Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
January thru December, 2008


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Dec. 31, 2008

There have been several small earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park this final week of 2008.  Most of the quakes have been under Yellowstone Lake.  This is very concerning to seismologists, who acknowledge that so many earthquakes rumbling over a handful of days, even in a seismically active area such as Yellowstone, is not at all normal.

There is great concern because Yellowstone Caldera is one of the world’s major supervolcanos.  As such, larger earthquakes—or, even worse, significant volcanic eruptions—are possible in the area.  A gigantic, supervolcanic eruption is capable of wiping out most of the life on earth.

Here is the volcanic and seismic history of Yellowstone:

  • Eruptions Forming Caldera—2.1 and 1.3 million years ago
  • Lava Flows—about 30 between 640,000 and 70,000 years ago
  • Earthquakes—1,000 to 3,000 yearly; last notable quake was in 1959
  • Hydrothermal (Steam) Explosions—small explosions in the 20th century; a dozen or so major explosions between 14,000 and 3,000 years ago

Here is a map of recent quakes in Yellowstone:

Yellowstone National Park Special Map

Yellowstone is one of my favorite places on earth.  I hope it doesn’t blow up.  The last time I was there was in June 2002.  You can see photos here:

Yellowstone National Park

Jesus spoke of the “beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:5-8) in His discourse, on the Mount of Olives, to His disciples.  These initial “birth pains” were to include wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, and earthquakes in various places.  All of these things are on the increase, worldwide, and seem to fit into my hypothesis that we are over two years into the 70th Week: the final seven years of this age, prior to Jesus’ return to earth to rule and reign.  See my commentary, European Neighbourhood Policy and Daniel 9:27, for more information.

Oh, by the way...don’t forget to add a “leap second” to your watches and clocks tonight at 23:59:59 P.M.  (Technically, it is being “squeezed in” between 06:59:59 P.M. and 07:00:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time.)  You wouldn’t want to enter 2009 too early.


Dec. 25, 2008

Christmas does not have the significance to me that it does to most other Christians, since I believe that Jesus was born during Sukkot (early- to mid-October).  I do detest the commercial aspect of Christmas, so I do not get into the “giving and receiving gifts” thing.  Most people know by now not to get me anything for Christmas (nor for my birthday, for that matter).  Most of what people get me are things that I don’t want or need anyway, and I think it is a shame to waste money unnecessarily.

I had a fun day, though.  There were nine of us, and I did most of the cooking (and all of the dishes while they opened gifts...no dishwasher either):

         
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Actually, I bought the turkey (21 pounds), but someone else cooked it (overnight on low...turned out great).  My favorite thing is leftovers for the next week.  I typically am not a big eater, but I tend to “splurge” the week after Christmas, including on my favorite dessert: butternut chocolate pudding.  I lost a couple of pounds earlier in the week, in preparation for gaining them back by New Year’s Day. 

By the way, someone asked me what I thought the star was in Matthew 2:2-10—the one that led the wise men to Jesus.  Here is my belief about that:

Christmas Star

Dec. 21, 2008

Today is the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere (or Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere).  In this (northern) hemisphere, there will be the shortest period of daylight, and the longest period of darkness of the year, during any 24-hour period.

The only reason I like it is because, for the next six months, the daylight hours will be increasing each day, which I like.  Otherwise, today holds no significance for me, as it does for many.

On the Spring Equinox, back on March 20, I balanced two eggs on their ends and photographed them.  I tried it again today; and, as you can see below, it worked:

   
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That proves that on one of the two days of the year (now and six months from now) when it should be the most difficult to balance an egg (at least, according to tradition), it still can be done.

I will say, though, that it did take longer to balance them (no, I didn’t cheat) than it does on either the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox.  On the latter days, I typically can do it in less than 10 seconds.  Today, though, each egg took over a minute to balance.  Furthermore, unlike on March 20, I was unable to stand either egg on it’s narrow end.

Why is he doing this? you might ask.  It’s not because I’m bored; I have other things I need to do.  I dunno...maybe I’m just an egghead. 


Dec. 6, 2008

I know many Christians believe that this entire universe, earth, and all species of life were created in six 24-hour days, merely a few thousand years ago.  This often is referred to as “young-earth” creationism.  I do not accept this notion myself; instead, I embrace “old-earth” creationism, as explained in my Creation commentary.

There are two foundational points about which I believe “young earth” creationism is in error.  Firstly, the word “day” (in Hebrew, yôm)—for instance in Genesis chapter 1—does not necessarily specify a 24-hour period; it can indicate a period of time of unspecified duration (I believe billions of years).

Secondly, even trillions and trillions of years would not be enough time for life to begin on its own, nor for one species of plant or animal to “evolve” into another species.  Furthermore, just as a handful of 24-hour days seems like a very “short” period of time to us, 13.7 billion years is a very “short” duration of time for God, Who is infinite and eternal.

In any case, whatever the age of this universe, I have a fascination with it.  In particular, I find the essentials and mechanics of our solar system to be very interesting.  As such, I have added a section about it to my website, courtesy of Reasons to Believe ministries.  To view pictures and information about some of the objects that orbit our sun, click here:

Passport: Traveler’s Guide to Our Solar System

Nov. 27, 2008

I was visiting up in the mountains today (8,000 feet elevation).  Unfortunately, a big snowstorm blew through.  But that didn’t prevent anyone from enjoying some great food.  I made cornbread dressing, whipped potatoes, and brownies with chocolate fudge frosting.  We also had a 30-pound turkey.

         

         
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Usually I don’t “gorge” myself, but I sure did today.  To all those in the USA: Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy all your leftovers—and all your naps.


Nov. 15, 2008

I have flown Southwest Airlines for over three decades.  Today I was reminded again of why I do.  Besides having the best safety record of any airline, and flights that virtually always land on-time or early, they are amazingly hassle-free when handling reasonable requests.

My flight landed 5 minutes early in the city where I had a 2½-hour layover.  I was not really looking forward to that.  Boring.  Well about a minute after I walked into the airport, I heard an announcement notifying some woman that she had only a few minutes to get to the gate, to board a Southwest flight that was going to my ultimate destination.  So I hurried directly to that gate.

I told the attendant that I was flying on a free ticket and wondered if there was any chance I could get on that flight.  Somehow, I suspect that if it had been just about any other airline, she probably would have asked for an arm or a leg in exchange.  And I doubt that she would have provided me with a knife; I would have had to find one.

However, this lady simply asked if I had checked in any luggage (I had not), asked for my boarding pass, processed me in about one minute, handed me a new boarding pass, and told me to board the plane (which already was 100% boarded, except for the lady who never showed up).  It was just that simple, and there were no extra charges.

