Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
July thru September, 2010


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Sep. 29, 2010

Speaker Nancy PelosiThe Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire on the last day of this year (December 31, 2010).  One of the worst things that Congress could do, for the common person in the USA and for the nation’s economy, is not to extend these tax cuts.  Hopefully they will be extended.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to adjourn until after the midterm elections, which will take place on November 2, 2010.  The vote to adjourn was a tie; in fact, 39 Democrats joined Republicans in voting not to adjourn.  The tie-breaking vote was made by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who voted to adjourn.

Going Home: House adjourns without
voting on Bush tax cut extension

I don’t know the identities of the 39 Democrats who joined the Republicans in not wanting to adjourn before a vote could be made on whether or not to extend the tax cuts.  If I were a Democrat who was not in that group, though, I would be scared to death of getting booted out by the voters on November 2.

Indeed, they should be booted out.  In this dismal economy, if the tax cuts are dissolved, there will be a bleaker future for Americans in 2011 and beyond.  Thanks for nothing, Nancy.  You probably should be the first to go.


Sep. 25, 2010

Catty CaterpillarA friend’s niece found a colorful caterpillar, so I photographed it.  His/her/its name is “Catty.”  She wants to raise it into a butterfly, which she already has done with another caterpillar.

Also, my friend grew the largest zucchini and yellow squash in her garden that I think I’ve ever seen.  I photographed them next to a standard oatmeal box to give you a perspective of their size.

   
10-second slideshow

I bet I could make a couple of great lasagnas with that zucchini and squash.  Hmmm...I wonder what caterpillar seasoning would taste like in the lasagnas. 


Sep. 23, 2010

Harvest Moon 2010September 23, First Day of Autumn, SukkotToday is the first full day of the week-long festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43, Deuteronomy 16:13-17).  It actually began at sunset last night.  Interestingly, not only was there a full (harvest) moon but, also, Autumn began last night as well.  For even two of those events to occur on the same date is highly unusual, but for all three to happen on the same night is exceedingly rare.

Sukkah on the Feast of TabernaclesSukkot, which means “booths,” is God’s seventh and last major festival of the year.  It is a reminder to Israel that, after leaving Egypt, the people lived in tents or booths, in the wilderness, for forty years.  During that time, God was their Shelter, Shepherd, and Provider.

The photo to the right is of a neighbor’s sukkah (singular of sukkot).  Yeshua/Jesus most likely was born in a sukkah (not in an inn, a stable, or a cave) during the Feast of Tabernacles.  In fact, not only did He die on a full moon (Passover), He very likely was born on a full moon as well.

Since Jesus fulfilled the four main Hebraic Spring Festivals/Holy Days at His first coming, we anticipate that He will fulfill the three main Hebraic Fall Festivals/Holy Days upon His second coming.  On a future Feast of Tabernacles, soon after Jesus returns, He will live or tabernacle with us on the earth.  During the Millennium or Messianic era, not only Israel but also the nations of the world will celebrate this feast—including the nations that have attacked Israel:

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)

On that day, Jesus will be sitting on His Throne in Jerusalem, and everyone on earth will know that He is the King of the entire world.  Then countless people will come and celebrate what most likely will be, in essence, a gigantic birthday party for Jesus.  What a time of gladness and rejoicing that will be!


Sep. 20, 2010

Partly because I finished eating the lasagnas that I made on Aug. 1, and partly to reward myself for fasting for 25 hours on Yom Kippur (see my Sep. 18 entry), I made two more lasagnas today.

       
13-second slideshow

This time I made a regular one and a gigantic one.  I froze the big one.  I will be traveling soon, so it will be great to come back to that lasagna.

I am a vegetable freak, and I put a wide variety of veggies in these lasagnas: onions, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, yellow and green squash, broccoli, red and green chiles, green bell peppers, green beans, carrots, corn, peas, and lima beans.  I know that most of these are not “traditional” lasagna ingredients, but then I often am not a traditionalist.

Coffee and MilkFor instance, I drink coffee virtually everyday, but I brew it only once a week or so, pour it into a half-gallon container, and pour myself about 1¼ cup each day from that container.  Likewise, I make a half-gallon of powdered milk every so often.

Oh, by the way, I didn’t get a headache after abstaining from coffee on Yom Kippur.  I think it was because I had tapered off substantially the two days before that.  I know that most Christians probably would scratch their heads wondering why I’d fast on a Hebrew holy day.  Well, like I say, I am not a traditionalist.


Sep. 18, 2010

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement (described in Leviticus 23:26-32), began at sunset yesterday and continues through today.  It is the highest holy day on the Hebrew calendar, and it ends the “high holy days” or “days of awe” that began with the Feast of Trumpets (Sep. 9).

This is a major fast day, so I am going without food for 25 hours (which is the traditional amount of time).  I also am going without coffee, so I hope I don’t have a headache at the end of the day.

On a future Yom Kippur, in association with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet of Revelation 11:15, the Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) will descend to earth, at His second advent, to rule and reign.  This trumpet (or shofar) will be the same as the “great trumpet” of Isaiah 27:13, as well as the trumpets mentioned in Leviticus 25:9, Isaiah 18:3, and Zechariah 9:14.

Unlike what many Christians believe, Jesus will not descend, from the air, onto the Mount of Olives initially.  Rather, He will “touch down” in Bozrah of Edom (Isaiah 63:1-6), treading the winepress of God’s wrath (Joel 3:13, Revelation 14:19,20, 19:15) on the final day of His “day of vengeance.”

Indeed, later that same day (Yom Kippur), Jesus will end up in Jerusalem, standing on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).  Then:

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:9)

All I can say is that I wish it were today. 


