A settlement in the Golan Heights region of Israel was named Ramat Trump yesterday. Translated into English, this means Trump Heights. The settlement previously was named Bruchim.
This took place almost three months after President Trump recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel on March 25. It also was two days after Trump’s 73rd birthday on Flag Day, June 14.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and effectively annexed the area in 1981. Trump Heights is just 12 miles from the Syrian border.
A resolution changing the name reads as follows:
In recognition of the work of the 45th President of the United States, President Donald Trump, on behalf of the State of Israel in a wide range of fields, and expressing gratitude for the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights led by President Donald Trump, it was decided to initiate establishment of a new residential community on the Golan Heights called Ramat Trump.
My dad is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing him again one day. For all of you other dads: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, and God bless you for doing all the great and wonderful things that you do for your families.
I last organized my vitamins and supplements into individual compartments on Dec. 15, 2018. Each day, I have taken the following: a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E; magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto, glucosamine/chondroitin, iron, turmeric curcumin, Probiotic 10 and hyaluronic acid.
This supply will last for 24 weeks (168 days, which also happens to be the same number of hours in a week). Keeping them in the refrigerator prevents them from losing their potency.
I began taking my last supply of vitamins on Dec. 16, although I did not take them on random days adding up to a total of 14 days. I will begin taking my new supply of vitamins tomorrow (June 16). These will last me until Nov. 30 (unless there are days that I skip taking them).
A friend in Florida, along with the lead pastor of his church, are having interactive discussions with their congregation on Sunday mornings. This coming Sunday, the topic of discussion will be “How to Have a Personal Relationship with God.” He emailed me and asked for any thoughts I might have about this.
I’ve been so busy the past few days that I haven’t been online too much and have not gotten around to responding to his email. Finally, this evening, I was able to write a few examples of how I feel we can have an ongoing relationship with God/Jesus. These are included here:
Today is the Christian celebration of Pentecost, exactly seven weeks following Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday). At the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Jesus’ disciples were filled, supernaturally, with the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and spoke in other “tongues.” Other God-fearing Jews, who had gathered there from many other nations, heard these men declaring the wonders of God in their own languages (2:5,6,11).
The first Pentecost corresponded to the Jewish celebration of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22). On this day, a firstfruits of the wheat harvest was offered to God.
In most years (with last year and this year being exceptions), most calendars usually list Shavuot a few days before Pentecost due to the way the fifty days are counted from Passover week, referred to as the “counting of the omer.” I believe the fifty-day calculation is made erroneously by most, as explained in this email response:
On the day of Pentecost, Jews “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5) had returned to Jerusalem (following the commandment of Deuteronomy 16:16), indicating that they already had been widely dispersed among the nations by that time. Today, the dispersion is even greater.
After Pentecost, the apostles performed many wonders and miraculous signs (Acts 2:43). They were the “firstfruits” of all who would receive many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who is filled by the Spirit of God can receive some of these gifts from God as well. Each of us is nothing, but God can make something out of nothing with the Power of His Holy Spirit.
Today is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy, France. As the largest seaborne invasion in history, it began the liberation, from Nazi control, of German-occupied northwestern Europe. It was a major turning point in World War II.
Here is the voice of President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressing his fellow Americans and saying a prayer for the troops engaged in the invasion on that day:
The entire address and prayer can be read below. It sounds to me like FDR was a believer in Almighty God. His prayer very well may have been instrumental in bringing the Allied troops success on that important day.
Today, President Trump, and wife Melania, joined French President Emmanuel Macron, and wife Brigitte, in honoring the fallen on the very site of the invasion—the beaches of Normandy. In a 27-minute speech, the president told those assembled that those who battled on the beaches saved “saved freedom.” He also said, “Those who fought here won a future, they won the survival of our civilization and they showed us the way to love, cherish and defend our way of life for many centuries to come.”
There has been a swarm of 430 small earthquakes in San Bernardino and Riverside counties recently. It is being called the Glen Avon Earthquake Swarm.
