Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
October thru December, 2013


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Dec. 31, 2013

Was Jesus God?  There are numerous Bible verses, I am convinced, supporting the fact that Jesus was God, the Word of God, and the Creator, Sustainer of all things.  Here are a few:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 1-3,14)

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

He [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:2,3)

Indeed, Jesus was God in human flesh; yet, He humbled Himself enough to die on a cross (on Good Thursday) to atone for the sins of humanity

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:4-11)

In the Transfiguration, Jesus unveiled the essence of God within Him to three of His disciples.  This is the same Jesus who is going to return to earth, set up the Kingdom of God on earth, and rule and reign as King over the whole earth.  With world political and economic conditions spirialing downward at an increasing rate, I hope that the return of Jesus is sooner rather than later.


Dec. 29, 2013

There are some who believe that Adam and Eve were not the first humans.  Some feel that other people were created by God at the same time.  These were the people that Cain and his siblings married.

Others feel that there actually was a race of people, pre-dating Adam and Eve, who were wiped out by an ancient flood that they feel is aluded to in Genesis 1:2.  I do not believe either of these things, as reflected in my response to an email sent to me:


Dec. 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate this holiday.  I celebrate the birth of Jesus during the week of the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.  See my Sep. 19 entry for more about that.

Regardless of when the virgin birth of Jesus was, He is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, and the Savior of those who acknowledge that they are sinners and ask God’s forgiveness for their transgressions, understanding that Jesus came and took the penalty that we were due.  In case you have an interest, you can see My Beliefs and Faith for more of what I believe.


In other news, I never had seen the reality series Duck Dynasty on A&E channel before.  With the recent controversy with Phil Robertson (the main patriarch on the show), I became curious about the show, especially since I heard it is the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history.

So I looked at the TV schedule and saw that there is a marathon of Duck Dynasty for several hours tonight.  A couple of friends came over, neither of whom had seen it before, and we’re watching it.  We all agree that it is hilarious!  I highly recommend it.

There is another DD marathon tomorrow night, and I intend to watch it.  Besides the humor, I like how the family prays at the dinner table at the end of each 30-minute episode.  The problem is that now I may be addicted to this TV show.


Dec. 23, 2013

Most people, and even many Christians, have doubts about God and His existence.  Others seem to be unaware of the dark, demonic forces that surround us.

They are quite real, though, and they constantly are trying to influence us, for instance not to believe in God.  Those who are unaware of this, or who refuse to acknowledge it, are most likely to be influenced by these forces.

Here are a couple of emails I have received, with my associated responses, from people who have doubts about God’s existence and/or are concerned about satanic or demonic attack:

Another person made a couple of videos and sent me links to them.  He explains how “we’ve been duped” into not believing in the evil spiritual forces that are around us:

We've Been Duped! — Part 1 (29½ minutes)

We've Been Duped! — Part 2 (53½ minutes)

Dec. 19, 2013

We drove out to Primm today, which is about 40 miles from Las Vegas and a mile from the California/Nevada border.  There are various casinos there, probably the most famous of which is Whiskey Pete’s Casino.  It opened in 1977 and was the first casino at what used to be called Stateline.

We went to Subway to eat, but their prices were ridiculous—much higher than any Subway I’ve been too—so I passed on eating.  After sunset, we went across the highway to Primm Valley Casino.  As soon as we walked in, I walked over to the buffet to check out the price.  It was $16.99 + tax = $17.29, which was more than I wanted to pay.

I was just about to walk away when a lady walked up to me and asked if I wanted to have a free buffet.  I asked how that could happen.  She said that she had been playing machines for hours and had accumulted enough points to get three free buffet coupons.  She and her friend had just used two of them to eat, and she offered me the third one.

I offered to pay her for some of it, but she refused.  So I took it and ate a very nice dinner buffet while my friend played some machines.  Some would consider it to be a coincidence that I happened to show up just when that nice lady was there to give away her buffet coupon.  I consider it to be an undeserved blessing from God who wanted to show me that He loves me and wanted to do something nice for me. 

         
15-second slideshow

Dec. 18, 2013

This afternoon, my friend wanted to eat at the Bellagio buffet.  We got there about an hour before we were ready to eat, so I watched him play some penny slots for awhile.

Then I decided to play 25¢ draw poker for a bit, since I could find no 5¢ machines.  It wasn’t long before I got four Queens (holding only one Queen), which paid $62.50.  That was good enough for me, so I quit.

The Bellagio buffet is my friend’s favorite one in Las Vegas.  Personally, I think it is over-rated, especially for the price ($23.00 per person), and the line to get in is too long.  But he paid for mine, so I couldn’t really complain.

While in line for about 30 minutes, I got bored to the point of taking photos of the wall tiles.  I made a web page background of the Bellagio buffet wall tiles here.

The food was good but a little too salty for me.  Also, they were doing remodeling or construction on one section, where there has been food in the past, so there was less food selection than the last time we were there on Apr. 7, 2012 when we stayed at the Tahiti Village.

