Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
April thru June, 2012


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June 29, 2012

Many have been wondering and speculating why Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court voted to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act (“Obamacare”) yesterday.  He was the deciding vote in doing so.

The best explanation I’ve heard so far, in attempting to explain Roberts’ rationale for doing what he did, has been made by Charles Krauthammer.  Dr. Krauthammer is a psychiatrist, and perhaps he was able to get into the “head” of Justice Roberts better than most.  Here is his line of reasoning:

For Roberts, Supreme Court’s Credibility Came First

June 28, 2012

United States Supreme CourtOne of the most historic Supreme Court decisions in history was released today.  In a 5-4 decision, the individual mandate of the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as “Obamacare,” was upheld as constitutional.  Therefore, most of the law has been sustained.

In my Mar. 21, 2010 entry, I indicated how I felt this law was an assault on our freedom and liberty.  I still feel that way.

As a surprise to most, Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the four left-leaning members of the Court in decreeing that the AHCA mandate, compelling individuals to purchase the healthcare insurance, could not be done under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.  However, he asserted that this mandate could be upheld under the government’s power to levy taxes.

Supreme Court upholds individual
mandate, ObamaCare survives

In effect, the TAX to pay for Obamacare is the highest tax ever levied on U.S. citizens.  Presumably, the Internal Revenue Service will be able to go after people and force them to pay this tax, even if they do not want to.  It also sets a precedence that a tax can be levied on virtually anything.

I feel that it will be extremely difficult to abolish this tax, even if Obama is not re-elected in November.  However, the latter would be a good first step.


U.S. Attorney General Eric HolderIn other news, U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.  The claim was that Mr. Holder has failed to provide critical information relating to Operation Fast and Furious.

House votes to hold Attorney General
Holder in contempt of Congress

The vote to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt was 255 to 67.  While 17 Democrats voted with the majority, 65 Democrats walked out of the chamber before the vote was taken.

Later, Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “It’s important to remember how we got here.  The Justice Department has not provided the facts and information we requested. … It’s our constitutional duty to find out.”  I agree with that.


June 26, 2012

I love chicken and vegetable soup, so I made 3 gallons of it today.  It contains the following (in no particular order):

chickenzucchini squashbroccoliblack eyed peassalt
potatoescabbagejalapeño pepperslentilspepper
carrotsonionsdiced tomatoessplit peas
acorn squashgarlicblack beansItalian seasoning

 
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I like roasted acorn squash seeds as much as I like roasted pumpkin seeds.  I put the big glass jar in the refrigerator and the other two containers in the freezer.

I don’t really like to cook; it takes too much time.  That’s why I bite the bullet every so often and make a huge amount of something that will last for quite awhile.  I don’t mind eating the same thing for dinner every night, sometimes for weeks.


June 25, 2012

Mohamed Morsi, President-elect of EgyptIt was revealed today that a report on May 13 provided an account of chilling remarks by Mohamed Morsi, who recently was elected President of Egypt.  At the time Morsi allegedly made the statement, he was running for president.

The New Egyptian President Reportedly
Said "Jihad Is Our Path And Death
In The Name Of Allah Is Our Goal"

If he said this and if he still believes it, that is very concerning, yet not surprising, as the Middle East becomes an increasingly perilous and unpredictable region of the world.


June 24, 2012

Mohamed Morsi, President-elect of EgyptThe Islamic Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, 60, has won the run-off election for president in Egypt.  He defeated Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, by 51.7% to 48.3%.

Islamist Morsi Wins Egyptian Presidential Vote

In my opinion, Israel should be very concerned that a man from a fundamentalist Islamic group has become the leader of the nation bordering Israel on the west.  Coptic Christians in Egypt should be terrified for their lives.

There is a hope by many, though, that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt will curtail some of Morsi’s power and will force him to be “moderate.”  I suspect that Egypt’s economy, under Islamic rule, will go into a freefall and become even more dysfunctional than it already is.  Time will tell.

 
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June 20, 2012

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: Darrell Issa, ChairmanThe summer solstice, marking the official beginning of summer, happened today at 7:09 pm EDT.  There also were record-high temperatures in several places around the USA.  Figuratively speaking, though, the “heat” might not have been higher anywhere than it was in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chambers in Washington, DC.

Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack ObamaThere was a 23-17 vote by this committee to recommend to the House of Representatives that Attorney General Eric Holder be held in contempt of Congress.  On June 11, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a statement explaining that Holder had not met his legal responsibility in accordance with a subpoena issued to the U.S. Justice Department on October 11, 2011.  The subpoena demanded that documents be turned over concerning an Arizona probe of a gun-running operation into Mexico.

This operation, commonly known as “Fast and Furious,” was an ATF gunwalking scandal in which American guns were sold to Mexican drug cartels, leading to the murder of border patrol agent Brian Terry.  Many of the subpoenaed documents pertaining to “Fast and Furious” have not been provided, leading to the contempt vote recommendation today.

The contempt vote is only half the story, though.  In a lengthy letter from Attorney General Holder to President Obama yesterday, Holder requested that the president assert Executive Privilege to withhold documents subpoenaed by Congress.  Obama issued that Executive Privilege this morning, which simply complicated the entire situation.  Furthermore, it raised suspicion that the White House knew about, and/or was involved in, Operation Fast and Furious.  People now will be wondering, “Is Obama hiding something?”

Obama claims executive privilege;
Holder held in contempt

Unless this matter is resolved before next week, Speaker of the House John Boehner has said that there will be a vote on the House floor as to whether or not to hold Eric Holder in contempt.  If the contempt vote is held, I suspect that it will pass.


June 18, 2012

Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC NewsI never have really trusted Andrea Mitchell, a left-wing television journalist, anchor, reporter, and commentator for MSNBC News, based in Washington, D.C.  Today, she provided a perfect example of her deceptive nature.  She aired a heavily edited video containing Mitt Romney, who was at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.

By leaving out significant portions (about 85%) of what he said, her staff’s edited version of the video made Romney appear to be utterly astonished by the touchscreen system that he used to order food at a Wawa store.  I could not be easily convinced that Mitchell was not aware of Romney’s clear message to the crowd.  I feel that her purpose was to smear him and make him look like an idiot.

