benefactor China, to further its nuclear program.

North Korea conducted more than 20 missile launches in 2016 alone with a similar number in 2017. 2017 also saw North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) flight tests in July and intermediate-range missile (IRBM) tests over Japan in August and September. In addition to ICBMs, North Korea is developing and testing longer-range solid-propellant missile systems, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), and short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) as countermeasures against U.S. and allied missile defenses. North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test in September 2017 after two in 2016, and continues to invest in its nuclear infrastructure. - DOD Annual Report To Congress
New 'Three Self' Church Dedicated In China - China Christian Daily
This is essentially the state approved Church of China.

China Is Cracking Down On Christians - The Liberty Web

29 May

Note: This week I will post just a few more stories and links from behind the password wall.

Tech/AI Watch

UK Military Fears Robots Learn War From Video Games
DOD Looking For Tech To Find Fake Videos And AI Tricks
MS Has AI Bot That Calls You Up
Preventing An AI Apocalypse
Get Ready For AI Ads... From Your Fridge
BMW Car Software Riddled With Flaws
Apple is allowing EU-based users to delete, correct or download their data
IBM To Add French Jobs To Meet AI Demand
London Hospital Replaces Doctors With Robots
How AI Permeates Our Lives
Machines Perform Atomic Scale Manufacturing
EU Rules Stressing Human Oversight Of AI May Hamper Development
China: You Can Run, But Not Hide From AI
Samsung Expands AI Centers To UK, Canada, Russia

KW's Pro Trump Rant Moves Black Opinion Towards, Rather Than Against Trump

It just goes to show you... it takes guts to  bring in change.

I can hardly be called a pro-Trump Black man. But while I do not like many of the things he has done, I do like a lot of what he has done. North Korea? That is one - things look to be moving in a very positive direction.  Trying to bring peace with Russia - he has not given up, but is limited by the deep state as to what he can do. His moves in the economy? I don't like his methodology and I think in the long run it will backfire, but the economy is doing better and looks like it will continue to for some time... even if the prosperity is mostly borrowed. His moves to ratchet up the governments human trafficking investigations and look more deeply into political and financial corruption? These are all good things. For Black folks? Unemployment in Black America, while still high is much improved under Trump.

Poll: Approval Of Trump Rises In Black America

You know, I re-watched an old movie I really liked called 'The Fountainhead'. It was one of those BW movies that was quite good. Based on a book from Ayn Rand, it starred Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal and Raymond Massey. It was good to watch at this point in time because the  principle theme was  'Rugged Individualism' and those who build and create verses those who steal and destroy. These world views come in conflict as the film progresses. The climax to me was Coopers speech during the  trial.

I only say this because now, with Trump in the White House we have such a person running the nation  -  a rugged individualist who did it 'his way' and was not going to be bullied or discouraged in his quest for success.

From a secular perspective, if this country is to become great again we need to bolster creativity and a sense of self worth and self determination to get things done and not rely so much on the government and others. Young people need to learn to stand on their own feet and succeed or fail based on their own hard work and natural abilities and not get discouraged when they fail, but pick themselves up, brush themselves off and try and try again. We must not get discouraged or down cast because we make some enemies along the way. I have heard it said that a man who never made an enemy, never made anything. Did Christ not make many an enemy?

Brothers, making enemies is the price we pay for doing anything of any worth.

This is what made this nation so successful in just about every field of endeavor - that and the blessing of God who honored us because we as a nation, honored him... or at least used to.

We need more of that in this nation and less of Big Brother Socialism and the Nanny State, which to me has made too many wimps, whiners and weaklings out of otherwise healthy and intelligent young people.

Trump is doing something the Democrats have not done with all the years in power Black folks helped them attain.

He is giving them jobs,, something desperately needed in many a Black community in America.


I have never liked Mr. Trump much but always respected is go get 'em attitude and his willingness to work hard and his deep love for this country.


Norway Seizes Child From Mother

Yes, these things while not overly common are indeed happening more and more. Here in the US we have Child Protective Services. One of the unknown problems here with CPS is that it has at times been used in Human/Child Trafficking. It has been a big problem but one that was powerfully politically protected.

This does not appear to be related to that, but is part of an overall trend in the western world.

How many of you remember the book 'It takes a Village' written by then First Lady Clinton? I remember it and when it came out. I bring this up because it relates directly to the question at hand and I think the underlying issue that the reader (who sent me the above link) needs to get a better handle on, though I do think for the most part, he gets it.

Please understand, I never read the book and am not going to blast it, but there is something about it that needs to be understood by all and that is there are two mindsets, two world views on how the next generation of adults should be raised, trained, educated and yes, propagandized.

The 'old school' view is that this is the responsibility of the family; the Mom, Dad and perhaps grandparents. The 'new school' view is that raising kids is a shared responsibility, one that the community and government has just an important role to play in it.

Here is how Wikipedia sums up key points in Clinton's book.

The book emphasizes the shared responsibility that society has for successfully raising children, by looking at a number of angles as indicated in the chapter titles noted above. Clinton describes herself in the book as a Moderate, which is evidenced by a combination of advocating for government-driven social reforms while also espousing conservative values.

Clinton notes in the book many institutions responsible in some way for raising children, including: direct family, grandparents, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, employers, politicians, nonprofits, faith communities, businesses, and international governmental groups.

Some of the goals and institutions that Clinton advocates for in the book include: the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, Community Policing, the Brady Bill, Amber Alerts, immunizations, State Children's Health Insurance Program, financial regulation, expanded Child Tax Credits, Minimum Wage increases, Universal health care, personal responsibility, uniforms in schools, Goals 2000 academic framework, music warning labels, sexual abstinence, Plan B contraception, family planning, and marriage. - Wikipedia
This is fundamentally different than the old school way of thinking.

Did you know that back in Roman times, the Patriarch of the family had full rights over his kids? That he could even kill his child if they did some foul and evil did or brought disgrace on the family. Now mind you, these rights were rarely exercised and later were limited by Roman Law.

As a Christian, I firmly believe that the father and mother should raise their child and unless there is an immediate physical threat to the child, they should continue to raise them until adulthood. I don't think state run agencies or institutions are equipped for what children really, need no matter how well meaning.

But I have seem some households where I never thought kids should be raised and parents I never thought should be raising kids.

Should a doped-out dad raise kids? Should a drug dealer or gangster raise children? Should a woman who makes her living 'on her back' when her kids are home raise kids? Should a man or woman given to fits of violent rage raise kids? There are some horror stories out there brothers.

I would say no, but that is me. The kids interest needs to come first. But how do we determine when a parent has crossed the line and who determines that?

Well I leave those questions to wiser minds. However I will say that I often see many of these parental agencies as an attack on normally healthy families who may be Christian and are presenting a world view that administrators and legislators would rather not have taught to kids. So they find an administrative or legal way to remove them from their parents. This is what I think much of the homeschooling debate is about.

Well, I have never raised kids and I am not in a position to make an experienced comment beyond to say to the reader who sent this to me..

I feel you brother, I really do knowing as I do that you have your own kids and issues in your own school district.

I don't think the answer is going to be found in petitions or even in the political realm. The social and spiritual slide in the west is too far for a come back.

But that does not mean we should give up raising our kids right and finding like minded parents who can band together and find new and creative ways of maintaining their rights over their kids.

Russian Bear Strikes Jehovah's Witnesses

This is an interesting trend and one to watch.

No, I don't subscribe to the doctrines of the JW's. But the real question is who is next? The Russian Supreme Court calls them extremists and that is akin to terrorist.

Remember that the Orthodox Church is the official one in Russia and has always had a close relationship to the State, even in Tsarist and Communist times. Later, many in the clergy were KGB agents.

Well, just keep that in mind as stories of persecution come out of Russia.

I have always believed that everyone should be allowed to worship his or her God in peace. Dominionism of any variety is a danger to all, weather it is Christian, Islamic, Orthodox or Jewish. Dominion is a tool with which others use religion in order to institute their own temporal plans.

For those of you interested in stories about Persecution in this part of the world, Forum18 has those stories here.

I would beseech the Russian leader, Mr. Putin to ease up on these raids and only use them when there is clear evidence of terrorist activities or violent/criminal intent against others.

Why Are You Using Those 'Always On' Microphone Internet Devices?

I honestly wonder what people are thinking when they hook up with these devices and never bother to read the ToS.

Well read this and find out why that a very stupid thing to do.

Let me refer you to something from the distant past that 'went away' (officially) but never went away in reality to help you better understand why this is happening and is not a 'comedy of errors'.

And no, the TIA was not a 'conspiracy theory', though many in officialdom tried to make out that those who talked about it were 'conspiracy theorists'.

 Here is a CRS report on it done 15 years ago.

All they planned back then is coming to pass now.

The CRS is an official part of the Congressional structure - they do the official research for members of both houses of Congress.

25 May

Ruth Part X



And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in
 law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth,
and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.
(Ruth 2:18 [KJVA]
)

We left off last time and Naomi had finished working in the field and had gathered about an ephah of Barley from her work. The passage above tells us of her journey back home to her mother in law as she shows her what she had gleaned. She also gave her mother the food she had reserved for her as well. A passage like this may not seem to say much, but it does confirm one important thing. They were both quite poor and probably very hungry. Ruth fed her mother in law and accepted this blessing from the hand of God.

What I find of great interest in this passage was that even in dire circumstances and hard times, Ruth, who was a Moabite, was still seeking the God of Israel. She was not going give up seeking after God. Sure, she could have listened to the 'name and claim it' priests of her time and believed the she must be in sin because she was poor. Or she could have given into despair or bitterness. But she did not. She continued on in her faith, stuck by her promise to her mother in law to stay with her and kept faith with both her and the Lord.

And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day?
and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take
knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with
whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name
with whom
I wrought to day is Boaz.
(Ruth 2:19 [KJVA])


When asked of her mother in law where she had gleaned, Ruth tells he where at Boaz's farm. Clearly from this passage, we see that Ruth had no idea who Boaz was and that she was related to them both. So this whole situation is not some scheme thought up by these women to gain favor with Boaz. In fact, Naomi may have been embarrassed and ashamed of her circumstances and because of that, did not seek help from him.
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD,
 who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead.
And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us,
one of our next kinsmen.
(Ruth 2:20 [KJVA])

Naomi has not forgotten her God and blesses the Lord for this turn of events. She acknowledges this kindness to the 'living and the dead'. This is a rather interesting statement and could be looked upon in many ways, perhaps even an unconscious prophetic utterance of the future Resurrection. But a more likely explanation comes from, K & D Commentary.

 “The living,” etc., forms a second object: as regards (with regard to) the living and the dead, in which Naomi thought of herself and Ruth, and of her husband and sons, to whom God still showed himself gracious, even after their death, through His care for their widows.  - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary
The Lord does not forget his people. Sometimes it may seem like it, but he does not forget. Those who wait and trust in him and do his will will have the Lord's guiding and protecting hand upon them. Be they a pair of widow's coming from Moab, a christian Missionary, preaching in Asia, a single mother making a job change across country, an unemployed adult waiting for decent work - if you are obeying the Lord and doing his will - God will be with you.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times God has looked out for me, even when I never thought he was or knew he was doing it. Some of you have your own issues and are facing difficulty - God has not forgotten you. He wants you to turn your face towards him and trust him. This does not necessarily mean sitting around waiting for God to act, particularly when he has told you to do something. It means, that at times, waiting on God means just that... waiting. The man or woman who waits in faith and obedience will indeed receive good from the hand of the Lord.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not
be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 
(Isaiah 40:31 [KJVA])

Yes, brothers and sisters, we must wait upon our God. He often has set things in motion that we are not totally or even remotely unaware of. Things that will only materialize for us if we wait upon and are faithful to our God.

Also in the above passage,  Naomi finally informs Ruth that Boaz is kin, something she clearly did not know.

See how God works things out! Ruth and Naomi did not have a 'pity party' - they worked and trusted in the Lord.

And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also,
Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have
ended all my harvest.
(Rth 2:21)


Ruth goes on to explain the favor the Boaz showed her. The word for 'young men' according to Adam Clarke should be 'servants' - both male and female.

In short, Boaz was asking her to remain with his team until harvest time was over. Given the generous system of 'accidental' crop leavings that she could pick up (Ruth 2:16), this was indeed a major blessing for them both. Now Ruth had work and they both would have food until the harvest time was ended.

And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good,
my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet
thee not in any other field. So she kept fast by the maidens of
Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest;
and dwelt with her mother in law.
(Rth 2:22-23)

Naomi was very pleased and gave her daughter in law some sage advice - stay with the 'Family' - stick with kin. They were to meet at Boaz's field. Why is that? The Cambridge Bible says that she may have come to mischief if she gleaned in the field of some less pious man.  But it also possible that she asks her to stay with Boaz because if she went to another field, he may look upon this as a slight of his kindness (Gill).

Ruth was not disobedient. Naomi was from Judah and knew the customs, Ruth was just learning and respected her Mother in Law's sage advice and did as she was bid. For the rest of the season, she kept with the Maidens of Boaz and stayed with Naomi. She went to work in the day time and came back home at night. But changes are afoot as we shall see in the following chapters of Ruth!

We will continue with this study... God willing!

Brother Mark



23 May

Catholic Watch: The Battle For Ireland

Spirit Daily looks at trends in Ireland and the Abortion debate there.

Gunmen Attack Church In Chechenya

It is not clear who is responsible for the death of one churchgoer and two policemen.

Christians in Nepal Suspect Hindu Extremists in Sudden Attacks on Churches

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Christians in Nepal are alarmed after this month’s sudden series of arson and bomb attacks on four church buildings, and church leaders suspect authorities are lax in investigating.

(Photo: Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church building
in midwest hilly region of Nepal was
set ablaze on May 11)

At the same time, six Christians were arrested for evangelizing while suspected Hindu extremists launched attacks on three church buildings and bombed another. The attacks caused extensive property damage but no casualties.

The Hebron Church building in the eastern hilly region was set on fire on May 9, Emmanuel Church’s building in western Nepal’s Doti District was burned on May 10, and the Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church building in the midwest hilly region was set ablaze on May 11. Before midnight on May 12, the Mahima Church building in Dhangadhi, in western Nepal, was bombed. - Image and Text Courtesy Morning Star News


Army Chaplain In Hot Water Over Same Sex Marriage

This is not the same military I was in!! The story is being covered from many different political viewpoints.

Assyrian Christian Lands Forcibly Seized in Northern Iraq

Map Courtesty Wikimedia Foundation
By Zerolex (dedicated to Public Domain)

05/17/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that two Kurdish Muslim brothers built an illegal home on the land of an Assyrian Christian in northern Iraq’s Brefka village. According to the Assyrian Aid Society, one of the brothers, Omar Karem, is the head of the Peshmerga Forces in the region. The land-grabbing case took place on April 20, 2018 and was reported in writing to the local authorities on May 2, 2018. There has since been no change on the ground.

The letter to the local authorities was written by a local leader and two villagers. The letter reads, “This action is a violation of the villagers’ rights and human rights. It is an infringement on our lands by these transgressors and this is disrespectful to the law. Thus, we ask you to consider our claim for the purpose of removing the excess [illegal homes] on our village lands. Also we ask for a site detection and to establish the village border and remove all the abuses.”

The illegal seizure of Christian lands in this region has been ongoing since 1991, according to the Assyrian Aid Society (AAS). They estimate that approximately 180 acres of Assyrian-Christian land has been seized by their Muslim neighbors. “Land has been taken in different places in the village, especially near the river Khabour and near the school. In 2005, Mr. Barzani sent [a delegation] to visit the village. They promised to return the land back to Assyrians in one year, but nothing has happened until this moment,” said the Assyrian Aid Society.