         
15-second slideshow

Later, we went downtown and were there for the evening.  At Binion’s, I watched my friend play penny slots for awhile, and then I decided to play nickel draw poker.  Soon I hit four Aces for $40,00, and that was it for me!  I don’t even like to gamble, but I’ve been doing amazingly well since I got here, including the Royal Flush last night and the four Aces earlier today.  Wow!

My friend was playing penny slots, so I walked around outside.  Fremont Street has changed quite a bit over the decades, and now there is a lot going on.  There are music performers, people walking around in various costumes, and a light show above (that extends for a few blocks) every hour, on the hour.  I took quite a few photos.

         

         

         

         

         
45-second slideshow

Dec. 17, 2013

A long-time friend and I joined each other in Las Vegas, NV, on Dec. 14 and will be here until Dec. 21.  He has time shares in various places, so we are staying at the Westgate Flamingo Bay Resort.  It is very nice and is free for me, which is great.

I also like the landscaping of this resort, and there are Christmas decorations around.  There is an exercise room, and everyday I have enjoyed getting on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes.

We have been eating a big buffet every afternoon, which is unusual for me because I’m not a very big eater.  It is very rare that I will go to a casino, but I’ll go with my friend when we are in Las Vegas.  Mostly, I have just been watching him play.  I enjoy hanging out with him because we share a similar sense of humor and have lot of laughs.

I won four stuffed toys at one casino, which I will give to my nephew’s daughter for Christmas.  I think she’ll like them.  I have played some low-denomination draw poker machines.  Amazingly, I got extremely lucky and drew a Royal Flush for $400 on a 10¢ draw poker machine tonight...great, I needed the money!

       

       

       

       
50-second slideshow


In other news, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to present a written framework agreement, perhaps during the first week of January 2014, for “peace” between the Israelis and Palestinians.  Most likely, such an agreement would have negative ramifications for Israel.

Kerry Forces Israel's Moment of Decision

Israel has been wanting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, but this is not likely to happen.  Furthermore, the PA has been demanding control of all of East Jerusalem as its capital.  If both sides agree to a deal, it probably will signal a very rocky road for Israel over the next few years.


Dec. 14, 2013

I take these vitamins and supplements everyday: a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C, and E; magnesium, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto, glucosamine and chondroitin.  Rather than retrieve all the pills and tablets out of several bottles each day, I assemble several weeks’ worth of vitamins at a time.

98 days of vitamins

I now have enough vitamins placed inside of vitamin dispensers to last me 98 days (14 weeks).  That will take me through Mar. 29, 2014.  It took awhile to do that, but I like the convenience everyday of being able to empty a compartment of vitamins and supplements into my hand and pop them into my mouth, with no further hassle.


Dec. 9, 2013

Bob Filner, former mayer of San DiegoFormer womanizing mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, has been sentenced to 90 days of home confinement and three years probation.  He resigned his position as mayor on Aug. 22 and will not be able to seek public office while on probation.

Former San Diego Mayor
Bob Filner Sentenced

All of that is fine with me.  Maybe he will stay out of the news for awhile; I was tired of seeing him and hearing about him.


Dec. 5, 2013

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela, who was South Africa’s first elected black president, has died at the age of 95.  He had been battling a recurring lung infection since June.

Nelson Mandela, Led South
Africa Past Apartheid, Dies

I think this was my favorite statement by Mandela:

Resentment is like drinking poison and
then hoping it will kill your enemies.

So true.  Actually, most high-profile civil rights leaders in America should heed that counsel.


Dec. 4, 2013

Menorah: 8th NightThis is the last night of Hanukkah, which began at sunset on on Nov. 27.  All nine candles were lit, and the Hanukkah blessings were read.

I also reread the passage describing the rededication of the altar, within the newly consecrated temple, in 1 Maccabees 4:36-59.  The final verse shows why the eight-day Feast of Dedication has been observed ever since then:

Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev. (1 Maccabees 4:59)

Dec. 1, 2013

The Obamacare website (healthcare.gov) is supposed to be up and running fine today.  This is what we have heard would happen since the website went online on Oct. 1 and has been extremely problematic for the past two months.

Today, with my browser window less than full size (which is how I usually keep it because I always have other applications running behind it), just the display of the home page is distorted and out of shape.  Only by maximizing the size of the browser window does the display look normal.

That is not how it should be.  With a reduced browser window width (down to a reasonable size), all of the graphics and text on the page should move closer together so that everything is visible without any overlapping and deformation.

Click on each image below.  The first one shows how the page looks with my browser window at its full width of 1260 pixels.  The second one shows how messed up the page looks with my window reduced to a width of 900 pixels.  The third one shows how easily the page could have been programmed to fit everything properly into a window at a width of 900 pixels.



 

Basically, whoever designed the appearance of the healthcare.gov home page is sloppy and inept.  I could have done a much better job than that, and I am not a professional website creator.

In any case, even if the website looked great, Obamacare still continues to be disastrous.  People’s private information is not secure when they enter it at the website.  Those who enroll on the website cannot be guaranteed that the insurance companies they have signed up for will even receive their information.  I hate to think what will happen when they show up at doctors’s offices and hospitals and are told that they do not have coverage.