Most of the small shakers have been magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 quakes. None have reached magnitude-4. Many of them were felt by people living in the area, though, since they had a relatively shallow depth of about 1.6 miles.
Scientists at Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey have said there is nothing to worry about, though. They say that the “big one” will not be triggered by an earthquake swarm of such small size. I am not totally convinced of that, but I hope they are right.
At the gym today, I saw a small Christian booklet on the top of a water fountain. It was called “Help from Above” and appeared to have been left there by somebody wanting someone else to take it and read it.
I looked through it briefly and liked what I saw, so I took it. I have in mind a friend to whom I want to give it.
It was written by Watson Goodman, who passed away in 2002. However, everything in the booklet is from the Bible and, therefore, is timeless.
I did a web search and found it online. Here, it can be read or heard, as each page is read aloud by Mark Ward:
Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and founder of Samaritan’s Purse, has been urging Christian leaders and congregations across the nation to pray for President Donald Trump today. He cited this call to pray from 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Samaritan’s Purse is an excellent organization that regularly helps people all over the world who have experienced disasters. Most recently, they have been helping many in the U.S., following the greatest number of tornadoes in midwestern states ever to occur during the month of May.
A few days ago, a patient of my friend JoAnne, who did not speak English, brought an interpreter with her. The two ladies spoke Thai. JoAnne said that she loved Thai food and had a friend (me) who liked it “ped mak mak” (extremely spicy/hot), which made them laugh.
Coincidentally, one of them owns Aura Thai in the Bixby Knolls section of Long Beach. She said that if we went there, she not only would wait on us but would make sure that my food (red curry chicken) would be extremely hot.
So today we figured we would take the month of May out with a “bang” and go there for lunch. Our friend Linda joined us, and the very nice owner lady did wait on us. She told us some interesting things about Thai food, such as how the food in southern Thailand tends to be much spicier and hotter than it is in northern Thailand, which I did not know. Now I want to go there.
They ordered their food medium spicy, and of course I ordered mine ped mak mak. Although mine wasn’t quite as spicy/hot as I was hoping, it was close. Plus the taste was outstanding, and the lunch special prices were reasonable. We all definitely plan to go there again.
It rained a lot in CA for several months, so it has been nice to have some consistently nice weather for a change. I’ve been spending more time outside and away from my computer.
My friend JoAnne invited me to go to the dog beach at Huntington Beach this afternoon. I hadn’t done that with her in awhile, and it always is a lot of fun.
We figured it would be better to go today because there probably would be less people and dogs than there are during the weekend. Indeed, that was the case.
We knew that we would be walking for a couple of hours. So we parked a couple of blocks away from Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) so that we wouldn’t have to pay for parking at a lot near the beach.
Her dogs Dozer and Coco do not need to be on a leash, as they always are fine around other dogs. However, Rocky is kind of insecure and sometimes barks and nips at other dogs, so he has to remain on a leash.
This was a nice sunny day, so JoAnne, Linda and I had a fun afternoon together. We wanted to take a long walk in Signal Hill, which is surrounded by Long Beach. First, though, we wanted to eat lunch. So we got a lot of food from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and took it to Linda’s place.
I typically am not a big eater. However, the food was so good that we all ate every bite. The tasty spicy/hot barbecue provided a bit of a euphoric “high,” and then we were ready to walk a few miles.
We walked uphill on E. Hill St. all the way to Hilltop Park. The large Long Beach Oil Field is beneath Long Beach and Signal Hill, so we saw several oil derricks along the way.
The higher we walked, the more of the extensive metropolitan area we could see, including Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County. L.A. was so smoggy that the outline of all the tall buildings was very indistinct.
The park at the top of the hill was nice, and the views all around were great. Looking west, we could see Long Beach Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. The Queen Mary ship could be seen in the harbor. It has been docked there since 1967. Looking east, we could see Huntington Beach in Orange County. It was an exhilarating walk, and we enjoyed every step!