Instead, the following year, the Muslim tribal leaders took more land and asked for $600,000 to prevent the land grab, according to AAS. Kurdish Muslims also forcibly prevented Christians from bringing water from the Khabour river to their apple orchards. Most Christians in the village completely lost their agriculture in 2015, when unknown militants burned their farmland, depriving the community of thousands of dollars of income.

Ashur Sargon, President of Assyrian Aid Society—Iraq, said, “[This] land grab is a sample case showing how Assyrian Christians are indigenous peoples of Iraq… There [are] around 58 cases for land grabs recorded in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Most of them still their owners are suffering without any real reaction or solutions from the KRG… Now it is the last chance to stop land grabbing actions for these cases.”

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The forced seizure of Assyrian Christian lands in northern Iraq is an all too common occurrence that has been taking place for decades. They are targeted by Kurdish Muslims because they are a vulnerable minority group that owns fertile farmland. Often, the authorities are either negligent in righting this wrong or complicit in its execution. The failure of neighbors and authorities to protect the rights of minorities has broken community trust and furthered the decline of Christianity in Iraq. Unless tangible steps are taken to protect the rights of Christians, many will simply leave.”

For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

***
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.

21 May

How the FBI and CIA Restarted the Cold War to Protect Themselves

This story (above) is from Townhall.com. I think gets right down to what really happened and why things are so messed up with Russia. It was all part of the need for a false narrative a supporting mechanism to provide the fodder  for the craziness we are now seeing.

I do not mean to suggest that there were not some members of Trump's team who had too close of ties to Russia. But no administration could withstand the kind of scrutiny Trump has undergone, along with the atmosphere of political maliciousness undertaken by political hacks in the House, Senate and the Media.

What?... do you think Obama could have withstood this kind of scrutiny, much of it mostly political malice? With him inexplicably (and utter silence about the reasons for it) renouncing his law license and a whole host of things we never fully heard about including ties of those around him (and sources of funds) to Iran? He sure ran interference for them. I am not talking about the usual political banter on Fox and MSNBC but a special prosecutor... like what Trump is dealing with with subpoena power and the power to bring charges.

The key I think for liberals who think it's OK to go after Trump and not Obama to remember is this...

Who sits in the White House now? If this is not corrected and people are not dealt with with long prison sentences, why should Trump not do the same things... or worse in 2020 to the Democrats? Let me ask that one again.

Why not?

If these are the new rules for the game, why not create a fake dossier on Democrats, send in spies and then try and set them up with warrants based on manufactured evidence and surveillance based on perjured testimony. They could then seize the party's funds based on non-existent ties to 'terrorism' and place officials in indefinite detention for 'treason' based on the fake evidence and manufactured dossiers. That is the direction we are heading if we don't get control of these deep state criminals. Do you really want to go there? I don't want to see this nation go down that road but weather you wish to accept it or not, the Obama administration opened up Pandora's box when it used paid spies and warrants based on fake intel and fake dossiers financed by the democrats to go after a Republican Presidential candidate.

This is not a partisan slam. I have equally low regards for both parties and nothing but disdain for the political spinmeisters who lie to their adherents with lopsided narratives, blatant omissions in reporting and partisan arguments that only make sense to someone who has lost the power of higher cognitive thought. This situation is  pretty serious and our leaders need to fix this from top to bottom or who knows who these deep state people will set up, destroy or find a candidate to cover up serious crimes for and hide their ties to the nations enemies.

Don't think for one second that some of our top people in the 'deep state' have not been turned by foreign nations.

Trump needs to clean out the deep state or we will all be in deep you-know-what.

More here.

This is no little scandal and it was just this kind of political meddling that got Nixon ousted.

So throw that hyper-partisanship out the window. The issues are much deeper than desire of those on the left to just 'get Trump'.

More here.

The worst part of this is that foreign nations and long term allies have lost faith in our Global leadership. Look at how Europe has moved at breakneck speed to detach herself from America's policy on Iran. Much more is set to follow.

From someone who has watched, studied and written on geopolitics for nearly 30 years let me say this - this rift looks to be a permanent one. The world is learning to distrust America - her leaders and her motives. Fits of foolishness in the past from America were often endured by our allies as we usually came back from our fits of madness.

I don't think our allies expect us to 'come back' this time.



17 May


Ruth Part IX


 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread,
 and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers:
and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed,
and left.  And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men,
saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:
 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them,
that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
(Ruth 2:14-16 [KJVA])

We left off last time when Ruth had been verbally comforted by Boaz who had discovered that Ruth was a kinswoman to him. here we see that he invites her to eat dinner with the reapers, a work class higher than the gleaners, who frankly were little more than official 'beggars'. I say this not to denigrate Ruth or Naomi's condition, only to point out where she stood in the social order. Here she was told to go and sit with the reapers and eat. Let's keep in mind that the reapers had an official connection with the Lord of the manor and may have been employed by him and their food was probably part of their recompense. Such was almost certainly not so with the gleaners, who roamed from farm to farm gathering that which the reapers left behind. This was a pretty big favor that Boaz had granted Ruth. She could eat and be satisfied.

This may not seem like much to us, but think about having to work hard in the hot sun all day long with little or nothing to eat. What her economic circumstances were could not have been good and it is not all together impossible that there was not much to eat back at home with Naomi, she may very well have come to work hungry.

Additionally Boaz, true to his promise, tells the young men to not molest or reproach her. Ruth's Moabite ancestry was probably already making the rounds in gossip circles and Boaz was not going to allow it. He knew that Ruth was trying to follow after the God of Israel and he was going to make sure that his kinsman did not make fun of her and her ancestry - she was kin to him.

Then he commands them to let her glean among the sheaves and also tells the men who harvest to let some of what they gather 'accidentally' fall to the ground so that she can pick it up. There were two specific commands and the first time they were told to 'reproach her not'. But the second time, he tells them not to rebuke her for gleaning in such a fashion. Boaz was not going to countenance this woman being made fun of. Given the customs of those times, Boaz was indeed showing considerable kindness and favor to Ruth.


So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned:
and it was about an ephah of barley.
(Ruth 2:17 [KJVA])


This passage deals with the custom of the time. Apparently it was customary to carry bundles on top of ones head and carry it home, not unlike how we see still see in some agricultural lands in Africa today. This she did not do, but threshed it first to make it lighter to carry. An Ephah was about a Bushel. This was a a good days work.


Let us note that this was menial work. We do not now exactly the economic circumstances of Ruth when she was married to Naomi's son, but they were certainly better than where she was at now. The point here is that she humbled herself and did the menial yet hard work that was set before her. Moreover she did not stop in the middle of the day because she was tired, she worked until evening. The Biblical Illustrator has this most interesting aside to the labor of Ruth in the field.
Men measure the worth of work by its conspicuousness. The real worth of work lies in meeting the necessity for its existence, and the motive which inspires it. Two lives depend upon her toil—then her work has worth; she loves the woman for whom she toils—then her work has dignity. Her love consecrates lowest means for highest ends. No results of labour are too insignificant for care. She “beat out that she had gleaned.”(S. B. Rees.) - Biblical Illustrator

As the scriptures say, 'he that will not work, let him not eat'. Ruth showed a willingness to toil for her bread and was able to eat accordingly. This is the simple morality and yes, economic reality of ours or any time. If you wish to eat and have a place to sleep you must roll up your sleeves and work!

For family men, single mom's, young people today, work is not only necessary for sustenance, it also builds character in all of us. Taking a sense of ownership in doing whatever it is we call work gives us all a sense of value.

Weather it is a loan officer who is trying to help a young couple get a loan for their first home, or a police officer who see's a young person he could arrest but would rather give him a stern warning, knowing that he does not want to put the kid on a juvenile offender list -  we can do a lot of good in the work that we do. A lawyer can help a client who may be poor, a garbage collector may see some nice furniture thrown out and knows a poor family who is looking for those bar-stools or that kitchen table, etc. Like Boaz, we can do a lot of good, if we seize the opportunity to do so.

Work is good and God will always favor those who are industrious over those who are lazy.
15 May


Michigan: Another Church Becomes a Mosque

This is part of a trend and I encourage all of you to check this piece out... there is money and power behind this.

Nepal: Catholic church interior ‘entirely destroyed’ after arson


Suicide Bombings at Three Churches in Indonesia Kill 13

05/14/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 13, bombings at three churches in Surabaya, East Java, killed 13 and wounded more than 40 shortly before Sunday services.  

The explosions took place at Saint Mary Immaculate Catholic Church (STMB), Surabaya Pentecostal Church (GPPS), and the Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church (GKI). According to East Java Police, the first explosion took place at STMB. The second and third explosions followed five minutes apart.

Jakarta Post noted that attempted attacks were also reported at two other churches – Saint Jacob's Church in West Surabaya and Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral. However, the bombs failed to explode.

A family of six – a father, mother, two sons, and two daughters – belonging to the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a group linked to the Islamic State, is behind the suicide bombings. They recently returned from war-torn Syria, where they lived in an area controlled by the Islamic State.  

National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian confirmed that the father of the family initially brought his wife and two daughters – 12-years-old and 9-years-old – to GKI before making his way to Surabaya Pentecostal Church.

The bomb blast at STMB was carried out by the two brothers – 18-years-old and 16-years-old – who carried a lap-bomb with them on their motorcycle.

The bomb attacks are the deadliest in Indonesia since the 2002 Bali bombings, which left more than 200 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Pastor Yonathan Biantoro, one of the pastors of Surabaya Pentecostal Church, told ICC, “Honestly I am really sad about this. We as members of this church really hope that we would have a peaceful environment when we are in our devotion. We want the government to protect us with our constitutional rights and we are concerned about our religious freedom. I believe there is not a religion that would allow its followers to kill each other. We will however not be intimidated by the bombing. We still love them and forgive. We hope they will not do this ever again.”  

Three of his church staff members passed away on Monday due to severe burns.

“They try to create fear in us, instead we grow, trust, and hope in Him. God is still in control, our churches united in prayers and believe God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The gate of hell and its power cannot conquer His church,” Budi Setiawan, National Superintendent of Assembly of God Indonesia, shared with ICC.

The executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, called for the government to take swift action and to bring whoever was responsible to justice.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The terrorist attacks at the three churches in Indonesia are pure evil. ICC strongly condemns the reprehensible acts of violence against innocent lives. The use of minors as suicide bombers is sickening and shows the absolute disregard for humanity in radical ideology. Our hearts break for the victims, knowing the horror they have experienced at their houses of worship, and we urgently ask for your prayers for Indonesia.” 

For interviews with Gina Goh, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.


Persecution Magazine May 2018

This magazine is courtesy the International Christian Concern. This month's focus is on getting the right info to policy makers in DC.

You can download the issue here.

Clashes Erupt Over Jerusalem Embassy Opening

Many Palestinians have been killed.

The Crisis Group has a paper on Israel's counter terrorism related to Jerusalem.
Tensions are also mounting in Jerusalem itself. April began with the weeklong holiday of Passover, when an unprecedented number of religious Jews – nearly 2,600, compared to 650 only four years ago – visited the city’s Holy Esplanade. The site is hallowed ground for Jews as the location of the two biblical Temples and for Muslims as the spot from which the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. Palestinian and Jordanian officials condemned an Israeli court decision to allow a mock sacrificial ceremony, including the actual slaughter of a lamb, on Passover eve at Davidson Park, located immediately below the Holy Esplanade.

On 18 April, Israelis celebrated 70 years of independence; roughly a month later, on 13 May, they marked Jerusalem Day, the moment 51 years ago when the Israeli army “reunified” the city’s western and occupied eastern halves under Israeli rule. Lastly, the evening of 15 May is the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which tens of thousands of Palestinians will visit Jerusalem’s Old City and the al-Aqsa Mosque at the Holy Esplanade. The Jewish holiday of Shavuot, one of Judaism’s three festivals of pilgrimage to the Temple Mount, will take place on 19 and 20 May, with numerous religious Jews seeking to enter.

This concatenation of events – sacred occasions, interspersed with anniversaries of turning points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – takes place amid growing Palestinian fears of Israeli encroachment upon the Holy Esplanade and, by extension, all of Jerusalem. - International Crisis Group

Congress Mulls Indefinite Detention For American Citizens

Right back to the past. This is sad and this Congress may do this with considerably broader powers that were given to Bush.

If this passes and it probably will, you can be sure that our leaders are planning a brand new war and one they think is going to last a very long time.

Our rights? I have to be honest with all of you, I don't think Americans deserve them, not most of them. Rights come with responsibilities and too many Americans don't seem up to those responsibilities. How can they be when so many are hooked on various drugs - legal and illegal.

Now, I don't mean that of all or perhaps not even most of my countrymen, but too many of our countrymen have ceased to respect the rights of others and only want to use the government as a tool to take away the rights of those they have been dutifully trained by the Media to see as political enemies.

Congress, with laws like this one appears to be far too willing to go along with it.. as long as the campaign donation has enough zero's on the left hand of the decimal point.

You do want to read this one.

We Are All Trespassers

John Whitehead looks at just how the government seizes the land of ordinary Americans, including whole neighborhoods.

Again, you do not want to miss this one. You can see how many at various levels of government really treats its citizens.


Disaster Looms For  North Yemen

The key port that is used to bring in aid may fall to the Saudis, who in the past were behind the policy of starving the nation out.

A Tale Of Two Interrogators: Haspel And Eichmann

Their excuses are chillingly alike. We are further down Auschwitz highway than people know or want to know.

Like many Germans in Nazi  Germany, they did not see it either until they personally were sent to the labor and death camps for the crime of not being 'Nazi' enough. Only when the camp guard beat the crap out of them for not working hard enough did it finally dawn on them just what was really going on.

**


Well, the President is not going to release relevant torture data on his nominee to the public. That tracks  - most Americans did not support the Bush era torture programs, particularly when they found out that many of those tortured were not guilty of anything, let alone had any links to terrorism. What we did to some of these people was not just unAmerican, it was down right treasonable and fully criminal. This goes against everything this nation has stood for for over 200 years. Now I don't think those involved should be 'taken out and shot' but I also don't think that those who engaged in in it and more importantly attempted to cover up these criminal acts with the destruction of records should not be in the CIA, let alone leading it. Nor should they have their security clearances. They did irreparable harm to the US international reputation and our National Security with their caveman antics.

She has promised not to resume the torture program, which I suppose is a plus but again we must always come down to definitions -  who defines what torture is? The CIA? If so then her promise is meaningless. But sadly, a great many Americans think torture is cool. Yes, they do. We are dealing with a society that is as sick as that as Nazi Germany. The only difference is, instead of Dacau, we have Gitmo... people incarcerated forever and are accused of crimes many never even thought about committing. Ray McGovern has a great piece here that lays out a few issues and they are important issues.

I cannot help but see this President in light of his disastrous picks to surround him... with a high rate of turnover. Many hail from the lunatic fringe of America which more and more is becoming mainstream. As America's moral center more and more hails from the dungeons of the middle ages, it is hard for me to see a good future for us as a nation. The good news is that a lot of folks on the Hill are not going for a return for the 'scream-a-lie' confessions extracted under Bush era torture programs. They don't want a return to that. But many Americans want it as long as they get to turn the screws rather than having those screws turned on them for being Black, Gay, Christians, Muslim or for no other crime that some deep state agent put them on a 'enemy combatant' list with little to no evidence to support wild accusations that landed them on a vivisection table to be examined by a CIA "confession elicitor".

It was a sad day when Trump nominated her. She may indeed be in many respects a fine intelligence officer who got caught in the poisonous political environment of the Bush years and wants to do right. So understand this is not a personal criticism of her long years of service and hard work for the country. But this is the wrong signal to send the world. Many of our allies were appalled at what we had done. Others frankly were only shocked in public while they secretly assisted these practices. Haspel to me seems to be Trump's middle finger to the world that he is going to do the exact opposite of what he knows is right... just because he can. 