That plane departed about 25 minutes after my other one had landed.  And had the first plane not been early, I would not have heard the announcement urging the lady to board the second plane.  I think that God arranges things like that for people, and most of them just chalk it up to mere coincidence.  I don’t, and I thanked Him for it.  As for why that lady missed her flight...maybe she decided not to leave her husband.  Who knows.

Anyway, I sat in an aisle seat on the back row, which was fine with me, because nobody was in the seat next to me.  Plus, I was just a few steps from the restroom.  It was a very smooth, enjoyable flight.  After we landed, and I had retrieved my car, I drove to a restaurant for dinner.  I got there 15 minutes before my originally scheduled flight had even left the airport.  That made me very happy. 

By the way, last year Southwest Airlines demonstrated what I would consider “integrity” by issuing me a free flight coupon, which I felt I deserved.  That story is in my Nov. 7, 2007, entry.

On my second flight today, I was flipping through the Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine.  Inside was a Hidden Fee Word Search game.  I thought it was clever, because it showed ways that Southwest Airlines does NOT charge hidden fees for certain things for which some other airlines do.  I asked a flight attendant if I could take the magazine, and she said I could.  Click on the link to the word search game earlier in this paragraph to print it out and play it, if you want to.


Nov. 12, 2008

The Fall foliage colors in Alabama are just beyond their peak.  Here are a few shots:

         
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It’s sort of like driving through a bowl of Fruit Loops. 


Nov. 9, 2008

Today, my cousin and I visited Walking on Water Christian Church, a black church in Birmingham, Alabama.  It was great.  There was a large congregation, and I saw only one other white person there.  Several people spoke to us and welcomed us.

We really enjoyed the music, the singing, and the message.  A guy in a wheelchair sat next to me, and I very much enjoyed his enthusiasm during the service.  Even with his handicap, it was evident that he loved the Lord.  I felt certain he knew that, one day, God will lift him out of that wheelchair, and he will jump for joy.

The fact that Barack Obama had won the election five days ago was mentioned.  It was noted that “change” was a cornerstone of his message.  Then, the pastor’s message was “We Can Change: The Hope We Need for Change.”  Here were the main points:

  1. God is with us:  “Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.” (Job 8:13)
  2. God cares for us:  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7)
  3. God knows about us:  “Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (Psalm 56:8)
  4. God wants us to trust Him:  “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’” (Romans 4:18)
  5. God has promised to help us:  “Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.” (Psalm 119:116)
  6. God cannot lie:  “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.” (Hebrews 6:17,18)

Attending this church was very enjoyable and uplifting.  I would like to go again sometime.


Nov. 4, 2008

Barack Obama has won the presidential election.  I pray that God’s Will be done with the complete and total change that, presumably, is coming to our nation and to the world.  I do not believe that the vast majority of Americans, nor the other citizens of earth, are prepared for what is about to happen to us.  I do not think that it necessarily will be immediate, but I do feel that it probably is inevitable, over time.

President-elect Obama has inherited, among other bummers, an economy that probably is the worst in our nation’s history.  In fact, the socio-economic system of the entire world is in trouble.  None of this is anything he caused, yet he will have to deal with it, in one way or another.  I suspect that it will be overwhelming, so I hope he will gather around him knowledgeable and competent advisors.

According to my hypothesis concerning the 70th Week, which may have been delineated by the seven-year European Neighbourhood Policy (into which we now may be over two years), it is about time for there to be a noticeable surge in the complexity and difficulties of world conditions.  And if so, we are less than 1½ year away from what Jesus described as “great distress [or tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21).


Oct. 30, 2008

I saw a huge pumpkin at the store this afternoon.  It was the biggest of the bunch, and it was the same price as all the rest.  I couldn’t resist it, because I wanted the seeds.  I figured that the bigger the pumpkin, the more seeds there would be inside.

As I was paying for my items, a store employee noticed the pumpkin in my basket.  She said, “Ohhhh, you got the big one!  I wanted to make a Jack-o’-lantern out of that one!”  I told her that I wanted it only for the seeds and that I could go home, take the seeds out of it, and bring it back to her.  She smiled and said, “OK!”  So I took the pumpkin home, carved out the top, and removed all the seeds.  Then I took it back to the store clerk, and she was happy. 

I was surprised, though, that although this pumpkin was about 1½ times the size as the one I carved into a Jack-o’-lantern on Oct. 24, the amount of seeds inside was less.  (The two pumpkins may appear to be the same size in the photos, but they aren’t.)  The seeds in the larger pumpkin were larger in size, but there were fewer of them.  If you compare the seeds in the same pan on both days, you’ll see that the area covered by the seeds from the first pumpkin was greater than the area covered by the second pumpkin’s seeds.

 
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Hmmm...it makes me want to get a pumpkin smaller than the first one to see if, by chance, it actually might have more seeds.  We’ll see, but I doubt it; I’m tired of carving pumpkins.


Oct. 24, 2008

I do not “get into” Halloween.  I used to when I was a kid, because I enjoyed getting tons of candy trick-or-treating.  Now, all I care about is that pumpkins are in season, because I love the pumpkin seeds.

After I got the seeds out of a big pumpkin today, I was going to carve it up, bake it, and eat it.  But somebody wanted a Jack-o’-lantern, so I made one.  I think it’s kind of cool that the cap came out shaped like the six-sided Star of David.

       
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This is how I prepared the seeds: I poured all of them into a bowl with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salted them, mixed them up, and covered the bottom of a pan with them.  Then I baked them at 350° for 30 minutes.  Man, are they good!  Sometimes I bake them until they are even browner and more crunchy.

I also baked the eyes, nose, and mouth for the same amount of time and ate those raw.  They were very tasty, not to mention nutritious.  I suspect that the Jack-o’-lantern itself will suffer the same fate after Halloween is over.


Oct. 18, 2008

I love all pets, as long as they are other people’s pets.  I have had pets; but the hassle involved with taking care of them, and in dealing with the messes they make, is not worth having them.  At least, this is true for me.

But I have several friends with pets, and today was “visiting friends with pets” day for me.  These friends and pets are in Anaheim and Garden Grove, CA.  All of these animals love me because I scratch, rub, and play with them.  Here are a few of them:

       

       

       

       
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Dog Movie
(15 seconds)

The dog was a blast to play with.  We played “fetch the ball” for a good 1½-hour straight.  She never got tired, and neither did I.  No matter where I threw the ball, she retrieved it.  I definitely got my animal “fix” today.  But it won’t be long before I’ll need another one.

Sometimes I actually feel that I can relate better to animals than I can to people.  At least animals are relatively predictable and do not have unreasonable expectations.