Sep. 12, 2010

Hosni Mubarak, Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, Mahmoud Abbas, Abdullah II bin al-HusseinAs expected, the Middle East “peace” talks are meeting with some immediate obstacles.  Mr. Netanyahu says that the settlement construction freeze will not continue after September 30.  And why should it?  He already has compromised by putting the freeze in place for ten months.  Yet Mr. Abbas has indicated that he will walk away from the talks if there is no extension of the freeze.

Netanyahu: New settlement freeze
unlikely — but compromise possible

Furthermore, the Palestinians do not want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  They never have.  As fas as I am concerned, that is a fundamental acknowledgment that must be made if the talks are to go forward.  However, if the Palestinians were to do this, it would be in direct opposition to one of the primary goals of Islam: for Israel not to exist at all.

Little does Islam understand, though, that its people, on both sides of Israel, will be on the receiving end of a huge dose of God’s punishment and vengeance, at the end of the age, for coming against the people of Israel and Judah/Jerusalem.  An example of this can bee seen in Ezekiel 25:1-17, with Philistia (25:15-17) as modern-day Gaza.


Sep. 11, 2010

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the horrendous and appalling attacks on American soil by radical Islam.  Many Americans do not think about those attacks too much anymore, except on anniversary dates like today.  I think about them frequently, though.

The following is a chilling and alarming video, based on Isaiah 9:10, indicating that 9/11 may have been a warning of a more devastating judgment to come (the volume is very low and should be adjusted up as high as possible):

Astounding Revelation – God's Judgment on America – Revealed!

The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores [sycamores] are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. (Isaiah 9:10—KJV)

President Barack Obama lays a wreath at the Pentagon Memorial, on 11 Sep 2010, marking the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.In a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon today, President Barack Obama reiterated that America is not at war with Islam and stated that “a religion did not attack us.”  President George Bush has spoken essentially the same words in the past.  I agree with neither one.

Obama: US not at war with Islam

The problem is that true, Qur´an-believing Muslims are at war with the USA, with Israel, and frankly with everyone in the world who does not embrace Allah as “God” and Muhammad as “his Prophet.”  Thus, the idea that we are “not at war with Islam” is merely a “politically correct” notion accepted by those who are asleep and who have chosen not to perceive the obvious because they do not want to acknowledge it.

Just as most Christians have not read the Bible from cover to cover, most Muslims have not done the same with the Qur´an.  Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, have been told that the Qur´an complements and sychronizes with the Bible.  Yet, those who have read both books all the way through, which I strongly recommend doing, have seen that this is an erroneous assumption; the two books are incompatible in countless ways.  Some ways are demonstrated in this section: Gabriel’s messages.

Although “moderate” Muslims will point to passages in the Qur´an that promote “peace,” such harmony and unity is to be among “believers” who have embraced the god, prophet, and tenets of Islam.  All others (that is, the Mushrikûn), who have rejected these things, are to be captured, besieged, ambushed, and killed.  It has happened before, and I feel quite certain that it will happen again—only on a much larger, more mind-boggling scale.  God—and I don’t mean Allah—help us.


Sep. 10, 2010

In a lengthy news conference today, President Obama, spoke a bit about the “peace talks” going on between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  He noted that if the peace talks were to break down at an early stage, “We are going to keep on trying.”

Obama: If Israeli-Palestinian talks
break down, we'll continue trying

One of the main things that seems to be a stumbling block in the continuance of the talks is the starting up of settlement construction in the West Bank again.  If a moratorium on construction is not extended beyond the September 26 deadline, the talks may collapse.

Whatever happens, it is not in Israel’s best interest to give back land that it was given, after the Six Day War in 1967, according to Resolution 242.  Israel needs to maintain its present defensible borders to ensure its existence, as explained in this informative 5½-minute video:

Israel's Critical Security
Needs for a Viable Peace

If Israel does not maintain control over the Jordan Valley, to its east, I would think that its destruction is certain.


Sep. 9, 2010

The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah began at sunset yesterday and continues throughout the day today.  Besides commencing on a new moon, it is the Hebraic or Jewish New Year.  Traditionally it is celebrated for two full days in this Hebrew month: Tishri 1 and 2.

Yeshua/Jesus fulfilled the Hebraic Spring Festivals/Holy Days at His first coming.  As such, it is expected that He will fulfill the Hebraic Fall Festivals/Holy Days at His second coming.  The main Rapture of elect believers is expected to take place on a Feast of Trumpets, with the onset of the Day of the Lord looming soon thereafter.

The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah = Hebrew secular New Year), described in Leviticus 23:23-25, began at sunset yesterday (Sep. 8) and continues until sunset today, although most will celebrate it for two days (that is, tomorrow as well).  Commonly, Psalm 27 is read daily through Yom Kippur, which begins at sunset on Sep. 17.  This period—known as Yamim Nora’im, the “high holy days” or “days of awe”—is a time to repent of our sins and to make a fresh start with God.

Traditionally, the Feast of Trumpets is a day to feast with friends.  A common snack is apples dipped in honey (I just had some...yum).  The honey represents Israel, the land flowing with milk and honey.  Other fruits also are eaten which are native to Israel, such as figs, dates, grapes, and pomegranates.

Many, including myself, believe that the main catching up event, the Pre-wrath Rapture, will take place on a future Feast of Trumpets.  Those believers who are snatched away will be protected from the dreadful “day of God’s wrath” (the “day of vengeance”) to follow, and Psalm 27:5,6 and Revelation 7:9,10 will be fulfilled.  On that day, there will be a “sacred assembly,” into one place (in heaven), of true believers everywhere—the ultimate fulfillment of Leviticus 23:24.

For several reasons, I feel that this “day,” yet in the future, most likely will last for about one year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4)—the final year of the 70th Week.  Other passages to read are Isaiah 2:12-19, 13:6-13, 35:3,4; Joel 1:15; Amos 5:16-20; Zephaniah 1:14 thru 2:3; Malachi 4:5,6.