A couple of friends, JoAnne and Linda, took me to eat at Am Thai Fusion Cuisine in Anaheim. Their lunch special prices were reasonable, and their food was excellent.
I got my favorite super spicy/hot red curry chicken with soup and salad. Of course, I ate every single bite.
Most people, including myself, experience pleasurable effects from ingesting the capsaicin in hot peppers. The capsaicin causes a burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes, and this results in a pain-stimulated release of endorphins by the body, often resulting in a feeling of euphoria. I usually feel like I want to jump over the moon.
While America is flirting with Socialism and Marxism, a one-world government is in the making. Markell and Bowers discussed the history of the Progressive movement in America and its plan to take down the leader of the free world. The Antichrist awaits to pick up the pieces.
Communism, Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism are about using and exploiting people. Those who do this may say that they care about the poor, women’s rights, minorities and the environment, but all of this is a deception.
World terrorism, of all types (including that of radical Islam), has roots in these ideologies. Vladimir Lenin, who embraced Marxism, said that the best way to control the opposition is to lead it.
As such, behind the scenes, Communism is influencing and even controlling much of Islam, which is a totalitarian ideology with a bit of “religion” mixed in. Communist tenets even have infiltrated and are subverting some aspects of evangelical Christianity.
Humanistic ideologies understand that people need something to believe and have faith in. Basically, they are going to depend upon God, or they are going to depend upon government. Since Leftist ideologists want people to depend upon government, they have to do their best to destroy people’s faith in the one, true God. This includes infiltrating seminaries to minimize the Bible’s influence, perverting the Gospel message and turning denominations to the Left.
The most loving thing we can do is telling the truth, but our society has evolved into believing that the most loving thing we can do is being “tolerant.” Yet, love and tolerance are opposites. Essentially, love is sacrificial action, but tolerance is lazy apathy. We need to love others by speaking truth to them, not tolerating their sinful actions that are destructive to society.
In addition, there is a glamorizing of social justice, which perverts what “justice” means. There also is a perversion of “environmentalism” by using the environmental movement to attempt to implement environmental policies worldwide. Ideally, this would be done by a one-world government.
I recommend listening to the two enlightening discussions (each a little less than an hour) of these and other related topics, from May 18 and May 25. They can be heard here:
My friend Catharine and I have enjoyed taking long walks together for many years. We have very similar values, beliefs and political views. It doesn’t matter where we walk because we are talking the whole way.
There are many very nice walks to take in Orange County. Neither of us had been to Balboa Island in Newport Beach for awhile, so we decided to go there and walk around the whole island.
Before going there, she wanted to go to Jersey Mike’s Subs, which opened just last month in Newport Beach. My sandwich was good, but I prefer Subway sandwiches because they have a greater variety of vegetables, all of which I like on my subs.
We were unexpectedly freaked out as we left the sub place. It was raining pretty hard, and we had to walk fast to her car. We were aware that it might rain a little, so we were dressed warmly and had umbrellas, but we were not expecting that much rain all at once.
We decided to go on to Balboa Island. We figured that the more it was raining, the less likely that there would be a lot of people strolling down the sidewalks, many of them with their dogs.
Amazingly, when we parked and got out of the car, it was barely sprinkling. Although we had our umbrellas, we didn’t even need them because the rain stopped completely in about a minute and never came back.
We saw almost no other people the whole way. Evidently, the majority of people who otherwise would have been there were staying inside. That was fine with us, and we thanked God for the nice blessing!
One of the homes along the way used to belong to actor Buddy Ebsen. At some point in the past, some friends and I went on a boat ride along the south side of Balboa Island. Someone pointed out that Buddy was standing outside of his house on the second-story landing. We waved at him, but he didn’t wave back. He probably was tired of waving at so many people everyday.
My friend received a text message from her friend across the street. She had seen a baby crow running around in her yard and trying to fly, but it could not stay in the air.
As soon as she walked outside, the baby crow flew into a nearby bush and remained perched there. As she slowly approached it, she could near the mama bird crowing in a nearby tree. Evidently, the mama was not pleased that she was approaching her baby.