Oct. 9, 2008

Today was Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32), and I fasted all day.  I finished dinner last night at 5:30, and I didn’t eat another bite until 6:40 tonight, after sunset.  This is my plate of food with which I broke my fast tonight:

I didn’t really “pig out”; it was just a normal meal.  Actually, after fasting for at least 24 hours, your stomach shrinks a bit, so it doesn’t take as much food to feel full.  On my plate was salmon (coated on both sides with sesame seeds), topped with serrano chilis, and served with broccoli, zucchini, and fresh vegetables and figs from my friend’s garden (the one I’m visiting for two weeks).  He’s Jewish and I’m not, but he didn’t fast for Yom Kippur while I did.  Go figure.


Oct. 7, 2008

I know this is terrible, but I think it’s hilarious (oops!):

Sarah Palin’s Vogue Magazine cover

Oct. 3, 2008

The House passed the financial bailout bill today, 263 to 171.  Then George Bush signed it into law.  However, anyone who thinks there are “rosy times” ahead is unaware of the gravity of our financial situation.  I used to have a friend who jokingly would say, “Bad news, worse to come!”  Well, this is just such a case, only what is on our economic horizon is going to be much, much worse than most people can even imagine.

As such, I am recommending that people consider printing out the Adversity Supplies Basic Check List and start checking off the items as they purchase them and store them away.  These items will not get someone’s family through the worst of times, but they could help them through an initial period, when food and other supplies are scarce, after people panic and clear off the store shelves.  I don’t know if this is going to happen sooner or later, but I do believe that it is going to happen.  It is best to be prepared, rather than wish that one had prepared after the fact.


Oct. 1, 2008

The U.S. Senate passed a financial bailout bill today, 74-25.  (The only one not there to vote was Ted Kennedy, who is in the hospital).  Now it goes to the House.  Frankly, I am very skeptical of the whole thing.  I see it as being equivalent to a bandaid taped over a gaping, hemorrhaging wound.  It probably will help calm down the wildly volatile stock market—for awhile, at least.  But I seriously doubt that it will repair, nor adequately compensate for, the dire economic problems that we face.  It’s just a matter of time before the bottom drops out, in my opinion.  There are just too many things falling apart.

On a different note, today is often referred to as “Shocktober 1st” in Los Angeles, due to the 5.9 earthquake 21 years ago today.  I distinctly remember at 7:42 that morning, I was in the kitchen of my house in Irvine, washing my breakfast dishes.  I thought somebody outside was whacking the side of my house with something.  Then I noticed my dog Heidi running around the kitchen in a crazy pattern.  Suddenly, I realized it was an earthquake.  I ran to look at the TV, and the news reporter already had jumped under his desk while on the air.  I think the main damage from that quake was the collapse of the 605 Freeway overpass onto the 5 Freeway.  It was very inconvenient until that was repaired.

Now, here is the similarity between these two accounts:  Just as “the Big One” (earthquake), one day, will hit California (shaking surrounding states as well), a worldwide economic collapse also will take place as well.  The present monetary troubles are merely a “foreshock” of a very deep recession—or, more likely, a depression.  And I do not believe there are enough bandaids in the world to stop it.


Sep. 29, 2008

The U.S. Stock Market dropped a record 777.68 points today.  (I think 777 is an interesting number.)  It was the largest numerical drop ever, although it was not even in the top ten of percentage drops, at 7%.  But still, it is very concerning, even frightening.

For decades, I have felt that once we entered the 70th Week (the final seven years of this age, prophesied in Daniel 9:27), a virtual collapse of the world’s economy would take place sometime during that seven-year period.  Is this it?  I don’t know.  All I know is that we may be on the brink of a cataclysmic economic breakdown.  It would adversely the entire world if it happens, and most economists agree with that.

Frankly, I do believe it is going to happen, but the timing of it is uncertain.    Hopefully, we are a few years away from this.  When it happens, people like the False Prophet (aka, the “second beast”: Revelation 13:11-17) will point the panicked, disillusioned citizens of earth toward the Antichrist (aka, the “first beast”: Revelation 13:1-8, who will be the “man of lawlessness”: 2 Thessalonians 2:3) as the one who, allegedly, will be able to get us out of our horrific mess.  Instead, though, he will plunge the world headlong into the Great Tribulation.


Sep. 24, 2008

Today I am hanging out in Hillcrest, here in San Diego, as I often do.  It is one of my favorite neighborhoods, since it contains many of my favorite things: restaurant, coffee shop, grocery store, and other things.  I also can listen to my favorite radio stations here: 98.1 FM, the Breeze, and 600 AM, KOGO.  And, needless to say, the weather virtually always is ideal.

       
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Not surprisingly, Hillcrest is ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 neighborhoods.  For me, it’s probably #1.


Sep. 19, 2008

I’m going to a potluck tonight.  Rather than just buy something at the store to take, I decided to make a cake.  Besides, I’m craving something chocolate.

Well, I set my alarm wrong, and the cake stayed in the oven an extra 20-25 minutes.  Oops!  It actually didn’t smell burned, just “well-done.”  I immediately put it on a wire surface, as soon as I removed it from the oven, to cool off.

A dark band around the bottom of the cake (which actually was the top of it while in the oven) showed me that this part evidently got overdone.  You can see that in the first photo below.  The frosting hides it in the second photo.

 
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I pinched off a small crumb of that dark part and ate it.  It didn’t taste burned, just a little “different,” so maybe it’ll be OK.  In fact, who knows...maybe this is a revolutionary way to make a Bundt cake.  I guess I’ll see at the potluck tonight.  I might even eat a piece of cake before dinner, because I’ll still be curious about how it tastes...and still craving chocolate, no doubt.


Sep.12, 2008

Wow, it looks like Galveston and Houston will be taking a direct hit from Ike.  I bet that will be a huge mess to clean up.  It’s strength is the strongest Category 2 storm possible, at 110 mph sustained winds.

         
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I think it’s amazing that so many people stayed on Galveston Island.  I don’t think I would.


Sep. 5, 2008

I was sent a link to this page...interesting: God’s Yellow Pages.


Sep. 4, 2008

It looks like John McCain and Sarah Palin are a team now.  Who would have figured?

         
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If you’d like to see a video of Sarah Palin, as Alaska’s governor, visiting her home church and giving some encouraging words, click here.


Aug. 26, 2008

A lady emailed me with questions about light.  Specifically, she did not understand the relationship between the wavelength and the frequency of light and the change that takes place when light passes from air into another transparent medium.  In case you are interested in reading my email response to her, go here:


Aug. 24, 2008

This map sums up what I feel about Israel’s situation in the Middle East:

It’s a good example of how one picture is worth a thousand words.  ’Nuff said.