The shofar or trumpet blown on the Feast of Trumpets yet to come, on which the primary Rapture will occur, is the same trumpet mentioned in Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.  However, it is not the same trumpet as the Seventh Trumpet, associated with the second advent of Jesus, back to earth, to rule and reign.  For more about this, see this email response:  Why are the "last trumpet" and the "seventh trumpet" not the same trumpet?


Sep. 8, 2010

Pastor Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL, says he plans to burn copies of the Koran to mark the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, despite the potential security threat it will create for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.Pastor Terry Jones, of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has said he is planning to burn Qur´ans (Korans), the holy book of Islam, in a bonfire at his church on Saturday.  He has said that the purpose of the event is to mark the ninth anniversary of 9/11.

Today, Jones was interviewed on Sean Hannity’s radio show.  Hannity asked him how he would feel if the day after the Qur´an burnings, an American soldier were killed in Afghanistan and the pastor were to be blamed for it.  Jones indicated that he would feel terrible but added that the finger would be being pointed at the wrong person.

There have been worldwide protests in anticipation of the Qur´an burnings on 9/11.  Some have insisted that if the event takes place, a firestorm of anti-American sentiment, and even terrorism, could result.  The possibility that this could happen reminds me of how the out-of-control, infuriated Sheikh Feiz Muhammad has called for the beheading of Geert Wilders on Sep. 3.

Yet, what would happen, instead, if Bibles were burned somewhere, especially by radical Muslims?  Would enraged Christians, all over the world, begin rioting and murdering those who were Islamic?  They would not.  The vast majority of Christians have more self-control than that.  Let’s hope that most Muslims do as well, in case Mr. Jones does not change his plans to torch some Qur´ans into oblivion.


In other news, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, has left many people puzzled after some of the recent remarks he has made.  Personally, I feel that the words he has chosen are brilliant.  In the following article, which is rather lengthy, I tend to think that the first “school of thought” is the case:

Diplomacy: Talking the talk

Let me state, for the record, that Mr. Netanyahu is one of a relatively small group of people on earth for whom I have the utmost admiration and regard.  I always have.  He is an exceedingly wise man, and Israelis should consider themselves very fortunate to have him as their prime minister (as he has been before) at this very critical time in their history.

Mr. Netanyahu cares very little about what people think of him but a great deal about the security of Israel, which are two essential traits of a very effective leader.  I believe that God has chosen this great man for such a time as this.  The decisions he is facing are next to impossible to make, and only the Lord can give him the wisdom to make the right ones.  I feel that he and Israel need our prayers now, more than ever before.


Sep. 3, 2010

Dutch parliamentarian and film maker Geert Wilders is in the news again.  I have included information about him in entries on Sep. 25, 2009, on Jan. 20, 2010, and on Feb. 9, 2010.  This time, Muslim cleric Sheikh Feiz Muhammad has called for the beheading of Wilders:

Muslim cleric calls for
beheading of Dutch politician

Here is a video by Feiz Muhammad, translated into English:

Muslim Cleric "Behead Geert Wilders"

Sounds peaceful and controlled, doesn’t he?  A major difference between Christianity and Islam can be seen when each is offended.  A true Christian will do his best to overcome his anger and reflect what Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek” (Matthew 5:5), which is true strength.  On the other hand, a devout Muslim will allow his rage to overcome him, demanding his “rights” as well as vengeance on the offender, which is weakness.

In radical Islam, beheading is considered to be justice for infidels (Surah 47:4), which include all non-believers in Allah, such as Jews, Christians, and Hindus.  The act of beheading is sanctioned by Islamic Sharia law.

In recent years, Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, Kim Sun II, Paul Johnson, and others have been beheaded by Muslims.  It makes me wonder how many more will be beheaded (Revelation 20:4) before all is said and done.


Sep. 2, 2010

Studies have shown that chronic sleep deprivation can be linked to (that is, can cause) diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, premature aging, weight gain, depression, and even mental illness.  The following recent report is one of many indicating that numerous health and mental problems can result from long-term lack of sleep:

Sleep Deprivation: the
Hidden Mental Health Risk

I know for a fact that I am much less focused, a great deal more forgetful, and more prone to mistakes when I have not had enough sleep (at least 8 hours per night), even for just a couple of nights in a row.  In case you are sleep deprived, the Sleep Deprivation website might provide some beneficial information.


Sep. 1, 2010

Several leaders from the Middle East met with President Obama today in the White House.  These included Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.  Secretary of State Clinton also was in attendance.

This meeting was the initiation of a new round of Middle East peace talks, after almost two years of a stalemate.  It followed the cold-blooded murders of four Israelies near Hebron yesterday.  The radical Islamic group Hamas—who opposes any form of peace talks, since its goal is the complete destruction of Israel—took responsibility for the murders.

Obama opens long-shot talks on Mideast peace

A time period of one year has been set for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace deal.  Of course, if and when one is achieved, Israel will pay a very costly price for agreeing to such a toxic covenant (Isaiah 28:15-19).


James Jay Lee, deceasedIn other news, James Jay Lee, an atheist protester at Discovery Channel today, was shot dead by the police.  He was an extreme environmentalist radical who had said that his views were influenced by Daniel Quinn’s novel Ishmael, as well as by Al Gore’s environmental documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

Here is what could be considered as James Jay Lee’s “manifesto”:

Demands and Sayings of James Jay Lee

Somehow, as living in this world becomes more perilous, I think that the prevalence of people who think like this will be on the increase.  If they believe that the population of the world should be decreased significantly, maybe they should be the first to volunteer to jump off a cliff.