Wawa Gate: MSNBC/Andrea Mitchell
Edits Video to Smear Romney

The point Romney was making was that one of the best things about private businesses is competition.  This is what motivates people to be innovative in creating new ways to be productive.  He was using the sandwich machines at the Wawa’s stores as an example of this, and he also pointed out that the federal government lacks the same competition that the private sector has.  One of the implications was that the federal government should not be running businesses.

Board of EducationEssentially, Andrea Mitchell trashed the 9th Commandment:

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

No, Mitt Romney is not literally Andrea Mitchell’s “neighbor.”  However, the point of God’s commandment is that we should not impart blatantly false information about another human being, especially if we know all of the facts of the matter.

I think what Andrea Mitchell did was shameful and despicable.  It is journalistic malpractice and corruption.  As far as I’m concerned, she needs a few swats with the BOE (Board of Education) for purposely distorting the truth (that is lying) about Mitt Romney, whom she obviously does not like. 


June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  I had a nice little feast with some friends.  I didn’t eat too much, since I want to lose a couple of pounds.

 
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June 12, 2012

Happy birthday, U.S. Flag!  This flag is 235 years old today.  To read more about it, go here:

The History of Flag Day

June 9, 2012

Most people have heard of the Christian concept of being "born again." Many do not understand it, though.

Jesus told a Jewish Pharisee, Nicodemus, that no one could see the kingdom of God without being born again. Nicodemus asked how someone could be born a second time, since it was impossible to enter a second time into the womb of one's mother. Jesus answered,

I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.”  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8)
Someone asked me about being “born again”; click here to read my response:

June 5, 2012

This was Republican primary voting day in five states, including the most populous state in the USA: California.  Mitt Romney received enough delegates in the Texas primary, on May 29, to be the Republican nominee for president.  Today’s primary victories in all five states have more than ensured his nomination.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (D), Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R)There was a very important election in another state, as well, today.  In Wisconsin, there was an attempt by Democrats to recall the following Republicans: Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and four state senators.  In the past, only two state governors have been removed from office in early recall elections: North Dakota’s Lynn Frazier in 1921 and California’s Gray Davis in 2003.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R)However, the recall was unsuccessful today.  Both Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch were re-elected by 53.2% of the vote, a substantial victory for both of them.  They defeated Democrats Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell, respectively.

Basically, following Gov. Walker’s election in 2010, union employees were expected to pay 12% of their health care costs and also to pay 5% toward their pensions.  However, they felt that they should pay nothing for these things, even though it is fair that they should.  This is what started the whole Scott Walker “rebellion,” although he is an excellent governor with conservative values.  In fact, the following have happened since he has taken office:

  • The state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit has been eliminated without raising taxes.
  • A “Waste, Fraud and Abuse Commission” was created, which has identified $450 million in savings for taxpayers.
  • Unemployment in Wisconsin has dropped from 7.5 percent in 2011 to 6.7 percent in 2012.
  • According to “Will Wisconsin Rise Again?” Wisconsin jumped from a ranking of 41 on a list of the best/worst states for business under former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle to 20th under present Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Wisconsin Vote: Red Counties = Republican, Blue Counties = DemocratIn today’s election, neither conservative Republican Governor Walker nor Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch was removed from office.  That should be a very firm affirmation to the Democrats and unions in Wisconsin that the majority of people in the state are content with their elected Republican officials presently in the two highest offices in the state.

Furthermore, I know for a fact that a great many citizens of Wisconsin are sick and tired of the incessant, frenzied whining and bellyaching of out-of-control, cry-baby liberal Democrats.  Many of the latter are in the state, but hordes of them have flooded in from other places.  For well over a year, they have been throwing fanatical, squealing, shrieking tantrums of intolerance, including the walk-out of 14 state senators on Feb. 17, 2011, who fled to Illinois for 3½ weeks to avoid a vote.  They all should have been recalled.

These inconsiderate dolts—a great many of them union members with self-centered, entitlement mentalities—even occupied the state capitol building for several weeks last year.  They left big messes behind for others to clean up, which was despicable.  Irresponsibility becomes someone else’s (including non-union tax payers’) responsibility.

This reminds me of what has been going on in Greece since last year.  I think the Wisconsin Democrats should take their bleating and griping to Greece.  It probably wouldn’t take very long for them to realize how fortunate and blessed they are in Wisconsin.

These extremist insurrectionists do not seem to possess even the slightest bit of sensibility.  They fail to understand that they are not the center of everyone else’s universe.  They have lost their obsessive crusade fair and square, and they need to shut up for awhile—at least until the next regularly scheduled state election.

With such a clear, manifest shut-out of Democrats today in Wisconsin, many feel that this is a harbinger of how Wisconsin will swing in the presidential election on Nov. 4.  Wisconsin has not voted, as a whole, for a Republican candidate for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984.  This year, the pendulum may be swinging that way again.

Understandably, Democrats seem to be concerned about that, as they should be.  In fact, if I were a Democrat, I would feel betrayed by Obama.  He did not visit Wisconsin to give even one speech in support of Tom Barrett.  In fact, all he did was give a little Wisconsin tweet in between star-studded fundraisers for himself.

When will Democrats understand that Obama is #1 in his own eyes?  Everyone else, even those of his own party, are secondary, if not expendable.


In other news, this was the Diamond Jubilee (60th Anniversary) of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  She became the Queen of England in 1952, at age 26, after the death of her father, King George VI.

On her assension to the throne, she was Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon.  Her reign of 60 years is the second longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer at 63 years.

     

     
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Long live the Queen!


June 3, 2012

The concept of the Trinity of God is not easy for many to comprehend or accept.  Monotheistic religions such as Judaism and Islam believe in one God, but they do not acknowledge the possibility that He can be “three in one.”

One step beyond this is the concept that Jesus was and is God.  Even many Christians can accept that He was the Messiah (Christ) and that He had a divine nature, but equating Him with God (that is, seeing Him as deity) is a different matter altogether.  I believe that such faith is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4,9), and it would seem that not all are given this gift.