The majority of health premiums and deductibles are going up, not down.  Multitudes of people will not be able to see the primary doctors that they have seen in the past, even though the president promised that they could keep their doctors and their health care plans  The number of health care providers in the Obamacare network is shrinking.  And, all the while, Pinocchio (I mean, Obama) continues to state that the website and Obamacare are non-risky, reliable, and dependable.  Yeah, right.


Nov. 30, 2013

In the Iron Bowl today, Auburn and Alabama were tied 28 to 28.  There was one second left in the game, and Alabama attempted a field goal, which would have won the game for them had they made it.  They missed the field goal, and presumably the game was about to go into overtime.

However, then one of the most amazing plays I’ve ever seen in a football game occurred.  Chris Davis caught the ball in the end-zone and ran it 109 yards for a touchdown, with no time left on the clock.  Wow, great play, Chris!


Nov. 28, 2013

For all of those who celebrate Thanksgiving (or Hanukkah) today, be sure that you thank God/Yahweh for His multitude of blessings and gifts.  President Washington acknowledged the Providence of Almighty God in his General Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Of course, giving thanks to God should be done everyday of the year, not just today.  Thanksgiving should be merely an annual reminder that everything we have comes from Him, including our eternal salvation.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.  This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.  The poor will see and be glad—you who seek God, may your hearts live! (Psalm 69:30-32)

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.  Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.  “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation:  The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.  My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations.  The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.” (Isaiah 51:3-5)

We also should thank God for His chosen nation, Israel.  Without His covenant with Israel, the whole world would be lost.  But those who believe in the true God, Yahweh, have been “grafted in” to Israel and, as a result, will receive eternal salvation (see God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?).

Peace on EarthMost of the world longs for peace and for the absence of war.  Fortunately, God has promised that this will happen when the Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus) comes and sits as King in Jerusalem (Zion), with His Law going out from there and throughout the entire world.

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.  Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”  The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Micah 4:1-3)

As the world grows darker with chaos, anarchy, threatening economic collapse, and war among the nations, we can look forward to the “light at the end of the tunnel,” when Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) will return to rule and reignOnly then will there be worldwide peace and no more war, and for this we can be genuinely thankful!


Nov. 27, 2013

Lighting Hanukkah CandlesMenorah: 1st NightThis evening is the first night of Hanukkah or Chanukah.  It will last for seven nights/days.  Hanukkah also is known as the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication; the very first one is described in 1 Maccabees 4:36-59.  More can be read in my Dec. 1, 2010 entry.

This year, the first full day of Hanukkah (tomorrow) coincides with Thanksgiving, which is extremely rare.  The last time this occurred was in 1888, and it will not happen again for 79,043 years (assuming the earth as we know it lasts that long, which I doubt).

It was during the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) that Jesus encountered some who challenged His deity:

Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.  The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe.  The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” (John 10:22-30)
Was Jesus God?  There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was and is the physical manifestation of God.  See my Dec. 1, 2012 entry for more.


On a different topic, I glance at the USGS Earthquakes page several times a day to monitor major earthquakes around the world.  I also like to read the “Today's Earthquake Fact” section; I wish I could find the complete archives for that, but this page has numerous entries.  These are entries for that section for the most recent five days:

  • Nov. 27: From 1975 to 1995 there were only four states that did not have any earthquakes. They were: Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • Nov. 26: There is no such thing as "earthquake weather." Statistically, there is an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather, etc. Furthermore, there is no physical way that the weather could affect the forces several miles beneath the surface of the earth. The changes in barometric pressure in the atmosphere are very small compared to the forces in the crust, and the effect of the barometric pressure does not reach beneath the soil.
  • Nov. 25: The Wasatch Range, with its outstanding ski areas, runs North-South through Utah, and like all mountain ranges, was produced by a series of earthquakes. The 386 km (240-mile) long Wasatch Fault is made up of several segments, each capable of producing up to a M7.5 earthquake. During the past 6000 years, there has been a M6.5+ about once every 350 years.
  • Nov. 24: The magnitude of an earthquake is a measured value of the earthquake size. The magnitude is the same no matter where you are, or how strong or weak the shaking was in various locations. The intensity of an earthquake is a measure of the shaking created by the earthquake, and this value does vary with location.
  • Nov. 23: Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Most of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0. If there is a large earthquake, however, the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months.

Naturally, I am most interested in Southern California quakes.  I have felt so many over the decades that I’ve lost count.


Nov. 24, 2013

In Geneva, Switzerland, a deal has been reached between six major world powers (United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany) and Iran pertaining to Iran’s uranium enrichment program.  This is a first step is a six-month deal.

Iran nuclear deal reached in Geneva

Iran is being allowed to keep it nuclear enrichment program mostly in place, and the sanctions that have been lifted will be very difficult to reinstate again.  It is a bad deal for everyone except Iran, who cannot be trusted at all.  Israel and Saudi Arabia will be especially disappointed in this deal.