Aug. 31, 2010

One phrase in the Bible that seems to have widespread misunderstanding is “Day of the Lord.”  Most commonly, it is applied to the final seven years of this age, prior to the return of Jesus, which often is called the 70th Week or the “Tribulation period.”  Some others see the Day of the Lord as being the literal 24-hour day on which Jesus’ second advent will take place.

I accept neither of these views.  The detailed explanation of what I believe is in this email response:

Basically, a regular Hebrew day begins, in darkness, at sunset.  At dawn, that day continues in sunlight.  It continues until sunset, at which time the next day commences.

Likewise, the Day of the Lord will have a very dark, destructive, terrifying beginning, the “day of vengeance,” which I am inclined to believe will transpire for about a year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4).  However, following Jesus’ return back to earth, the bright, prolific, joyful portion of the Day of the Lord will commence and will last for 1,000 years (2 Peter 3:8).  I greatly look forward to the latter.


Aug. 30, 2010

Here is a verse in the Bible (both NIV and KJV) that is quoted relatively often by preachers:

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4—NIV)

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:4—KJV)

Frequently, this is one of the verses used to persuade Christians that it no longer is necessary to follow the rules and regulations in the ancient Torah.  It sometimes is said that the old, outdated laws of Moses (other than the Ten Commandments) were “nailed to the cross” and, thus, were brought to an “end.”

In Romans 10:4, that word “end” in Greek is or “telos.”  However, in this particular case, there are more accurate translations of than “end.”  They include fulfillment, goal, aim, target, and purpose.  In fact, Jesus Himself said this:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17—NIV)

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17—KJV)

Christ’s death and resurrection did not represent the end or conclusion of the Law.  Rather, He was the fulfillment or goal of the Law, which we should do our best to observe, not to disregard.  This absolutely does not mean that adherence to the Torah is necessary for eternal salvation.  Belief and faith in Jesus alone is the only requirement for this (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28, 10:9,10).

If anything came to an “end,” once Jesus went to the cross, it was idea that strict observance of the Law, on its own, could bring righteousness to anyone.  The fact is that only Jesus was perfect in following every aspect of the Torah.  Thus, if we desire to emulate Him, why would we not strive to do the same?  We cannot do it perfectly as He did, of course; nevertheless, we can persevere in doing so to our best ability.

Orthodox Jews attempt to keep the Torah; however, the primary component missing from Judaism is Yeshua, their Messiah.  Likewise, Christians know that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah); but, for the most part, Christianity has abandoned the Torah.  I believe that both are important for one to have the most optimal relationship possible with the one, true God.

Ongoing adherence to God’s Law—which did not “end” at the cross—liberates people from their dismal, dreary bondage to sin.  I am convinced that those Christians and Messianic believers who endeavor to abide by the parameters and principles of the Torah are much more likely to lead contented, joyful, fulfilled lives.  Moreover, I believe that their existence will be less difficult and more trouble-free than that of the people around them who do not do the same.


Aug. 27, 2010

I don’t know why, but for some reason I was in the mood to make cookies.  Maybe it was because I had a cookie at some open house the other day, and the taste stuck with me.

In any case, I made two giant batches of a dozen cookies and then a dozen normal-sized cookies.  Had I made them all the smaller size, I easily could have made 3½ dozen, probably even 4 dozen.  Here is one of the giant batches as the first photo, followed by three photos showing the sequence I went through to make the smaller batch:

     
10-second slideshow

I have to admit that these are outrageously good.  My recipe is here, in case you have any interest: Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Maybe I should open a bakery.  Nah...too much work.  In any case, I will be giving most of them away.  Even one of the smaller ones, every other day, would be more sweets than I normally eat.


Aug. 25, 2010

I woke up at 3:00 a.m., turned on the radio, and listened to the news on the hour.  Then I rolled over to go back to sleep but couldn’t.

For awhile, I thought about a series of stupid, dim-witted things I had done a couple of days ago that I should have done differently, and it really bothered me.  I could see the good steps I should have done and wondered why I took the bad steps.  It was like part of me was condemning myself, pointing out what I should have done instead.

Yet, another part was defending my actions and feeling, “But, as I was doing it, it was like I had no control over myself.  The good that I wanted to do, I did not do; and the bad I did not want to do, I kept doing it.”

It made me think of Paul in Romans 7:15-25.  Like Paul, I thanked the Lord that, one day, I will be rescued from this body of death (7:24,25).  I also thought about how Paul was following the “script” written for him, just as I was doing and as we all do.

I am a strong believer that predestination and free will are both true, simultaneously.  In one sense, we cannot help what we are doing, because our actions are predestined to occur the way they happen from before the beginning of time.  Yet, concurrently, we make independent choices in the things we do.  Thus, we cannot “blame” anyone for what we do that gets us, and others, into trouble.

Maybe one difference between those who are unsaved and those who are saved is that the unsaved recall their negative actions, justify them in their minds, believe that they themselves are innately “good,” and think what they did was no big deal.  They don’t let it bother them and, presumably, are more likely to repeat whatever they did in the future.

On the other hand, the saved look back, analyze a situation where they acted inappropriately, see the sinful nature clearly working within them, feel remorseful for acting the way they did, and long to be released from this dreadful body of evil and death.  Hopefully, what they did bothers them enough that the next time a similar situation arises, they will think twice and not behave the same way again.

Furthermore, once we have been changed and perfected (1 Corinthians 15:51-54), maybe will be able to look back and fully understand and appreciate how all of our actions, good and bad, fit into the overall “script.”  Maybe, at that time, there will be a virtually infinite sequence of things that we will comprehend about ourselves, about God, and about good and evil.  Then we will take that understanding into the Millennium, where evil contantly will be curbed and restrained by those who rule and reign, and after that into the new Creation to come, where evil no longer will exist.