Aug. 20, 2008

It looks like Shawn Johnson (gold: 16.225) and Nastia Liukin (silver: 16.025), USA, are the queens of the Olympic balance beam.  Cheng Fei (bronze: 15.950), China, took third.  Both Shawn and Nastia had fantastic Olympics.  Hopefully, they will be back in four years (if there even are Olympic games then) to win more.

         

Also, Jonathan Horton (silver: 16.175), USA, barely missed the gold by 0.025 (25/1000) of a point on the horizontal bar final.  Zou Kai (gold: 16.200), China, took first; and Fabian Hambuechen (bronze: 15.875), Germany, took third.  All three of them have the potential to be great gymnastics stars in the future.

   
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Aug. 17, 2008

Michael Phelps and his relay team did it for themselves and for the USA, with a time of 3:29.34, a new world record for the 4 x 100 meter medley relay.  Australia swam to the silver with 3:30:04, and Japan got the bronze with 3:31:18.

Out of 8 swimming races at the 2008 Olympics, Phelps won 8 gold medals; 7 were world records, and 1 was an Olympic record.  Three of those were relays with three other teammates, so he definitely had some help along the way, which he acknowledged.

Michael Phelps now has won more gold medals at a single Olympic games than anyone else.  He also has won more total gold medals (14) than anyone else in Olympic history.

         
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Way to go, Michael!  You’ve made America—and your mom—immensely proud!


Aug. 16, 2008

Well, Michael Phelps, USA Olympian, has tied the great Mark Spitz’s amazing feat, in 1972, of winning seven gold medals in a single Olympic games.  He did this in the 100-meter butterfly by beating Milorad Cavic of Serbia by only 1/100 of a second.  He also set an Olympic record at 50.58 seconds.

Up until the very end, it looked like Cavic was the winner.  Phelps won by about the length of a fingernail.  When his mom (his biggest fan) saw the final time, she was overwhelmed and had to sit down immediately.  It almost looked as though she had fainted, although I’m sure she didn’t.

         

         

         
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I enjoyed the interview later, by Bob Costas, of Phelps and Spitz.  Spitz complimented Phelps a great deal.  Phelps already has won more Olympic gold medals, overall, than any other Olympian in history.  Now, Phelps has one more chance of swimming to a gold medal in these games, which would give him the most golds won in any single Olympic games.  Get ’er done, Michael!


Aug. 15, 2008

I was very proud of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson, both from the USA, for winning the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the all-around women’s individual Olympic gymnastics event today.  For awhile, it looked like Yilin Yang, from China, was going to walk away with the gold; but she ended up with the bronze medal instead.

Liukin’s high beam and floor routines were exceptional.  At the end of her almost flawless floor routine, the great Béla Károlyi exclaimed that she had to have won the gold.  Liukin’s final score was 63.325, Johnson had 62.725, and Yang finished with 62.650.

         

         
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I think it is amazing that Nastia’s father, Valery Liukin, was a gymnastics gold medalist for Russia in 1988.  (They now live in Texas.)  I distinctly recall his receiving team and high bar golds like it was yesterday.  In fact, here is a cool video of some of his gymnastic feats, way back when: International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.


Aug. 10, 2008

People around the world continue to email me saying that they have “latched on” to my idea that we already may be almost two years into the 70th Week.  This, of course, is because of how the European Neighbourhood Policy, a seven-year agreement involving Israel and other nations, appears to confirm or strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.  As such, this may be a fulfillment of Daniel 9:27.  You can read my commentary about it here:

http://www.tedmontgomery.com/bblovrvw/Endtimes/ENP.html

In my Apr. 14, 2007 entry are pictures of some of the supplies I had purchased at that time.  I replace things as I eat them.  Today, I went out and bought supplies for a couple of friends who believe I may be right about hard times ahead, but frankly they have been too lazy to go buy supplies (and I told them so...they agreed).  Well, canned vegetables were 3 cans for $1.00, and big coffee cans were $3.99 each.  So I went and got them seven cases of canned vegetables (1 case @ 12 cans) and ten cans of coffee:

Don’t think I’m such a nice guy, though.  First of all, I told them, “Don’t come whining to me when the store shelves get wiped clean after the economy tanks and everybody panics.  I’ve warned you!”  But, also, I used their money to make the purchases.  I don’t think it’s up to me to be the “crutch” for people I have warned who have not yet gotten a grip on the real world of today.


Aug. 8, 2008

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad have been opened in Beijing, China.  The opening ceremony was spectacular; I think it was the most impressve I have ever seen.  I will be glued to most of the events everyday, all the way up until the closing ceremony on August 24.  Let the games begin!

As much as the Olympics briefly create a sense of peace and harmony to the world, a dark situation is developing in the former Soviet satellite of Georgia.  Invasions have occurred, and many hundreds have lost their lives.  It makes me wonder if this took place on the first day of the Olympics, in hopes that the latter would act as a distraction from the world’s attention.  If so, it did not work

Several people have emailed me asking if the Russian invasion into the Georgian province of South Ossetia may have prophetic implications.  I believe that they might.  For one thing, if the European Neighbourhood Policy has thrust us into the 70th Week, then we probably are in the time period Jesus descrbed as “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6), as well as in the midst of the second seal events described by John (Revelation 6:3,4).

Furthermore, Ezekiel 38 and 39 describe a future attack on Israel by a leader of many nations from the north.  Perhaps today’s events are setting the stage for that to occur.  More details about that are included in my commentary, Final Battles.


Aug. 6, 2008

I don’t really like to waste anything, if I can help it, including stamps.  I’d much rather add up smaller denominations of old stamps on an envelope than put one single stamp.  Otherwise, the old ones just go to waste.

I hope that 32¢ + 4¢ + 3¢ + 3¢ = 42¢.  I suppose it’ll be 43¢ sometime next year.  Hopefully, there won’t be a charge for email.


July 31, 2008

It always has been amazing to me how much the seed of a nectarine or a peach resembles the seed of an almond.  The nectarine or peach seed is a little lighter in color; but, besides that, the two look very similar.  That nectarine/peach seed even tastes like a really potent almond.  Of course, this shouldn’t be all that surprising.  They are members of the same genus, Prunus.

   
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A common misconception is that a nectarine is a “cross” between a peach and a plum.  In fact, nectarines and peaches are members of the same subgenus, persica.  Genetic studies have shown that a peach (with a fuzzy skin) is a result of a dominant gene, while a nectarine (with a smooth skin) is the product of a recessive gene.

My taste buds must have a predilection for members of the Prunus genus.  Nectarines and peaches, in that order, are my favorite fruits, and almonds are my favorite nuts.  All of them are drupes.  A drupe contains within it a shell (also known as “pit” or “stone”) with a seed inside of that.