Mr. President, there may be times when America may have to go it alone but defiance of our basic principles as a nation does not put America or what she stands for first, but dead last.

I know that if you choose to, Mr. President you can pick a CIA director who is tough on terror who was not so intimately involved in this dark chapter in the lamentable catalogue of human crime.

The Three  Billionaires Who Pushed Trump To Dump Iran Deal

These are key GOP donors. It's where the war party gets much of its money and why some Senators are so obsessed with bomb bomb bomb... bomb bomb Iran...

US Treasury Demand Cools As US Borrowing Requirements Rise

ZH takes a look at some of the dynamics in the Treasury Markets.

To Understand Iran, Try History, Not Hysteria

The author has done what I tried to do on a few occasions in the past here, look at how Iran  became what it is today and lay the blame where it belongs - the US and UK. Why is Iran an Islamic Republic today with visceral anti-Americanism? Two words that we are about to repeat.

Regime Change.



11 May

Ruth Part Part VIII


Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him,
Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me,
seeing I am a stranger?
 (Ruth 2:10 [KJVA])


Boaz And Ruth (Rembrandt) License Public Domain
As we left off last week, Ruth had somehow found favor with the Lord of the Manor, Boaz. Here she was a foreign woman who was quite happy to be given the opportunity to glean the field with the other poor of the area. Yet somehow, she had found favor with Boaz. She was not sure why.

In the passage above we not that she followed the custom of the time of addressing those of exalted social stature and bowed herself before him. The Jewish Targum adds this to the passage.
“How, says she, have I obtained grace in thy sight, that thou shouldest acknowledge me who am a stranger and one of the daughters of Moab, of whom it is said, The unclean shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord?" She knew she as a stranger, a nobody someone that was often held in contempt by others. Why was he showing her such favor?

Here we note some qualities about her that is often missing in us, particularly we Christians in the west. That being a sense of deep humility and full knowledge of our complete unworthiness of any mercy that our Lord chooses to show us. Throughout this book we will see this theme played out as a type - an unworthy gentile gains favor with his Lord and becomes a key part of his family.
Here Ruth only begins to notice the masters grace and interest in her well being. She is deeply humbled and thankful, that is her reaction and the reaction of any true and genuine Christian who comes to Christ in spirit and in truth.

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me,
all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband:
 and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity,
and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
(Ruth 2:11 [KJVA])

Here Boaz graciously answers her question why he was so kind to her. Here she finds out that heard how she left where she was to come to Israel. Clearly the story touched him in some way as it would anyone who understands the rarity of such determined loyalty and personal constancy in any person -  of any nationality. In short he saw something very special in her.

Do you remember when our Lord was asked to heal a woman's daughter who was possessed with a devil? Our Lord at first did not answer her. His disciples then asked him the Lord to send her away. To which the Lord said.


 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep
of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying,
Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to
take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said,
Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall
from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her,
O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.
And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
(Matthew 15:24-28 [KJVA])
Do you remember the same kind of thing with the Roman Centurion, where the Lord told him that he had not seen so great a faith, not in Israel (Matt 8:5ff)?
Remember there were places that our Lord went and could not perform many miracles (Matt 13:58)? Yet this woman had her child healed. The Centurion also had his desire performed. Why? They both had something that the others did not have. Faith. Bloodlines and heredity have their place, but there is something deeper, something within our character that is far more pleasing to God. In Ruth we see it as we do in this Canaanite woman who besought our Lord for healing of her child. Each won special favor even though they did not have the proper 'genealogical' background.
The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee
of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings
thou art
come to trust.
(Ruth 2:12 [KJVA])


Ruth had faith. Boaz here continues his blessing on Ruth and does so in the name of the Lord. The name for the Lord used here is Jehovah Elohim. (H3068, H430) and then he uses 'Of Israel'. Clearly he wants to impress on Ruth and all who hear that he seeks his God's blessing on this woman who is not of Israel and also perhaps so that when Ruth is so blessed, she knows from whom it has come. In short, Boaz asks God to bless Ruth for the very great kindness and love she showed her mother in law.  The reward being referred to is probably found in Ruth 1:8. The last section is also quite a wonderful blessing. Here is how the Cambridge Bible comments on it.

Lord recompense] Cf. Rth_1:8. under whose wings … refuge] This beautiful idea is repeated in Psa_36:7; Psa_57:2; Psa_91:4; the figure is that of an eagle, Deu_32:11. May the God of Israel take care of the homeless stranger from a heathen country! The prayer was answered through the agency of him who uttered it—a fine touch, as Bertholet points out. - Cambridge Bible Commentary

Please note that somehow, though it is not recorded exactly how, Boaz realizes that Ruth is now a follower of the God of Israel, though we learned this when she was still in Moab (Ruth 1:16).
Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord;
for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast
spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto
one of thine handmaidens.
(Ruth 2:13 [KJVA])


Ruth here responds to Boaz's kindness and lets him know that she was greatly comforted. Simply put, she was a stranger in a strange land, had little and had no idea how she would be received by the other gleaners, the master steward or the master of the house. For all shew knew, they could have cursed her and cast her off the land, for she was a 'hated' Moabite. Instead she finds exceptional favor with Boaz and his household. She must have been truly humbled and here she fully acknowledges that she is not like the others. Clearly she ranked herself even below that of the lowly handmaidens who worked in the field. here is how Gill puts it.
though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens] not worthy to be one of them, or to be ranked with them, being meaner than the meanest of them, a poor widow, and a Moabitish woman; the Septuagint and Syriac versions leave out the negative particle, and read, "I shall be as one of thine handmaids" - Gill
Again, she simply did not expect nor frankly did social customs call for such kind and generous treatment.

Next week, God willing, we will look at what comes next in this most important relationship. But before we do, let me say this...

I think it important that when aliens come to our nation, we treat them right. We Christians need to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ. Christ wants to save others and we can never do that if we can only show immigrants anger, hatred and resentment.

Let us all be mindful of how we treat those who come from abroad, particularly those who have escaped war, fire, famine and disease, having lost loved ones, homes and property to come to a land of opportunity.

Who knows, one day the shoe may be on the other foot and we may one day be forced to flee this nation and live abroad. If that happened, how would you want to be treated? "Do unto others..." would be the best guide for us all in this matter.

9 May

Note: I am sorry I don't update this page as much as I should. I get so busy writing on issues for the private pages, that I often just forget about posting a few tidbits here. I have been writing quite a bit on the Iran Deal, Haspel, the Armenian Spring revolution, Oil and energy dynamics and trouble in the Treasury markets, Russia now that Putin has been re-elected and much much more. ... the world is a busy busy place and I am one very busy blogger!!

Well, I do like to post a few stories on persecution and some spiritual tidbits up for readers so today, that is what I will do.


Serving The Lord... In Good Times

Blessings to all of you here in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am going to talk about how we can best serve God, not when the chips are down, but when they are up! When things are going our way and we are happy and content. This may seem like a bit of a moot point, but I don't see it that way at all. I see prosperity, comfort and wealth as being major problems for Christians. This is because wealth like that tends to draw us away from God. It tends to make us more concerned with our pleasures and comforts rather than with God.

Prosperity is often just as big a stumbling block as sin. But it is much more subtle and deceitful. Christ spoke of this issue in the parable of the tares and the wheat. There was a category of men who were unfruitful because of the deceitfulness of riches.

 And these are they which are sown among thorns;
such as hear the word, And the cares of this world,
and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of
other things entering in, choke the word,
and it becometh unfruitful.
(Mark 4:18-19 [KJVA])

Riches are deceitful. They grab and keep our attention, pleasure us and make us happy. They can send us on long vacations and to parties. They can send many new and interesting people into our lives who love us because we have money. Riches and the accumulation and use of it can then take our attention and love away from God. But you know what else they do? There is another aspect to the deceitfulness of riches. They can make us think that because we are rich we are specially blessed by God. They can make us look down on those who don't have wealth as somehow being out of God's favor or even accursed. When wealth becomes the measuring line as to how much we think God loves us, we have traded the Living God for the gods of mammon. The gods of gold, silver, platinum, Bitcoin and the greenback. This is the subtle deception of wealth. Mind you, there is nothing wrong at all with wealth. Wealth can indeed be a blessing from God. But often it is a blessing that the prince of this world bestows upon those who serve him best. Mafiosi, money launderers, drug dealers and pimps; crooked politicians, hit men and bank robbers - they can be very rich and all too often they justify their evil deeds pointing to the 'blessings' that their wicked acts have caused to be in their possession.

No, brothers and sisters wealth can be very deceitful. They can also blind us to the call of the Holy Spirit and the commands of God.  This is what happened in Jeremiah's time. The people were prosperous and that prosperity acted like ear plugs. They would not hear the words God was speaking to them.

I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst,
I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth,
that thou obeyedst not my voice. The wind shall eat up all thy pastors,
 and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt
thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
(Jer 22:21-22)

Prosperity made them deaf to God. This too often is the case. When Christians come to our country from places where they suffered and are persecuted, they often fall away. Why? Often, they had no real root in them and the deceitfulness of BMW, Mercedes, a McMansion; a career as model or as an actress comes-a-calling and these things turn their ears away from hearing what God has to say. Wealth, comfort and prosperity they can be great blessings or great stumbling blocks depending on how deeply grounded our lives are in God.

You see the truth is God wants to prosper us. We all want to prosper and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem comes in how we deal with prosperity and what we do with it and with God once we have it.

So how should we live in times of prosperity? We should always remember God. We must always walk with him knowing how transitory earthly wealth is. Consider Job and how he lost is all in a very short period of time.

And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
(Psa 30:6)

This is a telling verse and here is now the Cambridge Bible puts it in its commentary.

As for me, I said in my prosperity] The word translated prosperity includes the idea of careless security, resulting from uninterrupted good fortune. Comp. Pro_1:32; and for the carnal pride that is apt to spring from prosperity, see Deu_8:10 ff; Deu_32:15; Dan_4:27 ff.

I shall never be moved] Forgetting his dependence upon God, and approaching perilously near the godless man’s self-confident boast (Psa_10:6).


This is the mindset that none of us should have. We must always remember God, and when it is hard to remember, take some time aside and make sure we remember our God and that he is the source of our blessings. If we do not, we run the risk of slowly falling away from him and letting the deceitfulness of riches get the better of us.

Joshua, when he got his charge from the Lord was told to make sure he did not forget the things God had commanded him.


This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou
mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous,
and then thou shalt have good success.
(Jos 1:8)


Joshua was told that the law of God should not depart out of his mouth and that he was to meditate on God's word. That is one way we can avoid the pitfalls of 'Prosperity Departure Syndrome' - always keep God in the forefront of our minds. Consider the men and women of God from the past, consider the commandments of God, consider our heritage in Christ and the things he expects of us.

But for me the best way I remember God in times of prosperity is to thank him for what he has done. I know how the devil hates that! You know,  I can remember one day talking to someone who was in the process of departing from God asking me some question about what I was doing and how 'successful' I was. I told him I was doing fine and that I thanked God every day for what I have. He said  'you need to get outta that', meaning God did not exist and it was foolish for me to trust him. I told him I was going to thank God anyway... especially if this soon to be apostate didn't like it!! I was not, am not and will never be ashamed of God and to thank him for the things he has done for me. God has been good to me and I am not afraid to tell others of God's goodness.

Amen!

We need to always remind ourselves and encourage ourselves in the Lord and this is one way to keep yourself from serious error in times of prosperity.

Let us keep this firmly in mind, it was one of Christs most stern admonitions to Christians living in the last days to not let the good times cause us to err in the faith. This is what Christ said.


And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts
be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness,
and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the
face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luk 21:34-36)

We are to take heed to our own selves and not let the good times and cares of this life overwhelm us and drive us away for Christ tells is that the day of his coming will be like a snare and those who are not watching and taking heed are going to be caught unaware.

The next few years may see a lot of temporal prosperity for many of us and life will seem to go on as it always has. But mark this - this is just how Christ said his coming would be. We who know our God must always be mindful of our position in Christ. We are ambassadors and representatives for the Kingdom. Let us live like that weather we are in good times and bad.

Finally let none of us entertain the heart of a scoffer. Peter mentions this with regards to the last days as well.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last
 days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying,
Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers
 fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the
 beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of,
that by the word of God the heavens were of old,
and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with
 water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which
 are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved
unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one
 day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward,
 not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
(2Pe 3:3-9)



This too will be a major danger for Christians that the long time-span of waiting will cause many to depart from the faith... even while much of Bible prophecy is in the news, but not contextualized for those who are diligent in their end times task.  This will be part of the snare in the last days. It is why the last exhortation that we should all do, in good times and bad, in prosperity or want is this,...

...watch.


7 May

Prayer Requested For Jailed Pastor In Turkey

(MEConcern) Christians in Turkey request further prayer for Andrew Brunson following his second court hearing on 7 May.

The court listened to the testimonies of witnesses, but three of the witnesses submitted by the defense were refused permission to testify on the grounds that they were also suspects in the case. According to journalist Barbara Baker, who was present at the hearing, Andrew and the lawyer were very strong and articulate. Andrew was clearly encouraged by the presence of a number of familiar faces in the courtroom as local church leaders attended in a show of support.

Andrew commented on the claims made against him of aiding the Kurdish separatist organisation PKK saying, "My service that I have spent my life on, has now turned upside down. I was never ashamed to be a server of Jesus but these claims are shameful and disgusting."

Another person present at the hearing said that Andrew and his lawyer clearly demonstrated that the allegations are false and that Andrew's continued detention can only be political.

Sandra Jolley, vice chair of the U.S. government Commission on International Religious Freedom, who also attended the trial said,"The American public and Congress have been very patient, every day that Andrew Brunson spends here imprisoned is a day when the standing of the Turkish government diminishes in the eyes of not just the U.S. but the entire world."

On 4 May fifty Members of the European Parliament submitted a letter to President Erdogan calling for Andrew's release in accordance with European and International commitments of the Republic of Turkey in regard to freedom of religion, to the prohibition of arbitrary detention, and to the right to a fair trial. The Turkish Foreign Minister responded that the government was powerless to do anything and that it was in the hands of the judiciary.

The date of the next hearing is set for 18 July.

Turkish Christians are thankful for Andrew and his lawyer's clear defense and request prayer that:
a. the Lord will continue to strengthen Andrew, and that he and his family will know God's peace and presence
b. that it will be apparent to all that Andrew is detained unjustly
c. the Turkish court will uphold justice and reject the allegations of Andrew's involvement in outlawed terrorist or political groups and military espionage
d. President Erdogan will not abuse Andrew's rights by using him as leverage against the United States and that the United States will respond appropriately to Andrew's situation
e. Andrew will be released soon and that those responsible for his imprisonment will repent of their actions.

--------------------------------

Middle East Concern

meconcern.org

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facebook.com/middleeastconcern

URL for this prayer request: http://meconcern.org/2018/05/07/turkey-second-hearing-for-andrew-brunson/

Pastor Sentenced to Four Years in Prison on Blasphemy Charge in Indonesia

05/07/2018 Washington D.C. – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 7, the Tangerang District Court in Indonesia sentenced Reverend Abraham Ben Moses to four years in prison and issued him a 50 million Rupiah fine (~3,500 USD) for religious defamation.

If he cannot afford to pay the fine, “it can be replaced with a one-month prison term and we also give the defendant a chance to refuse the verdict seven days from tomorrow to appeal to the High Court,” said presiding judge Muhammad Damis at the hearing.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Reverend Abraham, 53, is a well-known former Muslim and Christian apologist in Indonesia. As part of his ministry, he is involved with online evangelism and debates with local Muslim groups.