Aug. 20, 2010

I love Sea World in San Diego.  Sea animals fascinate me, especially these dophins and their bubble rings:

Interesting Dolphin Bubbles

It seems that one or two of the dolphins taught the other ones how to do make those.  Very cool.  Of course, I believe that their amazing Creator originated the idea in the first place.


Aug. 17, 2010

Brigitte GabrielIf you are not familiar with Brigitte Gabriel, you should read and listen to some of the things she has to say.  I have heard her speak several times on TV and radio, and she also has two informative websites:

Growing up as a Christian in Lebanon, she witnessed and experienced severe persecution by radical Islam.  You can read a speech that she gave at Duke University here:

Brigitte Gabriel's Duke University Speech

Do a web search for Brigitte Gabriel to find her videos and more things she has written.


Aug. 15, 2010

For five days last week, I took over 1,000 photos at a church’s Vacation Bible School for kids.  Here are just a few of the elaborate decorations that were set up.

       

               
25-second slideshow

I was very impressed with the amount of God’s Word that was presented to all the kids.  Even if they were not able to process all of it this week, I feel that many of them had moments when a “light turned on” and something that was said suddently made complete and total sense to them.  An example of this was given by the church’s pastor in his message today.

He explained how his young grandson had come to him, very troubled, earlier in the week.  He told his grandpa how, weeks before that, he and another boy had carried out a prank that they shouldn’t have done.  The other kid had told him never to tell anyone.  However, that day, he had learned how important it is not to lie (Leviticus 19:11), so he told his grandpa about it.  Maybe this is something that applies not only to little boys but to all of us.


Aug. 11, 2010

Recently, I have heard a few Bible/prophecy teachers and preachers who believe that the Gog/Magog war, described in Ezekiel 38 and 39, is imminent.  Most of them seem to believe that this will take place prior to the final seven years of this age (the 70th Week).

One of the main reasons for this seems to be because those in Israel will use the weapons of that war for fuel for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9).  Commonly, this is assumed to be the same as the final seven years, prior to Jesus’ second advent back to earth.

On the contrary, I agree with none of this.  I believe that the Gog/Magog attack on Israel will be near the very end of the 70th Week, as described in detail in my Final Battles commentary.  I also provide explanations for this, supported by comparing key Bible passages, in the following email response:

There are several seven-year periods mentioned in the Bible.  It is not uncommon for God to use a span of seven units of time (usually seven years) to accomplish certain things.  It is my belief that the following will be the sequence of events:

  1. The seven years of the 70th Week will take place.
  2. Jesus will return to earth to trample Gog and his armies in the winepress of God’s wrath (Isaiah 63:2,3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:19,20, 19:15).  (This is not the same as the Battle of Armageddon, which I believe will take place 30 days later, fulfilling Daniel 12:11.)
  3. Only at that time, when Jesus is physically present, will Israel and all the nations know that He is the Sovereign Lord (Ezekiel 38:16,23, 39:7,22,29).
  4. The birds (and wild animals) will feast on the flesh and blood of the Magog hordes and armies: mighty men, princes, horses, riders, and soldiers (Ezekiel 39:17-20; Revelation 19:17,18).
  5. Then Israel will use all the weapons as fuel for the first seven years of the Millennium.

Another thing that is believed by those who feel the Gog/Magog war will occur prior to the 70th Week is this:  Once God supernaturally destroys these attacking armies, Israel no longer will have anymore enemies.  Furthermore, Israel will know their Lord and God, from that point forward.

But what about the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2) or Antichrist, who will deceive the whole world (2:9), including Israel, after he sets up the abomination that causes desolation in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)?  What about the armies that will surround Jerusalem (Luke 21:20) in the middle of the final seven years?  If the Israelites will have acknowledged God, wholly and completely, at the beginning of the final seven years, why will God allow a gigantic earthquake in Israel to kill seven thousand people (Revelation 11:13)?  This probably is the same earthquake mentioned in Ezekiel 39:19, which I believe will occur upon Jesus’ second advent to earth.

I see too many reasons, even besides the ones just described, to reject the notion that the Gog/Magog war is imminent.  This is not to say that there cannot be war in the Middle East, and even in Israel, relatively soon.  However, I definitely would not equate such a conflict with the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39, although it certainly could set off an unstoppable chain of events, which would lead to the Gog/Magog bloodbath in just a few years.


Aug. 7, 2010

Someone proposed an interesting question to me (I am paraphrasing):

I know that a great many Christians prefer the King James version of the Bible.  I prefer the New International version, although I frequently refer to the King James and other versions to see their renditions of specific words, verses, and/or passages.


Aug. 5, 2010

I don’t know why, but I keep receiving emails from people telling me about their Rapture views or even claiming that there will be no Rapture at all.  Here is the most recent one, along with my response (which often takes me at least 3-4 days to provide, especially when so many points are brought up in the email):

Incidentally, this person wrote back and indicated that I had not convinced him that there will be a Rapture.  That’s OK.  I think that people should believe whatever gives them satisfaction and contentment to believe.


Aug. 4, 2010

I went on a couple of nature walks and took a few snapshots along the way.  I was thinking I should have brought along a fishing pole.  Then I remembered that I don’t like to fish, although I can’t think of one type of fish that I don’t like to eat.

     
     
20-second slideshow

I was hoping to see a bear.  Well, maybe not.  I didn’t have a taser and a good pair of running shoes on.


Aug. 3, 2010

I am up in the mountains where some friends live.  They have a vegetable garden and some chickens, so they could be self-sufficient for awhile if they needed to be.

In the garden, they are growing onions, carrots, beets, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, peas, blue corn, asparagus, melons, lettuce, cilantro, and some other stuff.  All of this food is growing at an elevation of 8,000 feet.

       

       
25-second slideshow

In my July 27 entry, I wrote a little about surviving the hard times to come.  Growing food will help a person or a family to be self-sufficient, to some extent.