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, has said that it is easy to “prove” Iran’s peaceful intentions.  He also said, “We think we have a good strong arrangement.”  I do not believe those things for a second, since Iran has done nothing but deceive us in the past.  For examples of this, watch this 57-minute video, Iranium, put out by The Clarion Project:


Nov. 22, 2013

This is the 50th anniversary of one of the most tragic and heartrending events in U.S. history: the assassination of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy.  He was the first person born in the 20th century to serve as president.

He continues to rank highly in public opinion polls of U.S. presidents.  One of his most famous statements was, “And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Many conservatives still praise him for stating, in 1963, that lowering taxes was the surest path to full employment and lower deficits.

   
10-second slideshow

Many still remember the third photo above, taken three days after the assassination.  Little John F. Kennedy, Jr., stepped forward and saluted his father’s flag-draped casket as it rolled by.  It was JFK Jr.’s third birthday.

I remember where I was when I heard the tragic news on Nov. 22, 1963.  I was in the library at school.  A teacher came into the room and announced what had happened.  She was very upset and, as I recall, was trying to hide her tears.


Nov. 21, 2013

Harry Read, Senate majority leaderToday, in the U.S. Senate, majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) led the push for a “nuclear option” on filibusters.  It was approved by a vote of 52 to 48, with three Democrats voting with Republicans against changing the rule, which had not been modified since 1975.

Senate Democrats take "nuclear option"
on filibusters: What does that mean?

Barack Obama applauding the nuclear option in the SenateI suspect that this was done primarily as a distraction away from the huge trainwreck known as Obamacare and the countless problems it has caused.  In any case, after the vote took place, President Obama spoke out supporting the measure.

“Enough is enough”: Obama
backs new Senate rules

Interestingly, in April 2005 when Republicans were considering amending the rules of the filibuster to prevent Democrats from blocking President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, Senators Harry Reid and Barack Obama spoke out on the same day against it.  This is what they said:

But now, in order to break down the separation of powers and ram through their appointees to the judicial branch, President Bush and the Republican leadership want to eliminate a two-hundred-year-old American rule saying that every member of the Senate can rise to say their piece and speak on behalf of the people that sent them here. ... The threat to change Senate rules is a raw abuse of power and will destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place to prevent absolute power by any one branch of government. (Harry Reid, Apr. 2005)

I rise today to urge my colleagues to think about the implications the nuclear option would have on this chamber and this country.  I urge all of us to think not just about winning every debate but about protecting free and democratic debate. ... The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse. ... I urge my Republican colleagues not to go through with changing these rules. ... What they [the American people] don’t expect is for one party — be it Republican or Democrat — to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet. ... I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness.  I believe some of my colleagues propose this rules change because they can get away with it rather than because they know it’s good for our democracy. (Barack Obama, Apr. 2005)

At the time, Senators Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton also bashed the nuclear option, saying this:

Isn’t what is really going on here that the majority does not want to hear what others have to say, even if it is the truth? ... The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play.  It is the one thing this country stands for: not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field.  I say to my friends on the Republican side: You may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever.  I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.  But I am afraid you will teach my new colleagues the wrong lessons. (Joe Biden, May 2005)

If you can’t get 60 votes for a nominee, maybe you should think about who you’re sending to us to be confirmed because for a lifetime appointment, 60 votes, bringing together a consensus of Senators from all regions of the country, who look at the same record and draw the same conclusion, means that perhaps that nominee should not be on the Federal bench. (Hillary Clinton, May 2005)

Watch a compilation of Obama, Clinton, Schumer, Reid, Feinstein, Biden, and other Democrat senators decrying the “nuclear option” in 2005 (this 5-minute video was compiled in 2010):

So major Democrats, including Harry Reid and Barack Obama, were against the “nuclear option” before they were for it.  It all sounds a bit hypocritical to me, to say the least.


Nov. 20, 2013

Christians are taught that God is the Source of mercy, grace, and judgment.  What do these mean?  The following simple descriptions should convey the implications of these words:

  • God’s mercy: not giving us what we do deserve.
  • God’s grace: giving us what we do not deserve.
  • God’s judgment: giving us what we do deserve.

“Thank you, Father, for your wonderful mercy and undeserved grace.  Keep us in obedience to Your Word to keep Your judgment from falling upon us.  Amen.”


Nov. 18, 2013

Amazingly, the tail of Comet ISON has become extremely long.  Apparently, this was due to the unusual outburst of the comet that occurred on Nov. 14.  Now its length is almost 12 times the physical diameter of the sun.

Comet Ison’s Super Tail


Nov. 14, 2013

Outburst of Comet ISON, Nov. 14, 2013Comet ISON is on its way toward the sun.  It now is observable with binoculars and is just about close enough to earth to be seen with the naked eye.

A week ago the comet developed a second gas or ion tail streaming alongside the wider, brighter dust tail.  Last night, it experienced a noticeable brightening that is being called an “outburst.”  The photo on the left, showing the outburst, was taken early this morning by Mike Hankey of Monkton, Maryland.

Comet ISON has an outburst!

   
10-second slideshow

This comet was discovered in September 2012 by two amateur Russian astronomers.  It should come within just 621,000 miles of the sun on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving Day which, incidentally, is when Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights) begins.