Abraham was arrested on December 5, 2017, after a video went viral that depicted him sharing his faith with a Muslim taxi driver. In the video, he speaks with the taxi driver about converting to Christianity and the Prophet Muhammad’s flawed teachings on marriage.

Members of Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, immediately lodged a complaint against him on December 8.

According to Jakarta Post, Damis said that “Abraham was convicted under Electronic and Information Transactions Law No. 11/2008 as he intentionally spread information intended to incite hatred against an individual, group and society based on religion.

Although the verdict was more lenient than the prosecutors’ demand of a five-year prison term, Abraham’s legal team plans to file for an appeal.

A Muhammadiyah official Pedri Kasman admitted that he was content about the verdict. “This decision should be appreciated and should serve as a valuable lesson for all parties,” he said.

In a message to Indonesian Christians, Abraham’s wife Sara Ibrahim asked Christians to “pray for pastor Abraham’s punishment to be lighter.”

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The Indonesian government should revisit the country’s blasphemy law, as it is increasingly being exploited by radical Muslim groups to target individuals who they find to be offensive and theologically ‘out-of-line.’ To honor religious freedom as enshrined in Indonesia’s constitution, the government must respect all religions and stop criminalizing Christians when they are merely exercising their right to free speech.”

For interviews with Gina Goh, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

***

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.


Nigeria’s Middle Belt Report: Dozens Murdered in Churches as Attacks Increase

By Nathan Johnson

 05/07/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – For Christians in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region, April has been the deadliest month in 2018 thus far. Over the past month, there have been reports of more than 350 people killed in the Middle Belt due to the Fulani militant crisis. These attacks spanned eight states; however, the vast majority of the attacks took place in Benue State. Of the 27 attacks that have been reported, 20 of them took place in a state which has already outlawed open grazing in an attempt to end the violence. This shows that these attacks are not merely about farmers denying herders land. These herders were not denied land by the farmers, but by the government who told them that they must purchase land to graze on.

In a more blatant show of religious motivation, Fulani militants also carried out two attacks on churches in Benue State this past month. On April 24, Fulani militants stormed St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom. During the attack, they killed two priests and at least 17 parishioners in addition to burning down more than 50 homes. Less than a week later, Fulani militants attacked and killed seven internally displaced people who were taking refuge in a church in Mbamondo.

Below are the largest attacks that took place in April.

  1. April 14-16, 2018: Fulani militants attack several villages in Nasarawa State, killing at least 39 and destroying more than a dozen homes.
  2. April 24, 2018: Fulani militants attack St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom, killing two priests and 17 others.
  3. April 26, 2018: Fulani militants attack three villages, Tse-Umenge, Mbakpase and Tse-Ali villages, killing 39 and destroying more than 150 houses.

In spite of the tragedies, there are encouraging signs of progress. In April, President Trump hosted Nigeria’s President Buhari in Washington D.C. During an interview, President Trump said, “We’ve had serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed [in Nigeria]. We’re going to work on that problem and work on that problem very, very hard.” This brings hope that the international community is starting to realize the dire situation that is taking place in Nigeria. It is time for the Nigerian government to direct its full attention toward these deadly militants.

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

***

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.

3 May

Ruth Part VII



Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers,
Whose damsel is this? And the servant that was set over
the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel
 that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
(Rth 2:5-6)

As we left off last time, Ruth was out in the fields gleaning after having received permission from her mother in law. Boaz who owned the section of the field that Ruth was gleaning from had just returned during the harvest time to his field. The passage above is the first time he laid eyes on Ruth. Boaz did not know who she was and wanted to know. It is likely that this was mostly just curiosity in that the local people who gleaned were probably for the most part known to him as they were probably members of families that lived in meager circumstances. What is notable is that Boaz takes an interest in this poor stranger.

The backdrop for this kind of life is probably relevant. The way people lived back in those days was different than now, though the customs and hierarchy continued to play out like they did in Ruth's time for many long centuries after. Even here in the US during slave times, things were not all that different from Ruth's time.

1. He had a servant that was set over the reapers, Rth 2:6. In great families it is requisite there should be one to oversee the rest of the servants, and appoint to each their portion both of work and meat. Ministers are such servants in God's house, and it is requisite that they be both wise and faithful, and show their Lord all things, as he here, Rth 2:6.

2. Yet he came himself to his reapers, to see how the work went forward, if he found any thing amiss to rectify it, and to give further orders what should be done. This was both for his own interest (he that wholly leaves his business to others will have it done by the halves; the master's eye makes a fat horse) and it was also for the encouragement of his servants, who would go on the more cheerfully in their work when their master countenanced them so far as to make them a visit. Masters that live at ease should think with tenderness of those that toil for them and bear the burden and heat of the day.

3. Kind and pious salutations were interchanged between Boaz and his reapers.
He said to them, The Lord be with you; and they replied, The Lord bless thee, Rth 2:4. Hereby they expressed,
[1.] Their mutual respect to each other; he to them as good servants, and they to him as a good master. When he came to them he did not fall a chiding them, as if he came only to find fault and exercise his authority, but he prayed for them: “The Lord be with you, prosper you, and give you health and strength, and preserve you from any disaster.” Nor did they, as soon as ever he was out of hearing, fall a cursing him, as some ill-natured servants that hate their master's eye, but they returned his courtesy: “The Lord bless thee, and make our labours serviceable to thy prosperity.” Things are likely to go on well in a house where there is such good-will as this between master and servants.
[2.] Their joint-dependence upon the divine providence. They express their  kindness to each other by praying one for another. They show not only their courtesy, but their piety, and acknowledgement that all good comes from the presence and blessing of God, which therefore we should value and desire above any thing else both for ourselves and others. - Matthew Henry


The customs of those times and the way things were done is not an unimportant aspect of this book. Some expositors have remarked that this was indeed one of the reasons for it, to hearken back to simpler more wholesome times that seemed to have been slowly escaping Israel after the advent of the disastrous reign of Saul. Here we see that Boaz had an overseer on the farm/plantation and he went to him to ask whom the damsel was, for ultimately it was his responsibility to oversee the laborers and allow those who would come to glean onto the field. But note that neither the overseer nor Boaz refused any poor person from gleaning, not even a foreign woman as Ruth was.

The Steward dutifully tells his master who the woman is and the fact that she is a foreigner. Now it is very likely that the Steward knew that she was kin to Boaz as he clearly had heard the story of Naomi's return (vs6).

And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers
among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from
the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
(Rth 2:7)

The overseer continues his explanation to Boaz as to who Ruth was and how she came to be on his field. Ruth was obviously tired because she had been working since the morning. It is not clear from the passage what time of day it was but it seems that it was probably afternoon, but she was tired and got a small rest in the house. It is not clear from this passage what this house was. Some expositors say it was just a field tent thrown up for workers in the field. The word used for house (H1004) does not appear to permit this. There has been some scholarly debate about this house as ancient versions render the passage a little different.

save that she tarried a little in the house] lit. ‘her dwelling in the house is (but) short’: not the house of Boaz, which is out of the question; possibly her own house, in which case the meaning will be ‘she has but recently come to live here.’ It is doubtful, however, whether the words can bear this sense; the text is probably corrupt. The LXX. reads ‘and she hath not rested in the field (even) a little time’; the Vulg., ‘and not even for a moment hath she returned to the house.’ Something can be said for each of these emendations, but neither is quite satisfactory. - Cambridge Bible

Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter?
Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide
here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap,
 and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they
shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels,
and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
(Rth 2:8-9)

Boaz realized that Ruth was kin. Probably as as consequence of this, he wanted to make sure that she was taken care of and wanted to look out for her. So he asks her not to glean on anothers field but to stay on his. Moreover he wanted her to stay with the women on his farm/manor thus giving this vulnerable foreign woman a measure of protection. He gives her his permission, right from his own lips (no middle man) to go and glean in his field. Moreover, he charged the men not to pester or molest her. Because she was probably fairly young, was a foreigner and had no male relatives, she may have been seen as 'easy prey' to some of the men to treat harshly as she had no protector.

We should keep in mind that for the most part, there was no 'police force' operating in those days. If the Lord of the manor or some kin did not bring a grievance to a court, it was likely that some misdeed could go unpunished. Boaz was extending his hand of protection over Ruth. Boaz also tells her she can drink the water that the men from his estate have drawn and brought back for the workers. This may not seem like a big thing, but it may have been one of the unwritten ways the hands would 'discourage' the unwanted from returning to the field the next day. They would make sure that those on the 'approved list' got water and the rest went without. Boaz made sure she had all the things she needed to glean... without being harassed by the young men who may have been looking for some non-consensual 'afternoon fun' in a nearby hayloft. Now this seems to the at least part of the intent of Boaz's charge to the young men.

The word used in the phrase 'shall not touch thee' is this one.
Ruth had found favor in the eyes of Boaz. Next time, the Lord willing, we will see how she reacted to all of this.


2 May

Human Trafficking/Foreign Labor Watch

US: NY Sex Club For Sexy Millennials Only - ZH
The 700 member club has a waiting list. Only those who are young and sexy can apply.

US: Rosanna Arquette Slams March In Support of Backpage - Twitchy.com
She tells it like it is - this is about sex slavery.
UK: Boys Lured To Sex Slavery With Dreams Of Football Stardom The Times (UK)

Ending The Silence Around Multi-Billion Dollar Sex Slave Market - Time
A look at this global industry. There are two reports linked within the piece that are worth downloading.


Graphic From: Global Estimates Of Modern Slavery (UN-ILO/Walk Free)

US: Sex Trafficking - The New American Slavery - CNN
This is an interesting piece on the subject and shows how Atlanta has become a hub for one of the devils key industries.
San Diego Lawmakers Bill Targets Sex Traffickers - SD Tribune

Women Hooked On Opiod's Turn To Sex Work - NBC
This is the hardest hit state and the article tells you one of the reasons why. But this is a growing problem. As people lose work, turn to dope and are so hooked on it that they need money to keep their highs, this is going to be a major problem. People turning to 'alternative methods' of acquiring income. This talks about hooking, but what about those who turn to petty and not so petty crime?

This epidemic in some ways appears to be abating but I think it is going to remain with us for a long, long time. I also think that when a major recession comes (and come it will) the problems will multiply.

There are too many people making too much money off of this - particularly the drug companies who seem to have shown a remarkable disregard for any semblance of responsibility. They are making too much money off of this epidemic and this is, for the most part 'legal' dope dealing.

These problems often boil down to money and while I know many people don't like it when I talk about it in these terms and get upset when I don't contextualize these issues into idiotic partisan propaganda, but I am intelligent and objective enough to see this -
as long as there is a major economic incentive in place to sell and distribute these drugs and as as long as the laws only target the poor folks and not the big pharmaceutical companies, we have only begun to see this problem in America take root.
"I was sold into Sex Slavery"

Meet The Celebs Who Use Fame To Help Sex Slave Victims
Hollywood may be crawling with those who use and abuse women and may indeed be festering with to some of the lowest kinds of sex criminals, but there are also many in Hollywood who have used their fame to cast a light on this dark aspect of American culture.
Who Is Keith Raniere: Details About NVIXM

How A Chance Discovery In Philippines Led To Backpage

Chilling Texts Show How Teens Victimized by Pimps

Employers From Hell: Domestic Workers Tortured By Their 'Masters'

UAE: Migrant Workers And Unsustainable Building

Philippines And Kuwait In Major Worker Row


1 May

Iran Watch

Iran Hits Back At Netanyahu Charges - BBC

Europe Backs Iran Deal - DW
They see it as the best way to counter the Iran 'threat'.

Iran Deal: Netanyahu Press Conference and the Money Man Behind Trump And Bibi - MoA

This is an interesting take on the moves with the Iran Deal
Iran Threatens To Leave Deal, Resume Nuke Program - MEI
This all related to the 'new deal' related by Trump and Marcon
Iran’s Priorities in a Turbulent Middle East - ICG
The ICG does one of their papers on Iran.
Iranian Christian arrested 45 days ago tells family: ‘I’m in Evin Prison’ - WWM

Iran Orders ISP's To Stop Hosting Telegram - DailyMail
Its encrypted communications and self destruct feature are probably what's got them worried. It may have been a tool used by 'foreign actors' to create political protests in the past. This piece talks about some concerns they may have had.
Currency Woes Get Iran To Switch Reporting From Dollar To Euro's - Reuters
The Rial has lost a lot of value and the regime wants to reduce its dependence on the greenback.
Iran Threatens To Sink US Warships As Tensions Rise - News Week

Iran Resistance Group Claims Protests In Kurdistan
This piece is written by a resistance group in Iran know as the Council Of Resistance Of Iran
Collapse Of Iran Deal Means EU Projects To Be Put On Ice - Sputnik News
Many EU firms have deals with Iran since sanctions were lifted. What will happen? Will big EU enterprises be dictated to by Trump? The EU leaders let that happen? I don't know.
Poland's Interesting Role In Iran Deal Negotiations - Sputnik News
They assume the UNSC chair in May.
Israel Claims Iran Has 80,000 Fighters In Syria - Reuters
Iranians as well are not happy about all the foreign deployments particularly when there is real economic trouble at home. They have a lot of problems.
Mathis Warns Of Israel-Iran War In Syria - The National

Iran Hawk Pompeo Confirmed As Secretary Of State  - Reason.com

Sanctions Exceptions Sends Oil Higher

Is Iran Seeking Regional Hegemony?
This piece by the Atlantic Council deconstructs the Israeli/Bahraini narrative.
Iran Holds Energy Conference In Paris

26 Apr

Never Trumpers' Whining About Principles Was Just An Act

You know, this above linked article (at Town Hall) really encapsulates how just I feel about the Political left and their reaction to Trump. Its scathing, it's a bit humorous, but it fits. It is an excellent exercise in the just how low the political left has sunk in this nation. I am no big Trump fan, nor am I a GOPer. Never have been. But I look at the left these days and really, what I see makes my skin crawl. It really does. The complete lack of critical thinking skills coupled with brain dead narratives, foolish lawsuits and the likes, really... is it any wonder they lost in 2016?

As an intelligent Black America (not your ordinary run of the mill reflex-democrat voting Black American) I can say that people who hitch their star to that party got everything they deserve from it - cops gunning down the brothers in cold blood... and the cops getting off.. neighborhoods full of gangsters who shoot up the place, don't try and deny it  - that stuff is going on right now but like an ostrich whose brains fell out while he had is head stuck in that hole in the ground... they don't wan't to see it and have the arrogance to get mad when someone else does and has the guts to point it out publicly.  All this crap was going on with the Democrats in the White House and for a couple of years had both houses of Congress too! What did Black America do in 2016? What they always do... vote Democrat!!!

This is one reason why for the most part, I have given up on Black America as a collective entity. They are stuck in patterns of failure and are too rigid in their mentality to break free. Too cowardly to ask the simple questions that are not PC and too hostile to listen to those who care that don't parrot the DNC's talking points. I am a Black American and proud to be one, but I am ashamed at what has been happening to so many of our people and the lack of real leaders who have the guts to step up and take the flack even from other Blacks ...and there will be more than a few 'failure addicts' who will attack you - leaders who will use their power in order to help get us out of our collective funk. Guys like Malcolm X. I was never down for his talk of violence, but he got down to brass tacks about what was wrong back then and got a rash of crap from many other Black Americans, who eventually killed him. But he had guts -  he was a man, not some whimpering canine which today, makes up far too many Americans of all races these days. There is nothing I find more contemptible than a moral and social coward. It is one key trait of chronic failures. 

But every once in a while a man comes along with some guts and bucks the crowd and the patterns of failure and can speak and think for his or herself. That is rare today, particularly among American Black Men.