By the way, my friends showed me the collection of dead dragonflies that they found in an old, abandoned car.  I was suggesting that they stir-fry them along with some of their vegetables. 

 
5-second slideshow

Somehow, those grotesque things remind me of the swarm of demonic locusts in Revelation 9:3-10, which will torment people for five months during the “day of vengeance” period.  I am looking for the Pre-wrath Rapture to get me out before then.


Aug. 2, 2010

Over the weekend, someone broke into a friend’s car.  But it wasn’t a person; it was a bear.

 
5-second slideshow

I asked him (my friend, not the bear) if there was any food in the car at the time, and he said there was a dessert of some type that he accidentally had left in the back seat.  Oops.  As a result, I don’t think he was all that surprised it happened.

By the way, evidently the bear was too big to squeeze through the window, because the dessert was still there.  I think the bear got the raw end of the deal.


Aug. 1, 2010

I have been craving lasagna, so I made two of them today.  One of them will last several days.  I froze the other one.

I used “oven-ready” lasagna noodles so that I wouldn’t have to boil them.  They seem to work as well as the other ones.

     
10-second slideshow

I had one slice, and it was incredibly good.  I am a good cook (so I’ve been told), even though I don’t really like to cook. 


July 31, 2010

There were a few extra fireworks left over from earlier this month, so we set them off.

       
13-second slideshow

Watching each one reminded me of how I believe God created the universe: from an infinitesimal point, containing all matter and energy that we know, expanding outward into all the galaxies.  Unlike many (perhaps most) Christians, I believe in a very ancient, rather than in a young, Creation.

Does that mean that I believe in macro-evolution?  No, absolutely not.  Several billion years does not even begin to be long enough for life to begin, spontaneously, much less to evolve into higher life forms.  On the time scale of a God with virtually infinite patience, the ages of this universe and earth—about 13.7 and 4.56 billion years, respectively—have been but a brief passage of time.  Furthermore, from the perspective of human kind, living in the final few millennia of those very lengthy eons of time, the phrases “little while” of Haggai 2:6 and “coming soon” of Revelation 22:7,12,20 make complete sense.

Only in the past decade or so have scientists been able to look into living cells with such extremely high magnification.  Never before has it been so evident that there must be a Creator to have crafted, fashioned, and generated such an infinitely complex relationship between all the parts of a cell (much more all the components of the universe).

Dr. Fazale Rana, of Reasons to Believe, has demonstrated, very well, the extreme complexity of microscopic cells in his book The Cell’s Design.  See Eight Examples of Molecular Design to see what a strong case there is for God as the Creator of all things.


July 30, 2010

The Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement opposing the building of a mosque near the World Trade Center memorial site.

ADL opposes World Trade Center Mosque

Here is a video by Pat Condell, in London, expressing his views about the building of that mosque and community center, as well as another video in which he explains how Islam is taking over Europe:

In case you think that Islam is a “religion of peace,” you might want to re-think that idea.  Read the Qur´an, from beginning to end, and find out for yourself.


July 28, 2010

I believe that very difficult and troublesome times are coming.  For some, they already have begun.  I do not know when the world, as a whole, will experience widespread trials, tribulations and distress.  Although I will not speculate about a specific time frame, I feel that these times will be upon us within a handful of years.

I have been asked by some what preparations I recommend that people make for the difficult times to come.  Here is an example:

Basically, I cannot give anyone specific advice on how to prepare for the future.  Only God knows what is coming and how it will affect each person and family.  The best counsel I can give is to read and study God’s Word, in the Bible, and to consult Him in prayer.  My Adversity Supplies Check List might be beneficial to some.  Furthermore, growing one’s own food, if possible, wouldn’t be a bad idea.


July 27, 2010

Avi Lipkin (aka Victor Mordecai) is an American-born Jew who also has citizenship in Israel.  He has been a guest numerous times on God’s Learning Channel, whose live stream can be viewed online.  Avi is very knowledgeable about Israel and about the USA’s relationship with Israel.

'Imam' ObamaAs a guest on the Prophecy in the News show, with Gary Stearman, Avi explained why he is convinced that Barack Obama not only is a Muslim, regardless of Mr. Obama’s claims that he is a Christian, but also that he is a “plant” by Saudi Arabia.  A short video giving a synopsis of this can be viewed here:

Is Barack Obama Really A Saudi / Muslim
"Plant" in the White House?

To see the entire 29-minute interview, go here (with the portion about Obama from 9:41 to 13:53 on the video time line):

Gary Stearman Interviews Avi Likpin
Video Time Line

The viewer can come to his/her own conclusions about this issue.


July 24, 2010

Sometimes people who hold Rapture views contrary to mine like to try to convince me of their views.  Those who embrace a Pre-tribulation Rapture view mostly have given up.  Most of them know I am convinced that this view is a complete fantasy with no foundation in reality.

I actually believe that there will be multiple Rapture events, with a Pre-wrath Rapture being the main or primary event.  There might be a partial Mid-tribulation Rapture, of “firstfruits” believers, prior to that.

Recently, I have written responses explaining how the Pre-wrath Rapture differs from the Post-tribulation Rapture view (I believe that both of them will take place):

I actually do believe that a Post-tribulation Rapture will take place, on the day Jesus returns to earth, on the final day of the 70th Week.  However, I believe that this event will be pre-dated by the main Pre-wrath Rapture by about a year.


July 20, 2010

Tisha B’AvI am neither Hebrew nor Jewish.  However, I like to celebrate some Hebrew/Jewish holy days, feast days, and fast days.  Today is Tisha B’Av or the 9th of Av.  It is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people in the past.

What Is Tisha B'Av?

I began fasting at sunset last night and will eat again after sunset tonight.  I did the same thing on the 17th of Tammuz (June 28 to June 29).  Today ends the three-week period of mourning since then.