When we walked over there, the baby crow just watched us as we had a conversation a few feet away. It didn’t seem particularly afraid, but its mama kept crowing loudly.
We returned across the street to lock the front door because we were headed to the grocery store. Strangely, the baby crow hopped off the bush and followed us. Fortunately, there were no cars coming down the street at the time.
As we were approaching the driveway, it took a detour to the yard next to the driveway. As I pulled out my camera again, it wobbled toward a fence and then stayed there. Its mama flew across the street to a nearby tree and began squawking again.
We didn’t have time to wait around to see what happened; but when we got back from the store, both birds were gone. We hope they are okay and that the little one will learn to fly soon.
Lawmakers in Alabama voted 25-6 last night to ban virtually all abortions in the state, at any stage of pregnancy. Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill today.
The decision permits abortions only when it is necessary to save the mother’s life. There is no exception given to victims of rape or incest, which is putting it at odds with federal law. It is the most restrictive abortion bill that has been passed in the U.S. More states are likely to follow, probably hoping that the issue will come before the Supreme Court again while President Trump is still in office.
Those who backed the law said they don’t expect the measure to go into effect. Instead, they see it as a broader strategy to convince the Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion nationwide.
The stock market took a big dive today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 617.38 points (-2.38%) to 25,324.99. The NASDAQ, S&P 500, NASDAQ-100 and NYSE all were down significant amounts as well.
The stimulus for this is U.S.-China tariff tensions. China backed out of a trade deal with the U.S. a few days ago, so the U.S. more than doubled tariffs on Chinese imports. In turn, China announced its plan to raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods on June 1.
A month from now will be the 40th anniversary of my graduation from the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton. A classmate recently emailed me and asked if I had any pictures of the campus. I do, but offhand I don’t recall where they are.
So after going to my LA Fitness gym in Orange this afternoon, I decided to drive up to the school to take some photos. I hoped that, being late in the day, there would be almost no students walking around, which was the case.
Marshall B. Ketchum University now offers degrees not only in optometry but also in physician assistant and pharmacy studies. So the education that can be obtained at the university now is more diverse than it was 40 years ago.
Beginning last night and continuing today is Yom HaZikaron or Memorial Day in Israel. It is a national observance for all Israeli military personnel who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as for those who have been killed subsequently while on active duty in Israel’s armed forces.
At 8:00 p.m. last night and at 11:00 a.m. this morning, sirens sounded across the country. For two minutes each time, the land came to a standstill and commemorated the fallen soldiers and victims of terror.
As of today, 23,741 soldiers have died defending their country. There also have been 3,150 victims who have perished in terror attacks.
This weekend, the attacks on the Gaza/Israel border flared up again. At least 250 rockets were fired into Israel by Palestinian terror groups. In turn, more than 100 targets in the Gaza Strip were bombed by the Israel Defense Forces (the IDF).
They discussed “mindfulness,” contemplative prayer, breath prayer, listening prayer and more. According to Jessica, these are dangerous deceptions that do not get us closer to God. Yet, many schools and churches are implementing such practices.
Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with 3 commercial breaks, can be heard here:
Meditation should involve thoughtful focus on God, not on ourselves or on the things of the world. We need to meditate on God’s mighty deeds and on His Law, as described in the Bible.
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? (Isaiah 77:11-13;Psalm 77:11-13)
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:8,9)
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1,2)
Today, the first Thursday in May, is the National Day of Prayer. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and it was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Be a good prayer warrior and seek God’s grace, mercy, guidance and safety for your family, the place where you live, and the world as a whole.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)
O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2)
President and Melania Trump and Vice President and Karen Pence acknowledged the National Day of Prayer during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. Trump made the following statements about prayer and hope in the Lord:
Prayer works works miracles, and prayer saves lives. And as God promises in the Bible, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
My older brother, Dan Montgomery, PhD, sent me links to five YouTube video lessons that he and his wife Kate released over the past several days. They are Christian psychotherapists, and their site is Compass Therapy.