I am convinced that Jesus was and is God.  I have explained it many places and in many ways at my website.  Here is just my most recent explanation:


May 30, 2012

Many “prophecy buffs” are under the assumption that the end-time leader Gog, in Ezekiel 38 & 39, will emerge from Russia.  Some even think that Gog will be Russia.  Examining the original Hebrew words and phrases shows why neither of these will be the case, as I have explained in this email response:


May 28, 2012

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  It began after the American Civil War to honor the Union soldiers who had fallen during the war.  Their graves were decorated with flowers.  The day originally was known as “Decoration Day.”

A bunch of us got together to celebrate.  For some bizarre reason, I felt like cooking, so I made all the food.  Well, the chips and dip and the cake were from WalMart, so most of it anyway.  I don’t have a barbeque, or that’s how I would have done the chicken.

     
     
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Thanks to all of those who have died fighting for our country and freedom.  They have made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  We also thank those who have given the best years of their lives, their limbs, and even their minds.  We owe them more than we know.


May 27, 2012

Today is the Christian celebration of Pentecost, exactly seven weeks following Resurrection Day (Easter).  At the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Jesus’ disciples were filled, supernaturally, with the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and spoke in other "tongues."  Other God-fearing Jews, who had gathered there from many other nations, heard these men declaring the wonders of God in their own languages (2:5,6,11).

The first Pentecost corresponded to the Jewish celebration of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22).  On this day, a firstfruits of the wheat harvest was offered to God.  Most calendars usually list Shavuot a few days before Pentecost due to the way the fifty days are counted from Passover week, referred to as the “counting of the omer.”.

I believe the fifty-day calculation is made erroneously by most, as explained in this email response (although this year both calculations happen to end up on the same date, today, since Passover was on Saturday this year):

On the day of Pentecost, Jews “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5) had returned to Jerusalem (following the commandment of Deuteronomy 16:16), indicating that they already had been widely dispersed among the nations by that time.  Today the dispersion is even greater.

After Pentecost, the apostles performed many wonders and miraculous signs (Acts 2:43).  They were the “firstfruits” of all who would receive many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Anyone who is filled by the Spirit of God can receive some of these gifts from God as well.  Each of us is nothing, but God can make something out of nothing with the Power of His Holy Spirit.


May 25, 2012

Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim BrotherhoodResults are coming in from Egypt’s presidential election yesterday.  As expected, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is leading with almost 31% of the vote that has been counted so far.  Former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq is second with 21%.

Muslim Brotherhood advances to
second round in historic Egypt election

The Muslim Brotherhood holds almost half the seats in parliament, which were won in elections several months ago.  Therefore, I suspect that their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, will become the next president.

Assuming that Ahmed Shafiq does not win, then the lengthy Hosni Mubarak era will be over.  The run-off election will be held on the weekend of June 16 & 17, although the results probably will not be announced until several days thereafter.


May 24, 2012

Mohamed Morsi (L) and Ahmed Shafiq (R)
Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq
Today is the first round of the first free presidential election in Egypt’s history.  Here are the three top candidates:

  • Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood
  • Ahmed Shafiq, former prime minister under former president, Hosni Mubarak
  • Hamdeen Sabahi, leftist/socialist
  • Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, moderate Islamist

This is the initial stage of the election, since no candidate is expected to receive 50% of the vote.  One of the top two contenders (probably Morsi and Shafiq) will be elected president in a second election in mid-June.


May 22, 2012

Faith Beyond Church WallsMy brother Dan Montgomery, PhD, is a licensed Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist who has developed the Compass Therapy® model.  He and his wife Kate, a Professor of Child and Family Development, have written several books.

One of their books is Faith Beyond Church Walls.  I read it a few years ago and thought it was excellent.  For five (5) days, it is available free as a Kindle download.  You can get it here at Amazon:

Faith Beyond Church Walls
Finding Freedom in Christ

If you want to read Chapter 1, “God With You,” before downloading the book, you can do that by clicking on the book cover on the Amazon page.  Also, you can visit the RevDrDanMontgomery.Blogspot and Dan’s Facebook page.


May 20, 2012

Annular Eclipse of the SunThis evening, there will be a rare annular eclipse of the sun, visible in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere.  The darkest part of the eclipse will pass over major cities such as Guangzhou, China; Taipei, Taiwan; and Tokyo, Japan.

In the USA, the center of the eclipse will pass over several western states, mostly in the Southwest.  One city that will be at the center of the moon’s moving shadow will be Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 
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Ring of FireThe dark part of an annular eclipse is called the “antumbra.”  An annular eclipse, rather than a total eclipse, occurs when the moon is further away from the earth than average.  Therefore, the apparent size of the moon is smaller than the relative size of the sun.

Typically, the moon is about 239,000 miles away from the earth, but right now it is about 250,000 miles away.  So no one on earth will see a total eclipse of the sun today, since the moon will be covering only about 88% of the sun’s face, rather than 100% in a total eclipse.

Annular Eclipse GraphicIf you are at a location where any part of the eclipse can be viewed, be careful!  Do not look directly at the sun with your naked eyes, nor even with viewing devices such as telescopes, binoculars, or cameras.  Even when viewing a total eclipse of the sun, there is ultraviolet radation to burn the retina after only a few seconds.

To view the eclipse, you must obtain a proper filter.  NASA recommends using a solar filter, a #14 welder’s glass or some type of projection technique to view the eclipse.  Here’s a good article, in case you want to photograph the eclipse:

How to photograph a solar eclipse


Here are some photos of today’s annular eclipse from various parts of the world:

         

         

         

         

         
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May 17, 2012

Barack ObamaA interesting booklet, produced in 1991, has come into the public light.  It seems to indicate that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and then was raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.

1991 Booklet: "Born in Kenya and
Raised in Indonesia and Hawaii"

This comes 2½ months after an investigative group released a report, on Mar. 1, concluding there was "probable cause" to believe that the alleged birth certificate released by the White House, in 2011, is a computer-generated forgery.