Look, I know many Black Americans don't like it when I talk like this. Tough. Someone has to say something and the very first step in fixing any problem is properly identifying its causes. While I have no hope Black America will gets its act together collectively, I know a lot of individuals will, once they break free from the mental, social and psychological patterns of failure that beset Black culture and people. What do I mean by patterns of failure? Look at who as the bottom of just about every statistic out there from prisoners in prison to low income households, to unemployment, to children born out of wedlock without a dad.

The political left needs to get its act together. The political right may not have the answers, but they seem to have at least a few more than those on the left. One key is this. Don't be a hypocrite.

You want your rights respected? Respect the rights of others. Alan Dershowitz, the liberal lawyer lays out just one key issue. Is anyone listening? The quote from the film A Man For All Seasons is particularly relevant.

I don't think people on the left whose minds have been so whipped up into a rage understand is that the rights you take away from anyone, particularly a President are rights they will take away from them as well. They are so blind with rage and hate at Trump they no longer see or think clearly -  it's get Trump at any cost!

The problem is that they don't fully understand what 'at any cost' really means.

I am one man who could care less what the crowd thinks of me, least of all the 'failure addicts' that make up far too wide a population sample of Black America. I want to see our communities and young people become successes, full of integrity, more self-reliant and a reflection of what I know God wants Black America to be. I also know of one way you can make sure that never happens.

Vote Democrat.



25 Apr

Ruth Part VI


And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth,
of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
(Ruth 2:1 [KJVA])

The narrative here moves from the early times of their return which was at harvest time. Here we meet Boaz for the first time and he was related to Naomi on her Husband's side. So who was he? Here Mathew Henry gives us a good little background.

He was grandson of Nahshon, who was prince of the tribe of Judah in the wilderness, and son of Salmon, probably a younger son, by Rahab, the harlot of Jericho. He carries might in his name, Boaz - in him is strength; and he was of the family of Elimelech, that family which was now reduced and brought so low. - Matthew Henry

Clearly he had some wealth for it was his field that as we will see, Ruth came to glean. However the word wealth in the above passage has a greater connotation than merely worldly goods and possessions.


Clearly wealth was meant here but perhaps in our terms the phrase 'a prominent man', may be a bit more explanatory as to what is meant. Boaz was an important person.


And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field,
and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.
And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came,
and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to
light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz,
who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
(Rth 2:2-3)


The passage does not say weather or not Naomi had sought help of him as family as she and Ruth were essentially destitute widows. The passage makes no such statement or inference. In any case, Boaz would eventually show kindness to his relative in her time of need. But let us remember the traditions of those days. Gleaners were granted permission to come onto the field and remove whatever the reapers left behind. This was a privilege granted to the poor, the stranger and those without family (like Ruth). This was a custom handed down from the times of Moses.

When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot
a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be
for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD
 thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.
(Deu 24:19)
See also Leviticus 23:22. Gleaning remained a custom for many long years later. It was the general custom in parts of Europe for centuries. In fact, the law recognized this custom in some places back in those days. Not to go off subject, but in the UK gleaning looks like it may be making a comeback to help fight poverty and reduce food waste.

The Gleaners by, Jean-Francois Millet (Public Domain)

So Ruth was going to go and glean the fields and told Naomi as much. She was hoping to find favor in the eyes of the owner of the field. That she requested her mother in laws permission is a sign of considerable deference and respect.  She was not going to make any major moves without first consulting with her mother in law. In truth it is not clear that Ruth, a Moabites was aware of the gleaning custom in Israel.

Now lets keep something in mind, Ruth did not go out to glean while secretly looking for a rich husband, this is not the meaning of the passage. What she was seeking permission for was to follow someone else who as a reaper and follow behind them and glean. What she was doing essentially was hoping she could get permission to glean with someone else.

Here is how Adam Clarke sums it up.

After him in whose sight I shall find grace - She did not mean Boaz; but she purposed to go out where they were now reaping, and glean after any person who might permit her, or use her in a friendly manner. The words seem to intimate that, notwithstanding the law of Moses, the gleaners might be prevented by the owner of the field. - Adam Clarke

Naomi gives her her blessing. But I think what many miss in this passage is this. If these two women were compelled to go gleaning, they were in near destitute circumstances. Gleaning was one step above begging. We must also keep one thing in mind as well. Despite the fact that Naomi had fallen on very hard times, Ruth stuck with her and kept faith with her mother in law and the God she worshiped. This is a sign of a very strong faith that Ruth possessed and her faithfulness to the promise she made to her mother in law, to stay with her.


And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers:
and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz,
who was of the kindred of Elimelech. And, behold, Boaz came from
Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you.
And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.
(Rth 2:3-4)


So while she was out gleaning by chance she came upon the part that belonged to a kinsman of Naomi, Boaz. The word 'hap' in the above passage is this one.

H4745
מקרה

miqreh
mik-reh'
From H7136; something met with, that is, an accident or fortune: - something befallen, befalleth, chance, event, hap (-peneth).


By chance she was in Boaz's section of the field, and his relationship to Naomi is recalled for us here as being a kindred of her deceased husband. But we know that often what happens by chance is really a 'divine appointment'. This was clearly one of them. She did not know who the field belonged to and her reason for going was merely to get some gleanings (food). How many times in our lives have such divine appointments happened? I can count more than a couple in my life. Chance meetings, chance circumstances, mistakes I thought I made that turned into a major blessing. I think any child of God can say they have had such experiences before. For Ruth, this was one of them. God orders our steps and often the smallest, seemingly most insignificant of events can lead to very significant changes in our lives. This seeming happenstance meeting was to have the greatest and most far reaching ramifications, for from this event, will come the bloodline of the Messiah.

Verse four shows us that this was a day where Boaz had come from Bethlehem, probably to take a look at the fields and the harvest as, if the gleaners were on the field, the harvest was now in or on its way to the barns. He may have come to oversee the work, see if there was anything that the harvesters needed that was lacking or fix any problems that may have arisen.

That Boaz was in the field that day is interesting and in many ways shows you how things were back in those days. The master of a field visiting it was looked upon favorably by the ancients, not just in Israel.

...a king in Homer (Iliad. 18. ver. 556, 557) is represented as among his reapers, with his sceptre in his hand, and cheerful. Pliny (Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 6.) relates it, as a saying of the ancients, that the eye of the master is the most fruitful thing in the field; and Aristotle (De Administrat. Domestic. l. 1. c. 6) reports, that a Persian being asked what fattened a horse most, replied, the eye of the master; and an African being asked what was the best dung for land, answered, the steps of his master: - Quoted from Gill
This was a busy time, people were working probably very hard while the sun was up. But we note that this is a man and household who honored God as the greetings between the owner and the field and the reapers is to bless each other in the name of the Lord. We should also remember that this was in the time of the Judges and in those days, general apostasy had not set in. Thus the Name of the Lord seems to have been taken by most in their daily greetings.

We will continue our look at the book of Ruth next week, God willing!!

Brother Mark


22 Apr

Nazi's In Ukraine Police Streets

(Spitfire List) The Kiev city government recently signed an agreement giving C14 – the militia literally named after the white supremacist ’14 words’ slogan – the right to establish a “municipal guard” to patrol the streets there. ” . . . . But connections between law enforcement agencies and extremists give Ukraine’s Western allies ample reason for concern. C14 and Kiev’s city government recently  signed  an  agreement allowing C14 to establish a “municipal guard” to patrol the streets; three such militia-run guard forces are already registered in Kiev, and at least 21 operate in other cities. . . .”

They’re also cracking down on political activists, including LGBT and anti-war proponents.

As the article also notes, while the far-right may not be winning at the ballot box, they have powerful political protection, because of the close relationship between Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and figures like Azov leader Andriy Biletsky and Sergei Korotkykh, an Azov veteran who is now a high-ranking police official.

Avakov’s Peoples’ Party is the main partner in the parliamentary coalition led by Poroshenko’s Bloc. Should Petro Poroshenko decided to challenge Avakov and, as a result, the growing role of these neo-Nazi militias, his governing coalition might collapse. And that’s all part of why Ukraine’s neo-Nazi problem isn’t just a problem of popular support for the neo-Nazi militias.  - Dave Emory/Spitfire List

More here on C14. These Nazi's mean business and the US has been seriously backing this regime in Ukraine. They even now send them weapons!!


More here on the crazy, White Supremacist Jew killers our American tax dollars are gleefully supporting.



 “Our nation’s historical mission at this critical juncture is to lead
the global White Race in its final crusade for its survival.
A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”
- Andriy Biletsky, Commander Azov Battalion


Today we are going to deal with Ukraine and a few war related issues.

One Moscow based Journal today gives us the background on a group and person the US and those within it who have long supported and aided Nazi's would rather not have us know about. Here, Moscow does not need to embellish, prevaricate, lie or give us American-esque 'fake news'. Here they just tell us tell important truths that many in DC would rather the average American not know about and because no US source will contextualize it propery and truthfully, we have to go outside of the American 'fake news' factory to get some background.

This piece is about the Azov battalion and its leadership and where Ukraine may be heading.
The man referred to is the leader of this heavily militarized group is unashamedly racist and anti-Semitic. They hate Jews and worship the devils who ran the Third Reich as kind of demi-gods.

"...Biletsky strengthened his position as the leader of Ukraine’s Nazis and won a seat in parliament as an independent candidate from one of Kiev’s single-seat districts. In the Verkhovna Rada he is the deputy head of the Committee on National Security and Defense and is ironically a member of a group on inter-parliamentary relations with Georgia, Great Britain, Israel, the US, Poland, and Lithuania." - Oriental Review

Now I am not going to go on a rant here as many of you who are familiar with my writings understand who these people are and what they represent. They are truly evil men, every bit as bad as ISIS. The problem here is an intricate one and one I hope to lay out to you all in layman's terms.

The US was trying to give military support to these guys a couple of years ago, but could not. One Black Congressman, John Conyers who was senior on the House Judiciary Committee stopped any aid from reaching these Jew killing freaks. You can read about those efforts here. That piece was written back in 2015
. A few things have changed since then.

First, Conyers was removed from his place on the Congressional committee because of alleged sexual improprieties. Second, Donald Trump has promised to give lethal aid to Ukrainian forces.

Now, go back and read the highlighted portion in the paragraph from the Oriental review. Re-read it. The Nazi's now run Ukraine's Defense and National Security. Why is this? These Neo-Nazi groups were the only ones who were effective against the Russians. They hate Russians only a little less than they hate Jews. So groups like the Azov are of importance to the race war started by Western Elements when they overthrew the government of Ukraine a few years ago. They do the bloody work of killing Russians and spitting out hate towards Jews.

But the Azov Battalion is not some rouge group, they make up the official part of the Ukrainian Military.

The Special Operations Detachment "Azov", often known as Azov Battalion, (Ukrainian: Полк Азов) is a National Guard of Ukraine regiment. based in Mariupol in the Azov Sea coastal region. - Wikipedia
So this is an official part of their military and defense forces. Why is this important? Because any lethal weapons that goes to Ukraine will wind up either deliberately or 'accidentally' (on purpose) with groups like the Azov. Like ISIS, these warrior clans have attracted every violently inclined fruitloop on earth who shares their twisted ideology.

Related: Ukraine's Invented a 'Jewish-Ukrainian Nationalist' to Whitewash Its Nazi-era Past

Since Trump has decided to give this aid and since this whole Nazi thing has been vetted and instituted before, when Obama was President, we may be just beginning to see the real Donald Trump.

However - I want to be fair as I think it highly possible that he was maneuvered into this support by John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Each has been to Ukraine to give pep speeches and support to the Nazi linked Government and fighters. What? You didn't hear about it? Well they have done so and if you scour the web, you will find the stories but powerful 'deep state' censors on the web have done what they could to bury those stories.

My guess is that in order to get his tax bill passed both of these Senators decided to withhold support for it until Trump gave such support to the Nazi Regime. The arms announcement was made on the 20th of December within hours of the Tax Bill passing the Senate by a margin of one vote. McCain initially was opposed to it. When Ukraine got arms, he supported it. You do the math. Also keep in mind that Conyers whom I mentioned earlier who opposed Nazi aid and got a bill passed that stopped such financial aid to these Nazi's, suddenly was removed just a few weeks before from his place in the Judiciary Committee. No impediment now to the 'Holocaust Redux' policy. The Nazi's are now free to kill as they would put it, 'all the niggers and Jews' they want to, with American blessing which in reality may turn out to be a divine and eternal curse.


Well this is the way horse trading is done in Congress. When you see two seemingly unrelated things like this happen during a contentious bill, it means that horse trading is going on and you and I are not to know who is selling out for what.

All this means is that in 2018 even more violence and bloodshed will transpire in a divided Ukraine that was one nation before the US overthrew the democratically elected government with one of the most deliberately undisguised coups in US 'regime change' history... and that is a very long list. Why was it undisguised? Because it was a deliberate provocation to Moscow. The Nazi's didn't just hate Jews - they hated Russians as well and went to war with them.

Prognosis: The Blood will flow in Ukraine and nothing will ultimately be changed politically save a few thousand less Ukrainian mouths to feed after they are buried.

Man of you wonder why I speak out about such things and wonder why I just don't stick to the Bible. I will tell you. Those Nazi's were no friend of Christians. The Nazi's fought Christians nearly as hard as they fought Jews in Nazi Germany. I write this so that you know the spirit behind this and the people in power here who are pushing and supporting such policies. The Nuremberg Tribunal has a the legal case they made against the Nazi's here from way back then. The persecution came in stages.

Fourth (February 1937 to 1939)

  • More open conflict based on "Nazism itself and its anti-Christian worldviews". Regime increases imprisonment of resistant clergy.
  • March 1937: Pope Pius XI issues Mit brennender Sorge encyclical, denouncing aspects of Nazi ideology, protesting regime's violations of Concordat and treatment of Catholics, and abuse of human rights.[36]
  • Regime responds with intensification of Church Struggle.[22] Trumped up "immorality trials" against clergy and anti-Church propaganda campaign.[22] Christmas 1937 address, Pope tells cardinals "rarely has there been a persecution so grave"[37]
  • 1 July 1937, Confessing Church banned. Martin Niemöller arrested.[38] Theological universities closed, pastors and theologians arrested.[39]

Fifth stage (1939 to 1945)

  • More clergy were imprisoned - Clergy Barracks established at Dachau.
  • July–August 1941 - Cardinal von Galen's sermons denounce lawlessness of Gestapo, confiscations of church properties, and Nazi euthanasia. Govt takes program underground.[40]
  • Clergy were drafted into the military
  • Church publications were censored or banned
  • Services and functions restricted or banned
  • 22 March 1942, the German Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral letter on "The Struggle against Christianity and the Church":[41]
  • Inspired by Cardinal von Galen, the White Rose group becomes active in 1942; group members are arrested by the Gestapo and executed in 1943.[42]
  • Nazi assault on churches and "Christian conscience" motivates many of the July Plot participants in failed 1944 coup against Hitler.[43] Leading clerical resistors Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Alfred Delp are implicated. Both executed in 1945. - Wikipedia


This Nazi spirit comes right out of the pit of hell but will use fake Christians and fake pastors to further its ends.
___

I tell you this - I want to see a normalization of relation between the US and Russia - peace, or at least moving in that direction and you are not going to get anything with Nazi's but hate and war.

I don't want US tax dollars being given secretly to Nazi's. I don't want octogenarian Senators with diagnosed brain diseases running our foreign policy with such wicked and bizarre policies. I am not down on his illness (that would be cruel and unchristian), only that he is still making key decisions in DC.

What I don't want to do is paint the Russians as totally innocent victims nor put a stamp of approval on all Russia has done since that coup. But when you continually provoke someone to act badly, sooner or later they will. So if the things are a mess in Ukraine, it is because that is exactly what the US wanted - so they have a narrative to create the Russophobia we now see. Why? Europe's dependence on Russian Energy.  They wanted to drive a wedge between Russia and her key customer with a along running 'hate' campaign so that Europe would look elsewhere for a supplier. Is it working?
No. If you get past the fake news and get down to the dollars and cents - it all becomes less of a muddle.