Dan has black belts in three different martial arts. He calls their series of lessons “Hip Hop Martial Arts and Love.”
I’ve been very busy and barely have had time to watch the first video. I’ll have to watch the others over the next week or more.
In the first lesson, I could not understand everything they were saying, even with my volume turned all the way up. That may be because they were in a big room and not very close to the microphone.
Here are links to the videos, especially for those who know Dan & Kate:
There is news that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has released a video for the first time in almost 5 years. It is not absolutely conclusive that the man in the video is al-Baghdadi, though.
I did a search for the video but was unable to locate it. Perhaps it has not been released publicly yet.
Unfortunately there was a shooting today at Chabad of Poway Synagogue, north of San Diego. A young man, 19, man went inside and opened fire, killing one and injuring three others.
Although he fled the scene, he later was apprehended and arrested. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has called it a hate crime.
This shooting at a Jewish synagogue follows the shooting at at an Islamic mosque in New Zealand on Mar. 15, killing 50 and injuring 47, and the bombings at Christian churches in Sri Lanka on Apr. 21 (Easter Sunday), killing over 300. All of these have been horrific mass murders.
The killing of hundreds of people around the world, observing their chosen religions, is reprehensible. However, I only expect it to increase.
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, age 76, announced that he is making a run for President of the U.S. in the 2020 election. This will be his third run for the presidency, the prior two unsuccessful attempts being in 1988 and in 2008.
He seems to want to return the United States to the way it was under President Barack Obama, who fundamentally changed America in ways that I felt took the nation in a very negative direction. I hope that we do not go down that path again.
Unleavened bread has no yeast, which is why it is flat. From the religious perspective of Christians and Messianic Jews, yeast represents sin, such as malice and wickedness. Our sinless Passover Lamb, Yeshua/Jesus, was sinless but took our sins upon Himself on the cross. As described by the apostle Paul:
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7,8)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I went to WalMart and got 145.92 oz. (9.12 lb.) of 50%-off Easter clearance candy today. I was a bad boy and purchased more than I usually do. A lot of it was dark chocolate, which I have been craving for awhile.
Some of what I bought is for other people. This included the little chocolate cake, which was not an Easter item but was 40% off.
This is the Feast of Firstfruits or Resurrection Day. It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Eventually, all who believe in His blood atonement for their sins will do the same.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
The majority of these resurrections, I believe, will take place at the main Rapture event. These glorified saints never will need to fear God’s severe judgment, and they will be exempt from His righteous wrath.
During the week of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Feast of Firstfruits fell on the date of Aviv 17 on the Hebraic calendar (as described in the prophecy fulfillment section of my Good Thursday commentary). It was the same date that Noah’s ark landed and rested on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4). On that day, Noah and his family were safe and secure from harm, with no further chance of sinking or drowning.
Someone looking at my Holy Week chart questioned me about this. Here is my response:
Today is the first full day of the week of Pesach or Passover, which began at sunset last evening. There also was a full supermoon early this morning. This day is a commemoration of the exodus of Israel out of Egypt, as described in Exodus 12:1-51.
Just as lambs were slain on the first and subsequent Passovers, the Lamb of God, Yeshua/Jesus, also died on Passover. His shed blood atoned for the sins of all who will accept His unique sacrifice on their behalf. According to John the Baptist and the apostle Paul,
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7b)
His death, of the righteous for the unrighteous, is the only thing that can bring us to God the Father. According to the apostle Peter,
Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)
There are clear links between the life, death, resurrection and future return of Yeshua/Jesus and the feasts and holy days of Israel. (See more in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of my online book.) More connections also can be found in my Good Thursday commentary.
The church I attend had a very nice Passover Seder last night. Messianic Passover services typically are on Friday during Passover week, since most Christians commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion on “Good Friday.” However, I believe that the crucifixion was on Good Thursday).