July 18, 2010

A little over a week ago, an article came out about how the explosion and subsequent oil outflow in the Gulf of Mexico could lead to be a world disaster of biblical proportions.  A link to this article was sent to me by a few people, so I have decided to link to it here:

Doomsday: How BP Gulf disaster may
have triggered a "world-killing" event

Basically, the writer presents a scenario in which a gigantic subterranean methane bubble could escape from fissures on the ocean floor, caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil outflow.  The bulk of the methane could be released all at once, through the weakened ocean floor, and explode, causing a “cascading geological apocalypse.”

On July 14, the oil well was capped, and the gushing oil was stopped.  However, pressure measurements were lower than expected.  Today, possible methane seepage was discovered near the busted oil well, as indicated in the fourth paragraph of this article:

BP, feds clash over reopening
capped Gulf oil well

Someone asked me if I thought that such a cataclysm, if it were to occur, could be explained by the great destruction by fire described in 2 Peter 3:10.  Here was my response:

Personally, I do not think so.  First of all, I believe that the bulk of the "Day of the Lord" period will last for 1,000 years (2 Peter 3:8).  God is so patient with people that He will extend time, as we know it, for an additional millennium because He wants as many as possible to come to repentance and salvation (3:9).

At the end of that 1,000-year period, though, all rebellion--by Satan and by steadfastly rebellious humans--will be crushed (Revelation 20:7-10).  Even death itself will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:25,26; Revelation 20:14).  It is at that time, I believe, that the entire creation in existence now will pass away and will be replaced by a brand new, imperishable, indestructible, eternal Creation (Psalm 102:25,26; Revelation 20:11, 21:1,5).

In my opinion, then, it is at the end of the 1,000 years when all of this creation will be utterly and completely destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:7,10,12).  Then God will create the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness (3:13), and they will remain eternally.  I describe more about this in the old and new Creations section in Part 2 of my Creation commentary.

Now, I am not predicting that the catastrophe, described in the first article above, will happen.  I have absolutely no idea what to expect.  However, I have learned to understand that just about anything in this world is possible


July 16, 2010

'Holy Bible: Warning! May Impair Judgment' by Jeri WyrickThis “art work” is hanging today in Sacramento, California, at the Sacramento County law library.  Jeri Wyrick, a San Francisco attorney and the creator of this piece, says that it is “anti-religious” and not “anti-Christian.”

I strongly disagree.  Furthermore, it is a travesty that the tax dollars of Californians pay for the Sacramento County law library; yet the library allows this thing to be on the wall that is very offensive to a great many people who are paying for it to be there.

Artwork at Sacramento County
law library called anti-Christian

This so-called “art” is not only anti-Christian, it also is anti-Jewish, since the Bible is a Judeo-Christian book.  Can you imagine the extreme outrage that would have arisen from Islam if the Qur´an, rather than the Bible, had been depicted in that picture?

If there ever were a Work of Art, the Bible—the eternal Word of God—is it, in my opinion.  I support Jeri Wyrick’s right to create this piece of garbage.  However, I am infuriated that it is hanging in a public place, with California state tax dollars being used to put it there.


July 12, 2010

Expectation Leads to Resentment and Complications.I am no artist, but I was experimenting with colors on my graphics program.  I made 23 separate regions with no two identical in color, although some pairs are similar in hue.  It turned out to be a complicated, muddled mess.

Looking at it brought to mind one of my favorite sayings, so I wrote it on the chaotic, jumbled array of colors.  Click on it to read it.  I have learned to follow those words, as much as possible, when dealing with other people.  (One might make exceptions in the case of partners, kids, and other family members.)


July 11, 2010

I have been asked some interesting questions about the two witnesses described in Revelation 11:3-12:

Incidentally, some have not abandoned the idea that the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) could be the prophesied seven-year agreement of Daniel 9:27.  Certainly, the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, among other things, caused me to suspect for over three years that the ENP might be the agreement beginning the 70th Week.

Right now, the date some are looking at is July 20 as being, potentially, the beginning of the Great Tribulation.  This is because July 20 is 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3, 12:6) prior to the last day of 2013, which is the final year of the ENP’s scheduled time frame.

Interestingly, July 20 this year is Tisha B’Av, or the 9th of Av.  It is an infamous date in Jewish history commemorating tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people in the past.

I probably will fast on this day, as I did on June 29, the 17th of Tammuz.  I am not looking with much expectation, though, for that day to begin the last 1,260 days of the 70th Week.  However, if it does, we should anticipate the appearance of the two witnesses of Revelation 11:4 at that time.


July 10, 2010

I read something which I found interesting and well-written.  It shows how “hatred without cause” can explain some of America’s disdain with Arizona’s SB-1070 law (see my May 20 entry), Islam’s disdain of Israel, and even people’s disdain of God.

Hated Without Cause

You can read it if you want.  It is rather lengthy, though.


July 9, 2010

Rarely do I place a link, on this page, to something someone has emailed me.  However, this video is an exception:

Names of God

I also have the Names and Attributes of God in a table at my website.  YHWH is so multi-faceted, complex and diverse that even these titles and traits are not all-inclusive; they are just the “tip of the iceberg.”  I believe that it will take an eternity to learn about His characteristics because they are infinite.


July 7, 2010

A friend in Rochester, NY, said that he and everyone in his office felt the Canadian earthquake, magnitude 5.0, back on June 23.  Today, he sent me photos of all the “terrible devastation” experienced in Rochester, due to the quake.

     
10-second slideshow

Wow, how come So. CA doesn’t have quakes like that?  Oh wait, there was just one at 4:53 p.m. this afternoon, with a substantial number of things falling over and breaking.    It gave the desert a good shaking, and it also was felt from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Magnitude-5.4 quake strikes
Southern California

This quake was not on the San Andreas Fault but, rather, on the San Jacinto Fault, which was stressed by the 7.2 quake on Apr. 4 (Easter Sunday).  I’ve been checking the USGS page for the magnitudes of aftershocks, and there have been several.