OK, all that research made me hungry for drupes...time for breakfast.  The bowl of raw uncooked oats, fruits, and almonds on the right is what I’ve eaten everyday for years.  I like crunchy peanut butter on my toasted corn tortilla.  Oh and, yes, I do eat the orange peel.  I mean, we eat the skin of other fruits, right?  Anyway, I think it has lots of nutrients.


July 29, 2008

The earthquake today, 29 miles ESE of downtown Los Angeles, received a surprising amount of coverage in the national news.  I guess most people think that any news out of Southern California might mean that the “big one” has hit.

Well, today’s temblor was nowhere near the magnitude that the “big one” will be when it happens, which it will eventually (I’m thinking 2010).  The quake today was only a 5.4, although one preliminary estimate placed it at 5.8, which would have made it about as strong as the Whittier Narrows quake of October 1, 1987 (the epicenter of which was in Rosemead).  I remember how strong that one felt, as well as the 5.3 aftershock three days later.

Of course, none of these were nearly as scary as the 6.7 Northridge quake on January 17, 1994 (the epicenter of which actually was in Reseda).  That one rocked me out of bed at 4:31 a.m.  I thought that my house was going to come off the foundation; fortunately, it didn’t.

The 7.3 Landers quake of June 28, 1992, and the 6.4 Big Bear aftershock, were very memorable quakes for me.  During the first one at 4:57 a.m., which lasted about 50 seconds, it felt like I was lying on an air mattress in a swimming pool where the water was sloshing all around.

Just over three hours later, at 8:05 a.m., I was having breakfast with a friend.  I was sipping coffee from an “Official California Mug” with an earthquake fault engraved around it, and some of the coffee sloshed into my lap.  Ah, the joys of living in earthquake country!


July 20, 2008

Javier SolanaYesterday, Javier Solana hosted talks in Geneva.  The talks did not result in any progress in getting Iran to curb its nuclear activities.  Saeed Jalili, the Iranian negotiator, refused to discuss demands by the West to cease work on uranium enrichment which, allegedly, are for “peaceful purposes.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, stated, “Any negotiation that takes place is a step forward.”  Oh really?  That sounds to me like a good excuse to stall and do nothing.  It sounds like little more than a “step forward” in molasses.

The world’s major powers have offered trade and technical incentives to Iran, in return for halting uranium enrichment.  Javier Solana, foreign policy chief for the European Union (one of his many titles and roles), indicated that he hoped Tehran would provide a response to this in about two weeks.  I’m certainly not going to hold my breath; I suspect that it will be an issue with no end in sight, until Iran finally gets the bomb.  To read more about yesterday’s talks, go here:

Iran says nuclear talks a step forward

July 15, 2008

A meeting has been scheduled between Javier Solana and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator.  The meeting is to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 19.  Solana is the one who invited Jalili to talk.  William Burns, a diplomat from the USA, will join the talks.  You can read more here:

U.S., Iran To Have 'One-Time' Nuclear Meeting

I find it extremely interesting that Javier Solana is becoming very influential in world affairs.  The Iranian nuclear situation, potentially, is very “explosive”; and Solana seems to be in the process of proposing a solution.  I am very skeptical.  We’ll see.

What triggers my interest is the fact that Solana seems to be increasingly in the public light.  For instance, look at my June 24 entry, concerning the “International Conference on Establishing a Palestinian State.”  Another photo of him is on this page:

Iran rules out halt to enrichment

I continue to recommend that people keep their eyes and ears open to any information about Javier Solana.


July 10, 2008

I am visiting Alabama again, as I did last summer.  I took photos last year of a hibiscus which bloomed one day and which wilted the next (see July 4, 2007).

This is a different hibiscus plant, but the same thing happened.  Indeed, the blossom lasted for only one day!

 
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July 4, 2008

America has a Godly heritage, although many would not like to acknowledge that we do.  Many Americans believe that the phrase, “separation of church and state,” is found in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the USA.  It is not.  A detailed discussion of this can be found here:

America’s Godly Heritage

June 24, 2008

Today, the “International Conference on Establishing a Palestinian State” took place in Berlin, German.  In attendance was Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, among his many titles.  There were a number of other speakers, including Tony Blair and Condoleeza Rice.

       
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I listened to several of the speeches.  They all included rhetoric putting forth the premise that a Palestianian State must be created adjacent to Israel.  All of the speeches did seem to have a common destination: nowhere.

Somehow, I feel that some type of unforeseen “catalyst”—I don’t know what—will take place before anyone can agree on the makeup and establishment of a Palestinian State.  Also, I suspect that the European Neighbourhood Policy will be significant in helping to determine what ultimately is decided.


June 20, 2008

Today commonly is referred to as the day of the “summer solstice.”  But isn’t it a bit self-centered of people in the northern hemisphere to refer to it as that, since the “winter solstice” occurs today in the southern hemisphere?

A better name for today’s solstice is the “northern solstice,” since today the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere.  Six months from now, on December 21, is the “southern solstice,” since on that day the sun is drectly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere.


June 14, 2008

Javier Solana was in Tehran, Iran, today.  He claimed to be speaking on behalf of the G5+1: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany.  He indicated that we all want to negotiate with Iran concerning its modern nuclear energy program.

For one thing, I wonder if Javier Solana understands that there is no sense in negotiating with an extremely radical Islamic state, such as Iran.  For another thing, it concerns me that this man, the High Representative of the European Union, has become so prominent in the world that he now seems to be “representing” the most powerful nations on earth.  You can read his speech here, many of the words of which alarm me considerably:

Summary of remarks by Javier Solana
at the press conference in Tehran

June 13, 2008

Israel has been hinting that if Iran continues with its program to develop nuclear weapons, Israel will have no choice but to attack Iran.  This is according to Transport Minister, Shaul Mofaz.  I think it’s interesting that Mr. Mofaz was born in Iran.  I’m sure this has no significance; I just find it amusing.

In any case, since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may have to step down in the midst of a scandal, an election to fill that void may take place sooner rather than later.  Mr. Mofaz probably will run for that top spot.  Of course, if I were a citizen of Israel, I would cast my vote for Benjamin Netanyahu.  He has been the prime minister before, and he seems to understand the Iranian threat to Israel (as well as to the USA) better than anyone else.


June 7, 2008

Well, it looks like Hillary is out of the primary race...maybe.  Now let the “big race” commence.

   
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June 6, 2008

The price of a barrel of oil shot up an astounding $10.75 today (on top of a $5.50/barrel increase yesterday), and the USA stock market plummeted almost 400 points.  Besides these things, there has been a disturbing increase in unemployment and scarcity of food, along with escalating food prices, worldwide.