Both the Jewish and the Messianic/Christian Seders incorporate a “haggadah,” which is the text that sets forth the order of the Seder. The MessianicSeder.com site shows a haggadah that is representative of a Messianic Seder. While Yeshua/Jesus is not mentioned in a traditional Jewish Passover Seder, He is mentioned several times during the Messianic Seder, such as here:
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
The cups of red wine or grape juice at the Seder signify the blood Jesus shed for us. The matzo or matzah (unleavened bread) is not made with yeast, which is a representation of sin in the Bible. As believers, we are to get rid of the old sin (“yeast”) in our lives and be new “batches of bread” without yeast. Our Messiah/Christ, who was sinless, was sacrificed as the ultimate Passover Lamb for us.
The matzo also has stripes and is pierced with holes. Messianic Christians see this bread as representative of the body of Jesus, who was flogged (causing stripes) and nailed to a cross (creating holes in his wrists and feet).
He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Indeed, Yeshua/Jesus our Passover Lamb was slain, and He lay in the tomb during the first few days and nights of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Fortunately for us, He did not remain there; He rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits = Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday).
He is in heaven now waiting to return to earth, at which time He will sit on his throne in Jerusalem. There, He will rule and reign as King over all the earth. I hardly can wait.
Attorney General William Barr held a press conference this morning, during which he addressed the final Mueller report. That report was given to him on Mar. 22. On Mar. 24, Barr released a letter about it to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees.
Barr spoke today for about 22 minutes. He said that the report, with some redactions, will be given to Congress. Another report, with more redactions, has been given to the public. That very lengthy redacted report can be read here:
Laguna Beach, CA, is one of my favorite places. It has a awesome beaches, magnificent views, great food and a mild year-round climate.
Last month, the city’s police department rolled out new Ford Explorer squad cars. The old cars were white, and the new cars are black and white. On the side of some of the new cars, the letters of the word “POLICE” include the red, white and blue colors of the American flag. (Personally, I think they look great!) The majority of the community’s feedback about the appearance of the new cars has been positive.
Police Corporal Ryan Hotchkiss has said, “Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great. Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.” Police Sargeant Jim Cota has said, “All of the police officers at the Laguna Beach Police Department support the Chief of Police and City Council’s decision on the new design of the police vehicles.”
However, there are some in the community who do not like the new look of the police cars. It is felt by a few that it is “too dramatic” and even “aggressive.” Others feel that it is an insult to international visitors.
Even the national media has raised questions about how the new logo may be causing controversy and even “panic” in the city. Examples are that “waving the red, white and blue feels tainted, like rooting for the dark side” and how the new logo looks “too mean, aggressive and militaristic.”
Addressing the latter viewpoint, a local attorney, Jennifer Zeiter, said yesterday, “The American flag represents all Americans. It should unify us, not only be used by the left to further create division. It’s an outrage and a clear indication just how dangerously left these people have become attacking our flag.” (I agree with her.)
Just a day after Palm Sunday, a fast-moving fire has engulfed and consumed much of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. It is a centuries-old iconic symbol in Roman Catholicism and has been one of the most-visited sites in the world.
Flames began late in the afternoon, just a few minutes after the cathedral had closed for the day. So far, the cause of the fire is being considered to be accidental.
The catastrophic blaze burst rapidly through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, causing it to fall over. This was followed quickly by a collapse of the cathedral’s entire roof.
The flames also reached one of the cathedral’s twin towers nearby; after the Eiffel Tower, they are the tallest structures in Paris. The bells in those twin towers rang out after the destruction of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York on Sep. 11, 2001.
A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city, and ash fell over a large area. However, so far, it appears that no one has been injured in the tragic fire. So far, the cause of the fire is unknown, although it might have had something to do with renovation and construction work going on at the time.
When I visited Paris in 1984, I viewed the Notre-Dame Cathedral from across the River Seine. It was extremely captivating and always will be a vivid memory. I know what a horrific and heart-rending loss this is for countless people all over the world.