It is unknown what will happen to the comet as it travels close to the sun.  It could become so hot that it vaporizes, or it could emerge on the other side and be visible to us through December, as it journeys back out into the solar system.

In any case, comets remind me of the third trumpet judgment:

The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—the name of the star is Wormwood.  A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. (Revelation 8:10,11)
I feel it is likely that this will be a comet breaking apart in the atmosphere, with the pieces falling onto the earth.  And, no, I do not believe that Comet ISON is that comet.

Nov. 13, 2013

According to a September 5 memo, obtained by the Associated Press and confirmed by ABC News, the Obama administration projected that about 500,000 people would be enrolling in Obamacare during the month of October.  Well, the total number was only about one-fifth of that amount.

Actually, only 26,794 people were able to sign up for a plan on the incompetent and inept healthcare.gov website.  An additional 79,391 people signed up using fifteen state-run websites, for a dismal total of 106,185 people.

Critical condition: Only 27K enrolled
in ObamaCare through fed site

Considering that, as of today, 5,026,143 Americans have had their health care plans canceled, Obamacare certainly is living up to its reputation of being a complete “trainwreck.”  I am very doubtful that the Obamacare website will be fully functional by November 30, as promised.


Obamacare girl, AdrianaIn other news, on Oct. 28, I noted how I was wondering where the pretty girl’s face went that had been on the healthcare.gov (Obamacare) website.  Well, now we know.

The girl’s name is Adriana (no last name provided).  She is from Colombia, is married to an American citizen, is a permanent resident, and has an infant son.

Obamacare girl not a U.S. citizen:
Mystery girl from website now cyberbullied

It’s a shame that this girl has been cyberbullied and criticized for something that wasn’t her fault.  Even worse, she wasn’t paid even a penny for the use of her face on the site.  Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me in the least.


Nov. 12, 2013

The rollout of Obamacare has been a fiasco.  Its success will depend on funds paid into the pool by healthy young people, which is not likely to happen in sizeable amounts.

Therefore, clever ways are going to have to be developed to “persuade” people in this age group to participate.  Maybe a better description is to “deceive” them, and some of the most deceptive ads I’ve seen are in the got insurance? collection.  The two ads shown in this article I find particularly sleazy:

ObamaCare Ad: "Hope He's As
Easy To Get As Birth Control"

They promote the birth control feature of Obamacare.  These ads encourage young women to get Obamacare so that they can get easy-access birth control.  Then they can go out and have as much extramarital sex as they want.

Part of my health care premiums will be used to help pay for this, as well as for the abortions that many will have when their birth control doesn’t work.  Not only do I find that revolting and disgusting, it makes me angry.


Nov. 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served and are serving to protect the USA.  May God protect all of you and bless all of your families.

American Flag and Pledge of Allegiance

I am very thankful for those who have fought for the emancipation of the USA and the continuing autonomy of its citizens, from the Revolutionary War onward.  Unfortunately, our personal freedoms, liberties, and civil rights now are in great danger of being lost.

In part, this can be blamed on an increasingly powerful federal government that imposes sanctions and constraints—such as the mammoth beast known as Obamacare—on the American people.  But, more fundamentally, it is due to our having abandoned and foresaken the one, true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).  I feel that Romans 1:18-32 and 2 Timothy 3:1-8 are in the process of taking place now.

Our Father is a jealous God; He hates the idols and gods that we revere and worship instead of Him:

You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:2-6)

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)

Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.  After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land.... (Deuteronomy 4:23-26)

The last section of verses above is a foreboding prospect.  Regrettably, I do feel that America is headed in that direction, and other nations are in the same boat as well.  In the USA, in particular, I feel that three of the main things leading to judgment are an increase in unnecessary abortions (especially late-term), an increase same-sex marriages, and a decrease in support for Israel.

Very difficult times are coming.  It is only a matter a time when God’s wrath and vengeance will begin to be poured out, and terrified people worldwide will know, without any doubt, when widespread punishment by an angry God is imminent:

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.  They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

Fortunately, for those who have put the one, true God as first in their lives and have embraced Jesus, the Son of God, as their Savior, a pre-wrath Rapture event will result in their removal and protection at that time.  Will you be in that lifeboat?


Nov. 10, 2013

There are not many things more grievous and heartbreaking than losing a child.  I just watched an excellent video about two couples, each of whom lost a son, who describe how God has been faithful to help them deal with that situation.  Maybe this 25½-minute video, at the Day of Discovery website, would be helpful to those who have experienced that loss.

The Journey Through: The Loss of a Child

Nov. 8, 2013

Super typhoon Haiyan, with sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph), with gusts up to 380 kph (235 mph), is crashing into the Philippines.  As a high-end Category 5 typhoon, it is possibly the strongest tropical storm to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history.

Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest
storms ever, hits central Philippines


Super Typhoon Haiyan

This cyclone reminds me of Obamacare, due to all the destruction and havoc it is creating and will leave behind.


Nov. 7, 2013

Today is the 95th birthday of William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr.  Many would consider him to be the greatest Christian evangelist of all time.  I could not disagree with that.  Happy birthday, Reverend Graham!