I have no doubt that most news agencies will report the information on the Dystel & Goderich booklet merely as an inadvertent error in 1991, by Obama’s literary agent, of his birthplace.  However, if you consider that each person’s bio surely would have been checked by that person for accuracy, then one should wonder why Mr. Obama would not have “corrected” the “mistake” that he was born in Kenya if, indeed, he was not.


May 16, 2012

There is no question in my mind that the evil and iniquity in the world are getting worse.  I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t wondered why, if God is so good, that He continues to allow this to happen.  Someone asked me about it, so here is my response:


May 14, 2012

Today is the 64th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.  Since then, there has been a great deal of misinformation about the so-called “ancient claim” of the Palestinian people to the land of Israel.

In the May 2012 newsletter of God’s Learning Channel, pages 2 and 3 contain a good article that clears up some of the political propaganda about this issue.  Click on a link below to view either the entire newsletter or just the article (both may take several seconds to appear):

GLC Newsletter May 2012

The Propaganda Machine

May 13, 2012

Some of us met at a cabin in the mountains for Mother’s Day.  It was overcast and even rained some, but it still was a good time.

         
         
         
         
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Happy Mother's Day!

May 9, 2012

There were some attention-grabbing results in yesterday’s elections, with some interesting follow-ups today.  Keith Judd is Federal Inmate No. 11593-051 and is serving time for extortion at a federal prison in Texas.  Yet, he won 41% of the vote against Barack Obama in the West Virginia Democratic Primary today.  This seems to have conveyed the message that many Democrats in that state are discontent with Obama’s leadership and policies, including the EPA’s handling of mining-related permits in WV.

Ouch! Obama loses 41 percent of W.Va.
primary vote to federal inmate

In Indiana, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a conservative Tea-Party Republican, defeated Senator Richard Lugar 61% to 39% in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate.  Lugar, a moderate Republican, has served in the Senate for 36 years—the third longest-serving member.  It is almost baffling to consider that Lugar has not even owned property in Indiana since the late 1970s.

North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting same-sex marriage.  The main part of this amendment states this:  “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”  The vote was 61% for the amendment and 39% against (interestingly, the same margin by which Mourdock defeated Lugar in Indiana).  NC is the thirty-first state to approve a measure of this kind.

Today, in reaction to the NC vote, angry opponents to the passing of the amendment now are calling for the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for the week of September 3, to be pulled out of Charlotte, NC.  Perhaps partly as a reaction to all of this, President Obama announced today that he has decided to endorse same-sex marriage.  Obama stated, “At a certain point,  I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.

Obama’s announcement today comes after VP Joe Biden’s declaration just three days ago that he supports same-sex marriage.  On the Meet the Press show, Biden proclaimed, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.  And, quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.

Ever since Biden’s declaration, homosexual groups have been contacting the White House asking for Obama to clarify his position on same-sex marriage, threatening to withhold campaign contributions if he did not.  Moreover, the huge Hollywood fundraising bash for Obama at George Clooney’s home tomorrow night probably had some influence on Obama’s announcement today.

Jim Ready, Barney Frank, Barack ObamaNow that he has eludicated his position on same-sex marriage, it seems that the lines in the sand on this matter, in this important election year, have been drawn.  I wonder if Obama has strongly considered that African Americans and Hispanics typically are against same-sex marriage.  Potentially, this could cause many of them to fall away from their support for Obama.

In any case, right now there are two things I am wondering:

  1. When, in the entire history of humankind, has “marriage” not been defined as the union between a man and a woman?
  2. Will Barack Obama attend the wedding of Jim Ready and Barney Frank, who have been engaged for a few months?

May 8, 2012

The results of the Republican Presidential Primaries today in the states of West Virginia, Indiana, and North Carolina were not at all surprising.  Mitt Romney won all three states.

Now that both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have withdrawn from the race, it is a wonder that Ron Paul has not done the same.  Clearly, Romney will be the Republican candidate to oppose Barack Obama in the November 6 Presidential Election.


May 7, 2012

Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob (Israel) was greatly blessed by God.  He even became the ruler of Eyppt, second only to Pharoah.  Furthermore, the legal birthright inheritance of Jacob was transferred from Jacob’s first son, Reuben, to Joseph (see birthrights).

When there was a great famine in Israel, and while Joseph was in his high position in Egypt, the other sons of Jacob went to Egypt to obtain food.  Some have been puzzled that Joseph treated his brothers callously and severely when they appeared before him.  I explain why I feel this happened here:


May 5, 2012

The full moon tonight is being referred to as a “super moon.”  It appears to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal full moons.  This is because it is at its perigee—the closest distance in its elliptical orbit to earth—for all of 2012.  It is about 15,300 miles closer than average.

 
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It was somewhat cloudy, so the moon was not very defined.  But it sure was bright.


May 4, 2012

Chicken and Vegetable SoupI made a 3-gallon batch of chicken and vegetable soup today.  It is pretty much the same as what I made on Feb. 20.

Part of the process involved cutting up an acorn squash.  I really like the roasted seeds of various squashes, such as pumpkins, so I roasted the acorn squash seeds.

       
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I got distracted and left them in the oven a couple of minutes longer than I meant to, so that’s why they’re so dark.  But I don’t mind; it just made them crunchier, which I like.


Mexico ViolenceToday, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 23 murdered bodies were discovered.  This city is just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

Among the dead, 9 were hung from a bridge.  View a photo (viewer discretion is advised, due to the very graphic nature of this photo).  The remaining 14 were beheaded.  The 14 heads were found in a cooler outside city hall, while the 14 bodies were found in plastic bags in a minivan near an international bridge.

These are the latest victims in the ongoing drug cartel violence in the city.  Just last month, 14 mutilated bodies were found in a vehicle near the center of the city.

All of this is uncomfortably close to the U.S. border.  I feel very strongly that if the U.S. federal government continues to intrude in the rights of border states to enforce their borders adequately, then abhorrent violence like this will begin to occur in this country.  It probably is only a matter of time.