Combine these things with all the recent destructive tornadoes (breaking a seasonal record in the USA this year), other types of storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, bacterial epidemics, and other disasters, and we have a pretty big mess on our hands.

More and more people are telling me that my hypothesis about our being in the 70th Week (well over 1½ year into it by now) is becoming increasingly plausible to them.  I continue to maintain my stance of assuming that we have entered the final seven years of this age unless something clearly confirms that we have not.  For instance, if there is no temple standing in Jerusalem by Passover Week 2010, that in itself would disprove my hypothesis.

Recently, I was asked by someone at church to explain my hypothesis, linking Daniel 9:27 with the European Neighbourhood Policy, from more of a biblical perspective.  I have done this, putting the explanation into HTML, Word, and PDF formats:

HTML document (contains numerous hyperlinks):
http://www.tedmontgomery/bblovrvw/ENP/ENPOverview/index.html

Word document (good for printing):
http://www.tedmontgomery/bblovrvw/ENP/ENPOverview/Daniel9.27-ENP.doc

PDF document (good for printing):
http://www.tedmontgomery/bblovrvw/ENP/ENPOverview/Daniel9.27-ENP.pdf
Take your pick.

June 4, 2008

Normally, I do not like to receive photos and other stuff—especially “cute, sweet, adorable” pictures or stories—from people, via email.  They bore me.  However, I really enjoyed this one.  I can relate to the “earthquake” entry, but the “tornado” entry made me laugh the most. 


May 31, 2008

I don’t like to waste anything.  It is rare that I even empty one of my garbage cans, because it can take months for one to get full.  I’d rather use something, like paper, multiple times before tossing it.  For instance, one thing I do is to use the backs of calendar sheets as scratch paper.

At the end of each month, when I remove that month’s page from a calendar, I fold it and tear it into quarters.  Then I staple all the pieces of paper together into a notepad, which stays by the phone.  All 4 of my calendars are from a local bank, so all 16 notepad sheets are the same size.  So here’s “May” all carved up.  Pretty nifty, huh?


May 14, 2008

Today is the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence.  Israel remains on the map, despite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declarations to wipe Israel off of it.

Today, Irans’s president said that “throwing a birthday party for this regime is like having a birthday party for a dead person.”  Does anyone really think it’s a very good idea for this guy to have a nuke?


May 12, 2008

New U.S. Postal Service rates went into effect today.  For those who weigh their envelopes and packages at home, as I do, here is a chart listing the new rates:

U.S.P.S. Rates:  HTML | Word

If you print the HTML version, you will need to change your browser’s printing margins to ½ inch all the way around:

Top: 0.5" | Bottom: 0.5" | Left: 0.5" | Right: 0.5"

May 3, 2008

After thousands of years of dormancy, the Chaiten volcano in Chile has erupted.  Since volcanoes fascinate me, I wanted to find out more about it.  If you want to know more, see photos of it, and also see photos of other volcanoes, worldwide, that have erupted over the past few months, click here:

Villagers Flee as Chilean Volcano Erupts

There also seems to have been an increase in swarms of earthquakes around the world lately.  If we are over 1½ year into the 70th Week, as I suspect we could be, then an escalation in seismic activity certainly would make sense.


Apr. 26, 2008

This is MY kind of weather, although it isn’t quite hot enough:

I think I’ll chop up a couple of jalapeño peppers, with the seeds, and put them in my soup.  That oughta do it.


Apr. 21, 2008

Prices of everyday necessities, such as food and gas, have escalated markedly over the past couple of months.  This is true here in California, in New York and New England, and everywhere in between, right here in the USA—the world’s “breadbasket.”  I am hearing that it is true in many places around the world as well.  Here is an article reflecting this:

Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

In many places, higher prices are being accompanied by something even worse: shortages.  This brings to mind the word “famine.”  The USA is not yet at that stage, but such a period may be impending.

If, indeed, we have entered the 70th Week (see European Neighbourhood Policy and Daniel 9:27), then I predict that the events of the third and fourth seals, included in the Book of Revelation, will take place in less than two years.  I believe that this passage indicates hyperinflation and/or famine:

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse!  Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.  Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”  When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”  I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!  Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.  They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:5-8)

As such, before prices sky-rocket too high, and the availability of supplies falls too low, I recommend that people consider gathering some of these supplies, as a start:

Adversity Supplies Basic Check List

Apr. 15, 2008

Today, Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Washington, D.C., on his first visit to the USA.  For 80 years old (81 tomorrow), he looked amazingly energetic and vibrant.

     
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I am not Catholic, but I like many of the conservative views of this pope.  I believe that he is a true Christian, as opposed to many who feel they are saved from their sins by the Church rather than by the blood atonement of Jesus.

I believe that there are people in every church, both Catholic and Protestant, who are not saved from their sins unto eternal life.  Jesus claimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  This means that we are not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8,9), by the blessed Mary, by baptism, by any ritual or sacrifice, by any creed or doctine, nor by any church.

[I]f you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9,10)

Several times, I have heard Pope Benedict affirm that Jesus is Lord.  I also have heard Him speak of Jesus’ resurrection from death, which I assume that he would not verbalize if he did not believe it.  As such, I believe that he a persuasive example of how important it is to have faith in Jesus, the Messiah (Christ), as our Redeemer from sins and transgressions.

The only thing is that I do not find it particularly appealing when anybody, including the pope, wears a cross with Jesus still on it.  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was only half of His mission.  He also had to be resurrected from the dead—which He was—for both salvation and eternal life to have significance.

Furthermore, He had to be the infinite God—which He was—for His sacrifice to atone for the multitudinous sins of humanity (see Was Jesus God?).  Jesus no longer belongs on the cross, as He was taken up into heaven to sit at the right hand of God, the Father (Mark 16:19; Hebrews 1:3, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2).

I do have one question, though.  Is pope Benedict really as conservative as he appears to be?  Did he borrow those shoes from Dorothy?


Apr. 14, 2008

An online friend and I are reading through the Bible this year.  Today's reading is Psalm 22-24.

Many passages in the Old Testament forshadow the coming Messiah, Jesus, and things that would be associated with Him.  Two clear passages illustrating this are Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.  Click here to see how this is true with the first of these passages: Psalm 22.


Apr. 13, 2008

Hillary and Obama were back again tonight.  They were at a “Compassion Forum” in Grantham, Pennsylvania.  Unlike on February 21, though, they were on the stage at different times: first Hillary, then Barack.

           
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I’m not really sure how the forum dealt with “compassion.”  However, both candidates were asked some pretty personal questions, like for instance about their faith.  Hillary seemed to be much more “mainstream” Christian to me than Obama did, although you never really can quite tell if she’s telling the truth or not.