Party in NC to Mark Billy Graham's 95th Birthday

I watched Billy Graham’s newest video, “The Cross,” on TV tonight.  It was outstanding and very moving, and I recommend that everyone watch it here (only 29½ minutes in length):

“The Cross” from My Hope America

The only hope for America and for this dying world is in Jesus Christ.  He will return again, judge the world in perfect righteousness, and set up His glorious Kingdom on the earth during the Millennium.  What a time of rejoicing that will be!

Jesus the Messiah (Christ) lived the perfect life that we cannot live and died the death that we deserve.  Please ask Jesus into your heart now by praying the Sinner’s Prayer.  If you are sincere, your life will be changed.  Best of all, you will receive eternal life.  I hope to see you in His Kingdom one day.


Nov. 5, 2013

Obama...Period!President Obama’s statements that people could keep their healthcare plans and their doctors (“period!”), and that their premiums would be lowered by about $2,500 a year, are untrue.

Many are saying that they are intentionally deceitful lies.  Indeed, millions of people already have received cancellation notices from their health care insurers and feel completely betrayed.

The president was not honest with Americans, for many of whom their healthcare is of utmost importance.  Then he tried to backpeddle by saying that people could keep their plans IF the plans haven’t changed since they signed up for those plans.

This video shows several videos of Mr. Obama making false statements about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare:

Obamacare Blues

President PinocchioRush Limbaugh feels, of all the lies presidents have told in his lifetime, that Obama’s lies about Obamacare are the biggest:

The Biggest Presidential Lie in My Lifetime

Remember when Nancy Pelosi said about Obamacare, “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it”?  That is the definition of a stool sample which, essentially, is what Obamacare is.

I never have heard any president state as many untruths as I have heard Barack Obama utter, both before and after he became president.  Anyone who is not aware that Obama is constantly telling fibs either is not paying any attention or is brain dead.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”—Sir Walter Scott.  I cannot help but think that a commentary I wrote over 4½ years ago very well could turn out to be true: Barack Obama: False Prophet?


Nov. 4, 2013

The midterm elections are a year from today.  If they were held now, I would hope that many candidates who have supported and who continue to support the disastrous “Affordable Care Act” (often referred to as “Obummercare”) would be defeated.  I certainly hope that this will be the case a year from now.

Those who do not understand how devastating this law is to individual freedom and liberty, and how destructive it will be to the American economy, are living with their heads in the sand.  I’d point out another place in which their heads are located, but it wouldn’t be nice. 


Nov. 1, 2013

I tested a theory today.  In the past, after big “candy consumption” days (such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween), I often have gone to buy candy.  Usually, it is 50% off.  As a rule, I go the next day; sometimes I wait a few days.

Often, at WalMart, their entire holiday candy stash is gone within a couple of days.  I never knew if it was because people hurried in and bought it all or or because the store moved it over to the regular candy shelves.

So today I got to WalMart, which is open 24 hours, at about 8:00 a.m.  Lots of customers were in the Halloween section, where everything was half price.  There had been three aisles of Halloween candy before Halloween (which, incidentally, is an irrelevant “holiday” to me), and two of the aisles were mostly empty.  Evidently, numerous customers had purchased a great deal of candy before I got there, maybe since midnight.

Employees were moving the remaining candy to one side of the third aisle, which was very full but was being depleted gradually by customers.  I got four huge bags of candy for half price ($4.48 + 4.48 + 2.34 + 2.34 = $13.64).

       
13-second slideshow

Ironically, I am not much of a candy eater.  I just like to have it around in case someone else wants some, so I’ll probably give most of it away.


Oct. 30, 2013

Tonight, in the sixth and final game of the World Series, the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1.  Although it was the third World Series championship for the Red Sox since 2004, it was the first time in 95 years (since 1918) that they have won the series- in Boston.

Although I watched the game, I was in another room on the phone when probably the most exciting play of the game took place.  Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, caught in a rundown between first and second bases with four Cardinal players, made it safely back to first base.  I found the play online, and here it is:

Jacoby Ellsbury in rundown

Wow, Ellsbury is an incredibly agile player.  I’m surprised he didn’t sprain something doing that.


Oct. 28, 2013

What happened to the pretty girl’s face that was on the healthcare.gov website?  It’s got a new look now.

Health Insurance Marketplace   4 Ways to get Marketplace Coverage

I wonder if she decided she didn’t want to be associated with a colossal failure anymore.  I would like to see her be interviewed.


Oct. 24, 2013

On God’s Learning Channel (GLC), this week’s teaching on Rik Wadge’s “Digging the Truth” program is very interesting to me.  It is Part 1 on the Torah Codes or Bible Codes.  I have been convinced of the legitimacy of the Bible Codes for about 15 years.  In case you have not heard of it, here is a good 28½-minute introduction to it:

Episode #09 Torah Codes Pt. 1

More information about the Torah Codes can be found at these sites:

torahcode.org | torah-codes.net | torahcodes.net

Oct. 23, 2013

Six Democrat senatorsOnly Democrat members of the U.S. Senate voted for the so-called “Affordable Care Act” on Dec. 24, 2009, and only Democrat members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for it on Mar. 21, 2010Not one Republican voted for this cataclysmic, ruinous piece of legislation.