It's time for a serious change in direction in both our polices and the names of our policy makers, who have made a bloody mess of the world from Libya to Syria to Yemen to Iraq to Ukraine and beyond with their shortsighted and violent policies.

We as a nation can do better, but to do better we need new faces and new people making policy in DC.

Another Reason I saw these things? Hardly anyone else is, most particularly Corporate 501(c)3 White Evangelicals. Is Nazism all right with them? Many German evangelicals cooperated with Hitler and Nazi-ism. Many others just shut their eyes and ears while their friends, family and neighbors were hauled off to concentration camps. I will never be such a coward as that.

Well, now you know what I think of most of American so called evangelical Christians. It is a political movement, not one moved by the Holy Ghost and the courage and conviction of faith in the Jewish carpenter who was the Messiah and Son of God, Jesus Christ. Rather they are moved by the money and power of the prince of this world and have the effrontery to call it 'Christianity'. This do-nothing, touchy-feely Christianity doesn't save souls. It may elect a Donald Trump, but it does not save souls.

Well, Mark this -  too many American Christians are going to sit silent and mimic that same cowardly behavior today because they don't want to appear unpatriotic or anti-Trump or rock their social networks. I will speak out  - Let the cowardly dogs whimper, whine and piddle in the corner when someone cuts them a mean look while they wait for their master to throw them a bone. I NEVER WILL. I am not going to sit silent while this wicked Nazi beast rises again.

Lest we forget, Nazi-ism systematically exterminated millions upon millions of people it did not consider to be racially fit for their Aryan world.

Someone has to say something before the Nazi seeds planted in Ukraine spread elsewhere.

More here.


What concerns me more is this however; that supposed Christians reportedly have considerable access to the President and this White House. What kind of advice are they giving him? I don't know but I think false prophets are part of Trumps problem. What do I see? Well you will all have to forgive me, I am a Black man and at times see things through the lens of a Black man, though I work hard to keep a strong objectivity in what I see and write about. But right now this is what I see... all White... all the time.

Black folks, Latino's and anyone not White.... they need not apply.


The so called Religious Right? They often seem are more akin to the Pharisee's of Christ's time to me. The Pharisee's of those days were loved by the State and were an abomination unto God. They were rich and frowned down on anyone that was not like them. Scour the net and take a look at the mansions and massive Estate's these TV pastors have and their access to the halls of power. It is shocking.

American Christianity... much of it I am sorry is as phony as a three dollar bill. They have the image of being holy, but are not. But we have seen such men before. It is nothing new, just a variation on a theme that is older than the crucifixion.  False prophets lying to leaders. Let us remember that it was the religious establishment who used legal fraud to set up the Lord to have him murdered.



Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed
appear beautiful outward, but are within full of
dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men,
but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
(Mat 23:27-28)

False prophets can often speak 'truths' to get us to trust them. It is only so they can betray is later with much greater effect.

And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit
 in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him,
 and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold,
 the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets,
 and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
(1Ki 22:22-23)


Now Brothers, I am NOT saying God has spoken evil regarding the President. What I am saying is that I don't think it likely that these men who are 'Court Prophets' to the President have their anointing from God. I hope I am wrong about them, but let me be clear. This whole administration is snow blind. If it isn't White, they are not seeing it and it certainly is not coming anywhere near the seat of power... except a token here or there to deflect open charges of racism.

No, if this administration wants to do right it needs to stop playing politics with God and do those things God demands. One is to speak the truth always and if your job as President does not let you, then you should keep silent.

We as a nation, if we continue to let those who walk with the devil run our nation will have hell to pay for it.

Rather, let our nation...

Seek peace, real peace with all men and nations.

Use our military for defense, not offense,

Deal with our own internal issues, like that lack of real justice for the poor and those of color.

Let us get our own economic house in order. A debt ridden nation is nothing more than a slave-nation with a different name (Prov 22:7). You can talk freedom all day long, but no one is free who is trillions in debt.

Clean out the corruption in our DOD, CIA, DOJ, FBI and a host of other agencies who for too long have run games, crimes, rackets and other malicious activities against the people of the nation, using their privileged access and power.
Heal the divisions in the nation so that we can all have some measure of respect for one another and not let politics, race and other issues relating to 'identity politics' as well as false political narratives and petty hatreds divide this nation and we wind up with more State level succession movements within our nation or worse yet, another civil war.

Get men and women who love God close to you, Mr. President. Not religious fraudsters but men and women who know and walk with God and shun the limelight and all that filthy lucre that goes with the religion business.

Teach our children the truths of God, rather than the doctrines of Sodom.

I will continue to pray for the President because this I know about that job. We have no idea the kinds of pressures he is under. Most of the real activity in the White House - the assassination attempts, potent political and other threats, the Blackmail, beatings, missing persons, secret indictments, bodies floating up in the Potomac... they often don't get reported or contextualized for us. So go easy on the criticism of Trump and do this instead....

...Pray for him and those around him.



17 Apr

The World As We Know It...

... will change and change drastically over the next few years. I pray God all here takes heed and does not let themselves fall into complacency as the changes that are just over the Horizon stare us all in the face. These changes will cause many Christians to question their faith and prophecy. The problem here is that most people who will be deceived really did not BELIEVE the prophecies of the Bible and of Christ and of the Holy prophets and Apostles. This is why they are going to be deceived.

If you really believe that things are going to be like in the Days of Noah, why do most people not take some time out and find out what was going on back then? God has preserved many works for us that describe the goings on in those days. I have read those works. Did you know that the world's oldest contiguous Church has books that describe those days included in their Cannon. That is right. The Ethiopian Church has some books in their bible that were seriously considered for Scripture in our Bible, but were not included in the Western Cannon. Let me make this clear to all of you. Just because it was not included in the Western/Roman Cannon does not mean it is totally worthless spiritually or historically. It may not be considered infallible word of God, but it does not mean they are of no value. Think of the book of Maccabees. That is a very important part of Jewish history, though not included in our cannon. No, it may not be considered infallible. But does that make it worthless and not worthy of a good read? Of course not. These books can give us a good sketch of events that happened long ago and that some powerful people would love to hide from us.

Scope

I believe in the infallibility of the Bible and that the western Bible is our measuring line to line up sound doctrine. It is the spiritual baseline. Why am I talking about this now?

I think it it of supreme importance in these times for those of us who know our God to prepare ourselves. Prepare ourselves for what shall soon come upon the earth. If you are not prepared spiritually, mentally and emotionally, what will come to pass will shake your faith to the core. I am not talking about Aliens today. No, I am talking about a technology that is already here
, already being used and is not being talked about on the 'deep state' controlled news sites that permeate our Cable news sites and newspapers. They are not talking much about this, and they have probably been ordered not to talk about this.

First let me thank the reader who passed this very interesting link on to me. I highly encourage you all to watch this video to the end.


 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAXZjiRXD8w&feature=youtu.be
And do watch the whole thing, it is only 13 minutes long. Mind you, I don't believe in all that is in this man says towards the end. But know this. These Genetic/experiments have been going on a long time and what they are allowed to show us is hardly all of the capabilities they have achieved. Moreover, China has long moved ahead in this field as they are unconcerned with the ethical and moral considerations. Here in the US there are at least some consideration of those issues. I can remember a long conversation I had with one of these people who worked in this field when I was washing my car one day. It was a fascinating conversation as he talked about some of the key problems (technically) they were facing.


Well know this all of you - our world is going to change and change significantly. The power elite have a plan and they are being guided by spirits who are opposed to God (ie, satanic influenced). The mystery of iniquity is far along, but you have to get away from the MSM and Cable to find out what is going on. The key for us all to understand is this - When Christ warned us of the days of Noah, he meant EXACTLY what he said. The priests and pastors of our time (some of whom are undercover intelligence assets) have not spent much time talking about what went on back then and why it is important. If they had, the coming deception would not have the power it will have over many. How did Christ put it... these deceptions?

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall
shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.
(Mat 24:24-25)


I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about those days of Noah today, other than to exhort you to do some reading on your own, pray before and after you read and consider what you are reading more as a kind of forbidden (by powerful elitists and Churchmen) history rather that infallible scripture.

Is The Book Of Enoch Scripture?
(An interesting view: Read with discernment and care!)

Before any of you things I am way off the deep end - consider that the world's OLDEST Christian denomination (the Ethiopian Church) Cannon includes this book. So while we may not accept it as scripture, it does not make it useless.

My prayer for all of you is this that God builds a hedge of protection for all those who love and honor Christ and that the plots, plans and conspiracies of Satan, his fallen angels and his host of other spirits as well as their human interlocutors are foiled and come to naught against his people.

These plans I assure you include killing every single trace of Christianity and the small flock of God on earth. We know this from our Bibles. Moreover we know it from the things in the stories of persecution we read all around the world.

Do you love Jesus Christ and obey his commandments?

If your answer is yes then be assured - you and I are marked for death.

The Race To Militarize Space Is No Joke

Spacecraft? We already have them. Space Stations? Old news. The question is how many manned Spacecraft or perhaps militarized manned spacecraft do we have now in orbit? We don't know. If we have any, and I am fairly certain we do, that information is probably classified. What is going on in Space is not being reported to us non-enhanced humans who will probably be one day 'terminated' when the time is viewed right by the elite.

Marines Experiment With New Technology Concepts for the Urban Battlefield


"Brewster envisions a “protected bubble” that would shield the Marines and platoon corpsmen from those potential threats, with “our own drones in front of them” offering additional protection and defense. A combination of manned and unmanned aircraft, operated by the higher Marine air-ground task force command, he said, would provide the company with the added protection of a “Guardian Angels” capability and more persistent UAS coverage.
And with the expected crowded urban skies, he noted, Marines will need systems to help sort friend from foe in the air, along with counter-UAS technology with directional jamming capabilities. “Trying to figure out that part is what we’re experimenting” during U5G, he added." - USNI.org (photo credit USMC)

So I beg all of you here, particularly you older folks who are kind of set in your ways -  Open up your eyes and your mind a bit, get a somewhat wider scope on what our Lord warned us of or you may be in serious trouble when things really begin to happen down here. You will be utterly perplexed and confused. How did our Lord put the reaction of some in the last days?

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon,
 and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations,
with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts
failing them for fear, and for looking after those things
 which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven
shall be shaken.

(Luk 21:25-26)


Things will be happening that will scare people literally to death. It's going to give them a heart attack. The powers of the heavens will be shaken.


There is going to be a great shaking and one of the things the devil will try and do to his uttermost, is to shake is your faith. He is going to use modern magic (technology) to bring it about and it will shake the faith of millions, particularly when the false Priests, Pope's Pastors and Evangelists of various deep state and elite organizations around the world begin to subtly shift the emphasis to a post-Christ Christianity.

New Cloned humans, AI tech, cyborgs, genetically enhanced humans and other things that have not revealed to us will surely come to pass and we who are alive to day will probably see things things come to pass. This is when powerful men will preach that Christian ethics and Biblical Christianity is a threat to the new order and yes, a new order is coming, it is described in your Bibles. It will last 42 months (Rev Chapter 13). New Times and a radically reorganized earth is coming. Did similar things happen before? When? How can we know? A serious Bible student and child of God will take Christ at his word and do his best to find out just what is meant by 'Days of Noah'.

The Mark of the Beast? Yes, it is coming and who knows what kind of tech they will put in it. Could they put some kind of DNA altering tech in it that delivers messages you? Perhaps bypassing the ethical centers of your brain? Look, I don't know. But given the leaps and bounds in technology I see happening, it is hardly a major stretch to see such a thing as a real technological possibility.

Always keep this in mind as well. John and the other prophets had to use terminology from their times to describe the things that would be happening in ours and this factor often causes a lot of confusion in people.


Get ready brothers and sisters. Get ready we must face many a storm here on earth before we meet our Lord and are redeemed. Additionally, the devil will be working overtime to target the most important thing that each of us possesses.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
(Mat 10:22)


Our Faith in Christ.

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica

The above link is from Wired.com. Well, this is part of the story that has not been talked about much on the web with regards to the Facebook leak. That being the fact that Cambridge Analytica (CA) executives were filmed talking about ways to extort money from politicians, entrap them and spread propaganda. This is the firm that we are told used data in a way that violates Facebooks terms. Here is some background and know this, Trump may have done this in 2016, but Obama was there first. It looks like someone may have used the data to conduct sting operations on people! Well, I know from personal experience that this can be done. They did it to me. They created a false trail of evidence in order to start an investigation and they tried to set me up in a very vile and wicked set up.

Britain's Channel 4 News caught executives at Cambridge Analytica appear to say they could extort politicians, send women to entrap them, and help proliferate propaganda to help their clients. The sting operation was conducted as part of an ongoing investigation - Wired
This is why I cannot stress enough to all of you who are reading this. Don't trust your data with people you don't know and who have consistently shown a reckless disregard for how it is used. Did you know that there are firms to take all that data and sell it to foreign nations that have a long history of persecuting Christians? These companies are big and yes, they do exist. They can track how fast one of their propaganda stories spread across the net, who is posting video's about a certain royal family and then send in their local cops to arrest them. They can do a lot of things and most folks have no clue who is getting their data. These companies absolutely REFUSE to tell us who exactly they sell it to. Here are just a few of the firms who do this. So stop kidding yourself those of you who use Facebook, particularly if you are in a job that is of interest to foreign nations, intelligence agencies or unscrupulous competitors. They can (and do) find out where you live and can set YOU up, mess with you and if they have friends in our corrupt justice and intelligence system, they can get them to help out.

The Problem is Facebook Not Cambridge Analytica

Let me put it to you another way. Most people are dumb, they don't think before they act. They watch what everyone else is doing and base their actions on that. To survive in the coming world (and it will in many ways be a matter of survival) you must not adopt your actions to the masses. You must learn to think first, act later and adopt the axiom that "if everyone else is doing it, I probably shouldn't".

Is everyone charging up their credit cards to the moon? I probably shouldn't. Is everyone putting all manner of personal data on their Facebook page? I probably shouldn't. Is everyone else sleeping around on their spouses? I probably shouldn't. Don't be a crowd follower, the crowd are like cattle and like cattle, they are only driven to place where their butchered carcasses can make someone money. How come this happens? Cattle are not very bright. Neither are a lot of people. 

Keep this in mind as well. There is no "right to be forgotten" here in the US. Europe has come a long way along those lines but these data rapists (that is what I call social media sites), they have a lot of Power on capitol hill and no such law will ever hit the books in the US. So once it goes into cyberspace, you cannot call it back.

I cannot stress this enough so I will repeat myself. Be as stingy as possible with your data, get a VPN, don't let your ISP snoop on your surfing habits. That data will probably only eventually be sold off to a potential employer, once they get to Congress to relax what few protections are now in place. One day, reading Alex Jones site may make you unemployable. One day, watching too many YouTube video's from a certain political or religious perspective could get you fired. As I like to say and I know some of you hate this saying but I will repeat it here nevertheless, I would not give these data merchants so much as the steam off of my dung, let alone any personal information.

Saudi Arabia Uses GOP 'Big Data' Firms

Gulf States Surveil and Imprison Social Media Activists

UAE Uses American Intel Officials To Build Spy Empire


You can do what you want, but one day if you are not careful, you will bitterly regret being so careless with your personal information.

FYI - I do not have nor have I ever had a Facebook account. I have shunned Social Media for many of the reasons we only now are hearing about. Many of these things I have known for over a decade but could not say much but did the best I could to warn a deaf, dumb and blind Christian Church.

It's pretty hard to communicate with someone so handicapped.