July 6, 2010

President Obama hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu today at the White House.  Some thought that there would be a “re-snubbing” of Netanyahu, like there was on Mar. 25.  But I doubted that it would happen this time, as there has been significant political pressure on Obama, even from some Democrats, to treat Netanyahu—and Israel—with civility.

Obama: We need to advance to
direct Israeli-Palestinian talks

Of course, I suspect that all the “pleasantries” by Obama, in front of the cameras, were staged and not sincere.  Some have used the word “choreographed,” which I think is a good description.

Obama has got to be concerned about the mid-term elections, in less than four months, where a perceived anti-Israel sentiment by the Obama administration can only hurt Democrats.  It will be interesting to see how Obama reacts if Netanyahu reinstates new settlement construction after the moratorium ends in September, as I expect him to do.


July 5, 2010

I have added a couple of entries to my Bible Question Emails and Ted’s Responses section:


In the news, Turkey is threatening to sever ties with Israel unless Israel apologizes for the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship on May 31.  However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out any apology.

In neighboring Syria, President Bashar Assad warned that the recent falling-out between Turkey and Israel threatens the stability of the Middle East:

Syria: The prospect of war grows

I feel that there is a relatively high probability that the leader Gog (Ezekiel 38:2,3, 39:1), who will mount a devastating attack on Israel (38:16, 39:2), will be from Turkey or surrounding area rather than from Russia, as many believe.  This is explained in my Final Battles commentary, in the first three paragraphs of the Gog and Magog section.

Some have suggested that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is a candidate to be Gog.  Others have suggested Syrian President Bashar Assad.  As of yet, I do not have an opinion as to Gog’s identity, although I think he may turn out to be Abaddon or Apollyon of Revelation 9:11.

I will say, though, that unlike many, I do not feel that the battle of Gog and Magog is imminent.  I believe that Gog’s attack on Israel will not take place until the seventh year of the 70th Week.


July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July, fellow Americans!

Please attach any leftover cake and ice cream to an email and send it to me. 


July 3, 2010

Today is my cousin’s birthday, and I flew to Alabama to make her a cake.  Well, that’s not the only reason I came here, but that is one thing I wanted to do while I was here.

I will have to call this the “mystery cake.”  For one thing, although I followed all of the directions exactly, it is the smallest bundt cake I’ve ever seen.  For another thing, the cake mix box had Arabic writing all over it.  I didn’t buy it; my cousin had it in the cabinet, and she does not remember where she got it.  At least, it tastes good.

   

   
15-second slideshow

That’s surprising...I didn’t realize that we were under Sharia law quite yet.  Maybe Betty Crocker has converted to Islam

We went to a farmer’s market, where we saw a little 4th of July “parade” (even though it’s only the 3rd of July), composed mainly of golf carts decorated with red, white and blue.  I didn’t know any of the people in the parade.

       

       
25-second slideshow

Better than the parade, though, were the free snacks at some of the booths.  Since I hadn’t eaten anything yet, I had “breakfast” there.  Too bad nobody had free raw oats; that’s what I was really craving.  I had a couple of handfuls of them later, and my cousin said, “Eeeewwww!!!”


July 2, 2010

I received an email asking about the prediction of a man, Harold Camping.  He has been stating that the Rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011.  I assume that the following page is Camping’s teaching about this, although I do not see his name anywhere on the page:

The End of the World is Almost Here!

And here is an article about him and his prediction:

Biblical scholar's date for rapture:
May 21, 2011

The email I received also told me that Harold Camping teaches how right before the end, churches in general will apostatize (fall away from the truth), as noted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  I was asked what my understanding was of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and also what I thought about these teachings by Mr. Camping.

Firstly, the following email response that I wrote, some time ago, should answer what I think about 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and about the apostasy of believers:

Secondly, for multiple reasons, I do not accept that the Rapture will take place on May 21, 2011.  The main reason is because I feel quite strongly that the primary Rapture event will occur on a Rosh HaShanah or Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, which always is in the Fall of the year, not in the Spring.  This, and other reasons, are detailed in my commentary, The Rapture.


July 1, 2010

I like to listen to various teachers at God’s Learning Channel (GLC) online.  If you have an interest, you can listen to GLC live, 24 hours a day, by doing these things:

  • Watch GLC LiveGo to http://www.glc.us.com/site/index.php.
  • Scroll down to the “News and Views” section and click on “GLC Watch Live” on the left.
  • When the video page comes up, you can click on the lower/right corner of the video to enlarge it to full size.

You also can view a GLC Program Schedule (in PDF form).  Keep in mind, though, that GLC is in Texas; therefore, all of the times listed are Central Time.

Bill Cloud’s GLC Schedule
Sunday, 5:00 p.m., CT
Wednesday, 4:30 a.m., CT
Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., CT
Thursday, 11:00 p.m., CT
Friday, 1:30 p.m., CT
Saturday, 12:30 p.m., CT
I like many competent and interesting Bible scholars on GLC, such as Jim Staley, Eddie Chumney, Valerie Moody, and others.  Maybe my favorite is Bill Cloud.  He reads and writes Hebrew and is very knowledgeable about the Old Testament, the Torah, the Prophets, and the New Testament.  Some of his free videos can be found at Bill on GLC (scroll to about halfway down the page).

When listening to him, I virtually always learn something or some things that I did not know before.  His 30-minute show is televised several times a week, with the original show on Sunday (5:00 p.m., CT) and the other shows being reruns of that show.  Click here to go to his video archives page at GLC, where you can link to his first twelve videos.

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