Ever since Barack Obama signed “Obamacare” into law on Mar. 23, 2010, it has continued to be supported and defended by virtually all Democrats and opposed and challenged by all Republicans.  Now that the HealthCare.gov website has proven to be an outright dysfunctional disaster for over three weeks, though, some Democrat senators seem to be changing their minds.

Today, several Democrat senators called on the Obama administration to delay enforcement of the health care law’s individual mandate.  This may be because some of them are up for re-election in 2014 in “red” states, and they are concerned that they will be voted out if they continue backing and defending Obamacare, which is extremely unpopular across the land.

Dems join call to delay ObamaCare
mandate amid website failures

If 6 Senate Democrats and all 46 senate Republicans vote to delay the individual mandate, certainly this legislation will pass in the Republican-dominated House.  Then it will be up to President Obama to sign it or veto it.  If he does the latter, it will be probably the most unpopular thing he’s ever done.


In other news, today in Franklin County, Ohio, 22-year-old Matthew Cordle was sentenced to 6½ years in prison.  He caused a fatal wrong-way crash on June 22 after a night of heavy drinking, which he had confessed to in an online video:

The reason I am featuring this guy is because he acknowledged, from the beginning, that he was wrong and had done something extremely bad.  He also is resolute and steadfast in wanting to warn others not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  I wholeheartedly agree with that admonition.

I will add that people should not text or talk on their cell phones while driving.  I don’t understand why people cannot wait until they reach their destinations to do either one of those things.

Personally, I don’t text; I only email.  Furthermore, I rarely talk on a cell phone (I do not even like phones), and I never do it while I’m driving.  There are way too many emergency situations that can arise suddenly (such as staying out of the way of people running red lights because they are texting or talking on their cell phones) to engage in any unnecessary, distracting activity while behind the wheel.


Oct. 21, 2013

The HealthCare.gov website has been an incompetent failure since it opened on Oct. 1.  For three weeks, it either has been inaccessible or has not worked properly.

This is unjustifiable and inexcusable, especially considering that the website cost the government (that is, taxpayers) over half a billion dollars to create and administer.  The inept website was produced by a Canadian company, CGI Federal.

Why Did Obama's HHS Officials Select
Canadian CGI that Botched Obamacare Launch?

In a speech today, Barack Obama expressed concern about the malfunctioning website and hope that all the “glitches” will be removed.  They won’t be.  Even worse, the implementation of Obamacare will be successful in causing utter destruction and devastation to America.  This article provides more details about that:

Why Obamacare is a Fantastic Success

Even prior to the 2008 election, Obama affirmed that he would “fundamentally transform America” if elected president.  Obamacare is the primary method he has used to do this, and the worst is yet to come.


Oct. 15, 2013

I just learned another interesting bit of information on God’s Learning Channel.  In many synagogues when the Torah scroll is retrieved, a rabbi will say, “Arise, oh Lord!”  When the scroll is returned to its place, “Return, oh Lord!” is said.  These phrases come from this passage in the Torah:

Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Rise up, O LORD!  May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.”  Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel.” (Numbers 10:35,36)
Without realizing it, they are stating things that their Messiah and Lord, Yeshua/Jesus, has done and will do.  He has risen from the dead (on the Feast of Firstfruits).  Furthermore, He will return again (first in the air on the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah, then to the earth on Yom Kippur).

Yeshua/Jesus was the living, breathing, walking Torah and the Word of God.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14).  While He was among us, He 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.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17,18)
In saying these things, Jesus was implying that He came to be the incarnation of the commands and precepts written in the Torah and by the Prophets.  Furthermore, even the most insignificant command and precept will not pass away until heaven and earth pass away, which will not take place until the end of the Millennium.

At that time, this present creation will cease to exist; and a brand new, pristine heaven and earth will be created by God (Revelation 21:1,5)—see old and new Creations.  Then, I believe, God will decree a perfect Law that will exist and be obeyed by everyone for all eternity.  Looking at this corrupt, lawless, fallen world, I long for that time to come.

Oct. 14, 2013

Peach seed, AlmondTwo of my favorite things to eat are peaches and almonds.  Actually, almonds are not nuts; they are drupes.  Peaches also are drupes, along with nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries.  In fact, all of them are so closely related that they are part of the same genus: prunus.

Pictured are a peach seed (left) and an almond (right).  They look similar, although the peach seed is smoother.  But that isn’t always the case; sometimes it has ridges similar to an almond.

I love the taste of a peach seed.  It tastes like a very strong almond; actually, it’s more like almond extract.  I chewed up both of them together.  What a taste treat. 


Oct. 10, 2013

Today I finished reading my Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, which I began on Jan. 1.  I doubled up on my reading several days and was able to finish over 2½ months sooner than the alotted one-year chronological schedule.

I’ve lost exact count of how many times I’ve read through the entire Bible, but I think it’s been 20 times.  I feel that everybody should do it at least once or twice, especially Christians, too many of whom hardly ever open their Bibles.  There is a great wealth of information about God and His amazing plan for human history in its pages.  I’ve incorporated countless references to the Bible in my commentaries and in my email responses.