16 Apr

Ruth Part V

As we left off last time, Ruth had steadfastly refused to leave Naomi's side and had made up her mind to go with her back to Bethlehem. After their discussion, Naomi finally gave up trying to convince her. While the passage does not say so, Naomi probably let her daughter in law know what the troubles that lay ahead if she, a Moabites came to live in Israel. Again, the passage does not say so, but it would seem very possible that this subject did come up. "My people don't take kindly to foreigners, they tend to distrust them. You will be relegated to second class status and men will probably shun you and if they don't their families will when the subject of marriage comes up. Better you stay in Moab", such a conversation would have gone. Ruth was having none of it. She was packed, ready to go and nothing would dissuade her from going with Naomi.


So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass,
when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved about them,
and they said, Is this Naomi?
(Ruth 1:19)

The passage makes no comment about any troubles the two women may or may not have had on their journey, only remarking that they did arrive and when they did Naomi was recognized, even after all those years.

Her return caused no little stir among her kinsfolk and countrymen. The grammar in the passage implies that it was mostly the women who were exited. Here is how K&D puts the passage.

When they arrived, the whole town was in commotion on their account (תּהם, imperf. Niph. of הוּם, as in 1Sa 4:5; 1Ki 1:45). They said, "Is this Naomi?" The subject to תּאמרנה is the inhabitants of the town, but chiefly the female portion of the inhabitants, who were the most excited at Naomi's return. This is the simplest way of explaining the use of the feminine in the verbs תּאמרנה and תּקראנה K & D Commentary

So there was considerable commotion at her return at it was the whole town. Commentators point out that her return without her husband and sons may have been a key part of the uproar. Here is how the Cambridge Bible puts it.

all the city was moved] was in a stir; so 1Sa_4:5, 1Ki_1:45 (‘rang again’). Beth-lehem was a small place; Naomi’s return without her husband and sons could not escape notice; it aroused keen excitement, especially among the women—a graphic touch, true to life. - Cambridge Bible
 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara:
for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full,
and the LORD hath brought me home again empty:
why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me,
and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
(Ruth 1:20-21)
These passages answer the unwritten question. What happened to your family? Why are you alone? Naomi then changes her name (symbolically) to one more fitting her sorrowful situation. She calls herself Mara. Naomi means Pleasant, whereas Mara means 'bitter' (H4755). Naomi is describing her new name because of the calamities that have befallen her. She says that the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. She also says that she left her homeland full and returned empty. Clearly she was referring to the fact that she had a husband and family as being full because we know from earlier passages that they left their homeland because of a famine.

Naomi is referring to the family tragedies that had befallen her as being the 'empty' she is describing. Naomi does not in this passage mention any specific sin that caused these tragedies, only that the Lord 'testified against me' and afflicted her with the loss of husband and children. Clearly, Naomi was ashamed of her condition and the townspeople clearly took notice of her condition



So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her,
which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem
in the beginning of barley harvest.
(Rth 1:22)

This chapter closes with this little appendix that describes the end of Naomi's travels.The interesting thing in this last verse is that they returned during the beginning of he Barley harvest. This was in the spring and took place around the time of Passover. As we will see this fact will play a role within the narrative to come.

Here is how John Gill sums this up.

and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest] which began on the second day of the feast of unleavened bread, on the "sixteenth" of Nisan, which answers to our March, and part of April, when they offered the sheaf of the firstfruits to the Lord, and then, and not till then, might they begin their harvest; see Gill on Lev_23:10; see Gill on Lev_23:14, hence the Targum here is,"they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the day of the passover, and on that day the children of Israel began to reap the wave sheaf, which was of barley.''So the Egyptians and Phoenicians, near neighbors of the Jews, went about cutting down their barley as soon as the cuckoo was heard, which was the same time of the year; hence the comedian (Aristophanes) calls that bird the king of Egypt and Phoenicia. This circumstance is observed for the sake of the following account in the next chapter.



13 Apr


So Is The Syria Op a 'Go'?

While the usual gaggle of warmongers, think tanks and Senators are egging the President on to go into Syria and go to war, the President now seems a little less inclined to do so.

For those of you interested here is a map of latest incidents in Syria.


Well, The President may be talking to some sane people for a change - those who can see past the pride, arrogance and violence that have led America into a place where her global place in the world is seriously threatened. He is now back-stepping from his original tweets that he would strike Syria.

USS Harry S. Truman
Source: Wikipedia

The strike group, including aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, USS Normandy (CG 60), several destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 and German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221), is scheduled to conduct operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe. Additionally, HSTCSG units will work alongside allied and partner maritime forces, focusing on theater security cooperation efforts, which help to further regional stability.
- US Navy



It is not clear what is going to happen, but as the piece notes, the key Aircraft carrier (USS Truman) that was ordered to the region is not set to arrive for some time. It is not clear that this movement is nothing more than a normal rotation of ships.  Is the President having a change in heart? Perhaps.He has been able to cobble together a coalition (if media reports are to be believed, and often, they simply can't be) with some nations for a strike. But Germany, the European powerhouse has said it will not take part in military operations, according to DW and other news organizations. In a carefully worded message they have declined military support, but did say that a message needs to be sent on Chemical weapons, without actually saying they were used.

What is going on? A few days ago, we saw many deployments of ships and equipment and a strike seemed certain. Even civilian air flights were being diverted in case of conflict. There were reports that the US had deployed submarine hunters to the region. Subs would be a potent threat to US military ships in the region. What all the deployments looked like and we must be clear - looked like was a full scale build up for a major strike. Russia is preparing her Air Defense Systems. So is Assad, but his AD systems are probably no match for America's high tech weapons.

So what happened? Did Trump blink? I have no idea. But I will leave you with these thoughts. First off Trump has to think about elections. The Syrian Chemical Narrative may play well to get us into a war, but as time passes people will probably realize we have been lied into another major war and almost certainly, a long term quagmire and disaster. Trump railed against that kind of policy in the past and knowing his support among conservatives and libertarians is essential for the future, such a war based on flimsy or phony evidence will cost him support... support he needs badly. A war like what is being proposed would not sit well at all. Well, the real good news is that General Mathis has come forward and made it clear why they are waiting. They are looking for evidence. This would not be the first time we have seen this kind of thing, we saw it before. And I have to tell you so far, I have not even seen any real evidence there was even a chemical attack, let alone who to blame for it. What does this tell me?

It tells me that the President smells a rat in this whole chain of events and he is not going to be manipulated into a foolish strike that could very well quickly escalate and cost the lives of American servicemen. I could be wrong, but that is my read. He wants some proof he can take to the country, not hysteria that leads to a war that could very easily escalate.


Image Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)
But there are other aspects to this as well that need to be considered. First is that China will mark a full scale assault on Syria as a delineation of a 'new Global order' that says - if you want a country, just go in and take it. In short, we would have no moral high ground if China decided to go in and 'take' Taiwan. The Chinese even now are conducting drills and live fire exercises in the Taiwan Straits. They are miffed over US plans to Help Taiwan to build submarines. More here. And in case you are in doubt that these exercises in those waters is not a coincidence, you may want to click on over here and see for your self.

Let me make this clear, Russia and China are going to give support to one another. If the US attacks Syria, China may very well stir up a hornets nest in the China Sea. Russia may decide to make only a perfunctory military defense in Syria and decide to go full tilt into Ukraine, if the new rules are 'go in a take what you want' or make up a fantasy narrative as a pretext for war. "They're roasting Russian babies over fire pits and feeding the remains to their dogs in Ukraine, we have to invade!!!" No evidence needed, just make up a story and invade.

I have checked a lot of sites, they are not wild about this war - only the major MSM Intelligence and DOD run and connected sites are pushing for it. Here a piece that outlines some of the rationale that those who seek an attack. You can read other sites as well particularly from the hawk right militarists and neocons. They don't understand why Trump just doesn't go in and blow 'em all away.

The ISW is a key proponent of going in (ISW which is associated with the AEI). What they propose is exactly the same kind of thing we have failed at before many times, regime change. They state they want a 'viable and legitimate government' in Syria, forgetting that Assad has been elected and re-elected even during the war! There is no problem of real legitimacy here, just that he is not an American puppet regime and is too close to Russia and Iran. So what we have here in reality is another variation on a theme. It is the law of the jungle now in Geopolitics.

Regime Change? Take look at what is happening in Libya. Here is the UK's Parliamentary Commission Report on it.

International law, which respects the sovereignty of nations has been tossed aside in our mad hunt for power in Syria. Is it any wonder that China has set aside International law in her hunt for the China Sea and the Islands she is militarizing? Monkey see, monkey do and America has behaved like the world's worst gorilla. We have gone in and bombed sovereign nations, invaded them on the flimsiest of pretexts, created violent coup's and assassinations, set up military bases on their territory without the governments permission and just decided that swinging from Arab nation to Arab nation (Libya, Egypt, Syria etc,) like some crazy ape in the jungle is the way to get things done. It is the Gorilla-fication of our Foreign policy and it is not going to win us anything but a place in a cage at the local zoo.

You see, America used to stand for a system of international law that sincerely frowned on what we are now doing and I think what is missed by our leaders is that this is one reason why other nations are working to get from under our global leadership. Our bad behavior, which was meant to preserve that US dominated system is in realty hastening its end.

We as a nation can do better, but we need leaders who can think outside of the realm of the Jungle and join those of us who walk upright and think before we act and try our best to act wisely.

Brothers I see powerful forces who I think are trying to draw us into what could very well be a trap. I see other nations with an agenda who have a lot of power within our government - (Administration, House & Senate) who have their own reasons for pushing a war to remove Assad. Reasons I have talked about at length. They (with a lot of of help) provide the provocations in the hopes that we will act foolishly and hastily. So far we have not taken the bait. But that does not mean they will not try and try again. Someone wants us to go in full tilt to Syria. Just like we did in Iraq... an Iraq that more and more has been lost after we 'won' the war. Lost to Iran. All that money and  blood in order to benefit Iran. That is the sum total of our 'Gorilla' foreign policy.

I have heard it said that the first step of avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence. Every few months we get the same old narrative, that the Syrians are using poison gas and we must invade. Over and over again we get wild accusations carried far and wide in the media to create hysteria and when the time comes for proof, there is silence or careful deflections.


The reality is that we have seen this story before and the failures. It would be folly to think a new attack has a reasonable chance of doing anything but giving the Military a chance to test out their new weapons. Only this time, The Russians may indeed shoot back. When was the last time we have fought a military with 5th generation fighters and super high tech AD systems?

This piece from the admittedly pro-Russian Strategic Culture site gives us a really good look some of the real risks such an operation will entail over the medium term.
I exhort you all to pray for the President, General Mathis, Mr. Bolton and others who will make decisions and advise the President. I think there are those who already have (I know one reader here has!) and those prayers may indeed be yielding some fruit. Please continue and all of you please, pray for President Trump, VP Pense the Cabinet and the leaders of BOTH parties on Capitol hill.

I ask all of you to think hard about what a war with Russia could mean. Those Russians I can tell you can fight and their weapons are top notch. They may not have the level of power projection we have, but they have powerful friends who can make life hell for us here in the States. I mean specifically, China. War. What will it mean? I mean to YOU, personally. Let me leave you with this thought.

(White House) PRINCIPLES FOR REFORMING THE MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE PROCESS Sections 551–557 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 established the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. Section 555(c) requires the President to provide the Commission and the Congress with principles to guide the Commission’s review and recommendations.

Our Nation requires a strong military for our security and for the defense of American values and our interests abroad. While we have successfully transitioned from a conscripted to an All Volunteer Force comprised of Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard personnel, and backed up by a program of selective service to meet emergency manpower requirements, sustaining this force requires prudent management.

The Nation must be ever mindful of the unpredictable global security environment that requires an effective and efficient means to provide manpower to the national security community, including military and non-military support in a national emergency. Historically, the Nation has maintained Selective Service registration to provide a hedge against the catastrophe not yet anticipated. Registration is a means to sustain preparedness, while also reminding youth that public service is a valued part of United States citizen- ship.

In conducting the Commission’s review and in developing recommendations, the Commission should ensure close examination of all areas outlined in section 551(b) to include the need for a military Selective Service process; the means by which to foster a greater attitude, ethos, and propensity for military services among United States youth; the feasibility and advisability of modifying the Selective Service process to leverage individuals with critical skills for which the Nation has a need without regard to age or sex; and the feasibility and advisability of tying the Selective Service process to eligibility or entitlement for certain Federal benefits. The Commission’s recommendations and analysis for sustaining and/or modernizing the Selective Service process should be based upon the principles outlined in sections 555(c)(2).

The Commission’s recommendations should also be guided by the following principles established by the President:

1. The Nation must prepare to mitigate an unpredictable global security and national emergency environment and to provide man- power by which the agencies responsible for military, national, or public service requirements can identify, recruit, and employ individuals from the entire population with skills necessary to augment existing manpower within those agencies.... Continues here.


The above referenced document (NDAA) can be found here, search for page 174 to find relevant portions on Selective Service.

Happy is the man who can pull his head away from Facebook, TV and porn and find out what is REALLY going on.

P.S. - Forgive the tone of this post, but the thought of all the people who will eventually die as a result of a serious escalation in Syria and perhaps elsewhere saddens and sickens me. It really does especially when all indications are so far is that that it is all based on very flimsy evidence, if not an outright lie.

I wish I had some deep spiritual post or words on this but frankly, I don't. All I can say is that we all need to pray for the President because an escalation could get very ugly...

...and the President knows it.

But what he will do is anyone's guess.

What will a wider war cost?

U.S. Budget Gap Hits $600 Billion in First Half of Fiscal Year (Bloomberg)

U.S. runs budget deficit of $209 billion in March, Treasury says (MarketWatch)

Is this where he plans on taking America?

I hope not.

Blessings to all of you who love our Lord, Jesus Christ.

11 Apr

Ruth Part IV


And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee:
 for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me,
and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that
she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

(Rth 1:16-18)

As we left off last time, Ruth and her two daughters-in-law were getting ready to part, probably forever as Naomi was preparing to make her way back to Judah. One of them was going to go back to her people of Moab (Oprah) but the other, Ruth, as we read in the above passage, was steadfast in her determination to go to Judah with Naomi. There was obviously the deepest regard for Naomi and her ways that both women held for her, but with Ruth it was clearly deeper. Ruth deeply honored her mother-in-law and was determined to stay with her, come what may. Here is how Adam Clarke sums up what I think is one of the most beautiful and wonderful passages in scripture.
And Ruth said - A more perfect surrender was never made of friendly feelings to a friend: I will not leave thee - I will follow thee: I will lodge where thou lodgest - take the same fare with which thou meetest; thy people shall be my people - I most cheerfully abandon my own country, and determine to end my days in thine. I will also henceforth have no god but thy God, and be joined with thee in worship, as I am in affection and consanguinity. I will cleave unto thee even unto death; die where thou diest; and be buried, if possible, in the same grave. This was a most extraordinary attachment, and evidently without any secular motive.
This powerful attachment was in reality one of both love and honor for Naomi, but also one of faith. She obviously saw something very different in her mother-in-law than what she was used to in other Moabite women. I say this attachment was particularly powerful because she had to know of the dangers that awaited her, a childless widow of Moabite persuasion going into Judah. The journey as well would not be easy, not for two unattached women traveling alone. Yet and still despite all of this she was willing to go wherever Naomi went. This in many ways is a quite prophetic passage of scripture it shows a person who was willing to give up all to follow after a person of  God to a place she could not be sure of... demonstrated something important - faith. Not the sit around and wait for a miracle belief, but a get moving, roll up your sleeves kind of faith.

This was the kind of faith Abraham had when he pulled up stakes from Ur and went to a land that was only described as a place the Lord would show him. This was faith. I would also add that this idea of following someone like this so unconditionally is so thoroughly is reminiscent of the way the 144,000 follow after Christ.