This is “Palm Sunday,” the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. This was prophesied to take place centuries before it happened:
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
As Yeshua/Jesus, the Messiah/Christ, passed by, the people who had witnessed the countless miracles He had done shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
This is the third Friday, since Mar. 30, that there have been thousands of Palestinians protesters at the Gaza/Israel border. Today there were at least 7,400 protesters at five separate locations along the border.
Some protesters threw rocks and fire bombs at IDF troops, who responded with tear gas and occasional live fire. According to the Gaza health ministry, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by live fire. They also said that 66 other Palestinians were wounded, although it was not clear how many were shot by live fire.
The protesters are demanding an end to a blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt. They want Palestinians to have the right to return to land in Israel from which their families fled during Israel’s founding in 1948.
Israel seized Gaza in the 1967 Middle East War and pulled out its troops and settlers in 2005. Israel says that its blockade is necessary to stop weapons reaching Hamas in Gaza, which has fought three wars with Israel and fired thousands of rockets into it in the past decade.
In its defense, Israel has used lethal force against the border protesters. This has drawn censure from the United Nations and human rights groups. Two months ago, U.N. investigators said that Israeli forces might be guilty of war crimes for using excessive force.
However, Israel says its troops have no choice because they are trying to stop militants from breaching the fence and attacking Israeli communities. Palestinians also have launched combustible balloons and kites into Israel.
Almost two months ago on the night of Feb. 21 (which was on Feb. 22 in Israel), the Israeli moon lander, Beresheet (meaning “in the beginning” in Hebrew), was launched into space. It was was deployed on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Since then, it has been traveling toward the moon. However, in the last few minutes before landing on the moon, communication with the lander was lost. Soon thereafter, it crashed onto the moon’s surface. As of yet, it is unknown what caused its main engine to malfunction and shut down, resulting in its collision with the moon.
Had the landing occurred as planned, Israel would have been the fourth nation—after the United States, Russia and China—to land a craft successfully on the moon. However, Israel appears to have plans for another attempt, at some pont, with Beresheet 2.0. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.”
In other news, for the first time ever, a photo has been taken of a black hole. The black hole, which is about 54 million light years or 5.9 trillion miles from Earth, exists at the center of the massive Messier 87 Galaxy.
A black hole exerts a gravitational field so strong that no particles, or even light, can escape. The bright ring around a black hole is super-heated gas that is being sucked into the black hole.
The parliamentary elections in Israel took place today. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party and former military chief Benny Gantz and centrist politician Yair Lapid, leaders of the rival Blue and White party, have declared victory in the elections.
However, exit polls in Israel indicated the Likud party and the Blue and White party are locked in a race that is too close to call. Official results for the race are expected to come soon, possibly tomorrow. This race is one of the country’s tightest elections in years.
Netanyahu is hoping to win his fifth term in office. If he succeeds, he will be on track to become Israel’s longest-serving leader.
I also got a few photos of gasoline prices in the area. They’re even higher today than the ones I posted on Apr. 1. I hate to think what they’ll be like this summer, when they typically are the highest that they are during the year.
Parliamentary elections in Israel will take place in two days, on Apr. 9. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that if he is re-elected, Israel will annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
This comes a little over two weeks after President Trump announced that the U.S. fully recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. That caused a significant backlash from Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey, as well as from the United Nations Security Council.
The West Bank is composed of portions of the historical areas of Judea and Samaria. Israel annexed the West Bank from Jordan during the Six-Day War of 1967. East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel shortly thereafter.
Netanyahu said that the annexation he has in mind would “extend Israeli sovereignty.” Many feel that if Israel were to make an official annexation of portions of the West Bank, this probably would eliminate the possibility that a Palestinian State could be created.
In the West Bank, there are about 2.8 million Palestinians and 400,000 Israeli settlers. In East Jerusalem, there are about 200,000 Israelis. Palestinians have said, for decades, that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank make the creation of a Palestinian State impossible.
At some point, a prophecy by Jesus will come to pass. Considering recent developments, perhaps it might take place sooner than later:
When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. (Luke 21:20,21)
President Trump addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in Las Vegas, NV. His first words were “Shabbat Shalom” (or “Sabbath Peace”), since today is the Jewish Sabbath. His speech lasted about an hour.