Neither would assert that life begins at conception (which I do and, therefore, believe that abortion is wrong).  He also said he believes in evolution and that, somehow, it is compatible with Creation.  None of these things surprised me.

I still suspect that it very well may be President Barack Hussein Obama who will sit in the Oval Office.  Yikes.  Very yikes.


Mar. 31, 2008

Some have asked me if I think any of the remaining three presidential candidates might fit into end-time prophecy.  I do not know, but I can speculate.

The one who raises the biggest “red warning flag” for me is Barack Obama.  Here is an article I have written about him:

President Barack Hussein Obama: My Misgivings

Mar. 23, 2008

It seems to me that being in debt is the “norm” rather than the exception.  Nations are in debt, corporations are in debt, and people are in debt.  And everyone’s debt appears to be increasing, not decreasing.

Why people spend beyond their means, on things that are not necessities, is something I just do not understand.  Buying something that one does not have the money to pay for, at the time of purchase, is a concept which is over my head.  Credit cards are fine as long as they are paid off at the end of each monthly cycle, and no interest is allowed to accrue.

Debt to God, however, is quite another matter.  All of humanity is in debt to God; no one is excluded.  God’s standard is perfection, and not one of us is perfect; we’ve all “missed the mark” and continue to do so.  Personally, I know that I have wronged God so many times that the list of sins, trangressions, and infractions would go to the next galaxy and back.  And I cannot perform enough “good deeds” to compensate for all of my misdeeds.

Yet, God Himself has paid the price of my virtually infinite debt to Him.  Jesus died on Good Thursday (which happened to be on Passover), and He rose physically from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits.

Was Jesus God?  Oh yes.  If He were not the infinite God, then His one-time sacrifice would not have been sufficient to pay the infinite debt of our sins.  When we believe this, God is able to superimpose Jesus’ perfection and righteousness on top of our imperfections and flaws when He scrutinizes us—deficient and miserable as we are.  Then He can extend His forgiveness to us, eternally.  Happy Resurrection Day! 


Mar. 22, 2008

It looks like Bill Richardson has betrayed the Clintons and endorsed Barack Obama for president.  Could it be that he anticipates being Obama’s running mate?  Duh.

Uh oh...now I might have to revise my prediction of Feb. 21.


Mar. 21, 2008

Today is “Good Friday”—although I am convinced that Jesus was crucified, instead, on Good Thursday.  Tonight, my church is having a Passover Seder.  Usually I go, since I believe that Jesus was the ultimate Passover Lamb.

In most years, “Easter” (which I call Resurrection Day) takes place during the week following Passover, as it did a few days after Jesus died.  He fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits, because He was raised from the dead as the “firstfruits” of those who will be resurrected and never will die again (1 Corinthians 15:20,22,23).

This year, however, although Resurrection Day is March 23, Passover is not until April 20.  Personally, I have a problem commemorating Passover a month before Passover actually takes place.  Therefore, I will not be attending the Seder this year.  Next year, though, everything will be back to normal again (that is, Resurrection Day will take place during the Feast of Unleavened Bread).


Mar. 20, 2008

I am excited because it’s the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere (and first day of Fall in the southern hemisphere).  I don’t like Winter, which just finished; the daylight hours are way too short, and it’s too cold.

One thing I like to do at this time each year, if I think about it, is to stand raw eggs on end.  It takes only a couple of minutes to do; and, no, it’s not a trick.

I don’t quite understand why it can be done so easily on or around the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox.  I have tried it during other parts of the year, but I’ve found that it seems to be easier to do it around the first day of Spring or Fall, plus or minus a day or two.

   
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Try it yourself.  Be careful that it doesn’t fall off and break.  Don’t blame me if it does.


Mar. 8, 2008

It’s that time again.  If you live in a state that goes on Daylight Savings Time, bump your clocks up an hour before you go to bed.  That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting to church ontime in the morning.  And if you don’t go to church, you should. 


Mar. 4, 2008

I feel that it is important to eat several fruits and vegetables everyday.  I usually eat a few vegetables each day, but today I was craving a lot of them.

So I made a chicken/vegetable stir-fry in my big wok.  It turned out really tasty, besides being very healthful.  My recipe is here: Stir-Fry Garlic Chicken & Vegetables.

 
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I made a large amount, so it will last about a week.  I do not get tired of eating the same thing for awhile—better than cooking something from scratch every night.  It’s easier to press buttons on the microwave.


Feb. 25, 2008

Yesterday, February 24, Louis Farrakhan spoke (again) at the Saviours’ Day celebration, which is the annual convention of the Nation of Islam.  Here are articles about Louis Farrakhan’s appearance at the Saviours’ Day celebrations in 2007 and 2008:

Notice what appears on the podium at both functions.  Last year, the word “Detroit” can be seen, and above it the words “Saviours’ Day” appears.  This year, the function was in Chicago; however, nowhere is this indicated.  Instead, “Saviours’ Day” is in the center, with “In the Name of Allah” above it.  Clearly, Allah was being spotlighted.

I have watched and heard Louis Farrakhan speak before, including much of last year’s speech, most of which appalled me.  He typically is very critical of Christians and Jews.  The word “bashing” comes to mind.  For instance, he has called Judaism “a gutter religion.”  In light of my views about radical Islam, this man causes me a great deal of concern.

So does Barack Obama.  At the event this year, Louis Farrakhan said this about Barack Obama:  “This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better.”  Wow.  Is that not an endorsement, by the acting head of the Nation of Islam, of Barack Obama for President?  Hmmm.


Feb. 24, 2008

Someone asked me if I think it is a woman’s right to choose to abort her fetus, since it is something within her own body.  I replied that I believe God gave all people free will, enabling them to have the choice to do whatever they want.  As long as their choices do not adversely affect the lives of other human beings, who have inalienable rights of their own, then those are choices I have no right to judge.

By the fourth or fifth week of embryonic development, blood formation begins.  Leviticus 17:11,14 points out that “the life of a creature is in the blood.”  Thus, the embryo/fetus has “life” as soon as blood is present.

When a pregnant woman chooses to abort her embryo or fetus, she is adversely affecting that human life—in the worst way possible.  Personally, I believe that this, if done when her own life is not threatened by the pregnancy, is a breaking of the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17).  By doing this, the woman most likely will be setting herself up for a lifetime of emotional heartache, anguish, and sorrow.

King David was Israel’s greatest king.  Speaking to God, he said, “[Y]ou brought me out of the womb....  [F]rom my mother’s womb you have been my God” (Psalm 22:9,10).  He also said, “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.  I will ever praise you.”  It’s a good thing that this great man’s mother did not choose to have an abortion.

What about all of those millions of children-to-be, ripped out of their mothers’ wombs, who would have known and praised God all of their lives?  Hmmm...I have a feeling that God never has liked that that too much.