And they sung as it were a new song before the throne,
and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn
that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand,
which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which
were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
These were redeemed from among men, being the
firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth
was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(Rev 14:3-5)

These special men who are the first fruits of God follow the Christ wherever he goes. Just like Ruth did with Naomi. When we are born into the kingdom and place Christ as our Lord - Lord by the way, not being some meaningless title - we in essence do the same. We agree to be commanded by him and go wherever he sends us, even if we don't really want to do it. I never wanted to come back to America from Germany and were it not for the command of my God to return, I would never have come back here - no joke. But when I rededicated by life back to the Lord I knew it was a major test to see if I would obey him and do the things that he commanded or go after my own ways and in essence rebel. I was faithful to God and did as I was commanded. I could easily have remained where I was. But I knew what God wanted me to do. God was testing my faithfulness and my obedience. He will do the same with all of his true children one way or another as time passes. When I decided to return to Christ, I made up my mind that wherever he sent me, I would go and whatever he wanted me to do, that would I do. NO MATTER WHAT.

Faith is not mere belief, it key characteristic is concrete action based on that belief.

The kind of steadfast faithfulness we see in Ruth is exceptionally rare. Husbands and wives rarely have this kind of dedication to one another in our divorce ridden, selfish and throw-away society. Too many will continue to love you only if they.... [name your 'love' conditionality here]. There was no such conditionality with Ruth and there should be none with us and our Lord. He may very well require our lives of us one day and warned us all before hand to count the cost.

But this passage to me only goes to show that like the wise man said, there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
(Pro 18:24)


Blessed is the man who finds such a friend. Doubly blessed is a person who can find a mate who has the dedication and faith of a Ruth to brave all hardship in order to remain faithful to his or her mate. Have you found such a mate or friend or fellow traveler in Christ? You may count yourself doubly blessed.

The last part of the passage says that she was steadfastly minded to go with her. The word for steadfastly minded is a very interesting one as it demonstrates a little more than just determination.


This is the same word that the Lord used with Joshua when it told him to be strong and of good courage (Josh 1:6,9,18). Ruth was going to be strong and courageous and deal with the travails and troubles that would come as they came, with faith.

One thing my mother always passed on to me was this - God always honors faith. Real faith. Put your trust in the almighty. Trust God always and fully in obedience and faith and he will never fail or forsake you.  I will quote here from the Biblical illustrator.

Decision a safeguard
If a man is seen to be decided in his stand for Christ, antagonists will give over assailing him. There is nothing in the use of which men are more discriminating than entreaty, argument, or influence. So long as the object of their solicitude is wavering, they will bring all their batteries to bear upon him, for there is still the hope that he will yield. But when he comes openly and determinedly out for Christ, they will waste no more ammunition on him. They leave him thenceforth alone, and attack some one else. Thus decision, while it may require an effort to make it, is, after it is made, a safeguard against assault, So long as a vessel has no flag at her mast-head, the sea-robber may think it safe to attack her; but let her hoist the flag of this nation, and that will make the assailant pause. In like manner, the hoisting over us of the banner of the Cross, being a symbol of decision, is also an assurance of protection. (W.M. Taylor, D. D.) - Biblical Illustrator

We will continue this work in Ruth next week, God willing as we see how things go when she returns to Judah.

9 Apr

Jeremiah, Judah and the Sin of Pride

 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle,
and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.  So I got a girdle according
 to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.  And the word of the
 LORD came unto me the second time, saying,  Take the girdle
that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates,
and hide it there in a hole of the rock.  So I went, and hid it by Euphrates,
as the LORD commanded me.  And it came to pass after many days,
that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle f
rom thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 
Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where
I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. 
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 

(Jeremiah 13:1-7 [KJVA])
One thing I can testify is this - God hates pride. He does not like people to get haughty, proud or arrogant. He loves humility. Do you want to please the Lord? Take one of the most important steps, be humble.

This prophecy was given to Jeremiah before the exile. He is told to go and buy a girdle. This is not the kind of girdle that we have today. No, this is some kind of belt (Strongs H232).

Jeremiah is told first to put it on and to not put it in water. It is noteworthy that this is the kind of girdle that the Priests were to wear.


The prophet is to buy and put on a linen girdle. פּשׁתּים, linen, was the material of the priests' raiment, Eze 44:17., which in Exo 28:40; Exo 39:27. is called שׁשׁ, white byssus, or בּד, linen. The priest's girdle was not, however, white, but woven parti-coloured, after the four colours of the curtains of the sanctuary, Exo 28:40; Exo 39:29. Wool (צמר) is in Eze 44:18 expressly excluded, because it causes the body to sweat. The linen girdle points, therefore, to the priestly character of Israel, called to be a holy people, a kingdom of priests (Exo 19:6) - K&D
So the prophet was to wear the belt and then take it to the river Euphrates and there put it under a rock. After accomplishing the command of the Lord, Jeremiah is then told to go back and get the belt. But this time the belt is filthy and useless.



Thus saith the LORD,
After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination
 of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them,
shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
(Jeremiah 13:8-10 [KJVA])
While commentators argue about the meaning of this prophecy I think it is crystal clear and staring us in verse eight. God was not happy with the pride of Jerusalem as well as their rebellion and the two often go hand in hand. What does God call this wicked people who were engaged in all these things? It is right there in the passage - they were 'good for nothings', As the girdle was worthless, so are the people. They once had value and use to the Lord, but now who would want to touch such a thing, let alone wear it.

Brothers, let us never forget that Israel was a foreshadow of the Church, the holy priesthood of God. While today, this parable could be used for many, it was in the time of Jeremiah, meant specifically for God's people. But it could also apply to a nation, a corporation, a Church, a person, a President or Prime Minister that was once of use to God, but is no more. Pride is the filth that soiled Israel. It is the filth that can soil our garments as well.

You know I think of all those once godly, Christian colleges along our East Coast that used to really honor God. No more. They are now little more than a soiled girdle. Many denominations are very much the same. They used to honor God and now perform abominable ceremonies under their roofs - a soiled girdle. Some pastors used to be spot on but got side tracked in their greed for riches. lust for sex or fame. They too became a soiled girdle - good for nothings.

I will not post all of the rest of this prophecy but I do want to hit a couple of more verses to show you all something important.



 
Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. 
Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness,
 and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and,
while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death,
and make it gross darkness.  But if ye will not hear it,
 my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride;
and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears,
because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive. 
Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves,
 sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even
the crown of your glory.  The cities of the south shall be shut up,
 and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it,
 it shall be wholly carried away captive.
(Jeremiah 13:15-19 [KJVA])


Here the prophet gives his exhortation, which are almost never heeded. He tells them to listen and to not be proud. Then he threatens them. Yes, these days people don't like threats. They get offended. "Are you threatening me"? Well, as a matter of fact, God is doing just that. Keep messing up... and see what happens!! He lays it all out for them. He threatens them with darkness, the shadow of death and gross darkness.

Then what does the prophet say? He makes it plain that God does not want to do this. When all these things happen, God is going to weep. Having to do this to people, particularly his people really hurts the Lord. But he must play not just loving father, but also fierce Judge to those who do evil. God is holy and righteous and cannot be a respecter of persons. The soul that does evil and refuses to repent of it, he must face an angry God. This is what all of those 'good for nothings' must face.

God threatens them and gives them warnings. He tells them what he is going to do if they don't turn.

But the root of their problems here is pride. Pride is the problem of America. It is the problem in China. It is the problem in Israel. It is the Problem in many Protestant denominations and it is the problem in many  Churches who look down on a black face or poor man who may turn up on Sundays. It is the problem with the High Catholic Clergy, who did not want to help the poor when this new Pope opened up the doors to the less fortunate. You want to anger the Lord? Let me tell you how to do it. Be proud, haughty and arrogant. Always put yourself as being more important than the next man. Always toot your own horn and tell others how much better you are than everyone else. Be pushy about it and if you have to, get violent - make them acknowledge your 'greatness'. Like those old gangster films when the mob boss would have someone beat up just because they did not show the proper respect to him. This is a sure way to win the anger of the Lord. Pride eventually makes people unreasonable and later violent. Take a look at what has happened to America.

So brothers, lets take a lesson from the book of Jeremiah and what the prophet's message was to Jerusalem. It was to put the pride away, be humble and stop sinning.
5 Apr


Opiod Makers Paid Millions To Groups Promoting Their Painkillers

The above link is from the Center for Public Integrity and it is largely based on a Senate (minority) report on the issue. It is worth the read

Between January 2012 and March 2017, the five opioid manufacturers featured in this report contributed nearly $9 million to leading patient advocacy organizations and professional societies operating in the opioids policy area. For some groups, contributions from these manufacturers—alone—constituted significant portions of their total annual contributions and grants. In addition, the five manufacturers specifically at issue in this report also made substantial payments to individual group executives, staff members, board members, and advisory board members. Physicians affiliated with these groups accepted more than $1.6 million in payments from the five manufacturers between 2013 and the present. These same individuals received payments totaling over $10 million from all opioid manufacturers during this time period. - House Homeland Security and Government Affiars Committee (Ranking Member) - Chart and Text




4 Apr

Cloudflare's New DNS Service

It promises speed, security and privacy.

Perfect? No, but but it does indeed look enticing.

More here.

Concerned about Facebook and privacy? Well, your DNS requests can reveal a lot about you. With the demise of Net Neutrality your DNS requests can now be sold by your ISP - without your permission.

This service looks like it could mitigate that problem.

After Afrin: No Safe Haven

"For weeks, more than 100,000 civilians from the Syrian-Kurdish enclave of Afrin have found what shelter they can, making 12 formerly abandoned villages home." - IRIN
Another one of those stories that while it is good to read, the pictures say much, much more.

Murder In Mali

Reuters reports on the grave of six who had been in military custody.

Record-breaking donation from Saudi Arabia, UAE sets stage for Yemen aid event

A big check was written but why? What do these rich Arab nations want?

The suspicion is warranted seeing how these are the nations who are reducing this poor nation to  rubble.

Algeria: Christian released after serving prison sentence

(MEConcern) Algerian Christians invite us to rejoice with them in the release from prison of Slimane Bouhafs, a Christian arrested and imprisoned in 2016. He was released on 1 April having served his sentence.

Slimane, aged 51, is from the Kabylie area and chose to convert to Christianity in 1997. He was arrested on 31 July 2016 for publishing material on Facebook which was deemed by the authorities to be insulting to Islam. On 7 August 2016 he was given the maximum sentence for blasphemy of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of approximately $850. In an appeal verdict delivered on 6 September 2016 the prison sentence was reduced to three years and the fine was dropped. On 4 July 2017 a partial presidential pardon led to a further reduction of his prison sentence by 16 months.

The presidential pardon followed an appeal by his lawyers in October 2016 due to Slimane’s critical health needs. He had been serving his prison sentence in Constantine prison, in an area of Eastern Algeria known for its conservative Islamic values, when he was violently attacked by fellow inmates after defending his Christian beliefs following an incendiary sermon delivered by an Imam which had incited hatred towards Christians. Following this attack, and also because of deteriorating health, his family requested a transferred to a prison in his home area. The application was initially turned down but he was subsequently moved to two different prisons.

Algeria’s Constitution established Islam as the State religion, and the Penal Code criminalises blasphemy (insulting the Prophet Muhammad or any messenger from God, or denigrating any of the teachings or precepts of Islam). These and other laws hinders the freedom of Christians to practice their faith and to share religious views with others. In recent months greater enforcement of these laws has resulted in a wave church closures and the arrest and harassment of other Christians.

Prayer Points

Algerian Christians ask us to pray:

  1. thanking the Lord for Slimane’s release and for protecting, sustaining and encouraging him during his time in prison
  2. that Slimane will know the Lord’s healing, restoration and ongoing wisdom as he adapts back to regular routines
  3. for other Christians who have recently been charged or convicted under similar laws which hinder freedom of religion
  4. that the Algerian authorities will end the systematic campaign against Christians
  5. that the regulations governing non-Muslim worship and blasphemy will be amended so that Christians will be able to worship freely
  6. that those responsible for arrests and closure orders will know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus.


Nigeria’s Middle Belt Report: Fulani Militants Again Outpace Boko Haram as Biggest Threat in March 2018

04/04/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - The uptrend in attacks in the Middle Belt by Fulani militants continued in March, with the heaviest attacks taking place in Plateau and Taraba states. Throughout this past month, there were 27 attacks by Fulani, only six of which involved any fighting from those who were attacked. These 27 attacks led to the deaths of 225 Christians, the destruction of tens of thousands of dollars in property, and thousands of families displaced from their homes. During this same period, Boko Haram killed 37 people, many including military personnel with whom they were engaged in combat. These statistics show that not only is the Fulani crisis a bigger issue at the moment, but also that in more than 75% of cases, the Fulani attacked unarmed and defenseless civilians.

Plateau State suffered the greatest losses during this period with 107 Christians losing their lives. Despite this, there have been no major attempts by the Nigerian government to hold the Fulani accountable or disarm them. Both of these steps must happen if this violence is to be stopped. 

Listed below are the biggest attacks that took place in March.
1.  March 5, 2018: At least 24 were killed in a Fulani attack on the Idoma village of Omusu in Okpokpwu LGA.

2.  March 12, 2018: Fulani militants attacked the Dundu area of Kwal in the evening. Twenty-five were reportedly killed.

3.  March 14, 2018: Fulani militants attacked several villages in Dekina and Omala LGAs. Thirty-two were initially reported dead, with the number later raised to around 50. Hundreds were displaced following the violence.
This serious situation requires a serious response. Thus far in 2018, Fulani militants have killed more people than Boko Haram and affected a much larger area. Despite this, the federal government in Nigeria has paid little attention and allowed these militants to get away with mass murder. Even in areas where they have provided small amounts of security personnel, it has proven to be completely ineffective. We continue to call on the Nigerian government to reclaim the land that has been stolen by Fulani militants, rebuild the communities that have been destroyed, and protect Nigerian citizens from future attack.

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
3 Apr

Ruth Part III


And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee
 unto thy people.
(Rth 1:10)


We left off last time when the women had said their farewells to Naomi who was about to make her way back to Judah after years of self imposed exile in Moab. After all the tears, the two daughters in law are determined to follow Naomi back to Israel. Naomi's behavior and character clearly had won these two women over. Rather than stay in their native land, they wanted to take their chances with what lied ahead for them in the company of Naomi. Her behavior had obviously commended it to these women and had thus generated a positive opinion of Israel. So much so they were willing to leave their native land and follow this childless widow who was a foreign woman back to her homeland.

And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me?
are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband.
If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night,
 and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown?
would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters;
 for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand
of the LORD is gone out against me.
(Rth 1:11-13)

Here Naomi gently upbraids them for wanting to follow her. She gently mocks their desire to follow her, letting them know that she has no more sons for them to marry and even if she did, they would be too old for them if they waited for them to grow up. Naomi's dark humor shows through letting them know that even if she were to marry tonight they would still be too old for them even as she is too old at that time to marry.

Her sarcasm demonstrates a depth of sorrow she must have felt for the series of tragedies that had befallen her. She was upset that the Lord's hand had laid so heavy upon her and her unhappiness had effected her daughter in laws. What is interesting here is that the focus of her sorrow appears to be as much about them as her own tragedy. What Naomi is doing here is laying out the case why her daughters should not do as they propose, that being to follow her. She shows how following her was a 'dead end' road for them as far as their marriage prospects are concerned. What is not mentioned here is that if they went to Israel, many men would not marry them because of the fact that they were Moabites. She probably knew this but this was not part of her 'case' against them coming with her.


And they lifted up their voice, and wept again:
and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people,