May 3, 2012

Hugh Ross, of Reasons to Believe, has written six of the top reasons showing the astronomical “coincidences” of humanity’s existence in this exact location of the universe:

The “Big Six”

There is no question that God intended for us to be exactly where we are in the Milky Way Galaxy.  In fact, if we weren’t, we wouldn’t exist.


May 2, 2012

The four Hebraic Spring Festivals/Holy Days were fulfilled during Jesus’ first advent.  Likewise, the three Hebraic Fall Festivals/Holy Days will be fulfilled upon His second advent.

In particular, His physical descent to earth, to rule and reign, will take place on a future Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), in conjunction with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet of Revelation 11:15-17.  Here is an email response in which I explain why:


May 1, 2012

Dutch Parliamentarian Geert WildersI have called attention to Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders a few times before, such as on Sep. 3, 2010 when a fatwa against him was issued by Muslim cleric Sheikh Feiz Mohamed, calling for his beheading.  Wilders, creator of the informative film Fitna and author of the book Marked for Death, was interviewed tonight, and here is the video, the first 35 seconds of which are from a speech on Oct. 22, 2009 (the volume is low, so turn it up):

Geert Wilders About Radical Islam

He believes that almost half the continent of Europe has become Islamic.  (I feel that about half the population of Europe soon will be willing to submit to Islamic Sharia Law rather than resist and stand up to it.)  As such, many Europeans are losing their freedom of speech and the values they have shared with America.

Wilders states, “The biggest disease in the western world today is ‘cultural relativism’” and adds, “We have to stand up and fight for our own identity and not accept the fact that Islam, at the end of the day, will cost us our democracy.”  This should be a stern warning for Americans.

Even though he is an elected politician in the Netherlands, he has needed constant security in public places for almost eight years.  This is because, having spoken out about radical Islam, he has had multiple threats made against his life.

Today, do Christians and Jews—or, frankly, members of any religion other than Islam—set out to kill those who speak out against them?  Offhand, I can think of none.  As for me, I feel justified in pointing out how Islam insists that my Messiah and Lord Yeshua/Jesus is not the Son of God, which of course He is.

I wish that people of the Islamic faith could experience the joy and the blessed assurance of knowing whom Jesus really is.  If they choose not to, that is up to them; I have no interest in trying to force them to believe as I do or in castigating and censuring them for proclaiming their own beliefs.  Therefore, I find it extremely offensive and repugnant when radical Islamists say that they must kill “infidel” Christians (and Jews) for believing as they do.

Really, who is being judgmental intolerant, fanatical, and out of control here—Christians or Muslims?  The truth should be apparent.  Yet, an amazing number of “politically correct” Americans continue to remain clueless about this issue, which I find almost as deplorable and despicable as radical Muslims wanting to behead with the sword (Revelation 13:10, 20:4) those who disagree with them.  Check out these websites: Islam Watch and Jihad Watch.


Apr. 29, 2012

My Sabbath is the seventh day (Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15).  I set aside that day (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) to gather with like-minded friends, with God as the focus of much of our discussion.  I also attend various events that I normally wouldn’t during the other days of the week, and I learn from assorted teachers on God’s Learning Channel (watch a live stream).

Nevertheless, I typically will attend church on Sunday mornings.  I enjoy sound Bible teachings on that day.  Today’s message was on 1 Samuel 30 & 31.  Previously, David had been pursued by King Saul, who had intended to kill him.  With God’s help, David had eluded death.

However, although God had protected and provided for him, one day David thought to himself that he needed to take matters into his own hands.  He felt that Saul eventually would kill him, so he escaped to the land of the Philistines (1 Samuel 27:1-3), who were arch-enemies of the Israelites.  While there, David “fit in” so well that even King Achish of Gath found no fault in him (29:3,6).

In essence, this is how we are.  When we have problems, our first visceral reaction is to run to the world to receive aid, consolation, and support.  But all that the world really can do is to put a temporary “bandaid” on our problems, much as an anesthetic relieves pain only for a short time.

Instead, we should run to God, since all things are under His control and direction.  He is the only one who can supply all of our needs, even though often this isn’t as we expect it to happen, nor is it usually in our own anticipated timing.

Ultimately, David came back to God and inquired of Him as to what he should do (1 Samuel 30:7,8).  This was the beginning of David’s restoration back to God, and he became Israel’s greatest king—although, like all of us, he “backslid” a few times along the way.

So today the pastor had several very good points to make about all of this:

There is no neutrality with God.  We either are for Him or against Him (Luke 11:23).

This is what we are guaranteed when we take our eyes off of the Lord:
  • fear
  • frustration
  • futility
These are the things that David lost when he took his eyes off of the Lord:
  • direction—in the wrong place
  • identity—acting like a pagan
  • testimony—no Godly influence
  • reason—thinking was distorted
  • resources—returning with less
God is prepared to receive us when we are ready to repent, to restore us when we are ready to reconcile, and to reward us when we are ready to refocus our lives on Him.  A sign of true repentance, reconciliation, and refocusing on our parts is obedience to His commands.

Besides his family and his possessions, these were restored to David once he turned back to God:
  • relationship
  • purpose
  • direction
  • vision
  • passion
  • gladness
Repentence, demonstrated by our obedience, restores our relationship.  Restoration brings a new beginning of God’s blessings.  Renewal is for the purpose of carrying out the will of God.

We should “crucify” the flesh (our sinful nature), with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).  The degree of God’s blessing upon us often is proportional to the amount of flesh that we “crucify.”


Apr. 25, 2012

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23Unlike a lot of people, I rarely ever take the time to sit down and read a book, although I have done plenty of reading in my life.  There are too many other things that I spend my time doing.  So when people recommend books to me, the vast majority of the time I will “pass” on the suggestion; and it is virtually unheard of for me to purchase a book.

A couple of months ago, I was at a conference.  A paperback book had been placed on the table in front of each chair.  The book was free, so I took my copy.  Someone else didn’t want his copy, so I took it and mailed it to a friend.  He said he liked it.

I read through the book during some recent plane flights.  Basically, the author breaks down Psalm 23, verse by verse, and shows how it describes the proper care that sheep get when they have a good shepherd, likening it to the constant attention we receive from our Shepherd.