Feb. 21, 2008

Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debated in Austin, Texas, tonight.  Frankly, I didn’t hear a dime’s worth of difference between the two on anything besides universal health care, and even on that issue I could detect only minor differences.

Actually, I’ve never seen two presidential candidates look and sound more like “two peas in a pod” than Barack and Hillary.  If I had not known who they were and had turned on the TV in the middle of their debate, I might have thought that they were business colleagues, maybe even a married couple, discussing their similar views about a few topics.  He even pulled out her chair at the end.

       

       

       
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I am going to make a prediction, more than eight months before the general election on November 4.  I think the chances are very high that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.  I also think there is a reasonable chance that Hillary Clinton will be the next Vice President or, possibly, Secretary of State or some other high position.  Oh, and no, I am not a Democrat, nor will I vote for them.


Feb. 20, 2008

I thought the total lunar eclipse tonight was pretty cool.  Of course, I’ve seen eclipses several times before, but still I always enjoy watching them.  The mechanics of the eclipse are simple geometry.

The earth is situated between the sun and the moon.  The earth blocks the sun’s rays from hitting the moon, thereby casting a shadow on the moon.  Essentially, the moon passes through the earth’s shadow.

I took a few shots over an hour’s time.  The second eclipse shot was midway through the totality phase, which is why it is so dim.  In the last two eclipse shots, you can see the sun’s direct illumination appearing on the lower/right edge of the moon.

Later, I took three more shots of the full moon, with different camera settings, to compare the brightness of the eclipsed and non-eclipsed moon.  Click on them to see larger views.

       

   
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I wonder if the reddish moon is anything like how the moon will look after the Sixth Seal of the heavenly scroll is opened (Revelation 6:12).


Feb. 10, 2008

For decades, I have heard, “We all should just live together and get along!”  That is a great concept, but it is very naïve.  It isn’t going to happen until the Messiah returns.

I have seen variations of a bumper sticker that depict this notion.  It arranges various symbols, representing common religions and philosophies, together into the word “Coexist” (you can click on each to see individual descriptions):

 
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Basically, in each case, there is Islam at one end, Christianity at the other (at complete odds with one another), and Judaism wedged in the middle and surrounded by all the others.  I feel that this is a pretty good representation of how the end of the age will play out.  (See The Endtimes.)


Feb. 7, 2008

I think that the space shuttle program, for the most part, is a waste of time and money.  No doubt the experiments in outer space, performed on the shuttle, provide us with greater technological advances.  But if we are within a handful of years of the end of the age, as I suspect, then who cares?  The bottom line is that we are spending money that we don’t have on that project.

Having said that, it still is exciting, on some level, to watch the shuttle take off.  Today, Atlantis bolted into space.  Since I couldn’t be at Cape Canaveral, I watched it on TV.  Here are some live shots of the launch, although the resolution isn’t very good:

         
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All I have to say is, “Good Lord, please bring them back safely!”


Feb. 3, 2008

That was one of the most amazing Super Bowl games I’ve ever seen.  Before the game, I told my friend that I hoped it would be a “leap frog” match—first one team ahead, then the other, back and forth.

And that’s exactly how it happened: first the Giants, then the Patriots, then the Giants, then the Patriots, then the Giants.  It was the Giants’ first 3 points that, ultimately, won the game for them.

I was awestruck by the play where Eli somehow escaped the sack by several Patriot players.  Then, not fully back on balance, he fired off a beautiful pass to David Tyree, who had to outjump Rodney Harrison to catch it.  Wow!  Way to go, Eli: most valuable player!


Jan. 20, 2008

Someone asked me what I like to eat for breakfast.  I said that it has been pretty much the same thing for about 20 years.  However, unlike most people, I do not eat anything before noon; my first meal is usually at 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

I have a big bowl of raw (uncooked, whole) oats, with cut-up fruit, and skim milk.  Today, my fruit was apple, banana, orange, pear, and raisins.  When other fruits are in season and the price is reasonable, I also include a peach (which is my favorite fruit), red grapes, and/or strawberries.  Here’s today’s bowl:

I also have a toasted corn tortilla with peanut butter on it.  It is crunchy, and I like that.  If, for some reason, I am unable to eat the above on a particular day, I am craving it like crazy the next day.


Jan. 11, 2008

An online friend, Jesse, and I are reading the Bible together this year, from Genesis to Revelation.  I have read it several times before.  He has read from the Bible, just not cover to cover.  If you have an interest, you can find a link to the reading guideline we are using in my Dec. 31, 2007 entry.

After we have done our daily reading, we discuss the passages.  A couple of days ago, he asked me something about Genesis 41-45, which happens to be one of my favorite stories in the Bible—the story of Joseph in Egypt.  He asked me why Joseph was tricking his brothers, like sending them on errands with no real purpose, since he had no ill intensions.

I liked the question, so my response was lengthier than usual.  If you would like to read it, it is here: Why did Joseph deceive and intimidate his brothers?  He is posting other questions and answers from our sessions at the Bible Study section of his website.


Jan. 10, 2008

Today was the final day, seventeen years ago (in 1991), that I worked at my job as an optometric physician.  Officially, January 11 was to be my last day at work.  Howsever, I was so fed up with my job that I called in sick my last day.  I had been there 11¼ years, and I simply had had enough!

I had planned to stop working and to remain unemployed for a few months, maybe even for a year, and then start back again somewhere else.  But all these years later, I’m still retired.  I’ve never regretted making the decision to leave that job, and I thoroughly have enjoyed my freedom to do as I have pleased since then.

There is no way I could have been out of work this long without God’s blessing me constantly and greatly.  A month before I quit my job, He impressed upon me that if I would read and study the Bible thoroughly and carefully, and write extensively for Him, He would provide for me.  This He has done, because He is my great and awesome provider: Jehovah-Jireh.  He also is Faithful and True.  There is none like Him.


Jan. 1, 2008

All this year, I will keep a 2008 calendar taped up on the wall nearby for quick and easy reference of future and past dates.  It’s not a calendar that I use to write on to remind me of things I need to do; I use my data bank watch for that.

I’ve made the calendar for a few friends, and most of them like using it the way I do.  I also like to keep track of the monthly phases of the moon.  Plus the back of the calendar has a list of holidays and observances for 2008.

If you would like one for yourself, click on each image below and print out the two pages on either side of one piece of paper.  Just change my name, at the top of the calendar page, to your name before you print it.  (The thin gray lines will not show up when you print the pages).

 

Also, if you have an interest in reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation during 2008, go to my Dec. 31, 2007 entry for more information, including a Chronological List of Bible Passages list to check off as you read.  If you haven’t read the whole Bible before, now would be a good time. 

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