Less than 30 seconds after Trump began speaking, ten protesters from IfNotNow, a Jewish American activist group, interrupted him. They chanted, “Jews are here to say, ‘Occupation is a Plague!’ Jews are here to say ‘White Nationalism is a Plague!’”
The protesters quickly were drowned out by RJC participants, who booed them and then chanted “USA” and “Four more years.” It wasn’t long before the protesters were removed by security. Then Trump, talking about one of the protesters, said, “He’s going back home to mommy, and he will be reprimanded.”
In case the video is unavailable, you can watch it here:
Yesterday and today, stocks rose to their highest levels since the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s all-time high on Oct. 3, 2018. On that date, the DJIA closed at 26,828.39.
Today, the DJIA closed up 0.15% to 26,424.99 (from yesterday’s closing of 26,384.63), while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.46% to 2,892.74 (from yesterday’s closing of 2,879.39). These amounts are the highest so far in 2019. If the economy continues doing well, perhaps there will be new record highs soon.
In other news, an E. coli bacterial outbreak in the U.S. has sickened 72 people in five states: Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. Kentucky was hit the worst, where the outbreak first was reported in late March.
I have felt countless earthquakes over the decades in California. It would be difficult for me to count them all. The largest one I’ve experienced was the 7.3 Landers earthquake, followed about 3 hours later by the 6.5 Big Bear earthquake, both on June 28, 1992.
I also remember that during the 6.7 Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17, 1994, I almost got tossed out of bed, and I thought that my house in Orange County might slide off its foundation. Fortunately, neither of those things happened.
There has been about a 5-year pause in moderate to large earthquakes in both southern and northern California. The last moderate quake in So. CA was the 5.1 La Habra earthquake on Mar. 28, 2010. The last large quake in No. CA was the 6.0 South Napa earthquake on Aug. 24, 2010.
Recent storms may have ended the water drought, but now California is in the midst of a drought of a different kind, according to scientists. Earthquake experts have been saying that California is experiencing an “earthquake drought” and is overdue for a quake of at least a 7.0 magnitude, perhaps even a 7.5 magnitude or larger.
Earthquake scientists have explained that the longer the time between major earthquakes, the greater the next major earthquake is likely to be. Big faults eventually will slip with a huge tectonic motion. It’s just a matter of time.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO was implemented 70 years ago. Jens Stoltenberg has been the Secretary General of NATO since 2014. He previously was the Prime Minister of Norway from 2000 to 2001 and from 2005 to 2013. This morning, Stoltenberg made an unprecedented anniversary address to the U.S. Congress.
Speaking in the House of Representatives chamber, Stoltenberg emphasized the historic bonds that have enabled the United States and its European partners to preserve peace. One point he made was, “Since we cannot foresee the future, we have to be prepared for the unforeseen. We need a strategy to deal with uncertainty. We have one. That strategy is NATO.” The full 44-minute video can be viewed here:
Today is observed by many women as Equal Pay Day. It highlights how far into 2019 a woman must work to earn, on average, the same amount a man did at the same job in 2018. Generally, men are blamed for this “gap” in the payments to women and men.
However, there often are other explanations that usually involve a difference in choices between women and men at their jobs:
Women are more likely than men to work part-time, sometimes by necessity but often by choice.
There can be differences in tenure, education, and advanced skills.
Part-time workers in general make less money than full time workers, and they are less likely to be on a career path with the same growth potential that full-time employees have.
I see two things that probably are not April Fool’s jokes:
These prices are some of the highest in the entire nation. Unfortunately, that is reality, not a joke. I doubt that the prices will be going down anytime soon.
The prices with a car wash appear to be 20˘ per gallon less than those without a car wash. I don’t think that this was a planned “joke.” Perhaps the prices were posted by an empty-headed employee. Maybe it was someone who took a few tokes of marijuana—which, unfortunately, is legal for recreational use in California.
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passoverlamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)