I liked the book so much that I am recommending it and will link to a free copy of it below, for those who do not mind reading on a computer monitor:

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 | by W. Phillip Keller

The book can be viewed free at other websites, too.  As a rule, though, you would have to create an account and log in to read it.  I don’t like having to do that, even if it’s a free account.  At other sites, I found the book with several pages missing—on purpose, I suppose, to entice the reader to buy the book.

This book actually is a few decades old, and the author passed away in 1997.  However, I found it to be a powerful book, showing how just as a shepherd tends to the needs of his sheep, our Good Shepherd, Yeshua, satisfies all of our needs.  Here is a good summary of the book that someone wrote; I probably could not improve on this:

The beauty of this book lies in the fact that very few people could have actually written it.  As an acutal shepherd, Keller probably has some of the greatest insights ever set down on Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want....”).  He takes the Psalm from a mere metaphor and explains why and how the images that David wrote are so applicable to the Christian life.  He dissects the Psalm in the best sense of the word — and he shows how Christ is our Good Shepherd and cares for us even more deeply than the best human shepherd.  Also, he shows how humans and sheep are so similar — and why we need someone to walk alongside us.

Not everyone will care for this book.  Some might find it tedious and boring, but I did not.  In fact, it made me feel more like a goofey, helpless, clueless sheep than I ever have before.  I consider this to be a good thing, since it makes me love and want to depend on my good and great Shepherd even more than ever (John 10:11,14,15; Hebrews 13:20).


Apr. 24, 2012

There were five Republican Presidential Primaries today.  As expected, Mitt Romney won all of them.  Probably many of the “Other” votes were for Rick Santorum, who suspended his run for U.S. president on Apr. 10.

2012 Connecticut Republican Primary  2012 Delaware Republican Primary
2012 New York Republican Primary  2012 Pennsylvania Republican Primary
2012 Rhode Island Republican Primary 

It’s kind of suprising to me that Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are still in the race, although I’ve heard that Gingrich will exit the race in a week.  Maybe they are thinking something might happen to Romney prior to the Republican National Convention in Tampa on August 27-30, 2012.  I doubt it, but I suppose anything is possible.

Looking at the charts above, I see something kind of interesting.  The total number of votes cast in Pennsylvania was about 800,000; whereas, the total votes cast in New York State were less than 165,000.  Yet, the population of Pennsylvania is about 12¾ million, while the population of New York State is about 19½ million.  Wow, are Republicans really that tiny of a minority in New York State?


Apr. 21, 2012

Sometimes people ask me to watch lengthy videos or video series and give my opinion about them.  It always takes me awhile to find the time to do watch the video or series and then to write my comments about it.  I gave the following email response over a month ago, but only now have I found the time to include it here:


Apr. 17, 2012

I’ve had a great time in No. CA, then traveling to and from Las Vegas, NV, for over a week, then back here to No. CA for another week.  One reason I make these “entries about stuff” is as a chronologue of some of the things I do, for my own future reference.

If I was someone else reading about some of the things I do, I’d be bored into a coma.  But I am not writing a lot of it for other people; I’m writing it mainly for myself as easy reference to remember dates that I did certain things.

So today I put together some random photos I’ve taken over the past week.  Most of them were just quick snapshots.  They include photos mostly taken while walking my friend Barry’s dog, as well as some of the food I’ve eaten, since we’ve had some awesome meals.  All the food could be in an entry by itself, if I thought anyone had any interest in anything that I’ve eaten, which I don’t.

         
         
         
         
         
1¼-minute slideshow

No. CA is really great this time of year.  It’s mostly sunny, but I don’t mind the rain when that happens, too.  In fact, I like it, especially when there is loud thunder.  Unfortunately, I did not hear any of that this time, although the news said that some great big, loud storm passed through San Francisco and Oakland a few days ago.  I wish I’d been there for that.

I ate matso crackers everyday last week, since it was Passover week and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:4-8).  My friend is a Levite (descendant of the first high priest, Aaron, brother of Moses).  He doesn’t really get into “all that stuff,” even though he was raised with it.

Incidentally, he is not Jewish, as Jews come specifically from the tribe of Judah.  Levi (after which the Levites were named) was Judah’s older brother.  Both were sons of Jacob (Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham—see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).

Decades ago, when we played Backgammon a lot, he rolled an uncanny number of double sixes, which is the best roll you can get.  He said it was because he was a high priest and could just “call out” all the rolls that he needed, which did seem to happen more frequently than just by chance...kinda weird.  Anyway, I did bring my “high priest” friend a piece of matzo everyday, and he always ate it.  (In ancient times, the Levites served it to everyone else.)  Most days, I had peanut butter on mine.

My friend will be planting his garden in May.  Too bad I won’t be here to help him; I wouldn’t mind.  The best part is when August and September come around and he harvests bumper crops.  When I came last summer, I ate and ate and ate home-grown food until it was coming out of my ears (see some entries from Aug. 20 to Aug. 28, 2011).

Maybe he’ll invite me back this summer, too, when it’s like health-food heaven here.  I’m sure he’ll be giving free vegetables to neighbors on his block because he always has so much of it.  If there were a way for us to earn our way into heaven (which, of course, we cannot), I think that would be a cinch for Barry. 


Apr. 12, 2012

A friend of my friend Barry drove down from where he lives near Sacramento, CA.  He wanted to buy some wine, and Barry has a premium membership at assorted wineries.  That enables him and his guests to taste wine at no charge; otherwise, it is $1 per taste.  So we drove to Cline Cellars not too far away.

We all tasted only red wines.  I am not a wine connoisseur like those two guys are.  I just tasted what they did, and it all was good to me.  Although I rarely ever drink alcohol, I do like red wine now and then.  They each bought a case of wine there; I didn’t buy anything.

         
         
         
         
1-minute slideshow

Next we went across the road to Jacuzzi Family Vineyards.  There was a big crowd of people tasting, so we decided not to taste any wine there.  However, they had something I’ve never seen at a winery: cooking oil tasting.