I like being able to find cross-links among all the books of the Bible.  That is the key to understanding God’s plan, since the Bible mostly interprets itself.  God’s guiding hand on all the authors of the books in the Bible is consistently present throughout, including in God’s covenant with Abraham, His covenant with Israel, and His new covenant.

I steadfastly believe that the Old Testament (Tanakh) is revealed in the New Testament, and the New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament.  In my opinion, the whole Bible is the greatest collection of books, combined into one, ever written.

If you have not read it from cover to cover before, I encourage you to do so.  It will change your outlook on life and on the world’s future—which in the short term is very bleak, but in the long term is magnificent, once our Messiah returns to rule and reign during the Millennium.


Oct. 8, 2013

The Health Insurance Marketplace website has been fraught with numerous snags and glitches since it opened a week ago on Oct. 1.  It even was completely inaccessible for a few days.

Problems at main Obamacare website
are being fixed: White House

I have no doubt that such problems with a mere website are only a tiny reflection of the overall incompetence of those who will be administering Obamacare in the future.  It is merely the tiny tip of a gargantuan iceberg, sort of like the one that downed the Titanic.

Indeed, this new health care system will be no small “train wreck” but, rather, a gigantic “tsunami” of unfathomable proportions, which the majority of Americans do not even see coming.  And I have a suspicion that it was planned to be that way by those who pushed it into law.


Oct. 3, 2013

Chuck Smith of Calvary ChapelChuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel, died this morning after a two-year battle with lung cancer.  He was 86.

Chuck Smith, 86, Dies After Cancer Battle

For years, I attended the main Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA.  There were three services every Sunday morning to accommodate the thousands of people who came to hear Chuck Smith.

I always enjoyed Smith’s messages very much.  He was bright, humble, biblically literate, and most of all a lover of God and of other people.  I would place him on the same level as Billy Graham.

Chuck Smith will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.  I believe that now is where he always has wanted to be: in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus, who has told him, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21,23).


In other news, it was one century ago today—Oct. 3, 1913—that progressive Democrat President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Revenue Act of 1913.  Initially, the top tax rate was 7% for those making above $500,000.  Now the top rate is 39.6% for those making above $400,000.

The law had been passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress, both House and Senate.  This initiated the federal income tax system over which the corrupt, conservative-hating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reigns today.  See what happens when Democrats gain majority control over the government?


Oct. 1, 2013

Health Insurance MarketplaceThis is the first day that Americans without health insurance can shop at the new online marketplaces, or “exchanges,” for health-care coverage.  Under Obamacare, the uninsured have until March 31, 2014, to enroll in a health plan.  Not doing so will result in having to pay a penalty later.  By law, Americans must have health insurance beginning January 1, 2014, or a tax will be levied.

The fact that there has been a shutdown of the federal government, effective at midnight last night, will have no effect on the opening of the exchanges.  People can start signing up for coverage by filling out a form that will ask questions about family size, age of family members, and household income.  Enrollment must be done by December 14, 2013, if you want your coverage to begin January 1, 2014.

To sign up, go to the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov, a website run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  On this website, you are supposed to be able to find out information about plans, enrolling, and answers to other key questions you might have.  There may be many qualified health care plans from which to select, so you may need to ask for help.

If you do not have internet access, you can call HHS’s toll-free number to reach a customer service representative 24/7.  The number is 1-800-318-2596.  Some questions about Obamacare may be able to be answered here:

By the Numbers

If you do not sign up for health care, you will have to indicate this on a new tax form that will come out in 2014.  Without health insurance, you will be penalized or taxed as much as 1% of your annual income.  This tax will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

This is a gigantic, complex, unwieldy federally regulated system.  I knew that it would be when it was voted into law on Mar. 21, 2010.  It will be like trying to balance a skyscraper on the head of a pin.  Furthermore, it is going to drive up costs for virtually everybody.  Anyone who voted for this monstrous disaster should be voted out of office as soon as possible; unfortunately, the next big election is not until November 4, 2014.


In other news, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York today.  In his speech, which lasted about 32½ minutes, he focused mainly on Iran and its new president, Hassan Rouhani.  The entire speech, as well as a link to the video, can be seen here:

Full text of Netanyahu's 2013 speech
to the UN General Assembly

The Islamic Republic of Iran also is known as Persia, and Persian is its official language.  I liked how Mr. Netanyahu pointed out the long-lasting friendship between the Persians and the Jews until modern times.

He noted how it was King Cyrus of Persia, about 2,500 years ago, who ended the captivity of the Jewish people (Judah) in Babylon, decreeing that they could return to Jerusalem and build their temple.  This can be read in Ezra 1:1-11.

Unfortunately, radical Islam, a sworn enemy of Israel, has taken over Persia/Iran.  Even though President Rouhani says that Iran wants to refine uranium for energy purposes only, the nations of the world should be very wary of this assertion.  Mr. Netanyahu sees it as a potential nuclear threat to Israel, and so do I.

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