There were little cups into which the cooking oil could be poured.  Then, using toothpicks, little cubes of bread could be dipped into the oil to taste it.  All the ones I tasted were excellent, but my favorite was the jalapeño oil.  It was very tasty and pretty spicy.  Admittedly, I had several samples of it; in fact, I lost count.  It reminded me of eating free samples at Costo, which we did yesterday.


Apr. 11, 2012

There were many who felt that Passover week this year, and in particular today, would be prophetically significant.  Although I agreed that some of the important numbers seemed to “fit,” I have not made any firm predictions that anything noteworthy would happen, which it has not.

This past weekend, I did not see any unusual gathering of soldiers or troups in or around Jerusalem (Luke 21:20), nor anyone fleeing from Jerusalem/Judea (Matthew 24:16; Luke 21:21).  Thus, I had to assume that no other related events were going to happen this week.

On some level, this is a good thing, since it means we have not entered the time of the Great Tribulation.  On the other hand, had we done so, there would be the expectation of only three years remaining for God to “wrap up” this age and bring on the glorious Millennium.

As a reminder, I feel pretty strongly that the final 3½ years of this age, whenever they take place, will be 1,263½ (or about 1,264) days in length.  This number is obtained by adding 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3) to 3½ days (11:9,11), with Jesus returning to earth at the end of that period, to rule and reign, in conjuction with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (11:15-17).

I feel it is very possible that day #1 of the final 3½ years will be on a Feast of Firstfruits (Easter Sunday), with day #1,264 falling on a Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement = day of Jesus’ bodily return).  So here are the numbers of days from the Feast of Firstfruits to Yom Kippur, 3½ years later, for the next few years:

Feast of Firstfruits Yom Kippur Total Number of Days
Mar. 31, 2013Oct. 12, 20161,292 Days
Apr. 20, 2014Sep. 30, 20171,260 Days
Apr. 5, 2015Sep. 19, 20181,264 Days
Apr. 24, 2016Oct. 9, 20191,264 Days

Notice that the next time there is a 1,264-day count from the Feast of Firstfruits to Yom Kippur is beginning in 2015 and ending in 2018.  It also happens beginning in 2016 and ending in 2019.

The tribes of Judah and Benjamin were in captivity in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10).  It is interesting that 2018 is 70 years after 1948, when Israel became a nation in modern times.  Also, 2019 is 70 years after 1949, when a set of Armistice Agreements were signed between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, ending the hostilities of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

Does this mean that the Great Tribulation will begin during Passover week 2015 or 2016 and that the Messiah, Jesus, will return to rule as the earth’s King (Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 11:15-17) 3½ years later?  I do not know; such a claim would be very speculative, at best.


Apr. 10, 2012

I’m writing this about 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Apr. 10.  My friend and I plan to leave at 8:30 a.m. to drive from Las Vegas, NV, to the S.F. Bay Area in CA.  Mapquest indicates that the trip should be about 585.5 miles and take about 9 hours 14 minutes.  I hope we don’t encounter any earthquakes (or lions, tigers, and bears) along the way.


We drove all the way from Las Vegas, NV, to my friend’s place in Marin County, CA, in 590.8 miles and 9 hours 32 minutes.  That is very close to what Mapquest mapped out and predicted, and we took that exact route.

We did make two short detours (about 3 miles and about 15 minutes total) to gas stations and grabbing Subway sandwiches.  So our trip was very close to the predicted 585.5 miles and 9 hours 14 minutes, which it may have been without any detours and stops.


In other news, today Rick Santorum suspended his run for U.S. president.  I like the guy, and I think he had the potential to make a good president.  However, it evidently wasn’t God’s will for him to be president.

Maybe Rick just needs to spend the time that he would be out campaigning being a really good daddy to his kids—especially his daughter Bella, age 3, who has Trisomy 18 syndrome.  I’m sorry that she has to suffer with that, and my prayers are with her and all the Santorums who have to struggle with her condition.

God has a very good reason for everything that happens, far beyond our understanding or comprehension.  I firmly believe that.


Apr. 8, 2012

Happy Resurrection Day and Feast of Firstfruits (also known as Easter Sunday).  Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah or Christ) rose from the dead on this historic day.  According to the apostle Paul, those who believe and freely confess this will be saved unto eternal life:

The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:  That if 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 10:8-10).

There is ample biblical evidence to demonstrate that Jesus is God, that He was resurrected from death, and that He forgives our sins when we ask Him to.  If you never have acknowledged these things, today would be a good day to do so.

For those into flowers in springtime, this 2½-minute video might be an enjoyable video to watch today:

The Beauty of Flowers

One of my friends was frying a couple of eggs this morning, so I figured I’d make an omelet, in addition to my regular oats and fruit.  I put broccoli, asparagus, onion, ancho chile pepper powder, and black pepper in the omelet.  It is very yummy.

 
5-second slideshow

I’m also eating matzo, since it is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.


Apr. 7, 2012

Wine (blood of the Lamb), matzo (unleavened bread), and horseradish (bitter herbs) on PassoverPassover began at sunset last night and will continue until sunset tonight.  There always is a full moon on Passover, but it is unusual for Passover to take place on a Saturday, which is the weekly Sabbath.

Full moon on PassoverYeshua/Jesus was our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).  He died on Passover, lay in the tomb during the first couple of days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits—the “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Because He shed His blood for us, those who believe in Him will not have to pay the price of permanent death for their sins.  He already has “picked up the tab,” and they will resurrect from death, too.

Since I am on a road trip with a friend (we now are in Las Vegas, NV), I was unable to attend a Passover Seder, which I like to do every year.  So, instead, I am drinking red wine (signifying the blood of the Lamb, although I rarely ever drink alcohol), and also I am eating matzo or matzah (unleavened bread, made without yeast—Leviticus 23:6) dipped in horseradish (bitter herbs).

I am remembering Yahweh’s deliverance of the Israelites from bitter slavery in ancient Egypt and am thanking Him that the blood of Yeshua, the Son of God, on the cross has delivered me from the penalty of all my despicable and contemptible sins, forever.  Hallelujah!


Flowers at Tahiti Village in Las VegasMy friend and I are staying at his time share at Tahiti Village in Las Vegas.  It is really nice.  We actually have adjacent suites; he has one and I have the other...pretty cool.  The best part for me is that it is free. 

         

We picked up a friend of his at the airport to stay here a couple of nights.  They feel that the Bellagio buffet is the best one in town, so I felt the least I could do is treat them to it.

We had decided that it would be our only meal of the day, so I knew that I would be eating a great deal more than I normally do.  I typically am not a big eater at all, but I definitely wanted to get my money’s worth; so I ate nothing until we got there in the early afternoon.

         
33-second slideshow

I can’t believe that I ate and drank ALL of that, especially since I’m not a very big guy, but I did.  Man, did I get stuffed!  Not everything was “kosher,” but it certainly made up for not having a Passover meal last night. 


Apr. 6, 2012

We decided to take a drive to Lake Mead, so on the way we passed through the Sunset Mountain area east of Las Vegas.  There were some cool colors and sites along the way.

         

         
30-second slideshow


A foundation tenet of the Catholic Church is that of the Immaculate Conception.  I think that most non-Catholics believe that this refers to the virgin birth of Jesus.  However, it does not.

The Immaculate Conception is the doctrine that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from her moment of conception.  Therefore, since Mary was sinless and perfect, that enabled Jesus to be the same.  I disagree, as explained in my email response here:


Apr. 5, 2012

Jesus was crucified and died on Passover, which also was a full moon.  The day of the week on which Passover falls, which always is Aviv 14 on the Hebraic/Jewish calendar, changes from year to year.  This year, the main day of Passover is Saturday, April 7.

Most Christians observe Good Friday as the last day of Jesus’ earthly life.  However, I am convinced that it actually was Good Thursday, even though it has been suggested that Aviv 14 cannot fall on a Thursday:

If Aviv 14 cannot fall on a Thursday, that means that the full moon of Passover week never can occur on a Thursday.  Good luck convincing the moon of that. 

Apr. 4, 2012

There are many who feel that the final 3½ years of this age and the Great Tribulation will commence during Passover week, April 6-12, 2012.  Personally, I do not feel a sense of overwhelming anticipation or expectation of this.

Admittedly, though, the numbers, primarily from the book of Revelation, do seem to fit.  Therefore, just in case, I have written the following: Great Tribulation Scenario as a description of the potential sequence of occurrences.

Furthermore, in the possible event of difficult times ahead, it might not be a bad idea to stock up on some of the suggested items on my Adversity Supplies list.  Even if the worst of times are not imminent, it’s never a bad idea to have extra supplies on hand in case an emergency arises due to an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood, or other disaster.


Apr. 3, 2012

On April 3, 1965, forty-seven years ago today, the wise Paul Harvey gave an interesting broadcast to millions of Americans on over 1,200 radio stations nationwide.  His topic was, “If I Were the Devil...”:

If I Were the Devil: Paul Harvey (Warning for a Nation)

As far as I can see, so far, everything he said has come true.


In other news, Mitt Romney walked away with three Republican Primary wins today.  They were in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

2012 District of Columbia Republican Primary  2012 Maryland Republican Primary
2012 Wisconsin Republican Primary 

Apr. 2, 2012

Today we drove from Reno through the Sierra Nevada mountains, by Mono Lake, into Death Valley, and ended up in Beatty, NV.  The whole trip took about 9 hours.  All of it was awesome with many spectacular sights.  One sight we didn’t like was the price of gasoline in Panamint Springs: $5.489/gallon for regular.  I guess it costs a lot to truck it in there.

We could not see Mount Whitney (the highest point in the contiguous U.S. at 14,505 feet) from the highway, but I took a photo of the mountains immediately around it.

         

         

         
45-second slideshow

Like yesterday, most of my shots were taken from a moving car, although we did stop in Death Valley, much of which is at sea level.  We walked around the Badlands, where the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, Badwater Basin, is 282 feet below sea level.  It is only 84.6 miles from Mount Whitney.  Looking up the side of a cliff there, a sign can be seen that reads “Sea Level” (in photo #10 and photo #11).

         

         

         
45-second slideshow

Apr. 1, 2012

This is Palm Sunday.  It is the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem as Israel’s King.  However, the Pharisees and other religious leaders did not acknowledge that the Messiah had come, and they deceived others so that they also did not understand that He was the prophesied King to come.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday because the people did not recognize the time of His coming to them (Luke 19:44).  This was a fulfillment of a centuries-old prophecy about when the “Anointed One” (Messiah) would come (Daniel 9:25).

Jesus was the “Anointed One” due to having expensive ointment or oil poured on him, symbolically preparing Him for burial (Matthew 26:7,12).  Soon thereafter, He was crucified or “cut off” (on Good Thursday), thus fulfilling Daniel 9:26.

Fortunately, Jesus was resurrected, a few days later, on the Feast of Firstfruits.  Indeed He was raised from the dead, the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” or died (1 Corinthians 15:20).  Could the five “wise virgins” entering the bridal chamber of the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-10) be a group of “firstfruits” believers who are caught up and away—perhaps even on the Feast of Firstfruits—just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation?

I do not know.  However, Jesus did indicate that no one would know the day of His coming (Matthew 24:42, 25:13).  Since I do believe in multiple Rapture events, perhaps this means that believers will not know at which event they will be taken...just a possibility.


Today, my friend Barry and I drove from his place in Marin County, CA, to Reno, NV.  It’s amazing to me how Reno is actually northwest, not northeast, of Los Angeles.  Look at a map if you don’t believe that.

A big storm had passed through yesterday, so we were afraid that we might need tire chains going over the mountains.  Fortunately, the road was clear the entire way, although we saw lots of snow on either side.  We skipped lunch, so we were glad to get to Reno for a big dinner buffet.

         

         
30-second slideshow

All of the photos were taken from a moving car, except for the last one, of course.  It’s not too easy accessing a buffet from a moving car.  Tomorrow, we will be on the road again.

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